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submitted to baptism. And Christian churches in general have continued to require all adults to be baptized as an indispensable condition to their admission into their body and to a participation of the holy sacrament. But it is still more inconsistent to admit those, who deny the Trinity, to the Lord's Supper, than to baptism. For the sacrament was instituted for the very purpose of gratefully acknowledging the grace, the personality and divinity of the Lord Jesus Cbrist. But how can those, who disbelieve that he was the second person in the Godhead and had only a human, or angelic nature, pay public and divine homage to him in the sacrament? However amiable in their conduct, or however eminent for talents and learning Unitarians may be, they are not Christians and have no right to be admitted into Christian churches. I know they complain bitterly of being denied the Christian name and debarred from Christian ordinances. But what reason have they to complain, when they are sentimentally and zealously opposed to the great doctrines and special ordinances of the gospel ? Can real Christians suffer the sacred ordinances of the gospel to be profaned, consistently with their love to God and their solemn engagements to their divine Redeemer ?.
5. There was a propriety in Christ's appointing an ordinance, in which his friends may hold communion with him in particular. As he was the second person in the Trinity according to the economy of redemption and the only person, who took upon him human nature and suffered and died in the room of sinners : so there was a peculiar propriety in his appointing an ordinance, in which his friends may commemorate his death and hold communion with him in particular. If there were not three persons in the Godhead, or, if Christ were not a distinct person from the Father and Holy Ghost, there could be no foundation for his appointing an ordinance to commemorate his death and for holding communion with birn, in distinction from the Father and Holy Ghost. But the apostle tells us, that the sacrament of the supper was appointed for both these
purposes. He says, “ The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread : and when he had given thanks, he brake it and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you : this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup, is the New Testament in my blood : this do ye, as oft as ye drink it in remembrance of me. For as oft as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do shew forth the Lord's death till he come.” In another place, the apostle says, “ The cup of blessing, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread, which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ ?" If Christ be a divine person, distinct from the Father and Holy Ghost, then there is a propriety in his appointing the sacrament and giving his friends a peculiar opportunity to commemorate his death and hold cominunion with him in his body and blood, in his sufferings and death. He suffered and died and not the Father, nor the Holy Ghost ; his g race, therefore, is to be remembered and
, gratefully acknowledged, in distinction from the love of the Father and communication of the Holy Ghost; and with him his friends are to hold particular communion. Christ feels peculiar affection towards his friends for whom he died and takes peculiar pleasure in communing with them at his table. He says, “ Eat, o O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved, Behold, I stand at the door and knock; and if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him and he with me .” But who can do this, who does not believe the blessed doctrine of the Trinity ? and who does not feel peculiar love and gratitude to the personal character and conduct of the Lord Jesus Christ?
THE NECESSITY OF THE ATONEMENT.
ROMANS II. 26,—That he might be just and the justifier of him, which believeth in Jesus.
The atonement of Christ lies at the foundation of the gospel, which we cannot understand, without understanding the nature and necessity of the atonement which he made on the cross. But there are various opinions maintained upon this important subject, by those, who profess to believe the gospel. It becomes us, therefore, to examine this subject seriously and critically that we may discover wherein his atonement consisted and for what purpose it was made. The apostle, baving proved in the preceding verses, that all mankind are by nature in a state of guilt and condemnation, proceeds to show how believers are forgiven, or justified through the redemption, or atonement of Christ. Speaking of himself and other believers,
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus ; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins---that he might be just, and the justifier of him, which believeth in Jesus." According to this representation, it was absolutely necessary for Christ to make atonement for sin by his blood on the cross, in order that God might be just, in forgiving or justifying penitent believers. Though it was not necessary, that God should forgive the transgressors of bis law, yet it was necessary that an atonement should be made, to show that he was just to himself, as well as merciful to them, if he did grant them the remission of sins. So that we may safely conclude,
That the atonement of Christ was necessary entirely on God's account.
It is proposed to show, that this was so, and why it was so.
I. It is to be shown, that the atonement of Christ was necessary entirely on God's account.
If the atonement of Christ were not necessary on the account of sinners, then if it were necessary at all, it must have been necessary on God's account.But it is easy to see, that it could not be necessary on the account of sinners. When Adam bad sinned and involved himself and his posterity in guilt and ruin, God might have destroyed him and them, as he destroyed the fallen angels, according to the rules of strict justice. By treating them in such a manner, he would have done honor to his character, to his law and to his government, in the eyes of all his intelligent creatures, without doing the least injury to them. As sinners, they deserved to suffer the penalty of the law, which they had broken ; and God might have inflicted upon them that eternal death, which is the proper wages of sin. On the other hand, he might have saved them in a sovereign manner, without doing injustice to them, or to any other of his creatures. If God had chosen to save all mankind without an atonement, he would have treated them better than they deserved, which could have been no injury to them ; nor could it have been any injury to the fallen angels, to have treated fallen men better than he treated them. As he treated them as well as they deserved, they could have no ground to complain, if he treated mankind better than they deserved. There was, therefore, no necessity of the atonement of Christ, on the account of sinners. If no atonement had been made, God might have treated them according to their deserts, or better than their deserts, without doing them, or any other creature the least injury. When Adam fled from the presence of
God in despair, it was not because he feared that his Creator and Lawgiver would injure bim.
He knew that God would not injure bim, if he destroyed bim and rouch less, if he saved him. All sinners now know the same. When they reflect upon their sinful, perishing state, they are sensible they deserve to die and that eternal death is not a punishment greater than their guilt. They see nothing on their own account, why God may not exercise bis justice, or his grace towards them, without an atonement. They know, that he would not injure them, if he should exercise either his justice, or his grace towards them. Consequently, they see no need of an atonement on their own account. If no atonement had been made, God might have determined to destroy all the human race, or to have saved all the human race, without doing any injury to them, or to any other created beings. It hence appears, that there was no necessity of the atonement of Christ, on account of sinners themselves. But the apostle assures us in the text, that an atonement was necessary on God's account, that he might be just and the justifier of him, that believeth in Jesus.
II. I proceed to show why the atonement of Christ was necessary on God's account, in order to render it consistent with his amiable and glorious character, to extend pardoning mercy to this fallen, guilty, perishing world.
If we can only discover why Adam, after he had eaten the forbidden fruit and incurred the penalty of the divine law, despaired of pardoning mercy, we can easily see, why an atonement for sin was absolutely necessary in order to render it consistent for God to exercise pardoning grace to sinners.
Adam knew, that God was perfectly good and that his perfect goodness would necessarily dispose him to do good, not only to the innocent, but to the guilty? Why then did he despair of mercy ? The only reason was, that he knew that God was just as well as good ; and that it was morally impossible, that he should exercise bis goodness inconsistently with his justice. This banish