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hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified,” Heb. ix, and x. And, being a pure offer ing, his blood is precious, and posseses everlasting virtue, efficacy and power, to blot out of the book of God's remembrance all the sins of the elect, as well as to purge sin from their hearts. Hence we read that his precious blood is "a fountain opened to the household of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness," Zech. xii. 1. And in John we are told, and every saved sinner is a living witness of the truth of it, that “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son (i. e. God's Son) cleanseth us from all sin," i John i. 7-Here is a sure foundation for the church to build upon. An available sacrifice has been offered, that may be safely trusted in; and Christ, by his life and meritorious death, hath obtained eternal redemption for us; so that all who are brought to believe in him, with that faith that is of the operation of God, shall be saved in him with an everlasting salvation. The fiftythird of Isaiah plainly shews that the sacrifice which Christ offered must be without spot, or else it never could effect all the blessedness there spoken of; and hence we read, “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter (but a lamb without blemish, in order that his sacrifice should be available); and, as a sheep before his shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth,” as was the case before Pilate; and it was because he put himself in the place of the guilty; he stood in their law place, and was answerable for them to law and justice. He was innocent himself; but, as he had the guilty to save, he was mute and silent, ire, specting his own justification. For the transgression of his people was he stricken; and when he died his body was laid in the grave; and lay there three days and three nights; but, being in itself perfectly holy, and free from all mortality, it saw no corruption, as the scriptures declare, which it must have done had it been mortal. Observe these scriptures: “ Him ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain Whom God hath raised up, baving loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be holder of it;" that is, because of his being free from every cause of death; and, his body having laid the time appointed in the tomb to ransom the elect from the grave, it was impossible that it should remain there any longer, being no subject for death in itself; death therefore could have no further claim when the ransom price was paid..-“Moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope, because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” How should an holy one possess mortality, or see corruption, the necessary consequent?-Im
possible. Neither did his flesh see corruption: But the advocates of mortality may say • Does not the scripture say that he was “raised from the dead, no more to return to corruption?". Acts xiii. 34. Is not this therefore a proof that he was mortal, and saw corruption in the grave?' No, indeed, it means no such thing: the plain unstrained sense is no more to return to the grave, the place of corruption for that which is mortal. This is the true meaning; for in the thirty-seventh verse we read, “But he whom God raised again saw no corruption.” Therefore, his perfect sacrifice being a lamb slain without blemish, a full atonement for the sins of his people was made, and every believer may take up the words of John, and say, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” John i. 29; for he was truly a lamb without blemish. The advocates for the error complained of always fly to this, We say and believe that, though his body was mortal, yet he was perfectly holy and free from sin.' But this cannot be admitted, for you cannot serve God and Baal; you cannot retain both. If his body was mortal it cannot be holy; and, if holy, then it cannot be mortal. Choose therefore which you will have. If you reject the idol you have set up, and before which you have been singing and dancing so long, like Aaron and the people
before the golden calf, then we will believe your faith in the perfect holiness of the human nature of Christ to be real, bat not till then.. 'I . I wish now to take notice of the sacrifices under the Old Testament dispensation, as from thence I hope plainly to establish the truth for which I am here pleading. They all pointed to Christ; they were types, shadows, and figures of him: hence he is said to be the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; and when he came all the shadows fled away. And a lamb was offered every morning and evening while the temple service remained. And there were particular orders given about the quality of the victims to be offered : only observe the directions about the passover lamb: “ Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats,” Ex. xii. 5. And all the things sacrificed were to be of the best; nothing was allowed, but strictly forbidden, that was corrupt, or in any way diseased. “ But whatsoever bath a blemish, that shall ye not offer, for it shall not be accepted for you." Read Levit. chap. xxii. And not only were the sacrifices to be without blemish, but the Priests that offered were also to be free from blemish and deformity, ch. xxi. last, from the awful corruption of the times, the offerings to God were such, that he says, “ Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar." They offered the blind, the lame, the sick, and that which was torn: but God says, “Should I accept this at your hands ?” “Cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth and sacrificeth unto the Lord a cor. rupt thing; for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen," Mal. chap. i.
From the foregoing evidence, it is plain that no sacrifice was available with God, nor accepted, unless it was pure, and free from all blemish; and all those who offered any corrupt or imperfect sacrifice were rejected, and under the curse of God. ' And so now it is only the holy, perfect sacrifice of Christ that God accepts; it is that which was an offering without spot to God that can alone bring us into peace and friendship with him; and all such as hold the mortality of Christ's human nature approach to God by a corrupt sacrifice; for he is not a lamb without blernish according to their faith, and therefore both they and their sacrifice shall be rejected. A mortal sacrifice is a corrupt sacrifice; it has a blemish, and is therefore rejected of God, and a sacrifice not available with him. Such as trust in Christ's sacrifice as an immortal sacrifice shall ever find access to God, and acceptance with him: but such as trust in it as a