« PreviousContinue »
of a servant. Psalm xl. 6, 7, 8. j rente of God the Father and Gal. iv. 4. and Phil. ii. 7. God the Son, the Son has taken
3. By the Father's appoint- the human nature upon him and ment and his own voluntary act, put himself under the divine he became an offering and a law in the form of a servant, and sacrifice, and was obedient unto in that form perfectly obeyed the death, on man's account law, through the whole of his life, · He became incarnate, was amidst the greatest trials and made under the law, and took temptations. Hereby it is proupon him the form of a servant, ved beyond contradiction, that and was obedient unto death, God hath an infinite regard to not for himself, but for us. This his law, as being holy and just the scriptures abundantly teach. and good in its requisitions, and Isai. liii. 5, 6. “ He was wound worthy of the highest honor and ed for our transgressions, he support. Yea, hereby it has was bruised for our iniquities ; been more amply honored than the chastisement of our peace it could be by the perfect obewas upon him ; and with his dience of ever so great a numstripes we are healed. All we ber of mere creatures, for ever like sheep have gone astray : so long a time. For it has been we have turned every one to his perfectly approved, exactly fulown way: and the Lord hath filled, and completely obeyed, by laid on him the iniquity of us a divine persona person of all.” Matt. *X. 28. “ The Son greater dignity and worth than of man came to give his life a all mere ereatures put together. ransom for many."Roin. iv. The perfect obedience of such a 95. “Who was delivered for our divine person is of greater offences.”_2 Cor. v. 21. “ For worth, and doth more honor to he hath made him to be sin for God and his law, than the perus, who knew no sin.”-Gali ji. fect obedience of a whole sys13. “Christ hath redeemed us tem of creatures. Hereby it is from the curse of the law, being made to appear, that God is inmade a curse for us.”_Eph. v. deed infinitely worthy of the 2.' “ Christ also hath loved, and highest possible love and the hath given himself for us, an of- most unreserved perfect obedifering and a sacrifice to God for ence. And in this respect his a sweet smelling savor.”- 1 Pet. righteousness has been declared iii. 18. “Christ hath once suf- by Christ. Further, fered for sins, the just for the By the determinate counsel of unjust, that he might bring us to the Father, and by his own conGod.”_These passages, with sent and voluntary act, this dimany others, contain the fullest vine person has, in our nature testimony, that Christ became and for our sins, been delivered obedient unto death on our ac- up to the cruel and ignominious count; and for our sins--the sins death of the cross. This death, of men. Upon the whole, then, these dieadful sufferings, this we may see, that for the express divine person has endured, to purpose of rendering it consist redeem us from the curse of the ent with justice for God to for- law, the Father refusing to forgive and save sinners of the liu. sive us on easier terms. Hereman race, by the joint concur- l by it is made to appear, that in
God's account sin is indeed in- curse of the law, no room is left finitely criminal that his dis- for any such-like thought or pleasure against it is infinitely pretence. The divine character greator-that wherever it exists stands as clear of all such imhe will bear infinite testimony peachment, God's infinite disagainst it that his law is just in pleasure against sin iş as fully its threatening, and must and proved, and sin as highly disshall at all events be supported countenanced and condemned, and vindicated that God has as if the penalty of the law had such regard to his holy, just been executed on the transgresand good law, to bis own honor, sors, and no atonement made.-and to the well being and happi- | Thus it may appear, ness of creatures, and such ha- That the design of the atonetred of sin, the universal enemy, ment made by Christ was, by as are essential to and mark the answering those purposes which. character of an absolutely per- were otherwise to have been anfect being, an infinitely wise, ho-swered by the punishment of ly, just and good moral govern- sinners, to render it consistent or of the world. Thus by with justice, and consequently, Christ's obedience'unto death, with all the moral attributes of the righteousness of God is de- God, for him to express and disclared or manifested, and the play his infinite self-moved goodway opened, and a foundation ness and mercy, in the recovelaid, for the exercise and display ry, forgiveness and salvation of of his infinite goodness and mer- sinful men. These things, it is cy in the free pardon and salva- conceived, contain a general antion of sinners, in a consistency swer to the question under conwith justice-without injury to sideration. Nevertheless, himself, or te any creature, For In order to a more clear and now, if God forgives sinners up- full illustration of the subject, it on the consideration of what may be proper to state and anChrist hath done and suffered swer a few queries relative to it. on their behalf, he will give no Query I. Was the atonement occasion for creatures to think, made by the obedience, or by that he does not hate sin with the sufferings, of Christ? perfect hatred, or that he will In answer to this, the follownot show and express infinite ing things may be observed. displeasure against it. No col- 1. If we regard the forms of orable pretext will be exhibited expression made use of in the for any to imagine, that he does scriptures, as of any significance, not perfectly approve and highly I think we shall find ourselves regard his law ; or that he is not obliged to conclude that a pecuunalterably determined to sup- liar stress is laid on the blood, port it ; or that he has not such the sufferings, and the death of à regard to his own honor and Christ, as essential to the maauthority and to the true inter- king of an atonement for sin ests of the moral world, as be as being in some peculiar mancomes the supreme and abso- ner that by which the atonement lutely perfect moral governor. was made, Since Christ hath thus suffered The atonements under the for sins, to redeem us from the Mosaic dispensation, were doubt
less designed as types, shadows, Hence, without an evident perand figurative representations, version of the words and expresof the atonement to be made by sions of scripture from their Christ. Those atonements were most plain, natural and obvious generally made by the shedding meaning, I can see no possibility of blood. The words in Lev. of avoiding this conclusion, that xvii. 11. are very explicit and the blood, the sacrifice, the suffull to this purpose. “ For the ferings and death of Christ, were life of the flesh is in the blood, essential to the making of an and I have given it to you upon atonement for sin, and that it the altar, to make an atonement was by his sacrifice, blood or for your
souls : for it is the blood death, that he made the atone, that maketh an atonement for ment. Nevertheless, the soul.” If such an atonement, 2. When the death, or the as is here mentioned, was de blood of Christ is spoken of, as signed to prefigure and repre-essential to the making of an sent the atonement to be made atonement, and in an especial by Christ, who can help conclu- manner, the thing by which it is ding that the true atonement made, the idea of his suffering was made by his blood ?
voluntarily, and therein performSeveral passages containing ing the highest act of obedience, forms of expression, which must be included. seem necessarily to convey the This idea is evidently inclusame idea, have already been ded in the scripture account of adduced, to prove, that Christ the matter. He said, I lay suffered on our account and for down my life for the sheep.-our sins ; and to these many | Therefore doth my Father love more might be added, full to the me, because I lay down my life, same purpose.
In these and that I might take it again. No similar passages of sacred writ man taketh it from me, but I lay we are told, that Christ was it down of myself." “ Christ lov. wounded for our transgressions ed us, and gave himself for us an that we are healed with his offering and a sacrifice.” stripes--that he gave his life a made himself of no reputation, ransom --that his blood was shed and took upon him the form of for the remission of sins--that a servant and became obedient we have redemption through his unto death, even the death of the blood-are made nigh by his blood cross.” No act of obediencé perare reconciled to God by his formed by Christ, was more acdeath-are washed from our ceptable to God than this. By. sins in his blood-are redeemed laying down his life in conformiwith the precious blood of Christ ty to the will of the Father, and redeemed to God by his blood to the commandment which he
-that his blood cleanseth from had received of him, Christ exall sin and purgeth the con- ercised and expressed the perscience from dead works—that fection of love to God, as well as he hath appeared to put away to men, and the most absolute, sin by the sacrifice of himself, unreserved submission and obeand hath entered into the holy dience to the divine will. This placé even into heaven, as an was, so to speak, the crowning high priest, by his own blood.- lact of his obedience in the form
of a servant, by which his me- answered by the atonement, diatorial righteousness was per- could be answered by the most fected and finished. Now when perfect obedience, which could we consider the death of Christ, be performed, without the sufor his blood, as making the fering of death. atonement, if we leave out the If Christ, in the form of a seridea of his dying voluntarily, vant and in the likeness of men, and thereby exercising and ex- had performed the most perfect pressing the greatest perfection obedience, which could possibly of love and obedience, what idea be performed by him, without can we have of any thing, which shedding his blood, and making partakes of the nature of an of. himself an offering for sin ; it fering made to God on our be- might thereby have been made half, or for our sins ? For if to appear, that God hath an inChrist is not the offerer, who is ? finite regard to his law as being If he did not make the atonement, holy and just and good in its reby whom was it made ?-But if | quisitions, and worthy of the he had not died voluntarily, by highest honor ; and that he is his own consent, how could it be infinitely worthy of the most persaid with propriety, that he made fect love and obedience. But if the atonement ? For upon that he had not suffered, as well as supposition, the making of the obeyed, how would his obedience atonement was no act of his. have made it appear, that sin
The plain scripture represent-is infinitely criminal and ill de- ; ation of the matter appears to be serving that God views it as this, viz. Christ made an atone-being so, and is infinitely disment for sin by the one offering pleased with it—that wherever of himself on the cross, when he it exists, he will bear infinite gave himself for us an offering testimony against it—that the and a sacrifice to God, and be law is just in its threatenings as came obedient unto death. His well as in its precepts, and must making the atonement was an and shall at all events be mainexercise and expression of the tained and supported—and that most consummate righteousness God indeed hath such a regard of the utmost perfection of love to his law, to his own honor, and and obedience, and the thing by to the happiness of the moral or with which he made the atone- world, and such infinite hatred ment, was his own blood, his of sin, as are essential to the own self, given and offered for character of an absolutely perus by his own consent. He gave fect being—an infinitely wise his life a ransom, a price of re- and holy, just and good moral demption, for many. He hath governor of the world? The redeemed us to God by his blood. threatened punishment of sin was He hath purchased the church designed to answer these and with his own blood. He is the suchlike purposes—to make purchaser, and his blood is the these things appear—to render thing with which the purchase them visible and manifest But is made. This brings me to ob- how these things could be made serve,
fully manifest, and rendered in. 3. It don't appear how the contestibly evident to creatures purposes or ends designed to be without sufferings really endur.
ed, it is not easy, if possible, to concerns at thy footstool. Preconceive. For God's displeas- pare me for my great and last ure against sin is fully manifest. change, and enable me to live ed, and rendered unexceptiona- every day as though it were my bly evident to creatures, no oth- last, keeping death, judgment erwise than by its effects--by and eternity, constantly in view. the evils or sufferings produced thou guardian of my soul, by it or proceeding from it. God keep me from spiritual pride ; is known, and clearly and con- and save me from every sin, esvincingly manifested to crea-pecially from abusing the mer, tures, to be such a being as he cies I enjoy. They are indeed really is, not simply by what he innumerable ; but here like a says, but by what he does. It prince do I riot upon thy bounty, therefore seems impossible to without reverencing the hand conceive, how the purposes de- which bestows it," signed to be answered by the Lord's day evening. “The atonement, could be answered Lord is good to the evil and to by Christ, without his sufferings the unthankful. O wretch that and death. And hence I am ne- I am! I have been permitted to cessitated to conclude, agreea- go to the house of God, and to bly to the most obvious import abuse divine mercy--Have heard of the general tenor and phrase- a sermon upon the glorious docology of the scriptures upon this trine of divine sovereignty." was
have made by his sufferings--by his reason to believe that the devi! death-by his blood.
and my wicked heart have com. (To be continued.) bined to draw me down to ever
lasting destruction. How am I bound and chained to the things
of sense! And am I not pleased Memoir of Mrs, Clarinda Pren, with my bondage ? O God, tice.
thou knowest the secret wedge
of Achan ; deliver me from idol(Concluded from p, 196.) atrous affections.
comfort this evenitg in pleading RS. Prentice kept a diary, at the throne of grace for the in
the five last years of her terests of Zion, and for minislife. She wrote largely respect, ters of the gospel." ing her exercises and experi- In October, 1800, she writes, ences. Her writings of this kind Blessed be God, I have had are sufficient for a large volume. some refreshment in prayer this A few extracts from her private morning. Oh, save me by the diary, it is presumed, will not right hand of thy power, for thy be unacceptable to the leaders great name's sake.” of the preceding memoir of a Lord's day evening. “ I have person whose graces shone with this day been permitted to cesuch lustre.
lebrate the dying love of Je, In Feb. 1800, she wrote thus, sus. Wonderful love indeed, My health is on the decline ; wonderful salvation ! O Lord, and o gracious Father, enable my once crucified, but now ris. me to lay myself and all my I en and ascended Redeemer, par