Gospel Harold, 1860-11-10, page 01
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Devoted to Oliristiunity, Morality, the Interests of Sabljatli Sulnools, Social ImprovennerTit, 'd'eiriperanne, Kilnoation, and Qeneral Ne-we. "BEHOLD, I BRING TOD GOOD TIDINGS OP 6.REAT JOT .... ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN.' VOL. 17. DA.YTON, 0., SATURDAY, ^OV. 10, IStiU. NO. 27, SELECT POETRY. IS,= ,..«1TK1,.] OmnipreGence. What e'er I do, what e'er I be. As strangar here bcloiT, The eye of God is over me. Wherever I may go, If in the path of truth I tread, And walk the narrow road. My father never will forget, That I'm a child of Ocd. ff sin should tempt on every side, And satan seek my fall, The Lord will always be my guide, My portion and my all. And if my feet should go astray. My heart would turn to sin, Abandon Ijhrisl, the living W.ay, I'd still be seen by him. If in tho darkness of the night. From thine .all seeing eye, I would expect my sins to hide. Yet vain t'would be to try. Thus God will see tne when I stray,-. And when his cliild I am, Theu Lord directs me in tho v. ay. That loads rae to the Lamb. Wellershury. n, li, ORIGINALITIES. WriUen for the lioapel Herald. The Atonement. J. V. WATSON, Tlie atoiioraerit of the Orthodox ChurehoB (so t^ormotl) is vicarious in its nature and, aa this, is so extensively boliovcd, I desire to offer some re¬ marks theroon, and, more particularly, us my veiw of tho atonement is just the reverse of this. Vicarious, signi¬ fies,, acting for another—filling, tho place of another, and substituted for another. This doctrine teaches, that Chriist died, instead ofthe human race, and also, had not the human family had the death.of Christ for their me¬ diation, then thoy mighty have medi¬ tated, upon etoAialdeath as thoir indi¬ vidual portion.- I have already object¬ ed t,othis,;for this reason. Ifall wonld havo died, oternaUy, then was the penalty pronounced eternal death, makingthe salvation of all men, surely in- evitablf); for, as before quoted, "A? in Adam, all die, even so, in Ghrist shall all be made alive." If eternal deat'h was the penalty, then eternah life, as its opposite, must be secured to all men. But the, above, is, by no means,, my strongest objection to this doctrine, for many Ihave, all of which, J .deem of more consecLUence. If tho penalty of the'first sin, was as the votaries, of this doctrine say, then is tho above conclusion r.o objection in the least. Indeedjit would bo the first for mp to sanction,., My second bbj,ection is: it precludes, in my estimation, the least exei-ciso of .mercy on the, part of God. ¦Mercy is his principal attribute, .ac¬ cording to .our , notion of Deity. Pre¬ clude this, and.a cloud of darkness in¬ tervenes to- shut out foreyer, tho lovely countenance of Jehovah. This view Ofthe atonement represents Go.d as a vindicative being; as a wrathful and ferocious monster, just in the act of Wreaking his vengeance upon the head of helpless man, and withdrawing his eye of pity, to drive men into the re¬ gions of eternal darkness and despair. Christ, lamb-like, loving and compas¬ sionate, springs between the Father and despairing man, and pleads, in ac¬ cents deep and long, "Father, save lhom! save thorn !" The response is, "Infinite law has boon transgressed, and Divine justice must be met." God has given men such laws, as that tho transgre.^.sion of them, would produce eternal death; and it waa not in the power of m.an to make amends. So says Christ, "If man can but be spar¬ ed, I will take his guilt entirely upon myself, and expiate his sins, and thus pay tho demanded debt." Christ is privileged, and the debt is paid. This is tho teacli ing of vicarious atonement;. I remarked abovo, that it precluded tho least exhibition of mercy on tho part of God, This represents God as refusing to pardon man till the whole penalty has been inflicted, and also assuring us that, man could not help himself, but Christ was ready to suffer tho whole infliction, and here it is said: God hath exercised his love toward us; putting us, indeed, in tho sunshine ot his grace, but the Savior in tho tempest of bis wrath. Says Martin- eau, "Did we desire to sketch the most dreadful form of char,ictor, what more oinphatic combination could we invent, than this rigor in the exaction of pe¬ nal suffering and indifference, as to tbe person on whom it falls." It does seem to me, that God shows no mercy, in order to continue truo, even though Flo does bestow upon us, the grief of his Son. In Pagan history, wo road a story of Zabicus, king ofthe.Locri- aus, who passed a law condemning adulterers to the loss of both eyes. In the process of time, his own son was convicted of the crime, and to satisfy at once, tho el-Mi.i of tho law and olom- a.ncy, tbo ri '. parent commanded one of bis own eyes to be pulled out, and ono of his son'.^. In this, I would admit, wo have a half show of mercy (laying aside selfish respect). But, if thc'king had pulled outboth bis eyes, and let the accused son go free, I should then say there was no mercy shown; and too, for tho following rea¬ sons: The king believed, when he enacted the law,.thiit it was conducive to tho happiness of his subjects. Their good demanded the law. He conse¬ quently gave it them, to meet their wants, and then would not suffer the penalty to be endured by the accused party, whose interests demanded it; but privileged an innocent to suffer it, who needed not the same. Hero, I should gay, was no mercy. If God foresaw, in his wisdom, by which He is ever guided,,that man needed, in or¬ der to his best good, (ever;consulted of God)_ tho association of such a penal¬ ty to'his laws, I think, guided by the same wisdom and rc^ercy, He would permit man to suffer the same; for surely, a penalty, virtually, amounts to nothing, withouf it falls upon tbe porson for whom, it was designed,-— A^gaiin: If Christ was permitted to die instead of man, redeeming him from tho penalty of the law, then Christ abrogates tho decision of Jehovah who said, "Man shall die himself;" thus working' contrary to God's decision, with success. It seems to me that God would have exliibitcd far more mercy to man in attaching such a penalty to bis laws, that man could meot, instead of de¬ manding tho death of Christ to meet the same for man. This, however, is not tho case, Man met his own penal¬ ty and does still meet tbesanie, where¬ of we have constant demonstration iu tho mortality of human disease. My third objectioE is, that in my es¬ timation, it iircchidcs an exercise of forgiveness on the part of God, In the sacred word vve are constantly taught of God's willingness to forgive the human race. Take this doctrine from the Scriptures and we take the most beautiful gein from tho precious casket. This'we will never do, and Loublless astonishment will take pos¬ session of tho mind, whon I declare it as my honest conviction, that this sj's- tem of atonement does. Let us illustrate, A. is indebted to B,, SlOO ; B. owes C. the sameaiiiomit; B. authorizes C. to collect the sum from A., instead of himself. To A. tiii.s, of course, makes no difference, and ho pays tlie demand to C. and thus can¬ cels his obligation to B. Soon B, goes to A, and assures him of his interest in his welfare, and kindiioas, &c,, and to demonstrate it, proffers to forgive tho amount of A.'s indebtedness, A. an¬ swers, "the debt is paid," andrefor,^ to the form of his payment, tto. But all to no purpose ; lie does not recognize the payment, but still persists in can¬ celling his obligation hy forgiveness. Would iiotsuch a course be proniuine- ed the height of infatuation. Surely tho merest school-boy could uot do otherwise than tiiis. But, upon my honor, this is precisely tho lesson of vicarious atonement. The above statement wo think wo can make clear to every reader. The votary of the above doctrine says— "Christ has paid the debt of sin I owe, I am Saved by his sacrifice from its ef¬ fects." The scriptures cteclaro that man is indebted to God to that extent that he is wholly unable fo pay that debt. Christ being possessed of a suf¬ ficiency of merit, profJers to pay this dobt. God is willing. Christ lives ami dies and the work is done. Then, in keeping with the above, does not Peter say, "Christ has died and paid the debt of our sins; you need not repent, for without, you are converted to God and your sins blotted out," &o. But, says one, that is a misquotation. Lot us try again. "Ilepent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blot¬ ted out," &c. But, Peter, are you not mistaken ? I should judge you did not believe in vicarious atonement, but on the contrary, have given us a text to prove tho opposite of your doctrine.— Why do you tell men to repent when they have no sins to repent of. Wo, in our day, arc taught by your wortliy successors that Christ cancelled owr ob¬ ligations, so, of course, that text does not apply to us, and how can you say God will forgive us when we havo no sins to be forgiven? Either Peter, or the Orthodox Churches, have made a slight mistake about this matter, and as those who do not agree with them are denounced as heretics, had wo not better say that Peter made the mistake —didn't understand the doctrine—that the text is mistranslated and interpo¬ lated, or something of the sort? What a pity Peter couldn't have had the iu- strucliuti of some of the Orthodox Min¬ isters of our day of wisdom, rather than of Christ in his day of darkness. JSto I I rather think we aro not willing to do all of this to evade the name of heretic, but rather, we will defend Pe¬ ter, and his doctrine, too. I need hardly inform my readora that tho doctrine of forgiveness is found in almost every, chapter of the Bible., This is too well understood by all. Hut shall I try to excuse as many mistakes in this Good Book as there ar© chapters that speak of this doc¬ trine, iijither this 1 must do or else reject the doctrine of vicarious atone¬ ment, and call it but a doctrine of hu¬ man invention. The latter I am con¬ strained to do. Nay, verily; let mesay a merciful God has forgiven my sins, rather than that Christ, my savior,has liaid the dobt they incurred. Tho fourth and last objection I care t specify, to this doctrino is this. It precludes the possibility of future pun¬ ishment. This doctrine is now en¬ tertained by all religious denomina¬ tions of the day. All, however, do not agree as to the timo of its duration, .Surely, no doctrine is more plainly specified in the Scriptures than this,— See Matt, 2.5:41-4t;, Pvov, 20:10, Jude 6, &c. It is said that Christ suffered in-, stoad of man, and had not t^'hrist suf- ferrod, then man v/ould have suifered eternally. If Christ has suffered/or man, then bovvisnian lo stilFer at all. Is not this a scocnd jiaymcnt of the debt'? To il¬ lustrate—-I am indebted to A.; B, is in debted to me, B, says, I will pay A. and thns cancel my obligation to yon. I agree and the triple settlement is made. Soon A, comes and demands tho above amount of mo, I refuso, saying B, has paid it iu ray stead. .But bo ]iojBists in :i.y paying it with n y own hands. Can I call this other than the second demand for tbo same debt, and can ho legally or morally mako tills demand? Surely not. But can God dl) this, condemned in man : and that which is sin in one would it not be also sin in the other? If Christhas paid man's debt, in other words, suf¬ fered instead of man, how, I ask, in harmony with the above, can God rightly demand tho samo of man again? .But if God punishes man in the future Btato, does be not demand tho dobttho second time? Either this injustice we must admit on tfio part of God, else deny vicarious atonement. Thus it appears that this view of the atone¬ ment and future punishment are in¬ compatible with each other. The real strength'of these objections have been simply hinted at, and bnt few, of the vory many, referred to at all, I have thus briefly stated some of my objec¬ tions to thisdoctrino. My convictions with regard to its incorrectness are strong. 'I deem them founded upon tho plain teachings ot the Bible, upoi) the ono hand, and reason and philoso¬ phy on tho other. In my estimation, this view of the doctrino simplifies tbe whole thing, and thus viewed, itbe-.. comes ono of the most interesting of God's word. May God guide us in his wisdom, and ever load us in the path of tho right and may heaven be our final portion. Belvidere, Illinois, Oct., Qth.
|Title||Gospel Herald, 1860-11-10|
|Subject||General Convention of the Christian Church -- Periodicals|
|Place||New Carlisle (Ohio)|
|Source||V 286.605 G694|
|Submitting Institution||Ohio Historical Society|
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