Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

sacrifice of Christ, as being his perfect obedience and goodness; I shall, before I conclude this head, subjoin one general remark upon this notion of the Dr. with some illustrations of the truth of it.—The remark is this, that it will be very difficult, impossible, I think, to reconcile the Dr's notion of the sacrifice of Christ, with the current phraseology of the holy scriptures; or with his own notion of Jewish sacrifices, which, most certainly, were true and proper sacrices; and must, for that very reason, agree, in the general nature of sacrifice, with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, provided it was a true and proper sacrifice, as there is good reason to think, it was.

§. 30. I. This notion of the sacrifice of Christ cannot, I think, be brought to accord with the scripture-phraseology. The scriptures always speak of this sacrifice as being the death of Christ; as being his blood, the shedding of his blood, his cross, his being made a curse by hanging on a tree, his giving, or laying down, his life, his offering himself (not his actions) an offering and a sacrifice, &c. But they never once mention his perfect obedience and goodness, as being the sacrifice which he offered to God.—If it be urged here, that we must understand these scripture-phrases in the jDr's way, or we cannot make the doctrine, which is grounded upon them in the scrip*

M ture, I

ture, consistent with reason and common sense. I answer; this objection supposes, and takes for granted, that which ought to be clearly proved, viz. that the doctrine, grounded upon the death or sacrifice of Christ, is inconsistent with reason and common sense, unless his death or sacrifice be understood to signify his perfect obedience and goodness. But this should be fairly proved, before the truth of it is admitted. One thing seems to be pretty clear, viz. that the scripture-phrases, now mentioned, cannot be understood in the Dr's fense, without the most violent and unnatural straining, a departure from the • obvious sense of the words, and the putting a fense upon them in which they are not to be found in any writing. Withal, if any person should understand them in this fense, he would still have it to prove from scripture, that they ought to be so understood; which, I am of opinion, will never be proved, unless it be by a proof of the fame kind with that of the Dr, which, as we have seen, k no proof at all.

§. 31. II. The Dr's notion of the sacrifice of Christ cannot be brought to agree, in its nature, as a sacrifice, with his notion ,of Jewish, piacular-sacrifices. His notion of the last mentioned sacrifices, is, that they were symbols of the penitence and penitent address of those by whom they were offered.

But But the sacrifice of Christ, according to him, was neither the penitence nor penitent address of the offenders for whom it was offered, nor the symbol of them; but a quite different thing, even the perfect obedience and goodness of the whole life of another person. In the one case, atonement was made for sin by the symbolical, penitent address of the offender himself: In the other, it was made by the perfect obedience and goodness of the priest who offered the sacrifice. And how two species of things, which agree in nothing, should yet agree in the general nature of sacrifice, is what I cannot comprehend.

§.32. The Dr. indeed, tells us, "That "the virtue and efficacy of Jewish sacrifices "(in' their inferior kind and degree, as "types, figures, and emblems,) coincide "with the virtue and efficacy of Christ's "sacrifice0."—Answ. The virtue and efficacy of Jewish-sacrifices, considered as types, figures, and emblems, cannot, in any kind or degree, coincide with the virtue and efficacy of what , the Dr. calls Christ's sacrifice, viz. his perfect obedience and goodness; because they were things of a very dissimilar nature and efficacy. Types, figures, and emblems, considered in them

M 2 selves,

0 See Scripture-doctrine of Atonement examinees Chap. XI. §. 190,

selves* have, no virtue or .efficacy, can do nothing,, can produce nosmaxinen of effect: considered eV^ivin ;refefeheer to the things which ^h&ytrepresent, \ fh.ey;have. no efficacy, but onjy as they serve to excite the ideas of these things;, and: to. .occasion...thoughts and meditations about them, which is a very different efficacy from: what,, the things themselves have. ;Yea, ' the* Jewish-sacrifices.,: considered even.as^typeS, figures, and emblems, of. wha"trthe>:Dr. calk, "the fa"tf crifice of .the perfect obedience and good"ness of Jesus Christ,'' cannot coincide, either,in, the fame .kind, or in any degree, of efficacy, with this latter sacrifice. To suppose that they did, would be the same thing as to.suppose, that a shadow of a thing has the fame kind of efficacy, or some degree of the fame efficacy,, as*he substance; or that the print or draught of a corn-mill has the fame kind of efficacy, or some degree of the fame kind of efficacy, as a real corn-mill,

.§. 33. But in order to support the coincidence between the efficacy, of Jewish-sacrifices and that.of the sacrifice of the perfect obedience and-goodness of Jesus Christ, the Dr. subjoins, " They (L e. the Jewish." sacrifices) were symbolical instructions in . ^ holiness, till Christ: came, and offered up fc himself a sacrifice of real holiness, obedi"ence, and goodness, to instruct us Jn a

. /c more "more perfect manner V—Answ. All the institutions and external dutys of religion must, as such, agree in a general: tendency to instruct men in holiness, and promote piety; for unless each of them had .this tendency, they could not be religious institutions and dutys. But though all the institutions and external dutys of religion do, and must, agree in this general tendency; yet, to infer from their agreement in it, (as the Dr. seems to do, in, the cafe before us,.) that all the institutions and external dutys of religion are of one species, or,: that the virtue and efficacy which each of them has in producing its peculiar and appropriated effect, is the fame kind of virtue and efficacy, would be to reason, not only in a wrong, but in a very strange and wild manner'. Wherefore, supposing both Jewish-sacrifices, and the sacrifice of the perfect ob«dience and goodness of Christ, as the Dr. calls it, to have agreed, as instructions in holiness, in the fame general tendency with one another, and- all other institutions of religion; yet, it will not follow, that the virtue or efficacy: of Jewish-sacrifices, and of this sacrifice of Christ, is of the fame nature and kind> any more than it will follow, that the virtue or efficacy of circumcision, or of eating the

M 3 Lord's

r See Scripture-doctrine of Atonement examined, Chap. Jfl, §- 190.

« AnteriorContinuar »