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God will render unto every man according to his deeds,-it must directly tend to subvert the foundation of Christian - boliness.-How destructive these doctrines are (so far as they are allowed their genuine operation) of those views of the character and dispensations of God which we are encouraged by the Scriptures to entertain, and which I have already stated in different parts of this and the preceding chapter, it cannot be necessary to show. We have reason to be thankful, that though men, by a perversion of the language of the Scriptures, have derived these doctrines from them, yet that the same source supplies the antidote also.
(6) Many argue the necessity of an infinite satisfaction, from the position, that sin is an infinite evil, being against an infinite being, and therefore deserves infinite punishment. Without entering into the absurdity of the supposition that a finite being can be an infinite sinner, I cannot omit to quote here the statement of one singular consequence, which appears inevitably to follow from it. - If sin be an infinite evil, one infinite person could make satisfaction for only one sin; for ås the number of sinful acts committed is not infinite, sin, if infinite at all, must be infinite in its nature, and unless, each sinful act be infinite, sin in the aggregate cannot be so ;. for, if finite quantities be added together ever so far, they never will make an infinite total. But if every sinful act be infinite, it follows that even an infinite person could make satisfaction for but one sin; a thousand such persons would be necessary to satisfy
justice for a thousand sins.” See Monthly Repo sitory, vol. IV. p. 330.
(7) The doctrines of satisfaction and vicarious punishment are the chief support of the doctrine of the proper deity of Christ, and that on the other hand supports them. If Christ were not truly and properly God, his satisfaction would not have been adequate; and if he made an adequate satisfaction, he must have been truly and properly God. “ Finite creatures," says Hervey, « make an infinite satisfaction: our Lord being “ truly and properly infinite, he finished his work
at once.-His sufferings are adequate, nay, od “ account of his infinite nature, they are more “ than adequate to an eternity of punishment." In my first and second parts, I have shown the foundation of my own conviction, that, as to nature, Jesus was truly and properly man, and consequently no more; and though I have not entered at large upon this ground of argument' against the. doctrines of satisfaction, &c. yet it is obvious that they must fall, to the ground at once, if that conviction be a well-founded one: and on the other hand, if the death of Christ answered no further purpose in the redemption of mankind, than.could be effected by one who was truly a human being, the improbability of the common opinions as to the person)
of Christ is most strongly increased.-But independent of what I regard as the fact, that those opinions are totally unscriptural, it appears to me, as it has done to others, that they are directly inconsistent with each other, unless they are accom. panied with the admission of the position, that God the Son suffered and died on the cross : for if only the MAN CHRIST JESUS suffered and died, it was the man only who made satisfaction.
(8) If the efficacy of the death of Christ be what is represented, it must have had that efficacy, altogether independently of his doctrines and precepts. Now, though the death of Christ was one means of our redemption, and in the circumstances of the case a necessary means, yet it is never represented as the sole means, or even as of itself adequate to effect the end. On the contrary, as is well observed by H. Taylor, “ we are said to be saved by faith, by works, by the word of God, by baptism, by hope, by grace, by the death of Christ, by his life, by the words of St. Peter, by the words of St. Paul, by the foolishness of preaching, by calling on the name of the Lord, by enduring unto the end, &c.; by all these causes singly, we are said to be saved, in the New Testament: and yet it is most certain, that not one of them must be so understood as to exclude all the rest.”—That we have redemption, by Christ, through his blood, even the forgiveness of our offences, is the doctrine of the Scriptures ; in other words, that Jesus was authorized to offer us forgiveness, and to as. sure to us the offered blessings, gave up his life; but that his death, of itself, procured us forgiveness from God, that it rendered God propitious, averted the wrath of God, reconciled God to man, &c., I nowhere see in the N. T. and therefore do not believe,
I have now finished what seems to myself of chief importance in the Unitarian controversy, 50 far, at least, as respects the grand consideration, the
arguments derived from the N. T.-It was my solemn, deliberate, and firm conviction, that the positions which I advanced at the beginning of my first part, respecting the nature and office of Jesus, and the importance of his death, are the substance and amount of the declarations of Jesus and his Apostles on those points : and that conviction, as I believe I have more than oncé said, has been strengthened by the examination to which I have heen led, with a view to the foregoing statements; because I perceive still more clearly than before, that the various passages which are so often cited against the Unitarian, are, in reality, completely consistent with what he has the best ground to regard as the general tenor of the Scriptures. It is my solemn, deliberate, and firm conviction, that the GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD Jesus CHRIST, is the only God; that the blessings of the Gospel originated in His rich, free, and undeserved mercy; that Jesus, who was appointed by Him to convey those blessings to mankind, was truly and properly A MAN, in all respects like his brethren of the human race; and that the chief importance of his voluntary death, consisted solely in its being, in then existing circumstances, necessary to assure and extend those blessings. And while these views furnish abundant reason for strong and lively gratitude to Jesus as our Saviour, (since to fulfil the work assigned him, to seal the covenant of love and mercy, to deliver us from this
present evil world, he gave up his life in circumstances of peculiar sufferings, and with a full prospect of those sufferings),---while they supply every requisite motive for obedience to his precepts, for confidence in his declarations, for submission to his authority, in short for faith in him as the Son of God,--they at the same time lead the mind to the Giver of every good and perfect gift, -to view Him as the Father, the Friend, the Saviour of His creatures, as peculiarly manifesto ing His love towards men in sending Jesus to declare His merciful purposes, and as blessing us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things by Christ Jesus,-to trust in His mercy and forgiveness upon real repentance, and in His final acceptance if, in obedience to His will, we deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and live soberly, righteously, and religiously in the present world,-and to resign ourselves and all our concerns and interests, for this life and another, into His hands, casting all our cares upon Him, since He careth
It is because I believe that the doctrines which I have defended in these pages are the doctrines taught by Jesus and his Apostles,--that many of those opinions which oppose them have the direct tendency to give, or to countenance, injurious views of the character, dispensations, and will of God, and to check or debase some of the most worthy affections of our frame both respecting our Maker and our fellow-men,-and that these doctrines, on the other hand, are eminently calculated to form and cultivate those habits of heart and life