Imágenes de páginas


his own life to accomplish the will of God concerning mankind, thus having obtained an eternal redemption,' a deliverance not from the present penalties and disqualifications of the law, but 'eternal salvation TO ALL WHO OBEY HIM;' ch. v. 9.



29.] Hebr. ix. 14. For if the sacrifice of ills and goats was the appointed means of removing legal impurities, how much more shall the blood of the Christ,' a rational being, holy and obedient to God, who, through the eternal spirit,' under the guidance of the spirit of God, with a full acquaintance with His will and desire to obey it, offered himself spotless unto God,' devoted even his life, though himself free from guilt, to accomplish the gracious purposes of God towards mankind, to assure to them the hope of pardon and everlasting life, how much more shall such a sacrifice' cleanse. your conscience from dead works,' from evil desires. and dispositions, and the dread of punishment for past sins, so as to serve the living God!' See No. 18, 26.


30.] In ch. ix. 15, the Writer distinctly states the grand purpose of the death of Christ, which is also assigned by our Saviour, and forms the basis of the whole phraseology in the Epistles which is so deplorably misunderstood, to the obscuring of some of the simplest and most important declarations of

f The following is Newcome's rendering of this passage. And for this cause Christ is the mediator of the new covenant; that, death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, by his death those who are called might receive the promise of the everlasting inheritance.'

the Gospel,-viz. that those who are called, to whom the blessings of the Gospel are offered, and by whom they are accepted, might receive the promise of an eternal inheritance. The death of Christ ratified the new covenant,-in then existing circumstances, its blessings could not have been assured and extended without it, and Christ submitted to it with a view to his resurrection, and all its great and glorious consequences: (see note ("), p. 113). It can scarcely be necessary to remind the reader, that the rendering of diafrxy, covenant, by the word testament, in the Public Version, greatly obscures and indeed perverts the sense of the Writer. After having dwelt upon this idea, he states the fact, (vs. 22,) that, in the Mosaic institutions, almost all things were purified with blood, and that there was no instance of remission of ritual offences, without the shedding of blood; and this leads him to remark, that there was a peculiar fitness that, in the new dispensation, purification should be made with superior sacrifices. What he refers to was obviously the death of Christ, and he remarks, (vs. 26,) that the Christ hath been manifested for the removal of sin,' to give every suitable aid and encouragement in the acquisition of holiness in beart and life, by the sacrifice of himself.'


31.] Respecting ch. x. 5, I have already made some remarks, (see p. 236); and there is very little in the chapter which requires any additional explanation in reference to my present object. So far from giving any countenance to a doctrine which one of its adherents has called unaccountable and

irrational, the chapter contains passages directly opposing it; see vs. 7. 10. 16-18: and however difficult it may be in some cases to discover the precise ideas which the Writer intended to express, it appears to me perfectly clear, that the views which' I have so often stated, (see p. 8. 305, &c.) fully account for the strength of his expressions, and afford the clearest solution of them: see also No. 28. 29. The leading idea through the whole is, that the death of Jesus ratified the new covenant; that his blood was therefore the blood of the covenant: and this is the light in which our Saviour has represented it, and which without doubt has been the origin of most of those expressions in the Epistles, which many have made the foundation of " unaccountable irrational doctrine," in no way justified by the representations of Jesus himself, and in my apprehension inconsistent with them.-One expression may be thought to require distinct notice, viz. vs. 14: For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."' To see the force of this, we must attend to vs. 1, 2, and 11. The Writer there argues, from the continued repetition of the legal sacrifices, that their efficacy was limited and temporary; and that they could not give those who offered them a complete assurance of forgiveness: on the contrary, the death of Jesus


Mr. Thomas Bradbury says, "The SATISFACTION of Christ is an UNACCOUNTABLE IRRATIONAL doctrine, "which DESTROYS EVERY NATURAL IDEA WE HAVE OF DIVINE JUSTICE, and lay aside the evidence of the Scriptures, is so far from being true, that it is RIDICU"LOUS." See his Sermons, p. 39, 40.-I rejoice in the belief that it is as inconsistent with the Scriptures as it is with reason.

[ocr errors]


ratified a perpetual covenant, by which God promised, that He would no more remember the past sins and iniquities of those who complied with the terms of that covenant. There was therefore no need of more sacrifices; since those who, by their belief in Jesus, were brought into a state of spiritual privilege, who thus were sanctified, obtained a complete assurance of forgiveness by means of his one offering. In what sense it may be said that forgiveness was obtained by the death of Christ, I need not again explain: see No. 27.

32.] There are three terms applied to Jesus, which have contributed to confirm the ideas so widely prevalent respecting vicarious punishment, satisfaction, &c.: viz. mediator, advocate, and surety. The last occurs in Hebr. vii. 22; and I cannot do better than quote the words of Mr. Wright, (Antisatisfactionist, p. 354). "It is very common for reputed orthodox Christians to call Christ the surety of sinners, and to talk of his becoming surety to God for them; but never in the Scriptures is he called the surety of sinners, or said to be a surety to God for us. Once only is he called a surety, and then it is of the testament or covenant. He is so called because the new covenant was lodged in his hands, and he confirmed it by his death. His surety-ship has no relation to his becoming responsible for the sins of men, but to his fully attesting the truth of the Gospel, and to his giving us the strongest assurances that all his promises shall be accomplished. The former would destroy our personal responsibility; the latter fills us with faith and hope, and stimulates to obedience."-That his


being styled Mediator has nothing to do with the doctrine of atonement, is obvious from Gal. iii. 19, where Moses is spoken of as a mediator, inasmuch as he was the medium of divine communication as to the old covenant. For the ame reason Jesus is called mediator. He was God's minister between Him and sinful man, delivering the Gospel, or the word of reconciliation, to mankind, as Moses delivered the Law to the Jews."--If the appellation Advocate given by the Apostle John prove any thing respecting the efficacy of our Saviour's present interposition in rendering God merciful, it proves too much,-that the death of Christ had not the efficacy assigned to it. I understand the words

the Apostle as implying, If any man sin, let him not despair: one still lives, lives in the enjoyment of peculiar intercourse with God, of peculiar proofs of His approbation, who has done every thing which was requisite to assure us of mercy and forgiveness; and on his declarations we may safely and securely rely: we have a friend, who came to heat the broken hearted, who died for us, and who now lives for ever with the Father,-Jesus Christ the righteous.'

b 1 Tim. ii. 5.

Hebr. viii. 6. ix. 15. xii. 24.

1 John ii. 1. The original word is waganλnros, several times employed by our Lord (in John xiv. xv. xvi.) in reference to the holy spirit.-The Apostle, here representing his Master as enjoying peculiar intercourse with God, employs the preposition gos, as in every other clear case of the same: import. See note (h), p. 247.

« AnteriorContinuar »