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WHAT CAN DESTROY ENMITY ?
that these could remove enmity, or inspire the soul with confidence and devoted love to God, as an all-satisfying friend.
Now, while it is never to be forgotten that it is by the blessing of the Holy Spirit on the proclamation of Gospel truth-that any soul is awakened, and led to the knowledge of salvation-yel, nevertheless—there is a beauteous adaptation in the glorious remedy which God has provided—to restore that soul. If a sick man, for example, is restored to health under the skilful treatment of a physician--we sayand say truly—that God has raised him up. For, whatever may have been the skill of the physician-or the intrinsic value of the means employed to effect the cure—the blessing of God was indispensable to the happy result.
Thus, though admitting the necessity of that Divine blessing in all its extent-and fully allowing, that, without it, all the means employed would have been in vain; it is still universally acknowledged, in such cases—that there was an intrinsic fitness in the means or medicines, to effect the cure.
Now, the same principle holds true in relation to the restoration of the soul. Besides the superadded blessing of the Holy Spirit-there
PERFECT ADAPTATION OF THE GOSPEL. 57
is a moral fitness-an intrinsic adaptation in the truth which God employs to overcome man's enmity to Himself. For, were it otherwise, that blissful result would never, in any case, be effected--without miraculously superseding the laws of the human constitution. But, while the entire Scriptures of truth agree in declaring that it is not by might-nor powerbut by the Spirit of God—that the wondrous change in man at conversion is produced ;they no less fully maintain the moral powerfitness or adaptation of the means -ordained by God to touch the springs of the human mind. Hence, the beauteous contrast, so graphically depicted by the Psalmist, in the nineteenth Psalm,-between the respective adaptations of natural science, on the one hand, and the glorious Gospel, on the other. After
presenting to our view, the Heavens and all their magnificence, and awakening attention to their strains of lofty eloquence-universally declaring the glory of God-he abruptly turns away from them all, to extol the superiority of THE GOSPEL-exclaiming, “the law of the Lord is PERFECT [in its adaptations to man, as a fallen being—as a condemned-alienated sinner] CONVERTING THE SOUL.” In other
ENMITY ALONE SLAIN BY LOVE.
words—as if it were written-great-and glorious as are the works of God—they cannot restore—they have no fitness to restore the wanderer man. But “ The law of the Lord [embodying the Gospel of his love to the world) is perfect”—perfectly fitted (instrumentally) to arrest his progress...and bring him back to the Shepherd and Bishop of his soul. Hence, responded another inspired man of God in after ages—"I am not ashamed of the GOSPEL OF CHRIST-for it is the POWER OF GOD to salvation to every one who believeth.
Wherein, then, does this blissful adaptation exist ? or, in other words, What is intrinsically fitted to overcome the deadly enmity of unregenerate man to God? Would terrific denunciations—or mere prospects of personal advantage be found so adapted ? No, verily. A sinner, we repeat, cannot be reconciled by terror -or hopes of safety in Heaven-though these motives are undoubtedly necessary to awaken, or quicken, his attention to the grand appointed remedy. For, though Heaven were disclosed to him in all its glory—though he were miraculously caught up to its threshold, and promised one of its richest mansionsif he would renounce his enmity, it would
POWER OF DIVINE LOVE.
still remain in the depths of his heart-unslain. And, anon, were he taken to the very gates of hell, and threatened with the fiery gulph-if his affections were not given up to God even this fearful appeal would also prove ineffectual.' And, why? Because there is no adaptation, either in the one or the other, to overcome his enmity—to reconcile him to his God. What, then, can do it, under the Spirit of God—but the distinct perception
OF THE LOVE OF GOD TO HIS SOUL-ATTES
TED BY THE ATONING SUFFERINGS OF THE REDEEMER FOR HIS SINS ?
He, then, who proclaims a Gospel which does not exhibit in its
front-the compassionate love of God to every man—be his character what it may-a love actually existing to him in his condemned state—while it weeps over his wretchedness--while it abhors his guilt-and warns him of the wrath to come; preaches another Gospel than that which the Redeemer presented to Nicodemus -and, at the same time, to every human being -preaches a Gospel which has no intrinsic fitness to lead the unhappy prodigals of this world to exclaim, “We will arise and go to our Father.”
POWER OF DIVINE LOVE.
True, indeed—as once and again repeated -alarming-sin-convincing truths must also in their own place be boldly announced. But for what intent ? Doubtless, under the blessing from on high-to awaken the soul of the sinner to his need of the glorious remedy; and to dispose him to come to THE CROSS, TO BEHOLD THE LOVE OF GOD written in letters of bloodthat he might be healed.
Nor is the love of God to be contemplated by itself; but in immediate relation to all the attributes of the Divine character, as they are beauteously harmonized on the cross of the Redeemer. For, he who has the clearest perception of the Holiness of God,--of His infinite opposition to sin-of the awful demands of His Law and Justice on the transgressor, as manifested by the sufferings and death of Christ, will have the most sanctifying convictions of the nature and boundless extent of the love of God in providing such a sacrifice for his redemption. Thus, let it never be forgotten, that, whatever be the height and depth of that infinite love to man-it can only be manifested to any soul by such means as at once illustrate his Holiness—Justice-Truth--as are intrinsically fitted to secure the everlasting loving