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As to their special nature, they were added as the great instruction in the way and manner, whereby sin was to be taken away; for although this arose originally from God's mere grace and mercy; yet, was it not to be accomplished by sovereign grace and power alone. Such a taking away of sin would have been inconsistent with his truth, holiness, and righteous government of mankind.
These things evidently express the wisdom of God in their institution, although of themselves they could not take away sin; and those by whom these ends of them are denied, as they are by the Jews and Socin. ians, can give no account of
of any end of them, which answer the wisdom, grace, and holiness of God.
82. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats.” If in the nature of the thing itself it was impossible that the sacrifices, consisting of the blood of bulls and goats, should take away sin; then however, whensoever, and by whomsoever they were offered, this effect could not be produced by them; wherefore, in these words, the apostle puts a close to his argument, and makes mention of it no more, except for illustration to set forth the excellency of the sacrifice of Christ; as ver. 11, and chap. xiii, 10–12. The reason why the apostle expresseth them by “bulls and goats,” while yet they were calves and kids of the goats, hath been declared on chap. ix, ver. 11, 12.
He makes mention only of the blood of the sacrifices; whereas in many of them, the whole bodies were offered, and the fat of them all was burned on the altar, because it was the blood alone whereby atonement was made for sin; and there is a tacit opposition to the matter of the sacrifice, whereby sin was really to be expiated, which was the "precious blood of Christ,” as chap. ix, 13, 14.
83. That which is denied of these sacrifices, is a Paspeln el ceplices) the taking away of sins, which is to make atonement for it, to expiate it before God by a satisfaction given, or price paid, with the procurement of the pardon of it, according to the terms of the new covenant.
He declares directly and positively what he intends by this taking away of sin, and the ceasing of legal sacrifices; ver. 17, 18, “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more, now where remission of these is, there is no more offerings for sin.” The cessation of offerings follows directly on the remission of sin, which is the effect of expiation and atonement; and not of the turning away of men from sin for the future. It is, therefore, our justification, and not even sanctification, that the apostle discourseth of. It is, moreover, an act, upon sin itself, and not immediately upon the sinner; nor can it signify any thing, but to take away the guilt of sin, that it should not bind over the sinner to punishment, whereon conscience for sin is taken away.
$4. The manner of this negation is that it was “impossible” it should be otherwise; and it was so, not only from divine institution, but also from the nature of the things themselves. It had no condecency to divine justice; in satisfaction to justice, hy way of compensation for injuries, there must be a proportion between the injury and the reparation, that justice may be as much exalted and glorified in the one, as it was depressed and abased in the other, but there could be no such thing between the demerit of sin, and the affront put on the righteousness of God, on the one hand; and the reparation by “the blood of bulls and goats,” on the other.
$5. From these things we may observe,
1. It is possible that things may usefully represent, what it is impossible they themselves should effect. This is the fundamental rule of all institutions of the Old Testament. Wherefore,
2. There may be great and eminent uses of divine ordinances and institutions, although it be impossible that in themselves, in their most exact and diligent use, they should work out our acceptance with God; and it belongs to the wisdom of faith to use them to their proper end.
3. It was utterly impossible that sin should be taken away before God, and from the sinner's conscience, but by the blood of Christ; other ways, men are apt to betake themselves to for this end, but all in vain. It is the blood of Jesus Christ alone that cleanseth us from all our sins; for he alone was the propitiation for them.
4. The declaration of the insufficiency of all other ways for the expiation of sin, is an evidence of the holi. ness, righteousness, and severity of God against it, with the unavoidable ruin of all unbelievers.
5. Herein also consists the great demonstration of the love, grace, and mercy of God, with an encouragement to faith; in that, when the old sacrifices could not perfectly expiate sin, he would not suffer the work itself to fail, but provided a way that should be infallibly effective of it; as in the following verses:
VERSES 5--10. Wherefore, when he cometh into the world, he saith, sacrifice
and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me; in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then, said I, lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God. Above, when he said, sacrifice and offering, and burnt offerings, and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein ( which are offered by the law,) then, said he, 10, I come to do ihy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. VOL. IV.
$1 Introduction and connexion S2 (I.) Exposition of the words. 13. Christ's
coming. 94. In what sense God rejects the legal sacrifices and offerings. $5. What he wils in their stead. 16--8. The Psalmist, Septuagint, and postle reconciled. 39 --15. Exposition continued. 916---19. (11) Ubservations.
şi. Here we have the provision God made to sup. ply the defect of legal sacrifices, as to the expiation of sin, peace of conscience, &c. For the words contain the blessed undertaking of our Lord Jesus Christ, to perform and suffer all things required by the will, wisdom, holiness, righteousness, and authority of God, to the complete salvation of the church.
This is a blessed portion of divine writ, summarily representing to us the love, grace, and wisdom of the Father the love, obedience, and suffering of the Son; the federal agreement between the Father and the Son, about the work of redemption and salvation, with the blessed harmony between the Old and New Testament, in the declaration of these things. The divine authority and wisdom that here evidence themselves are ineffable.
82. (1.) (4.0) wherefore, for which cause, for which end. It doth not intimate why the words following were spoken, but why the things themselves were so disposed; “wherefore,” saith the apostle, because it was so with the law, things are thus ordered in the wisdom and counsel of God; (nɛyei) he saith; the words may have a threefold respect; as they were given out by inspiration, and recorded in scripture; as they were used by David the penman of the Psalms, who speaks by inspiration, and as a type of Christ. But David did not, would not, ought not in his own name and person reject the worship of God, and present himself with bis obedience in its room, especially as to the end of sacrifices in the expiation of sin. Wherefore, the words are properly the words of our Lord Jesus Christ; “when he cometh into the world, he saith.” The Holy Ghost useth these words at his, because they expres. sively declare his mind and resolution in his coming into the world. On considering the insufficiency of legal sacrifices (the only appearing means) to make reconciliation with God, the Lord Christ, that all mankind might not eternally perish under the guilt of sin, represents his ready willingness to undertake that work.
$2. The season of his speaking these words was, “when he cometh into the world,” (EIGEPSOLLɛvos, veniens or venturus) when the design of his future coming into the world was declared, see Matt. xi, 3.
But as the words were not verbally spoken by him, being only a real declaration of his intention; so this expression of his coming into the world,” is not to be confined to any one single act to the exclusion of others, but respects all the solemn acts of the susception and discharge of his mediatory office for the salvation of the church; but it any should rather judge that in this expression some single season and act of Christ is intended, it can do no other than his incarnation, by which he came into the world; for this was the foundation of all that he did afterwards, and that whereby he was fitted for his whole mediatorial work.
$4. (10399 737, Quola %u tpos poga) sacrifice and offering; in the next verse the one of them, (Avola) sacrifice, is distributed into (nson abay rendered here ολοκαυλομαία και περι αμαρλιας) whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin. It is evident that the Holy Ghost, in this variety of expressions, compriseth all the sacrifices of the law that had any respect to the expiation of sin.
Of these sacrifices it is affirmed, that God “would them not,” ver. 5, and that he "had no pleasure in them,” ver. 6, (nylon 5, ex Ebenytus) thou wouldest not;