Page images
PDF
EPUB

of the law on Christ. We simply happy to find by so doing that the quoted the passage containing the agreement between Dr. D. and Dr. 'shadowy difference,'and said in ref. M. is even more unquestionable erence to it, that Dr. D. seemed in and exact than from the ones. this instance, either to use language plained language of the former, wbich conveyed no very definite we had felt authorized to make it. idea, or to be inconsistent with

Dr. D. had passed severe repre. himself, rather than to advance hension on the sermon of Dr. M. any opinion, opposed to Prof. S., and he represents us as telling the or Dr. M.

world “ that the whole ground of It seems hardly necessary to add, all this reprehension is a mere dis. that we had no design to fasten on ference of expression between Dr. Dr. D. the charge of self-contradic. M. and himself." If Dr. I). suption, thongh we confess that, to poses we meant to assert that he avoid imputing to him a sentiment thus severely reprehends Dr. M. which we verily believed he did merely because he has not used the not entertain, we were obliged to consecrated phraseology wbich besay, it looked more like an incon- longs to the subject, while he did sistency with himself, than like an not suppose the opinions of Dr. M. opinion contrary to that of Prof. S. to be reprehensible, he has greatly and Dr. M., especially as the same mistaken us. We expressed our phraseology was repeated in his conviction that he did honestly mis. sermon in opposition to the state. apprehend Dr. M. ; and if Dr. D. ment of Dr. M. that the atonement understands us to say the novel and was a substitute for the execution somewhat peculiar phraseology of of the law. Our difficulty was to Dr. M. occasioned the misappreput the two passages together, so hension, and consequently the sethat Dr. Dana should agree with vere reprehension, of his sermon, the professors and also with him. be understood us correctly; and self, when in one he did so express- we feel competent to defend cur ly declare the same thing that they language thus understood ; remarkdeclare, and in the other furnished ing by the way, that we cannot see it so plausible an occasion for suppos- to be either unjust, or the extreme ing that he held a different opinion. of injustice, simply to say that, og Whether we had reason for feeling account of the peculiar phraseology this difficulty, the passage which of a writer, another has honestly occasioned it must decide.

misapprehended him, and through

such misapprehension, passed a se* Inasmuch as the scripture expressly vere sentence on his production. declares that, in redeeming us from the Regarding then, the peculiar law, he was made a curse for us, we are phraseology of Dr. M. as the source constrained to conclude that his suffering of misapprehension, we did reprewere a substantial execution of the law; a real endurance of the penalty, so far as sent it as the ground of Dr. D.'s the nature of the case admitted or requi.. severe censures ; and we ask, what red."

else could be the ground ? Dr. D.

would have it to be the theory col. It seems, however, Dr. D. did lected from the sermon.

But we not mean by substantial execution

say

the sermon does not contain the of the law, even in connexion with theory : we have shown, as we bethe phrase “ real endurance of the lieve, that it does not. And if it penalty, &c." a literal execution. does not—if the opinions repreAnd whether the sense be gives to hended are not to be found in the the term substantial be authorized sermon, they are not in fact the by usage or not, we are willing to ground of the reprehension, for give up words for things, and are they do not exist. We have no

THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE ATONE-
MENT TO ANSWER FULLY THE END

doubt that Dr. D. supposed other- as possessing a human and divine wise. But we think he errs in this, nature, the fact that the atonement is and therefore say that the novel the only ground of salvation, and and peculiar phraseology of Dr. M. has led to this error and this reprehension, on the ground that there TO BE SECURED BY EXECUTING THE was no other way of accounting PENALTY OF THE LAW ON TRANSfor it. The passage complain- GRESSORS, and especially when we ed of might have been altered for were particular to show in the the better; though it did not strike course of our remarks, that the us as being liable to Dr. D.’s objec- sufficiency of the atonement as the tion.

ground of pardon and salvation, When we suggested that Dr. D. consisted in revealing the divine might have “laboured under an indignation at sin,' and furnishing “a undue influence from rumours that signal and transcendant display of were in circulation," we thought, the whole character of the Deity ;' considering the great severity of his that we should be charged with censures, that it was a charitable' omitting " the atonement itself.It construction, not disrespectful, nor is true so far as the words are conso intended.

cerned we did not specify in this As to what we said of Dr. D.'s summary, the nature of the atonemisrepresenting Dr. Murdock, we ment. But did we not specify the think he will be satistied with the thing? What renders the sufferexplanation already given, that we ings and death of Christ an atonemeant simply misapprehension. In ment? We say, the fact that they this sense, our language surely is equally display the righteousness peither indecorous, nor uncandid. for justice of God, as would the exThat we intended nothing else is ecution of the penalty of the law on apparent on the page where the sinners. Not so Dr. Dana, if we word is found.

understand him. He evidently sup We pass over for the present the poses that in unfolding the nature consideration of the passage con

of the alonement we must go fur. cerning which Dr. D. complains ther, and show how the sofferings of that it represents bim as proceed. Christ make this display of God's ing, in the latter part of his dis- righteousness, even to the point of course, on the supposition of a lite- asserting his own views of substitural execution of the law; and pro- tion, vicariousness, &c. Now we ceed to notice another point to deny that “the how" of this diswbich he calls our attention. play of God's righteousness enters

We had made a comparison of properly into the nature of the the sermons in respect to their atonement as a scriptural doctrine. prominent points of doctrine, and We explicitly stated the mode of the asked, whether these were not fact to be in our view pbilosophical the great and leading points of ground. It was, in respect to the tbe subject, the whole subject, mode of the fact, that we found all so far as it is a matter of reve- the difference we could find, belation ? Dr. D. answers“ yes, tween Dr. D. and the Professors at with one exception only—the atone- Andover; and hence we considered ment itself.” It strikes us some- ourselves peculiarly happy, that what singularly, that when we bad we had all reached this point, withshown by ample quotations from out falling out by the way. Hence our authors, that they were agreed too, we have ever regarded those as to the necessity of the atonement, of our brethren who bave held difthe fact that an atonement has been ferent views of the mode of the fact, made, the character of the Saviour, those on the one hand who in this

can

respect bave held the doctrine of make this manifestation, could be legal transfer, or literal substitution, an atonement ; or if he can show and those on the other who have that the sufferings of Christ, makdenied it, as still maintaining the ing this manifestation, be the mode scriptural view of the nature of the of the fact what it may, will not atonement; and this on the simple constitute an atonement, then he principle that both hold the grand may claim that Dr. M. bas given fact itself, viz.that the sufferings and us no information,' as to what the death of Christ make the requisite atonement is. True, there may be display of the justice of God, in the

a mode of displaying the justice of pardon of sin. We do not say that God, which shall be essential to the to hold this truth without also hold. fact of such display. But then, the ing the necessity of the atonement, mode which is essential to the fact, &c. is enough to constitute ortho- may not be an essential point of doxy on the general subject, but faith, nor can it be supposed to be that this is orthodoxy in respect to any part of the faith of the great the nature of the atonement. Such body of real Christians. Whether unquestionably has been the esti- then, the mode of the fact be supmate of most of the orthodox of the posed to be by Christ's becoming North, and of the South, or the our sponsor, by a legal transfer of voice of mutual anathema, had long guilt and punishment, or by a literal ago told us to the contrary. With substitution or not, we shall arraign these views of the subject, we ask no man for essential doctrinal de. with what propriety Dr. D. fault on this point, who admits the charge us, with omitting the alone- fact, that the sufferings and death ment itself, in the summary we

of Christ so display the justice gave of the leading and essential of God as to become an adepoints of the general subject? quate and the only ground of the

But we are not alone in fault. remission of sin ; at least we Dr. M. it seems, “in a sermon pro

shall not do this, until the chapter fessedly written on the nature of and verse of the Bible be pointed the atonement, has not informed us out, which unfolds the mode of this what the atonement is.” The term fact, and exhibits it as the 'essence' nature is of various import ; and of the atonement. that Dr. D. and Dr. M. understand But, says Dr.D."the grand defect it in different senses, we need not of this account is, that he [Dr. M,] stop to show. We cannot, howev. represents that as the essence of the er, but think, that when Dr. M. atonement which is one of its apspeaks of the nature of the atone. pendages or results. Because God ment as that which makes a display has set forth Christ as a propitiaof the justice of God equal to, ortion, to declare his righteousness, it greater than, that which would be certainly does not follow, that the made by the execution of the pen- propitiation of Christ, and the manalty on sinners, (we speak not now

ifestation of God's righteousness, of what was necessary to making are synonymous and convertible such display,) be with great accu.

terms." It is true indeed that racy delineates that in the suffer. these terms in this connexion, are ings of Christ, which, so to speak, not exactly synonymous ; but it is constitutes their atoning quality, or equally true that notbing is more which constitutes them an atone- common than to call that which ment. Now if Dr. D. caa show manifests, displays, expresses, &c. that it is not essential to the nature a manifestation, display, &c.; and of the atonement, that it should display the justice of God, or that the * The sufferings of Christ, as we view sufferings of Christ, if they did not them, are a direct and unequalled display

[ocr errors]

we cannot but be surprised that Dr. sion of one point of doctrinal theoloD. should overlook this obvious gy in a sermon, is doctrinal delinfact. Dr. D. admits as unquestion- quency, and also if apparently reable, that the atonement affords an jecting as distinct from really rejecillustrious manifestation of the ling that point, is a sufficient warrighteousness of God; but this man

rant for virtually charging such deifestation is its result, its effect, linquency? Because a preacher, in not its essence.

endeavouring to unfold a particular The essence of the atonement as

part of a great subject, does not we gather it from Dr. D.'s state- dwell on all its bearings and relament consists in " the Saviour's sub- tions, whetber suggested by his text stitution in the place of sinners,” or not, does he theretore deny that the fact “ that his sufferings were the subject has those bearings and vicarious (in the received sense of relations ? Is it a fact, however, of the term,)” and the fact "that that Dr. M. does omit the doctrine they constituted a proper satisfac- of the Saviour's substitution in place tion for sin.” “In these, mainly, of sinners? The question is not consists the essence of the atone- whether be has dwelt on this subject ment”—and the manifestation of so distinctly and fully as was neces. God's righteousness is only “its re- sary to give completeness to his sersult, its effect, and not its essence.” mon in Dr. D.'s judgment ; but has It is not in our power to compare be furnished evidence--even the this statement with any thing which negative evidence of omnission, that Dr. M. has said till we shall have be rejects this doctrine ? We think received a definite explanation of we bave shown the contrary. It is two of its particulars :-first, what true that he has not said, totidem Dr. D. understands to be the 're. verbis, that Christ was a substitute ceived sense of the term vicarious; for sinners, but has he not said the and secondly, what we are to un- thing? For when he says that the derstand by “ a proper satisfaction sufferings of Christ were a substitute for sin," in distinction from “the for the execution of the law, for manifestation of God's righteous. whom would he bave us understand Dess"- keeping in mind that the that they were thus a substitute ? former is to the latter as a cause to Plainly for sinners:--and wbat more its effect, or as the thing itself to its is asserted when it is said that Christ appendage.

was a substitute for sinners. Was Of Dr. M.'s sermon Dr. D. further he a substitute in any other way says that it“ omits and apparently than by his sufferings, and as these rejects the doctrine of the Saviour's sufferings become the ground of resubstitution in the place of sinners, mission to the transgressor? Where &c." We would ask if mere omis. tben is the vast difference which

sotne imagine between saying that of the evil of sin, and the abhorrence the sufferings of Christ were a subwith which God regards it. They are intended primarily for this very, pur

stitute for the execution of the law, pose."--Dr. Wood's Reply to Dr.' Ware, in the true import of tbis language,

and the proposition that Christ was " The object of the death of Christ is

a substitute for sinners.

That there then, to declare, or manifest, that God is

is righieous, and that in the salvation of

any difference worthy of notice sinners, he will support the honour of his except that the former phraseology law and the "interests of virtue."-Letters more specifically states what the to Unitarians, p. 102. How much does substitution respects, our theological this proposition differ from the following? keo bas not yet discovered. On this · The death of Christ is then, a declaration, or manifestation, of the righteous. point we would be learners. Dess of God," &c.

The assertion ibat Dr. M. “ deVol. VI.-No. 12 84

p. 207.

nies Christ's sufferings to be vicari. his sorrow"_and Dr. M. will not difous in the received sense of the term” fer from him here. He may add, assumes that the term vicarious' if he chooses to express himself so, bas but one received sense, whereas that Christ by his suffering satisfied the fact is otherwise. We adverted the law, and if he means by this tbat to the different senses in wbicb the the law was satisfied in regard to the term is applied by different writers end to be answered by the execution to this subject and showed that while of the law on transgressors, Dr. M. Dr. M. denies the sufferings of Christ takes this ground with him it is the to be vicarious in one sense, be fully very thing he labours to show. But admits them to be so in another does Dr. D. urge that Dr. M. makes sense. The discussion need not be the immediate object of Christ's sufrepeated here. *

ferings to be, not the salvation of sinAfter all then, for we are anxious ners, but the manifestation of God's to settle this point, how does it ap- righteousness?

righteousness? Grant this ; but pear that Dr. M. denies that Christ's what is the object of this manifestasufferings were vicarious ? That tion? Does it terminate in itself? Christ suffered, and in our nature, he

Is it a manifestation for the sake of surely does adinit. Unless Christ a manifestation ? No, Dr. M. tells had thus suffered man must have us, its object was the salvation of suidered the penalty of the law :- sinners—" it laid a proper foundathis Dr. M. also admits. Christ's tion for the pardon and salvation of sufferings then are in place of man's sinful men." Nor has be any where suffering : in other words Christ sut- said as Dr. D. more than intimates fered in place of the sinner. It is “ that the manifestation of God's true, the suffering in the one case is righteousness is the sole and exclu. not precisely what the suffering sive end of Christ's death." Dr. would have been in the other case. M.'s reasoning then is this :-Christ Nor does Dr. D. contend that it suffered for sinners—be stepped bemust be. If this does not amount to tween them and the law, and saved the doctrine of substitution or vicari. them from the full weight of its penous suffering, what more will Dr. D. alty, by so suffering in bis own peradd to it, stopping short of a literal son as to answer the same end which and exact substitution. He may if he would have been answered by the please go on to describe Christ's suf- execution of the law itself on the ferings and say that he endured the transgressors. This was satisfying - torturing pains of divine derelic- divine justice in the only supposable tion" and that " no sorrow was like way in which it could be satisfied,

except by a literal transfer of legal

liabilities to Christ or by suffering Magee.-" I have used the expression vicarious import rather than vicarious to

the law to take its course on sinavoid giving any color to the idle charge This was saving us from the made against the doctrine of the atone. curse by being made a curse for us, ment of supposing a real substitution in

so far as the necessary and we may the place of the off mer, and a literal translation of his suilt and punishment to

say admissible import of this lanthe immolated victim. "Dr. Woods. -—“Aguage is concerned according to Dr. literal and exact substitution was impos- D.; for even he rejects the notion sible." Fuller's Dialogue on Substitution. "If no more were meant resumed James add, if he prefers a different phrase

of a legal trapsfer. Dr. D. may than that which he did and suffered is graciously accepted as if it were vurs, I free. ology, this was “a real endurance ly as I have said before, acquiesce in it, of the penalty so far as the nature of But I do not believe, and I can hardly the case admitted or required." But persuade myself that brother Peter believes the obedience and sufferings of

wbile the language is changed, is the Christ to be so ours, that we can properly thing altered? be said to have obeyed and suffered.” But let us look again for a mo

ners.

« PreviousContinue »