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faith, which, together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death; should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing; and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them, free from every spot and blemish, to the enjoyment of glory in his own presence for ever." R. D. C. Canons, Head 2. Art. 8.
"In what sense did
Another question must be proposed. Christ obey and suffer in the stead and room of the sinner?" The learned and venerable Dr. West answers for one party, that Christ was so substituted for the sinner, "that the same disposition of the Deity, which would have appeared in the death of the sinner," was “ exhibited in the death of Christ,” so that now God can save any, or all sinners, without disgracing his throne.
In opposition to this substitution of one exhibition for another, speaks an English Divine; who maintains such a reality of obedience and suffering, as effectually secures the actual justification of all, for whom the death of Christ was an atonement. "I cannot but think they are in some degree guilty," of depreciating the merits of Christ, "who will by no means allow that Christ bore the idem, the same death, the same curse that was threatened in the law, as due to sin, and to us for it. What was that part of the sentence of the law, that was gone out against sin, which he did not submit unto?"
Rawlin on Justification, p. 185.
"The law found him in the sinner's place, and then God spared not his own Son: justice found him charged with the sinner's guilt, and then it stirred up all its wrath; awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, against the man that is my fellow : nor did it withdraw its terrors till he could say, it is finished." Rawlin on Jus. p. 98.
"The whole weight of our controversy with the Socinians, apon the doctrine of Christ's satisfaction hinges here: they will readily grant, that what Christ did in his sufferings and death was for our good; for our benefit and advantage; and that the effects
thereof might some way or other extend to us. But I think we are able to prove with the clearest evidence out of the scriptures, that his obedience and sufferings were not only for our good, but strictly and properly on our behalf, and in our stead: that he died not only as a martyr to bear witness to the truth, and confirm the doctrine which he preached; nor only as an example of that resignation and submission to the will of God, under the heaviest and most unmerited sufferings;" nor merely as an exhibition of the wrath of God against sin in general; "but as a sacrifice and substitute, charged with our guilt, and bearing that punishment, which was due to our sins, that so he might make full and proper satisfaction to God for them." Rawlin on Jus. p. 91.
Had not Christ been by substitution legally guilty, the infliction of pain upon him had been unjust: but, "he who knew no sin in his own person, is said to be made sin for us, by the imputation of our sin to him; that we in a parallel way, by the imputation of his righteousness to us, might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Rawlin, p. 123.
Hence it is argued, that it would be an act of injustice to Christ, and of despite to his righteousness not to justify every one for whom he died to make atonement: wherefore it is said, (1 John i. 9.) "he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
To this representation it is objected by the Hopkinsians, that sinners are released from all obligations to obedience, by "this idem per idem, this algebraical equation of an atonement;" that the offers of salvation are unscripturally restricted; and that should all sinners be required to believe, they would many of them be required to believe a lie, and therefore unbelief in all the non-elect can be no sin.
These objections are by the Calvinists thus obviated.
The law is of eternal obligation as a rule of conduct, but believers are not under it as a covenant of works, to be thereby justified or condemned. Christ has atoned for all the sins which avill actually be committed by the believer, and not for those
which might be committed by him, were he not restrained by the fear, law, and providence of God. Hence, it is as proper to exhort a justified person to obey, as an elected person to make his election sure, or a regenerated person to persevere to the end. Would you say to a child of God, "take heed that you do not fall away," and yet refuse to say, "beware that you do not sin, so that there is no more sacrifice for you?"
See Con. C. Scot. Con. P. C. U. S. Say. Plat. chap. 19. sec. 6. and Rawlin on Justification, p. 241.
It may also be remembered that the love of Christ constrains to obedience, and is the strongest bond of moral obligation.
In proposing to sinners the terms of reconciliation, the Calvinists do not require their hearers to believe a falsehood. Sinners are assured, that as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man was lifted up, for this purpose, that whosoever believeth on him might not perish, but have eternal life, John iii. 14, 15. They are told, that if they believe, they shall be saved; that ample provision is made for every person who shall at any time possess a contrite heart; and that such as come to Jesus shall in no case, for any crime, be rejected. Are sinners required to believe a lie, when required to believe, that the provision made by the atonement is as ample as the wisdom of God saw necessary, and as the petitions for pardon will ever require? What can a sinner be under the necessity of knowing besides this, that every person, who feels his need of a Saviour, and from the heart says, "God be merciful to me a sinner," shall find complete justification? We conclude then, say the Calvinists, that it is scriptural to declare, that the atonement by Jesus Christ, comprehends whatever is done or suffered by him, to procure, by merit, the justification of the elect:
"It is that which effectually removes the offence of sin, and procures for the sinner reconciliation with God."
Christian's Magazine, Vol. 3. p. 37.
• We conclude, say the Hopkinsians, giving their definition that the atonement is simply an exhibition of justice and mercy in the person of Jesus Christ, in consequence of which, God can pardon any number of sinners, but is bound by no obligation of justice to save any one for whom Christ died.
A DISCOURSE IN FAVOUR OF AN INDEFINITE
WHO IS THE SAVIOUR OF ALL MEN; ESPECIALLY OF THOSE
WHO BELIEVE." 1 Timothy iv. 10.
In attending to these words, our FIRST inquiry will respect the import of the expression, all men: our SECOND, the sense in which Christ is the Saviour of all men and our THIRD, the propriety of calling Jesus the Saviour especially of believers.
I. What are we to understand by the words, all men? We grant, that according to the customary use of language, they do not necessarily imply every individual of the human race; for the word all is not unfrequently used in a limited sense. Matt. iii 5. "Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized." All, here,
* It is the design of this discourse to exhibit, briefly, what is said in favour of the last definition in the preceding note. Any person who wishes a more elaborate display of the sentiments contained in this performance, may consult "An Essay on the Atonement," lately published in this city. He who would read something more ingenious and argumentative, but equally erroneous, is referred to a volume entitled "Sermons, Essays, and Extracts, by various authors: selected with special respect to the great doctrine of the Atonement."
means the greater part of the inhabitants, or a very considerable proportion In Phil. ii. 21. it is used in the same manner; when Paul says, "all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's;" but manifestly intends neither to implicate himself, nor Timothy, nor the greater part of the Philippian church. In Titus ii. 11. all denotes many of almost every nation and description." For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” These instances are sufficient to show, that when we would ascertain the meaning of any such common word, we must advert to its connexion with the context. Proceeding by this rule, we shall find, that all, in the text, is used in its unlimited sense, for every one of the human race; because all men are comprehended either in the class of believers or unbelievers; and God is expressly said, not only to be the Saviour of all believers; but of all other men. Consequently "the living God" is the Saviour of every descendant of Adam.
That by all men we are to understand every individual of our race, is evident from many other similar expressions, concerning the universality of redemption.
Heb. ii. 9. "We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death,-that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” St. John declares, that Jesus is not only the Saviour of all believers, but also of all unbelievers, when he says, "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." From 2 Cor. v. ch. 14th and 15th verses, it is evident that Jesus died for every individual who was legally dead by sin. "We thus judge," says Paul, "That if one died for all, then were all dead and that he died for all." Jesus, therefore, is the Saviour of every individual child of Adam. In writing to Timothy, Paul says, "God our Saviour will have [or commands] all men to be saved - Christ Jesus
self a ransom for all."
Peter, in his 2d Epistle, iii. ch. 9th ver says, the Lord is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance;" and consequently be saved, through the universal redemption.