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** the Lamb of God ivithout spot and blemish; "or spotless and unblameable in all duty and "obedience to God, and in love and good** ness to men, through the whole course "of his lite, but especially at his death. "This was the sacrifice which he offered to "God V And agreeably to this notion of the sacrifice of Christ, the Dr. often mentions the blood of Christ, and his perfect obedience, righteousness, or holiness, as synonymous terms, or words of the fame signification. Thus he fays, u The blood of w Christ, ©r his perfect obedience or righ"teoufnefs, makes atonement for sin f making intercession for us in virtue of his "blood, or perfect holiness, solemnly ofM fered or presented before the throne of u God d." And accordingly, he calls the sacrifice which Christ offered, a sacrifice os real holiness, obedience, and goodness: *c—till Christ came, and offered himself a "sacrifice of real holiness, obedience, and "goodnesse." —But there is no occasion for multiplying quotations from the Dr'$ writings, to prove that this was his notion of the sacrifice of Christ, since it is the main point in his scheme, on which all the
b See Scripture-doctrine of Atonement examined, Chap. X. §. 161.
c Ibidem, Chap. XI. §. 187.
other parts of it depend, and on the proof of which, by scripture-evidence, he has bestowed much pains. I shall, therefore, proceed directly to an examination of the scripture-evidence by which he has endeavoured to prove and support this point, as it lies before us in the Xth chapter of his Scripture-doctrine of Atonement examined, and in the second paragraph of the VIII"1 chapter of his Key to the Apostolic writings.
§. 2. The Dr. introduces his proof of this point in the following words, "—The "word of God gives us much more just "and sublime sentiments; and shews us
-" that our Lord's death took its value not '-* from pain or suffering;—but from obedi** ence or goodness, or the most complete u character of all virtue and righteousness, *c the noblest of all principles, and the "highest perfection of intellectual nature; "and, therefore, of a sweet smelling "savour, or highly pleasing and grateful 4t to God. This I have proved, and ex** plained at large, in the VIIIth chapter "of the Key to the Apostolic writings,
. *c to which I must refer the reader f."
f See Scripture-doctrine of Atonement examined, Chap. X. §. 160.
§. 3. The sentiments, which the word of God gives us of the value of Christ's death, and of that which rendered it highly pleasing and grateful to God, are, doubtless, in themselves, just and noble; and must appear to be so to every intelligent mind, when they are set in a true and proper light. But, I am afraid, the Dr. has not hit upon these sentiments in this place.—The death of Christ considered as mere pain or suffering, could be of no value in God's sight, in no degree pleasing and acceptable to him: but, on the contrary, it must have been very odious and offensive to him. We cannot think otherwise, without denying the goodness of the Deity, and conceiving of God as an evil and cruel being, who derives his pleasure and happiness from the pain and misery of other beings. Wherefore, the Dr. is in the right, when he fays, "Christ's "death did not take its value from pain and "suffering."—But then he tells us, "That "his death took its value from obedience "and goodness, or the most complete cha"raster of all virtue, and the highest per** section of intellectual nature; and there "fore was of a sweet-smelling savour, or "highly pleasing and grateful to God." But this, if possible, gives us a more shocking ing idea of God's nature than the former, as exhibiting him to be a being of a perfectly eviJ, cruel, and barbarous disposition, to whom the painful and violent death of the most obedient and good being that ever lived, was highly pleasing and grateful; and by whom that death was reckoned valuable, precious, and of great worth, for no other reason, but because it was the death of a person of the highest moral excellence, and whose obedience and goodness were unexceptionable, and, in all respects, perfect. If the violent and , ignominious death of a righteous person, of one so eminently righteous as Christ was, be highly pleasing and grateful to God, and that because it is the death of a righteous person, what must become of the goodness and justice of God, or, indeed of his moral character as a being of perfect rectitude? These must all be denied, upon the supposition, that the Deity is capable of being pleased with, or of taking any delight in, the pain and sufferings of a righteous person, because he is a righteous person. But, I think, no more need be said, to expose the absurdity of this horrid principle, which the Dr. has adopted. However, to give some light into this affair, I add, that the death of Christ was of the nature of a mean; and our redemption from sin was the end, or effeSi, which was intended to be accomplished by it, as the
scripscripture every where declares. In this view of things, the death of Christ (like all other means) must take its value, in the light and estimation of God, not from the pain and sufferings which attended it, nor from the obedience and goodness of the sufferer, considered abstractedly in themselves; but from the end to which it was subservient, or its fitness and tendency to promote that end. The dignity, indeed, of the sufferer, the excellence and perfection of his moral character, and the greatness of the suffering, might be all requisite to constitute the fitness of this mean, or to give it a just and due efficacy for accomplishing the end intended, as they, doubtless, were, since the scripture represents them as being all not only concerned, but needful, in the affair. But still, neither one, nor other of these, simply and abstractedly considered, but only as it related to the end intended, and served to constitute the fitness of the mean by which it was to be accomplished,- was pleasing and grateful to God. The death of Christ, considered in this view, gives us an high and noble idea of the love and goodness of God, in not sparing his own son, though a person of the highest dignity, and brightest moral excellence, and exceeding dear to himself; but delivering him up to a painful and shameful death, to the end that he might accomplish the work of our redemption, and display