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and the sacrifice for sin. As the two devotion of the penitent sinner. Here former were common to the patri- then, we have a new idea connected archs, and as in fact, they were both with a sacrifice, a refinement on the thank-offerings to God, we shall original intention of burnt-offerings, therefore make no further inquiry “ Aaron and his sons laid their hands about them.
• upon the bead of the bullock of the There were other offerings enjoined" sin-offering.” Levit. viii. 14. Was by Moses, such as those of corn, this expressive of a sense of demerit? meal, cakes, fruits, wine, &c. The Did it speak thus ?, “ We are the pemethods of devoting or sacrificing nitent transgressors, this is the victim, animals also differed, as in the case of this creature is to die, and we deserve two sparrows and the scape-goat, death; for like Adam we have reLevit. chap. xiv. and chap. xvi.; all belled against thee, we have broken these may be explained on the same thy covenant.” “ It is a sin-offering," principles. We come now to that of course it the offering of a sinner important, hallowed and much-dis- to a holy God. Like all the rest of pated kind of sacrifice, the sin-offer- the sacrifices, this was symbolical, it ing; and here, possibly, good Sir, expressed the case and heart of the you and several of your readers may worshipper and it was accepted. conscientiously differ in opinion from In this chapter Exod. xxix. you me; but I trust we shall agree to dif- have the first mention of atonement, fer under the correction of Christian ver. 36, “ Thou shalt offer every day charity. I may err, so may you, but a bullock for a sin-offering for atone. if we cannot help it, I hope God will ment;" so that the sin-offering was not lay the sin of ignorance to our expressive of atonement or reconciliacharge. Let us then, not with fear tion. (There will be no dispute, I and trembling, but with the Bible believe, about the meaning of this before us, and with upright hearts, word, especially as it is explained in having but one view, the discovery the New Testament, but the question of truth, come to the inquiry. The is, in what sense is it called reconfirst account we have of this kind of ciliation?) To say that God is not sacrifice is to be found in Exodus, reconciled to a wicked and impenitent chap. xxix., from the beginning to man, and that such an one is an enemy the 14th verse inclusive, and Levit. to God, is natural. But let such a vii. Moses officiated on the occa- man repent and forsake his sins, and sion. It was a solemn consecration of prove that he does so by the fruits of Aaron and his sons to the priest's his faith, (for a man must first believe office,“ a sin-offering,” ver. 14. that God is, and that he rewards There is no proof that all these cere- them that seek him, before he can be monies were repeated at the consecra- disposed to serve him) then, being no tion of future priests. See Numbers, longer the enemy of his merciful XX. xxv. and xxvi., where you have Creator, and seeking his forgiveness an account of the induction of Aaron's and favour in the way of his appointsuccessor into the high-priest's office. ment, let that appointment be what While God was delivering the law to it may, reconciled to God, he seeks Moses on mount Sinai, Aaron and the and he receives the atonement. It is people were framing and worshipping the pledge of his reconciliation and of the golden calf, and insulting the Holy God's forgiveness. See Rom. v. 10, One of Israel to his face by their vile 11. It is, however, to be observed, idolatry; it seems, therefore, that “a that though the institute of sin-offersin-offering,” as well as “ a burnt- ings and atonement in the Old Testasacrifice to the Lord, a sweet sa- ment are, by accommodation very vour," Exod. xx. 18., was very suit- properly applied to the New-Testaable and significant on this occasion. ment doctrines of reconciliation, yet But what did it represent? Cer- we have not the least evidence, that tainly not the transfer of moral guilt the ancient Israelites formed any idea to the innocent animal; that was im- that the sacrifices or atonements possible: if Aaron had committed idol- which they offered to God were typi. atry, he was guilty of the crime. But cal of the death of Christ ; nor did it appears to me that this act of Moses any of the enlightened of them conin behalf of his brother, expressed the ceive that the blood of their sacrifices contrition, humiliation, repentance and could cleanse away the guilt of their
consciences. The far greater part of obeying the voice of the Lord: be. this kind of sacrifices was appointed hold to obey is better than sacrifice, for sins of ignorance, though it is and to hearken than the fat of rams!" doubtful whether all of them were; The acceptance, therefore, of the ofand it ought to be known, that some fering, as in the first age of the world, of these sin-offerings were not slain depended upon the spirit and characanimals, but an ephah of meal, about ter of the worshipper; read that fine a gallon, an handful of which was to Psalm, l., see also, Psalm li., vers. 16, be thrown on the fire of the altar, and 17, “ For thou desirest not saand the rest was for the priest. See crifice, else would I give it thee; thou Levit. v. 11, and two following delightest not in burnt offering, the verses. In fact, we may describe these sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.”: sacrifices as so many acts of homage Read the first, and beginning of the to God by his subjects, and as fines last, chapters of Isaiah. to the theocratic government, paid
We are now,
I hope, prepared to by transgressors for the support of hear what the New Testament says the national worship; at the same concerning the atonement for the time that sin-offerings ex-' soul, that is, the life: “ The blood pressive of the penitence and devo- (the life) is the atonement for the tion of the worshippers, but by no soul;" the appointed and accepted sameans expiatory in the sight of God crifice was the mean and sign of or in their own nature. It is evident reconciliation; the ilasterion, or mercy. that the holocausts always, and the seat in the tabernacle was the reconother voluntary thank-offerings com- ciliation residence, and this seat, like monly, were slain animals, while in the altar, &c.' was atoned,* that is, the case of the poor, the sin-offering, at-one-ed with the people by the that is, the sacrifice of atonement, blood of the atonement, or covenant was nothing more than a handful of of reconciliation combination, or felmeal scattered upon the altar, the re- lowship, so Rom. v.; " we being residue being the perquisite of the conciled (to God) shall be saved by priest. If, then, the burnt-offerings Christ's life, by whom we have now were typical, and known to be so by (at length) received the atonement." the believing Israelites, which of The Gentile believes, the sinner rethem was typical of the death of pents; they enter into covenant with Christ? Was it the handful of meal their God and he receives and forfor the whole burnt-offering? If any gives tliem, 1 Johni. 1,3, “That which one of them was typical, then what we have seen and heard declare we was its value to the worshipper, if he unto you, that ye also may have fel did not understand the application of lowship with us: and truly our felthe type? How is it that Moses or lowship is with the Father and with Aaron never explained the meaning his son Jesus Christ," that is, we are of prophetic sacrifices to the people, in covenant with God and invite you when they are directed to be so par- to enjoy the same privilege. I chalticular, and even minute in other, lenge biblical critics to shew a single and we should think minor circum- passage in all the New Testament, in stances. We can prove that the best which the Greek word rendered and wisest of the Israelites laid no atoneinent is used in any other sense sort of stress on the mere offering, than that of reconciliation, or where whatever might be its nature, to re- God is ever said to be reconciled to commend them to God; and it cannot man by the death of Christ; or any one be proved from any thing said on the instance in all the scriptures, in which subject in the Jewish scriptures, that an atonement is represented as an exthe Mosaic ceremonial taught the doc- piatory sacrifice, by the tranfer of trine of a future state. That weak guilt from the siuner's conscience to and wicked man Saul, the king of Is- the devoted creature or person. There rael, like many other weak and wick- are two , passages particularly, in ed people in all ages, misunderstood or wilfully perverted the meaning of
* The word “ vne” was formerly prosacrifice, and Samuel reproves him nounced“ own,” and is so still in some parts accordingly. See 1 Samuel, xv. 22, of the west of England. Persons in cove“ Hath the Lord as great delight in nant with God are his own people, be burut-offerings and sacrifices, as in propriates them to himself.
which the word atonement is used well to consider. It is plain enough in the Greek, and which is rendered that the author of the Epistle to the “reconciliation.” Rom. xi. 15, “ If the Hebrews has reference to the Abracastiug away of them" (the Jews) hamic covenant in the context, and “ be the reconciling of the world" that he most properly accommodates &c.; that is, if the rejection of the the circumstances attending the first Jews bring the whole world into co- introduction and establishment of vciant with God. The second pas. Christianity in the world, to the sasage is in 2 Cor. v. 19, « God crifices and ceremonies which attendwas in Christ reconciling the world ed the promulgation and acceptance to himself;" that is, bringing the of the laws of God through the Jew. world into covenant with himself by ish legislator. “ The blood of the his son, as he before had brought the covenant,” &c. “ sanctified by the children of Abraham into covenant blood," &c. viz, consecrated, devoted by his servant Moses. There is a to holy uses, appropriated to the third passage in which the word re- Deity. Ab, Infidels! young Infidels, concile is used by our Lord, Matthew children of many prayers, I weep v. 24, that word is Alandzyr,61—“ be while I write, forsake not the God of reconciled to thy brother;" the your fathers, count not the blood of same word as is elsewhere trans. the covenant a common, an unholy lated atone and reconcile: dra is the thing! The death of Christ was nepreposition prefixed: naraanayete cessary to accomplish the will of God, is also a compound word, a preposi- he died for the truth, therefore his
his death was violent, not voluntary, being prefixed; it is used by Paul
, blood was the scal, pledge and rati2 Cor. V. 20, and is rendered“ be ye fication of God's new, last, best covereconciled to God.” One of these pas- nant with man. Through his blood sages explains the other; you are going, says Christ to claim the divine we have redemption, that is, deliverfavour on the conditions of the Abra. ance from death and destruction, from hamic covenant, by bringing your
ignorance, itlolatry, vice and guilt, gift, offering, sacrifice to God; have the communication of God's forgiveyou broken the law of affection? ness, and the confirmation of his faHave you, like Cain, ill-will to your vour to mankind. Through this dibrother? “ Cease to do evil, learn to vine martyr's blood, we have holiness, do well;" go, be reconciled to your
life, hope, a resurrection, immortality; brother, renew the covenant of na
taking then, the subject in this light, ture which you have broken, and then the strong, but not too strong, figuracome and do your homage and renew
tive expressions of the New Testa, your covenant with your God, and ment writers become plain, and the you shall be accepted. In fact, the meaning of our Lord in the Christian word atonement or reconciliation, has
institute the Lord's supper, becomes reference to the covenant-ceremonies intelligible. Luke xxii. 19, “ This is of the patriarchal ages. Thus God my body wbich is given for you ;" covenanted with Abraham, with Is. 20, “ This cup is the New-Testarael, with the world by Jesus Christ; ment,” (covenant, diatheke,)“ in my
Christ the law was called the book of the blood which is shed for you." covenant because it contained the was to be the covenant-sacrifice that conditions on which that covenant the world might be brought into cowas made. The gospel is often called venant with God. But what were a covenant. See Heb. x. 29. “Of the conditions of this new dispensahow much sorer punishment, suppose
tion, those that were adapted to, not ye, shall he be thought worthy, who a small tribe of mankind, but all hath trodden under foot the son of God's family? Ilasterion, a mercyGod, and hatha counted the blood of seat, xatandayre a reconciliation, the covenant wherewith he was sanc. diatheke, a covenant for the whole tified,” (devoted to God)
human race. The gospel is the coveholy thing, and has done despite to naut of God, and by Christ the Lamb, the spirit of grace?” This awful the slain-passover, that covenant is sage persons who, through love of the confirmed; the gospel is a testament present evil world, have apostatized which by the death of the testator is from the Christian faith, would do rendered valid; Jesus is the sin-offer
ing, for by his life, sufferings and also Matt. ii. 11, “I indeed baptize death, believers have their hope in you with water unto repentance: but God; Jesus is the High-priest and he that cometh after me is mightier Mediator between God and man, for than I, whose shocs I am not worthy by him we have the perfect know. to bear, he shall baptize you with ledge of God's will and character, and the Holy Ghost and with fire;" that through him we have the enjoyment that is, “ I initiate you into my docof God's favour.
trine by lustration, thus I introduce If your readers will take these you by a figure into covenant with ideas with them, they will I trust, God; but Jesus will lustrate you find the New Testament an easier really, he will purify your hearts and book than some I fear wish it to be lives by his ductrine and spirit.” JusBut what is this New Testament co- tice and mercy are honoured in the venant? Christ offered, devoted him- death of Christ, and life and immorta. self without spot to God, to purge the lity are secured by his resurrection. conscience from dead works that we Surely the work of Jesus was in the might serve him, Heb, ix. 14. See highest degree meritorious, he was also Peter's reasoning, i Ep. chap. i. our intercessor on earth, he is our from ver. 17, to the end. Yes! Jesus mediator and advocate in heaven, is a Mediator of a better covenant, through him the divine mercy is comestablished upon beiter promises than municated to men. Thus God ho. that of Moses. See Heb. viii. 6. To nours his beloved and exalted son: return to the former chapter, Heb. he supplies all our wants out of his ix. 15, and following verses; here riches in glory by Christ Jesus. In the words testament and testator a few words, If we suy that a way was might have been rendered “covenant" opened by the death of Christ for the and “covenant-witness," alluding to free and consistent exercise of mercy tir the ceremonies and the victim em- all the methods which sovereign wisployed in such engagements; the dom saw fit to adopt, perhaps we shall word is equivocal, and it is plain this include every material idea which the author so considered it. He says, scriptures give us of that important ver. 18, “ the first testament was event. not dedicated without blood; Moses,"
I am, Sir, yours, 19th ver. “ took the blood of calves
B. P. SEVERN. and sprinkled both the book and the Erratum.-P. 88, col. 1, 1. 19 from the people,” &c. Read to the end of the bottom “signa” for si quas. chapter. Thus “ there are three that bear record, the spirit, the water, SIR. and the blood.”
T is said that Jesus Christ made To sum up the tenor of our reasoning, the most ancient sacrifices were divine justice by his sufferings and symbolical but not typical, they were death ; now, I wish to ask when and peace or thank-offerings, but not sa- how he made the atonement and gave crifices for sin. The Jewisha sin-of- the satisfaction ? By his death? or by fering, a refinement on the original the sufferings that preceded and ushidea, was not expiatory, nor had it ered in his death? or by both togereference to any thing future. The ther? death of Christ was a sacrifice to God If by his death, was it the mere ciron the altar of purity, fidelity, integ- cumstance of dying, or was it the rity, virtue : faith in Christ and re- mental agony that accompanied death? pentance towards God, holiness, with- But the history shews that he died out which no man shall see the Lord, with composure and serenity; in the a sincere heart, a righteous disposi- mere struggle of nature he did indeed tion are necessary to those who call out in the language of one of the would enjoy the privileges of this penitential psalms, My God, my God, atonement, this reconciliation, obe. why hast thou forsaken me?--he predience to the gospel, the word of sently recovered himself, however, he reconciliation, truth and salvation. prayed to his father, was heard in Were not these things expressed by that he feared, committed himself to the Jewish lustrations and by Chris- him that judgeth righteously, and into tian baptism? “ Purge me with hys- his Father's hands gently commended sop, &c. wash me, &c." Psalm li. Šee his spirit, declaring before he died,
it is finished. All that depended upon die, for 11: a living man made the him was finished before he died, and satisfaction, and, for aught that apsome time before he died he enjoyed pears, he might have continued to live calmness of mind: the wrath of God and his work been complete. And it was not therefore poured out upon behoves the popular teachers to deterhim on the cross, nor was the atone- mine what was the nature of Christ's ment or satisfaction made by his sufferings in the garden? Was he opdeath.
pressed by the consciousness of imWe may look at this matter in ano- puted guilt: then with what prother point of view. On the popular priety can it be said that he knew no scheme, all the efficacy of Christ's sin, since the propriety and efficacy death depends upon his divinity; but of his punishment must have consisted upon the same scheme, it was impos- in his knowledge or consciousness of sible that he should suffer : the Deity sin? Was he overwhelmed with the is unchangeable and impassible; and wrath of God: then God was angry even if a God could have suffered, all with him; and who was it at the suffering must have been light to him; same time that sent an angel to omnipotence is equal to itself and strengthen him.? Consider the sufferer could easily have borne what omnipo- in the garden as God as well as man, tence could inflict. But in whatever and what a scene of contradiction strains the pseudo-orthodox may sing rises up to view! A divine person of a bleeding and dying God, they will praying, trembling, sinking! Oppot soberly reason in favour of so Pa- pressed by God, imploring the symgan a notion; and therefore, according pathy of the apostles, comforted by an to them it was only the man Christ angel ! Jesus that suffered and died, and if The writer to the Hebrews supthat death and those sufferings made poses that Christ's sufferings consisted the atonement and gave the satisfac- in the fear of death : * let those who tion, the whole work was accom- defend the common scheme of atoneplished by the much-vilified human ment explain how this fear was posnature. It is pleaded, I am aware, sible to one who was conscious of all that the union of the divinity with the strength of deity, and also how the the humanity, stamped an infinite shrinking from death is consistent value upon the sufferings of the latter; with the benevolence of Christ, if he but how idle to talk of an union be knew both that no suffering could extween two natures, of which one was ceed or equal his infinite power, and agonized and torn in pieces, and the at the same time that upon his sufferother was at its ease and absolutely ing and death depended the salvation incapable of a painful sensation! of the human race, or a great part of
The popular preachers and poets them, from everlasting torments ? sometimes talk and write as if it were If the atonement were made neither the blood of Christ (physically so) hy his death nor his agony singły, it which satisfied and appeased the wrath would be difficult to prove that it was of God. There is no arguing against made by them both together; espemetaphors considered in any other cially since there is no necessary conlight than a metaphor, however, this nexion between them, but on the may be pronounced a foul and abomi- contrary they form two distinct scenes nable supposition.
in our Lord's history, marked by obFrom the actual death of Christ, viously different states of mind. the advocates of the doctrine of stis- Taking atonendent in the sense of faction will probably flee to the agony reconciliation, the true scriptural sense, in the garden; for we have seen that the idea of redemption or salvation is Christ did not die under the wruth of clear. Mankind were alienated from God, and that before he died all that God by wicked works, Jesus Christ depended upon him was finished: but if hrought them back to their heavenly the atonement were made in the gar- Father by his example and commandden, it was made without death and ment of all righteousness. Vice and without blood.* On this supposition, iniquity wrought in reflecting minds Christ might suffer, but he did not a sense of guilt and fear, Jesus Christ
banished despair and inspired bope by Luke's language [ch. xxii. 44, ) is “his twent was as it were great drops of blood.”
Heb. v. 7.