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things than the blood of Abel. Through this blood, eternal redemption comes to sinners. Atonement therefore is the foundation of reciemption, and not redemption itself.
The latter is good enjoyed by men; the former, the channel through which good cometh. Atonement proclaims liberty to the captives, the opening of the prison to those who are bound; it opens the way to the chamber of the bridegroom; but to go in, and partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb, is. reserved for the redeemed only. 66 These are they 'which were not defiled with women; for they are vire. gins : these are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth: these were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God, and to the Lamb."* Whithersoever the Lamb goeth, him all the redeemed follow. But this is not the case with respect to all those for whom atonement is made: for there are some who “ deny the Lord who bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."
3. Between good men, and those who were redeemod from among men, the holy scriptures make no distinction. Redemption, therefore, implies regeneration. In atonement the new birth itself is not implied: It only renders it consistent for God to have mercy on whom he will have mercy. All the redeemed are cordial friends to the Lord Jesus Christ : but thouse, ands for whom atonement is made, are his greatest. enemies. Good men, and redecmed men, mean the
This is evident. The prophet Isaiah, therefore, speaking of the way of holiness, saith, “No lion shall be there; nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there : And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and crerlasting
* Rcv. xiv.com
joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Every excellency of character which belongs to good men, is also ascribed to the redeemed from among men. Of the redeemed, therefore, it is said, “ In their mouth there is found no guile ; for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
4. If there were no difference between atonement and redemption, to pray for the one would be equally improper as to pray for the other. But it was a common thing for saints of old to pray for redemption; yet we find none of them ever praying for atonement. It is true, however, that Katallage, the Greek word for atonement, is the same which the inspired writers use for reconciliation; and there is the greatest propriety in praying that we may be subjects of reconciliation. Hence said the apostle, “ We pray you in Christ's 'stead, be ye reconciled to God.” It is evident, however, that for reconciliation, as made by Christ, for the sins of the people, we ought not to pray. “Christ was made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high-priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Now, in this sense of reconciliation or atonement, the work is already completed, even if reconciliation, as an exercise of our heart, doth never take place.
Hence, atonement, in the sense of the word now under consideration, was completed when Christ rose from the dead: for “ he was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” It would not be proper, therefore, to pray that Christ would make atonement for sin, because this he did while in the clays of his flesh, by his obedience unio death. To pray for atonement, therefore, would be implicitly to pray that Christ might die a second time. But of the
propriety in praying for redemption, we have examples from the best authority. The psalmist prays for mercy, and redemption in the same sentence. “ But as far me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and he merciful unto me.”-“ Draw nigh to my soul and redeem it.”
The work of atonement being already finished, and the work of redemption implying a building, which God is now rearing up on the foundation of atonement, prove their difference.
We are informed by the apostle, that believers are sealed unto the day of redemption.* The day of judgment, with the righteous, will emphatically be the day, of redemption. When, therefore, they shall see the. Son of Man coming in a cloud, with power glory, they will look up, and lift up their heads; for their redemption draweth night
From the observations which have now been made, we infer the following remarks :
1. Not to distinguish between atonement and salvation is an error.
2. Notwithstanding Christ has given himself a ran. som for all, yet none will be profited thereby, except those, who, by a true and living faith, are united to the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the living bread, the bread of atonement, which, if a man eat, he shall live forever. But he who eateth not of this bread shall die, being destitute of wisdoin, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.
3. « Christ has given himself a ransom for all.” On this the Universalists pretend to build their scheme: but, if the above distinction be just, they cannot, with any propriety, infer universal redemption (salvation) from the universality of the ransom or price of re. * Eph. iv. 30.
Luke xxi. 8.
demption. Universal atonement therefore is consiste ent with particular redemption: it is also consistent with the doctrine of election.
Atonement is the price of redemption. Redemption itself is the actual exemption and escape from bondage. No one is redeemed therefore from the curse of the law, until he is united to the Lord Jesus Christ. Of man, nothing is required in order to atone. ment; but, in order to redemption, or deliverance from the curse of the law, it is necessary that he be reconciled to God, or that he receive the atonement.
4. To distinguish between redemption and the application of redemption is improper. But between atonement and the application of atonement, there is the same propriety of distinction as between atonement and redemption.
The Lamb of God, the Great Atonement.
(Extracted from the Rev. John Newton's Messiah.)
THE extent of the atonement is frequently represented, as if a calculation had been made, how much suffering was necessary for the surety to endure, in order exactly to expiate, the aggregate number of all the sins of all the elect; and that so much he suffered, precisely, and no more ; and that when this requisition was completely answered, he said, It is finished, bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. But this nicety of computation does not seem analogous to that unbounded magnificence and grandeur, which overwhelm the attentive mind, in the contemplation of the divine con. duct in the natural world. When God waters the earth, he waters it abundantly. He does not restrain the rain
to cultivated, or improveable spots, but, with a profusion of bounty worthy of himself, his clouds pour down water, with equal abundance, upon the barren mountain, the lonely desert, and the pathless ocean. Why may we not say with the scripture, that Christ died to declare the righteousness of God, to manifest that he is just in justifying the ungodly, who believe in Jesus ! And for any thing we know to the contrary, the very same display of the evil and demerit of sin, by the Redeemer's agonies and death, might have been equally necessary, though the number of the elect were much smaller, than it will appear to be, when they shall all meet before the throne of glory. If God had formed this earth for the residence of one man only; had it been his pleasure to afford him the same kind and degree of light which we enjoy ; the same glorious sun, which is now sufficient to enlighten and comfort the millions of mankind, would have been necessary for the accommodation of that one person. So, perhaps, had it been his pleasure to save but one sinner, in a way that should give the highest possile discovery of his justice, and of his mercy, this could have been done by no other method, than that which he has chosen for the salvation of the innumerable multitudes, who will, in the great day, unite in the song of praise, to the Lamb who loved them, and washed them from their sins in his own blood. As the sun has a sufficiency of light for eyes (if there were so many capable of beholding it) equal in number to the leaves upon the trees, and the blades of grass that grow upon the earth ; so in Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness, there is plenteous redemption, he is rich in mercy to all that call upon him ; and he invites sinners without exception, to whom the word of his salvation is sent, even to the ends of the earth, to look unto him, that they may be saved.