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fiveet-smelling favour, Heb. vii. 27. Who needed not daily to offer sacrifice, first for his own fins, and then for the people. For this he did once, when he offered up himself. With the same idea he says, ix. 22. And without pedding blood there is no remiffion. This view of the death of Christ occurs pretty frequently in this epistle to the Hebrews, but not more than about half a dozen times in all the other books of the New Testament; the principal of which is 1 John ii. 1. And he is the propitiation for our fins. But if the great object of the death of Christ was the establishment of that religion by which the world is reformed, in consequence of which the divine being is rendered propitious to them, how natural is it to represent his death as a sacrifice to God, for that great purpose? Besides, facrifices for fin under the law of Moses are never considered as standing in the place of the finner ; but as the people were never to approach the divine presence, upon any occafion, without some offering, agreeably to the standing and univerfal custom of the East, with respect to all fovereigns and great meni, fo no person after being unclean (which not only moral guilt, but a number of things absolutely indifferent to morality were supposed to render a man) could be introduced to the tabernacle or temple service, without an offering proper to the occafion,
This idea may explain 2 Cor. v. 21. He made him fin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him ; because by fin in this place may perhaps be understood a fin-offering. Or it may correspond to Rom. viii. 3. What the law could not do, in that it was wiak, through the flesh, God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for fin ( on account of sin, or on the business of sin, i. e. to destroy and take it away) condemned sin in the flesh. In this case, the sense of the passage will be, that Christ was made, not sin, but in the likeness of finful flesh, that is, he was made a man for our sakes.
Many persons are carried away by the found of the word redemption, as if it necessarily implied that, mankind being in a state of bondage, a price must be paid for their freedom, and that the death of Christ was that price. But the word which we render redemption signifies only deliverance in gene. ral, in whatever rnanner it be effected, and it is frequently so rendered by our tranAators. Belonging to this class of texts are the following, Matt. XX. 28. Mark X. 45. The fon of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
1 Tim. ïi. 8. Who gave himself a ransom for all.
In order to judge of the meaning of this expresfion, let the preceding passages be compared with the following, in which the same Greek word is
ufed, Luke xxiv. 21. We trusted that it had been be who should have delivered, or (as it might have been translated) redeemed Israel. In this case, the disciples certainly meant a deliverance, or redemption, from a state of subjection to the Romans, which they could not suppose was to be effected by purchase, but by the exertion of wisdom and power. Luke i. 68. He has visited, and redeemed his people ; which is explained in ver. 71, by a deliverance from our enemies, and
from the hands of all that hate us. In A&ts vii. 35. Stephen stiles Moses a ruler and deliverer, or redeemer, but what price did he pay for their redemption? In the Old Testament also God is frequently said to have redeemed Israel from the hand of the Egyptians; but he certainly did not redeem them by paying any price for their redemption, and much less by becoming a bondman in their place, but, as it is often expressed, he redeemed or delivered them, with an high hand and an outstretched arm. So also may Christ be said to redeem, or deliver from sin, viz. by his precepts, by his example, and by the precious promises of his gospel ; by the confideration of which we are induced to forsake fin.
Stress has been laid upon the word for in the above-mentioned passages, as if Christ dying a ransom for all necessarily implied that he died in the stead, or in the place, of all; but the same word has other significations, as because, and so it is ren
dered Luke i. 20. Because thou hast not believed my word. Heb. xii. 2. Who for, or because of the joy that was set before him. It also signifies on the behalf, or on the account of, as Mat. xvii. 27. That take, and give them for thee and me, that is, on the account of, not instead of me and thee. So Christ died, and gave his life a ransom, not instead of many, but on the behalf of many, or for their benefit.
Much stress has also been laid on Christ being said to bear the fins of mankind; as if they had been ascribed or imputed to him, and he had taken them upon himself, and suffered the wrath of God for them. If. liii. 11. He shall bear their iniquities. 1 Pet. ii. 24. Who his own self bare our fans in his own body, on the tree. Heb. ix. 28. So Christ once suffered, to bear the sins of many.
These, I think, are all the places in which this particular view of the death of Christ occurs. But beside the manifest injustice, and indeed absurdity, of an innocent person being punished for one that is guilty, the word does not signify to bear or take upon another, but to bear away, or to remove, by whatever means ; so that the texts above-mentioned correspond to, 1 John iii. 5, 6. And ye know that he was manifest to take away fin, and in him was no Jin..
The phrase bearing fin is never applied in the Old Testament, but to the scape-goat, which was not sacrificed, but turned loose in the wilderness, to
signify fignify the removal of the sins of the people, which God had freely forgiven, to a place where they should never more be heard of. The goat itself, which was emblematically said to bear their finsy suffered nothing in consequence of it; but, as its name imports, was suffered to escape, or wàs let loose. Perhaps the sending away of the scape-goat was intended for a monitory sign to the people, that they should cease to commit those fins which had been so solemnly confessed over him, and which he was said to bear away into a land of separation. See Levit. xvi. 22. in the margin.
The evangelist. Matthew had, most evidently, this idea of the meaning of the passage in Isaiah, when he applied it upon the occasion of Christ's healing the bodily diseases of men, viii. 17. For he says that he performed these cures, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. Now how did Christ bear the bodily diseases which he cured? Not, surely, by taking them upon himself, and becoming diseased, as the poor wretches themselves had been; but by removing them by his miraculous power. In like manner Christ bears, or takes away fin in general; not by suffering himself to be treated as a sinner, but removing it, by the doctrines and motives of his gospel. Agreeably to this, when Peter had said, Who his own self bare our fins in his own body on the tree, he explains his