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strikes my mind, this is a tacit denial of the unconditional freeness of Divine mercy and love. It is a principle which Jesus Christ himself has not taught, in one single lesson ; and it appears to bring into the simplicity of the Gospel, a train of confused ideas and unwarrantable conclusions.
We rejoice in the mediation of Christ, but we see not that mystery in it, which it presents to the minds of our Calvinistic brethren. Why should there be thought to be so much more mystery in the mediation of Christ, than in that of Moses ? To the Jews it was mysterious, not, indeed, so much as to the nature of that mediation, as to the extent of it. For they wondered how the God of their fathers, whose love had chosen and cherished them above all other nations, could extend his paternal favour to all the kindreds of mankind.
Once I thought, as does your correspondent, ‘A Layman ;' + but am now, after careful and impartial investigation of the subject, powerfully convinced, that the death of Christ had no influence on the mind of God, in disposing him to bless his rational offspring, or to receive their prayers or their praises, their services or their repentance. That the benefits of his death are great and precious, in many respects, none but unbelievers can deny. We rejoice in the great event, as a glorious display of the great love of God, and of the devotion of Christ to the glory of his God and our God, his Father and our Father,' in connexion with the restoration of the human family from the degradations of ignorance and crime, misery and mortality. We rejoice in the event, as such a display of Divine benevolence, when rightly understood, attracts the most distant sons of earth into blissful communion with heaven, and breaks down the stoutest enmity of the human mind, which stands as a wall of separation between God and the soul.
In the death of Jesus, we see a confirmation of prophecy, a glorious illustration of the faithfulness of the Almighty to his ancient promises. • The seed of the woman has bruised the head of the serpent,' even by the instrumentality of his sufferings, by the ignominy of his cross, the pains of death and the dishonours of the grave;-since these necessarily preceded the glorious reward of life and joy which had been set before him, the progress of his cause, the boundless triumph of his kingdom. For to him the king of terrors was made to yield, the bars of the tomb to give way, and the gates of immortality to unfold. Then, a spiritual dominion which he had not before, recompensed his faithful labours and his dying agonies. His blood proved the seal of the covenant of love, in its enlarged application to - Jew and Gentile, male and female, barbarian, Scythian, bond and free.' Thus the middle wall of partition,' between nation and nation, was undermined and levelled with the ground: thus the kingdom of God, as the Father of all, had its firm foundations laid, and his will was done on earth by those who were not before numbered among his people, even as it had been done before, only in the lieaven of his church.
With what other sentiments than those of admiration, love, and gratitude, can the Bible Christian view the obedient spirit, the pious faith, the calm patience, the holy courage, the profound resignation of the now exalted and glorified Son of the Most High? How can we believe his
See 1 Tim, ii. 4-8.
+ Christian Teacher, No. 8, p. 493.
dying exclamation, · Finished !' and not feel assured that he died not in vain? How can we hear his dying injunction to Mary his mother, and to John his beloved disciple, without a thrill of the deepest emotion at such an affecting picture of holy love, and ever-wakeful solicitude for his faithful friends? How can we listen to his dying request for his murderers, · Father, forgive them, they know not what they do,' and not feel an ardent desire that the same mind which was then in Jesus, may always be in us?
Nor may we stop here, while we know that because of hisobedience unto death, even the death of the cross,' he hath ascended on high, and received gifts and powers for men; and that in answer to his prayers, the spirit promised to him was poured forth upon the church, and has flowed down, with soul-purifying and refreshing influences, to the present day.
Now, let me ask, what effects have arisen, are now arising, and will progressively arise hereafter, from all these rich benefits connected with the dying of the Lord Jesus ?' What but the reconciling of man to God, and of man to man ; in other words, what but the true atonement? The atonement which was the object of all his wise and holy instructions, all his immaculate actions, all his wonderful works, all his fervent aspirations to his heavenly Father, all his sufferings, and all his triumphs ! Was any object dearer to that heart, which beat with the most expansive benevolence within his breast, than that, for the accomplishment of which he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and prayed that his disciples, and all who should believe on him through their word to the end of time, might be one; and that the world might know that God had sent him? And when believers of every name shall thus be one, the world will know that Christianity is, indeed, heaven born, and not till then. And the happy result will be, that the kingdoms of this world will become the kingiloms of our God, and of his Christ:' and the overthrow of igrorance and idolatry, sin and error, inisery and death, shall hasten on with resistless strides, to its grand and universal consummation !
We read of Jesus as a lamb. Yes; and we not only read, but admire and love! Jesus was a lamb for his innocence. The blood of the lamb, was the blood of innocence, whether under the law or under the gospel. Though the one was only as a shadow compared with the other, feed my lambs,' and 'feed my sheep,' were the commands of Jesus, 'that great shepherd of the sheep,' to Peter, on an interesting occasion. And Paul speaks of persecuted believers, as sheep accounted for the slaughter.'
Now, it was perfectly natural for the Jews, who had had so much to do, by Divine appointment, with the sacrificing of lambs, and which, indeed, entered into their stated religious services, it was perfectly natural for them to make comparisons, such as those which we find in the New Testament. It was natural for them to compare Christ to a lamb, and to denominate the blood of Christ, the blood of a lamb. This phraseology, in the lips of a believing Jew, was at once expressive of an affectionate regard towards his meek and holy friend, Jesus; and of his deep conviction, that all his sufferings in so glorious and righteous a cause, were pleasing to bis Eternal Father. But, that there is an evident connexion between the sacrifices under the Mosaic dispensation and the death of Christ,' does not, to me, appear so striking, as it does to your correspondent above referred to.
It is not impertinent to inquire, if there be this evident connexion.' How comes it to pass, that we are not expressly taught it in the Christian writings ? And, on this supposition, how comes it to pass, that there are such discrepancies between the two sacrifices in question ? Take, for example, the paschal lamb. What agreement is there between the age of the literal lamb in one case, and that of Christ, the figurative lamb, in the other? What agreement between the two, in the manner in which they were deprived of life? What correspondence between the two, in the use that was made of their blood, whether we refer to the act of sprinkling the paschal blood, or to its being made a means, when sprinkled, of the protection of the first-born in each dwelling, from the immediate stroke of the Angel of Death? And where, but in the most extravagant fancy, can we find any connexion between the roasting of the paschal lamb, after it was killed, and the sufferings of Christ on the cross ? But what shall we do with the bitter herbs, and the unleavened bread, and many other particulars easily mentioned ?
Again; under the law, the priest sprinkled the blood of other victims; under the gospel, the blood of Jesus, the figurative High Priest himself, was shed. Not to name the different sorts of instruments by which the blood was shed in the two cases respectively. But why enlarge on this point ? Surely this may suffice for the conviction of any mind, not wedded by education and habit to the notion that there is, and must be, an evident connection between the sacrifices of the two dispensations.
To his believing brethren, the Jews, Peter says, “Ye know that ye were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ;" which is doubtless to be understood in an accommodated sense, and not literally as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.' But from what were they redeemed ? (i. e. delivered). Was it from avenging • wrath divine ?' Was it from any disinclination on the part of the God of love, to bless, and pardon, and save them ? No! But from vain conversation, through the tradition of their fathers.'
But then, it will be repeated, (without any regard to the connexion of the words,) · Without shedding of blood there is no remission. Now, let but this so-oft-repeated text be explained agreeably with its connexion, and it will be found to give no countenance to the popular view of atonement. It is plain that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews is allegorising. His great object is to overcome the inveterate prejudices of his brethren, the Jews, who were indignant at the idea of a suffering and crucified Messiah, and almost incorrigibly averse from the relinquishment of any of their particular rites and usages. And how does this writer proceed to accomplish his design? Plainly, by exalting the gospel, in every particular, above the law; so that, whatever the law did, the gospel did unspeakably better ;-and this he does by the free use of allegory-a mode of illustration frequently adopted by scriptural writers, both of Jewish and Christian times. In connexion with the words above quoted, (Heb.ix. 22,) if the law, by the blood of bulls and of goats, purify, ceremoniously, the bodies of men—the gospel, by the blood of Christ, purifies the consciences of men, (verses 13, 14). If the Jewish system exhibit a covenant of privilege--the Christian system presents one of greater privilege. If the former was ratified by the blood of expiring
victims of the lower order the latter has been confirmed with the blood of a superior victim; no less a personage than the dear Son, the Beloved, the chosen one of God, (v. 15—22). Indeed, under the law, almost all things are purified with blood. And' (under the law, as is plain) ' without the shedding of blood, there is no remission. This remission being understood to be (as is evident) from the dead works' of the ceremonial law, of which the writer speaks, but not from moral guilt. Again, if the law thus purified the things which were copied, for the use of a carnal temple, from the Divine pattern shown to Moses on the Mount; surely the heavenly things themselves, the gospel antitypes, must be purified with better sacrifices. If the Jewish congregation were sanctified by the blood of inferior animals, the Christian church, (the heavenly kingdom, the kingdom not of this world,') over which Jesus is made the spiritual head—this must be consecrated by superior blood, the blood of Jesus Christ himself. (v. 23—26.)
Once more ; let it be shown where, in all these passages, (which must be taken only as specimens,) is there any intimation of qualifying the mercy of God, or the dispensation of it-much less of affecting the mind of God himself by the death of Christ, so as to render him more ready to impart his pardons to repenting sinners? The supposition, to my mind, dishonours the free grace and love of our Father, God; and casts a cloud over the brightness and glory of Heaven's spontaneous clemency. Yaxlcy.
• Prolcction from our Criminal Population.'
On the Punishment of Death.'— Marples, Liverpool. The administration of the more awful functions of criminal justice among the enlightened and benevolent inhabitants of Liverpool, has had, we rejoice to find, one effect not contemplated, we presume, in the pleadings before the Privy Council, yet likely to lead to the most desirable results, in exciting their minds to the remaining enormities of our punitive discipline. It has been proclaimed in the public prints that a gallows is on its way to Liverpool,' says the author of the tract on the punishment of death-(it has since arrived, and alas ! been used) -a proclamation certainly fitted to excite the keenest and deepest feelings of every benevolent breast. The writer-one who has done no little to enrich the pages of the Christian Teacher-subsequently asks, · Are the people of Britain prepared to fix their eyes steadfastly on the gallows—not an isolated portion of it, but on the wholesale apparatus of death—to imagine its uncounted human victims at once suspended upon it? Are they prepared to do this, and say, “ We are content to go on in the belief that this destruction has been sanctioned by the new and better covenant; their blood be upon us and our children?”.
The feeling which our correspondent thus, and by other considerations, aims to excite, the author of the first named pamphlet makes it his business to direct, by proposing amendments on our present system of dealing with a criminal population, which in 1830 amounted to 12,000; the majority of whom, convicted of thefts, are, after a few months of imprisonment, let loose again into our towns and villages, to renew their depredations. The heads of these suggested improvements are, first, to aim only at two results—the protection of society-and the reformation of the criminal. To attain which ends, is proposed the abolition of all punishments, retributive or exemplary; and the confinement of criminals until they are reformed ;-the employment of criminals whilst in confinement, in productive daily labour;—the silence and non-intercourse of prisoners among themselves ;-unruly and refractory prisoners to be put into solitary confinement until they ask for work ;-prisoners discharged as reformed, on a second conviction, to be transported for life, or detained in penitentiaries for life.
The tracts themselves will supply the considerations offered in support of the views they develope. Our end is answered in calling attention to them, and the subject with which they are concerned.
* Views of the World from Halley's Comel; a Discourse, by James
*Martineau.'-Hunter, London ; Forrest and Fogg, Manchester. We will not decide whether the comet is more indebted to Mr. Martineau, or Mr. Martineau to the comet. After all the labour bestowed upon it, and all the expectations it has excited, it is but a shabby affair, and owes the only brightness we have seen associated with it, to the reflected brilliancy of Mr. Martineau's imagination. And on his side, Mr. Martineau having made the star in his course to fight, in the shape of a text, against ignorance, bigotry, and vice, can scarcely deny that, for once at least, it has served a useful purpose.
• Views of the world from Halley's Comet' would lead one to expect the spectator's eye to be in some advantageous position in the comet itself. Mr. Martineau, however, has been content, while soaring aloft, to stand below, and has given the public views of society as it was,
and is, at several of its visits. To make all things, whether in heaven or on earth, conducive to mental and moral improvement, is at once the duty and the interest of a minister of religion. The author has therefore, we think, done well to lay the comet under contribution, while few could have brought to bear on such a subject either the knowledge or the power of thought requisite to extract the lessons which it contains. The discourse was composed and delivered in the regular discharge of pastoral duty, and affords a pleasing specimen of the care which Mr. Martineau is wont to bestow on his preparations for the pulpit—(we hope the example will not fail of effect)—as well as of the culture and taste of the audience who requested its publication. The small charge at which it is published, unites, with its intrinsic merits, to recommend its general circulation.
* Memoir of Henry Liversege, by Charles Swain.'-Bent, London ;
Grundy, Manchester. There is little novelty, we are sorry to say, in this story of Liversege, for his has been the fate of too many extraordinary men. Narrow circumstances, struggles, vexations, morbid sensibility, wounded pride, intense labour, prospects of ease and fame, premature exhaustion,