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hereafter be shewn, was typical of the blood of Christ: and the penalty of moral transgressions was remitted out of regard to this sacrifice, in the same way as the legal penalties were commuted by the offering of victims: and it was perfectly unnecessary always to allude to the system, when the benefit of it was conferred by pardoning offences." pp. 65, 66.
We proceed to the fourth objection; namely, that the doctrine of the atonement is founded on the unauthorised assumption of the pia
cular and vicarious nature of sacrifices. This is a wide and much controverted subject; and the revival of the discussion within these last few years, has led to several valuable treatises, or portions of treatises, upon it, in addition to those of former writers; but Mr. Jerram has given us as good an epitome of the argument as we could well point out in any author. Our readers are acquainted with our opinions on the subject from former reviews: and, among others, of Mr. reviews: and, among others, of Mr. Davison's treatise on Primitive Sa
crifice; in which he maintains, with much ability, but we think not conclusively, the negative side of the argument-endeavouring to shew, that sacrifices were not of Divine origin; or rather, cannot be proved to be so by scriptural evidence. Those who are of this opinion of
course lose one most efficacious arrow from their quiver, in contending with the Socinian; and this shaft ought not to be lightly relinquished; though, whether relinquish ed or not, the armoury is sufficiently full of scriptural weapons to equip the champion for the combat.
Mr. Jerram's argument on this subject comprises three particulars : namely, that animal sacrifices were of Divine institution; that they were piacular; and that they referred to Christ the great Sacrifice.
In proof of the first point, that sacrifice was of Divine origin, he urges the following arguments :
"It was the first, and only thing mentioned in the religion of the primitive family, and which received the Divine approbation.
It is highly improbable that no in
struction should, at first, be given or asked on the nature of Divine worship.
"The supposition of its being of Divine origin alone answers the circumstances which accompanied the first instances of it. "This account of it alone accords with the direction given to Cain on the rejection.of his offering.
"The account given of these offerings in the Epistle to the Hebrews necessarily leads to this conclusion.
"The universal practice of animal sacrifice in all ages, and throughout the world, proves it.' p. xiii.
If this ground be firmly laid, as it is by numerous writers down to Mr. Faber and our author, we cannot think that much doubt can remain on the other two points; namely, that sacrifice, thus primeval and divinely appointed, was an expiatory rite, and that it had reference to the atonement of Christ. It being the appointment of God, and not the free-will offering of man, seems to us to involve the first, and incidentally the second, of these conclusions. Those who deny that animal sacrifices are piacular and typical, will probably, in every instance, deny their Divine origin; though even this hypothesis seems to us more reasonable than the
middle opinion, espoused by some divines, and so powerfully defended by Mr. Davison, that, in their origin and patriarchal use they were human, but in their eventual application Divine; that, after being invented by man, and used by man, without any piacular or vicarious reference, up to the time of Moses, Jehovah, under the Jewish law, engrafted on the rite a new mean
ing, and made what was before only an expression of guilt or gratitude, a vehicle, symbolically at least, for the expiation of sin.
The arguments by which our author substantiates his second position are, that sacrifices were viewed world and by the patriarchs; that as expiatory, both by the Gentile both before and after the giving of the Mosaic law, their expiatory character had reference not to ceremonial, but only to moral transgressions; and that, finally, they were
strictly vicarious, as well as propitiatory. There are some parts of this argument which are by no means trite, and are conducted by our author with great ability. We might specify, in particular, his course of reasoning, to prove that animal sacrifice, both under the patriarchal and the levitical dispensa tion, was expiatory of moral transgressions; and, as he contends, of moral only, and not in any case directly of ceremonial or political. Under the patriarchal dispensation, we admit that it is clear that if expiatory sacrifices were offered at all, as certainly they were, it must be for moral offences, as no other than these existed; for there being no ceremonial law, there could be no ceremonial transgression. But the exclusionary portion of the argument seems to us difficult as respects the Mosaic dispensation; and, in truth, did it really include all that it seems at first sight to imply, we must utterly reject it. But if we understand our author's reasoning aright, he does not affirm that sacrifices were not offered for ceremonial offences, but only that the absolution resulting from the sacrifice was not for the political, but the moral guilt. Thus a person might be forgiven spiritually, who still suffered civilly: Jehovah, as the moral Governor of the world, might remit eternal punishment in virtue of the obedience unto death of his Son depicted by the animal sacrifice; while, as the Governor of the Jewish Theocracy, he might allow the political punishment to be inflicted: just as, under the patriarchal dispensation, Abel was spiritually accepted while he suffered temporal death, which was expressly pronounced as a penal infliction. We think that our author has admirably established his principle, that animal sacrifices had relation from the first, and always, to moral guilt; but we are not so well satisfied as to his exclusion, unless in a reserved and limited sense. His principle includes the position, that, under
the Mosaic Law, moral offences were pardoned, and this through sacrifices; the offender reposing by faith in the promise of God, and with more or less clear knowledge of the Great Sacrifice of Calvary. In this we fully concur; the bearing of animal sacrifices was throughout upon the forgiveness of sin; not the breach of ceremonies or political delinquencies, but sin, that is, moral offences against God. The great day of the atonement, the morning and evening sacrifices, and all the rites of the Mosaic code, tended to this point; and the penitent offender, acting with faith in the way of God's appointment, stood justified in his sight. But was he not also ceremonially justified? Was he capable of being punished under the Theocracy for an offence to which a ceremonial expiation was attached, when he had offered that expiation? Was he not absolved both before God as his Creator, and God as his civil Ruler? If he was, what is the purport of our author's exclusion of ceremonial absolution ? We agree with him, that the Mosaic dispensation did not take away from, but superadded to, the Adamic and Patriarchal system in the matter of sacrifices: it did not say, Whereas you had formerly absolution in the sight of God for moral offences, henceforth sacrifices shall be only vehicles of ecclesiastical absolution for ceremonial; thus retrograding, as it were, in the development of mercy. No; but while moral absolution was continued, what prevented ceremonial being added to it? The one was not incompatible with the other: nor do we see that our author's course of argument would be weakened by the admission. Indeed, on looking closely to his expressions, we infer, that though in some places he seems verbally to deny it, he in fact means to admit it; for he says, that under the Jewish dispensation, there was "an accession of privilege, an increase of expiatory sacrifices, applicable not only to the
pardon of all moral offences against God, but also to many that were of an aggravated nature against their Theocracy." His distinction, therefore, seems in truth not to be between moral offences and ceremonial offences, as some of his expressions would seem to indicate; but between the direct application of the efficacy of sacrifices to the former, and its only indirect, subordinate, and incidental application to the latter. We think that the same practical result, as respects the force of his argument in refuting the Socinian, would equally follow, if, instead of making moral guilt the direct object, and ceremonial guilt only a secondary and accommodated object, he had viewed all offences for which sacrifices might be offered as moral; the breach of the ceremonial law by a Jew, as much involving the contraction of spiritual guilt as the breach of the moral; the Lawgiver being the same, the sanction the same, and the temerity of the offender the same. Thus one object of sacrifices, instead of two, will meet every case, and, we think, will obviate all difficulties.
Objections to the doctrine of the atonement being thus removed, our author proceeds to the proof of the doctrine from Scripture. And here would we gladly lead our readers with him, if the space we have given to the preceding topics admitted. The path is, however, now clearly open before the honest in quirer. He has but to ask, What saith the Lord? To the word, and to the testimony; and we know of no work written in proof of the Divinity of our Saviour and his sacrifice for the sins of mankind, which would not furnish ample scriptural evidence on the subject. Our eye ranges over a whole shelf of comparatively recent works elicited by the modern renewal of the Socinian controversy; at the head of which stands Archbishop Magee's invaluable and not-to-be-superseded dissertations; about the middle, stand conspicuous and irrefragable
Dr. Wardlaw and the Bishop of Salisbury; and, bringing up the close, Dr. Pye Smith's powerful work on the priesthood of Christ, which would occupy as it deserves a larger mention, especially while treating of nearly the same subject in the review of Mr. Jerram's publication, if the second edition, recently published, of his own "Scripture Testimony to the Messiah" did not almost eclipse both his own other labours, and many of those of his respected contemporaries. If it was our misfortune, as we esteem it, not to have regularly reviewed the former impression of this work, though often and honourably alluded to by us, it is some consolation that our omission allows us the better opportunity of strongly recommending not only to every biblical student, but to every intelligent Christian, this greatly improved edition, enriched throughout with new and important matter. Some incidental and collateral topics occur in these volumes, which are not be found in other treatises on the subject, but which add greatly to the interest of the work; such as the notices respecting Neologianism in Germany, the defections from scriptural doctrine in Switzerland, remarks on authors, subsidiary discussions and critical disquisitions. But this is not our theme-at least at present.
In treating of the scriptural evidence in support of the doctrine of the atonement, Mr. Jerram first supplies a copious collection of passages of Scripture, which contain or illustrate it: he then states the body of evidence which they afford to the doctrine, and the various ways in which they give their testimony ;some representing pardon and reconciliation as flowing from Jesus Christ; in others, salvation being ascribed to him; others representing his death as the price of our ransom and redemption; others speaking of him as suffering for our sins; and others relating to the patriarchal and levitical sacrifices, in which he
is expressly called a sacrifice, an offering for sin, the Lamb of God; is said to bear our sins, and take them away; is represented as shedding his blood for sin, and is called a propitiation. Next follows, an argument from the Epistle to the Hebrews, in which Mr. Jerram shews that the Apostle runs a parallel between the Levitical priesthood and that of Christ; contrasting the Levitical sacrifices, and that of Christ, as between shadow and substance; forming a comparison between the priests of the two dispensations, the sacrifices offered under each, and the respective efficacy of each; and adding a correspondence between the places where each was offered, and also between the events which followed the sacrifice of each; finally representing the sacrifice of Christ as the last which should be ever offered; and contrasting the danger which would follow the neglect of each. The next argument is from our Lord's explanation of his sufferings after his resurrection, in which he asserts the necessity of his sufferings; and shews that those suffere ings were set forth in the Law of Moses. The last scriptural argument is, that the death of Christ was the constant subject of the Apostles' preaching, and the great instrument of their extraordinary
We wish we had space to follow our author through this large and important field of scriptural argument. The steps of the process are lucidly arranged, and bring out the conclusion with irresistible and cumulative force. The sum of the whole is epitomized as follows.
"I have now brought to a conclusion my argument from Scripture, that the death of Jesus Christ was an Atonement and Vicarious Sacrifice for the sins of mankind; and that remission of sins is never granted but in relation to it. And if any truth may be considered as standing on an immoveable basis, it is this. We have seen, not only that the usual objections alleged against it are without foundation, but also that it is supported by the authority of every dispensation of
mercy from God to man, from the first expulsion of our primeval parents from blessed Lord, after he had made the great paradise, to the last discourses of our sacrifice, and was risen again from the dead. The doctrine is asserted or implied in a train of Scripture texts which perhaps it would be in vain to look for on any other it is expressed in every variety of language, plain and metaphorical, narrative and doctrinal. Not only has it a preBible, but it was set forth in the symbols eminent place in almost every book in the of every religion of the world for four thousand years, was embodied in every rite and ceremony of the law, introduced in every possible form into the Gospel, and in the New Testament. Animal sacrifice, was the chief subject of a whole treatise which had continued nearly from the creation to the coming of the Messiah, ceased when this Atonement had been made; and from that time, this became
the grand theme of the Gospel, and occupied as prominent a place in the new dispensation as sacrifice had done in the old; and the effect of preaching this doctrine had been the conversion of millions of the human race, and the complete transformation of their principles and conduct. Nor has it yet lost its power: it is still the great instrument used for evangelizing the world; and still the powers of darkness yield to its force; nor will it lose its virtue till the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ.' pp. 287,-288.
After this scriptural and conclusive argument, we feel some reluctance in sinking to that which constitutes the last section of the work, that the doctrine is not inconsistent with "the fitness of things." This is another of those à-priori argu
ments on which we would never poize the weight of a Scripture doctrine. We cannot judge à priori to any great extent, or with much confidence, what is or is not befitting for God to do. There are many things in the Bible,-for example, the command to destroy the Canaanites, which we would not rest on our à-priori conceptions of what is befitting. Indeed we can attach no other adequate idea to the very phrase "the fitness of things," than that it is that which comports with the will of God. That is befitting which he has appointed and sanctioned; all true virtue is grounded on this law: that is not befitting which is contrary to the immutable
regulations which he has made for the government of his creation. Murder is contrary to the fitness of things: yet the intended sacrifice of Isaac by his own father was not, because God had commanded it; and the express will of God was a better criterion of what was befit ting than even the natural instincts which he had implanted in a parent's heart. If the Bible be allowed to be divinely inspired, and this the Socinian professes to admit, it is the best code of moral congruence, and we know not why we should be forced from authority to metaphy
But here, as before, we remark, that if the oppugners of a divinely revealed doctrine advance from scriptural to metaphysical tests, it is at least consolatory to a mind of disquisitional propensities, and is important for the confutation of the objector, that we should be able to shew that his objection is groundless. We are thankful, therefore, to Mr. Jerram, for his argument on this subject; though, in accordance with his own wish to keep the scriptural evidence distinct as the conclusion of his whole argument, we should have preferred seeing the section on the fitness of things arranged among the other à-priori considerations, making it a reply to an objection, which in fact it is, and adding this objection in its proper place to those before disposed of.
Mr. Jerram's chief argument on this subject is, as before, analogy. He contends that the doctrine of the atonement is not inconsistent with the constituted order and fitness of things, because the argument from analogy is against the notion that sin will be forgiven on mere repentance; and rather proves that it will be punished, unless averted by some foreign interposition. Again, it is not against the doctrine of a substitute bearing the penalty of sin.
This argument from analogy is ably maintained; and some parts of CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 339.
it are perfectly satisfactory, and all of them as satisfactory as the nature of the subject will allow; but it must not be forgotten, and no one can acknowledge this more strongly than our author, that no analogies can reach the peculiar circumstances of the case. The only way in which the argument from analogy in matters of theology can be satisfactorily applied, is to shew that something may be, because something analogous is; the difficulties in the one case not being greater than in the other. Thus,
If storms and earthquakes break not Heaven's design,
Why then a Borgia or a Cataline?
But analogy cannot directly build up any truth; and this is not its province; but only to silence an objector, or to solve the doubts of a sincere inquirer. Its range of application is contracted; and on the great subject of our present consideration, the scripturally revealed doctrine of the atonement, we may easily overstep its domain. To take one point among several,— analogy shews that there is nothing contrary to the Divine government, as the Socinians urge, in the simple circumstance of the innocent suffering; for persons, innocent as to some particular offence, often suffer in consequence of it. This clears one portion of the ground; but we doubt whether the analogy is so decisive when we attempt to shew that the suffering of the innocent can be an atonement in the eye of God for the sins of the guilty. Our analogies are all derived from human affairs; or from the permissions of Divine Providence; or, as our respected author expresses it," the grand principles which are in operation in the present course of things, and the government of the world." But if we analyse the matter closely, we shall find that any given instance of analogy which is to prove the justice of the atonement conveys to our minds rather the idea of injustice and it is not till we rise above analogy, and take 2 A