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ON THE DOCTRINE OF THE A- to die, is ascertained by our SaTONEMENT.
viour's words. « The Son of
Man came not to be ministered In a Series of Letters to a friend.
unto, but to minister, and to give (Continued from p. 455.) his life a ransom for many." A
ransom is what is given and acLETTER II.
cepted instead of the person ranThe Doctrine illustrated, proved, and somed. This ransom was the defended from Scripture.
life of Christ, his dying in our DEAR SIR,
stead, to save us from that death, That Christ died for signers to which we were condemned of mankind is often expressly as for our own sins. This ransom serted in the Scriptures.“ When was given (arti) substituted in. we were sinners, Christ died for stead of the many, who are ran
He suffered for us in the somed by his death. This is the flesh. He laid down his life for exact import of the words in the his sheep.” This is granted by original Greek, as the great masall, who bear the name of Chris- ters of that language agree. tiaas. But some pretend that Even the most learned Socinians, no more may be meant than however reluctantly, have seemthat Christ died for our benefit, ed at least to acknowledge this ; as a martyr or witness to the though they have taken much truth of the revelation he made fruitless pains to evade the plain of the will of God; as an exam- and obvious consequence. -ple of patience, fortitude, and The words of the apostle are charity, under cruel and abusive no less determinate. treatment; and that his resur- himself (artidurgar) a vicarious rection might be to us an assur- ransom." The expression is reing evidence of his divine mis- markable, and exceedingly emsion, and a pledge of the resur- phatical. Christ gave himself, rection of the dead. We readily his life, a ransom, a price of reacknowledge that the death of demption. This implies that Christ was designed for our ben- his death was instead of that of efit in these and other respects. the redeemed. But the expresBut this does by no means come sion is strengthened, by its being up to the intended meaning of termed a vicarious or substituted the sacred writers. The phrase, ransom for (utsię) instead of all the here used, properly signifies in redeemed. May it not now be the original, that Christ died in taken for proved, that, according the room and stead of sinners. to the Scriptures, Christ died in This is evidently the meaning the room of sinners, that by his of the phrase in Paul's epistle to vicarious sufferings and death he Philemon ; in which he says might ransom or redeem them that he would have retained from death, to which as sinners Onesimus with him
they were liable, and justly con(ume cov) in thy stead he might demned. minister to me.” That this is the Farther; the Scriptures teach sense, in which Christ died for us that :“ death is the wages of us, that is, as substituted instead sin,” that is, its deserved and of those, who were condemned threatened punishment. It was No. 11. Vol. II, Sss
sin, that brought death into the Those divines, who speak of world. It is sin, that has sub- Christ, as having suffered the jected all mankind to that con- punishment of sin, have not ondemnation, to redeem or ransom ly “ followed one another," but them from which, Christ died in have also followed the apostles, their room and stead. No one and speak as the oracles of God. is liable to receive the wages or And if Christ suffered the pun* punishment of sin, unless it be ishment of sin for sin, can it be for sin, as the meritorious cause. denied, that the sin, for which Now it is certain that, when he suffered punishment, was imChrist died in our stead to ran- puted to him? Was any otxe ever som us from death, he received punished for a crime, anless it - the wages, or punishment of sin was imputed to him ? Bat it was
in our stead. For what is death, not for any sin of his own, that the curse of the law, but the pun- Christ received the wages of sin,
ishment of sin ? Christ did die in and bore the curse of the law. our stead, that he might ransom For there was no sia in him. .us from death. He was madea He was tempted, as we are, yet curse, or bore the curse of the without sin : He did no sin : -law for us, that is, in our stead, He did always those things, that that he might redeem us from the pleased God, who was ever well curse of the law. It is true, a pleased in his beloved Son. It sperson may suffer that, which is was for our sins that he suffered
threatened in a law, as a punish- and died, and bore the punishment, and yet not suffer it as a ment due to us. Paut says that punishment. The cutting off he died for our sins according to some member of the body is a le- the Scriptures. He was deliver
gal punishment for some crimes. ed unto death for our offences. -But, if this be done by a surgeon His death was the deserved and to stop a gangrene, the patient threatened punishment of our -would not suffer it as a punish- sins, and he suffered this punment. But. Christ, in dying for ishinent for our sins. Is not this us not only suffered, what was a clear evidence, that our sins threatened as the punishment of were imputed, and our guilt sin, but he suffered for sin. The transferred to him ? apostle Peter says that Christ Of this we have also, I think, suffered for sins, the just for the a farther proof in the 53d chapunjust. Now, if Christ suffered ter of Isaiah. The prophet, the punishment of sin for sin; speaking of Christ, says, " He if he bore the curse of the law bath borne our griefs, and carrifor sin, (indeed how could he ed our sorrows. He was. Woundotherwise be subject to the curse, ed for our transgressions, and and punishment ?) how can the bruised for our iniquities, the conclusion be refused, that he chastisement of our peace was was punished for sin ? How can upon him, and by bis stripes we a person's being punished be are healed." These griefs and more accurately and logically ex- sorrows are termed ours, because pressed, than by saying he suf- deserved by us, and due to us, as fers what is threatened, as the the wages or punishment of our punishment of sin, for sin sins, though they were borne by
Christ. Since he for our trans- The variety of expression, usgressions and iniquities, as the ed by the prophet on this submeritorious cause, was wounded, ject, in order to ascertain his bruised, and suffered the punish- meaning, and preclude every ment due to us ; what can be a evasion, seems worthy of replainer and more necessary in- mark. But men are not easily ference, than that our obligation persuaded to give up a favourite to suffer this punishment was hypothesis. Words are often so transferred to him, and he took ambiguous and flexible, that init on himself ; ; that is, in other genious critics will bend and ad-, words, that our guilt was imput, just them to a different meaning ed to him. This is also plainly from what they most obviously expressed in the next verse, express. Yours, “the Lord hath laid upon him A Christian of the Ancient School, the iniquities of us all."
(To be continued.) siņs were not infused into him, for in him was no sin, but they ORIGINAL were laid upon him, judicially
AGED MINISTER. charged upon him, or as it is ex
No. 5. pressed in the Hebrew, they met Dear Sir, or rushed upon him. No words When my last was broken off, could better express, what is I was going to add a hint of premeant by imputation. The pro- ferring those writers who do the phet addş, “ he was cut off from best justice to the Scripture doc. the earth, (but it was not for trine of the fall of man, and the himself, he was stricken for the great revolution it has produced, transgressions of God's people.”, with reference to our moral state; The chastisement of our peace the ground of our hopes toward (by which our peace was made God; the redemption and rewith God, or by which our peace covery we want, and I might or happiness was obtained for us) have said, in the whole of our was inflicted upon him; and religion. For “as one kind of born by him. And again,“ My regimen (says bishop Sherlock) righteous servant, shall justify “is adapted to preserve a good many, for he shall bear their inz constitution, and another to re, iquities," i. e. bear the guilt, the store a broken one,” so it is burden, or punishment of them. here. A great part of the mis; And yet again, “ He bare the takes, which learned men have sins of many.” The guilt of committed in theology, may be these sins must therefore have traced to their not keeping this been laid or charged upon him. distinction sufficiently in their How else could he hear it? And view. And, as when we read yet farther, it is said that “ His Pope's Essay on Man (so strik: soul was to be made an offering," ing and beautiful in many rest a sacrifice of atonement for sin, pects) we are surprised to find and' so be substituted in the not a single hint of a defection place of sinners, to die in their from primitive rectitude which stead, and bear the punishment has degraded our species; so we due to them, as was represented are more or less disappointed in in atoning sacrifices.
mapy theological writers; and consequently in their systems at siderable talents appear not to large.
have bestowed a due proportion Sometimes, indeed, we meet of their time upon them :-The with an extreme in the other outlines perhaps have had some way; and man's depraved condi- justice done to them, but the tion set out with a kind of roman- interior has been too much posttic extravagance. But this does poned. not promote conviction. It di- Upon this last branch of in, minishes the credit of the preach- quiry, I think you will find as er, and raises a prejudice against much in President Edwards, on the truth. Happy the student Religious Affections, as in any by whom the straight line marked author I have seen ; and as able by the simple doctrine of Revela- and thorough an examination of tion, is well distinguished, and the Scriptures. I am, &c well kept. I am, &c,
(7o be continued.) My dear. Sir,
No. 6. When I think of you, an idea occurs afresh, which, though
THE DECALOGUE. No. 10, very simple, I have often thought TENTH COMMANDMEYT. might be of great use for every" Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's
house, thou shalt not covet thy student in theology, viz. that of
neighbour's wife, nor his man-ser applying chiefly to the very heari
yant, nor his maid-seryant, nor his of it. I mean to include all
ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that which relates to that conviction is thy neighbour's." of sin, which is preparatory to
No nation can produce a sys. real religion; the mistakes and tem of moral and religious prey the dangers, to which the awak cepts so perfect as that which ened are exposed; the directions was given to Israel from Mount suitable for them; the source Sinai. It will bear the strictest from which their encouragements examination, and when reduced should be derived ; the views to practice it preserves us in the and the submissions, they must way of holiness. The apostate be brought to :--after these the Emperor knew this, but anxious pature of true conversion ; the to find defects, where none exist, difference between common and he could only say, that the law effectual operations of the Dip contains things 100 simple and tog vine Spirit on the minds of men ; trite for 80 high an origin, the specific nature of saving What he says in detraction, is a faith, repentance unto life, true high eulogium. It admits, without love to God, and love to man in designing it, that the law is acits distinct branches; the dis- commodated to the meanest un. tinguishing nature of Christian derstanding, and thus answers hope, joy, humility, self-denial, the great purpose of instructing every grace; and evangelical and reforming mankind. Our obedience at large.
duty to God and to man is here In these the life and substance brought into one point of view. of theology seem emphatically The system is pure and comto con sist. And yet it often plete. - Forined on this modely happens, that preachers of con- a religious and useful race would
arisę venerating Jehovah's name, ably imporеrishing other men and seeking the welfare of fel- and is therefore a direct viola low creatures.
tion of this law. Public gaming, The tenth commandment" is by lotteries, so far from being placed as the fence of all the rest. less criminal than other species The apostle's reference to it, of that vice, is the worst of them (Rom. vii. 7, 8.) shows that it all: for it abets and sanctions, comprises the utmost spirituali- as far as example and conty of the law; and it is a perpet: currence can do it, a practice ual confutation of all those sys. which opens the door to every tems, by which the outward, species of fraud and villany; gross crime is considered as the which is pregnant with the most only violation of each command. extensive evils to the communiWe are here expressly, and in ty and to individuals ; which selthe most forcible language, pro- dom fails annually to bring sev. hibited so much as to desire what eral to an untimely end by suiis withheld from us by the com- cide or the sentence of the law; mand or providence of God; which unsettles an immense and so far from levelling proper multitude from the honest em ty, or seizing violently on our ployments of their station, to run neighbour's possessions, we may in quest of imaginary wealth pot so much as at all banker af, and which exposes them to man. ter them. The most secret ifold temptations, unfits them for wish for another man's wife vio- returning to their usual mode of lates this precept : but to desire life, and often materially in an union with an unmarried wo, jures their circumstances, breaks man, only becomes sinfựl when their spirits, sours their tempers, it is excessive, and when it is not and excites the worst passions of submitted to the will of God, if which they are susceptible. Inhe render it impracticable, We deed, the evils, political, moral, may desire that part of a man's and religious, of lotteries are too property, which he is inclined to glaring to be denied even by 'dispose of, if we mean to obtain those who plead necessity for it only on equitable terms : but continuing them ; and top nuwhat he chooses to keep, we may merous to be recapitulated in not covet. The poor man may this place. Can it therefore condesire moderate relief from the sist with the law of God, “ Thou rich: but he must not coyet his shalt not covet," or with the affluence, nor repine even if he character of a Christiản, to con. do not relieve him. Men, ex cur in such an iniquitous and inposed to equal hazards, may a- jurious system, from a vain degree to a proportionable contri: sire of irregular gain ? Whatevbution to him who suffers loss ; er argument proves it unlawful for it accords with the law of love for two or three men to cast lots to help the distressed. This for a sum of money, or to game exculpates insurance, when fạir: in any other way, much more ly conducted. But every species strongly concludes against a mil. of gaming originates from an un- lion of persons gaming publicly due desire and hope of increase by a lotiery for a month or six ing our property, by proportion, weeks together, to the stagna