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to the world, and in which the world is interested. Much stress is sometimes laid upon the words of Christ, “Father I will that they who follow me shall be with me." No one doubts the full force of this language. Had Christ in Gethsemane a will different from the "will" with which he wept over Jerusalem, and said, How oft “would I” have gathered thee? Is there any incongruity between his intercession in the garden, and his intercession on the cross? There he prayed for all his enemies—"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
It is known to all heavenly intelligences that all the favors that come to this sinful world, come under the direction, and at the intercession of Jesus Christ. One part of his intercession is his official and public administration of providence on the ground of his atonement. If he can only demand the blessings which he has purchased for a certain number, it is impossible, or at any rate, unintelligible, how he can officially, as public organ of government, distribute the bounties of providence universally to all men.
ON THE ATONEMENT IN ITS RELATION TO THE
WHOLE SYSTEM OF DIVINE TRUTH.
Every Divine Truth related to the Atonement.
The entire collection of doctrines and facts, found in the sacred scriptures, is called a system of divine truth, not because their contents are given in a systematical arrangement of classes, and orders, and kinds, but because they present a complete and a harmonious body of information, upon all the subjects of faith and practice. We find in the scripture, the truths of theology, as, in nature, we find the truths of botany, mineralogy, or zoology, wisely strewn in copious and lovely variety. Yet, in both cases, these vast diversities forni one complete whole system. Thus the analogy from nature—ihe reference of scripture to "first principles," and to "the proportion of faith,”—the abuse of truth when taken out of its connection,—the beauty of truth in its own practical bearing and position,—and the consistency of one truth with the entire mass of all truths, warrant us in regarding the scriptures as presenting to us a system of divine truth.
Of this entire system of divine truth, the Lord Jesus Christ is the central orb, in whom is gathered all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He is the very Sun of the system, full of grace and truth;—the Sun which first garnished the dark horizon of Eden with a day-spring from on high. The scriptures of the Old and New Testament present us with the whole "truth, as it is in Jesus," that, "in all things he might have the pre-eminence,” and be, as to the whole arrangement, Fall in all.” The Christian student,* therefore, will, as well from cordial inclination, as from public profession, be disposed to consider and to view every truth, according to its bearing and relation to the person and the work of Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life, the faithful and the true witness. Christ himself says, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth." “The truth” is the pure verity and the simple reality of the case, as the state of things exist between God and man. Upon this case every truth bears, and with every such truth the atonement of Christ is connected:
the whole of his undertaking bears witness unto it.
1. All the truths contained in the prophecies of the scriptures are related to the atonement of Christ.
It was prophesied that this world should, in a given time, be favored with the appearance of an extraordinary personage. He was marked out as "the Seed of the woman, the Shiloh, the Prophet, the Wonderful, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Lord our Righteousness, the Desire of all nations, the Messenger of the covenant." The atoning Mediator claimed to himself the honor of being this very personage, to whom all the prophets bore witness.
Prophecy had revealed that this personage was to make his appearance in the character of the Deliverer
* Dr. RYLAND invited the Rev. ANDREW FULLER to address to him a series of monthly letters which, when finished, would form a complete body of divinity. After this arrangement, Fuller only lived to write nine. In the third levier he makes these remarks: “I do not know how it may prove on trial, but I wish to begin with the centre of Christianity,—the doctrine of the cross, and to work round it; or, with what may be called the heart of Christianity, and to trace it through its principal veins or relations, both in doctrine and practice. If Christianity had noi been comprehended in this doctrine, the apostle, who shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God, could not have determined to krow nothing else in his ministry. The whole of the Christian system appears to be presupposed by it; included in it, or to arise from it: if, therefore, I write any thing, it will be on this principle.”-Fuller's works, vol. iv. p. 340. Ed. 1824.
Had this able divine lived to work out such a scheme of truly Christian divinity, the tone of British theology would, probably, have been muçla improved, and theological science much advanced.
As the Seed of the woman, he was to bruise the head of the serpent that had enslaved and ruined man. He was to be for a sanctuary, and to come “bringing salvation." The Lord Christ was born a Savior, and he came to seek and to save that which was lost. God sent his Son to the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through bim might be saved. He is the Personage whom the prophets meant, for there is no salvation in any other, nor any other name among men given by which we must be saved. He was made under the law, that he might redeem them who were under the law.
The deliverance which, it was prophesied this personage was to effect, was a deliverance from sin.
It was prophesied that he should make an end of sin, that is, to open a way for the just God to deal with a sinner as if he had not sinned; sin, being as it were, blotted out of the account. He was to effect this deliverance as a priest on bis throne, and as a priest after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord Christ took upon hin the name Jesus because he would deliver his people from their sins. He appeared as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. He has redeemed us from the curse of the law. The Jews misunderstood this class of prophecies, and interpreted them as signifying deliverance from civil thraldom, and from political evils. Whereas, he himself declares that he came to call sinners; and his gospel assures that there is now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.
It was predicted that this personage should effect this deliverance from sin, not by power, but by bis own substitutionary and vicarious sufferings. He was to be a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He was to bear our griess, and to carry our sorrows; to be wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities. He was to make his soul an offering for sin, and to be numbered among transgressors.
He was to be cut off, but not for himself. The meaning of these and the like passages, is that this illustrious Person was
to endure the sufferings with which the Father put
him to grief, in the stead of our suffering the punishment due to us for our sins. This class of passages is referred to in the New Testament as being accomplished in the death and the atonement of Jesus Christ. his life a vicarious ransom for many. He was made a sin-offering for us. He died the Just for the unjust. He was made a curse that the curse of the law might not be inflicted on mian.
Hence it was prophesied that this deliverance from sin should be on account and for the sake of his sufferings. We were to have peace, through his suffering our chastisement, and by his stripes we were to be healed. To us guilty sinners who had no worthiness, he was to be the Lord our righteousness. It was on account of his intercession that gifts were to be given to men, even to the rebellious. The mediation of Christ fills up these prophecies. It is for Christ's sake that God forgives sin; it is by faith in the name of Christ that pardon is received by the sinner. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses from all sin; and every saved man is found not in his own righteousness, but in the righteousness of Jesus Christ only.
All the prophecies of the Scripture form a complete, connected, and harmonious system of truths,* in the
* "Since the prophecies, though delivered by various persons, were dictaled to all by one and the same omniscient spirit, the different books and the scattered passages of prophecy, are not to be considered as the works or the sayings of different men, treating a variety of subjects, or delivering various and contradictory opinions upon the same subject; but as parts of an entire work of a single author-of an author who, having a perfect comprehension of the subject which he treats, and at all times equally enjoying ihe perfection of his intellect, cannot but be always in harmony with him. self. We find in the writings of a man of any depth of understanding, such relation and connection of ihe parts of any entire work-such order and continuity of the thoughts-such consequence and concatenation of arguments-in a word, such unity of the whole, which, at the same time thai ir gives perspicuity to every part, when its relation to the whole is known, will render it difficult, and in many cases impossible, to discover the sense of any single period, taken at a venture from the first place where the book may chance to open, without any general apprehension of the subject, or of the scope of the particular argument to which the sentence may belong. How much more perfect, is it reasonable to believe, must be the harmony and concert of parts—how much closer the union of the thoughts-how much more orderly the arrangement-how much less unbroken the conse