Imágenes de páginas

Discharged from punishment! How is he discharged from it? He receives pardon by an act of grace. Does he presume to claim pardon as a debt? Does he demand it as his right, because, though he has broken one statute, he has obeyed many? He sues for it as an emanation of free mercy: and as an emanation of free mercy his sovereign bestows it. Now contemplate the divine administration; and behold the resistless force with which your argument turns against yourself. God is willing to pardon not in few and extraordinary instances, but in every instance. He does not wait to be entreated j but spontaneously offers. to every offender forgiveness and life eternal. When he offers unmerited blessings; shall he not offer them in his own method, on his own terms? If you seek for pardon j seek it not in the law, from which it is impossible that you should obtain it. Seek it from the free mercy of God: and seek it in that channel, through which alone he has decreed that his mercy shall be dispensed... r

III. But previously consider farther, what strong reasons there might naturally have been for apprehension, that the punishment which our sins deserved would be inflicted in its largest extent. Recollect the holiness of God.

Recollect Recollect that a holy God must abhor fin and sinners. Evil, faith the scripture, shall riot dwell with God. He is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. He hatetb all the workers of iniquity. The way of the wicked, the thoughts of the wick-ed, the sacrifice and prayer of the wicked, are an abomination unto the Lord {q). What then could the wicked have naturally expected but death and misery? Remember too the justice of God. To me, faith the Lord, belongeth vengeance and recompense. I will render vengeance to mine euemies (r). By sin all mankind were become the enemies of God 5 and had no claim to escape the extremity of his justice. Remember likewise the sovereignty of God over all his creatures. Was it to be expected that the Sovereign of the Universe would permit fin, which is rebellion against himself, to pass unpunished? Would he permit his righteous laws to be broken, without pouring forth his indignation on the transgressors? Would he pass over the crimes of the guilty race of man, and thus hold forth an encouragement to presumptuous guilt in all the other worlds which he has made ? Might tt';not''fatnl^r;,likVeJ,ibeeri apprehended, that hoth'fdr tlie purpose' of punishing human sin

''.';" sli, b..Jillit /. -.'.;;/: ..:.*.., '-,... (f) Ps, v. 4,5. Habb. I. 13. Prov.xv. 8, 9. 20. xxviu. 9.

tyj- bWt^ a&u.' '35.'..+*/ Heb. x.. 30. .^.y, >>' D 4 in fn proportion to its demerits, and of exhibiting an awful warning tothe whole creation, He would have exacted the full penalty which we had incurred? These are the dreadful forebodings with which our breasts might naturally have been filled. And if we had endeavoured to console ourselves with the reflection that God delighteth in mercy, and had ventured on that ground to hope for forgiveness; hoyy reasonably might we have feared, that np mer thod was to be devised, in which the Judge, of the Univqjfg, could exercise mercy .towards man consistently; with his Japlinei^ and, hjs juiycel After. all our inquiries, pur,pleads ifigs^-apd our, hopes, there still lay open ber fo$e us the .gulf of eternal death. , .*.--,; \iui

>.".'/. er t -o liii "'.' v-! i\-.:: ;V/.. :'i . £»:.. IV., Such Was by nature, the miserable

state of map. So truly did the, lawu^vork wsath. ^o truly was she commandment, which was.qr4o,\n,ecdj,o. be unto life, found to be, unto death. .. $q plainly by the law was the indwt ledge g/^ÆP imparted.and diffused; the. knowledge of. its. heinous guilt, of its universal ancl ^e^dly influence. So effectually did finr tah'wg Qocqjfotf by. the commandment\ deceive us^ apfi.jlgftW' -.So fatally was the law which is: holy, and the commandment which is holy and just and good % mad* .by our corruption $nd


transgressions deafly.' tinted £vefy man//); Thus condemned, thus helpless, thus'xfestrt'ute of all claim to mercy, thus ignorarit whether tb'human guilt mercy could be extended consistently with the other attributes of God, waS the whole race of Adam. But God is infinite in mercy, goodness, and wisdom. He saw Utifox irian could not discern. He perceived the means of reconciling the offer of forgiveness to fallen man, with the demands of his ow« righteous and violated law. O wretched man that lam! cried" St. Paul; xvho Jh.ill deliver me from the body os this death {t)F A faviau* was at hand. There was One in heaven able to make an atonement: able to make a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole worlds and such a satisfaction as it would be consistent with the righteousness and the jusHce'of Cy6a4b&cppt. But was this saviour wilU lttg^wefl W able to'make the atonement? He'ttas^wining.' He'wWaware what must be the price' of manY salvation; and that price he freely offered, and took upon himself to pay. ÆtidH^ho was this saviour? What being was ittMt' uh^eHook'tKiS'rnost astonishing office 6F nterery Fit was the eternal Son of the eter

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

nal God. It was one of the persons of the incomprehensible godhead. It was Jesus Christ, who was one with the father. It was jesus Christ, who in the beginning had made the world, and now engaged to redeem it. He became surety for man. The humiliation, the sufferings, which he saw that as man's surety he must undergo, dismayed him not. He knew that the iniquity of the human race was to be laid upon him; that with his stripes mankind were to be healed. He knew that he must himself become the:sacrifice in the place ©f man. He knew that he must leave the glory, in which he had reigned with the Father from eternity; that he must come down to dwell on earth; that he must himself become man, and sustain all the infirmities and evils of human nature, fin only excepted, which could not approach to him. He knew that he must be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; that lie should be despised and rejected by the world which he came to save; that of the followers whom he" should particularly select to be his companions' and friends, he should be betrayed by one, denied by another, forsaken by all. He knew that he should be delivered up to his bitterest' enemies; that he should be exposed as a mark to the shafts of scorn, insult, and cruelty;

« AnteriorContinuar »