Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

became an infant of days ! - That the covenant of works was founded, he whose arm upholds the universe, when he dwelt in paradise. By was wrapped in swaddling bands! the breach of this law, as a coveThis was humiliation indeed. nant, all mankind were brought While this is recollected, never under the curse. When therelet a poor disciple of Jesus either fore it is said by the apostle (Gal. blush or complain. Thus low did iv. 4, 5, “God sent forth his Son, the Redeemer stoop, to lift up sin- made of a woman, made under the ners out of the horrible pit and the law, to redeem them that were unmiry clay, into which their sins der the law,” we must not only had" plunged them. How can we understand the moral law to be proceed, without stopping, for a chiefly spoken of, but spoken of moment, to admire " the grace of specially as a covenant of works. our Lord Jesus Christ, who, though We have just seen that the object he was rich, yet for our sakes, be- of Christ's coming was to redeem came poor, that we through his them that were under the law;poverty might be made rich;" that that is, to answer its demands in we by faith might claim a relation their place. He did answer its to him as our kinsman Redeemer, demands in their place, considered and say, “ unto us a child is born, as a covenant of works; and thus unto us a Son is given-he is our the second Adam repaired the ruins Immanuel, GOD with us!"

of the first. The law has no longer Our Redeemer, it appears, after any claims upon his believing people this, was subject to his parents ac- in the form of a covenant. But he cording to the flesh, during the never fulfilled it for them as a rule whole period of his minority. He of life, in any other way than as was bred to a laborious occupation. giving them a perfect example of He was called the carpenter, and obedience to it. If he had, then the carpenter's son. Let honest Christians would be under no obliindustry never be ashamed of its gation to render a personal obeditoils, for it is employed only as the ence to the moral law. This inRedeemer of the world has set the deed the gross Antinomians have, example.

in terms, affirmed. But it is only But the answer states that ano a monstrous and impious inference ther part of our Lord's humiliation of their own, made in direct conwas, that "he was made under the tradiction of the words of Christ law.” The law, here principally himself—“I came not,” said he, referred to, was certainly the moral “to destroy the law, but to fulfil law. Christ indeed yielded obe- it.” That it was the moral law of dience to all the divine institutions, which our Saviour here spoke is eviceremonial and political, as well as dent; because he did actually desmoral; because the former of these, troy or put an end to the ceremonial while they lasted, had the same au- and political laws of the Jews; so thor as the latter, and were therefore far as they were separable, as in equally obligatory; and he declared most cases they were, from the to his forerunner that it became principles of the moral law. him to fulfil all righteousness. But It is justly represented as a the ceremonial and political insti- striking part of Christ's humiliatutions of the Jews were tempo- tion, that he was made under the rary: the moral law, on the con- law; because it was a most amaztrary, is of eternal and unceasing ing condescension, that the great obligation. It was to this that he Lord and lawgiver of heaven and was made subject, as our surety. earth, should become subject to the This was the law given to Adam at law which he had enacted for humhis creation; and was that on which ble and inferior creatures ;-espe

we

cially when he did it to fulfil that to lay his head; he submitted to law in the place of those very crea- the contradiction, reproach and tures, after they had transgressed persecution of an ungrateful and it and incurred its penalty. If you wicked world; and he even humwill meditate seriously on this fact, bled himself so far as to endure the you will find it calculated to fill assaults and temptations of the you with astonishment. It may devil--He did this, that he might also show you the miserable state extract the sting from all the afof sinners who have not, by faith, flictions of his people, and know, committed their souls to Christ; even by experience, how to sympabecause, of course, they have to thize with them. “ We have not a answer to God, in their own per- high priest who cannot be touched sons, for their whole debt to the with the feeling of our infirmities, law, both of obedience and of pun- but was in all points tempted as ishment. And, in contrast with we are, yet without sin.” this, it shows the unspeakable hap But the sufferings we have hitherpiness of true believers in Christ, to mentioned, though not small in whose whole debt is cancelled, by themselves, were the least of the bis being made under the law, in miseries which our Redeemer entheir room and behalf.

dured, in his humiliation, while he Another item of our Lord's hu- lived on earth-The answer miliation, mentioned in the answer consider states, that he also underbefore us, is his “undergoing the went “ the wrath of God.” By miseries of this life.” When our this we are to understand that he blessed Redeemer assumed our na- endured the awful expression of ture, he took no exemption from God's holy and righteous displeaany of its sinless infirmities, but a sure against sin. "His human nalarge share of them all. It is re ture, as we have heretofore seen, corded of him that he was weary, could not have sustained this, but that he hungered, that he wept, for its union with the divine, which that he sighed, that he was sorrow- upheld it. ful; but never that he smiled, and But, my children, when you hear but once that he rejoiced. He was, of Christ undergoing the wrath of as characteristick of him, “a man God, you are by no means to sup. of sorrows and acquainted with pose that there was ever a moment grief." It was prophesied of him, of time, in which Christ ceased to that his “ visage should be marred be the object of his Father's infinite more than any man's.” Probably love. Never was he more the obthis took place, in a considerable ject of that love and complacency, degree, even before his agony. than in the midst of those bitter When the Jews said to him, " thou sufferings which arose from the art not yet fifty years old,”-the wrath of God due to our sins. expression seems to denote clearly Those sins which he was bearing that they took bim to be farther ad- were the object of the Father's infia vanced in years than he was; for nite hatred; but the glorious person he was then but little more than bearing them, was then, as at all thirty-And it has been well re- other times, his well beloved Son, marked, that the cares and griefs in whom he was well pleased. which he bore, probably gave him That God should thus please to the appearance of an age which he bruise his Son and put him to grief, had not reached. In short, he en- and that the Saviour should cheerdured, as already said, hunger, and fully consent to sustain it, is just thirst, and weariness, and sorrow, thať view of the infinite love and and grief; he also submitted to po- compassion of God and Christ to verty and want, and had not where mankind sinners, which astonishes,

and overwhelms, and melts the for the time and labour bestowed soul of a believer, whenever he gets

on them. a glimpse of it--for more than this, It only remains to contrast the he cannot have at present-It is two theories in relation to the hoemphatically“ a love which passeth noun they reflect on the divine law, knowledge.

and on our BLESSED REDEEMER. The wrath of God endured by Both schools concur in pronouncour blessed Lord when he was act- ing on the Law of God the highest ing as a surety for bis people, chief- encomiums; believing it to be a ly appeared in his agony in the transcript of his moral perfections, garden, woon he said “My soul is and worthy of the profoundest obeexceeding sorrowful even unto dience of every rational creature. death; and when he sweat, as it They agree in the sentiment, that were, great drops of blood falling the penalty which guards the sancdown to the ground;" and again tity of the law, involves a degree on the cross, when he cried with a of misery far greater than is felt loud voice, “My God, my God, by any human being on this side why hast thou forsaken me.” Ah, the grave, and that it will run pa.my dear youth! “if these things rallel with the eternal existence of were done in the green tree, what the damned; and they strenuously shall be done in the dry P”-If maintain, that the infliction of this Christ suffered thus when he bore fearful penalty on every impenithe sins of others, how will sinners tent and unbelieving sinner, is a themselves suffer, when the wrath righteous procedure on the part of of God shall be let loose upon them, the Supreme Ruler of the universe. for their own deserts? How earn But they differ widely in their est should you be to escape this, by views of the bearing of the Mediaimmediately flying to the Saviour, tor's work on the law. that your sins may be forgiven for You know, sir, that, in the conhis sake—that they may all be blot- trast I am drawing, I do not refer ted out in his precious atoning to our brethren, who, while they blood.

believe in a general atonement, (To be continued.)

hold to its true nature as involving a real satisfaction to divine justice, and a real infliction of the threatened penalty on the sinner's glorious and spotless substitute. In

my second letter it was shown, No. XI.

that between them and the advoOn the Law.

cates of a definite atonement, the

difference is merely verbal, and My dear Friend, I must draw that they have no ground for conmy epistles to a close; the im- troversy with each other. This I portance of the subject discussed, wish to be kept in mind. has induced me to spend so much The new school believe the pertime in the investigation. They fect obedience which Christ yieldare now in a course of publication; ed to the precepts of the divine and if the great Head of the church law to have been necessary to his shall condescend to honour them work as Saviour, and that the least as a means for rectifying the error defect in it would have defeated of any reader, or for establishing his benevolent design of saving sinthe minds of the wavering in the ners. But this belief is grounded, doctrine that has hitherto prevail. not on the necessity of the saved ed in the Presbyterian church, I having a finished righteousness as shall deem myself well rewarded the basis of their justification, but

ON THE ATONEMENT.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

on the necessity of perfect holiness a complete fulfilment of all its dein the person of the Redeemer. mands on sinners, both preceptive Accordingly they deny that Christ, and penal. Taught by an inspired as the legal representative of his apostle that “God sent forth his people, obeyed all the precepts of Son, made of a woman, made under the law for them, that his righ- the law, to redeem them that were teousness, when received by faith, under the law," (Gal. iv. 4, 5,) they might be imputed to them, and ren- believe that the law had demands der them righteous before God. on Christ; and that by his holy They speak indeed of the suffer- life and bitter death he fulfilled ings of Christ as being a substitute them all, as the substitute and legal for our sufferings; but at the same representative of every true betime deny that he was our substi- liever. Assured too by the same tute, standing in our law place, apostle that “God imputeth Righbearing our sins and enduring the TEOUSNESS without works;(Rom. penalty due to them. The suffer- iv. 6.) “Even the righteousness of ings of the Saviour were a conse- God, which is by faith of Jesus quence of sin; but they were not Christ, unto all and upon all them an infliction of the curse of the that believe :” (Rom. jii. 21, 22,) law; because, say they, the law they hold that the obedience of the had no demands on him. The re- Lord Jesus Christ even unto death, sult is, that, according to the new constitutes that righteousness by theory, sinners are saved without which sinners are justified; and a righteousness, and without a satis- that it is imputed for this purpose faction for sin: and the death of to every one who believes in Jesus. Christ is made a mere expedient Thus sinners are saved in a way for SETTING ASide both the precep- perfectly consistent with the hotive and the penal demands of the nour of the divine law; none of its law upon them. Neither the one demands remain sacrificed; all are nor the other has been complied fully satisfied, not indeed by fallen with by the in, or for them, by a man, but by his immaculate Resurety. In opposition to the righ- deemer; sin is pardoned, and yet teous demands of a holy law, they punished. The saved appear in appear in heaven in the presence heaven before God in a complete of the great Lawgiver, who has righteousness; not a personal one, pledged his truth that sin shall not not through their "own righteousgo unpunished, and proclaimed it ness, which is of the law;" but in as part of his name or nature, that that perfectly finished and glorious he will by no means clear the guilty. righteousness, in which the great

Such views are deemed by the apostle desired to be found, even
old school to be highly unscriptu- "that which is through the faith of
ral

, and really dangerous in their Christ, the righteousness which is
tendency, and in fact subversive of of God by faith.” Phil. iii. 9.
the TRUE NATURE of the atonement. Such a transaction is glorious to
They are unable to see how the the law. By the obedience of Im-
law could be magnified and made manuel unto death, its precepts
konourable, by a transaction and and its penalty have been declared
scene of suffering which it did not to be just and reasonable and good.
require, and which in fact were in- More honour has been done to the
tended to prevent the fulfilment of one.than would have been render-
its just and good demands.

ed, if all mankind had persevered Very different are their views of in sinless obedience; and higher the relation which the obedience honour put on the other, than if it and death of Immanuel bore to the had been inflicted on our whole law of God. In them they behold race.

but

Let it not be objected, that the righteous demands in all their excharacter of a substitute and repre- tent, and exhibits them as glorioussentative is unknown to the law. ly fulfilled in the life and death of Not so. The principle of repre- the Son of God for all his people; sentation was connected with it in while the other prostrates them, its first operation on man; for, in and with them, the truth of God, the first covenant, Adam was con in the dust. stituted the federal head and repre When I began this letter, I insentative of all his natural poste- tended to finish the contrast; rity: and if the world was ruined as the remaining point is important

, under such a dispensation without I think it best to reserve it as the any reflection on the justice or subject of another letter. goodness of the Almighty Creator,

Sincerely, yours. how can it be deemed inconsistent with these attributes of his nature, to establish a new and similar dispensation, for its recovery to holiness and happiness? That there is

THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE a striking analogy between the

PRESBYTERIAN CHUROH. way in which we were ruined and We have recently, in the departthe way in which we are recovered, ment of Religious Intelligence, is plainly taught in holy scripture. stated both the importance of this Having run a parallel between institution and its lamentable want Christ and Adam, whom he styles of funds. In our last number, we the FIGURE of him that was to published the acknowledgment, by come,” and the corresponding ef- the corresponding, secretary, of fects of the offence of the latter, one liberal donation. It is our and of the righteousness of the for- earnest wish that this may be only mer, the apostle adds, “ For as by the precursor of many more of the ONE MAN's disobedience many were same character. The Presbyteri, made sinners, so by the obedience ans in the central, western, and of one shall many be made righ- southern parts of our country, are, teous." Rom. v. 14–19. And, in we believe, not aware how much 1 Cor. xv. 22, he asserts the same they are outdone in patronizing analogy; "for as in Adam all die, this charity, by their brethren in SO IN Christ shall all be made the east and north. The disparity alive:” meaning, not as the Uni- is great, and we wish it may be versalists teach, that all men will considered whether it is not rebe ultimately saved by Christ, but proachful. We know not how the that all who are in Christ, united zeal of those who have been remiss to him by faith, and represented by in this important concern, is more him in his mediatorial work, shall likely to be awakened, than by the be raised from the dead to the en- following extracts from an eloquent joyment of an immortal life of happi- discourse delivered by the Rev. ness and glory; just as all united to William Engles, of Philadelphia, Adam by natural generation, and in May last, at the instance of the by the relation established by the Board of Education; and which original covenant or constitution has been put into our hands in mamade with him as their represen- nuscript.' We wish our space tative, have become subject to would permit us to publish the death in all its terrible forms. whole sermon; but we can take no

From this comparison, it is easy more than two extracts; the first to see which of the two theories re- exhibiting the extensive demand flects the highest honour on the di- for more labourers in the gospel vine law. The one maintains its vineyard, and the second, the duty

« AnteriorContinuar »