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*"*sufferinonate counsel anetiled;" “ deliv
of his family, were to be preserved, at the expense e life of that inoffensive little creature, whom he hut up for the slaughter, and which, in unsus. Lis confidence, licked the hand lifted up to thed ood? e have not long to search for the spirit and sube of this part of the institution : for all scriptúre -s upon our notice, “ the LAMB Of God, who h away the fin of the world;" flain, 6 in the al purpose, from and before the foundation of vorld; holy, harmless, and undefiled ;" “ delivby the determinate counsel and foreknowledge on”*_suffering “ the just for the unjust, that he at bring us to God.” “ Who was wounded for Tanfgressions, who was bruised for our iniquities : chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with tripes we are healed :" the Lord laying on him e iniquity of us all ;" withdrawn, feparated from polon of his Father-delivered into the hands of --pouring out his soul unto death. was to be “a lamb of the first year," eight days t the least; a year at the most. Not less than davs, say the Jews, that there might intervene fabbath from the birth of the victim ; and that e facredness of this holy festival might render it ay of being offered unto God. More probably, ufe that, till then, the animal was considered as ear a state of imperfection or impurity. It was b exceed one year ; because to that age it rets lamb-like harmlessness and fimplicity. Superin which is ever sinking the spirit in the letter, lerted, that a single hour beyond the year vitiatvictim, and rendered it profane. the figure, without straining for a resemblance, ts unto us Jesus, “a Son born, and a Saviour "ours from the manger, ours to the tomb. bys cut oil in the midst; at that period of life men are coming to their prime of vigour, beau
ty and usefulness. " A lamb without blemish." Those who love to fritter away the spirit and meaning of divine institutions in literal interpretation, have gone into a particular enumeration of the various kinds of blemishes which disqualified a sacrifice upon this occasion; and these they have multiplied to confiderably above fifty.' And what folly has taken pains to invent, superstition has been idle and weak enough to follow. The later Rabbins tell us, that the lamb was fet apart four days before the sacrifice, in order to afford leisure and opportunity to inquire into its soundness and perfection; that if any unob. served spot should appear, there might be time to reject it, and to substitute another in its room. The law itself is plain and simple ; and no good Ifraelite, of common sense, with the sacred charter in his hand, could possibly mistake its meaning; which is simply to signify, that the good God is to be served with the choicest and best of every thing. But the law evidently looked further than to the mere corporal perfection or defects of a silly lamb: and we should but ill understand both the text and the commentary, did we not look through the whole type to HIM who is " without spot and blemish ;" who, though born of a sinful mother, “ did no fin;" who lived many years in the “ midst of a sinful and adulterous generation,” without contracting any taint of moral pollution ; in whom “ the prince of this world, when he came, found nothing ;” and whom his agents, Judas and Pontius Pilate, the instruments of his condemnation and death, were constrained to acquit. ." I have sinned, and betrayed innocent blood ;" said the one. “ Take ye him, and crucify him, for I find no fault in him," said the other. " And when the centurion faw what was done he said, Surely this was the Son of God!”
The very act of selecting the one victim from among many, must have been an affecting office. Why should this innocent creature bleed and die, G2
a les loul intovered into parated from
labbain lay the Jews at the mot year," eight da
$ of this ich of the vinight intervene
exceed on harmlessnels and foirit in the vitiat
* Acts ii. 23.
tion of matoployment to the appoitude,
rätlier than another? Why should the notice of my eye, or his accidentally presenting himself first of the flock, or his fuperior beauty and strength, or the dee termination of the lot, doom him, in preference, to the slaughter ? But one must die. Here the choice is: fixed ; and pity must not spare what Heaven has de inanded. These emotions of compassion must have been frequently excited during the four days of separation. The plaintive bleating, issuing from a tender, aching heart, robbed at once of its natural food, protection and comfort; feeling the. bitterness of death in the deprivation of maternal care and tenderness; the mournfully pleasing employment of supplying the devoted victim with alimenty up to the appointed hour; the cherishing and sustaining with solicitude, that life to-day, which the strong hand of necessity. must take away to-morrow; all these awaken a thou. fand undefcribable feelings. How the heart is wrung, as often as the eye, or the ear, or the hand, is attracted to attend or to minister to the little trembling prisoner ! At length the fatal moment is come: and the afflicting alternative presses, “ This innocent, or. my own first-born mult suffer. If my heart relent, lo, the flaming sword of the destroying angel is within. my habitation. My resolution is formed. There is no room for deliberation. . Die thou, that my son may live."
But the pafchal victim could have no presentiment of its approaching fate. Happy in its ignorance, it: could die but once. Christians, need your eyes be directed to your great gospel paísover ? Behold, your. atonement-deliberately chofen of God; fixed upon, in the maturity of eternal counsels; under the preffure of the great decree; voluntarily presenting and surrendering himself _Behold him continually admonished of his approaching sufferings and death; by his own divine prescience, by the perpetual insults and violence of wicked men, by the descent of Moses and Elias to the mount of transfiguration. "The de
her than another? Why lhould the notice of my ,or his accidentally presenting himself first of the k, or his fuperior beauty and strength, or the demination of the lot, doom him, in preference, to
flaughter? But one must die. Here the choice is d; and pity must not spare what Heaven has de ided. These emotions of compaslion must have a frequently excited during the four days of lepaon. The plaintive bleating, iffuing from a tender, Eng heart, robbed at once of its natural food, proion and comfort ; feeling the bitterness of death he deprivation of maternal care and tenderness ; mournfully pleasing employment of supplying the oted victim with alimenty up to the appointed r; the cherishing and sustaining with solicitude, ; life to-day, which the strong hand of neceflity Z take away to-morrow; all these awaken a thou., I undefcribable feelings. How the heart is wrung, ften as the eye, or the ear, or the hand, is attractto attend or to minister to the little trembling
ger! At length the fatal moment is come: and aflicting alternative presses, “ This innocent, or. own first-born must suffer. If my heart relent, lo, Hlaming sword of the destroying angel is within habitation. My resolution is formed. There is oom for deliberation. Die thou, that my son may ut the pafchal victim could have no presentiment 8: approaching fate. Happy in its ignorance, it d die but once. Christians, need your eyes be ited to your great gospel paísover ? Behold, your ement-deliberately chosen of God; fixed up in the maturity of eternal counsels ; under the are of the great decree; voluntarily presenting furrendering himself ! Behold him continually ., unished of his approaching sufferings and death; is own divine prescience, by the perpetual inlulise violence of wicked men, by the descent of Moles Elias to the mount of transfiguration. " The de
..cease which he should accomplish” at length, & at
Jerusalem,” was continually assuming a blacker and a blacker complexion, from being foreseen, foreknown, and more keenly felt, as the hour drew nigh. Lo, he “ treads the wine-press alone." The dreadful confiet is begun. What “strong crying with tears” do I hear ? « Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” What a great drops of blood" do I fee, distilling from every pore, and “ falling to the ground ??" Ah! the unrelenting executioner has begun to perform his infernal task: and yet, the bleeding “ Lamb opens -not his mouth.” What figh is that which pierces my soul ? What strange accents burst upon my astonished ear? “My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken .me?” The conflict is at an end. He bows his head, 56 It is finished.” The victim has 56 poured out his soul unto death." He has given up the ghost. These “ things the angels desire to look into."
"O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and love of God! How unsearchable are his judg ments, and his ways past finding out !” Who can “ comprehend what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height :" who “ can know the love of the Chrift, which passeth knowledge!"
take away, le feelings of the hana trembling Hundelethe eye, or tinister to theint is. come it, or to attend noth the tareffes, “ I heart relent, hun
LE C T U RE VIII.
Exodus xii. 26, 27. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall suy un
to you, What mean you by this service? That ye mall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's passaver, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he fmote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.
PSALM xci. 5—8. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the
arrow that fieth by day; nor for the peftilence that walketh in darkness ; nor for the destruction, that wasteth at noon-day. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand ; but it hall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou bebold, and see the reward of the wicked."
great JEHOVAH, in all the works of his hands, and in all the ways of his providence, is ever preparing still grander displays of his divine perfection than those which have been already submitted to our view. This visible creation, fair, and valt, and magnificent as it is, being composed of perishing materials, and destined, in the eternal plan, to a temporary duration, is passing away, to give place to “new heayers, and a
History of Moses.
EXODUS xii. 26, 27. d it shall come to pass, when your children shall say un. to you, What mean you by this service? That ye fball say, It is the facrifice of the Lord's passaver, who passed over he houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he mote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And . be people bowed the head and worshipped.
new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” He who made all things at first faith, “ Behold, I make all things new."The whole Jewish economy, “ The adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the seryice of God, and the promises :" The patriarchs and the prophets, with all they said, acted and wrote, were but the preparation of the gospel of peace," and all issue in Christ the Lord, " in whom all the promises are yea, and amen, to the glory of God the Father.” And the kingdom of grace, under the great Redeemer, is only leading to the kingdom of glory.
It is both pleasant and useful, to observe the nature, the occasion and the design, of sacred institutions. A closer inspection generally discovers much more than is apparent at first sight. The ordinance of the pafsover owes its institution to an event of considerable importance in the history of mankind; and its abrogation to a still greater. Its celebration conmemorates the destruction of all the first-born in Egypt, and the redemption of Israel. Its abolition marks that most memorable era, the death of God's own eternal Son, and the redemption of a lost world, by the shedding of his precious blood. It is not thereføre to be wondered at, if, in an ordinance which was intended to expire in the sacrifice of the great “ Lamb of Atonement,” sain 66 from the foundation of the world,” its divine Author should have thought proper to enjoin many particulars, which figuratively and symbolically pointed out “ good things to come," as well as literally expressed good things present.
Several of these fignificant circumstances, we took occasion to point out to you in the last Lecture. The commencement of the year was changed. The memory of nature's birth was sunk as it were in the memory of the church's deliverance; and a joyful expectation was excited of the gradual approach of " the fulness of time,” the day, the new year's day of the world's redemption. In that facred festival was
iu shalt not o lieth by day in the destruction
PSALM xci. 5.-8. ut halt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the rrow that flieth by day; nor for the peftilence that valketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wast,
h at noon-day. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and in thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come igh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, and · e the reward of the wicked,"
till gran have been alreaand vait, and terials, and
IE great Jehovah, in all the works of his hands, in all the ways of his providence, is ever prepartill grander displays of his divine perfection than ? which have been already submitted to our view. visible creation, fair, and valt, and magnificent is, being composed of perishing materials, and ned, in the eternal plan, to a temporary duratioll, ting away, to give place to “new heavens, and a