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fallen race, it requires more wisdom than I am master of, to see why any other part might not as well be dispensed with, or indeed the whole. I see not how the law could be said to be magnified by so partial an illustration. Besides, the Bible fully asserts, that the law has not failed, in one jot or tittle. Further, it is evident that the sufferings of Christ had a more special reference to the work of atonement, as the Bible fully represents him as a substitute, or as “ acting in our stead, bearing cr sins, &c." If he acted in our stead, then he suffered so as to afford as strong an expression of displeasure, as our suffering would have dope. That Christ acted in our stead, is fully asserted, or implied in numerous passages of Scripture, See Mat. xx. 28. Mark X. 45. 2 Tim. ii. 6. in which passages Christ is represented as giving himself for a ransom. It is observable, that the word here rendered, for, signifies in the room and stead of There are many other passages
that fully carry this idea. See 1 Peter iii. 18. He is also said to “die for the ungodly
to bear our sins in his own body on the tree :” “By whose stripes we are healed.” See Rom. v. 8. Christ is said to be made " sin for us, who knew no sin." See 2 Cor. v. 21. i. e. suffered as a sinner, was in the same sense a sinner, or sin, as the believer is made righteous. So Christ is said to be made a curse.
It is evident, that the atonement consisted ese pecially in the sufferings and death of Christ, from the offerings of atonement under the Jewish dispensation. The sin-offering of a Jew, over which sins were confessed and the beast put to death, was meant in his stead. Indeed, it is said, that the blood which is said to be the life, makes atonement. See Lev. xvii. 11. There are two things signified by these shadows of the atonement. The
atonement especially consisted in suffering. The beast was to have his life poured out, and the most essential part was to be burnt with fire. Fire was applied as an emblem of wrath. Thus we often read of " the fire of God's wrath, indignation and jealousy." Hereby was represented that Christ died for our sins; that he suffered the fruits of God's displeasure, due to our sins. This will appear when we consider, that these sacrifices were applied, as shadows of the great atonement. Thus. Christ is said to be our passover, and is called a high-priest. Indeed, the Apostle speaks of Christ as a sin-offering. See Heb. ix. 1, 9, 11, 12, 23.
The last thing that I shall offer to show, that the sufferings of Christ had a more special refer, ence to the work of atonement, is, that Christ is said to redeem by his sufferings ; to ransom and to purchase by the same means.
In all these ca. ses, sufferings are referred io. Thus Christ is said to purchase his church with his own blood. See Acts xx. 26. " Redeemed through the blood of Christ." Eph. i. 7. “ Brought nigh by his blood." Eph. ii. 13. So Christ is said to
make peace by the blood of his cross." And therefore, it was a maxim with the Apostle, that without the shedding of blood there is no remise. sion. Christ is said “ to be wounded for, our transgressions, and that by his stripes we are healed." The Bible no where speaks of our being rea deemed and ransomed by obedience, exclusive of sufferings.
Improvement. If we have had a just view of the nature of the atonement, the whole affair is of wonderful grace. The gospel plan, in this view, is wonderful in its contrivance ; that the fayor which God bestows on such vile creatures, should even manifest dis. pleasure.
* Neglect of gospel offers must be peculiarly heis nous. No wonder Christ should
"this is their condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men have chosen darkness rather than light. Had I not come and spoken unto them, they would not have had sin.” Such neglect is a contempt of God and of Christ's blood. We see, that all that Christ has done, will but serve to sink us lower in hell, if we neglect and despise the offers of mercy, -It is strange in this view of the atonement, that any should entertain a thought, that there is salvàtion in any other way, but through Christ. have had a just view of the atonement, to believe in Christ, supposes that we are suited with God's law and government. How important a prize have sinners put into their hands! Be exhorted then, to flee from the wrath to come, and to lay hold on eternal life,
HEB. IX. 22.
And without the shedding of blood there is no remission.
IT must be granted on all hands, that a thorough knowledge of the nature and design of the doctrine of the atonement, is of the highest importance. It is therefore, a subject worthy of frequent
* The reader is, doubtless, solicitous to know fully the senti. ments of Dr. Swift on the important subject of the atonement, and will not be displeased to find another discourse on the same subject here added. It appears to have been written since the former.
attention: Especially at a time when many implice itly deny any atonement at all, and others hold to sentiments nearly subversive of the doctrine, and are at the same time rapidly spreading those senti. ments in this country. Though these persons hold that Jesus was Christ, yet they contend that he came merely to delineate, by his example, the path of religion.
The Apostle, in the chapter from which the text is taken, is treating on the nature and necessity of an atonement : He urges the necessity of an infinite atonement ; that it was necessary that the Mediator should be “holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.'
He urges the necessity of his suf. fering in order to atonement, “ It became him bý whom and for whom are all things, in bringing many sons and daughters to-glory, to make the captain of their salvation perrect through suffering."
He urges the necessity of the sufferings of Christ, in the work of atonement, from the shadows and types under the law. He observes that almost every thing was purified by blood under the law-the testament, table and tabernacle; and adds in our text, “ that without the shedding of blood there is no remission." He refers to the institutions under the law ; that according to them, blood must be shed for remission. The Apostle is proving by this, that the blood of Christ alone cleanseth us from all sin.
Doctrine :-A complete and infinite atonement was necessary to pardon.
In the ensuing discourse, I shall
I. Make some observations respecting stonement.
II. Respecting pardon, or remission.
III. Respecting the grounds of the necessity of atonement in order to pardon.
1. I shall make some observations respecting atonement. God did not require an atonement, because he was gratified by the suffering of a transgressor. This is very far from the design of God, in punishing any. Indeed, -punishments ought never to be dictated by such a principle, in any case. It is true, that in depraved creatures, a spirit of revenge is gratified by punishment; but it is a spirit absolutely inconsistent with the infi. nite purity of the Deity.-Nor could the design of atonement be, to move the Deity to dispense with the penalty of the law, or abate from its strict de. mands, as some seem to imagine. It would be blasphemous to suppose, that God should want any thing to move him to save the sinner, if consistent with his character and justice. If it was not, it would be blasphemous to suppose, that Christ would wish to move him in this way.-Bė. sides, the Bible expressly declares, that he came 16 with the law written on his heart-ato magnify it and make it honorable.” -What then could be the design? I answer. It was evidently to il lustrate and manifest the feelings of the Deity, respecting his own character, law and government, and to express his aversion to sin. Had God embraced the sinner, and received him into commun. ion and favor, it would look as though God had fellowship with sin. Such conduct would have eclipsed the glory of the Divine character, and been a sacrifice of the law. What was necessary as to atonement was, that it should express fully, hatred and disapprobation of sin, and delight in holiness. This appears from all the shadows of atonement, to have been the design. With this view did Moses make atonement, as also Phineas.