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braced with joy .unspeakable. advance in the ways of righteousBut instead of this, so great and ness without the influence of the inveterate is our attachment to Spirit, than the sinner would, sin, that without the impressive, without it, turn to righteousness. persuasive, and transforming in- If we be the children of God, our Auence of God on the heart, lives are spiritual, i. e. not only these offers would certainly be conformable to reason and the rejected, and we should remain dictates of the mind ; not only in the number of those, who will opposite to sensuality and the not come unto Christ, that they law in our members ; but, in a may have life.
manner imperceptible, influenc3. If the preceding observa- ed and directed by the Spirit of tions be true, and the influence God. If we mortify the deeds of the Holy Spirit be essentially of the body, it is through the Spirnecessary to conversion and a it. If we be not in the flesh, holy life ; it is highly important, but in the spirit, the Spirit of that this doctrine should be sen
God dwelleth in us. And, if we sibly felt.
We ought to imbibe have not the Spirit of Christ, we this, as a first principle, that, in are none of his. the work of religion, nothing ef- 4. This doctrine of divine infectual will be accomplished fluence is exceedingly comforta'merely by our own strength; ble to those, who have a just and that therefore reliance is to opinion of their own weakness, be had on the grace of Christ. ignorance, and corruption. How Impressed with this idea, we strong are the temptations, to are humbly to acknowledge be- which Christians fore God our present corruption, times exposed ! How arduous the fatal influence, which sin has is the warfare, in which they obtained over us, and earnestly to are engaged ! How numerous implore, that God would endue their enemies; and how us with divine strength, and di- unequal is their strength to all rect our souls to himself. It is the opposition, which they are by divine influence on the heart, required to encounter ! But God counteracting corrupt inclina- has a perfect knowledge of their tions, weakening the power of situation. He knows every cirsin, and directing the mind to cumstance with regard to them. God as the chief good; it is in He knows the very kind of aid this way, and not by the mere and direction which they need. strength and independent exer- By humble application to him, tion of man, that the obedient ser- accompanied with their own vants of Christ, in allages, have'at- watchful endeavours, they are tained a state of holiness and glory. sure of being saved from the
And if it be important to real- hour of temptation ; not indeed ize this doctrine, in the very out- from being tempted, but from beset of a religious life, in our first ing overcome ;
from being inquiries after salvation; it is tempted beyond what they are no less important, that the Chris- able to resist. God is able to tian realize it, in his endeavours make all grace abound toward after progressive sanctification. them ; to establish and confirm The pious believer will no more them ; to invigorate their reso
lutions, to subdue their sinful body, we shall maintain a con: affections, and to enable them to tinual warfare with sin; we triumph, through Christ Jesus. shall be crucified to the world, The work of our salvation, bless- and the world to us, by the cross ed be God, is not put exclusive of Christ; we shall curb, restrain, ly into our own hands. It is and mortisy those corrupt de: not confided to our own strength. sires and affections, which oppose We are to use the strength com- the gospel ; we shall be spirit: municated from above. It is ually minded, and show that we God that worketh in us to will are risen with Christ, by placing and to do of his good pleasure ; our affections on things above. and therefore we are required We shall be employed, every to work out our salvation with day, in maintaining and strength, fear and trembling.
ening the new and spiritual life. 5. This doctrine of divine in- That day, that month, or that fluence affords great relief to the year, will be viewed by us, as Christian's mind, when he is call: best employed, and as turning to ed to act in perplexing circum- the best account, wherein most stances ; when he is required to has been done for God, and for take some active part, but yet the weakening and subversion knows not, on which side the of sin, in ourselves and others. path of duty lies. He feels dis. The character of God will appear posed to do right, but knows not glorious, sin hateful, and holi: what is right. He then rejoices, ness, above all things, lovely and that there is a Being, of whom desirable. The Spirit of God he can ask wisdom; who is rea excites to humility, and leads us dy to pity the ignorant, and to speak of ourselves, in secret those that are out of the way. Worship, in worse terms, than He knows that in God there is we should think ourselves justi: infinite wisdom ; and after la: fied in applying to any of our menting his own ignorance, and fellow men. imploring divine light and direc- *These are some of the general țion, he feels the burden, in some qualities of those, who are led by measure, removed. He feels a the Spirit, and are the sons of humble hope, that God will lead God. If these qualities be poshim to a right determination sessed by us, we have unspeaka: and suitable conduct. Most ble reason to rejoice and bless Christians are sometimes placed God, and to press on vigorously in such circumstances as these ; after greater attainments. But, and know the feelings, of which if we have them not, it is strongwe are speaking.
ly to be apprehended, that we Lastly, as true believers are are in a state of sin, of danger, said to have the Spirit dwelling and condemnation, and may with in them, it becomes an important good reason be urged- and ex subject of inquiry, whether we horted to flee from the wrath to have this Spirit, or not. And come.
Let every reader bear the apostle gives us a rule, by in remembrance these solemn which this is to be determined. words, in which is a brief descrip: If we are led by the Spirit, we tion both of the righteous and the shall mortify the deeds of the wicked. If ye walk after the
OF CHRIST BRIEFLY EXPLAINED AND DEFENDED
flesh, ye shall die ; but if, through our of all his perfections, and the the Spirit, ye do mortify the deeds interest of his universal king. of the body, ye shall live,
dom, pardon, and justify all those LEIGHTON. who by a true faith are united
to Christ, and so receive the gift
of his righteousness. THE DOCTRINE OF THE ATONE
But to prevent mistake, it MENT
must be carefully observed, that
we are far from imagining that' IN A SERIES OF LETTERS TO
the sins of men were transferred A FRIEND.
into Christ,for in him was no sin. LETTER I.
It is impossible that the act of The Doctrine stated.
one person should, be made the DEAR SIR,
act of another. Nor can the AGREEABLY to your request, criminality, the blameworthi. some thoughts on the Doctrine ness, the desert of punishment, of the Atonement are here offer which is inseparable from sin, ed to your candid consideration. be shifted from the sinner to one A doctrine, which is much ob- who is personally innocent. Far jected to by those who style them- be it from us to imagine that selves rational Christians, and al- Christ became blamable, or that so by some others : but which he deserved punishment, or that seems to be plainly taught in the God was displeased with him, in Scriptures as an important arti- consequence of his becoming cle of the Christian religion. our sponsor, and assuming our
It has been, I think, the gener- guilt, or penal obligation. The al belief of Christians, particular. Pather was ever well pleased in ly, as professed in the Protestant his beloved Son, who was never churches, that the sins of men more the object of his complawere imputed to Christ, or ju- cence,than when he bore our sins dicially charged upon him, as in his own body on the tree. their sponsor : That their guilt, The guilt and punishment of or the obligation they were en- our sins was not deserved by der to suffer deserved punish- him, but he became subject ment, was transferred to him : to it by voluntarily taking this He having by the appointment burden on himself. of God the Father, and his own the punishment of our sins befree consent, undertaken to make came due to him, as being resatisfaction to the law and justice sponsible on our behalf, though of God, by bearing the punish- it was not deserved by him. ment due to their sins, in their We must not then confound stead; that so God's infinite the guilt of sin, with its criminali. hatred of sin and love of right-ty, or desert of punishment. It çousness being fully exercised is true the word is sometimes and expressed, and the ends for used to signify a state of being which the punishment of sin. blamable or faulty. But by the was necessary, as well answered
guilt of sin we understand the as they would have been in the obligation 10 punishment to which punishment of the sinners. He the sinner is subject by the might, consistently with the hon- threatening of the law. In this
sense the word is always used by to Philemon, that if Onesimus had our divines in treating of the re- wronged him, or owed him any demption and satisfaction of thing, he should impute it to him, Christ. Though the demerit of (so it is in the Greek.) He did sin, or its desert of punishment, not mean that Philemon should is inseparable from its evil na- think that Paul had wronged or ture, and it must remain forever owed him, but that he should true that a sinner deserves pun- charge him with whatever Oneishment; and though according simus might owe, and he would to the law every transgression be responsible for it. And he must receive its deserved punish- elsewhere mentions the blessedment, yet the penitent and be- ness of the man, to whom right: lieving sinner may be pardoned, eousness without works is im; and so freed from his guilt or puted. This could not mean penal obligation, in consequence ihat he was judged to be person: of Christ's taking it upon him- ally righteous in the eye of the self by the approbation and ap- law. It could not be his own pointment of the Father. Tho' righteousness which was imputthe law and justice of God, and ed to him. For he is described the interest of his kingdom, re- as a pardoned sinner, whose sins quire that sin be punished, yet were covered, and not imputed the sovereign of the world might to him. Though in himself he consistently with justice, and the was not righteous, but a sinner, spirit of the law, so far relax its and God knew him to be such a rigor as to transfer the penal ob- one, yet he did not impute sin, ligation of sinners to their ap- but imputed righteousness to proved and authorized sponsor, bim : that is, he freed him from who by suffering the penalty of guilt, and exposedness to punthe law in their stead has freed ishment, as if he had not sinned, all penitent believers from their and accepted him as righteous, guilt or exposedness to deseryed and entitled to the reward of punishment, his satisfaction and righteousness, on account of the merit being accepted in their righteousness of his sponsor giv, behalf, as equivalent, and answer- en and imputed to him. ing all the ends for which the How this transferring of the punishment of sin is necessary. guilt of sin, and the rights of
To impute sin, or righteous. righteousness, is consistent with ness to any one, in the language the justice and truth of God, of the Scriptures, does not mean may perhaps be considered here, the same with judging that he after. In the mean time, if this had sinned, or that he is in him should appear to be the doctrine self a righteous person. Toim- of the Scriptures, we should be pute sin to a person, is to charge cautious of objecting to it, tho' it to him so far as to hold him our reason should be puzzled in subject to the penalty thereto accounting for it. Let us then annexed, as if he had sinned. To have recourse to the law and to the impute righteousness is to accept testimony, searching the Scripe one as entitled to the rewards of tures whether these things are so. righteousness, as if he were a If we should not be thought wore righteous person. So Paul wrote thy to rank with the rational
AGED MINISTER TO A YOUNG
Christians, yet if we can attain to sublime ; with the simple mabe scriptural ones, we may think jesty, which runs through the ourselves happy. I would, how- whole volume. I mention this ever, not neglect to use, as well now, because many of these speas I can, the small share of rea- cimens will meet us, while we son which God has given me, are pursuing the first object ; in investigating and ascertaining and may therefore be minuted the true meaning of the divine as we go along. But they will oracles, by comparing more ob- deserve to be made a distinct scure or ambiguous passages branch of study. Where else with those whose meaning is can we find the truths of religion more plain and determinate. To conveyed with such majesty ; or explain the Scriptures by the in a manner, which awakes such Scriptures seems to be a rational, great and exalted sentiments ? as well as approved method of I doubt not it has often occurrprocedure. May God assist and ed to you, whether prayer, which succeed the attempt. With re- constitutes so important a part of spect and affection, your friend, ' the public exercises, should not
Christian of the ancient School. be more premeditated, than it of(To be continued.)
ten is ; and have more of mean
ing, and be more inspired, enORIGINAL LETTERS, FROM AN
riched, and diversified with the varieties of sublime and impres
sive devotional matter, which
No. 3.* the Scriptures furnish. Improve My Dear Sir,
then upon those, who have gone I SHALL join my poor peti- before you. In this there is a tions, that He who "giveth liv- large field open for it. It is easy erally,” may be with you in the to observe who has not attended important design you mention. enough to this branch of study.
And when that first object, that But accept it as a proof of sinceriof collecting together the doc- ty, that I dare not omit a hint of trines, and the sentiments of this nature, though it brings up Revelation, is accomplished, a in a strong view, my own deficiensecond will naturally come in cy. It is nevertheless true, that view ;—that of studying the tran- prayer, though I believe it should scendent eloquence of those divine be generally more compendious, writings, and enriching the mind than it is, might become as inby attentively noting the varie- teresting, as any part of public ties of energetic expression with exercise, and such it ought to be. which great truths are convey. Such it was, indeed, where Coled; the numerous striking fig- man, the two Coopers, President ures, and turns of thought ; and Davies, and a few more officiated. the inimitable specimens of the And it may be again, if with the beautiful, the pathetic, and the attentions now hinted, the Spirit
of grace and supplication shall * No. 2 of these Letters has been concur, which, that we may both unfortunately lost. We will thank experience, is the continual wish our Correspondent to forward anoth- of your friend, &c. er copy.