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them to engage presently, and while health remains, in such a troublesome and difficult affair, provided this very piety and goodness, of which they have a perfect pattern exhibited in the life of Jesus, be a reason with God for granting to them a full and absolute pardon of their sins, at what time soever they repent of them, even though they should not repent before the last and closing scene of life. Under such an apprehension as this, they must think it both wife and safe, to persevere, for the present, in that course of life which is agreeable to their corrupt appetites and depraved inclinations; since all the danger, thence arising, may be fully and effectually prevented by a late or deathbed repentance. I cannot, therefore, fee, what influence the life of Christ, considered as a pattern of perfect piety and goodness, and as an exhibition of the vast worth and importance of them, can have upon thereformation of sinners, provided it be a reason with God for granting to them a full and absolute pardon of their sins, at what time spever they repent of them: but on the contrary, I think there is abundant reason to apprehend, that it would have a different effect upon them.
§. 17. Upon the'whole, we may conclude, that the sacrifice of Christ, in the Dr's fense of it, and as it is circumstanced in his scheme, has no tendency, in any respect, to render sinners penitent and obedient; but a very direct and strong one to corrupt their morals, and to render them easy and secure in the practice of sin and disobedience, as long, at least, as they enjoy health, and have any prospect of the continuance of life; which I think, is an evident demonstration of the absurdity and falsehood of his notions of the nature and efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ. In the scriptures, indeed, a reforming influence upon the moral temper and behaviour of men, is frequently ascribed to the sacrifice of Christ. And there is no doubt,but it has such a reforming influence; and that it will be seen to have it, as soon as it is rightly understood. But the Dr's notions of this sacrifice, as we have seen, not only destroy its influence this way, but give it a contrary one; and, for that reason, are unscriptural; and are no better (though the Dr. thinks otherwise) than those other notions of it, of the like bad tendency, which have been adopted by others.
§. 18. Before I conclude this part of my work, I must caution my reader, to understand what I have said, concerning the ill tendency of the Dr's notions about the efficacy and effect of the sacrifice of Christ, as a consequence which I charge upon his
doctrine doctrine only, and not upon himself, as a thing which he either fow, or did admit of. I have such an high opinion of the Dr's good sense, and of his sincere and hearty concern for the interests of piety and virtue, and the credit and honour of revealed religion, that I am persuaded, had he seen that this ill tendency of the sacrifice of Christ was a real consequence of any principle, or principles, adopted by him, he would have renounced these principles directly, on account of their bad tendency. And as to his not seeing the ill tendency of his doctrine concerning redemption by the sacrifice of Christ, the Dr. is only in the fame state of blindness with most other modern divines, whose schemes of redemption are, in one respect or other, chargeable with the same ill tendency. And, therefore, his cafe, because it is. a common one, is not much to be wondered at. Humanum eji er rare. Thus much I judged necessary to be said here, in vindication of the Dr's reputation, honour, and good intention. I now go on to
Containing an examination of Dr. Taylor'* notion of the eff'eSl which the sacrifice of Chri/i had with God, as being a reason with him, for granting the remijston of fins to sinners upon repentance.
§. i.TTVR. Taylor frequently intimates, that the sacrifice of Christ had its effect with God as supplying him with a reason for granting the remission of sins, or as being a reason of his forgiving them. His words are, "The shedding of his (/'. e. Christ's) blood "had its effect with God, as it supplied such "a reason for the forgiveness of sins, as the "wisdom of God, our Saviour, thought '* most proper and expedient, and without "which he did not think it proper or ex** pedient to forgive them \"—" Thesacri** sice of Christ was a reason with the go"vernour of the world, for granting the "remission of sins b;"—" The transgressions "and sins, which the Jews committed, "(under the law of Moses,) could be re"deemed by the blood of Christ no other"wise, than as his blood was a reason with
a See Scripture-doctrine of Atonement examined, Chap. VHI. §. 147. b Ibidem, §. 149.
s "God, for remitting these transgressions, "by releasing them from the penalty of the "law, which is death eternalc."—" We "are reconciled to God by the death of "his son, as his death was a reason of God's "remitting the fins of the gentile world, tC which were past d."—And he fays, that the death or sacrifice of Christ, because it is a moral mean of our fanctification, and has a natural tendency to render sinners penitent and obedient, is "the properest and noblest "reason with God, for granting the remiss* V sion of sins V—" the ground and reason "of the remission of our sins V' "a reason "with God for the forgiveness of sins B;"— . "a reason of God's forgiving our sins V.
§. 2. As the Dr. makes, what he calls, the sacrifice of the perfect obedience and goodness of Christ, to be a reason with God for granting the remission of sins, because it has a natural tendency, as a moral mean, to render sinners penitent and obedient; and, as I have shewn in the foregoing chapter, that this sacrifice, as it stands, and is circumstanced, in the Drs scheme, has not
* See Scripture-doctrine of Atonement examined, Chap. VIII. §. 150." d Ibidem, §. 151. * Ibidem, Chap. X. §. 171. 'Ibidem, Chap. XI. §. 184. « Ibidem, §. 185.
h Ibidem, §. 187. See also Chap. X. §. 168—171. And Chap. XI. §. 184—191.