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the crimes laid to the charge of the antediluvians are in the offering of animals as a mere acknowledgment
wickedness, and especially violence, which is opposed of guilt, and as a confesssion of sin and the desert of
both to justice and to charity; and it is impossible to death. But still, if we could trace any connexion be.
suppose any state of society existing, since ihe fall, in tween this symbolical confession and the real case of
which both justice and charity were not virtues of man, which is difficult, if not impossible, what could
daily requirement, and that in their constant and vigor- lead him to the idea, that more than simple confession
ous exercise. Cain, for instance, needed both, for he of sin by the lips, and the penitent feelings of the heart,
grossly violated both in hating and murdering his would be acceptable to God, it he had received no reve-
brother. 3. That strongly active devotional sentiment | lation on the subject? and if like the former, were
which Mr. Davison supposes to exist in those ages, a device of mere ceremonial sentimentalism, it was still
which required something more to imbody and repre- too frail a ground to justify his putting the inferior crea-
sent it than prayer and praise, and which with so much tures to death, without warrant from their Creator and
plastic energy is assumed to have clothed itself" with Preserver. It is also equally unfortunate for this theory,
the imagery of a symbolical expression,” is equally and, indeed, wholly talal to it, that the distinction of
contradicted by the facts of the case. There was no such clean and unclean hearts existed, as we have already
excess of the devotional principle. On Mr. Davison's seen, before the flood. Upon what, then, was this dis-
own interpretation of the “more abundant sacrifice,” tinction founded? Not upon their qualities as good for
more in quantity, one of the two brothers, first dé- food or otherwise, for animals were not yet granted for
scending from the first pair, was deficient in it; the food; and the death of one animal would therefore
rapidly-spreading wickedness of man shows that the have been just as appropriate as a symbol of gratitude,
religious sentiment was weak and not powerful; it is or as an acknowledgment of the desert of death, as
not seen even in the perverted forms of idolatry and another,-a horse as a heifer, a dog as a lamb. Nay, if
superstition, for neither is charged upon the anterlilu- animals were intended to represent the sinner himself,
vians, but moral wickedness only; and instead of unclean and ferocious animals would have been fitter
their having " a more intense perception of the being types of his fallen and sinful state; and that they were
and presence of God," as Mr. Davison imagines for to be clean, harmless, and without spot, shows that they
them, Moses declares“ the imagination of the thoughts represented some other. The distinction of clean anu
of the heart of man to be only evil continually," and unclean, however, did exist in that early period, and it
that even long before the flood, and while men were is only to be accounted for by referring it to a sacrificial
alive who had conversed with Adam. Thus pass away selection, and that upon Divine authority,
the fancies on which this theory is built; nor is that To the human invention of sacrifice, the objection of
of Bishop Warburton better supported, who resolves “ will worship” has also been forcibly and triuinphantly
these early oblations into a representation by action, urged. “Who hath required this at your hands?" "Il
arising out of the “defects and imperfections of the vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the
primitive language;" for of these defects and imperfec- commandments of men.”' This has the force of an
tions there is not only not the least evidence, but the axiom, which, if it ought not to be applied too rigidly to
irresistible inference from the narrative of Moses, is, that the minutiæ of forms of worship when they connect
a language was in use in the first family sufficiently themselves with authorized leading acts, yet must have
copious for all subjects of religion, as well as for the com- a direct application to a worship which, in its substance
mon intercourse of life. This notion also farther involves and leading circumstance, was eminently sacrificial, if
the absurdity and contradiction, that when man was it be regarded as wholly of human device. “Thus,"
created in perfection, he should not be endowed with says Hallet, “ Abel must have worshipped God in vaill,
the power of imbodying his thoughts in language. if his sacrificing had been merely a commandment of

If, then, the presentation of the mere fruits of the his father Adam, or an invention of his own;" and he
earth to God as thank-offerings and acknowledgments justly asks, “ why..we do not now offer up a bullock, a
of dependence, cannot be reasonably accounted for sheep, or a pigeon, as a thank-offering after any re-
without supposing a Divine institution, the difficulty is markable deliverance, or as an evidence of our appre-
increased when animal oblations are added to these hensions of the demerit of sin ?" The sure reason is,
offerings, and considered also as merely eucharistical. because we cannot know that God will accept such
All the difficulties just mentioned lie with equal force “ will worship,” and so conclude that we should herein
against such a designation of them, with these addi- worship God “in vain."
tional considerations,--1. That the putting beasts to The Divine institution of expiatory sacrifice being
death is an act farther removed from the idea of a mere thus carried up to the first ages, and to the family of the
oblation, since nothing would, without a revelation, ap- first sinning man, we perceive the unity of the three
pear less acceptable to a merciful and benevolent being. great dispensations of religion to man, the PATRIAR-
2. A moral objection would also interpose. Man's do- CHAL, the LEVITICAL, and the CHRISTIAN, in the great
minion of the creatures was from God; but it was to principle, " and without the shedding of blood there is
be exercised, like his power of every other kind, upon no remission.” But one religion has been given to man
his responsibility. Wanton cruelty to animals must, of since his fall, though gradually communicated. “This
necessity, have been considered a moral evil. To inflict may be best denominated THE MINISTRY OF RECON-
pain and death upon even the noxious animals, without CILÍATION, for its exclusive object, however modified
so clear a necessity as should warrant it, and without externally, is to satisfy Gov's justice, through tire in-
its being necessary to the “subduing” of the earth, could strumentality of the woman's predicted seed; to restore
not be thought blameless, much less upon those innox- fallen man to the Divine image of holiness, by the
ious animals which, from the beginning, were the only agency of the gracious Spirit; and thus, without com-
subjects of sacrifice. This would be felt the more promising any one of Gou's attributes, to reconcile an
strongly before flesh had been permitted to man for food, apostate race to their offended Creator."(9).
and when, so to speak, a greater sacredness was thrown We have now adduced the scriptural evidence of the
around the life of the domestic animals than afterward; atonement made by the death of Christ for the sins of
nor can it appear reasonable, even if we were to allow the world; a doctrine not speculative and indifferent,
that a sort of sentimentality might lead man to fix upon but vital to the whole scheme of Christianity; a doc-
the oblation of slain beasts as an expressive ritual to trine which tends to produce the most awful sense of
be added to the “Liturgy of Nature ;" that, without sin, and to afford the most solemn motive to repentance;
any authority, any intimation from Heaven that such which at once excites the most sublime views of the
sacrifices would be well pleasing to God, men could justice and mercy of God, and gives the most affecting
conclude that a mere sentimental notion of ceremonial exhibition of the compassion and love of Christ; which
fitness, and giving "boldness to the representative is the only ground of faith in the pardoning love of God,
character” of worship, would be a sufficient moral and the surest guard against presumption; and which,
reason to take of their flocks and herds, and shed their by opening access to God in prayer, keeps before man a
blood and burn their f sh upon altars. Mr. Davison safe and secure refuge amid the troubles of life, and in
endeavours to meet thu objection to the natural incon- the prospect of eternity. It is the only view, 100, of the
gruity of animal sacrifices as acts of worship, by dis- death of Christ which interprets the Holy Scriptures
tinguishing between the two conditions of aniinal sacri- into a consistent and unequivocal meaning: Their lan-
fice," the guilt of the worshipper, and the expiation guage is wholly constructed upon it, and therefore, can
of his sin.” Expiatory sacrifice, we have seen, he gives only be interpreted by it; it is the key to their style,
up, as not for a moment to be referred to human inven-
tion, but thinks that there was no natural incongruity

(9) FABER'S Horr Mos.

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their allusions, their doctrines, their prophecies, their , scattered and broken rays of early tradition. Nor has types. All is confused and delusive without it; all this been always adverted to by those writers who have clear, composed, and ordered, when placed under its enjoyed the full manifestations of Divine truth in the illumination. To Christ, under his sacrificial character, Scriptures. By many, the infliction of labour, and sore as well as in his regal claiins, "give all the prophets row, and disappointment upon fallen man, and the witness;" and in this testimony all the services of the shortening of the term of human life, are considered tabernacle, and the rights of the patriarchal age, concur. chiefly, if not exclusively, as measures adopted to preChrist, as "the Lamb of God, was slain from the foun- vent evil, or of restraining its overflow in society. dation of the world;" and when the world shall be no Such ends are, doubtless, by the wisdom of God, thus more, he will appear before his glorified saints, as "the effected to a great and beneficial extent; but there is a Lamb newly slain,” shedding upon them the unabated still higher design. These dispensations are not only efficacy of his death for ever. Nor is it a doctrine to be instruments of prevention, but designed means of salrejected without imminent peril" Verily, verily, I say vation, preparatory to, and co-operative with those aunto you, except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, gencies, by which that result can only be directly proand drink his blood, you have no life in you;" words duced. The state of man shows, that he is under a which, as Whitby justly observes, “ clearly declare the checkered dispensation, in which justice and forbearnecessity of faith in his body given, and his blood shed ance, mercy and correction have all their place, and in for the remission of sins, in order to justification and which there is a marked adaptation to his state as a salvation."

reprieved criminal; a being still guilty, but within the reach of hope. The earth is cursed; but it yields its

produce to man's toil; life is prolonged in some inCHAPTER XXIII.

stances, and curtailed in others, and is uncertain to all; BENEFITS DERIVED TO MAN FROM THE ATONEMENT.- gratifications and disappointment; but as to all, in cir

we have health and sickness; pleasures and pains ; JUSTIFICATION

euinstances however favoured, dissatisfaction and restWhen we speak of benefits received by the human lessness of spirit are still felt; a thirst which nothing race, in consequence of the atonement of Christ, the earthly can allay, a vacuity which nothing in our outtruth is, that man, having forfeited good of every kind, ward condition can supply. There is a manifestation and even life itself, by his transgression, all that remains of mercy to save, as well as of wisdom to prevent, and to him more than evil in the natural world, and in the the great end of the whole is explained by the inspired dispensations of general and particular providence, as record. “ Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes well as all spiritual blessings put within his reach by with man, to keep back his soul from the pit.” His the Gospel, are to be considered as the fruits of the goodness” is designed to lead us to repentance,” his death and intercession of Christ, and ought to be grate- rod to teach us wisdom. “In the day of adversity, confully acknowledged as such. We enjoy nothing in our sider.” own right, and receive all from the hands of the Divine Another benefit granted for the same end, is the remercy. We now, however, speak in particular of those velation of the will of God, and the declaration of his benefits which immediately relate to, or which constitute purposes of grace as to man's actual redemption. what in Scripture is called our salvaTION; by which These purposes have been declared to man, with great term is meant the deliverance of man from the penalty, inequality we grant, a mystery which we are not able doininion, and pollution of his sins; his introduction to explain ; but we have the testimony of God in his into the Divine favour in this life; and his future and own word, though we cannot in many cases, trace the eternal felicity in another.

process of the revelation, that in no case, that in no The grand object of our redemption was to accom- nation, “ has he left himself without witness.” Oral plish this salvation; and the first effect of Christ's revelations were made to the first men; these became atonement, whether anticipated before his coming, as the subject of tradition, and were carried into all na" the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the tions, though the mercy of God, in this respect, was world,” or when effected by his passion, was to place abused by that wilsul corruption of his truth of which God and man in that new relation, from which salva- all have been guilty. To the Jews he was pleased to tion Inight be derived to the offender.

give a'written record of his will; and the possession The only relation in which an offended sovereign and of this, in its perfect evangelical form, has become the a guilty subject could stand, in mere justice, was the distinguished privilege of all Christian nations, who relation of a judge and a criminal capitally convicted. are now exerting themselves to make the blessing uniThe new relation effected by the death of Christ is, as versal, a result which probably is not far distant. By to God, that of an offended sovereign having devised this direct benefit of the atonement of Christ, the law honourable means to suspend the execution of the sen- under which we are all placed is exhibited in its full, tence of death, and to offer terms of pardon to the con- though reproving, perfection; the character of “ Him demned; and, as io man, that as the object of this com- with whom we have to do" is unveiled; the history of passion, he receives assurance of the placableness of the redeerning acts of our Saviour is recorded ; his exGod, and his readiness to forgive all his offences, and ample, his sufferings, his resurrection, and intercesmay, by the use of the prescribed ineans, actually ob- sion, the terms of our pardon, the process of our retain this favour.

generation, the bright and attractive path of obedience, To this is to be added another consideration. God is are all presented to our meditations, and, surmounting not merely disposed to forgive the offences of men the whole, is that “immortality which has been brought upon their suit and application ; but an affecting ac- to light by the Gospel.” Having the revelation, also, tivity is ascribed, in Scripture, to the compassion of in this written form, it is guarded against corruption, God. The atonement of Christ having made it mo- and, by the multiplication of copies in the present day, rally practicable to exercise mercy, and having removed it has become a book for family reading, and private all legal obstructions out of the way of reconciliation, perusal and study; so that neither can we, except wilthat mercy pours itself forth in ardent and ceaseless fully, remain ignorant of the important truths it conefforts to accomplish its own purposes, and, not content tains, nor can they be long absent from the attention of with waiting the return of man in penitence and the most careless; from so many quarters are they obprayer, “God is in Christ, reconciling the world unto truded upon them. himself;" that is to say, he employs various means to To this great religious advantage we are to add the awaken men to a due sense of their fallen and endan- institutione of the Christian ministry, or the appointgered condition, and to prompt and influence them ment of men, who have been themselves reconciled to (sometimes with mighty efficacy) to 'seek his favour God, to preach the word of reconciliation to others; to and grace, in the way which he has himself ordained do this publicly, in opposition to all contempt and perin his revealed word.

secution, in every place where they may be placed, and The mixed and checkered external circumstances of to which they can have access: io study the word of men in this present life is a providential arrangement God themselves; faithfully and affectionately to admiwhich is to be attributed to ihis design; and, viewed nister it to persons of all conditions; and thus, by a under this aspect, it throws an interesting light upon constant activity, to keep the light of truth before the condition of mankind, unknown to the wisest the eyes of men, and to impress it upon their conamong those nations which have not had the benefits of sciences. revealed religion, except that some glimpses, in a few These means are all accompanied with the influence cases, may have been afforded of this doctrine by the of the Holy Spirit; for it is the constant doctrine of the

Scriptures, that men are not left to the mere influence he has received this unwonted tenderness of heart, this of a revelation of truth, and the means of salvation; “ broken and contrite spirit,” he confesses his sins bebut are graciously excited and effectually aided in all fore God, and appears like the publican in the temple, their endeavours to avail themselves of both. Before smiting upon his breast, exclaiming, “God be merciful the flood, the Holy Spirit is represented as “striving” to me a sinner:"—thus at once acknowledging his own with men, to restrain them from their wickedness, and offence and unworthiness, and flying for refuge to the to lead them to repentance. This especially was his mercy of his offended God proclaimed to him in Christ. benevolent employ, as we learn from St. Peter, during That which every such convinced and awakened man the whole time that the ark was preparing,” the period needs is mercy, the remission of his sins, and consein which Noah fulfilled his ministry as “ preacher of quent exemption from their penalty. It is only this righteousness” to the disobedient world. Under the which can take him from under the malediction of the law, the wicked are said to “grieve" and "resist” the general law which he has violated ; only this which Holy Spirit; and good men are seen earnestly suppli- can bring him into a state of reconciliation and friendcating his help, not only in extraordinary cases, and ship with the Lawgiver, whose righteous displeasure for some miraculous purpose, but in the ordinary lie has provoked. This act of mercy is, in the New course of religious experience and conflict. The final Testament, called justification, and to the considerestablishment and the moral effects flowing from Mes- ation of this doctrine we must now direct our attensiah's dominion, are ascribed, by the prophets, to the tion. pouring out of the Spirit, as rain upon the parched On the nature of justification, its extent, and the ground, and as the opening of rivers in the desert; and mode in which it is attained, it is not necessary to say, that the agency of the Spirit is not confined, in the that various opinions have been asserted and defended New Testament, to gifts and miraculous powers, and by theologians : but before we advert to any of them, their effects in producing mere intellectual conviction our care shall be to adduce the natural and unperof the truth of Christianity, but is directed to the reno- verted doctrine of Scripture on a subject which it is of vation of our nature, and the carrying into full prac- so much importance to apprehend clearly, in that light tical effect the redeeming designs of the Gospel, is in which it is there presented. manifest from numerous passages and arguments to be The first point which we find established by the lanfound in the discourses of Christ and the writings of guage of the New Testament is, that justification, the his apostles. In our Lord's discourse with Nicodemus, pardon and remission of sin, the non-imputation of sin, he declares that the regenerate man is “born of the and the imputation of righteousness, are terms and Spirit.” He promises to send the Spirit “to convince phrases of the same import. The following passages (or reprove) the world of sin." It is by the Spirit that may be given in proof: our Lord represents himself as carrying on the work Luke xviii. 13, 14, “I tell you, this man went down of human salvation, after his return to heaven, and to his house justified, rather than the other." Here in this sense promises to abide with his disciples the term “justified” must mean pardoned, since the for ever, and to be with them to the end of the world." publican confessed himself “a sinner," and asked In accordance with this, the apostles ascribe the suc- *mercy" in that relation. cess of their preaching, in producing moral changes in Acts xiii. 38, 39, “Be it known unto you, men and the hearts of men, to the influence of the Spirit. So brethren, that through this man is preached into you far from attributing this to the extraordinary gifts with the forgiveness of sins; and, by him, all that believe which the Spirit had furnished them, St. Paul denies are justified from all things, from which ye could not that this efficacy was to be ascribed either to himself be justified by the law of Moses." Here, also, it is or Apollos, though both were thus richly endowed; plain that forgiveness of sins and justification mean and he expressly attributes the “increase” which fol- the same thing, one term being used as explanatory of lowed their planting and watering, to God. The Spirit the other. is, therefore, represented as giving life to the dead Rom. iii. 25, 26, “ Whom God hath set forth to be a souls of men; the moral virtues are called “fruits of propitiation, through faith in his blond, to declare his the Spirit ;" and to be “led by the Spirit,” is made the righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, proof of our being the sons of God.

through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at Such is the wondrous and deeply affecting doctrine this time his righteousness, that he might bé just, and ot' Scripture. The fruit of the death and intercession the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” To of Christ is not only to render it consistent with a reinit sins and to justify are here also represented as righteous government to forgive sin, but to call forth the same act; consequent upon a declaration of the the active exercise of the love of God to man. His righteousness of God, and upon our faith. good Spirit,” the expressive appellation of the third Rom. iv.4-8, “But to him that worketh not, but beperson of the blessed Trinity in the Old Testament, lieveth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is visits every heart, and connects his secret influences counted for righteousness; even as David deseribeth with outward means, to awaken the attention of man the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth to spiritual and eternal things, and win his heart to righteousness without works, saying, Blessed is the God.(9)

man whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins To this operation, this “ working of God in man," in are covered ; blessed is the man to whom the Lord conjunction with the written and preached word, and will not impute sin.". The quotation from David, inother means of religious instruction and excitement, is troduced by the apostle, by way of illustrating his to be attributed that view of the spiritual nature of the doctrine of the justification of the ungodly, by “countlaw under which we are placed, and the extent of its ing his faith for righteousness,” shows clearly, that he demands, which produces conviction of the fact of sin, considered “justification," "the imputing of righteousand at once annihilates all self-righteousness, and all ness, ,” “the forgiveness of iniquities," ihe "covering palliations of offence; which withers the goodly show of sin,” the “non-imputation of sin," as of the same of supposititious virtues, and brings the convicted import; acts substantially equivalent one to another, transgressor, whatever his character may be before though under somewhat different views, and therefore men, and though, in comparison of many of his fellow- expressed by terms respectively convertible :--this vacreatures, he may have been much less sinful, to say riety of phrase being adopted, probably, to preserve the before God, “Behold, I am vile, what shall I answer idea which runs throughout the whole Scripture, that, thee.” The penalty of the law, death, eternal death, in the remission or pardon of sin, Almighty God acts being at the same time apprehended and meditated in his character of Ruler and Judge, showing mercy upon, the bondage of fear, and the painful anticipations upon terms satisfactory to his justice, when he might of the consequences of sin follow, and thus he is in rigid justice have punished our transgressions to the moved by a sense of danger, to look out for a remedy; | utmost. The term justification especially is judiciary, and this being disclosed in the same revelation, and un- and taken from courts of law and the proceedings of folded by the same Spirit, from whose secret influence magistrates; and this judiciary character of the act

of pardon is also confirmed by the relation of the par(9) "Illius esse duritiem humani cordis emollire, ties to each other, as it is constantly exhibited in Scripcùm aut per salutiferam prædicationem Evangelii, aut Gopis an offended Sovereign; man is an offendalia quacunque ratione in pectora hominum recipitur: ing subject. He has offended againsi public law, not illum eos illuminare, et in agnitionem Dei atque in against private obligations; and the act therefore by omnem viam veritatis et in totius vitæ novitatem, et which he is relieved from the penalty, must be magisperpetuam salutis spem perducere."--Bishop JEWEL. terial and rega. It is, also, a farther confirmation that in this process Christ is represented as a public Media- | tence pronounced and declared from eternity, before tor and Advocate.

ture.

man was created, when no sin had been committed, no The importance of acquiring and maintaining this law published, no Saviour promised, no faith exercised, simple and distinct view of justification, that it is the re- when, in a word, no being existed but God himself, is mission of sins, as stated in the passages above quoted, not only absurd, but impossible, for it would have been will appear from the following considerations :

a decision declared to none, and therefore not declared 1. We are taught that pardon of sin is not an act of at all; and if, as they say, the sentence was passed in prerogative, done above law; but a judicial process, eternity, but manifested in time, it might from thence done consistently with law. For in this process there be as rightly argued that the world was created from are three parties. God, as Sovereign; “Who shall eternity, and that the work of creation in the beginning any thing to the charge of God's elect? it is God that of time, was only a manifestation of that which was justifieth, who is he that condemneth ?" Christ, as Ad- from everlasting. It is the guilty who are pardoned vocate; not defending the guilty, but interceding for “he justifieth the ungodly;" guilt, therefore, precedes thein; " It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen pardon : while that remains, so far are any from being again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also justified, that they are “under wrath” in a state of maketh intercession for us." Rom. viii. 33, 34. “And "condemnation, with which a state of justification if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father.” cannot consist, for the contradiction is palpable; so that 1 John ii. 1. The third party is man, who is, by his the advocates of this wild notion must either give up own confession, "guilty," "a sinner," " ungodly;" for justification in eternity, or a state of condemnation in repentance in all cases precedes this remission of sins, time. If they hold the former, they contradict common and it both supposes and confesses offence and desert sense; if they deny the latter, they deny the Scriptures. of punishment. God is Judge in this process, not, how- 4. Justification, being the pardon of sin, this view of ever, as it has been well expressed, “by the law of the doctrine guards us against the notion, that it is an creation and of works, but by the law of redemption act of God by which we are made actually just and and grace. Not as merely just, though just; but as righteous. “This is sanctification, which is, indeed, merciful. Not as merciful in general, and ex nuda vo- the immediate fruit of justification; but, nevertheless, luntate, without any respect had to satisfaction; but as is a distinct gift of God, and of a totally different napropitiated by the blood of Christ, and having accepted ture. The one implies what God does for us through the propitiation made by his blood. Not merely propi- his Son; the other, what God works in us by his Spirit. tiated by his blood, but moved by his intercession, So that, although some rare instances may be found which he makes as our Advocate in heaven; not only wherein the terms justified and justification are used in pleading the propitiation made and accepted, but the re- so wide a sense as to include sanctification also, yet pentance and faith of the sinner, and the promise of the in general use they are sufficiently distinguished from Judge before whom he pleads.”(1) Thus, as pardon or each other both by St. Paul and the other inspired justification does not take place but upon propitiation, writers.”(4) the mediation and intercession of a third party, and on 5. Justification, being the pardon of sin by judicial the condition on the part of the guilty, not only of re- sentence of the offended Majesty of Heaven, under a pentance, but of "faith" in Christ's "blood,” which, as gracious constitution, the term affords no ground for before established, means faith in his sacrificial death, the notion, that it imports the imputation or accounting it is not an act of mere mercy, or of prerogative; but to us the active and passive righteousness of Christ, one which consists with a righteous government, and so as to make us both relatively and positively righteous. proceeds on grounds which secure the honours of the On this subject, which has been fruitful controversy, Divine justice.

our remarks must be somewhat more extended. 2. We are thus taught that justification has respect The notion, that justification includes not only the to particular individuals, and to be distinguished pardon of sin, but the imputation to us of Christ's active from that gracious constitution of God, by which, for personal righteousness, though usually held only by Cal. the sake of Jesus Christ, he so far delivers all man- vinists, has not been received by all divines of this class; kind from the guilt of Adam's sin, as to place them, but, on the contrary, by some of them, both in ancient notwithstanding their natural connexion with the fallen and modern times, it has been very strenuously opprogenitor of the human race, in a salvable state. Jus- posed, as well as by the advocates of that more modetification is a blessing of a much higher and more per- rate scheme of election defended by Camero in France, fect character, and is not common to the human race and by Baxter in England. Even Calvin himself has at large, but experienced by a certain description of said nothing on this subject, but which Arminius, in his persons in particular.”(2) Thus some of our older di- Declaration before the States of Holland, declares his vines properly distinguish between sententia legis and readiness to subscribe to; and Mr. Wesley, in much sententia judicis, that is, between legislation and judg. the same view of the subject as Arminius, admits the ment; between the constitution, whatever it may be, doctrine of the imputation of the righteousness of under which the sovereign decides, whether it be ri- Christ to us upon our believing, provided it be soberly gidly just or softened by mercy, and his decisions in his interpreted. regal and judicial capacity themselves. Justification There are, in fact, three opinions on this subject, is, therefore, a decision under a gracious legislation, which it is necessary to distinguish in order to obtain “the law of faith ;" but not this legislation itself. “For clear views of the controversy. if it be an act of legislation, it is then only promise, The first is a part of the high Calvinistic scheme, and and that looks towards none in particular; but to all to lays at the foundation of Antinomianism, and is, in whom the promise is made, in general, and presup- consequence, violently advocated by those who adopt poseth a condition to be performed. But justification that gross corruption of Christian faith. It is, that presupposeth a particular person, a particular cause, a Christ so represented the elect that his righteousness is condition performed, and the performance, as already imputed to us as ours; as if we ourselves had been past, pleaded; and the decision proceeds accordingly.”(3) what he was, that is, perfectly obedient to the law of Justification becomes, therefore, a subject of personal God, and had done what he did as perfectly righteous. concern, personal prayer, and personal seeking, and is The first objection to this opinion is, that it is no to be personally experienced; nor can any one be safe where stated in Scripture that Christ's personal rightin trusting to that general gracious constitution under eousness is imputed to us. Not a text can be found which he is placed by the mercy of God in Christ, since which contains any enunciation of this doctrine; and that is established in order to the personal and parti- those which are adduced, such as “the Lord our right. cular justification of those who believe, but must not eousness,” and “Christ, who is made unto us right. be confounded with it.

eousness,” are obviously pressed into the service of this 3. Justification being a sentence of pardon, the An- scheme by a paraphrastic interpretation, for which there tinomian notion of eternal justification becomes a mani. is no authority in any other passages which speak of fest absurdity. For if it be a sentence, a decision on our redemption. But to these texts we shall return in the case of the offender, it must take place in time; for the sequel. that is not a sentence which is conceived in the breast 2. The notion here attached to Christ's representing of the Judge. A sentence is pronounced, and a sen- us is wholly gratuitous. In a limited sense, it is true

that Christ represented us; that is, suffered in our (1) Lawson's Theo-politica.

stead, that we might not suffer; “but not absolutely (2) BUNTING's Sermon on Justification. (3) Lawson's Theo-politica.

(4) Wesley's Sermons.

as our delegate," says Baxter, justly, “our persons did | lar acts, deficient, and our condition could not, therenot, in a law sense, do in and by Christ what he did, or fore, be provided for by this imputation. Suppose us possess the habits which he possessed, or suffer what guilty of violating the paternal or the conjugal duties, the he suffered."(5) The Scripture doctrine is, indeed, just duties of servants, or of magistrates, with many others, the contrary. It is never said, that we suffered in this theory is,—that we are justified by the imputation Christ, but that he suffered for us; so also it is never of Christ's personal acts of righteousness to us, and that taught that we obeyed in Christ, but that, through his they are reckoned to us, as though we had ourselves perentire obedience to a course of subjection and suffering, formed them. But our Lord, never having stood in any of ending in his death, our disobedience is forgiven. these relations, never acquired a personal righteousness

3. Nor is there any weight in the argument, that as of this kind to be reckoned as done by us. That which our sins were accounted his, so his righteousness is ac- never was done by Christ cannot be imputed, and so it counted ours. Our sins were never so accounted would follow that we can never be forgiven such delinChrist's as that he did them, and so justly suffered for quencies. If it be said, that the imputation of particular them. This is a monstrous notion, which has been acts is not necessary, but that it is sufficient if men have sometimes pushed to the verge of blasphemy. Our a righteousness imputed to them, which is equivalent to transgressions are never said to have been imputed to them, it is answered, the strict and peremptory nature him in the fact, but only that they were laid upon him of law knows nothing of this doctrine of the equivain the penalty. To be God's “beloved Son in whom lency of one act to another. The suffering of an unhe was always well pleased," and to be reckoned, im- obliged substitute, where such a provision is admitted, puted, accounted a sinner, de facto, are manifest con- may be an equivalent to the suffering of the offender; tradictions.

but one course of duties cannot be accepted in the place 4. This whole doctrine of the imputation of Christ's of another, when justification is placed on the ground personal moral obedience to believers, as their own pers of the actual fulfilment of the law by a delegate in the sonal moral obedience, involves a fiction and impossi- place of the delinquent, which is the ground on which bility inconsistent with the Divine attributes. “The ihe doctrine of the imputation of Christ's active rightjudgment of the all-wise God is always according to eousness for justification places it. The law must exact truth ; neither can it ever consist with his unerring conformity to all its precepts in their place and order, wisdom to think that I am innocent, to judge that I am and he that “offends in one is guilty of all.” righteous or holy, because another is so. He can no 6. A crowning and most fatal objection is, that this more confound me with Christ than with David or doctrine shifts the meritorious cause of man's justificaAbraham.”(6) But a contradiction is involved in an- tion from Christ's "obedience unto death," where the other view. If what our Lord was and did is to be ac- Scriptures place it, to Christ's active obedience to the counted to us in the sense just given, then we must be precepts of the law; and leaves no rational account of accounted never to have sinned, because Christ never the reason of Christ's vicarious sufferings. To his sinned, and yet we must ask for pardon, though we are “ blood” the New Testament writers ascribe our reaccounted, from birth to death, to have fulfilled God's demption, and “faith in his blood” is as clearly held law in Christ; or if they should say, that when we out as the instrumental cause of our justification ; but ask for pardon we ask only for a revelation to us of our by this doctrine, the attention and hope of men are pereternal justification or pardon, the matter is not altered, versely turned away from his sacrificial death to his for what need is there of pardon, in time or eternity, if holy life, which, though necessary, both as an example we are accounted to have perfectly obeyed God's holy to us, and also so to qualify his sacrifice, that his blood law; and why should we be accounted also to have suf- should be that of "a lamb without spot,” is nowhere fered, in Christ, the per of sins which we are ac- represented as that on account of which men are par. counted never to have committed ?

doned. 5. Another objection to the accounting of Christ's Piscator, though a Calvinist, thus treats the subject personal acts as done by us is, that they were of a in scholastic form. “ If our sins have been expiated Softier character than can be supposed capable of being by the obedience of the life of Christ, either a perfect accounted the acts of mere creatures; that, in one emi-expiation has been thus made for all of them, or an nent instance, neither the act could be required of us, imperfect one for some of them. The first cannot bo nor the imputation of the act to us; and, in other re- asserted, for then it would follow that Christ had died spects, and as to particular duties, Christ's personal in vain; for as he died to expiate onr sins, he would obedience is deficient, and cannot be therefore reckoned not have accounted it necessary to offer such an expia. to our account. For the first, Christ was God and tion for them, if they had been already expiated by the man united in one person, a circumstance which gave obedience of his life. And the latter cannot be main. a peculiar character of fulness and perfection to his tained, because Christ has yielded perfert obedience to obedience, which not even man, in his state of inno- the law of God, wherefore, if he have performed that cence, can be supposed capable of rendering. “He, for the expiation of our sins, he must necessarily, then, that assumeth this righteousness to himself," says through that obedience, have expiated all of them Goodwin," and apparelleth himself with it, represents perfectly." Again, “ If Christ, by the obedience of his himself before God, not in the habit of a just or right-life, had rendered satisfaction to God for our sins, it eous man, but in the glorious attire of the great Media- would follow, as a consequence, that God is unjust, tor of the world, whose righteousness hath heights and who has made an additional demand to receive satis. depths in it, a length and breadth which infinitely ex- faction through the obedience of death, and thus required ceed the proportions of all men whatever. Now, then, to have the same debt paid twice.” Again, “ If Christ, for a silly worm to take this robe of immeasurable ma by his obedience to the law, has merited for us the for jesty upon him, and to conceit himself as great in holi- giveness of sins, the consequence will be, that the ness and righteousness as Jesus Christ (for that is the remission of sins was effected without the shedding of spirit that rules in this opinion, to teach men to as- blood; but without shedding of blood no remission is sume all that Christ did unto themselves, and that in effected, as appears from Heb. ix. 22; therefore Christ no other way, nor upon any lower terms, than as if has not merited for us the remission of sins by the obe. themselves had personally done it), whether this be dience which he performed to the law."(8) To the right, I leave to sober men to consider.”(7) For the se- same effect, also is a passage in Goodwin's Treatise on cond, I refer to our Lord's baptism by John. His sub. Justification, written while he was yet a Calvinist, mission to this ordinance was a part of his personal “ If men be as righteous as Christ was in his life, righteousness, and it is strongly marked as such in his there was no more necessity of his death for them, own words addressed to John, “Suffer it to be so now, than there was either of his own death, or the death of for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." any other, for himself. If we were perfectly just or But no man now is bound to submit to the baptism of righteous in him, or with him, in his life, then the just John, and the righteousness of doing so, whether per- would not have died for the unjust, but he would have sovjally or by imputation, is superfluous. This may died for the just, for whom there was no necessity he also be applied to many other of the acts of Christ; should die. This reason the apostle expressly delivers, they were never obligatory upon us, and their imputa. Gal. ii. 21, 'If righteousness be by the law, then Christ tion to us is impossible or unnecessary. For the third died in vain. I desire the impartial reader to observe case, the personal obedience of Christ is, as to particu- narrowly the force of this inference made by the Holy

(5) Gospel Defended. (6) WESLEY
(7) Treatise on Justification.

(8) See note in Nichol's Translation of the Works of Arminius, vol. i. p. 634.

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