« AnteriorContinuar »
What is it to be justified before God? It is to have my sins forgiven; my poor unworthy soul acquitted and accepted; it is to have my offended Father embracing me his prodigal child, clothing me with the best robe, the robe of righteousness, placing the signet of his love upon my finger, and killing for the feast of joy the fatted calf. Can I justify myself? No! It is God that justifieth. Can any priest or prelate bestow on me this grace of pardon? No! “It is God that justifieth.” “I, even I am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for my namesake.” Can I contribute to my justification ? No, for what am I? All my righteousnesses are but as filthy rags ; I am a worm ; I am a man of unclean lips; I have broken the Divine commands and if I could even now render obedience, this obedience would not atone for past transgression. 6 Whither oh whither shall I fly ?" Whither ? to Christ my only Lord, my only righteousness. Whither to Jesus who saves his people from their sins; to Jesus who bare my sins in his own body on the tree; to Jesus, my suffering, crucified, bleeding, dying Saviour; my risen, exalted, interceding Lord. Shall I then attempt to add to his merit by lacerating this poor sinful body? No! for by His stripes and not my own am I healed. Shall I pierce myself with spikes and thorns for the purpose of helping to satisfy the claims of divine justice ? No! for He was wounded for my transgressions. Shall I chastise my sinful flesh ? Shall I macerate this polluted clay? No! for the chastisement of my peace was upon Him, and HE was bruised for my iniquities ; He is my all, and it
is only for me to come to God with a broken and contrite spirit, ' renouncing all trust in my own righteousness, accepting Christ as my Saviour, and trusting in his righteousness and in his only, and then
My debt is paid; my soul is free,
And I am justified.” I need no other satisfaction than this; it is all sufficient, for it is infinite and it is present. And how vast the love and condescension of my heavenly Father! He permits me to approach him through Christ; to Him I may confess my sins, whether I am in the closet, or in the busy world ; whether I am in a church, or a conventicle; whether I am on the mountain top, or on the verdant plain; whether I am gently gliding down the river stream, or tempest-tossed upon the ocean wave; whether I am wading through the snows of Greenland, or panting beneath a vertical sun in the deserts of Africa; whether I am in youth or in years, whether I am in health or in sickness, whether I am just entering into life, or quitting upon the bed of death this mortal vale; wherever I am, or in whatever circumstances, I have a confessional, I have an ear open to my confessions of sin, an ear into which I can pour without restraint the troubles of my penitent spirit, and that ear is the ear of God,-my FATHER! into that ear I can atter my penitent complaint! I have also a Priest who has power upon earth to forgive sins, and that is Jesus Christ the Great High Priest of the Christian Catholic Church. I hear that Father say: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow : and if they be red as crimson
they shall be white as wool;" and I hear my High Priest say: "Son be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee.”
No other absolution do I need, this is all sufficient and I go on my way rejoicing; no other satisfaction, for in him are my
sins exhausted ; No masses, for he was once offered in the end of the world to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
My dear hearers, have you thus come to God through Christ? Are you mourning before him this evening on account of your sins ? Are you anxious for the communication of pardoning mercy. Are you pouring into the ear of the Lord God of Sabaoth your confessions of sin? Are you coming to God through your only Priest ? Are you trusting to him alone making mention of his righteousness, and of his only ?
Come, O my guilty brethren, come,
Groaning beneath your load of sin,
His open side shall take you in;
your souls for a present conscious pardon upon the infinite merits of your Divine Redeemer, so being justified by faith you shall have peace with God through our LORD JESUS CHRIST.
THE ONE AGENT OF REGENERATION.
There is not, probably, one of my hearers, who would be disposed to deny, that the design of Christianity is to make men holy. More than this, I question whether there is within these walls, an individual, either Protestant or Catholic, who will not agree with the speaker that that form of religion which tends not to individual and ecclesiastical holiness, is unworthy of the designation CARISTIAN. If it is true that “a tree is known by its fruit,” and if it is righteous to apply this principle, as we may call it, to Churches, we might argue, à priori, that that system or section of Christianity which most successfully accomplishes this end, approaches nearest to that divine original which has been sketched out in the New Testament. We are quite willing to meet our Roman Catholic friends on this ground, and are glad that an opportunity will be afforded in the course of this evening's lecture.
The subject which we have now to discuss, leads us to consider not only theory of doctrine, but also practice of life; not only what we believe, but also, yea chiefly, what we are, and what we do. Members of the Roman Catholic Church often assail their Protestant brethren with the charge of nullifying the sanctity of the Christian religion by the impious doctrine of Justi