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contrary to the discourse of the apostle now insisted on. Secondly, Their affirmation hereon is most false. Aaron, making an atonement for sin, “confessed over the goat all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins," Lev. xvi. 21; and, besides, all manner of sins are comprised under these expressions, "ignorances and infirmities."
Secondly, They say, “For greater sins there was then no expiation, but death was threatened to them.” But, First, Then none that ever committed such sins were saved; for without expiation there is no salvation. Secondly, Death was threatened and inflicted without mercy for some sins, as the law with its judicial additaments was the rule of the judaical polity, and for those sins there was no sacrifice for a deliverance from death temporal; but death was threattened to every sin, small and great, as the law was a rule of moral obedience unto God; and so in respect of sacrifices there was no distinction. This difference of sacrifices for some sins, and not for others, in particular, did depend merely on their use by God's appointment in the commonwealth of that people, and had no regard to the spiritual expiation of sin, which they typified.
Thirdly, That God forgave the sins of his people of old by singular mercy, and not by virtue of his covenant, is a bold figment. God exercises no singular mercy but in the covenant thereof, Eph. ii. 12.
Fourthly, Their condition of expiation (by the way) under the new testament, “That the sinner fall not again into the same sin," is a matter that these men understand not; but this is no place to discuss it.
Fifthly, That the expiation under the old testament reached only to the removal of temporal punishment is another imagination of our catechists. It was death eternal that was threatened as the punishment due to the transgression of the law, as it was the rule of obedience to God, as hath been proved, even the death that Christ delivered us from, Rom. v. 12, etc.; Heb. ii. 14, 15. God was atoned by those sacrifices, according to their way of making atonement, Lev. xvi. 30; so that the punishment avoided was eternal punishment. Neither is this, indeed, spoken by our catechists as though they believed any punishment should be eternal; but they only hide themselves in the ambiguity of the expression, it being annihilation they intend thereby. The pūros pūdos of this discourse is, that expiation by sacrifices was no other than what was done really by the sacrifices themselves; so everting their typical nature and institution, and divesting them of the efficacy of the blood of Christ, which they did represent.
Sixthly, It is confessed that there is a difference between the expiation under the old testament and that under the new, but this is of application and manifestation, not of impetration and procurement. This is “ Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.”
But they plead proof of Scripture for what they say, in the ensuing question:
Q. How dost thou demonstrate both these
A. That the sins which could not be expiated under the old testament are all expiated under the new, Paul witnesseth, Acts xiii. 38, 39; and the same is also affirmed Rom. iii. 25, Heb. ix. 15: but that sins are so expiated under the new testament as that also eternal punishment is removed, and life eternal given, we have Heb. ix. 12.1
This work will speedily be at an issue. First, It is denied that Paul, Acts xiii. 38, 39, makes a distinction of sins, whereof some might be expiated by Moses' law, and others not. He says no more there
. than in this place to the Hebrews,-namely, that the legal sacrifices, wherein they rested and trusted, could not of themselves free them or their consciences from sin, or give them peace with God, being but types and shadows of good things to come, the body being Christ, by whom alone all justification from sin is to be obtained. Absolutely, the sacrifices of the law expiated no sin, and so were they rested in by the Jews; typically, they expiated all, and so Paul calls them from them to the antitype (or rather thing typified), now actually exhibited.
Secondly, The two next places, of Rom. iii. 25, Heb. ix. 15, do expressly condemn the figment they strive to establish by them, both of them assigning the pardon of sins that were past and their expiation unto the blood and sacrifice of Christ. Though there were, then, purifications, purgations, sacrifices, yet the meritorious and efficient cause of all expiation was the blood of Christ; which manifests the expiation under the old and new testament for substance to have been the same.
Thirdly, That the expiation under the new testament is accompanied with deliverance from eternal punishment and a grant of life eternal is confessed; and so also was that under the old, or it was no expiation at all, that had respect neither to God nor the souls of men. But to proceed with the sacrifice of Christ.
This is the first thing I proposed: Christ being to offer sacrifice, was not to offer the sacrifices of the priests of old, because they could never bring about what he aimed at in his sacrifice. It was impossible in the nature of the thing itself, and they were expressly as to that end rejected of God himself.
2. Christ as a priest did never offer those sacrifices. It is true, as one made under the law, and whom it became to fulfil all righteousness, he was present at them; but as a priest he never offered
*" Qua ratione vero utrumque demonstras |--Peccata quæ sub vetere foedere expiari non potuere omnia sub novo expiari, testatur apostolus Paulus in Act. cap. xiii. 38, 39, idem habetur, Rom. iii. 25, Heb. ix. 15. Quod vero ea ratione expientur peccata sub novo fædere ut etiam æterna poena amoveatur, et vita æterna donetur, habe tur Heb. ix. 12, ubi sup."-Q. 6.
them: for the apostle expressly affirms that he could not be a priest that had right to offer those sacrifices (as before); and he positively refuses the owning himself for such a priest, when, having cured the leprous man, he bade him go show himself to the priest, according to the law.
3. What Christ did offer indeed, as his sacrifice, is nextly to be mentioned. This the apostle expresseth in that which is asserted in opposition to the sacrifices rejected: Heb. x. 5, “But a body hast thou prepared me.”
The words in the psalm are in the sound of them otherwise: Ps. xl. 6,5 278,-"Mine ears hast thou digged;" which the LXX. render, and the apostle from them, fãruc xarmpriow Moi,-“ A body hast thou prepared me.” Of the accommodation of the interpretation to the original there is much contention. Some think here is an allusion to the custom among the Jews of boring the ear of him who was, upon his own consent, to be a servant for ever. Now, because Christ took a body to be obedient and a servant to his Father, this is expressed by the boring of the ear; which therefore the LXX. render by “preparing a body” wherein he might be so obedient. But this to me seems too curious on the part of the allusion, and too much strained on the part of the application; and therefore I shall not insist on it.
Plainly, 177 signifies not only, in its first sense, to “dig;” but also to “prepare;” and is so rendered by the LXX. Now, whereas the original expresseth only the ears, which are the organ by which we hear and become obedient (whence to hear is sometimes as much as to be obedient), it mentions the ears synecdochically for the whole body, which God so prepared for obedience to himself; and that which the original expressed synecdochically, the LXX., and after them the apostle, rendered more plainly and fully, naming the whole body wherein he obeyed, when the ears were only expressed, whereby he learned obedience.
The interpretation of this place by the Socinians is as ridiculous as any they make use of. Take it in the words of Volkelius:
Add hereto that the mortal body of Christ, which he had before his death, yea, before his ascension into heaven, was not fit for his undergoing this office of priesthood or wholly to accomplish the sacrifice; wherefore the divine writer to the Hebrews, chap. x. 5, declareth that then he had a perfect body, accommodated unto this work, when he went into the world that is to come, which is heaven.
* " Adde quod corpus mortale, quo Christus ante mortem, imo ante suum in cælum ascensum præditus erat, ad hoc sacerdotium obeundum et sacrificium penitus absol. vendum aptum non fuit; ideoque tunc demum corpus, huic rei accommodatum perfectum ei fuisse, divinus author indicat, Heb. 2. 5, cum in mundum, nempe futurum illum, qui cælum est, ingrederetur.”—Volkel. de Vera Relig. lib. iii. cap. xxxvii. de sac. Christi, p. 146.
A heap of foolish imaginations! First, The truth is, no body but a mortal body was fit to be this sacrifice, which was to be accomplished, according to all the types of it, by shedding of blood; without which there is no remission. Secondly, It is false that Christ had a mortal
a body after his resurrection, or that he hath any other body now in heaven than what he rose withal. Thirdly, It is false that "the world,” spoken of simply, doth anywhere signify the world to come, or that "the world” here signifies heaven. Fourthly, It is false that the coming into the world signifies going out of the world, as it is here interpreted. Fifthly, Christ's bringing into the world was by his incarnation and birth, Heb. i. 6, according to the constant use of that expression in the Scripture; as his ascension is his leaving the world and going to his Father, John xiii. 1, xiv. 12, xvi. 28.
But I must not insist on this. It is the body that God prepared Christ for his obedience,--that is, his whole human nature,—that is asserted for the matter of Christ's offering; for the clearing whereof the reader may observe that the matter of the offering and sacrifice of Christ is expressed three ways:
(1.) It is said to be of the body and blood of Christ, Heb. x. 10. The offering of the body of Jesus and the blood of Christ is said to purge us from our sins, that is, by the sacrifice of it, and in his blood have we redemption, Eph. i. 7, 1 John i. 7; and by his own blood did he enter into the holy place, Heb. ix. 12, and most expressly chap. xiii. 12.
(2.) His soul: Isa. liii. 10, “When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin.”
(3.) It is most frequently said to be himself that was offered, Eph. v. 2, Heb. i. 3, ix. 14, 25, 26, vii. 27. Hence it appears what was
. the matter of the sacrifice of this high priest, even himself: he sacrificed himself,—his whole human nature; he offered up his body and soul as a propitiatory sacrifice to God, a sacrifice for atonement and expiation.
Farther to clear this, I must desire the reader to take notice of the import of this expression, "He sacrificed himself,” or Christ sacrificed himself. "He,” in the first place, as it is spoken of the sacrificer, denotes the person of Christ, and both natures therein; "himself,” as the sacrificed, is only the human nature of Christ, wherein and whereof that sacrifice was made. He makes the atonement actively, as the priest; himself passively, as the sacrifice:
[1.] “He” is the person of Christ, God and man jointly and distinctly acting in the work:
1st. As God: Heb. ix. 14, “ Through the eternal Spirit he offered himself to God.” His eternal Spirit or Deity was the principal agent, offering; and wherever there is mention of Christ's offering himself, it relates principally to the person, God-man, who offered.
2dly. The free will of bis human nature was in it also; so Heb. x. 7, "Lo, I come to do thy will." When God had prepared him a body, opened his ears, he says, "Lo, I come to do thy will," as it was written of him in the volume of God's book. And that this expression, "Lo, I come to do thy will,” sets out the readiness of the human will of Christ, is evident from that exposition which is given of it, Ps. xl. 8, “Yea, thy law is within my heart,” or “ in the midst of my bowels;”—“Thy law, the law of the mediator, that I am to undertake, it is in the midst of my heart;" which is an expression of the greatest readiness and willingness possible.
He, then, that offers is our mediator, God and man in one person; and the offering is the act of the person.
[2.] “Himself,” offered as the matter of the sacrifice, is only the human nature of Christ, soul and body, as was said; which is evident from the description of a sacrifice, what it is.
A sacrifice is a religious oblation, wherein something by the ministry of a priest, appointed of God thereunto, is dedicated to God, and destroyed as to what it was, for the ends and purposes of spiritual worship whereunto it is instituted. I shall only take notice of that one part of this definition, which asserts that the thing sacrificed was to be destroyed as to what it was. This is clear from all the sacrifices that ever were; either they were slain, or burned, or sent to destruction. Now, the person of Christ was not dissolved, but the union of his natures continued, even then when the human nature was in itself destroyed by the separation of soul and body. It was the soul and body of Christ that was sacrificed, his body being killed and his soul separated; so that at that season it was destroyed as to what it was, though it was impossible he should be detained by death.
And this sacrifice of Christ was typified by the two goats: his body, whose blood was shed, by the goat that was slain visibly; and his soul by azazel, on whose head the sins of the people were confessed, and he sent away into the wilderness, to suffer there by a fall or famishment.
This also will farther appear in our following consideration of the death of Christ as a punishment, when I shall show that he suffered both in soul and body.
But it may be said, “If only the human nature of Christ was offered, how could it be a sacrifice of such infinite value as to [satisfy] the justice of God for all the sins of all the elect, whereunto it was appointed?”
Ans. Though the thing sacrificed was but finite, yet the person sacrificing was infinite, and the årorésoua of the action follows the agent, that is, our mediator, Orávøp W705,—whence the sacrifice was of infinite value.