« AnteriorContinua »
tarry in my sight. These six bound to give us a rule, and things doth the Lord hate; yea, from scripture too, which shall seven are an abomination unto enable us to know on what occahim; a proud look, a lying sions we may lawfully break our tongue, &c. A false witness shall word. This has never been not be unpunished ; and he, done, but every man is permit.' that speaketh lies, shall not es- ted, according to them, to lie cape.
Remove far from me whenever he thinks that he can vanity and lies. Lord, who shall justify himself in so doing. But abide in thy tabernacle ; who has God thus directed us conshall dwell in thy holy bill? He, cerning our moral conduct ? Has that walketh uprightly, and he left it to men, in this great worketh righteousness, and affair, to be their own lawgivers speaketh the truth in his heart. and judges? Let us beware, Deliver my soul, O Lord, from that we do not deceive ourselves lying lips, and from a deceitful as well as others. tongue. Lying lips are It is altogether foreign to the abomination to the Lord. purpose to say, that by speakWherefore, putting away lying, ing truth we may sometimes speak every man truth with his hazard our best interests, and neighbour. For without are even our lives. The same might dogs, and sorcerers, and whore- be said of our adhering to the remongers, and murderers, and ligion of Jesus. If we may desert idolaters, and whosoever loveth our duty because of temptation, and maketh a lie. All liars shall right and wrong are then interhave their part in the lake, changeable, as circumstances which burneth with fire and may happen. The truth is, brimstone ; which is the second when a man has once settled it death.”
in his mind, that he may violate These passages exhibit to us the truth in extreme cases ; the character of lying, and the such cases, to him, will occur sentence pronounced upon those, very often, and he will soon conwho are guilty of it. The scrip- clude it expedient to break his tures no where contain an ex- word, whenever it meets his inception to what is here deliver- clination. Our best interests,
Every thing contained in moreover, are not to be found in them, respecting this point, is this state of existence; nor are decisive; referring to all per. they to be sought in neglecting sons, cases, and times. Such is our duty, and in the commission the immense importance of of sin. We best pursue our intruth, that the whole moral terest, when we most faithfully world depends upon it; and such keep the commandinents of God. is the amazing obliquity of ly. To obey him is always truly ing, that Satan himself is de- expedient. clared in the word of God to be Let those parents, who are in the father of it ; and we know too the habit of making promises to well its fatal effects on our first their children, with no intention parents and their posterity. of fulfilling them, and which
Those who maintain that ly- perhaps they cannot fulfil, reflect ing is sometimes allowable are on what they do, and the conse
quence of such examples. No- ence of his life : that his death, thing can justify such conduct or the shedding of his blood , had in those, who are under the nothing peculiarly meritorions in strongest obligations to be scru. it, except that it was obedience in pulously exaci, and solicitously the most trying circumstances. watchful in all their behaviour, This seems to fall far short of from which their offspring may
the scripture representation of take a bias toward that, which is the atonement. The vicarious good or evil. The practice of sacrifices under the Mosaic disdeceiving children with regard pensation evidently pointed to to food, medicine, and other something more ; and they were things, to which they are oppos- only “the shadow
of good ed, is on this ground, highly cen- things to come, of which Christ surable. Not only does the pa
was the substance. He offered rent destroy his own veracity in himself up once for all, for the the eyes of the child, but teaches sins of the world. And “ withthe child to undervalue truth, out shedding of blood, is no reand prepares him to act accord- mission.”+ However highly we ingly.
may speak of Christ, as an exWhatever attempts may be ample to believers, if we exclude made to justify or palliate a lie, the merit of his blood, as the that Being, who requires truth the ground of pardon and justiin the inner parts, cannot be fication, every pious soul might deceived as to its turpitude ; nor complain with Mary," they have will he fail to retribute according taken away my Lord, and I know to his own laws, and his own de- not where they have laid him." clarations.
C. D. Christ made a proper expiation
for sin : therefore it is said, in view of the sinner, “ Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransoin," (in the
Heb.) atonement. I As atonement for sin is a dis
But as some make too little of tinguishing trait in the Christian
the atonenient ;
there are religion, it is important rightly others who make 100 much of to understand the nature of it. it. Not too much, as to its gloIt is the foundation of the believ- rious effects. That is impossier's hope, and peace, and joy. ble. But they include things in * We joy in God, through our it, which are repugnant both to Lord Jesus Christ, by whom reason and scripture.
received the consider that in Christ's dying atonement.
for the world, there is a transfer Some have considered the of the sins of men to the person Saviour, especially those who and character of Christ, and deny the divinity of his nature, transfer of his righteousness to merely as an example of holiness, them. But sin and holiness are opening the way to pardon and personal, and therefore not trang. justification only by the obedi- ferable qualities. Such a pro• Rom. v. 11.
| Heb. ix. 22. Job xxxii. 24.
cess is impossible in the nature might be made the righteousness of things. One person may suf- of God in him.”* But here the fer for another, but he can never word sin is used fora sin-offering; be a sinner for another. It is as it is said in another place, sometimes replied, however, in “Christ hath redeemed us from view of such a subject, that the curse of the law, being made “ with God all things are possi- a curse for us ;" where his beble.” This is true of all things ing made a curse is explained to that do not imply a contradiction inean his ignominious death. in their own nature. The idea “ Cursed is every one that hangof transferring sin is not more eth on a tree.” repugnant to reason than it is to In the Levitical law, the priest scripture. Christ is said to die, is commanded to "bring a young the “just for the unjust.” But bullock, without blemish, unto if there had been a mutual trans- the Lord, for a sin-offering,"I fer of moral character, he could (Heb. for a sin.) Now, as this be no longer just, nor they un- bullock without blemish was a just; Christ is said also to be type of Christ, the great sacri“ exalted to give repentance and fice, it was very natural for Paul, forgiveness of sins.” If there while treating of the antitype, to is a transfer of our sins to Christ, make use of a similar term, by we can be subjects neither of re
which we ought to understand, pentance nor forgiveness. We as in the former case, a sin-offer. could lay claim to an exemption ing. With this explanation, it from punishment from the puri- perfectly accords with what the ty of our characters.
same apostle says to the HeIt is important to expose the brews, “ Christ was once offered fallacy of this principle, as some to bear the sins of many."'S And have inferred from it the erro- to the Romans, " Who was deneous doctrine of universal sal. livered for our offences."'/ vation. And if the premises are If, then, the atonement is true, viz. (that the sins of man- something more than the mere kind are transferred to Christ, sinless example of Christ, or his and his righteousness transferred perfect obedience to the divine to them) I see not why the con- law, and something less than a sequence will not follow : for it mutual transfer of character beis said, he "tasted death for eve- tween Christ and a sinful world, ry man.” If the sins of man- we shall not be likely to mistake kind are transferred to the Me- its nature. Christ, in opening diator, they are no longer their the way to pardon and justificaown. They are exempted from tion, was substituted in the room desert of punishment in the most of sinners. He voluntarily took literal and unqualified sense, and their place. He assumed their justice has no farther claim upon condition, but not their character. them. But this is not the scrip- He partook of the cup of aflica tural idea of the atonement by Christ. It is true, it is said,
* 2 Cor. v. 25. + Gal. iii. 13. “ He hath made him to be sin
Lev. iv.3. Heb. ix, 28, for us, who knew no sin, that we | Rom. iv. 25, Vol. III, No. 11.
tion, but not of iniquity. He shepherd, and against the man experienced the displays of that is My FELLOW, saith the wrath due to sin, but at the same Lord of Hosts." time was “ holy, harmless, un- God in this way having testidefiled, separate from sin- fied his utter abhorrence against pers. This idea of the atone- sin, and Christ having voluntariment makes the scriptures plain. ly, in his own person, on our ac“ Surely he hath borne our coant, experienced the wages of griefs, and carried our sorrows; it, which is death, the way is yet we did esteem him stricken, open, without any reflection upsmitten of God, and afflicted. on the divine justice, or any But he was wounded for our ground of suspicion of the ditransgressions, he was bruised vine character, as conniving at for our iniquities; the chastise. sin, or looking upon it with less ment of our peace was upon detestation than his tremendous him, and with his stripes we threatenings had indicated, for are healed. He made his grave pardon and justification to be with the wicked, and with the proclaimed to all who would rich in his death, because he had thenceforward forsake sin and done no violence, neither was accept of the Saviour; who any deceit in his mouth. Yet it would believe in his divine mis. pleased the Lord to bruise him, sion and character, imbibe his he hath put him to grief ; when heavenly temper, copy his exthou shalt make his soul an of- ample, and “ adorn his doctrine fering for sin, he shall see his. in all things." Hence, it is secd, he shall prolong his days, said, “ Christ is the end of the and the pleasure of the Lord law for righteousness to every shall prosper in his hand.”+ one that believeth." God can
Consider Christ as a vicarious“ be just, and the justifier of sacrifice, or substituted in the him which believeth in. Jesus." room of sinners, and all the evils The Son of man is “lifted up, that came upon him are a mani- that whosoever believeth in him festation of the wrath of God should not perish, but have eteragainst sin. And ihis wrath is nal life.” « Look unto me, and inanifested in a more striking be ye saved, all the ends of the manner, than it could be by earth.”
OMICROX. scourging ail mankind out of existence. The divine wrath against sin appeared in the uni
QUESTIONS versal deluge, in the conflagra
CHURCH GOVERNMENT, PROtion upon the plains of Sodom,
POSED AND ANSWERED. and' in the frequent plagues in the camp of the murmuring
QUESTION I. Israelites; but it never shone in
If a council called by a church a light so awful and convincing, for the purpose of ordaining a as in the death of Christ, when
man to be her pastor, find him the prophecy fulfilled,
to be, in their opinion, heretical, “ Awake, o sword, against my him, do they, by such refusaly
and therefore refuse to ordain * Heb. vii. 26. Isai, liii. 4, 5, 9, 10.
| Zech. xiii. 7.
leave him under an ecclesiasti- council ought to be called, before cal censure ?
whom his opponents may bring ANSWER.
their complaint, if they please ; Every ordaining council must and in such expectation he is enjudge for themselves, whether titled to a voice in the nominait be their duty to ordain such tion of this council. The mempastor elect, or to forbear. If bers, at least some of the memthey find him essentially errone- bers of this council, ought to be ous, they ough: to forbear. called from the vicinity in which But in this case they leave him he has been previously converin the same state, in which they sant, as a theological student or found him, except so far as their preaching candidate, because to result naturally excites them his manners, abilities and picions in the minds of others. sentiments may be best known. If they are called merely to or- If in civil society a man accused dain, they cannot censure him. of any crime has a right to be For no man is to be tried and tried by good and lawful men of condemned as a heretic, unless the vicinage, because, as civilthere be a complaint exhibited, ians tell us, to them his past manexpressly stating the heresies ner of life is better known tban which he avows; and unless he to strangers ; for the same reabe previously served with a copy son a candidate for the ministry, of said complaint, that he may when called to a trial, has a right have reasonable time to prepare to the like privilege : And his for his defence ; and unless the vicinage may not be in the place, council to try him be explicitly where he is invited to settle, but called for the purpose ; and he in the place where he has forhave a voice in their nomination. merly lived and been educated.
If he is not laid under censure This may be at a distance from by the refusal of ordination, then the place of his proposed settlethe church may continue their ment. Hence ordaining and jucall, and may convene another diciary councils are usually callcouncil; and this second coun- ed, in part, from a distance. cil will have the same right, as
QUESTION II. the former had, to judge for May not a minor part of the themselves, whether it be their council, if they are satisfied with duty to ordain or forbear. If the candidate, proceed to ordain they ordain him, he is to be con- him, although the major, part sidered and treated, in all re- refuse to act in the solemnity ? spects, as a minister in good
ANSWER. standing, until a judiciary coun- As the whole council is called cil, vested with authority to try by the church to transact this him on the complaint, shall con- business, and to approve and vict and condemn him. As the sanction the proposed relation first council, by refusing to or
between them and their pastor dain the candidate, have left him elect, the minor part cannot act under suspicion, but not under in opposition to the major part, censure, in which equivocal state without a new call from the it is improper that he should church. When the council remain, therefore second have declared their result, their