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ful apprehension which a guilty conscience divine justice. We say that the idea which we awakens in the prospect of judgment to come. have of the divine justice presents nothing inHaving considered Jesus Christ as a martyr, consistent with the doctrine we are endeavourwho sealed with his own blood the doctrine ing to establish, but on the contrary leads us which he preached, and his death as an argu- directly to adopt it. The divine justice would ment in support of the immortality of the soul be in opposition to our doctrine, did we affirm taught in that doctrine ; let us contemplate our that the innocent Jesus suffered as an innocent divine Saviour as a victim, which God has person ; but we say that he suffered, as loaded substituted in our place, and his death as a sa- with the guilt of the whole human race. The crifice offered up to divine justice, for the ex- divine justice would be in opposition to our piation of our offences.
doctrine, did we affirm that Jesus Christ had One of the principal dangers to be avoided the iniquity of us all laid upon him,' whether in controversies, and particularly in that which he would or not; but we say that he took this we are going to handle, is to imagine that all heavy load upon himself voluntarily. The diarguments are of equal force. Extreme care vine justice would be in opposition to our docmust be taken to assign to each its true limits, trine, did we affirm that Jesus Christ took on and to say, this argument proves thus far, that himself the load of human guilt, to encourage other goes so much farther. We must thus men in the practice of sin; but we say that he advance step by step up to truth, and form, of acted thus in the view of sanctifying them, by those arguments united, a demonstration so procuring their pardon. The divine justice much the more satisfactory, in proportion as would be in opposition to our doctrine did we we have granted to those who dispute it, all affirm that Jesus Christ, in assuming the load that they could in reason ask. On this princi- of our guilt, sunk under the weight of it, so ple we divide our arguments into two classes. that the universe, for the sake of a few guilty The first we propose only as presumptions in wretches, was deprived of the most distinguishfavour of the doctrine of the satisfaction. To ed being that could possibly exist; but we say the second we ascribe the solidity and weight that Jesus Christ, in dying for us, came off vicof demonstration. Of the first class are the torious over death and the grave. The divine following:
justice, therefore, presents nothing inconsistent 1. We allege human reason as a presump: with the doctrine of the satisfaction. tive argument in support of the doctrine which But wego much farther, and affirm, that the we maintain. We do not mean to affirm, that idea of divine justice leads directly to the doc. human reason derives from the stores of her trine. The atonement corresponds to the deown illumination the truth of this doctrine. So mands of justice. We shall not here presume far from that we confidently affirm, that this is to determine the question, whether it is possione of the mysteries which are infinitely beyond ble for God, consistently with his perfections, the reach of human understanding. It is one to pardon sin without exacting a satisfaction. of the things which eye hath not seen, nor Whatever advantage we might have over those ear heard, neither have entered into the heart who deny our thesis, we shall not press it on of man,' 1 Cor. ii. 9. But we say that this mys. the present occasion. But, in any case, they tery presents nothing that shocks human rea- must be disposed to make this concession, that son, or that implies a shadow of contradiction. if the wisdom of God has devised the means of What do we believe? That God has united obtaining a signal satisfaction to justice, in unithe human nature to the divine, in the person son with the most illustrious display of goodof Jesus Christ, in a manner somewhat resem- ness; if he can give to the universe an unequibling that in which he has united the body to vocal proof of his abhorrence of sin, in the very the soul, in the person of man. We say that act of pardoning the sinner; if there be a methis composition (pardon the expression), this thod to keep offenders in awe, even while mercomposition of Humanity and of Deity suffered cy is extended to them, it must undoubtedly be in what was human of it; and that what was more proper to employ such a method than to divine gave value to the sufferings of the man, omit it. This is the second step we advance somewhat after the manner in which we put towards our conclusion. Our second argument respect on a human body, not as a material sub- we carry thus far, and no farther. stance, but as united to an intelligent soul. 3. Our third consideration is taken from the
These are the terms in which we propose suggestions of conscience, and from the pracour mystery. And there is nothing in this tice of all nations. Look at the most polished, which involves a contradiction. If we had and at the most barbarous tribes of the human said that the Divinity and Humanity were con- race; at nations the most idolatrous, and at sounded or common; if we had said that Dei- those which have discovered the purest ideas ty, who is impassible, suffered ; if we had said on the subject of religion. Consult authors of that Jesus Christ as God made satisfaction to the remotest antiquity, and authors the most Jesus Christ as God, reason might have justly recent: transport yourself to the ancient Egypreclaimed; but we say that Jesus Christ suffer- tians, to the Phenicians, to the Gauls, to the ed as man; we say that the two natures in his Carthaginians, and you will find that, in all person were distinct; we say that Jesus Christ, ages, and in every part of the globe, men have sufiering as a man, made satisfaction to God expressed a belief that the Deity expected samaintaining the rights of Deity. This is the crifices should be offered up to him: nay, not first step we advance in this career. Our first only sacrifices, but such as had, as far as it was argument we carry thus far, and no farther. possible, something like a proportion to his
II. Our second argument is taken from the greatness. Hence thase magnificent temples ;
hence those hecatombs ; hence those human 2. In a second class must be ranked those victims; hence that blood which streamed on passages which represent Jesus Christ as sulthe altars, and so many other rites of religious fering the punishment which we had desertworship, the existence of which no one is dised. The fifty-third chapter of the prophet posed to call in question. What consequence Isaiah turns entirely on this subject; and the do we deduce from this position? The truth apostles hold the self-same language. They of the doctrine of the atonement? No: we do say expressly that Christ. was made to be sin not carry our inference so far. We only con- for us, who knew no sin,' 2 Cor. v. 21, that he clude, that there is no room to run down the was made a curse for us,' Gal. iii. 13, that Christian religion, if it instructs us that God he bare our sins in his own body on the tree,' demanded satisfaction to his justice, by an 1 Pet. ii, 24. expiatory sacrifice, before he could give an un- 3. In a third class must be ranked all those restrained course to his goodness. This third passages in which our salvation is represented argument we carry thus far, and no farther. as being the fruit of Christ's death. The per
4. A fourth reflection hinges on the cor- sons, whose opinions we are combating, mainrespondence of our belief, respecting this par- tain themselves on a ground which we estaticular, with that of every age of the Chris- blished in a former branch of this discourse, tian church, in uninterrupted succession, from namely, that the death of Jesus Christ was a Jesus Christ down to our own times. All demonstration of the truth of his doctrine. the ages of the Christian world have, as we They say that this is the reason for which do, spoken of this sacrifice. But we must not our salvation is considered as the effect of that enlarge. Whoever wishes for complete in- death. But if we are saved by the death of formation on this particular, will find a very Jesus Christ, merely because it has sealed a accurate collection of the testimonies of the doctrine which leads to salvation, how comes fathers, at the end of the treatise on the sa- it then, that our salvation is nowhere ascribtisfaction, composed by the celebrated Grotius. ed to the other parts of his ministry, which The doctrine of the atonement, therefore, contributed, no less than his death, to the conis not a doctrine of yesterday, but has been firmation of his doctrine ? Were not the mitransmitted from age to age, from Jesus Christ racles of Jesus Christ, for example, proofs down to our own times. This argument equally authentic as his death was, of the we carry thus far and no farther.
truth of his doctrine? Whence comes it, that Here then we have a class of arguments our salvation is nowhere ascribed to them? which, after all, we would have you to consi- This is the very thing we are maintaining. der only as so many presumptions in favour of The resurrection, the ascension, the miracles the doctrine of the atonement. But surely were absolutely necessary to give us assuwe are warranted to proceed thus far, at least, rance, that the wrath of God was appeased; in concluding ; a doctrine in which human but Christ's death alone was capable of proreason finds nothing contradictory: a doctrine ducing that effect. You will more sensibly which presents nothing repugnant to the di- feel the force of this argument, if you attend to vine attributes, nay, to which the divine at the connexion which our text' has with what tributes directly lead us; a doctrine perfectly follows in the 17th verse, Wherefore in all conformable to the suggestions of conscience, things it beboved him to be made like unto and to the practice of mankind in every age, his brethren; that he might be a merciful and and of every nation; a doctrine received in faithful high priest .... to make reconcilithe Christian church from the beginning till ation for the sins of the people.' now; a doctrine which, in all its parts, pre- If we are saved by the death of Jesus Christ, sents nothing but what is entirely worthy of merely because that event sealed the truth of God, when we examine it at the tribunal of his doctrine, wherefore should it have been our own understanding: such a doctrine con- necessary for him to assume our flesh? Had tains nothing to excite our resentment, no- he descended from heaven in the effulgence of thing that we ought not to be disposed to ad. his glory; had he appeared upon Mount Zimit, if we find it clearly laid down in the Scrip- on, such as he was upon Mount Sinai, in tures.
flashes of lightning, with the voice of thunder, Now, my brethren, we have only to open with a retinue of angels; would not the truth the Bible in order to find express testimonies of the gospel have been established infinitely to this purpose ; and not only do we meet better than by the death of a man? Wherewith an infinite number of passages in which fore, then, was it necessary that Christ should the doctrine is clearly taught, but a multitude die? It was because the victim of our transof classes of such passages.
gressions must be put to death. This is St. 1. In the first class, we must rank all those Paul's reasoning. And for this reason it is passages which declare that Jesus Christ died that our salvation is nowhere ascribed to the
It would be no easy matter to enu- death of the martyrs, though the death of the merate them; 'I delivered unto you first of martyrs was, like that of Jesus Ch.ist, a proof all,' says St. Paul in his first epistle to the Co. of the truth of the gospel. rinthians, xv. 3, that which I also received, 4. In a fourth class, must be ranked all how that Christ died for our sins, according those passages which represent the death of to the Scriptures. Christ also hath once Jesus Christ as the body and the reality, of suffered for sins,' says St. Peter, in his first which all the sacrifices prescribed by the law epistle general, iii, 18, the just for the un- were but the figure and the shadow. We just, that he might bring us to God.'
shall select a single one out of a multitude.
The greatest part of the Epistle to the He- the generality of believers. Because he had brews may be quoted to this effect. It is evi- made himself of no reputation ;' God was dent that the great object of its author is to about to give him a name which is above eveengage Christians to look for that in the sacri- ry name. A cloud was going to serve him as fice of Jesus Christ, which the Jews, to no pur- a triumphal car, and the church triumphant pose, sought for in those which Moses pre- was preparing to receive him with acclamascribed. Now what did the Jews look for in tions of joy, · Lift up your heads, O ye gates, their sacrifices ? Was it not the means of ap- and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the peasing the Deity? If, therefore, the sacrifi- King of Glory shall come in,' Ps. xxiv. 7. ces of the Jews were the expiation of sin, on- What then, are we to expect that Jesus Christ ly in figure and in a shadow, if the sacrifice of shall do? Shall we behold him advancing to Jesus Christ be their body and reality, does it meet death with joy? Shall he not say with not follow that Jesus Christ has really and li- St. Paul, • My desire is to depart? Shall he not terally expiated our transgressions ? To pre. in rapture exclaim, “This day crowns are to tend that the Levitical sacrifices were not of- be distributed, and I go to receive my share?" fered up for the expiation of great offences, No, Jesus Christ trembles, he turns pale, he but only for certain external indecencies, fears, he sweats great drops of blood : whereas which rather polluted the fesh, than wounded the martyrs, with inferior illumination, with the conscience, is an attempt to maintain one feebler motives, have braved death, have biderror by another; for a man has only to open den defiance to the most horrid torments, have his eyes, to be convinced that the Levitical filled their tormentors with astonishment. sacrifices were offered up for offences the most Whence comes this difference? From the veatrocious; it is needless to adduce any other ry point which we are endeavouring to estaevidence than the annual sacrifice prescribed, blish. The death of Jesus Christ is widely Lev. xvi. 21, 22, in the offering of which, different from that of the martyrs. The mar. Aaron laid both his hands upon the head of tyrs found death already disarmed : Jesus the live goat, and confessed over him all the Christ died to disarm this king of terrors. iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their The martyrs presented themselves before the transgressions in all their sins . . . . and the throne of grace; Jesus Christ presented himgoat did bear upon him all their iniquities.' self at the tribunal of Justice. The martyrs
5. In a fifth class must be ranked the cir- pleaded the merits of Christ's death : Jesus cumstances of the passion of Jesus Christ, and Christ interceded in behalf of the martyrs. of his agony in the garden ; that sorrow, those Let the great adversary, then, do his worst fears, those agitations, those cries, those tears, to terrify me with the image of the crimes that bloody sweat, those bitter complaints : which I have committed; let him trace them • My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken before my eyes in the blackest characters me?' Matt. xxvi. 46. The argument derived which his malignity can employ; let him colfrom this will appear of still greater weight, lect into one dark point, all that is hideous if you support it by thus reflecting, that no and hateful in my life ; let him attempt to person in the universe ought to have met overwhelm me with dismay, by rousing the death with so much joy as Jesus Christ, had idea of that tremendous tribunal, before which he suffered a mere ordinary death. Christ all the actions of men are to be scrutinized, so died with a perfect submission to the will of that like Joshua the high-priest,' I find myhis father, and with a fervent love to man- self standing in the presence of God, óciothed kind. Christ died in the full assurance of the with filthy garments,' Zech. iii. 1, &c. and justice of his cause, and of the innocency of Satan standing at his right hand to expose my his life. Christ died completely persuaded turpitude; I hear, at the same time, the voice of the immortality of the soul, and of the cer- of one pleading in my behalf: I hear these retainty of a life to come. Christ died under a viving words : is not this a brand plucked complete assurance of the exalted felicity out of the fire? .... Take away the filthy which he was to enjoy after death. He had garments from him .... Let them set a come from God. He was returning to God. lair mitre upon his head .... and I will Nay, there ought to have been something clothe him with change of raiment.' more particular in his triumph, than in that of
ON THE FEAR OF DEATH.
Hebrews ii. 14, 15. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also him.
self likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil ; and deliver them who
through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. We now come in the
Society supplies a fourth ingredient, and we III. Third and last place, to consider death say, In heaven shall be united, in the tenderest rendered formidable, from its being attended social bonds, kindred spirits the most exalted; with the loss of titles, honours, and every other souls the most refined; hearts the most geneearthly possession, and in opposition to this, rous and enlarged. we are to view the death of Jesus Christ as re- The church supplies a fifth ingredient, and moving that terror, by giving us complete as- we say, In heaven shall be exhibited the trisurance of a blessed eternity. We are going umph of the faithful over tyrants confounded, to contemplate death as a universal shipwreck, the saints shall be enthroned, the martyrs shall swallowing up all our worldly fortunes and appear with palms in their bands, and with prospects. We are going to contemplate Je crowns upon their heads. sus Christ as a conqueror, and his death as the Eternity supplies a sixth ingredient, and pledge and security of a boundless and ever- we say, In heaven you shall enjoy a felicity lasting felicity, which shall amply compensate infinite in its duration, and immeasurable in its to us the loss of all those possessions, of which degree; years accumulated upon years, ages we are about to be stripped by the unsparing upon ages shall effect no diminution of its hand of death.
length: and so of the rest, When we attempt to stammer out a few This day, Christians, in which we are repwords from the pulpit, respecting the felicity resenting death to you as a universal wreck which God has laid up for his people in ano- which swallows up all your possessions, your ther world, we borrow the images of every titles, your greatness, your riches, your social thing that is capable of touching the heart, and connexions, all that you were, and all that you of communicating delight. We call in to our hoped to be ; this day, while we are attempt. assistance the soul of man, with all its exalted ing to convey to you an idea of the celestial faculties; the body, with all its beautiful felicity, capable of strengthening you to be forms and proportions ; nature, with her over- hold, without dismay, this universal wreck, in flowing treasures; society, with its enchant- which you are going to be involved ; this day ing delights; the church, with its triumphs; we could wish you to conceive the heavenly eternity, with its unfathomable abysses of joy. world, and the blessedness which God is there Of all these ingredients blended, we com- preparing for you under another idea. We pose a faint representation of the celestial mean to trace another view of it, the lustre of blessedness,
which effaces all the rest. We build upon The soul of man constitutes one ingredient, this foundation of St. Paul : “He that spared and we say, In heaven your soul shall arrive at not his own Son, but delivered him up for us its highest pitch of attainable perfection : it all, how shall he not with him also freely give shall acquire expansive illumination, it shall | us all things?" Rom. viii, 32. The heavenly reach sublime heights of virtue, it shall be blessedness is the purchase of the death of Jehold as in a glass the glory of the Lord, and sus Christ. Here collect, my brethren, every shall be changed into the game image, from thing that is capable of enhancing to your apglory to glory,' 2 Cor. iii. 18.
prehension the unspeakable greatness and imThe body furnishes a second ingredient, and portance of that death. we say,In heaven your body shall be exempted View the death of Christ relatively to the from all the defects by which it is at present types which prefigured it; relatively to the disfigured, from those diseases which now prey shadows by which it was adumbrated; relaupon and waste it, from that death which de- tively to the ceremonies by which it was repstroys the fabric.
resented; relatively to the oracles which preNature supplies a third ingredient, and we dicted it. say, In heaven all the stores of Nature shall be View the death of Christ relatively to the displayed in rich profusion : the foundations tempests and thunderbolts which were levelled of the holy city are of jasper, its gates are of at the head of the Redeemer. Behold his pearl, its walls are of pure gold,' Rev. xxi. 21. soul overwhelmed with sorrow; behold that
blood falling down to the ground ; that cup of the death of Jesus Christ has purchased for us? bitterness which was given him to drink ; | Ah! broken cisterns,' will you still preserve hearken to that insulting language, to those a preference in our esteem to the fountain of calumnies, to those false accusations, to that living waters?' Ah! Great High Priest of the unjust sentence of condemnation; behold those new covenant shall we still find it painfully hands and feet pierced with nails, that sacred difficult to follow thee, whilst thou art con. body speedily reduced to one ghastly wound; ducting us to heavenly places, by the bloody behold that licentious rabble clamorously de- traces of thy cross and martyrdom. Jesus manding the punishment of the cross, and in- Christ is a conqueror,' who has acquired for creasing the horror of it by every indignity us a kingdom of glory and felicity ; his death which malice could invent; look up to heaven is an invaluable pledge of a triumphant eteritself, and behold the eternal Father abandon- nity. ing the Son of his love to so many woes; be- iDeath, then, has nothing, henceforward, hold hell in concert with heaven, and heaven that is formidable to the Christian. In the with the earth.
tomb of Jesus Christ are dissipated all the terView the death of Christ relatively to the rors which the tomb of nature presents. In dreadful sigas by which it was accompanied; the tomb of nature 1 perceive a gloomy night, relatively to that earth seized with trem- which the eye is unable to penetrate; in the bling, to that sun shrouded in darkness, to tomb of Jesus Christ I behold light and life. those rocks rent asunder, to those opening In the tomb of nature the punishment of sin graves, to those departed saints returning to stares me in the face; in the tomb of Jesus the light of day.
Christ I find the expiation of it. In the tomb View the death of Christ relatively to the of nature I read the fearful doom pronounced greatness of God, and to the littleness of man, upon Adam, and upon all his miserable posteriin whose behalf all this bloody scene was ty: • Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou transacted.
return,' Gen. iii. 19; but in the tomb of Jesus Collect all these various particulars, and Christ my tongue is loosed into this triumphant still say to yourself, The death of Jesus Christ song of praise, O death, where is thy sting? is all this. The death of Jesus Christ is the grave, where is thy victory? .... Thanks boly of the figures, the original of the types, be to God who giveth us the victory, through the reality of the shadows, the accomplishment our Lord Jesus Christ,' 1 Cor. xv. 55. 57. of the prophecies. The death of Jesus Christ. Through death he has destroyed him that is that great event which darkened the sun, had the power of death, that is, the devil ; which opened the tombs, which rent asunder that he might deliver them who through fear the rocks, which made the earth to tremble, of death were all their lifetime subject to wbich turned nature and the elements upside bondage.' down. Follow up these reflections, and on
THE APPLICATION. these let your imagination settle.
The death of Jesus Christ conceived thus, But if these be our privileges, is it not mat. apply it to the subject which we are treating. ter of reproach to us, my brethren, that The death of Jesus Christ conceived thus, let brought up in the knowledge and profession it serve to assist you in forming an idea of the of a religion which furnishes arms so powerful heavenly blessedness. Still build on this for combating the terrors of death, we should foundation of St Paul; say with that apostle, still, for the most part, view it only with fear • He that spared not his own Son, but delivered and trembling? The fact is too evident to be him up for us all, how shall he not with him denied. From the slightest study of hy far the also freely give us all things?' You regret the greatest part of professing Christians, it is world ; you who are advancing on your way clearly apparent that they consider death as heavenward. And what is heaven? It is the the greatest of all calamities.
And with a purchase of Christ's death. He that spared very slender experience of the state of dying not his own Son, but delivered him up for us persons, it will be found that there are few, all, how shall be not with him also freely give very few indeed, who die without regret, few us all things?" If the means be thus great, but who have need to exercise all their sub. what must the end be! If the preparatives be mission, at a season when it might be expected thus magnificent, what must be the issue ! If they should give themselves up to transports the conflict be thus sharp, what must be the of joy. A vapour in the head disconcerts us ; victory! If the price be thus costly, what, o we are alarmed if the artery happens to beat what, shall be the bliss which this price is in a little faster than usual ; the least apprehentended to purchase.
sion of death inspires us with an unaccounta. After that, my brethren, return to the ble melancholy, and oppressive dejection. world. What is it you regret? Are you re- But those apprehensions and terrors, my gretting the loss of palaces, of sceptres, of brethren, surprising as they may appear to us, crowns? It is to regret the humble crook in have nothing which ought really to fill us your hand, the cottage which covers your with surprise. If to apply to a man's self the head. Do you regret the loss of society, a so- fruits of the death of Jesus Christ were a simciety whose defects and whose delights are fre- ple act of the understanding, a simple movequently an equal source of misery to you? Ah! ment of the heart, a simple acknowledgment phantom of vain desire, will you still present of the tongue; if to apply to a man's self the illusion to the eye? Will you still maintain fruits of the death of Christ were nothing more your ground against those solid blessings which I than what a hardened sinner is capable of