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and then be unable to judge of what the rest of their conntrymen will accept as wit or receive as wisdom. Sitting in the center of illumination as they do, they may be blinded by their own excess of light, and so what they call wit may seem to others ribaldry, and what they judge to be wisdom may be received as ill-mannered profaneness. It may be quite superfluous to suggest that there are thousands of intelligent people out of Boston who have thought and read somewhat, and have some acquaintance with art and literature, who do yet accept the Truths commonly received by Protestant Christians, not without some knowledge of the difficulties involved, but with an equally intelligent judgment of the greater difficulties attending the more liberal scheme, as well as that misty nothingness called the Absolute Religion. All these, we are sure, are quite content that the Atlantic Monthly should be devoted to Literature, Art, and Politics, but they will not be satisfied, and they ought not to be, if it should become the organ or instrument of a Christian sect or an antiChristian clique.
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
THEOLOGY. Discourses and TreatISES ON THE ATONEMENT.*—The most important work on Theology, which has come to our hands since the issue of our last Number, is the volume on the Atonement, issued by the Congregational Board of Publication. It is a volume of nearly six hundred large and full octavo pages. Eighty pages of the book are occupied with an Introductory Essay, by Professor Park, of Andover Theological Seminary, on “The Elwardean Theory of the Atonement." The remaining part of the volume, five hundred and ninety-six pages, contains Discourses and Treatises by seven able advocates of that theory-viz, President Jonathan Edwards, the younger, Rev. Dr. John Smalley, Rev. Dr. Jonathan Maxcy, “ President of Rhode Island College," afterwards the successor of Dr. Edwards in the Presidency of Union College, Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Emmons, Rev. Dr. Edward D. Griffin, President of Williams College, Rev. Caleb Burge, of Glastenbury, Ct., and Rev. Dr. William R. Weeks, of Newark, New Jersey. These discourses and treatises are of very unequal length. The three sermons of Dr. Edwards, which were preached in New Haven, in 1785, when he was pastor of the North Church in that city, occupy forty-two pages; the two sermons of Dr. Smalley, forty-three pages; the one discourse of President Maxcy, is contained in twenty-five pages; the two sermons of Dr. Emmons, in twenty-six; the treatise of Dr. Griffin extends through nearly three hundred pages; the essay of Mr. Burge occupies one hundred and eighteen pages ; and the dialogue of Dr. Weeks, thirty-six pages.
The first of these publications, in the order of time, is, in our judgment, decidedly the first in the order of merit, that of Dr. Edwards. In those three sermons, preached in the year 1785, bis strong, comprehensive, consistent and lucid mind, gave the first well formed expression to that theory of the Atonement which has since prevailed in New England—an expression so clear, rational and scriptural, that very little improvement has been made upon it by subsequent writers. It is chiefly due, therefore, to the merits of his exposition of this theory of the Atonement that it is called “Edwardean." All the discourses and treatises, however, contained in the volume, are able, and together they constitute a very valuable work on this essential doctrine of Christian Theology. They are now' re-published, it is said, in the introductory essay,
* The Atonement. Discourses and Treatises by Edwards, Smalley, Marcy, Emmons, Griffin, Burge and Weeks. With an Introductory Essay, by EDWARD A. PARK, Abbot Professor of Christian 'Theology, Andover, Mass. Boston: Congregational Board of Publication, Chauncey street, 1859. 8vo. pp. 596. Price 82. For sale by F. T. Jarman,
“not because they are more complete than other Treatises, prepared with the same general aim, but because each of these works was designed to strike upon certain veins of thought which had not been generally opened, and each of them contributes a certain class of ideas which have been combined in the Edwardean system; a system extensively advocated by American and English divines, often practically believed where it is not theoretically acknowledged, and promising to become the prevailing faith of evangelical thinkers.” The Essay of Rev.
. Mr. Burge is, next to Dr. Griffin's, the longest in the volume, and is worthy of special regard for its thoroughness and ability. It bad, when first published, the particular recommendation of Dr. Emmons, Dr. Samuel Worcester of Salem, Dr. Spring of Newbury port, and Dr. Burton of Thetford. Dr. Park says, that “ Dr. Woods of Andover, often expressed his high opinion of it," and that “that eminently pious missionary, Rev. Daniel Temple, once remarked (to him, Dr. Park,) I have derived more instruction in regard to the Atonement from the Treatise of Mr. Burge, than from any other uninspired volume."
But that part of this large work which will be received with most interest, is the Introductory Essay by Professor Park. It bears the marks of careful elaboration, and is written with Dr. Park's well known clearness, pertinence, accuracy and analytic skill and power.
He begins with an admirable analysis of the Edwardean theory of the atonement, into the following popositions. “First, Our Lord suffered pains which were substituted for the penalty of the law, and may be called punishment in the more general sense of that word, but were not, strictly and literally, the penalty which the law threatened. Secondly, the sufferings of our Lord satisfied the general justice of God, but did not satisfy His distributive justice. Thirdly, the humiliation, pains, and death of our Redeemer were equivalent in meaning to the punishment threatened in the moral law, and thus they satisfied Him who is determined to maintain the honor of this law, but they did not satisfy the demands of the law itself for our punishment. Fourthly, the active obedience, viewed as the holiness of Christ, was honorable to the law, but was not a work of supererogation, performed by our substitute, and then transferred and imputed to us, so as to satisfy the requisitions of the law for out own active obedience. The last three statements are sometimes comprehended in the more general proposition, that the atonement was equal, in the meaning and spirit of it, to the payment of our debts, but it was not literally the payment of either our debt of obedience or our debt of punishment, or any other which we owed to law or distributive justice. Therefore, Fifthly, the law and the distributive justice of God, although honored by the life and death of Christ, will yet eternally demand the punishment of every one who has sinned. Sixthly, the atonement rendered it consistent and desirable for God to save all who exercise evangelical faith, yet it did not render it obligatory on Him, in distributive justice, to save them. Seventhly, the atonement was designed for the welfare of all men; to make the eternal salvation of all men possible; to remove all the obstacles which the honor of the law and of distributive justice presented against the salvation of the non-elect as well as the elect. Eighthly, the atonement does not constitute the reason why some men are regenerated, and others not, but this reason is found only in the sovereign, electing will of God. “ Even so Father! For so it seemed good in thy sight." Ninthly, the atonement is useful on men's account, and in order to furnish new motives to holiness, but it is necessary on God's account, and in order to enable him, as a consistent Ruler, to pardon any, even the smallest sin, and therefore to bestow on sinners any, even the smallest favor.” "These," Professor Park adds, "and such as these, are the various statements of the principles constituting what has been called for sixty years, the new divinity, so far forth as it regards the propitiation for sin."
The design of the Essay, the author informs us, is to develop Rise of this Edwardean theory of the Atonement.” This he does by "detailing certain principles avowed, and certain statements made, by the four New England divines who seem to have exerted the greatest influence, either personally or by their writings, on Dr. Jonathan Edwards, Dr. John Smalley, and the other early advocates of the Edwardean scheme.” Of these principles and statements, some, Professor Park remarks, “ were probably designed to favor the view now called Edwardean. Others were not so designed ; they suggested that view indirectly or by contrast; they intimated the necessity of a scheme more consistent with itself, and with other principles of these four theologians. It is the prerogative of clear thinkers, when they proclaim an error, to proclaim it in such a way as will suggest the truth to other thinkers equally clear.”
Those“ four theologians” are President Jonathan Edwards, the elder, Dr. Joseph Bellamy, Dr. Samuel Hopkins, and Dr. Stephen West. Dr. Park's argument from the works of these four writers is very elaborate, especially in the case of President Edwards, and is conducted with great acuteness and analytic power, and with great ingenuity and dialectic skill, and on the whole with decided success. The argument is least successful with President Edwards, though much the most space and ingenuity are devoted to him. It is most successful in the case of Dr. West, who was not a cotemporary, as were Dr. Bellamy and Hopkins, of Edwards, but a successor, indeed his immediate successor in the pastorate of the church in Stockbridge. The argument, in the case of of Bellamy and Hopkins, is more strong and decided, because they denied directly and decidedly, as Edwards did not, the doctrine of limited atonement—that Christ made atonement only for the elect; and also denied, more decidedly than did Edwards, the doctrine of imputation in the old Calvinistic sense. On the whole, we think the Professor does prove that the seeds of this theory of the atonement were sown in the works of President Elwards, germinated more and more in Bellamy, Hopkins and West, and produced mature fruit in Dr. Edwards; though he works so hard on President Edwards as to create the suspicion that he had, and felt that he had, a hard case in him.
Professor Fark calls this theory of the atonement the Elwardean theory. We prefer altogether another name, which he mentions as one of those which it has been called, the Governmental theory. We prefer it because it best describes what it names—the atonement, according to this theory, having a special relation to the divine government; inasmuch as the sacrifice of Christ, which chiefly constitutes it, answers the same purpose in the divine government as the penalty of the law remitted in the case of the believer-i. e., makes an equivalent expression of the feeling of the divine Lawgiver. We prefer it, also, because we dislike to see
, the name of any man, certainly of any uninspired man, given to a doctrine, or a system of doctrines, found in the word of God. It is time to have done with calling ourselves Elwardeans, or Calvinists, or Arminians, or any other name taken from any human Rabbi.
DiscourSES ON THE ATONEMENT.* - In this connection it may be well to mention that the American Tract Society have just published in a
* The Atonement ; Being five discourses by the Bishop of Gloucester and Bris. tol; Thomas Chalmers, D. D. LL. D. ; William Archer Butler, M. A.; Robert Hall, M. A.; John Maclaurin. American Tract Society, 150 Nassau street, New York. 24mo. pp. 196. Price 20 cents. For sale by F. T. Jarman.