form the duties of holiness, faith derives virtue from his finishing the purchase of our redemption by his death on the cross, and from his rising from the dead by the glory of the Father. “Therefore we are buried with hiin by “baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from “the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also "should walk in newness of life. For if we have been “planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be «also in the likeness of his resurrection; knowing this, “that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of “sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not "serve sin.”-On the waters of affliction, remember and consider bis efficacious and finishing word. In the darkest night, and in the most violent storm that ever blew in the face of a man, the Undertaker and Finisher of redemption passed over these dark waters, and opened a path along which his ransomed pass safely under his eye. “\Vhen tou passest through the waters, I will be with “thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow “thee.”-In the depth of temptation, remember and consider his efficacious and finishing word. Through this gulf the Author and Finisher of our faith waded himself, and brake in pieces the heads of the leviathan, wlio plays in these mighty waters. Wading after him, his followers, though they be alarıned, and tempted, and accused, cannot be swallowed up and devoured by their enemy. The Captain of salvation hath the charge of them, and hath engaged to bring them safe to land. “For in that he himself “hath suffered being tempted; he is able to succour them “who are tempted."-In entering into the valley of the shadow of death, remember and consider his efficacious and finishing word. The gates of the shadow of death heard it pronouncerl, and the doors of the grave openeil to receive the body of the Conqueror. But through his death our Lord Jesus Christ dissolved the power of death, which the curse of the law had placed in the hand of the devil, and from this power delivered the children who through fear of it were subject to bondage. Celebrations in the manner and pomp of heaven accompanied this granul revolution of power, and within three days the God of peace forced the bars and passes of the grave, and, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, brought him again V from the dead, delivering into his hand the keys of hell and

of death. After this glorious-revolution, which the death of Christ hath effected, and the celebrations of it which his resurrection hath exbibited, what harm hath death power to do any, for whom he died; or rather, hath not each of these reason to defy it as an enemy, and to welcome it as a friend?

Unbelievers are a numerous and obstipate class of professors. The perverseness of their temper is elegantly compared by our Saviour to that wayward folly.which is sometimes observed in children whose obstinacy. no corrections are able to subdue, and whose fondness no condescensions are sufficient to engage. •If you-pipe to them, they are too sullen to dance; and if you mourn to them, they are too gay to lament!". This perverse class of hearers, it is, however, our duty to address, knowing that the Spirit of the Lord is able to overcome the obstinacy of the most froward, and the love of Christ to melt the hardness and to gain the affections of the coldest heart.

Unbelievers, Ye have heard a sermon concerning the finishing of redemption by our Lord Jesus Christ on his cross. The sense of the comprehensive and triumphant word, which he uttered in relation to it, on that instrument of death, hath been analysed and illustrated in your hearing. Upon the natural tenderness of men, the last word of their friend makes some impression; but the last word of the Son of God, dying in our nature and for our sins, ye bave heard with indifference; and, with the same coldness and grossness of heart, you will probably observe the sensible memorials under which this unparalleled expres. sion of his love to the world is commemorated and cele. brated. Do ye deny yourselves to be servants of sin, or. the service of sin to be slavery? Know. ye not that the holy law hath served upon the whole world a general indicta ment, and furnished each individual with a particular and personal copy. “Cursed is every one who continueth not sin all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. What things soever the law saith, it saith to "them who are under the law, that every mouth may be "stopped, and all the world may become guilty before *God."

Unbelievers, From the service of sin and from the bondage of the curse, you are not able to redeem yourselves.. Nothing you are able to give, nothing you are able to da,

Nothing you are able to suffer, possesses the worth of a ran sum. But for the redemption of unknown millions a price is paid. The Son of man gave his life a ranson for many, That ransom which he gave for many, is testified unto alla and pleadable by each. “God so loved the world that he "gave his Only Begotten Son, that whosocver believeth in “him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the “world, but that the world, through bim, might be saved.”. He shed his-blood for many, suffered for the unjust, died for the ungodly, redeemed them who were under the law: from the curse of the law; and we have seen, and do testi"fy, that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the "world, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified. soin due time."

Unbelievers, An exlıibition of the price of redemption is ; made to the world in the ministry of reconciliation, which, authorises every slave to plead it before the Lord as the price of his own liberty and salvation in particular. This universal exhibition of the special ransom is the mean by which the Lord, in the day of his power and the time of his love, overcomes the perverseness of his elect, and persuades and enables them to receive the liberty which their. Redeemer purchased for them, and all the benefits which he promises, communicates, offers, and bestows. The ransom given for some is exhibited to all; and, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, all, to whom it is exhibited, are authorised to ead it as the price of their liberty, by believing in Jesus Christ, that they may be justified by the faith of Christ. Believing in Jesus Christ is an operation of the Spirit of Christ, and, under his influence, an operation of our heart. Sinners are made partakers of Christ, and of the redemption which he purchased, by the application of his Holy Spirit. In this application he works faith in their heart, and, by faith, unites them to Christ in the day of effectual calling. At this interesting period, his operations in saving and calling them with an holy calling, ought to be observed and recorded in their experience. By the ministration of condemnation, he convinces them of their sin and misery, reproves their unbelief, and compels them to plead guilty before God. By the ministration of righteousness, he entightens their minds in the knowledge of Christ, renews their wills, and

persuades and enables them to receive Jesus Christ, freely offered to all in the gospel.

Unbelievers, The ministrations of condemnation and death, and of righteousness and life, are the means of these operations; and the diligent use of the means is your duty and interest. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and according to the will and commandment of his Father, we exhort you to consider the nature, the extent, and the spirituality, the holiness, righteousness, and goodness of the law, which to every sinner under it is the ministration of condemnation and death, and which, by its righteous: curse, subjects every transgressor to the strength and dominion of sin, and to the power and operation of the wrathof God. And we also exhort you to consider the Apostla and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, evidently set before you in the ministration of righteousness and life. To this moment you liave never seriously and diligently considered either law or gospel, and have always heard with indifference every exhortation to consider the one and the other. Harden your hearts no longer, O foolish and unwise! Read, consider, and believe the Bible, which shews the world the way of salvation, and bear, consiiter, and believe the word of salvation, which the ministry of reconciliation preaches to the world: “To wit, that God swas in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not im“puting their trespasses unto them; and hath committed Kunto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are “ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech "yon by us, we pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye reconcilshed to God. For he hath made him, who knew no sin, to “be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness “of God in him. And we beseech you also, that ye rewceive not the grace of God in vain. For he saith, I have “heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation Chave I succoured thee. Behold, now is the accepted "time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

Unbelievers, Read over again these words: “I have wheard thee in a time accepted, and in a day of salvation Whave I succoured thee.” Consider diligently the propheey from which they are quoted, and take fast hold of the instruction which they communicate. In the person of the Father, Jehovah heard and succoured. The Man of his right-hand, even the Son of man, whom he inade

strong for himself, was heard and succoured. Succour and acceptance had been stipulated, and succbur and acceptance were not refused. The cry for succour from Gethsemane and Calvary was heard with the saving strength of his right-hand; and when the work was finishied, the claim for acceptance was admitted and sustained. The time of finishing was the time accepted, and the day of succouring the day of salvation. A time the most pregnant with the grace and truth since time had begun to run, and a day the brightest and most joyful, since days begun to shine. It was the day on which our salvation from sin and misery was accomplished, and the time in which the work of our Saviour who accomplished it was accepted.

Unbelievers, Read also over again the address to the world which is grafted upon the succouring of our Saviour in the day of salvation, and the hearing of him in the accepted time. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, snow is the day of salvation.” In this earnest address, Now' is not a general and indefinite notation of a time and a day, which ended with the ministry of the Apostles, but of an accepted time and a day of salvation, which runs from the finishing of the purchase to the finishing of the application of redemption. Unto us, upon whom the ends of the world are come, this Now is the notation of an existing and running period, and, according to the spirit and design of the apostolical address, we cry in the ear of the world, Behold, now is the accepted time for every weary sinner to rest in the finished work of the Saviour; Behold, now is the day in which every unbelieving and perishing sinner is commanded to take fast hold of salvation from sin and misery, by believing in Jesus Christ, sent by the Fap ther to be the Saviour of the world.

« VorigeDoorgaan »