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of the Jews' religion, let me endeavour to apply them to ourselves.
1. First, sin must be confessed by us. See the high priest confessing all the sins of himself and the people over the head of the scape-goat. No form of words is here prescribed, but the Jews adopted one in after ages which was not unsuitable for the purpose. It was this. O Lord, thy people, the house of Israel, have sinned and done iniquity, and trespassed before thee: O Lord, make atonement now for the sins, and for the iniquities, and for the trespasses that thy people the house of Israel have sinned, and unrighteously done, and trespassed before thee.' Thus in coming to Christ and his sacrifice we must confess all our sins. We must endeavour to recollect, and we must acknowledge all our numerous sins, iniquities, and transgressions, and humble ourselves before him for them. This is an indispensible part of true repentance, which God requires of all men every where. The penitent Psalmist says, "I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid." The proverb tells
us that he that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." One Apostle de
with the heart man believeth
unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation;" and another warns us that "if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Thus then, in seeking reconciliation with God through Christ we must confess our sins. In our chambers and on our knees we must penitently acknowledge all our iniquities and transgressions. Also whenever the church assembles in public worship confession of sin must be one of her first and principal duties. This appears in every part of our book of common prayer, where confession of sin is expressed in language most humble and affecting.
2. Secondly, sin must be transferred. See the high priest laying both his hands upon the head of the scape-goat, confessing
over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, and putting them upon the head of the goat. What a striking representation is this of the manner in which our sins are put upon Christ! What a bright illustration of that which the prophet Isaiah says of him, “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all," and again, "He shall bear our iniquities." How strongly is this truth expressed in various passages of the New Testament! Thus in Hebrews, "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;" and in the second of Corinthians, "He hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him," where, as I have observed in a former sermon, there is a double transfer declared, the one, of our sins to Christ, and the other, of his righteousness to us. Now to put our sins on Christ is the office of faith. So that here are set forth to us the two great doctrines of the gospel, “repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ." Oh! how large is his
grace and how extensive the work which he has sustained for us! One goat slain could only shew us a sacrificed Saviour, it could not shew us a living Saviour. One could not exhibit him who liveth, and was dead, and is alive for evermore. There must be two to convey this truth that Christ was put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit," that he was "delivered for our offences and raised again for our justifi
cation," that he was crucified through weakness, and yet liveth by the power of God." Oh! let us fix our faith on these glorious truths of his gospel, and cast all our sins, with all our fears and cares, upon him.
3. Thus, thirdly, sin will be removed. Here see the scape-goat sent away into the wilderness, bearing upon him all the iniquities of the people, into a land not inhabited, or, as it is in the margin of our bibles, into a land of separation: see him thus taken far away, and there set at liberty. Now although all this could not make them perfect as pertaining to the conscience, though it was but
a type and shadow to them, yet how clear is it to us! How plainly do we here see" the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world!" And with what full assurance of faith may we believe in the remission of our sins through him. Do but consider the weight of testimony which is presented to us by the scriptures on this head. They describe the removal of the sins of believers as the dispersion of a cloud; " I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins." They describe them as removed to the greatest possible distance; "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." They describe the Lord God as never mentioning them against them, nay, as blotting them out of his own remembrance. They say that if sought for they shall not be found, and that God will "cast all our sins into the depths of the sea." Surely I need not add additional testimonies from the New Testament. Numbers must be familiar to you. May God apply them to every mourning believing penitent for the comfort of his soul.