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throughout the holy scriptures, that to endeavour to exclude it from revelation is as hopeless an attempt as to separate colour from the rainbow, or extension from matter.' 29 To the same purpose is the testimony of another eminent writer, with whose words we conclude our adduction of proof:-That Christ suffered and died as an atonement for the sins of mankind, is a doctrine so constantly and so strongly enforced through every part of the new testament, that whoever will seriously peruse those writings, and deny that it is there, may, with as much reason and truth, after reading the works of Thucydides and Livy, assert, that in them no mention is made of any

facts relative to the histories of Greece and Rome.'

30

We have, thus, given a view of the evidence by which the fact of Christ's atonement is supported. In the antiquity and universal prevalence of vicarious sacrifices, for whose existence we have found it impossible to account excepting on the principle of being instituted by God to prefigure the sacrifice of Christ, we have one argument. In the sacrifices of the Levitical economy, purposely designed, and eminently calculated, to lead to Christ, we have another argument. The prophecies of the old testament supply us with a third. The facts of Christ's sufferings, of which it is otherwise impossible to give a satisfactory explanation, furnish us with a fourth. While the passages in the new testament scriptures

29 Hall's Works, i. 489.

30 Soame Jenyns' View of the Internal Evidence, &c., ninth ed., p. 22. note.

which speak of Christ making reconciliation; of his being a propitiation; of his giving a ransom and making redemption; of his being made sin, a curse, a sacrifice; and of his dying for us and our sins, add a fifth proof to this body of evidence. The whole of these arguments are taken from the word of God. Some of them are deduced by way of inference from established premises; others are derived from a careful exegesis of scripture language; but each rests on a basis of infallible truth, and all together constitute a mass of evidence so clear, cogent, and convincing, as nothing but the most wilful enmity to the truth can resist. If the sacred scriptures, and not our own preconceived opinions and prejudices, are the standard to which we are to appeal, it seems impossible, but by the most obstinate moral perversity, to refuse the testimony they bear on this momentous subject. In short, unless the doctrine of substitution is admitted, the sacred volume seems reduced to a mass of unintelligible, meaningless, contradictory assertions; the feelings of the writers seem to be out of all harmonious proportion with the nature of their subject; their elevation is fanaticism, their enthusiasm idolatry, and their transports of passion indicate only zeal without knowledge: we may safely join issue with those who represent them as 'beside themselves,' and denounce them as 'babblers,' for, in this case, their reasonings are inconclusive, their inferences unsupported by their premises, and their premises themselves at variance with fact. Let us beware of adopting opinions, or acting a part which

leads to such frightful consequences; and let us yield our minds up, with all becoming submission, to the divinely authoritative testimony by which it is affirmed that CHRIST HATH LOVED US AND HATH GIVEN HIMself for uS, AN OFFERING AND A SACRIFICE TO GOD, for a sweet-SMELLING SAVour.

SECTION IX.

MATTER OR SUBSTANCE OF CHRIST'S ATONEMENT.

HERE we are to inquire what it was by which Christ made atonement for sin. That he did make an atonement, we consider as established in some preceding sections; it is natural next to ask how this was effected. Christ did many things while on earth; he taught, he obeyed, he suffered, he died. Now, the thing to be ascertained, is, by which of these he gave that satisfaction to the law and justice of God in which we conceive the essence of atonement to consist. The truth, on this topic, we are inclined to think, lies in the following statement: -That Christ made atonement by his sufferings alone; that all his sufferings were comprehended in the matter of his atonement; and that a peculiar importance attaches, in this connexion, to the sufferings of his soul and of the concluding period of his life. Let us attend to the several branches of this position.

I. Christ made atonement by his sufferings alone. This statement has been questioned by some of the older writers on the subject, and the opinion it

involves has been deemed heretical. To this conclusion they have been led, by taking a more extensive view of the nature of atonement than respect to strict accuracy of definition seems to warrant. Indeed the whole controversy, on this point, depends on the extent of meaning which is attached to the word atonement. If understood to embrace the whole of the Saviour's work for the redemption of man, then more than his sufferings ought to be included in its substance. On the other hand, if by the atonement of Christ is meant only a particular department of the work performed by him for our salvation, correct thinking will require us to restrict our view of its matter to his sufferings alone.

To obviate all difficulty on this subject, it seems necessary only to advert to our definition of atonement. It is this-That satisfaction given to the law and justice of God, by the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ, on behalf of elect sinners of mankind, on account of which they are delivered from condemnation. From the terms of this definition, the atonement of Christ is understood to consist in giving satisfaction to the law of God, so as to procure escape from its curse; and, taking this as a correct view of the nature of atonement, it follows, as a thing of course, that its matter should be restricted to suffering.

This will appear in a clearer light if the following observations are attended to. The law of God is to be viewed in a twofold light,-in its precept and in its penalty; the one prescribing duty and demand

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