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rificed to a false notion of charity. They are sacrifices which real charity disdains to accept.
Great acuteness, also, is manifested in this work. When we say acuteness, we do not mean a low, trap-like cunning in argument; a constant watchfulness to circumvent an opponent, to torture words, and to lead off attention from the true object of inquiry; but we mean a clear apprehension of fallacies, however plausible and disguised they may be; a steady regard to the main points in debate, and a happy perception and application of the principles of common sense and eternal reason. We would mention Chapter XXVII. on the 'Supposed Evils of Pardon without Substituted Suffering,' as only one instance of this acuteness. From this chapter we must allow ourselves an extract or
'In a sermon, entitled "The Gospel according to Paul," Dr. Beecher has expressed his views in the following language:
"But to hold out to all subjects the certainty of pardon for all transgressions, upon the simple condition of repentance, must be, in its effects, an entire abolition of the penalty, and an utter prostration of government by law."
"It is not a subject of momentary doubt, that pardon upon the simple condition of repentance, would break the power of every human government on earth.” He also asks:
"And does God govern the universe upon principles which would fill the earth with anarchy, and turn it into a hell? "
By the word "repentance," when used to express the condition of pardon, I understand a real change of disposition and conduct, a turning from sin to the path of obedience, a cordial and practical reformation. Of course, it is impossible for me to conceive how a government could be endangered by granting pardon on condition of repentance, any more than by having its enemies converted into friends. Even should all the transgressors avail themselves of the offer of pardon, and avoid the penalty by repentance, I should suppose the government would be rather strengthened than weakened by its policy.
'That the pardons granted by human governments are sometimes the effect of weakness or imperfection, is not to be doubted. But I am far from thinking that pardons would be more rare if governments were more perfect. Indeed, it is my opinion, that under every perfect government, the peni
tent will always be pardoned. Human rulers, however, are but men, liable to be deceived by false professions of repentance. Hence they have occasion to be on their guard, lest, by intended clemency, they endanger the public welfare. Besides, at the present day, men have but an imperfect knowledge of the principles of overcoming evil with good; and enlightened rulers are sometimes overruled by an ill-informed public opinion. But when public opinion shall be more enlightened, and the spirit of Christian philanthropy shall more abound, greater care will be taken to reform the vicious, and to pardon the penitent. Then the policy of human government will more resemble that of the government of God.
"On the part of God, there can be no danger of being deceived by false professions; nor of granting pardon, without sufficient reasons." pp. 176, 177.
Commenting further on Dr. Beecher's notions about law. and the divine government, he thus sets in a strong light the opposition of those notions to the plain declarations of Scripture.
'I would now request the reader's attention to the following contrasts between the language of the Bible, and the language of Dr. Beecher :
6 God says,- "The soul that sinneth it shall die, the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die." Ezek. xviii. 20, 21.
Dr. Beecher says, "Let the criminal code go out with the threat,— 'The murderer shall surely be put to death; provided, nevertheless, that if he shall repent, he shall not die, and no evil shall betide him.' Would not such legislation be the consummation of folly and mischief?"
6 Our Saviour said, "He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." "Threatenings which carry with them the certainty of easy evasion, contain no restraint, exert no moral power, and are as if they were not.'
'Dr. Beecher says,
It is thus that the Doctor has reasoned against "pardon upon the simple condition of repentance." It is this condition which he represents as so easy " to be complied with, that pardon on such a condition would "be, in its effects, an entire abolition of the penalty" of the law, render" threatenings restraint," and " as if they were not.'
'But is not the policy of which Dr. Beecher has said so ma
ny harsh things, one of the most prominent features in the revelation of divine mercy to mankind? Is it not the principal thing on account of which the heavenly message by Jesus Christ is called the gospel, the good tidings? The preaching of our Lord presents to our view the requirements and prohibitions of God, accompanied by "threatenings" of evil to the disobedient, and the most gracious promises of pardon on condition of repentance. How then are we to account for the fact, that Dr. Beecher has represented such "legislation," such connecting offers of pardon to the penitent, with threatening of evil to transgressors, as the consummation of folly and mischief," and as a policy which, if adopted by human governments, would "fill the world with anarchy, and turn it into a hell?" If I am not under a great mistake, Moses and the prophets, Christ and his apostles, are all involved in the censures implied in Dr. Beecher's remarks; yet I cannot suppose that he was aware of such a sweeping implication.' - pp. 181,
With the above extracts we must content ourselves. Our purpose in the remainder of this article, is to speak more fully than Dr. Worcester has done, or probably could have done consistently with the plan and limits of his work, of the Death of Christ as an Example. With our author we can say, that if there are any Christians who believe that the only purpose of Christ's death was to exhibit a perfect example under sufferings, we are not of that number.' With him also we are of opinion, that this was a purpose of far greater importance than has been generally supposed by Christians."
We do not believe that sufficient importance has been attributed, by any class of Christians, to the sight of a suffering and dying Saviour. Not only the effects which ought to be produced by that sight, but those which really have been produced by it, have been too much overlooked. The disciples of the popular system of substitution have been so absorbed by the grand mystical notion that Christ suffered in our stead the punishment due to our sins, and thus appeased the wrath of his Father against us, that they have been too apt to regard with a sentiment approaching to contempt the proposition that he suffered, not in our stead, but for our sakes, and for our example. On the other hand, they who speak of the death of Christ as an example to his followers,
VOL. XI. N. S. VOL. VI. NO. III.
have not often set forth the fulness of the power which really belongs to it as such, and which it has actually and constantly exerted. They have been in the habit of considering it as appealing to our sympathies, rather than as rousing up and strengthening our mental and moral energies. In the mean time the invigorating and sustaining influences of the Redeemer's death have been exerting themselves everywhere, more strongly felt than acknowledged, and have thus made the practical faith of the former class more rational, and of the latter more glowing and impressive, than their respective systems and discourses.
We question not the effects of the sight of a dying Saviour on our most tender sympathies, nor the great value of those effects; but we say that when these have been the most fully and truly stated, the half has not been told us of the influences of that holy and heroic example. We have not been told of the constancy which it has taught to virtuous purpose; of the invincibleness which it has imparted to high resolutions; of the noble disregard to the world and its pleasures with which it has animated multitudes of disciples; of the soul of courage and fortitude which it has breathed into the whole Christian body. Or if we have heard of these things, we have not heard enough of them. They have not been presented to us with a frequency and a force in due proportion to their reality and their might. We have heard more of tears, than of thoughts deep for tears.' We have heard more of how the bosom has been softened and melted, than of how it has been armed by the contemplation of the most exalted of sufferers. We are weak, and exposed in our weakness to many a severe conflict, and therefore we need armour for our defence and protection; and we have received it, and put on, and addressed ourselves to the fight, confident of safety and success. That has been done by many in every age, which all are exhorted to do by the Apostle Peter, in a text, which is quoted in the work before us. 'Forasmuch then,' he says, as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind.' He does not say, 'Forasmuch as Christ hath suffered for us, consider yourselves pardoned from all sin by the mysterious efficacy of his atoning blood,' or, Lament and weep at the affecting spectacle ; but he says, 'Arm yourselves likewise
with the same mind; put on the mind of the Lord Jesus, that same mind with which he underwent his sufferings, put it on as armour over your frail flesh, and take the sword of his spirit in your hand, and they shall carry you through the warfare, and gain for you the victory.' Here is recognised, in the clearest and strongest manner, the mental and moral efficacy of the death of Christ; its powerful efficacy in arming and guarding the hearts of believers; the efficacy which it has always had, in different forms and degrees, upon the true Christian character, ever since the day of the crucifixion.
The death of Christ was a voluntary death for the cause of truth and virtue and human happiness. He might have lived. A word added, or a word spared, might have saved him from the cross. A change in his course, a little deviation from his forward path, a little subserviency to the great and powerful, a little management of the crowd, might have secured life to him, with riches and honors, and all the pleasures which they have to give. But no; he hesitated not, faltered not, turned not aside. Looking alone and steadily to the ends of his mission, to the supreme requirements of truth, to the will of his Father, and to the glories of eternity, the world faded away from his sight, and he went on to certain torture and death. Behold, we go up to Jerusalem,' said he to his disciples just before the last passover. What sublimity there is in those simple words! Jerusalem was to him but another name for death. If he went up there, at that time, he was sure to die. He saw the tribunal; he saw the bonds; he saw the dark cross, as plainly as we see objects which are before our mortal eyes. And calmly, and with a resolution too fixed to need many words for its expression, he gathers his little band of disciples about him, and says to them, 'Behold, we go up to Jerusalem.' The disciples were confounded; for they did not yet know their Master, as they afterwards knew him; and they endeavoured to alter his purpose, but in vain. They went up to Jerusalem; and the innocent and just one was betrayed, condemned, and crucified, as he himself had said. Here then there was a manifestation of superiority over those things which men are too much disposed extravagantly to love, or to fear and obey, and against the power of which they needed to be armed. Here was shown a noble superiority over the love