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vey spiritual instruction ; that it was a token of his acceptance of their sacrifices, and of his accounting them as innocent as the victims they had offered, as their faith, by means of these, terminated on the spotless innocence of the promised feed. We must view this act of God as a symbolical, but solemn, testimony, that he had provided for them“ a robe of righteousness, and garments “ of salvation." Did " the LORD God make" this covering? And is not the raiment, provided for us in the gospel, “ the righteousness of God ?" Is it not a righteousness fulfilled by a divine Person?
This covering was made by God, instead of that which our first parents had themselves provided. It may thus be viewed as expressive of the excellency of our Redeemer's righteousness, as opposed to our own; and as denoting the gracious work which God performs towards the versels of mercy, in bringing them to renounce all their righteousnesses as filthy rags. They “ made " themselves aprons” only ; but God “ made “ them coats.” This might be meant to fignify both the extent of their guilt, and of the Suretyrighteousness of Jesus. They looked only to the bodily nakedness, and provided a covering for those parts alone, over which modesty draws a veil. But God testifies at once the imperfection of their views, and of their raiment. He declares that the whole man is defiled by fin, and that we cannot appear before him, without raiment that
shall completely cover us. For any covering, that the finner can provide for himself, is “nar
rower than that he can wrap himself in it 9." Their aprons were of fig-leaves, and therefore could neither defend them from the storm, nor last for any length of time. The coats that God made were of skins ; and fitly represented that righteousness, which proves a complete defence, and which endures for ever. By this gracious action, then, our divine Surety, who appeared in Paradise after the fall, symbolically supplied them with white raiment, that they might be clothed, “ and that the shame of their nakedness might “ not appear.” This covering was provided for both.
" Unto “ Adam, and to his wife, did the LORD God make “coats.” Had he meant merely to instruct them in the proper mode of providing a covering for their bodily nakedness, or defending themselves from the inclemency of the weather; it had been enough to make raiment for one, and thus to leave an excitement to diligence. But here also we perceive the mystery of the divine conduct in this action. Both had finned, and thus loft the garment of original righteousness; therefore, both needed a complete covering. Both believed the promise concerning the seed of the woman, and in the faith of this promise, concurred in offering facrifice ; both, therefore, received the same token of acceptance. “ The righteousness of God," which this raiment prefigured, " is unto all and
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q Isa. xxviii. 20.
Rev, iii. 18.
upon all them that believe ; for there is no “ difference. For all have finned, and come short “ of the glory of God s.” Here “ there is neither “ male nor female ; for we are all one in Christ
The Lord God not only made these coats for our first parents, but clothed them. This doubtless prefigured that work which our gracious God still performs, when he “ justifieth the ungodly." He it is who clothes them with the garments of salvation, who covers them with the robe of righteousness". It is not enough that he hath made this garment for us, and brought it near in the gospel. Still will we prefer our wretched coverings of fig-leaves, unless God himself put it on
It is the work of the Father, in his economical character as “the Judge of all,” to impute the righteousness of the Surety to the finner, legally to account it his. It is the work of Christ, as our Kiníman-Redeemer, to cast his skirt over us V. This gracious work he performs ir relation to his Church, as he testifies to her; “ When I "passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, “thy time was a time of love, and I spread my " skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness w."
It was in consequence of the faith of our first parents, that they were thus covered. When it is faid, “ Unto Adam also, and to his wife, did " the LORD God make coats,” there may be a reference, in this connective particle, to the promise previously revealed, as well as to their faith. For in the verse immediately preceding, we are informed, that “ Adam called his wife Eve, because she was “ the mother of all living :” and this surely expresses his faith in the promise of life by the feed of the woman; and fignifies, that he viewed her as the mother of all who should be made alive unto God. For, otherwise, he might rather have called her the mother of all dying; in correspondence with the account elsewhere given of himself*. Now, it is only by faith that we are interested in this righteousness. It is indeed put upon us by God. But it is “ upon them” only “ that believe.” Therefore it is said to be " by “ the faith of Jesus Christ.”
previously s Rom. ii. 22, 23.
u Ifa. Ixi. 1o. y Ruth iii. 9.
* Ezek, xvi. 8.
t Gal. iii. 28.
Here I shall only observe further, that this whole transaction, both of Adam's offering sacrifice, and of God's clothing him with the skins, has been viewed as the origin of that ordinance afterwards given to the Ifraelites; “ The priest " that offereth any man's burnt-offering, even the priest shall have to himself the skin of the burntoffering which he hath offered,"
II. He, who according to the law had been formerly accounted a transgresor, was, in confequence of the instituted atonement, legally viewert as innocent. What was done by the priest, with respect to leprosy, seems to have a special respect to the blessing of justification. He was to pronounce the person clean or unclean. Now, justification is a legal declaration, that a person is rightcous in the fight of God. Even when the plague was already healed, the priest could not pronounce him clean who had been leprous, until he made atonement for him by blood a Seven times was he to sprinkle blood“ upon him that was to be “ cleanfed;" which fignified the imputation of the righteoufness of Christ to the finner, and the perfection of his juftification, in consequence of this sprinkling. The rite of sprinkling is indeed generally understood, as if it had exclusively denoted our fanctification ; but improperly, we apprehend. For the blood of Christ is called “ the “ blood of sprinkling,” and said to " speak better “things” than that of Abel; where its justifying efficacy is evidently meant, as opposed to the condemning cry of the other. And when the blood of Christ, as typified by “ the blood of bulls and “ of goats," is faid to “ purge our conscience “ from dead works b;" justification is intended as well as fanctification : for these works, as dead, are not only defiling, but damning.
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x 1 Cor. xv. 22.
y Rom, iii. 22.
2 Lev. vii. S.
Was the priest not only to make atonement for the leper, but to pronounce him clean? This fitly represents the work of our royal High-priest, who is exalted “ to give--- forgiveness of sins." He not only pronounces the spiritual leper clean : but he does fo, in consequence of an act of his own sovereign pleasure. He says, “I will, be " thou clean 4."
b Heb. ix. 149 15.
c Acts v. 31.
a Lev. xiv. 7.