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to pardon at all. Be it remembered, however, that the anger of God is not a passion, or mental perturbation, but a judicial displeasure. Again, as the sacrifice of the death of Christ is voluntary, it must convince us of the infinite love of God and of our Saviour, as set forth in those places of Scripture before mentioned, and as a sure and certain ground of our hope of pardon, if we repent and amend. His death was admitted and accepted by God, in lieu of the punishment which was due to him from mankind, and it is this that completes it an expiatory sacrifice, and without this, it had been altogether insignificant to the expiation of sin, notwithstanding all the above-named qualifications, for it is the personal punishment of the offender which sin gives God a right to, and which the obligation of his violated law exacts.*
Secondly; as to punishing the innocent for the guilty, in the case of the death of
* Vide Scott's Christian Life. 14
Christ; * Rom. iii. 10. it Psalm xiv. 1. - † John viii. 46.-—“Convinces” might have been ren.. dered accuses,” 5 proves me guilty of.” § 1 Peter, ii. 22. Vide also Heb. vii. 26.
Christ; what is objected to his sacrifice, may be objected to every sacrifice whatever. If any vicarious human sacrifice is accepted, the victim must be innocent, otherwise he bears his own sins, and not those of others, he deserves death for his own transgressions. It is impossible that any man, except Christ, could be a vicarious sacrifice: “ There is no ““ man that liveth and sinneth not."* 6 There “ is none righteous, no not one.of. But our Saviour says to the Jews, “ Which of you “ convinceth me of sin:"I And his Apostle says of him, “He did no sin, neither was “ guile found in his mouth.” He, therefore, and he only, as the Lamb of God without blemish, could take away the sins of the world. Every animal sacrifice, was that of the innocent for the guilty; and this was not merely the sentiment of the Jewish law, but the universal creed of all the Gentile world. But, as I said before, I do not mean to enter into the reasonableness or unreasonableness of this belief, or to discuss the placability or implacability of the Deity; but to shew, that the death of Christ, as an atonement for the sins of the whole world, is truly a Scripture doctrinė, as may be proved, not only from the New, but from various passages of the Old Testament. Under this bulwark I shall shelter myself at once, convinced that I require no other.
The first passage incumbent on us to notice, is the 53d chapter of the Prophet Isaiah, because this contains the whole scheme and substance of the Christian atonement; indeed, so ample and comprehensive is the description here given, that the writers of the New Testament have had it particularly in view, insomuch that there is scarcely a pas
sage in either the gospels or epistles, relating to the sacrificial nature, and atoning virtue of the death of Christ, that may not obviously be traced to this exemplar,* the most striking of which is that in the 8th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. Philip, the Disciple of Christ, is commanded by the Holy Spirit to put himself in the way of the chief minister of the Queen of Ethiopia : he finds him reading, in the Prophet Isaiah, this very 53d chapter now under our consideration : he is at a loss to know the prophets allusion, whether he speaks of himself herein, or of some other; he is desirous, therefore, to be informed by the Apostle. Then Philip opens his mouth, begins at the same Scripture, and preaches unto him Jesus; or in other words, applies the whole prophecy to Christ, as follows. The first expression of this chapter, sets forth the incredulity of the Jews, and * Vide Magec, to whose learned notes I am much indebted.
the difficulty to make them comprchend the Messiah, called here the Arm or Power of God, because the Almighty power of God was seated in him. The next two verses describe his humility, the contumely of his reception, the persecution of his life, and the cruelty of his death. “ Yet (says the prophet) though " we thought him stricken, smitten of God, 66 and afflicted for his own demerits, yet he “ hath borne our sins, the infirmities of our “nature, and carried our sorrows and afflic“ tions.” To bear the sins of another, in this, and in thirty-seven other places in Scripture, signifies to undergo the consequences, or to suffer the punishment of them; but this is rendered still more clear in the following verses : “ He was wounded for our trans“ gressions, he was smitten for our iniquities. 66 The chastisement by which our peace was “ effected, was laid upon him; and by his 66 bruises we are healed. And Jehovah hath