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sake ; and when the Church says, Ps. Ixxix. 9, Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy Name; and deliver us, and purge away our sins for thy Name's sake : the phraseology is exactly equivalent to what it would be, if for the sake of Christ had been substituted in each of these cases. This, however, is not mentioned as being necessary to the proof of the doctrine in hand; but as evidence, that the same views of it are given us in both Testaments.
On the same ground we are required to offer up our prayers to God in the Name of Christ. In John xvi. 23, our Saviour says, Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name : ask, and ye shall receive ; that your joy may be full; and again, At that day ye shall ask in my name : and in John xiv. 13, 14, And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. See, also, John xv. 16. St. Paul also, (Colossians iii. 17) And whatsoever ye do in word, or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus ; giving thanks to God and the Father by him. The direction, given to us to offer up our prayers and thanksgivings in the name of Christ, and the promise, that in this case, and in this only, we shall be heard, teaches us in the strongest manner, that our prayers are acceptable to God for his sake, and not our own; and that in offering them we are to rely, wholly, for acceptance, and for blessings of every kind, on what he has done, and not on what we have ourselves done. Of course, the audience and acceptance which are granted, and the blessings which are given to us, are granted, and given, for the sake of Christ, and not for our own sakes. But no reason can be alleged, why blessings should be given to us for the sake of Christ, unless he has interfered in some manner, or other, in our behalf, and done something for us, which has made it pleasing, and proper, in the sight of God, to give us blessings on this account, which, otherwise, he would not have thought it proper to give. If God will not give us blessings on our own account, it is undoubtedly, because we have done something, which renders it improper for him thus to give them. Otherwise, the same benevolence, which feeds the sparrow and the raven, would certainly be ready to bless us. We, therefore, by our sins have forfeited our title to all blessings, and even to the privilege of asking for them. If God will give us blessings on account of Christ, it is certain, that Christ has done something for us, which has removed this impropriety, and which God accepts on our behalf, notwithstanding the forfeiture. In other words, he has made it consistent with the honour of the divine character and government, that the benevolence, which we had forfeited, should be renewedly exercised towards us.
5thly. I argue the same doctrine from the Sacrifices, under the law of
St. Paul tells us, that the ancient tabernacle was a FIGURE for the time present. In the service, performed in it, victims were continually offered, under the name of sin-offerings; and by them an atonement was made for the sins, and for the souls, of the people. On this subject, the passages, which declare the doctrine, here specified, are found almost every where in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers; and cannot need to be repeated, at this time. But we know, from the same Apostle, that it is not possible for the blood of bulls, and of goats, to take away sin. Yet this blood is said, in thirty or forty passages, to be the means of making an atonement for those who offered it. In what manner was this true? St. Paul himself has taught us that it was true, in the typical, or figurative, sense, only. All these sacrifices, as he has taught us expressly in the 9th and 10th chapters of the Epistle to the Hebrews, were only types of the sacrifice of Christ; and the atonement, professedly made by them, was only a type of the real atonement, made by him. Particularly, the ceremonial of the sacrifice, on the great day of expiation, when the high priest made an atonement for himself, his family, the priests, and the whole congregation of Israel, was a remarkable and most lively type of the death and resurrection of Christ. On this day, the 10th day of the 7th month, annually, two goats were selected for an offering to God. One of these was killed, and his blood sprinkled upon the mercy-seat, and before the mercy-seat, and upon the horns of the altar. This was called making an atonement for the holy place, and reconciling the holy place, the tabernacle, and the aliar unto God; as having been polluted, during the preceding year, by the imperfect and impure services of sinful beings. On the head of the living goat the high priest laid both his hands, and confessed over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel; and sent him away by a fit man into the wilderness. Of this goat it was said, that he should bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited. This religious service cannot, I think, need any explanation.
I shall now proceed to consider,
1st. That, in my own view, all the sufferings of Christ were included in the atonement, which he made for sin.
Christ was perfectly holy. No part of his sufferings, therefore, can have been inflicted, or undergone, for his own sake. He was always beloved of God; and whatever he thought, spoke, or did, was ever well-pleasing in his sight. When, therefore, we are told, that it pleased Jehovah to bruise him, it was not as a punishment; for he never merited punishment; not a wanton, causeless infliction; for God cannot be the author of such an infliction. It was only as a substitute for mankind, that he was afflicted in any case, or in any degree; or because he had laid on him the iniquities of us
all. I understand all such general expressions as these : Ought not Christ to have suffered; it behoved Christ to suffer ; Christ must needs have suffered; Christ suffered for us ; Who being rich, became poor, that ye through him might become rich; as directly indicating, that all his sufferings were parts of his atonement.
2dly. The death of Christ, together with its preceding and attendant agonies, especially constituted his atonement.
This must, I think, have been already made evident from many passages, quoted, under the third head of discourse, as proofs of the Existence of an atonement for sin. I shall, however, add to these, several others, which must, it would seem, place the point, now in question, beyond a doubt.
In the text it is said, that Christ is set forth as a propitiation, through faith in his blood. But if the blood of Christ was not the means of his becoming a propitiation, it is difficult to conceive in what sense his blood can be the object of our faith, any more than the blood of Jeremiah, Peter, Paul, or any other Martyr to the truth of God. But if we walk in the light, says St. John-the blood of his Son Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin. Ephesians i. 7, In whom we have redemption through his blood; the forgiveness of sins ; according to the riches of his grace. Ephesians ii. 13, But now in Christ Jesus ye, who sometimes were afar off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 1 Peter i. 18, 19, Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot. Rev. i. 5, Who washed us from our sins in his blood. Rev. v. 9, Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood. Rom. v. 9, Being justified by his blood. In these passages it is directly asserted, that mankind are washed, cleansed, justified, forgiven, redeemed, and made nigh unto God, by the blood of Christ. He, who admits the Existence of an Atonement, cannot, with these declarations in view, hesitate to admit also, that it was accomplished by his blood, that is, by his death and its connected sufferings. The views of Christ himself concerning this subject cannot easily be mistaken, if we remember, that he said, that he came to give his life a ransom for many ; that the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep; 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 ihat I will give, is my flesh; which I will give for the life of the world. John vi. 51.
3dly. The peculiar agonies, which preceded, and attended, the death of Christ, and in which the atonement, made by him for sin, peculiarly consisted, were chiefly distresses of mind, and not of body. This I think evident from many considerations.
1st. There is no reason, so far as I can see, to suppose that the bodily sufferings of Christ were more severe, or even so severe, which have been experienced by many others.
The death of the cross, was undoubtedly a very distressing death. But it was probably less distressing, than that, experienced by
many of the Martyrs. Some of these were roasted by a slow fire. Some were dislocated on the rack, and suffered to expire under long continued tortures. Some had their flesh taken off, piece by piece, in a very gradual manner, with red hot pincers. Others expired under various other kinds of exquisite sufferings, devised by the utmost ingenuity of man, and protracted with the utmost cruelty. Multitudes of these Martyrs, however, have sustained all their distresses without a complaint, and expired without a groan. Multitudes also, both of Martyrs and others, have
died on the cross itself; and, for aught that appears, with bodily anguish, not inferior to that, which Christ endured. Yet of these, it would seem, numbers have died in the same peaceful manner. Even the thieves, who were crucified together with our Saviour, seem to have died without any complaint.
Yet Christ uttered a very bitter complaint on the cross; and complained, also, in a similar manner, in the garden of Gethsemane. Whence arose these complaints ? Not from his want of resignation to the will of God; for no other person was ever so resigned: not from the want of fortitude ; for no other person ever possessed it in an equal degree. The very complaints, which he utters, do not appear to have any respect to his bodily sufferings, but to have originated entirely from a different cause; and that cause purely mental; as I shall have occasion further onward to explain.
2dly. Christ is expressly said to have made his Soul an offering for sin.
Isaiah liji. 19, When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin. In the margin, “ When his soul shall make an offering for sin.” In Lowth, " If his soul shall make a propitiatory sacrifice.” But if his soul was indeed the sin-offering, then the sufferings which he underwent as an atonement for sin, were peculiarly the sufferings of his soul; or mental sufferings. Accordingly, they are called the travail of his soul.*
3dly. The complaints of Christ in the 22d, 40th, 69th, and 80th Psalms, appear to indicate, that his sufferings were chiefly sufferings of mind.
Such, at least, is the impression, made on my mind by reading these passages of Scripture; an impression, resulting, not so much from detached parts, as from the whole strain, of the composition. To this mode of examining the subject I shall refer those, who hear me,
for their own satisfaction. 4thly. The agony, which Christ underwent in the garden of Gethsemane, exhibits the same truth.
Christ, in this garden, had his sufferings in full view. The prospect was so terrible, that it forced from him sweat, as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground. At the same time, he prayed earnestly thrice, that, if it were possible, this cup might pass from
• He shall see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied. Ibid,
him. It cannot, I think, be imagined, even with decency, and cer
1 tainly not in any consistency with the character of Christ, as manifested elsewhere, that the mere prospect of death, even of a most cruel and bitter death, was so overwhelming to his mind, as to convulse his constitution in this manner, or to force from him such a prayer. Perhaps no person, under the mere apprehension of death, was ever agitated in an equal degree. Had it not pleased Jehovah to bruise him, there is no reason to believe that he would have been anxiously solicitous concerning the utmost evils, which he could suffer from the hands of men. He had directed even his disciples, notwithstanding their frailty, not to fear them, who could kill the body, and after that could do no more. It cannot be supposed, that his own conduct was not exactly conformed to this precept.
5thly. Christ himself appears to have decided this point, in the manner already specified.
In his exclamation on the cross, he said, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? As this was his only complaint, it must, I think, be believed to refer to his principal suffering. But the evil, here complained of, is being forsaken by God. In the language of the Psalmist, God hid his face from him; that is, if I mistake not, withdrew from him, wholly, those manifestations of supreme complacency in his character and conduct, which he had always before made. As this was in itself a most distressing testimony of the divine anger against sin; so it is naturally imagined, and, I think, when we are informed that it pleased Jehovah to bruise him, directly declared, in the Scriptures, that this manifestation was accompanied by other disclosures of the anger of God against sin, and against him, as the Substitute for sinners.
The views, and feelings, of one mind towards another can produce the highest sense of suffering, of which we are capable. The esteem, and love, of Intelligent beings are, when united, the most exquisite of all enjoyment; and are naturally, and in all probability necessarily, coveted more than any other, except the approbation of our own minds. Their mere indifference towards us, when they have opportunity of being so far acquainted with us, as to give room for being esteemed and loved by them, is, ordinarily, the source of severe mortification. In proportion as they are more intelligent and worthy, their love and esteem are more important to us, and more coveted by us; and the resusal of it creates in us more intense distress.
The complacency of God, whose mind is infinite, and whose disposition is perfect, is undoubtedly the first of all possible enjoy. ments. The loss of it, therefore, and the consequent suffering of his hatred and contempt, are undoubtedly the greatest evils, which a created mind can suffer; evils, which will, in all probability, constitute the primary anguish, experienced in the world of wo. Omniscience and Omnipotence are certainly able to communicate, during even a short time, to a finite mind, such views of the hatred