Obrazy na stronie
[ocr errors]

Vifion - an Angel of God coming to him, and faying Thy Prayers and thine Alms are come up for a Memorial before God; and now fend Men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, ruboje Surname is Peter He hall tell thee what thou OUGHTEST TO DO, Acts x. 1, &c. Here again Natural Religion is described as fubfifting in all human Perfection, and yet soMETHING was ftill to be done. Go but to the next Chapter, where St. Peter rehearses this Tranfaction to the Apostles and Brethren, and you will fee what this fomething was, for thus the Meffage by the Angel to Cornelius is repeated; Call for one Simon, whofe Surname is Peter, who shall tell thee Words, whereby thou and all thy House shall be SAVED. Cornelius then, it feems, was not already faved by his Natural Religion, but was to be faved by his attending to the Doctrine in which St. Peter had Commiffion to inftruct him. And what this Doctrine was, we are told, ver. 42, 43. of the tenth Chapter; He commanded us to preach unto the People, and to teftify, that it is be which was ordained of God to be the Judge of Quick and Dead and that through his Name whofoever believeth in him, shall receive REMISSION OF SINS. Righteous as thefe Men were, they were not perfect. Salvation there could not therefore be, without Remiffion of Sin; and this they were to obtain by Faith in Chrift; by following him, and becoming his Difciple. What was their Cafe, was, and is the Cafe of all the World befides. For ALL have finned, and come foort of the Glory of God, being juflified freely by his Grace, through the Redemption that is in Jefus Christ, as St. Paul fpeaks, Rom. iii. 23, 24.

[ocr errors]

This is the general Advantage we gain by coming to Chrift, and which we cannot have by mere Natural' Religion, viz. Remiffion of Sin, and the Affurance of Eternal Life by the Redemption that is in Jefus Chrift. It will be neceffary that I enter particularly into the Explanation of this great and leading Article of our Faith.

[blocks in formation]



To take this Matter from the Beginning, we must go up as high as the Fall of Adam, who being created to a Life of immortal Happiness, by Tranfgreffion loft it to himself, and to all his Pofterity after him. Now Chrift came to restore what Adam loft, as will appear from the following Paffages.

Matth. xviii. 11. The Son of Man is come to fave that which was loft.

Rom. v. 19. As by one Man's Difobedience many were made Sinners fo by the Obedience of one shall many be made righteous That as Sin bath reigned unto Death, ven fo might Grace reign through Righteoufnefs unto Eternal Life by Jefus Chrift our Lord.

[ocr errors]

1 Cor. xv. 21, 22. By Man came Death, by Man came alfo the Refurrection from the Dead; for as in Adam all die, even fo in Chrift jhall all be made alive.

Rom. vi. 23. The Wages of Sin is Death; but the Gift of God is Eternal Life, through Jefus Chrift our Lord.

Here, 1. Grace is faid to reign unto Eternal Life, even as Sin reigned unto Death. But Sin reigned unto Death as in confequence of Sin, Death paled upon all Men. Therefore Grace reigneth unto Eternal Life, as, through the Mercies of God, Eternal Life is reftored unto all Men. Grace (xápis) in this Place fignifies the Favour of God accepting us to Eternal Life; which is ftyled the Gift of God, as it ftands diftinguished from Debt, or what we may demand or challenge as our Due.. 2. The Obedience of Chrift is expressly fet forth as the Caufe of this Grace, or Acceptance to Eternal Life, just as the Disobedience of Adam was the Reason why the Sentence of Death paffed upon


By one Man's Difobedience many were made Sinners. -By the Obedience of one shall many be made righteous, &c. What now was this Obedience? It was his Obedience in suffering, and in dying upon the Crofs, by

To bim that worketh (i. e. doth what the Law requires) is the Reward not reckoned of Grace, but of Debt, Rom, iv. 4.

which he made an Atonement and Propitiation for the Sins of the whole World.

Heb. v. 1. Though he were a Son, yet learned he Obedience, by the Things which he suffered.

9. And being made perfect, he became the Author of Eternal Salvation to all them that obey him.

Tebels, being made perfect, fignifies being made perfect through Sufferings, which was eff. cted by Chrift's Death, and not before; as appears from Chap. ii. ver. 10 where the Apoftle having faid, that Chrift was crowned with Glory for the suffering of Death, subjoins; For it became him, for whom are all Things, and by whom are all Things, in bringing many Sons unto Glory (TENEσas) to make perfect the Captain of their Salvation through Sufferings. Chrift therefore was (TEλEWbEls) made perfect by fuffering Death, in Confequence of which it is here faid, that he became the Author of eternal Salvation. For being made perfect (i. e.. by being made perfect) be became, &c. This will be farther fupported by what follows.

Matt. xx. 28. The Son of Man came to give his Life (úrgov) a Ransom for many.

1 Tim. ii. 5. There is one Mediator between God and Man, the Man Chrift Jefus.

6. Who gave himself a Ranfom for all.

Aúτgov, a Ransom, is properly the Price or Purchaje of a Man's Redemption. The Money, or other valuable Confideration, upon Payment of which the Captive is fet at Liberty. The Blood of Chrift, therefore, is the Price of our Redemption from Sin and Death, and fo it is exprefsly ftyled by St. Paul, Ye are bought with a Price, 1 Cor. vi 20. And by St. Peter; Forafmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed (ὅτι ἐκ ἐλεςώθητε) with corruptible Things, as Silver and Gold- but with the precious Blood of Chrift, as of a Lamb without Blemish,. and without Spot (1 Pet. i. 18.) i. e. by Chrift offering up himself as a Sacrifice or Propitiation *. Propitiatory

Some Writers affect to call the Blood of Chrift the Seal of the Covenant. This is new Language in Divinity, of which the Scriptures


tory Sacrifices were in Nature of them (λurga) Ranfoms; the Life of the Animal being accepted instead of the Punishment due to the, Offender; and that Chrifi was a propitiatory Sacrifice, the following Paffages will shew.

John vi. 51. I am the living Bread which came down from Heaven; if any Man eat of this Bread he shall live for ever; and the Bread that I will give is MY FLESH, which I will give FOR THE LIFE of the World.

Chap. x. ver. 14. — I lay down MY LIFE for the Sheep.

Acts xx. 28.

The Church of God, which he hath

PURCHASED with his own Blood.

Jefus Chrift; whom God hath

Rom. iii. 24, 25. fet forth to be a PROPITIATION, Sins that are past.

[ocr errors]

for the Remiffion of

Eph. v. 2. Chrift hath - given himself for us an OFFERING and a SACRIFICE to God.

Rom. v. 11. By whom we have received the A


Coloff. i. 14. In whom we have REDEMPTION through his Blood, even the Forgiveness of our Sins.

[ocr errors]

19. For it pleafed the Father having made Peace BY THE BLOOD of his Cross, BY HIM to reconcile all Things to himself.

These Paffages want no Comment. You have.feen before, that Chrift was to restore what Adam loft; that he was to do it by his Sufferings and Death, which was to be a Ranfom for all. And here Chrift himself fays, that he would give his Flesh (i. e. his Body) for the Scriptures know nothing. Often is Cbrift fet forth as a Sacrifice, Atonement, or Propitiation för Sin; but no where is the Death or the Blood of Chrift called the Seal of the Covenant, which, in the Nature of it, it cannot be. The Seal of the Covenant is the Evidence of the Covenant, and Chrift's Death was not the Evidence of the Covenant, nor, properly fpeaking, any Evidence of it. Had Chrift died, and only died, he would have given no Proof of the Truth of his Miffion; but that which is the Evidence of Cbrift's Miffion, that, and that only, is the Evidence of the Covenant. Such are all the mighty Works which he wrought; but especially, and above all, fuch was his Refurrection from the Dead, by which, (as the Apoftle fpeaks) he was DECLARED to be the Son of God with Power, Rom, i, 4,

Life of the World; and his Apoftles fay of him, that he is a Propitiation, an Offering, a Sacrifice, an Atonement, our Redemption, and our Reconciliation with God. They who understand thefe Expreffions as Allufions only, and not as denoting any real and proper Efficacy in the Blood of Chrift to put away our Sins, are very unreasonable. For if they are Allufions, they must be Allufions to fomething; and to what can they allude, but to the Sacrifices under the Law? Suppofe this to be the Cafe, you must then grant that the Sacrifices under the Law were real and proper Sacrifices; for an Altufion is an Allufion to fomething real. But if the Sacrifices under the Law had a real Effect (as it is certain they had) the Blood of Chrift had a real and more noble Effect; and so far is it from Truth, that Chrift was a Sacrifice for Sin allufively only to the Sa--crifices under the Law, that the legal Sacrifices themfelves were but Shadows and Representations of the Sacrifice of Chrift; as faith the Author to the Hebrews, The Law was the Shadow of good Things to come, Heb. x. 1. Let us attend to the Particulars of the Comparison between the two Difpenfations (the Legal and the Evangelical) as ftated at large in this Epittle, and we shall fee very plainly how the Cafe ftands. Was Aaron an High Priett? fo was Chrift. Every High Prieft taken from among Men is ordained for Men in Things pertaining unto God And no Man taketh

this Honour to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So alfo Chrift glorified not himself to be made an High Priest, but he that faid unto him, Thou art my Son, to Day have I begotten thee, Chap. v. ver. 1 -5. Did Aaron, as an High Priest, offer both Gifts and Sacrifices for Sin? fo did Chrift. But the Sacrifice differed. The High Priett under the Law offered the Blood of Beasts; But Chrift being come an High Prieft -neither by the Blood of Goats and Calves, but by his own Blood, entered into the Holy Place. And as the Sacrifice differed, fo were the Effects different. The legal Sacrifices were a Remedy againft legal Impurities; the Sacrifice of Christ washed away the Defile


« PoprzedniaDalej »