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even set forth an air of seriousness and con- | teousness of God, and be made to acknow cern upon the men of other families,--when / ledge, that those things which are highly you have witnessed the despair of friends, esteemed among men are in his sight an who could only turn them to cry at the l'abomination. When the judge and his atspectacle of his last agonies, and had seen tendants shall come on the high errand of how little it was that weeping children and this world's destinies, they will come from inquiring neighbours could do for him,--|God,--and the pure principle they shall when you have contrasted the unrelenting bring along with them from the sanctuary necessity of the grave, with the feebleness of heaven, will be the entire subordination of every surrounding endeavour toward it, of the thing formed to him who formed it. has the thought never entered within you, In that praise which upon earthly feelings How powerless is the desire of man show the creatures offer one to another, we behold sure and how resistless is the decree of God! no recognition of this principle whatever;
And on the day of the second death, will and therefore it is, that it is so very differit be found, that it is not the imagination of ent from the praise which cometh from man, but the sentence of God that shall God only. And should any one of these creastand. When the sound of the last trumpet tures be made on that great day of manifesawakens, us from the grave, and the ensigns tation, to see his nakedness,--should the of the last day are seen on the canopy of question, what have you done unto me? heaven, and the tremor of the dissolving ele- leave him speechless; should at length, conments is felt upon the earth, and the Son of victed of his utter rebelliousness against God with his mighty angels are placed around God, he try to find among the companions the judgment-seat, and the men of all ages and of his pilgrimage, some attestation to the of all nations are standing before it, and wait- | kindness that beamed from him upon his ing the high decree of eternity,--then will it fellow mortals in the world, they will not be found, that as no power of man can save be able to hide him from the coming wrath. his fellow from going down to the grave of In the face of all the tenderness they ever bore mortality, so no testimony of man can save him, the severity of an unreconciled lawhis fellow from going down to the pit of con- giver must have upon him its resistless demnation. Each on that day will mourn operation. They may all bear witness to apart. Each of those on the left hand, en- the honour and the generosity of his doings grossed by his own separate contemplation, among men, but there is not one of them and overwhelmed by the dark and the louring who can justify him before God. Nor among suturity of his own existence, will not have all those who now yield him a ready testia thought or a sympathy to spare for those mony on earth will he find a day's-man bewho are around him. Each of those on the twixt him and his Creator, who can lay his right hand will see and acquiesce in the righ-Thand upon them both.
"Neither is there any day’s-man betwixt us, that might lay his hands upon us both."- Job ix. 33.
IV. The feeling of Job, at the time of his tuagint version of the Bible, that amongst uttering the complaint which is recorded in all our brethren of the species, not an indithe verses before us, might not have been vidual is to be found who, standing in the altogether free of a reproachful spirit towards place of a mediator, can lay his hand upon those friends who had refused to advocate his us both. It is, indeed, very possible, that all cause, and who had even added bitterness this may carry the understanding, and at to his distress by their most painful and the same time have all the inefficiency of a unwelcome arguments. And well may it cold and general speculation. But should be our feeling, and that too without the the Spirit, whose office it is to convince us presence of any such ingredient along with of sin, lend the power of his demonstration it--that there is not a man upon earth who to the argument,--should he divide asunder can execute the office of a day's-man be- our thoughts, and enable us to see that, twixt us and God,--that taking the com- with the goodly semblance of what is fair mon sense of this term, there is none who and estimable in the sight of man, all within can act as an umpire between us the chil- us is defection from the principle of loyalty dren of ungodliness, and the Lawgiver, to God--that while we yield a duty as the whom we have so deeply offended; or members of society, the duty that lies upon taking up the term that occurs in the Sep-lus, as the creatures of the Supreme Being. is, in respect of the spirit of allegiance which government over the universe that he has gives it all its value, fallen away from, by formed. It is laying those paltry accomevery one of us,--should this conviction plishments which give you a place of discleave to us like an arrow sticking fast, and tinction among your fellows, before that work its legitimate influence, in causing us God of whose throne justice and judgment to feel all the worthlessness of our charac- are the habitation, and calling upon him to ters, and all the need and danger of our connive at all that you want, and to look circumstances, then would the urgency of /with complacency on all that you possess. the case be felt as well as understood by us, . It is to bring to the bar of judgment the -nor should we be long of pressing the poor and the starving samples of virtue inquiry of where is the day's-man betwixt which are current enough in a world us that might lay his hand upon us both! broken loose from its communion with
And, in fact, by putting the Mediator God, and to defy the inspection upon them away from you,-by reekoning on a state of God's eternal Son, and of the angels he of safety and acceptance without him, what brings along with him to witness the righis the ground upon which, in reference to teousness of his decisions. Sin has indeed God, you actually put yourselves? We been the ruin of our nature--but this respeak not at present of the danger of per- fusal of the Saviour of sinners lands them sisting in such an attitude of independence, in a perdition still deeper and more irrecoof its being one of those refuges of treache- verable. It is blindness to the enormity of ry in which the good man of the world is sin. It is equivalent to a formally anoften to be found,-of its being a state nounced sentiment on your part that your wherein peace, when there is no peace, performances, sinful as they are, and pollulls him by its flatteries unto a deceitful luted as they are, are good enough for hearepose. We are not at present saying how ven. It is just saying of the offered Saviour ruinous it is to rest a security upon an im- that you do not see the use of him. It is a posing exterior, when in fact the heart is provoking contempt of mercy; and causing not right in the sight of God, and while the the measure of ordinary guilt to overflow, reproving eye of him, who judgeth not as by heaping the additional blasphemy upon man judgeth, is upon him, or how poison-it, of calling upon God to honour it by his ous is the unction that comes upon the soul rewards, and to look to it with the complafrom those praises which upon the merecency of his approbation. exhibition of the social virtues, are rung We cannot, then, we cannot draw near and circulated through society. But, unto God, by a direct or independent apin addition to the danger, let us insist upon proach to him. And who in these circumthe guilt of thus casting the offered Medi- stances, is fit to be the day's-man betwixt ator away from us. It implies in the most you? There is not a fellow-mortal from direct possible way, a sentiment of the suffi- Adam downward, who has not sins of his ciency of our own righteousness. It is ex- own to answer for. There is not one of pressly saying of our obedience, that it is them who has not the sentence of guilt ingood enough for God. It is presumptuously scribed upon his own forehead, and who is thinking that what pleases the world may not arrested by the same unscaled barrier please the Maker of it, even though he him- which keeps you at an inacessible distance self has declared it to be a world lying in from God. There is not one of them whose wickedness. There is an aggravation you entrance into the holiest of all would not will perceive in all this which goes beyond inflict on it as great a profanation, as if any the simple infraction of the commandment. of you were to present yourselves before It is, after the infraction of it, challenging him, who dwelleth there, without a Mediafor some remainder or for some semblance tor. There lieth a great gulf between God of conformity, the reward and approbation and the whole of this alienated world ; of the God whose law we have dishonour- and after looking round amongst all the ed. It is, after we have braved the attribute men of all its generations, we may say, in of the Almighty's justice, by incurring its the language of the text, that there is not a condemnation, making an attempt upon the day's-man betwixt us who can lay his hand attribute itself, by bringing it down to the upon us both. standard of a polluted obedience. It is, after What we aim at as the effect of all these insulting the throne of God's righteousness, observations, is, that you should feel your erabarking in the still deadlier enterprize only security to be in the revealed and the of demolishing all the stabilities which offered mediator ; that you should seek to guard it; and spoiling it of that truth which him as your only effectual hiding-place; has pronounced a curse on the children of and who alone, in the whole range of uniiniquity,-of that holiness which cannot versal being, is able to lay his hand upon dwell with evil, -of that unchangeableness you, and shield you from the justice of which will admit of no compromise with the Almighty, and to lay his hand upon Sinners that can violate the honours of the God, and stay the fury of the avenger. By Godhead, or weaken the authority of his I him the deep atonement has been rendered.
By him the mystery has been accomplish- could not hold him, ascend to the throne ed, which angels desired to look into. By of his appointed mediatorship; and now he, him such a sacrifice for sin has been offered, the first and the last, who was dead and is as that, in the acceptance of the sinner, alive, and maketh intercession for transevery attribute of the Divinity is exalted; Igressors, is able to save to the uttermost and the throne of the Majesty in the hea- all who come unto God through him ; and vens, though turned into a throne of grace, standing in the breach between a holy God is still upheld in all its firmness, and in all and the sinners who have offended him, its glory. Through the unchangeable priest-does he make reconciliation, and lay his hood of Christ, the vilest of sinners may hand upon them both. draw nigh, and receive of that mercy which But it is not enough that the Mediator be has met with truth, and of that peace which appointed by God, -he must be accepted is in close alliance with righteousness; and by man. And to incite our acceptance does without one perfection of the Godhead he hold forth every kind and constraining being surrendered by this act of forgiveness, argument. He casts abroad, over the whole all are made to receive a higher and more face of the world, one wide and universal wondrous manifestation ; for though he assurance of welcome. “Whosoever cometh will by no means clear the guilty, yet there unto me shall not be cast out.” “Come is no place for vengeance, when all their unto me all yē who labour and are heavy guilt is cleared away by the blood of the ever- laden, and I will give you rest." “ Where lasting covenant; and though he executeth sin hath abounded, grace hath much more justice upon the earth, yet he can be just while abounded.” “Whatsoever ye ask in my the justifier of them who believe in Jesus. name ye shall receive." The path of access
The work of our redemption is every to Christ is open and free of every obstacle, where spoken of as an achievement of which kept fearful and guilty man at an strength-as done by the putting forth of impracticable distance from the jealous and mighty energies as the work of one who, unpacified Lawgiver. He hath put aside travelling in his own unaided greatness, the obstacle, and now stands in its place. had to tread the wine-press alone; and who, Let us only go in the way of the Gospel, when of the people there was none to help and we shall find nothing between us and him, did by his own arm bring unto him God but the author and finisher of the Gos. salvation. To move aside the obstacle pel,- who, on the one hand, beckons to him which beset the path of acceptance; to re- the approach of man with every token of instate the guilty into favour with the of: truth and of tenderness; and, on the other fended and unchangeable Lawgiver: to hand, advocates our cause with God, and avert from them the execution of that sen- fills his mouth with arguments, and pleads tence to which there were staked the truth that very atonement which was devised in and justice of the Divinity; to work out a love by the Father, and with the incense pardon for the disobedient, and at the same of which he was well pleased, and claims, time to uphold in all their strength the pillars as the fruit of the travail of his soul, all of that throne which they had insulted; to in- who put their trust in him; and thus, laying tercept the defied penalties of the law, and at his hand upon God, turns him altogether the same time magnify it, and to make it ho- from the fierceness of his indignation. nourable; thusto bend, as it were, the holy and But Jesus Christ is something more than everlasting attributes of God, and in doing the agent of our justification,--he is the so, to pour over them the lustre of a high and agent of our sanctification also. Standing awful vindication,--this was an enterprise of between us and God, he receives from him such height, and depth, and length, as no cre- of that Spirit which is called the promise ated being could fulfil, and which called forth of the Father, and he pours it forth in free the might and the counsel of him who is the and generous dispensation on those who power of God, and the wisdom of God. believe in him. Without this spirit there
When no man could redeem his neigh- may, in a few of the goodlier specimens of bour from the grave,—God himself found our race, be within us the play of what is out a ransom. When not one of the beings kindly in constitutional feeling, and withwhom he had formed could offer an ade-out us the exhibition of what is seemly in quate expiation,-did the Lord of hosts a constitutional virtue; and man, thus standawaken the sword of vengeance against his ing over us in judgment, may pass his verfellow. When there was no messenger dict of approbation; and all that is visible among the angels who surrounded his in our doings may be pure as by the opethrone, that could both proclaim and pur-ration of snow water. But the utter irrechase peace for a guilty world,-did God ligiousness of our nature will remain as manifest in the flesh descend in shrouded entire and as obstinate as ever. The alienamajesty amongst our earthly tabernacles, tion of our desires from God will persist and pour out his soul unto the death for us, with unsubdued vigour in our bosoms; and and purchase the church by his own blood, sin, in the very essence of its elementary and bursting away from the grave which I principle, will still lord it over the inner man with all the power of its original as- | lessons from the quarter whence the human cendency, till the deep, and the searching, heart derives its strongest sensations-and and the pervading influence of the love of we refer both to your own feelings, and to God be shed abroad in our hearts by the the history of this world's opinions, if God Holy Ghost. This is the work of the great is more felt or more present to your imaMediator. This is the might and the mys- ginations in the peacefulness of spring, or tery of that regeneration, without which the loveliness of a summer landscape, than we shall never see the kingdom of God. when winter with its mighty elements This is the office of Him to whom all power sweeps the forest of its leaves, when the is committed, both in heaven and in earth, - rushing of the storm is heard upon our who reigning in heaven, and uniting its windows, and man flees to cover himself mercy with its righteousness, causes them from the desolation that walketh over the to flow upon earth in one stream of celes- surface of the world. tial influence; and reigning on earth, and If nature and her elements be dreadful, working mightily in the hearts of its peo- how dreadful that mysterious and unseen ple, makes them meet for the society of Being, who sits behind the elements he has heaven,—thereby completing the wonderful formed, and gives birth and movement to work of our redemption, by which, on the all things! It is the mystery in which he one hand he brings the eye of a holy God is shrouded, it is that dark and unknown to look approvingly on the sinner, and on region of spirits, where he reigns in glory, the other hand, makes the sinner fit for the and stands revealed to the immediate view fellowship, and altogether prepared for the of his worshippers,- it is the inexplicable enjoyment of God.
| manner of his being so far removed from Such are the great elements of a sinner's that province of sense, within which the religion. But if you turn from the pre- understanding of man can expatiate,-it is scribed use of them, the wrath of God its total unlikeness to all that nature can abideth on you. If you kiss not the Son furnish to the eye of the body, or to the while he is in the way, you provoke his conception of the mind, which animates anger, and when once it begins to burn, they it,-it is all this which throws the Being only are blessed who have put their trust in who formed us at a distance so inaccessihim. If, on the fancied sufficiency of a ble,-which throws an impenetrable mantle righteousness that is without godliness, you over his way, and gives us the idea of some neglect the great salvation, you will not dark and untrodden interval betwixt the escape the severities of that day, when the glory of God, and all that is visible and Being with whom you have to do shall en- created. ter with you into judgment; and it is only Now, Jesus Christ has lifted up this mysby fleeing to the Mediator, as you would terious veil, or rather he has entered within from a coming storm, that peace is made it. He is now at the right hand of God; between you and God, and that, sanctified and though the brightness of his Father's by the faith which is in Jesus, you are glory, and the express image of his person, made to abound in such fruits of righteous- he appeared to us in the palpable characness, as shall be to praise and glory at the ters of a man; and those high attributes of last and the solemn reckoning.
truth, and justice, and mercy, which could Before we conclude, we shall just advert not be felt or understood, as they existed to another sense, in which the Mediator be- in the abstract and invisible Deity, are tween God and man may be affirmed to brought down to our conceptions in a manhave laid his hand upon them bo h:He ner the most familiar and impressive, by fills up that mysterious interval which lies having been made, through Jesus Christ, between every corporeal being, and the to flow in utterance from human lips, and God who is a spirit and is invisible. to beam in expressive physiognomy from a
No man hath seen God at any time, | human countenance. and the power which is unseen is terrible. So long as I had nothing before me but Fancy trembles before its own picture, and the unseen spirit of God, my mind wandered superstition throws its darkest imagery over in uncertainty, my busy fancy was free to it. The voice of the thunder is awful, but expatiate, and its images filled my heart not 30 awful as the conception of that angry with disquietude and terror. But in the being who sits in mysterious concealment, life, and person, and history of Jesus Christ, and gives it all its energy. In these sketches the attributes of the Deity are brought down of the imagination, fear is sure to predomi- to the observation of the senses; and I can nate. We gather an impression of Nature's no longer mistake them, when in the Son, God, from those scenes where Nature who is the express image of his Father, I threatens, and looks dreadful. We speak see them carried home to my understanding not of the theology of the schools, and the by the evidence and expression of human empty parade of its demonstrations. We organs,--when I see the kindness of the speak of the theology of actual feeling - Father, in the tears which fell from his Son
at theology which is sure to derive its at the tomb of Lazarus, -when I see his
justice blended with his mercy, in the ex-, I see it in his unaltered form when he rose clamation, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem," by triumphant from the grave; I perceive it Jesus Christ; uttered with a tone more in his tenderness for the scruples of the tender than the sympathy of human bosom unbelieving Thomas; and I am given to ever prompted, while he bewailed the sen- understand, that as his body retained the tence of its desolation,-and in the look of impression of his own sufferings, so his energy and significance which he threw mind retains a sympathy for ours, as warm, upon Peter, I feel the judgment of God and gracious, and endearing, as ever. We himself, flashing conviction upon my con- have a Priest on high, who is touched with science, and calling me to repent while his a fellow feeling of our infirmities. My soul, wrath is suspended, and he still waiteth to unable to support itself in its aerial flight be gracious.
among the spirits of the invisible, now reAnd it was not a temporary character poses on Christ, who stands revealed to my which he assumed. The human kindness, conceptions in the figure, the countenance, and the human expression which makes the heart, the sympathies of a man. He it intelligible to us, remained with him has entered within that veil which hung till his latest hour. They survived his re-over the glories of the Eternal; and the surrection, and he has carried them along mysterious inaccessible throne of God with him to the mysterious place which he divested of all its teriors, when I think that now occupies. How do I know all this? a friend who bears the form of the species, I know it from his history; I hear it in the and knows its infirmities, is there to plead parting words to his mother from the cross; I for me.
The Folly of Men measuring themselves by themselves.
"For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves;
but they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are bot wise." --2 Corinthians, 8. 12.
St. Paul addressed these words to the, an example, it is safe for him to allow in members of a Christian congregation; and himself an equal extent of indulgence; and were we to confine their application to to go the same lengths of laxity or trans those people of the present day, who ingression, and thus, instead of measuring circumstances, bear the nearest resemblance himself by the perfect law of the Almighty, to them, we would, in the present discourse, and making conformity to it the object of have chiefly to do with the more serious his strenuous aspirings, does he measure and declared professors of the Gospel. Nor himself and compare himself with his fel should we be long at a loss for a very ob- low-mortals,--and pitches his ambition to servable peculiarity amongst them, against no greater height than the accidental level which to point the admonition of the which obtains amongst the members of his Apostle. For, in truth there is a great dis- own religious brotherhood, and finds a quiet position with the members of the religious repose in the mediocrity of their actual world, to look away from the unalterable accomplishments, and of their current and standard of God's will, and to form a stand-conventional observations. ard of authority out of the existing attain-! There is much in this consideration to ments of those whom they conceive to be alarm many of those who within the pale in the faith. We know nothing that has of a select and peculiar circle, look upon contributed more than this to reduce the themselves as firmly seated in an enclosure tone of practical Christianity. We know of safety. They may be recognized by the not a more insidious security, than that society around them as one of us; and they which steals over the mind of him who may keep the even pace of acquirement when he looks to another of eminent name along with them; and they may wear all for godliness, or orthodoxy, and perceives those marks of distinction which separate in him a certain degree of conformity to the them from the general and unprofessing world, or a certain measure of infirmity of public; and, in respect of Church, and of temper, or a certain abandonment of him- sacrament, and of family observances, and self to the natural enjoyments of luxury, or of exclusive preference for each other's of idle gossiping, or of commenting with conversation, and of meetings for prayer malignant pleasure on the faults and fail- and the other exercises of Christian fellowings of the absent, thinks, that upon such ship, they may stand most decidedly out