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pensation of the gospel, the principles on which it was founded, and the doctrines which it holds forth, are to be applied for the illustration of our subject : these being the shadows of which Christ is the substance.
In the Christian economy, and under the government of Him who is “a great King in all the earth,” Jesus Christ is ordained “the High Priest of our profession,” Heb. iii, 2. In him we have one infinitely greater than Aaron or his sons. “ We have a great High Priest, that is passed into (or through) the heavens, Jesus the Son of God," Heb. iv, 14. “We have such a High Priest who is set on the throne of the Majesty in the heavens : a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man,” Heb. viii, 1, 2. For “ Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true ; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us,” Heb. ix, 24. And “no man cometh to the Father but by him," John xiv, 6.
As “every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices, it is of necessity that this man have somewhat to offer.” The priests who "offered gifts according to the law, served only unto the example and shadow of heavenly things. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which is established upon better promises,' Heb. viii, 3-6. “ The way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience. But Christ being come a High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us,” Heb. ix, 8–12.
In these interesting passages the reader will perceive a continued comparison between the priesthood, ministry, and sacrifices of the Jewish institution, and those of Jesus Christ: the design of which is to show that the
former was figurative of the latter, and that the latter resembles, but infinitely excels, the former.
The oblations of the Jewish high priest, we have found, were “gifts and sacrifices for sins.” That which our great High Priest offered, was of the latter kind, a sin-offering; as is sufficiently obvious from the follow. ing passages :“ W
thou shalt ake his soul an offering for sin," Isa. liii, 10. “ He hath made him to be quaptlav, a sin-offering for us,” 2 Cor. v, 21. - Who needeth not delay to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sin, and then for the people's : for this he did once when he offered up himself,” Heb. vii, 27. “Now once he hath appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself," Heb. ix, 25. 6 Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many,” Heb. ix, 28. “ But this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins," &c., Heb. x, 12. And there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins," Heb.
What then is the meaning of these phrases? Mr. G. explains them thus :-" In every sacrifice the victim is supposed to die for the good and benefit (not for the sins, it seems) of the persons on whose account it is offered: so Christ, dying in the cause of virtue, and to bestow the greatest of all blessings upon the human race, a proof of a future state, is beautifully represented as having given his life a sacrifice for us. The resemblance between the death of Christ, according to this account of the nature and object of it, and the sin-offerings spoken of in the Old Testament, appears to me to be a sufficient foundation for its being called by that name, and would abundantly justify the metaphor," &c. (Vol. ii, p. 148.) What striking resemblance Mr. G. sees between a martyr dying in the cause of virtue, and a victim bleeding for sin : or between an animal which died and was no more, and a person who died to give a proof of a future state by his resurrection, we confess our inability to conjecture. If the advocates of proper atonement were obliged to interpret the scrip. tures which relate to that subject in this vague manner, and could give no more rational or scriptural proof of the justness of their opinions than is contained in this unmeaning cant of Mr. G. and the editor of the Theological Repository, how would the Socinians triumph! But leaving
this explanation to its unavoidable fate, we appeal to the Scriptures, in proof that the application of the phrase, “ sacrifice for sin," to the death of Christ is not a “metaphor," as Mr. G. calls it, in which all discernible analogy is lost; but that in all the circumstances essential to a sin. offering, that of Jesus Christ agrees with those which were offered under the law.
1. We have seen that the sacrifices for sins were offered by the Jewish priests on account of the sins of the people. The following passages will distinctly show that Jesus Christ offered up himself for the sins of mankind :-" He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities. All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. For the transgression of my people was he stricken. He shall bear their ini. quities. He hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors : and he bare the sin, of many,” Isa. liii, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12. 66 Who was delivered, for our offences,” Rom. iv, 25.
“ I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures,” 1 Cor. xv, 3. “ Who gave
himself for our sins,” Gal. i, 4. 6. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,” 1 Pet. ii, 24.
2. The Jewish sin-offerings made an atonement for the persons for whom they were offered, in consequence of which their sins were forgiven. (See page 164.) It has been remarked that the blood, which is the life, is that which made atonement for the soul. Now, as under the law the blood of the victim was shed, so the “ blood of Christ was shed for many, for the remission of sins,” Matt, xxvi, 28, and as in the former case the high priest went into the most holy place with the “ blood which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people,” Heb. ix. 7, so “ Christ by his own blood entered once into the holy place, (not made with hands,) having obtained eternal redemption for us," Heb. ix, 12. Thus, as the Jewish high priest made atonement by the shedding and sprinkling. of blood, Jesus Christ has made atonement by the shed. ding and " sprinkling" of his blood.
The words used on this subject, by the sacred writers, are the same which are used by the LXX, viz., the deriva. tives of inaw, I am propitious. Those interpreters render Lev. iv, 20, 26, 35, &c., “ the priest shall make atonement,” by efihagetal. In Ezek. xliv, 27, where it is said the priest shall bring his peace-offering, they use the word inaouov. Thus, in like manner, the Prophet Daniel, predicting the death of the Messiah, declares it to be one part of the design of it, according to the LXX, efthacaoba, to make atonement or propitiation for iniquity, Dan. ix, 24. The apostle to the Hebrews says, “ It behooved” Christ as our “ merciful High Priest, chaokeobal, to make atonement or propitiation for the sins of the people,” Heb. ii, 17. Hence Jesus Christ is said to be a propitiation or atone. ment for our sins. “God loved us; and sent his Son Thaouov, a propitiation or atonement for our sins," 1 John iv, 10. “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is chaquos, the propitiation or atonement for our sins,” 1 John ii, 2. In his unguarded effort to get rid of this word, (vol. ii, page 151,) Mr. G. has confounded it with chaotnplov, which means a propitiatory. It is not improbable that St. Paul meant by it a propitiatory sacrifice. But we found no argument upon it, because, though it cannot be disproved, it may be disputed. To serve an hypothesis Mr. G. translates it, “a mercy seat.” But this shifting of the terms destroys his argument.* The reader will do well to keep in mind that the one proper word which in the
* Dr. Priestley, in the conclusion of his History of the Doctrine of Atonement, has explicitly granted that the Socinians had not yet been able "to explain all particular expressions in the apostolical epistles, &c., in a manner perfectly consistent with(what they deem) the general strain of their own writings.” (Hist. of Cor. vol. i, p. 280.) It would have been candid to have told the public which are all those " particular expressions.” The word chaquos, propitiation, seems to be one of them, which therefore he has passed over by just observing that 1 John ii, 2, and iv, 10," are the only places in which the word propitiation, chaguos, occurs in the New Testament.” (P. 183.) He had overlooked the prophecy of Daniel and the Epistle to the Hebrews. This one word was too hard for him: and well it might, for it is directly to the point. But Mr. G. is a little more hardy, and ventures, since Dr. Priestley could not "explain" this “particular expression in the apostolic epistles without any effort or straining," to make a mighty "effort,” and to "strain” very much to explain it according to his own hypothesis. But his "straining effort” tends only to his own discomfiture.
original means propitiation or atonement, remains unan. swered, and is unanswerable.
The purpose of atonement or propitiation, is reconcilia- . tion. It is not denied, but asserted, by Mr. G., that “ are reconciled to God by the death of his Son,” Rom. v, 10. (Vol. ii, p. 144.) But in this reconciliation,” he
“ says, "the change is never said to be in God, but always in man.' (Vol. ii, p. 146.) The phrase " to be recon. ciled to God,” is certainly ambiguous, and may be interpreted as meaning either to be conciliated by him, or to be admitted to his friendship. It becomes, therefore, an im. portant question, What is the sense in which it is used in the Scriptures ?
When the Philistines suspected that David, who was then with them, would appease the anger of Saul by be. coming their adversary, they said, "Wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master ? should it not be with the heads of these men ?". 1 Sam. xxix, 4. Here, to recon. cile one's self to another is obviously to appease his wrath, or conciliate his favour. “If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, first be reconciled to thy brother,” Matt. v, 23, 24., Here the case is that of a brother offended ; and to be reconciled to him is to appease or conciliate him. The next passage is still more in point, because it refers to the case in hand: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing to them their trespasses," 2 Cor. v, 13. Here for God to reconcile the world to himself is to forgive their trespasses. From these passages, the meaning of the phrase is plain, and no ambiguity remains. It is in this sense “ we are reconciled to God, by the death of his Son," Rom. v, 10.
The effect of the Jewish atonements was, that the sins of the persons for whom they were offered were forgiven, (See p. 166.) Such precisely is the consequence of the death of Christ, as the following passages will sufficiently prove :--- My righteous servant shall justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities," Isa. liii, 11.
6. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins," Matt. xxvi, 28. 6 We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,” Eph. i, 7. See also Col. i, 14. “ Being now justified by his blood,”