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wilt. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my father, if this cup may not pass away from me except I driek it, thy will be done.” Mark XIV. 36. “ And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take uway this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt" Luke XXII. 42 and 44. " Saying, Father, if thou be willing, . remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thie, be done. And being in an agoy he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood, falling down to the ground.”
Now let the Editor find out a set of verses or even a single passage which may evince that Jesus so far from feeling aversion to death delighted in it, as he has attempted to prove; and let him take upon himself to reconcile such gross contradictions between those two sets of passages (if there are any such) or reject one set of them.
The third conclusion of the Editor from the ahove Psalm and the compared passage of Flebrews is that “ they furnish a complete answer to the declaration (page 62 ) that it would be a piece of gross in:quity to afflict one io nocent being who had all the human
feelings, and who had never transgressed the will of God, with the death of the cross for the crimes committed by others, and (vage 63) that the iniquity of one's being sentenced to death as an atonement for the fault committed by another, is such that every just man would shudder at the idea of ones being put to death for a crime committed by another, even if the innocent man should willingly offer his life in behalf of that other.” The Ediior then maintains that the texts quoted(Psalm and Hebrews) refute the above positions, stating that “this iniquity, if it be such, the father willed, siuce he prepared the son a body in which to suffer this palpable injustice.” In this I perfectly coincide with the Editor, that the death of the innocent Jesus took place, like that of many preceding prophets, by the upsearchable will of God, who hath ordained that all the sons of men shall die, some by a violent and painful death, others by an easy and naturalextinction: nor do I require the evidence of the text quota ed, (“ Thou hast prepared me a body,") to convince me of the fact declared by Jesus in his agony in the garden, that his sufferings in particular were, like those of mankind in general, conformable to the will of God. But I cannot find any thing in these words that warrants au inference so contrary to our ideas of justice as
that the pain thus suffered by Jesus was inflicted on him, though innocent, by God, as an atonement to himself for with-holding merited punishment from the truly guilty. And this is the 'real point in di çussion. The Editor will admit that the ways of God in bestowing happiness on some and leaving others in our eyes more worthy of divine favor to wretchedness and misery are inscrutable; yet on the bare fact that the innocent Jesus was ordained to die on the cross he pretends to rest the conclusion, as the only possible one, that this death he suffered to satisfy the justice of his Maker. Was it for this that John the Baptist was beheaded? Was it for this that Zechariah was slain ? Was it as an atonement for the sins of the rest of mankind that Jerusalem was suffered to 6 stone the Prophets and kill those who were sent to her ?” The Editor will not admit that it was ; yet the proposed inference from the bare fact would be as legitimate in these cases as in that of Jesus. The plain and obvious conclusion to be drawn from the text is that God prepared for Christ a body that he might communicate a perfect code of divine law to mankind, and that he loved him for the devotion with which he fulfilled his divine commission, regardless of the comfort or safe,
ty of that body and his readiness to lay it down when it suited the purpose of the Maker.
The Revd. Editor expresses his indignation at the mode of reasoning adopted by me in the passages above quoted; saying, “Should not a creature, a worm of the dust who cannot fully comprehend the mysteries of his own. being, pause before he arraign his Maker of gross injustice, and charge him with having founded all religion on an act of palpable iniquity?” (page 529 )
There appears here a most strange mistake on the part of the Editor. It is he who seems to me to be labouring to prove the absurdity ihat God, the Almighty and all-merciful, is capable of a palpable iniquity-determined to have punishment, though he leave quite unpunished; inflicting the marks of his wrath on the innocent for the purpose of sparing those who justly deserve the weight of its terrors. If he mean to object to the rashness of apply. ing the limited capacity of the human understanding to judge the unsearchable things of the wisdom of God, and therefore denies my right, as a worm of the dust, to deduce any thing from human ideas inimical to his view of the divine will, I can only say that I have
for my example that of a fellow-worm in his own argument to shew the necessity that the Almighty labored under to have bis jnstice satisfied. For I find this very Editor in his en. deavour to prove the doctrine of the atonement arguing (page 506.) thus "He who has kept the law has not broken it, and he who has broken it cannot have kept it: that the same man therefore should incur its penalty for violating it, and also deserve its reward for keeping it, is an outrage on common sense.” “This will clearly appear, if we refer to human laus imper. fect as they are.” “ Apply this to the divine Jaw.” “ For him therefore to be rewarded as one who had kept the divine law would be directly contrary to righteousness.” “ Human judges enquire not repentance of the robber or murderer but respecting his guilt."
From these passages does it not appear as if the Editor were of opinion that it is quite right and proper to apply human reason as a standard by which to judge what must be the will of God when he thinks it supports his views of the ways of Providence; but that on the contrary it is blasphemous and rebellious against the divine majesty to deduce from human reason conclusions from the scriptures contrary to his interpretations of them? The Edi