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joint consultation, to increase infringe the rights, nor diminish their knowledge, their piety, and the usefulness of that respectable their usefulness, and to advance association. Surely the refusal of the good of Christ's kingdom ? the Convention to encourage a The ministry in this State, pre- general association was not meant cluded from wealth and power, to lay any prohibition upon indihave no opportunity, and it is be- viduals. Particular ministers or lieved, no inclination to obtain associations have liberty to form any influence, but that of truth any ministerial connexion they and goodness. Animated by the choose, provided it be not inconspirit of Christianity, and taught sistent with the charitable object by the experience of past ages, of the Convention. If any should they will, we doubt not, seasona- attempt to deprive them of this bly and watchfully guard the liberty, they would show that proposed general union against spirit of domination, a tendency every pernicious tendency. to which they so hastily suspect,
4. It is further urged by way and so resolutely condemn in of objection, that a general a 80- others. ciation in distinction from the gene 5. Only one more objection eral Convention is needless, and, will be noted. It has been said, without the approbation of that that we ought to know beforehand body, would be dangerous. Jeal- not only the outlines of the propose ousies, animosities, and obloquies ed plan, but its particular ends, are apprehended, as the natural rules, &c, in order that we may consequences.
judge whether it is expedient to Reply. No objection of this encourage it. kind can be reasonably urged, I observe, in reply, that it does unless the general association in not belong to an individual, who terfere with the business of the advocates the general object, to Convention. But the slightest enter into all these particulars. examination will show, that there And if those, who have already is no interference. The busi• met with a view to a general asness of Convention is highly im- sociation, should proceed at once portant; but it must be very re- to agree upon an ecclesiastical stricted. So various are the ob constitution; it might be thought jects of attention on that public unseasonable and injudicious, and occasion, and so small is the prevent, instead of facilitating number of ministers commonly the addition of other associations. present, that little information As it is designed, that the gencan be obtained respecting the eral association shall embrace state of the churches, and little the great body of orthodox mincan be done for the general in- isters in Massachusetts ; it is best terests of religion. How can that they should come together the most ardent friend of Con- for deliberation, and that the vention be dissatisfied, if minis- particular rules adopted, the ters, still maintaining their con- measures to be pursued, and the nexion with that body, think it direction given to the whole buproper to meet at a different siness should be the result of time, and for different purposes; their united wisdom. The greatpurposes, however, which do not er the number of discerning,
pious characters collected, the sus Christ be with the ministers more likely will they be to de- and churches of Massachusetts ! vise a plan, which will pro
PASTOR. mote the interests of Christian
PIETY OF PRIMITIVE NEW ENGThis, then, is the drift and
LAND RULERS. conclusion of the whole. The common practice of men, espe
The piety of the primitive cially Christians, the present rulers
rulers of New England is as state of the ministry and of the worthy of notice, as the piety of churches, and the genuine spirit the primitive ministers. The of Christianity are considera
following directions, extracted tions, which strongly urge to a
from “ Instructions for Maj. general association in this com
Benjamin Church, commander monwealth. The objections
in chief of the Plymouth forces, raised against it will not, we con
&c. does honour to the religious ceive, on candid examination, ap
characters of the commissioners pear of sufficient force to invali
whose names are undersigned. date the arguments in its favour.
You are to take effectual care The foundation is already laid by
that the worship of God be kept à respectable number of associa
up in the army, morning and tions in the western counties, evening prayer attended as far who have met several times with
as may be, and as the emergenthe general union in view, and
cies of your affairs will permit, to are taking prudent measures to
see that the holy Sabbath be duly facilitate the admission of other
sanctified. You are to take care associations. The proposition
as much as may be, to prevent has been respectfully laid before or punish ar
or punish drunkenness, swear the Convention of Congregationing, cursing, or such other sins, al ministers, who, as a Conven
as do provoke the anger of God. tion, thought it not best to adopt
You are from time to time to any measures in its favour, though
give intelligence to the Governor a large part, then present, were
and Council of Massachusetts or friendly to the object. The way
Commissioners of the Colonies is now prepared for the admis
of your proceedings, and the ocsion of particular associations.
currences which may happen, There is nothing to debar any,
and how it shall please the Lord who receive the great doctrines
to deal with you in this present of the reformation. The union
expedition,” &c. will take place on a basis, which
THOMAS DANFORTI, Pres: includes all the essential articles
ELISHA COOKE, of the orthodox faith. The next
SAMUEL MASON, annual meeting will be at Wind
WILLIAM PITKIN, sor, on the last Wednesday of
THOMAS HINKLEY, June, 1807.
JOHN WALLEY. Grace, mercy, and peace from
Similar directions were given God the Father, and the Lord Je- by
by Governors Phipps, Stoughton, and Dudley.
ON THE DOÉTRINE OF THE A: to die, is ascertained by our SaTONEMENT.
viour's words. “ The Son of In a Series of Letters to a friend.
Man came not to be ministered
unto, but to minister, and to give (Continued from p. 455.) . his life a ransom for many." A
ransom is what is given and acLETTER II.
cepted instead of the person ranThe Doctrine illustrated, proved, and somed. This ransom was the defended from Scripture.
life of Christ, his dying in our DEAR SIR,
stead, to save us from that death, That Christ died for sinners to which we were condemned of mankind is often expressly as for our own sins. This ransom serted in the Scriptures.“ When was given (UTS) substituted inwe were sinners, Christ died for stead of the many, who are ranus. He suffered for us in the somed by his death. This is the flesh. He laid down his life for exact import of the words in the his sheep.” This is granted by original Greek, as the great masall, who bear the name of Chris- ters of that language agree. tians. But some pretend that Even the most learned Socinians, no more may be meant, than however reluctantly, have seems that Christ died for our benefit, ed at least to acknowledge this; as a martyr or witness to the though they have taken much truth of the revelation he made fruitless pains to evade the plain of the will of God ; as an exam- and obvious consequence. ple of patience, fortitude, and The words of the apostle are charity, under cruel and abusive no less determinate. " He gave treatment, and that his resur- himself (art. Auteor) a vicarious rection might be to us an assur- ransom.” The expression is reing evidence of his divine mis- markable, and exceedingly emsion, and a pledge of the resur- phatical. Christ gave himself, rection of the dead. We readily his life, a ransom, a price of reacknowledge that the death of demption. This implies that Christ was designed for our ben- his death was instead of that of efit in these and other respects. the redeemed. But the expresBut this does by no means come sion is strengthened, by its being up to the intended meaning of termed a vicarious or substituted the sacred writers. The phrase, ransom for (unse) instead of all the here used, properly signifies in redeemed. May it not now be the original, that Christ died in taken for proved, that, according the room and stead of sinners. to the Scriptures, Christ died in This is evidently the meaning the room of sinners, that by his of the phrase in Paul's epistle to vicarious sufferings and death he Philemon; in which he says might ransom or redeem them that he would have retained from death, to which as sinners Onesimus with him “ that they were liable, and justly con(Unse rov) in thy stead he might demned. minister to me." That this is the Farther; the Scriptures teach sense, in which Christ died for us that « death is the wages of us, that is, as substituted instead sin," that is, its deserved and of those, who were condemned threatened punishment. It was No. 11. Vol. II.
sin, that brought death into the Those divines, who speak of world. It is sin, that has sub- Christ, as having suffered the jected all mankind to that con- punishment of sin, have not ondemnation, to redeem or ransomn ly" followed one another," but them from which, Christ died in have also followed the apostles, their room and stead. No one and speak as the oracles of God. is liable to receive the wages or And if Christ suffered the punpunishment of sin, unless it be ishment of sin for sin, can it be for sin, as the meritorious cause. denied, that the sin, for which Now it is certain that, when he suffered punishment, was imChrist died in our stead to raj. puted to him? Was any one ever som us from death, he received punished for a crime, unless it the wages, or punishment of sin was imputed to him? But it was in our stead. For what is death, not for any sin of his own, that the curse of the law, but the pun. Christ received the wages of sin, ishment of sin ? Christ did die in and bore the curse of the law. our stead, that he might ransom For there was no sin in him. us from death. He was made a He was tempted, as we are, yet curse, or bore the curse of the without sin : He did no sin: law for us, that is, in our stead, He did always those things, that that he might redeem us from the pleased God, who was ever well curse of the law. It is true, a pleased in his beloved Son. It person may suffer that, which is was for our sins that he suffered threatened in a law, as a punish- and died, and bore the punishment, and yet not suffer it as a ment due to us. Paul says that punishment. The cutting off he died for our sins according to some member of the body is a le- the Scriptures. He was delivergal punishment for some crimes. ed unto death for our offences. But, if this be done by a surgeon His death was the deserved and to stop a gangrene, the patient threatened punishment of our would not suffer it as a punish- sins, and he suffered this punment. But Christ, in dying for ishment for our sins. Is not this us not only suffered, what was a clear evidence, that our sins threatened as the punishment of were imputed, and our guilt sin, but he suffered for sin. The transferred to him ?10 apostle Peter says that Christ Of this we have also, I think, suffered for sins, the just for the a farther proof in the 53d chapunjust. Now, if Christ suffered ter of Isaiah. The prophet, the punishment of sin for sin ; speaking of Christ, says, " He if he bore the curse of the law hath borne our griefs, and carrifor sin, (indeed how could he ed our sorrows. He was woundotherwise be subject to the curse, ed for our transgressions, and and punishment?) how can the bruised for our iniquities, the conclusion be refused, that he chastisement of our peace was was punished for sin ? How can upon him, and by his stripes we a person's being punished be are healed." These griefs and more accurately and logically ex. sorrows are termed ours, because pressed, than by saying he suf- deserved by us, and due to us, as fers what is threatened, as the the wages or punishment of our punishment of sing for sin ? sins, though they were borne by
Christ. Since he for our trans: The variety of expression, us, gressions and iniquities, as the ed by the prophet on this submeritorious cause, was wounded, ject, in order to ascertain his bruised, and suffered the punish- meaning, and preclude every ment due to us; what can be a evasion, seems worthy of replainer and more necessary in, mark. But men are not easily ference, than that our obligation persuaded to give up a favourite to suffer this punishment was hypothesis. Words are often so transferred to him, and he took ambiguous and flexible, that in: it on himself; that is, in other genious critics will bend and ad, words, that our guilt was imput- just them to a different meaning ed to bim. This is also plainly from what they most obviously expressed in the next verse, express. Yours, “the Lord hath laid upon him A Christian of the Ancient School. the iniquities of us all.” Our
(To be continued.) sins were not infused into him, for in him was no sin, but they ORIGINAL LETTERS FROM AN were laid upon him, judicially
AGED MINISTER, charged upon him, or as it is ex
No. 5, pressed in the Hebrew, they met Dear Sir, or rushed upon him. No words When my last was broken off, could better express, what is I was going to add a hint of premeant by imputation. Tbe pro- ferring those writers who do the phet adds," he was cut off from best justice to the Scripture doc. the earth, (but it was not for trine of the fall of man, and the himself) he was stricken for the great revolution it has produced, transgressions of God's people.” with reference to our moral state; The chastisement of our peace the ground of our hopes toward (by which our peace was made God; the redemption and re. with God, or by which our peace covery we want, and I might or happiness was obtained for us) have said, in the whole of our was inflicted upon him; and religion. For “as one kind of born by him. And again, "My regimen (says bishop Sherlock) righteous servant shall justify “is adapted to preserve a good many, for he shall bear their in; constitution, and another to reiquities," j.e. bear the guilt, the store a broken one,” so it is burden, or punishment of them here. A great part of the miss And yet again, “ He bare the takes, which learned men have sins of many." The guilt of committed in theology, may be these sins must therefore have traced to their nat keeping this been laid or charged upon him. distinction sufficiently in their How else could he bear it? And view. And, as when we read yet farther, it is said that “ His Pope's Essay on Man (so striksoul was to be made an offering," ing and beautiful in many res, a sacrifice of atonement for sin, pects) we are surprised to find and so be substituted in the not a single hint of a defection place of sinners, to die in their from primitive rectitude which stead, and bear the punishment has degraded our species ; so we due to them, as was represented are more or less disappoited in in atoning sacrifices.
many theological writers; and