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ment which contain peculiar things said of the death of Christ, there is an obvious allusion to the Mosaic sacrifices or symbolic predictions. · Hence we read, that “ Christ our passover was sacrificed for us.” 66 In whom we have redemption through his blood.” 6 As of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Similar allusions may, perhaps, be found in nearly all the passages, which contain peculiar things relating to the death of our Lord.

But there were also things written in the prophets, as well as in the law of Moses, which “must be fulfilled," prior to the mission of the Apostles ; such as the following “ He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his

th,"_"he was numbered with the transgressors," “he bare the sins of many,"_" and made intercession for the transgressors,"_" was cut off, but not for himself.” So clearly do these predictions correspond with the facts of the crucifixion, that unbelievers may suspect that they were written after the events had occurred. Several of these predictions are noticed by the writers of the New Testament as having been fulfilled. What Paul and Peter say of Christ's bearing “our sins," or the sins of many," was, probably, in allusion to the predictions of Isaiah. These passages, too, are among the peculiar things said of the death of Christ. The things referred to by Christ, “in the Psalms," which “must be fulfilled," included the prediction of his resurrection, as well as that of his death. This is particularly brought to view by Peter in his Sermon on the day of pentecost.

Now let it be observed, that after these predictions had been fulfilled, and prior to sending forth his Apostles, Jesus took an opportunity to “open their understand

ing,” that they might know how to apply these prophecies, as proofs that he was indeed the Messiah, the promised Light and Savior of the world. Accordingly, they adopted this course, and in their sermons took particular care to show the Jews, how, that in killing the Prince of life, they had unintentionally fulfilled the predictions respecting him, and contributed to the establishment of his claims as the Messiah. I

may then ask, Do not the several facts which have been exhibited, clearly account for the peculiar things which are said of the death of Christ ? and this, too, without any reference to the idea of substituted punishment? As he was a person of peculiar dignity, sent on a peculiar mission, by whose death, peculiar predictions, and purposes were fulfilled, -peculiar things must of course be said in relation to that event. No other being of equal dignity was ever sent on an errand of mercy to our race. The death of no other being was, in such a manner, connected with the salvation of sinners. In the death of no other being was the love of God to men so wonderfully displayed. Not only is it true, that many important predictions were fulfilled in his death ; but it is also true, that from the apostacy of man, the course of Providence was preparatory to the death of the Messiah ; in that event, the new covenant was ratified by his blood; with that ratification was connected all the good which has since resulted from the promulgation of the gospel, and all that will result to the end of time. Extraordinary then, indeed, must have been the fact, if nothing peculiar had been said of that event, if an importance had not been ascribed to it, which cannot be ascribed to the death of any other being known to mankind.

But let it be observed, and not forgotten, that Jesus did not say,—"Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer,"—that vicarious punishment for the remission of sins might be preached in his name, but “that repentance and remission of sins, should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." This is a circumstance, which surely deserves the serious attention of all ministers of the gospel. As Christ was silent prior to his death in regard to substituted punishment; the same profound silence on this point seems to have been observed by him after his resurrection. But if ever there was a time for teaching this doctrine, when was the time, if not when Jesus was explaining to his disciples, why it behoved him to suffer, and what they were to preach to all nations in his name? If it was the purpose of his death, that substituted punishment should be preached in his name, as the only ground of pardon, why did he omit to teach this to his Apostles ? Why, instead of this, did he teach, that it "behoved him to suffer, that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name? These are questions which I am not able to answer, and which I would kindly suggest for the consideration of others.

CHAPTER XXVII.

Supposed Evils of Pardon without Substituted Suffering.

WRITERS in favor of the common theory of the atonement have spoken very freely, on what they imagine must

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have been the dreadful consequences of a general offer of pardon, on condition of repentance, without a vicarious sacrifice. Dr. Murdock seems to think, that no solute pardons” would occur under buman governments, were it not that they are “ weak,” and “imperfect ;” and that such pardons “tend so much to weaken the force of law, and to encourage transgression, that every wise lawgiver endeavors to render them as rare as possible.” As a contrast to this, he informs us, that “God's government is perfect.” “He therefore never grants absolute pardons.” By “absolute pardons,” we are here to understand, pardons without vicarious punishment.

In a Sermon, entitled “The Gospel according to Paul,” Dr. Beecher has expressed his views in the following language :

“ But to hold out to all subjects the certainty of pardon for all transgressions, upon the simple condition of repentance, must be, in its effects, an entire abolition of the penalty, and an utter prostration of government by law.”

" It is not a subject of momentary doubt, that pardon upon the simple condition of repentance, would break the power of every human government on earth.” He also asks :

“ And does God govern the universe upon principles which would fill the earth with anarchy, and turn it into a hell ? ” p. 7.

By the word " repentance,” when used to express the condition of pardon, I understand a real change of disposition and conduct, a turning from sin to the path of obedience,—a cordial and practical reformation. Of course, it is impossible for me to conceive how a government could be endangered by granting pardon on condi

tion of repentance, any more than by having its enemies converted into friends. Even should all the transgressors avail themselves of the offer of pardon, and avoid the penalty by repentance, I should suppose the government would be rather strengthened than weakened by its policy.

That the pardons granted by human governments are sometimes the effect of weakness or imperfection, is not to be doubted. But I am far from thinking that pardons would be more “ rare," if governments were more perfect. Indeed, it is my opinion, that under every perfect government, the penitent will always be pardoned. Human rulers, however, are but men, liable to be deceived by false professions of repentance. Hence they have occasion to be on their guard, lest, by intended clemency, they endanger the public' welfare. Besides, at the present day, men have but an imperfect knowledge of the principles of overcoming evil with good; and enlightened rulers are sometimes overruled by an ill-informed public opinion. But when public opinion shall be more enlightened, and the spirit of Christian philanthropy shall more abound, greater care will be taken to reform the vicious, and to pardon the penitent. Then the policy of human governments will more resemble that of the government of God.

On the part of God, there can be no danger of being deceived by false professions ; nor of granting pardon, without sufficient reasons.

That some writers have been under a mistake in supposing that pardon, on condition of repentance, would endanger divine government, may, perhaps, appear from the following facts and circumstan

ces,

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