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world is flooded with books containing often the same statements, and often positions involving the same views. We admit that these statements stand connected with much that is true, and are often but the unguarded effusions of learned and pious minds; but this cannot justify, or render them less noxious. The truth is, they are the legitimate verbiage of a false theory.

Bishop Beveridge says: “Man naturally is at odds with God. God hates man's person, and man [hates] God's precepts. To make up this enmity betwixt them, Christ joins both their natures in one person ; and so by shedding the blood of the human, appeased the wrath of the divine nature; and so reconciled his Father to us, not only by quenching the fire of his anger toward us, but also by purchasing his love and favor for us."* The death of Christ is often represented as exerting some extraneous influence upon the mind and feelings of Deity.

“• The expiation on the cross,' says Grotius, ' moves God to remit.' 'God,' says Barrow, in consideration of what his beloved Son hath performed and suffered . . . is become reconciled.' Secker says, 'In consideration of this meritorious goodness of his ... the Most High established with him a covenant of grace. This consent of his to be crucified, our heavenly Father has been pleased to consider . . . an inducement to bestow pardon,' &c. Doddridge speaks of Christ's death as a 'valuable consideration' with God; and again, as making some ample and honorable amends.'Penrose, pp. 10, 11.

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We admit that many of these expressions when received with due qualification may convey no improper meaning. But is the common mind likely to receive these requisite qualifications? Is the antidote always at hand—always perceived and applied? And why should terms be employed which are so obviously liable to mislead the common mind, and which require great explanation and care to prevent such injury? The atonement was not necessary in any sense as an inducement to Deity to forgive. He needed no extraneous motive influence to excite his compassion toward our miserable race. He is unchangeably and eternally the God of love; and this love is the cause, not the fruit, of atonement. How then can we magnify his grace by understanding literally the following distich?

“Our all-loving Saviour hath pacified God,
And paid for his favor the price of his blood."

Methodist Hymn-Book, p. 175.

Exposition of the Articles, &c., pp. 107, 108.

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Let the reader compare such views with John iii, 16; Romans iv, 8; and 1 John iv, 9; with the parable of the “lost sheep;" with the whole analogy of revelation.

The starting point of all these erroneous representations is, as we have said, the pressing of figurative language into literal significations, and also of not apprehending the exact points of similitude to which such language applies. The word ?, translated to atone, expiate, primarily means to cover, to overlay. Its secondary sense of expiate is derived from two circumstances: 1. The resemblance between forgiveness—thus putting sin, as it were, out of sight, concealing it—and covering anything from view; 2. The fact that the high-priest sprinkled the blood of the atoning victim upon the be cover or lid of the "ark of the covenant,” (Lev. xvi, 11, seq.,) whence this cover was called by the Seventy ihaoteplov, in Latin, propitiatorum; English, mercy seat, propitiation. And the priest shall make expiation for him from his sin :" and the priest shall cause his sin to be covered. Here is the analogy. The result of the atoning act is the point to which the word applies. If the idea of propitiation attaches to these words in any place, or to any other words of Scripture, it is only by an anthropopathya figure of speech whereby the passions of men are ascribed to God; a figure, we may add, whose very nature indicates with what caution it is to be interpreted.

5. We object to the theory under consideration, because it would make the release of the sinner from the penal demand of the law to take place on legal principles to the exclusion of grace. “By grace we are saved,” by God's "free gift;" but if the penally has been paid, the enlargement of the prisoner follows according to the exact awards of justice, not from the favor of government. The prisoner may then demand his liberty as his legal right, and no power but that which would bid defiance to law and justice could longer detain him. If Christ has met the penalty of the law, the Father, as the administrator of justice, would have no further claim. Pardon, so far as the Father is concerned, is impossible; the debt is canceled.

6. Finally, if Christ endured the penalty of the law, then no wisdom is displayed in the plan of redemption. The same amount of misery which the original sentence denounced, is still endured in the human nature, though not in the persons, of the offenders.

“ This is not such a gospel as inspiration reveals. A system which prevents no misery, and which brings no accession of happiness to the universe-a system whose grand and distinctive characteristic is, that it devises a way in which the innocent may suffer a certain amount of misery which was due to the guilty, would hardly excite, as the gospel does, the wonder and admiration of the angels of heaven." -Beman,

P. 108.

But we cannot pursue this part of the subject further.

III. The adaptation of the death of Christ as a substitute for the penalty.

We have already forestalled much that belongs to this section, in our remarks on the design of penalty. A few words only we add. Keep in mind that the atonement was not needed as a compensation to Deity for his favor; not to appease any divine wrath; not in any way to effect a change in the disposition, or moral feelings, of the Godhead; but primarily for the support of law, as a substitute for the penalty, during a dispensation of pardon. The crowning glory of the Redeemer's achievements is, that he “honored the law." But how can a moral law be honored? The answer is at hand:-By keeping its precepts, and by the due administration of its promised rewards to the obedient; or, in default of obedience, by the full and exemplary infliction of the penalty. But where the precept is violated and the penalty waived, and pardon offered to the guilty penitent, how then can the law be honored? In general terms we may answer: By producing the same impressions upon the minds of the governed, by some other means, which the literal and regular administration of law would effect. In order to this, Christ accomplished two objects. First, he illustrated the moral excellence of the precept in his life, demonstrating its perfect fitness to exalt and make happy the moral subject. He proved the fitness of the divine law to man's moral, and social, and physical constitution, and by his life gave afresh the divine approval to it as our rule of conduct, and the divine pledge that it would not be changed in its nature, or abated in the ratio of its requirement. Secondly, his death became, by the Father's appointment, an expression of the evil of sin, of the divine abhorrence of it, and of the unalterable purpose of God to insist upon obedience and punish future transgression. The penalty reveals God's hatred of sin by actual infliction; the death of Christ effects the same end by offering a pledge that God has not unconditionally abrogated the penalty, nor abandoned his own law. “TO GIVE PROOF that he will punish,” says President Griffin, "is certainly disclosing everything of God which PUNISHMENT ITSELF can reveal."* “I perceive important reasons,” says Dr. Richards, "why God's clemency should not be

On the Atonement, p. 25.

exercised toward man, without an adequate atonement for his offense. This course, while it magnifies his mercy a thousandfold, finds its justification in creating in the mind of every rational being a GREATER CERTAINTY that punishment will follow transgression, than if pardon had been extended upon mere clemency."* This is the point. God might have written this truth in burning letters over the vast arch of heaven, he might have uttered it in the voice of “ seven thunders" from the sky; but Infinite Wisdom saw, such was the constitution of man, such the laws of moral evidence, such the avenues to the heart and sensibility, that nothing could produce those deep, abiding, practical impressions upon our race, so effectually as the humiliation, the spotless life, the sufferings and death of “the Only Begotten of the Father.” These impressions produced, the law being honored, the ends of penalty being answered, and the integrity of government asserted, the obstructions to the divine clemency would be removed, and the grace of pardon would freely, because it could now consistently and safely, flow forth to every penitent believer in Christ.

The atonement, then, may be considered both as a scheme of government, and as a system of moral means. As a government measure, it removes those obstructions which public justice would oppose to an exercise of clemency to the guilty; as a system of means, it is adapted to exert a moral, reformative influence upon man.

In order to render the atonement efficacious, the following requisites must be met :

1. It must be by the formal appointment of the supreme legislative power. It must be a government measure. Thus the Scriptures represent the Father as APPOINTING, ANOINTING, and SENDING his Son to accomplish this work.

2. The mediating person must be such as shall be fully capable of sustaining the responsibilities of government on the one hand, and sympathizing with man on the other. To be capable of the former, he must be God; to be capable of the latter, he must be man. So our Mediator is “God manifested in the flesh.” The dignity of such a person imparted value to his sufferings,-not a commercial, but a moral, value. The dignity of his person, and his official designation to this work, gave his sufferings a high significancy; they were God's “declaration of his own righteousness in granting remission of past sin."

3. Although the mere quantum of suffering was not the highest


Thoughts on Atonement, unpublished MS.


quality, or consideration of value, yet they must be in that degree of intensity which is suited to the awful import and object of their appointment.

4. The nature of the sufferings must be of a character to illustrate the evil of sin, and the divine opposition to it, and the certainty of its punishment. How peculiarly marked were the Saviour's sufferings in all these respects !

5. They must be endured "FOR sin;" that is, in the stead of those sufferings due to the sinner. They must be distinctly and publicly understood to be substitutionary. Not vicarious punishment, but vicarious suffering.

6. They must be voluntary on the part of him who suffers.

7. The case must be such as to admit of a compensative arrangement, whereby the person suffering, as a moral being of unexampled virtue, shall be rewarded. Christ, “ for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross.” “God, also, hath highly exalted him."

8. The evil to be prevented and the good to be secured by this measure, must be such as to justify the greatness of the means employed.

Geneva, N. Y., April 15, 1846.

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ART. V.-1. An Epitome of the History of Philosophy; being the

Work adopted by the University of France for Instruction in the Colleges and High Schools. Translated from the French, with Additions, and a Continuation of the History from the Time of Reid to the Present Day. By C. S. HENRY, D.D., Professor of Philosophy and History in the University of the City of NewYork. 2 vols., 18mo., pp. 311, 276. New-York: Harper &

Brothers. 1841. 2. The Philosophy of History, in a Course of Lectures. By

FREDERICK VON SCHLEGEL. With a Memoir of the Author, by James BURTON ROBERTSON, Esq. 2 vols., 12mo., pp. 319,

302. New-York : D. Appleton & Co. 1841. 3. Philosophy of History. Methodist Quarterly Review for July,

1842. Art. IV.

A WRITER of eminent ability, but of erratic genius, has defined philosophy, “the science of life.” As such it comprehends all sciences and all systems. As such, in its highest and best acceptation, it is the echo of primeval tradition, the coadjutor and ex

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