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doctrines; but it is positively asserted, “for us he gave himself as an offering and sacrifice to God: he is the propitiation for our sins, and by the sacrifice of himself he put away sin.”
This will appear still more evident from an examination of those scriptural passages which assert, that Christ was substituted by infinite wisdom, to suffer the penalty, which we, by our offences, had. merited. The prophet Daniel clearly expresses this idea, when he predicts, that “the Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself.” Isaiah, in the fifty-third chapter of his prophecy, where he exhibits every material circumstance connected with the death of Christ, expresses the same views. He testifies, that she hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows--that he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities that the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and that by his stripes we were healed that he was stricken for the transgressions of his people, and that his soul, which was poured out unto death, was made an offering for sin.”
These predictions of the prophets are verified by the language of the apostles. St. Peter declares that “Christ had suffered for our sins, the just for the unjust”-and St. Paul affirms that “God hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, and that Christ, who had redeemed us from the curse of the law, was made a curse for us." These concurrent declarations of the prophets and apostles, afford evidence sufficient that they intended to set forth the death of Jesus Christ, as an expiatory sacrifice for the sins of mankind. They all speak of his atonement, not as a sacrifice which he rendered for him.self, but for the sins and transgressions of his people. They all represent him as being burthened with our iniquities, and having carried our sorrows. They all agree in asserting, that he was de livered for our offences; that he sustained the weight of our afilictions; that he suffered for our sins, and was punished for our disobedience. They clearly intimate that he was substituted in our behalf-that he rendered the sacrifice which we should have rendercd-that he bore the iniquities which we should have borne—that he was punished, not for any offences of which he had rendered himself guilty ; but for the transgressions which we had committed and that he finally cut off, not for himself, but for those whom he represented, when he suffered and died on the cross.
That this doctrine is revealed in the holy scriptures, will appear still more satisfactorily from those passages which represent Christ as the meritorious cause of our present justification and future salvation. And here I shall again recur to the testimony of. St, Paul, because of all the apostles, he is the most explicit on this subject. In his Epistle to the Romans, he observes, “Being freely justified by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth 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. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, much more then being now justified through his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” To the believers at Corint., who were justified through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and had
experienced the sanctifying influence of his spirit, he writes: "Ye are washed; ye are sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the spirit of our God.” To the Collossians, who were converted from the idolatrous worship of heathen deities to the reasonable service of the Most High, he communicates the same comfortable instruction : “And you, saith he, that were some time alienated, and enemies in mind by your wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh, through death, to present you hciy, unblameable and irreproachable in his sight." In his Epistle to the Hebrews, who were well acquainted with the religious ordinances observed under the legal dispensation, he affirms: *Christ is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of his death for the redemption of the transgressors under the first Testament, they which are called, might receive the promise of an eternal inheritance."
It is evident from the Apostle's reasoning on this subject, that he viewed the death of Christ as a real sacrifice, which was necessary to atone for the transgressions which had been committed under the various dispensations of the church. He expresses his conviction, that it was necessary that Christ should be set forth as a propitiation to declare the righteousness of God in the remission of sin: For according to his method of reasoning, we could not have been justified by his blood and saved from wrath through him, unless he had died for us while we were yet sinners. He clearly conveys the idea, that aliens and enemies to God could not have been reconciled to him, and obtained the promise of an eternal inheritance, in any other way than by means of Christ's death for the redemption of human transgressors. His whole course of reasoning, therefore, in this case, directly tends to shew, that Christ, by his meritorious sufferings and death, did render an expiatory sacrifice, and that such a sacrifice was absolutely required, to absolve the offender from the punishment of his offences, to exhibit the divine righteousness, and vindicate the insulted honor of the Deity.
This is the testimony which the word of God affords to establish the doctrine for which I contend. And this testimony, which I have derived from the concurrent declarations of the most distinguished inspired writers, is conclusive. The authorities I have quoted, are sufficient to establish the fact, that Jesus Christ, by his innocent sufferings and death on the cross, did render an expiatory sacrifice for sin. They cannot be made to bear any other construction. They cannot be rendered susceptible of any other interpretation. They exhibit direct evidence T'hey afford positive proof. They are perfectly clear and explicit. They cannot be misunderstood. They cannot be reasonably contradicted They must be satisfactory to every person that believes in the divine authority of the scriptures.
In addition to the evidence already adduced from the repeated declarations of the holy scriptures, to prove that Christ was delivered as a real sacrifice for our sins, I shall now proceed to show, that this doctrine is illustrated and confirmed by the undoubted testimony of sacred history. It appears to have been the chief design of the
spirit of inspiration, from the earliest periods of sacred history, to prepare us for the exhibition of this mysterious sacrifice, which is so difficult for us to comprehend. The most remarkable events which, under the direction of Divice Providence, occurred in the former ages of the church, all seem to relate to the great work of human redemption The holy scriptures, throughout, may be considered as one continued history of the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world. The nature of those sacrifices which were appointed under the law, and the manner in which they were usually rendered, are no doubt to be viewed as typical representations of the atonement of Jesus Chist. Under the Levitical institution, when the worship of God consisted chiefly in sacrifices, it was enjoined on “every man who should bring an offering, to put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering, that it might be accepted for him, to make an atonement for his sin.” On the day of atonement, the high priest was required to lay his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat. The victim thus substituted to suffer the legal penalty, due to the offences of the people, was either burnt without the gate of the Ta. bernacle, or as in the case of the scape goat, was sent away into the wilderness, subject to the curse of a legal impurity. Almost every sacrifice for sin was attended with the effusion of blood. Wit out the shedding of blood, except in extraordinary cases, there could be no remission of sin. By the law, almost every thing was purged with blood. The altar and the tabernacle—the vessels of the sanctuary, and the garments of the officiating Priests, were all sprinkled with the blood of their sacrifices. No acceptible service could be rendered -no real sacrifice could be presented, unless the hands of the worshipper were sprinkled with blood. Blood was exclusively appropriated to the divine service. For this reason the Jews were prohibited its common use" for the life of the flesh, saith God, is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar, to make an atoneme it for your souls; for it is blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” The sacrifices for sin, which God himself had appointed under the law, and which his people were strictly commanded to observe, were all rendered by substituting the inno cent for the punishment of the guilty. And this sacrificial substitution of innocent victims, to bear the iniquities, and atone for the transgressions of a wicked and rebellious people this constant effu: ion of the blood of the sacrifices, to wash away the guilt of sin, which was enjoined under the law, must have been intended to exhibit that precious sacrifice which was rendered under the gospel.These sacrifices under the law could not have been instituted with any other design than this. For it is unreasonable to suppose, that God could have been reconciled to the transgressors of his law, by the sacrifice of beasts, which were devoid of reason and understanding to enable them to distinguish between good and evil. He surely could have no pleasure in the death of an innocent victim, who was cursed for the offences of the people. Neither could the true wor
shippers of God, who had been favored with so many divine revelations, have been so ignorant as to suppose, that the offering of beasts could in itself prove'a mean of conciliating the divine favor. If they knew any thing, they must have known, that if he were hungry, he would not tell them, because the world is his, and the fullness there. of-that he would not eat the flesh nor drink the blood of their sacrices. Jesus Christ, therefore, is the true victim, prefigured by the constant repetition of sacrifices under the Levitical institution. He is that innocent and spotless Lamb, on whom the Lord laid the iniquities of us all; who was subjected to the curse and bore the punishment of our sins. He is the substitutes victim, who suffered without the gate and was slain on the cross at Calvary, that his blood might be shed as an offering for sin. He is that atoning HighPriest, who entered into the holy place, to offer an acceptable sacri. fice for the transgressions of his people; and, having sprinkled us with his blood, washed us from our sins, cleansed us from our iniquities; purchased eternal redemption for us. Thus you perceive that we have the voice of the prophets and the apostles-the sanctions of the church under its various dispensations—the history of both the Old and New Testament-the testimony of the law and the gospel, to confirm us in the belief, that Jesus Christ, by his innocent sufferings and death on the cross, did render an expiatory sacrifice for sin.
THE PIOUS TRADESMAN IN ST. PETERSBURGH.
The following account, says the New-York Observer, of the conversion and active piety of an English tradesman in St. Petersburgh, was communicate i by an Englishman of undoubted veracity, residing in that city, to the captain of an American vessel, who has transmitted it to us for publication. We hope it may be the means of stimulating the proprietors of our large manufacturing establishments, to efforts for the spiritual welfare of the families committed to their charge.
A good friend of mine, when a young man, was employed in the slave trade. He made six voyages to the coast of Africa in that bloody traffic. At the breaking out of the war, he was seized by the pressgang, and hurried on a tender, and remained in his Britannic Majesty's service until the battle of the Nile. In that memorable battle he lost an eye, and for it obtained his discharge. A few years ago he came to this place, where he is industriously spending his latter days. I first became acquainted with him in 1892, at which time I spoke to him of the importance and advantages of religion. He very bluntly told me, that he had no religion, neither did he intend to trouble himself about it. I spoke to him of God. “Pray, sir,” said he, “have you ever seen God? Who can tell whether there is a God or no p». I offered him a book, which he very politely returned. I did not then know that he could not read; but so it
was and he left mc apparently very unlikely to become a devout and zealous Christian. But behold the tender mercies of the Lord! A year or two after this, one of his neighbors spoke to him on the same subject, and exhorted him to attend the means of grace. He listened and obeyed; and the first time that he heard the Gospel, it was so far blessed as to soften his prejudices, and to awaken a desire to read; and now, at the age of sixty, he began to learn the alphabet. Oh! it is an affecting sight to see an old man unable to read: yet it is cheering to see one, who had been so neglected, determined to overcome every difficulty, and, with hoary head and one eye, learning bis A B C.
From the present exertions of Christians, we cannot but hope that there are at least two countries in the world where, in a few vears, there will not be an old man unable to read the Bible, or destitute of a Bible. What a cheering thought!
This aged Tradesman commenced his book with strong desires to learn, and he soon succeeded so as to be able to read an easy chapter. His next step was to purchase a Bible ; and now for the first time in his life, he read in that blessed book. His exultation on this occasion cannot be described. In connexion with his diligence in reading, he was diligent in hearing, and his solicitude for divine things was particularly pleasing.'
The change in his whole deportment now became very decided, and very striking. When he was an unbeliever, he acted like one. He scarcely ever went to a place of worship. The Sabbath was devoted to business or pastime, and the whole of his life was spent without hope and without God; but having embraced the Lord Jesus Christ as the Saviour of his soul, he acted up to his profession. He worshipped God, searched the Scriptures, and remembered the Sabbath day to keep it holy. It would be difficult to find a man who reads the Bible more; and as every part was new to him, it often filled him with astonishment, and made his heart and his lips to overflow with love and praise.
Of course there is no more work done in his house on the Lord's day. He keeps it holy, and he wishes all about to do likewise. A more regular attendant on the means of grace I have never seen. One recent instance of it particularly struck mc. For some weeks he could not attend our Wednesday evening service without travelling twenty-two miles : but was this sufficient to prevent him ? No! He was always there, and before the service commenced. Such instances of devotedness quite cheer a preacher's heart. It reminds us of the saying that is written; “They that be planted in the house of the Lord, shall flourish in the courts of our God; they shall bring forth fruits in old age, to show that the Lord is upright, and that there is no unrighteousness in him.” One evening I spoke to him of the distance he had come, and expressed a hope that God would not let him come all that way for nothing. “No, no,” said he, “I am sure God will not. He has well paid me for it already." When you contrast this with the half frozen religion of professors,