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price paid for their redemption is infinite. He fuffered in the human nature, but that nature intimately and perfonally united to the divine; fo that Chrift the Mediator, the gift of God for the redemption of finners, is often called his own and his eternal Son: Rom. viii. 32. "He that
fpared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, "how fhall he not with him alfo freely give us all things?" Such was the union of the divine and human nature in Chrift, that the blood which was the purchase of our redemption is exprefsly called the blood of God, Acts xx. 28. "To feed the church of God, which he hath purcha"fed with his own blood." This is the great mystery of godlinefs, God manifefted in the flesh, in which all our thoughts are loft and swallowed up.
2. Notwithstanding this, every individual of the human race is not in fact partaker of the bleffings of his purchase; but many die in their fins, and perifh for ever. This will as little admit of any doubt. Multitudes have died, who never heard of the name of Chrift, or falvation through him; many have lived and died blafpheming his perfon, and defpifing his undertaking; many have died in unbelief and impenitence, ferving divers lufts and paffions; and if the fcripture is true, he will at laft render unto them according to their works. So that if we admit, that the works of God are known to him from the beginning of the world, it can never be true, that, in his eternal counfels, Chrift died to fave thofe, who after all that he hath done, fhall be miferable for ever. "He is a rock, "his work is perfect." His defign never could be fruftrated; but, as the apoftle Paul expreffes it, Rom. xi. 7. "The election hath obtained it, and the reft were blind"ed." But,
3. There is in the death of Chrift a fufficient foundation laid for preaching the gospel indefinitely to all without exception. It is the command of God, that this should be done: Mark xvi. 15. "And he faid unto them, Go
ye into all the world, and preach the gofpel to every "creature." The effect of this is, that the mifery of the unbelieving and impenitent shall lie entirely at their own door; and they fhall not only die in their fins, but shall
fuffer to eternity for this moft heinous of all fins, defpifing the remedy, and refufing to hear the Son of God; Heb. x. 26, 27. "For if we fin wilfully after that we have received. "the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more fa"crifice for fins, but a certain fearful looking for of judg❝ment, and fiery indignation, which fhall devour the ad"verfaries." Let us neither refuse our affent to any part of the revealed will of God, nor foolishly imagine an oppofition between one part of it and another. All the obfcurity arifes from, and may be refolved into the weakness of our understandings; but let God be true, and every man a liar. That there is a fenfe in which Chrift died for all men, and even for those who perifh, is plain from the very words of fcripture; 1 Tim. iv. 10. "For therefore we both labour and fuffer reproach, because we trust in "the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially "of those that believe." 1 Cor. viii. 11. "And through "thy knowledge fhall the weak brother perifh, for whom "Chrift died?" Thus it appears that both in a national and perfonal view, Chrift is " the propitiation for our "fins; and not for ours only, but alfo for the fins of the "whole world."
III. I proceed now in the last place, to make fome practical improvement of the fubject for your inftruction and direction. And,
From what hath been faid, let us be induced to give praife to God for his mercy to loft finners revealed in the gofpel. Let us particularly give him praise for Chrift Jefus, his unfpeakable gift: "Herein is love, not that we loved "God, but that he loved us, and gave his Son to be the pro66 pitiation for us.”
While we remember, with abasement of foul, the holinefs and juftice of God, which required fatisfaction for fin, let us alfo remember his infinite compaffion, who was pleafed himself to provide " a lamb for the burnt-offering." Let us at the fame time give praife to the tender-hearted Saviour, who gave his life as an offering "of a sweet
fmelling favor" to God. Redeeming grace fhall be the theme of eternal gratitude and praise in heaven. After VOL. I. 3 P
all our trials and dangers are over, we fhall then, with unfpeakable delight, afcribe the honor of our victory to him, faying, Rev. v. 12. "Worthy is the Lamb that was "flain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and frength, and honor, and glory, and bleffing." Why fhould we not alfo attempt to give him praise in his church on earth? for he, having finished his own work, and entered into his glory, hath given us an affured prof pect, that we alfo fhall overcome in his ftrength; that he will come again, and "receive us to himfelf; that where "he is, there we may be alfo."
2. You may fee from what hath been faid, that fuch as are yet unrelated to this Saviour are in a state of fin, and liable to divine wrath. Hear and receive this truth, however unwelcome to the fecure, however diftafteful to the carnal mind. If it were not fo, this propitiation which God hath fet forth would have been altogether unnecessary. Let us beg of him who hath afcended up on high, to send down, according to his promife, his Spirit to convince the world of fin. How many affecting and striking proofs have we of this, both in our character and state! and yet how difficult to make us fenfible of it! What is to be seen in the world at prefent, or what do we read in the history of paft ages, but one melancholy fcene of disorder, mifery, and bloodfhed, fucceeding another? Is not this the effect of human guilt? And do we not, by mutual injuries, at once demonftrate our own corruption, and execute the juft judgment of God upon one another? May not every perfon discover the latent fource of thefe flagrant crimes, in the pollution of his own heart, his averfion to what is good, and his proneness and inclination to what is evil? And yet, alas! how difficult a matter is it to make the heart humble itself, and plead guilty before God; to make us fenfible, that we are tranfgreffors from the womb, and inexcufable in this tranfgreffion; that the threatening of the law is moft juft, "Curfed is every one that continueth not "in all things written in the book of the law to do them;" and that it is of the infinite mercy of God, that the execution is fufpended, or any hope given us of being able to avert it?
Yet this, my brethren, I will repeat it, and I beseech you to attend to it, is certainly the cafe by nature, with every person in this affembly. Every one who now hears me is in a state of condemnation, and liable to everlafting mifery, excepting that happy number who have "fled for "refuge to lay hold of the hope fet before them." All infenfible perfons, living in a carelefs fecure forgetfulness of God; all who indulge themselves habitually in the lufts of the flesh; drunkards, fwearers, profane and lafcivious jefters, liars, unjuft perfons, lovers of the prefent world, are aliens from the commonwealth of Ifrael, and firangers to the covenant of promise. Oh that it were poffible for me to awaken you to a fenfe of your danger, while there is yet a poffibility of efcaping! Oh the importance to you of the unknown time from this day of your merciful vifitation to the day of your death! What would those who are now reserved in chains to the judgment of the great day, give for the precious opportunity you are now defpifing! In a little time I know that you yourselves will repent; oh that it may not be when it is too late to reform! But all words muft fink under fuch a fubject. No picture that I could draw of the defpairing horror of a finner on his deathbed, or the blafpheming rage of those who are tormented in hell-fire, could poffibly give any of you a just apprehenfion of what it is to fall into the hands of the living God, unless it please himself to wound the conscience with the arrows of conviction, that he may afterwards pour in the healing balm of peace and confolation. And oh that it might ftand with the will of God that none here prefent fhould escape!
3. Learn from what has been faid, that there is no facrifice for fin, but the one offering of our Redeemer on the cross; no hope of mercy for any child of Adam, but through his blood. The typical facrifices under the Old Testament were but shadows, the fubftance is Chrift. In vain will any go about to establish their own righteousness, and refuse to fubmit to the righteoufnefs of God. Think not, my brethren, by attempts of reformation, by faulty defective duties, to be able to cancel any part of that guilt to which you are adding every day. How great is the fol
ly and prefumption of felf-righteoufnefs! What a profane contempt of the riches of divine grace! Hath God feen it necessary to set forth Christ as a propitiation through faith in his blood? and will you fay, that it is unnecessary, and fpurn the offered mercy? How much ignorance is in felfrighteousness! What imperfect views must they have of the law of God, and how little knowledge of themselves, and their own hearts, who admire or truft in human virtue ! Above all, what is the foundation and corner-stone of felf-righteoufnefs? It is pride, that fin of all others most odious and abominable in the fight of God. Is it not a matter of daily experience, that thofe perfons who are evidently most loose and careless in their own practice, and who, one would think, fhould have least of that kind to rely upon, are most prone to a self-righteous plan, and most ready to defpife the doctrine of juftification through the imputed righteoufnefs of Chrift. Are you fometimes furprised at this, Chriftians? The thing is eafily explained. They know little either of the law of God or their own hearts. They feldom ftudy the one, or reflect upon the other. If they did, they would foon be afhamed of fuch a pretence. Those who apply themselves with the greatest diligence to the ftudy of holinefs in heart and life, do always moft fenfibly feel, and most willingly confefs, that all their righteoufneffes are as filthy rags before God.
4. In Chrift Jefus, and the blood of the everlafting covenant, there is abundant provifion made for the pardon of all our fins, and peace with an offended God. "hold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the fin of the "world!" Behold the Lamb which God himself hath ordained, and fet apart for this important work, and which "Deliver them," faith he, he will certainly accept! "from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.” Behold the immaculate and spotless victim in the purity of his human, and the glory of his divine nature! There is no fin fo atrocious but his blood is fufficient to wash away the guilt. Is there any finner in this affembly burdened with a fenfe of guilt, arrested by an accufing conscience, terrified by the thunders of the law, ready to cry out, "Who can ftand before this holy Lord God! My flesh