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the blood of the Messiah, whose heel was to be bruised, is also intimated. And this was the first discovery that ever was made of forgiveness in God: By a word of pure revelation it was made, and so faith must take it up and receive it. Now, this revelation of forgiveness with God, in this one promise, was the bottom of all that worship that was yielded unto him by finners for many ages. For we shewed before, that without this, no finner can have the least encouragement to approach unto him; and this will continue to the end of the world, as a notable evidence of the truth in hand, a firm foundation for faith to rest and build upon. Let a finner seriously consider the state of things, as they were then in the world laid down before, and then view God coming forth with a word of pardon and forgiveness, merely from his own love, and those counsels of peace that were between the Father and the Son; and he cannot but conclude, under his greatest difficulties, that yet there is forgiveness with God that he may be feared. Let now the law and conscience, let fin and Satan stand forth, and except against this evidence; enough may be spoken from it, whatever the particular case be, about which the soul hath a contest with them, to put them all to Glence.
SECONDLY; God revealed this facred truth by his institution of sacrifices. Sacrifices by blood, do all of them respect atonement, expiation, and consequentially forgiveness. It is true, indeed, they could not themselves take away sin, nor make them perfect who came unto God by them, Heb.x. 1. but yet they undeniably. evince the taking away of sin, or the forgiveness of it, by what they did denore and typify. 1 Thall therefore look a little back into their rise and intendment.
First, The original: and first spring of facrifices is not in the scripture expresly mentioned, only the practice of the saints is recorded; but it is certain, from infallible scripture-evidences, that they were of God's imme- * diate institution and appointment, God never allowed,
that the will or wisdom of man should be the spring and rule of his worship. That folemn word, wherewith he fronts the command that is, the rule of his worship, thou shalt not make to thyself, which is the life of the command (that which follows being an explanation and confirmation of the law itself) by instances cuts off all such pretences, and is as a flaming sword turning every way to prevent mens arbitrary approaches to God's institutions. God will not part
with his glory of being the only law-giver, as to the 4 whole concernment of his worship, or any part of it, unto any of the sons of inen.
Secondly, Neither is the time of their institution mentioned. Some of the papists dispute (as there are a generation of philosophical disputers amongst them, by whom their cortering cause is supported) that there. Ihould have been sacrifices in paradise, if man had not fioped. But as in all their opinions, our first enquiry ought to be, what do they get by this or that, their whole religion being pointed unto their carnal interest; so we may in particular do it, upon this upcouth assertion, which is perfectly contradi&ious to the very nature and end of most facrifices, namely, that they should 'be offered where there is no sin. Why, they hope to establish hence, a general rule, that there can be ,po true worship of God in any state or condition without sacrifice: What then, I pray? Why then, it is evident, that the continual sacrifice of the mass is necefsary in the church, and that without it there is no true worship of God; and so they are quickly come home sto their advantage and profit; the mass being that inexhaustible spring of revenue, which feeds their pride and lust throughout the world. But there is in the church of Christ an altar ftill, and a sacrifice still, which they have rejected for the abominable figment of their mafs; namely, Christ himself, as the apostle informs us, Heb. xiii. 1o. But as the facrifices of beasts could not have been before the entrance of fin, so it may be evidenced that they were instituted from the foundation of the world, that is, presently after the en
trance of fin. Christ is called the Lamb of God, John i. 29. which he was, in reference upto the facrifices of old, as 1 Pet. ii. 18, 19. whence he is represented in the church, as a Lamb pain, Rev. v. 6. or giving out the efficacy of all sacrifices to his church. Now, he is faid to be à Lamb pain from the foundation of the world, Rev. xiii. 8, which could not be, unless some facrifice prefiguring his being lain had been then offered; for it denotes not only the efficacy of his mediation, but the way. Besides, the apostle tells us, that without shedding, of blood ibere was no remiffion, Heb. ix. 22. That is, God, to demonstrate that all pardon and forgiveness related to the blood of Christ; from the foundation of the world, gave out no word of pardon, but by and with blood, Now I have thewed before, that he revealed pardon in the first promise, and therefore there ensued thereon the shedding, of blood and facrifices ; and thereby that testament or covenant was dedicated with blood also, ver. 18. Some think that the beasts of whose skins God made garments for Adam, were offered in facrifices. Nor is the conjecture vain : Yea, it seems not to want a shadow of a gospel-mystery; that their nakedness, which became their shame upon their fin (whence the pollution and shame of fin is frequently so termed) should be covered with the skins of their facrifices. For in the true facrifice there is somewhat answerable thereunto. And the righteousness of him whose facrifice takes away the guilt of our fin, is called our clothing, that hides our pollution and shame.
Thirdly, 'That after the giving of the law, the greatest, most noble, and solemn part of the worship of God consisted in facrifices. And this kind of worship contipued, with the approbation of God, in the world about four thousand years; that is, from the entrance of fin until the death of the Meffiab, the true facrifice, which put an end unto all that was typical.
Thefe things being premised, we may consider what was the mind and aim of God in the institution of this worship. One instance, and that of the most folemn of the whole kind, will resolve us in this enquiry, Lev.
xvi. 5. Two kids of the goats are taken for an offering for fin. Consider only (that we do not enlarge on particulars) how one of them was dealt withal, ver. 20, 22, --32. He shall bring the live goat, and Aaron fball lay both bis hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess wir him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgreffions in all their fins, putting them upon the bead of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness, and the goat shall bear upen him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited.
Let us fee to what end is all this solemnity, and what is declared thereby. Wherefore thould God appoint poor sinful men to come together, to take a goat or a lamb, and to confefs over his head all their fins and transgressions, and to devote him to destruction under that confession ? Had men invented this themselves, it had been a matter of no moment. But it was an instirution of God, which he bound bis church to she obferva. tion of, upon the penalty of his highest displeasure. Certainly this was a folemn declaration, that there is forgiveness with him. Would that God who is infinitely good, and so will not, who is infinitely true, holy, and faithful, and so cannot deceive, call men out whom he loved, to a solemn representation of a thing, wherein their chiefest, their eternal concernment did ly, and suffer them to feed upon alhes ? Ler men take heed that they mock not God, for of a truth, God mocketh not man, until he be finally rejected by him. For four thousand years together tben, did God dechire by sacrifices, that there is forgiveness with him, and lead his people by chem to make a public representation of it in the face of the world. This is a second uncoo troulable evidence of the truth afferted, which may possibly be of use to souls that come indeed deeply and seriously to deal with God; for though the practice be ceased, yet the instruction intended in them continues.
THIRDLY, God's appointment of repentance unto finners, doth reveal that there is forgiveness in himself;
I say the prescription of repentance is a revelation of forgiveness. After the angels had singed, God never once called them to repentance. He would not deceive them, but let them know what they were to look for at his hands; he hath no forgiveness for them, and therefore would require no repentance of them. It is not, nor ever was, a duty incumbent on them to repent; nor is it so unto the damned in hell. God requires it not of them, nor is it their duty. There being no forgiveness for them, what should move them to repent? why should it be their duty so to do? Their eternal anguilh about sin committed, hath nothing of repentance in it. Affignation then of repentance is a revelation of forgiveness. God would not call upon a sinful creature to humble itself, and bewail its fin, if there were no way of recovery, or relief; and the only way of recovery from the guile of sin, is pardon, so Job xxxiii. 27, 28. He looketh on men, and if any say, I have finned, and perverted that which is right, and it profited me not ; he will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. In the foregoing verses he declares the various ways that God used to bring men unto repentance. He did it by dreams, ver. 15, 16. by afflictions, ver. 19. by the preaching of the word, ver. 23. What then doth God aim at in and by all these various ways of teachings? It is to cause man to say, I have finned and perverted that which was right. It is to bring him to repentance: What now, if he obtain his end, and man cometh to that which is aimed at ? Why then, there is forgiveness for him, as is declared, ver. 28. To improve this evidence, I shall confirm, by some few obvious considerations, these two things.
First, That the prescription of repentance doth indeed evince that there is forgiveness with God.
Secondly, That every one in whom there is repentance wrought towards God, may certainly conclude, that there is forgiveness with God for him.
First, No repentance is acceptable with God, but what is built, or leans on the faith of forgiveness. We have a cloud of witnesses unto this truth in the scripture.