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“ ciled to God through the death of his son.” Stronger still are those passages of the same Apostle, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, where he draws the parallel between the typical sacrifices of old, and the real sacrifice of Christ, which I quoted at large in my first discourse. What was the slaying of a poor animal to be offered to a merciful God; what the sprinkling the blood and the ashes of the victim, towards the purifying of the temple, &c.; of what signification were all these things, but as types of the sacrifice of Christ? In short, admit the sacrifice of Christ to be held in view in the institutions of the law, and every part is plain and intelligible ; reject that notion, and every theory devised by the ingenuity of man, to explain the nature of ceremonial worship, becomes trifling and inconsistent. In this great sacrifice of Christ, these typical sacrifices of the law receive their consummation, and the institution closes, as it ought
do, with the completion of its object, the
+ Heb. ix.
“ conciled we shall be saved by his life.” The Apostle has told us in the text, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; that this is true, numberless passages prove. If we are allowed to call the mercy of God in question, or to debate upon the propriety of the means which he has employed for our redemption, we may be philosophers perhaps, but we are not Christians. What God has been pleased to reveal, it is our duty to believe; but if we are to refer every thing to the standard of human reason, and that we are only to believe what we can understand, there is no occasion either for faith or revelation. Our Saviour also declares himself to be a vicarious sacrifice; 66 I lay down my life for the sheep.99* At his ceremony of the last supper, the establishment of a new covenant, he says to his Disciples, that his body is given for them, ** John X. 15.
and that his blood is shed for them, and for many, for the remission of their sins, as the prophet Isaiah had before said; “ That he bare the sins of many:" so St. Mathew and St. Mark repeat, “That he 66 he gave his life a ransom for many."* The account also which St. John gives of the words of the High Priest, are entitled to our particular notice; “ Ye know nothing at all “ (says he), nor consider, that it is expe66 dient for us, that one man should die for “ the people, and that the whole nation pe“ rish not; and this he spake, not of him“ self, but being High Priest that year, he 6 prophesied that Jesus should die for that “ nation; and not for that nation only, but «« that he should also gather together in one 66 the children of God, that were scattered " abroad.”+ The Evangelist tells us, that
* Matthew xx. 28. Mark x. 45.-
Caiaphás did not speak these words of himself, that is, of his own suggestion, but that the Holy Spirit of God had caused his High Priest, as had not been unusual in ancient times, to utter a prophecy of the sacrifice of Christ, for the whole people of Israel, and indeed for the whole world. If the High Priest had only meant, that we must sacrifice a man, though innocent, to the prejudices of the Romans, what occasion would there have been for that strong word (prophesy)? his natural reason, or rather his subtle policy, would have easily suggested to him such a measure, and he would certainly have found no scruple in his own unjust and cruel heart. But further, Christ was not only a sacrifice, he was a willing sacrifice, all his assertions are to this effeet; “ Therea fore doth my Father love me, because I 66 lay down my life, that I might take it 66 again. No man taketh it from me, but I