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" upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we “ like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one " to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the ini. * quity of us all*.” Let us also see how this matter is represented in the new testament. “Whom God hath fet " forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to “declare his righteousness for the remillion of fins that are

past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say,

at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, " and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesust. For “ he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no fin, " that we might be made the righteousness of God in

“ himi:

It is through this man, and through his blood, that “repentance and remission of fins is preached to all na“ tions.” Is not this a sufficient and stable ground of hope? In the substitution of our furety, we see a way opened for the reception and restoration of finners, in a perfect consistency with all the divine perfections. The spotless purity and holiness, the strict and impartial justice of God, seem to raise an infuperable obstacle to our admission into his favor ; but in the sufferings and atonement of our Redeemer, we see how he may testify his abhorrence of fin, and punish it, and at the same time thew mercy to the finner. There is a perfect harmoniy' of all the divine attributes in this design, and particularly a joint illustration of mercy and justice. This is the gospel of Christ, the blessed and reviving message brought into the world by the prince of peace. This is “the record “ which God hath given of his Son.”

How welcome, how reviving this, to the discouraged convinced finner? His very concern and fear when proceeding upon proper grounds, arises from a view of the infinite evil of fin, fo provoking to a holy God. But in this plan laid by divine wisdom, he sees the guilt of sin sufficiently expiated by a sacrifice of infinite value. “ For “We are not redeemed with corruptible things, such as

• Il. liii. 3,6.

+ Rom. iji.



* 2 Cor. v. 21.

Vol. 1.


" filver and gold—but with the precious blood of Chrift, " as of a Lamb without bleniilh and without fpot*.

He compares and contralts, if I may fo fpeak, the greatness of his guilt witly the price of his pareon. Then appears; with new and uncommon force, the greatness of this myftery of goulliness, GOD- manifested in the flelli. A victim no less considérable than the eternal and “only“ begotten” Son of God; “ the brightness of his Father's “glory, and the es press image of bis perfon.” What is it that cannot be purchased by this marvellous exchange? The believer fees with adoring worder, the justice of God more awfully fevere, in awaking his sword again the man who was his fellow," than if the whole race of offending men had been irrecoverably loft. At the faine time he sees the unspeakable dignity and majesty of God, in his infinite and truly royal inercy, great in itself, and greater still in the way in which it is difpented." Here«in is love indeed, not that we loved God, but that he « loved us, and sent his fon to be the propitiation for our


I cannot help here observing, that this salvation is fo amazing, so wonderful in its nature, and so far removed from any thing we know among men, that we are in danger of being put to a stand, and can fcarcely conceive it posible. But on the other hand, when we consider that it carrieth not upon it any of the marks of haman wildom, we are naturally led to say, “ Salvation belongeth “ unto God. His ways are not as our ways, nor his " thouyhts as our thoughts." Therefore when convi&tion of fin makes us feel the neceffity, and discovers the glory of our Saviour's atonement; we may both relt assured of its truth, and triumph in its power. We may fay with the apostle Paul, “ Who shall lay any thing to the charge * of God's elect? It is God that justifieth : who is he that " condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is “ risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who • also maketh intercession for ust.”.

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1 Pet. i. 18.

† John iv. 10.

Rom. viii. 33, 34.

But, * Pause a little, my foul,” faith the convinced finner, “what tidings are here? What faith the scripture, " Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? “ Unanswerable indeed! Happy, happy, thrice happy " they, who are the objects of God's everlasting, disun

guilling and clecting love. But how can I be fure that “this includes, or rather does not include me? Can I is ever hope to read my name written in the Lamb's “ book of life?” No. But when you confess you cannot read any thing there in your favor, who hath authorized you to suppose any thing there to your prejudice : Secret things belong only to God. We are not permitted to search, and we are not able to comprehend or explain the infinite depth of the divine councils. But do not things that are revealed belong to us? And how shall we presume to fet at variance the secret and revealed will of God? Is not the commission sufficiently extensive? “ And " he faid unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach “the gospel to every creature ; he that believeth and is

baptized, shall be saved ; and he that believeth not, " thali be damned *.” Is not the call unlimited and universal ? “ Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are “ heavy laden, and I will give you restt.”

" And Jesus " said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that com“eth to me fhall never hunger, and lie that believeth on - me shall never thirt1." “ And in the last day, that

great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drinkl. Can

you then entertain any doubt of the call reaching to you, or question your title to rest upon this rock of ages ? Behold, we preach unto you Christ crucified, a despised Saviour, indeed, “ to the Jews a stumbling-block, " and to the Greeks foolishness;' but the “ power of God, u and the wisdom of God for salvation to every one that « believeth." There is no guilt so deep, but this precious blood will wash it out. No gift so great, but infinite merit is sufficient to procure it. No nature so polluted, but in

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finite power is fufficient to renew it. Shall we then any more withhold our approbation, or refuse our consent ? Shall not every sinner, burdened with a sense of guilt or danger, intimate his compliance and urge his claim, and say,

Thanks, thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift. “ - It is falvation by the death of Christ, and therefore “ becoming a holy and a jealous God, with whom evil “ cannot dwell. It is the fame unchangeable God, who “ enacted the holy law, and who publishes this glorious * gofpel. It is salvation by grace, otherwise no child of · Adam could have had any claim; and it is meet that " the lofty looks of man should be humbled, and the Lord " alone exalted in that day.-It is salvation to the chief * of finners: I am the man. I hear my character clear“ ly described in the word of God. I can read my name " in the general and gracious invitation. I will accept of " the offer, I will receive and embrace this blessed Saviour “ as my Lord and my God, as my life and my all.”

Once more, perhaps the believer is still staggered, and his faith begins to fail. Astonished at the greatness of the .mercy, "he believeth not for joy, and wondereth.” He is ready to fay, “ Might I but hold fast this beginning of

my confidence, I would not envy the greatest monarch " on earth his throne, his purple, or his fćeptre, but would “ fing the new song put into my mouth, Unto him that “ loved us, and washed us from our fins in his own blood, " and hath made us kings and priests to God and his Fa" ther, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. “But alas! are not all the promises of salvation only in * favor of them that believe? Here then the conclufion “ may fail. I am fenfible of a lamentable weakness and * backwardness of mind; and whilst I think I have no * doubt of any of the truths of God, I greatly diftrust the “ reality of my own consent and compliance with his “ will.” Do you then really give credit to all the truths of God respecting your own lost condition, and the only way of deliverance from it ? May the Lord himself increase your faith; for if it be fo indeed, you are happy and safe. These truths, these alone, are the fure foundation of hope. I am afraid we have all too strong a ten.

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dency to look for some encouraging qualification in ourfelves, on which we might more securely rest. What is faith? Is it any more than receiving the record which God hath given of his son, believing the testimony of the Amen, the true and faithful witness? Is not your peace and reconcilation with God, and the sanctification of your natures, expressly provided for in the all-fufficiency of Christ, and to him you are assured that you must be indebted for both? What standeth in the way of your comfort then, but either that you do not give credit to the promise he hath made, or that you are not willing that he Thould do it for you ? and this I acknowledge is both unbelief and impenitence.

Complain therefore no more, that you are afraid of yourselves, whilst yet you pretend to have the highest efteem of the blessings of redemption; on the contrary, say unto God, in a thankful frame of spirit, “ Glory to God in “ the highest, on earth peace, and good-will towards men. *** I praise thee for this message of peace. I think I see, in i fome measure, its necessity, truth and beauty, I fee it, -“ I trust to fuch a degree, that it is the folë foundation of

my hope. I renounce every other claim; nay, I abbor " the thoughts of any other claim : Yea, doubtless, and I “count all things but loss, for the excellency of the know*54 ledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffer"ed the loss of all things, and do count them but dung " that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having * mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that « which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness * which is of God by faith*. It grieves me that there is • fuch a backwardness in me to give glory to thy name, " and to be indebted to the riches of thy grace. Subdue 4 my obstinacy, and rule by thine own power. Lord, I “ believe, help thou mine unbelief.”

Phil, iii, 8.

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