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which made it equal to the needs and sins of the world, such a value as it would not have had but for this imputation. We affirm rather with the deeper theologians of those and of all times, who crave to deal with realities, not with ascriptions and imputations, that his offering had in itself this intrinsic value, that there was no ascription to it, as of God's mere pleasure, of a value which it did not in itself possess ; for then the same might have been imputed to the work of an angel or of a saint; the whole exclusive fitness of the Son of God undertaking the work would then pass away ; and another might have made up the breach as well as He. We affirm rather that what the Son of God claimed in behalf of that race whereof He had become the representative and the Head, He claimed as of right-although, indeed, that right was one which the Father as joyfully conceded as the Son demanded. Without a satisfaction such as this the eternal interests of that righteousness whereof God is the upholder in his own moral universe would not have permitted Him to be, as He now is, the passer by of transgression, the justifier and acceptor of the ungodly.
'Such, my brethren, is the Church's faith in respect of the atonement. That atonement is not, as some would persuade us, a one-sided act; it looks not one way only, but two; having a face with which it looks toward God, as well as one with which it looks toward man. It is no mere reconciling of man to God, as though its object were to remove the distrust, to kill the enmity in man's heart, to persuade him to throw down his arms, and yield himself the vanquished of eternal love. It most truly this, but it is much more than this. It is a reconciling not merely of man to God, but of God to man; whose love could not have gone forth upon the children of men in its highest forms, in those of forgiveness, acceptance, renewal, if this had not found place. Think not then, my brethren, of Christ the peace-maker, as though He came only to announce peace; to say to the doubting and distrustful children of men, 'Why will ye remain at such a miserable and guilty distance from your Heavenly Father, when his arms are stretched out to receive you, when He is only waiting to enfold you within them ?' No doubt Christ did come bringing this message, did proclaim that those arms were open, that Heavenly Father waiting to be gracious, but He only brought this inasmuch as He made the peace which He announced. Having made peace (ειρηνοποιήσας) by the blood of the Cross,' ' He entered into the Holiest of all, having obtained (or, having Himself found, cúpápvos) eternal redemption for
In Him and through Him, through the sacrifice of his death, the disturbed, and in part suspended relations between God and his sinful creatures, were reconstituted anew ; his blood being shed to cleanse men from their sins, and not to teach them that those sins needed no cleansing, and could be forgiven without one.
* And will any faith which is short of this faith satisfy the deepest needs and cravings of your souls? You may struggle against it with your understandings; though, I think, very needlessly; for it seems to me to approve itself to the reason and the conscience, quite as much
as to demand acceptance of our faith ; but you will crave it with your inmost spirits. There are times when, perhaps, nothing short of this will save you from a hopeless despair.'
It is refreshing to meet with a mind so gifted, and so rich in various culture as the mind of Dr. Trench, thus completely at one with this great central truth in the divine message to humanity. His profound, reverential, and confiding spirit in this connexion, contrasts strongly with the spirit in which the same truth has been regarded of late in some other quarters. Mr. Maurice, from whose speculations on this point and some others we have often had occasion to express our dissent, is, in our estimation, an intelligent, devout, Christian man-and a man, we feel assured, who would be ashamed to witness the affectations of difficulty and profundity in which not a few of our neophytes have been disposed to indulge on this subject under the sanction, as they imagine, of his example. In his view, the character of Christ is representative. He is the head of a redeemed humanity. By means of this doctrine, his doctrine of the atonement, deficient as it may be, is clearly distinguishable from the purely unitarian conception on that subject. It is in vain to quarrel with the word 'vicarious,' or with the word
satisfaction ;' both ideas must be admitted, whatever may be done with the words, if this idea of headship is to have any meaning. In all in which Mr. Maurice may be said to differ from Dr. Trench, he differs at the cost of consistency, and often the difference would be found to be a difference about words, more than about things. His dislike of the evangelical church party as a party, and his wish to make out a strong case against them, has been indulged by the preacher at Lincoln's Inn at serious cost to his logic, his temper, and his reputation. But we are willing to hope the worst is past.
The most plausible objection to the doctrine of atonement, and which neither Mr. Maurice nor Dr. Trench has attempted to meet, is that which alleges, that however improper it might be for a magistrate to acquit a criminal merely on a profession of penitence, it could not be so with the Divine Being, inasmuch as He must know where such professions are sincere ; and all that any moral administration can propose in relation to offenders is to reclaim them. In reply to this view of the matter, we scarcely need say, that in the estimation of most evangelical divines, no man will ever become a penitent in the evangelical sense, except as placed under the influence of evangelical truth. It belongs to the same authority to give repentance' and 'remission of sins.' But not to insist on this point-it is clear from what we know of the Divine Government, that penalties are often inflicted as acts
of pure retribution and warning, where the restoration of the sufferer is not the end contemplated. Providence is full of instances of this nature. Moreover, we venture to say, that it is not consistent with the known providence of this world, that even where repentance is real, all penalty incurred by the wrong-doer should be remitted. The spendthrift, the drunkard, the debauchee, who have brought ruin of all sorts upon themselves, may repent never so sincerely of the past, but that leaves them to struggle with all the evils in the present which that past has entailed upon it. In a few rare cases these evils may be in part counteracted, but it can never be more than in part. The scheme of divine providence, accordingly, knows nothing of the doctrine, -that to repent of evil is enough of itself to ensure a remission of its penalty. As a rule, where the evil comes, the penalty comes; whether the evil-doer be penitent or not.
Nor is this unreasonable. The lives of such men have fallen as a curse on multitudes. The effects of their vices have gone out into society in forms that cannot be defined, and in degrees that cannot be measured. What can their repentance do towards repairing that world of mischiefs? Next to nothing. And if the offender's penitence can do next to nothing towards removing evil from those on whom he has inflicted it, is it to be allowed to do everything in the way of removing evil from the offender himself? Is there no pitying power, no stern moral guardianship to be exercised in behalf of those who have become the victims of his bad passions? We scarcely need repeat in this place, that the Divine mind, which is no doubt present in the relation between parent and child, is also, and as truly, present in the relation between magistrate and subject. The true ethics of family government and of national government are from the same source. God could be no God to enlightened humanity, if, while 'delighting in mercy,' he were not also known as making himself a terror to the evil-doer. The injured all have their pleas against such doers, and a just, moral government must not ignore those pleas, but must listen to them, and, where valid, must accept them according to their due weight. Take the following passage, as showing how the experiences of life may prepare the way, not merely for the reception of the doctrine of the atonement, but for the reception of it as a great truth which meets, and is alone sufficient to meet, one of the deepest needs of our nature :
"Let me imagine, for example, one, who with many capacities for a nobler and purer life, and many calls thereunto, has yet suffered himself to be entangled in youthful lusts, has stained himself with these ; and then after a while awakens, or rather is awakened by the good Spirit of God, to ask himself, What have I done? How fares it with
him at the retrospect then, when he, not wholly laid waste in spirit, is made to possess (oh, fearful possession !) the sins of his youth? Like a stricken deer, though none but himself may be conscious of his wound, he wanders away from his fellows; or if with them, he is alone among them, for he is brooding still and ever on the awful mystery of evil which he now too nearly knows. And now too all purity, the fearful innocence of children, the holy love of sister and of mother, and the love which he had once dreamed of as better even than these, with all which is supremely fair in nature or in art, comes to him with a shock of pain, is fraught with an infinite sadness; for it wakens up in him by contrast a livelier sense of what he is, and what, as it seems, he must for ever be; it reminds him of a Paradise for ever lost, the angel of God's anger guarding with a fiery sword its entrance against him. He tries by a thousand devices to still, or at least to deaden, the undying pain of his spirit. What is this word sin, that it should torment him so ? He will tear away the conscience of it, this poisonous shirt of Nessus, cating into his soul, which in a heedless moment he has put on. But no; he can tear away his own flesh, but he cannot tear_away that. Go where he may, he still carries with him the barbed shaft which has pierced him; hæret lateri letalis arundo.' The arrow which drinks up his spirit, there is no sovereign dittany which will cause it to drop from his side—none, that is, which grows on earth; but there is, which grows in heaven, and in the Church of Christ, the heavenly enclosure here. And you too, if such a one be among us, may find your peace, you will find it, when you learn to look by faith on Him, “ the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. You will carry, it may be, the scars of those wounds which you have inflicted upon yourself to your grave; but the wounds themselves He can heal them, and heal them altogether. He can give you back the years which the cankerworm has eaten, the peace which your sin had chased away, and, as it seemed to you, for
He can do so and will. 'Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean, wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow'—this will be then your prayer, and this your prayer will be fulfilled. The blood of sprinkling will purge, and you will feel yourself clean. Your sin will no longer be yourself; you will be able to look at it as separated from you, as laid upon another, upon One so strong that He did but for a moment stagger under the weight of a world's sin, and then so bore, that bearing He has borne it away for ever.'
The claims of moral government are all so honoured, elevated, sublimated by the homage rendered to them in the self-sacrifice of Christ, that the most injured may well be content to forgive where He is disposed to exercise forgiveness. Satisfaction for “the sins of the past,' which no penitence or amendment on the part of the offender could ever make, is thus made by the Divine Mediator and Representative of the race. The vengeance that must otherwise have come on the delinquent, and to the full, is
The Light of the I’orld.
stayed. Pardon exercised through the sublimest manifestation of rectitude and goodness the universe has ever seen, cannot be said to have been exercised on a basis of indifference to rectitude and goodness. The divine estimate of these attributes is indicated in the cost at which they are thus manifested. It is quite true that the suffering of the innocent is accepted in this case in the place of the suffering of the guilty; but it is not true that this is a putting of injustice in the place of justice. The being who accepts the self-consecration of the patriot and the martyr for the purposes of his providence, accepts the self-consecration of a greater than they for the purposes of his grace. It does not belong to his nature to care for nothing beyond the barely just. He attaches his highest value to the willing services of the generous. He expects us to see a majesty in rectitude, and he expects us to see also a beauty in goodness. The first of these objects awakens veneration, the response of feeling proper to the second is love. God means that his moral universe shall be a richer domain than some men seem willing to suppose.
The three remaining discourses in this brief series are rich in beautiful thoughts, but they are not characterized to the same degree as the first and second by distinctness and unity of subject. Nor do they contain the same clear and pregnant references to the phases of religious thought especially prevalent in our time. Our readers, however, will find them well deserving an attentive perusal. The text of the third discourse is John viii. 12:Then spoke Jesus to them again, saying, I am the light of 'the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but ‘shall have the light of life. This language is noticed as being in harmony with our Lord's general manner of speaking concerning himself-a manner so peculiar to him, and so full of lofty self-assertion, as to render it marvellous that any man professing to admit the ordinary historical truthfulness of Scripture should fail to see that the alternative before him is, to receive Jesus Christ as more than man, or at once to class him with the deceiving or deceived :
• But to consider these words more nearly, I would entreat you to observe, my brethren, how the Lord assumes in them, as in so many other of his words, as indeed more or less distinctly in all his words, a central position in respect of the whole family of mankind; so that all men stand in a relation to Him in which they do not stand to one other, or to any child of man except only to Himself. He presents Himself, not as other men are, a point, it may be an important one, but still a point, in the vast circumference of humanity. He is rather the centre to which the lines from every other point converge; from which they diffuse themselves again. And in respect of this,