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which will give satisfaction for that debt. If sin be depicted as slavery to Satan, then the grand requisite is a ransom. If sin be described as an impurity, then what the sinner needs is something that will purge or wash it away. All these, and perhaps some other views of sin, its effects, and the means of cancelling them, are included in that sacrifice and offering for sin, in consequence of which “iniquity is not imputed, "" transgression is forgiven, and sin covered.” (1)
These observations being premised, I shall transcribe some passages from the New Testament, in which the doctrine of Jesus Christ's surrendering his life as an atonement for sin is plainly declared, begin-. ning with those that were furnished during his own personal ministry. “ The Son of man (says he) came “ not to be served, but to serve ; and to give his life “ a ransom for many.” (8) “ I lay down my life for “ the sheep.” (1) “ The bread which I will give 66 is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the “ world.” (v) And when he instituted the Eucharist, which was expressly intended, not to remind his disciples of the purity of his conduct, or the exemplary holiness of his life, but to “ show forth the Lord's “ death till he come,” (w) Judas (whose sins were not to be remitted) (x) having previously departed, He took bread and brake it, saying, “ This is my body, '“ which is given for you.” (y) And taking the cup and blessing it, He said, “ Drink ye all out of it: for " this is my blood of the New Covenant, which is shed (r) Ps. xxxii. 1, 2.
(8) Matt. XX. 28. (1) John, x. 15.
(v) John, vi. 51. (w) I Cor. xi. 26.
() Matt. xxvi. 24. (y) Luke, xxii. 19.
“i for many for the remission of sins.” (x) Giving to these passages their natural and obvious import, it seems impossible to eradicate the doctrine of the atonement for sin, made by Christ's death, from the minds of plain, humble, sincere Christians, so long as the ordinance of the Eucharist continues to be observed with reference to the time and manner of its institution. I have not forgotten that a writer of great ingenuity, who seems to have carefully weighed the meaning of all words except those which relate to religious topics, has recently had the boldness to say, that “ If the “ Unitarian Society, on their English Anniversary Fes“ tival, were to consecrate the first goblet to the im66 mortal memory of the great founder of their faith, 6 they would more faithfully copy the spirit of his insti“ tution than any rival creedsmen, and would accom“ plish the association of religion with the natural and “ habitual pleasures of mankind.” (a) But this attempt at transmuting the orgies of Bacchus into a Christian rite will not succeed with those who have beheld by faith “ the Lamb of God, that taketh away " the sins of the world.” (6) No; “ the enemies of this “ heart-reviving truth might as well hope to pierce ". through a coat of mail with a straw, as to reach such
(2) Matt. xxvi. 28.
(a) Synonimic Elucidations, in Athenæum, vol. iv. p. 497. Such of my readers as wish to judge fully of this writer's horrid perversion of terms in allusion to the most solemn of all religious ordinances, may peruse an account of the “Unitarian Tavern Dinner,” in Nos. 7 and 8 of the Freethinking Christian's Magazine ;-a work to which I should not refer, were it not to show that even Infidels, and they of no common kind, are disgusted that this anniversary revel should be misnamed a religious commemoration.
(6) John, i. 29.
“ a truth, defended by such an ordinance as this, by “ any of their trilling sophistries !” (C)
In showing the opinion of the apostles as to this fundamental point, my business must be selection : for no one can read the Epistles without perceiving that the grand object of their authors is to preach “ Christ “ crucified ;” and that for every reference to the life of the Redeemer there may be found at least ten triumphant appeals to the benefits resulting from his death. Thus St. Paul: “ God forbid (or let it not be) that “ I should glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus “ Christ.” “ Christ our passover is sacrificed in our “ stead.” “ Christ died in due season for the un“ godly : while we were still sinners Christ died for “ us.” “ Through our Lord Jesus Christ we have 6 now received the reconciliation." “ Ye have been « bought with a price.” “ Christ died for our sins, “ according to the Scriptures.” “ Christ died for all, “ that those who live should no longer live to them“ selves, but to him who died and rose again for them.” “ God hath made him who knew no sin to be a sin for “ us.” Thus, “ he hath favoured us through the “ beloved Son; through whom we have redemption by “ his blood, even forgiveness of our offences.” “ Re“ conciling both unto God in one body by the cross." “ Christ gave himself up for us, an offering and a “ sacrifice to God.” “ Christ Jesus gave himself a “ ransom for all.” “ Who gave himself for us that “ he might redeem us from all iniquity.” “ Christ “ by his own blood obtained an everlasting redemp“ tion." "Where a covenant is, there is a necessity
(c) Doddridge's Fam. Expos. note f, on Matt. xxvi.
“ for the death of that which establishes the cove“ nant.” “ So Christ was offered once to bear away “the sins of the many.” “He who despised the law “ of Moses died without mercy; of how much greater “punishment, think ye, will he be deemed worthy who “ hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath “ counted the blood of the covenant, by which he was “ sanctified, an unholy (or unimportant] thing." (c)
As these texts are of themselves sufficient to establish the point in question, I shall merely quote one or two from the other apostles: PETER, for example, says, “ Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as “ with silver and gold, from your vain behaviour deli“ vered down by your fathers ; but with the precious 6 blood of Christ, as of a spotless and unblemished “ Lamb.” “ Christ suffered for you :" " and himself " bare our sins in his own body on the cross.” “ Christ “ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighte66 ous, that he might bring us to God.” And to the same purpose is the language of John: “ The blood of 66 Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sins.” “ Jesus “ Christ is the propitiation for our sins ; and not for “ ours only, but also for the whole world.” “ Herein " is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, 66 and sent his Son, to be a propitiation for our 66 sins.” (d)
(c) Gal. vi. 14. 1 Cor. v. 7. Rom. v. 6, 8, 11. I Cor. vi. 20. xv. 3. 2 Cor. v. 15, 21. Eph. i. 7. ü. 16. v. 2. 1 Tim. ï. 6. Tit. ï. 14. Heb. ix, 11, 16, 28. x. 28, 29. See also Heb. ii. 10, and ix. 22.
(d) 1 Pet. i. 18, 19. ii. 21, 24. iii. 18. 1 John, i. 7. ii. 2. iv. 10. Consult also Rev. i. 5. v. 9. xiii. 8.
Objections are sometimes raised upon a mere misunderstanding of the
Surely, if language have any definite meaning, these texts declare the innocence of Jesus Christ who suffered, and the iniquities of those for whom he suffered ; they declare, that a righteous person died for the guilty, and that thereby the guilty were saved. Hence arises the grand difference between the dispensations of the Law and of Grace. The law requires perfect obedience and satisfaction to be wrought out in our persons ; grace allows of the obedience and satisfaction of a substitute. The law makes no allowance for the least failure, but says, “ He that offendeth in the least " tittle is guilty of all; the soul that sinneth shall die:” Grace says, “ If any man sin, we have an advocate " with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” The Law demands sternly, “Pay me that thou owest:" but Grace points « to the hand-writing of ordinances, 66 blotted out and cancelled by the blood of Jesus ;” so that we can say, “ Behold, O God, our shield, and “ look upon the face of thine Anointed," who manifested his love to his friend Lazarus by his tears, and to us by shedding his blood for us, while we were enemies !
“ A truth so strange, 'twere bold to think it true;
It is the great glory of the Gospel that it gives such a satisfactory account of the method whereby sin may be
terms. Thus, the language, he “bare the sins of many,” and he was
numbered with the transgressors,” implies that he was treated as a guilty person ; guilt was imputed to him. The interpretation is unobjectionable, if we distinguish, as accurate theologians always do, between " guilt in the sense of legal answerableness (reatus), and of blamewor" thiness (culpa);” and remember that it is in the former sense alone that we here employ it.