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made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a trec” (Gal. iii. 13). Does this mean less than that Christ delivers us from the condemning sentence of the law by assuming and bearing it in our stead ? Again, he is often represented as “bearing our sins," or having them “ laid upon him.” There can be no doubt that the universal scriptural sense of the phrase to "bear sin,” is to bear the punishment of it, as a due collation of the passages containing it will show. Indeed, in what other way could our sintess Saviour bear sin ? He could not surely be contaminated with its pollution. It is directly affirmed that the “chastiseinent (or punishment] of our peace," or required for our peace, " was upon him, and by his stripes are we healed” (Isa. liii. 5). He was “ stricken, smitten of God, and afllicted” (vs. 4); and for whom? “For the transgression of my people was he stricken” (vs. 8). “ Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” To die for sin, to be smitten of God, stricken for transgression, is not this punishment? Is it not evil judicially inflicted for sin, and in support of law ?
If this be so, then it follows that those transgressions of his people for wbich he was stricken, must have been reckoned to his account, i.e. imputed to bim; and that thus he assumed their guilt, i.c. their obligation to punishment, not their pollution, in accordance with our previous definitions of terms. God " hath inade him to be sin for us, who knew no sin " (2 Cor. v. 21). How could be, thus personally sinless, be " made sin for us,” in any other possible way, than by the imputation of our sins to him? Whether these reasonings be accepted as conclusive or not, it will at least show what Old school Presbyterians mean in saying that Christ's sufferings were penal, that our sins were imputed to him, and he assumed our guilt, and why they say so.
As to the objection that Christ could not have endured the penalty of the law in the sinner's stead, because his sufferings could not have been equal in amount, or similar in kind, with those of the sinners whose substitute he was, we
meet it with the obvious answer, that his sufferings had a boundless worth on account of the infinite dignity of his person. True, he did not undergo remorse of conscience, as sinners do for their personal sins; still be became a curse for us, and “poured out his soul unto death.” What mean the terrible anguish of soul, and the bloody sweat of Gethsemane, and those dreadful hidings of the Father's face on the cross, which called forth the fearful exclamation : “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me"? Doubtless there is an awful mystery here. But are these heavy shadows of God's wrath explicable except as a visitation upon sin? And what sin, unless those of his people im. puted, and for whom he was made siu and a curse, and smitten of God, and afflicted ?
Thus far of the nature and efficacy of Christ's sufferings, which, substituted for ours, serve to deliver us form merited wrath and woe. More than this they cannot accomplish. They leave us in a neutral position, without any title to the rewards of righteousness. In order to this we need interest in the merits of a perfect righteousness. Such a righteousness Christ, who for our sakes was ó made under the law," wrought out for us.
It is imputed to us, or reckoned to our account, as the ground of our justification, so that we are treated and judicially dealt with as if it were ours. The evidence of this is manifold and cumulative. “ By the righteousness of one (the free gift) came upon all men unto justification of life.” What this righteousness is is indubitably shown in the verse following. “For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one sball many be made righteous” (Rom. v. 18, 19). It is the righteousness or obedience of Christ, then, that makes us righteous. How, unless it be so imputed to us, that in the eye of the judge we are regarded and treated as righteous on account of it? We are dealt with forensically, as if we were inherently righteous, solely for the sake of “ the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.” Even so David describeth “ the blessedness of Vol. XXI. No. 81.
the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousness without works” (Rom. iv. 6). So Christ is “the Lord our righteousness," is "made unto us righteousness" (1 Cor. i. 30), and “ we are made the righteousness of God in him ” (2 Cor. v. 21), i.e. made righteous with the righteousness which God provides and accepts in Christ. As being such, it is often called “the righteousness of God,” in contrast to our own, and as being received by faith, the “righteousness of faith," in opposition to that by works, and for both reasons “the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto and upon all them that believe” (Rom. iv. 22). So the apostle charges against the Jews, that“ they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves, unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, to every one that believeth” (Rom. x. 3, 4) Paul sought to “win Christ, and be found in him, not haying on mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” In view of all this, and much more the like, Presbyterians see no reason for discarding or modifying the doctrine of our catechism. “ Justification is an act of God's free grace unto sinners, in which he pardoneth all their sins; accepteth and accounteth their persons righteous in his sight; not for anything wrought in them or done by them, but only for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed to them, and received by faith alone” (Larger Cat. 70).
Thus the atonement is no mere governmental expedient; no merely didactic, or symbolical, or influential exbibition. It is a true and proper satisfaction of divine justice by Christ's endurance of the penalty due the sinner, and his perfect obedience imputed to him for his full justification. It is often said, that in this scheme salvation comes, through the merits of Christ imputed, to be a matter of justice, and not of grace. It is indeed a matter of justice, in one view, that salvation be given to those whose debt of punishment
their surety has discharged, and for whom he hath purchased the gift of eternal life. “ We are bought with a price," for God bath purchased the church with his own blood. is “just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” It is the grand peculiarity of this method of reconciliation to God, that it displays his mercy in accordance with, not in derogation of, his justice; that he is a just God and our Saviour. But it is none the less, it is all the more, of grace for being conformed to justice. It is still of God's free grace that he provided and accepts this satisfaction and obedience of Christ for their justification. So “grace reigns through righteousness," not in subversion of it. We are “justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.' The objections just considered are of older date than our standards, which dispose of them thus : “ Christ by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all them that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to the Father's justice in their behalf. Yet, inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them, and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for anything in them, their justification is only of free grace; that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners” (Confession of Faith, xi. 3).
This view of the atonement seems to us to accord with the manifold scriptural representations of it, and alone to meet adequately the real need of the sinner's soul. The convinced sinner knows “the judgment of God, that they who commit such things are worthy of death,” that his sin deserves God's wrath and curse, that God's justice requires him to punish sin, and that He “cannot deny himself,” and, therefore, that he (the sinner) cannot be safe unless this curse and penalty are borne by a sufficient and accepted substitute. Until he sees that debt discharged, he cannot but fear that it will be exacted of him by the eternal and
immutable justice of God. On no other ground can his soul stay itself except on this, that Christ bore our sins, and became a curse for us. Otherwise it is still " a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
THE SUBJECTS AND EXTENT OF REDEMPTION.
All who know anything of the Westminster standards, know that they represent Christ as the “ Redeemer of God's elect," and that they limit the redemptive efficacy of his death to his people:“ For the transgression of my people was he stricken” (Isa. liii. 8). “He laid down his life for the sheep” (John x. 15). “ He purchased the church with bis own blood” (Acts xx. 28). “ He gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Tit. ii. 14). The end for which Christ gave himself is thus, and in manifold other passages, unmistakably indicated. It is to “redeem them for whom he gave himself from all iniquity, to purify unto himself a peculiar people.” This is not merely to render salvation possible, but actually to impart and complete it in those for whose salvation he gave himself. These are those whom the Father stipulated to give him as the reward of his sufferings : “.All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John vi. 37). These beyond all question, constitute the special objects of his redemptive work, his sufferings, and death. While this view accords with the manifold and unambiguous representations of the scriptures, yet it is perfectly consistent with another set of scriptural representations, wbich, whatever may be said to the contrary, we heartily accept, in common with all evangelical Christians. We adopt the old formula that the atonement is “sufficient for all men; efficient only for the elect.” The sacrifice that is adequate to atone for the sins of one inan, would be adequate to atone for the sins of all, if it were applied to them. Hence it is ample foundation for the gosple offer of Christ to all men, which we all agree is made in