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Price * c * If men can do nothing , why does it not follow that they have nothing to do ?" Mr . H . inquires , " Is it reasonable to suppose that this great and glorious moral G overnor would pardon rebels without making some public manifestation of his displeasure V
He did so : for " by one man sm entered into the world , and death by sin ; and so death passed upon all men , for that all have sinned : " that is , have come under the penalty of sin , as is evident by what follows : te Death reigned from Adam to Moses even over them that had not sinned after the
likeness of Adam ' s transgression , " Kom . iv . 12—14 ; and this explains the meaning of 2 Cor . v ^ 21 , " Made him to be sin for us , who knew no sin $ " which has probably led the writer to infer that the death of the cross was , to use his
own words , " a substitute for personal punishment , " which God was * ' necessitated" to provide " before he could pardon mankind . " Now this is all very complete and compact according to the scheme of the school-theology ; but from this I
appeal " to the law and to the testimony . " The Scriptures mention the ends of the death of Christ , not as penal but as prcemial : Heb . ii . 10 : " It behoved him to make the captain of their salvation perfect through
suffering ; " Heb . v . 8 : " Though he was a son , yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered . " From which texts I infer two conclusions ; first , that Christ was not subjected to death by way of punishment for human sin , and , secondly , that he was not God .
Let us now try , by the same test , the proposition of Mr . Harwood , that God could not pardon mankind without a punishment for sin being first provided : " I , even I , am he , that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine Own sake , and will not remember thy sins . " Isaiah xliii . 25 . *
' Let the wicked forsake his way , and the unrighteous man his thoughts , ana let him return unto the LorcJ , and ne will have mercy uppa him , and unto our God , for he will abundantly par-° ?/ L Is * iahlv . 7 > He hath not dealt with us after our sins . , AS far as the east is from
the west , so far hath he removed our transgressions from us . Like as a father pitieth his children ^ so the Lord pitieth them that fear him . For he knoweth our frame ; he remembereth that we are dust- " Psalm ciii . 10 , et seq-This last sentiment may serve as an answer to the following characteristical specimen of scholastic divinity : " If
God , " observes Mr . H ,, " was infinitely worthy to be loved by us , to fail in that love was an infinite fault , which deserved an infinite punishment ; and an infinite punishment could only be removed by an atonement of infinite value , which could only be offered by a mediator of infinite dignity . " O J _ _
But Bishop Watson is of opinion that we have no rule but God ' s wisdom to guide us in determining what price , if a price for our redemption be necessary , God might or ought to accept ; and he sees no difficulty in admitting
that the death of an angelic or a human being might be the price which God fixed upon . The fact , however , is , that no idea answering to that of atonement , in the popular sense , is conveyed by any word in the originals of the Old and New Testaments . The atonements in
the former are coverings for sin : the sacrifice which Christ is said to offer up of his own life , is aptly and beautifully compared with the sacrifices under the Jewish economy , from their sanctifying or purifying effects ; but the atonement of the New Testament is in
the Greek the reconciliation : and be it observed , that this reconciliation is not of God to man , as Mr . Harwood's scheme supposes , but of man to God : 2 Cor . v . 19 , 20 : " God was in Christ , reconciling' the world unto himself ,
not imputing their trespasses unto them ; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliatio ? i . We pray you in Christ ' s stead , be ye reconciled to God . " Rom . v . 11 : " By whom we have now received the atonement" ( the reconciliation ) .
As Mr . Harwood concedes that " what is clearly proved to be irrational , cannot be a doctrine of revelation , " I shall venture briefly to examine by the touchstone of reason , this assumed atonement of infinite value , offered t < j an infinite Being , by a Mediator of infinite dignity . Mr . H . * ' thinks that the Scriptures
Reasons for returning to Trinitarianum . 517
vol . xv . 3 x
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Sept. 2, 1820, page 517, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2492/page/17/