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epistle of. Peter. On the contrary, he asserts that the evangelist cites the 4th verse, and the apostle alludes to the other passage.
This he confirms by comparing the Septuagint version with the text of the epistle. He also suggests on the authority of Dr. Kennicot, that the LXX. translation of the 4th verse (ras åpeceptias nuwe pépes) is corrupted ; that it should be rendered aobéveias; and that in ninety-three instances in which the Hebrew word here translated apcepríde, or its kindred verb, is found in any sense not entirely foreign from the passage before us, there occurs but this one, in which it is so rendered; it being always expressed by ασθένεια, μαλακία, or some word denoting bodily disease. He then enters on the meaning of the verbs xus and 730 which occur in the antithetical clauses of the verse in question ; and by, an extensive survey of various passages, both in the Hebrew and the Greek texts, he arrives at the following conclusion : That the word xvs when connected with the word sins or iniquities is throughout the entire of the bible to be understood in one of these two significations : bearing, i. e. sustaining on the one hand; and forgiving on the other: and that in neither of these applications, docs there seem any reason for interpreting it in the sense of bearing away : nor has any one unequivocal instance of its use, in that sense ever been adduced.' He had before proved that the Greek equivalent of bad, Basatesy, invariably means to bear, in the sense of enduring, lifting up, or sustaining; and after establishing the signification of xw, he proceeds to shew, from examples of the use of the other word in the Hebrew, that its meaning is the same as in the Greek language. Having ascertained these points, by an accurate and careful induction, he thus states the result of his investigation. It appears, 1. that neither the expressions used by Isaiah in the 4th verse, nor the application made of them by St. Matthew, are in any degree inconsistent with the acceptation of the phrase, bearing sins, here employed by the prophet, in the sense of sustaining, or undergoing the burthen of them, by suffering for them: 2. that the use of the expression in other parts of the Old Testament, so far from opposing, justifies and confirms this acceptation : and 3. that the minute description of the sufferings of Christ, their cause, and their effects, wbich here accompanies this phrase, not only establishes this interpretation, but fully unfolds the whole nature of the Christian atonement, by shewing that Christ has suffered in our place, what was due to our transgressions ; and that by, and in virtue of his sufferings, our reconciliation with God has been effected.' Vol. II. pp. 68. 69.
"I have gone thus extensively," continues the learned author, • into the examination of this point, both because it has of late been the practice of those writers who oppose the doctrine of atonement, to assume familiarly, and, pro concesso, that the expression bearing sins, signified in all cases, where personal punishment was not involved, nothing more than bearing away or removing them; and because this chapter of Isaiah contains the whole scheme and substance of the Christian atonement. Indeed so ample and comprehensive is the description here given, that the writers of the New Testament seem to have had it perpetually in view, insomuch, that there is scarcely a passage in either the gospels, or epistles, relating to the sacrificial nature and atoning virtue, of, the death of Christ, that may not, obviously be traced to this exemplar : 80 that in fortifying this part of scripture, we establish the foundation
of the entire system. It will consequently be the less necessary to enquire minutely into those texts in the New Testament, which relate to the same subject, We cannot but recognise the features of the prophetic detail, and consequently apply the evidence of the prophets' explanation, when we are told in the words of our Lord, that the Son of Man came to give his life A'RANSOM FOR MANY: that, as St. Paul expresses it, he GAVE HIMSELF.
that he was offered TO BEAR THE SINS OF MANY: that God made him to be. SIN FOR us, WHO KNEW NO SIN: that Christ REDEEMED us from the curse of the law, BEING MADE CURSE FOR Us; that he SUFFERED. FOR SIN$, THE JUST FOR THE UNJUST: that he DIED FOR THE UNGODLY: that he GAVE HIMSELF FOR US: that he died SINS; and was delivERED
OFPENCES : that he GAVE HIMSELF FOR US AN OFFERING AND A SACRIFICE to God: thai we are RECONCILED TO GOD BY THE DEATH OF SON; that HIS BLOOD WAS SHED FOR MANY FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS* These and many others directly refer us to the prophét : and seem but partial reflections of what he had before, so fully set forth. Vol. II. p. 70.
The import of these citations is in our view so conclusive, that we are astonished at the perversity of construction, by which their obvious meaning is explained away. The idea of proper, vicarious substitution, is so inseparably blended, with the entire system of Christian doctrine, that the New Testament appears a mass of unintelligible and contradice: tory assertions, if this fact be either questioned or obscured, On no other supposition than that of iis truth, can we account for the sentiments and feelings of the sacred waters. When the character and mediation of the Saviour are the topics of apostolic dissertation, they seem to exult in. their subject. Language is inadequate to the complete
* Matt. XX. 28. 1 Tim. ii. 6. Heb. ix. 28. 2 Cor. v. 21. Gal. ii. 18, 1 Pet. iii. 18. Rom. v. 6. Titus iiì. 14. 1 Cor. xv. 3 Rom. iy. 25. Eph. r, 2. Rom, v. 10. Mat. xxvi. 28. VOL. VII.
enunciation of their ideas. The gift of Christ is the " unspeakable gift;" the joy ftowing from the possession of it, is " unspeakable and glorifying joy"; the testimony which reyeals it, is "the glorious gospel"-" worthy of all acceptation;" the inedium of their redemption, is “precious blood;" and the faith by which they become interested in its blessings, dignified by this sublime association, is called “ precious faith.”. The more minutely we investigate the New Testament records, especially the epistles, and attend to the scope of the arguments, and the methods of proof aud elucidation which the writers, adopt, the more shall we be convinced of their ardent attachment to as their LORD;” and of their unvarying aim, to excite the same attachment in the minds of others. This intense feeling, often rising to the sublimest height of devotion, is displayed, not so much in the conduct of their reasonings, as in their frequent digressions from the direct subject before them. We may easily perceive what were the prevailing associations of their minds; what were those prominent ideas, under which all the subordinate trains of thought disposed themselves, by which every duty was enforced, and which determined, by their proximity or remoteness, the compa rative importance of every other sentimenti However logical their arguments, and eloquent the language in which they state them, they are evidently too much impressed with their subject to attend to the rules of artificial arrangement. It is the order of feeling which they adopt, and their eloquence is the eloquence of the heart, Deprive the Christian scriptures of that great doctrine which inspired all these lofty emotions, and they not only become inexplicable but pernicious. The enthusiasm of their writers is idolatry, and their elevation fanaticism. Instead of deriving from their character à confirmation of their cause, we behold in their transports, passion without reason, zeal without knowledge.' They were literally what their enemies represented them to be,
66 beside themselves"; and “ certain philosophers of the Stoics and Epicureans,' when they called Paul, “a babbler," spoke but the truth. There was no meaning in the argument by which this chief of the apostles" justified the ardour of his feelings. When he asserted, rather judged that or if one died for all," then he should not
co live to himself, but to him that died for him and rose again," he 66 reasoned inconclusively;" his premises were contrary to fact, and his inference was unsupported.
· The enemies of atonement lay much stress on the different manner in which the evangelists speak of the fact, compared with the language of the epistles. This difference however
is assumed rather than proved, to meet the necessities of an hypothesis which would exalt the character and autho. rity of the former at the expense of the latter. If the testimonies respecting the atonement are not so numerous in the gospels, as in the epistles,
in the epistles, they are equally clear and explicit ; and admitting the difference, as to frequency of reference, were greater than it is, it may be easily accounted for. The evangelists were witnesses, and therefore contented themselves with a simple relation of facts; the apostles were advocates, and explained the import and design of those facts, deducing from them, and illustrating by them, the great principles of truth and of duty. Our Lord told his disciples, not long before his crucifixion, that “ he had many things to say to them but they were not then able to bear them;" he also promised to send the “ Comforter who should teach them all things.” Now these subsequent instructions were necessary to the fuller de velopement of the Christian system, or they were not. If they were not necessary, why were they so distinctly promised ? if they were, where can we find them, but in the apostolic epistles ? It is sometimes asked, " why did - not our Lord unfold to his hearers, in all its extent,' the doctrine of atonement ? To this we reply, in the words of Dr. Magee,
“Why did he not at his first coming, openly declare that he was the Messiah? Why did he not also fully unfold that other great doctrine, which it was a principal (or as Dr. Priestley will have it, the sole) “ object of his mission to ascertain and exemplify, namely “ that of a resurrection and a future state ?". The ignorance of the Jews, and even of the apostles themselves, on this head is notorious, and well enlarged upon by Mr. Veysie (Bampt. Lect. p. 188-198.) There seems then at least as much reason for our Lord's rectifying their errors, and supplying them with specific instructions on this head, as there could be on the subject of atonement. But besides, there appears a satisfactory reason, why the doctrine of atonement is not so fully explained, and so frequently insisted on, in the discourses of our Lord, as in the epistles to the early converts. Until it was clearly established that Jesus was the Messiah ; and until by his resurrection, crowning all his miraculous acts, it was made manifest that he who had been crucified by the Jews was he who was to save them and all mankind from their sins, it must have been premature, and useless to explain, how this was to be effected.” Vol. II. No. xliii. pp. 79, 80.
But admitting that sacrificial terms are certainly employed by the New Testament writers, their natural meaning is often perverted and destroyed by calling them figurative allusions. This is a kind of dernier resort, when all other attempts to invalidate the doctrine by scripture testimony,
are defeated. Of late indeed, a new method of confutation has been adopted. If a passage be cited, the import of which is clear and decisive, and figurative allusion will not neutralize its pungency, recourse must be had to interpolation; and when interpolation cannot be proved, the inspiration of the writer must be denied--and the troublesome controversy is settled at once. On the pretence of figurative applications, Dr. Magee quotes an excellent passage from Mr. Veysie's Bampton's lectures, and judiciously distinguishes between figurative and analogical language. He remarks, very acutely, that to infer from the comparison of Christ's death to the different kinds of sacrifices under the law, that it was not of the nature of any, is extremely illogical ; since it might be concluded more justly, that it was of the nature of all, and was the substantial truth of the whole system of typical sacrifices. He also introduces a striking instance of the versatile reasoning of Dr Priestley, which well illustrates the principles on which he constructed his interpretations.
• Christ being frequently said in scripture to have died us, he (Dr. P.) tells us that this is to be interpreted, dying on our account, or for our benefit. Or, if, he adds, when rigorously interpreted, it should be found that if Christ had not died, we must have died, it is still, however, only consequentiully so, and by no means properly and directly so, as a substitute for us : for if in consequence of Christ's not having been sent to instruct and reform the world, mankind had continued unreformed ; and the necessary consequence of Christ's coming was his death, by whatever means, and in whatever manner it was brought about ; it is plain, that there was in fact no other alternative, but his death or ours: how natural then was it to say—that he died in our stead, without meaning it in a strict and proper sense ?"? Here then, observes Dr. Magee, 'we see that had the sacred writers every where represented Christ, as dying in our stead, yet it would have amounted to than dying on our account or for our benefit, just as under the present form of expression. And thus Dr. P. has proved to us, that no form of expression whatever, would be proof against the species of criticism, which he has thought proper to employ; for it must be remembered that the want of this very phrase, dying in our stead, has been urged as'a main argument against the notion of a strict propitiatory sacrifice in the death of Christ. To attempt to prove then, that when Christ is said to have died for us, it is meant that he died instead of us, must bema waste of time.' Vol. 1: pp. 225_-7.
We have of often thought that a way-faring man," who knew, and “ knew no more-his bible true," would be filled with amazement, if he were to exchange his happy ignorance for the knowledge of polemic sophistry. He would find the plain passages on which his faith and hope had heretofore rested, put to the torture on the rack of