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thought it available, when guilt lies heavy upon his soul, and wrath follows hard after him: but these things can never come up to the requirements of God's holy law, nor answer the demands of divine justice. The only way of acceptance is by the blood of the cross, and this is it that God hath consecrated for us. There is no other sacrifice for sin but Christ, who was delivered for our offences, and rose again for our justification. No one could mediate between God and man, but he who was himself both God and man. 66 I have laid help, saith the Lord, upon one that is mighty," and upon one only. As the high priest under the law was alone permitted to enter in the holy of holies, and that not without blood; so Jesus only could offer a sacrifice for us, and enter into the holiest of all with his own blood. When he purged our sins, it was "by himself," and not another, and is now sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. There is but one Advocate, but one propitiation, and there needs no other. The payment was equal to the debt, and the oblation as noble as sin was vile. "By one offering he hath for ever perfected them that are sanctified." The law in effect says, I am contented: justice says, I am satisfied: and the great God, as moral governor and judge, says, I am well pleased. Hence that triumph of the apostle: "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 us." At the bar of human prejudice and vulgar report, many things may be laid to their charge that are not true; and at the bar of conscience many things may be brought against them that are true; but at the divine tribunal who shall dare to become an accuser where God is the judge, or to condemn those whom he will justify?-Farther, as there is no other sacrifice for sins, and needs no other, so in the nature
of things there can be no other than that which Christ has offered. When God by an awakened conscience says to the sinner, "Pay me that thou owest;" his trembling lips reply, "Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all." But does he do it? No. Can he do it? No, by no means. And as his own efforts would be unavailing, so would those of all the human race. "None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: for the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever. "That also which is impossible to men would be equally so to angels: could our sins be imputed to them, it would sink them in eternal misery. We are required indeed, to present "our bodies a living sacrifice to God;" and it may be acceptable as an offering I of gratitude, but not of atonement. A finite creature can never satisfy for an infinite evil; and such are all our transgressions against God, being committed against an infinite Being. Were it possible in the future course of our lives perfectly to obey the divine law, that would be no more than was our duty to do, and the discharge of present obligation could make no atonement for guilt which had been before contracted. "He that offendeth in one point is guilty of all;" and "cursed be the man that continueth not in all things written in the law to do them." The sufferings and death of Christ were alone sufficient to expiate human guilt, and there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin. Psal. xlix. 7, 8. Rom. viii. 33, 34. Gal. iii. 10. Heb. i. 3.
III. Those who reject the sacrifice of Christ are left without hope.
Their iniquity is like that of the house of Eli: “it shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.' We may be ignorant of some truths which do not immediately affect our present comfort or future
happiness; but there are others which are essential to! salvation. All errors are injurious; but some are destructive. The satisfaction of Christ is a truth which | enters into the very essence of religion; so that if a man renounce it, whatever he may be, he is not a christian. To reject the blood of the covenant is to reject the covenant itself, even that covenant which David regarded as containing all his salvation, and all his desire. This is to offer a bold affront both to the justice and mercy of God, and is a bare-faced contradiction to the law and the gospel. Those who have no interest in Christ, have neither part nor lot in his salvation; no interest in the promises, in the favour of God, or eternal life. The sin that is not expiated by the blood of Christ will never be expiated, and he that is filthy must be filthy still. "There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins !"
1. If Christ became a sacrifice, this will account for the treatment he met with both from the hands of God and man. He suffered the desert of sin, because he was charged with it as our surety; and being such, he submitted to that pain and ignominy which was due to sinners. The slaying of the sacrifice under the law prefigured the violent death of the Saviour, and the burning it upon the altar set forth those impressions of divine wrath which he experienced in the garden and on the cross. "Thus it was written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer :" and thus he became " offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour." Luke xxiv. 46. Ephes. v. 2.
2. If the death of Christ be the only sacrifice for sins, let us not only hold fast this doctrine, but actually build upon it as the foundation of all our hopes and comfort. Trusting in any thing short of this will prove presumption, and end in eternal destruction. thing but this can support us in our dying moments, or avail us when we stand before the bar of God.
3. As the passage which we have now considered speaks terror to those who either never embraced the doctrine of Christ's atoning sacrifice, or who have shamefully apostatised from it, so it speaks terror to them only. Such indeed are running a dreadful risk of unpardoned guilt and divine displeasure, and it behoves them to take warning. There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. No: nothing remains to them but 66 a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries!" Those who are the enemies of Christ are the greatest enemies to their own souls and however awful their apprehensions may be, the terrors of a future state will far exceed them, and they will find it a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God? But let those who put their trust in Christ crucified, and who know no other hope, rejoice and be exceeding glad; for he is able to keep that which they commit unto him until that day.
JAMES ii. 18.
Shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
THIS beautiful sarcasm gives a severe reproof to the presumptuous hope and carnal confidence of self-deceiving hypocrites; who profess to rely upon Christ as a Saviour, but obey him not as their king; who embrace the promises, but reject his commands, and sin that grace may abound. Come, as if the apostle had said, come thou formalist, who pretendest to christian experience without a corresponding practice, I will pluck off thy mask, and shew thee thy true character. Be not like the man who beholdeth his natural face in a glass, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. Thou hast faith! Thou thinkest that thou hast it; and some kind of faith indeed thou hast. And I have works; not works without faith, but as the fruit of it. Shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Here it may be observed,-that true faith is visible -that it is made so by its fruits and that those therefore who pretend to faith, while destitute of good works, are awfully deceived.
I. True faith is visible.