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and vindictive; and God the Son, as very merciful and compassionate; and therefore they seem to have supposed, that the sufferings and death of the Son were designed to appease a vindictive temper in the Father, and to render him more mild, compassionate, and benevolent. Such ideas are not only very erroneous, but also very degrading to the divine character. God the Fa ther, as the scriptures declare, is love or benevolence. He is as merciful and benevolent as the Son; yea, they are perfectly one in temper and affections. It is therefore declared, that they are one, and that the Son is "the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of his person." The Father then was just as compassionate and benevolent, and as much disposed to shew mercy to sinners, as the Son; provided it could be done consistently with the divine glory, law and government, and the highest good of the moral world. And if sinners could not be pardoned and saved consistently with these, the Son would no more wish it to be done, than the Father; as they are perfectly one in their holy desires and wishes. To suppose then, that the atonement was designed to appease a vindictive, implacable temper in the Father, is indulging very unworthy and erroneous sentiments of the character of Jehovah.

Neither was the atonement designed to abate the requirements of the divine law, so that it does not now require perfect obedience or holiness, but will accept and justify persons on account of their sincere though imperfect obedience. Some seem to suppose, that the moral law, which requires perfect holiness, and curses for every sin, is very rigid and severethat it was hard and almost unjust for depraved creatures to be placed under such a law-that the Saviour, therefore, pitying their hard case, took their part

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against this rigid law, and bore its penalties to abate or soften down its rigorous requirements, so that they are not now under obligations to be completely holy; but are in some degree excusable for their failures and imperfections in point of obedience. Such ideas of the atonement and of the divine law are exceedingly erroneous and dangerous, and an evidence of great ignorance of the essential truths of religion. The divine law is the eternal, immutable rule of right, or standard of moral perfection. As far as any rational beings fall short of that love to God and their fellowcreatures, or of that perfect holiness or benevolence, which is required in the moral law; so far they must in their temper, be wrong and criminal-yea, it is impossible, that any rational creature should be sinless or excusable in any neglect of, or deviation from what the divine moral law requires. This law, as the apostle declares, is holy, just and good; and is so viewed by all, as far as possessed of real piety. Like the apostle, they delight in the law of God after the inward man, and earnestly desire to be perfectly conformed to its requirements.

For verily I say unto away, one jot or one

It is then manifest, that the atonement of Christ was not designed to abate or disannul, in any degree, the divine law, that perfect and unchangeable standard of right. The Saviour therefore said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law. you, till heaven and earth pass tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all shall be fulfilled." He was so far from lowering down or abolishing the law of God, or taking the part of sinners against it as being too rigorous, that one important design of his atonement was to support and magnify the law, and make it honourable.

It may be further observed, respecting the atoncment, that it is not supposed, that the Lord Jesus endured the same quantity of pain and misery, as would have been endured by all mankind, or all the elect through eternity; had they been lost. As it was the human nature only of the Saviour, which was capable of suffering; it is inconceivable that he could endure as much pain in a few hours, as innumerable millions of men would through eternity. Nor was it necessary that he should; since the infinite dignity of his divine nature, united in the same person with his human, gave an infinite value or efficacy to his sufferings.

The design of the atonement was to support the authority of God's holy law, the dignity and stability of his moral government, and to manifest his just abhorrence and displeasure against sin. The divine law denounces against every sinner eternal death, as the just wages of sin, as a just expression of his displeasure against it, and as a most powerful restraint against all wickedness. But had sinners been pardoned without an atonement, or any thing done to support the law of God; it would have tended greatly to weaken and destroy its authority, and to bring the divine government into contempt. The appearance of it would have been, that the Most High was not much displeased with sin, did not view it as very criminal, and was not in earnest in his threatenings against it. Thus it would have greatly encouraged sin and rebellion, and been exceedingly injurious to the happiness of the moral world. The atonement therefore was designed to prevent those dreadful consequences by answering the same important purposes, which would have been answered by the punishment of sinners themselves, and thus to open a way, in which God could, consistently


with the authority and honour of his law and government and the good of his kingdom, show mercy to whom he saw fit, and pardon the penitent and believing sinner. These important ends have been effected by the obedience, sufferings and death of the Lord Jesus, who was one with the Father, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God. By assuming our nature, submitting to the greatest abasement, sufferings and most painful death in the stead of sinners, and thus bearing their sins in his own body, he strikingly supported and magnified the law, and made it honourable. It showed, that the Father would inflict all these sufferings on his well beloved Son, and that the Son would voluntarily submit to them, rather than the di'vine law should be weakened and dishonoured in the pardon of sinners. In this way Jehovah has manifested the highest respect for his holy law, and his fixed determination to support the authority and dignity of his moral government. And by sparing not his own Son, when in the room of sinners, he has clearly evinced his inflexible, impartial justice and opposition against sin, and his determination to punish and discountenance it.

Having made these observations upon the nature and design of the atonement, we shall proceed to show, from various considerations, that this atonement is infinitely full or sufficient for all mankind.

1. This is evident from the infinite dignity and excellence of the Saviour, and from the nature of the atonement. The Saviour, as has been already observed, was in his divine nature God over all, one with the Father, and equal with him in all divine perfection. And being thus a person of infinite dignity and worth, it gave an infinite value or efficacy to his obedience, sufferings and death, and thus rendered his atonement

infinitely full. The obedience, sufferings and death, of such an infinite personage did more to magnify and support the law and government of God, and to manifest his abhorrence of sin, than would the eternal punishment of all the sinful race of man. It is therefore evident, that this atonement must be abundantly sufficient for the salvation of mankind, if they would but receive it. To deny its infinite fullness or efficacy, must be derogating from the infinite dignity and excellence of the Saviour. The atonement does not lay God under obligations to sinners to save any of them; but it opens the way, so that he can, consistently with his law and government, dispense his grace, to whom he pleases, and can be just, and yet "the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."

2. It appears from express declarations of scripture,

that Christ has died for all mankind, or has made an atonement sufficient for all. Thus it is declared, "That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man, and that he is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe." These passages clearly teach, that the Saviour has died or made atonement for all mankind, and it seems, that the last of them cannot rationally be understood in any other sense. For it expressly declares, that he is the Saviour, not of those. who believe only, but of all men in distinction from these. Therefore his atonement must have had respect to all the human race. Accordingly Christ is called "The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world; and the Saviour of the world." The apostle John, addressing christians, says, "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." Here also Jesus Christ is declared to be the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, in distinction from those of believers.

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