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we leave ourselves entirely to the teachings of the Scriptures, it is not in itself a great one, yet it is not unfrequently rendered almost insurmountable, by the opinions which may have been long entertained respecting some supposed mysterious efficacy of the death of Christ, by the unfortunate habit so generally prevalent among the modern orthodox, of viewing passages out of their connexion, and without reference to the general tenor of the Scriptures,—by the strong assertions and unscriptural language of those who hold the doctrine of satisfaction in any of its forms,-and by the representations which are so often made, in and out of the pulpit, as to the necessity of faith in the atoning merits of the Saviour's blood, for a participation of Gospel blessings.

In this chapter, I shall first make some remarks respecting the attributes of God, as they respect His dealings towards mankind; and next consider, what light the Scriptures afford us with respect to the means of acceptance with Him. I shall then proceed to show, how it is that the death of Jesus was a necessary means in bringing about the redemption of mankind, and to account for the language employed respecting it by the Apostles. In the next chapter I shall consider the import of those expressions which may seem to oppose these

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tial part of repentance, and though it is usually preceded by pungent sorrow, is not necessarily so, and doubtless does not depend upon the vividness of the feelings of penitence for its acceptableness to God. When the word repentan e is found connected with forgiveness, I believe the original is uniformly HETavi, a change of mind.

views; and conclude with a few observations on the whole.

I. The Scriptures represent God as essentially good and merciful; and though they also represent Him as just, nothing appears, throughout the whole, to countenance the belief that the exercise of His justice in any way limits the exercise of His benevolence. In fact, in a perfect being, justice can only be a modification of benevolence: we may find it convenient to speak of them as distinct attributes, but this is language founded solely upon the affections of the human mind. Though, however, justice and benevolence, taken in their true extent, equally direct to the same conduct, yet the affections which prompt us to render to every one his due because it is his due, are distinct from those which incline us to do-good unto all as we have opportunity; and, wben either is imperfect and misguided, they really interfere in their operations. But in the Supreme Being, benevolence cannot be imperfect or misguided, and can have for its ultimate object, nothing but the promotion of happiness; and His justice can only be that modification or branch of benevolence, by which the plans of His moral administration are sanctioned by the suitable distribution of rewards or punishments. The divine justice must have precisely the same end in view as the divine mercy; both are equally parts of the benevolence of God, or rather, both are merely names for the benevolence of God as directed, in the one case, to the infliction of pain or the bestowment of happiness, according as the welfare of his creatures requires,

and, in the other, to the prevention or removal of the baneful consequences of disobedience. In this view.we certainly may say with correctness, that divine mercy may be limited by divine justice; but when we use this language, it should carefully be borne in mind, that it is merely saying, in effect, that the benevolence (or goodness) of God may require the infliction or continuance of pain rather than the prevention or removal of it. In a similar way, using language founded upon human feelings and affections, we may speak of the anger of God, and, in like manner, of his placability ; but neither of these expressions can reasonably be supposed to convey adequate ideas of the real attributes of the divine nature; and if we still continue to employ terms which are best calculated for the infancy of the human mind, we should take care to understand them as in no way implying that the goodness of God is limited or changeable. The anger of God can only mean, that modification of His goodness which directs to the infliction or continuance of pain ; and the placability of God, that modification of his goodness which directs to the removal or suspension of pain. If the purposes of the divine government will not allow the exercise of the latter, the goodness of God is not thereby affected or limited; for the anger as well as the placability of God, His justice as well as His mercy, all must have precisely the same object,--the promotion of those ends to which His infinite wisdom directs, as best adapted to answer the purposes of His infinite goodness.

I trust that these views are sufficiently accordant

with all we now know of God, and also with that language which the Scriptures employ respecting Him; and they bring much more nearly together, than at first sight may appear to be the fact, the notions which many entertain of the natural placability of God, and those which others entertain of the justice of God, and of the difficulty of determining, from the usual order of providence, whether, and on what conditions, God forgives sins. I feel and cherish a lively conviction of the unbounded benevolence of God; but I cannot gain, from the usual order of His providence, the conviction ibat divine benevolence always directs to the removal of the baneful effects of past sins on our sincere repentance for them. On such points as these, we are not to decide by the dictates of human justice or benevolence, however enlightened, (though we must have clear evidence to authorize us to decide against them,) but by what we actually know of the moral government of God. The point is not, whether God is always disposed to promote the best interests of His creatures, (for who can doubt this :) but whether, and in what cases, that disposition directs to the removal or diminution of the baneful consequences of sin.

The language of many, however, and their ideas, if these accord with their language.) respecting the divine justice and mercy, often represents those attributes as at variance; and by laying an undue stress upon what they consider as the dictates of the justice of God, they limit His benevolence, and speak of Him almost as if He

were an inexorable tyrantw. Against such notions, every one who believes with the Apostle John, that God is love,' should make a stand; and he should himself carefully avoid language which in any way implies them: and against these, and these only it is, that I made the assertion with which I set out. To prove the affirmative part

of it, it cannot be necessary to refer to more than the declarations of the Apostle, 1 John iv. 7-20, which are all comprised in what I have just now cited, and those of one greater than the Apostle, (Mait. v. 44–43,) which represent the benevolence of God as complete and unlimited, extending even to the unthankful and disobedient. And with respect to the negative part, that the justice of God is never represented in the Scriptures as limiting His benevolence, I can only say, that I know of no expression in any way countenancing this idea.

II. We learn from the Scriptures, that the bene

w The following will serve to justify this assertion. “God ** stood upon FULL SATISFACTION, and would not remit « one sin without it." “ From this oblation Christ made of " himself to God for our sins, we infer the INFLEXIBLE na“ ture of divine JUSTICE, which could no other way be “ diverted from us, and appeased, but by the blood of Christ.” These passages are quoted from Flavel's works in Wright's Anti-satisfactionist, p. 42, 43. Inexorable, as every one knows, means, what cannot be moved by entreaties; and if any should imagine that Flavel's inflexible is not equally strong, let them take Bishop Beveridge's justification of my term. Speaking of Christ he says, “ And unless he mediate or intercede for “us, we may pray our bearts out, all will signify nothing, God so will neither grant what we desire, nor accept of any thing " we do." Anti-satisfactionist, p. 53.

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