« VorigeDoorgaan »
of Immanuel". Now it must be inferred, that there is infinite demerit in sin, since it required so vast a sacrifice to expiate its enormity. Surely there must be a greater quantity of guilt in it, than most men are willing to allow; otherwise God, who cannot act unjustly, would not have visited it with such marked severity in the person of our Surety.
In what light do we view sin? This question is the more important, because, until it is regarded as a dishonour offered to God, of whose law it is a transgression ; until we see that it is “ the accursed thing" which separates betwixt us and him, and prepares for us, unless it be forgiven, endless sorrowshereafter, we shall think but lightly of the atonement, if we do not altogether despise it. Let iniquity, in whatever appearance it is presented before us, be detested, as the source of every evil which afflicts us in this life, and as the cause of final torment to the ungodly in that which is to come : let it be viewed with abhorrence, when we reflect that it occasioned the bitter sufferings of Jesus Christ, the righteous; who could not put away its guilt, but by shedding his own blood.
That hatred to sin which is here urged, requires the total abandonment of it in principle and practice : for so long as we live in any habit or kind of unrighteousness, or do not daily strive to mortify our evil affections, we do not evince our repentance to be genuine, nor have we just apprehensions of that wrath which awaits incorrigible offenders in another state of existence.
We must repent of sin, or else we shall be forced to endure the punishment of it, in the fire that cannot be quenchedo; since the atonement will not Mat. xxvii. 45-55.
Mark ix; 44.
avail those who continue impenitent”. Christ died, not to encourage.us in the commission of sin, but to save us from its domineering influence, at the same time that he delivers us from its penalty.'
16. Furthermore, seek the forgiveness of your offences, and redemption from hell, by an unshaken faith in the atoning blood of Christ, which must be applied to your hearts to produce a salutary effect. Imagine not; that a mere assent to the fact of Christ's death is all that is necessary to save your souls. You must be personally interested in his sufferings, before you can derive any benefit from them PP Faith is the eye that beholds the power of Christ to redeem, and the hand which receives and appropriates the blessings of His Gospel. All who thus approach Him, meet with a gracious reception. He remits their trespasses, and grants them life for evermore ; he sanctifies thein by the effectual operations of his Spirit, that they may be capacitated to inherit his kingdom for ever.
Convinced sinners, penitent souls, who see and feel the danger to whieh sin has exposed you, fly to the Cross of Christ; found all your hopes of salvation upon Himn; fort he hath made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in an everlasting righteousness," which is sufficient to deliver you from every curse that the law can inflieto. All the benefits procured by the atonement are realized by a firun and hearty affiance in the Saviour, on whoin all your expectations of pardon and happiness absolutely depend. And when you are justified by faith,” you will have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ". in:
) SP Heb. x. 26-31.
41.,74 PP Jolin vi. 53-59. . Dan. ix. 24. Gal. iii, 13. Rom. v. 1-6.,.::
15: VOL. I.
ON THE MEDIATION AND INTERCESSION OF JESUS
1 Tim. ü. 5. For there is one God, and one Mediator, between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
niin SOMETHING like mediation is visible throughout the natural world; where one thing is so intimately connected with another, as 'a cause with its effect, that a general community of evil or good is the necessary consequence of the coalition. Most of our temporal mercies come to us through the intervention of others, to whom we must be indebted for them, or else forego the comforts which they afford. The child must entirely depend for his maintenance, during the helpless years of infancy, upon the affectionate efforts of his parents. The mechanic and the artizan, who direct their talents to employments for the public good, have neither leisure nor inclination to attend to the management of agricultural concerns; and, therefore, they must be beholden to the labours of the husbandman, for the bread which they eat; whilst the latter, in his turn, is obliged to the former for many
of those useful inventions which contribute to the comfort of our present existence.
A connexion, not very dissimilar to this, prevails in the spiritual world, and particularly in the grand economy of our redemption, which has been effected by the agency of another, without even our choice or concurrence. And as we cannot obtain salvation by our own righteousness, we must consent to receive so inestimable a benefit as the purchase of Christ's blood, or we shall never possess it at all. Heaven, which has been lost through our voluntary departure
from the Lord, can only be regained throngh him who “ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." To Christ, let our prayers be offered. He is able to relieve our spiritual wants, and to enrich us with all the blessings of his mediation.
1. A mediator is a middle person, who is invited to the interpose his good offices for settling some difference
or quarrel which has arisen between others. The advantage of such acts of mediation, when rightly performed, are unquestionably very great. They soften, if they do not remove enmities, which might otherwise be continued with inveterate rancour; and heal those breaches, the remembrance of which it would require considerable time to efface. And even where the kind endeavours of an upright mediator
fail to bring about a reconciliation between the conmbi tending parties, yet he will enjoy the satisfaction of blic having done what he could to terminate a disagree. do ment, which may be followed by the worst consecert quences, both to them and to others. the
The Lord Jesus Christ freely took upon himself the ik duties of this merciful office, ** for us inen, and for our fi salvation.” When we had rendered God our enemy
by wicked works, Christ.“ stood in the gap, to turn away his wrathful indignation, best he should destroy us.” For this reason, he is styled the “One Mediator between God and men";" and "the mediator of the new covenant."
That he was properly qualified to act in that capacity, betwixt an offended God and his guilty creatures, there can be no question, whether we consider his Divine appointment to the office, or his fitness to discharge it.
a 1 Pet. iii. 18. 1.Tim.ii.5. Heb. xii. 24.
2. With regard to his undertaking in the character of a Surety, it may be truly said, " Christ glorified not himself to be made an High Priest ; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee; thou art a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedece.” Agreeably to this ordination, "he was to bear the sin of many, and to make intercession for the transgressors."
3. The dignity of our Saviour's twofold nature, as God and man, gives irresistible efficacy to his mediation; and it eminently qualifies him to promote theinterests of the parties for whom he undertook to négotiate. By virtue of his Divinity, he has strength to prevail with God, and to obtain the grant of those mercies which he died to purchase. When, therefore, he had finished the work which he undertook 'to
perform, he boldly claimed, on behalf of his people, the possession of the promised reward : “Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am ; that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.". Furtherinore, the conjunction of his Divine with his human nature, gives him such a superiority over mankind, for whose benefit he principally mediates, that their cause cannot suffer in his hands..
The method by which he effected our reconciliation with God, proves that he was prepared to make any sacrifice that was necessary to attain so desirable an object. When the bitter cup of suffering was presented to his lips, he did not dash it untasted from him, but drank it even to the dregs, to deliver us from perdition. How then could our happiness be better secured, than by vesting it with one “who, as
Heb. v. 5,6. • Isa. liii. 12. John xvii. 24.