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exist a strong necessity—'it is of necessity-évayxaiov. The term expresses the strongest moral necessity, what cannot be dispensed with, indispensable. Not only to fulfill the type, to complete the office of high priest, but to satisfy the law and justice of God, on which account he assumed this office, was it necessary that Christ should offer an atoning sacrifice.

Heb. ix. 22. 23. "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was, therefore, necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these ; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. A grand general principle, in the moral economy, is here laid down—WITHOUT SHEDDING OF BLOOD IS NO REMIS

The terms are most explicit; it is not repentance, it is not amendment, but the shedding of blood, -atonement,—without which there is no remission of the guilt or punishment of sin. It is spoken of, to be sure, in connexion with the ceremonies of the typical law; but the remission of the temporal penalty, due to ceremonial offences, by means of typical blood, was prefigurative, if that dispensation had any meaning, of the irreconcilable opposition of the divine holiness and justice to sin, and of the necessity of Christ's death to the remission of the eternal punishment due to the breach of God's moral law.

Hence arose a necessity that there should be sacrifices of a typical nature to secure the privileges of the ceremonial economy.

Whence it is inferred, that a sacrifice of superior intrinsic worth and rela

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tive value, was necessary to the enjoyment of communion with God here and of heavenly glory hereafter,—those high and glorious privileges of which the others were only shadows. The plural number

- better sacrifices'—presents no obstacle to the one offering of Christ being understood ; when it is recollected that the plural for the singular is, in scripture, a not uncommon enallage, used to denote worth or dignity; and more particularly when it is considered that here the sacrifice of Christ stands in antithetical connexion with the sacrifices of the law, as that which fulfilled what these only typified.

SECTION IV.

PROOF OF CHRIST'S ATONEMENT-ANCIENT

SACRIFICES.

We come now to a part of our subject which is of great importance. Hitherto we have been occupied with what may be reckoned preliminary matter. It was necessary to explain the nature of atonement; to show that the objections commonly urged against the principle are destitute of weight; and to evince the necessity that exists in the character and government of God for such an arrangement, in order to the bestowment of pardon on guilty men. But these do not prove the fact of an atonement. They suppose such a thing to exist, either actually or in the divine intention; but they afford no evidence of its existence. Had atonement been nothing more than a theory, all that has been said would have been necessary for its explanation and defence. But atonement is more than a theory ; it is a FACT ; a solemn, important, and undoubted fact, which is capable of being substantiated by the most complete and satisfactory scriptural evidence. This evidence is multifarious, ample, and diversified. Without pretending to exhibit the whole, or even any branch of it completely, the nature of our undertaking calls for such a digest as will require the diligent study and patient attention of the reader.

Let us, first of all, give our thoughts to the antiquity and universal prevalence of vicarious sacrifices, irrespective altogether of the Mosaic economy. This is a point of no small moment. If it can only be firmly established, as we presume there will be no difficulty in doing, the confirmation it affords of the fact in question is of the very strongest nature. It involves, however, a variety of points which require to be taken up separately and in order.

I. A primary consideration is due to the ANTIQUITY of sacrifices.

We speak now only of the fact, that the practice of offering sacrifices to God existed in the remotest ages of the world. The infliction of death on a living creature, in the way of religious worship, did not originate, as many suppose, with the Jews. When the Israelites entered the holy land, they found its aboriginal inhabitants addicted to the practice. Certain forms of it being expressly denounced in the law of Moses, is positive proof of its existence prior to the promulgation of that extraordinary document. In the records of heathen nations also, as far back as they go, traces of it are to be found; and the sacred history, which goes the farthest back of any records with which we are acquainted, contains abundant proof of the antiquity of sacrifices.

In the book of Job, which is perhaps the oldest writing in existence, mention is made of sacrificing more than once. The patriarch himself followed the practice:—' And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and OFFERED BURNT-OFFERINGS according to the number of them all.” The same thing was exemplified, under the sanction of a divine command, by Job's friends:-Therefore take unto you now,' said God, ‘seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and OFFER UP FOR YOURSELVES A BURNTOFFERING, and my servant Job shall pray for you ..........So Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, went and did ACCORDING' AS THE LORD COMMANDED THEM.” Abraham, if not belonging to a previous age, was at least contemporary with the man of Uz, and he also followed the same practice:–And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns : and Abraham went and took the ram, and OFFERED HIM UP FOR A BURNTOFFERING in the stead of his son.' Nearly five hundred years earlier than this, we find Noah, the second father of our race, acting a similar part on an occasion of great solemnity and importance :- And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord, and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and OFFERED BURNT-OFFERINGS on the altar.'' Pushing our inquiry into still more remote antiquity, we meet

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3 Gen. xxii, 13.

4 Gen. viii. 20.

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