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ing offered to the Lord'? Jesus sanctified himfelf, for the sake of his people, in his one offer
Were the hands of the priests, in name of all the congregation of Israel, laid on the victim ? The hands of the priests were indeed upon him, whom God had delivered up as our Surety. They conspired with the rulers against him. He was taken by their officers, and crucified at their inftigation, the multitude afsenting to his death. Was it requisite that not a bone of the paschal lamb should be broken. In him this type was strictly fulfilled, although in this instance there was a deviation from the common mode of treating those who were crucified. Could there be no typical remission“ without the shedding of “ blood ?" From the accidental conduct of one of the heathen foldiers, no less uncommon than the circumstance just now mentioned, the blood of the great Sacrifice was actually shed. The action of the foldier was accidental as to him, as proceeding from the mere wantonness of barbarity; though immutably determined in the counsel of God, and necessary in order to the completion of the prophecies and figures. Was the victim under the law ceremonially accursed ? Jefus fustained the curse, bearing the wrath of a holy and fin-avenging God, in our stead. Was the facrifice, after the blood was shed, to be confumed with that sacred fire which came down from heaven, and burned on the altar? The sacrifice of Christ's human nature, as presented on the altar of the divine, was fired by that holy flame of love, kindled by the Spirit in the heart of our adorable Surety. Was it necessary that incense should be offered with the blood of the victim? Christ not only entered into the holy place not made with hands, with his own blood; but even in the very act of offering, he “ made intercession for “ the transgressors.” Was the preservation of the life of the high-priest, after he had offered and entered into the presence of God, a token of the legal acceptableness of the sacrifice? The resurrection, afcenfion, and eternal life of Jesus, as our interceding High-priest, afford the most full and satisfactory evidence of the perfection of his oblation.
the I Lev. xxii, 1, ..
m John xvii, 19.
From the history of atonement, it is clear that God will not pardon fin without a satisfaction to his justice. From the beginning he would not be worshipped without blood, that he might demonstrate to the Church the indispensable necessity of expiation. As all her sacrifices were unacceptable without faith, she was taught that they had no worth in themselves for taking away fin. As the faith required, was that which looked forward to the sacrifice of “ the Prince of life ;" she was also instructed in the necessity of an atonement of infinite value.
We have at the fame time a wonderful display of the grace of God. This might be illustrated in a variety of respects. Let one fuffice at present. He often informed his worshippers, that
he had no delight in the facrifices of Nain beasts. When his design in appointing them was overlooked, he expressed his deteftation at these very facrifices which he had himself required. Yet, for about four thousand years, he accepted these, granting pardon and eternal life to all who offered them in faith. He bestowed all new-covenant blessings on his people, according to the nature of the difpenfation, on the credit of that real atonement which was to be made in the end of
ages. The sacrifice of Christ, as it was necessary for the actual purchase of redemption, was also necessary for the vindication of the essential justice of God. Hence it is said, that God hath set forth his Son “ to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to “ declare his righteousness for the remission of sins “ that are past through the forbearance of God; “ to declare at this time his righteousness, that he “ might be just” to the claims of his own adorable perfections, and yet “ the justifier of him that be" lieveth in Jesus n."
n Rom. iii. 25, 26.
The Doctrine of Imputation illustrated,—from the
Raiment provided for our First Parents, after the Fall ;-from the Guilty being legally accounted Innocent, in consequence of ceremonial Atonement;
- from the ancient Custom of Feasting on the Sacrifice ;--from the manner in which Salvation was conferred on Believers under the Old Testament.
With the doctrines of Substitution and Atonement, which we have already considered, that of Imputation is most intimately connected. All the three, indeed, are just links of one, precious chain. Guilt is imputed to a substitute, that atonement may be made; atonement is made, that the righteousness procured by it may be imputed to him for whom the punishment was sustained. Thus the guilt of all the elect was imputed to Christ as their Surety. In this character he paid their debt, that his righteousness might be legally accounted theirs. Of this important article of our faith, we have not only a doctrinal, but an historical and symbolical, exhibition.
1. This was taught by the raiment which God provided for our first parents, after they had fin
ned. “ Unto Adam also, and to his wife, did the “ LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed “ them." Here several things deserve our attention.
This raiment was made of skins. It has been generally supposed, that the skins referred to were those of the beasts which our common parents of fered in facrifice, after the revelation of mercy. The paffage indeed has been viewed as a proof of the divine institution of sacrifices, immediately after the fall. There is every reason for viewing it in this light, when we consider the character of Christ as “ the Lamb flain from the foundatin “ of the world;" and what has been formay observed concerning Abel's acceptable facrifice. He could not have “ offered of the firstlings “ of the flock-by faith,” without a divine warrant; and it is totally improbable that Abel should have been the first who prefented an oilering of this kind. • The circumstance of God's making these garments for them, is very remarkable. This is the only raiment that God himself ever made. But he never works in vain. It was not necessary, that He should deign to perform this work, as if it had been too difficult for them. Although they had needed direction, he could easily have given it. But they had already manifested their ingenuity in “ sewing fig-leaves together," for a covering P. We must conclude, therefore, that this act of divine condescension was meant to conA a 2
vey o Gen. ii. 21.
p Ver. 7