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world.” IS i EL LUI Razi cum Lord the LES GENS FT SOL being sacreed aan die sie sin the pardon o s: 2 TIEN was said of
LETEC Diri i If any doubt oc khai té zbe me Baptist's engroei ei which the ke ase :) a Leia cae; where the aasta i sa Ecues son considered as a safe
In the Acts of ibe Apxate wise Isaiah are, by Pabe etc. Otsad to our Lord, and to our Lord's death. - He was led as a sheep to the slaughter: ad te a labdab be. fore his shearers, so opened be no ts mouth; in his humiliation his judgemeat was taken away, and who shall declare his generation ? for his lie is taken from the earth :" therefore it was to his death, you see, that the description relates. Now, I say, that this is applied to Christ most distinctly; for the pious eunuch, who was reading the passage in his chariot, was at a loss to know to whom it should be applied. “I pray thee," saith he to Philip, “of whom speaketh the prophet this ? of himself or of some other man?” And Philip, you read, taught him that it was spoken of Christ. And I say, secondly, that this particular part and expression of the prophecy being applied to Christ's death, carries the whole prophecy to the same subject : for it is undoubtedly one entire prophecy: therefore the other expressions, which are still stronger, are applicable as well as this. “He was wounded for our transgressions ; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed; the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us
all.” There is a strong and very apposite text of Saint Peter's, in which the application of the term “ Lamb” to our Lord, and the sense, in which it is applied, can admit of no question at all. It is in the 1st chapter of the 1st epistle, the 18th and 19th verses: “ Forasmuch as ye know, that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” All the use I make of these passages is to show, that the prophet Isaiah, six hundred years before his birth ; Saint John the Baptist, upon the commencement of his ministry; Saint Peter, his friend, companion, and apostle, after the transaction was over, speak of Christ's death, under the figure of a lamb being sacrificed : that is, as having the effect of a sacrifice, the effect in kind, though infinitely higher in degree, upon the pardon of sins, and the procurement of salvation ; and that this is spoken of the death of no other
whatever. Other plain and distinct passages, declaring the efficacy of Christ's death, are the following: Hebrews, ix. 26. “ Now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he
the second time without sin unto salvation.” And in the xth chap 19th ver. “ This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sin, for ever sat down on the right hand of God, for by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” I observe again, that nothing of this sort is said of the death of
person : no such efficacy is imputed to any other martyr. dom. So likewise, in the following text, from the Epistle to the Romans : “ While we were yet sinners Christ died for us; much more then being now justi.
fied by his blood we shall be saved from wrath through him ; for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled we shall be saved by his life.” « Reconciled to God by the death of his Son;" therefore that death had an efficacy in our reconciliation ; but reconciliation is preparatory to salvation. The same thing is said by the same apostle in his Epistle to the Colossians : “ He has reconciled us to his Father in his cross, and in the body of his flesh through death.” What is said of reconciliation in these texts, is said in other texts of sanctification, which also is preparatory to salvation. Thus Hebrews, X. 10. “ we are sanctified :” how ? namely, “ by the offering of the body of Christ once for all :” so again in the same epistle, “ the blood of Jesus is called the blood of the covenant by which we are sanctified.”
In these and many more passages, that lie spread in different parts of the New Testament, it appears to be asserted, that the death of Christ had an efficacy in the procurement of human salvation. Now these expressions mean something : mean something substantial. They are used concerning no other person, nor the death of any other person whatever. Therefore Christ's death was something more than a confirmation of his preaching ; something more than a pattern of a holy and patient, nd perhaps voluntary, martyrdom ; something more than necessarily antecedent to his resurrection, by which he gave a grand and clear proof of human resurrection. Christ's death was all these, but it was something more; because none of these ends, nor all of them, satisfy the text you have heard—come up to the assertions and declarations which are delivered concerning it.
Now allowing the subject to stop here ; allowing
that we know nothing, nor can know any thing concerning it, but what is written; and that nothing more is written, than that the death of Christ had a real and essential effect upon human salvation ; we have certainly before us a doctrine of a very peculiar, perhaps I may say, of a very unexpected kind, in some measure hidden in the councils of the divine nature, but still so far revealed to us, as to excite two great religious sentiments, admiration and gratitude.
That a person of a nature different from all other men; nay superior, for so he is distinctly described to be, to all created beings, whether men or angels; united with the Deity as no other person is united; that such a person should come down from heaven, and suffer upon earth the pains of an excruciating death, and that these his submissions and sufferings should avail and produce a great effect in the procurement of the future salvation of mankind, cannot but excite wonder. But it is by no means improbable on that account: on the contrary it might be reasonably supposed beforehand, that if any thing was disclosed to us touching a future life, and touching the dispensations of God to men, it would be something of a nature to excite admiration. In the world in which we live, we may be said to have some knowledge of its laws, and constitution, and nature: we have long experienced them : as also of the beings with whom we converse, or amongst whom we are conversant, we may be said to understand something: at least they are familiar to us: we are not surprised with appearances which every day occur. But of the world and the life to which we are destined, and of the beings amongst whom we may be brought, the case is altogether different. Here is no experience to explain things; no use or familiarity
to take off surprise, to reconcile us to difficulties, to assist our apprehension. In the new order of things, according to the new laws of nature, every thing will be suitable ; suitable to the beings who are to occupy the future world ; but that suitableness cannot, as it seems to me, be possibly perceived by us, until we are acquainted with that order and with those beings. So that it arises, as it were, from the necessity of things, that what is told us by a divine messenger of heavenly affairs, of affairs purely spiritual, that is, relating purely to another world, must be so comprehended by us, as to excite admiration.
But secondly; partially as we may, or perhaps must, comprehend this subject, in common with all subjects which relate strictly and solely to the nature of our future life, we may comprehend it quite sufficiently for one purpose ; and that is gratitude. It was only for a moral purpose that the thing was revealed at all : and that purpose is a sense of gratitude and obligation. This was the use which the apostles of our Lord, who knew the most, made of their knowledge. This was the turn they gave to their meditations upon the subject; the impression it left upon their hearts.
their hearts. That a great and happy Being should voluntarily enter the world in a mean and low condition, and humble himself to a death upon the cross, that is, to be executed as a malefactor, in order, by whatever means it was done, to promote the attainment of salvation to mankind, and to each and every one of themselves, was a theme they dwelt upon with feelings of the warmest thankfulness; because they were feelings proportioned to the magnitude of the benefit. Earthly benefits are nothing compared with those which are heavenly. That they felt from the bottom of their souls. That, in my opinion,