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be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life —He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already: because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.' Now, this Jesus has, according to his own declaration, been lifted up on the cross, as was the serpent on a pole in the desart; and he is still exhibited in the gospel as crucified—as the only way of escape from everlasting ruin—as the only medium of human happiness. 'Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.' .
But what, it may be asked, is the language of this crucified Saviour to perishing sinners? does it equal the language of Moses? Yes: it is equally benign, and quite as encouraging. Let the trembling soul hear, and rejoice— 1 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else—Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live—-I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst—I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die—Unto me every knee shall bow— every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.'
Such is the encouraging answer given by the voice of benevolence and of truth to the trembling querist; and nearly similar is the paraphrase of a celebrated writer in replying to the same inquiry. 'Look unto me, wretched ruined transgressors, as the wounded Israelites looked unto the brazen serpent. Look unto me dying on the cross as your victim, and obeying the law as your surety—Not by doing, but by looking and believing; not by your own deeds, but by my works, and my sufferings, be ye saved. This is the mysterious, but certain way of salvation. Thus shall ye be delivered from guilt; rescued from hell; and reconciled to God. Who are invited to partake of this inestimable benefit? All the ends of the earth. People of every nation under heaven; of every station in life; of every condition, and of every character, not excepting the chief of sinners.—To me, every knee shall bow. Every soul of man, who desires to inherit eternal life, shall submit to my righteousness, and as an unworthy creature, as an obnoxious criminal, obtain the blessing wholly through my atonement.—rTo me every tongue shall swear, . Be man's supposed virtues ever so various, or ever so splendid, all shall be disclaimed, and my worthiness alone shall stand. Renouncing every other trust, they shall re
pose the confidence of their souls on me alone, and make publick confession of this their faith before the world.—Surely in the Lord have I righteousness and strength. A righteousness without spot, without defect, and in all respects consummate: such as satisfies every requirement of the law, and most thoroughly expiates all my iniquities. Such as renders me completely accepted before my judge, and entitles me to everlasting life.'
Now the sinner, whose conscience is burdened with guilt and alarmed with danger, is not to hesitate—not to question whether his sins be too many or too great to be pardoned: because this would tacitly impeach the divine veracity; but to view the exhortation and the promise made to faith—to look instantly to Jesus, as the stung Israelite did to the brazen serpent, nothing doubting—viewing him as the only means appointed for relief, and firmly persuaded, because God hath said it, that whosoever looketh to him, or believeth in him, shall receive remission of sins.
Thus to believe, and thus to act, is to pot honour on the head of Jesus—is to treat him as a Saviour—to regard his atonement as worthy of all acceptation—his blood as cleansing from all sin: and is, in fact, a renunciation of all personal worth as being in any degree the ground of forgiveness. It is a practical declaration, that in the Lord only we have righteousness and strength, peace and assurance for ever—that besides him there is no Saviour.
When the salvation of the soul becomes an object of attention, it is common for unconverted men to ask, as did those that followed Christ in the days of his humiliation, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? The heavenly blessedness is always viewed as the reward of religious and moral duties that either have been, or are to be, performed. But the answer to this inquiry then was, and still is; 'This is the work of God, that we believe on him whom he hath sent.' Nor should it eve? be forgotton, that the salvation of the gospel is by promise; which pro