« AnteriorContinua »
Sin offerings were offered up for Aaron and his sons, and the whole congregation, when they were all set apart for God. Levit. ix. God commanded atonement to be made for all sins of ignorance, though some of them would be attended with much guilt. Levit. v. compared with 1 Tim. i. 13.
He commanded atonement to be made for several wilful transgressions of an immoral nature; Levit. vi. 1-7; as lying, theft, fraud, false swearingfornication bordering on adultery; Levit. xix. 20.
He also commanded a sin offering to be offered up for the whole congregation at each of the three annual feasts, when they appeared before him. Levit. xvi. 26-34; Numb. xxviii. 15, 22; xxviii. 26, 32.
At the last of these feasts it is said, Levit. xvi. 21, " And confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins." The three (Hebrew) terms used here, iniquities, to pervert, distort, or to turn aside; transgressions, to pass, to step forward, to step over; and sins, to miss the mark, are supposed by the Jews to comprise every thing that implics a breach of the divine law, or an offence against God. See Dr. Adam Clark in loc.
III. We have also several instances of
atonement being made with success for wilful transgressions, not directly specified in the law of Moses. See Numb. xvi. 46-48; 1 Sam. xxvi. 19; 2 Sam. xxi., xxiv. 18-28. Which strongly suggests, that as they were at liberty under the patriarchal dispensation to propitiate God by sacrifice for any wilful transgresion that was not then declared to be capital, so they were under the law of Moses. Dr. Priestley, in his comments on some of the last-mentioned passages, hesitates not to assert that God was appeased by them.
These things were discussed at large in papers that may be found in the Monthly Repository for December 1816, and also for September 1819, which makes it imprudent to say much more under this head.
When these atonements were made, their sius are positively declared to be forgiven, and in some cases the evil effects of them were speedily removed; without the least hint that their effects were confined to the purification of the flesh, or that they would ever hear any thing more of them, now they were confessed, (Levit. ii. 5,) lamented, (chap. xvi. 29,) and atoned (chap. vii.).
And what was there in all this that is not highly creditable under the government of an infinitely wise, powerful, holy and good Being, who wishes to promote the moral improvement of his creatures? God is love: he delighteth in mercy, and judgment is his strange work. "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live."
IV. In like manner, when Christians are said to be sanctified by the blood or death of Christ, it signifies not merely that they are made members of the Church of Christ by it, but that their past sins are forgiven them through it. "For if the blood of bulls and of goats," &c., "sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ," &c., "purge your conscience from dead works," (works that deserve death, Rom. vi. 23,) "to serve the living God?" Heb. ix. 14. "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once:" chap. x. 10." For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified:" ver. 14. “And
has counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing" ver. 29. "Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate." Heb. xiii. 12. This language is so similar to that used in the Old Testament, in relation to sin offerings, that if the blood of bulls and of goats ever cleansed from wilful offences, it must, on this ground of argument, be supposed that our Lord's did so too: yes, if it could be proved that the blood of bulls and of goats did not cleanse the offerer from moral guilt, the blood of Christ must be admitted to do it, because this writer says, "purge your conscience from dead works;" and because the same thing is asserted so many times in a little different language, both in the Old and New Testament. Dr. Whitby says on Heb. ii. "Who sanctifieth" ("i. e. by his oblation purgeth us from sin"). And on chap. x. 10, he suggests, that to be sanctified doth not here signify to be freed from the power and dominion of sin, but from the guilt of it. And in chap. ix. 13 he observes, from Dr. Hammond, that to sanctify to the purifying of the flesh, is to make legally clean, i. e. so as that they might come into the congregation again, it being the sanctifying of the unclean; "but still in a metaphorical signification, as cleansing signifies expiation, and obtaining pardon of sin; and when this is done by a sacrifice, ayasey signifies to expiate and cleanse from guilt by virtue of it, in which sense it is used throughout this Epistle, and that agreeable to the import of it when it relates to sacrifices in the Old Testament." So the learned Dr. John Taylor having quoted Heb. x. 10, and 26-29, says, Note; sanctified in those texts doth imply or suppose the remission of sin." Taylor on Atonement, p. 116, and in p. 117, "Note; purging, cleansing, washing," &c., "do imply pardon." It is evident from what precedes this remark, that he is speaking of the effects wrought by the blood of Christ. And in his Key to the Romans, p. 127, he observes, "that professing Christians should take it for granted that they are the called, the justified," &c., "for these are benefits freely given us of God on our faith in Christ." Also,
1. "To be sanctified in Christ Je
sus," (1 Cor. i. 2,) and to be baptized into Christ, are one and the same thing. So the Christian Fathers believed. See Wall on Baptism, I. 115, and Grot. on 1 Cor. i. 1.
2. But those persons who are baptized receive at their baptism the forgiveness of their past sins. Ananias said unto Saul, "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins." Acts xxii. 16; ii. 38. Therefore,
3. Those persons who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, or by the blood of Christ, are not merely permitted to enjoy the privileges of the Christian Church, but have also their past sins forgiven them. "A covenant state implies favour," &c., "and a clear account; such as forgives, and imputes no past trespasses." Rev. George Stanhope on the Gospels and Epistles, I. 359.
As then the word sanctified appears sometimes to contain in it the forgiveness of sin as really as admission into the church of God, why should we hesitate to ascribe this sense to it as well as the other? Perhaps to some persons it may seem like a repetition to observe,
V. That if it could be proved that the word sanctified was not directly designed to express the forgiveness of sins, nevertheless, it would be necessarily found to be included in it, or must follow from it. The blessed God's being the God of Abraham, &c., was not, perhaps, designed directly to teach the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead; but it necessarily followed from it. It was hidden in it. So that our worthy deceased friend and others grant what they meant to deny for they admit that the blood or death of Christ has an efficacy to restore sinful and disobedient creatures to a sanctified state; that is, to their becoming members of the church of God; consequently in covenant with him, and, therefore, enjoying all the religious privileges of that highly honoured and happy society. But does not this necessarily include in it the forgiveness of their past offences? Can you suppose it possible that a person should enjoy the one without the other? Are they not two essential parts of one and the same subject? Does not the blessed God, in the gospel, say to Heathen idolaters, and to all unbelievers, leave
your idols, &c., and enter my church as the humble disciples of my beloved Son, and I will pass by all your past offences; only take care hereafter to behave yourselves becoming your new relation, and all shall be well with you for ever? When Mr. Cogan restores an offending child or pupil to his former state in his family, does not the youth consider himself as forgiven, and does not Mr. C. reckon himself to have forgiven him by his behaviour to him, though he may not have expressed his thoughts in so many direct terms? Actions speak
louder than words.
A certain writer, speaking of the behaviour of the late Emperor of France towards the Duke of Enghien, whom he would not admit into his presence to intercede for his liberty and life, says, "That N. seems always to have considered that to see the Duke of Enghien, and to pardon him, were one and the same thing."
SIR, May 12, 1823. TRUST that the time is fast approaching when Unitarians will no longer be reproached with a want of zeal for spreading the knowledge of divine truth amongst distant nations. The very favourable and unlooked-for
in his presence, on friendly terms, if he does not, at the same time, intend to forgive him. Esther vii. 8, and chap. viii. Indeed, all the world must feel the great impropriety of such an
If, then, the blood or death of Christ procures sinful creatures a sanctified state, it also procures them the forgiveness of sins, they are, in some relations, inseparable things. The Holy Scriptures were wrote in the Eastern part of the world, where, it is well known that no prince will permit a disobedient subject to appear-openings exhibited to us at Madras and Calcutta, appear to me nothing less than the finger of Providence pointing out the theatre where our exertions should for the present be principally made. If (as I hope we all firmly believe) the period will arrive when Christian truth shall overspread the earth, even as the waters cover the sea; there can be little doubt in my mind that this great work must be accomplished by Unitarian missions. We may ask, what has reputed Orthodoxy done towards the attainment of this great end? How sincere and earnest the endeavours that have been made by different missionary societies in our own times, and in comparison how very small the results! nor without a miracle could it be otherwise. The stupid Hottentot, or the scarcely less benighted Pacific islander may be induced to profess a belief in dogmas which they cannot comprehend; but what impression has been made on the Jew or the Mussulman? Must not the true but melancholy answer be, None? However inviting the pure and divine morality of the gospel may appear to welldisposed men of those religions, so as to induce them to make further inquiries concerning the truth of Christianity, they no sooner enter upon those inquiries than they are astounded and horrified by hearing doctrines set
As then the blood of the patriarchal and Jewish sacrifices often cleansed the offerer from moral guilt, and the blood or death of Christ is so many times directly or indirectly said to do so too, why, I again say, should we hesitate to use this language, especially as we allow the same thing in a different set of words, that are not a whit more scriptural? How trifling it appears to admit that we are received into favour with God, enter into the covenant of immortality with him, and enjoy all the sacred privileges of the church of God through the blood or death of Christ, but do not receive the pardon of our past sins through it! Let him make good and consistent sense of this who can.
as large a place in our public religious services as it occupies in the Sacred Scriptures. And I am inclined to suspect, that the Unitarian car will drag rather heavily along until this popular and powerful principle shall be linked faster to it, and be set in more vigorous motion by it. And if our friend Mr. Field could be persuaded to publish his numerous set of discourses on the sufferings and death of Christ, it might greatly promote this good end.-F.'s Letter to H. p.
And if this be truth it ought to have } ૨
forth as the very essence of Christianity, which must of necessity from all their previous belief, appear to them nothing less than the most appalling blasphemy. With the Hindoo we might suppose the case would be different. Believing as he does_in a variety of incarnations of the Supreme Being, we might predicate of him that he would give a ready assent to the Christian incarnation; yet, in fact, the Orthodox missionary finds nearly as many difficulties to encounter with the Hindoo as with a Mussulman. He must of course attack the Bramunical tenets as idolatrous, but unfortunately it is not in his power to advance a single argument in support of the Trinity, which his opponent may not fairly use in defence of his own belief. There are some very curious extracts from the writings of a Brahmin on this subject, inserted by Captain Thrush in a pamphlet in answer to Mr. Richardson's defence of the Athanasian Creed, which are deserving of the serious attention of all missionaries.
In conclusion, I must express the anxious desire I feel that some effective means may be adopted for calling the attention of the Unitarian public to this interesting subject. London is doubtless the proper place in which to originate these measures, and some of the active members of the Unitarian Fund will, I hope, come forward with an offer of their services in establishing a missionary society for the East Indies, and I have no fear whatever of a failure, feeling confident that such an establishment would meet with the cordial and zealous support of Unitarians in all parts of the island. It appears to me little less than a libel on the cause to fear that every thing desired by Mr. Adam might not be accomplished, if active and judicious measures were taken, with the exception perhaps of sending out his number of learned missionaries, as I understand that there is at present rather a deficiency in the supply of our own places of worship. It appears to me that were Mr. Adam provided with the printer, press and paper, and the necessary pecuniary means, that he would in a short time be able to sup. ply himself with native teachers in every way fitted for missionaries, and
who, from their perfect knowledge of the language and customs, would labour with an effect that an European would with difficulty attain.
GLEANINGS; OR, SELECTIONS AND REFLECTIONS MADE IN A COURSE OF GENERAL READING.
Strange as this phrase may seem, it is borrowed from the history of the pulpit among our French neighbours.
L'Eloquence Tousseuse" marks a period in the annals of preaching. Of this era, Olivier Maillard, a Cordelier preacher and Doctor of Divinity, was one of the most characteristic specimens. His sermons were published after his death with caricature prints, an appropriate embellishment. The most singular of these productions was printed by itself, under the follow. ing title: "Sermon d'Olivier Maillard, prêché le cinquième Dimanche de Carême, en la ville de Bruges, l'an 1500, en 40." This is a curious volume, much prized by bibliographers. In the margin are inserted the words Hem! Hem! at the places where the preacher paused, in order to cough; and he professedly designates these passages thus marked as models for the same pulpit-action. (See De Bure's Bibliographie, volume de Théologie, No. 510.) This reverend buffoon was a great favourite with the high and mighty of his day, and was employed in important embassies by Pope Innocent VIII., by Charles VIII., King of France, and by Ferdinand, King of Arragon. He died at Toulouse in 1502.-One anecdote told of him is creditable to his character.
He had insinuated in his sermons some satirical strokes at Louis XI., who, in consequence, ordered a message to be conveyed to him that he would throw him into the river. “The King is master," he replied; "but tell him that I shall sooner get to Paradise by water, than he by posthorses," alluding here to the relays of the post, just established by Louis. (Biographie Universelle, T. XXVI. p. 238.)
SELECT NOTICES OF FOREIGN LITERATURE.
Account of M. DE CLERCQ, a Dutch that undermine its capital; depicted Improvisatore. the Romans, the Goths, the Greeks of the lower empire, the Saracens, the Normans, and the Hungarian, Angevin, Arragonese, and French princes, who have by turns been its invaders pointed out the efforts made by the unhappy country, eternally subjected to the caprice of foreign usurpers, to obtain the freedom which eludes its grasp; and, lastly, narrated the events of the year 1820, and the dangers which again threaten the independence of that classic ground, which appears for ever devoted to slavery.
On another occasion, the ladies in a numerous assembly were desired to propose a subject to the poet: One's Native Country, and The Death of Socrates, were the two themes most strongly recommended; M. de Clercq united them in one effusion. Nothing, perhaps, excites our admiration so inuch as that flexibility of talent which enables him to seize with equal strength of genius objects the most dissimilar. In one of those evenings devoted to his intimate friends, The Chase had been the subject of his extemporaneous verses; a few minutes afterwards he was entreated to celebrate the poet Schiller; his enthusiasm was instantly kindled, and with the hand of a master he traced the characteristics of this most distinguished of the tragic bards of Germany, translating at the moment some of Schiller's most brilliant passages into Dutch verse. One of those effusions, most calculated to impress the memory, was that entitled Melpomene, which he gave at a meeting of the members of the Institute, at the house of M. Wisélius. On that occasion the Professor Kinker, of Liege, one of the most celebrated Dutch poets, who had not hitherto been convinced that the enthusiastic praises bestowed on M. de Clercq could be merited, had the opportunity of appreciating his wonderful powers. The Improvisatore began with the feeble infancy of the dramatic art, then portrayed its vigorous youth in the genius of Eschylus, Sophocles and Euripides; giving in brilliant touches, instantly recognized by the best Greek
(Translated from the Musée des Variétés Littéraires, for April 1823, pp. 152, 153.)
Amsterdam, February, 1823. A most extraordinary phenomenon is to be found at this place,-a Dutch Improvisatore. Between him and the Italian Improvisatori we can institute no comparison; for M. de Clercq, who is distinguished in the commercial world, applies himself with zealous industry to his calling, and in his leisure hours alone, having arrived but at the age of seven and twenty, he has acquired a profound knowledge of history, modern history especially; of the Greek, Latin, Spanish, Italian, French, English and German literature, and of the literature of his own country. Of this knowledge he gave a brilliant proof in his essay on the subject proposed by the second class of the Institute: An Examination of the Influence of Spanish, Italian, French and German Literature on the Literature of Holland; an essay which obtained for him the golden prize, in the sitting of 1822. With an impartiality as unswerving as his acquaintance with those writers is extensive, he admiringly quotes the verses of Calderon and of Tasso, of Voltaire, of Byron, and of Schiller. To his large acquirements M. de Clercq adds the inspiration of the poet. Hitherto his pen has preserved but few of his verses; frequently, however, in a circle of friends, when a subject is pointed out, he rises, and after revolving it in his mind for one or two minutes, pours forth a torrent of ideas and images in the noblest strains of poetry. At an entertainment of a political nature, given at the end of the year 1820, or the beginning of 1821, a gentleman requested him to sing the journey of the King of Naples to Laybach. Rising immediately, in lines full of poetic fire he sketched the beautiful country of Italy, dwelling on its most lovely part-the paradise of Naples; traced its political revolutions, which are not less dreadful than the natural revolutions