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none effect," as to a great number of mankind;-yet such failures are never regarded as a dishonor to providence; e. g providence designs health, liberty, knowledge to all mankind, yet they are “of none effect” to many. After all, the diseases, the ignorance, and the barbarousness of nations are not to be laid to the blame and dishonor of providence, for providence has made every moral arrangement to prevent them. We have already seen, in some of the previous pages, that in various constitutions and dispensations of God, there have been similar failures, as in those of Eden and Sinai. Even the economy of heaven itself failed as to some of the angels who failed to keep their first estate. It is not, therefore, unexampled or unaccountable that the dispensation of the gospel should be liable to failure; and in such failure there is no dishonor which does not belong to the whole of the divine government.

2. The word of God never ascribes the perdition of sinners to any deficiency in the provisions of the atonement. None of the hearers of the gospel perish because the atonement was not sufficient for them,-or not intended for them. Freely and sincerely and pressingly they have been besought to "receive the atonement." The grand provisions of the atonement have been clearly and distinctly exhibited to them as "the things which BELONGED to their peace,”—but they would not receive them.

3. The perdition of those who reject the atonement is their own personal, voluntary, and chosen act. They sin "wilfully.” They voluntarily and perseveringly "reject the counsel of God against themselves.” They are not influenced, constrained, or tempted by any divine attribute, by any secret decree, or by any doubtful and uncertain gospel. It is no disgrace to a Remedy that it does not cure those who persist in rejecting it. It is no dishonor to a Refuge that it does not.defend those who refuse to enter it. And it is no dishonor to the atonement to be "of none effect” to those who reject its pardon, and seek to be justified by the works of the law.

4. The atonement will appear honorable and glorious, even in the destruction of those who reject it. The apostles' ministry was to God a sweet savor of Christ, even in them that perish, and so is the atonement itself. Its great and distinguished ends will have been answered, in the glory and the harmony of the divine perfections, in the eternal condemnation of sin, in the honor and safety of the divine government, in the "many crowns” of the Mediator, and in the salvation of countless millions of the human race. All holy and blessed intelligences will own and approve the justice of the condemnation of all the despisers of the way of salvation, and their punishment will be for ever, to the universe, an awful monument and example of the evil of sinning against God. In the fixing of the eternal state of the universe, all holy intelligences are represented as singing, “AMEN, ALLELUIA, WORTHY IS THE LAMB.”

CHAPTER XV.

ON THE MORAL GRANDEUR OF THE DOCTRINE OF

THE ATONEMENT.

No one can rise from reading the New Testament without the conviction that the death of Jesus of Nazareth is the most prominent subject of it. The language of one of the apostles expresses the sentiments of all of them, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.” In the New Testament the ministry of the apostles is designated with marked emphasis, and bold peculiarity, "the preaching of the cross,” that is, the report and promulgation of the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion. They openly published the crucifixion of Christ as the most remarkable Fact in the history of God's government.

The CRUCIFIXION of Christ was of such offensive peculiarity that the enemies of the gospel had singled it out as being most notoriously prominent in infamy. It was the death of a criminal, of an odious traitor or a detestable impostor. It was the death of a SLAVE. It was the death, of all others, held by the Jews as alone cursed—cursed by the execrations of a temptuous rabble, and cursed by the frowns and maledictions of heaven. The Jew and the Gentile alike viewed such a death with ineffable scorn, and with a contempt that thrilled the whole frarne into rage. Nevertheless the apostles themselves placed this most offensive subject first and foremost in the topics of their ministry. They unflinchingly and calmly preached “Christ and him crucified,” not Christ and him glorified, but Christ and HIM CRUCIFIED. They did not

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take their standing on sunny spots in the history of their master, but they planted their banner in the REPROACH of Christ,” and invited to it the gaze and the scrutiny of the world. The accents of derision and taunt which jarred against their high and noble cause, were echoed back upon the world in tones of increased volume and power, till the ends of the earth caught the joyful sound.

Let us accompany the apostle Paul when about to soar into the bright effulgence of this glorious subject, and when about to train the vision of the young offspring of his ministry to sustain the splendors of the

marvellous light.” What an array of means he presents to them as necessary to the process

of training them for bis high contemplation! He first bows his knees unto the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant them, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might, by his spirit, in the inner-man, that Christ might dwell in them by faith, that they might be rooteil and grounded in love. And what is all this preparatory training and mustering of energies for?—“That they might be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge.” Oh! for an angel's wing and an angel's vision to survey this vast and stupendous theme, whose breadth takes in every intelligence and every interest, whose length reaches from everlasting to everlasting, whose depth fathoms the lowest state of depravity and misery, and whose height throws floods of glory on the throne and the crown of Jehovah.

Then, there must be something of infinite worth, dignity and grandeur in the love and the death of Jesus Christ above all others. If the Lord Jesus were only a saint, a divine messenger, or a holy martyr, what is there in his love or his death above any other. Imagine for a moment all this apparatus of means and training instituted to contemplate the death of Moses or

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Isaiah, or John the Baptist, and into what sesquipedalia verba, will these elevated words of truth and soberness dwindle. Why should it be a stumbling block to the Jews, or an offence to the Greeks, that Christ died, any more than the fact that John the Baptist died or that Socrates died? Did the apostles preach that Christ died a martyr to bis message?" And did not John the Baptist and Socrates die so? The entire structure of the New Testament is founded on the fact that the apostles solemnly announce the death of Christ to be a stupendous EXPEDIENT of infinite wisdom for saving sinners with honor to the divine government, they proclaimed the crucifixion of Christ to be a lustration, a propitiation for the sins of the world. They went forth “determining to know nothing among men but Jesus Christ, and him crucified." Hear their frank and manly confession:—"The Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach CHRIST CRUCIFIED into the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness, but unto them whicb are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and Christ the wisdom of God.” 1 Cor. i, 22—24.

A ministry that rejected the atonement would never have used the language of the apostles. Never were a band of men so enraptured with their subject, and never was there a subject so calculated to enchant the inind or ravish the affections of the heart.

1. The atonement gives us the most enlarged views of the person of the Son of God. The scriptures avow that "great is the mystery of Godliness, God manifest in the flesh.The person of Jesus Christ is unique in the universe—unparalleled in the forms and tribes of being. All forms and grades of existence meet in Him. In Him the Godhead lives in union with rational life. His character is not that of his NATURE. His character is moral and official; yet his nature as God and as man is pure, unmixed, and individual. His character and person once passed through a process of accountableness, trial, and discipline, and now sus

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