Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

give than to receive (u). When St. Peter teaches men to be patient under injuries; what model does he propose to them? If, when

је

do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps: who did no fin, neither was guile found in his mouth : who when he was reviled, reviled not again ; when be suffered, he threatened not (w). When the same apostle inculcates universal holiness; to what standard does he direct the thoughts of his followers ? As be, Jesus Christ, which hath, called you is holy; fo be ye boly in all manner of conversation (x). Is not the same motive urged by St. John? He that faith, he abideth in Him, namely, in Christ, ought himself also to walk even as He walked (y). And do not the sacred writers hold up the name of Christ as the great and constant incitement to all holiness? Whatsoever ye do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Let God in all things be glorified through Jesus Christ. Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity (Z).

If Christ has thus glorified, if he has thus established, in its widest extent, the moral law of God, by his life, by (u) Aets, xx. 35. (w) 1 Pet. ii. 20-23. (x) 1 Pet. i. 15. (y) John, ii. 6. () Col. iii. 17. 1 Pet. iv, 11. 2 Tim. ii. 19. his death, by his perfonal instructions, and by the Holy Ghost speaking by the mouth of his apostles : how fatally do those unhappy men deceive themselves who discourse of a mitigated law; who imagine that they are in any degree fet at liberty through Christ from any one obligation to universal holiness, from any one branch or particle of moral duty. Shew me thy faith by thy works (a), if thou hopeft to enter into heaven. If the fruits of faith do not habitually appear in thy life; thine is not a faith which will justify thee through Christ. If thy deeds are the deeds of darkness; thou belongeft to the kingdom of darkness. If thou indulgest thyself in any

known sin; thou art in bondage to the author of fin. Unless with a broken and contrite heart thou fleest unto Jefus, and haft thy fruits through his Spirit unto holiness; thy end shall not be everlasting life.

3. Jesus Christ, in the third place, is the corner-stone of salvation. Other foundation cay no man lay (b). There is no other name under beaven, given among men, whereby they must be faved (c). Through him we are justified; through him we are fanctified ; through him we receive the inheritance of eternal life. In consequence of the sinfulness and disobe

(a) James, ii. 18. (b) + Cor. iii. 11. (1) Acts, iv. 12.

dience of men, a covenant of works neceffarily terminates in death. All have finned, and come sort of the glory of God: and by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his fight(d). The wages of sin, of every sin, is death (e). Every man reads his own ruin in that tremens dous denunciation; Cursed is every one that continueth nat in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do thém (f): and looks forward with gloomy forebodings to the final sentence on record against all who shall remain under the curse of the law : Dee part, ye cursed, into everlasting fire (8).

Christ is the mediator of a new and a better covenant established in his own blood. He redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; that he might reconcile us to God by the cross (b). He laid down his life of himself: no man took it from him ; but he laid down his life of himself (i); that all that believe in him, and provetheir faith by holy obedience, should be clothed with his righteousness, and receive, through the merits of his atonement, pardon and eternal happiness. He rose from the dead, and shewed himself again upon earth, for our justification (k): as a decisive

(d) Rom. iii. 20--23. (e) Rom. vi. 23. James, ii. 10, 11.

Gal. ii. 10. (8) Matt. xxv. 41. (b) Gal. iii. 13; © John, xv. 18.' (t) Rom. iv. 25.

proof proof that the price which he had paid for human redemption was accepted ; that the divine justice was appeased by the sufferings which, as the surety of man, he had sustained; that mercy

and reconciliation through him were freely offered to all mankind ; that he ever liveth to make intercession for us; that he has the keys of death and the grave, that to him all judgement is committed, that he has all power in earth and heaven. Through him we have access to the Father. He is the way, and the truth, and the life: and no man cometh unto the Father but by Him (7). Through Him alone we obtain the regenerating fanctification of the Holy Ghost. If we are born again of water and of the Spirit; emblematically of water, substantially of the Spirit; and are thus rendered capable of entering into the kingdom of God (m); that Spirit is the Spirit Christ, and is fent forth by Christ from the Father (n). If we are saved by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost; that influence of the Holy Ghost is shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour (o). If we come forth from our graves to the resurrection of life ; it is because Christ

[ocr errors]

() Ephef, ii. 18. John, xiv. 6.
(n) Rom. viii, 9. John, xv. 26.

(m) John, iii. 5.
(0) Tit. iii. 5, 6.

liveth that we shall live also (p). If we are admitted into the manfions of his Father it is because He is gone before to prepare a place for us (9). Well therefore fpake the voice of prophecy, when God announced beforehand the future coming of his Son in the flesh; Rejoice greatly, 0 daughter of Zion : fhout, o daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy

King cometh unto thee : He is just, and having salvation. I will place salvation in Zion for Ifrael. I will also give thee for a light unto the Gentiles; that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth (r). Well do the sacred writers of the New Testament celebrate the Lord Jesus under the name of a Horn of falvation, the Captain of our falvation (s). Well might that glorious and countless multitude feen by St. John before the throne of God and of Christ; a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds, and peoples and tongues, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; well might they cry with a loud voice, while the surrounding hosts of angels fell down on their faces and worshipped, Salvation to our God and unto the Lamb (t). My brethren, How shall we escape, if we negleet so great salvation (u) ?

(P) John, v 29. xiv. 19. (9) John, xiv. 2. (r) Zech. ix. So Ifaiah, xlvi. 13. xlix.. 6. (s) Luke, i. 69. Heb. ii. 10. (*) Rev. vii. 9--12. (u). Heb. ii. 3

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »