« AnteriorContinuar »
On the Remission of Sins.
145 These, indeed, were also important can see nothing in this passage which ends of the death of Christ, but not I wish to recal. I think his atthat great end which is spoken of in tempt to shew that the testimony of those parts of Scripture to which we Scripture to this point is scanty and are now alluding.
inconsiderable, is quite unsuccessful; · Such, then, is the doctrine for which but as I am not disposed any more I contend: the obedience unto death than himself to rest on mere assertion, of our Saviour Jesus Christ was ap- I shall now follow him in his examipointed by God as the most proper nation of the evidence to be found in mode of granting to mankind those the divine oracles. privileges and immunities which con. I have first to remark, that your stitute the forgiveness of sins : or, in correspondent appears to me to take other words, it was an event which very undue advantage of negative evia God ordained as being proper to pre- dence on this subject. This species cede and introduce that dispensation. of evidence, in relation to the doctrines I do not flatter myself that your cor- of Scripture, ought, I think, always to respondent will deem this explanation be received with great reserve, for it so satisfactory as wholly to withdraw is a serious and arduous thing to set his charge of vagueness and obscurity; aside the plain sense of the testimony I can only say, that it appears to me given, because we fancy that that tesas definite as the nature of the subject timony should have been oftener readmits, and, at any rate, is the best I peated. It is common to see persons, base to offer.
who are hardy in the use of this kind In the view here taken, the death of evidence, dispute the most estaof Christ appears in immediate con- blished truths. I say thus much, not nexion with the remission of sins; it because it is necessary to my present was judged by God a proper mode of argument, but with a view to counintroducing that dispensation on ac, teract what appears to me a prevailing count of its own inherent character and form of sophistry. On the point now tendencies, and not in subserviency to in dispute, I think the New Testaany other intermediate event. In this ment affords quite as much evidence it differs from our Lord's preaching as can reasonably be expected. We and resurrection. We know of no may maintain that a doctrine is both connexion of these latter with the for- true and important, without being giveness of sins, but such as may be obliged to produce authorities for it traced through their natural effects; from every page of holy writ. The a connexion, therefore, not immediate, present doctrine is of the nature of a but indirect and circuitous. Christ comment on the facts recorded in the is indeed said to have been raised for New Testament; it goes to explain our justification : but this is not for- some great points in the economy of giveness, but something subsequent redemption, but they are rather in to it. Using the terms in the sense God's part of it than ours, and therejust explained, I thought myself war fore perhaps less necessary to be enranted in asserting “ that the imme- forced on our attention than many diate connexion between the death of other matters. I am not disposed to Cbrist and the remission of sins was take advantage of an unguarded exstrongly, repeatedly and variously as- pression, but I must say, that Mr. A. serted in the Scripture, and brought surprises me when he concludes a surforward as a great and prominent vey of no more, as far as I can see, truth of the gospel.”
than the Gospel of Matthew and the Of this position your correspondent Acts, by saying, “ The silence of the entirely disapproves, and pronounces great Teacher of Christians, and of my language wholly unguarded and his inspired apostles, as to this docunwarranted by Scripture. He seems, trine, inay well be regarded as its indeed, to be very sensible that this condemnation."
Jesus and his aposis the hinge of the controversy; he, tles are silent with respect to any therefore, joins issue upon it, and connexion between his death and the sets himself to give my assertion a di- forgiveness of sins! Are, then, the rect refutation. He must, however, epistles of these apostles, the most forgive me when I say, that, after unquestionably authentic of all the maturely reconsidering the subject, I books of the New Testament, so much
less valuable as evidence of their sen- more frequent mention of this subject. timents, than an historical memoir, in saying this I refer to the apostolic draivn up by the hand of another epistles, for I must allow, that in the In general, a man's authentic letters book of the Acts this point of docare thought the very best evidence we trine is not very explicitly insisted on. can have, in any question concerning In those short discourses of the aposhis sentiments; they are the materials tles, which are recorded in this book, on which his biographer seizes as a only the great outlines of Christianity treasure. At present, however, my are sketched, while many important appeal is to the historical books, from particulars are left to be more fully which I think there are more testi- explained elsewhere. Accordingly, monies to be produced than
we find distinct notice of the appointrespondent has noticed. We cannot ment of our Lord's mediation, or miexpect to find our Lord very frequently nistry in general, for the forgiveness explaining the ends of his death, when of sins, but not of his death in partithat event itself was still concealed in cular. Thus Peter says to Cornelius, futurity, or only dimly apprehended “Every one who believeth on him by his disciples from some predictions shall receive remission of sins through which he occasionlly uttered, but his name.” And again, Paul, in his which they were at a loss to under. address to the Jews at Antioch in stand. Your correspondent asserts Pisidia, “ Be it known unto you, men that our Lord never declared the con- and brethren, that through this man is nexion between his death and the re- preached unto you the forgiveness of mission of sins but once, that is, when sins.” Here we find the person and at the last supper he said, holding the name of Jesus connected with our recup, “ This is my blood of the New demption in a very close and peculiar Testament, which is shed for many manner. His death, it is true, is not for the remission of sins.” This de particularly mentioned, but surely we claration alone, so uttered, and at such cannot do better than to let the aposa time, is very far from silence on the tles be their own interpreters, and use subject, but several other places may their epistles as comments on their be quoted of similar import. Our history. I shall, therefore, proceed to Lord declares that “ The Son of Man select from these more amplified excame to give his life a ransom for positions of our faith, such passages many.” He says, that “ As Moses as appear to me the most pertinent lifted up the serpent in the wilder- and decisive. They are the following. ness, so must the Son of Man be lifted Rom. üi. 25: “ Whom God foreorup, that whosoever believeth on him dained as a propitiation (or mercymight not perish, but have everlasting seat) by his blood, for the remission life.” And again, “ The bread that of past sins.” Rom. v. 9, 10: “Much I will give is my Nesh, which I will more being now justified by his blood, give for the life of the world.” I am shall we be saved from wrath through aware that some of these passages him. For if, when we were enemies, may be explained in more ways than we were reconciled unto God by the one, but I think they all, in their most death of his Son, much more being obvious sense, indicate a connexion reconciled, shall we be saved by his between the death of Jesus and that life.” Rom. iv. 25: “Who was deliforgiveness of sins which he was about vered for our offences, and was raised to dispense. The same appears to again for our justification." I Cor. me to have been plainly pointed out xv. 3: “ Christ died for our sins, acby his forerunner, when he exclaimed, cording to the Scriptures.” 2 Cor. v. «'Behold the Lamb of God, which ll: "For he hath made himn to be taketh away the sins of the world !" sin for us who knew no sin, that we If he is not here called a lamb, in re- might be made the righteousness of ference to his laying down his life, I God in him.". Gal. iii. 13: “ Christ can see no meaning in this singular hath 'redeemed us from the curse of appellation. But when the hour of the law, being made a curse for us." his trial was past, and the cross of Ephes. í. 7: “In whom we have reChrist was become at once the re- demption, through his blood, the forproach and glory of the Christian giveness of sins." Ephes. ii. 13:“But name, we find, as we might expect, now, in Christ Jesus, ye who some
" If we
Recantation of Daniel Scargill, 1669.
147 time were afar off are made nigh, by Tabaraud says that he defended them, the blood of Christ." Ephes. ii. 16 : and with warmth, in a public thesis.* “ And that he might reconcile both A late biographer of the philosopher into God, in one body, by the cross." of Malmesbury, states in general Col. i. 20: “And through him to terms, and with a decided partiality to reconcile all things to himself, having the system of Hobbes, that made peace through the blood of his young men at the Universities began cross." 1 Tim. ii. 6: “Wbo gave to study his philosophy, and defended hipself a ransom for all, to be testi some of his opinions in their public fied in due time.” 1 Pet. i. 2: disputations in the schools," and that “ Elect unto sprinkling of the blood among “ these inquirers after truth, of Jesus." 1 Pet. ü. 24 : “ Who Scargill was so rash as to avow the himself bore our sins in his own body sentiments he entertained, and to unon the tree.” 1 Pet. iii. 18: “For dertake the defence of some positions Christ also once suffered for us, the extracted from the Leviathan.” + just for the unjust, that he might bring Whatever was the manner in which us unto God." 1 John i. 7:
the disputant asserted his Hobbism, walk in the light as he is in the light, the consequences to himself were very the blood of Jesus Christ, his Šon, serious. The Heads of Colleges procleanseth us from all sin."
ceeded to deprive him of his degree This is the evidence which I adduce, and his fellowship, and to banish him drawn entirely from the undisputed from the University. With a view books of the New Testament; and if probably to the restoration of his hoany one doubts whether it proves a nours and emoluments, he made a peculiar end contemplated in the death public and humiliating Recantation. of Jesus, let bim inquire, whether This was delivered in St. Mary's ever any similar expressions are used Church, July 25, 1669, and published with reference to any other character, immediately after at Cambridge, in a however illustrious either as a prophet 4to. pamphlet, from which we are or martyr. Apostles and prophets about to extract it, as a great literary have obtained a good report, because and theological curiosity. The biothey did not count even their lives grapher just quoted says that Scargill dear unto them, while they testified was imprisoned by authority of the those truths that lead men to salva- Senate, and that the Recantation was tion. The praises of such characters the condition of his liberation. For abound in Scripture, and are often this, however, he produces no evidelivered in language very elevated dence, and yve have no documents and figuratiye ; but expressions such within our reach which will enable us as we have seen applied to Christ, are to clear up the point; nor do we dever used concerning thein. How know what became of the unhappy can this be explained but by supposing man. From the papers of Archbishop that Jesus bore a character distinct Sheldon in the Lambeth Library, it in kind from theirs, and acted a very appears that that dignitary wrote different and peculiar part in relation
« Letters to Dr. Spencer about reto the forgiveness of our sins ? And storing Mr. Scargill to his Fellowwhat idea can we form of this his pe- ship, though probably without efculiar office, if we do not regard his fect. I Hobbes was much reflected on death as immediately subservient to that great end?
Your correspondent's paper requires * Histoire Critique du Philosophisme some further remarks, but these I Anglois. Paris, 1806. I. 175. must defer till another opportunity.
+ Philip Mallett's Account of the Life T. F. B. and Writings of Hobbes, prefixed to a
new edition, (12mo. 1812,) of “ The Recantation of Daniel Scargill.
Treatise on Human Nature, and that ou ANIEL SCARGILL, B. X., Fel- Liberty and Necessity, with a Supple
ment," p. 57. This little work, though Cambridge, was a disciple of Hobbes, the impression consisting only of 100 and publicly maintained some of the copies. most dangerous and obnoxious opi # See Bliss's edition (410.) of Wood's nions contained in the Leviathan. M. Athen, Oxon. IV. 858.
in the affair, and seems to have felt that they are not only of dangerous the disgrace, for amongst the MSS. and mischievous consequence, inconwhich he left behind him, is his “De sistent with the being of God, and fence in the Matter relating to Dan. destructive to hunian society ; but Scargill.”
that they are utterly false, the sug
gestions of a lying spirit, wholly “ The Recantation of Daniel Scar- against my own judgment resolved gill, publicly made before the Univer- upon better consideration, as well as sity of Cambridge, in Great St. Mary's, against the common sense of mauJuly 25, 1669. Cambridge, printed by kind. And I do freely acknowledge the Printers to the University, 1669. the proceedings and sentence of my
“ Whereas I Daniel Scargill, late governors, the Vice-Chancellor and Bachelor of Arts and Fellow of Cor- heads of the University, to be just and pus Christi College in the University equal, agreeable to the duty of their of Cambridge, being, through the in- place, and the trust reposed in them, stigation of the Devil, possessed with that they could not have done less to a foolish proud conceit of my own vindicate the Divine honour, and supwit, and not having the fear of God press that mischief growing up in this before my eyes : have lately vented age, which no former hath known. and publicly asserted in the said Uni “ And uow I adore and bless the versity, divers wicked, blasphemous highest Majesty of God in his infinite and Atheistical positions, (particularly, mercy to me, that he hath not suffered that all right of dominion is founded me to go on unreclaimed in my enoronly in power ; that if the Devil were mous principles and practices; but omnipotent he ought to be obeyed; hath made my face to be ashamed, that all moral righteousness is founded that I may seek his name. Righteonly in the positive law of the civil ousness belongeth unto thee, O Lord, magistrate; that the Scriptures of but unto me, and to those who have God are not law further than they are seduced me, and to those who have been enjoined by the civil magistrate ; that seduced by me, shame and confusion the civil magistrate is to be obeyed of face. Ó what height of wickedness though he should forbid the worship had I arrived unto! For I must conof God, or command theft, murder fess myself guilty of impleading the and adultery,) professing that I glo- Divine Majesty at the tribunal of huried to be an Hobbist and an Atheist; man wit, making man judge whether and vaunting that Hobbs should be God should be God or no. Nay, maintained by Daniel, that is, by me: whereas the Devil, my tempter, to agreeably unto which principles and whom I had hearkened, doth believe positions, I have lived in great licen- and tremble, I, vile wretch, have been tiousness ; swearing rashly; drinking void of the faith and fear of God in intemperately; boasting myself inso- the manifold manifestations of him. lently; corrupting others by my per- Wherefore I humbly ask pardon of nicious principles and example: to God above all, whom I have blasthe high dishonour of God, the re- phemed; of my Governors in the proach of the University, the scandal University, whom I have disturbed ; of Christianity, and the just offence of all Christians and all men for the of mankind. And whereas the Vice- great offence I have given unto all : chancellor and Heads of the said Uni more especially of so many as have versity, upon notice of these my foul been misled into any error or vice by enormities, upon a full examination And I do also humbly and earand clear conviction of these premised nestly beseech all men, especially so offences, after suspension from my many of the younger scholars as have degree, did expel me out of the said been seduced by mne, (who now abhor University: now I, the said Daniel what I formerly boasted to assert,) Scargill, after frequent consideration, that they beware by my example of strict examination and serious review the most subtle insinuations of the of the said positions, do find, by the Devil in the vain ostentation of their grace of that God, whom I had denied, own wit. That they lean not to their
own understanding, but consult the • Wood's Athen. Oxon, ut sup. III. Holy Scriptures, the lively Oracles of 1215.
God, that froin thence they may learn
Recantation of Daniel Scargill, 1669.
φρονέιν εις το σωφρονειν to be oise unto “ For these unhallowed assertions sobriety, as the holy apostle with great and expressions, I now tind such inwisdom requires. And now I humbly ward contrition and remorse, that I hope and trust in the infinite mercy of pray God his mercy may withhold me that God against whom I had auda- from relapse, or his judgments preciously opened my unhallowed mouth, vent it. But do I think that a bare that He who hath promised that all recantation can satisfy for my prodisin and blasphemy shall be forgiven gious offences ? No, let me do peunto men, (excepting only that re nance all my days, submitting myself solved malicious blasphemy against to God's will
, and the charity of pious the Holy Ghost,) will he graciously minds: and whatsoever my portion pleased to glorify his mercy in the may be in this world, let me live and forgiveness of my most detestable er, die in the fear of God and the faith of rors and abominable sins. And I Christ. Amen. thank God that he hath awakened me “Now, lest any one should mistake in good measure to a just detestation or suspect this confession and unof the accursed positions asserted by feigned renunciation of my sinful and me, and of all other like wicked prin- accursed errors, for an act of civil ciples.
obedience or submission in me, per" Wherefore, I do here in the pre- formed according to my former prinsence of God, angels and men, cast ciples, at the command of any supemyself down in a deep dread of the riors, in outward expression of words, just judgments and vengeance of God though contrary to my judgment and upon the accursed Atheism of this inward thoughts of my heart; or that age, acknowledging myself to be I have not now expressed the most highly guilty of the growth and spread- sincere' and secret sense of my soul ; ing thereof, having contributed what I call the Searcher of all hearts tó my profane wit could devise, or my witness, that I loath and abhor such foul mouth express, to instil it into practices as the basest and most dainothers, or confirm them therein. And nable hypocrisy: that from my heart I do profess, I believe, (and judge it and soul I detest such principles in all most reasonable so to believe,) that persons, as worse than the basest vilthe openly professed Atheism of some, lainies and reservations, which the Jeand the secret Atheism of others, is suits are said to practise or allow. the accursed root of all that abounding And I openly avow, that I do acknowwickedness, perjury, sacrilege, de- ledge, that all persons so principled bauchery and uncleanness in this pre- ought to be held by all mankind as sent age: that in a deep sense of that the most dangerous and declared enewretched part I have acted in the pró- mies of the common faith amongst pagating thereof, I do now abhor my- men. That they are not to be trusted self in dust and ashes, and that, froin upon any obligation of their faith, or the bottom of my heart, I do disclaim, pretensions to piety, loyalty or comrenounce, detest and abhor those exe mon honesty, in any corporation, colcrable positions asserted by me or any lege, university, city, commonwealth other : particularly
or kingdom : but that, by those prin“1. That all right of dominion is ciples, destructive to all society and founded only in power.
commerce amongst men, they may “ 2. That all moral righteousness and do delude and defeat all oaths is founded only in the law of the civil and protestations, all faith given to magistrate.
God or inan: they may and will com" 3. That the Holy Scriptures are ply, if their own interest or advantage' made law only by civil authority: prompt them to it, with any invader
" 4. That whatsoever the civil ma or usurper : with any faction or growgistrate commands is to be obeyed, ing sect, however destructive to all notwithstanding contrary to Divine order and the very being of human moral laws.
society in the world. I believe also, “ 5. That there is a desirable glory and openly avouch, that no power in being, and being reputed an Atheist; upon earth, no persuasion or imaginawhich I implied when I expressly af- tion about natural right, no opinion in firmed that I gloried to be an Hobbist pretended philosophy concerning selfand an Atheist.
preservation, can free me from the