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or, in short, alleviate any how the uneasiness we have occasioned, we are bound to do so. produce shame, but it is false shame. It is false shame-but true magnanimity. But whether shame or magnanimity, it is to be, if we would obtain remission from God of our fault through the merits and death of Christ, by means on our part of a hearty, unreserved, unfeigned repentance.
COLOSSIANS I. 12, 13, 14..
Giving thanks unto the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son; in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
It is observable, in the ordinary course of God's providence, that a variety of ends are sometimes brought about by the same means; and it is not unnatural to expect something of the same contrivance in his extraordinary interpositions. Agreeable to this, the death and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ was probably subservient to many beneficial purposes to one part or other of the universe, and to more than we can understand. Therefore, I question whether those proceed upon any good authority, who propose one single end and use of the death of Christ, as exclusive of all others, or as the only end designed by it, all other being accidental consequences
or figurative applications. The death of Christ is represented as a sacrifice of the same nature, but of superior efficacy, with the Jewish sacrifice of old. Again, it is represented as a price paid for our redemption from sin and death, like the ransom that is paid when captives are redeemed and set at liberty. Again, it is considered as a martyrdom calculated to testify the truth and sincerity of our Lord's profession. Again, it is an exalted instance of love and affection to mankind; for, although he foresaw all along that this would be the consequence of his undertaking, yet, because he loved us, he would not desist from his ministry, though it cost him his life. It may be again conceived, and is in Scripture conceived, that the death of Christ is a pattern to us of patience and humility, of fortitude and resolution in our benevolent endeavours, and firm constancy against whatever man was able to inflict or threaten. Others, lastly, represent it as the method by which God testified his utter and irreconcilable hatred to sin, which nothing was allowed to expiate but the blood of his own Son, and his love also to his creatures, who gave his own Son to die for our sins. But why might not the death of Christ be all these? There are separate passages of Scripture where each one of these is spoken of as the end and effect of Christ's death; and to suppose that but one of those is the strict and literal account, and that all the rest are to be taken in a figurative
or some qualified sense, is bringing great and unnecessary difficulties into the interpretation of Scripture. These ends are all consistent with one another; and it is surely no defect in a scheme, that it serves many purposes at the same time-on the contrary, it affords a striking proof of the wisdom of the contriver; and if he contrive some of them plainly and others figuratively to express what he wants, they may be all equally real ends and equally appropriate for it is very necessary, in explaining Scripture, to observe, that when a reason, or motive, or end is assigned for a thing, it does not imply that this is the only reason, or motive, or end, though no other be mentioned possibly in that passage. Thus, in one place of the Old Testament it is said that God would deliver Jerusalem "for his servant David's sake." No other reason is mentioned here; but turn to the prophet Isaiah, and you there find that God would deliver Jerusalem " for mine own name şake and my servant David's sake." God's distinguished indulgence to the house of Israel is described to be sometimes for Jacob's sake, for his ancestor's sake, for God's own name sake, for his truth's sake, for his mercy's sake. All I wish to be observed is, that these reasons are not applicable to one, but are regarded as so many concurring motives and reasons for the same measure. I mean that, in order to give an adequate sense and substance to many passages of Scripture, it is necessary
to regard the manner of the writers; and that this regard may be without unfairness extended to the death of Christ.
The various ends of Christ's death may be divided into two kinds-the spiritual and moral. The spiritual consists in the benefit it procured us in the attainability of final salvation. The full nature and extent of this benefit, or in what precise way the death of Christ operates to produce it, needs not perhaps be perfectly understood. Reflect how little we know of the laws of nature, as they are called, or the laws and regulations by which the world of spirits is governed; still less of the lives which we shall experience in a world for which we are destined. According to that, the death of Christ may, both in an intelligible and a natural way, have an efficacy in promoting the salvation of human creatures. The moral ends of the death of Christ consist in the additional motives which it furnishes to a life of virtue and religion, as it is a pattern, and example, and encouragement, and incitement to virtue. This last class I propose to make the subject of my present discourse.
It is necessary, in the first place, that nothing I
of this class be construed to exclude the other ; for the most probable opinion seems to me to be, that many and different ends were proposed in the death of Christ-all equally real —none of such single importance as to exclude the rest. Now the first great lesson which the death of Christ teaches us is