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guilt. It is, in fact, saying, Lord, I am vile ;, magnify thy great name in my forgiveness~I am helpless ; do thou undertake for memin myself, I am entirely lost; do thou saye me! Or, in other words--I feel and acknowledge, O Lord, that whatever the scriptures have said concerning sin and its consequences, is perfectly just. I see that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour; that there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.' Therefore, merciful Father, spare, for his sake, a detestable wretch that is completely miserable--glorify thy grace thy Son
his work-his worthiness-in saving a criminal that deserves to perish. His blood cleans. eth from all sin : his righteousness justifieth from all iniquity: 0 help me to confide in him only to ascribe to him all the glory of my deliverance from condemnation and from ruin. Suppress--for ever suppress the thought that would attempt to divide or diminish his praise. His own arm has brought salvation-from henceforth, therefore, let me never lose sight for one moment of my own poverty and wretchedness, nor of the allsufficiency of his
atonement. This is the foundation of my trust, the ground of my confidence ; that by which my faith is strengthened, my hope abounds, and by which I am encouraged to enter daily with boldness into the holiest of all.
If the Lord have laid our iniquities upon Christ-if he have been made sin and a curse for us-If he have indeed been wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities; and have really paid the price of our redemption-surely every attempt to obtain forgiveness in any other way must be highly offensive to the Majesty of heaven. Thus to act, is not to glorify his wisdom in providing this way of escape from ruin, nor the work of him who is styled emphatically the Way—but to disparage both the one and the other. It is, as the justly celebrated Owen expresses it,
to take the work out of Christ's hands and ascribe salvation to other things—to repentance-to duties. Men do not say so, but they do so. The commutation they make, if they make any, is with themselves. The work that Christ came to do in the world, was to bear our iniquities, and to lay down his life a ransom for our sins. What greater dishonour then can be done to the Lord Jesus, than to ascribe this work to any thing else?'
The ever blessed God, who is perfectly acquainted with the malignant nature of sin, and with its natural tendency to generate in the human heart distrust of all that is said in re. ference to forgiveness, has mercifully left on record many exceeding great and precious pro. mises adapted to counteract its pernicious ina fluence, and to administer strong consolation to those that have filed for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them in the gospel. What objection of unbelief has not divine goodness anticipated and completely answered? and yet how reluctant are we implicitly to regard these answers as affording incontestable proof that there is forgiveness with God, or at least of there being forgiveness for the notoriously profligate. What more common than to hear the awakened sinner reasoning thus : My sins are of so peculiar a nature--the cire cumstances attending them so aggravatingmy guilt so complicated-nay, there is not a sin that I have not actually or intentionally committed the Almighty, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, can never forgive such a detestable wretch, much less make him an inheritor of glory,
But what does the God of Israel say to such sinners and to such objections? Does he spurn them from his presence as filthy and loathsome, and consign them to the abodes of everlasting darkness and despair? No; the answer is astonishingly benign and infinitely gracious. Let the sinner hear-attentively hear and rejoice- Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool-1, even I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remenþer thy sins-0 Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me, for I have redeemed
thee-The iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found.'
This is the language of mercy and benevolence indeed! Surely we may say with the prophet, “Who is a God like unto thee, that. pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again ; he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and cast all our sins into the depths of the sea-Sing, O ye heavens ; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth : break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.'
"We are apt to forget that the grace of God in the promises is not made to such as deserve mercy, but, as one expresses it, to such as want it; not to righteous persons, but to sinners; not to the whole, but to the sick. Such,