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time for me to die? Have I chosen fested as wholly opposed to sin; and it myself? (for I was afraid of hur he would now be accredited in his rying myself into the presence of declarations of his abhorrence of it, God. To this inquiry the answer even while remitting the sins of all was, No. Have the surgeons chosen true penitents. this time for me to die? No. They To this statement a deacon interhave done all they could to save my posed, and asked the candidate if life. Have the evil spirits chosen the active righteousness of Christ this time; have they so much in constituted no part of the atonefluence? No. It is the will of God, ment, and no part of the ground of if I die now, that it should be so. a sinner's pardon. The candidate I sunk into his hands wholly and distinctly expressed his opinion without reserve. My will was swal that IT DID NOT. lowed up in the divine will. I felt Being invited to sit as a corresmyself a little child in the hand of ponding member of the council, and Christ, to be led and guided entire the question being put to me, if I ly by his unerring wisdom. Now I would propose any interrogatories, thought I had done all my work. I | I asked the candidate, seemed to have nothing to do but to Has the active righteousness of die; and even listened to hear if Jesus Christ, which consisted in the angels did not sing. A friend conformity to the precepts of the that stood by me said,
moral law, any influence in merit“ Jesus can make a dying bed
ing the justification of believers ? Feel soft as downy pillows are:”
He answered, “not in the least.”
Why then, I resumed, was the I said, I know it. My bed, which obedience of Christ to the precepts was so hard this afternoon, is now of the moral law necessary at all?
It was answered, his active obeI lay in this situation several
dience was necessary, that he might hours; but the appointed season had be a suitable person to make atonenot come, and in time I was restored
ment by his sufferings; for had he to health.
been a sinner, his sufferings would Praise the Lord, O my soul, and have been but the punishment of his forget not all or any of his benefits.
own sins; and so would have furnished no indication of God's displeasure against the sins of others,
who should be pardoned. THE LORD, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS,
I proposed also this question :On the 29th of August last, I was If God is a God of truth, and atonepresent at a council of pastors and ment for sin consists in the mere exdelegates, convened for the purpose hibition of God's real feelings in of installing a minister of the gospel. relation to sin, why might not an In the course of the examination of atonement for sin have been made by his religious sentiments, he was ask God's DECLARATIONS of his hatred ed what were his views of the atope of it? Why might not the mere ment. He replied, that he defined words of the true God have perthe atonement to be, such an exhi formed the office of a Saviour? bition of the real feelings of God in The candidate replied, because relation to sin as would cause his ha mere words ould not be believed tred of it to be believed, even though unless they were accompanied by he should pardon it. The matter of corresponding actions. this atonement he said consisted ex But, might not the declarations of clusively in the sufferings of Jesus the true God, concerning his hatred Christ. By these sufferings the mo of sin, verified by the sufferings of ral character of the Deity was mani devils and damned spirits, have con
soft and easy
stituted the atonement, and so have but still I thought that the best of performed the office of Christ? men, in their best services, are un
Their sufferings, the candidate profitable servants. Can God in any conceived, would not be a sufficient other character than that of the God ly clear and dignified atonement, to of all grace, favourably regard our have vindicated the Deity in par best actions? doning sin. No exhibition inferior After all I had time to urge, this to that made by the sufferings of the brother (and I fear many more of his Son of God, he thought would suffi brethren,) continues to maintain, ciently indicate the divine disposi that the active righteousness of tion, so as to render it consistent Christ was due for himself, because with the character of Jehovah to he was man; that this active rightpass by the transgressions of men. eousness constitutes no part of the
In reply to the question of some ground of the justification and acone, the candidate said, that he con tual redemption of sinners, but sidered the justification of a sinner, merely opens the door for the rein the sense of the gospel, as syno mission of sins to the penitent; that nymous with the pardoning of a sin the atonement by Christ is efficaciner.
ous in procuring for sinners nothing These answers appeared to meet but pardon; that a sinner is regewith the approbation of the council, nerated by a mere act of sovereignand it was therefore resolved, una ty, in the moment in which God as nimously, by all who had a right to a sovereign pardons him; being envote in the case, to proceed to the abled, but not obligated to any one, installation of the pastor elect. thus to do, by the atonement; and
To one* of the ministers of this that the ground of a saint's being council, who occupies one of the made happy in heaven is the obedimost distinguished stations in a sis ence which he himself, through the ter state, I said, according to your aid of the Spirit, renders to the law, scheme of doctrine, Christ seems after his conversion. The holy acto me nothing more than half of a tions of a regenerated and pardoned Saviour, for he brings the sinner man, he insisted on it, were as pronothing but the remission of the pe per objects of reward as the holy nalty of the law. Now I feel, that obedience of the unsinning angels. I need of Christ much, much more If, said he, nine actions of the rethan this: I need acceptance with newed man should be sinful, the God as righteous, and adoption into tenth may be holy, and that will be his family, on account of the merits a proper object of reward in glory. of Christ's righteousness. I want I replied, that any action of a a Saviour on whose account my per creature, to merit a reward, must be son and my best services shall be absolutely perfect; whereas the best accepted; for our righteousnesses
actions of a renewed man are no are as filthy rags. That passage, more than imperfectly good. The the clergyman said, referred to the law cannot
and reward any righteousnesses of unrenewed men;
action which does not answer all the demands of the law.
I must * With another of the ministers of this
that could I
say, council I conversed freely, and it is a joy
expect no happiness in heaven but to state, that he did not agree to the doc
such as I have merited, by my works trines asserted by this brother and the
of new obedience, I should expect candidate. He viewed the active as well as passive righteousness of Christ as necessary for a sinner's acceptance and par
If in any thing I have misunderdon; but still, he did not apprehend the
stood, or misrepresented, any of my errors of his brethren on this subject to be
brethren of the council, I shall gladdangerous.
ly be corrected, and acknowledge
my error: but at present, I must afterwards renewed to Abraham: say, the scheme of doctrine which I “ And I will bless them that bless have here stated, with regret, to be thee, and curse him that curseth thee: maintained by many, who now with and in thee shall all families of the myself, worship Christ as God, is earth be blessed." Gen. xii. 3. This well calculated to banish Christ text, evidently, designated the postefrom the church. He need not be rity of Abraham, as the people from truly God, to accomplish for us all whom the Messiah should descend: the atonement and all the redemp- || through the merits of whose atone. tion which are therein attributed to ment, the faithful of all the nations him. While I rejoice that my na
of the earth should be saved. Such tive state has hitherto deposed from language appears to coincide with the ministry all those who have pub that used by John: “ After this I licly denied the deity of Jesus beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, Christ, I am constrained to express which no man could number, of all my fears, from the natural tendency nations, and kindreds, and people, of many doctrines now popular and tongues, stood before the there, that Socinianism and Arian throne, and before the Lamb, cloism will greatly prevail there within thed with white robes, and palms half a century to come; and that in their hands." Rev. vii. 9. hundreds of the clergy will follow The promise of Christ, as well the downward course of Sherman, as of the nation from which he Abbott, and last of all, the Rev. should descend, having been estabDan Huntington. E. S. Ely. lisbed, Jacob, in his dying benedic
tion to his sons, foretold the time in which he should come. « The sceptre shall not depart from Ju
dah, nor a lawgiver from between Has Christ, who was promised to
his feet, until Shiloh come; and the Jews, truly come ?
unto him shall the gathering of the
people be.” Gen. xlix. 10. An emiThe invaluable communication,
nent critic,* in expounding this which contained the promise of
passage, says, “ the words are to be Christ, was announced to our first read discretively, showing, that parents' immediately after their
when the sceptre ceased, the law. fall. “ And I will put enmity be giver succeeded, and when both tween thee and the woman, and be
were gone, then Messiah should tween thy seed and her seed: it
appear.” Now it is a fact, worthy shall bruise thy head, and thou to be observed, that four hundred shalt bruise his heel.” Gen. iii. 15.
years elapsed, from the time this This subject, so extremely interest
prophecy was written by Moses, ing to their posterity, was frequent until the tribe of Judah was investly introduced in the law and the
ed with the regal power: an incon. prophets. The characteristics by testable proof that the patriarch which he was to be known, were, was divinely inspired. The scepin general, expressed in plain and
tre continued, in the tribe of Juperspicuous language. To enume dah, till the captivity. It then derate, however, all those predictions
parted, and was never afterwards relative to his advent, would be in
• Write Coniah child. compatible with the limits of an
less : for no man of his seed shall essay. We shall, therefore, select
prosper, sitting upon the throne of only a few of those which have a
David, and ruling any more in Jupeculiar bearing on the subject: and
* Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 400. 1. The promise made to Adam was + Calvin's Institutes, vol. i. p. 92. VOL. I.
FOR THE PRESBYTERIAN MAGAZINE.
dah.” Jer. xxii. 30. « Remove the for the Romans, to deprive a condiadem, and take off the crown, quered nation of its laws, it will fol&c. I will overturn, overturn, over low, that they enjoyed their ancient turn it; and it shall be no more, laws, as they had formerly done. If until he come whose right it is; they did not exercise these laws, it and I will give it him.” Ezek. xxi. was more to be imputed to their own 26, &c. After the captivity, the culpable remissness, and the unpasupreme power was fixed in the ralleled wick of their nation, Sanhedrim, a council of seventy than to any other cause. The asserpersons; besides two presidents, of tion of Dr. Lightfoot, which we have whom the high priest was generally already quoted, viz. that the lawgivchief. Whether this be the same, er ceased, previous to the advent of as that instituted by Moses, is un Christ, appears to be incorrect. On certain. Certain it is, however, the contrary, their lawgiver, or Santhat their authority was equivalent, hedrim, continued at least, until if not superior, to their kings. Jo the destruction of Jerusalem by Tisephus says, expressly, that their
tus, forty years after the ascension king was subject to that council. of our Lord. But where is now the Prior to the captivity, the Sanhe Jewish prince? Where is their lawdrim appears to have been com giver, or Sanhedrim? It is evident posed of members, chosen indiscri
they have neither, and therefore minately from each of the tribes, Christ has long since come. After the captivity, they were prin 2, Another argument to prove cipally selected from the tribes of that Christ has come, may be adLevi, Benjamin, and Judah. But duced from Dan. ix. 25. « Know as their authority was derived from therefore and understand, that from Judah, their laws were properly the going forth of the commandsaid to emanate from that tribe. ment to restore and to build Jeru
Some writers have asserted, that salem, unto the Messiah the Prince, the power of the Sanhedrim, rela shall be seven weeks, and threetive to civil matters, was taken score and two weeks: the street away by the Romans, about the
shall be built again, and the wall time that Christ came. They even in troublous times." In this ground their argument on Pilate's prophecy, each day was put for a conference with the Jews: “ Then
year, or every week for seven years, said Pilate unto them, take ye him, and consequently comprehended a and judge him according to your period of four hundred and eightylaw. The Jews, therefore, said un three
This view of the text to him, it is not lawful for us to put appears to be agreeable to the geany man to death.” John xviii. 31.
neral analogy of scripture. Many The reality of their assertion, how parallel passages could be adduced, ever, appears very questionable: in order to establish this position. for if they could take no cognizance Of such we have an example in of capital crimes, why did Pilate Levit. xxv. 8. “ And thou shalt command them to judge him ac number seven Sabbaths of years cording to their law? Why did unto thee, seven times seven years ; Paul, prior to his conversion, per and the
of the seven Sabbaths secute the Christians unto death ?
of years shall be unto thee forty Why did Paul appeal to Cæsar, and nine years.” Another
passage rather than submit to the decision similar to the former is in Ezek. iv. of the Sanhedrim? And why did 6. " And when thou hast accomthe Sanhedrim condemn Stephenplished them, lie again on thy right to be stoned? When it is consider side, and thou shalt bear the inied in addition to these circum quity of the house of Judah forty stances, that it was not customary | days: I have appointed thee each
day for a year.” Now, if the com will make us all becoine Chrismandment to restore and to build tians." Jerusalem, was issued in the first 3. Those passages in scripture, year of the reign of Cyrus, (to relative to the advent of Christ, which period the tenor of the pre having been accomplished by him diction seems to refer) as related in whom the Christians have received Ezra i. 1, it was about five hundred as such, furnish the clearest attesand thirty years before Christ. But tation in favour of our position. it may be contended, that the going We shall mention a few of the forth of the commandment, &c. is principal ones. Mic. iv. 1, 2. “ But equally applicable to the edicts is in the last days it shall come to sued by Darius and Artaxerxes. pass, that the mountain of the house But this objection, instead of mili of the Lord shall be established in tating against our argument, would the top of the mountains, and it render it apparently more conclu shall be exalted above the hills; sive; by making the number of and people shall flow unto it. And years approximate nearer to Da many nations shall come, and say, niel's four hundred and eighty come, and let us go up to the moun
It must therefore ap tain of the Lord, and to the house pear evident, to every impartial of the God of Jacob; and he will mind, that the difference between teach us of his ways, and we will Daniel's four hundred and eighty walk in his paths: for the law shall three years, and the period from go forth of Zion, and the word of the beginning of the reign of Cyrus the Lord from Jerusalem.” Gen, to the coming of Christ, was so in xlix. 10. “ And unto him shall the considerable, as not in the least to gathering of the people be." Isaiah invalidate our argument. Perhaps xi. 10, 12. “ And in that day there it was never intended, that Christ shall be a root of Jesse, which shall would come precisely at the expira stand for an ensign of the people; tion of Daniel's prophetic weeks. to it shall the Gentiles seek: and It was sufficient for mankind to his rest shall be glorious. And he know, that about the termination of shall set up an ensign for the nathose years, the Messiah might be tions, and shall assemble the outexpected.
casts of Israel, and gather together No testimony mentioned in the the dispersed of Judah from the scriptures, relative to the advent of four corners of the earth.” the Messiah, appears to have been Accordingly we find, that about so formidable to the Jews, as Da the time of Christ's ascension, niel's prophetic weeks. Watson “ there were dwelling at Jerusalem relates a solemn disputation held Jews, devout men, out of every naat Venice during the last century, tion under heaven; Parthians, and between a Jew and a Christian : the Medes, and Elamites, and the Christian strongly argued from Da dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in niel's prophecy of the seventy Judea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus weeks, that Jesus was the Messiah, and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, whom the Jews had long expected in Egypt and in the parts of Lybia from the predictions of their pro about Cyrene, and strangers of phets :—the learned Rabbi who pre Rome, Jews and proselytes,”? &c. sided at this disputation, was so Acts ü. 5, 9, 10. For what purpose forcibly struck by the argument, then were so many Jews collected that he put an end to the business at Jerusalem, at that particular by saying --" Let us shut up our conjuncture? The feast of PenteBibles; for if we proceed in the cost, or harvest feast, was not the examination of this prophecy, it principal reason; because it was