« EdellinenJatka »
ments of Sin. For if the Blood of Bulls and Goats, and the Aspes of an Heifer Sprinkling the unclean, fanclifieth to the purifying of the Flesh; how much more shall the Blood of Christ, wko through the eternal Spirit of. fered himself without Spot to Goa: purge your Consciences from dead Works, to serve the living God? Chap. ix. ver. 11-15. The ood oi Chriji cannot make that
not to have been done which was once done; nor that - not to be an Offence, which in the Nature of it is an Offence; much less could the Blood of a Calt or a Goat. But as, in the oe Ca'e, the Offence notwithstanding the Offender, in virtue of the Sacrifice, was, in View and Construction of Law, or as to all Purposes of legal Privilege, considered and treated as guilties; fo in the other, we, though Sinners, are, through the Blood of Chrif, accounted as righteous, and as such accepted to the Privilege of eternal Life. To the same Purpose a little after : Almost all Things are by the Law purged with Blood, and without shedding of Blood is no Remission. It was therefore necessary, that the Patterns of the Things in the Heavens jhould be purified awith i hele, but the Heeverly Things then felves with better Sacrifices than theje, ver. 22, 23. The Patterns of the Things in the Heavens, or of the Heavenly Things, fig. nify the legal Occonomy. as jiadozeing out the Evange. lical, which is the Difpenfasion of Things periaining to a better Life, as the Law was a Dilpensation of Things pertaining to this And what the Apostle here says is to this Effeet, chat the Sacrifices appointed under the one must needs be inferior in Nature and Efficacy to those appoin'ed under the other, inasmuch as the Substance is more worty than the Shadow. It is to this purpose he peaks a litle below,Chap. x. ver. I—4. For the Law having a Shadore of good Things to come can never with those Sacrifices which they offered up Year by Year continually make the Comers thereunto perfect. It is not possible that the Blocd of Bulls and Goats should take away Sin. To this the Law itself gave ample Confeffion, by the frequent Repetition of its Sacrifices, which ihe Apostle allo notes, ver. 2, 3.
Then (says he) i. e. if the Law had made the Comers thereunto perfect, would they have ceased to be of fered, because that the Worshippers once purged hould have had no more, Conscience of Sins ; but in those Sao crifices there is a Remembrance of Sins made again every Year. But what the Apostle denies of the legal Sacrifices, that he affirms of the Sacrifice of Christ, as it follows' ver. 11. And every High Priest Randeth daily miniflring and offering oftentimes the fame Sacrifice, which can never take away Sins. But this Man (Christ) af. ter he had offered one Sacrifice for Sins, for ever sat down at the right Hand of God, from thinceforth expelling till his Enemies be made his Foot.flool. For by one of: fering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Again, Chap. ix. ver. 24-28. Cbrift is not entered into the holy Places made with Hands, which are the Figures of ibe true, but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the Presence of God for us. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the High Priest entereth every rear into the Holy Place with the Blood of others : But now once in the End of the World hath he appeared to put away Sin by the Sacrifice of himself. And as it is apo pointed unto Men önce to die, but after this the Judgment; so Chrift was once offered to bear the Sins of many, and unto them that look for him shall be appear the second Time, without Sin into Salvation. God hath left this Testimony of his Displeasure against Sin, that all the Sons of Adam are subject to the Law of Mortality (for otherwise the Threatning, in the Day that thou eates thereof ikou shalt surely die, would have been absolutely without Effect.) But this is but for once, and for a Time; for Christ is to appear a second Time, in order to judge the World, when all Enemies shall be put under his Feet; and as Sin is done away by his Sacrifice, fo Death Thall be destroyed by the Resurrection from the Dead.
This is the plain Scripture Doctrine ; and without it, it will be impossible to give a consistent Account of many Paflages in Scripture relating to Christ and his Minifry. There are those who consider Jesus Chris
fimply under the Norion of a Prophet, sent to declare the Will of God, and to leave us an Example of Hu. mility and Patience. But consistenly with the Scripture Accounts of him this cannot be. For, l. The Apostle plainly diftinguishes Christ from the Prophets. God, uho at lundry Times, and in divers Manners, Spake in Time pajl unto the Fathers by the Prophets, hath in these laf Days spoken unto us by his Son, Heb. i. 1. Chrifftherefore was not merely a Prophet, but more than a Prophet; and yet if he came only to declare the Will of God to Mankind, in what Respect did he differ from the Prophets that went before him ? 2. With respect to his Nature and Dignity, he was the Son of God, the Heir of all Things, the Brightness of his Fa. ther's Glory, and the express Image of bis Person; HE by whom the Worlds were made, and who upholdeth all Things by the Word of bis Foz er. This great, this di. vine Person, far above all Angels and every Name that is named, condescended to take upon himself Flesh and Blood
For what? Merely to be a Preacher ofRighteousness? An Office which the lowest of the Sons of Men, instructed with Power and Authority from God, might and did execute as fuccefsfully as he! The Apoftles were the Preachers of the Gorrel, and more eminently were they so chan Christ, who if he came for nothing else but to preach, you will not easily reconcile his Office to his high Original, nor account for the shore Period of his Ministry; for within the Compass of about three Years preaching, not to all the World (which by one Man, in such a Space of Time, could not be) but to his Countrymen only, all was finished by his Death. And here arises a new Diffi culty; for 3. Why, it may reasonably be asked, was Christ crucified? Why did Goi lay this Burden upon him? Why did it behove Chrif to suffer ? Say what you please, That it was to confirm his Doctrine,
That it was to give an Example of Patience to his Followers; or whatever else you can think of, but one; you will never be able to distinguish him in this Respect from the least of his Apofles, who were all
delivered unto Death for the Gospel sake. Yet St. Paul asks, Was Paul crucified for you * ? No ; Paul was not crucified. But Paul suffered as much, and was at lalt a Martyr to his Religion; and his Blood had as much the Virtue of a Tejtimony, and an Example, as the Blood of Christ. But Paul's Blood had not the Vircue of a PROPITIATION. This is the true specific Difference which makes Sense of the Question, and solves ail Difficulties. For it will not be hard to jupp ie, that when the Sins of all the World were to be laid upon one, the E:erna! Son of God, both God aod Man, might, in the Wisdom of God, appear to be .be only Perfon qualified to bear them; nor that, when the chief, or rather fule, End of his coming in the fleth was to die for us, he fliould, after a very fort Stay on Earth, through Death, return again to God, and leave the Minsity of the Word to other Hards.---To proceed :
The Declaration of this gracious Purpose of God to restore Life and Immortality by or through the Sacri. fice of Chrijl, is strictly and properly tò Eúzłyérson, THE GOSPEL. The Gospel is good News or glad Tidings ; as Luke ii. 10. Behold I bring you GOOD TIDINGS of great Joy, which shall be to all People. What these good Tidings were, the following Words Thew ;-For unto you is born this Day, in the City of David, a SAVIOUR, which is Christ the Lord, So Aals xiii. 32. And we declare unto you GLAD Tı. DINGS, that the Promise which was made unto the Fathers God hath fulfilled unto us their Children, in that he hath raised up Je us again.-- Be it known unto you therefore, Men and Brethren, that THROUGH this Man is preached unto you the FORGIVENESS OF SINS, and BY HIM all that believe are JUSTIFIED. The Greek Word in both these Places is Eủasyenitori, which fignifies (literally) to preach the Gospel, or to bring glad Tidings, which glad Tidings were the de. claring Christ to be the Saviour and Redeemer of the World; the Person in whom and by whom the Pro.
* Cor. i. 132 4
mise was fulfilled which was made to the Fathers, i... the Promise of the Forgiveness of Sins, and Jufti. fication unto Eternal Life. But it is carefully to be observed, that the Offer of Reconciliation by the Gor. pel is not an absolute Act of Graco, but à Declaration of Pardon and Acceptance to those only who believe, under the Qualification of Repentance and good Works. The Scriptures suppose a general Defečtion in Mankind from the Law of God, to which they are called back by the preaching of the Gospel, and all who, qualified by Repentance, shall accept the Gofpel, and rely upon the Mercies of God in Chrif for Salvation, are, actually, in a State of Reconciliation with God, i.e. their past Sins are freely forgiven, and they stand intitled to Eternal Life, on Condition of future Obedience. But as without the Gospel all Men were Sinners, fo Faith in Chrif notwithstanding, all are ftill Sinners; for the Gospel doth not qualify us for Perfection. The Gospel requires Repentance ; and Repentance is nothing less than a returning back to the Obedience of the Law from which we have Swerved. But perfect Obedience is no where to be found ; no where to be expected, either without the Gospel, or with the Gospel : The Consequence of which is, that as it is by the Grace of God in Chrift that our past Sins are forgiven when we come to the Gospel, so it is by the same Grace that our imperfect Obedience is accepted whilft we live under the Gospel ; and to both must be applied what St. Paul says, Rom. ji. 23, 24. We are justified freely by his Grace through the Redemption that is in Christ Jesus. For all have finned and come short of the Glory of God. And this is what he means when he says, (ver. 28.) A Man is jufti. fied by Faith (xwels tętwr vólus) without the Deeds of the Law: The Apostle's Meaning, I say, is no: that Obedience contributes nothing to our Salvation, or that we may be saved by Chrift, whether we are obedient or not; but that we cannot claim upon our Obedience, because our Works are not perfect before God. By Faith we may claim the Promises of God, to which