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offered himself a sacrifice for sin. The sins therefore of those who sincerely confess them, he is faithful and just to forgive, and to cleanse them from all unrighteousness. He, like the living or scape-goat, will bear away the sins of all such; he will cast them behind his back, or bury them in the depths of the sea. Such like language, which we find in the word of God, expresses the same as the sins of the people of Israel, being put upon the head of the scape-goat and carried into a land not inhabited; or according to the Hebrew, into a land of separation. This teaches us, that the godly person who once confesses his sin, or becomes a true penitent, shall, through Jesus Christ, have all his sins separated from him. The sepulchre into which Christ was laid, was properly a land of separation. As the sins of his people, therefore, were, as it were, carried into the grave with him and buried there, they will never be allowed to rise up against. them. Being delivered for their offences, he rose again for their justification.'t
Some think that atonement consists wholly in suffering; if so, why, in connexion with the slain goat, was the living goat necessary also to make an atonement? Some writers on this subject are very positive in their sentiments, that the atonement of Christ consists wholly in his sufferings; while, at the same time, they affirm as positively, that the divine nature of Christ did not suffer at all. According to this sentiment, the divinity of Christ in making atonement for the sins of his people, was altogether needless. But the divinity of Christ, and the shedding of his blood, in making atonement for sin, were equally necessary. Christ must be an ever-living and quickening Spirit as well as a dying man, or he could never "make reconciliation for the sins of the people." To make, yearly, a typical atonement for the holy sanctuary, and for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for
* 1 John i, 8,
. Rom. iv, 25.
+ Lev. xvi.
the altar; not only a bullock and a goat were required to be slain; but a living goat also was absolutely necessary. By consulting the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus, it will be clearly seen, that the living goat was the most important and essential part of the busi
in the ceremonies of the typical yearly atonement for the sins of Israel. It was over the head of the living goat that the high priest was to confess all the iniquities of the people of Israel; and upon the head of the living or scape goat, all their sins and iniquities were to be placed: and this goat being sent away by a fit person, was to bear upon him all their iniquities into a land of separation. Hence we are to confess our sins to Christ, not as a mere man, but as a quickening Spirit, who is God manifest in the flesh. For the blood of Christ cleanseth from all iniquity, not separately as a man, but as the living God.
Again, that Christ was the Antitype of living creatures, as well as of dying goats and slain bullocks, is evident, from the case of cleansing a leprous house with two birds. When the owner of the house shall say to the priest, "It seemeth to me there is, as it were, a plague in the house." After the enumeration of many ceremonies, it is added, "And he shall take to cleanse the house two birds and cedar wood and scarlet and hyssop: and he shall kill one of the birds in an earthen vessel, over running water: and he shall take the cedar wood and the hyssop and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house. seven times: and he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird:-But he shall let go the living. bird out of the city into the open field, and make an atonement for the house; and it shall be clean.' * Here we see that a living bird, which must be permitted to go out into the open field, as well as a slain bird, running water, &c. was necessary in making atonement for an unclean house.
* Lev. xiv.
This house, having as it were a plague in it, is a society or family in disorder. This moral disorder must be removed; the house must be cleansed, or the plague which seemeth to be in it, will shortly consume it. Unless the disorder be removed from the bottom, the symbolical house must be broken down, and the stones, and the timber, and the mortar, and carried forth out of the city into an unclean place.
To get rid of a moral plague, we are here taught that application must be made to him, who is the Antitype of the living, as well as the slain, bird: that is, to him who says of himself, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
ALL THE PREDICTED SUFFERINGS AND DEATH OF MESSIAH FULFILLED IN CHRIST.
LUKE XXIV, 26, 27.
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
4. REDEMPTION by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, supposes that all the predictions concerning the Messiah, as to his sufferings and death, and the manner of his sufferings and death, have been fulfilled in Christ.
It was ever in the mind of God, even before he created the heavens and the earth, to raise up a glorious building, from the ruins of the apostasy; the head stone of which was to be brought forth with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it." For this purpose a covenant of redemption was constructed between the LORD JEHOVAH and the Branch.
In this covenant, every thing was kept secret from the beginning, till the fall of man. Then God, as the moral Governour of the world, began in a special manner to exhibit himself. Men, in every age of the world, by looking back to that period, may see the divine purpose concerning redemption, unfolding to
In this covenant, he, who is styled the Lamb of God, had a very important part assigned him. To this covenant the great Head of the church, the Redeemer, placed his name, and sealed it with his blood.
The blood of the Son of man was not literally shed, till he expired upon the cross. He was, however, viewed as if his blood were shed when the covenant was made: for he is called "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." And when Christ came and appeared in the flesh, on his induction to the sacred office of his mission, "Behold the Lamb of God," says John, by whom he was baptised, "who taketh away the sin of the world."
The Son, who made a covenant with the Father, before the foundation of the world, is abundantly exhibited in the Holy Scriptures by predictions; all of which must be fulfilled in him. Of this there was the highest moral necessity. For the TRUTH's sake then it was necessary, that all the predictions concerning Christ, should be fulfilled in him. Hence he ob serves, in reply to the Roman governour, "To this end was I born, and for this cause came 1 into the world, that I should bear witness unto the TRUTH.”*
As the salvation of man depended upon the covenant of redemption; so it was necessary that all the engagements of this covenant should be fulfilled.
And, as every thing in this covenant concerning Christ, is, in the Old Testament, expressed in types and predictions, so it was necessary that they should all be fulfilled in him. It was as necessary, therefore, that all things predicted or prophesied of Christ should be fulfilled, as that he should be faithful to his covenant engagements. Hence the salvation of man would fail, unless all the predictions concerning Christ should be accomplished. Of the truth of this Christ was per fectly acquainted. His disciples, however, were in a great measure ignorant of the design of his sufferings and death: They were, therefore, after his death, evidently disappointed, as to the end and design of his coming into the world; for after his resurrection, not knowing to whom they were speaking, "The chief
* John xviii, 37.