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he says you have lived beyond all ex- that she was thought to be near the pectations already. “O," said she, how close of life ; but after about two hours, I long for the time to come when I she revived a little, and asked ber husshall bid adieu to all below.

band how she looked. “I think," said

he,"you look better.” “I was in hopes," “ Farewell vain world, I am going home, My Saviour smiles and bids me come

said she, “that I was going to rest with

Jesus in the kingdom of glory. O how Her pleasing prospect still continued, I long to go-I cannot express my ansexcept on the 7th of April, when the ious desire to be gone." In the afterenemy thrust sore to rob her of her noon she said to her husband, “ do I confidence, but the Lord gave her vic: look as if I should die soon?" be reply. tory; for on being asked if she felt ing in the negative, she said, “If I any relief in her mind, “yes,” said she, could see my grave I should be at rest.” “I feel better now. I am happy. Now' “ But," said he, “are you sure you shall I want to go.

O my friends I do not be better off.” “ Surely,” said she, “I mourn for me. I wish you not to weep shall be happy, and although I am anx. for 'me: I know that this world is a ious to go, I am willing to wait the world of trouble : I have given up the Lord's will and suffer afliotions until he world and my family. My work is done; sees fit to call me. I wish you to pray and I desire to depart where I shall rest for me that I may have patience and be from toil and pain, and dwell where Je- completely resigned to the will of the

On the 8th at about half past Lord in all things.' five in the morning, there appeared In this happy frame of mind she took such an alteration in her countenance, her departure on the 9th of April, 1823.

sus is.

Poetry.

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THE POOL OF BETHESDA.-By B. Barton. Around Bethesda's healing wave,

Bethesda's pool has lost its power! Waiting to hear the rustling wing

No Angel by his glad descent, Which spake the angel nigh who gave

Dispenses that diviner power Its virtue to that holy spring,

With which its healing waters went: With patience and with hope endued,

But He whose word surpass'd its wave, Were seen the gather'd multitude.

Is all omnipotent to save.

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METHODIST MAGAZINE,

FOR JULY, 1824.

Divinity.

For the Methodist Magazine.
AN ESSAY ON ATONEMENT.

BY THE REV.T. MERRITT.

(Concluded from page 209.) AGAINST the doctrine that the law of works is in force still, I am aware that a popular, and, therefore, powerful objection will be raised, namely,

“ That considering the ignorance of mankind, their liability to err, and the weakness of all their powers and faculties since the fall, it would be unjust to require the same obedience of them and upon the same penalty, as before they lost the power to obey ; and therefore it will follow that the law of works is repealed, and a milder, more practicable law instituted in its stead.”

ANSWER 1. The objection would be good in relation to Adam's offspring, if God did not offer them salvation upon practicable and gracious terms. But Jesus Christ has made an atonement for sin; and that atonement is offered them as their righteousness in reference to the law which they have transgressed; and therefore he may justly continue the law in force, and those who reject the atonement he may punish for every breach of it, as well as for the breach of gospel conditions. And hence the punishment of those who reject the atonement, will be the punishment due for the breach of both covenants, the covenant of works and the covenant of grace.

2. If we say the law of works is in force, notwithstanding the ignorance and weakness of men, their ignorance and weakness will be reasons for showing them mercy. If we say the law has no claim upon the ignorant and weak, we say they have no sin ; and thus we make their ignorance, &c. and not the blood of Christ, their justification.

3. We must say that the law of works is in force, and is the rule and measure of duty, notwithstanding the incapacity of men VOL. VII,

31

to obey it in its extent; or we must say that their capacity to obey is the rule and measure of their duty; which would be absurd, as we should then have as many rules as there are capacities in the world, and so destroy all rule. The law of Christ cannot be the only rule of duty, since that is a merciful provision adapted to the incapacity of men, and presupposes a law which they are unable to keep.

4. We must say that the law of works is in force, or we must say there is no need of the gospel. The gospel saves from the curse of the law. To say, therefore, that we are not under the law, but under the gospel, or the law of Christ, as a distinct law, would imply that the gospel saves from the curse of the gospel, or the law of Christ saves from the curse of the law of Christ, or that the gospel saves from the curse of the law of Christ; either of which would be absurd, and a contradiction in terms.

5. To say that the law of works is not in force, would be the same as to say we owe God no obedience as Creator and Father; and what would be still worse, we must say that Christ has delivered us from our obligation, by abolishing his law.

Objection. “We have been taught that Christ, when he undertook the redemption of mankind, put an end to the law of works, and established another in its stead, a milder law, adapted to the condition of fallen man: that the scriptures call this the law of Christ, the law of faith,' &c. And agreeable to this our standard authors make a distinction between the law given to Adam before the fall, and that given to mankind consequent upon the undertaking of Christ as Mediator. The former they call the Creator's law, the Adamic law, the law of works, and the covenant of works; while they distinguish the latter as the Mediator's law, the law of Christ, &c. Thus Mr. Wesley in his Plain Account of Christian Perfection :

“No man is able to perform the service which the Adamic law requires. And no man is obliged to perform it; God does not require it of any man. For Christ is the end of the Adamic as well as of the Mosaic law. By bis death he put an end to both : he hath abolished both the one and the other with regard to man; and the obligation to observe either the one or the other has vanished away. Nor is any man living bound to observe the Adamic, more than the Mosaic law.”

Answer. That the scriptures and our best authors make a difference in the administration of the law, and in the conditions of salvation after the undertaking of Jesus Christ to redeem the world, is very certain; and that a difference of administration, and of the conditions of salvation is all they make, is hardly less certain. Thus after Mr. Wesley had said in the above quotation, nor is

any man living bound to observe the Adamic, more than the Mosaic law,” he adds in a note, “I mean it is not the condition either of present or future salvation.” Thus he guards his

words against the construction which some put upon them, and clearly shows his meaning to be that the Adamic law is abolished only as a covenant of life, and not as an obligation of duty.

I have before observed that the Adamic law is to be regarded in a twofold point of view; first, as requiring obedience, and secondly, as making that obedience the condition of salvation. In the latter sense Christ has put an end to it, and in that sense “no man is bound to observe it. God does not require it of any man;" for he has established another condition of salvation for fallen man, even faith.

Thus while the law is abolished as the condition of our salvation, it remains in full force in its preceptive sense, requiring the same obedience of man now that it ever did. And the non-performance of that obedience is sin, from which only the atonement

can save us.

As some people do not readily see the justice of requiring the same obedience of fallen man, as of man before the fall, nor how a person can be under the law of works and faith at the same time: the following illustration from Baxter may help them upon those points.

A tenant forfeits his lease to his landlord, by not paying his rents; he runs deeply in debt, and is unable to pay any more rent in future ; upon which he is put out of his house and cast into prison : his landlord's son pays for him, takes him out of prison, puts him into the house again, and makes him a new lease in this tenour; that paying only a pepper corn yearly he shall be acquitted both from his debt and all other rent in future, which, by his old lease, was to have been paid; he does not, however, cancel the old lease, but keeps it in his own hands to put in suit against the tenant, if he should refuse to pay the pepper corn. In this case the payment of the pepper corn is imputed to the tenant, as if he had paid the rent of the old lease, and his non-payment of the pepper corn is a breach of both leases; of the old, because, though he had forfeited his title to the benefit of it, he could not disannul the duty of it, which was obedience during his life. So that as it is an act of disobedience in general, his non-payment is a further forfeiture of his old lease : but as it is the non-payment of a pepper corn required of him instead of his former rent, so it is a breach of his new lease only. Even so is unbelief a violation of both covenants."

When this illustration is applied to the point in hand, we see mankind in their fallen, condemned state-Christ interposing and making an atonement for them-taking the covenant of works into his own hands, and instituting the new condition of faith. If they perform this condition, they are exonerated from the rigorous demands of the old; but if they refuse, they are justly punished for the breach of both. Thus man is not without law to God, but under the law to Christ.

It may be thought that appointing new conditions of salvation is in effect changing the law; but then it should be observed that this does not deliver us from our obligation to the law, and is, in fact nothing more than the appointment that a part, instead of the whole, required by the covenant of works shall be the condition of salvation.

It will be found that every duty required of man, whether it be of the ceremonial or moral kind, whether in the Old Testament or the New, is required by the same law, being enacted by the same authority. We make distinctions in the dispensations of the law to ascertain whether it be administered according to the tenour of mercy or justice, that is, whether it be administered by God in the character of Mediator, or otherwise. We then absurdly proceed with our distinctions as though they were different laws. The cessation of the anti-mediatorial administration we speak of as the abrogation of the law of works; the Mediatorial administration we make to be a new law, and the change in the conditions of salvation from the whole obedience required by the law, to a part of it, we consider as a release from the whole obligation of the Creator's law.

This whole subject may be summed up in two words, law and gospel. Every thing enjoined by divine authority, whether by Christ or the Father, is to be referred to the law, which is one and no more.

There is, indeed, a difference between moral and positive precepts, but none in the authority by which they are enacted, and both may be found either in the Creator's or Mediator's law. The gospel, as contradistinguished from the law, is a revelation of the grace of God to a guilty world through a Mediator, and therefore called good news or glad tidings of great joy. This is the gospel in the proper sense of that word. But we use the word, as indeed the scriptures often do, in a much larger sense, for the whole administration of the law by Christ, because it is administered with grace on the ground of the atonement. it is so used in the scriptures it is always in a popular way; and we should be careful not to confound things of different natures, as law and gospel, nor sunder things of the same nature, as the Creator's law and the Mediator's law. The not observing this distinction in the use of the term gospel, and taking its larger meaning for its proper meaning, has contributed much to that confusion in which this whole subject has been involved. It is this which has led to the idea that the Mediator's law is a different law from that of the Creator. But does it not behove Christ, as a King, to have his law ? Yes; and he is a King, both in enacting and administering the law of works.

But is there not a difference between the Creator's law and the Mediator's law ? yes; there is the difference of administration : but there is no difference in the authority by which they are enacted, and of course none in the laws themselves, nor in our

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