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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 fins suffered nothing in consequence of it; but, as its name imports, was suffered to escape, or was 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 folemnly 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 Chrift 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
meaning in the words next following ; that we, being dead to fin, might live unto righteousness. .
Christ is said to die a curse for us in Gal. ii. 10. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; as it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. Now it is proper enough to say, that Christ died a curse, because the man. ner of his death was similar to that by which those who were deemed cursed under the law were put to death. But if by accursed we mean lying under the displeasure of God, this was so far from being the case with respect to Christ and his death, that in this very circumstance he was the object of the divine approbation, and complacency in the highest degree; as he himself says, For this reason does my Father love me, because I lay down my life: and it is a general observation in the scriptures, that precious in the fight of God is the death of his faints.
Christ is called a Passover in 1 Cor. 1.7. Chris our Passover is facrificed for us : and this view is also alluded to when it is faid, a bone of him shall not be broken. The reason of this view of the death of Christ was sufficiently intimated before.
As a proof that Christ took our sins upon him, and that we, on the other hand, are justified by the imputation of his righteousness to us, fome alledge. Jer, xxiii. 56. And this is the name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. But, according to the method of interpreting scripture
names, explained above, all that we can infer from this text is, that God will be our Righteousness, or receive us into his grace and favour by means of Christ, or by the gospel of Christ. That we must understand this text in some fuch sense as this, is evident from the same name being afterwards ap, plied to Jerusalem. Jer. xxxii. 16. This is the name wherewith the fall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS: for certainly it cannot be thought that the merits of Jerusalem are imputed to mankind.
Many divines, finding themselves obliged to give up the notion of Christ's suffering in our stead, and our being justified by his righteousness, as contrary to the genuine sense of the scriptures, alledge, however, that God forgives the sins of mankind on account of the merit of Christ, and his intercesion for us; and this opinion, like the former, is favoured by the literal sense of a few passages of scripture : but it is contrary to the general and plain tenor of it, which represents all acts of mercy as proceeding from the essential placability and goodness of God the Father only. Besides, there are many passages in the Old Testament in which God is represented as forgiving the Israelites, and receiving them into his favour, on the account of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and their posterity plead the merit of these their religious ancestors in their prayers. God is also represented as ready to forgive the people of
O 2 . Sodom
Sodom at the intercession of Abraham. Admitting, therefore, that God may grant favours to mankind at the interceffion of Christ, this is not a privilege peculiar to Christ, but is common to him and other good men who went before him ; so that the general system, of the forgiveness of sin, can by no means depend upon the merit and intercession of Christ only.
The following passages seem to represent the diyine being as dispensing mercy to mankind on the account of Christ, 1 John ii. 12. Because your fins are forgiven you for his name's sake. Rom. viii. 34. Who also maketh intercession for us, 1 Cor. vi. 3. But ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus. Heb. vii. 25. He ever liveth to make intercession for them.
But let these passages be compared with the following from the Old Testament, Gen. xxvii. 24. Fear not, I am with thee, and will blefs thee, and multiply thy seed, for my servant Abraham's fake. Mofes, pleading in behalf of the Israelites, says, Exod. xxxii. 13. Remember Abraham, and Ifaac, and Ifrael, thy servants. Deut. xix. 27. Remember thy Servants, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. Look not to the stubbornness of this people, nor to their fin. There are many other passages to the same purpose with these.
It must also be observed, that in the name of Chris, which occurs in some of the abovementioned passages, means as Chrift, or in the place of Christ. Thus our Lord says, Many shall come in my name, that is, pre
tending to be what I am, the Meffiah; and again, the comforter, whom the Father. shall send in my name, that is, in my place, as it were, to fucceed me in his kind offices to you. Praying, therefore, in the name of Christ may mean, in allusion to this sense, of it, praying with the temper and disposition of Chrift, or as becomes christians, those who follow the directions of Christ, both with respect to prayer, - and every other duty of the christian life. So also being justified in the name of Christ may fignify our being justified, or approved of God, in consequence of our being christians, in deed and in truth, having the same mind that was also in Christ Jesus. Agreeably to this, the apostle Paul exhorts us to put en Chrift, as if it were to appear like him, the very fame perfon,
If the pardon of fin had universally depended upon the advocateship of Christ only, it can hardly be supposed that the spirit would have had that name given to him, and especially by way of eminence, and distinction; for the word which we render comforter is the same that is rendered advocate in 1 John ii. 1. We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. The spirit is also said to intercede for us, Rom. viii. 26. The spirit itself maketh intercefron for us. .
Befides, the passages in which any-regard is supposed to be had to the merit or intercession of Christ, in dispensing mercy to sinners, are exceedingly few,