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which appeared, some time ago, in a periodical publication, which accidentally fell into the hands of the author;-a public cation more noted indeed for its bold and indecent attacks on doctrines, which have, in all ages, been venerated by the great mass of christians, of all denomination ---than for the ability with which it is conducted, or the extent of its circulation. It required no great discernment to discover, in this assault upon the doctrine of satisfaction for sin, that a mortal blow was aimed at the venerable doctrine of the atonement, by one of its professed faithful allies,”
In the first letter, Mr. Jerram gives answers to sixteen objections made against the doctrine of the atonement. His reasoning in the first letter is not sufficiently clear, nor his answers altogether convincing. Yet we often find much acuteness, a mind well informed, and a thofough acquaintance with the subject he had undertaken to defend. In the second letter he strengthens his arguments by producing various passages of Scripture, which his opponent, if he have any candour, will allow to be faithfully applied. In the third letter he argues from the nature of the Jewish sacrifices and priesthood. We will introduce the author to our readers where he is shewing that the sacrifice of Christ is not figurative.
1. It is not easy to see with what propriety the death of Christ can be accommodated to the Jewish sacrifices, if the former is, in its nature, differeut from the latter.---Figurative and metaphorical language is generally used for the sake of illustrating or enforcing some truth, which would otherwise be less apparent, or make a slighter impression: but if the crucifixion of our Lord must be considered merely as a confirmation of the doctrine he taught, and an example of patient suffering, I see not how these things can be illustrated by such frequent references to sacrifices, in which the victim was offered for the transgression of the of fender. It is not indeed impossible that an ingenious man may find out some point of resemblance; but I think it must be so remote and obscure, that ninety-nine persons out of a hundred would overlook it, and consequently the attempted elucidation would serve only to perplex and bewilder. On this account I should conclude that the references in question are by no means merely figurative, but point out the vicarious nature of the death of Christ.
“ 2. We have no intimation in scripture of any such figuratite signification; which there surely ought to have been, if the sacrifice of Christ be not real.---In order to see the full force of this argument, we must carry ourselves back to the æra of Christ and his apostles, and place ourselves in the circumstances of the
Jews at that period. Let us suppose then that we were in the daily habit of offering the morning and evening sacrifices; that we went up to Jerusalem thrice every year, at the three great feasts of the passover, the atonement, and of tabernacles, at all of which numerous sacrifices were offered; that for every transgression of the ceremonial law, and contraction of ceremonial defilement, the priest was required to make the sacrifice of atonement, and that we were forgiven in consequence of that sacrifice; (Lev. iv. and also v. 5, 6, 10,) that we were familiar with the law respecting the scape-goat, which required that one goat should be offered for a sin-offering, and that the other, upon whose head all the iniquities and transgressions of Israel had been laid, should be driven into the wilderness, and bear upon him all their sins into a land not inhabited, as an emblem that they were forgiven; (Lev. xvi. 8, 9, 21, &c.) let ús suppose that we were in the habit of seeing all things purged with blood, and knew that without shedding of blood there was no remission ; and then, with these habits, and these notions of the expiatory nature of sacrifices, what construction should we put upon
such passages as those I have just quoted; and especially upon the greater part of the epistle to the Hebrews, in which a parallel is run between the sacrifice of Christ, and those which were instituted by Moses? It seems to me that there can be but one answer to this question. We should necessarily conclude that the death of Christ has the same reference to the expiation of transgressions against the moral law, as the sacrifices of the Jews had to those against the ceremonial law.
If therefore such a conclusion would be erroneous, is it supposable that the sacred writers would not have guarded against it, by telling us somewhere or other that these references are made only in a figurative sense, or by way of accommodation; but that in reality the death of Christ has no resemblance whatever to the Jewish sacrifices ? To have omitted such information, under such circumstances, would be utterly unaccountable, and would expose the inspired penman to the charge of intentionally leading their converts into the most important and dangerous errors. Sinee, therefore, they have given us no such information of a figurative meaning, we must conclude that none such was intended; but that the death of Christ was of the same nature as the sacrifices of the Jex's."
We have not room to comment on Mr. Jerram's mode of reasoning. Our readers will, we trust, think with us, that it is satisfactory. In the fourth letter, the doctrine is proved to be consistent with our ideas of fitness, &c. The dispute now assumes a metaphysical cast. It is conducted by the author with moderation, and in our judgment he has a claim to complete victory:
There are some extracts from Dr. Magee on the doctrine of atonement by way of notes, which often illustrate our author's sentiments.
A Brief Illustration of the Morning Service of the United
Church of England and Ireland; shewing not only the
book to be read in families. It contains a brief,
be bound with Mr. Clarke's Manual. The union of the two would prove a great acquisition to families.
OU that have spente the silente nighte
In 'sleepe and quiet reste,
That ryseth in the east :
Come helpe me nowe to sing.
To prayse the heavenly king.
Or sicknesse dothe suppresse,
Or dolours doe distresse:
Yea, thinke it good accorde,
Eche sprite to prayse the Lorde.
Had overspread the lyght,
Had overpreste our inyght:
Eche storme that stoppes our breath,
And sleepe like dreadful death.
Doth shewe his pleasant face;
At last in haven on hie,
And of such happes and heavenly joyes,
As then wee hope to holde,
Are tokens to beholde :
The day is lyke the daye of doome,
The sunne, the sonne of man,
Wherein wee reste till than.
Bedeckte with sundrye hewes,
And seemes to tell these newes:
To drowne the worlde no more,
He will oure health restore.
And overcaste the skyes,
Which doe but dimme our eyes :
When Phæbus shewes his face,
Where God dotbe guyde by grace.
Are lyke the angels voyce,
Than dreade the nightes anoye,
But hell to heavenly joye.
Got graunte us all his grace;
In heaven to have a place.
Which never shall decaye :
To see that joyful daye.
THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM,
Founded on the Greek verses, inserted in the Orthodox Churheman's Vagazine, for January, 1803.-" ann come a light into the world."obo xii. 46.