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government of a succession of subtle, modate them together; but we can cruel and cowardly tyrants, but they find no proofs that either Moses, were to be ready to escape from their Aaron, or any of the Levites, or the rapacious grasp at a moment's warn- prophets, or the people, in any age ing; God was about to inflict his before Christ, had the most remote crowning judgment on the land of ideas of the facts recorded in the New Ham; at night the cry of death was Testament communicated to them by heard in the houses of the Egyptians, the annual paschal supper;nor did our and that “self-same day * (viz. the Lord convey a hint of this kind, when morning after the passover), the Lord he and his disciples celebrated it and brought the children of Israel out of when he partook of it himself. Symthe land of Egypt by their armies," bols and types must always be signior according to their muster.
ficant if they are to be understood. The side-post and upper door-post Our Lord partook not of the symbols of the houses where the passover was by which Christians are “ to shew eaten were to be smeared with the forth his death till he comc.” The blood of the paschal lamb, thus whole reason for this annual, festive claiming the protection of the Abra- memorialis assigned in the next hamic covenant; and thus were the chapter, Exod. xiii. 8; “ Thou shalt habitations of the children of Jacob show thy son in that day, saying, distinguished from those of the Egyp- this is done because of that which tians; the blood was to be the mean the Lord did unto me when I came of their preservation. No part of the out of the land of Egypt, &c., that lamb was to be left till miorning, if it the Lord's law may be in thy mouth, could be eaten by those for whom it &c." It is more than probable that was prepared, and if any were left, if any thing of greater importance had because it was a thing devoted to sa- been iutended, it would have been cred uses, it was to be burnt; none mentioned. In fact, the passover was but the circumcised were to partake a covenant-festival, a renewal of that of it, that is, none but the Israelites agreement which God made with and their families. Now had they Abraham, and the blood upon the neglected this mean of their preserva- lintels, &c. was the sign of it. It was tion, they would have proved their a most solemn act, claiming the prowant of confidence in their great De- mise and supplicating the protection liverer, and had they in future ages of Jehovah the God of Israel. See omitted this commemorative festival, Genesis xv. 7, to the end of the they would have shewn deep ingrati- chapter. In Exodus, xxiv. 4, and tude and sad forgetfulness of the con- the verses following to the eighth ditions of that covenant which a faith. inclusive, you have another instance Mul God had made with their fathers. of covenant-ceremony, accompaIf this national Mosaic festival had nied by holocausts and burnt-offerbeen intended to represent any future ings. Here Israel as a nation, enand greater deliverance, surely some- gaged with God to keep his laws, thing explanatory would have been and God with them to afford them found, either in the writings of Moses, protection and favour. Blood is his or in those of the prophets, and above sprinkled on the altars and on the all, if it referred to the Messiah, to people, and Moses having read the his death and to his blood which was law to the congregation, they anshed," not for the Jews only, but also swered, “ All that the Lord hath said for the Gentiles.”
will we do and be obedient;" then We can find, therefore, no reference answered their legislator, “ Behold, to future events in the feast of the the blood of the covenant which the passover or in the circumstances that Lord hath made with you concerning accompanied it. We may, indeed, go all these words." I need not say that out of the record, we may conjecture, here is no typical reference to the we may misapply Old Testament in- Messiah. That I may avoid prolixity, stitutes to New Testament facts; or suffice it to say, that the Hebrews wemay, like some authors of the scrip- had, according to the Mosaic institutures, with perfect fairness accom- tious, strictly speaking, but three
kinds of sacrifice, the holocaust or * “ The evening and the morning were whole burnt-offering, the peace-offerHe first day.” Gen, i. 5.
ing or the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and the sacrifice for sin. As the two devotion of the penitent sinner. Here former were common to the patri- then, we have a new idea connected archs, and as in fact, they were both with a sacrifice, a refinement on the thank-offerings to God, we shall original intention of burnt-offerings, therefore make no further inquiry “ Aaron and his sons laid their hands about them.
upon the bead of the bullock of the. There were other offerings enjoined sin-offering.” Levit. viii. 14. Was by Moses, such as those of corn, this expressive of a sense of demerit? meal, cakes, fruits, wine, &c. The Did it speak thus?; “ We are the pemethods of devoting or sacrificing nitent transgressors, this is the victim, animals also differed, as in the case of this creature is to die, and we deserve two sparrows and the scape-goat, death; for like Adam we have reLevit. chap. xiv. and chap. xvi.; all belled against thee, we have broken these may be explained on the same thy covenant.” “ It is a sin-offering," principles. We come now to that of course it is the offering of a sinner important, hallowed and much-dis- to a holy God. Like all the rest of puted kind of sacrifice, the sin-offer- the sacrifices, this was symbolical, it ing; and here, possibly, good Sir, expressed the case and heart of the you and several of your readers may worshipper and it was accepted. conscientiously differ in opinion from In this chapter Exod. xxix. you me; but I trust we shall agree to dif- have the first mention of atonement, fer under the correction of Christian ver. 36, “ Thou shalt offer every day charity. I may err, so may you, but a bullock for a sin-offering for atone. if we cannot help it, I hope God will ment;" so that the sin-offering was not lay the sin of ignorance to our expressive of atonement or reconcilia. charge. Let us then, not with fear tion. (There will be no dispute, I and trembling, but with the Bible believe, about the meaning of this before us, and with upright hearts, word, especially as it is explained in having but one view, the discovery the New Testament, but the question of truth, come to the inquiry. The is, in what sense is it called reconfirst account we have of this kind of ciliation ?) To say that God is not sacrifice is to be found in Exodus, reconciled to a wicked and impenitent chap. xxix., from the beginning to man, and that such an one is an enemy the 14th verse inclusive, and Levit. to God, is natural. But let such a viii. Moses officiated on the occa- man repent and forsake his sins, and sion. It was a solemn consecration of prove that he does so by the fruits of Aaron and his sons to the priest's his faith, (for a man must first believe office, “ a sin-offering,” ver. 14. that God is, and that he rewards There is no proof that all these cere. them that seek him, before he can be monies were repeated at the consecra- disposed to serve him) then, being no tion of future priests. See Numbers, longer the enemy of his merciful XX. xxv. and xxvi., where you have Creator, and seeking his forgiveness an account of the induction of Aaron's and favour in the way of his appointsuccessor into the high-priest's office. ment, let that appointment be what While God was delivering the law to it may, reconciled to God, he seeks Moses on mount Sinai, Aaron and the and he receives the atonement. It is people were framing and worshipping the pledge of his reconciliation and of the golden calf, and insulting the Holy God's forgiveness. See Rom. v. 10, One of Israel to his face by their vile 11. It is, however, to be observed, idolatry; it seems, therefore, that “a that though the institute of sin-offersin-offering,” as well as “ a burnt- ings and atonement in the Old Testasacrifice to the Lord, a sweet sa- ment are, by accommodation very vour," Exod. xx. 18., was very suit- properly applied to the New-Testaable and significant on this occasion. ment doctrines of reconciliation, yet But what did it represent? Cer- we have not the least evidence, that tainly not the transfer of moral guilt the ancient Israelites formed any idea to the innocent animal; that was im- that the sacrifices or atonements possible: if Aaron had committed idol- which they offered to God were typiatry, he was guilty of the crime. But cal of the death of Christ ; nor did it appears to me that this act of Moses any of the enlightened of them conin behalf of his brother, expressed tho ceive that the blood of their sacrifices contrition, humiliation, repentance and could cleanse away the guilt of their
consciences. The far greater part of obeying the voice of the Lord: be: this kind of sacrifices was appointed hold to obey is better than sacrifice, for sins of ignorance, though it is and to hearken than the fat of rams!" doubtful whether all of them were; The acceptance, therefore, of the ofand it ought to be known, that some fering, as in the first age of the world, of these sin-offerings were not slain depended upon the spirit and characanimals, but an ephah of meal, about ter of the worshipper; read that fine a gallon, an handful of which was to . Psalm, l., see also, Psalm li., vers. 16, be thrown on the fire of the altar, and 17, “ For thou desirest not saand the rest was for the priest. See crifice, else would I give it thee; thou Levit. v. 11, and two following delightest not in burnt offering, the verses. In fact, we may describe these sacrifices of God are a broken spirit." sacrifices as so many acts of homage Read the first, and beginning of the to God by his subjects, and as fines last, chapters of Isaiah. to the theocratic government, paid We are now, I hope, prepared to by transgressors for the support of hear what the New Testament says the national worship; at the same concerning the atonement for the time that sin-offerings ex- soul, that is, the life: “ The blood pressive of the penitence and devo- (the life) is the atonement for the tion of the worshippers, but by no soul;" the appointed and accepted sameans expiatory in the sight of God crifice was the mean and sign of or in their own nature. It is evident reconciliation;the ilasterion, or mercy. that the holocausts always, and the seat in the tabernacle was the reconother voluntary thank-offerings com- ciliation residence, and this seat, like monly, were slain animals, while in the altar, &c. was atoned, that is, the case of the poor, the sin-offering, at-one.ed with the people by the that is, the sacrifice of atonement, blood of the atonement, or covenant was nothing more than a handful of of reconciliation combination, or felmeal scattered upon the altar, the re- lowship, su Rom. v.; “ we being residue being the perquisite of the conciled (to God) shall be saved by priest. If, then, the burnt-offerings Christ's life, by whom we have now were typical, and known to be so by (at length) received the atonement." the believing Israelites, which of The Gentile believes, the sinner rethem was typical of the death of pents; they enter into covenant with Christ? Was it the handful of meal iheir God and he receives and foror the whole burnt-offering? If any gives them, 1 Johni. 1, 5, “That which one of them was typical, then what we have seen and heard declare we was its value to the worshipper, if he unto you, that ye also may have feldid not understand the application of lowship with us: and truly our felthe type? How is it that Moses or lowship is with the Father and with Aaron never explained the meaning his son Jesus Christ,” that is, we are of prophetic sacrifices to the people, in covenant with God and invite you when they are directed to be so par- to enjoy the same privilege. I chalticular, and even minute in other, lenge biblical critics to shew a single and we should think minor circum- passage in all the New Testament, in stances? We can prove that the best which the Greek word rendered and wisest of the Israelites laid no atonement is used in any other sense sort of stress on the mere dilering, than that of reconciliation, or where whatever might be its nature, to re- God is ever said to be reconciled to commend them to God; and it cannot man by the death of Christ; or any one be proved from any thing said on the instance in all the scriptures, in which subject in the Jewish scriptures, that an atonement is represented as an exthe Mosaic ceremonial taught the doc- piatory sacrifice, by the tranfer of trine of a future state. That weak guilt from the sinner's conscience to and wicked man Saul, the King of Is- the devoted creature or person. There rael, like many other weak and wick- are two passages particularly, in ed people in all ages, misunderstood or wilfully perverted the meaning of
* The word " one" was formerly prosacrifice, and Samuel reproves him nounced“ own," and is so still in some parts accordingly. See 1 Samuel, xv. 22, of the west of England. Persons in cove« Hath the Lord as great delight in nant with God are his own people, he apburnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in propriates them to himself.
It is finished. All that depended upon die, for us: a living man made the him was finished before he died, and satisfaction, and, for aught that apsome time before he died he enjoyed pears, he might have continued to live ealmness of mind: the wrath of God and his work been complete. And it was not therefore poured out upon behoves the popular teachers to deterhim on the cross, nor was the atone- mine what was the nature of Christ's mentor satisfaction made by his sufferings in the garden? Was he opdeath.
pressed by the consciousness of imWe may look at this matter in ano- puted guilt: then with what prother point of view. On the popular priety can it be said that he knew no scheme, all the efficacy of Christ's sin, since the propriety and efficacy death depends upon his divinity; but of his punishment must have consisted upon the same scheme, it was impos. in his knowledge or consciousness of sible that he should suffer : the Deity sin? Was he overwhelmed with the is unchangeable and impassible; and wrath of God: then God was angry even if a God could have suffered, all with him; and who was it at the suffering must have been light to him; same time that sent an angel to omnipotence is equal to itself and strengthen him.? Consider the sufferer could easily have borne what omnipo- in the garden as God as well as man, tence could inflict. But in whatever and what a scene of contradiction strains the pseudo-orthodox may sing rises up to view! A divine person of a bleeding and dying God, they will praying, trembling, sinking! Opnot soberly reason in favour of so Pa- pressed by God, imploring the symgan a notion; and therefore, according pathy of the apostles, comforted by an to them it was only the man Christ angel ! Jesus that suffered and died, and if The writer to the Hebrews supthat death and those sufferings made poses that Christ's sufferings consisted the atonement and gave the satisfac- in the fear of death : * let those who tion, the whole work was accom- defend the common scheme of atoneplished by the much-vilified human ment explain how this fear was posnature. It is pleaded, I am aware, sible to one who was conscious of all that the union of the divinity with the strength of deity, and also how the the humanity, stamped an infinite shrinking from death is consistent value upon the sufferings of the latter; with the benevolence of Christ, if he but how idle to talk of an union be- knew both that no suffering could ex. tween two natures, of which one was ceed or equal his infinite power, and agonized and torn in pieces, and the at the same time that upon his sufferother was at its ease and absolutely ing and death depended the salvation incapable of a painful sensation! of the human race, or a great part of
The popular preachers and poets them, from everlasting torments ? sometimes talk and write as if it were If the atonement were made neither the blood of Christ (physically so) hy his death nor his agony singly, it which satisfied and appeased the wrath would be difficult to prove that it was of God. There is no arguing against made by them both together; espemetaphors considered in any other cially since there is no necessary cou-" light than a metaphor, however, this nexion between them, but on the may be pronounced a foul and abomi- contrary they form two distinct scenes nable supposition.
in our Lord's history, marked by obFrom the actual death of Christ, viously different states of mind. the advocates of the doctrine of satis- Taking atonenient in the sense of faction will probably flee to the agony reconciliation, the true scriptural sense, in the garden; for we have seen that the idea of redemption or salvation is Christ did not die under the wruth of clear. Mankind were alienated from God, and that before he died all that God by wicked works, Jesus Christ depended upon him was finished: but if brought them back to their heavenly the atonement were made in the gar- Father by his example and commandden, it was made without death and ment of all righteousness. Vice and without blood.* On this supposition, iniquity wrought in reflecting minds Christ might suffer, but he did not a sense of guilt and fear, Jesus Christ
banished despair and inspired bope by * Luke's language [ch. xxii. 44,] is “bis sent was as it were great drops of blood."
Heb, v, 7.
On the eye.
his revelation of the fatherly character have seen, that every eye is a true op of the Supreme Being and his pro- tical instrument, on the ground of mises of boundless mercy. But, above which light delineates, or paints in all, death seemed to the eye of sense miniature, the portrait of every object and natural reason as an all-subduing, situated in the presence of the spectaeternally-victorious foe, Jesus Christ tor. Of all the subjects of observaby his doctrine, and especially by his tion with which nature every where resurrection, shewed that the king of abounds, it may justly be said of this terrors was vanquished, and brought organ, that there is none which more life and immortality to light. In the forcibly exbibiis in its structure the divine plans, death was the conse. marks of infinite intelligence. quence of sin, and immortality was Having in our last given a descripthe consequence of Christ's righteous tion of the eye and of its several parts, submission to death. Through sin, we shall now endeavour to account the human race lay under the sentence for the manner in which vision is of mortality, but through the divine achieved. From all the points of mercy, made known and administered any object that presents itself to the by " the mediator of the better cove- eye, there proceed rays that diverge nant," the sentence and curse were in every direction, but of these rays removed, a general acquittal was pro- those only that enter the eye through claimed and “ everlasting righteous- the pupil have any effect in producing ness was brought in. “ The wages of vision. By means of these a complete sin is death," but the gift of God is image of the object is formed on the eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our bottom of the eye; but the image Lord."
made or painted on the retina is reEPISCOPUS. versed, in consequence of the circum
stance that the rays proceeding from Natural Theology. No. III. points situated on different sides of
the middle point, cross one another (Continued from p. 104.) on passing through the pupil. How He that formed the eye, shall he not see? this is effected may be seen by taking THE ancient philosophers had the eye of an ox recently killed, aud
very imperfect notions of the stripping it of its sclerotica behind. manner in which vision is effected. If in this state the eye be placed in a They simply knew, in general, that hule made in the window-shutter of the eyes were the instruments of it. a dark room, with the corner outImperfect, however, as were their wards, we shall see in the transpaideas on the subject, the wisdom and rent membranes of the opposite part, foresight manifested in the operation, distinct images of the exterior objects. and in the structure of the organ, did This truth admitted, viz. that the not escape their observation. They instant an object is before the eye, admired the position of the eye, in the that object has its portrait on the most elevated part ofthe head, whence, bottom or back of the organ; it like a centinel, it could overlook a should seem that vision required no multitude of objects with a single farther illustration, but that we may glance. They admired its extreme be led to suppose that our eyes are mobility and the case with which it already trained, and that the mere could be turned in every possible di- presence of objects is sufficient for the rection, and thus, as it were, multi- impressions made on the retina and ply itself by the variety of its sensa- transmitted by the optic nerve to the tious. They admired the suppleness brain, to enable the mind to repreof the lids, really at all times to cover sent those objects to itself precisely the cres as with a veil, to protect as they are, and in the places where them from the impression of too vivid they are. It will however, upon relight or the attack of exterior objects, flection, be quite evident that someor to aid the power of sleep over the thing more is necessary, considering whole frame. But these and other that the image which is painted on observations of the same kind, reiate the retina is a simple surface figured only to neighbouring circumstances; and coloured, without relief, and is the intimate mechanism of vision they moreover the result merely of the had not thought of penetrating. It is action which the extremities of the now completely ascertained, as we rays that touch it exert on the organ,