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trust be found sufficient. At all events, it fur, nishes a direct reply, to an argument used by the former of these writers, (Theol. Rep. vol. i, pp. 128, 129.) in which, for the purpose of proving that the “ death of Christ was no proper sacrifice for sin, or the antitype of the Jewish sacrifices,” he maintains, that “ though the death of Christ is frequently mentioned or alluded to by the Prophets, it is never spoken of as a sin-offering :" and to establish this position, he relies principally on his interpretațion of Isai. liii. 10, which has been fully examined and refuted in the aforementioned Number.
In addition to what has been advanced, in that Number, upon the other text discussed in it, namely 2 Cor. v. 21, I wish here to notice the observations of Dr. Macknight and Rosenmüller. The note of the former upon it is this:
Adaptiev, a sin-offering. There are many passages in the Old Testament, where apartia, sin, signifies a sin-offering. Hosea iv. 8. They (the priests) eat up the sins (that is, the sinofferings) of my people. In the New Testament likewise, the word sin hath the same signification, Heb. ix. 26. 28. xiii. 11."-To the same purport, but more at large, Pilkington, in his Remarks, &c. pp. 163, 164.—Rosenmüller observes as follows, “ Adaptia, victima pro peccato,
. . 2. ,
quod ,חטאת et חטאה .2
sæpe elliptice ponitur pro noon nat, ut Ps. xl. 7. Exod. xxix. 14. pro quo LXX usurpant zrége aip apties, sc. Juola, Levit. v. 8. 9. 11. aliisque locis. Aliis abstractum est pro concreto, et subaudiendum est ωςε, pro: ως αμαρτανοντα εποιησεν, tractavit eum ut peccatorem; se gessit erga eum, uti
erga peccatorem. Sensus est idem.”
NO. XXX.-ON THE SENSE IN WHICH CHRIST IS SAID,
IN SCRIPTURE TO HAVE DIED FOR US.
Page 30. (1)-Dr. Priestley's remarks on this subject deserve to be attended to, as they furnish a striking specimen of the metaphysical ingenuity, with which the rational expositors of the present day, are able to extricate themselves from the shackles of Scripture language. Christ being frequently said in Scripture to have died for us, he tells us that this is to be interpreted, dying on our account, or for our benefit. “ Or if, he adds, when rigorously interpreted, it should be found, that if Christ had not died, we must have died, it is still however only consequentially so, and by no means properly and directly so, as a substitute for us : for if in consequence of Christ's not having been sent to instruct and reform the world, mankind had continued unreformed; and the necessary consequence of Christ's coming, was his death
by whatever means, and in whatever manner it was brought about: it is plain, that there was, in fact, no other alternative but his death or
how naturally then was it, especially to writers accustomed to the strong figurative expression of the East, to say that he died IN OUR STEAD, without meaning it in a strict and proper sense?”—Hist. of Cor. vol. i. p. 199.
Here then we see, that had the sacred writers every where represented Christ, as dying in our stead, yet it would have amounted to no more, than dying on our account, or for our benefit, just as under the present form of expression, And thus Dr. Priestley has proved to us, that no form of expression whatever, would be proof against the species of criticism, which he has thought proper to employ: for it must be remembered, that the want of this very phrase, dying in our stead, has been urged as a main argument, against the notion of a strict propitiatory sacrifice in the death of Christ. To attempt to prove then, in opposition to those who use this argument, that when Christ is said in Scripture to have died for us, it is meant that he died instead of us, must be in this writer's opinion a waste of time: since, when this is accomplished, we are in his judgment only where we set out.
As however there have been some, who, not possessing Dr. Priestley's metaphysical Powers, have thought this acceptation of the
word for, conclusive in favour of the received doctrine of atonement, and have therefore taken much pains to oppose it, I will hope to be excused, if I deem it necessary to reply to these writers.
Dr. Sykes, in his Essay on Redemption, and H. Taylor, in his Ben. Mord. pp. 786, 787. have most minutely examined all the passages in the New Testament, in which the preposition for is introduced. And the result of their examination is, that in all those passages,
which speak of Christ, as having given himself for us, for our sins, having died for us, &c. the word for must be considered as on account of, for the benefit of, and not instead of. The ground, on which this conclusion is drawn, as stated by the latter, is this; that “ if the true doctrine be, that these things were done upon our account, or for our advantage, the word for will have the same sense in all the texts: but if the true doctrine be, that they were done instead of, the sense of the word will not be the same in the different texts.”— But surely this furnishes no good reason, for deciding in favour of the former doctrine. The word for, or the Greek words OVTI, UTTER,
δια, , of which it is the translation,
περί, , admitting of different senses, may of course be differently applied, according to the nature of the subject, and yet the doctrine remain unchanged. Thus it might be perfectly proper to
say, that Christ suffered instead of us, although it would be absurd to say, that he suffered instead of our offences. It is sufficient, if the different applications of the word carry a consistent meaning. To die instead of us, and to die on account of our offences, perfectly agree. But this change of the expression necessarily arises from the change of the subject. And accordingly, the same difficulty will be found to attach to the exposition proposed by these writers: since the word for, interpreted on account of, i. e. for the benefit of, cannot be applied in the same sense in all the texts. For, although dying for our benefit is perfectly intelligible, dying for the benefit of our offences is no less absurd than dying instead of our offences.
The only inference that could with justice have been drawn by these writers is, that the word for does not necessarily imply substitution in all these passages, and that therefore it is not sufficient to lay a ground for the doctrine, which implies that substitution. But that, on the other hand, it is evident that it does not imply it in any, can by no means be contended: the word uweg, being admitted to have that force frequently in its common application; as may be seen in Plato Conviv. p. 1197, and again 1178, where αποθνησκειν υπερ, is manifestly used for dying in stead, or place of another.-—That the Greeks were accustomed by this expression to