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8. None can come to Christ and accept of pardoning mercy on account of his atonement, without accepting the punishment of their iniquities. The great design of the atonement was, to show that God would be just in inflicting eternal punishment upon the transgressors of his holy and righteous law. Sinners can see no beauty or excellence in the character and conduct of Christ in condemning sin in the flesh, by his suffering and death on the cross, until they have learned of the Father their just desert of the penalty of his law and cordially approve of it.
Then they will see, that there is no other possible way of obtaining pardoning mercy, than through the atonement of Christ. They will see, that they must completely renounce all self-dependance and self righteousness and rely alone upon the atonement of Christ as the ground of pardon and acceplance in the sight of God. Though Paul once thought, that in respect to obedience to the law, he was blameless and stood high in the divine favour ; yet as soon as he became acquainted with the justice, spirituality and extent of its precepts and penalty, all the hopes he had built upon the law died and left himn in despair. So that he was constrained to say, “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” Christ told sinners, that “the whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” No other foundation of pardon can any man lay, than that God has laid in the atonement of Christ. Sinners must trust in him alone for forgiveness, for it is only for the sake of Christ, that God can forgive iniquity, transgression and sin and save the guilty from the wrath to
But God is now ready to forgive all who feel the spirit and speak the language of the publican ; “God be merciful to me, a sinner.”
THE MOSAIO DISPENSATION ABOLISHED BY THE
HEBREWS, X. 9. ----He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
The apostle wrote this epistle for the particular benefit of the believing Jews. They had been educated under the Mosaic dispensation. They firmly believed the divine mission of Moses. They said, “We know that God spake unto Moses.” They considered the Old Testament as given by divine inspiration and elotbed with divine authority. They found a difficulty, therefore, in reconciling the law with the gospel, or the Mosaic dispensation with the Christian, which seemed to be inconsistent with each other. The difficulty, however, did not arise from any real inconsistency between the law and the gospel, but from their ignorance of the nature, design and meaning of the law. They did not know, that their laws were in their Own nature temporary, that their rights and ceremonies were altogether typical and that the whole Mosaic dispensation was designed to prepare the way for the coming of Christ and the universal spread of the gospel. Had they understood these things, they would have found no difficulty in reconciling the doctrines, precepts and institutions of the christian dispensation with those of the Mosaic, under which they had lived and by which they had been bound. To clear up these points the apostle wrote this epistle, which is a plain commentary upon the laws of Israel and very instructive to both Jews and Gentiles. To accomplish this purpose,
his method is easy and natural. He begins
with illustrating the divine nature and the divine author. ity of Christ, by which he was superior to Moses and all the prophets.
"God who at sundry times and divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” From the divinity of Christ & his supremacy above all the proph. ets, he justly infers, that the Jews ought to regard his commands rather than the commands of Moses. “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,consider the apostle and bigh priest of our profession Christ Jesus ; who was faithful to him who appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honor than the house. Moses was verily, faithful in all his house as a servant, but Christ as a Son over his own house." After this, the apostle proceeds to explain the rites and ceremonies of the law and shows that they were altogether typical of Christ and the gospel. “For the law having a shadow of good things to come and not the very image of the things, can never with these sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect." He now expressly asserts, that Christ was authorized by the Father, to set aside the Mosaic dispensation and establish his own. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body bast 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 offerings for sin thou wouldst not, neither hadst thou pleasure therein, which were offered by the law. Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” Though there had been a patriarchal dis pensation, yet the Mosaic dispensation was the first
and the christian dispensation the second, in respect to the Jews. The apostle, therefore, means to assert in the text, that Christ did take away the Mosaic dispensation and establish his own. The first ceased as soon as the second was instituted by Christ. This then is the truth, which is now to be considered,
That the Mosaic dispensation ceased, when the gospel dispensation commenced. I shall,
I. Show that the Mosaic dispensation was abrogated by the gospel ;
II. Show how the Mosaic dispensation was abrogated by the gospel ; And,
III. Point out those things under the Mosaic dispensation, which were abrogated by the gospel
I. I am to show, that the Mosaic dispensation was abrogated by the gospel. This will appear if we consider,
1. That Mosaic dispensation was of such a nature, that it might be abrogated. It was altogether a positive institution. It was founded on mutable and not immutable reasons.
Moral laws are founded on the nature of things, or on certain relations between God and his rational creatures, which are permanent and immutable. But all positive laws and institutions are founded on mutable relations and circumstances; and, of course, are as mutable as the relations and circumstances upon which they are founded. For about two thousand years after the apostacy of the human race, there was no occasion for the Mosaic dispensation. But when God saw it necessary to select one nation from the rest of mankind, then he saw it necessary to institute the Mosaic dispensation. Hence it is evident, that that dispensation might be abrogated or set aside, when it was no longer necessary to preserve one nation distinct from all the other nations of the earth. And when Christ appeared in the flesh, the time was come, in which God had designed to break down the legal distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles and to send the glad tidings of salvation to all nations, without distinction. Accordingly, he then saw the same reasons for abrogating, that he first saw, for the instituting of the Mosaic dispensation. It is to be supposed, therefore, that he could abrogate that dispensation which bad answered the ends of its institution and establish another. So that the
very nature and design of the Mosaic dispensation afford a strong presumptive evidence, that it was actually set aside, when the gospel dispensation commenced.
2. It was predicted, that the Mosaic dispensation should be abrogated, by another and more perfect dispensation under the gospel. God foretold this by the prophet Jeremiah. “ Bebold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah : not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt The same thing is foretold by the prophet Isaiah. " And it shall come to pass when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall they remember it ; neither shall it come to mind, neither shall they visit it ; neither shall it be done any more."
The same abrogation of the Mosaic dispensation is predicted hy all those passages in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah and Malachi, which foretell the calling of the Gentiles into the Church of God. But there are one or two predictions of this import, which deserve to be cited in this connection. Daniel, speaking of the Messiah, says, “ And after threescore and ten weeks shall Messiah he cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary ; and the end thereof shall be with a flood and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and ob. lation to cease.” This is a plain prediction of the entire end of the Mosaici pensation, in the day of Christ. And it is still further to be observed, that even Moses