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Vifion - an Angel of God coming to him, and saying Thy Prayers and thine Alms are come up for a Memorial before God; and now lend Men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, zuhale Surname is Peter — He shall tell thee what thou OUGHTEST TO DO, Acts x. 1, &c. Here again Natural Religion is described as fubfting in all human Perfection, and yet somETHING was still to be done. Go but to the next Chapter, where St. Peter rehearses this Transaction to the Apostles and Brethren, and you will see what this something was, for thus the Message by the Angel to Cornelius is repeated ; Call for one Simon, whose
. Surname is Peter, who shall tell thee Words, whereby thou and all thy Herfe fall be
Cornelius then, it seems, was not already saved by his Natural Religion, but was to be saved by his attending to the Doctrine in which St. Peter had Commission to in truet him. And what this Doctrine was, we are told, ver. 42, 43. of the tenth Chapter ; He commanded us to preach unto the Peoples and to testify, that it is be which was ordained of God to be the Judge of Quick and Dead and that through his Name whoToever believeth in him, pall receive REMISSION OF Sins.
Righteous as these Men were, they were not perfect. Salvation there could not therefore be, with. out Remission of Sin; and thi: they were to obtain by Faith in Chrift; by follouing him, and becoming his Disciple. What was their Case, was, and is the Case of all the World besides. For All have finned, and come short of the Glory of God, being juflified freely by his Grace, through the Redemption that is in Jesus Chrift, as St. Paul speaks, Rom. iii. 23, 24.
This is the general Advantage we gain by coming to Christ, and which we cannot have by mere Natural Religion, viz. Remission of Sin, and the Assurance of Eternal Life by the Redemption that is in Jesus Christ. It will be necessary that I enter particularly into the Explanation of this great and leading Article of our Faith.
To take this Matter from the Beginning, of Rupemp.
we must go up as high as the Fall of Adam,
who being created to a Life of immortal Happiness, by Tranfgression loft it to himself, and to all his Pofterity after him. Now Chrift came to restore what Adam loft, as will appear from the following Paffages.
Matth. xviii. 11. The Son of Man is come to Jave that which was loft.
Rom. v. 19. As by one Man's Disobedience many were made Sinners í so by the Obedience of one shall many be made righteous - That as Sin hath reigned unto Death, even so might Grace reign through Righteousness unto Eter-nal Life by Jesus Chris our Lord.
1 Cor. xv. 21, 22. By Man came Death, by Man came also the Resurrection from the Dead; for as in Adam all die, even so in Chrif jhall all be made alive.
Rom. vi. 23. The Wages of Sin is Death; but the Gift of God is Eternal Life, through Jesus Chris our Lord.
Here, 1. Grace is said to reign unto Eternal Life, even as Sin reigned onto Death. But Sin reigned unto Death as in consequence of Sin, Death pased upon all Men. Therefore Grace reigneth unto Eternal Life, as, through the Mercies of God, Eternal Life is reflored unto all Men.
Grace (zápis) in this Place signifies the Favour of God accepting us to Eternal Life; which is styled the Gift of God, as it stands distinguished from Debt, or what we may demand or challenge as our Due...
2. The Obedience of Chrif is expressly set forth as the Cause of this Grace, or Acceptance to Eternal Life, just as the Disobedience of Adam was the Reason why the Sentence of Death passed upon
By one Man's Disobedience many were made Sinners. -By the Obedience of one shall many be made righteous, &c. What now was this Obedience? It was his Obedi. ence in suffering, and in dying upon the Cross, by
* To bim that worketh (i. e. doch what the Law requires) is she Reward not reckoned of Grace, but of Debe, Rom, iv. 4.
which he made an Atonement and Propitiation for the Sins of the whole World.
Heb. v. 1. Though he were a Son, yet learned he Obe. dience, by the Things which he luffered.
9. And being made perfect, he became the Author of Eternal Salvation to all them that obey him.
Tesbeis, being made perfeci, fignifies being made perfect through Sufferings, which was eff. cted by Christ's Death, and not belore; as appears from Chap. ii. ver. 10. where the Apostle having said, that Chriff was crowned with Glory for the suffering of Death, fub. joins ; For it became him, for whom are all Things, and by whom are all Things, in bringing many Sons unto. Glory (Tewas) to make perfeat the Capiain of their Salvation through Sufferings. Christ therefore was (TERE@bels) made perfež by suffering Death, in Consequence of which it is here said, that he became the Au. thor of eternal Salvation. For being made perfect (i. e.. by being made perfect) be became, &c. This will be farther supported by what follows.
Matt. XX. 28. The Son of Man came to give his Life (nútpov) a Ransom for many.
i Tim. ii. 5. There is one Mediator. between God and Man, the Man Chris Jesus.
6. Who gave himself a Ransom for all.
Aútpor, a Ransom, is properly the Price or Purchase of a Man's Redemption. The Money, or other valuable Consideration, upon Payment of which the Caprive is fet at Liberty. The Blood of Chrif, therefore, is the Price of our Redemption from Sin and Death, and so it is expressly ftyled by St. Paul, Ye are bought with a Price, i Cor. vi 20. And by St. Peter; Forasmuch as. ye know that ye were not redeemed (öts en er ulçübrite) with corruptible Things, as Silver and Gold but with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without Blemish, and without Spot (1 Pet. i. 18.) i. e. by Christ offering up himself as a Sacrifice or Propitiation * Propitia.
tory Some Writers affect to call the Blood of Christ the Seal of the Covenant. This is new Language in Divinity, of which the
tory Sacrifices were in Nature of them (nippee) Ransoms; the Life of the Animal being accepted instead of the Pu. nishment due to the Offender ; and that Chris was a propitiatory Sacrifice, the following Passages will shew.
John vi. 51. 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 that I will give is My FLESH, which I will give FOR THE LIFE of the World.
Chap. x. ver. 14. - 1 lay down my LIFB for the Sheep.
Acts xx. 28. The Church of God, which he hath PURCHASED with his own Blood. Rom. iii. 24, 25.
- Jesus Chrift ; whom God hath set forth to be a PROPITIATION, for the Remilion of Sins that are past.
Eph. v. 2. Chrif hath - given himself for us ar OFFERING and a SACRIFICE to God.
Rom. v. 11. By whom we have received the A. TONEMENT.
Coloff. i. 14. In whom we have REDEMPTION through his Blood, even the Forgiveness of our Sins. *
19. For it pleased the Father having made Peace BY THE BLOOD of bis Cross, BY HIM fo reconcilè all Things to himself.
These Pafiages want no Comment. You have seen before, that Christ was to restore what Adam loft; that he was to do it by his Sufferings and Death, which was to be a Ransom for all. And here Christ himself says, that he would give his Flesh (i. e. his Body) for the Scriptures know nothing. Often is Cbrift set forth as a Sacrifice, Atonement, or Propitia!ion for Sin; but no where is the Death or the Blood of Cbrift called the Soal of the Covenant, which, in the Nature of it, it cannot be. The Seal of the Covenant is the Evidence of the Covenant, and Cbrift's Death was not the Evidence of the Covenant, nor, properly speaking, any Evidence of it. Had Cbrißt died, and only died, he would have given no Proof of the Truth of his M Mon; but that which is the Evidence of Cbrisl's Mission, that, and that only, is the Evidence of the Co.
Such are all the mighty Works which he wrought; but especially, and above all, such was his Refurrection from the Dead, by which, (as the Apostle speaks) he was DECLARED to be ibe Son of God with Power, Rom, i, 4,
Life of the World; and bis Apoftles say of him, that he is a Propitiation, an Offering, a Sacrifice, an 4. tonement, our Redemption, and our Reconciliation with God. They who undertand these Expressions as Allufons only, and not as denoting any real and proper Efficacy in the Blood of Christ to put away our Sins, are very unreasonable. For if they are Allufions, they muft be Allufions to something ; and to what can they allude, but to the Sacrifices under the Law ? Suppole this to be the Cafe, you muft then grant that the Sa. crifices under the Law were real and proper Sacrifices ; for an Altusion is an Allufion to something real. But if the Sacrifices under the Law had a real Effect (as it is certain they had) the Blood of Chrif had a real and more noble Effect, and so far is it from Truth, that
Cbriß was a Sacrifice for Sin allufively only to the Sa. - "crifices under the Law, that the legal Sacrifices them.
felves were but Shadows and Representations of the Sacrifice of Chrift; as faith the Author to the Hebrews, The Law was the Shadow of good Things to come, Heb. x. I.
Let us attend to the Particulars of the Comparison between the two Dispensations (the Legal and the Evangelical) as ftated at large in this Epittle, and we shall see very plainly how the Cale stands. Was Aaron an High Priest ? so was Chrift. Every High Priest taken from among Men is ordained for Men in 7 hings pertaining unto God And no Man taketh this Honour to himself, but be that is called of God, as was Aaron.
So also Christ glorified nor himself to be made an High Priejt, but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to Day have I begotten thee, Chap. v. ver. I -5. Did Aaron, as an High Priest, offer both Gifts and Sacrifices for Sin? so did Christ. But she Sacrifice differed. - The High Priett under the Law offered the Blood of Beasts; But Chrif being come an High Priest neither by the Blood of Goats and Calves, but by his own' Blood, entered into the Holy Place.
And as the Sacrifice differed, fo were the Effects different. The legal Sacrifices were a Remedy againft legal Impuri. the Sacrifice of Christ washed away the Defile