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Ver. 12, 14.
at hand. The Difference of the Sacrifices offered. Their High Priest entred by the Blood of Goats and Calves; Ours, with his own Blood, and This the Blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God.
The Plan, upon which the Apostle forms his Argument in this Epistle, so far as the Sacrifices of each Dispensation are concerned, is, that most folemn of all the Levitical Services, the Great Day of Atonement. The Directions given by God for This, so far as affect the Point under debate, are as follow. The High Priest is commanded to kill and offer a Bullock, as a Sin-Offering for himself and his House: Afterwards to take a Censer full of Coals from the Altar, and his Hands full of fweet Incense, and to bring this within the Veil, to make a Cloud of Smoak, which might cover the Mercy-Seat; Then to bring in of the Blood of the Bullock, and to sprinkle it upon, and before the Mercy-Seat. Afterwards, to do the same with the Goat, which by Lot was that Day to be Nain. The Method of proceeding is the same in Both. The only Difference is, that, as the Bullock was an Atonement for the High Priest and his House ; The Goat was a Sin-Offering for the whole Body of the People. All which, and more upon the same Occasion, not necessary to be mentioned here, we have at large, in the Sixteenth Chapter of Levilicus.
Hence it is, that the High Priest is said to enter into the Holy Place by the Blood of Goats and Calves: Because he might not go in there at any time without Blood; nor with the Blood of any Sacrifices but These; nor with That neither, except on this Occasion.
Mean while, how far are these Creatures and their Blood, below the Value of that of a Man? Buť especially of an innocent Man, such as Christ was; For that is meant by offering himself to God without spot. An Allufion to that Ordinance in the Law, which (as I had occasion to remark before) rendred all Beasts,
l'er. 13, 14
wherein was any Blemish, incapable of being offered in Sacrifice. But, yet more especially, How contemptible an Expiation was the Blood of these Creatures, in comparison of His, who offered himself through the eternal Spirit ; who was not only Man but God; and, by taking Our Human into His Divine Nature, hath rendred this Sacrifice of Merit invaluable, of Efficacy unquestionable, of Benefit unconceivable? So that, in no regard does the Glory of Our High Priest excel and eclipse the Legal more eminently, than in that, which this Passage sets before us, as a
IV. Fourth Difference between them, The Ends and Effects of their respective Sacrifices.
The Legal sanctify to the purifying of the Flesh; The Blood of
Christ purgeth the Conscience from dead
Place once a Year; The Evangelical once
der the First Testament ; Consequently, the First Testament did not take away the Transgressions, even of its own Time. Lastly, This is the noblest, and the peculiar Excellence of Our High Priest, that he hath
obtained eternal Redemption for us, and
and Punishment of Sin. The Grounds Epifle for Wednesday before of Both would take up too much Time
to be considered now, and will be more Good-Friday.
seasonably enlarged upon hereafter. But, in regard the Apostle attributes some, tho' not an equal, Effect to the Legal, in the Comparison at the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Verses; I will endeavour
to adjust that Point, and then draw toward a Conclufion of this Discourse.
The Law of Moses then may be considered, either Abstractedly, and in its Literal; or more Extensively, and in its Mystical, Meaning. According to the Former, Its Promises and Threatnings are merely Temporal, It's Ceremonies, Conditions of attaining the one, and efchewing the Other; as the Observance or Neglect of Then kept up, or forfeited, a right of Communion in Those Ordinances. According to the Latter, Eternal Benefits and Punishments were implied, under the Expressions of Temporal ; and thus the Outward Ceremonies were Types of, and Admonitions to, inward Virtues. We do not therefore, by calling These Shadows and Figures, take from them all Manner of Efficacy and Influence, upon the Persons heretofore obliged by them: But, we allow them such, as bears Proportion to this Twofold Character, in which they stood. The Impurities contracted in Violation of the Law plainly drew on a double Inconvenience. One, that the Unclean incurred the Wrath of God, and the Sentence of Death, here and hereafter; Not only their Bodies, but their Consciences, were defiled, by Acts, which, in that State of things, were appointed Terms of Salvation and God's Favour; The Other, that, as a mark of present Disfafavour, they stood incapable of Communion, either Civil with their Brethren, or Religious with Almighty God.
Now the Last of these inconveniencies was directly and effectually taken off, by those respective Rites and Sacrifices, which the Law prescribed in such Cases. They were restored to the Camp or the City, the Tabernacle or the Temple, to all the Berefits and Advantages exprefly contracted for, by that Covenant. But, as to the mystical and more valuable Part, the purging of the Conscience, delivering from Death Spiritual, and, as a Consequence of Sin forgiven, qualifying them for Possession of the Heavenly Canaan, These were reserved
for a nobler Sacrifice; a Blood better than that of Goats and Calves: Yet still a Blood, figured and reprefented by, and virtually shed in, Theirs. Hence the
Apostle tells his Coloßians, those OrdinanColoff. ii. 17.
ces were a shadow of things to come, but the Body is of Christ. So far then, as they contributed to the Reconciliation of Offenders, so far they did not work by any inherent and essential, but by a derived and relative, Power. The Virtue and Acceptance of the Type was entirely owing to its Antitype; For all the Bloody Sacrifices prefigured the Offering of the Body of Jesus once for all. Nay, even thofe Temporal Advantages, which were actually saved to them, or recovered, by their Sacrifices, were intended to typify such as.are Spiritual and Eternal. So perfectly figurative was their whole Oeconomy, So industriously contrived for Service and Subordination to the GospelDispensation; that, strictly speaking, the Law was little else than the Gospel typified, the Gospel was the Law explained and accomplished. And the Difference between them is like that, which distinguishes Shadow from Substance, Clearness from Obscurity, and Prospect from Poffeffion.
I only add an earnest Exhortation, that Two Expressions in the Epistle for this Day may be heedfully attend
ed to. The One, that they who are called,
(effectually so, by obeying that Call) are the Persons said to receive the eternal Inheritance. The
Other, That the Blood of Christ purges our
Consciences from dead Works to serve thelivin God. By Both is meant, that even such an High Priest, and such a Sacrifice, will not save Them, who take no care to save themselves. But, as the Jewish Rites restored Men to the Temple, and capacitated them for frequenting Religious Worship; so the Christian Expiation is an Encouragement to, a Comfort in, an Aliurance that we shall be accepted by, our Service; but
by by no means a Difpenfation from it. Were it not for this, our Endeavours must be fruitless, and, no wondir, ii we turn desperate: But the Knowledge of an A opcmnt made, banishes our Terrors, frees us from altinet Confternation and Confusion, which the Sense of Guill, and the Fears of Vengeance, naturally create. This inivires Life and Vigor into our Undertakings. For nothing is so powerful a Motive to be stedfast, unmovaile, always abounding in the Work of the Lord, as the being perfectly satisfied, that our Labour is not in vain in the Lord. And this is directly our Cafe. Live without Sins we could not; Make Satisfaction to the Justice of God for our Sins we could not: And therefore God hath done this for us, and without us, by providing himself a Lamb that taketh away the Sins of the World. That which is left ftill upon our Hands, we cannot indeed do without God, but he hath promised to do this for us too: Yet, so to do it for us, as to do it with us, and in us, and by us. And how shall we escape, if we neglect so great Salvation? How ill do we answer the End of this Sacrifice, which was to pu. rify a peculiar People, zealous of good Works, if we turn the Grace of God into Wantonness, and render it an Occasion of Security and wicked Presumption? Let us remember, the Design of our Church was, by such a supporting Account of our High Priest and his Sacrifice, to raise our Spirits under those Dejections, into which our Sorrow for Sin is presumed at present to have sunk them ; To bring us to the Disposition of those honest Debtors, who, the more they are forgiven, the more they love; And we know what Judgment must needs be made, what Proofs expected of That by Him who hath said, If ye love