ページの画像
PDF
ePub

to interest themselves in the to forgive and save the sinner cause of missions, which is the that believeth in Jesus. And how cause of truth,—the cause of it answers this end, has been God. And with their pecuniary shown. But its being rendered contributions, and other exer- consistent with justice, for God tions in this cause, let them be to forgive the sinner upon his importunate at the throne of repentance, is a different thing grace for a divine blessing to from his actual forgiveness : por crown their labors with success; doth this of itself bring God that from the rising of the sun under any obligation, in point even unto the going down of the of doing justice to the sinner, same, the name of God may be to forgive him. If the obstacles, great among the Gentiles ; and which lay in the way of sinners' that in every place incense may be being forgiven by God consistoffered unto him and a pure ently with justice, are removed, offering. Amen.

God may forgive him if he sees JOHN TREADWELL,

fit. Nevertheless, as the sinner

Chairman. is still as much to blame as ever, Passed by the Board of Trustees and, personally considered, as January 9th, 1806.

deserving of the wrath of God, Attest,

God would still be just-he ABEL Flint, Secretary. would do the sinner no wrong,

if he should punish him. The sinner's desert of punishment is

founded in his criminality. It A Dissertation on the Atonement. consists in or arises from a

crime. In this respect it widely [Concluded from page 258.]

differs from an obligation for UERY III. Does the a- the payment of a sum of money.

tonement made by Christ | The obligation to punishment, destroy or lessen the criminality being founded in criminality, of the sins of those, for whom can never become void, any it was made ; or their desert otherwise than by pardon or forof punishment?

giveness. But the atonement The answer to this query is in is a different thing from the forthe negative. The atonement giveness or pardon of sin. It has not altered the nature of sin renders it possible for pardon to at all. Sin is, in itself, and in be granted consistently with justhe sight of God, the same infi- tice ; but actual pardon is a renitely hateful and criminal thing, lease from the obligation to pun, that it was before. By the ishment, graciously granted by atonement the great evil of sin, God through the atonement. and God's infinite displeasure This dissertation will now be against it, are clearly manifest- closed with some inferences and ed and fully proved. But the remarks. inanifestation or proof of these, 1. From what has been illus. doth not of itself acquit the sin- trated, it may be seen, in what per from guilt, or lessen his de- sense Christ hath made satisface, sert of punishment. The atone- tion to divine justice for sin. ment was designed to render it It has often been said, that consistent with justice, for God Christ once offered up himself

Q

a sacrifice to satisfy divine jus- events, cost what it will, the infitice. This, it will be readily nite evil of sin, and God's infiseen, is a mode of expression nite hatred of it and full purpose somewhat different from those never to countenance it in the found in the scriptures ; and if least, but for ever to condemn it not properly explained, it may and bear the highest testimony possibly excite an idea not alto- against it, and the sinner's real gether agreeable to the truth. desert of the penalty of the law,

There is indeed an import- are all so cearly manifested and ant sense, in which it may be so fully established, that God, on said, that Christ hath satisfied the account of Christ's obedidivine justice for our sins, but ence unto death, can save the not altogether the same with sinner who believeth in Jesus, that in which the word satisfied without injury to his own charis often used. When a man has, acter or to the best good of his either by himself, or by another creatures--without impairing person, paid to his creditor the the authority of his law in their full amount of an obligation for view, and greatly to the glory of a sum of money, the obligation his grace. He can now be just is satisfied or fulfilled, and the to himself and to the system, debt cancelled, and justice will and justify believers in Christ. not allow the creditor to exact | In this respect, his justice is any more. Or suppose

the on- satisfied by the atonement—so ly penalty annexed to the trans- satisfied, as no longer to stand gression of a particular law of in the way, but to admit of, to the state, is a certain pecuniary be consistent with, the salvation fine, or imprisonment for a defi- of believers in Christ. And in nite term of time ; when the this sense God is fully satisfied transgressor of that law, has and perfectly well-pleased with paid the fine, or suffered the im- the atonement, as removing the prisonment, the law is satisfied, obstacles which stood in the way and has no further claim upon of his displaying his grace, conhim by way of punishment.-sistently with his justice, in the But it doth not appear, that recovery and salvation of whom Christ hath so satisfied divine he pleases of the sinful race of justice for the sins of men, as to cancel their liableness to suf- 2. Pardon of sin is as really fer the penalty of the divine law. an act of divine grace, as it The atonement made by Christ would be if granted without any has not destroyed or diminished atonement ; and much more eva their criminality or desert of idently so. Since the atonement punishment ; nor of itself ren- only renders it consistent with dered it inconsistent with distri- divine justice, for God to forbutive or remunerating justice, give sin, but does not oblige him for God to execute the penalty in point of justice to sinners of his law upon them. But by to forgive them ; since even the the atonement the righteousness believing sinner, personally conof God, the justice and perfec- sidered, is as deserving of the tion of his law, the necessity of curse as if no atonement had supporting it, and his unaltera- been made ; it is plainly as reble purpose to support it at all ally an act of divine grace to forgive him, as if there was no death, is but small, will it prove atonement. And since the a- to each of them a clear and contonement displays, in a most vincing manifestation of the clear and striking manner, the perfect righteousness of God's righteousness of the divine law, character, law and government, the infinite evil of sin, the ne- of the infinite evil of sin and cessity of God's infinite displea- God's infinite hatred of it, and sure against it, and the sinner's the sinner's real desert of the real desert of the threatened curse, and establish them in the curse ; it much more evidently belief and feeling acknowledg. appears, than it would otherwise ment of these truths, and of have appeared, that his forgive- God's unalterable purpose for ness is the effect and fruit of ever to maintain and support the mere grace.

man.

If the believer honor and authority of his law, hath any claim to pardon, it is and to bear the highest testimonot upon the footing of divine ny against sin? And will it justice, but of gracious, divine not prove the same to, and promise.

have the same effect upon the 3. It may hence appear, that minds of each and every one of the atonement made by Christ all those, who so understand and is as sufficient for the salvation believe the character of Christ of innumerable multitudes, as and the design and import of his of ever so small a number. death, though they amount to

If the number to be saved ever so many myriads, and mywas ever so small, it would still riads of myriads ? It evidently be necessary, that God's true will.—The atonement, then, is character should be clearly man- just as sufficient for the greatest ifested that his righteousness, number, as for the least for the justice of his law, the infi- the whole, as for only a part of nite evil of sin, the perfect op- mankind. Of consequence, its position of God's heart to it, not issuing in the salvation of all and the sinner's real desert of men is not owing to any defithe curse should be clearly and ciency in the atonement, but to incontestably declared and prove its not being understood and ed, and the honor and author- cordially believed and embraced ity of the divine law and gov- by all. Why God does not ernment fully supported, as they cause all so to understand and are by the atonement which believe, is an enquiry, to which Christ hath made. And Christ's the limits of this dissertation obedience unto death, in our will not permit me to attempt stead and for our redemption, an answer.

And the too great will have the same effect on all length, to which the dissertation who know and understand and has already been carried, induces cordially believe its import, tho' me but barely to mention the they be ever so many myriads, remaining inferences and reas if they were but few in num- marks, without subjoining the ber. If the number of those, further illustrations, which had who understand and believe and been contemplated. cordially approve the character 4. The atonement made by of Christ, and the design and Christ manifests and displays, in import of his obedience upto la striking light, not only the jus

tice and wrath of God, but like-nation, because few ever enjoyed wise his unsearchable wisdom, so many outward advantagesy his amazing goodness, his bound- and so many influences of the less love and infinite grace.

Spirit.” 5. It holds forth motives in. “ Thursday evening, May 3. finitely weighty to a cordial re. I have been at prayer, and blesconciliation to God.

sed be God, I cannot but hope I 6. They who continue in | have been heard. I hope I had heart unreconciled to God, are some imperfect view of God's far more criminal, and deserve excellency, and some sincere a far more intolerable panish- desire to be devoted to his serment, than if no atonement hadvice, and conformed to his imbeen made or revealed.

age.

I think I could heartily 7. The scriptures, by reveal- condemn myself, and fly to Jeing the atonement, exhibit a far sus for salvation. My vileness, more grand and glorious idea of pride, and insufficiency for the God, than ever entered, or can least good, never appeared so enter, the mind of man, from great. I hope I was, in some any other conceivable source. measure, humbled, and taught

8. The doctrine of the atone- my dependence. I think I had ment made by Christ, as exhib- a disposition to pray that the ited in the sacred books of the divine glory might be advanced, Old and New Testament, car- that the kingdom of God might ries upon its face the stamp of come and his will be done, and divinity, and furnishes a strong that I might be used as an inproof of the divine inspiration strument for that end, though at and truth of the scriptures. the expense of every temporal PAREPIDEMOS. enjoyment. I think I took a

pleasure in praying for my friends, and for all mankind.This cannot but afford me some

present consolation ; but I am Memoir of the Rev. Lynde Hun

too suspicious of my treachertington.

ous heart, to place very great (Concluded from p. 268.)

dependence upon it. I think,

however, I can safely say, that ORD's day, Jan. 1, 1792. it gives me some courage and

My years are rapidly strength to run the ways of God's filling up, and my measure of commands. I beg that Ged iniquity as fast! I have just ri- would assist me in performing sen from the table of the Lord, a resolution of rising seasonably. know not that I have any rea- Loss of time, especially in sleep, son to think better of myself, has been one of my greatest than that I have eaten and drun- sins, and one which most easily ken judgment to myself. If God besets me. I feel, more than do not deliver me from my pre-ever, the need of divine assistsent course, the day of accounts ance; and divine assistance newill be inconceivably awful to verappeared more all-sufficient." me! I seriously believe, that very After this he again becomes few among the human race will involved in darkness, which caumeet a more aggravated condem. I sed him to fear that he had no

"L

portion in God. He then had songs of eternity, which never light again

could have existed, but by the “ Tuesday morning, June 12. introduction of sin." The last account I wrote of “ Lord's day, P. M. August 5. myself was that I had no God This day I hope long to rememto go to. I humbly hope, I can ber as a good day to my soul. now say, though with a feeble, I have been at the table of the faultering voice, that God is my Lord, and I humbly hope he has chosen portion. He offers him- given me to eat of the bread of self, through Christ, to every life. I hope he has given me one that will accept of him. this day some degree of spiritAnd yet all reject the infinitely ual nourishment. I trust his valuable gift, until he constrains banner over me has been love. I them, by his power, to choose it. was enabled, in the morning, to I humbly hope his power has enter into covenant with more wrought so effectually in me, as freedom, and entire resignation at least, to enable me to say, than common, perhaps than ever Lord, I would believe, help thou before. I had clearer views of mine unbelief. I hope God has my own sinfulness, and greater taught me, that in myself is nei- willingness in confessing it. Its ther righteousness nor strength; evil appeared greater, and the but that in Christ Jesus there is sufficiency and glory of the way both ; and that the only way of of redemption from it more becoming possessed of them is conspicuous than I remember to by faith.

have experienced before. I “ Lord's day evening, July 22. think I could heartily renounce The week past I have been read all pretence to, or dependence ing Dr. Bellamy's sermons on on any thing in myself to prothe Divinity of Christ, the Mil-cure the divine favor, and look lennium, and the wisdom of God to Christ as an all-sufficient and in the permission of sin. I trust willing Saviour, in whom the it has, by God's blessing, been Father is well pleased, through an instructive book to me. I whom he can consistently with, think it has opened to my mind, and greatly to the honor of all and justified the ways of God his perfections, forgive and bless towards his creatures. It has with everlasting life, the guilty dispelled some of those clouds, children of men. The way of which have often interrupted my salvation appeared to be the gossight of the divine amiableness pel of grace a great and gloriand glory. I have seen, more ous gift to the undeserving. I than ever, the sinfulness, the hope I saw, in some degree, the great evil of sin, and the justice love of God in it. I hope I felt, of God in punishing it, his mer- though infinitely less than I cy in pardoning it, the glory ought, grateful for God's unwhich will redound to his name speakable gift. And now what by its existence, and the increase shall I render to God's for all of happiness it will produce in his goodness and mercy tothe moral system. Preserving wards me! I have been promis. love to angels, and redeeming ing to live a life of new obedi. love to men, will add sweetness ence! and oh, that I could perto the delight, and life to the form ? But alas! amidst my

« 前へ次へ »