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i Pet. ii. 24.
i Thef. v. 10.
Acts xiii. 39.
Once more; As the dire Effects of Sin are by no Images niore lively represented, than by those of Wounds and putrifying Sores, of Sickness and Death; So neither are the Benefits of our Lord's Passion at any time more sensibly expressed, than by his Stripes healing us, by his quickning them that are dead in Trefpasses and Sins, and our living in and by Eph. ii. 1. Him who died for us. And, to Thew, that the Virtue of this Spiritual Restorative knows no bounds, he is said, to justify Men from all things, from which they could not be justified, by any former Dispensation, and to save even the chief of Sinners.
Thus much, I conceive, may very well suffice for proving the Death of Christ, not only a true, but a sufficient, Sacrifice and Satisfaction for Sin. It only remains now, that I shew this Sacrifice and Satisfaction to have contisted strictly in That, which makes the principal Subject of our Devotions this Day, his Dying upon the Cross for us.
Now, for a right understanding of this matter, we must again be beholden to the Guidance of those Rites and Offices, so often referred to in this Epistle; such as were peculiar to the Jews yearly Solemnity, on the Great Day of Atonement. But we must, in the Contemplation of those Rites, be sure to take this Caution along with us; That our Lord is to be considered in a double Capacity: As the Sacrifice offered; and as the Priest offering it.
And therefore care must be had, to distinguish between these two Relations; between the Acts and Effects proper to him, in the One, and in the Other, of these Qualities. These were indeed united in One and the fame Person, at the time of This Oblation; but they remained perfectly distinct, and had different Subjects, in every other Oblation whatlo
being a perfect Revolution of Time, in which all Nature seems to have finished its Course; the allowing this Solemn Atonement to be yearly and no more, was the best Intimation, which that Oeconomy was capable of giving, that this Great Sacrifice should be offered but Once, and that it should suffice to perfect for ever the Persons (c.Etified by it.
Thirdly, The High-Priest, even at that Solemn Day, was not allowed to enter into the Holy Place, without Blood. By being denied familiar and constant Access to the Presence of God, was intimated that State of Guilt, which rendereth Men unworthy to approach him. By being allowed it, after the saying of the Sin-Offering, is signified the removal of that Guilt and Unworthiness, by God's Acceptance of the Sacrifice. Sa that this Access supposes an Expiation: And the bringing in of the Blood is not the Making such Expiation, but the Evidence of one already made. This is the Type: And the Antitype exactly answers it. Human Nature, while polluted by Sin, was incapable of entring Heaven ; Our Lord, by suffering in this Nature, hath procured to it Immortality, and Admittance this ther." He entred there, as Our Common Representative; And, by that Entrance, He testifies the Expiation finished: For so it must be, or ever our Nature could gain access thither. The Ascent then to, and Residence of our Nature in Heaven, is an Argument, that God is fully reconciled. The crucified Body of our Lord, dwelling for ever with God, is a continual exhibiting of the Merits and Efficacy of his Sacrifice; but the Act of Entring is not properly a Sacrificial Act in Christ, or of an expiatory Nature; Farther than it declares the Sacrifice, and the Power of it. It is indeed an Act of Triumph after, and Reward for, having offered himself up in this Quality. The Death of our Lord on the Cross answers to the Death of the Sin-Offering at the Altar. The Remission is obtain
Rom. iv. 25.
ed by means of, and consequently is to be dated from,
Colof. ii. 15.
Heb. i. 3.
Scripture I am upon, that, after he bad offered one Sacrifice for fins for ever, be sat down on the right hand of God. And, Lastly, Hence we may reasonably presume, he expired upon the Cross, with those significant Words in his Mouth, It is finished. Of which more in the following Service for this Day.
In the mean while I only add, that What hath been here advanced commits no Violence at all upon those Texts, where Christ's Eternal Priesthood is asserted. For Sacrificing, tho’a part, was yet never the whole, of the Priestly Character. Blessing and Intercession are as essential Branches of it, as the Other. And these our Lord continues to discharge, with such fulness of Power; as not to be an humble Supplicant for, but the Author and Giver of Salvation. He is the Beltower, and not only the Asker of Blessings, to them, for whom he vouchsafes to intercede. And an Eternal Priest he thus far is, with regard to the Sacrificing part too; as he hath, by that One Offering for Sin, put an utter end to, and rendred all repetition of such, not only needless, but unsafe and sinful.
Upon the whole matter it is very obvious, what mighty Consolations we may, we ought to take, even
32. Then came obe soldiers, and brake tbe legs of the first, and of the ot ber wbich was crucified with him.
33. But when ebey came to Jefus, and saw that be was dead already, tbey brake not bis legs.
34. But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced bis fide, and forthwith came tberg our blood and water.
35. And be that saw it bare record, and bis record is true; and be knowetb tbat be faith true, that ye migbe believe.
36. For these tbings are done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, Abone of tin pall not be broken.
37. And again another scripture faith, They shall look on bim wbom tbey pierced,
HE Service of the Church, and the Scriptures al
ready handled, have brought Us down to the last Act of our Blessed Saviour's Sufferings, and the particular manner of his expiring upon the Cross. These therefore shall make the Subject of our present Meditation, according to the description given in the Chapter now before us, (Ver. 28, 29, 30.) viz. That, Jesus, ( feeling himself amicted with a vehement Drought, usual upon the approach of Death, but especially in that kind of Death, where extremity of Pain, and loss of Blood, exhaust the Spirits in a more than ordinary degree ) complained of Thirst. For the quenching whereof, when his insulting Enemies offered him Vinegar to drink, he meekly submitted to their cruel Mockery ; And having moistned his holy Mouth with it, said, It is finished; After which he presently bowed his Head, and gave up the Ghost.
There are Two things especially observable from hence, which require our very attentive Consideration.
First, The true Importance of that Saying, It is finished; And,
Secondly, The particular Manner of our Lord's Dying. These I shall first Explain, and then deduce from them some
I begin with the Former, The true Importance of that Saying, It is finished.
1. The First and most obvious Interpretation seems to regard the Prophecies concerning Christ. Those were so full and express, that there was not any one Material Circumstance, in this great concluding Scene of his Life especially, which had not been most exactly foretold many Ages before. This shewed, that all these things, however casual they might appear when they happened, were yet conducted all along, by a wise and steady Providence; which so over-ruled the Wills, the Malice, and the Wickedness of Men, as to bring about what God had determined, and what none but He could have signified should be, so long before they came to pass. This was a Method, very agreeable to the Design of Almighty God, whose Revelations and Dealings all tended to the Mystery of Man's Redemption. That Great and Glorious Work; in which his Divine Perfections should be most eminently conspicuous ; Which was of greatest Consequence to the World ; And Which he therefore kept constantly in View, and made all other Dispensations subfervient to it.
This is the very Reason, why the Apostles, in all their Arguings with the Jews, inlift so much upon the Topick of Prophecies. Because, according to the Jews own Principles, that Person was to be look'd upon as the true Mesiah, in whom these Predictions were manifestly and punctually accomplished. Hence St. John, Ver. 28. takes notice, that Jesus therefore said, I thirst, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. The other Prophecies relating to this matter, Such as, being betrayed bis Friend and Companion, forsaken by his Kindred and Acquaintance, having his Hands and bis Feet pierced, bis Garments parted, and Lots cast upon bis Vesture ; had all been made good already. But there remained One more ftill, One, acknowledged to belong to this Matter. For David, complaining of the Barbarity of