Imágenes de páginas

and purity

Searcher of hearts to be bad or tirement and meditation, who good, according to this standard. remain exceedingly ignorant of This, therefore, we ought to car- themselves, because when they ry with us to our closets, and have entered their closets, they places of retirement. Into this have always neglected to take we ought carefully to look, as in, the divine law with them, to a glass, that we may know Were they Dow to do this, what manner of persons we are. and to be faithful in com. The law, in all its strictness and paring themselves with this purity, should be imprinted on standard, their imagined attain. our minds. How expressive of ments in religion might possibly a strong attachment to the di- vanish like the morning dew, vine law are the following words before the rising sun; and they of David. “O how love I thy might tremble as king Josiah law! it is my meditation all the did, when he heard the words day.” It appears that the law of the book of the law, which was his delight, not because he had long been lost. While men cxpected to obtain salvation by suffer themselves to be ignorant it, but because he saw it to be of the law, they feel very whole, holy. He loved its perfection and practically say, that they

Though by this stand in no need of a physician. standard, he stood condemned, To obtain a knowledge of oure yet he was inclined to weigh selves, we must also carefully himself by it; and the more compare our feelings and pracfaithfully he attended to this, the tice with the requirements of greater sense he had of his own the gospel. The gospel, it is imperfection and vileness. He true, is good news to sinners. saw the commandınent to be ex- But, does it promise any good to ceedingly broad. With all this sinners, who remain impenitent? the experience of the apostle Does it countenance men in Paul perfectly corresponds. “I their sins ? No; the require, had not known sin (said he) but ments of the gospel are strict, by the law : for I had not known and, like the law, which we have lust, except the law had said, been considering, they try the Thou shalt not covet. But sin, hearts of men. The language taking occasion by the command of the gospel is, “ He that be. ment, wrought in me all manner lieveth shall be saved." Anin, of concupiscence. For without finite favour is here promised, the law sin was dead. For I a certain condition. The was alive without the law once ; condition is, that we renounce all but when the commandment dependence on our own strength, camc, sin revived, and I died.” acknowledge ourselves to be in

From the united testimony of a helpless and hopeless condi, these inspired men, David and tion, and that we embrace, with Paul, we learn that all, who bave our hearts, the all-perfect right, been brought to see themselves eousness of Jesus Christ. Withto be sinner3, have gained this out that faith, which implies all Inowledge by looking into this, what benefit are we to ex. God's holy law. Many, doubt. pect from the gospel ? None at less, have their seasons of re. all; for the gospel, considered


as an overture of God to fallen coming into the light of it men, threatens as well as firom- Therefore it is written, “ Every ises. Therefore it is added, one that doeth evil hateth the “ he that believeth not shall be light, neither cometh to the damned.” A preached gospel, light, lest his deeds should be misimproved, will leave men in reproved. But, he that doeth a state an hundred fold more to truth, cometh to the light, that be dreaded than that of the hea- his deeds may be made manithen.

fest, that they are wrought in Besides ; the gospel presents God." to us many crosses, which we If the wicked obtain any conmust daily take up, or lose our viction of their rained state, it souls. Speaking on this subject, must take place in consequence our divine Saviour said, " If any of comparing themselves with man will come after me, let him the pure oracles of God, with deny himself, and take up his the law and the gospel. And if eross, and follow me. For who- Christians are brought to have soever will save his life shall lose any just sight of their many imit, and whosoever will lose his life perfections, to lie low before for my sake sball find it.” God, and to feel the necessity of

With these views of the gos- struggling against sin, they will pel we should enter our closets, attain to this, by retiring from and solemnly ask ourselves, as in the world, and studying the the presence of God, whether word of God with self-applicawe have complied with the con- tion, and with particular referditions. If, on examination, we ence to the state of their own find that our faith is not of that souls. Convicted of the greatkind, which leads to purity of ness of their danger, and of the life, and which influences us to magnitude of their wants, they visit the fatherless and widows are constrained to cry for help, in their affliction, and to keep as the publican did; not menourselves unspotted from the tioning their own good deeds, world, what does it profit? If but saying, “ God be merciful to we find, that our religion does us sinners." No longer do they not consist in self-denial ; if it say in their hearts, that their does not make us feel interested farms, their flocks, their merin the honour and glory of the chandize and their earthly comdivine Redeemer ; if it does not panions call so loudly for their make us prize the worship of attention, that God must be put God in his house, in our fami- off, and eternal concerns dislies and in our closets; what pensed with ; no longer do they important end do we expect will say, “ To-morrow shall be as this be answered by it? The gospel day, and much more abundant ;" is represented by its divine Au- but, they make haste, and delay thor to be a test of character not, to keep the divine comMen are to know themselves by mandments.



ON THỂ DOCTRINE OF THE The prophet has also declared, TONEMENT.

that this was his meaning. Hav

ing said of Christ, “ He hath In a Series of Letters to a Friend.

borne our griefs,” he adds, " and (Cortimed from page 515.)

carried our sorrows ;” and after

wards, " He shall justify many, LETTER III.

for he shall bear their iniquities." The Doctrine illustrated, proved, and

Here a different word is used in defended from Scripture.

the Hebrew (sabal) which always

signifies to carry a load. Christ DEAR SIR,

carried our sorrows and iniquiIt is asserted that, wherities, when he was wounded, Christ is said to have borne our bruised, and chastized or pungriefs and sins, the word in the ished for our sins. St. Peter aloriginal sometimes signifies so says, that “ He bare our sins.” merely to take away. We need (the guilt and punishment of not then imagine that our sins them) “ in his own body on the guilt, and punishment were laid tree.” He freed us from the on hiny, or borne by him, but burden of our guilt by taking it only that he freed us from upon himself, and making satthem, or took them away from isfaction for it on the cross. us.

But the words of Matthew are I answer, though the word objected, who speaks of Christ's here used may sometimes bear healing the sick, as a fulfilment the sense here mentioned ; yet of the words of Esaias, “ HimSocinus himself owns that the self took our infirmities, and phrase, bearing of sins and sord bear our sicknesses." Christ 1098, commonly means bearing did not transfer the diseases of them, as a burden is borne, or the sick to himself, but healed suffering under them. This is them; and so took them away. evidently the meaning of the This shows how the words of threatening, which so often oc- the prophet were understood; curs in Scripture against trans- and applied by the evangelist. gressors, “ He shall bear his in- I answer; the words of the iquity.” Grotius, one of the prophets are in the New Testamost learned critics, says, that ment sometimes applied by in the language of the Scrip- way of allusion, or accommotures, bearing of sins always sig- dation, to events, which the nifies bearing the guilt or suffer- prophets did not primarily and ing the punishment of them. I chiefly mean. Dr. Clark accannot find that it ever has a dif- cordingly observes, that, though ferent meaning. That the phrase the original meaning of Esaias is to be so understood in this is the same with that of the place, is plainly intimated and im- apostle, when he said, “ Christ plied, when it is said, “ The Lord was once offered to bear the sins laid our iniquities upon him.This of many ;" yet the words of the heavy burden, which would have prophet might also be accommocrushed and sunk the world, was dated to Christ's healing the sick, laid upon him, that he might and in that sense be said to be bear it, and so free us from it. fulfilled or verified. Besides, it

should be considered that vious sense of the apostle's Christ's sufferings have obtained words. What could have been for us our temporal, as well as said more fully in point ? spiritual mercies ; our bod- This last passage, which we ies, as well as our souls, are heal- have been considering, suggests ed by his stripes. His weari. to us another important topic of some labours in going about to argument, often mentioned by do good and heal the sick, and the apostles; and that is, that his tender compassion for them, Christ suffered and died, as an might also, in some sense, be atoning sacrifice for sin. " He termed his taking and bearing gave himself for us an offering their infirmities. All the suffer- and sacrifice to God. Christ our ings in his life, as well as at his passover was sacrificed for us, death, were for our sins, and Through the eternal Spirit he were a part of the price, by offered himself without spot unto which all our mercies were pur- God. Once in the end of the chased for us.

world hath he appeared to put The words of the apostle, a way sin by the sacrifice of himwhich have just been mentioned, self." are a strong proof, that the bur- A sacrifice has been defined by den of our sin and guilt was laid some, "a thing devoted to God. or charged upon Christ, and But the most important, essenborne by him.

• Christ was

tial, and discriminating proponce offered to bear the sins of erties of an atoning sacrifice many ; but to them that look for are wholly left out of this defihim, he shall appear without sin nition. Both the Hebrew and unto salvation.” When he was Greek word for a sacrifice signioffered as a sacrifice, our guilt fies a slain victim. In sacrifices was assumed by him, the punish- for sin the sbedding of the blood ment, due to us for sin, was in- was necessary. Without it there flicted upon him, and borne by was no reinission. A sin-offerhim. But at his second coming ing was a victim slain, and offerhe will appear without sin ; that , ed to God, to make atonement is, without bearing our sins, as for the sins of the person, for when he was offered or sacrificed whom it was offered, that so his for them. Christ was always sin might be forgiven, or not imwithout sin in himself. But, puted to him. when he was offered for us, the In these sacrifices under the burden of our guilt and punish- law the victim was represented, ment lay upon him. But by sat- as substituted in the place or isfying the penal obligation, he stead of the persons, for whom was under, he freed himself from it was sacrificed, and their sins this burden; he bear's it no long- and guilt were represented, as er. So that at his second com- transferred to the victim, which ing he will appear, not only with must bleed and die instead of the out sin in himself, but also with- sinners, in order to make atoneout bearing the guilt and punish- ment, and obtain forgiveness ment of our sins, as he did, when for them. The sin, the crimin. he was offered, as a sacrifice for ality, the fault, was never imagthem. This seems to be the ob- ined to be infused or communi. Vol. II. No. 12.

2 2 2

was a


cited to the victim ; but the that the legal sacrifices were alguilt and the punishment, be- lusions to the great and final longing to the transgressor, were atonement to be made by the represented in a type, as trans- blood of Christ, and not that this ferred to his substitute, who is was an allusion to those.” The therefore said to bear the sins, priesthood sacrifices and atonethat were typically laid upon him. ments of the law were but figSee Levit. xvi. Here

ures of the priesthood sacrifice striking representation of vica- and atonement of Christ, who rious guilt and punishment. was the substance or original,

Now, what was represented in of which the others were only the typical sacrifice, was done in patterns, or typical representatruth and reality in the sacrifice tions. of Christ. Though our sins There were indeed euchariswere infused into him; tic sacrifices, or thank offerings. though the blame-worthiness, These might be unbloody. In implied in sin and inseparable allusion to these, Christians are from it, was not communicated exhorted to "present themselves to him, nor was God displeased to God living sacrifices ; to offer with bim ; though his beloved to God the sacrifice of praise, Son was never more the object which is the fruit of their lips, of the Father's complacency, giving thanks to his name ; and than when he was offered to bear not to forget to do good, and comthe sins of many ; yet the guilt municate, for with such sacrifand punishmentos sin, the obliga- ces God is well pleased." But tion to satisfy justice, by bearing the nature and design of these the curse of the law, was trans- are entirely different from atonferred; assigned to him, and tak- ing sacrifices. The sacrifice, by en upon himself, as our sponsor, which Christ made atonement, and thus, as Paul says, He put it necessarily required the shedaway, or abolished the penal ding of his blood, and bearing bond, which we were under, by our sins, and the curse of the the sacrifice of himself.

law, on the cross. Without this To evade this argument, it has our guilt must still have remainbeen said, “ that Christ is term- ed upon us. ed a sacrifice for sin only in a We have the testimony of the figurative sense, and in allusion apostle Paul again to the point to the levitical sacrifices.” But in hand,“ God hath made Christ what reason have we to give any to be sin for us, who knew no credit to unsupported assertions? sin, that we might be made the We may say with more reason, righteousness of God in him." that the expiatory sacrifices un- The expressions are figurative, der the law were such only in a but the general purport of the figurative sense. For they were passage seems obvious enough. but figures, shadowy or typical To this purpose “God made representations of the sacrifice of Christ to be sin for us," the guilt Christ, the only true, real, and punishment of sin were laid substantial propitiation. “ The upon him, and borne by him in doctrine of the apostle,” says our stead, though he knew no sin Bishop Butler, “is plainly this, in himself, " that we might be

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