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on earth; not only as freedom from and the "Father spared him not.” personal guilt was requisite in order We may therefore conclude, that to his bearing and expiating the he endured as much of that very sins of his people; but also as the misery which the wicked will enmeritorious purchase of their for- dure from the wrath of God, and feited inheritance; that the second the malice of the infernal powers Adam's benefit might answer to the as could consist with perfect innoloss sustained through the first cence, supreme love, and hope of Adam. His was however a suffer-speedy and final deliverance. ing obedience, and so expiatory; Many objections have been made his death was the highest perfec- to this doctrine of a real atonement, tion of obedience, and so meritori- and a vicarious sacrifice for sin, as ous. We need not therefore very if it were irrational or unjust, or exactly distinguish between them; gave an unamiable view of the Diyet it is proper to maintain, that vine character; or as if it were unthe believer is pardoned because favourable to the cause of morality his sin was imputed to Christ, and and virtue and great pains have expiated by his sacrifice; and that been taken to explain away the he is justified and made an heir of language of holy Scripture on this heaven, because Christ" brought subject, as if it implied not any of in an everlasting righteousness," those things which the unlearned "which is unto and upon all them reader is apt to infer from it. It that believe, without any differ- cannot be expected, that I should ence." Our Lord did not indeed give a particular answer to each of bear all the misery to which the these objections which result rather sinner is exposed; not being per- from the state of men's hearts, than sonally guilty, he could not endure from any solid grounds of reasoning; the torments of an accusing con- but it may suffice to observe in gescience; knowing that he should neral, that "God hath made foolish triumph, and reign in glory, he could things the wisdom of this world;" not feel the horrors of despair; and that "the natural man receiveth not his infinite dignity rendering him the things of the Spirit of God, for able at once to make an all-sufficient they are foolishness to him;" and atonement, it was not requisite that especially, that "the preaching of his sufferings should be eternal, as the cross is foolishness," in the must otherwise have been. abstract, "to them that perish:" But he endured the scorn, rage, adverting to such testimonies of the and cruelty of men, and all which Holy Spirit, we shall know what to they could inflict; the utmost malice think concerning those exclamations of the powers of darkness; and the of irrational and absurd, which many wrath and righteous vengeance of of those who are wise in this world, the Father; he bore shame, pain, and in their own eyes, employ in and death in all its bitterness; and opposing the doctrine of the atonewhat he suffered in his soul during ment. Nor can there be any inhis agonies in the garden, and when justice in this statement of it; for he exclaimed on the cross, "" My if one who was both able and willing God! my God! why hast thou for- to do it, was pleased to ransom his saken me?" we cannot conceive; brethren from deserved eternal ruin, only we know that "it pleased the by enduring temporal sufferings and Lord to bruise him;""the sword death as their Surety, what injusof vengeance awoke against him," tice could there be in accepting
such a vicarious satisfaction for sin? of us all:" so that "it was exacted And how can that doctrine give an and he became answerable," acunamiable view of the Deity, which cording to the genuine meaning of shows him to be infinite in righte- the next words (ver. 7). Thus he ousness, holiness, love, mercy, faith- would "justify many, for he would fulness, and wisdom; and displays bear their iniquities," and not merely all these, and every other conceiv- the punishment due to them. We able moral excellency, in full per- may in many cases say, that the fection and entire harmony? It can innocent suffers for the guilty, when only appear so to sinners, because one is exposed to loss or pain by justice and holiness are not amiable means of another's fault, or for his in the eyes of the unjust and unholy. benefit; but can it be said with proOr how can that doctrine be preju- priety, that the Lord lays upon the dicial to the cause of morality, which innocent sufferer the iniquity of the furnishes the most powerful motives offender, or that the latter bears the and encouragements to holiness, and sins of the former, when no translashows sin in all its horrid deformity, tion or imputation of guilt is inand with all its tremendous effects; tended, and no real atonement and which has uniformly done more made? If so, what words can conto "teach men to deny ungodliness vey the idea of imputation and atoneand worldly lusts, and to live so-ment? What determinate meaning berly, righteously, and godly in this can there be in language? Or what present world," than all other ex-doctrine can be deduced with cerpedients besides have even appear- tainty from the sacred oracles? The ed to do? expressions ransom, redemption, purLet us then proceed to state a chased, bought with a price, propitiafew select arguments, which de- tion, and several others, support monstrate, that the doctrine, as it this doctrine. hath been explained and illustrated, II. The testimony of John Bapis contained in the holy Scriptures. tist, Behold the Lamb of God
I. The language used in them is which taketh away the sin of the decisive. It is not only said, that world" (John i. 29), contains a Jesus" redeemed us from the curse very conclusive argument on this of the law, being made a curse for subject. Whatever other reasons us" (Gal. iii. 13); "that he suf- may be thought of for a lamb being fered once for sins, the just for" (or the selected emblem of the Lord instead of) "the unjust" (1 Pet. iii. Jesus, he could not as a lamb “ take 18); but that "he bare our sins, in away sin," except "by the sacrifice his own body on the tree;" and of himself:" his teaching, rule, and "was made sin for us" (2 Cor. v. example, have some effect, in dif20: 1 Pet. ii. 24). The prophet, ferent ways, in reforming mankind; speaking above seven hundred years and the influences of the Spirit sancbefore," of the sufferings of Christ, tify the believer's heart in these and the glory that should follow" respects he may be said in some (Isaiah liii.); having observed, that sense to take away sin; but as a "he bore our griefs and carried our lamb, he could only take away the sorrows, ," "was wounded for our guilt of it by giving himself to be transgressions, and bruised for our slain, that he might " redeem us to iniquities," shows the reason of this, God with his blood," being the anby adding, that "the Lord laid, or titype of the paschal lambs and caused to meet, upon him the iniquity daily sacrifices, even "the Lamb
slain from the foundation of the the body of Christ broken, and his
IV. The same apostle says, that Lastly, The songs of the redeemed "Christ will appear the second time in heaven, even of those who had without sin," &c. (Heb. ix. 28). come out of great tribulation, and "But did he not appear the first shed their blood for Christ's sake, time without sin? What then is may well close these few brief but the meaning of this opposition, that unanswerable arguments of this at his first coming he bare our sins, doctrine. Without one discordant but at his second he shall appear voice, they ascribe their salvation without sin? The words can have to "the Lamb that was slain, who no other imaginable sense, but that hath redeemed them to God with at his first coming he sustained the his blood;" "who hath washed person of a sinner, and suffered in-them from their sins in his own stead of us; but at his second coming blood," &c. But in what sense he shall appear, not as a sacrifice, could the Lamb that was slain wash but as a Judge." (Tillotson.) them from sin with his blood, unless
V. The apostolical method of he were truly and literally an atoning exhorting men to holiness evinces sacrifice for them? And this shows the same point. They uniformly us, of what vast importance this draw their arguments, motives, and doctrine is in the system of Chrisencouragements from the cross of tianity; and that it is indeed essenChrist; "His own self bare our tial to it: for he who denies or oversins in his own body on the tree; looks it, cannot have the same judg that we being dead to sin, might ment of the Divine character and live unto God:" " ye are bought law, or of sin, that others have; he with a price, therefore glorify God cannot approach God in the same with your bodies and spirits, which way, or with the same plea; he are his" (see also 2 Cor. v. 14, 15; cannot exercise a repentance or Eph. v. 1, 2, 25, 26; Tit. ii. 11-14; faith of the same kind; he cannot 1 Pet. i. 13-20). This is the dis-feel himself under the same obligatinguishing peculiarity of their ex-tions, act from the same motives, hortations, in which they differ from pray, thank, and bless God for the all others who have attempted to same things, or have the same reaexcite men to virtue or morality. sons for meekness, patience, grati
VI. The appointment of the tude, humility, &c. &c.; and finally, Lord's Supper, in remembrance of he cannot be fit for the same heaven,
but would dislike the company, dis- privilege, honour, and pleasure to sent from the worship, and disrelish live to him, who died for him and the pleasures and employments of rose again: the example and love those, who ascribe all their salva- of Christ will reconcile him to retion to God, and to the Lamb that proach, self-denial, and suffering was slain. And is not this suffi- for righteousness' sake, and dispose cient to prove, that he cannot pos- him to forgiveness, love of enemies, sess the faith, hope, love, and joy, patience, &c., and whatever can which are peculiar to the religion adorn the doctrine of God our Saof the crucified Emmanuel? viour.
But it is also to be feared, that Whilst we would therefore" con numbers assent to this most impor- tend earnestly for the faith once detant doctrine, who neither under-livered to the saints,' we would stand its nature and tendency, nor also caution men not to "imprison are suitably influenced by it. The the truth in unrighteousness." Not cross of Christ, when contemplated only are they enemies to the "cross by an enlightened mind, most em- of Christ," who vilify the doctrine phatically teaches the perfect glory of his atonement; but they also, and beauty of the Divine character; who hold it in a carnal heart, and the obligations, reasonableness, and disgrace it by a worldly, sensual excellency of the moral law; the life, (Phil. iii. 18-21): and it is value of immortal souls, the vanity to be feared, that many who are of earthly distinctions, the misery zealous against the fatal Socinian of the most prosperous transgressors, heresy, are tainted with the abomithe malignity of sin, the lost estate nable infection of Antinomianism; of mankind, the presumption of and that some others, who contend every self-righteous hope; the in- for the doctrine of the atonement, estimable value of that foundation rest their hope upon their own which God hath laid; the encou- works, and not on Christ. But as ragements given to sinners to return he that spared not his own Son, but to, and trust in him, and their ob- delivered him " up for us all," will ligations to serve and obey him, as give the true believer all things their reconciled Father and Friend. with him; so he will not spare any He therefore who truly believes of those who neglect, oppose, or this doctrine, and who glories in abuse so great salvation.
the cross of Christ alone, will ha
bitually give the concerns of eter
nity a decided preference to every
"in the presence of
worldly object; he will have an On our Lord's Exaltation, and his earnest desire to promote the salvation of souls, especially the souls of those who are most dear to him; he will be crucified to the world WHEN our Saviour upon the cross and the world to him; he will re- was about to commend his spirit pent of, hate, and forsake all his into the Father's hands, he said, sins, and seek the crucifixion of It is finished." Whatever the every sinful passion; he will admit types had prefigured, or the proof no other hope of salvation, than phets foretold, of his obedience, that which rests on the mercy of conflicts, and sufferings; whatever the Father, through the atonement the glory of God, the honour of his of the Son; he will deem it his law, or the rights and satisfaction
of his justice required; and what- finstructions that may be deduced