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“ not evidently absurd, yet at least uncertain. Nor “ has any one reason to complain for want of farther " information, unless he can show his claim to it.
6 Some have endeavoured to explain the efficacy of 66 what Christ has done and suffered for us, beyond “ what the Scripture has authorized. Others, probably “ because they could not explain it, have been for “ taking it away, and confining his office, as Redeemer “ of the world, to his instruction, example, and govern66 ment of the church. Whereas the doctrine of the “ Gospel appears to be, not only that he taught the s efficacy of repentance, but rendered it of the efficacy “ which it is, by what he did and suffered for us : that “ he obtained for us the benefit of having our repent6 ance accepted unto eternal life: not only that he “ revealed to sinners, that they were in a capacity of « salvation, and how they might obtain it; but mores over that he put them into this capacity of salvation, “ by what he did and suffered for them; put us into a “ capacity of escaping future punishment, and ob“taining future happiness. And it is our wisdom " thankfully to accept the benefit, by performing the “ conditions upon which it is offered, on our part, “ without disputing how it was procured on his.” (y)
In a question of such moment, however, you will naturally look for something higher than human authority. I shall, therefore, endeavour to convince you from Scripture that. Christ died a sacrifice for sin; and the evidences I shall adduce will be partly typical,
(9) Butler's Analogy, part. ii. ch. 5.
partly prophetical, partly historical, and partly declaratory.
First, then, with regard to the typical evidences of the doctrine of the atonement, besides the practice of .sacrifices in general, we have them in several persons and various observances. Thus, we have an express representation of Christ in the brazen serpent in the wilderness, by looking upon which the people were cured of the wounds inflicted by the fiery serpents, So, in looking upon Christ by faith, the sting of “ that ,“ Old Serpent the devil” is taken away. The lifting up of the brazen serpent typified the lifting up of Christ upon the cross. This is no fancifal interpretation of mine ; our Lord himself makes the allusion. 66 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so 6 must the Son of man be lifted up: that every one “ who believeth in him may not perish, but have ever“ lasting life.” (x) . Another lively representation of Christ's bearing our sins, and taking them away from us, was exhibited in the custom relative to the scape-goat. (a)
There was also a standing and continual representation of him appointed, in the person of the high priest, under the Law; who, entering into the Holy of Holies once a year with the blood of the great expiatory sacrifice, and he only, to make atonement for sin, did thus represent in a lively manner our great High Priest entering into heaven, once for all, with his own blood, to expiate the sins of the whole world. This again is
(z) John, iii. 14, 15. (a) Lev. xvi. 21, 22.
not an imaginary interpretation, but it is largely insisted upon by the apostle Paul. (6) ...
Our deliverance by the death of Christ is typified again in that ordinance of the Law, that the manslayer who fled to one of the cities of refuge should not come out thence till the death of the high priest, and no satisfaction be taken till then; and then he should be acquitted, and “ return into the land of his « possession.” (C)
But the most remarkable type of the atonement of Jesus Christ is the sacrifice of the paschal Lamb, in correspondence with which “ Christ our Passover is
sacrificed in our stead.” (d) Justin Martyr, in his conference with Trypho the Jew, evinces from the Scriptures, and the nature of this rite, that it was a type of Christ crucified for the sins of the world. One curious circumstance which he notices, without any contradiction from his learned opponent, is this; “ The -“ paschal lamb (says he) which was to be entirely “ roasted, was a symbol of the punishment of the cross, 66 which was inflicted on Christ: for the lamb which 66 was roasted was so placed as to resemble the figure 6 of a cross : with one spit it was pierced longitudi6 nally, from the tail to the head ; with another it was “ transfixed through the shoulders, so that the fore “ legs became extended.” (e) The same learned
(0) Heb. vii. viii. ix. x. Consult Owen and Maclean on the Hebrews; also Outram's Dissertations on Sacrifices, and the judicious and instructive observations of Dr. J. P. Smith, in his “ Four Discourses on the “ Sacrifice and Priesthood of Jesus Christ.”
(c) Num. xxxv. 6, 25—28. (d) 1 Cor. v. 7. Vide the Greek. (e) Just. Martyri Opera ab Oberthur. vol. ii. p. 106.
apologist has another passage still more extraordinary, in relation to this ceremony. The Jews, he affirms, expunged passages from their sacred writings which bore testimony to the vicarious sufferings and death of Jesus Christ, and among them the following: When Ezra celebrated the passover (as is related Ezra, ch. yi. 19, &c.) Justin says he spoke thus :-“ And Ezra “ spoke unto the people, and said, This Passoveris o our Saviour and our Refuge: and if ye shall under« stand and ponder it in your hearts, that we shall “afflict him for a sign; and if afterwards we shall “ believe on him, this place shall not be desolated for “ ever, saith the Lord of hosts. But if ye will not 6 believe on him, nor hear his preaching, ye shall be a “ laughing-stock to the Gentiles.” This, Justin asserts, the Jews blotted from the Septuagint translation; and if so, they took care to expunge it from the Hebrew likewise; for, at present, it exists in neither. (f) Another circumstance connected with the passover is recorded in the Mishna. After the blood was sprinkled, the lamb was hung up and flayed. This hanging up was deemed so essential a part of the ceremony, that if there was no convenience to suspend the lamb, two men standing with their hands on each other's shoulders had the lamb suspended from their arms till the skin was taken off. (g) These are manifestly typical of Christ's crucifixion and sacrifice.
In the second place, let me point to the prophetical evidence of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. :“ Those
(f) Just. Martyri Opera ab Oberthur, vol. ii. p. 196.
6 things (says Peter), which God foreshowed by the 66 mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should 6 suffer, he hath fulfilled.” (h) Numerous are the passages in the prophecies which declare that the Messiah should suffer; but the only ones I now recollect which declare why he should suffer, are given by Isaiah and Daniel; they are, however, quite sufficient for our present purpose :
“Surely our infirmities he hath borne:
" He was wounded for our transgressions ;
« upon him;
“ And by his bruises we are healed.” " Jehovah hath made to light upon him the iniquity of us all." « For the transgression of my people he was smitten to death."
6 Although he had done no wrong,
“ Neither was there any guile in his mouth:
“ He poured out his soul unto death ;
« And he bare the sin of the many ;
“ And made intercession for the transgressors.” (1) To the same effect Daniel predicts that the “ Mes« siah shall be cut off, but not for himself; but to “ make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in “ everlasting righteousness." (0)
(h) Acts, ii. 18.
(0) Lowth's Isaiah, liii. 4–6. 8–12. Dan. ix. 24, 26. See also Zechariah, xiii, 1, where, though the name of the Messiah does not ap. pear, the language is very expressive and fully to the purpose, obviously pointing, as Blaney and Secker remark, to “ the blood of Christ “ (1 John, i. 7) which cleanseth from all sin.”