Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.2

SEAM. XXXV.] THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST. 33 all men unto me : This he said, signifying what death he should die." His being lifted up on the cross should draw many souls to him as their way to the favour of God. Once he spoke it in a little plainer language, in public; John x. 11. where he represents himself as the "good Shepherd, who lays down his life for his sheep." 3. He taught the same doctrine both in types or em- blems, and in plain language, just before he died, at the institution of the holy supper ; Luke xxii. 19. " He took bread and brake it, saying, This is my body which is given for you." And of the cup he said, ".This cup is the New Testament in my blood which is shed for you ;" or as St. Matthew expresses it, " This is myblood of the NewTestament which is shed for many, for the remission of sins." These things put together, make it evident that Christ himself taught this doctrine. Objection. But it will be said, How can we suppose that this doctrine of atonement by the death, of Christ, should be so considerable a part of the gospel, if our blessed Redeemer, the great Prophet of his church, spoke so seldom of it in public, and that in so obscure a manner ? Answer 1. This doctrine of atonement for sin by his death, and the acceptance of it with God the Father, could not be so well preached in public till he died, and rose again for his death was the foundation of this a- tonement; his resurrection and his ascension to heaven were the proofs of its being accepted of God. Now it was divinely wise and proper for our Lord not to preach such doctrines too freely in public to the multitude, till these events should appear in the world. If he had spoken all these things concerning himself, it would have probably amazed and confounded the common people, and raised their rage or their ridicule ; so ignorant and so full of prejudice as they were in that day. Answer .2. If Christ had publicly and plainly preach- ed up the atonement of his death, he must thereby have foretold openly that he must die as a, sacrifice; and this might have had very ill effects on the .malicious. Jews, either, 1. To provoke them to kill him before his hour was come, and pretend that they only obeyed his own prophecy and commission when they put him to death : Or,. . They might lay .hold on him, and ,keep him.pri- c