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thed for our sins; nor has it been inferred that because one died for all, then were all dead." However pure their precepts, or unquestionable the authority by which they were uttered, of no other teachers has it been said, that they were made unto us "Wisdom and Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption." None of them are denominated Sanctifiers, Redeemers, Propitiations for Sin, and Mediators between God and Man. Nor is it said that through their Righteousness we are justified in the sight of God; or that we are saved through faith in their Names; or that there is no salvation in any other. The titles of Messiah, the Saviour, Christ the anointed, Emanuel, of which the sublime interpretation, is God with us, are ascribed to him alone. Of no other martyr, who has died in defence of the truth, has it been said, that he had power to lay down his life, and power to take it up: that death had no dominion over him; nor could he be retained a prisoner in the grave.
Jesus Christ is also represented to us in the character of a Sovereign. When he was arraigned before Pilot he asserted his right to the title, although his kingdom was not of this world. Him alone of all the prophets, hath God exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, to
give repentance and remission of sins. We are commanded to present all our petitions to our hea venly father in his name; and in his name alone. In the salutations and benedictions uttered by the apostles, he is représented as co-operating with the Father, in communicating blessings to those who believe in him. "Grace be with you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ," is the favourite language.
Such extraordinary peculiarities, naturally suggest the inference, that the Saviour of the world is not only pre-eminent in the line of prophetic mission, but that there is an essential and characteristic difference in the nature of his office, from that of every other messenger of God.
Some Christians, eager to emulate the apostles and prophets, in conferring honour upon the great Saviour of mankind, have thought themselves justified in proposing an hypothesis, by which they conceive that all these characteristic attributes of his mission are explained and displayed. By considering the current language respecting our Saviour, in connection with the terrible judgments denounced against sin; and the strong expressions of wrath and indignation, against the workers of iniquity;
they conclude, that the natural and inevitable consequences of human transgressions, would have been everlasting misery, to every individual sinner, had not the Saviour presented himself as a ransom for their sins; by a purchase which has satisfied the divine justice, from its being adequate to the offence. They assert that there is an inherent malignity in sin, which would render it inconsistent with the injured majesty of God, and the nature of divine justice, to pardon a sinner without a plenary atonement being made, by a sacrifice of the just for the unjust. They consider the infinite merits of the all-perfect Jesus, united with the intenseness of his sufferings, in supporting his father's wrath, as a full compensation for the sins of those who shall finally be saved. This all-sufficiency is likewise ascribed to the union of the divine nature with the human; so that the Messiah being perfect God and perfect Man, he is enabled to "save to the uttermost all those who believe in him."
These sentiments astonish Christians of another description. They hope and believe them to be merely hypothetical. They assert that there are no expressions in the sacred scriptures which authorise such inferences. They allege that some parts of this system are mani
festly inconsistent with themselves: That the divine nature cannot suffer, and that the human nature of Christ cannot possess the requisite infinitude of merit. They exclaim also, that such a representation of the economy of salvation, is totally inconsistent with the character of a Father, disposed to be reconciled to his offending offspring, which shines so conspicuous in this last revelation of God. They deein it, therefore, more rational to have recourse to expletives, in order to mitigate and qualify those strong scriptural expressions which have given rise to an hypothesis, so exceptionable in their opinion, and so repugnant to reason. Accordingly, they explain all those elevated and emphatic descriptions of our Saviour's character and offices, as indications of pre-eminence, in consequence of the extraordinary endowments he enjoyed; the perfection of his moral character; his voluntary submission to an ignominious death; his triumphant resurrection, by which he manifested the truth of his mission, and also brought life and immortality to light. In all these he stood alone, and without competitor.
These important truths, however, are not of themselves satisfactory to their opponents. They still urge that there are numerous passages in the epistles, that are not sufficiently illustrated
by thein-that something further must be implied in the terms, Ransom, Propitiation, Redemption. He gave himself a ransom for all; he was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin; he hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; he hath purchased his Church with his blood; he has washed us from our sins in his blood. They assert that expressions of a similar nature are extremely numerous that the whole current of scripture phraseology is in their favour; importing not only a pre-eminence, but a new, distinct, and infinitely more important office, than has been executed by any other prophet of God. They earnestly enforce the necessity of suppressing those objections, which the feeble reason of man dares to oppose, to the doctrines clearly revealed in the oracles of God.
But is there no medium between the two extremes? Can the language of Scripture, and the reason of Man, be in reality at variance? Are we to extinguish the light of reason, that we may comprehend what is the will of God? For revelation must address itself to the Understanding. Many things may be true which oppose popular and universal opinions, or it