« AnteriorContinuar »
- an Angel of God coming to him, and saying Tby Prayers and thine Alms are come up for a Memorial before God; and now send Men 10 Joppa, and call for one Simon, zuhole Surname is Peter — He shall tell thee what thou OUGHTEST TO DO, Acts x. 1, c. Here again Natural Religion is described as sublisting in all human Perfection, and yet somETHING was still to be done. Go bot to the next Chapter, where St. Peter rehearses this Transaction to the Apostles and Brethren, and you will see what this something was, for thus the Message by the Angel to Cornelius is repeated ; Call for one Simon, whoje
. Surname is Peter, who shall tell thee Words, whereby thou and all thy Herre shall be
Cornelius then, it seems, was not already saved by his Natural Religion, but was to be saved by his attending to the Doctrine in which St. Peter had Commission to instruct him. And what this Doctrine was, we are told, ver. 42, 43. of the tenth Chapter ; He commanded us to preach unto the Peoples and to testify, that it is be which was ordained of God to be the Judge of Quick and Dead and that through his Name whoToever believeth in him, pall receive REMISSION OF Sins. Righteous as these Men were, they were not perfect. Salvation there could not therefore be, with. out Remission of Sin; and thi: they were to obtain by Faith in Chrift; by following him, and becoming his Disciple. What was their Care, was, and is the Case of all the World besides. For All have sinned, and come sort of the Glory of God, being juflified freely by his Grace, through the Redemption that is in Jesus Chrift, as St. Paul speaks, Rom. iii. 23, 24.
This is the general Advantage we gain by coming to Chrift, and which we cannot have by mere Natural' Religion, viz. Remission of Sin, and the Assurance of Eternal Life by the Redemption that is in Jesus Christ. It will be necessary that I enter particularly into the Explanation of this great and leading Article of our Faith.
To take this Matter from the Beginning, of Rupemp.
we must go up as high as the Fall of Adam,
who being created to a Life of immorial Happiness, by Transgreflion loft it to himself, and to all his Pofterity after him. Now Chrif came to restore what Adam loft, as will appear from the following Paffages.
Matth. xviii. 11. The Son of Man is come to Jave that which was loft.
Rom. v. 19. As by one Man's Disobedience many were made Sinners í so by the Obedience of one fall many
be made righteous -- That as Sin bath reigned unto Death, even so might Grace reign through Righteousness unto Eternal Life by Jesus Chris our Lord.
1 Cor. xv. 21, 22. By Man came Death, by Man came also the Refurre&tion from the Dead; for as in Adam all die, eren so in Chrif Jhall all be made alive.
Rom. vi. 23. The Wages of Sin is Death; but the Gift of God is Eternal Lift, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Here, 1. Grace is said to reign unto Eternal Life, even as Sin reigned unto Death. But Sin reigned unto Death as in consequence of Sin, Death pased upon all Men. Therefore Grace reigneth unto Eternal Life, as, through the Mercies of God, Eternal Life is refored unto all Men. Grace (zápis) in this place signifies the Favour of God accepting us to Eternal Life ; which is styled the Gift of God, as it stands distinguished from Debt, or what we may demand or challenge as our Due...
2. The Obedience of Chrif is expressly set forth as the Cause of this Grace, or Acceptance to Eternal Life, just as the Disobedience of Adam was the Reason why the Sentence of Death passed upon
By one Man's Disobedience many were madz Sinners.
the Obedience of one shall many be made righteous, &c. What now was this Obedience? It was bis Obedi. ence in suffering, and in dying upon the Cross, by
* To bim that worketh (i, e. doch what the Law requires) is the Reward not reckoned of Grace, but of Debt, Rom, iv. 4.
Heb. v. I.
which he made an Atonement and Propitiation for the Sins of the whole World.
Though he were a Son, yet learned he Obe. dience, by the Things which he suffered.
9. And being made perfect, he became the Author of Eternal Salvation to all them that obey him.
Tewbes, being made perfeci, fignifies being made perfect through Sufferings, which was eff cted by Chrifi's Death, and not belore; as appears from Chap. ii. ver. 10 where the Apostle having said, that Chrift was crowned with Glory for the suffering of Death, sub. joins ; For it became him, for whom are all Things, and by whom are all Things, in bringing many sons unto. Glory (Teamwoas) to make perfect the Capiain of their Salvation through Sufferings. Chrift therefore was (Tedewle's) made perfečt by suffering Death, in Confequence of which it is here said, that he became the Au. thor of eternal Salvation. For being made perfect (i.e. by being made perfect) be became, &c. This wiid be farther supported by what follows.
Matt. xx. 28. The Son of Man came to give his Life (aútgou) a Ransom for many.
i Tim.ji. 5. There is one Mediator. between God and Man, the Man Christ Jesus.
6. Who gave himself a Ransom for all.
Aúrgor, a Ransom, is properly the Price or Purchase of a Man's Redemption. The Money, or other valuaile Consideration, upon Payment of which the Caprive is set at Liberty. The Blood of Christ, therefore, is the Price of our Redemption from Sin and Death, and so it is expressly ftyled by St. Paul, Ye are bought with a Price, i Cor. vi 20. And by St. Peter; Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed (öts en en vlente) with corruptible Things, as Silver and Gold — but with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without Blemish, and without Spot (1 Pet. i. 18.) i.e. by Christ offering up himself as a Sacrifice or Propitiation * Propitia.
tory * Some Writers affect to call the Blood of Chrift the Seal of the Covenant. This is new Language in Divinity, of which the
tory Sacrifices were in Nature of them (aboga) Ransoms ; the Lifeof the Animal being accepted instead of the Punishment due to the Offender; and that Chris was a propitiatory Sacrifice, the following Passages 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 LIFB for the Sheep.
Acts xx. 28. The Church of God, which he bath PURCHASED with his own Blood. Rom. iii. 24, 25.
- Jesus Chrif; whom God hath
' set forth to be a PROPITIATION, for the Remision of Sins that are paft. Eph. v. 2. Chrif hath
given himself for us an. OFFERING and a SACRIFICE to God.
Rom. v. 11. By whom we have received the A. TONEMENT.
Coloff. i. 14. In whom we have REDEMPTION through his Blood, even the Forgiveness of our Sins.
19. For it pleased the Father having made Peace BY THE BLOOD of his Cross, BY HIM to reconcile all Things to himself.
These Passages want no Comment. You have seen before, that Christ was to restore what Adam loft; that he was to do it by his Sufferings and Death, which was to be a Ransom for all. And here Chrif himself says, that he would give his Flesh (i. e. his Body) for the Scriptures know nothing. Often is Cbrift set forth as a Sacrifice, Atonement, or Propitiation for Sin; but no there is the Death or the Blood of Cbrifl called the Seal of the Covenant, which, in the Nature of it, it cannot be. The Seal of the Covenant is the Ev.dence of the Covenant, and Cbriff's Death was not the Evidence of the Covenant, nor, properly speaking, any Evidence of it. Had Cbriß died, and only died, he would have given no Proof of the Truth of his M ffion; but that which is the Ev.dence of Cbrifl’s Mission, that, and that only, is the Evidence of the Co
Such are all the mighty Work, which he wrought; but esprcially, and above all, such was his Resurrection from the Dead, by which, (as the Apostle speaks) he was DECLARED to be ibe Son of God wirb Power, Rom, i, 4,
Life of the World; and bis Apoftles fay of him, that he is a Propitiation, an Offering, a Sacrifice, an A. tonement, our Redemption, and our Reconciliation with God. They who anderfand these Exprefsions as Allufions only, and not as denoting any real and proper Efficacy in the Blood of Chrif to put away our Sins, are very anreasonable. For if they are Allufions, they · must be Allufions to something ; and to what can they allude, but to the Sacrifices under the Law ? Suppole this to be the Case, you must then grant that the Sa. crifices under the Law were real and
Sacrifices ; for an Allusion is an Allusion to something real. But if the Sacrifices under the Law had a real Effect (as it is certain they had) the Blood of Christ had a real and. more noble Effect ; and so far is it from Truth, that Chrif was a Sacrifice for Sin allusively 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. I. Let us attend to the Particulars of the Comparison between the two Dispensations (the Legal and the Evangelical) as stated at large in this Epittle, and we thall fee very plainly how the Cale stands. Was Aaron an High Priest? so was Christ.
Every High Priest taken from among Men is ordained for Men in 7 hings pertaining unto God And no Man taketh this Honour to himself, but be that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an High Priejt, but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to Day have I begotten thee, Chap. v. ver. I 5. Did Aaron, as an high Priest, offer both Gifts and Sacrifices for Sin? so did Christ. But she Sacrifice differed. - The High Priett under the Law offered the Blood of Beasts; But Chrif being come an High Priest
-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 legał Sacrifices were a Remedy againft legal Impuri. ties; the Sacrifice of Christ washed away the Defile.