Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

erv

us

ses

and the resurrectio tral combination was shed, from Pe heard amazed the Again, it was his gate, he made the

Vush of this deed La Solomon's po

brick people, &

Hole book of Acts; but every reader knows, that “ Jesus

resurrection” constitutes the leading theme, the cenmbination of ideas in all its discourses. This truth o from Peter's tongue of fire, on the multitudes that

zed the inspiration of the day of Pentecost.* was his text, when passing beneath the beautiful

de the cripple leap for joy; and then, with the is deed still fresh upon him, leaned against a pillar

n's porch, and spake in explanation to the awe

people, thronging in at the hour of prayer.t Before priests and

us and rulers, before Sanhedrim and populace, the same vale is told again, to the utter exclusion, be it observed, of the essential doctrine of the cross. The authorities of the temple, we are told, were galled and terrified at the apostle's preaching; “naturally enough,” it will be said, “since, the real sacrifice having been offered, their vocation, which was to make the prefatory and typical oblation, was threatened with destruction.” But no, this is not the reason given : “They were ori ved because they preached, through Jesus, the resurrection from the dead.”'S Paul, too, while his preaching was spontaneous and free, and until he had to argue certain controversies which have long ago become obsolete, manifested a no less remarkable predilection for this topic. Before Felix, he declares what was the grand indictment of his countrymen against him; “ touching the resurrection of the dead. I am called in question of you this day.”|| Follow him Op away from his own land; and, with foreigners, he harps

the same subject, as if he were a man of one idea; which indeed, according to our opponents' scheme, he

to have been, only it should have been another idea. c om however, can we meet with a more exuberant mind Daul's; yet the resurrection obviously haunts him e goes : in the synagogue of Antioch, you hear + iii. 15.

| iv. 10; v. 30. || xxiv. 21.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]

him dwelling on it with all the energy of his inspiration ;* and, at Athens, it was this on which the scepticism of Epicureans and Stoics fastened for a scoff.t In his epistles, too, where he enlarges so much on justification by faith, when we inquire what precisely is this faith, and what the object it is to contemplate and embrace, this remarkable fact presents itself: that the one only important thing respecting Christ, which is never once mentioned as the object of justifying faith, is his death, and blood, and cross. “ Faith" by itself, the “ faith of Jesus Christ,” “faith of the Gospel," " faith of the Son of God,” are expressions of constant occurrence ; and wherever this general description is replaced by a more specific account of this justifying state of mind, it is faith in the resurrection on which attention is fastened. “It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again.I “He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification.“ Faith shall be imputed to us for righteousness, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.”|| Hear, too, the Apostle's definition of saving faith : “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”T The only instance, in which the writings of St. Paul appear to associate the word faith with the death of Christ, is the following text: “whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood;"** and in this case the Apostle's meaning would, I conceive, be more faithfully given by destroying this conjunction, and disposing the words thus : “ whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation by his blood, through faith.” The idea of his blood, or death, belongs to the word propitiation, not to the word faith. To this translation no Trinitarian scholar, I am persuaded, can object;tt and when the true meaning of the writer's sacrificial

• Acts xiii. 30. + xvii. 18, 31. Rom. viii. 34. § iv. 25. ll iv. 24.

fx. 9.

** iii. 25. tt Mr. Buddicom has the following note, intimating his approbation of this rendering: "Some of the best commentators have connected èv to aŭtou aluatı, not

unimportant. A defence of my pos mentioned as the

[ocr errors]

rection unquest
phraseology is
ching which a b
hat I hardly exp

ao ideas of far
W na perpetually

age is explained, the distinction will appear to be not tant. At present I am concerned only with the I my position, that the death of Christ is never

as the object of saving faith; but that his resurin questionably is. This phenomenon in Scripture Sy is so extraordinary, so utterly repugnant to every ích a hearer of orthodox preaching would expect,

y expect my affirmation of it to be believed. The of faith, and of our Lord's death, are so naturally

etually united in the mind of every believer in the atonement

hent, that it must appear to him incredible, that they Ud never fall together in the writings of the apostles. However, I have stated my fact; and it is for you to bring it to the test of Scripture.

(c. Independently of all written testimony, moral reasons, we are assured, exist, which render an absolute remission for the past essential to a regenerated life for the future. Our human nature is said to be so constituted, that the burden of sin. on the conscience once awakened, is intolerable;

bicí t cries aloud for mercy; yet is so straitened by the bands of sin, so conscious of the sad alliance lingering still, so full of hesitancy and shame when seeking the relief of prayer, so blinded by its tears when scanning the heavens for an opening of light and hope, that there is no freedom, no unrestrained and happy love to God; but a pinched and anxious mind, bereft of power, striving to work with bansed or paralytic will, instead of trusting itself to loosened

self-oblivious affections. Hence it is thought, that the of the past must be cancelled, before the holiness of the

n be commenced; that it is a false order to repre

opentance as leading to pardon ; because, to be forsent repentance

OU

given, is the pre-requi

is the pre-requisite to love. We cannot forget, how

rews. but with inaothpov and, accordingly, Bishop Bull renders um proposuit Deus placamentum in sanguine suo per fidem.'"

with διά της πίστεως, but with έλα the passage, ' Quem proposuit Deus Lecture on Atonement, p. 496.

ever, how distinctly and emphatically he who, after God, best knew what is in man, has contradicted this sentiment; for when that sinful woman, whose presence in the house shocked the sanctimonious Pharisee, stood at his feet as he reclined, washing them with her tears, and kissing them with reverential lips, Jesus turned to her and said, “her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much.”* From him, then, we learn what our own hearts would almost teach, that love may be the prelude to forgiveness, as well as forgiveness the preparative for love.

At the same time let me acknowledge, that this statement respecting the moral effects of conscious pardon, to which I have invoked Jesus to reply, is by no means an unmixed error. It touches upon a very profound and important truth; and I can never bring myself to regard that assurance of divine forgiveness, which the doctrine of atonement imparts, as a demoralizing state of mind, encouraging laxity of conscience and a continuance in sin. The sense of pardon doubtless reaches the secret springs of gratitude, presents the soul with an object, strange before, of new and divine affection; and binds the child of redemption, by all generous and filial obligations, to serve with free and willing heart the God who hath gone forth to meet him. That the motives of self-interest are diminished in such a case, is a trifle that need occasion small anxiety. For the human heart is no labourer for hire; and, where there is opportunity afforded for true and noble love, will thrust away the proffered wages, and toil rather in a free and thankful spirit. If we are to compare, as a source of duty, the grateful with the merely prudential temper, rather may we trust the first, as not the worthier only, but the stronger too; and till we obtain emancipation from the latter,—forget the computations of hope and fear, and precipitate ourselves for better for worse on some object

. Luke vii. 47.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

of divine love and trust,-our nature will be puny and weak, our wills will turn in sickness from their duty, and our affections shrink in aversion from their heaven. But though personal gratitude is better than prudence, there is a higher service still. A more disinterested love may spring from the contemplation of what God is in himself, than from the recollection of what he has done for us; and when this mingles most largely as an element among our springs of action; when, humbled indeed by a knowledge of dangers that await us, and thankful, too, for the blessings spread around us, we yet desire chiefly to be fitting children of the everlasting

ther and the holy God; when we venerate him for the grausness, and purity, and majesty of his spirit, impersonated

Jesus; and resolve to serve him truly, before he has granted the desire of our heart, and because he is of a nature

lime and merciful and good ; then are we in the con

of her who bent over the feet of Christ; and we are forgiven, because we have loved much. Let us now, in conclusion, turn our attention to those

the New Testament, which speak of the death of Christ as the means of redemption.

said, that these are to be found exclusively in passages red writings which treat of the Gentile controversy,

immediately connected with it. This controversy

ally out of the design of Providence to make the narrow, excls

clusive, ceremonial system of Judaism, give birth to the universala

al and spiritual religion of the Gospel; from God's *panding the Hebrew Messiah into the Saviour of or this the nation was not prepared ; to this even Christians could not easily conform their faith; and

ement of this, or in persuading the world that it was a chieved. d

Qy did Paul spend his noble life, and write his astonishi ng epistles. The Jews knew that the Deliverer was to be of this peculiar stock, and their royal lineage; they believed that h e would gather upon himself all the singularities of their

of the sacred writings whi
or of topics immediately conn

thod of expanding the Here

« EdellinenJatka »