« AnteriorContinuar »
God, that he will not save them who obstinately live and die in a state of carnality. Possessed both of divinity and humanity, he regards the one as much as the other; and it is as much his plan to secure the divine glory as it is to save the world. This should never be forgotten, lest, while we view his unbounded love, we should indulge ourselves in those things which will ever be hateful in his sight. · These things, duly considered, lead us to conclude that he is in every respect a fit person to mediate between God and men. Have we to do with God? He is God. Are we men? He is man. Are we ignorant ? He is wise. Are we weak? He is strong. Are we polluted? He is pure. Are we miserable ? He is compassionate.-Let us now proceed to consider
II. HIS MEDIATORIAL WORK.
1. ds Mediator, he fulfilled the law, and made it honourable. His obedience was perfect. In all his works the precepts of the law shone peculiarly bright. Every command appeared in its native beauty and grandeur ; and the world beheld what God designed man to be at first, and what he actually was while he remained in a state of innocency. The following prophecy was remarkably accomplished in his holy conduct: “ The Lord is well pleased for his
righteousness' sake: he will magnify the law and make it honourable.”.
2. By his death he made atonement for sin. Man was guilty and condemned. God required satisfaction; and a sacrifice of great value must be offered up before guilt could be removed. No sacrifice was of sufficient value but that of Christ. The blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin. They were offered up to God, under the ceremonial law, as types of the great Redeemer, who had mercifully undertaken to atone for sin; and they directed the jewish church to him, as the only foundation of hope to man. In the fulness of time he came, and “ suffered the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God-He was wounded for our transgressions-He redeemed us by his blood. He tasted death for every man."
3. By his resurrection he conquered death, and opened the grave. The sentence pro- . nounced upon man when he first went astray was, “ Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return;" but by the resurrection of Christ a way is opened to a blessed immortality. Death yielded to his superior power, and the dreary grave was opened. What cause of thankfulness to us! What glorious prospects are before us! We also shall arise from the dead, and heaven will be our final home!
4. Before his ascension he appointed a gospel ministry. Chosen men were sent out into all the world, to preach the gospel to every creature. Having fulfilled their commission, they died, and others were raised up to fill their place; and able ministers will be raised up by Jesus as long as the ministry shall be necessary. The men whom he chuses are not always furnished with vast stores of human learning; but, what is far more important, they possess the spirit of their divine Master. With zeal and perseverance they warn men of danger, and direct them to the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. By their instrumentality sinners are awakened, mourners comforted, believers established, and backsliders restored to the favour and image of God.
5. After his ascension into heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit down to carry on his gracious designs · towards the children of men. The influences of
the Holy Spirit are either extraordinary or ordinary. On the day of Pentecost he communicated extraordinary gifts to the holy apostles, to qualify them for an extraordinary work; but those gifts were not continúed long. There are other ordinary gifts of the Spirit which are communicated to all men in all ages, because they are absolutely necessary to salvation. Without his sacred influences we have neither inclination nor
power to return to God. He enlightens, that we may repenthe quickens, that we may live to God-he cleanses, that we may be happy. To deny these influences and operations upon the human heart, is to deny all genuine religion, as that which is not the work of the Spirit of God cannot be called by this name.
6. He ever lives to make intercession. He appears in the presence of God for us, and pleads the merit of his death. It is on this ground alone that a sinful world is not destroyed. When a guilty sinner returns to God, he pleads for pardon and peace : when a poor tempted and afflicted saint looks up, he pleads for delivering grace. Through him the choicest blessings of heaven are sent down upon us; and through him our prayers, and praises, and duties ascend, and meet with divine acceptance.-We shall now hasten to the last thing proposed,
III. THE HAPPY CONSEQUENCES OF HIS MEDIATION : · 1. God is glorified. The plan of mediation will reflect everlasting honour upon God, because it both secures his glory and the happiness of his creatures. Here we see all the attributes of Deity graciously employed, and sweetly harmonized in the salvation of men. Justice is satisfied, truth is vindicated, purity is displayed, the channels of mercy are opened; and both the wisdom and power of God made manifest in the contrivance and execution of this wondrous plan.
2. A sufficient remedy is provided for man. His guilt may be pardoned; he may be reconciled to God; his, nature may be cleansed; and lost happiness may be fully recovered. Shall we, then, refuse this remedy? Are we determined to perish in our sins? God forbid! Blessed be the Lord for offering salvation to us upon gospel terms! O may we accept his offered mera cy, and live for ever!
3. A way is opened into the Kingdom of Glory. There is not a sinner upon earth who may not become a saint in heaven. The crown of glory, the palm of victory, may be ours; for the grand design of Christ, in all his undertakings, has been to “bring many sons unto glory.” Lord grant that we may be of the happy number!
Upon the whole, let us unite in praising God for the gift of his Son: let us love the Lord Jesus in sincerity: let us thankfully accept the gracious offers of the gospel, and follow on to know the Lord. Hereafter may we join all the glorified saints in heaven, in singing the following song of praise to our Redeemer: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” Amen.
amb that and wisdond blessing