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sins are forgiven, whenever they are forgiven.

149. (5.) Again; Heb. x. 17, 18, Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. This is an article of the covenant of grace. The apostle immediately remarks ; Now where remission of these [of sins and ini. quities] is, there is no more offering for sin, or there can be no occasion for any further offering for sin. Sin being forgiven, the reason of an offering or sacrifice ceaseth. Hence it follows, 1. That if God of his own mere grace had pardoned sin, without any respect to the offering of Christ, there would have been no occasion at all, that Christ should have offered himself a sacrifice for the remission of sin. 2. It follows, that the promise of remission in the covenant of grace is owing to the offering or sacrifice of Christ, as being needful, or as what God required, in order to his granting that promise. For if, after remission was granted, any further offering by Christ was needless, it is plainly supposed, that his offering and sacrifice was needful before it was granted, and in order to its being granted [141.). Which is confirmed by ver. 139, 27, &c. For if we sin wilfully

there remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery. indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law, died without mercy, Of how much sorer punishment suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, &c. If we forfeit the present benefit of gospel mercy, we are in a remediless condition, and must perish eternally. Why? Because there remains no more sacrifice for sins. Therefore the sacrifice of Christ was a reason with the Governor of the world for granting the remission of sins, or for exempting sinners from the punishment of eternal destruction [111]. From which punishment none shall be exempted, who abuse the present grace of redemption, because the sacrifice of Christ will not be repeated or accepted for that purpose. Therefore the sacrifice which Christ hath already offered is the only way in which the lawgiver judgeth it proper to shew us mercy, or to grant unto us the remission of sins.

150. (6.) Further; the transgressions and sins, which the Jews, from Moses to Christ, had committed against the law,


whereby they were brought under the curse of it, [134] could be redeemed by the blood of Christ no otherwise, than as his blood was a reason with God, for remitting those transgressions, by releasing them from the penalty of the law, which is death eternal, and granting them a part in the resurrection at the last day. In the same manner we may argue with respect to the sin of Adam, by which we are all subjected to death.

151. (7.) By the death, cross, and blood of Christ God reconciled us to himself, even while we were sinners and enemies (Rom. v. 8, 10,] i.e. before we were converted to the christian profession. He thus made us nigh who were afar off, and united us into one body with his ancient church and people, the Jews (136, 137]. One part of his thus reconciling us was, his not imputing to us our trespasses, 2 Cor. v. 19. Thus then we are reconciled to God by the death of his Son, as his death was a reason of God's remitting the sins of the Gentile world, which were past; and, instead of inflicting the punishment due to them, of granting those, who embraced the gospel, free liberty to join themselves to the church, re


moving whatever in the Jewish constitution hindered their admittance, and accepting them as his people interested in all the honours and blessings of his kingdom and covenant. And then he sent his apostles to preach peace, or reconciliation, &c. which in Epb. ii. 16, 17, is considered as the consequence of Christ's reconciling both Jews and Gentiles unto God in one body by the cross. He first reconciled them by the cross, and afterwards by his apostles came and preached peace, &c.

152. I conclude therefore ; that the sacrifice of Christ was truly, and properly, in the highest degree, and far beyond any other, piacular and expiatory, to make atonement for, or to take away sin. Not i only to give us an example; not only to assure us of remission; or to procure our Lord a commission to publish the forgiveness of sin: but moreover to obtain that forgiveness, by doing what God in his wisdom and goodness judged fit and expedient to be done in order to the forgiveness of sin; and without which he did not think it fit or expedient to grant the forgiveness of sin.




153. WE now come to the mean, the death of Christ, variously expressed by his blood, his cross, his giving himself, being crucified, giving himself an offering and sacrifice, and other phrases, which are all to be found in the preceding collection of texts ; and, as to our present design, need no explication. What requires our particular attention is, to state the connexion between the mean and the effects : or to shew, wherein the virtue and efficacy of Christ's death consists, as it stands in relation to the effects assigned to it; or as it is a reason or consideration of God's forgiving of sin, and conferring the blessings of the gospel. And

154. I. The design of it could not be to make God merciful ; or to dispose him to spare and pardon us, when, as some suppose, so great was his wrach, that had not Christ interposed, he would have destroyed us. This is directly contrary to

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