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evangelical should issue from that Society; but it can do so, only in one of two ways; either by disregarding the Article in the Constitution, complained of, or by the unfaithfulness of those, who compose the publishing committee; for two at least, the Methodist and the Episcopalian, being Arminians, must be opposed to the doctrines, usually termed evangelical.* If then, they be consulted, and faithfully use the privilege which the constitution gives them, a truly evangelical tract cannot pass the ordeal. It is then asked, does not the existence of the tract entitled"Christian Atonement," practically refute the allegation? We answer no; not even if it were thoroughly evangelical; for it might exist through a violation of the constitution, and not "according to it," which, be it remembered, was the whole amount of our assertion. But there is no necessity to account for the existence of this tract, in this way; nor is it any thing strange, that six denominations should agree in every thing which it contains. We acknowledge that it is a very excellent tract; that there is nothing in it which, in our view, is opposed to the doctrines of grace; and we cordially join in the opinion expressed in the Tract Magazine, that it ought never to be absent from the collection of a tract distributor. But though it contains nothing but the truth, it is, as was to be expected, far from containing the whole truth, or even giving a "certain sound" as to what it does express on this important article of revealed truth. There is a latitude, and a want of definiteness in the language used, which renders it impossible to discover what are the real views of the writer, respecting the atonement. We think indeed they are not Hopkinsian, which, of all heresies on this subject, is the worst, the Unitarian excepted, but whether Arminian or orthodox, the tract itself does not enable us to determine. The expressions, “that Christ died for sinners,” “that he was their substitute," ""thet he was a true and proper sacrifice for sin," and "that it is on the ground of this that God is propitious to sinners," and the like, are undoubtedly correct; but every one who knows any thing about the controversies on the atonement, knows, that these expressions do not mean the same thing in the mouth of one who believes the doctrine of a GENERAL ATONEMENT, that

For the information of our readers, who did not receive our second volume. it may be proper to furnish them with a copy of the Article in the Constitution of the American Tract Society, to which our objections were made; as that, which, in its operation, would necessarily exclude many of the most important uaths of divine revelation from the Tracts published by this Society. It is as follows: "The publishing committee shall contain no two members of the same denomination; and no Tract shall be published to which any member of that committee shall object."

VOL. III.

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they do, as used by those who oppose that doctrine. In a work, in which these and similar expressions are to be found, it is intended to be understood, there ought to be something to determine the sense in which they are to be taken. In the tract of which we are speaking, there is nothing of the kind. There is not a word respecting the divine sovereignty as manifested in the eternal election of those for whom the atonement was made; nor of Christ as the covenant representative of his chosen seed; having their sins imputed to him, to be taken away by the atonement; and whose righteousness was to be imputed to them, for justification; nor of the irresistable efficacy of divine grace, in the application of this atonement; so as infallibly to secure the eterual salvation of all for whom it was made. These are things essentially belonging to evangelical views of the atonement; and by which they are to be tested: and for want of these, we cannot allow that this tract, excellent as it is, is truly and unequivocally evangelical. On the other hand, we as readily admit, that it contains nothing contrary to sound doctrine It denies none of the above mentioned parts of the evangelical system, neither does it affirm any of the Arminian dogmas of free will, general atonement, sufficient but resistable grace, and the like. And, though it may be "an explanation how a Tract Society can exist upon" what are called "catholic principles," it is also a proof, that it does so, only in the way of shunning to declare the "whole counsel of God," and suppressing many of the most important and vital truths of Christianity. We cannot admit, that the truths above mentioned, as wanting in this tract, are "unessential points;" they enter into the very elements of the doctrine of the atonement, and without them, definite views of the subject cannot be formed. The distinction set up between the essentials and non-essentials in religion, and which is the foundation of modern catholocism, is wholly unwarranted in the scripture, and is sinful and dangerous in the highest degree. The Apostle's rule is, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good; whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule; let us mind the same thing." But the spirit of the catholocism of the present day is, "let us hold fast the truths that are essential to salvation; but let us always be ready to give up those which are not so. Independent of the impiety there is in a worm on God's footstool, sitting in judgement upon the truths which he has revealed to us for our salvation, and commanded us to believe, and determining that the greater part of these are not essential and need not be believed; we, in our turn, 'would affectionately ask" the abbettors of this system, of whom the Editor of the Tract Magazine appears to be one, whe

ther they have a right thus to dispose of divine truth; and to hold up as the highest reason why any truth should be taught and believed, not that it is revealed and commanded to be believed, but that it is essential to salvation? God in infinite wisdom, mercy and goodness, has been pleased to reveal to us the whole truth contained in the scriptures; and he commands his servants," to teach all things whatsoever he has commanded" in his word, and men to receive and obey; and, we think it is at the peril of any man, or of any society of men, to suppress, or lend their sanction to the supressing of, any part of revealed truth.

Selections.

LETTERS ON THE ATONEMENT.-No. III.

MY DEAR BROTHER

In my last letter it was, I hope, fairly proved, that the doctrine of the new school has no advantage over that of the old, in respect to a general and free preaching of the gospel, and an unfettered and unreserved offer of salvation to all men. We can invite all to come to Christ, as sincerely as any of our brethren. We can offer salvation to all, as freely as they; and hold out as many inducements and encouragements to incline the perishing to come to the munificent feast which grace has prepared. We can exhibit the promises in all their fulness and riches, as well as they; and thunder out the denunciations of a righteous God, against all who disbelieve the gospel and reject the Saviour.

3. But the advocates of indefinite atonement claim that their views correspond best with the freeness and sovereignty of divine grace, displayed in the recovery of fallen man.

They contend that, to represent the death of Christ as a real and complete satisfaction to divine justice for the sins of his people, is to set aside the grace of God in their salvation. If, say they, salvation was really purchased for them by the Redeemer's sacrifice, then salvation must be granted to them as a matter of debt, and not as a free and gratuitous gift; and besides, as the price has been paid and accepted, justice requires that all for whom it was paid, should be immediately justified and released from captivity.

In reply to the latter part of this statement, I shall here observe briefly, that the scheme sketched by the wisdom of our opponents, is not the plan devised by infinite wisdom. That sinners should be justified before they were born, and be released from condemnation as soon as they came into the world, was no part of Jehovah's plan. It was the pleasure both of the Father who gave

them to his Son to be redeemed, and of his Son, that they should remain under the curse of the law, until they should believe on the Redeemer. Then, and not till then, are they, nor can they be, justified. This was the plan of infinite wisdom; and so it is drawn by the pen of inspiration. Christ paid the price of our redemption, that the benefits of it might be applied to his people in the way and time determined on by divine sovereignty: and surely he had a right to arrange the economy of salvation, as was most pleasing to himself.

In regard to the former part of the statement, examination will show, that the objection, if it have any force, will apply to the doctrine of the new, as well as to that of the old school. Man was fallen; and God, in infinite mercy, determined to save him But a mighty obstacle was in the way of his salvation. It must be removed, or man must perish. None in heaven or on earth, among all the creatures of God, is able to remove it. The Son of God alone is equal to the stupendous undertaking; and even he can accomplish it in no other way than by humiliation the most profound, and sufferings the most overwhelming. His obedience unto death is reqired, to make it consistent for a righteous God to exercise his mercy in saving sinful men. Now, it cannot be denied that the inspired writers speak of the Saviour's death as an invaluable price, by which his people were purchased."For," says Paul, "ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Cor. vi. 20. By the same motive does Peter enforce a holy and heavenly conversation: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." 1 Pet. i. 18, 19.

By his death we say that Christ satisfied divine justice for all true believers: and our brethren say, by his death Christ made an exhibition of divine justice, and satisfied public justice, so that God can now save all who believe. But if we view his death in either light, it will appear that it was the procuring cause of our salvation; and that without the intervention of his fearful sufferings, none of our guilty race could have been saved. The death of Christ our brethren represent as being a substitute for our sufferings, and some, if not all, will allow it to have been an equivalent for them. If then the justice of God, call it what you will, public or distributive, required the amazing sufferings of his own Son for the salvation of sinners, and he, by them, actually satisfied the demands of justice; where, to adopt their own language, we ask, is the free and sovereign grace of God in a salvation

thus dearly bought? The objection then applies to the doctrine of the new school, as well as to that of the old.

When it is affirmed that sinners are saved by absolute grace, our brethren do not mean that salvation is bestowed on them without respect to the atonement of Christ; for they affirm an atonement to have been so necessary, that none of our sinful race could, without the death of Christ, have been saved consistently with the glory of the Supreme Ruler of the universe. Where then, we again ask, is the grace of God, in salvation procured by so costly a sacrifice?

A writer, I know not where to place him, says, if I understand him, that the sufferings of Christ were not a full equivalent for the execution of the penalty of the law on those who are saved; because this would be destructive to the grace of God in our salvation. Now if this objection have any weight, it must depend on the assumption, that so far as the sufferings of Christ were necessary to our salvation, the grace of God is diminished: because if a full equivalent for our sufferings, or a complete substitution for them, be wholly inconsistent with the freeness and sovereignty of divine grace, then, for the same reason, a partial equivalent, or a partial substitution for them must be, in its degree, inconsistent with the freeness and sovereignty of divine grace. What consequence follows? Clearly this: if we had been saved, without the intervention of the death of Christ, by a sovereign act of Jehovah in remitting our sins, there would have been a more glorious display of free and sovereign grace. But who that has read the scriptures attentively, does not know that such a conclusion would be at war with the strains in which they celebrate redeeming love? Do they not teach us to consider the method of saving sinners, through the humiliation and death of the Son of God, as affording the highest display of divine love and mercy? Hear our Lord himself: "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." Hear his Apostle John: 'Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us." "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." Now, these declarations are manifestly based on the fact, that a richer and more glorious display of divine love has been made in our salvation, through the incarnation, sufferings and death of Christ, than could have been made in saving sinners without so costly a sacrifice: and that

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