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the most public testimony to the position in the text; that “ death is the wages of sin."

On this great and solemn day of general humiliation, both priests and people were required by an everlasting statute, to plead virtually guilty to the sentence that had been denounced against sin: the particular service of this day being expressly calculated to leave a stronger impression on the human mind, respecting the nature of sin and the manner in which its effect was, by divine appointment, to be done away, than if such ideas had been conveyed only by words. For on that day, the appointed atonement, by the sprinkJing before the mercy-seat the blood of the sin-offering which had been slain, was accepted both for priests and people ;

to cleanse them, that they might be clean from all their sins before the Lord.” Levit. xvi. 30.--Whilst, for the more compleat satisfaction of the Jewish worshipper on this occasion, the High Priest proceeded to confess over the head of one of the two goats, which had been brought by the congregation of the Children of Israel, for C C

the

the business of this day's solemnity, all the iniquities of the children of Israel and all their transgressions in all their sins; and putting them on the head of the live goat, sent him away as the scape goat for the Children of Israel into an uninhabited land. Levit. xvi. 21. A ceremony which carries with it so obvious an interpretation, as to render all comment on it unnecessary.

This essential idea of vicarious atonement, thus connected by Divine Providence with sacrifice, considered as a religious service, (for on no other ground is the propriety or reasonableness of sacrifice to be established,) made that strong and general impression on the public mind, which enabled it even to survive the corruption of the service to which it was annexed. The Heathens, when they departed from the knowledge of the true God, in consequence of their losing sight of the proper object to which sacrifice was originally directed, and corrupting the emblems which were designed to preserve the true faith in the world, carried away this idea of vicarious atonement with them,

and

and applied it to the service of their false Gods: their sacrifices * being uniformly considered, as the means of preventing the fatal consequence of sin, by propitiating the anger of their offended Deities, and providing for the offerers, through an appointed consecrated medium, a recovery to their lost favour and protection.

So that, whether this subject be traced through the dark and disgraceful annals of Heathenism, or through the luminous and instructive page of Revelation, the same important idea intended to be established by the representative service introduced at the fall, will be the prominent one; namely, that the wages of sin is death :" and on that ground, the fallen sinner, not being in a condition to save himself, something consequently remained to be done for him in that state, for the purpose of rendering him acceptable to the professed object of his worship:

But, not to insist particularly on the general prevalence of this idea of vicarious atonement, as constituting the ground on

* Vide note at the end of this Discourse.

it;

which all sacrifice was built ; it is sufficient for our purpose to prove, that the whole tenor of divine Revelation relative to man's Redemption, proceeds upon and that no other plan of Salvation but the Christian, through the blood of an atoning Mediator, can be consistent with it.

The sentence annexed to the Law delivered by Moses was this;

66 Cursed is he that confirmeth not (or as it should be translated,) continueth not in all the words of this Law to do them." Deut. xxvii. 26.

- This sentence corresponded therefore with the position in the text, that “ the wages of sin is death.”

But, on this principle, as the Apostle argues, Gal. iii. 10. in reference to this judicial sentence of the Law, no man living can be justified, in the sight of God; all men being more or less sinners. The object the Apostle had in view on this occasion, was to convince the Galatians, that justification was not to be had by the Law, and therefore must be sought for in some other way. For the Law speaks not a word relative to justification by faith; but places it on quite a different foundation;

namely, namely, on a sinless perfect obedience to all the commands of it. On this account it is that St. Paul says, no man can be justified by it; because a Law cannot exist as such, independent of the judgement of the Lawgiver. If therefore we look not beyond the Law, we must be governed by the sanctions of it. And under such circumstances the case of fallen man is hopeless and without a remedy. For as our notions of the divine attributes, however imperfect they must be, can be taken only from some supposed resemblance to their corresponding qualities in the human mind, our ideas of divine and human justice must consequently bear strict analogy to each other; or there will be no sound ground for argument on this subject.

The end of all human justice is, or ought to be the moral government of society. To promote this necessary object, Laws have been promulgated. The judge in the court is the administrator of these Laws. Whatever disposition to mercy he may feel, his regard for justice and the general welfare of the community obliges him to deliver the sentence, which those laws have

denounced

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