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And, indeed, no thoughtful man can have any true peace in his soul, till he has, by a true knowledge and faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, secured, in some good measure, his peace with God. He will then, and not till then, see the blessing of a Redeemer, who can make his peace with God; who has obtained his pardon for what is past, and can enable him to escape for the time to come.

Now this, Jesus Christ has done and obtained for us by His sufferings and death. He hath reconciled us to God His Father; He hath obtained for us, that a sincere repentance shall be accepted instead of a perfect obedience; and that our sincere endeavour to please God shall be accepted, and even rewarded. At the same time He hath made known to us this awakening truth: that if we sin wilfully, when we know this, and do not repent, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance, we shall perish, and that for ever.

It is but too plain, by the practice of Christians, such as they are, that they do not look upon sin as so hateful to God, and dangerous to themselves, as it really is, and therefore they sin without fear; whereas sin ought to be dreaded more than death, because it leads to a second death, even to death eternal.

And every man, who will lay any thing seriously to heart, will be convinced of this, when he remembers how severely the first sins that ever were committed by angels or men were punished by an offended God; the one, that of angels, with no less a loss than the loss of heaven ; and the other, the sin of Adam, with the loss of paradise.

But above all, the sufferings of Jesus Christ discover to us the dreadful nature of sin, and that God cannot but be exceedingly offended with it, since His justice required such an atonement. That therefore Christians, above all men, ought to hate it, and fear every degree of it, as they hope for any benefit from the sufferings of Christ, the great design of which was to redeem us: as how? Why, the Apostle will shew you : by redeeming us from sin, and by purifying to Himself a peculiar people, a generation of men freed from the pollutions of this wicked world, and zealous of good works.

Now, if, through our own fault, the death of Christ has SERM. not this effect upon us, we are still under the power of LXV.

Satan, under the bondage of sin, and utterly incapable of eternal life and happiness.

In the next place, let us remember, that the sacrifice that was offered for us was the Lamb, the Son of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. This is such an assurance to all those who close with this mercy, that God will be reconciled to them, that an angel from heaven, sent to every one of us, could not give us a greater assurance or comfort, that our sins upon our true repentance will be forgiven, and our pardon sealed in heaven.

Let us therefore, whenever the memorial of the death of Christ is celebrated in the Lord's Supper; let us be careful, by faith, to apply it to ourselves, and be qualified to do so by a due preparation, each of us saying in his heart, This body and blood were given and shed for me.

The minister of God assures me of it, and I do faithfully trust in it.'

It was for this reason that Jesus Christ ordained that holy Sacrament, that we might be often obliged to remember His love for us; His bitter sufferings; the occasion of His death; the misery we have thereby escaped, if it be not our own fault, and the happiness He has obtained for us; that we may be obliged, by all the motives of interest and gratitude, to love Him with all our heart and soul, and to put our whole trust in His mercy.

Then will our own death, whenever it shall happen, be a blessing to us, and better than the day of our birth, when nothing in this world can be a comfort to us, but a firm faith in Jesus Christ, and what He has done and suffered for our salvation.

We shall then see the importance of a true faith, and set a true value upon the blood of Christ, when every thing else

will yield us no substantial comfort; when we can say with [2 Tim. 1. the Apostle, I know in whom I have believed, even in the Son 12.]

of God, who came to seek and to save lost sinners, and who gave His life to redeem them from the second death.

In this faith, and with these hopes, every good Christian will cheerfully submit to death in union with that of Jesus Christ, whose dying words, God grant that I myself, and every soul here present, may so live, as to have reason to make use of; into THY HANDS I COMMEND MY SPIRIT; for (Luke 23,

46.] Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, Thou God of truth !

But then let us ever remember, that whoever would thus resign his life, who hopes to die in peace, and rest in hope, and rise in glory, must endeavour through His grace to follow His blessed steps, take up His cross, and follow His example, or he will be dreadfully disappointed.

And now, Christians, you see the wisdom of that Church of which you are all members, in giving us an occasion of so often laying before God the great passages of His Son and our blessed Saviour's life and death, to plead our pardon and deliverance from eternal death,-by His fasting and temptation ; by. His agony and bloody sweat; by His cross and passion; by His precious death and burial ;-the great causes of our redemption from eternal death.

To conclude: we have the Son of God for our Redeemer, for our example, for our King to protect us, for our Prophet to teach us the way of salvation, for our Priest to intercede with God for us: what can we desire more ?-Yes, O Jesus, this one thing we desire and beg, that we may have the grace which Thou alone canst obtain for us, that we may have the grace to lay these things to heart, and that our lives

may

be answerable to what we profess to believe, that we may love and bless Thee to all eternity. Amen. Amen.

SERMON LXVI.

THE SUFFERINGS AND DEATH OF CHRIST NECESSARY FOR THE

SALVATION OF THE WORLD.

LUKE xxiv. 46.

Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to

rise from the dead the third day. Every Christian, that is not well instructed in the principles of Christianity, cannot choose but wonder why God should suffer His own beloved Son to be so barbarously used, to be exposed to so much shame, and scorn, and pain, and to the greatest abuses, and after all, to a most cruel death; and that this His Son would suffer all this, when it was in His power to have hindered it; for, as He Himself declares, He could have had twelve legions of angels, instead of twelve disciples, to have taken Him out of the hands of His murderers, if He had pleased.

This must needs be a wonder to all such as know not the reason of all this; as we have reason to fear too many do not. But Christ Himself assures us, in the words of the text, that it was requisite, that it was necessary, He should do so; for that God had so decreed it; that His justice required it; for that the whole race of men would be lost for ever, if He did not satisfy the justice of God for their sins, and restore them to His favour, by suffering what they had deserved to suffer for their manifold transgressions. For this reason it behoved Him to suffer ; forasmuch as He had put Himself in the place and stead of sinners, and had taken upon Himself to answer for their offences, and to satisfy the justice of His offended Father.

Now, the knowledge of this great mystery being the very foundation of the Christian religion, and of all our hopes of salvation, I will endeavour, through the assistance of God's Holy Spirit, to explain it to the very meanest capacity (of every one that understands me); and I hope you will attend to what I am going to say, with a seriousness which such a subject certainly requires.

In the first place, we none of us need to be convinced, that we, and all mankind, are sinners; that is, there is not one of us who have not broken the commands of God, which must be very displeasing to a most holy, good, and just Being. And every considering person cannot but be afraid for himself, who knows, and is assured, that this holy and just Being has declared, that He must and will punish sinners, as they shall deserve.

What must a sinner do in this case? What of all things in this world would a sinner, whose conscience is awake, most earnestly wish for? I will take upon me to tell you what such a person would above all things desire. He would desire, that God, whom he had so greatly offended, and who had threatened to punish offenders, would pardon the many offences that he had been guilty of; and in the next place, that God would enable him, for the time to come, so to live as that he might not offend Him any more.

This, indeed, is not what every sinner desires ; (would to God it were !) but this is what every thoughtful person, whose conscience is truly awakened by the fear of God's judgments against sinners, cannot but wish for above all things in this world, that God would forgive him his past offences; and enable him not to offend Him for the time to come.

Now, these two most invaluable favours, Jesus Christ has purchased for us by His death. He laid down His life to obtain our pardon; and He has sent down His all-powerful Spirit to assist us to mend our corrupt nature.

How our nature came to be so corrupt, we have an account in the third chapter of Genesis; how the first parents of mankind rebelled against their Maker's command; how they were punished for their disobedience; how the merciful God accepted of His Son's intercession that so great a part of His creation might not be for ever lost; and, lastly, how these parents of mankind left a generation behind them like themselves, corrupt, and prone to evil.

This was the case of man, when the Son of God took our

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