Now.--In this present time, in our present condition. Reconciliation in the present is a foretaste of glory in the future.
through our Lord Jesus Christ; not the light of nature, nor the law of Moses, nor any works of righteousness done by men, nor through angels or saints, but Christ, and him only; for it is only in and through him that God is their covenant God and Father; by him only have they the agreeable view of his glorious perfections; in him only all his purposes and promises have their fulfilment; it is by his hands, and through his blood, that all the blessings of grace are conveyed to them; their access to God is only by him; and by him they give the praise and glory of every mercy to him. And the ground of this joy is the expiation of sin by Christ,
by whom we have now received the atonement; atonement is not made, but received by us; which denotes the application of the atoning blood and sacrifice of Christ to the conscience, the Spirit's witness of interest in it, and the office of faith, as a recipient of it: it is not faith, nor anything else of the creature's, that makes the atonement, only Christ; but faith receives it from him, and by him; which, as it is the ground of present joying in God, so it is the foundation of hope of future glory: the word "now" refers to the Gospel dispensation. The poor Jews are at the utmost loss about atonement: sometimes they tell (c) us it is by confession, repentance, and good works; sometimes by beneficence and hospitality (d); sometimes they say their captivity is their atonement (e); and, at other times, that death expiates all their sins (f). Blessed be God for the atoning sacrifice of Christ!
(c) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 85. 2. & 86. 1. Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 6. sect. 2. Zohar in Gen. fol. 107. 1.((d) T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 27. 1. & Roshhashana, fol. 18. 1, & Yebamot, fol. 105. 1.((e) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 16. 1. & Sanhedrin, fol. 37. 2. Maimon. Hilch. Teshuba, c. 2. sect. 4. (f) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 60. 1. Hieros. Yoma, fol. 38. 2. T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 28. 1. & Yoma, fol. 42. 1. Gloss in ib.