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but that He, who at the first formed Man out of Dust and Ashes into a living Soul, should be able to call him into Life again out of the fame State? But the Gospel has declared both his Will and his Power, which he confirmed in the raising his own Son from the Grave; and better Evidence we could not have for the Possibility and Certainty of a Resurrection. This Evidence of the Gospel has reinstated Nature in all her Hopes, confirmed her Right to Immortality, and taught her to triumph over Death and the Grave, which seemed before to be unmoveable Bars to all her Expectations. This has restored Religion, which had hardly one found Foot to stand on, and made our Faith and our Reason consistent, which were before at too great Distance. Nature indeed taught us to hope for Immortality; but it was in spight of Sense and Experience, till the
great Prince of our Peace appeared, who brought Life and Immortality to Light through bis Gospel.
Who was delivered for our Offences, and was
raised again for our Justification.
HE Manner of Expression here
used is different from what is
other Parts of the New Testa
ment upon the like Occasion. Here we are told that Christ was delivered for our Offences, and raised for our Justification ; as if the Remission of our Sins was to be ascribed peculiarly to the Passion, and our Justification in the Sight of God to the Resurrection of Chrift: Whereas in the Chapter before this, Ver. 25, the Apostle tells us in general, that God hath set forth Christ to be a Propitiation through Faith in
bis Blood; and in Ch. v. Ver. 9, particularly and exprelly, that, being justified by his Blood, we shall be saved from Wrath through him ; and Ver. 10, that we are reconciled to God by the Death of his Son. In the twentieth of the A&ts, the Apostle, in his Exhortation to the Elders of the Church, warns them to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own Blond, Ver. 28. To the same Purpose both St. Peter and St. John speak; the one telling us, that the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all Sin, 1 John i. 7; the other, that we have been redeemed with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without Blemish and without Spot, i Pet. i. 19.
It is the constant Tenor of Scripture, that Atonement for the Sins of the World was made by our great High-Priest upon
the Cross; that his Death was our Redemption, and his Blood the Price paid for us. So that, when we consider the Redemption (which includes our Justification) with respect to Christ, the Author and Finisher of it, it must be ascribed to his Death and Passion : But, as to ourselves, our Title and Interest in this common Salvation being grounded on Faith, our Justification, though purchased by the Blood of Christ, must be appropriated
to ourselves through Faith in that Blood : For the same. Apostle, who has told us that we are justified freely through the Redemption which is in Christ Jesus, hath likewise told us that God hath set him forth to be a Propitiation through Faith in bis Blood. For this Reason we are said to be justified by Faith; not that our Faith is the Purchase of Justification, which we owe to the Blood of Christ alone ; but because through Faith we obtain the Benefit of the Redemption wrought by Christ Jesus. Now, though the Death of Christ was the reconciling of the World to God, yet the Resurrection of Christ is the great and solid Foundation of our Hope and Faith in him, even of our Faith in his Blood, by which he made the Propitiation for our Sins: And therefore, although Christ died for our Offences, and by his precious Blood made Atonement for our Sins ; yet, since our Faith in his Death, our Hope in his Blood, by which Hope and Faith we are justified, are built upon the Truth and Credit of his Resurrection, it is very properly said, that he rose again for our Justification : For the Death of Christ would have been no Justification to us, nor could we have had Hope or Faith in it, but for the Power and Glory of the Resurrection ;