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dience “ who knew no sin,” always been known, in which it was difficult perfect? All that could be added io to produce conviction. In some of it, then, by his death, so far as this these states it has not been necessary view of the subject is concerned,
to announce the universal pardon or was, that one more act of obedience offences in order to inspire transgress
ors with the hope of obtaining it. The was joined on to those already done.
indiscreet multiplication of pardons or If you say, This was a high and pe- the part of the government, has been culiar act of obedience ; we grant so efficacious in diffusing this hope, it. But what was the object ? For that the prisons have overflowed with an example to others. This is well, the expectants of its clemency. In the in respect to those who are called Bible--the statute-book by which God to martyrdom. But surely these
governs his kingdom in this worldmake up but a very small part of
there are numerous clauses which at
and beyond all doubt mankind. Was there any merit in have been very generally believed, to this obedience, which accrued to threaten transgressors with punishthe benefit of others? If you allow ment; and that too neither very mild this, then you come at once to the in degree, nor very short in duration. ground, that the sufferings of Christ, Yet, with these minatory clauses starin some sense at least, were of a
ing them in the face, mankind have to vicarious nature. We recommend
a prodigious extent believed, and been to Mr. D. greatly to abridge and tainly pardon them, either whenever
fully persuaded, that God would cercompress this head, in the next edi. they should repent, or without any retion.
pentance at all. The history of the IV. The death of Christ was to world ever has been, and now is, e furnish a sign, a token, that God is practical comment upon this persuawilling to pardon the penitent. sion. If then these minatory clauses We suppose Mr. D. means to
could have been expunged, or had not say, that the death of Christ is re
been inserted; the persuasion that
God would pardon the penitent, would garded by some, as a sign or sym- have been universal. All that was ne. bol for confirmation of the assurance that sinners may be pardoned Ruler, to secure the most implicit cre
cessary on the part of the Supreme in case of penitence. That there dence in this his gracious intention, was no need of such a symbol, in was to announce it ; and mankind order to produce in men à disposi- would have gladly believed it without tion to believe in God's pardoning evidence.—pp. 83, 84. mercy, Mr. D. illustrates as follows :
Mr. D. then proceeds with other
considerations, which show the utIf a ruler is in fact willing to ter futility of such a theory as that pardon those, who have transgressed which he is opposing. We think the laws; there cannot, in the nature he may well omit the third, fourth, of the case, be any difficulty in per- fifth, sixth, and seventh arguments. suading them to believe it. The only The others may be compressed to alternative in his treatment of them is
advantage. There will then be punishment, or pardon. But they certainly do not wish to be punished; enough to render futile, such an and as certainly they do wish to be undefined and undefinable theory pardoned, or exempted from punish- as that in question ; we had almost ment. And the same motives, which added, these will be more than sufpender them willing to be pardoned, ficient to meet such a puerile effort would render them willing to believe, to explain away the great doctrine if the fact were really so, that the ru
of vicarious sacrifice. ler was willing to pardon them. The human mind is always willing to be
V. Christ died to prove the resurlieve what it wishes, even against evi- rection of the body. That such an dence; but where evidence and incli- idea has been thrown out, by those nation coincide, the case has never yet who oppose the doctrine of atone
ment, we do not deny. But we are this case, and which showed the ennot acquainted with any writers of tire inconsistency of his opponents. note, who maintain that this was a And when he says that “ Christ is great or principal object of the risen from the dead, and become death of Christ. Mr. D. has in- the first fruits of those who slept,” deed, crushed the whole structure the meaning is simply that he, first to atoms, which has been erected of all, and pre-eminently, has risen upon this; if indeed any one has from the dead, prepared to “ascend ever been so bereaved of his senses to his father and our Father, to his as to erect one. We cannot well God and our God.” account for it, that our author But where is the assertion that should make so much of his scheme, his resurrection proved the docand bring ten arguments to refute trine of a general resurrection ? An what ten sentences might have argument of an analogical nature, done.
it may in some measure afford. As In the course of his argument, Christ, who possessed a nature and he admits, without any question, a body truly human, did rise from that the resurrection of Christ does the grave, and ascend to heaven, so prove the doctrine of a general re- the possibility, that those who are surrection, but says that this was his true followers may imitate him only an incidental end, not the prin- in this respect, is doubtless shown. cipal object of Christ's death. But But then, how many things were atwe do not agree, even so far, with tached to the person and nature of the theorists whom he is now op- Christ, in various respects, which posing. We have pretty strong afford no good ground for analogisensations of something paradox- cal reasoning. For example, he ical in the very statement of the was “holy, harmless, undefiled, theory. The resurrection of Christ, separate from sinners."
In none if any thing, must prove the gener- of these respects is the analogy to al resurrection. But how the death be complete in regard to us, in the of Christ can prove a resurrection, present world. And surely, analomuch more, a general one, we have gy is the only ground of reasoning, not eyes to see.
in the case in question. How can will say,
" He could not it be proved, then, that all which rise unless he first died.” Good; has taken place, in respect to and he could not die, if he had not Christ's human nature, must take been born and lived. The birth of place in regard to ours ? Christ, then, and the life of Christ, We believe, indeed, in the docjust as much prove the doctrine of trine of a general resurrection. But a general resurrection, as his death. we do not see, how the fact that the
But we go farther, and aver that Son of God, the Redeemer of men, even the resurrection of Christ does was raised in a miraculous manner not and cannot prove a general re- from the grave, “ before he saw surrection. The Apostle Paul, in corruption, would necessarily 1 Cor. xv. appeals to the resurrec- prove that all men, good and bad, tion of Christ as a proof that the will be raised to life, after being doctrine of a resurrection may be for ages dissolved to dust, and scattrue, and is no absurdity or impos- tered to the four winds of heaven. sibility. “If, says he, there be no Such a doctrine needs other proof resurrection, (as the heretics aver- than fancied analogy. And those red, whom he is here opposing,) who maintain, that the object of then Christ is not raised." Now as Christ's death was to prove the doc. all admitted this, it was argumen- trino of a general resurrection, not tum ad hominem, which he used in only render themselves obnoxious
to the charge of iotspov potepov, but it irrefragable. If voluntary marof a paralogism which only needs tyrdom can prove the truth of any to be stated in order to be refuted. scheme of religion, then may we We recommend to Mr. D. to an easily have an indefinite number of bridge what he has said in refuta- truths and systems, in direct oppotion of this nonsense, so as to oc
sition to each other, and at war with cupy, at most, but one tenth part of the eternal principles of right and the room, which his arguments wrong: Martyrs enough can alagainst it now occupy:
ways be found, who are willing to VI. The great end of the death sell life for the purchase of posthuof Christ was to prore the truth of mous renown. Christianity.
Under the fourth head, we must This is an allegation often made, introduce Mr. D. to speak for himand greatly insisted on, by many self. who oppose the doctrine of the atonement. Our author first ob- On this supposition, his death ocserves that it would be derogatory No part of the New Testament then
curred at a most unfortunate period. to the character of God, to sup
existed, or for a considerable number pose that he could not prove the of years afterwards; and a large part iruth of Christianity, unless by the had not been even orally communicadeath of Christ. That he could not ted to the Apostles. Christianity, as prove it without using such means, a system of truths, did not exist, exwould indeed be derogatory. But
But cept in the imperfect and uncertain rean opponent might well answer collections of the Apostles. All the here, that he did not choose to
facts and truths which they had forgotprove it in any other way, and by ten, as well as all which had not been infinite wisdom judged this way to
communicated, were lost by his death.
The only hope that the former would be the best. May not the same be recovered, depended on the declarathings be said, in reference to the tion of Christ, "When He, the Spirit death of Christ as an expiatory of- of truth, is come, he shall bring all fering ? That God could not redeem things to your remembrance, whatsomen, in any other way, we suppose
ever I have said unto you;" and the Mr. D. will not assert. That he only hope that the latter would ever did not think proper to do it in any declaration, “ I have yet many things
be known, depended on the similar other way, and that infinite wisdom
to say unto you, but ye cannot bear has judged properly, and in the them now. Howbeit when He, the best manner, is what he would Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide maintain. Might not his opponent you into all the Truth. He sball retake the same ground in the other ceive of mine and show it unto you." case ?
If then Christ died to prove the truth Mr. D. next observes, that as the of Christianity, why did he not defer Mosaic religion was proved to be it until Christianity eristed, until his true without the death of its found- disciples were able to hear the commu
nication of it from his lips, until it was er, so Christianity might have been all communicated and written down, established in a similar way. This and the New Testament completed is sound and conclusive, so far as under his own hand and seal. Had the possibility of the thing is con- this been done, and had Jesus taken cerned. Our author next proceeds the volume thus finished, and declared, to show, briefly, that the death of “I am now going to die, in order to Christ could not, in itself consider- prove the truth of this volume,” the od, prove the truth of Christianity. in it definite and palpable. But what
transaction would have had something On this head, a more powerful ar- was the identical thing then existing, gument might be made out; and which his death proved to be true Mr. D. is abundantly able to render Was it the collection of facts and sen
timents which the Apostles recollected; ing, with any tolerable probability, or was it those which they had forgot the position which he assails. ten, and which the Holy Spirit was to Mr. D. closes the third part of bring to their remembrance; or was it
of his discourses, with a brief exthe farther collection which they could
amination of the theory respecting not bear while Christ was living, and which the Holy Spirit was first to com
the atonement, which Dr. Chanmunicate. pp. 108, 109.
ning has advanced, in his Sermon
at the ordination of the Rev. Jared On the nature of the appeal in Sparks, at Baltimore. This is, Mr. D's fifth argument here, we
" that the Scriptures ascribe the rehave a word to say, by way of cau
mission of sins to Christ's death, tion. Arguments of this nature do with an emphasis so peculiar, that not strike many minds with force. they ought to consider that event The subjective views of the angels, as having a special influence in reand of glorified spirits, are not de- moving punishment, as a condition veloped in Scripture with such par- or method of pardon, without which ticularity that we can often argue repentance would not avail us, at from them without hazard. And least at that extent which is now there is always something too much promised in the Gospel.' ” like an appeal to the imagination, In reply to this, we present our in cases of this nature.
readers, with the manner in which The scene on the mount of trans- Mr. D. parries the thrust of his anfiguration, Mr. D. has so often ad- tagonist and deals his own blows verted to, in the course of his argu- frequent and hard. ments respecting the atonement, that we must beg leave to suggest
It will probably be thought, that this a word of caution, on this subject.
scheme of explaining the death of
Christ, as it is embraced by many, On p. 21, he speaks of this moun
should like the preceding ones, be subtain as being Tabor, as though this
jected to a minute examination. To fact was an established and not a
decline doing this is the result, not of mere conjectural one. So he does
choice, but of necessity. Were it fulagain, pp. 79, 100, 105, and 126. ly bodied forth, so as to be tangible In all these cases, he seems to or even visible, it would be numbered build an argument upon it. Now as a seventh theory, and carefully inveswe can gather nothing more
tigated. But when it is said that with
out the Death of Christ as a condition or specting Christ's death, from the
method of pardon, Repentance would scene of the transfiguration, than
not avail us in procuring it, at least to that it was considered a great event, that extent, which is now promised in and that the minds of the disciples the Gospel ; we are at a loss how to were to be prepared for it by this interpret the language, and we look august exhibition. The particular for additional information on the followobject to be achieved by it, must be
ing points. left to other Scriptures to deter
1. Is it intended that Repentance by mine. We recommend to Mr. D.,
itself, would-procure us an inferior kind
of pardon, less advantageous than that who can use much better argu
now promised ; or that it would avail ments with great skill and power, us to a certain degree, in procuring that to make a more chastised use of now promised, but not altogether; or angelology and pneumatology in his that it actually procures the pardon of next edition.
a certain portion of our sins, but not The remaining considerations of the remainder ? adduced under this head by Mr. D.
2. To what kind of pardon, on the serve to strengthen and fortify the
first supposition; to what degree, on the
second; and to how great a part of it, position which he has taken, and to
on the third ; would Repentance avail show the impossibility of maintain
us, without the Death of Christ !
3. On rchat grounds, would Repent- ulty of meeting all his opponents ance avail us, to that kind; that de- with indignant silence or contempt; gree; or that portion ?
which is an argument more easily 4. Why would not Repentance also
come at, and wielded by him with avail us either to the higher kind; or al
much more skill, than those of a lotogether ; or to procure the remainder?
gical or exegetical nature. “Take 5. On what grounds does the Death care," said a wise monk to his Cathof Christ avail us in thus effecting what olic brother, who was deputed og mere Repentance could not avail; is it an errand to some schismatic Ludirectly as obedience, or suffering; or therans, in order to bring them back indirectly, as it leads us by its moral in
to the faith or to denounce them, fluence to a higher kind of repent
“ take care, that you do not enter ance ?
6. What is the specific difference be- into dispute with them; for this tween those two kinds, or degrees, or
would only be allowing that you portions of our pardon?
think they have some reasons for 7. On the third supposition, why their belief, as well as you ; and cannot the Death of Christ alone and of moreover, it would be letting down itself, avail us in procuring also that
your cause to the examination of part of our pardon, which Repentance grovelling minds, who cannot comavails us to procure ?
8. What passages of Scripture, speak prehend the force of your arguof such an inferior kind of pardon ; or
ments. Silence is the safest course. of the degree to which Repentance If you say nothing, then they will avails us ; or of the portion of our sins have nothing to lay hold of and perfor which it is sufficient ?
vert. Rebuke; frown; show them 9. In what passages of Scripture, is the that you despise their opinions ; Death of Christ spoken of as procuring then they cannot help feeling your a higher kind of pardon; or as eking
superiority.” We strongly suspect out our pardon, by availing us to an
Dr. C. has somewhere met with extent to which Repentance could not avail us? Is it said by the Saviour, this wary advice, and paid more de“ This is my blood of the New Testa- ference to it, than he would acment which is shed to procure a better knowledge himself to be ready to kind of pardon than that which repen- yield to the Church of Rome. But tance would procure ;"-or by Paul, we leave him and Mr. D. to settle « Christ hath fully availed to redeem their own matters, and proceed. us from the curse of the law, when re
The fourth part of our Author's pentance could avail us only in part;"
discourses is occupied with proposor by John, “ The blood of Christ, cleanseth-not from all sin, but-froming and explaining the theory of those more heinous sins, which could atonement which he himself emnot be washed away by the tears of re- braces. After stating the right pentance"?
which is conferred on one individu. Until these points are distinctly sta- al, (in consequence of another's ted, it is not possible to conjecture, having neglected to discharge a what the theory is, nor of course, by duty incumbent upon him, and comparing it with the word of God, to which is a matter of just claim by learn whether it is true or false. This is the only reason, why a more minute the former,) to exact a reparation, and marked attention is not paid to either of the same specific nature what, if fully conceived and fully stated as the duty in question, or an equimight have proved an additional expla- valent for it, or punishment in case nation of this most wonderful event, a law is broken, Mr. D. thus propp. 112, 113.
We hope Dr. Channing may un- These remarks will serve to explain dertake to answer these questions. the general meaning of the word ABut it seems he has the happy fac- tonement. AN ATONEMENT IS THE