Brethren Archive

American Darby Letterbook - Page: 145


To – Le Souef

New York  Nov. 21, 1866

I have not the hope of satisfying every restless mind, unless they jusdge their own way of dealing with these questions, & the views, by & from which they judge. I do not find a statement in any paper (it may have escaped me) that Christ entered into the experiences of souls conscious of sins & not knowing the fullness of grace. I think I recollect it in Hall’s accusations, but could not find it then. But such a soul, when upright thro’ grace, dreads death, dreads judgment – is before God in view of it. Christ was perfectly upright, feared death, feared wrath, cried to God under the sense of it, & can enter into such a soul’s exercises, so as to minister needed grace to it. As to smiting – I do not believe there was any direct infliction of wrath from God on Christ by reason of any state or relationship He was in, save only as atonement – when made sin for us. But since all these questionings, I have examined Scripture, & I cannot find there smiting used for atoning work, but always for the fact of the cutting off of Messiah, & not for the atoning value of His work. I have no exception to the vague using of it – giving it this force; because, as I said, all infliction of wrath from God was atonement, & smiting is so understood. But the question having been raised, I have done my best to ascertain what Scripture says, how it speaks, & let God be true & every man a liar, as far as I can find it speaks so. Divine Wisdom has decided how to speak & how to express Itself. I have sought here by positive statement as to what I do not believe to relieve the mind of a brother from the effect of false statements, but a Hebrew & Greek concordance will give the best answer to the question – here the word smite __?__ or __?__ are used in Scripture. I believe Christ is competent to enter into all the sorrows of the human heart by means of what He went through – sin apart. I believe in a special manner He entered into the sorrows of Israel. The fundamental & mischievous error of my accusers is, assuming (just Newton’s error) that entering in to the sorrows of anyone’s position meant being in the state or relationship, which brought the sorrow on. But I think the doctrine of my accusers

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