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BY STEPHEN WEST, D. D.
PASTOR OF THE CHURCH IN STOCKBRIDGE.
Ought not CHRIST to have suffered these things?
LUKE XXIV. 26.
HEB. IX. 22.
AMONG the several doctrines of divine revelation, that of the Atonement holds a place of principal importance; and, has so evident a connection with the distinguishing doctrines of Christianity, that they will be found, on careful inquiry, to stand or fall with it. This lies at the bottom of that system of sentiments which principally distinguishes Christianity from mere natural religion. With this are connected the doctrines of the Divinity of Christ, justification by an imputed righteousness and the perpetuity of punishment in the future world. For, if the doctrine of Atonement be given up; that of the Divinity of Christ will no longer be maintained: As we can hardly believe that a God ever came into the world to perform a work which did not require the perfection and power of a God; or, that he came to reveal in words, and enforce by example, a system of doctrines, which might have been as perfectly revealed, and as completely exemplified, by a mere creature. If there be no atonement for sin, the repentance of sinners must be the sole