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positively, we may negatively. Christ did not suffer the same, either in kind or amount, which all mankind must have suffered in hell, had no atonement been made for them. That he should have suffered the same in kind is, in the very nature of things, impossible, as we have before seen. der to this, he must have had the feelings of the lost, and been like them in character. And that he suffered the same in amount, is also impossible, but upon the supposition that his Divine nature suffered, and for the time infinitely. His whole Divinity must have been permeated and filled with suffering. But this terrible supposition cannot be admitted for a moment. It is inconsistent with the nature and perfections of God. That theologians of a certain class have been led to adopt a supposition so monstrous, is evidence only of the straits into which they are driven.
We suppose Christ to have suffered in his human nature only. Still, we believe him to have suffered more, inconceivably more, than any mere man could have suffered in the same time. The Divine nature did not suffer ; but by its personal union with the human, it sustained and enabled the man Christ Jesus to endure a weight of suffering, which otherwise must have crushed him in a moment. Though Christ did not endure the proper penalty of the law for sinners, he did endure what God was pleased to appoint and accept as an equivalent, a substitute, for the penalty. He endured enough, considering the infinite dignity and glory of his person, and his ineffable nearness to the Father, to make as bright a display of the justice of God, of his regard for his law, and of his holy hatred of sin, as could have been made in the eternal destruction of our guilty race. By his sufferings and death, he as fully satisfied all intelligent beings, that God was a righteous moral governor ; that he loved his law, and was resolved to sustain it; that he hated sin, and was determined to punish it; as they could have been, had they seen our whole race suffering in the world
And here we see the reason why, in order to his performing the work of atonement, Christ must have been just such
a personage, God and man, Divine and human, as he is represented in the Scriptures. Had he been a divine person only, he could not have made an atonement, because the Divine nature cannot suffer and die. And had he been a human person only, he could not have made an atonement, because he would have been unable, without the Divine nature, to endure the requisite amount of suffering, and he would have lacked that personal dignity and glory, which impart such a value and efficacy to his death. We see, therefore, the necessity, if Christ was to make an atonement for sin, that he should be, what the Scriptures represent him to be, God and man, two distinct natures united in one mysterious and glorious person.
It may be inquired yet again, whether the atonement has any different bearing in relation to infants, from what it has in the case of adults. Those who believe that infants have a sinful nature, or a depraved, corrupt nature that is not sinful, commonly insist, that to those of them who die in infancy, the atonement is in some way applied, so as to remove the corruption, and prepare them for heaven. But we can perceive no adaptation in the atonement to produce such a result, nor do we think that it is ever produced in this way. The atonement lays a foundation for the forgiveness of sins, to those who are renewed and recovered from them. Of itself, the atonement saves nobody. It savingly benefits no one, great or small, until his heart is sanctified; and this work of sanctification belongs to the Spirit, and not directly to the atonement. When the appropriate work of the Spirit is accomplished on the heart, and never before, can the saving efficacy of the atonement be realized, in the forgiveness of sins and the salvation of the soul.
If infants are human beings, moral agents, having selfish and sinful affections from the first; then they are capable of holy affections; then they may be sanctified from the womb, as we know that some have been. (See Luke 1: 15.) And when sanctified, they may be forgiven through the atonement of Christ, and saved with the salvation of the gospel. It is on this ground, and this only, that we hope
(as we confidently do) for the salvation of the dying infant. He is purified by the Spirit, and cleansed by the blood of Christ, in much the same manner as the adult.
As to the importance of the great doctrine here discussed, it is difficult to speak in terms of sufficient strength. It is of vast interest and importance in itself. It is important in all its relations and consequences. is the grand central doctrine of the whole Christian system, without which the rest would lose their significance, and the system could not be held together. It is the ground-work of our present probation of grace, and of that variety of blessings which stand connected with our probation. It is the foundation of all our hopes beyond the grave. It is the corner stone of Zion, on which the whole church rests, and will rest forever.
The atonement is a subject which interests, not our world merely, but the entire moral universe, and will do so forever. Angels are looking into it with admiring attention, and the whole upper world are engaged together in celebrating its wonders and glories. The countless myriads in heaven know vastly more of the Supreme Being, they love him better, they enjoy him more, they will be unspeakably more happy to all eternity, than could have been possible, had not a Saviour died.
PLACE AND CONDITION OF THE DEPARTED.
By N. H. Griffin, Professor in Williams College.
"TO-DAY shalt thou be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23: 43). What are we to understand by this language? What does it teach respecting the dead ? It will be our object to. answer, as we are able, these questions.
We remark, then, that the grammatical construction of this text does not admit of doubt. That pointing which makes the verse read: “I say unto thee this day, that thou shalt be with me in Paradise,” in the first place, is contrary to all the textual readings; secondly, it gives to the Greek adverb an unusual position; and, thirdly, destroys the special point and pertinence of the reply. The prayer of the penitent thief had been: “ Lord, remember me when thou comestin thy kingdom,” not, as it is translated, “ into thy kingdom.” It is the preposition év, not eis, and does not signify motion towards, but manner, “when thou comest, in thy kingdom,” that is, with power and great glory, as he had said he should one day
As though the thief had said : “ Now thou art in humiliation, and this is the hour of the powers of darkness, yet I know thou wilt, in the end, triumph over them all, and establish a glorious kingdom; oh, then remember me." To which the Saviour replies : “ Thou needest not wait till some distant time for help; even now, in all my apparent humiliation, am I mighty to save ; to-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” So that whatever of good there was here promised by the Saviour, was, beyond a question, to be entered upon that day. We have, therefore, only to ascertain what was meant by the term Paradise, in order to know what was to be the immediate condition of the dying thief after his dissolution, and, by consequence, the condition of all the righteous after death.
What, then, is Paradise? Here, be it observed, the question is in regard to place, rather than state. It is not, whether there be an intermediate state, meaning by that a state of separation between soul and body, in which the degree of happiness or misery, though in each case entire and unalloyed, is yet less than after their re-union. Such a state we grant. Few deny it, save those who believe either in the destruction of the human soul, or the entire suspension of its powers. Those who speak of the state of the dead," must mean, by this phrase, one of two things : either the state of being dead, a state of death; or they must include in it the place of the dead. It is this latter idea, of a common place of
the dead, that we call in question. We state it thus distinctly, because it is from confounding these two things, that difficulty on this subject arises. The passages which clearly prove a common intermediate state, are carelessly taken as proofs of a common intermediate place. What then, and where, is Paradise ?
We remark, first, that it is no part of, and has no connection with, what in Scripture is called Hades. We are aware that our view of Hades stands in opposition to that of most: that, on the one hand, Father Simon and others would limit its meaning to the grave or sepulchre ; while, on the other, Dr. Campbell, Bishop Horsley, and perhaps most scholars, take it as meaning the state or place of departed spirits, assuring us that Hades, among Jews and Greeks and Romans, denoted the place of the dead, both good and bad; one portion of it being the abode of the righteous, called Paradise, or Elysium; another, the abode of the wicked, called Tartarus, or something equivalent. This, they say, is its use in the Scripture, Hades denoting the state of the dead indiscriminately.
Is this so? We grant that in classic Greek, the word was so used; yet not exclusively so there. Had it been, we should not on that account have been authorized arbitrarily to transfer this meaning to the Scriptural record. Its meaning in the Scriptures, can be ascertained only by an examination of the passages
where it occurs.
Such an examination is in this case the more necessary, since the term Hades came into the New Testament, not from the classic Greek, but from the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament.
Yet even in the classics, it was not by any means confined to this signification. At first, in Homer's time, it meant the god of the nether-world, Pluto, and this almost exclusively; afterwards, the nether-world itself; then the grave; still later, the world of woe. This last is its signification in that celebrated passage of Plato's Republic, where speaking of death, he
says: “ When any one is near that time in which he thinks he is going to die, there enters into him fear and anxiety; for then the old stories about Hades, how that the man who