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nacle worship, and afterwards at the consecration of Solomon's temple. Lev. ix. 24. 2 Chron. vii, 1–3. Now, who can help perceiving that this fire represented the avenging justice of God, (who is a consuming fire) and that wben it consumed the harmless, unblemished sacrifice, while the guilty offerer escaped, is aptly prefigured the way of a sinner's salvation, through the expiatory sufferings of the spotless Lamb of God. The animal's violent death, by the shedding of its blood, denoted the offender’s desert of temporal death; and the subsequent burning of its fat, or flesh, shewed bim to be exposed to future vengeance; but then they represented the guilt and punishment, in both respects, as translated from bim to the sacrifice, wbich bore them in bis stead; and the whole ceremony, which concluded with the sprinkling of the blood, and in many cases its application to all those things that pertained to the worship of God, evidently typified the believer's deliverance from guilt and punishment, from the sting and dread of death, and finally from death itself; from sip and all its consequences; the acceptance of his person and services; and his participation of eterval life and felicity, through “ Him who loved him, and washed him from his sius in his own blood."
Scott. Throughout the Mosaic economy, the doctrine of an atonement was set forth in lively colours by the bleeding victims on the Jewish altar. Prophets spoke of it in tlie most unequivocal terms, and apostles asserted it as the fundanrental article of Christianity: yea, the exclamatiou of John, “ Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away
the sin of the world," was but the echo of what patriarchs, priests, and prophets had proclaimed ages before. ,
A very distant view of the perfections of Deity, connected with a little acquaintance with human depravity, will constrain the man, whose eyes are not blinded by the god of this world, to receive the sentiment of the apostle, “ that without shedding of blood there is no remission;" and this solemn truth admitted, will render the atonement of Christ an essential doctrine.
The victim which infinite wisdom appointed was no other than the co-equal Son of God; and because Deity could not suffer, a body was prepared for him, that perfect humanity might bleed in
sacrifice, and that the sacrifice might be acceptable and meritorious
Yon sacred victim bleeding on the brow
hath seen, or ear hath heard,
up, and triumph in atoning blood. Those who deny the grand doctrine of the atonement, rob the gospel of every thing that is precious and valuable in it: yea, they frustrate the grace of God, and destroy the great design of the in
carnation, the sufferings, and the death of Christ. But we may venture to assert, that no other method could account for the transaction. Here let us recollect the language of inspiration : " Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for our sakes be became poor, that we through bis poverty might be rich.” 2 Cor. viii. 9. Behold the God, throwing aside the robes of bis glory and assuming humanity! -Behold the man, poor, afflicted, despised, persecuted, arrested, scourged, condemned, crocified! Let us not view this affecting scene in a transient or thoughtless manner, Pause and reflect on the scenes of disgrace and of agony, and then ask, What was the grand cause ? Was it merely to give a pattern of patience and fortitude in suffering ?
Let us attend to the language and the conduct of this sufferer. Come hither, and approach the garden of Gethsemane; look yonder, and see him stretched on the ground; hark! does he triumph and brave all the terrors of approaching death? No: hear his groans : “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.-Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” And his sweat was like great drops of blood, falling down to the ground. Follow Jesus to Calvary—there he cried out, “ Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani! My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Whence all this terror of mind? What could extort these strong expressions of anguish from the lips of an innocent person? Behold Paul and Silas, bound and in a dungeon, and yet singing the praises of God. Behold pious Cranmer and Ridley, clapping their bands in the flames. Hear the triumphant language of Bilney, when his body was half-consumed in the fire: “Behold, O ye papists, ye look for miracles, behold one bere; I feel no more pain than upon a bed of down-it is to me a bed of roses."
Now if Jesus did not bear the sins of a guilty world—if he died only as an example, and as a martyr in the cause of truth, how can we account for that extreme anguish? nay, how can we account for bis suffering and death at all? This is a knot which all the sophistry of boasting rationality cannot untie. Most assuredly, if Christ died not as our propitiation, to obtain a righteousness sufficient to justify the believing sinuer, then Christ is dead in vain.
Bat the Calvinistic view of tbis subject solves every difficulty, and assigns the most important and satisfactory reason for this stupendous method of redemption; and the whole scheme is wortby of a God, and admirably calculated to humble man, exalt the Saviour, and promote holiness. Then let every heart and every voice say—God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!
When the scripture speaks of reconciliation by Christ, or by his cross, blood, or death, it is commonly expressed by God's reconciling us to himself, and not by his being reconciled to us; the reason of wbich seems to be, because God is the offended party, and we are the offenders, who as such bave need to be reconciled to him; and the price of reconciliation, by the blood of Christ, is paid to him, and not to us.
It is a reconciliation that results from God's gracious providing and accepting an atonement for us, that he might not inflict the punishment upon us which we deserved, and the law condemned us to, but might be at peace with us, and receive us into favour on Christ's account; for this reconciliation, by the cross of Christ, is in a way of atonement or satisfaction to divine justice for sin ; and with respect hereunto, we are said to be reconciled unto God by the death of his Son, while we were enemies, which is of much the same import with Christ dying for the ungodly, and while we were yet sinners; and our being reconciled to God by approving and accepting of this method of reconciliation by Jesus Christ, and on that encouragement, turning to him, is distinguished from his reconciling us unto himself, and not imputing our trespasses unto us, on account of Christ's having been made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. This is called, Christ making reconciliation for iniquity; and answers to the ceremonial and typ:cal reconciliation, which was made by the blood of the sacrifices under the law; and which was frequently styled, making atonement for sin, and an atonement for their souls.
Dr. Guise. Were believers more fully acquainted with the dying love of the Saviour, and the infinite efficacy of his atonement, their dependance
on him would be more steady, and their love to him would be more fervent; and were this the case, how patient would they be under all their afflictions—how thankful in all their enjoyments-how ardent in all their devotions-how holy in all their conversation--how peaceful and spiritual in their minds~-how joyful in the prospect of death and of a future world! Then would their lives be useful to others, and happy to themselves. The Saviour's purchase of them, by a price so great as his own most precious blood, would be the fact upon which they would chiefly delight to think and meditate.
Denton, Mr. Hervey, that great luminary of the Church of England, just before his death, writing to a friend, whom he wished to engage in defence of the fundamental doctrines of the gospel, against the Socinians, in conclusion says, I am now reduced to a state of infant weakness, and given over by my physician. My consolation is to meditate on Christ, and I am hourly repeating those heart-reviving lines of Dr. Young :
This, only this, subdues the fear of death 1;