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serve-"For my part, I dare not use any arts of criti. cism to narrow the obvious sense of these and similar texts; and as I hope this day, previously to receiving and administering the Lord's Supper, to use the following terms in solemn prayer, Christ 'by his own oblation of himself once offered, made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world;' I would no more contradict this solemn profession from the pulpit, than I would preach against the seventeenth article respecting predestination. The compilers of our liturgy evi. dently thought both true and consistent with each other; and I am happy to coincide in sentiment with these venerable characters."
From the 31st Article of the Church of England.
THE offering of Christ once made, is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone.
EXTRACT FROM THE
XVth Lord's Day. CHRIST “ sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind, that so by his passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice, he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damna. tion, and obtain for us the favour of God, righteousness and elernal life."
The Necessity of Atonement, and the con
sistency between that and Free Grace, in Forgiveness.
ILLUSTRATED IN THREE SERMONS,
Delivered at New-Haven, Oct. 1785,
PRESIDENT OF UNION COLLEGE,
EPHESIANS i. 7.
In whon we have redemption through his blood, the fora
giveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. THE doctrine of the forgiveness of sins is a capital doctrine of the gospel, and is much insisted on by the writers of the New Testament: above all, by the author of this epistle. In our text he asserts that we are forgiven according to the riches of grace: not merely in the exercise of grace, as the very term for. giveness, implies : but in the exercise of the riches of grace : importing that forgiveness is an act of the most free and abundant grace. Yet he also asserts that this gratuitous forgiveness is in consequence of a redemption by the blood of Christ. But how are these two parts of the proposition consistent? If we be in the literal sense forgiven in consequence of a redemp
tion, we are forgiven on account of the price of redemption previously paid. How then can we be truly said to be forgiven : a word which implies the exercise of grace? and especially how can we be said to be forgiven according to the riches of grace? This is at least a seeming inconsistence. If our forgiveness be purchased, and the price of it be already paid, it seems to be a matter of debt, and not of
This difficulty hath occasioned some to reject the doctrine of Christ's redemption, satisfaction, or atonement.Others, who have not been driven to that extremity by this difficulty, yet have been exceedingly perplexed and embarrassed. Of these last, I freely confess myself to have been one. Having from my youth devoted myself to the study of theoretic and practical theology, this has to me been one of the GORDIAN KNOTS in that science. How far what shall now be offered towards a solution, ought to afford satisfaction, is subinitted to the judgment of my candid auditors.
Our text naturally suggests these three enquiries :
Are sinners forgiven through the redemption or atonement of Jesus Christ only ? - What is the reason or ground of this mode of forgiveness -Is this mode of forgiveness consistent with grace, or according to the riches of grace? -Let us consider these in their order.
I. Are we forgiven through the redemption or atonement of Jesus Christ only? I say, redemption or atonement, because, in my view, they mutually imply cach other. That we are forgiven through the atonement of Christ and can be forgiven in no other way, the scriptures very clearly teach. For evidence as to the first of these particulars, 1 appeal to the following passages of scripture, which are indeed but a few of the many which exhibit the same truth. First, our
text itself: “In whom we have redemption through
The scriptures also teach the absolute necessity of the atonement of Christ, and that we can obtain forgiveness and salvation through that only. The sacrifices appointed to be made by the ancient Israelites, seem 'evidently to point to Christ; and to show the necessity of the vicarious sacrifice of him, who is there. fore said to be « our passover sacrificed for us;" and to have “given himself for us, an offering and a sacri. fice to God, for a sweet smelling savour;" and " now once in the end of the world, to have appeared, to put
away sin, by the sacrifice of himself." 1 Cor. v. 7. Eph. v, 2. Heb. ix. 26, As the ancient Israelites could obtain pardon in no other way than by those sacrifices;, this teaches us that we can obtain it only by the sacrifice of Christ.
The positive declarations of the New Testament teach the same truth still more directly; as Luke xxiv. 25, 26. “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?" verse 46. “ Thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.”. Rom. iii. 25, 26. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteous. ness--that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” It seems that God could not have been just in justifying the believer, had not Christ been made a propitiation Job iii. 14, 15. « As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the son of man be lifted up." Heb. ix. 22. " Without shedding of blood is no remission." I Cor. iii. 1 1. "Other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Acts iv. 12. “ Neither is there salvation in any other : for there is no other name, under heaven, given amung men, whereby we must be saved."
The necessity of the death and atonement of Christ sufficiently appears by the bare event of his death. If his death were not necessary, he died in vain. But we cannot suppose that either he or his father would have consented to his death, had it not been absolute. ly necessary.
Even a man of common wisdom and goodness, would not consent either to his own death or that of his son, but in a case of necessity, and in order to some important and valuable epd. Much less can