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OPEN COUNCIL. [The utmost freedom of honest thought is permitted in this department. The reader must therefore use his own discriminating faculties, and the Editor must be allowed to claim freedom from responsibility.]
THE GREAT PROPITIATION. his place, and Christ enters the Replicant.-In answer to Querist place of danger, when in a No. 16, p. 352, Vol. XVII., and
moment God strikes the victim, continued from p. 237, Vol. XX.
and the innocent suffers for
the guilty, or instead of the Let us now consider:
guilty. III. The atonement of Christ as As it would be wrong to punish explained by the theory of substitu the innocent, it is supposed that, tion.
by agreement, Christ is reckoned There is no explanation which guilty. This, of course, is not is more popular among what are true, as He is innocent, but called Evangelical Christians than is mentioned as a legal fiction. this; and, in fact, no explanation How that fiction may act upon is supposed to be satisfactory, God-how He can lcok at things unless it embraces the idea of sub in any way except as they are, it stitution.
is difficult to explain, and these Let us suppose the existence of theorists seldom care about explaan imaginary ideal man, repre nation. In ninety-nine pulsits senting the human race; a man out of every hundred, in the in whom every other man finds Church and among the leading himself fairly and fully mirrored. denominations of Dissenters, As some men are thieves, the throughout the British Isles, ideal man must be a thief; and this is represented as the Gospel. for a similar reason must he be I heard one of the most popular guilty of every crime and vile
preachers of the day put the deed and purpose of which any matter thus, in commenting on member of the human race is the words": “ He tasted death guilty:
for every man.” He said, “You God, as a just ruler of the and I were at the bar of universe, must punish every form justice, and Justice (i.e., God as of transgression, and, therefore, a just being) was there to enforce must the eternal wrath come his demands. There we stood. down in showers upon the guilty with the cup of poison in our head of this ideal man. The
hands. Justice (i.e., God as a sword of justice is unsheathed, just being) insisted on our drinkand God, the righteous King of ing the last drop. But Jesus then all, is about to plunge it in the appeared in the room, and He sinner's heart. But just at this said, 'may I drink it for them ?' point, according to the theory of God consented, and the iour substitution, Jesus Christ comes took our cups of poison from our forward and offers to enter the sin, hands, and, blessed be his name, ner's place. God is to regard Him He drained them all.” The as if He were a sinner, though He sermon was on the crucifixion, is innocent, and to deal to Him and those scenes were painted up, the fatal stroke. The ideal, re which made one feel as if he had presentative man, moves out of been to see a public execution at
Newgate. The impression pro his, entitled, “ The Fatherhood of duced by the discourse, as a whole, God,”-in which the mostglorious was, that Jesus Christ was a most subject within the reach of a kind being, but as for God, He creature's thought is made the was just like the Jew in Shake most meaningless fiction upon speare's “ Merchant of Venice," which any bewildered imaginaheartless and exacting-would
has fallen speaks of have his pound of flesh. Had the our Lord's work and character sermon been preached to men of thus:-"He becomes one of us, mind, or even savages who had one with us, as fallen creatures, not been intellectually blinded by guilty, corrupt, condemned.” (P. their education, some would have 93.) “The incarnation of the Son shouted the praise of Christ, and of God is his entering into our all would have disapproved of relation to God, as a relation inGod; but these Christians in volving guilt to be answered for, England seem, at the time, to and the wrath and curse of God to think of Christ's love alone, so be endured.” (P. 95.) that the unmerciful nature of The theory of substitution inGod, as represented in the dis volves the following particucourse, has not the same power lars :-1. That Christ offered to of destroying souls by leading God to suffer punishment equal to them to hate Him. Yet these that which man, as a sinner, or all notions, which make it impossible men, as sinners, deserved. 2. That to love God, because they deprive God accepted this offer, though He Him of every loveable quality, knew that the innocent, and not the are supposed to be the Gospel, guilty, would suffer ; and, 3. That which, on the contrary, shows He inflicted on Christ a punishment God's love to man.
equal to that which all guilty men Many suppose the substitution deserved. These particulars enter of Christ to have a reference to the into every conception of the theory punishment of sin, and yet it is of substitution, but in some this not supposed that the punishment also is involved-4. That Christ which He endured was the same as became a sinner-that by subthat which should have fallen mitting to be treated as a murupon the sinner. This is mani. derer, He became guilty of murder. festly a fault in the theory. If this had been possible, then the
Some of these theorists are of punishment He endured would be opinion that our Lord not only only what He deserved on his own was treated as a sinner, but actu. account. ally that He became a sinner. Let us now examine the ground. Luther expresses himself thus : of this theory. Is there any foun“And this, no doubt, all the dation for this idea in either Scripprophets did foresee in spirit, that ture or reason? The whole ScripChrist should become the greatest tural argument turns upon the transgressor, murderer, adulterer, meaning of the word, “for,” in thief, rebel, and blasphemer, that such expressions as these, “Christ ever was or could be in the world.
died for us,"
“died for the unIf it be not absurd to confess godly,”' &c. These expressions, it and believe that Christ was cruci. is said, denote that Christ died in fied between two thieves, then it is our place—died in the place of the not absurd to say that He was ungodly. And yet there is conaccursed, and of all sinners the fessedly no foundation for this, but greatest."-Luther on Gal. iii. 13. the ambiguous meaning of the
Dr. Candlish, in that book of word for-Útep. I have fully dis
cussed the meanings of this word My friend may become a debtor before. (See HOMILIST.) Even through his own folly, and I if it be granted that útep (for), may deprive myself of comforts to means, in some cases,“ in the place pay it for him. But this case is of,” it must be confessed that in no parallel to the work of Christ, many cases it means on account
for the latter is an arrangement of," and "for the good of," &c. accepted by a government, the Hence, it is manifest that no stress former is the isolated act of an can be put on the meaning of individual. If I asked Justice ÚTEP, for. Thus, the Scriptural if I might pay the debt, Justice argument for the idea of substitu would reply, No. In my act I tion vanishes into thin air.
go beyond justice; but Christ It fares no better in the pro is represented by the theory of vince of reason, for then, God substitution, as agreeing with Jusand Christ must be different tice to die instead of man. I parties, one punishing, and one might prevent a man from going being punished; and if each be to prison by paying the fine God, you have two Gods, one
in- imposed upon him by the magisflicting pain upon the other. This trates, but if he be sentenced to is the old Pagan Mythology go to prison, at the assize, no revived.
substitution I can offer will be The Scriptures speak much of accepted. the forgiveness of sin. No one Now, if Justice demands the can read the words of either punishment of sin, does it not prophets or apostles, without equally demand its punishment in being struck with the importance the transgressor ? Nay, it seems attached by them to this glorious to me that Justice seeks the sindoctrine ; but if sin has been ner rather than the sin; the sin punished, no matter how, or when, is sought only to regulate the or where, if sin has been punished measure of the punishment. It according to law, whether in the must be carefully remembered in sinner or in the substitute, it mat all these considerations that there ters not, then it cannot be forgiven. is an essential difference, too, The forgiveness of sin is a mera between being punished for crime, fiction, and if these theorists are and being the victim of misforright, the sacred writers must have tune. been lost in hopeless error. For Let me take a case-a case exone, I would rather accept the actly in point--which will show errors of inspired men than the the absurdity of the theory of subtheories of substitutionists.
stitution. Dr. Pritchard poisoned There is yet another difficulty his wife and her mother in the in relation to this theory, which most brutal and unmanly way, and seems to many thoughtful minds for the vilest purpose. He deinsurmountable--a difficulty in served no pity. He had a daughter volved in this question : Is it -his eldest child-who clung to right--as a matter of mere jus him to the last. Neither his crime, tice-is it right, on any condition, nor his cruelty, nor his degradaor under any circumstances what tion, could either break or slacken ever, to punish the innocent for the cords of affection which bound the guilty ? “Oh!” says Bishop her heart to his. Now, supposing Trench, and others, “ this world that previous to his execution, this is full of vicarious sufferings.” kind daughter had offered to be That may be, but the examples executed in his stead, would it given are nothing to the point. have been right on the part of
the Crown to have accepted of this voluntary substitute ? Would the death of that innocent child beneath the gallows have been an act of justice, or rather of villany? Would the Government which accepted of such a substitute have been honoured by it or disgraced ? Suffice it to say, that there are many men whose consciences could no more justify such an act of substitution than a positive act of marder. The acceptance of Christ, the innocent, as a substi
tute for man, the criminal, is a case in every way parallel.
When we speak of God punishing sin, we begin at the wrong end. It is the sinner that justice seeks to punish, and therefore it is blasphemy against the government of God-against God as the Governor of the universe, to suppose that He would agree that the innocent should be punished in place of the guilty.
GALILEO. (To be continued.)
(We hold it to be the duty of an Editor either to give an early notice of the books sent to him for remark, or to return them at once to the Publisher. It is unjust to praise worthless books; it is robbery to retain unnoticed ones.]
THE REVIEWER'S CANON.
OUR FATHER'S BUSINESS. By THOMAS GUTHRIE, D.D. Alexander
Strahan, 56, Ludgate-hill. This volume is an eloquent and practical discourse, founded on the words, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business ?" The leading doctrines, animating spirit, and general style of the distinguished author are too well known to require explanation, and too much valued to require our commending. This we consider one of the most useful of his many useful works. It teems with very noble thoughts: it beats with a manly heart: it has many strokes of mighty eloquence; and abounds with characteristic illustrations.
DISCOURSES BY THE LATE Rev. David DUNCAN. With a Memoir of
his Life. Edinburgh: William Oliphant & Co. This is a volume of posthumous sermons, edited by the brothers of the departed author, and are selected, we are told, from those preached in the ordinary course of his ministry. The discourses, though destitute of any great originality, striking illustrations, or eloquent passages, are well thought out, clearly and vigorously expressed, and, in all, stiffy orthodox. They will be prized not only by the intelligent members of his bereaved congregation, but by all who wish to see Calvinian doctrines presented with fervour and force.
LIFE'S WORK AS IT IS. By a COLONIST. London: Sampson Low and.
Co., Milton House, Ludgate-hill. This book is written in order to correct the false impressions concerning Australia. The views it gives of Australian civilization, resources, and life are most tempting to those whom poverty crushes in Old England. It is a book full of interest and information.
THE NATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA: A DICTIONARY UNIVERSAL
Knowledge. By WRITERS of Evidence in Literature, Science, and Art. Vol. IX. METHODISM-PEDUNCLE. London and Glas
gow: Wm. Mackenzie. We have from time to time recorded our hearty commendation of the “National Encyclopædia.” The nine volumes which are now before our readers quite justify what we have said, and embody our best anticipations. We have subjected them to examination, and are bound to say that they are beyond impeachment on the ground of careful accuracy and literary excellence. The treatment of the different subjects evinces unflagging diligence, a proper acquaintance with the bearing of the last discoveries upon them, and a good, lucid, terse, expository style. The mechanical details are also unexceptionable. The paper, printing, binding, are all of the highest class. The type is extremely neat and legible. The exceeding cheapness of the work has not been used as an excuse for a meagre or careless execution. It will bear inspection from every point of view; and the verdict which even a fastidious critic will pronounce will be, that it is an ornament and a treasure to his library shelves. We have already taken occasion to remark on the great value, particularly to students and young ministers, of works of this class. We need, therefore, add nothing on that head. It only remains for us to suggest that those to whom we offered those observations would do well to avail themselves of the very eligible opportunity which they now possess of carrying them into effect.
HANDY BOOK ON THE LAW AND PRACTICE OF PUBLIC MEETINGS.
By JAMES WALTER SMITH, LL.D. Effingham Wilson, Royal
Exchange. THE erudite barrister who is the compiler of this little work, is well known as having given to the public a series of legal“ Handy Books," that are most valuable, and have become deservedly popular. This one, treating of the “ law and practice of public meetings,” has already had a very large sale, and both from its subject and the lucid and authoritative treatment of it, is destined to a wide and lasting circu. lation. Few men have more to do with public meetings than ministers, and therefore we especially recommend to our readers this only, and at the same time amply sufficient, manual on the subject.