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is thus joined with Christ, it would be highly improper to render it in any other way than by the English preposition in. A few expressions from the Epistles to the Corinthians may suffice for examples: "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus"—" Babes in Christ"— "My ways which be in Christ"—" If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature"-" I knew a man in Christ."* The expression i Xg occurs even in the 18th, and again in the 19th verse of the same Chapter with the verse under consideration; and in both plaçes it is justly rendered by our translators "in Christ."-" Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished." "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." It is unquestionably better to say "fallen asleep in Christ," and thus extend the expression to all who have died in a state of union with Christ, than to render it, as Macknight has done, "fallen asleep for Christ," and thus unnecessarily and gratuitously confine it to those "who have suffered death for believing the resurrection of Christ." "Hope in Christ," too, is fully as proper as
hope by Christ." The preposition is sometimes signifies concerning, with respect to, as in Rom. xi. 2. Gal. i. 24. and accordingly the 19th verse might be correctly translated thus; “ If with respect to this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." Why then ought we not to retain the 22d verse as it stands in the common version; " For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive?" The Apostle had said in the verse immediately preceding; "For since di seg, by man came death, di ¿vegway, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." He had thus already taught that by, through, or by means of man death came, and also the resurrection of the dead. He had already shown that Adam is "an instrumental cause of the death specified," and that "the man Christ Jesus," the Son of God in human nature, is the author of that blessed resurrection which awaits the just. When he proceeds to his next sentence, he changes the preposition in both its parts. In place of dia, by, by means of, he says i, in. That he alters the preposition merely for the sake of variety of expression, ought not readily to be conceded. Is it not much more probable that the design of the Apostle, and of the Spirit by whom he was inspired, was to throw additional light upon the subject, and to suggest something relative to the manner in which death comes by the one man, and the resurrection by the other? Is it not clearly intimated, that Adam was not merely "an instrumental
1 Cor. i. 30. ii. 1. iv. 17. 2 Cor. v. 17. xii. 2.
cause of death," but that we died in Adam as our common root and federal representative, in whom we sinned, and so became liable to death; and that Christ, in like manner, is not only the cause of the glorious resurrection of believers, but that this resurrection is the consequence of their relation to him as their spiritual Head and Representative, who fulfilled all righteousness in their room, and rose again from the dead on their behalf? This view of the meaning divests the passage of every appearance of tautology. It tallies best, too, with what the Apostle states in the progress of the chapter, verses 45-49, respecting the first man, and the second man, whom he contrasts together in the public capacity sustained by each. It is powerfully confirmed, in fine, by the doctrine of the same Apostle in Romans v. 12-21, a passage which incontrovertibly establishes at once the imputation of Adam's first disobedience to his posterity, and the imputation of Christ's meritorious righteousness to all believers-two important points which must stand or fall together.
The difficulties with which this subject is attended, ought not to prevent us from acquiescing in the declarations of infinite wisdom. "What we can know," says that eminent Author, whose views on this subject we have taken the liberty to combat, in the same discourse to which we have referred,—" it is our duty and our interest to know. Where knowledge is unattainable, it is both our duty and interest to trust humbly and submissively to the instructions of Him who is THE ONLY WISE."-Amongst the numerous writings on this topic, the serious inquirer might read with profit the remarks of Witsius in another work, an Essay on Original Sin," by the Rev. Thomas Walker of Dundonald, † and President Dickinson's Discourse on Rom. v. 12. ‡
NOTE VIII. Page 40.
The Author's meaning in the last sentence of the 7th Section is so obvious, that the scholastic terms which he here employs, require little explanation. He represents the dignity of our Lord's Divine person, as the principium quod, that is, the great principle which regulates the value of his labours and sufferings, and gives them their boundless worth; while his human nature is the principium quo, that is, the instrumental principle, by means of which they were accomplished.
Economy of the Covenants, book i. ch. 2. sect. 14-18. ch. 8. sect. 30-35. + Essays and Sermons on Doctrinal and Practical Subjects, pp. 1–87. Sermons and Tracts, pp. 164–212.
Witsius justly teaches that Christ suffered both in soul and body —that his soul did not suffer merely from sympathy with his wounded and crucified flesh-that it smarted under the pressure of Divine vengeance, and that the sufferings of his soul were exceedingly se vere, and such as none but THE MIGHTY GOD could have endured. These too are the views of this interesting subject which are generally expressed in the writings of sound Theologians. Some of the readers of Dr Dwight's Theology, however, have been sorry to find that that Author estimates the degree of our Lord's sufferings at a very low rate. He holds, indeed, that " the peculiar agonies which preceded and attended the death of Christ, and in which the atonement made by him for sin peculiarly consisted, were chiefly distresses of mind, and not of body." He even reasons strongly in favour of this doctrine, and confirms it by various cogent proofs. In illus trating the argument which he deduces from our Lord's exclamation on the cross," My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me !" he has the following excellent passage. "The complacency of God, whose mind is infinite, and whose disposition is perfect, is undoubtedly the first of all possible enjoyments. The loss of it, therefore, and the consequent suffering of his hatred and contempt, are undoubtedly the greatest evils which a created mind can suffer; evils which will, in all probability, constitute the primary anguish experienced in the world of woe. Omniscience, and omnipotence, are certainly able to communicate, during even a short time, to a finite mind, such views of the hatred and contempt of God towards sin and sinners, and, of course, towards a Substitute for sinners, as would not only fill its capacity of suffering, but probably put an end to its existence. In this manner, I apprehend, the chief distresses of Christ were produced."
Yet in the same Sermon the Doctor makes the following assertion. "The degree of suffering which Christ underwent in making this atonement, was far inferior to that which will be experienced by an individual sufferer beyond the grave." "It will not be supposed," he adds, " as plainly it cannot, that Christ suffered in his Divine nature. Nor will it be believed, that any created nature could, in that short space of time, suffer what would be equivalent to even a slight distress, extended through eternity." +
To imagine that Christ suffered in his Divine nature, would indeed be absurd. But why should it be deemed absurd or incredible
Sermon lvi. Head vi. obs. 5th.
+ Head v. obs. 2d.
that a "created nature," personally united to the Divine, was capable of infinitely greater suffering than any other created nature? Is there sufficient ground to affirm, with the tone of perfect confidence, that it was impossible that "the man Christ Jesus," supported by his omnipotent Divinity, could sustain, within a limited period, the whole wrath due to millions of sinners, or even the punishment due to a single sinner, through eternal ages? Is it quite certain, that "the Lion of the tribe of Judah," was unable to bear "what would be equivalent to even a slight distress extended through eternity?" Can any one who holds the true Divinity of Christ allow himself to suppose, that the Son of God was incapable of enduring in the human nature a greater load of suffering than a mere man, whether supported by natural fortitude or superior aid? Some Divines may have expressed themselves in too peremptory terms with regard to the precise amount of the sufferings of Christ; and no doubt it ought to be remembered that "his atonement, great as his distresses were, did not derive its value principally from the degree in which he experienced them; but from the infinite greatness and excellency of his character." Nevertheless, whilst Prophets, Apostles, and Evangelists employ the strongest expressions which language could supply to describe the bitterness of those sorrows to which the Messiah submitted as the Substitute of sinners, and whilst our Lord's own expressions and behaviour in the day of his Father's anger manifestly tend to convince us that there is no sorrow like his sorrow, and that his sufferings corresponded in their measure to the vast extent of the imputed guilt which he bore,-it sounds very strange in a Christian's ear, to be told that "the degree of suffering which Christ underwent, was far inferior to that which will be experienced by an individual sufferer beyond the grave." With all becoming deference to the learned and highly respectable writer, it may be affirmed that this assertion seems neither well-founded, nor fitted to serve any valuable purpose. High conceptions of the severity of our Lord's sufferings and the depth of his abasement, as well as a firm persuasion of the dignity of his person and the excellence of his character, are calculated to impress the mind with a sense of the efficacy of his atonement, the unparalleled greatness of his love, and the horrid malignity of sin.-The judicious Dr Witherspoon, in his Sermon on Isaiah lxiii. 1. makes a few cursory but valuable remarks on the deep distress of our Lord's soul in the garden and on the cross.*
* Works, Vol. iii. Ser. 3.
NOTE IX. Page 48.
The Author, agreeably to Scripture, represents it as the design. of the sufferings of Christ, to reconcile sinners unto God. This reconciliation too, he remarks, is ascribed, but in different respects, to the Father, to Christ, and to believers themselves. That it is attributed in a certain sense to believers, is evident from 2 Cor. v. 20. "We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." These words, however, do not mean that we at all make satisfaction to the justice of God, or procure his favour by our obedience in any form; but that, by the faith which is of divine operation, we accept of pardon and peace, as obtained by him who, though he knew no sin, was made sin for us, and as freely exhibited to us in the Gospel. This acceptance of forgiveness through the cross of Christ, never fails to be accompanied with a renunciation on our part of that enmity against the divine character and government which we naturally cherish.
It has been alleged by the disciples of Socinus, that the reconciliation of men to God means nothing more than their repentance or conversion, and that it does not at all imply the removal of the divine anger from them. Nothing, however, is more contrary to Scripture than this assertion. Mutual reconciliation betwixt God and men is indeed effected by the death of Christ. But it is clear that when we read of our being reconciled to God by the sufferings and death of Christ, the principal thing intended is the turning away of God's judicial wrath from us, and the procuring of our acceptance in his sight. Accordingly, we read in the 19th verse of the Chapter just referred to; "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself-not imputing their trespasses unto them.” On this question, too, the following passage in the Epistle to the Romans, is completely decisive; "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death o his Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation." In these verses, it is obvious, the Apostle continues his discussion with regard to the blessed effects of justification by faith in the blood of
Chap. v. 9, 10, 11.
† Κατηλλαγημεν τῷ Θεω δια τε θανατῇ τε ὑις αυτε.
* Δε δε νῦν την καταλλαγην ἐλαβομένο