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CHAPTER XIII.

THE DEATH OF CHRIST CONTEMPLATED AS HIS "TASTING DEATH," FOR EVERY MAN;" AND THE LIGHT IT SHEDS ON HIS LIFE, AND ON THAT FELLOWSHIP IN HIS LIFE, THROUGH BEING CONFORMED TO HIS DEATH, TO WHICH WE ARE CALLED.

I HAVE nothing to add in direct elucidation of the view now taken of the nature of the atonement; but both the necessity for the perfecting of the atonement in the death of our Lord on the cross, which the fact of His death in connexion with His prayer in the garden implies, and the constant reference to the cross as suggestive of the whole work of redemption, are reasons for presenting here to the reader's attention some thoughts in relation to the death of our Lord, viewed in itself and in the light of His consciousness in passing through death, which may be profitable, and especially, practically.

The words of our Lord in death, "Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit," are given to help us to understand the life of sonship, which we are seeing passing out of our sight, and to reveal to us in this its final triumph the secret of its victory all along. For, in this trust in death, we are not contemplating a new manner of faith. The perfection of its development and measure of its manifestation only are new. The faith which this last utterance of the voice of sonship presents to our faith, is not anything else than that trust in the Father manifested in death, which had pervaded the Lord's whole life; for, Christ's following of God as a dear child, walking in love, always implied that direct 296 and immediate living by the Father, which these words used in death expressed. He ever through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God. To hold and use this life in the flesh in sonship, and to yield it up in sonship, these were divers actings of one faith. Therefore, the words, "Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit," should shed light back to us on the whole of our Lord's path on earth. There was a saying, "Not my will, but thine be done," a dying to live in all our Lord's life, as well as at the close.

I have already spoken of the shame of the cross in its relation to that second commandment of which Christ's perfect brotherhood towards man was the fulfilment, as His sonship towards the Father was the fulfilment of the first. If we know anything of life as a meeting in the strength of sonship the call which the first commandment makes on us, and know that rejection of all independent life in self and our neighbour which this implies, our own experience will help us in endeavouring to realise the oneness of the faith in which Christ lived, seeking not His own glory, but His glory who had sent Him, with the faith in which in death He said, "Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit." The Apostle speaks of "dying daily;" and, if we are attempting to "follow God as dear children, walking in love," we know that this implies such a dying daily as is possible only in a faith which is a constant commending of our spirit into the Father's hands. For lonely as death is, not less lonely is true life at its root and core,--I mean lonely as respects the creature, a being left alone with God.

But, while the faith tried and proved in our Lord's tasting death was the same that had been tried and proved in His whole life, yet was the trial peculiar and extreme, and in its nature fitted to be the final trial, 297 as well as to shed light back on all former trials. I have already noticed the sinless,--I should rather say righteous,--desire of the life that is in man's favour, which our Lord's fulfilment of the second commandment implied, and which explains to us the intenseness of feeling under the injustice done to Him in men's estimate of Him, expressed in the words, "Reproach hath broken my heart." In bearing the contradiction of sinners, our Lord was continually drinking of cups, which naturally and sinlessly, nay, because of love, and therefore righteously, He must have desired not to drink; which yet as presented to Him by His Father He desired to drink, and which, in the strength of the eternal life which is in the Father's favour, He did drink.

Now death itself, as the close of life so lived and passed through in the strength which the words reveal, "Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit," "was in harmony with such a life and its fitting close; for it was the perfect manifestation and consummation of the faith in the Father, which was the secret of that life. I say, it was the "perfect manifestation" of that faith, because it revealed the strength in which our Lord had been able to do without the honour which cometh firom man,--the life that is in man's favour,--and how it was that He had not feared those whose power can go no further than to kill the body. The life which was common to them and to Him, the life through which they could reach Him and cause Him pain, that life had conferred upon them no power over His spirit; for that life He had held, as He now parted with it, in the strength and freedom of sonship. I have also said, "consummation," because it was the perfected development of that faith. I cannot help having the words in reference to Abraham's offering 298 up of Isaac here recalled to me, "Now I know that thou lovest me." "By works was faith perfected." The faith that could offer up Isaac was there before it was proved; yet something further had come to pass in the spirit of Abraham, and in the sight of God, when it was proved. So of all our Lord's sufferings, in that, though a Son, He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. The sonship was there perfect all along; yet something came to pass, something was developed in the humanity of the Lord in each successive outcoming of the obedience of sonship under suffering; something which the Father had desired to see in humanity, and now saw, and which the incarnation, simply as such, had not accomplished, but which was being accomplished as the life of the Son in humanity progressed under the Father's discipline, and educating of Him as the Captain of our salvation. And if this be a true apprehension as to the previous sufferings of the Lord, and their progressive intensity, so also must it be of His tasting death. In substance, in spirit, He had all along said, "Into thy hands, O Father, I commit my spirit." In actual death He now said so.

The simplest positive idea which I am able to form of the glory given to the Father, in saying, in death, "Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit,"--I receive in realising the nakedness of simple being, stript of all possession but what is possessed in the heart of the Father, which is suggested to us as that in the consciousness of which this trust is exercised. It is the most perfect and absolute form of that experience, "I am not alone, for the Father is with me." It takes away creation and leaves but God. It is not difficult to see the glory given to God in this faith. Never does the Son, who dwells in the bosom of the Father, 299 utter more to our hearts what it is to possess the Father as our Father, and to be sons of God, than when He says in death, "Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit."

And we must note, that this is not said in simple naked existence, as it might be the utterance of sonship in a spirit just awakened to the consciousness of existence, knowing yet no possession but God, who has given it being. It is an utterance in death. He who thus puts trust in the Father is tasting death while doing so. It is very difficult for us, though most desirable, to apprehend what this should add to our conception of that declaring of the Father's name which is in Christ's death. When I think of our Lord as tasting death, it seems to me as if He alone ever truly tasted death. And this, indeed, may be received as a part of the larger truth, that He alone ever lived in humanity in the conscious truth of humanity. But when I think of death as tasted by our Lord, how little help to conceiving of His experience in dying do any of our own thoughts, or anticipated experiences, seem fitted to yield! What men shrink from when they shrink from death, is, either the disruption of the ties that connect them with a present world, or the terrors with which an accusing conscience fills the world to come. The last had no existence for Him who was without sin; neither had the world, as the present evil world, any place in His heart. And even as to that purer interest in the present scene, which the relationships of life, cherished aright and according to God's intention in them, awaken, and the trial that death may be from this cause, there was in our Lord's case nothing parallel to it; unless that care of His mother, which He devolved upon the beloved disciple. But, death as death, is distinct from such accompanying 300 considerations as these, and our Lord tasted it in the truth of that which it is. For, as He had truly lived in humanity, and possessed and used the gift of life according to the truth of humanity, so did He also truly die; death was to His humanity the withdrawal of the gift of that life which it closes. As men in life know not life as God's gift, neither realise what it is to live; so neither do they in death know God's withdrawal of that gift, nor consciously realise what it is to die. "For as a man liveth, so he dieth." But it was altogether otherwise with our Lord. It was a part of His sinless consciousness in humanity to possess life in the pure sense of it as God's gift; and, therefore, it was a part of His sinless consciousness in humanity to cleave to it,--to desire to retain it. This desire was in Him a true and sinless utterance of humanity. And as we have seen in what truth of humanity, and how intensely, Christ was affected by the malice of the wicked, though as respected the perfection of His faith He could say, "I have overcome the world;" so are we to understand that the eternal life in which He passed through death did not make death as nothing to Him, but that the true conception is, that it enabled Him perfectly to taste of death,--to taste of it as was only possible in the strength of eternal life.

Further, as our Lord alone truly tasted death, so to Him alone had death its perfect meaning as the wages of sin, for in Him alone was there full entrance into the mind of God towards sin, and perfect unity with that mind. We have seen before, that the perfect confession of our sins was only possible to perfect holiness; and so we may see also, that the tasting of death in full realisation of what it is, that God who gave life should recall it, holding it forfeited, was only possible to perfect holiness.

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How much this thought should suggest to us, as to the bitterness which belonged to the cup which Christ drank in tasting death for every man, we may not measure. Yet we can see the fitness of the presence of this element in Christ's cup of suffering, and that His perfect realisation of the relation of death to sin, naturally connected itself with the confession of the righteousness of the divine condemnation on sin, and the fulness and perfection of that confession,--the fulness of meaning of the response, "Thou art righteous, O Lord, who judgest so." For, thus, in Christ's honouring of the righteous law of God, the sentence of the law was included, as well as the mind of God which that sentence expressed. In this light are we to see the death of Christ, as connected with His redeeming those that were under the law, that they might receive the adoption of sons. Had sin existed in men as mere spirits, death could not have been the wages of sin, and any response to the divine mind concerning sin which would have been an atonement for their sin, could only have had spiritual elements; but man being by the constitution of humanity capable of death, and death having come as the wages of sin, it was not simply sin that had to be dealt with, but an existing law with its penalty of death, and that death as already incurred. So it was not only the divine mind that had to be responded to, but also, that expression of the divine mind which was contained in God's making death the wages of sin.

This honouring of the law, while it was being made to give place to that higher dispensation to which it was subordinate from the first in the divine purpose, being also subordinate in its own nature, has, indeed, been followed out to its fullest measure, in that our Lord not only tasted death, but, that that death was 302 the death of the cross,--as the Apostle says, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; as it is written. Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." Galatians iii. 13. He who endured the cross, despising the shame, did so as He tasted death, of which the cross was for this reason the selected form, in that oneness of mind with God which rendered His doing so truly a fitting element in the atonement; and thus in respect even of all that was most physical and external, the real value and virtue was strictly moral and spiritual:--for the tasting of death for us was not as a substitute,--otherwise He alone would have died; nor as a punishment,--for, tasted in the strength of righteousness and of the Father's favour, death had to Him no sting; but as a moral and spiritual sacrifice for sin. And thus, as I have said above, while death taking place simply as such, and the wages of sin, had been no atonement, neither could come to be through the subjection to it of the countless millions of our sinful race, death filled with that moral and spiritual meaning in relation to God and His righteous law which it had as tasted by Christ, and passed through in the spirit of sonship, was the perfecting of the atonement. That personally our Lord was conscious to perfect freedom in relation to death, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father," John x. 17-18; this accords with the difference between death coming as the wages of sin, and passing upon all men, for that all have sinned, and death as tasted by the Son of God; tasted in the strength of eternal life, not as a punishment, but, on behalf of 303 men in righteous Amen to the judgment on sin, of which as the wages of sin, death is the expression.

In this view we see the suitableness of the awfully solemn circumstances with which it seemed right to the Father to accompany the death of Christ. That darkness, which the evangelists record to have been over the earth from the sixth hour to the ninth hour, has been regarded as what in the natural world harmonised with, and was intended to symbolize, what was taking place in the spiritual world, when the vials of the Father's wrath were pouring out on the Son. Minds in which this association has long found a place will not easily receive any other explanation of that darkness, as any other explanation must be felt to come so infinitely short of that most awful and terrible conception. Yet in itself, and apart from this association as already in possession of the mind, this darkness no more than accords with the presence and place of our sins as borne on the spirit of the Redeemer, in that awful, though blessed peace-making, the elements of which we have been considering, and which had its consummation on the cross; while the language of the Roman centurion under the power of the whole scene, when the baptism in the prospect of which the Lord was so straitened received its accomplishment, "Surely this was the Son of God," recalls to us the testimony of the voice from heaven at His baptism by John in Jordan, "This is my beloved Son,"--recalls this testimony to us as one with that which reached the spirit of the centurion, making itself heard in spite of the permitted hour and power of darkness, and prevailing over the seeming meaning of that hour. We can, indeed, have no difficulty, apart from a fixed habit of thought, in seeing the harmony of the darkness recorded, with the relation of Christ's death to our sins 304 as that relation has now been represented; while the response from the spirit of the centurion to that which was the true expression of the awful scene as a whole, accords with the unbroken and continuous acknowledgment of the Son by the Father implied in the conception of the atonement, as altogether and throughout, "Grace reigning through righteousness unto eternal life."

Realising the relation of the death of Christ to our sins, we thus feel all that was dark and terrible in the circumstances of His death justified to our minds; while the peace in which He is seen tasting death, illustrates to us the life of sonship in which He does so. But, realising further, that He who is putting this peaceful trust in the Father in death, is "by the grace of God tasting death for every man," we are learning much more than how the spirit of sonship can trust the Father even in death, though this by itself is a most important lesson, fitted to help us to realise the truth of our relation to God as "He on whose being our being reposes." This we are learning, but we are further learning how adequate and accepted the atonement for our sins which, in tasting death for us, the Son of God is perfecting, is in His own consciousness before the Father. That relation to us in which the Son of God is seen tasting death--which relation, indeed, alone explains His being tasting death at all--gives this largeness of reference to the words, "Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit," as we have seen in considering the 22nd Psalm. And so we are to connect the words just quoted as to our Lord's personal freedom in relation to death, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again," with the words, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth 305 forth much fruit;" and I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me." John xii. 24, 32.

Therefore, in endeavouring to conceive of our Lord's consciousness in cherishing this hope in death in humanity, and in relation to all humanity, that is, as a hope which His death was opening up to all men, we must have before our minds the atoning elements present in that consciousness as entering into that hope; for upon this depends the measure in which the death of Christ shall be filled for us with the light of life. Faith, it is said, will be imputed to us for righteousness, "if we believe on Him who raised up our Lord Jesus again from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." Therefore, the faith in God by which we become righteous, must embrace our seeing our sins in the light shed upon them by the death of Christ, and our seeing our justification in the light shed upon it by His resurrection from the dead.

And the first part of this statement is presupposed in the second. We cannot understand the ground of confidence for us in God which Christ's resurrection from the dead reveals, unless we understand the mind of God in relation to our sins which His death reveals, and in response to which He tasted death for us. That ground of confidence is the heart of the Father, because with that heart the words deal, "Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit;" but the death itself, no less than the hope in death, is an element in the Son's revelation of the Father; and unless that revelation is seen in that death, as well as in that hope in death, the true confidence of sonship to which that hope in death calls, is not understood. The condemnation of our sin in that expiatory confession of our sin which was perfected in the death of Christ, is not less 306 a part of the revelation of the Father by the Son, than the trust in the depths of fatherliness in which life was asked and received for us. Indeed, these are ultimately but two aspects of one mind of God, who must condemn our life as rebellious children, according as He chooses for us and desires for us the life of true sonship.

Our being planted in the likeness or fellowship of Christ's death is, therefore, a prerequisite to our fellowship in His resurrection from the dead. For, not only was His death no substitute for our death--superseding the necessity for our dying,--but, more than this, His death, as differing from death coming as the wages of sin,--His death as a propitiation for sin, tasted in the spirit of sonship, and in unity with the Father in His condemnation of sin, that is to say, death, as tasted by Christ,--must be not only apprehended by our faith, but also spiritually shared in by us. And such participation in the death of Christ is, because of the unity that is in His life and death, necessarily implied in receiving Christ as our life; for the mind in which He died is the mind in which He lived, and that condemnation of sin in the flesh, which was perfected and fully told out in His death, pervaded His life. Therefore is our "bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus," implied in "the life of Jesus being manifested in our mortal bodies." Therefore must we, knowing Christ, and experiencing the power of His resurrection from the dead as what enables us to have faith and hope in God, have fellowship in Christ's sufferings, and be conformed to His death.

The close and direct consideration of the death of Christ, and of His consciousness in tasting death for every man, saying, "Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit," now attempted, may, as I have said, 307 help us practically; illustrating the directly and absolutely practical aspect in which the cross of Christ is contemplated in the Scriptures. I have already noticed how we are taught by the hope for men expressed in the 22nd psalm, in connexion with God's hearing the cry of the afflicted and not hiding His face from him, that that fatherliness in God, in which the sinless One is trusting, is a fatherliness in which the sinful may trust. It is in the light of the confession of our sins as one aspect of the life of sonship in Christ--that side, as I have said above, on which the life of Christ is nearest us--that this is clear to us. That confession being understood, we feel that in receiving it, as a part of the mind of Christ, to be in us and be our own mind, we can freely breathe the life of sonship as confidence towards the Father,--we can share in the mind which the words express, "Into thy hands, O Father, I commend my spirit;" we can share in that mind, both as it was through life the inmost element in the victory of the Son of God over the world, and as it was His victorious peace in death. Acting on this apprehension, taking to ourselves this confession, and saying Amen to it, entering by this path into the liberty of sonship, and in that liberty meeting life and meeting death, we come to know in ourselves what the Apostle meant when he said, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Galatians vi. 14. The fleshly life which the death of Christ condemns, the spiritual life which Christ's hope in death commends to our spirits, these are present to us in the enlightened contemplation of Christ as dying that we might live; and, therefore, our uniting in the condemnation that His death expresses in relation to the life which it condemns, 308 welcoming that life to be our life which His hope in death reveals and commends,--this, and our receiving Christ as our Saviour, are one and the same movement of our being,--a practical movement in the deepest sense,--a choice of the will, not as to acts, but as to life,--a choosing the life given to us in Christ that we may live;--being that same practical judgment which the Apostle Paul expresses when he says, "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead"--or, rather, then have all died--"and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again." 2 Cor.
V. 14, 15. And the Apostle Peter also, when he says, "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind. For He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that He no longer should live the rest of His time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God." I Peter iv. 1, 2.

How such practical, living dealing with the cross of Christ as these quotations express, will confirm us in the faith to which it belongs; how the "bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus," and "the manifestation of the life of Jesus in our mortal bodies," will progress together and deepen in intensity; how the counsel of God in connecting us with Christ as He has done, and identifying us with Him in His death, and in His resurrection from the dead, will be more and more clearly seen to be to the glory of God according as we are conforming to this gracious constitution of the kingdom of God, dead in the death of Christ, and living that life which we have hid with Christ in God,--this, in the light of the atonement as now represented, we easily understand.

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But one caution my reader will here bear from me, supposing the teaching of these pages to be commending itself to his understanding, and so to be giving me some claim on his weighing what I urge--viz., that it is the conscience much more than the understanding that is concerned in a right reception of teaching, which, if true at all, is pre-eminently, and in the deepest sense, practical teaching. I shall not feel it nothing that the argument should commend itself; but this consent of the understanding is a small matter unless the conscience feel, that that is presented to it which has power to purge it from dead works, to serve the living God;--unless the spirit which has dwelt in the darkness land death of sin, see the path of life open before it, shining in the light of the divine favour; unless the orphan spirit find itself brought into the presence of its long-lost Father, who is waiting to receive it graciously, whose heart yearns to hear it cry, Abba, Father. To this result it is as necessary that the death of Christ, as filled with the divine judgment on sin, shall commend itself to the conscience, as that the life of Christ and His resurrection from the dead, revealing the hope which, when we had destroyed ourselves, remained for us in God, shall so commend itself.

And let no man deceive himself, as if it were his experience that conscience responded to the latter revelation, and welcomed the light of life, while it responded not to the former, nor said "Amen" to that Amen to the divine judgment in relation to sin which was in the death of Christ, and gave it its atoning virtue. That would be to say that light may be light, and yet not make the darkness manifest. I have dwelt above on the fixedness of that law of the kingdom of God which the words express,--"No 310 man cometh to the Father but by the Son." But no man cometh by the Son who cometh not in the fellowship of His death,--"Thou hast washed us in thy blood, and made us kings and priests unto God.''

The deep and awful impression of what sin must be in the eyes of God, which men have received while contemplating the suffering of Christ for our sins as His having the vials of divine wrath poured out on Him, has been recognised above as in itself a great gain, notwithstanding the darkness in which the mind of God towards sin and sinners was left by that view, and even the positive misconception which it contained. So real a gain has that deep and awful impression on the subject of sin been, that it would be an indication of having gone out of the right path to find that we were parting with it. But, assuredly, not less profound or awful, while accompanied by a light of the glory of God not seen in that other system, is the sense of the evil and guilt of sin which is received when the sufferings of Christ become to our minds not the measure of what God can inflict, but the revelation of what God feels; that which the Son of God in our nature has felt in oneness with the Father, that into the fellowship of which He calls us in calling us to be sons of God.

I freely confess that to my own mind it is a relief, not only intellectually, but also morally and spiritually, to see that there is no foundation for the conception that when Christ suffered for us, the just for the unjust. He suffered either "as by imputation unjust," or "as if He were unjust." I admit that intellectually it is a relief not to be called to conceive to myself a double consciousness---both in the Father and in the Son, such as seems implied in the Father's seeing the Son at one and the same time, though it were but for a moment, 311 as the well-beloved Son to whom infinite favour should go forth, and also as worthy in respect of the imputation of our sins to Him of being the object of infinite wrath. He being the object of such wrath accordingly; and in the Son's knowing Himself the well-beloved of the Father, and yet having the consciousness of being personally through imputation of our sin the object of the Father's wrath, I feel it intellectually a relief neither to be called to conceive this, nor to assume it as an unconceived mystery. Still more do I feel it morally and spiritually a relief, not to be required to recognise legal fictions as having a place in this high region; in which the awful realities of sin and holiness, spiritual death and spiritual life, are the objects of a transaction between the Father and the Son in the Eternal Spirit. And though it may seem to some that this admission may excuse in the reader the fear that I have been less free of bias in considering this subject than was desirable, and that I have been less able to weigh justly the claims of the system which I have rejected, in proportion as I feel it a relief to be justified in concluding that it is not true, I must still in fairness make the admission.

But while so many, as we have seen above, of those who believe in an atonement have latterly made the same avowal on the subject of imputation, and transferred guilt, and merit, that I now make,--to whom therefore this avowal on my part will be no source of distrust as to the conclusions at which I have arrived,--it is to my own mind an additional source of freedom of feeling, besides the positive weight of the intellectual and moral difficulties involved in the system which I am rejecting, that the conception of the nature of the atonement which I have seemed to myself to receive in seeking to see it by its own light, is altogether independent 312 of the question of imputation, neither needs the denial of imputation for its commendation. Whatever be supposed to have been the nature of the link between Christ and our sins, it was needful that He should on our behalf deal with the righteous wrath of God against sin in that way which accorded with the eternal and unchanging truth of things. And that which has now been represented as the way in which He has actually done so, commends itself, as I have said above, as what would still have been the right and God-glorifying way had the identification of Christ with us and our sins been of a nature to justify even the boldest and most unbelievable language ever ventured on this subject. The point of divergence of the two conceptions of the atonement is that at which, as we have seen, President Edwards stood when these two ways of satisfying divine justice in relation to sin were together before his mind: an infinite punishment and an adequate repentance. Had these alternatives been dwelt on, even in connexion with that manner of taking of the place of those whom He came to save on the part of Christ which Edwards conceived of, the latter alternative would have commended itself as most to the glory of God; although its claim to be, as I hold, the only satisfaction to divine justice that could be called an atonement or propitiation were not at once perceived: for it would be felt to be the higher and more real satisfaction to the divine righteousness, while the former could be contemplated only as an infinitely unwelcome necessity.

But these alternatives could not be fully realised, and their different natures considered, without the mind's being led to that perception of the deep and fundamental distinction between the conception of Christ's enduring as a substitute the penalty of sin, and Christ's 313 making in humanity the due moral and spiritual atonement for sin; and this perception, once reached, would have commanded for the truth the assent both of the understanding and the conscience, and would have claimed for it all the varied expressions of Scripture on this subject as what, however they had clothed another conception in men's systems, belonged of right to it, and expressed it--and it alone--naturally and truly.

It would be a suitable and satisfactory sequel to what I have now presented to the reader's attention, to examine all those portions of Scripture which are most identified in men's minds with the conception of the atonement as penal suffering endured by Christ as our substitute, and shew how much more naturally they express a moral and spiritual atonement, and how they are by the conception of such an atonement filled with light; but I must satisfy myself for the present with what I have incidentally done in this way already. Nor, assuming the view expounded to be truth, can the reader who has fully received it have difficulty in doing this for himself. Of the passages to which I refer, those as to which I would most urge the reader to engage in this task, are those in which the death of Christ is made the measure of the evil of sin; earnestly desiring as I do that His death may be that measure to our spirits, and feeling that it never can be so as God has intended, unless we are understanding our calling to die to sin in the fellowship of His death, unless to us, as to the Apostle, to "win Christ, and be found in Him, not having our own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith,"--be identified with knowing Christ, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death."

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