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ment for your soul: For it is the blood, that maketh an atonement for the soul,' (Lev. xvii. 11.)
In the last Consideration, we gave some short introductory hints towards explaining the mystery concealed under the blood and water, which issued from our Saviour's side after his death. But this it a matter of such importance, that it may well deserve a farther discussion. For this end, let us go into the typical school of the Holy Ghost, and endeavour to illustrate the two most remarkable types of this mysterious stream of blood and water; namely, the blood of the sacrifices prescribed in the Old Testament, and the water gushing out of the rock, that was struck by Moses.
In our enquiry into the mystery concealed under the blood of the sacrifice, these two articles offer themselves to our consideration.
First, The blood of the sacrifice itself.
Secondly, The ceremonies observed about it. As to the blood of those clean animals which were appointed for sacrifices, it was the chief article in the whole Levitical worship. When a person by a transgression of the Divine law had deserved death, he brought, in the stead of himself, such a victim as God had nominated; laid his hand on it, and confessed his crime over it. From that instant, the victim was considered as if itself had committed the crime, and thus deserved death; but the atonement for such a sin was not made till all the blood of the animal was drained off, and poured out at the foot of the altar. Hence St. Paul says, (Heb. ix. 22.)' that without shedding of blood there is no remission.' Now if we consider how many millions of victims were thus sacrificed, from the time of Moses to that of our Saviour, first in the court of the tabernacle, and afterwards in the temple of Jerusalem; the immense quantity of blood, shed in all those sacrifices, must fill us with horror and amazement.*
*Josephus in his history of the Jewish wars, affirms that 255,600 paschal lambs were killed in the Temple at Jerusalem
The blood of the sacrifices so profusely shed was, under the Old Testament, according very sacred. No person, under pain of death, was to apply this blood to his own private use; God having reserved it for himself alone, and strictly enjoined that it should be poured out at his altar. Nay, in order to impress the greater awe and veneration for this blood of the sacrjfices, it was likewise prohibited by the Levitical law, to eat the blood of any creature that was killed for common use, as appears by the following precept of God in Leviticus, (Chap. xvii. 10.) 'Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood, I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among this people.' This injunction is likewise repeated in another place: Thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God, which he hath given thee; the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roe-buck and as of the hart. Only ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it on the earth as water, (Duet. xii. 15. 16.)
Commentators have produced many reasons, why the eating of blood was so strictly forbidden under the Old Covenant. Some are of opinion that it was prohibited because the eating of blood is pernicious to the human body. It is the opinion of others, that God in his wisdom forbade it, in order to restrain men from all bloody and cruel dispositions. Others assign other reasons for this prohibition, but equally unsatisfactory. But God himself, who can best explain his own laws, has made known to us another cause, very different from any of those mentioned above. For after prohibiting the eating of blood, the Law
in one day, at the feast of the Passover. Their blood, according to Lundius's computation, must have amounted to 1,000 hogsheads.
giver adds in the following verses, For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make an atonement for your soul; for it is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul. Therefore, I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood,' (Lev. xvii. 11, 12.) It is here asserted that the life of the flesh is in the blood. For while the blood circulates in the bodies of brutes, they live; but if the blood be let out of their bodies, they remain without motion, and their animal life is at an end. As often therefore as the blood of a sacrificed animal was shed, it was looked on by God as if the soul of the victim was offered up to his justice; and this soul of the animal was farther con sidered as a ransom for the rational soul of the sinner.
The case was this: When any one by transgressing the ceremonial law of God had deserved death, his soul might justly have been violently forced from his body, and brought before the tribunal of the Supreme Law-giver, there, according to the rule of Divine justice to receive the sentence it had deserved, which was this, 'The soul that sinneth shall die.' But God, in the ceremonial law, was pleased to permit the sinner to redeem his soul by the soul of a beast; or, that for his own soul he should offer the soul of a victim. Now the soul of an irrational animal is by no means an equivalent ransom for the rational soul of a man ; there being a very great disproportion betwixt them. However, this soul of the beast, which was poured out with its blood at the foot of the altar, was accepted by the Divine justice, as a pledge for the soul and blood of Jesus Christ, which were in due time to be shed for the sins of the whole world, and to be offered up to the Divine justice. Now as the blood of the sacrifice, or the animal soul of the sacrificed victim was accepted instead of the soul of the transgressor; so the Mediator's soul, which was separated from his body by a bloody and violent death, was accepted at
the Divine tribunal, as the ransom for the souls of many sinners who had deserved death, and as a sinoffering to atone for their transgressions, (Isaiah liii. 10.) When this was accomplished, and Christ had by a bloody death laid down his soul as a sin-offering; the type of the sacrificed blood was fulfilled, and the prohibition of eating blood no longer continued in force: And it was then universally proclaimed, that God, in consideration of the blood of Jesus Christ his beloved Son, which had been typified by copious streams of blood shed in the Levitical sacrifices, would remit men their sins, and acquit them from punishment, if they repent and believe in Christ.
Let us now, from the type, pass to the great Antitype. The blood of Christ is in scripture represented as the cause of our justification, sanctification, and glorification. I shall only mention the principal passages relating to this subject, which are as follows.
This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many [for the infinite multitude of Adam's descendants] for the remission of sins, (Matt. xxvi. 28.) My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed; he that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him, (John vi. 55, 56.) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, (Rom. iii. 25.) Much more then, being justified through his blood, we shall be saved from wrath, through him, (Rom. v. 9.) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, (Eph. i. 7.) But now in Christ Jesus, ye, who sometimes were afar off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ, (Eph. ii. 13.) Having made peace through the blood of his cross, (Col. i. 20.) For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge your consciences from dead works to serve the living God, (Heb. ix. 13. 14.)
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us through the vail, that is to say, his flesh. (Heb. x. 19.) Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, (1 Peter i. 18, 19.) The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sins, (1 John i. 7.) He hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (Rev. i. 5.) These are they who came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb, (Rev. vii. 11.) They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony,' (Rev. xii. 11.) Thus the blood of Jesus Christ, and its powerful influence, is set forth unto us in the New Testament.
But in order rightly to understand all these passages of scripture, it is to be observed, that under the name of blood, the Holy Ghost usually comprehends both the entire obedience, and the sacrifice of our blessed Saviour. Hence St. Paul, (Heb. ix. 23.) uses the word blood and sacrifices as synonymous terms: 'It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with blood, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.' This sacrifice, which Christ offered to his Father for our reconciliation, includes likewise the prayers and supplications, the strong cries and tears, which he offered up in the days of his flesh, (Heb. v. 7.) all the reproaches, the insults, and contradiction of sinners; all the pains and agonies of his body and soul; and lastly, his death on the cross, in which they terminated. The Apostle in the cpistle to the Hebrews, says of the blood of Christ, Ye are come to the blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel,' (Heb. xii. 24.) It speaks,