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certainly to have good reasons for his course, and may

be expected to give them, by way of preface to his

work. I would therefore say, that the substance of

what is here given on the Person and Work of

Christ was laid before the readers of the "Exam

iner and Chronicle," a few years since, and that

several of those readers expressed a desire to have

the articles put into a more permanent form.


criticism of Dr. Bushnell's treatise on "The Vica

rious Sacrifice” was written about six years ago,

and has been read to a number of clergymen, as Theological Institution; whose wishes have been re

well as to several classes of students in the Newton

garded in now committing it to the press. Though

designed originally for publication, I have retained

it in my own hands these many years, and revised

it more than once, lest some of the language might

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treated in this volume, I have sought to state in

brief yet popular language the decisive points of

the controversy, and the obvious bearing of the

Scriptures upon them.

If it is too much to claim

that every thought has been expressed with perfect

clearness, it may at least be hoped that a constant

aim to do this has rendered the style quite intelligible

to every thoughtful reader. No one, therefore, has

reason to turn from the book for fear that it will

consume a large amount of time in the perusal, or that it will tax his powers of mind unduly. Yet,

with this constant regard to brevity, clearness, and

adaptation to the popular taste, has been united a

strong desire to meet all the great difficulties which

belong to the topics investigated. Results, if not

processes, and processes when they seemed neces

sary to establish confidence in the results, have

been given, and it is therefore believed that some

who are in the high places of the field will find their faith confirmed, by looking again at the foun

dations on which it rests, by turning their eyes once

more to the evidence that God has, in very deed,

been with us on earth, and made expiation for the

sins of the people.

But is not religious controversy unseemly and

hurtful to piety? And will not the examination of

* The Vicarious Sacrifice” be likely to do more evil

than good? I am compelled to reply, that a certain

amount of religious controversy is unavoidable.

The friends of truth cannot and should not be alto

gether silent, when what they hold to be the truth is assailed, and what they believe to be error is

maintained and extolled, even by men of distinction

in the Christian ranks. Besides, both the precept

and the example of Paul authorize the servants of Christ to contend earnestly for the faith once deliv

ered to the saints.

But granting that religious controversy is some

times unavoidable, are the views of Dr. Bushnell,

as set forth in "The Vicarious Sacrifice,” so defec

tive as to require criticism at this late day? If I

had not believed them to be extremely defective, and

at the same time attractive, I should have given this

criticism to the flames long ago ; for I am conscious

of no inward vocation to the office of censor. But

the teaching of "The Vicarious Sacrifice,” if defec

tive, as I think, by denying any reaction of the

Atonement upon the mind of God, is profoundly er

roneous, and its influence must be even more hurt

ful, in many respects, than it would be if it embraced

less truth and uttered it with less power.

If, then, the views of that work must be opposed, ought it not to be done with exceptional kindness, on

account of the eminent ability, worth, and devotion

of its author? It should certainly be done with

Christian forbearance and love, but also with

fidelity to the Word of God. And if I have ex

pressed a tithe of the indignation and scorn at the

neology of that treatise which are poured out

through it upon the doctrine of a really vicarious

sacrifice on the part of Christ for the sins of the

world, I have command of far stronger language

than is commonly supposed, and ought to utter my

convictions more tenderly. But the reader will

discover no bitterness of spirit towards the dis

tinguished author whose work is reviewed in the

last part of this volume. It is the work only

which is condemned, not the writer, to whom we

are indebted for much true and inspiring thought.

With these explanations, the following pages are

sent on their way, in the hope that He, whose Person and Sacrifice they are meant to honor, will

make them a blessing to his people. "Verily,

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