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therefore, impossible to direct sinners to seek any heavenly favor, but what is under the influence of the atonement. The argument to induce sinners to seek the things above, is that Jesus Christ is there; but this argument would be of no force, if the sinner could not avail himself of Christ's intercession.

and other worlds, which share with us the cheering influence and the vivifying warinth of that glorious luminary. Is it not then a fair analogy to concłuđe that the great spiritual light of the world, the fountirin of life and health, and joy to the soul, does not scatter his blessings over the creation with a more sparing hand? And that the Sun of righteousness rises with healing in its wings to other orders of beinys beside ourselves? Nor does this conclusion rest on analogy alone. It is evident from scripture itself, that we are by no means the only creatures in the universe, interested in the sacrifice of our Redeemer. Eph. i, 10. Col. i, 16—20.

“From intimations such as these, it is highly probable, that in the great work of redemption, as well as of creation, there is a vast stupendous plan of wisdom, of which we cannot at present so much as conceive the whole compass and extent; and if we could assist and improve the mental, as we can the corporal sight; if we could magnify and bring nearer to us, by the help of instruments, the great component parts of the spiritual, as we do the vast bodies of the material world, there can be no doubt, that the resemblance and analogy would hold between them in this, as it does in many other well-known instances; and that a scene of wonders would burst in upon us from the one, at least equal, if not superior, to those which the united powers of astronomy and opties disclose to us in the other.

“If this train of reasoning be just, (and who is there that will undertake to say, much more to prove, that it is not so?) if the redemption wrought by Christ extends to other words, perhaps many others besides our own; if its virtues penetrate into heaven itsell: if it gather together “ALL Things” in Christ, who will then say that the dignity of the Agent was disproportioned to the magnitude of the work? And that it was not a scene sufficiently splendid for the Son of God himself to appear npon, and to display the riches of his love, not only to the race of man, but to many other orders of intelligent beings? Upon the whole, it is certainly unpardonable in such a creature as man, to judge the system of our redemption, from that very small part of it which he now sees, to reason, as if we were the only persons concerned in it; and on that ground to raise cavils, and objections.”—Bp. Porteus' Sermons, vol. ii, ser. 3.

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ON THE ATONEMENT IN ITS RELATIONS TO DIVINE

MORAL GOVERNMENT.

SECTION I.

The Elements of Moral Government.

Divine moral government is that control which the blessed God exercises over the minds of accountable beings by reasoning with them, that is, by exhibiting motives and inducements addressed to their hopes and fears.

God governs every thing according to its nature. He manages the sea, and regulates the planets by physical force, and the various tribes of animals, by the laws of instinct. Every one knows that the waves of the sea, the revolutions of the planets, and the migrations of birds, are not to be regulated by reasoning with them. But man can be governed and controlled by reasoning with him; and his conduct can be regulated by exhibiting to him sufficient motives and inducement. We keep our oxen to the plough by physical force, but we keep the ploughman at his work by moral government, that is, by giving him sufficient motives and inducements to be so. He is not chained, nor bound, nor yoked, but acts freely.

Physical force can never become an element of moral government. In proportion as force enters it, it ceases to be a moral government. The more freedom there

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is in a government, the more purely moral is it.

Such a freedom is not the freedom of licentiousness and anarchy, for these encroach always on the freedom and liberty of some of the subjects.

It is by reasoning, and presenting motives, that we govern our own minds, and influence the minds of other men: and it is by the same means that God governs us. If minds become so debased and obstinate as to refuse or to dislike such a control in a community, then coercion will be employed to subdue them. The slaves at the gallies are governed by coercion, and criminals are drawn to the place of execution by force; but this in a just and wise government, only befals those who have voluntarily rejected the control of reason and justice.

Man is a reasonable being, and, as such, is a member of the great moral commonwealth of the universe. That commonwealth supplies him with a law as the rule of his conduct towards the whole universe. This law surrounds him with rich and copious exhibitions of reasons, motives, and allurements, to lead him to the formation of a good character, and to the choice of a wise course of conduct. It forces him to nothing, but leaves him perfectly free. In this government man, as a reasonable being, is free from every thing except from the moral obligation to do good, and from accountableness to his Ruler if he do wrong.

Law must indispensably have the sanctions of rewards and penalties. Without these a law would be a mere advice, a recommendation only, and of no authority. The penalties of the moral law are sufferings and pains. In this inquiry it is no work of ours to account for the reasons why sufferings were annexed as penalties to the moral law, any more than it is to discover why injury and destruction are, in the physical laws, the penalties for falling down a precipice, &c. We can only say, that such is the moral constitution of which we are members; and such, do providence, conscience, and the scriptures, declare it to be.

By doing wrong, or sinning, man becomes liable to this penalty. Nothing else but sin will bring us into contact with sufferings as the penalty of the law. No perfection of God, no decree of God, no measure or work of God, no malice of enemies-in short, nothing in the whole universe will bring us within the reach of the punishments of the law, but sin.

The sufferings of a sinner, of one who transgresses the law, are right and good for the ends of the government of which we are members. The penalty is inflicted, not for the sake of putting the delioquent to pain only, nor of gratifying the private revenge of a ruler, but to secure and to promote the public ends of good government. These ends are to prevent others from transgressing; by giving a decided and clear demonstration of the dignity of the law, and a tangible proof of the evil of crime.

If a meinber, then, break the rule of the great moral constitution, it is right that he should suffer, that the evil of his sufferings might restrain the evil of transgressing. As far as sufferings answer these public ends, ihey are right and useful; but when they fall short of these ends, or in severity of infliction go beyond these ends, then, they are only natural evils added to moral ones, without removing them.

It is due to the character of the governor, as the public organ of a commonwealth, and due to the welfare of the government, that the penalty should be executed on the offender. It is right and good that the man who injures you should feel an inconvenience, a pain, a suffering for it,--00t to gratify your spleen and revenge, but to prevent others from again daring to injure you. You approve of the penalty when it is executed on others for injuring you; if you disapprove of it, when inflicted upon yourself for injuring others, it is because you are selfish, and feel no concern for the public good.

Sinners have transgressed the law, have wronged God, have spoiled his works, and have injured bis liege sub

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jects; therefore, for the public good, they deserve to suffer as transgressors.

SECTION II.

The Penaltics of Moral Government administered on

the Principle of Public Justice.

Obedience the first thing wbich man as a member of government owes to God. If man gives not obedience to the law, then punishment is due from bim for the ends of good government. In the classical writers of Greece and Rome, the “suppliciumor punishment is always represented as being given or paid by the offender, and as what was due from him to the government. And this language expresses the reality of the case of an offender in moral government. The promotion of the public good by his obedience is due from him: f he do not promote it in this way, then it is due from him to promote it by sustaining the penalty of the law.

The question now occurs, “Upon wbat principle shall this penalty be administered?" Private individuals will answer this according to their own feelings and inter

Some will say, "et power be employed to inflict a severe chastisement and intense sufferings for the crime.” Others will say, "let mercy be exercised to administer the penalty gently and sparingly.” Neither of these principles alone will administer the penalty safely and honorably for the ends of government. All honest subjects will say, "let justice administer it, whatever be the consequences.' All may assent to this, but the difficulty of administering the penalty is not removed.

Another question occurs, "Upon what modification or principle of justice would you execute the penalty?” Justice takes many modifications. There is commutative justice, which gives to another an equivalent for value received. Divine moral government does not ad

ests.

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