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Lev. xvi. 21, 22. And the consequence thereof was their being discharged from the guilt which they had contracted, which is called, making atonement for sin. Now that this was a type of Christ's making satisfaction for our sins, by his death, is evident, inasmuch as the apostle having spoken concerning this ceremonial ordinance, applies it to him, when he saith, that Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, Heb. ix. 28. And elsewhere, when referring to the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, as the paschal lamb was styled, Exod. xii. 27. He says that Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us, 1 Cor. v. 7. And, as such, he is said to be made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, 2 Cor. v. 21. And as they who were ordained to perform this service, are called priests, Christ, as typified thereby, is so styled.
I am sensible it will be objected, that the sacrifices under the ceremonial law were not instituted with a design to typify Christ's death; which would hardly have been asserted by any, as being so contrary to the sense of many scriptures, had it not been thought necessary to support the cause they maintain. But, having said something concerning this before, in considering the origin of the ceremonial law *, I shall only add, that it is very absurd to suppose that God appointed sacrifices not as types of Christ, but to prevent their following the custom of the Heathen, in sacrificing to their gods, and that they did not take their rites of sacrificing from the Jews, but the Jews from them; and God, foreseeing that they would be inclined to follow their example herein, indulged them as to the matter, and only made a change with respect to the object thereof, in ordaining, that, instead of offering sacrifice to idols, they should offer it to him. But this runs counter to all the methods of providence in the government of the church, which have been so far from giving occasion to it to symbolize with the religion of the Heathen, in their external rites of worship, that God strictly forbade all commerce with them. Thus Abraham was called out of Ur of the Chaldees, an idolatrous country, to live in the land of Canaan, and there he was to be no other than a stranger, or sojourner, that he might not, by too great familiarity with the inhabitants thereof learn their ways. And afterwards the Jews were prohibited from having any dealings with the Egyptians ; not because civil commerce was unlawful, but lest this should give occasion to them to imitate them in their rites of worship; to prevent which, the multiplying horses was forbidden, Deut. xvii. 16. upon which occasion the church saith, in Hos. xiv. 3. We will not ride upon horses, neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods, that is, we will not do any thing that may be a temptation to us to join with the Egyptians, or other Heathen nations, in their idolatry; therefore certainly God did not ordain sacrifices in compliance with the Heathen, but to typify Christ's death.
* See Page 2014-203 ante.
Thus we have endeavoured to prove that Christ gave satisfaction to the justice of God for sin, as he was a true and proper sacrifice for it. I might, for the farther strengthening of this argument, have proved, that the end of Christ's death, assigned by the Socinians, namely, that he might make atonement for sin, can hardly be reckoned an expedient to confirm any doctrine ; for there are many instances of persons having laid down their lives to confirm doctrines that have been false, and nothing more is proved hereby, but that the person believes the doctrine himself, or else is under the power of delusion or distraction ; whereas a person's believing the doctrine he advances is no evi. dence of the truth thereof: and as for our Saviour's confirming his doctrines, that was sufficiently done by the miracles which he wrought for that end. And indeed, were this the only end of Christ's dying, I cannot see how it differs from the death of the apostles, and other martyrs, for the sake of the gospel; whereas Christ laid down his life with other views, and for higher ends, than any other person ever suffered.
And to this we may add, that if Christ died only to confirm his doctrine, or, as it is farther alleged, by those whom we oppose, that herein he might give us an example of submission to the divine will and patience in suffering, this would have been no manner of advantage to the Old Testament saints; for Christ could not be an example to them, nor were the doctrines, which they pretend he suffered to confirm, such as took place in their time. Therefore Christ was no Saviour to them, neither could they reap any advantage by what he was to do and suffer ; nor could they have been represented as desiring and hoping for his coming, or, as it is said of Abraham, rejoicing to see his day, John viii. 56. and if we suppose that they were saved, it must have been without faith in him. According to this method of reasoning, they not only militate against Christ's being a proper sacrifice; but render his cross of none effect, at least to them that lived before his incarnation, and his death, which was the greatest instance of love that could be expressed to the children of men, not absolutely necessary to their salvation. (a)
(a)" The judicious, whether Trinitarians, or Unitarians, have always acknowledged an intimate connexion between the doctrine of Christ's true Godhead, and that of his satisfaction for sins; as both must be at once confessed, or denied. If he by his sufferings could satisfy the avenging justice of God for the sins of all believers; then he behoved to be more than any creature. If on the contrary, such a thing was not necessary, then no other end could be so important, that for it God should empty himself, and“ assuming the form of a servant, become obedient to the death of the cross."
But the truth of Christ's satisfaction is confirmed in the word of God by so
Object. Before we close this head, we shall consider an objection generally brought against the doctrine of Christ's satisfaction, namely, that he did not undergo the punishment due
many testimonies, and these of the clearest kind, that those of another opinion, find themselves under a necessity to give every where to these passages an arbitrary sense; so feeble, improper, and far-fetched, that by such a strain of interpretation, people are in danger of turning from all the doctrines of the Bible and of pronouncing it the most uncertain of all doctrinal books, and the most ready to mislead. On this subject much has been written. We shall only observe the following things as suitable to our purpose.
In the course of Christ's prophetic teaching upon earth, we find evident proofs, that he had appeared not only for that end, but chiefly for a very different pur. pose, namely, to suffer and to die; that being a saving work, and of the utmost necessity. He declared that he came to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. More than once he informed his disciples, that by a bitter and a most humbling kind of suffering, which hung over his head, that which was written concerning him, behoved to be accomplished.
His circumstances and manner of acting were wholly directed to that end. The joyful solemnizing of his birth, by a retinue of spirits immortal and enthroned, was heard by good witnesses indeed, but of low degree, and few in number: and with some express testimonies on earth, during his quiet education in a remote and contemptible town, they were almost gone out of mind. His heavenly consecration was shown to John only; his glorification on the mount, only to three of his followers, of which he forbade them to speak till after his resurrection, or to make him known every where as Christ. Several times he commanded not to propagate the cures he had wrought. Often his preaching was involved and figurative, more adapted to inflame the great against him, than to unite the many in his favours. Yet his greatness could not be wholly unknown, and when men would have exalted him, he shunned it. By all these things, the judgment and the confidence of the people concerning him, was much more vague and unstable, than even concerning his austere forerunner.-In one word, his ministry was so conducted as might best serve, not to prevent, but to pave the way for his farther suffering and death, while the clearer and more extensive spread of his doc. trine, and thereby at the same time, the publication of his death and his glory, behoved to be the work of the apostles in his name.
That Christ suffered and died for the good of his church, is without controversy; so also did the apostles. "But was any of them crucified for us, as was Christ? To say this, would in Paul's judgment be the utmost absurdity. What then hath the Saviour done, which no other did?" He was delivered for our of fences.” “ He suffered for our sin, the just for the unjust; that he might bring us to God." He “ died for our sins." « The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.”--And so indeed, that he delivered us from sin, by taking it upon himself. For he who neither had nor knew sin, was of God made to be sin for us, that we might be the righteousness of God in him. He “bare our sins in his own body upon the tree.".“ Behold, said John, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” And how does he take it awuy? By his death. For to say a lamb takes away sin, is not sense, if there be not an allusion to the Paschal Lamb, or to other sacrificed lambs, which were to be slain according to the law. " Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." “ Ye are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot."--He put him. self in our place, fulfilled for us the demands of God's holy law, and for us satis. fied his inflexible justice. Why, pray, of all men, of all the saints, of all the inost excellent teachers, was Christ only free from all moral impurity? As a Prophet, this was not absolutely necessary for him; but necessary it was tbat he, being to fulfil the law for others, should have no need to satisfy for his own sin. “God sending his Son in the likeness of sinful fesh, and that for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.” God sent forth his Son made under the law, to redeem them who were under the law.". Vol. II.
for our sins, because he did not suffer eternally; nor were his sufferings attended with that despair, and some other circumstances of punishment, which sinners are liable to in the other world.
The bustie confirms this in the clearest manner, giving us at the sanie time, a notable sign of the remarkable curse in the death of Christ. It is written, “ Cure sed is every one, who continueth nut in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one who hangeth on a tree."
This important doctrine is inculcated on us in many places, under the notions of a purchase, a ransom, a propitiation, and a testament ; by which the virtue and the erticacy, of Christ's death are eluc dated. Let it not be objected, that these phrases are borrowed from other things, and therefore to be understood in an improper and figurative sense. A figurative sense is not however, no sense at all, or without sense ; but serves to make profound subjects more comprehensible to a common understanding.
1. A Purchase. Believers in their soul and their body are God's," because they are bought with a price ;” they are tbe church of the Lord God, which le bath purchased with his own blood. The song unto the Lamb runs, " Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood;" which strongly indicates, that their salvaíion is to be ascribed to the merits of bis blocdy death.
2. A Ransom. In the New Testament, the word deliverance is often used in translating one, which properly signifies a redemption, or ransom. Thus it is written, "ye were redeemed from your vain conversation, not by corruptible things, as silver or gold, but by the precious blood of Christ.” This redemption is explained by the forgiveness of sins. It is, therefore, bis blood and death, wherewith he made payment, in order to procure our discharge from the debt of sin. He came
to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."-Autpcy. Matt. xx. 28. and aYTiiumpov. 1 Tim. ii. 6.
3. A Propitiution. Sometimes this in the Greek is called AmoxataMASZY, (conciliatio) that is, a reconciliation. Accordingly, believers are now reconciled to God by the death of his son: by his cross; by the blood of his cross, and in the body of bis flesh through death. “ God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself;" which is farther explained," not imputing their trespasses to them." -But it is also called a propitiation, in the translation of marjos, (expiatio) used concerning the victims which were anciently slain, as a typical propitiation in place of the guilty. So now Jesus Christ the righteous is the propitiation for our sins. For God " sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins.” God hath set him forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness, by (or rather because of the forgiveness of sins. Therefore, “the Lamb of God hath so taken away the sins of the world,” that he took them upon himself, that he bare them, that he died in the place of his people.
4. A Testament. According to his last institution, the assignation of the everlasting inheritance, is called " the New Testament in his blood, wbich was shed for many, for the remission of sins.” This signifies to us, not only that Christ had a perfect right to the honour of settling the inheritance, not only that his death as a testator was necessary to put his people in possession of it; but, that that inheritance had its foundation precisely in the shedding of his blood, in his deepest humiliation, and his violent death; as thereby their sms, which otherwise stood in the way of salvation, could be forgiren. If, instead of the New Testament, we rather choose to translate it the Nero Covenant ; the allusion will be somewhat different, but the matter the same.
This leads us to the epistle to the Hebrews, in which all these doctrines are ascertained to us at great length, and with invincible arguments. That epistle was intended to demonstrate ideed, the authority of Christ's instruction above all the prophets, and even Moses himself: but also, under propositions borrowed from the ancient religion, and fitted to the Hebrews, to reconcile his priestly of. fice with the intention of the Levitical sacrifices, and to exalt it infuitely above
Answ. To this it may be answered, that the infinite value of Christ's sufferings did compensate for their not being eternal. And, indeed, the eternity of sufferings is the result of their not
Aaron's priesthood. Christ being a Hight Priest of unchangeable p wer, needed not to offer up sacrifices for his own sis, but having offered nimself up once to God, be thereby made reconciliation for sin, made an end of it, opened a sure way to heaven, and “can save unto the uttermost all who coiie untu the Father by him." Read the 5th and the 10th chapters. Would you, on account of the doctrine so full of consolation, suspect this epistle, and erase it from the volume of holy scripture? In it, however, no doctrine occurs, which s nut ulso mentioned elsewhere; and this apostolic epistle is sarpassed by none of the rest, in sublimity of matter, in weight of evidence, in glorifying the grace of God in Christ, in strong consolation, in encouraging to the spiritual warfare, and in the lost áni. mating mouves to holiness and perseverance.
Besides, in the Saviour's satisfaction only lies the reason, why his suffering together with his resurrection, are every where represented to us as the sum and substance of the gospel. No other part of his history and ministration are so fully propounded, and ibat by all the Evangelists.--We have already seen, that the Apostles preached, not only the doctrine of evangelic morality, but chiefly Curist himselt, that is, bis person, work, and two-fold state. Paul would know nothing among the Corinthians, “ hut Jesus Christ and lum crucified.” The cross of Chris was that alone in which he gloried. He reduces the knowledge of Christ, for the excellency of which he counted all things but loss and dung, to the ke'w. ledge of the power of his resurrection, and of the fellowship of bis sufferings... In that most important conversation on the holy mount, between our Lord, and two of the celestial inhabitants, the two great teachers and reformers under the old dispensation, we find no more mentioned, but that it turned upon that de. cease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.--In the cross, and the other humiliations and sufferings of the Saviour comprehended under it, the love of God towards men, in not sparing his own Son, as also his wisdom and power unto salvation are displayed in a peculiar and a most conspicuous manner. In the cross, is the abolishing of the power and the fear of deat! Deliverance from the dominion of sin, as also the glory to come, are its pleasant fruits. The plain, but most consolatory symbols of the grace of Jesus, in Baptism, and the Holy Supper, point us in like manner to his atoning death, with a charge to shew it forth in particular.
The medium of our acceptance and justification before God, is every where in the gospel said to be faith in Christ: and that indeed in opposition to, and with warning against the law, or the seeking of our justification by the works of the law. Now if believing in Christ signify only, to receive and to obey his doctrine concerning the rational grounds and duties of religion; how then is the doctrine and the righteousness of faith quite another thing than the demand and righteousness of the law whether we consider the moral law naturally, or as writien by Moses. Nay, Moses had also taught the capital doctrines of rational religion, God's existence, unity, providence, the duties of man, &c. and that the love of God, and of our neighbour, is more than all sacrifices, was often inculcated under the old economy, and not unknown to the Jews.-Or does the prolubition of seek, ing righteousness by the law, only mean the omitting of the Mosaic rights ? But in the places quoted, and in others, the law cannot possibly be onderstood in such a limited sense. Besides the righteousness of faith, in contradistinction to that of the law, had place even under the old dispensation. Further, these external solemnities could indeed be abolished; but they were instituted by God him. self, and hence the observing of them did not so militate against a rational religion, that it in itself could make a man condemuable.-Paul constantly teaches, that the opposition between faith and the law, in respect of our seeking righteousness by them, consists in this, that God's inflexible law condemns all sinners, Jews and Gentiles; that by the works of the law, no flesh shall be justified ; that