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given us by Aloses, and as it is more fully explained in the Gospel; and which was to this Purpose ;—That, on Condition of their sincere Repentance and sincere Obedience afterwards, they should be restored to the Favour of God; and after Death, to that Life and Happiness, which in their State of Innocence was promised to them without tasting of Death ; which Favour they had forfeited by their Disobedience.
And when we consider that out first Parents, now become Sinners, stood in Need of an Atonement, without which, while under the Displeasure of God, their very Lives must be a Burden; and it being decreed by God, as it afterwards appeared, that without shedding of Blood there was to be no Remission of Sin, i.e. without the Death of the Sinner; or some one in his Stead; we do therefore conclude, that, at this Time, God did appoint Sacrifices, or Sin-offerings, to make an Atonement for the Soul, and to foreshew the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ (which we now commemorate) until he should be offered in Behalf of them, and all their Posterity.
And this appears from what follows in the next Chapter of Genesis, where we find Abel by Faith (that is, believing and de
pending upon this Ordinance of God, for the Remission of Sins, until the promised Redeemer should come; we find him) offering a Sacrifice which was acceptable to God, that is, a Sin-offering, which bis Brother not doing was rejected.
But here také Notice, and remember, that these Sacrifices could not take away Sin, but only through Obedience to the Ordinance of God, and through Faith in the promised Seed.
They were, indeed, very instructire, and proper to lead Sinners to Repentance, and Amendment of Life, when they saw, that their Sins could not be forgiven, but by the Death of an Innocent Creature, bleeding and dying before their Eyes, to make an Atonement for Sin.
And as all Good Men, before the Coming of Christ, did most religiously keep up the Remembrance of the promised Seed, and obtained the Pardon of their Sins, and Acceptance with God, upon offering Sacrifices through Faith in a Redeemer, which was to come ;--so all Christians, since the Coming of that Redeemer, are obliged, as they hope for Pardoni and Favour from God, to keep up the Remembrance of God's great Mercy, in sending us a Res
deemer, and of what that Redeemer has done to save us ; and this in the Manner which he himself hath ordained.
Now, that you may be more sensible of, and thankful to God for this his infinite Loving-kindness, and that you may be fully convinced of the Necessity and Blessing of a Redeemer, you ought to know and consider, that our Saviour and Redeemer cane not, until Mau had been tried in all Condia tions, In A STATE OF INNOCENCE
UNDER THE GOVERNMENT OF 111*. OWNREASON and UNDER THE LAW GIVEN BY Moses. All which Methods of Providence, through the perverse Will of Man, had been rendered ineffectual for the Amendment of the World.---Notwithstanding which, such was the Goodness of God, that he sent, after all, his own beloved Son, to take our Nature upon him, and to assure Mankind of the tender Love which he had for his poor Creatures, which were ruining themselves, without perceiving ihe Danger they were in. This was the Promised Sced !
pro mised to Adam, as He that should breaks. the Serpent’s Head, or Power of the Devil :--Promised to Abraham, as He in ulom all the Nations of the Earth shoullie
Promised to the People of Israel, as that Prophet whom they should hear and obey at their Peril :- - Lastly, promised to David as one whose Kingdom should have no End.And indeed it was with this Promise, that God supported the Spirits of all who feared him, and were in Fear for themselves, until the Fulness of the Time for his Appearance should come.
And now this Promised Redeemer being come, he first shewed by his own Example, recorded in the Gospel, how Men must live, so as to please God. And the Law of Nature, as well as'the Law of Moses, haying through Sin been much obscured and perverted, he explained them, and gave us such other Laws and Rules, as were absolutely necessary to mend our Nature-to restore us to the Image of God—to keep us from backsliding, and-to fit us for Heaven and Happiness.
And because in the Decrees of God, as was before observed, without shedding of Blood there could be no Remission of Sin; and it being impossible that the Blood or Life of any other Creature, or of any mortal Man, could take away the Guilt and Punishment due to Sin ; our gracious God, both to give to Mankind the greatest Token
of his Love, and at the same Time to shew how great his Hatred to Sin is, by the Greatness of the Punishments it required, He sent his own Son to be the Propitiation for our Sins; that is, to make Satisfaction to his Justice, and to take off the just Displeasure which he had declared against Sinners.
And his Son (blessed for ever be his Goodness) knowing how dreadfully sad the Condition would be of all such, who should live and die under the Displeasure of God, and what inconceivable Happiness they would deprive themselves of; be therefore, moved with Compassion for so great a Calamity, undertook to obtain their Pardon.
In order to this, he cloathed himself with our Flesh, that, as Man, He might suffer what our Sins had deserved; and, as he was the Son of God, he might make a full and suitable Satisfaction to the Divine Justice, offering himself a Sacrifice for the Sins of the whole World: And for the Joy of delivering so many Millions of Souls from Misery, he endured the Death of the Cross, and all the Amictions leading to it, which we find recorded in the Gospel. And, by this worthy Sacrifice, all Man. B6