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communion with Christ. In other words, in Christ the manhood is reconciled to God: and now the Father, acting by the Spirit, brings his elect to himself in Christ, and stablishes them in him, their living head. Redemption and election are distinct, both as regards the authors to whom they are assigned, and the mode of their accomplishment. Redemption is the work of Christ; election in its effect) is the act of the Father by the Spirit. Redemption is universal; election is, as its name imports, particular in its application. The incarnation of Christ, his death, his resurrection, his ascension into glory, all this his work in the flesh is redemption, and its subject is mankind in general, the whole of our fallen race. In Christ our nature is brought forth from the condemnation under which it before lay accursed, and is now placed in a state of righteousness and acceptance at the right hand of the Father. And the Father's prerogative it now is to choose his people in Christ Jesus, and to bring us into communion with himself in Christ. “ No man can come unto me,” said Jesus, " except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him.” And of a like tenor is the whole testimony of the Bible. In Christ the redeemed manhood is anointed with the Holy Spirit: but, in order to our participation in that Spirit, it is necessary that we have faith : this faith is the gift of the Father. Ye see your calling, brethren: it is of the Father's grace that you are converted to the faith of Christ: “ of him are ye in Christ Jesus.”
And now there is nothing needful for life and godliness which God has not given to you in Christ; it has pleased the Father that in him should all the fulness dwell; in Christ he has blessed you with all spiritual blessings. See then, beloved brethren, that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called. Be strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus.
THE LAMB OF GOD.
Gen. xxii. 8. “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering."
Such was the reply of Abraham to his beloved child Isaac. “My father," the youth had said, “ behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering ?” “My son,” replied the heart-stricken parent,“ God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” How far the hope of Abraham, expressed in this answer, anticipated the actual event, we have received no information. From this testimony, however, we may gather some truths which the light of the Gospel has now illustrated, and to which the season of Lent, upon which we have entered, invites our consideration.
First, then, we may observe that the ancient sacrifices which preceded the Mosaic dispensation, were typical of Christ, and were all of divine institution. With respect to these prefigurations of " the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” it may be said, God provided himself the burnt offering.
The sacrifice of some animal to their offended deities has universally prevailed in the lands of heathenism. It has ever been usual with them to appease (as they supposed) the wrath of their god, and to propitiate his favour by the shedding of blood upon his altar.
Now, it cannot be imagined that a custom such as this was the dictate of the light of nature. We cannot regard it as a lesson which mere unassisted reason was competent to impart, that by such a service they could conciliate their deity. What connexion can we trace between the sacrifice of a lamb and the pardon of our personal guilt? Is it the lesson of nature, that the sacrifice of the innocent will clear the guilty ? that the substitution of the irrational will set free the rational ? Let us, for a moment, transport ourselves in ima
1 A truth denied by the Socinians. See Magee on the Atonement, vols. i. and ii. passim. Outram on Sacrifices. Sherlock, vol. ii. p. 71, &c.; iii. 8; iv. 58, &c. Jeremy Taylor, Ductor Dubit. b. ii. c. iii. r. 13, SS 27–31.
gination to some savage land, where the light of the Gospel has never shone, nor the voice of tradition ever made itself heard. Would it be a natural impulse which would urge us, upon the perpetration of a sin, to select from our flocks a choice lamb, and to offer it up, in compensation for our offence, to the insulted deity? Would the spectacle of the blood of this innocent creature, which we now beheld streaming upon the altar, bring peace to our conscience? or would not the presentiment of nature insinuate that we were ag. gravating the amount of our sins, and, in slaying an innocent which the hand of our Deity had created, were proroking the more his just indignation ?
When, then, we hear that sacrifices such as these prevail so generally among the heathen, we cannot imagine that the substitution of these victims is the natural dictate of unenlightened reason; we can discern in them no inherent adequacy to effect the discharge of the real criminal. Between the offence and the compensation which is offered upon the altar we cannot perceive the connexion.
It must be concluded, then, with respect to this and allother semblances of divine truth which are
? See the · Knowledge of Divine Things from Revelation, not from Reason or Nature,' by Dr. Ellis. Dr.