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Such, then, is what constitutes the matter or substance of Christ's atonement,-his sufferings, all his sufferings, and the sufferings of his soul and of the concluding period of his life in particular. It is not necessary to suppose that the sufferings which Christ endured on our behalf were precisely the same in kind and degree which are experienced by the wicked in the place of final woe. There are, on the one hand, ingredients in their misery which he could not feel, as remorse, despair, and the fury of evil passions. Remorse he could not feel, for his soul was a stranger to personal guilt. Despair he could not feel, for he had full assurance of deliverance from the bondage of death and the prison of the grave. And as for sinful passions, they had at no time a seat in his breast. On the other hand, there were ingredients in the sufferings of Christ, arising from the repugnance of his pure soul at moral defilement, which those who go down to the pit are incapable of feeling. 'It is, I humbly conceive,' says Dr Pye Smith, 'worse than improper to represent the sufferings of Jesus Christ, in their last and most terrible extremity, as the same with those of condemned sinners in the state of punishment. In the case of such incorrigible and wretched criminals, there is a leading circumstance which could not, by any possibility, exist in the suffering Saviour. They eat of the fruit of their own way, and are filled with their own devices. A most material part of their misery consists in the unrestrained power of sinful passions, for ever raging but for ever ungratified. Their minds are constantly

torn with the racking consciousness of personal guilt; with mutual aggravations and insults; with the remorse of despair: with malice, fury, and blasphemy against the Holy and Blessed God himself; and with an indubitable sense of Jehovah's righteous abhorrence and rejection of them. No such passions as these, nor the slightest tincture of them, could have place in the breast of the holy Jesus. That meek and purest Lamb offered himself without spot. His heart, though broken and bleeding with agonies to us unknown, ever felt a perfect resignation to the hand that smote him, and a full acquiescence in all the bitterness of the cup which was appointed him to drink: the resignation and acquiescence of love and conviction. He suffered in such a manner as a being perfectly holy could suffer. Though, animated by the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross and despised the shame; yet there appear to have been seasons in the hour of his deepest extremity, in which he underwent the entire absence of divine joy and every kind of comfort or sensible support. What but a total eclipse of the sun of consolation, could have wrung from him that exceedingly bitter and piercing cry, My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?-The fire of Heaven consumed the sacrifice. The tremendous manifestations of God's displeasure against sin he endured, though in him was no sin: and he endured them in a manner of which even those unhappy spirits who shall drink the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God, will never be able to form an adequate idea! They know not


the HOLY and EXQUISITE SENSIBILITY which belonged to this immaculate sacrifice. That clear sight of the transgressions of his people in all their heinousness and atrocity, and that acute sense of the infinite vileness of sin, its baseness, ingratitude, and evil in every respect which he possessed,-must have produced, in him, a feeling of extreme distress, of a kind and to a degree which no creature, whose moral sense is impaired by personal sin, can justly conceive. As such a feeling would accrue from the purity and ardour of his love to God and holiness, acting in his perfectly peculiar circumstances; so it would be increased by the pity and tenderness which he ever felt towards the objects of his redeeming love. A wise and good father is more deeply distressed by a crime which his beloved child has perpetrated, than by the same offence if committed by an indifferent person.

5 Disc. on Sac., pp. 45—47.

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WHATEVER may be the philosophical difficulties in which the subject is involved, there is no idea with which we are more familiar than that of causality. The terms power, cause, and effect, are in daily and constant use. It seems capable of satisfactory demonstration that the only correct notion attachable to these words, is that of invariable antecedence and consequence. There are certain things which never exist without being immediately followed by certain definite events. To the antecedent we give the name of cause, to the consequent the name of effect; and the proper notion of power is, not that in the antecedent there is any thing which produces the consequent, but the simple fact of their combination, -the naked circumstance of immediate invariable antecedence. The fact of the conjunction of the objects is all that we know or are capable of perceiving in the matter; the bond of connexion, the tie which binds them together, the connecting link, is an incomprehensible mystery, in every case impenetrable to human sagacity. It seems, therefore, reasonable

to conclude that the real immediate cause of every effect is the will of the Supreme Intelligence; and that those invariable antecedences and consequences in events, which we denominate causes and effects, are nothing but the order of that perfect harmonious system which the Almighty has established in the universe. It is not, however, to be inferred from this, that the connexion of cause and effect has no other foundation than mere arbitrary will, or capricious appointment. Far from us be the unworthy thought. From the known character of God we are bound to believe that, in every case, a wise and righteous ground of connexion exists. This inference is no way invalidated by the circumstance that we are unable, in any instance, to tell what that is which constitutes the bond of connexion. Such, we are inclined to think, is the uniform procedure of the Almighty in all his works the true account of the phenomena of the universe, which exhibits a constituted series of antecedents and consequents, under the control and direction of infinite wisdom, infinite holiness, and infinite power.

To this grand law of God's universal government, the economy of human salvation, it is humbly presumed, will be found to present not the shadow of an exception. For the production of the effect, which is in this case salvation, there exists a proper and adequate cause in the vicarious sufferings of the Son of God. The means bear a true relation to the end. The great object of redeeming mercy is effected in perfect and beautiful consistency with legisla

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