« PreviousContinue »
of glory, was to represent Christ's pleading the merits of his blood at the throne of grace, which was an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice well pleasing and acceptable to the holy Trinity. The high priest's coming out of the holy of holies, to bless the people, was the figure of Christ's coming from the holiest to bless his people with an everlasting blessing—“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for
from the foundation of the world." It appears then, from all these authorities, that the ceremonial law preached Christ, and salvation through him from the guilt and punishment incurred by the breach of the moral law. All its services prefigured him, and were lively and expressive pictures of what he was to be, and to do, and to suffer, in order to make an atonement for sin. His sacrifice for this purpose was represented by all the typical sacrifices: for without shedding of blood there was no remission, and it was not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins; therefore believers hoped for remission through his most precious blood, and sacrificed in faith, relying on the future offering of the lamb of God. So that it was plainly the scope and design of the ceremonial law to preach remission of sins through the shedding of blood. When any person had offended, and his conscience accused him of sin, he was to bring his sacrifice to the priest, and to lay his hands upon its head, and to confess bis sins over it: after this its life was to be taken away, and its blood shed instead of the sinner's life. And this was to be done, even when a person had offended through ignorance. But in what did the merit of the sacrifice consist? Did its blood take away sin ? No: it was not possible the blood of bulls and of goats should do that. The sacrifice was only a memorial instituted to bring the Messiah into mind, as if he had said, do this in remembrance of me, remembering in every sacrifice the future sacrifice of the lamb of God; and believers did remember him. When they eat of the paschal lamb, by faith they dis
cerned the Lord's body, and enjoyed communion with Christ our passover, as we do now at the Lord's supper. They found him present in the ordinances, according to his most true promise in the text. Until the day dawn, says he, the great day of my appearing in the flesh, and the shadows flee away, the shadows of the ceremonial law be realized and fulfilled in my life, obedience, sufferings, death, resurrection and ascension-until these things be, I will be spiritually present upon mount Moriah, in the temple worship, and upon the hill of frankincense, to render the persons and the services of my people. well pleasing and acceptable unto God the Father
Since then it was the scope and design of the ceremonial law to prefigure Christ under its expressive types and shadows, do you, my brethren, look upon it in this light? Are you convinced that the old testament contains the gospel, and the evidence for its doctrines? And have you read it carefully, in order to collect this evidence, and to establish yourselves in your most holy faith? Or instead of making this use of the olel testament, have you greatly neglected it, supposing it to contain a religion different from Christianity ? This is the opinion of too many among us. But it is very unscriptural. The new testament is so far from being contrary to, that it is in perfect harmony with, the old. They both preach one gospel, one Saviour, and one faith: for both in the old and new testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Jesus Christ. And this life by him was preached by the ceremonies of the old testament, as well as by the sacraments of the new, with only this difference, that the new is the fulfilling of the old : the old testament promises the Messiah should come, and dwell among men, and the new proves that he did come, and that God has been manifest in the flesh. Consider what has been said at present in proof of this point. Weigh it carefully, and then I hope you will read the old testament with great plea
sure and profit, finding it testifying throughout of Christ, and of salvation through him.
But what have we to do, may some say, with the Jewish types and ceremonies? Are they not all now repealed and abrogated? Yes; Christ has fulfilled them, even to the least jot and tittle; but they still stand upon record, to teach us what he was to fulfil. They still continne to bear evidence for Christ, although the observance of them hath ceased; therefore we are still concerned to search what witness they bear of him.
- Search the scriptures," says Christ, “for they are they which testify of me. There were no scriptures, when he spake this, but the old testament, and it testified of Christ. It did bear witness of him, by its types, for they were shadows of good things to come, of which Christ is the body, and by its prophecies, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. This testimony it still bears, witnessing to us what Christ was to be, and to do, and to suffer, as the new testanient witnesses to us that Jesus of Nazareth was the promised Messiah; for he was, and did, and suffered, what the old testament had foretold. Thus they mutually support each other. The old testament looks forward to the accomplishment of its ceremonies and prophecies, re.“ ferring its readers to some person who was to fulfil the law and the prophets, and the new testament proves Jesus of Nazareth to be the person; and thus all the scriptures testify of him.
If you ask, in what particular respect does the ceremonial law testify of him? it considers him chiefly in this point of view. The moral law being broken, and the transgressors of it being under guilt and liable to punishment, Christ was proposed to them by the types as the sacrifice and atonement for their sins. All the sacrifices pointed at this sacrifice, and the átonement made by them had no merit, but what was derived by faith from bis all-perfect atonement: for he was the lamb fore-ordained to be slain by the covenant of the ever-blessed Trinity, which was made
before the foundation of the world, and he was the lamb typically slain from the foundation of the world in all the sacrifices after the fall, and slain really in the fulness of time, when he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. In this respect all the sacrifices pointed to the lamb of God, referring the transgressors of the moral law to his most precious blood, without the shedding of which there could be no remission; because it was not possible that the blood of beasts could take away sin.
Upon this state of the doctrine there arises an im. portant question, in which, my brethren, you are all nearly concerned; namely, whether you look upon Christ in the same light that the ceremonial law places him. All the ceremonies pointed to him, and when any one had offended against the moral law, the ceremonial law required him to bring his sacrifice to make an atonement for sin; for without shedding of blood there was no remission : and thus he was taught to hope for remission only through the shedding of the blood of the lamb of God. Now, my brethren, do you act as the ceremonial law enjoins ? Are you convinced of your offences against the moral law, and sensible of your guilt, and apprehensive of your danger? Have you put your trust in the sacrifice of the immaculate lamb of God ? Have
you placed all your hopes of pardon on the merits of his most precious blood? If not, what besides can you rely upon? You have sinned, and the wages of sin is death. The almighty Lawgiver has declared that you shall die_" The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Under this sentence you lie, as to any thing that you can do either to respite it, or to revoke it, until it be executed upon you. Your life is forfeited, and you must die the death. And while justice spares you, how do yon resolve to act ? You hear there is a Sa. viour, and redemption by his blood. He laid down his life, and died to purchase life for all transgressors, who will come unto him for it: either therefore you must receive life of him, or dic. Consider, then, se
riously, which of these two is your choice; which would you have, life or death? If you refuse to come to Christ for life, you must die. Your blood must be shed, and your soul must perish: for the Lord God, who cannot lie, hath spoken, that without shedding of blood there is no remission; unless therefore you are saved by the blood of Christ, there is no remission for you. You must die in your sins.
But if you seek to be saved by the blood of Christ, and desire the life purchased by his death, you have all possible encouragement to hope for his favour. He has begun, and he must carry on the work. Wait upon him then for his grace in the ways of his appointment, and you will find him still present in thenr. Seek his face in prayer. Hope to find his good spirit in hearing and reading his word, and continue thus in his service, and he will give you to experience the truth of the doctrine preached by the ceremonial law. All its sacrifices taught remission of sin through blood, and all pointed to the bleeding lamb of God, and to his atonement; and by faith believers of old received the benefit of his atonement, as we do at present : for by faith they kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood; lesť he that destroyed the first born in Egypt should touch them. Wait upon God, and he will enable you also to act faith upon Christ, your passover; and when his blood has been sprinkled upon your heart, the destroying angel cannot then touch you.
This blood will keep you from death, and from him that hath the power of death. Through faith in it, you will live in the comfortable knowledge of what this scripture means " He that believeth in me," says Christ, “though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” John, xi. 25, 26. Happy are they who thus believe and live in him. They have redemption in his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, and they are passed from death unto life. They know the infinite value of his atonement, not only for the forgiveness of their past offences against the mo