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the manner of reconciling the world to God is expressly described, viz. his not imputing their trespasses unto them, that is, his granting them forgiveness. There are upon the whole but five places in the New Testament, in which the term is used with respect to God; Rom. v. 10, and xi. 15. 2 Cor. v. 18, 19, 20. Ephes. ii. 16, and Col. i. 20, 21. Whoever will take the trouble of consulting Hammond and Whitby on these passages, will be satisfied, that the application is diametrically opposite to that, for which the Socinian writers contend. There are but two places besides, in which the term occurs, Mat. v. 24. and 1 Cor. vii. 11, in both of which the application is clear. And it deserves to be particularly noticed, that Dr. Sykes (Scrip. Doctr. of Redemp. p. 57.) sinks the former passage altogether, and notices the latter alone, asserting that this is the only one, in which the word is used, not in relation to the reconciliation of the world to God: and this, after having inadvertently stated in the preceding page, that there were two such passages. This will appear the less unaccountable, when it is considered, that the expression as applied in Matthew, could be got rid of by no refinement whatever: but that the application in i Corinthians, (not indeed in our translation which is not sufficiently explicit, but examined in the original,) will ap
pear as little friendly to his exposition, Hammond and Le Clerc have abundantly evinced by their interpretation of the passage.
No. XXI.-ON THE TRUE DISTINCTION BETWEEN
THE LAYING ASIDE OUR ENMITY TO GOD, AND
PAGE 27. (W)—It is well remarked in the Theological Repository, by a writer under the signature Verus, * that the laying aside our enmity to God must be a necessary qualification for, though without constituting the formal nature of, our reconciliation to God. This judicious distinction places the matter in a fair light. That God will not receive us into favour so long as we are at enmity with him, is most certain; but that thence it should be inferred, that on laying aside our enmity, we are necessarily restored to his favour, is surely an odd instance of logical deduction.
* This writer I find to have been the Rev. Mr. Brekell: a writer certainly deserving of praise, both for the ability with which he combated the sophistry of the heterodox, and for the boldoess with which he carried the war into the very camp of the enemy.
NO. XXII.-ON THE PROOFS. FROM SCRIPTURE,
THAT THE SINNER IS THE OBJECT OF THE DI.
Page 27.(,)-Heb. x. 26, 27, For if we sin wilfully, after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more SACRIFICE FOR SINS,
but a certain FEARFUL LOOKING FOR OF JUDGMENT AND FIERY INDIG NATION, which shall devour the adversaries : and again, For we know him that hath said, vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompenice, saith the Lord: and again, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God: and again, (Rom. v. 9, 10.) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him--for if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through his Son, &c. In this last passage, it is not only clearly expressed, that we are from disobedience exposed to the divine displeasure, but also that the way, whereby we are rescued from the effects of that displeasure, or, as is here held an equivalent form of expression, reconciled to God, is by the death of Christ. : To quote all the passages that speak a similar language, were à tedious task. Nor indeed was the voice of Revelation wanted to inform men, that the Sinner is the object of God's displeasure. Reason has at all times loudly proclaimed this truth: and in that predominating terror, that Asioidoscovice, which, as shewn in Number V. has in every age and clime, disfigured or rather absorbed the religion of the Gentiles, the natural sentiment of the human mind
may. be easily discerned.
What is the language of the celebrated Adam Smith on this subject ?" But if it be meant, that vice does not appear to the Deity to be, for its own sake, the object of abhorrence and aversion, and what, for its own sake, it is fit and right should be punished, the truth of this maxim can, by no means, be so easily admitted. If we consult our natural sentiments, we are apt to fear, lest before the holiness of God, vice should appear to be more worthy of punishment, than the weakness and imperfection of human nature can ever seem to be of reward. Man, when about to appear before a being of infinite perfection, can feel but little confidence in his own merit, or in the imperfect propriety of his own conduct. In the presence of his fellowcreatures, he may often justly elevate himself, and may often have reason to think highly of his own character and conduct, compared to the still greater imperfection of theirs. But the case is quite different when about to appear before his infinite Creator. To such a being, he can scarce imagine, that his littleness and weakness
should ever seem to be the proper object, either of esteem or of reward. But he can easily conceive, how the numberless violations of duty, of which he has been guilty, should render him the object of aversion and punishment ; neither can he see any reason why the divine indignation should not be let loose without any restraint, upon so vile an insect, as he is sensible that he himself must appear to be. If he would still hope for happiness, he is conscious that he cannot demand it from the justice, but that he must intreat it from the mercy of God. Repentance, sorrow, humiliation, contrition at the thought of his past conduct, are, upon this account, the sentiments which become him, and seem to be the only means which he has left for appeasing that wrath which, he knows, he has justly provoked. He even distrusts the efficacy of all these, and naturally fears, lest the wisdom of God should not, like the weakness of man, be prevailed upon to spare the crime, by the most importunate lamentations of the criminal. Some other intercession, some other sacrifice, some other atonement, he imagines, thust be made for him, beyond what he himself is capable of making, before the purity of the divine justice can be reconciled to his manifest offences.
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