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the divine presence, if she firmly work, calculated to edify christadheres to her covenant engage. ians, and to assist every class of ments, and boldly discharges the readers in obtaining clear and corduties which these involve than rect views of the subject. We if she suffers herself to disobey are glad to see so able, and in our the commands of her Savior, in view, so correct an exhibition of consequence of opposition from the atonement, brought before the
Besides, there is yet in the public: and still more, to see it mind of the public a sense of pro- brought within such parrow and priety sufficiently deep and gener- tangible limits. Without attempting al, to influence them to raise their or designing a comparison of it voice against the man, who should with other works on the same subdeliberately manifest so much il- ject, we pronounce it valuable ; and liberality and intolerance, as to shall attempt to make our readdeny his wife the privilege of act- ers, in some measure acquainted ing on this subject, agreeably to with the author's sentiments, and the dictates of her conscience. with the manner in which he has EQUAL RIGHTS. treated the doctrine.
Before we proceed to this, however, we state that although Mr.
B. appears to be fully established REVIEW.
in his own mind, and to speak An Essay on the Scripture doctrine of Atonement; showing its with frankness and decision, he nature, its necessity, and its ex. has treated his subject with betent. To which is added, an Ap- coming mildness. He has shown pendix, containing remarks on the no disposition, either to depress Doctrine of Universal Salvation. By Caleb Burge, A. M. Pastor of the feelings of an opponent, or to the first Church in Glastenbury, maintain the spirit of controversy. Conn. Hartford: Peter B. Glea- His object is to exhibit the truth, son & Co. 1822.
respecting the atonement, as he We take up the volume before finds it revealed in scripture.us, not for the purpose of a mere And he appears fully sensible, that critical analysis of the work, nor the doctrine before him is a doc. to sbow what more can be said on trine purely of divine revelation. this subject. For we are aware His Essay is divided into eight that it has recently excited much sections or chapters ; to which he attention, and enlisted no small has added, what is technically callportion of the theological talent of ed a 6 Conclusion.” The first of the day in its illustration. We these contains an introduction or read the volume with much inter- general statement of the subject. est: we consider it an able, judic- In this general statement he shews ious and profitable exhibition of the importance of an atonement in the doctrine of the atonement: a the scheme of gospel salvation,
6. It appears
and the necessity of an atonement appear just in pardoning them who in order to render the salvation believe in Christ. Hence, in the of sinners consistent with the re- author's language. vealed character of God. He ar- evident, that the doctrine, which gues this necessity from the fact the apostle designed to teach, is of Christ's sufferings as a Media- this; If God had not set forth tor; from the plain declarations Christ to shed his blood, for the of scripture that he ought to suf- remission of sins, he could not have fer and must suffer; and from the been just, in saving sinners; nor important consideration, that sin can he now, unless they believe is an offence against God in a pub- in Jesus.” The atonement therelic capacity, as the righteous Gov- fore, had respect to the characernor of the universe. Indeed, ter and government of God. It Mr. B. takes the ground, taken was intended, not only to reveal, by many others, that the atone- but to vindicate, the holiness of ment of Christ had respect to the bis character, and the rectitude Divine character and government: of his government in the salvation that it was necessary, in order to of sinners. vindicate the holiness of God and With this general view of the the righteousnes of hisgovernment, atonement, Mr. B. proceeds, in when he pardons bim that believes the second chapter of his Essay, in Christ Jesus.
to point out its necessity : and does Accordingly the passage of scrip- this, by pointing out some obstacles ture, upon which he has ground- which opposed the pardon of sin. ed his subject, and which he has ners, without an atonement. He made the theme of discussion, is supposes, however, and we think that of St. Paul; Rom. III. 25, 26 justly, that the atonement was not 6 Whom God hath set forth, to be necessary, to conciliate the Dia propitiation, through faith in vine feelings, and render God prohis blood to declare his righteous- pitious; or, in other words, to renness for the remission of sins which der him compassionate towards are past, through the forbearance sinners. For the scriptures furof God. To declare, I say, at nish abundant evidence of Divine this time his righteousness, that he compassion towards them antecemight be just, and the justifier of dently to the work or the design of him that believeth in Jesus.". an atonement. Indeed, the very Now, from the very face of this manner of its accomplishment is passage, it appears that Christ is such, as to show, that if God had set forth as a propitiation to de- not been thus compassionate, no clare the righteousness of God, in atonement, like that of Christ, the remission of sins; even to de- would ever have been made. If clare his righteousness that he God had not loved the world even might be just, or that he might with the tenderest compassion,
he would not have promised, and the justice of the law be mainin due time given up, his beloy- tained. ed Son to die for them. The " 2d. If God had pardoned sinatonement, therefore is the effectners without an atonement, he and not the cause of Divine com- must have been unjust to his kingpassion towards sinners : God ev. dom.” The kingdom of God, is er has been as compassionate as composed of moral beings, who he now is; and would have been are governed by law, and not go, had he not designed to make by mechanical influence. And as ap atonement.
the law itself is just and good, and The obstacles, which opposed is therefore fit to be obeyed, if their pardon, without an atone- God does not enforce obedience, ment, were of a nature very differ- or does not punish the disobeent from all this : they were such dient, he must be unjust to his as respected the law, the kingdom, moral kingdom. If one transand the character of God. As gressor is pardoned without an Mr. B. has stated them, they are atonement, others may be. And these :
it will thus become impossible to "1st. If God had pardoned sinners deter them from disobedience, without an atonement, “ he would or to secure the interests of the have been unjust to his holy law.” kingdom. But, to give the au- . For, as the law was perfectly just thor's views on this subject more and good in itself, and as it con- clearly, we will state his last obdemned the sinner to eternal mis- stacle more at large. ery ; so its penalty must be execut- 6 3d. If God had pardoned sin ed or its honor must be given up. ners, without any atonement, he And to give up the penalty of a would have been unjust to himself. just and good law, it is to do injus- Every good being, in order tice to that law: it is treating it, to do justice to his own character, as a just being would treat an un- must manifest his goodness. A just law : it would be saying, the wise being, in order to do justice law is not just, and its penalty to bis character, must manisest his ought not to be executed, even on wisdom ; or, at least, he must not transgressors.
manifest any thing, which is opBesides, if God pardoned sinners posite to wisdom. All must allow, without an atonement, he would that, if one being should knowinggive up the authority of his law. ly give a wrong representation of Remove its penalty, and it ceases the character of another, who is to be a law : it loses all its author wise and good, he would be very ity over the disobedient. So that unjust. But, if a good and wise an atonement was necessary,
that being should give a wrong resinners might be pardoned, and presentation of his own character,
(if this were possible,) therefore, that in this way, he could would be the same injustice done, not have manifested any regard which there would, if the represen- for holiness, nor hatred of sin. tation were made by another.- Hence, he would have done inThe injury done to the good finite injustice to his own characcharacter, would be the same, in ter. He never could have apthe one case, as in the other.- peared an object of holy love and Hence it must be evident, that, if reverence. Holy beings never God is good, if he is wise, and if conld have felt safe in his hands. he is consistent in his conduct, he They must have lost that confimust manifest his goodness and dence and delight in his character, his wisdom, or be very unjust to wbich resulted from contempla's his own character. But if God ing him as a being, who loved had pardoned sinners, without any righteousness and hated iniquity. atonement, he could not have But, manifested either his goodness, 6. If when mankind sinned, God wisdom, or consistency of con- had executed the penalty of his duct. This may clearly appear law upon them, this would have from the following considerations. manifested bis hatred of sin. By
66 First. In this way, he could this, therefore, he would have not have manifested any regard appeared just to bis own charac, for holiness, or hatred of sin. By ter. But in no other way, could God's pardoning a sinner, is meant he be just to himself, unless it his receiving him to favor, and were by something, which, as a treating him as if he had never substitute for the execution of the sinned. If, therefore, he had par- penalty of the law, would make an doned sinners, without any atone. equally bright display of his ha, ment, it must have been impossi- tred of sin. If any thing of this ble, in the nature of things, for kind could be done, which would him to have given intelligent be- manifest the divine hatred of sin, ings any reason to believe that he as tully as would the just punishis more opposed to sin, than to ment of it, this would be a satisholiness. For, in this case, he factory atonement.
Out of rewould have treated sinners in the spect to such an atonement, God same manner that he treats holy might pardon sinners, and still be beings. He would have put no just to his own character. His difference between the holy, and pardoping sinners, on account of the profane. He would bave such an atonement, would not manifested no more disapproba- lead holy beings to distrust the tion of the disobedient, than of the integrity of his character. But, obedient; nor any more com- if God should pardon sinners, withplacency in the obedient, than in out such an atonement, his charthe disobedient. It is plain, there. acter must appear, at least, doubt:
ful, if not decidedly bad. Holy law to his creatures, which he rebeings, perceiving that he treated fuses, or, at least, entirely neglects the holy and wicked alike, would to support. This law is either be utterly unable to determine, good or not good. If it is not from his conduct towards them, good, why did he give it? If it is which acted most agreeably to his good, why does he not execute mind. In this situation, being un- it? In either case he must be able to learn his character, they chargeable with imperfection. If could not feel safe. His treating the God has given a law to his creaunholy as holy beings ought to be tures, which is not good, it must treated, would, at least, lead them be because he either could not deto suspect, that he might treat vise, or did not choose a good one. his holy subjects as unholy ones
In the one case,
he must be deficdeserves to be treated. And thus, ient in wisdom ; in the other, he in their perplexity, they might must be destitute of goodness.fear him, but they could never But it the law be good, and God love or trust him. But, if they does not support it, this must be perceived that he would never either because he is not able, or pardon sinners, without an atone- because he does not choose to supment, this would show them his port it. Here, therefore, must regard for holiness, and his ha- be either a deficiency of power, tred of sin, and would thus secure or, as before, a destitution of good. their confidence, and inspire their ness. But if God had pardoned love.
sinners without an atonement, all 66 Secondly. If God had pardon- this must have followed. It must ed sinners without an atonement, have been forever true, that God he could not have manifested any had given a law, and refused or wisdom in giving the law but neglected to support it; and that would have been chargeable with he had denounced evil against the greatest inconsistency of con- transgressors, and never fulfilled duct. It is evidently impossible his threatening. In this case, his for God to manifest any wisdom character could never have been in giving a law, which could an cleared of the most glaring inconswer no valuable purpose. But, sistency and imperfection. certainly, if he had entirely neg. " It is necessary, therefore, that lected to execute the law which God should execute what he has he has given, this law must have threatened, unless something be been utterly useless. Nor would done by way of atonement, which, he have appeared merely destitute as a substitute, will fully answer of wisdom, but his conduct would the same purpose, in order that have involved glaring inconsisten- his own character may remain uncy. This inconsistency might have sullied, and he appear glorious in been thus stated : God has given a holiness.”