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1. It accords with what Peter exhorts Christians to "add” to their faith :-“Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity.” 2 Pet. i. 5, 6, 7.

2. It accords with the wisdom that is from above : “But the wisdom that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be enteated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. James ii. 17.

3. It accords with those fruits of the spirit, which are essential to the Christian character :-" But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,"-or fidelity,"meekness, temperance.” Gal. V. 22, 23.

4. It accords with what is taught by the “grace of God,” which brings salvation :-“For the grace of God which bringeth salvation bath appeared to all men, teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.” Titus ii. 11, 12.

The dispositions and virtues enumerated by the Apostles in these several summaries are such as were enjoined by Christ in his Sermon on the Mount, while requiring of his disciples a righteousness exceeding that of the scribes and pharisees, in those precepts, or “sayings,” obedience to which he called doing the will of his Father, and compared to building a “house on a rock.” The introductory part of the sermon exhibits those traits of character which insure that men shall be “ blessed," or happy, and these traits are formed of the dispositions and virtues which the Apostles enumerated in their summaries. And are not such dispositions and virtues the genuine fruit of believing with the heart, that Jesus Christ was set forth by God to declare the righteousness which he requires for the remission of sins ?

I may now appeal to the consciences of my Christian brethren, and ask-Can evidence equally clear be produced to prove, that reliance on vicarious sufferings is re

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quired by the gospel? or that this reliance is what is meant, by the righteousness which is by faith? " Is there a shadow of proof, that such was the “ faith,” 10 which Peter exhorted Christians to ; add” the list of virtues enumerated by him ? Is such a reliance any where to be found among the things implied in the wisdom that is from above? Is such a reliance ever represented as a fruit of the spirit, or as an excellence of character taught by the grace of God that brings salvation? In the chapter on Christ's views of his own sufferings, I think it was shown, that reliance on vicarious punishment, is not among the things to be brought to view at the day of judgment, as reasons why those on the right hand of the Judge are approved. If then such a reliance has no place in any list of Christian virtues, as given by inspired teachers, and will be of no account in the day of retribution, can it be otherwise than dangerous to regard it as the one thing needful to pardon and salvation ?

As to what I conceive to be intended by the righteousness which is by faith, I have endeavored to be so perspicuous as not to be misunderstood. But if further illustration can make my meaning more obvious, I will here add, that, in my opinion, walking with God was the righteousness of Enoch's faith ;-obeying the warning voice of the Lord, and thus preparing an ark to the saving of himself and his family, was the righteousness of Noah's faith ;obeying the call to leave his kindred to sojourn in a strange land, and manifesting a readiness even to sacrifice his beloved son, when he understood this to be the will of God, were instances, or examples of the righteousness which was by faith in Abraham, the friend of God. In a similar manner, that is, by obedience, others " through faith wrought righteousness.” Heb. xi. 33. Thus too by works of obedience, faith is perfected according to the explanation of the Apostle James, ii. 17-22.

Our Savior said, “ that servant who knew his Lord's will and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.” The same may be said of faith or believing. Neither knowledge nor faith constitutes righteousness. But righteousness consists

in doing from the heart what we know or believe to be the will of God. The more we know or believe of divine truth, or divine requirements, the more guilty we are, if we continue in disobedience."Faith, without works” of obedience, “is dead," and is as useless, as a body without a soul or spirit. How dangerous then must be that doctrine, which teaches that obedience to the precepts of the gospel is of no avail as to pardon and acceptance with God; and, " that the righteousness of Christ is the only ground of the sinner's justification !”

In the Bible, penitent or good people are denominated “the righteous," " the holy," " the upright,” “the merciful"; but I see no evidence that they are so called on account of reliance on the righteousness or vicarious sufferings of Christ. Indeed such a reliance is not a characteristic by which good people can be distinguished from the wicked; for it is as easy, and I believe it is as common, for wicked people, as for good people, to rely on what Christ has done and suffered, as the only ground of their hope. Such a reliance does not constitute any person a true disciple of Jesus Christ; and nothing short of cordial obedience to his commands can constitute a disciple indeed, or a real friend to the Savior of men. “ Then said Jesus to those Jews that believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” John viii. 31. “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I have commanded you.John xv. 14. “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John xiii. 34, 35. But where do we find Christ saying, “Then are ye my friends, if ye believe that I came to bear the punishment due to your sins ?' or, ' By this shall all men know that

ус are my disciples, if ye believe that my righteousness is the only ground of the sinner's justification ?' If Christ wholly omitted to teach any such doctrine, as a ground of justification, or as an evidence of discipleship, is it not presumption in uninspired men to rank such hypotheses among essential articles of faith, or to make a belief in them a test of Christian character ?

I believe it to be true, and rejoice in the belief, that a large portion of the clergy who occasionally teach the doctrine of vicarious punishment, do much more commonly preach repentance for the remission of sins, and urge the necessity of obedience to the commands of Christ, as essential to salvation. The propriety and servor with which they urge obedience to Christ, in a great measure counteracts the tendency of what they say on substituted suffering as the only ground of pardon, and on the worthlessness of obedience in reference to our acceptance with God. Yet while a belief in the doctrine of vicarious punishment is urged as essential to the character of a Christian, it is not to be supposed, that the evil tendency of the doctrine can be wholly counteracted by preaching of an opposite description. This tendency may too often appear in the temper and character of those who preach the doctrine. How often do some of them seem wholly to forget, that

To obey is better than sacrifice !” How often has a zeal for the doctrine of vicarious suffering been made a substitute for that “ love one to another," by which the disciples of Christ were to be distinguished and known! When I see writings on the atonement interlarded with bitter sarcasms, reproaches, and denunciations, it reminds me of the lamentable facts, that the writers are avowedly worshippers of such a being as could not forgive his penitent offspring, without inflicting the desert of their sins on an innocent substitute ; and that their creed also implies, that the love to brethren, required by the Savior, is of no use in reference to the pardon of their sins, or their acceptance with God. However sincerely I may lament that any of my brethren should entertain such a faith, I cannot wonder if such a tree sometimes bears other fruits than those of love. I hope the time is not far distant when the ministers of the gospel will better understand, that to love God with all the heart, and our neighbors as ourselves, is more pleasing to our heavenly Father than a reliance on vicarious sacrifice; and that the love which the gospel requires, worketh no ill to its neighbor, but leads Christians of each denomination to do unto others, as they would that others should do unto them. Happy will be the day when such

views of the gospel shall be generally entertained, and shall have their due influence on the hearts of Christians.

No. IV.

A Brighter Prospect.

The work on the atoning sacrifice was introduced by an extract from the Christian Spectator, which presented but a gloomy prospect for the writer who should happen to deviate from the beaten path respecting the atonement. But in the number of the Spectator for June, 1829, I have discovered a paragraph which seems to afford a brighter prospect. With great pleasure I transcribe it for the

perusal of


readers. “It has been extensively asserted by able theological writers, that the sin of Adam is imputed to his posterity ; that atonement is made for none but the elect; and that mankind, previous to regeneration, have not sufficient power to exercise true repentance. These modifications of Christian doctrine are now extensively rejected; and the testimony of the Bible concerning the peculiar relation of Adam to his posterity, the nature of the atonement, and the ability of men to obey the will of God, when stripped of the appendages which had veiled it, shines out with new splendor and power. That there are not still remaining in our system, speculations as really erroneous; that a future generation will not detect, in the preaching which we call orthodox, a mixture of philosophy falsely so called '; that the river of the water of life flows perfectly pure from the sanctuaries of our God, and has all that restoring influence which it would have, were it in no degree adulterated, is certainly not proved by the confidence which any one may have that it is so. We

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