“And he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”–First Epistle of St. John. ii. 2.

THE amplitude and all-sufficiency of God’s provision for the lost, is a no less important article of the Christian faith, than the fact itself, that such a provision has “been made. Everyone must feel, the moment the subject is laid before him clearly, that the value of the atonement, to anyone, is inseparable from its sufficiency for all. To tell me in my sorrows, under a sin-oppressed conscience, that provision is made for forgiveness, and yet to east suspicion upon its fullness, is but to awaken a hope, the warrant of which is uncertain, because it leaves me entirely in the dark upon the question, whether that provision is within my reach. There is nothing here to relieve my straitened spirit, nothing to authorize my confidence; so far as all practical effects are concerned, I am in very much the same condition as before the announcement of pardon, through the atonement, was made. Better not say anything of forgiveness of sin, if in the same breath you must suggest a doubt as to the possibility of my forgiveness. You do but make my case the more wretched, as you awaken a hope only for the purpose of destroying it.

The great question which throws its overwhelming burden upon the mind, in view of its spiritual relations, is, after all, a personal question–it relates to my own individual circumstances and hopes. The value of the gospel, therefore, to me as a sinner, grows out of the answer which it furnishes to this question. The mere fact that God can forgive sin, is nothing, except as it is brought home to my own personal interests. The pages upon which that fact is announced, may beam with the bright and the beautiful, but if they do not bring home to me, as an individual, this truth as a certainty, that God can be just and forgive my sin, they have no brightness and beauty for me; they do but put me in the condition of the famishing wretch, who is told of abundance, but not that he may touch it, or the victim of some dreadful disease, who is told of a certain remedy, but not how he may reach it.

The question, then, as to the extent of the atonement, is not a question, as some men would have us believe, of mere speculative theology, but one of vast practical interest. Every man can understand its importance, if he will but observe how the whole aspect of the gospel will vary; how its power over his own spirit will be increased or diminished, according to the views which he may take of this single question; and I cannot, therefore, think that I am giving myself up to a useless task, or one without its interest to all my hearers, when I undertake to agitate, for the purpose of reaching a satisfactory conclusion, the inquiry as to the extent of the atonement of Jesus Christ.

I need not say to my hearers, that in taking up this subject, we are entering upon disputed ground. The Christian world here presents to us opposite extremes of opinion, as well as diversities. If we except, on the one hand, those who put a limitation upon the intrinsic value of the Redeemer’s sacrifice, who by a kind of arithmetical process, estimate the worth of atonement by the number of those whom it actually saves; and on the other hand, those who infer universal salvation as a necessary consequence from the atonement of Jesus Christ–extremes of opinion held by comparatively few in the Christian church, and with neither of which we can sympathize–the remaining discrepancies are, I apprehend, for the most part, the result rather of misapprehension, than of any opposition of view. It is perfectly obvious, that the same object will strike persons differently, as they look upon it from different points, and consider it in different relations ; while if they look upon it in the same light, they are perfectly harmonious in their views. So the man who looks at the sacrifice of Christ, in view of some secret purpose of God, and of the actual results which shall flow from it, becomes the stern and unflinching advocate of limited atonement, and seems to be directly at war with another, who, looking at the intrinsic nature of the sacrifice of Christ, and its adaptation to other and larger, and more general results, becomes the no less stem and unflinching advocate of unlimited atonement, while in reality the difference of opinion between them is not what at first sight it might appear to be.

In defining my own position, and stating what I consider to be the scriptural truth upon the subject, I must be permitted to exhibit what I consider to be the true state of the question, so as to prevent all possibility of misconception.

There is, I apprehend, a distinction to be always carefully maintained, between the work of atonement and the work of redemption. The one does not necessarily imply the other; redemption includes atonement, but it includes more; it includes its actual results; it is the application of the atonement issuing in final and complete salvation. The one, therefore, in its nature may be more extensive than the other. An unredeemed sinner has. even now a deep interest in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and whether eventually lost or saved, will feel that interest through the ages of his deathless being. With this understanding, redemption certainly is not general; and to affirm that it is limited is but stating the plainly revealed fact, that all men will not be saved.

In the view which we take of the subject, moreover, we separate the nature of the atonement from any secret unrevealed purpose of the infinite mind respecting its application. We do not deny the existence of such a purpose; so far from it that we cannot conceive of an intelligent, all-wise being acting in anything without design, and we cannot, without detracting from the honor and glory of him who is no less wise than holy in all his works, suppose otherwise than that in this great plan, and I may add effort of forgiving mercy, he had in view some certain, specific results. We do not believe that the issue of the atonement is in the infinite mind an open question. The results of a Redeemer’s work are not contingent results. They are absolutely certain. It is fixed, unalterably fixed, that the Savior is to be rewarded for his life of toil and ignominy, and his death of shame and agony. He is to “see of the travail of his soul and to be satisfied;” and a multitude greater than any man can number, of those who “have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,” shall give grace and glory to his triumph. But the ultimate design of the atonement as it exists in the mind of God is a very different thing from the nature of the atonement itself, as it is spread out before our view upon the pages of revealed truth. The question before us is not, what God intends to accomplish by virtue of the sacrifice of Christ; not how far the efficacy of that sacrifice will in point of fact reach; for upon these questions God has thrown a veil of impenetrable darkness; but what is the great moral, revealed purpose of the atonement; what is its intrinsic value and sufficiency; how far is it available in its own nature to the salvation of men? Did God mean to spread it over only a part, or the whole of the race? Are men, all men, as lost sinners, so interested in the atoning death of Jesus Christ, that they may, if they will, be saved by it? This is the question, and we unhesitatingly take the affirmative. Our position is, that through the sacrifice of Christ, God can be just, and yet forgive. Such is the character of the atonement, that, “it would comport with the glory of the divine character, the sustentation of God’s government, the obligation and honor of his law, and the good of the rational and moral system, to save all men, provided they accepted of Christ.” “Every legal bar and obstruction in the way of the salvation of all men is removed.”1 Such is the nature and efficacy of the atonement of the Son of God, that the relations not merely of some men, but of the entire race, are totally different from what they would have been, had the Savior never suffered and died; different, I mean, in this sense, that since this great atoning sacrifice has been offered, God can upon the ground of it consistently pardon the sins of all, and nothing now shuts a man out from forgiveness and hope, but his own unwillingness to accept of the offers of mercy made to him in the gospel. Such is the view of the fullness of the atonement which we desire to advocate, and which we would fain commend to the intelligent faith of our hearers.

And in proceeding to the illustration of this general view, I cannot but think that we have, at least, strong presumptive proof of its correctness in that characteristic of universality which marks other of God’s dispensations. All the laws by which he governs the different systems are general in their character, all his arrangements for our world are made upon general principles. He has placed his sun in the heavens to give light unto every man who cometh into the world. He sends his rain upon the entire surface of the earth. “He causes his sun to rise upon the evil and the good, and his rains to descend upon the just and the unjust.” The same thing would be true though the population of the world were increased a thousand fold, and the earth’s surface vastly enlarged. In this case, we should need no other sun to lighten the world, no other laws to regulate the earth’s productiveness under the refreshing showers of heaven; and though half the population of the world should be smitten with blindness, still the sun would shine as brightly as ever, and still it would be true that it would enlighten the world, and the rains fall upon the sterile earth and the impervious rock as well as upon the thirsty fields and the fertile soil. It is changing the question entirely, and carrying the mind away to another subject altogether, to say that God did not surely mean, when he put his sun in the heavens, to give light unto him who refused to open his eyes; or when he sent his rain upon the earth, to fructify the barren rock. We would consider him a very silly reasoner who should argue against the general character of God’s arrangements for the natural system, from the fact that some men could not or would not open their eyes; and the fact that the earth presented a surface as well of rock as of soil. All we need to establish the general nature of his provision, is, that the sun is designed to give light to all who will open their eyes to behold it, and the rain is designed to refresh and fructify the earth wherever there is a capacity of production. That man certainly does not understand God’s works, who imagines that if one now blind should recover his sight, a new sun must be created, or the light of the present sun must be increased; or if a single pebble upon the earth’s surface should be converted into soil, a new arrangement must be made to meet the increased demand for moisture. The light of the sun is enough for all; the rains of heaven are enough for all. And if a man does not see the light, the reason is in himself and not in the sun, or in any purpose of God respecting its nature when he set the sun in the firmament; and if the surface of the earth is not fertile, the reason must be in itself, not in the rain which descends upon it, nor in any purpose of God which respects its falling.

This illustration, which we have borrowed from analogy, is perfectly simple and level to the comprehension of every one; and so far as the argument from analogy goes, it demonstrates the general character of Christ’s atonement, and meets and removes all the objections which are usually urged against it. If, when we pass over the line which separates the spiritual from the natural world, we are arrested in our progress, and told that the two are entirely distinct from each other, and therefore the principles of the one do not and cannot furnish us with any key to the interpretation of the principles of the other, we cannot be considered unreasonable, if we are not satisfied with a mere assumption, and ask for some proof of the doctrine which is thus unceremoniously thrown in our pathway. For ourselves, we believe that in the respects already mentioned, the provisions of God in the natural and spiritual worlds run perfectly parallel with each other. The same characteristic of universality belongs to both, and the same difficulties (if any) are found in both. And we question whether a single objection to a general atonement can be brought forward, which may not be urged with equal force against plain and palpable facts.

Having east our eye abroad over the arrangements of nature, and observed the principles by which they are all manifestly pervaded, we turn now to the word of revelation, which unfolds God’s gracious arrangements for the spiritual world, that we may see how far they sustain us in our supposition of the parallel between the dispensations of nature and of grace.

And here you cannot fail to be struck, my brethren, with the character of universality which marks the terms in which the Bible speaks of the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but might have everlasting life.” “Christ gave himself a ransom for all.” He is “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” “He was made a little lower than the angels, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man;” and “he is the propitiation for our sine, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Language like this cannot well be mistaken. I may add, it can have no meaning, if it does not convey distinctly the idea, that every member of our apostate race has a positive interest in the atonement of Jesus Christ.

To a certain extent, this general thought is admitted, even by those who question the universality of the atonement as a spiritual provision. It is not denied that the arrangements of God, so far as man’s interests for time are concerned, are very essentially modified by the mediation of Jesus Christ. There is not a human being in our world, believer or unbeliever, whose circumstances are not, at the present moment, vastly different from what they would have been, had the Redeemer never suffered and died. This much, at least, has been e1f’ected by his intervention, that the execution of the curse has been staid, and men, though sinners, live in a world of light and peace. The comforts of men’s earthly lot, the joys of their social condition, and all the circumstances which make this a pleasant world, are the result of the grace which is in Christ Jesus. The sinner farthest from God, may learn his interest in the atonement, from the arrangements of his earthly circumstances; and the veriest outcast of wickedness might be taught a lesson of his obligation to redeeming love, by the very forbearance of his insulted Maker, which that love alone has secured. In this sense, then, and to this extent certainly, all men have, without exception, an interest in the sacrifice of Christ, as there is no man who does not enjoy some good as the result of that sacrifice.

And why should it be otherwise, when we come to look at the atonement as a spiritual provision’ Why should not its nature be as extensive with regard to man’s eternal as to man’s temporal interests’ If its primary reference is to the former, why should its main be more restricted than its incidental design’ But we come again to” the word and the testimony,” and there we read that the gospel is ” glad tidings of great joy which shall be to all people;” we are commanded to “preach the gospel,” as a system of forgiving mercy, “to every creature.” Our commission recognizes no distinctions among those to whom we are sent; our message is a message for the world, for the whole world, for every individual of this whole world’s population; its language is, “Ho every one that thirsts, come unto the waters; let him that hears say, come, and let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will let him come, and take of the water of life freely.”

Rivers or love and mercy here,
In a rich ocean join
Salvation in abundance flows
Like floods of milk and wine.

I confess, my brethren, I do not understand the gospel, if this is not one of its cardinal doctrines; if the indiscriminate offer of Jesus Christ, and of pardon and eternal life through him, is not made to the race, and as truly and honestly and sincerely made to one individual as another of the race. This, I apprehend, is its great central point of light and power, which gives meaning and beauty and consistency to the system, without a clear apprehension of which the whole seems but a formless mass. If the entire population of the globe were before me, and there should be one in the mighty assembly for whom there was no provision, I could not preach the gospel; for how could I say in sincerity and honesty to all and to each, come and take of the waters of life freely?

Such are the views I take of the offer of the gospel; and though for the ultimate authority of these views we must and do fall back upon “the word and the testimony of God,” as the only reason of faith, yet it may give strength in many minds to our position, if we can sustain it by the authority, likewise, of human opinions, as put forth by those who have been considered standards in the interpretation of the sacred oracles; while, at the same, it may serve to wipe off the obloquy which ignorance has thrown upon them as men of narrow and contracted views. I do but quote the language of one whose name I bear, and whom I honor not less as a spiritual progenitor than as a father after the flesh, when I say, that in the gospel “God hath made a grant of his Son Jesus Christ, as an all-sufficient Savior to a lost and perishing world; he hath not merely revealed a general knowledge of him, but has distinctly and solemnly given him to sinners as such, that they may be saved. The gift is indiscriminately to all the hearers of the gospel, and to everyone of them in particular.”2

There is, however, something more than this. The gospel is not simply an offer of mercy, it is a law. It has its own duties, and prescribes its own penalties. It does not simply make it the privilege, but the duty of all men, without exception, to embrace Jesus Christ, and to accept the offer of forgiveness which is made to them. It makes the question of eternal. life or eternal death to every hearer of the gospel to hinge upon his acceptance of proffered mercy, coming to him on the ground and through the provisions of the atonement of Christ. “This is the commandment of God, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ.” He is set before us, before every one of us, in all his fullness and freeness, and it is at our peril if we reject or neglect him. With these views of the gospel offer, I cannot advocate a limited atonement; I cannot put a restriction of the provision which I do not find in the offer; I cannot believe that God would make to a sinner in his wants and his woes the tender of a relief which did not exist, or which he did not wish him to embrace; I cannot believe that God would command his creatures to embrace a provision which had never been made for them, or sanction by the peril of one’s everlasting interests a commandment which he never meant should be obeyed, and which itself precluded the possibility of obedience.

It does not at all meet the difficulty of the case to say, at this point, that we are required thus indiscriminately to offer the gospel and thus to enforce its acceptance upon all, because we do not know the persons for whom the provision is made, and whom God designs shall accept it. The offer is not ours; we are but the channel through which it comes. God himself makes the offer; we but take up God’s words, and announce them as he has given them to us. We are ambassadors of Christ, not speaking in our own name, but according to our instructions, which bind us to say to each and every one of our hearers, “Come, for all things are now ready.” In this matter we have no responsibility beyond the simple utterance of the message, “This is the will of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent;” and the question returns upon us, how can we reconcile a universal offer with a limited provision? How can we acquit God of the charge of insincerity in making to men a tender, and enforcing upon them by the high sanctions of eternity the acceptance of that which not only was never designed for them in any sense, but which, in fact, has never been provided?

And yet it is said, at this point, “the Lord knows them that are his; it is not a matter of doubtfulness to him, who sees the end from the beginning, who shall and who shall not be saved through the atonement; he has his all-wise purposes in reference to this subject, and the final result will not vary one hair’s breadth from his purpose;” and while the truth of this principle is claimed from us, and cheerfully admitted by us, the difficulty of the subject is supposed to be thrown over upon ourselves, as the question is retorted upon us, how can we reconcile a universal offer with God’s secret purpose; an unrestricted provision with a well-known definite and limited result? Why should God make a provision to an extent he knew would be unnecessary, and be guilty of an expenditure beyond what the well-known circumstances of the case required? If he knew that in many cases the atonement would be rejected, why for such cases provide an atonement? If he saw distinctly that there would be some, and knew who they were, who would treat the blood of the covenant as an unholy thing, where the honesty of pressing it upon their acceptance, and bringing such mighty sanctions to bear upon them to enforce obedience?

I do not know, my brethren, a better example than the foregoing questions furnish, of that rule of logic which forbids us to allow a weak argument to stand isolated and unprotected, and requires us to combine such arguments and present them in one view, so that they may help each other, and have the appearance, at least, of overwhelming force. When you take all the questions together, they seem to have no little weight; but when taken singly they are wholly pointless and irrelevant.

For we may ask in return, what has any secret purpose to do with our role of judgment and action? “Secret things,” we are told, “belong unto the Lord our God; but things which are revealed, unto us and to our children.” The question taken from the hidden purposes of the divine mind, can have no force whatever, because it is an appeal to our ignorance. We know, and can know nothing about them. One thing, however, we do know. God must be always and everywhere consistent with himself; and whether we can understand it or not, it is certain that there can be no inconsistency between revealed and unrevealed truths; and if God has made an offer of eternal life through the atonement unto all men, and commanded all men to embrace it, there cannot be in any purpose of God concerning its nature, anything which will clash with, and so contradict this universal offer.

This argument, however, from God’s purpose, which is so often brought forward to limit the nature and availableness of Christ’s atonement, like many other arguments, destroys itself by proving too much. With equal pertinacity, it might be brought forward to put restrictions upon the law of God, and prove it not to be a law for the race. No fact is more palpable to human observation than that the requirements of God do not bind all men. This is a sinful world; the race is corrupt; men have thrown off their obligations to their Creator, and have turned rebels against his rightful authority. And God knew beforehand that it would be so. Everything has eventuated in precise accordance with God’s expectations. And now we turn the question, and ask, is not the law of God a law for the race? Was it not designed for and adapted to secure the obedience and happiness of the race? Did not God mean that it should be obeyed? And where is the consistency of his publishing such a law, and enforcing it with the tremendous sanctions of his eternal throne, when he knew beforehand that it would not be obeyed? Look at these questions for a moment, and as you see the absurdity involved in them, you can judge whether they are not quite as pertinent, and do not contain an argument quite as forcible as those by which some men would attempt to put restrictions upon the atonement of Jesus Christ, when they ask where is the wisdom, where the consistency of preaching an unlimited provision, and the sincerity of enforcing it universally, when it was well known beforehand that it would not be universally accepted.

And now, if you still press the question, why should God make provision for forgiveness, to an extent he knew would be unnecessary, and be guilty of an expenditure of means beyond what the well-known circumstances of the case required, We answer, by referring you to the characteristic of universality, to which we have already adverted, as marking his dispensations in the natural world, and ask you why his sun shines and wastes its beams upon sightless eye-balls, or upon those who will not open their eyes to behold his goodly rays? Why does he send his rains upon the barren rock, or waste his showers upon the sandy and sterile soil, in which the seed can never vegetate? If I propose this question, you tell me in reply, that I mistake altogether the nature of God’s creations, and the general principles of the system which he has established. You tell me that the necessity for the sun being what it is, does not depend upon the number of the persons who are to be enlightened by his rays, but grows out of the fact that it must be what it is to give light to any one–that atmospheric laws are general, and cannot in their nature be so arranged as to secure the descent of rain only where it will render the earth productive. You cannot consider that there is any waste of light or moisture, because there are some who do not see, or because in some places the surface of the earth presents the impervious rock to the rains of heaven.

We admit the explanation, and falling back upon the authority we have already quoted, we use it in reference to our present subject. The spiritual system, as well as the natural system, is governed by general laws-and the atonement of Christ must be general. “Its necessity does not arise from the number of sinners, but from the nature of sin. The very nature of sin requires an infinite atonement in order to its honorable remission. Such an atonement as Christ offered, was indispensably necessary to the pardon of one act of sin”–and as the sun must be what it is, whether it lightens one man, or every man who cometh into the world, so it makes no difference as to the nature or availableness of the sufferings of Christ, whether one sinner, or a race of sinners, is to be saved by them. There is no more waste or unnecessary expenditure in the one case than in the other.

And yet, my brethren, I feel that I would be doing injustice to you and my subject, did I here arrest my remarks. In advocating the doctrine of unlimited atonement, I am not advocating the doctrine of universal salvation. There is a limitation to the application of the atonement. It reaches not to all men. It reaches only to those who embrace it. God pardons. not the sin of unbelief, because that is a rejection of his only method of pardon. Upon the ground of Christ’s propitiation, he can be just, while he justifies him who believeth. He can save any man who accepts of Christ, he can save none who refuse him. And this is the limitation we are required to preach to you, and the only limitation we dare put upon the suffering of an Infinite Savior. And in behalf of the correctness of these general views, we summon the evidence of every enlightened conscience, and the experience of the lost. Those self-reprovings which often trouble the spirit of the worldly minded, when he turns away from the offer of a free salvation, have their origin in the distinct conviction that he is shutting himself out from hope and forgiveness. It would hush many a clamor of an injured conscience, it would obliterate in many a mind that deep sense of guilt which disquiets and harasses it, could man but satisfy himself that forgiveness is beyond his reach, and that the atonement of the Son of God was never meant for him. But he cannot do it. No arts of sophistry, no special pleading, can convince anyone that he is innocent in “neglecting the great salvation.” Everyman feels that he might be saved if he would be, and that very feeling tallies exactly with the teachings of the Bible, which show us unbelief, and nothing else, as the barrier to eternal1ife. The same feeling will be deeper and more distinct hereafter, and go to form one of the most effective elements in that poison cup from which the spirit lost will forever drink. The man who fails of the great salvation, will stand speechless before his Judge; the vain apologies of earthly impenitence, will not bear looking at in the light of eternity. And when the wretched victim of abused mercy and a neglected gospel, shall self-convicted go to his final allotment, as he begins to sink in his deep perdition, remorse, undying remorse, will prey upon his spirit; and as he sees in the mighty, and still increasing distance, the brightening glories which cluster around those who have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, oh 1 this will be of all the most overwhelming thought, I might have been there, but I chose death.

My brethren, I am commanded to preach to you, to-day, a full and perfected atonement. I preach Jesus Christ as an all-sufficient Savior for each and every one of you. God says to you, “come, for all things are now ready.” Whosoever will, may take of the waters of life, freely. I wish you to take home this subject as a personal matter -I speak to you in the name of my Master, as individuals. If you never have been placed in such close contact with your Savior before, I would place you, my hearer, as an individual, in this close contact with him, this morning; I would testify to you, to-day, in behalf of the gospel. I would testify to you that you are a sinner, under condemnation; that God offers to save you from your ruin by the mediation of his Son. I testify to you, that if you would no more make sure to yourself an eternity of anguish and remorse, you must rise at once and accept of this offer of forgiveness and eternal life; I testify to you, to-day, my hearer, by the majesty of God, by a deluged world, by the sufferings of Calvary, by the death-beds of saints, by the wailings of the reprobate, by the anthems of the ransomed, that everlasting life is placed within your reach. But if you refuse to lay hold upon this hope set before you, there remains no more sacrifice for sin; there can be no propitiation for him who rejects the propitiation, and you must go down to the grave and enter upon an eternal scene unforgiven, unsaved, lost forever. You may be indifferent, you may go away from the house of God careless about Christ as you entered it, but here is the point–I wish you to ponder it–believe me, there is meaning and truth and power in it. Though you should never hear my voice again, as a messenger of the truth, I have fastened myself to you, and time cannot wear away the links, and the earthquakes of the last day cannot dissolve them. I could not keep back the testimony I have already given you, in the words you have heard, words which express nothing but the simple, well-known truths of the Bible. They have sprung forward, and they cannot be recalled; you have heard them, they have written themselves in God’s book, and oceans cannot expunge them; and, when we shall meet again, hereafter, and memory, to which God shall have given such a resuscitating power that the events of every day and every hour shall come back in their order and freshness, and shall present this our assembly, and recall this my testimony, it is not being too bold in imagining the stirrings and heavings of the thoughts, when “the great white throne” is erected, to suppose that there will arise in your bosoms, and in my bosom, the feeling that the ministry so imperfectly discharged, is nevertheless fulfilling itself with terrible accuracy.

My brethren, there are great ends to be answered by the infinite atonement of the Son of God, and by this testimony to its fullness and all sufficiency, which I give you to-day–ends to be answered in the experience of those who reject it as well as in the experience of those who receive it. I would not attempt to be wise above what is written. But yet I know that the testimony which I give to you, in behalf of Christ, though it may seem not to prevail with you, is not fruitless. There is no more waste in preaching, than there has been in making an. atonement which is not received. The precious seed which, Sabbath after Sabbath, is thrown out upon the moral desert, which resists and sets at naught all the diligence of the husbandman, is not lost. It will bring forth fruit–the broad field upon which at last shall be gathered the sublime, and awful, and mysterious, and stirring magnificence of the end, is white unto the harvest. Every grain is there giving produce–every particle of gospel truth springs up and waves on that awful field. I preach for a testimony–oh! it is in feebleness I speak. I cannot throw might into my language. I cannot breathe words which shall take a lasting form and substance, and fall upon my worldly-minded hearers–but yet they die not. I seem already to hear their reverberation from a thousand echoes, louder and louder, and deeper and deeper, responding to the anthems of the saved, or the bitter and deep toned knell which shall be rung over lost spirits. God prepare us, my brethren, for the end.

Erskine Mason, “Extent of the Atonement,” in A Pastor’s Legacy Being Sermons on Practical Subjects (New York: Charles Scribner, 1853), 271-293. [Some reformatting; some spelling modernized; italics original; and underlining mine.]


1Associate Reformed Synod’s Report, p. 53.

2Act concerning Justification. Mason’s Works.–Vol. iii. pp. 321, 322.

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