« VorigeDoorgaan »
the doctrine of sacrifices, and the ment, “ For the life of the flesh is in
the blood, and I have given it to you modification which it must necessa- the
: upon the altar, to make an atonement rily occasion, in regard to any uni
for your lives; for it is the blood, that versal principle respecting them, is
maketh an atonement for the life.” If
then, by the phrase vicarious suffering, ber to have seen adequately treated. we denote any evil inflicted on one being We earnestly hope Mr. D. will turn to expiate the sin of another, that is. his attention to it, when he comes to save the other from punishment, again to publish his discourses. It and procure the pardon of his sins :
then it is certain, that the sufferings is a topic worthy of his considera
and death of the animals, sacrificed to tion and of his pen.
make atonement under the Levitical The efficacy of atonement made
Dispensation, were in the strictest according to the prescription of the sense vicarious. In other words, in law, comes next under our author's the sufferings inflicted on the animal consideration. But here we must in taking away his life, there was a tylet him speak for himself.
pical manifestation of the anger of
God, which was instead of the real The owner of the unruly ox, paid a manifestation of it in the punishment sum of money as a civil penalty “ for of the sinner; and the former was acthe ransom of his life.” in the case of cepted by God in lieu of the latter.---numbering the people it was atone. pp. 42, 43. ment-money paid, by each man, “ for the ransom of his life." In the case of Mr. D. then proceeds to inquire. the Gibeonites, the anger of God was whether the death of Christ was an turned away, and the famine prevented. atonement for the sins of men ? He In the various cases of recovery from
admits, that our English translation disease, the sins of the individual were
makes use of this phraseology only forgiven. In the cases of unceremonial uncleanness, the ceremonial sins of once, Rom. v. 11; where the the individual were pardoned ; and Greek xatanlaynvis rendered atonewithout making the prescribed atone- ment, which he thinks should have ment it is expressly said that the indi- been rendered reconciliation. But vidual “shall be cut off from Israel." at the time when our version was In the case of consecrations, it procur- made, there can be no doubt that ed the pardon of the priests and the le
the words atonement and reconcilia
the words atonement and rennen vites. In every case of a sin of ignor
tion were often employed synonyance, where atonement was made, as well as in every case of more aggra
mously; so that no error is fairly to vated sins, the sin was forgiven. On
be charged upon the translators the great day of Atonement it pro- here. The proofs that the words cured the forgiveness of “all the ini- inaokopai, ežinao xovai, inaduos, idarquities, and all the transgressions in all anpsov, siopopa, autpov, and a dayua, The sins" of both priests and people, employed by the writers of the New for the preceding year. This language Testament, in reference to the is universal, including every offence death of Christ, mean substantially which was capable of expiation. In
atonement, propiatory sacrifice, sinthe case of Corah, as soon as AARON had made atonement; as well as in offering, is ample, and well executhat of the Moabitish women, when ted. pp. 43--46. Nir. D. thus conPhineas had made atonement; the cludes his argument: plague was stayed, and the people ceased to die ; and in the latter God said of The death of Christ, therefore, was PHINEAS, “ He hath “ turned my wrath inflicted to save men from the punaway from the children of Israel, that I ishment of their sins or to procure their comsumed them not-he was zealous pardon. God “laid on him the iniquifor his God and made sen atonement for ties of us all," or manifested his anger the children of Israel. In addition to against our sins in his sufferings and this it is said, in the official explanation death, that he might not manifest it in of the nature and design of the Atone. our punishment. His sufferings there.
fore were a substitute for the punish to annihilate the guilt of our sins? ment of our sins. p. 46.
That is equally impossible. As it must
forever be a fact, that a given sin now 6. Christ died to reconcile us to past was committed; so it must forever God. In Scripture, the word recon
be a fact, that he who committed it is cile is always employed in respect
+ guilty of its commission. The guilt is
equally a fact with the sin itself. Does to the offending party. He is to be
it mean, to transfer our sins to another? reconciled to the party offended; That also is physically impossible. A not the party offended to him. The given sin when committed, is an act, English language now employs the past, and irrevocable: an act concernword in the latter sense ; but it was ing which it must forever be true, that not so used, when our version of it was performed by the sinner himself, the Scriptures was made. An at- and not by another. Does it mean, to tention to this exclusive mode of transfer the guilt of our sins to another?
This is po less an impossibility. Guilt employing the word reconcile in
is inseparably connected with sin; and Scripture, would make the head
as it never can be true, with regard to which we are now reviewing more a given sin, that any one but the sinner definite and exact. The conse- committed it, so it never can be true, quence of our reconciliation to God that any one else is guilty of its comis, that he does not impute our tres mission. Will it be said that it depasses to us. But the reconcilia- notes to remove our sinfulness?-I ask tion itself is a different thing from
again, What is the meaning of the this.
phrase to remove our sinfulness ?--Does
:.: sinfulness here mean guilt? But to re7. Christ bore our sins or ini
to move the guilt of sin, we have just seen quities in his sufferings and death. impossible. Does it mean, to remove Here is a fundamental point, on our sinful dispositions ?-our propensiwhich the doctrine of vicarious suf- ties to sin ? and thus to reform us or fering mainly rests. Our author sanctify us ?--After a careful examinafelt it to be so, and has advanced to tion, I have not been able to find a his work, by aiming (as he should passage in the sacred volume, in which do) at plain and perspicuous defi
either of the verbs translated to bear,
is connected with a word, the approprinitions.
ate or customary meaning of which is
sinfulness, sinful dispositions, or proTo the phrase to bear sin, two very pensities to sin ;--not a passage in Gifferent meanings have been attach- which it is not connected with sin, or ed: 1. That of bearing them away, in transgression, as a fact, an act committed, the sense of removing them; and 2. or with iniquity, as guilt actually incur. That of bearing them as a burden, in red by such an act. To explain it by the the sense of bearing with them, or en. phrase, to remove our sins, in the sense of during them, on the part of him who is removing our sinful inclinations, is thereoffended, and of bearing or enduring
fore to take for granted the point in their punishment, on the part of the
debate, and that too in direct opposition offender, or of a third party who takes
to the uniform language of the scriphis place, or suffers on his account.
tures; and to explain it by the phrase, In investigating this point, it may be
to remove our sins, in the sense of causing proper to ask, What is meant by the
them to cease to erist, i. e. of annihilating phrase to remove our sins, or to remove
them, implies as we have seen a direct our iniquities ?-Does it mean, to anni
absurdity. pp. 49,50. hilate our sins ? That, in the very nature of things is impossible. A sin is
It is indeed true, as Mr. Dwight a fact,-a transgression actually committed :-and to annihilate a fact, to
avers, that son sin, jw iniquity, and bring it to pass, after a sin is once
yuis transgression, are every where committed, that it shall not have been employed in the Old Testament, to committed,-is not within the reach denote acts of sin, and not evil or even of Omnipotence.-Does it mean sinful disposition. There can be
no doubt, that the prominent ob- gested, he will guard, in his next ject of the sufferings of Christ, as edition, against that mode of reprepresented by the Scriptures, was, resenting the subject, on which we to remove the penalty due to sin- have now remarked. ners, for the violation of the divine In the fiebrew Scriptures, to law. But Mr. D. will surely (as bear sin or iniquity is expressed by we do) accord with the apostle, in using the verbs 20, which signifies Heb. ix. 13, 14, who tells us, that to bear a burden or heavy load, and “ if the blood of bulls and goats, sign, which means to raise or lift and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling up, and more commonly to bear the unclean sanctified to the puri- away, to suffer, endure, to bear the fying of the flesh; much more shall guilt of any one, to take, to take the blood of Christ purge our con- away. sciences from dead works, to serve The first of these words, as conthe living God.” The operation of nected with sin, Mr. D. states is atoning blood in purifying the con- einployed only twice in the Scrip science or mind, (for Ouveronu is here tures. The other is very common, means animus,) is not only express- and is used in a variety of senses, ly asserted here, but in Heb. ix. 9. according to the relation which the x. 1, 2, the imperfection of legal subject of the verb (the bearer) sussacrifices is argued, from the fact tains to the offence. When it is that they did not purge or purify said of the party offended, that he the conscience or mind, of those bears sin, the meaning is, that he who presented them. There can bears with it, that is, he overlooks be no doubt then, that Jesus aton- it, pardons it, remits the penalty ing blood in some way effects for due to it. When spoken of the the soul, what the legal sprinkling offender himself, the meaning is, with blood, under the Levitical law, and always is, that he endures the effected for the body ; for this con- penalty due to his offence. When stitutes the very gist of the apostle's it is spoken of a third party, that is comparison.
neither of the offended, nor the And why should we scruple to offender, but of some other person admit this? When the angel de- or thing, which bears the sin of the clared, that the child who was offender, the meaning is necessarily about to be born of a virgin should somewhat different still. It can be called Jesus (that is, Saviour,) imply, in this latter case, only that because he would save his people this third person or thing, bears, from their sins, Mat. i. 21, did he that is, endures, the penalty which not mean to aver, that he would de- was due to the offender, or, endures liver them from the power as well a suffering, which, on the part of as froin the penalty, of their sins ? the lawgiver or sovereign, is accepBeyond all doubt he did ; and there ted as an equivalent for it, so that is as little doubt that Mr. D. him the offender is liberated from the self believes this. But he seems, punishment which was due to him. in the extract above, not to admit All these positions Mr. D. has that atoning blood is applied to re well illustrated, in pp. 50--57. move the sinful disposition or pro- We recommend the attentive peru, pensity of men, that is, not to affect sal of this to all our critical read. their state of mind, but only to re- era, not only on account of the im. move the penalty which they may portance of the subject, but as a have incurred. We are quite per specimen of the happy manner in guaded, that he does not bold to which Mr. D. pursues an impor> such an opinion, and that on re- tant philological investigation. fiewing the considerations just sug. In the New Testament, as one Vol. I.--No. VI.
might very naturally expect, since ferings of Christ, building upon the it was written by Hebrews, the interpretration of the evangelist in phrase to bear sin has the same this case, aver that to bear our sins, meaning as in the Old. When ap- is, in all cases, only to bear them plied to Christ, (who is a third away, to remove them; and this by party, so to speak,) it means, of any means whatever, whether by course, to endure sufferings due to instruction, by moral suasion, or by sinners, that is, to endure that an example which excites to virtue ! which was accepted by the lawgiver This is a difficulty, which Mr. D. and judge of the world, as an equiv. does not seem to have taken inte alent for the penalty due to sinners. view, but which we earnestly re
There is one consideration here, commend to him for examination, which Mr. D. does not appear to in a future edition of his discourses. have noticed, but which will help 8. We are said to be redeemed or to cast light on the phraseology ransomed by the death of Christ. that we are examining. It is this : This might be said, if his death had the Hebrew words, 1780N, jw,and yus served only as an example to exall signify the consequences of sin, cite us to virtue. But does it not, that is, punishment, suffering, as as said by the sacred writers, mean well as the crime itself. When something more? Mr. D. has well Christ, therefore, is said to bear answered this question. our sins, the meaning is plainly, that he bore the consequences of In another passage, his [Paul's] lanour sins, viz. the penalty due to guage is if possible still more inca pathem, that is, sufferings equivalent ble of being misunderstood : “ Christ to the penalty due to them.
hath redeemed us from the curse of the There is a difficulty, also, in re
Law, being made a curse for us; for it
is written, Cursed is every one who gard to the phrases, which Mr.
hangeth on a tree.” The curse of the Dwight quotes, as indicative of the Law is not the transgression of the Law. vicarious sufferings which Christ The Law does not say in pronouncing endured, which he has not noticed. its curse on the sinner, If you transWe allude to the verbs 20 and in gress once, you shall conlinue to transwhich the evangelist Matthew has gress. No Law was ever written in translated by shala and Saotada. this manner. It says, “ The soul that Mat. viii. 17, that is, took off, took
sinneth, it shall die." The curse of the
Law is its penalty, the punishment away, removed. In this passage,
which it threatens to inflict on the they cannot well have any other
transgressor. The evil then from which meaning, as applied by the writer. Christ is here said to redeem us, is Christ had been healing the sick, that manifestation of the anger of God and casting out evil spirits, Mat. to which we were doomed by the conviii. 16. By doing this, says the demning sentence of his Law. But evangelist, “ he fulfilled that which when did he thus redeem us?--The was spoken by Isaiah the prophet,
Apostle replies, When he died on the
tree.--And in what way?-He again saying, Himself (daba) removed,
answers, By being made a Curse for bore away, our infirmities, and (&laotaos) removed, took off, our death, as an infliction for our sins. But diseases." Now Jesus did not do how came he to be nailed to the tree? this by enduring sickness and dis- The whole company of the Apostles inease in his own body, in order to form us that he was delivered by the des cure those who were afflicted with terminale counsel and foreknowledge of them. He took away, removed,
God; and from Isaiah we learn that sickness and infirmity, by a single
; "it pleased JEHOVAH to bruise him, and
put him to grief;" and that JEHOVAH word or command. Why now may laid on him the iniquities of us all.” It not an objector to the vicarious suf- was JEHOVAH then who inflicted upon
hiin sufferings and death as a Curse, that he hath redeemed us from the that we might be redeemed from the curse of the law, being made a curse curse of the Law, the punishment to for us; and that by his death we are which we were doomed in consequence reconciled to God? Do the Scriptures of our sins. If then Christ had not say this of Paul ?--But why not? --The been made a Curse for us, we must death of Jesus merely proved his sinhave endured the punishment due to cerity, and the death of Paul proved our sins. His sufferings were there- his; and both were preachers of the fore in the stead of the punishment of same gospel. If then the phrases, bearour sins. pp. 59, 60,
ing our sins, being made a curse for us, and others like them when applied to
Christ, mean nothing but his dying to With this head Mr. D. concludes prove his sincerity; they are just as apthe second part of his discourses. plicable to any other martyr, as to JeOf all the considerations presented, Sus; and Paul is, in the same sense of we deem those most important, and the word with Jesus, the Saviour of the most directly to the author's pur
world, and the Redeemer of mankind. nose which have respect to Christ pose, which have respect to Christ
Then too we may lawfully say, “ I am
determined to know nothing among as a sin-offering, a sacrifice, and as
you save Paul and him crucified." bearing our sins. Explained and
"We preach Paul crucified, unto the urged as these are, and certainly Jews a stumbling-block, and into the explained and urged as they may Greeks foolishness, but unto them who be, could the author have leisure to are saved the power of God.” pp. 64, pursue this very important investi- 65. gation, they exhibit an argument for the vicarious sufferings of Christ, This paragraph shows the manwhich is unanswerable. It remains ner in which the author of these for those who oppose this doctrine, discourses can urge home an arguat any rate, either to answer it, or ment, that cannot fail to be felt by renounce the authority of the sa- his opponents. cred writers to decide the point. II. Christ died in order to set us
We come now to the third part of an example of fortitude. the discouses before us, which is The utter improbability that this appropriated to the examination of was the special object of his death, various theories respecting the ob- is shewn by nine considerations. ject effected by the death of Christ. Two or three of these would be We shall pass them briefly in re- amply sufficient; as the theory view, in the order in which they are which Mr. D. is here opposing, is presented.
only a subordinate part of the views 1. The great end of Christ's of some of his opponents, and hardly death was, to prove his sincerity. needs any thing more than' to be
The refutation of this is ample, prostrated en passant. This Mr. and even superabundant. We pre. D. has not only done, but stamped sent our readers with one of the con- upon it after it is down, and “trisiderations which Mr. D. adduces. turated it fine as the dust.”
III. The end of Christ's death If this theory be true, all the martyrs was to perfect his obedience. deserve the title of Redeemers, Sav Here too, our author enters the jours and Mediators, as truly as Christ; camp of his adversaries triumphant. for they proved their sincerity as fully, But then we have the same remark and in the same manner. Is it then to make as before. This is only a true that Paul died for us, that he died
subordinate consideration with most for our sins, that he died for the forgive
who reject the doctrine of atoneness of our sins; that he “became a sin-offering for us ;” that his death was
ment. Indeed, the thing asserted an atonement for our sins, that he bare is hardly intelligible. To perfect our sins in his own body on the tree; his obcdience! And was not his obe