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shows that they had not effected their object. Nay he states, without fear of contradiction, that it is impossible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. He proves this by the words of the Psalmist, who, speaking by the Spirit of prophecy, had long ago affirmed, “ Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me." This body was the human nature of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who came into the world, as he himself declared, to do his Father's will, and who, in so doing it, “perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Having poured out his life unto death, and been accepted as the great Victim, who, once for all, “ in the end of the world was to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself,” he accomplished the reconciliation of God with man, which the annual victim foreshowed but did not effect, and became, in consequence, “the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”
III. The last proposition contained in the text, is Christ's session at the right hand of God.
" When he had by himself purged our sins, he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
Of Christ's session or sitting down at the right hand of God, we have numerous, full, and very specific declarations in the Holy Scriptures. He arose from the dead, because, having paid the penalty for which that judgment was inflicted, it was not possible that he should be holden of death. And for the same reason that he arose from the dead, he ascended into heaven, his body being incapable of farther suffering. It was, therefore, a body no longer adapted to this lower world, but naturally and necessarily qualified for exaltation. He took it, therefore, with him into heaven, to the presencechamber of the Majesty on high, and there tendering it to God, was set down in the highest place of dignity and exaltation, expressed by the right hand of Omnipotence, and was crowned with additional power and glory. His entrance there is characterised by the Apostle, an entrance within the vail of the true tabernacle, and his oblation of himself is styled, an eternal intercession for us. When the High Priest went alone, once every year, into the most holy place, first drawing aside the vail, and then, on his entrance, sprinkling the blood of atonement for the whole nation, all this served unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, and in what he did, he anticipated Christ. But when the Lord of Life went up on high, and having passed into the presence of God, there presented his body for a peaceoffering, he likewise took possession of the kingdom and dignity to which he was now advanced, and in the capacity of a monarch was crowned with glory and honour, all things being put in subjection under him, and his office of Mediator and Intercessor for his Church, then commencing, and there continuing, till the consummation of all things. “ Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”
Seeing, then, that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession." Let us remember that in Christ we have God manifested in the flesh; Him who is the proper Divinity; Lord of heaven and earth ; Lord of the living and the dead. Let us commend our souls unto him as unto a faithful Creator and Redeemer, and invoke his blessing on our heads. And finally let us pray God, “ that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith, that we, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fulness of God.”
PROPHECIES APPLICABLE TO JESUS ONLY.
ACTS X. 43.
TO HIM GIVE ALL THE PROPHETS WITNESS
It was a great advantage considered only in an historical point of view, that the Messiah was so fully and variously foretold by the sacred writers of the Old Testament. In the controversy respecting the truth of our Lord's pretensions, to that holy work of God, both parties could appeal in support of their opinions, and both, we find, did appeal to it. This made the Scriptures better remembered, and was one good effect which an overruling Providence drew from the spirit of controversy. And, perhaps, we shall scarcely do wrong in believing, that disputes, and schisms, and even heresies in religion, have, unknown and unintended by the authors and abettors of them, been rendered instrumental to the progress of true piety, to the glory of God, and to the edification and improvement of mankind. Disputes produce enquiry, and enquiry naturally leads to the development and propagation of the truth.
The opposition which the first teachers of Christianity had to encounter from the Jewish sects and
the chief men in authority led to continual altercation, and obliged them to vindicate themselves and their doctrine, by a constant appeal to the written word of God. It was necessary, therefore, that they should be well acquainted with the ancient Scriptures, in order to be able to show from them that Jesus of Nazareth was the predicted Messiah. Accordingly, the Acts of the Apostles abounds with argumentative discourses drawn from the prophecies of the Old Testament, and applied by the disciples of Jesus to their Lord; and it is very instructive to observe, how clear is their conception, and how close and pertinent their application of them. Their minds were, doubtless, filled with zeal in the great cause in which they found themselves engaged, and this, guided, tutored, and upheld by the Holy Spirit of God, produced those discussions for which they were so remarkable.
But not only in their controversies did they appeal to Scripture, but on all other occasions, when they undertook to prove or to explain any thing respecting Christ, they followed the same rule. It was, indeed, the only satisfactory rule to follow, for as Jesus was not standing by to convince the people by the evidence of their senses, they required some Scriptural authority whereon to ground the truth of their assertions. Thus Philip, from the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, preached to the noble Eunuch, Jesus as the sufferer who was alluded to by the Prophet. Thus Paul and Barnabas gave to the citizens of Antioch in Pisidia, a short analysis of their national