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the sin of the world.Rom. iii. 25. Whom God hath set forth as a profiiliation through faith in his blood, for a proof of his own righteousness in passing by the sins which were before committed through the forbearance of God: 26. For a proof also of his righ. teousness in the present time, in order that he may be just, when justifying lim who is of the faith of Jesus.-Rom. iv. 25. Who was delivered to death for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.—Gal. iii. 13. Christ hath bought us of" from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.
8.-Ephes. i. 7. By whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. -Heb. ii. 14. Since then the children participate of flesh and blood, even he in like manner partook of these, that through death he might render ineffectual him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. -Heb. ix. 25. Not however, that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy places every year with other blood. 26 For then he must often have suffered since the formation of the world : but now once at the conclusion of the ages, he hath been manifested to abolish sin-offering, by the sacrifice of himself. 27. And for as much as it is appointed to men once to die, and after that the judgment; 28. So also Christ, being once offered in order to carry away the sins of many, will, to them who wait for him, appear a second time without sin-offering, in order to salvation. Heb. x. 10. By which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Christ once.—1 Pet. iii. 18. For Christ also hath once suffered for sin, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.
These passages, with many others which might be mentioned, taken according to their plain meaning, in conjunction with what Christ said to his disciples, when he instituted his supper, to prevent his death and the ends for which he died, from being forgotten in the world ; namely, This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins, Matth. xxvi. 28. I say, these passages teach us, That Christ's sufferings and death, have, as B. Butler expresses it, an efficacy additional for and beyond mere instruction, example, and government.
To elude, however, the force of the argument, taken from the account given in the scriptures, of the end for which Christ suffered and died, some have affirmed,
First, That Christ's death is called a sacrifice for sin, not be. cause it was really such a sacrifice, but merely in accommodation to the prejudices of mankind, who, from the beginning of the world, expected the pardon of their sins through the eficacy of sacrifice. To this the answer is, 1. We know, that Christ's
death is not called a sacrifice for sin, in accommodation to the prejudices of the Jews, and in conformity to the Mosaic phraseology; but that the Mosaic phraseology was founded on the Levitical sacrifices being types or prefigurations of the sacrifice of Christ. So we are assured, Heb. viii. 5. These serve with a representation and shadow of heavenly things, since Moses, when about to construct the tabernacle, was admonished of God; see, now, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern which was shewed thee in the Mount. For from this it appears, That as the tabernacle which Moses finished was a copy of the tabernacle shewed to him on the mount, so the Levitical priesthood, which he appointed, was a type of the priesthood of Christ : and the service of the Levitical priests, which he appointed to be performed in the earthly tabernacle, agrecably to the pattern shewed to him in the mount, was a type of the service of Christ, as an high priest, in the heavely holy places. The same thing appears from many other passages in the epistle to the Hebrews. Wherefore, the death of Christ was not called by the inspired writers, a sacrifice for sin, in allusion to the Levitical sin-offerings; but these were called sacrifices for sin, because they were types or prefigurations of the real sacrifice of Christ. 2. If, in the account which the inspired writers have given of Christ's death as a sacrifice for sin, they have not alluded to the Levitical sacrifices, it will readily be allowed, that they have far less alluded to the heathen sacrifices. For these not being of divine institution, as the Levitical sacrifices were, if the sacred writers have called Christ's death a sacrifice for sin, in allusion to the heathen sacrifices, they have given to those superstitions an importance to which they were by no means intitled. 3. If Christ, in speaking of his blood as shed for the remission of sin, and his apostles, in ascribing to his death all the efficacy which the sacrifices for sin were supposed, both by the Jews and Gentiles, to possess, have not expressed what is true in fact, but only have accommodated their language to the ill-founded prejudices and hopes of mankind, they have deceived us in a matter of the greatest importance. And the Epistle to the Hebrews, which was written professedly to prove that Christ really offered himself a sacrifice for sin, is a pernicious writing ; because, by establishing a false fact, it hath led mankind to trust for the pardon of their sins to a lie.
Secondly, To destroy the argument by which Christ's death is proved to be a real sacrifice for sin, taken from the account given of it in scripture, there are some who contend that it is called a sacrifice for sin, in a metaphorical sense only; because he died for the confirmation of his doctrine concerning the pardon of sin to be obtained through repentance, and as an example of patience and fortitude in suffering for righteousness sake, whereby his disciples are strongly excited to virtue. The per. sons of whom I speak, supposing, it seems that to the pardon of a sinner nothing is requisite but his repentance and reformation, affirm, that Christ's death, by which the reformation and virtue of the world are so effectually promoted, may be called a sacrifice for the sin of the world in a metaphorical sense, with as much propriety as prayer, and praise, and almsgiving, are called sacrifices with which God is well pleased. But not to insist on what is well known, that prayer, and praise, and almsgiving, are no where called sacrifices for sin, I reply, 1. That if Christ's death hath no other efficacy in procuring pardon for sinners, but by promoting their reformation and exciting them to virtue ; the sufferings and death of any other prophet or martyr may with as much truth and propriety, as the sufferings and death of Christ, be called a sacrifice for sin ; and the salvation of penitents may as truly be ascribed to their sufferings and death, as to Christ's ; at least, in as far as their sufferings added weight to their doctrine ; and in proportion to the influence which their doctrine, in conjunction with their example, hath had in exciting others to virtue. Yet, no where in scripture are the sufferings of any prophet or martyr, termed a sacrifice for the sin of the world ; nor is the salvation of sinners ascribed to any of themi nor are any of them called saviours. In particular, the apostle Paul, who, next to his master, suffered the greatest evils for the confirmation of the gospel, and who exhibited an illustrious example of all the virtues both active and passive, hath no where spoken of his own sufferings and death as a sacrifice for sin. He spcaks, indeed, Philip. ii. 17. of his willingness to be poured out upon the sacrifice and service of the faith of the Philippians. But not to mention, that the faith of the Philippians is called the sacrifice, the allusion is not to the sin-offering, but to the meat-offering, on which oil was commonly poured, Levit. vi. 15. Consequently, the apostle's meaning, stript of the metaphor, is simply, that he was willing to die for the confirmation of the faith of the Philippians, that being made strong it might be rendered acceptable to God, as is evident from 2 Tim. iv. 6. where the same expression is introduced and applied to the apostle's dying: 'Hen of evdouest, I am already poured out, and the time of my departure hath come. In short, so far was Paul from considering his own sufferings as a sacrifice for sin, that he rejected the idea with abhorrence, 1 Cor. i. 13. Was Paul crucified for you ?-2. If the efficacy of the death of Christ in saving mankind, consisted only in its being a confirmation of his doctrine, and in its being an illustrious example of courageous suffering for truth, whereby mankind are powerfully excited to virtue, How can those be saved by his death who lived before he came into the world, most of whom never heard that he was to come and die, and could know nothing either of his doctrine or example ? In like manner, How can those be saved by his doctrine and death, who, although they have lived since his coming, never have heard of either? And yet, in the scriptures, all who shall be saved from the beginning to the end of the world, are expressly declared to be saved through the efficacy of his death, 1 John ii. 2. He is the propitiation for our sins ; and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.-John xi. 51. This he spake not of himself; but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation: And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.---3. Although it be true that Christ's death hath a powerful influence in promoting the practice of virtue among those to whom it is made known, that influence cannot be the only reason of its being called a profiitiation for the sins of the whole world. To merit that appellation, it must, as was formerly observed, have some efficacy additional to, and beyond mere instruction, example, and government, of which many of mankind are to have the benefit, although they have never heard of Christ's death.-- What that influence is, and how it operates in procuring pardon for penitent sinners, God hath nowhere told us; but its effects he hath clearly enough revealed from the beginning. For, in the sentence which he passed on the serpent after it seduced our first parents, Gen. iii. 15. by foretelling, that the seed of the woman would bruise the serpent's head, and in so doing have his own heel bruised, God declared, that the seed of the woman, by dying, would render the malicious contrivance of the devil for destroying the human species, abortive. Accordingly, in the sentences which God passed on Adam and Eve, by saying, that she was to bring forth children in sorrow; and that he was to eat breud in the sweat of his face, till he returned to the ground, God intimated, that he permitted them to live and beget children; and placed them and their posterity, from that time forward to the end of the world, under a law better suited to their weakened nature, than that which they had lately broken; and that he granted them this grace, or favour, on account of the seed of the woman's having his heel bruised when he should bruise the serpent's head. In this first instance, therefore, the death of Christ in prospect, had the efficacy to suspend the chief temporal penal consequence of Adam's sin. And by procuring for him, and all his posterity, a new trial under a more gracious law than the first, it will, in the second instance, prevent the eternal penal consequences of sin, with respect to all who, through faith and repentance, are capable of being pardoned. Such, then, according to revelation, is the efficacy of the sufferings and death of Christ as a sacrifice for sin, in preventing the penal consequences of men's transgressions, both in this life, and in that which is to come.
of the Mediation of Christ as a Prophet and King, whereby Mankind
are delivered from the Power of Sin.
Having described and defended the mediation of Christ as a priest, whereby sinners are freed from the punishment of sin, it remains to treat of his mediation as a prophet and king, by which they are delivered from the power of sin.
After mankind had remained under the guidance of their own reason, as long as was necessary for making them sensible by experience, of its insufficiency to lead them to the knowledge and practice of their duty; and after the most learned heathen nations had actually lost the knowledge of God, and were become excessively corrupted, it pleased God to send his Son into the world, as a prophet divinely commissioned and inspired, to teach them the doctrines and prccepts of religion, and to make known to them the rewards and punishments of a future state.
Christ's mediation as a prophet, Butler hath described, Analog. p. ii. chap. v. sect. 6. in the following terms: “He published “ anew the law of nature, which men had corrupted, and the
very knowledge of which, to some degree, was lost among " them. He taught mankind; taught us authoritatively to live “soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, in ex“pectation of the suture judgment of God. He confirmed the - truth of this moral system of nature, and gave us additional