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in obedience to the commandment received of his Father; but he laid down his life for the sheep; but all are not his sheep, and therefore it could not be the will of his Father that he should lay down his life for every individual of the human race. See John, chap. 10th. Nor can it be denied that some benefits in this life flow, from the death of Christ, to those who are not his sheep. As our fathers who came out of Egypt, though they did not enter the land of promise, yet were benefited by that deliverance, being freed from bondage, and supplied with manna from heaven, and water out of a rock, &c. so the non-elect, though they derive no saving benefits from the death of Christ, yet they enjoy all their temporal blessings as the fruit of that sacrifice. And in this way those seemingly contradictory Scriptures, which speak on the one hand of Christ dying for his sheep, &c. and on the other, that he died for the world, &c. may easily be reconciled. Such, my dear Benjamin, is my undisguised sentiment on this doctrine, which has been the subject of so much controversy, conducted too often with a spirit very unbecoming the followers of the meek and humble Jesus.
§ 7. The following remarks of my venerable tutor, Dr. Bogue, may throw some light on the subject. In speaking on the question, "For whom did Christ make satisfaction ?" he observes, "this question is agitated with considerable heat, more than it deserves. Accurate distinctions will, in a great measure, supercede the necessity of controversy. Sometimes it is said in sacred Scripture, that Christ died for all men, for the world, &c. The natural unforced meaning of the expression, some think, is the whole human race. John, 3: 16; 6: 51, 52. 2 Cor. 5: 14. 1 Tim. 2 : 4–6. Heb. 29. 1 John, 2: 2. In other places it is said Christ died for the church, for the elect, for his people, &c. the natural unforced meaning of these expressions limits the certain benefits of his satisfaction to a part only of the human race. John, 10:15. Eph. 1:22; 5: 25. The former of these is called universal, and the latter particular redemption,
or general and particular atonement. Now, it is not consistent with sacred Scripture to deny either the one or the other, when they are both so plainly revealed; nor does it give the sacred Scripture the honor that is due, to twist and torture these expressions to make them suit a particular system. It is plain from the word of God, that there is a sense in which Christ died for all, and a sense in which he died for his people only. All the expressions in the Bible may, perhaps, be easily reconciled, if we consider the different points of view in which the subject is represented to us. If we fix our eyes on the divine decrees, Christ died for the elect. Rom. 8:29, 30. If we take a view of the covenant of redemption, then Christ died for those who were given him by the Father. John, 6: 37. If we take a view of the sufficiency of Christ's satisfaction, he may be said to die for the world, for all, for the whole world. Isa. 45: 22. If we consider the invitations of the Gospel, then Christ died for all who hear the Gospel preached; and salvation is offered to them, if they will receive it. Acts, 2:30. If we consider the efficacy of Christ's satisfaction, and its saving influence on those that receive it, then Christ died for believers, for his people. John, 15: 13. 1 Cor. 1:30. If we look at the transactions of the day of judgment, then Christ died for all holy souls that persevered in faith, holiness, and obedience, to the end of life, or for a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Matt. 25: 44, 45. Titus, 1: 2–24." M. S. Lectures. In my next letter I will endeavor to point out the effects of Christ's death. Meanwhile, I pray, my dear Benjamin, that both you and I may manifest, by our life and conduct, that we belong to the number of Christ's sheep who hear his voice and follow him; and may the happy time speedily come, when our dear people, the scattered sheep of Israel, shall be gathered into one fold, under one shepherd, Christ Jesus the Lord. Amen. Farewell.
THE EFFECTS OF CHRIST'S DEATH.
Dear Brother Benjamin,
§ 1. We will now proceed to consider the effects of Christ's death, or sacrifice. As the deliverance of our fathers from the Egyptian bondage was accomplished immediately after the paschal lamb was slain, so when "Christ our passover was sacrificed for us," the whole work of redemption was completed. Hence the Lord Jesus, with his dying breath, but with a loud voice, cried, "It is finished!" The full meaning of this comprehensive and triumphant exclamation of the Redeemer will be better understood when we shall see him "no more through a glass darkly, but face to face." The prophecies of his humiliation were accomplished; the prefigurations and shadows of his death were substantiated; the battle with the powers of darkness was over; the righteousness of the law was fulfilled; the payment of the price of redemption was completed; and the work which the Father gave him to do was finished in the highest degree of perfection.
Such is the virtue and efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ, that every thing formidable and burdensome is removed, every thing great and glorious procured; justice with all its vengeance appeased; the law with all its retinue of curses silenced; sin with all its demerits expiated; the covenant with all its benefits ratified; peace with its blessings restored; the spirit with all its treasures bestowed; our services purified from their filth; our consciences pacified from their fears; whatsoever is grievous abrogated; the veil of the temple, with all the heavy weight of ceremonies, rent in
twain; hell quenched, and heaven prepared and furnished for all that imitate God in his valuation of this sacrifice.
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men," which was the (prophetic) song of a multitude of angels at the birth of Jesus, was effected by his vicarious sacrifice on the cross. In a former letter I have stated that the sentence pronounced in Paradise on the tempter was a curse to Satan, and included a promise of the Savior; and I will now show its accomplishment in the death of Christ. This may be considered,
§ 2. 1. In regard to Jehovah. Satan aimed to rob God of his glory, and to restore the glory of God was that which Jesus aimed at when he came into our world, and that which he perfected when he bowed his head and gave up the ghost. The glory of all the attributes of God appeared in the face or manifestation of Christ. They all centered in him, and shone forth from him in all their brightness, and in a full combination set off one another's luster; not only in his incarnation, but also, and that chiefly, in his sacrifice. Mercy could not be glorified, unless justice had been satisfied; and justice had not been evident, if the tokens of divine wrath had not been upon him; grace had not sailed to us, but in the streams of his blood-" without the shedding of blood there is no remission." Justice had not been so fully known in the eternal groans of a world of creatures, nor could sin have appeared so odious to the holiness of God, by eternal scars upon devils and men, as by the deluge of blood from the heart of the sacrifice. Wisdom, in the contrivance, had not been evident without the execution. cross of Christ, which is "foolishness to the Greeks, and a stumbling-block to the Jews," is the wisdom as well as the power of God unto salvation. Here unsearchable depth of wisdom was unfolded, a depth more impossible to be comprehended in our minds than the whole heaven and earth in our hands. Such a wisdom of God shines in the cross as the angels never beheld in his face upon the throne.
wisdom to cure a desperate disease by the death of the Physician; to turn the greatest evil to the greatest glory; to bring forth mercy by the shedding of blood. But the death of Christ is a display of power as well as of wisdom. Dear Benjamin! turn your eye toward Calvary, where our Lord was crucified, and behold exertions greater and more marvelous than the creation and support of the universe: Almighty God strengthening his dear Son with his arm, and bruising him under his wrath, sustaining him under a weight which would have crushed the creation, and by his weakness breaking the forces of earth and hell, which were in opposition. Revenging wrath is a weight which creatures are not able to bear. Principalities and powers sunk beneath it, into outer darkness and endless misery. The wrath which crushed them hung over man, who was seduced to join their rebellious powers. Men, chosen to everlasting life, were by nature children of wrath, even as others. But for the chosen generation the Lord Jesus Christ was made under the law, and endured the wrath which their sins deserved, endured it all, endured it all at once, and in the strength and glory of his weakness endured it all alone! The beams of holiness, which is the essential glory of the nature of Jehovah, and revealed glory of his will, shine bright and awful in the death of Jesus. In the triumph over Egypt, on the banks of the Red Sea, Moses and the children of Israel sang, "Who is like unto thee, O Lord, glorious in holiness ?" and, in remembering the triumph of the cross over principalities and powers on Calvary, the song of Moses rises into the song of the Lamb, and transmits the praise of the glory of his holiness from generation to generation. The light of the knowledge of the glory of the holiness of God never broke forth in such luster and majesty. The punishment of angels, the destruction of the old world, the overthrow of the cities of the plain, the drowning of Pharaoh and his hosts, the pools of Nineveh, the humiliation of Nebuchadnezzar, and the ruins of Babylon, are