Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

hereafter be shewn, was typical of the struction should, at first, be given or asked blood of Christ : and the penalty of moral on the nature of Divine worship. transgressions was remitted out of regard “The supposition of its being of Divine to this sacrifice, in the same way as the origin alone answers the circumstances legal penalties were commuted by the which accompanied the first instances of it. offering of victims : and it was perfectly “This account of it alone accords with unnecessary always to' allude to the sys- the direction given to Cain on the rejectem, when the benefit of it was conferred tion.of his offering. by pardoning offences.” Pp. 65, 66.- “The account given of these offerings

in the Epistle to the Hebrews necessarily We proceed to the fourth objec

. leads to this conclusion. tion ; namely, that the doctrine of « The universal practice of animal sacrithe atonement is founded on the fice in all ages, and throughout the world, unauthorised assumption of the pia- proves it.” p. xiii. cular and vicarious nature of sacri.

If this ground be firmly laid, as fices. This is a wide and much controverted subject; and the re

it is by numerous writers down to

* Mr. Faber and our author, we canvival of the discussion within these

not think that much doubt can relast few years, has led to several valuable treatises, or portions of

main on the other two points ;

namely, that sacrifice, thus primtreatises, upon it, in addition to

eval and divinely appointed, was those of former writers; but Mr.

an expiatory rite, and that it had Jerram has given us as good an epi

reference to the atonement of Christ. tome of the argument as we could

It being the appointment of God, well point out in any author. Our

and not the free-will offering of readers are acquainted with our

man, seems to us to involve the opinions on the subject from former

first, and incidentally the second, of reviews : and, among others, of Mr.

these conclusions. Those who deny Davison's treatise on Primitive Sa.

that animal sacrifices are piacular crifice; in which he maintains, with

and typical, will probably, in every much ability, but we think not con

instance, deny their Divine origin; clusively, the negative side of the

though even this hypothesis seems argument-endeavouring to shew,

to us more reasonable than the that sacrifices were not of Divine

i middle opinion, espoused by some origin; or rather, cannot be proved

divines, and so powerfully defended to be so by scriptural evidence. Those who are of this opinion of

by Mr. Davison, that, in their origin course lose one most efficacious

and patriarchal use they were hu

man, but in their eventual applicaarrow from their quiver, in contend.

tion Divine ; that, after being in. ing with the Socinian; and this shaft ought not to be lightly relin

vented by man, and used by man,

without any piacular or vicarious quished; though, whether relinquish

reference, up to the time of Moses, ed or not, the armoury is sufficiently

Y Jehovah, under the Jewish law, full of scriptural weapons to equip

P engrafted on the rite a new meanthe champion for the combat.

ing, and made what was before only Mr. Jerram's argument on this

an expression of guilt or gratitude, subject comprises three particulars :

a vehicle, symbolically at least, for namely, that animal sacrifices were

the expiation of sin. of Divine institution; that they were

The arguments by which our au. piacular; and that they referred to

to thor substantiates his second posi

the Christ the great Sacrifice.

tion are, that sacrifices were viewed In proof of the first point, that

as expiatory, both by the Gentile sacrifice was of Divine origin, he

world and by the patriarchs ; that urges the following arguments:

both before and after the giving of " It was the first, and only thing men- the Mosaic law, their expiatory tioned in the religion of the primitive character had reference not to cere. family, and which received the Divine approbation.

monial, but only to moral transgres" It is highly improbable that no in- sions; and that, finally, they were strictly vicarious, as well as propi- the Mosaic Law, moral offences were tiatory. There are soine parts of pardoned, and this through sacrithis argument which are by no fices; the offender reposing by faith means trite, and are conducted by in the promise of God, and with our author with great ability. We more or less clear knowledge of the might specify, in particular, his Great Sacrifice of Calvary. In this course of reasoning, to prove that we fully concur; the bearing of animal sacrifice, both under the pa. animal sacrifices was throughout triarchal and the levitical dispensa. upon the forgiveness of sin ; not tion, was expiatory of moral trans. the breach of ceremonies or political gressions; and, as he contends, of delinquencies, but sin, that is, moral moral only, and not in any case offences against God. The great directly of ceremonial or political. day of the atonement, the morning Under the patriarchal dispensation, and evening sacrifices, and all the we admit that it is clear that if rites of the Mosaic code, tended to expiatory sacrifices were offered at this point; and the penitent ofall, as certainly they were, it must fender, acting with faith in the way be for moral offences, as no other of God's appointment, stood justified than these existed; for there being no in his sight. But was he not also ceremonial law, there could be no ceremonially justified ? Was he ceremonial transgression. But the capable of being punished under exclusionary portion of the argument the Theocracy for an offence to seems to us difficult as respects the which a ceremonial expiation was Mosaic dispensation; and, in truth, attached, when he had offered that did it really include all that it expiation ? Was he not absolved seems at first sight to imply, we both before God as his Creator, and must utterly reject it. But if we God as his civil Ruler? If he was, understand our author's reason what is the purport of our author's ing aright, be does not affirm that exclusion of ceremonial absolution ? sacrifices were not offered for cere- We agree with him, that the Momonial offences, but only that the saic dispensation did not take away absolution resulting from the sacri- from, but superadded to, the Adamic fice was not for the political, but and Patriarchal system in the mat. the moral guilt. Thus a person ter of sacrifices: it did not say, might be forgiven spiritually, who Whereas you had formerly absolustill suffered civilly : Jehovah, as tion in the sight of God for moral the moral Governor of the world, offences, henceforth sacrifices shall might remit eternal punishment in be only vehicles of ecclesiastical virtue of the obedience unto death absolution for ceremonial; thus reof his Son depicted by the animal trograding, as it were, in the devesacrifice ; while, as the Governor of lopment of mercy. No; but while the Jewish Theocracy,he might allow moral absolution was continued, the political punishment to be in what prevented ceremonial being Aicted: just as, under the patriarchal added to it? The one was not indispensation, Abel was spiritually compatible with the other: nor do accepted while he suffered tempo- we see that our author's course of ral death, which was expressly pro- argument would be weakened by nounced as a penal infliction. We the admission. Indeed, on looking think that our author has admirably closely to his expressions, we infer, established his principle, that animal that though in some places he seems sacrifices had relation from the first, verbally to deny it, he in fact and always, to moral guilt; but means to admit it; for he says, we are not so well satisfied as to that under the Jewish dispensation, his exclusion, unless in a reserved there was “an accession of priviand limited sense. His principle lege, an increase of expiatory sacri. includes the position, that, under fices, applicable not only to the pardon of all moral offences against Dr. Wardlaw and the Bishop of God, but also to many that were of Salisbury; and, bringing up the an aggravated nature against their close, Dr. Pye Smith's powerful Theocracy." His distinction, there work on the priesthood of Christ, fore, seems in truth not to be be which would occupy as it deserves tween moral offences and ceremo. a larger mention, especially while nial offences, as some of his expres- treating of nearly the same subject sions would seem to indicate; but in the review of Mr. Jerram's pubbetween the direct application of lication, if the second edition, the efficacy of sacrifices to the for- recently published, of his own mer, and its only indirect, subor- " Scripture Testimony to the Mesdinate, and incidental application siah" did not almost eclipse both to the latter. We think that the his own other labours, and many of same practical result, as respects the those of his respected contemporaforce of his argument in refuting ries. If it was our misfortune, as the Socinian, would equally follow, we esteem it, not to have regularly if, instead of making moral guilt the reviewed the former impression of direct object, and ceremonial guilt this work, though often and honouronly a secondary and accommodated ably alluded to by us, it is some object, he had viewed all offences consolation that our omissiou allows for which sacrifices might be offered us the better opportunity of strongly as moral; the breach of the ceremo- recommending not only to every nial law by a Jew, as much involving biblical student, but to every intelthe contraction of spiritual guilt as ligent Christian, this greatly imthe breach of the moral; the Law- proved edition, enriched throughout giver being the same, the sanction with new and important matter. the same, and the temerity of the Some incidental and collateral tooffender the same. Thus one ob- pics occur in these volumes, which ject of sacrifices, instead of two, are not be found in other treatises will meet every case, and, we think, on the subject, but which add will obviate all difficulties.

greatly to the interest of the work ; Objections to the doctrine of the such as the notices respecting Neoatonement being thus removed, our logianism in Germany, the defecauthor proceeds to the proof of tions from scriptural doctrine in the doctrine from Scripture. And Switzerland, remarks on authors, here would we gladly lead our read. subsidiary discussions and critical ers with him, if the space we have disquisitions. But this is not our given to the preceding topics ad. theme-at least at present. mitted. The path is, however, now In treating of the scriptural eviclearly open before the honest in- dence in support of the doctrine of the quirer. He has but to ask, What atonement, Mr. Jerram first supplies saith the Lord ? To the word, and a copious collection of passages of to the testimony; and we know of Scripture, which contain or illustrate no work written in proof of the it: he then states the body of eviDivinity of our Saviour and his sa. dence which they afford to the crifice for the sins of mankind, which doctrine, and the various ways in would not furnish ample scriptural which they give their testimony ;evidence on the subject. Our eye some representing pardon and reranges over a whole shelf of com conciliation as flowing from Jesus paratively recent works elicited by Christ; in others, salvation being the modern renewal of the Socinian ascribed to him ; others representing controversy; at the head of which his death as the price of our ransom stands Archbishop Magee's inva- and redemption; others speaking of luable and not-to-be-superseded him as suffering for our sins; and dissertations ; about the middle, others relating to the patriarchal stand conspicuous and irrefragable and levitical sacrifices, in which he

is expressly called a sacrifice, an mercy from God to man, from the first offering for sin, the Lamb of God: expulsion of our primeval parents from

paradise, to the last discourses of our is said to bear our sins, and take blessed Lord, after he had made the great them away ; is represented as shed. sacrifice, and was risen again from the ding his blood for sin, and is called dead. The doctrine is asserted or implied a propitiation. Next follows an in a train of Scripture texts which perhaps

it would be in vain to look for on any argument from the Epistle to the

other : it is expressed in every variety of Hebrews, in which Mr. Jerram language, plain and metaphorical, narrative shews that the Apostle runs a pa. and doctrinal. Not only has it a prerallel between the Levitical priest

eminent place in almost every book in the

Bible, but it was set forth in the symbols hood and that of Christ ; contrast

of every religion of the world for four ing the Levitical sacrifices, and that thousand years, was embodied in every of Christ, as between shadow and rite and ceremony of the law, introduced substance; forming a comparison

in every possible form into the Gospel, and

was the chief subject of a whole treatise between the priests of the two dis

in the New Testament. Animal sacrifice, pensations, the sacrifices offered which had continued nearly from the under each, and the respective creation to the coming of the Messiah, efficacy of each ; and adding a cor

ceased when this Atonement had been

made ; and from that time, this became respondence between the places

the grand theme of the Gospel, and occuwhere each was offered, and also pied as prominent a place in the new disbetween the events which followed pensation as sacrifice had done in the old; the sacrifice of each; finally repre

and the effect of preaching this doctrine

had been the conversion of millions of senting the sacrifice of Christ as the

the human race, and the complete translast which should be ever offered ; formation of their principles and conduct. and contrasting the danger which Nor has it yet lost its power: it is still the would follow the neglect of each.

great instrument used for evangelizing the

world; and still the powers of darkness The next argument is from our

yield to its force; nor will it lose its Lord's explanation of his sufferings virtue till the kingdoms of this world after his resurrection, in which he become the kingdom of our Lord and his asserts the necessity of his suffer. Christ.”” pp. 287,-288. ings; and shews that those suffere After this scriptural and conclu. ings were set forth in the Law of sive argument, we feel some relucMoses. The last scriptural argu. tance in sinking to that which conment is, that the death of Christ was stitutes the last section of the work, the constant subject of the Apo. that the doctrine is not inconsistent stles' preaching, and the great in

with “the fitness of things." This strument of their extraordinary is another of those à-priori argusuccess.

ments on which we would never We wish we had space to follow

poize the weight of a Scripture our author through this large and doctrine. We cannot judge à priori important field of scriptural argu- to any great extent, or with much ment. The steps of the process are confidence, what is or is not befitlucidly arranged, and bring out the ting for God to do. There are many conclusion with irresistible and cu things in the Bible,-for example, mulative force. The sum of the the command to destroy the Cawhole is epitomized as follows. naanites,- which we would not rest

“ I have now brought to a conclusion on our à-priori conceptions of what my argument from Scripture, that the is befitting. Indeed we can attach death of Jesus Christ was an Atonement no other adequate idea to the very and Vicarious Sacrifice for the sins of phrase "the fitness of things." than mankind; and that remission of sins is never granted but in relation to it. And that it is that which comports with if any truth may be considered as stand the will of God. That is befitting ing on an immoveable basis, it is this. which he has appointed and sancWe have seen, not only that the usual objections alleged against it are without

tioned; all true virtue is grounded foundation, but also that it is supported

and on this law: that is not befitting

on. by the authority of every dispensation of which is contrary to the immutable regulations which he has made for it are perfectly satisfactory, and all the government of his creation. of them as satisfactory as the nature Murder is contrary to the fitness of of the subject will allow ; but it things: yet the intended sacrifice of must not be forgotten, and no one Isaac by his own father was not, can acknowledge this more strongly because God had commanded it; than our author, that no analogies and the express will of God was a can reach the peculiar circumstances better criterion of what was befit of the case. The only way in which ting than even the natural instincts the argument from analogy in matwhich he had implanted in a parent's ters of theology can be satisfactorily heart. If the Bible be allowed to applied, is to shew that something be divinely inspired, and this the may be, because something analoSocinian professes to admit, it is gous is ; the difficulties in the one the best code of moral congruence, case not being greater than in the and we know not why we should be other. Thus, forced from authority to metaphy- If storms and earthquakes break not sics.

Heaven's design, But here, as before, we remark, Why then a Borgia or a Cataline ? that if the oppugners of a divinely re. But analogy cannot directly build vealed doctrine advance from scrip. up any truth; and this is not its tural to metaphysical tests, it is at province; but only to silence an least consolatory to a mind of dis- objector, or to solve the doubts of quisitional propensities, and is ima sincere inquirer. Its range of portant for the confutation of application is contracted ; and on the objector, that we should be the great subject of our present able to shew that his objection consideration, the scripturally reis groundless. We are thankful, vealed doctrine of the atonement, therefore, to Mr. Jerram, for his we may easily overstep its domain. argument on this subject; though, To take one point among several,in accordance with his own wish to analogy shews that there is nothing keep the scriptural evidence dis- contrary to the Divine government, tinct as the conclusion of his whole as the Socinians urge, in the simple argument, we should have preferred circumstance of the innocent suffer. seeing the section on the fitness of ing; for persons, innocent as to some things arranged among the other particular offence, often suffer in à-priori considerations, making it consequence of it. This clears one a reply to an objection, which in portion of the ground; but we doubt fact it is, and adding this objection whether the analogy is so decisive in its proper place to those before when we attempt to shew that the disposed of.

suffering of the innocent can be an Mr. Jerram's chief argument on atonement in the eye of God for this subject is, as before, analogy. the sins of the guilty. Our ana. He contends that the doctrine logies are all derived from human of the atonement is not incon- affairs; or from the permissions of sistent with the constituted order Divine Providence; or, as our reand fitness of things, because the spected author expresses it, “ the argument from analogy is against the grand principles which are in opepotion that sin will be forgiven on ration in the present course of mere repentance; and rather proves things, and the government of the that it will be punished, unless' world." But if we analyse the averted by some foreign interpo. matter closely, we shall find that sition. Again, it is not against the any given instance of analogy which doctrine of a substitute bearing the is to prove the justice of the atonepenalty of sin.

ment conveys to our minds rather This argument from analogy is the idea of injustice : and it is not ably maintained ; and some parts of till we rise above analogy, and take Christ. Observ. No. 339.

2 A

« ForrigeFortsett »