Page images

§ 91. According to the New Testament, deliverance from the punish

ment of sin is the immediate object of the death of Christ, Christ suffered as our substitute.

The instructions of the New Testament, on the subject of the connexion between the death of Christ and the remission of sins, cannot be construed in any other than the following manner : Christ submitted to sufferings and death (1), in the place of guilty man (2) and on account of his sins (3); so that, in consequence of his suffering the pains of death (4) on account of our sins, we are exempted from the necessity of enduring the punishment of our transgressions, just as though we had ourselves already endured it (5). In short, Christ suffered the penalty of the law on our account and as our substitute (6), and thus reconciled us to God the Judge (7), so that those apprehensions (8) concerning the pardon of the transgressor (9), are now removed, which would suggest themselves when he recollected the holiness of the divine law and its denunciations against the sinner. Now the sinner can be pardoned without any violence being offered to the authority of the law (10); for its demands are satisfied (11), and his pardon is in perfect accordance with justice (12). And certainly the origin of this doctrine is not to be sought in any supposed accommodation, on the part of Jesus and his apostles, to the current opinions of his contemporaries (13). For, if there be a single doctrine among those taught by the apostles, which can be considered divine, it must certainly be the doctrine of the remission of sins through the death of Jesus;

for, this must be classed among those fundamental doctrines of christianity (14), which are derived . from God himself and his good Spirit (15).


he was wounded for מְחֹלָל מִפְּשָׁעֵינוּ מְדַכָּא מֵעֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ ,53

: 5

1. 1 Pet. 3:18, for Christ suffered for sins, the just for the unjust. In the work on the Design &c, it is remarked, that an innocent person's suffering on account of sin, for the sake of the guilty, cannot well be supposed to mean any thing else than that he suffered the punishment due to the guilty.

II. Christ was our substitute.-Rom. 5: 6, for the ungodly; v. 7, 8, when we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

III. It was for our sins that Christ died.-Rom. 4: 25, he was delivered for our offences. 1 Cor. 15: 3, Christ died for our sins. Gal. 1: 4, who gave himself for our sins; and Is.

: 5, our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. On this passage the reader may consult the work on the Design of the death of Christ (p. 475), where some observations are made on the hy- pothesis, that this passage refers to Hezekiah, or to the Jewish people in general, or to some particular part of it. Beck, in his Comment. histor. decretorum relig. Christianae, p. 76, gives an account of the various recent works on Is. ch. 53.1

IV. Matth. 20: 28, the Son of man came to give his life a ransom, autpov for many. 1 Tim. 2: 6, who gave himself a ransom for all. The words autoov, avtihutoov a ransom, always indicate an immediate connexion of causation between the intended deliverance and the object called autoov or ransom, i. e. they always signify the proper and real causation or production of deliverance.?

1 See Letters on Isaiah 53, in Eichhorn's Biblioth. Vol. 6. p.

919 &c. 2 Sup. cit. p. 436. VOL. II.


V. Subject continued.—2 Cor. 5: 15, el éis ÚTEQ Tavrov απεθανεν, αρα οι παντες απεθανον « Since one died as the substitute of all, all must be considered as having died.” (Compare yeyova Rom. 2: 25, which is equivalent to hoycoon getal v. 26.) On the context of this whole passage, the reader may consult the work on the Design of the atonement. Rom. 6:2, far be it from us : for we are dead to sin. v. 5, we have been planted together (with him) in the likeness of his death. v. 7, our old man is crucified with (him). v. 8,-we are dead with Christ. v. 11, consider yourselves dead unto sin. 7: 4, ye are become dead to the law through the body of Christ. v. 6, we are delivered from the law, being dead. In illustration of these passages let the reader attend to the following remarks:2–1. Those who embraced Christianity, at the same time entered into the closest union with Christ (Gal. 3: 27), and with his death, συμφυτοι τω Χριστω.--2. The words ούτω και thus also, in Rom. 6: 11, evidently show, Gal. 3: 10, that according to the opinion of the apostle, the Romans ought to regard themselves as "dead unto sin” (as having been dead in regard to sin, comp. Col. 2: 13,] in the same sense in which it is said of Christ“ Jave tn duaptıq, i. e. he died on account of sin.” 3. The design of Paul in Rom. 6: 1 &c, is, to prove that the doctrine relative to grace, which he had proposed in the preceding chapters, afforded no license for sin. But this he would not haye proved, if the 2d verse “ be rendered thus : “and-shall we live in sin who are to die unto sin ?”. On the contrary, he answers the objection in v. 1, from the doctrine of grace (or gracious remission of sins) itself. He says, “The reason why punishment was executed through the crucifixion of Christ on us or on old man" is, that, in the very means of our salvation, we should



1 Ibid.


506-516. 2 On the Design of the atonement, \ 9, p. 516-522.

recognise the law which denounces punishment on the sinner, so that now, we, being already punished according to this law (Gal. 2: 19, being dead by the law), should the more certainly no longer be the servants of sin."-4. When the apostle Paul expresses the admonition, not to live any longer in sin, by the figure of dying, he does not say “anetavete,” but in the imperative (Rom. 6: 13,) napaotnoATE AUTOUS &c. yield yourselves unto God as those who are alive from the dead. Col. 3: 5, mortify your members. On the contrary, he deduces the duty to die unto sin, from the position, that christians did die with Christ, and are transferred with him into a blessed new life, for which the service of sin is not at all suited. Thus Col. 3: 5, our compared with v. 1--3. Rom. 8: 3. This same proposition, that christians have died with Christ, is also taught in the following passages: 1 Pet. 2: 24 ; “ So that we, as those who have died on account of sin (because as was mentioned just before, our sins were punished in Christ on the cross), should now (guard against sin and) live unto righteousness.” 4: 1, he that hath suffered in his mortal body, is free from sin. Or in other words, “ as we have already endured the punishment of sin, in the death of Christ, we are free from sin; no one can any longer reproach us on account of our past sins. But the punishment which was endured, has rendered sin odious to us for the future. Gal. 2: 19, δια νομου νομω απεθανον--Χριστη συνεσταυρωμαι " Inasmuch as Christ was, through the (denunciation of the) law, , punished in our stead by the death of the cross, and I was thus through the law, crucified with Christ, I am therefore free from the law.» Rom. 8: 3, 4, ο θεος κατεκρινε την αμαρτιαν εν τη σαρκι (viz, αυτου, του υλου του θεου) ένα το δικαίωμα του νομου πληρωθη εν ημιν. . “ He punished sin in human nature (i. e. in the human nature of the Son of God, which resembled our sinful nature), in order that the declaration of the law which required that man (human nature) should be punished (1: 32. Gal. 3: 10), should be fulfilled in us, and we consequently be no more exposed to punishment.” The death of Christ was undoubtedly a penal suffering, a punishment of the law, inasmuch as God brought about his death."

1 Sup. cit. p. 523-532.

2 Opusc. Acad. Vol. III.

P. 256.

VI. The sufferings of Christ were vicarious.--Gal. 3: 13, “In our stead Christ endured the punishment which is denounced by the law and proves the earnestness of the lawgiver” [yeνομενος υπερ ημων καταρα]; καταρα means one who was cursed, condemned by the lawgiver, an object of his displeasure.” Rom. 8: 3, 4, condemned sin, Kotexgive duaptiav. (III. 5.) Is. 53: 5, 11 &c. 1 Pet. 2: 24, “Christ bore the punishment of our sins on the cross επι το ξυλον for κρεμαμενος επι το ξυlov). John 1: 29, “Behold the Lamb consecrated to God [the sacrificial lamb], which will suffer the punishment of the sins of the world (αίρων for μελλων αιρειν); Or which takes upon itself the punishment of the sins of the world.” The reader may consult the author's Grammatical Observations on this text, in Flatt's Magazine, where this exposition is defended against another, which makes these words mean "taketh away the sins &c." 1 John 3: 5, “ Christ made his appearance (on earth) in order to suffer the punishment of our sins.” Hence in him was no sin, and consequently, if we wish to live in union with him, we cannot live in sin. Heb. 9: 28, “Christ was offered once for all, to endure the punishment of the sins of many." Compare Is. 53: 11 (LXX), τας αμαρτιας αυτων αυτος ανοισει which, according to v. 5, can signify nothing else than “he suffers on account of their sins, suffers the punishment of their sins,"

[ocr errors]

3 Vol. II. N. 5.

1 Ibid.

2 Ibid. p. 493. 4 Flatt's Mag. sup. cit. p. 203,

« PreviousContinue »