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

SERM, XXXV.3 THE ATONEMENT OF CFiR15T. ,?9 burningof the flesh and entrails on the.altar by that divine fire, which was always kept alive there, and which was kindled at first from heaven, seems plainly intended to foretel those sacred divine impressions of the indignation of God due to sinners; which were to be made upon 'the holy soul of Christ himself, " when it pleased the Father to bruise him, and put hirn to grief :" For the indignation of God is often represented by fire. We must not imagine therefore, that these levitical ordinances were first in. the design of God, as proper statutes for the Jewish. nation, and then that the Son of Qod.canie into the world, and passed through such spe-, cial scenes of life, death, and resurrection, merely in or- der to copy out these Jewish ordinances: But we must conceive the, Son of God, first designed as our great Atonement and High-priest on earth, and in heaven : And in the view and foresight hereofall those levitical or- dinances were given to the Jews as figures and emblems, to give early notice before-hand, of the blessings of the great Messiah, Surely the atonement of the Messiah, which was to be a. real relief for the guilt of all nations, was of much more importance, and held a higherrank in the ideas and designs of God, than the mere ceremonies given to a single. nation. If it should b,e objected still, that those Jewish rites: have been plainly. proved by some learned men to be po- litical services done to God as their King and Governor, for he dwelt in. Jérusalem as their king, and kept his court among them in the tabernacle and the temple. I answer : 1. This may very well be granted as an inferior and subordinate design of God : For the consideration of God, as the civil or political ruler, of the Jewish nation, is much inferior to the considerationof him as the Crea- tor, and the Lordof the souls and consciences, not only of the nation of Israel, but of all mankind, who were to derive benefit from the sacrifice of Christ. The supreme intent and meaning of any constitution, -does by no means destroy those which are subordinate. It may be allowed also : 2. That the, sacrifices duly. offered, did make a real and proper atonement for the political guilt of the Israel- ites in the sight of God, considered.as their peculiar 5