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in the stead of the offender; and that by this oblation, the punishment of the sin being laid on the sacrifice, an expiation was made, and the sinner was believed to be reconciled to God. This, as appears throughout the book of Leviticus, was the design and effect of the sin and trespass offerings among the Jews, and particularly of the scape-goat which was offered for the sins of the whole people on the great day of expiation. Hence, a vast variety of phrases was used with respect to these sacrifices, such as its being offered instead of sin; it is said to bear sin, and to be a sin-offering; and to be the reconciliation and atonement of the sinner. Now, these terms thus appropriated to expiatory sacrifices, are frequently in the New Testament applied to the death of Christ. The conclusion, therefore, manifestly is, that his death constitutes a true sacrifice for sins. Thus, he is said “ to have borne our sins in his own body on the tree.” (1 Pet. ii. 24.) 66 To have been made sin for us.” (2 Cor. v. 21.)" 5 He gave his life a ransom for many.” (Matt. xx. 28.) He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John, ii. 2.) “Once in the end of the world " he hath appeared to put away sin by the sacrisfice of himself.” (Heb. ix. 26.) “ He was once offered to bear the sins of many.” (Heb. ix. 28.) These texts plainly point out Christ as the sacrifice for our sins, who suffered in our room. But not only did he thus suffer, but (2.) He effected a reconciliation of us to God. Thus, it is said, that " in him we have redemption through his "blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Eph. i. 7.)

a For the unanswerable argument of Archbishop Magee on this phrase, see his Work on Atonement, v. 1. p. 395, et seq.

b Thus, in 1 Jo. ii. 2., Christ is called the propitiation for our sins.” The word bere used is claquos, which in the Old Testament is frequently put for sin-offering. Lev. vi. 6. Num. v. 8.

c In 1 Tim, ii. 6., Christ is said “to have given himself a ransom for all.” The word here used (avtılvtpov) is particularly forcible, as it properly denotes the ransom paid for the life of a captive, by giviug op that of another person in his stead. See Estius on the Ep. of Paul.

By him hath the Father reconciled all things unto himself.” (Col. i. 20.) “He hath obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Heb. ix. 12.) “We

are sanctified through the offering of the body “ of Christ.” (Heb. x. 12.) We redeemed with the precious blood of Christ.” (1 Pet. i. 19.) These, and many other texts of similar import, plainly prove, that our reconciliation to God is due to the sacrifice of Christ. Notwithstanding the evident tendency of these passages,

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a This price paid for our redemption is opposed to " silver and gold,” in the preceding verse. Now these are certainly true and real equivalents given for the purchase of any thing. The death of Christ, therefore, must be also a real equivalent paid for our salvation. See Turretin's Inst. Theol. L. 14. Q. 17. sec. 6, 7.


Socinian writers have represented Christ's death merely as a confirmation of his Gospel and an example of patience. But such an interpretation refutes itself, for if it were admitted on so solemn a subject, the Scripture would soon be considered as a

a cunningly devised fable.”a Lastly, This sacrifice extends not only to original but to actual sins. In Rom. v. 12, et seq. St. Paul compares the extent of the advantages to be derived from Christ's death, with that of the corruption arising from the sin of Adam, and asserts that the former exceeds the latter. In c. v. 16., he says, “the judgment was by one to con“ demnation, but the free gift is of many offences ARTICLE III.

unto justification;" that is, condemnation passed on all men for one sin of Adam, but the pardon through Jesus Christ extends not merely to one, but to many actual offences.

sec. 5.

a Those who desire further information on this subject, may consult Outram de Sacrif. 1. 2. Grotius de Satisfac. Christi. Stillinge fleet on the Sufferings of Chr. Scott's Christian Life, Part. 2. c. 7.

Pearson on the Creed, Art. 4.; and Archb. Magee on the Atonement. In this last work particularly, the reader can never fail of meeting the most entire satisfaction.

b Archbishop Lawrence conjectures that this phrase was added by our Reformers, in consequence of an opinion which prevailed among some of the scholastic doctors, that Christ died only for the original guilt of men. See Bampton Lectures, ser. 3. note, (1.)





In order to the satisfactory explanation of this Article, we shall consider,

I. The meaning of the phrase, “ Christ descended into Hell," in the creeds into which it was first introduced.

II. The truth of the doctrine as it is held by the Church of England. I. The meaning of the phrase, “Christ de

, scended into Hell," in the creeds into which it was first introduced.

This Article is omitted in the abstracts of the Christian faith given by the early fathers, Irenæus, Tertullian, Clemens, and Origen, neither is it found in the various creeds formed by the Councils which met in the fourth century.a It is first mentioned by Ruffinus in the beginning of the fifth century : who also tells us,a that at this time it was neither in the Roman nor in the Oriental creeds, but that he had found it in the symbol of the Church of Aquileia, of which he was presbyter. It is expressed by the words, descendit in inferna, which most probably meant no more than his burial, since there was no other article in the creed relating to this subject. It is also inserted in the creed of Arimini, in which the term inferna is rendered by καταχθονια, , signifying perhaps the burial merely. The Athanasian creed, likewise, contains this article, expressed by the word aons, but here too the omis

* See Pearson on the Creed, Art. 5. p. 371. note, and King's History of the Creed, c. 4.


Ruffin. in Expos. Symb. sec. 20. When Bishop Burnet says it was first mentioned by Rufinus, he means, that then it first appeared in the public and authorized creed of a Church, for it is found in the Arian creed of Arimini before this time.

Though Ruffinus understood the words in this sense, it is yet certain that he held a descent into hell, distinct from the burial.See Expos. Symb. sec. 27.

· The Council of Arimini, which was composed of the Arian party alone, was held in the year 359. And in the creed composed there, though the burial was omitted, still the descent was expressed in such a way as to exclude the conclusion adopted by Bishop Burnet. The words are these : εις τα καταχθονια κατελθοντα, και εκεισε οικονομησαντα, ον πυλωροι αδου ιδοντες εφριξαν. On which Bishop Pearson truly observes, that, as “ the keepers of hell could not be affrighted by any sight of his corpse lying in the grave,” the words must refer to a distinct descent.-See Pearson, p. 375. note, Kiny's History of the Creed, p. 261, and Fuller's Eccles. Hist. v. l. p. 263. Ed. Lond. 1696.


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