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a sum of money for their liberty; but then it is evident that he does not redeem them by his blood, neither does he give his life for their ransom. A warrior may redeem captives by his blood, when he fights for the recovery of their liberty and loses his life in the conflict: but it can never be said that he redeems them as a lamb that is slain; neither is it possible that he should be compared to a lamb, for lambs never fight in this manner.
Hence it follows, that although there are many kinds of redemption without any vicarious sufferings, yet redemption by the blood of a lamb must always imply vicarious sufferings, without which it can never be effected. The Jews had been accustomed to redeem the life of their beasts by causing a lamb to die instead of the devoted animal; therefore, when they heard of the sinner's being redeemed by the blood of CHRIST as of a lamb slain, they must believe that CHRIST died in the sinner's stead, if they believed the Gospel to be true. The law, by enjoining such a kind of redemption, taught the Jews this lesson; and the law was their schoolmaster to bring them unto CHRIST.
3. CHRIST is frequently spoken of in Scripture as bearing our sins. (Isa. liii. 11, 12; Heb. ix. 28; 1 Pet. ii. 24; &c.) Some people contend that this does not prove the sufferings of CHRIST to be vicarious; because AARON and his sons are said to bear the iniquity of the holy things, and of the congregation, (Exod. xxviii. 38; Lev. x. 17,) although it is certain that they never endured any vicarious sufferings.
But let it be remembered that expressions signify differently, according to the connexion in which they stand, and the relation which they evidently bear to certain subjects. In some parts of Scripture, death signifies nothing more than the death of the body, which is the common lot of all mankind; but in other parts of the sacred volume, the same term is used to signify the destruction of body and soul in hell. In these cases, however, there is always some distinguishing circumstance by which every attentive reader may discover in what sense the word is to be understood; and the same may be said in the present case. For, when AARON and his sons are said to bear iniquity, the bearer is not the sufferer; but when CHRIST is said to bear iniquity, the bearer is the sufferer in a very eminent manner.
Now the question is, In what sense could the Jews understand the term bearing iniquity, when the bearer is eminently the sufferer? An answer to this inquiry can only be found by considering what was meant by such expressions in the Old Testament. The Law and the Prophets are the only guide in this case. And here God declares, that the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son. (Ezek. xviii. 20.) MOSES, likewise, speaks of several offences, for the commission of which VOL. I. Third Series. OCTOBER, 1822.
the transgressor should bear sin and die. (Lev. xx. 20; xxii. 9; xxiv. 15 Num. ix. 13; xviii. 22, &c.)
Here it is evident, that when the Scriptures of the Old Testament speak of any one bearing sin and dying, the meaning is, that he suffers the punishment due to the sin which he bears. In this sense, the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father; that is, he shall not suffer the punishment due to his father's sins.
Thus, in the Old Testament it is clearly taught, that when one bears sin, and dies for the sin which he bears, he suffers the punishment due to that sin. In the New Testament, it is clearly taught that CHRIST "bare our sins," (Heb. ix. 28; 1 Pet. ii. 24; &c.,) and "died for our sins." (1 Cor. xv. 3, &c.) Therefore, in the Bible it is clearly taught that CHRIST suffered the punishment which was due to our sins. Or, in other words :-He that bears sin, and dies for that sin, suffers the punishment which is due to the same sin. But CHRIST bare our sins, and died for our sins: therefore, he suffered the punishment which was due to our sins. This is what every man must believe, who believes the New Testament to be true, and searches the Scriptures of the Old Testament for instruction.
PAUL affirms that "CHRIST hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." (Gal. iii. 13.) From what the Apostle advances in this chapter, it is evident that every trangression of the law of God exposes the offender to the curse of that law, leaves him under condemnation, and renders it impossible for him to obtain justification by the deeds of the law which he has broken. But CHRIST hath obtained eternal redemption for us from this curse, by being made a curse for us, and bearing in his own body on the cross the punishment due to our offences.
This is that great work which constitutes him the Saviour of the world, and distinguishes him from every other person. Prophets and Apostles have taught precious truths, and given shining examples of piety well worthy of imitation. (Jam. v. 10.) Martyrs have displayed their faithfulness and patience in the most trying cir cumstances, and amidst the most exquisite sufferings. Many have wrought great miracles; some have been raised from the dead; (Matt. xxvii. 52, 53;) and others have been translated to heaven without suffering the pains of death. But did ever any of these suffer the punishment which was due to our sins? Have they redeemed us from the curse of the law, by being made a curse for us? Was PAUL crucified for us? (1 Cor. i. 13.) Can the Martyrs' blood atone for our sins? No: this is the SAVIOUR'S peculiar work, in which he has neither equal nor imitator. JESUS hath obtained eternal redemption for a lost world: so that there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.
(To be concluded in our next.)
BRIEF STATEMENT OF THE DOCTRINE OF GRACE,
AS HELD BY EVANGELICAL ARMINIANS.
[We have extracted this Article from GOODWIN's "Remedy of Unreasonable ness," as quoted in "The Life of JOHN GOODWIN, A. M., with an Account of his Opinions and Writings, and of his Controversies in Defence of Religious Liberty and of General Redemption, &c. By THOMAS JACKSON."-Of that highly interesting and valuable work, published a few months ago, a brief account will be found in the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine for June, p. 382.-EDITOR.]
"CONCERNING the grace of God, I have, upon all occasions, constantly taught, That the whole plot or counsel of GoD concerning the salvation of the world, is of free grace, of mere grace and goodness of will in GOD: That his purpose of election, or predestination of men to life and glory, is an act of free grace also; and that there was no obligation upon him to predestinate any man as now he hath done That the gift of JESUS CHRIST unto the world, is an act of free grace, and that God was no ways obliged hereunto: That to confer justification, adoption, and salvation itself, upon believing in JESUS CHRIST, are acts of the pure and free grace of GoD: That to give power and means of believing to men, is an act of mere and free grace likewise: That it is of the free grace of GoD, and by the assistance thereof, that any man doth ever actually believe.
"Concerning the extent of this grace, my doctrine hath been, that it is not imprisoned or confined within the narrow compass of a handful of men; but that, like the sun in the firmament of heaven, it compasseth the whole earth from one end of it to the other, and stretcheth itself unto all men: That it is exceeding full and comprehensive: That the good which God graciously intends unto men, is full, absolute, and complete blessedness, containing every desirable thing in it: And that the means which God graciously exhibiteth unto men to make them blessed, are every way sufficient for such a purpose.
"Concerning the effectualness of this grace, I teach upon all occasions, that in the gift of a power whereby to believe or to be saved, it is simply irresistible, and that men cannot hinder this operation of it: That what good soever any man doth, he doth it through the assistance of the free grace of GoD, and is in no capacity so much as to conceive a good thought without it: And that when any man actually believeth, he is mightily strengthened and assisted by the special grace of God thereunto. So that the act of believing is to be ascribed to God, not only as the sole giver of that power by which men believe, but as the sole supernatural actor also of this power; and that man, when he doth believe, so far from having any ground of boasting in himself, hath all the reason in the world to confess that he is an unprofitable servant, and hath only done that which was his duty to do. Only I conceive, that men are not necessitated by this grace to believe, whether they will or no; nor yet made willing upon any such terms, but that there is a possibility left unto them of remaining unwilling to any point of time till the act of believing be produced." 3 R2
THE following circumstances occurred not many years ago, in the Aberdeen Circuit. I received the information from persons of unquestionable veracity, who were near neighbours of the individuals alluded to. As they teach an important lesson to the despisers of God's servants, and of sacred things, I have often thought them worthy of being recorded. JOHN MOWAN.
While MR.. was stationed in the Aberdeen Circuit, he was remarkable for the affectionate earnestness and simplicity which has always distinguished his addresses to the hearts of his hearers. He preached frequently in the Parish of Belhelvic. Some careless persons there, having met together, began to misrepresent, and turn to ridicule, parts of the sermons they had heard him preach, which excited considerable mirth. One young man expressed his regret that he had not been to hear: "but," said he, "I shall surely go, the next time he preaches, and bring home as much fun as any of you." The time arrived. Several of the family were gone off before him. He was just about to follow, when suddenly he was taken very ill. He threw himself down upon a settle, and was in an agony. Those members of the family who had gone to the sermon were immediately sent
for. His disorder rapidly increased; and after enduring for a few hours the most excruciating pain, he went to appear before God!
Another person in the parish of Daviot, (in the same Circuit,) had for some time granted to the Preachers the use of his barn to preach in on Sundays. But after having heard MR.
a few times, he was led to use some very unbecoming language, and swore that he would never hear him again. On the Saturday preceding the Preacher's return, he came home from his work in the fields, in his usual health; and while standing in his own kitchen, he fell down and instantly expired!
A third instance, not less remarkable, happened during the same year, and in the last-mentioned parish. The Preacher above alluded to bad been pressing the duty of prayer upon his hearers in his usual forcible manner. One of them on retiring, in a very contemptuous manner, said, "He will have them all praying by the dyke-side very soon! But if in dying I can say, Gop be merciful to me, I am persuaded it will be enough." In a very few weeks this person was also taken suddenly ill, and from the beginning of his illness his speech was entirely taken from him, nor did he recover it till his spirit returned to GOD who gave it!
ON THE MEANING OF THE GREEK WORD, ØYEEI, IN EPHES. ii. 3. To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine.
HAVING had occasion lately to consult the Commentators on the New Testament, concerning the meaning of the Greek word which, in our translation of Ephes. ii. 3, is rendered, “by nature," I found, as I have often done before, that the multitude of counsellors tended exceedingly to perplex, though ultimately it might conduce to safety. I was surprised to learn that several of those, whose opinions are generally thought to have an influence with Ministers of the Gospel, in forming their views of the meaning of God's
Word, have entirely given up the proof, usually drawn from this Scripture, of the doctrine of man's natural depravity. I could, in some measure, account for this in the case of those learned men, who are understood to have disbelieved the doctrine itself which it is generally brought to prove. There are, indeed, few Commentators who have not come to the study of the Scriptures with preconceived opinions, which render some caution necessary in the examination of their critical 'decisions. But the difficulty lies in accounting for the fact, that some who are without doubt orthodox,
have declared that the word purs, in Eph. ii. 3, cannot have the meaning generally assigned to it. This decision appears to me very extraordinary. Is there any thing in the context that militates against the generally-received opinion? This will not, I think, be pleaded, since the Apostle, when, in the words immediately preceding, he mentions "the desires of the flesh and of the mind," must be understood as speaking of that natural depravity which we have generally supposed the word φύσει to indicate. Is there any thing in the New Testament that militates against the common translation ? Nothing. For in the two or three other places where the word occurs, it means either, "by nature," in the sense in which ARISTOTLE used the word, when he said rp Que goTEGOV, — first in nature, or in the order of nature; "*—or else it means, "by natural birth,” oi qurei Ioudaies, (Gal. ii. 15;) which meaning of the word, if applied to Eph. ii. 3, would equally prove that all are born in sin, is there again any thing adverse to the received meaning in the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, which is supposed, in some cases, to influence the phraseology of the New Testament writers? The word pure does not occur at all in the Septuagint.
The only ground then on which the translation by nature" can be rejected is, the assertion that the classical Greek writers do not use the word in that sense. This assertion has virtually been made. No proof, indeed, at all proportioned to the importance of the subject, has been attempted; at which we ought not, perhaps, so much to wonder, as it would be an attempt to prove a negative, which is always a difficult undertaking. But surely the assertion, that the word is not thus used by the best Greek writers,
See Gal. iv. 8. There is one passage of the New Testament, (Rom. ii. 14,) in which the word is found, where its meaning has been thought doubtful by Commentators. Perhaps the best interpretation is that which most naturally presents itself,-Qui, sana ratione et ipsa natura duce, officia lege præscripta præstant. SCHLEUSMER." Who, with sound reason and nature itself for their guides, perform the duties prescribed by the Jaw."
should not have been made without a certainty of its correctness. How far it is from the truth your readers will judge for themselves, when they have considered the following quotations. I have met with the word three times in DEMOSTHENES'S Oration De Corona, used, as far as I can judge, exactly in the sense in which our Translators understood it. The quotations are taken from the last London edition; and the English renderings are by PORTAL. P. 25: Φύσει πασιν ανθρώποις υπάρχει των μεν λοιδορίων και των κατηγοριών ακούειν ηδέως: “ Ali men are by nature prone to listen with pleasure to invectives and accusations."
Page 100: A di me, ws Boixe, nainig ou
dogovorтa Qus: “ I am necessitated, it seems, though by nature averse to all invectives." Again, page 184: Δύο ταυτα τον φύσει μετριον πολίτην εχειν δει : "Two principles should be implanted by nature in a virtuous citizen." To these I add another quotation from Aristotle, given by STEPHENS in his Thesaurus;‡ Οι φυσεί ασθενεστατοι τω σώματι, “ Who are naturally, or by birth, very infirm in body."
Against this evidence on the one side, what is there on the other to show that the word cu has not this meaning in Classical Greek? All that I have met with hitherto in the shape of proof, is a quotation by DR. MACKNIGHT, which shows either his want of critical judgment, or his unfairness. He gives the following words professedly from DEMETRIUS PHALEREUS : Φυσεῖ εξραχυλογουν Λακώνες, "The Lacedæmonians have naturally a concise mode of speaking." He infers that the meaning of the word us here must be," by habit." But allowing (though it does not plainly appear) that the writer used the word in this sense, yet the authority has
Though we have nothing to do, at present, with the moral doctrine contained in these words, yet we may observe that DEMOSTHENES does not contradict here any thing which he had said before. All men, he teaches, naturally delight to hear slander, but all men do not naturally delight to utter it.
The decision of that consummate Greek scholar on this question, may be seen sub voce φύσις. He says that xara Que signifies, "according to the law of nature,"-the sense in which ST. PAUL uses it; (Rom. xi. 24;)—and he adds, that sometimes the Greek writera instead of xxra Oui, put the dative, fuss.