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siderations of giving a ransom; offering a sacrifice; making a satisfaction; obtaining a victory; celebrating a triumph; and accomplishing a destruction. These conside rations are highly interesting, and an illustration of each is suitable to the design of our coming together this day.
First, In dying, the Son of God is to be considered as giving a ransom. Under this consideration his death is represented by himself: "The Son of man came not to be "ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a "ransom for many. ""* Of Christians, who are baptised into his death, one apostle says, "Ye are bought with a "price;" and another declares the price to be "the pre"cious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and "without spot." Under consideration of a ransom, the effect of the death of Christ is redemption from the curse of the law, from the servitude of sin, from the tyranny of Satan, from the bondage of the world, from the sting of death, and from the danination of hell. "Christ hath re"deemed us from the curse of the law." "In Christ we "have redemption, through his blood, even the forgiveness "of sins." "Christ gave himself for us, that he might re"deem us from all iniquity." The price is paid and accepted; liberty is proclaimed and offered. Through the blood of the everlasting covenant the Son of man is brought again from the dead, and armed with power to open prisons and knock off fetters, and to take out of the hand of the prince of this world all for whom he gave his life a ransom.
Secondly, In dying, the Son of God is to be considered as offering a sacrifice. Under this consideration his death is set forth in many texts. "Thou shalt make his soul an "offering for sin." "Christ our passover is sacrificed for "us." "Christ hath loved us, and hath given himself for "us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet smel<ling savour." "Once, in the end of the world, hath he "appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Under consideration of a sacrifice, the effect of the death of Christ is atonement and reconciliation. "If when we "were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death
+Cor. v. 7.
*Matt. xx. 28.
tIsa. liii. 10.
Heb. ix, 26
of his Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be "saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in "God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have "now received the atonement."* From the entrance and reign of sin, God commanded sinners to appear before him with sacrifices, and appointed the sacrifices which it was his pleasure to accept. These sacrifices were instituted prefigurations of the sacrifice of Christ, and from his derived their value, their beauty, and their effect. In themselves they could not make offerers perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; nor glorify the justice of God in pardoning iniquity, transgression, and sin. But, till the end of the world, in which Christ appeared, and put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, these sacrifices were commanded to be offered daily, as prefigurations of his offering, and means of deriving from it that virtue which purged the conscience, and reconciled the offerers to God. In a speech delivered to the church by David, and illustrated by the writer to the Hebrews, the Holy Ghost reveals the glory of the mystery of sacrificing. "Sacrifice "and offering thou didst not desire, mine ears hast thou "opened, burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not re"quired. Then said I, Lo, I come, in the volume of the "book it is written of me. I delight to do thy will, O my "God, yea, thy law is within my heart."t "Wherefore, "when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and "offering thou wouldest not; but a body hast thou prepa❝red me. In burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin thou "hast had no pleasure: Then said I, Lo, I come (in the "volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O "God. Above, when he said, Sacrifice, and offering, and "burnt-offerings, and offering for sin thou wouldest not, "neither hadst pleasure therein (which are offered by the "law;) then said he, Lo, I come, to do thy will, O God. "He taketh away the first, that he may establish the se"cond. By the which will we are sanctified, through the "offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."‡
Thirdly, In dying, the Son of God is to be considered as making satisfaction. The term satisfaction is not literally applied by the holy writers to his death; but they frequently express its meaning: "He was wounded for
*Rom. v. 10, 11. †Psal. xl. 6, 7, 8.
"our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the "chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his "stripes we are healed-He was oppressed and he was af"flicted-For the transgression of my people was he "stricken." *** "Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the "just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being "put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit."4 Sin is the transgression of the law, and an offence against the authority of the Lawgiver. By the offence of one, who represented all, judgment unto condemnation came upon all. This judgment could not be reversed, nor the offence, and the crimes which followed, cxpiated without satisfaction. None of the offenders could satisfy for himself, nor could one, nor a number of them, satisfy for the rest. But, sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, God condemned sin in his flesh, and received in his death that satisfaction which magnified the penalty of the law, and glorified his perfections in the highest. Under consideration of satisfaction, the effect of the death of Christ is pardon and justification: "Being justified freely by "his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ, "whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through "faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the re"mission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of "God-To declare at this time his righteousness, that he "might be just, and the justifier of him who believeth in "Jesus."
Fourthly, In dying, the Son of God is to be considered as obtaining a victory. No engagement equal to that upon the cross is recorded in the history of war. Upon the mountains of Gilboa, in the vale of Siddim, and on the banks of Euphrates, potsherd strove with potsherd, and worm fought with worm; but upon Calvary, the Prince of Peace and the prince of the power of the air engaged. The salvation of millions depended upon the issue of the day, nor was the issue doubtful. The Prince of Peace overcome by his blood, and conquered through his death. By his right-hand and his holy arm the forces of the adversary were broken, and victory obtained, which will be celebrated through eternity. Under consideration of victory, the effect of the death of the Lord our Righteous
*Is. liii. 5, 7, 8. 1 Pct. iii. 18. Rom. iii. 24, 25, 26.
ness is joy unspeakable and full of glory. "All the people "who came together to that sight, beholding the things which "were done, smote their breasts and returned." ""* They saw him die without observing the mystery of his dying, and without praising the victory in his death. But the glory of these objects shining around us, we enter into the views of the holy writer, who says, "O sing unto the Lord "a new song, for he hath done marvellous things; his right"hand and his holy arm hath gotten him the victory;"† and feel ourselves constrained to join that celestial band in their new song, "Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open "the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed "us to God by thy blood-Worthy is the Lamb that was "slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and "strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing."‡
Fifthly, In dying, the Son of God is to be considered as celebrating a triumph. Look to the tree, and upon the Sufferer dying on it in the likeness of sinful flesh. Every thing the reverse of triumph, every appearance of defeat and disgrace, presents itself to the bodily eye. But in the light of revelation, intellectual and spiritual eyes behold, in this disgrace, the splendour of a mysterious triumph over invisible powers. "Having spoiled principalities and "powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over "them in his cross." In these words, the Apostle alludes to triumphal processions among the Romans, which threw upon the head of the conquered a load of infamy, insupportably humiliating and mortifying, while they exhibited pompous and dazzling shews of the fame and glory of the conquerors. The hour of the death of Christ was the hour of the power of darkness. At the beginning of it the chief of the rulers of the darkness of this world was in motion, with all his forces. They tempted the Son of God in the garden; and, by their speakers, insulted him upon the cross. But these principalities and powers gained no advantages over the object of their malice. Instead of gaining advantages, they were broken and disarmed, and before the holy angels, who were spectators of the action, were, in a manner we do not explain at present, exposed to open
*Luke xxiii. 48.
Rev. v. 9,
+Psal. xcviii. 1. §Col. ii. 15,
shame. Under consideration of a triumph, the effect of the death of the Lord our Righteousness is glory and honor. The perfections of God, meeting together in his face, and shining forth before confirmed angels and redeemed spirits of just men, glorified themselves in the highest; while his holy soul, delivered from the mouth of the lion, the horn of the unicorn, and the snares and sorrows of death, ascended to paradise, covered with the fame and glory of a triumph over the gates and powers of hell.
Sixthly, In dying, the Son of God is to be considered as accomplishing a destruction. This consideration of his death presents itself to our faith in several texts. "For this "purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might "destroy the works of the devil."* "He took part of flesh "and blood, that through death, he might destroy him that "had the power of death, that is the devil." "Our old "man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be "destroyed." "O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, "I will be thy destruction!"'S Under this consideration, the effect of his death is salvation; and, alluding to the rapture which John heard in heaven, we may say, "Now is come "salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and "the power of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren "is cast down;" and the power of death, in the destroyer of our race, is dissolved.
Endeavor to recollect these considerations of the death of the Son of God; and, by meditation and prayer, to fix them in your heart. Among believers, who have interest in him, meditation on these sublime subjects is attended with pleasure and advantage on all occasions; and especially when they have calls and opportunities to remember him at his Table. Nor are any subjects more necessary and interesting to you who are sinners, enemies and unbelievers. Such considerations- as we have set forth are means, by which the Holy Spirit enters sinners into the fellowship of his sufferings, and the mystery of his death; and by which he enlightens their minds, subdues their wills, purifies their affections, and sheds abroad in their hearts the love of God.
*1 John iii. 8
Rom. vi. 6.
† Heb. ii. 14.
Hos. xiii. 14.