Page images

us in many other uses, that we are to make of the doctrine of the priesthood of Christ, than what he expresses in his last question, yet that being one eminent one amongst them (especially the foundation of coming with boldness to the throne of grace, being rightly understood), I shall not need to insist farther on it.

Not to put myself, or reader to any needless trouble, Mr. B. acknowledging that Christ is a high-priest, and having opposed only his investiture with the office, whilst he was upon the earth, and that to destroy the atonement made by the sacrifice of himself; having proved that he was a priest properly so called; I shall now prove that he was a highpriest whilst he was upon earth, and shew afterward what he had to offer, with the efficacy of his sacrifice, and the intent thereof. First, the Scripture will speedily determine the difference; Eph. v. 2. Christ hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling savour.' He that offereth sacrifices and offerings unto God, is a priest: so the apostle defines a priest, Heb. v. 1. He is one taken from amongst men,' and ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. Now thus did Christ do, in his giving himself for us : Trapédwkev, he delivered himself for us. To deliver himself, or to be delivered for us, notes his death, always in contradistinction to any other act of his: so Eph. v. 25. Gal. ii. 22. Rom. viii. 32. iv. 25. ος παρεδόθη δια τα παραπτώματα ημών, και ηγέρθη διά TV dikaiwolv ñuñv. In that delivery of himself he sacrificed; therefore he was then a priest.

To this Socinus invented an answer, in his book 'de Servatore,' which he insists on again, Epist. 2. ad Niemojev. and whereunto Phis followers have added nothing, it being fixed on by them all; in particular by Smalcius in Catech. Racov. And yet it is in itself ludicrous, and almost jocular. The words they tell us are thus to be read, παρέδωκεν εαυτόν υπέρ ημών. And there they place a point in the verse. προσφοραν kal Suolav To Jeq. without any dependance upon the former words, making this to be the sense of the whole. Christ gave himself to death for us; and ( what an offering was that to God, and O what a sacrifice! that is, in a metaphorical sense: not that Christ offered himself to God for us ; but that Paul called his giving himself to die, an offering, or a thing grateful to God, as good works are called an offering ; Phil. iv. 18. that is, the dying of Christ was 'præclarum facinus,'as Volkelius speaks. But,

p Volkel. de ver. Relig. lib. 3. cap. 37. p. 146.

1. It is easy to answer or avoid any thing by such ways as this; divide, cut off sentences in the dependance of the words, and you may make what sense of them you please; or none at all.

2. These words, προσφοράς και θυσίαν, have no other word to be regulated by, but tapédwkey: and therefore must relate thereunto; and Christ is affirmed in them to have given himself an offering and a sacrifice.

3. These words, an'offering and a sacrifice,' are not a commendation of Christ's giving himself, but an illustration, and a description of what he gave; that is, himself a sacrifice of sweet savour to God. So that notwithstanding this exception (becoming only them that make it), it is evident from hence, that Christ offered himself a sacrifice in his death, and was therefore then a priest fitted for that work.

2. Heb. v. 6,7. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec: who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications, with strong cries and tears, unto him that was able to save him from death;' ver. 6. The apostle tells us, that he was a priest ; and, ver. 7. what he did by virtue of that priesthood, προσενεγκε δεήσεις και ικετηρίας. It is a temple expression of the office of a priest, that is used. So ver. 1. a high-priest is appointed iva poopépp, that he may offer. Now when did Christ do this? It was in the days of his flesh, ' with strong cries and tears,' both which evidence this his of. fering to have been before his death, and at his death ; and his mentioning of prayers and tears, is not so much to shew the matter of his offering, which was himself, as the manner, or at least the concomitants of the sacrifice of himself, prayers, and tears; and these were not for himself, but for his church, and the business that for their sakes he had undertaken. 3. Heb. i. 3. · When he had by himself purged our sins, wn at the right hand of the Majesty on high. The of our sins was by sacrifice; there was never any kaJapopoū; but now Christ did this before his as


cension: kafaplouòv toinoáuevoç, when he had himself, or after he had purged our sins; and that di łautoũ, by himself, or the sacrifice of himself. That our sins are purged by the oblation of Christ, the Scripture is clear; hence his blood is said to 'wash us from all our sins.' And Heb. x. 10.'sanctified,' is the same with 'purged:' and this through the offering of the body of Christ; épámaç Christ then offering this sacrifice whilst he was on the earth, was a priest in so doing.

Unto this may be added sundry others of the same import; chap. vii. 27. Who needed not daily, as those highpriests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's; for this he did once, when he offered up himself. The one sacrifice of Christ is here compared to the daily sacrifices of the priests. Now those daily sacrifices “were not performed in the most holy place, whither the high priest entered but once in a year, which alone was a representation of heaven; so that what Christ did in heaven cannot answer to them, but what he did on earth, before he entered the holy place, not made with hands.

And chap. ix. 12. •He entered by his own blood into the holy place, aiwviav dúrpwolv &vpáuevos, after he had obtained eternal redemption.' Redemption is every where in the Scripture ascribed to the blood of Christ. And himself abundantly manifesteth on what account it is to be had, when he says, that he gave his life a ransom, or a price of redemption. Where, and when Christ laid down his life, we know: and yet that our redemption or freedom is by the offering of Christ for us, is as evident; chap. ix. 26. 'He puts away sin (which is our redemption) by the sacrifice of himself;' so that this sacrifice of himself, was before he entered the boly place; and consequently he was a priest before his entrance into heaven. It is, I say, apparent from these places, that Christ offered himself before he went into the holy place, or sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, which was to be proved from them.

4. Christ is often said to offer himself once for all : designing by that expression some individual action of Christ, and not such a continued course of procedure, as is his presentation of himself in heaven; or the continuation of his oblation, as to its efficacy by his intercession; so Heb. vii. 27. τούτο εποίησεν εφάπαξ. ix. 28. άπαξ προσενεχθείς. &c. x. 10. 12. 14. In all these places the offering of Christ is not only said to be one, but to be once offered; now no offering of Christ, besides that which he offered on the earth, can be said to be once offered. For that which is done in heaven is done always, and for ever; but that which is done always, cannot be said to be done once for all. To be always done, or in doing, as is Christ's offering himself in heaven, and to be done once for all, as was the oblation spoken of in those places, whereby our sins are done away, are plainly contradictory. It is said to be so offered äraß, as to be opposed unto tollákıç, whereby the apostle expresses that of the Aaronical sacrifice, which in two other words he had before delivered; they were offered διηνεκές, and κατ' ημέραν και that is, tollákus, in which sense his offering himself in heaven cannot be said to be done awat, but only that on the cross. Besides, he was άπαξ πρωσενεχθείς εις το πολλών åveveykETv åpaprias, ver. 28. and how he did that we are in: formed, 1 Ρet. ii. 24. "Ος τας αμαρτίας ημών αυτός ανήνεγκεν εν τω σώματι αυτού επί το ξύλον" he did it in his body on the tree.

Besides, the apostle, Heb. ix. 26. tells us, that he speaks of such an offering, as was accompanied with suffering : he must have often suffered since the foundation of the world, It was such an offering, as could neither be repeated nor continued without suffering that he treats of. We do not deny, that Christ offers himself in heaven; that is, that he presents himself, as one that was so offered, to his Father : but the offering of himself, that was on earth, and therefore there was he a priest.

5. Once more; that sacrifice which answered those sacrifices, whose blood was never carried into the holy place; that must be performed on earth, and not in heaven. That many proper sacrifices were offered as types of Christ, whose blood was not carried into the holy place, the apostle assures us, Heb. x. 11. The daily sacrifices had none of their blood carried into the holy place; for the high-priest went in thither only once in the year.

But now these were all true sacrifices and types of the sacrifice of Christ; and therefore, the sacrifices of Christ also, to answer the types, must be offered before his entrance into heaven, as was in part declared before. Yea, there was no other sacrifice of these, but what was performed in their killing and slaying; and therefore, there must be a sacrifice prefigured by them, consisting in killing and shedding of blood. All this is asserted by the apostle, Heb. vii. 27. 'Who needeth not daily as those high-priests, to offer up sacrifices, for this he did once, when he offered up himself. Those sacrifices which were offered ka' uepàv, daily,' were types of the sacrifice of Christ; and that of his, which was offered épánaš, did answer thereunto; which was his death, and nothing else.


Of the death of Christ, the causes, ends, and fruits thereof, with an entrance

into the doctrine of his satisfaction thereby. Mr. Biddle's 12th chapter is concerning the death of Christ, the causes, and fruits, and ends thereof: the error and mistake whereabout, is the second great head of the Socinian religion; next to his person there is not any thing "they set themselves so industriously to oppose as his death, in the sense wherein it hath constantly hitherto been embraced by all Christians, as the great foundation of their faith and confidence.

That the Lord Jesus our Mediator, did not by his death and sufferings undergo the penalty of the law as the punishment due to our sins, that he did not make satisfaction to God, or make reconciliation for transgressors, that he did not thereby properly redeem us by the payment of a ransom, nor so suffer for us, as that our sins should in the justice of God be a meritorious cause of his suffering, is the second great article of the creed, which theya labour to assert and maintain.

There is not any thing about which they have laid out so much of their strength as about this; namely, that Jesus Christ is called our Saviour in respect of the way of salvation, which he hath revealed to us, and the power committed to him to deliver us, and save us, in and by obedience required at our hands, nor on the account of any satisfaction

a Vid. Faust. Socin. de Jes. Christ. Servator. Prælect. Theol. Lect. Sac. Pæræn. ad Volan. Epistola ad -Niemojev. Thes. de Justif. Smal. Ref. Thes. Fran. adv. Smigl. Nov. Monst. Catec. Rac. &c. Crelli. de Caus. Mor. Christ. Vindic. ad Grot. Volkel. Ver. Relig. Christ. Osturod. Institat. cap. 11. Schlichting: Epist. ad Hebræ. &c.

« PreviousContinue »