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ceremonial and outward obedience, and there. by putting an end to the further effusion of blood as a testimony of humility, gratitude, and devotion.
Hence it appears more consistent with the context and the general tenour of scripture to understand by the phrase “ The offering of the body of Jesus Christ' (quoted often by the Editor) the death of Jesus as a spiritual and virtual sacrifice for the sins of all those for whom he became a mediator; in as much as by that death the blessed saviour testified his perfect obedience and devotion to the will of his heavenly father, and thereby vindicat. ed to himself the unlimited favour of God. During his life be instructed mankind how they might render themselves worthy of the divine mercy; by his death he qualified himself to be their intercessor at the heavenly throne, when sincere repentance was to be offered by them instead of perfect duty. We may easily account for the adoption by the apostles, with respect to him, of such terms as sacrifice and atonement for sin, and their representing Jesus as the high-priest engaged to take away the sins of the world by means of his blood. These were modes of speech made use of in allusion to the sacrifices
and blood-offerings which the Jews and their high-priest used to make for the remission of sius; and the apostles wisely accommodated their instructions to the ideas and forms of language familiar to those whom they addressed.
How inconsistent would it be in the author of the epistle to the Hebrews to declare in one place that God would not have sacrifice and offering; and again to announce, almost at the same moment, that he was so pleased with sacrifice, even with a human sacrifice, ihat for its sake he would forgive the sins of the world. Besides in the Christian dispensat on sacrifice implies a spiritual offering requirea by God not only from the author of this religion, but also from his disciples and followers; a fact which may be illustrated by sacred authority. i Peter II. 4 and 5. “ To whom coming as unto a living stone disallowed indeed of men but chosen of God and precious, ye also as lively siones are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
I am not at all disposed to dispute the as. sertion of the Editor (page 532), that" a priest without atonement however had no existence
in the old Testament” but I must say that a priest without atonement has existence in the new Testament, and refer the Editor to the following verses, excluding those that are applied to Jesus. Rev. I. 6. “And hath made us kings and priests upto God;" XX. 6. “ but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years ; 1 Peter V. 5. “Ye also as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood.” Moreover in explaining such phrases as “ I am the livinr bread."--" If any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever.”—“ The bread that I will give is my flesh.” Except ye eat the flesh of the son of mau" and eat his fesh and drink his blood, ye have no life in you”-“my flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink indeed”—protestant commentators take upon themselves to interpret that these phrases are in allusion to the manner of sacrifice, and that the eating of the flesh of Jesus and drinking his blood must be understood in a spiritual not in a carnal sense. If these writers make so direct an encroachment upon the literal sense of those phrases in order to avoid the idea of cannibalism being a tenet of Christianity, why should I not be justified upon the same principles and on the authority of the apostle in understanding by sacrifice
“ Unless ye
in the language of the apostle a virtual oblation; that Christianity may not be represented as a religion founded upon the horrible system of human victims.
The Editor first refers (vage 520) to “Noah's sacrifice on his coming out of the ark ;'' whence he concludes that all the genuine religiou of the new world was founded on the fuiure atone. ment made by Christ. He again mentions God having made a promise to Abraham, that in him “ shall all the families of the earth be blessed” a blessing which came to the Gentiles through Jesus. He considers this circumstance of the communication of blessing as fully foretelling the atonement of Jesus. The Editor has also quoted the passage in Job “ I know that my redeemer liveth and that he shall stand in the latter day upon the earth ;'' being of opinion that the term redeemer being applied to Christ prove; either his atonement or his deity. I must confess my inability to find out the connection between these authorities and the conclusion drawn by the Editor from them. Did God, who, according to the Revd. Editor, had no delight even in animal sacrifice, anticipate great delight in human sacrifice when Noah made an offering to him?
Nay we not admit, that the divine promise to Abraham has been fulfilled in the blessings we enjoy derived from the screvi instructions of Jesus, without assuming that other advantages have been reaped by us from the circumstance of his having shed his blood for us exclusively considered? If not, how can Jesus assure us of the divine blessing merely through the observance of his instruction: ? Matthew V. 3-11. Luke XT. 28. “ But said he (Jesus) vea, raiber blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.'
Could not Job or any one call another bis redeemer or deliverer without having allusion to bis blood? Cannot oue being redeem another without sacriticing his own blood ? How is it then we find Jehovah, the father of all, called redeemer, boutish in that capacity not colle sidered even by Trinitarians to have had his blood shed as an atonement. Isaiah LXIII. 10. “ Thou 0, Lord art our futher, our redeemer" LX. 16. “Shalt know that I Jehovah am thy saviour and thy redeeiner.”
I wonder at the assertion of the Editor that “the Messiah is uottermed a redeemer merely on account of his teaching or his example: These" (he says) - could be of no value to Job who lived