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be made to see the insufficiency of his own righteousness before he will accept of the righteousness of the Redeemer. To teach this self-righteous ruler the insufficiency of his own righteousness, is the design of our Saviour in this part of the context. And he does it most effectually too. To leave him without the possibility of evasion, without the shadow of excuse, the Saviour meets him on that very ground on which he imagined he was most able to defend himself. He examines him on the reality and truth of his obedience to that part of the law which requires love to man. For it is much easier for unsanctified men to exhibit, in their conduct, something which resembles true love to man, than any thing which resembles love to God. The latter never can be possessed, nor is it easy to exhibit even the shadow of it, until we are reconciled to him through the blood of the cross. But a regard to the peace of civil society, the habits of polite education, and other things, conspire to produce in unsanctified men a conduct which resembles the former. Accordingly, when the ruler declares, This part of divine law, I have kept; from my youth to this very hour, I have lived in the most faithful and undeviating observance of it; I am liable to no reproof for a failure in this part of duty'-The Saviour, grieved to see a temper, naturally mild and amiable, bound under so unhappy a mistake, replies, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me." Our Saviour's design and meaning in this reply may be thus explained: You would persuade yourself that you have yielded perfect obedience to that part of my law which requires love to man this belief arises from an utter mistake as to the spirituality and extent of my righteous law. You fail in that very point which lies at the founda

tion of all true obedience-a conscientious regard to the authority of God. What has been your motive in keeping these commandments? Have you acted merely from expediency-because you found an honest behaviour would advance your interest among men? or have you acted from a tender and conscientious regard to the authority of God, who requires these things? Without this, your obedience has not been perfect. And if this has been your motive, I require you now to give a proof of it. As I am God, I will give you a command, to prove how far my authority has governed your conscience-a command not binding on every man, but still as binding on those to whom I give it, as if it were expressly contained in that rule of obedience which you boast that you have kept. This is a time when they who possess the world, should be as though they possessed it not. Judgments are soon to overtake this land, which will drive its present possessors from their places, and fill the land with confusion and blood.

am now also to erect a kingdom, in which I am to employ my disciples as the means of my hand. The duties in which I am about to employ them are incompatible with the possession of houses and lands. They are to travel from city to city, and from kingdom to kingdom, to proclaim my name. My authori ty calls them to the work, and my strength shall qualify them for it. I now invite you to take part with them*. Looking out for the inheritance of heaven,

* This phrase," follow me," is the appropriate call which our Saviour gave to those whom he called to attend him during his personal ministry, and whom, after he had thus trained them to the work, he commissioned to preach the Gospel to every creature. See Matt. iv. 19. and ix. 9. and viii. 22. compared with Luke ix. 59, 60. All those who believed on the Saviour, during his personal ministry, did not follow him wherever he travelled; nor did he require it Vol. III.-No. XII. 4 S

go and sell your possessions, give the price of them to the poor, come and take up the cross, by which the world shall be crucified unto you, and you unto the world, and be satisfied to follow me, that I may teach you the things which relate to my kingdom, and prepare you for going out on my messages of life to the world. If a regard to the authority of God has produced your honesty, you will readily consent to this requirement, while a refusal must show, that you are labouring under that ruinous mistake which confounds the generous conduct of a good-hearted man, or the specious pretences of an artful hypocrite, with the obedience which flows from a heart formed and governed by purifying grace.'

The effect of this reply from our Saviour was instant. Disappointed and vexed, a sudden gloom covers the ruler's face; silence seals his lips; the obedience of the Gospel is too high for his reach, and going away to enjoy his possessions, he forsakes the Saviour who had offered to him eternal life.

from them as a duty. He laid the duty to forsake houses, ́and lands, and families, only upon those whom he sent abroad to preach the Gospel; and, as Peter declares, they did forsake all and follow him. Matt. xix. 27. And this shows us that our Saviour does not here enjoin that community of goods which some have conjectured to have been the universal practice in the primitive ages of the Church, and which others have endeavoured to perpetuate to the present day. He gives the ruler a call to be something more than a believer. He calls him to become one of those whose duties were quite incompatible with the management of houses and lands and, therefore, his command," Go, and sell," cannot be considered as binding upon Christians in general. Besides, it is not merely community of goods that is here enjoined, but a total alienation of them.

FOR THE CHRISTIAN's MAGAZINE.

THE DOCTRINE OF THE ATONEMENT.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.-Rom. v. 11.

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THE love of truth, which ought to influence us in our several researches, meets with many impediments in its exercise. Natural disposition, interest, prejudice, passion, even when they do not succeed in destroying that love entirely, seldom fail in cutting out the channel in which it flows. With the purest motives, and with the best talents for religious discussion, it therefore frequently happens that men's opinions differ on the most important subjects. It is an evil which we lament, and for which the only remedy is from above. At all events, the truth must be sought out, and what we embrace as truth, we must defend. The subject of atonement, like many other christian doctrines, is controversial ground. We would walk over it with reverence and godly fear. O, send out thy light and thy truth, let them lead me*.

In page 374, we stated the question, respecting the extent of the atonement, in every possible form; and we stated as one argument in defence of the system which we maintain, the inconsistency of every other hypothesis.

* Ps. xliii. 3.

To the illustration of that argument this number is devoted.

Did the Redeemer make atonement

1. For the sins of the elect? or,
2. For some sins of all men? or,
3. For all the sins of all men? or,
4. For sin in general?

We have already exhibited our reasons for maintaining the affirmative to the first of these inquiries; and we refer our readers to Vol. I. pages 74, 75, for a view of the dilemma into which every man must be reduced who adopts the second or third hypothcsis. We now select, for a somewhat more particular examination, the doctrine of

INDEFINITE ATONEMENT.

There are obvious reasons for this selection. Many, who are otherwise upon what is usually called Calvinistic ground, suppose the atonement to be indefinite. The doctrine itself is so general, and so far abstracted from common view, and the language in which it must be expressed so indeterminate, that its inconsistency is less obvious than that of the other opinions which we have mentioned and rejected. The phrase" indefinite atonement," communicates but a vague idea to the mind, and imparts to the doctrine a pliableness which renders it, in the opinion of many, capable of harmonizing with any set of ideas which man may choose to entertain relative to evangelical truth. In examining, too, this system, we virtually examine the fundamental doctrine of both the Arminians and Universalists, and so preclude the necessity of more particular attention to their arguments. This is the doctrine of universal redemption in its least obtrusive form. The radical principle is evidently one-Messiah in his atonement had no more respect to the sins of "the

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