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pressure, under which the Saviour of sinners then lay! How inconceivable the anguish that wrur.g his heart, and writhed his body! O what a mournful spectacle to the eye of faith is an agonizing Saviour? How awfully should our souls he impressed, and how feelingly our hearts affected by such a spectacle ! How should we bleed within us, to think that we have been, in a great measure, the sad cause of all this sanguinary exhibition; that our apostacy and rebellion, our sins and disobedience, the corruption of our nature, the evil of our tempers, the sinfulness of our habits, and the inconsistency of our lives, have been the nails and the spear, the scourge and the Judas, that caused the bloody sweat and agony of the Redeemer; and that it was for our salvation, that he was betrayed in a garden, and expired on a cross! And when he calls us to remember his unspeakable love at a Sacramental table, with what readiness—with what cheerfulness and gratitude of heart should we reply, Yes, dearest Lord! “We will remember thy love inore than wine;" thy praises shall be ever on our tongue, and our hearts shall rejoice in thy salvation. But small must be the esteeni we entertain for the glorious Immanuel, and insensible must we be to the kindness he has done us, if we refuse to comply with this his last and easy injunction to his disciples—“Do this in remembrance of me !" And O! how greai is the inconsistency of us, who are members of the church, who, on the same day on which we pray that “we may diligently live after Christ's commandments," and beseech our good Lord to hear us in our petition, immediately show our contempt of his word and commandment, by turning our backs upon his ordinance Would that you would consider seriously each of the petitions in the Litany, and by your praying and living, set it forth, and show it accordingly!
Thirdly, from the agony endured by the Lord Jesus, in the garden and on the cross, we are led to observe what a hard and difficult thing it was to appease the Divine wrath, to satisfy justice for sin, and to reconcile an offended God to an offending race of rebels and sinners. The laws of the Most High were broken and violated ; the majesty of heaven was thereby insulted and dishonoured; and Jehovah himself could not, in justice, absolve such wilful and daring offenders from the punishment threatened against the violators of his law and commandments, without some adequate satisfaction for the insult that was offered, and the guilt that was incurred. The offence was against an infinite God; and nothing but an infinite ransom could procure his deliverance, purchase his pardon, and reconcile God to guilty man. But, where was such a ransom to be found? Where was the person—where was the created being, either in the courts of heaven, or on the face of the earth, who was capable of undergoing the punishment due to man's transgressions-of bearing the weight of his iniquities, and satisfying all the demands of law and justice? The answer is, None, from the highest seraph that treads the pavement of heaven, to the meanest of beings that sojourns on the hills or in the valleys on earth ; not one could be found, who was fit to undertake the arduous work of huiran redemption : and had not the Father of mercies, of his own free grace and goodness, cominiserated our lost and wretched condition, no full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world, could have been made. Had not God, my children, provided himself a lamb for a burnt-offering, the wood must have been laid in order, the fire must have burnt in an unextinguishable flame—the hand of the avenger must have been
stretched forth, and we must have been slain, and have perished everlastingly. O the height, the depth, the breadth, and the length of the love of God in Christ-it surpasseth all knowledge! Such was his love to the world, that he gave his only dearly beloved Son to be born, to suffer shame and reproach, to bleed and die, that by his blood, and soul agony, he might pay our dreadful debt, repair the honours of a broken law, satisfy all the demands of justice, and reconcile us to that God, whose image we had defaced by our sins, and whose indignation we had provoked by our offences. None but the eternal Son of the Highest was qualified for this grand undertaking; and Him, infinite Wisdom provided, and sent to perfect and complete the mighty scheme of human salvation.
One of the most affecting and beautiful parts of sacred history is the offering up of Isaac by his father Abraham. It is a charming piece of sacred biography. The faith of the parent, and the obedience of the child ; they are both alike admirable to contemplate ; and the instruction they convey is of the very highest order, and of the purest delight to those who have drank deep at the sacred stream of Christian truth and wisdom. Where is the mind, that has been imbued with a taste for sacred things, that does not admire the strength and the purity of that feeling, that could prompt a father to give such an uncomproinising test of his obedience, and that could spare not even a son, when duty required the sacrifice, and the fear and the love of the Lord demanded such a trial of parental strength ? And who, that hath imbibed a taste for heavenly things, can withhold his admiration from a child, by whom the offering of a free and willing heart—for this is the beautiful moral that is conveyed—was thus triumphantly given ? Who that has tasted of the pure and masculine pleasure of serving the Lord with all his soul and with all his strength, does not admire the resignation and the promptitude with which an Isaac “ did this thing," and yielded his body to be bound, and his person to be laid as a sacrifice on the altar.
But what! Shall our admiration exhaust itself on the type, and the great antitype receive no portion of its inspiring homage and adoration? Shall it not gleam, shall it not concentrate its rays upon Him, who said, “ Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God! I am content to do it; yea, thy law is within my heart.” Then let me turn your attention to this obedient child of heaven, and meditate, for a few seconds, on the astonishing love of the blessed Jesus, by which he was prompted willingly to undertake our desperate cause, though he well knew the sacrifices it would cost him; that, not in imagination, but in reality, he would be the burnt offering that would be offered up in the stead of the people; and that dreadful sufferings must be endured, before the gracious purposes of his love could be accomplished, and the wondrous scheme of mercy and salvation to poor helpless, perishing sinners could be consummated. O, how greatly we are indebted to our compassionate Redeemer, who stepped in between an incensed God, and an offending people ; and, by receiving the awful stroke of Almighty vengeance on his own head, saved them from the fatal blow! The cup of fury was mixed, and must be drunk ; a cup full of indignation and curses, yea, pressed down, heaped up, shaken together, and running over ; a cup which, if but tasted by the lips of men, or of angels, would have filled them with eternal
horror and never-ceasing anguish: yet, bitter as it was, the Redeemer took it, and rather than any of his chosen ones should taste it, drank it to its very dregs. This made the fountain of his blood to flow freely, as I have elsewhere remarked, before any outward wound was inflicted, or any personal violence was offered; this opened his veins and pores to give it vent, without the aid of traitors and tormentors.
O Christians! was the fountain of Christ's blood opened for the washing away of all sin and uncleanness; and will you refuse to bring your polluted, sindefiled souls to the fountain of purity? Did the Son of God wrestle in pain and agony to obtain redemption for lost sinners; and will not you wrestle as in agony, to secure an interest in this great redemption, to have the certain evidences established in your hearts, and evidenced in your lives! The struggle may cost you some uneasiness, and subject you to some pain. The hills of the Lord and the mountains of Jerusalem, are not to be ascended without difficulty. The ramparts of salvation are not to be scaled without some sacrifice of personal convenience and ease. The city of the living God is not to be entered without many a hard struggle with flesh and blood. There is no passage to Canaan but through the Red Sea. The land of Jordan must be passed through ere you get even a Pisgah view of Paradise and its felicities. But mark me well: the view thereof will well repay the labour, and the pleasures thereof of that good land will well recompense thee the perils of the journey; the deprivations of the way; the fatigues of the body, and the efforts of the mind: for blessed indeed are they who have laid hold on Christ by true faith, who have taken him for their Lord and their God, their companion and example; who are willing to give up all, to part with all, for his sake; and "count all but loss and dung that they may win Christ, and be found in him.”
I must nov, lastly, draw to a termination these improving views and meditations on the agony and sufferings of Christ. And I observe, that they will be without the effect at which I have principally aimed, if they fail to produce in your minds a conviction of the destructive nature and the odious character of sin-of sin that occasioned the agony of the garden, and the passion of the cross. Who amongst you, that has reflected seriously on such a theme, and with the discerning eye of faith, has viewed the sufferings of the Redeemer, can henceforth make light of sin? What heart so hard as not to melt in sorrow? What eye so dry as not to be bathed in tears, when the bloody sweat and agony of the friend and Saviour of sinners are considered? When viewed in the aspect in which I have endeavoured to represent them, how is it possible that they can fail to inflame your hearts with a perfect horror and detestation of sin, and to make you vow an eternal warfare against it, and never to cease from persecuting it, until such time as you have nailed it to the cross, and have crucified it in your mortal bodies. Would to God that the contemplation of the Redeemer's sufferings would this day produce the blessed effects within you? Then indeed will it have been good for you to have been here; then indeed will the preacher's object for once have been realised, and the hearer's good have been now attained. And, since it is such a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a holy, and just, and sin-hating God, let me beseech you from henceforth, to stand in awe and sin not: for "if such things were done in a green tree, what shall be done in a dry?" If the cup of wrath were so dreadful to the holy and
innocent Jesus, that he shrunk from ic, and cried out that it might pass from him, what must it be to guilty and polluted sinners? How precious the soul's redemption, since, before it could be accomplished, the Son of God must become incarnate; the Prince of men and angels must be born of a woman, and cradled in a manger at Bethlehem; the Lord of life, and the consolation of Israel, must cry in an agony at Gethsemane, and die on a cross at Calvary! Must unspotted purity be made sin, and perfect blessedness become a curse; and all to save our immortal souls from endless misery and perdition?
Strange that Christ should put so high a value upon them, and that we should prize them so lightly! that the Darling of heaven should tender his own life to redeem them from eternal death, and we sell them for the meanest trifle, and throw them away for a thing of nought-for some valueless object, and for some momentary indulgence; and like Esau for a mess of pottage, barter away our birthright as Christians, and our title to the inheritance of heaven! May the Father of mercies open our eyes to see the folly and madness of this act; and enable you, with Mary, to choose that better part which shall never be taken from you. Act in spiritual matters, as the children of this world do in their generation, in temporal concerns; and }e so wise in the use and application of your immortal interests, as that you may be received into everlasting habitations. Convinced of the danger to which any neglect of interests so important must inevitably expose you, may it be the earnest language of your souls, shall we do to be saved ?" Then, although your case may be dangerous, it will not be desperate. Though you have, as you admit in your confession, “ followed too much the devices and desires of your own hearts"—though you have lived too much to sin, and too little to God, and you are, therefore, as you acknowledge and confess, “miserable offenders,” and as such your condition is wretched, yet still, " there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.” The Lord Jesus Christ became Surety for lost sinners: he substituted himself in their room and stead, and for thein fulfilled the whole law, which they had brokenbore the punishment due to their offences, and brought in for them a complete, and an everlasting righteousness, that will justify us from all things, from which we could not be justified by the works of the law. Since Christ is the true City of refuge for penitent and convicted sinners, linger not by the way, but hasten and flee unto him, before the avenger of blood overtake you. Since he is the Rock of safety, conceal yourselves in the cleft thereof, until the alldevouring storm, which shall sweep away the world of iniquity, be overpast. Turn ye,
“ turn ye to the strong-hold, ye prisoners of hope, even to-day, and he will render double unto you." Swear ye fealty and homage to thc Lord Jesus Christ; and as ye are not ashamed of him or of his Gospel, make him your example, your pattern, and your guide; and let it be your constant study to walk according to his holy precepts, and answerably to your Christian vocation. And may he work in one and all of you to do of his good pleasure, and to live a life of grace here, that you may lead the life of glory hereafter! And “ now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory, with exceeding joy ; to the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both r.ow and ever. Amen.
RRV. R. NEWTON,
"And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have
now received the atonement."-ROMANS, v. 11.
JNUTTBRABLB and invaluable are the blessings which real Christians receive through our Lord Jesus Christ. They are especially and pre-eminently “ blessed with spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." What the Apostle, in the text, describes, is an additional, and a very circumstantial and comprehensive detail of the benefits and privileges which belong to all who belong to Jesus Christ; common to all who in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.
He begins the detail by specifying the great and leading benefit of justification. This is essential to every man ; because man, universal man, is a sinner; and if a sinner, then guilty; and if guilty, then under obligation to die. But the Gospel of Jesus Christ makes provision for the removal of this guilt, and for the justification of his person. “ It is God that justifieth.” And this great benefit formed the leading feature in the ministry of the first apostles of our Lord. Wherever they went they proclaimed “ Be it known unto you, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins : and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which they could not be delivered by the law of Moses." The Apostle, in the connexion of the text, more than intimates in what way this great benefit was to be obtained; not on the ground of any meritorious sufferings which we may endure; not on the ground of the meritorious deeds that we can perform ; but “we are justified by faith" (simple faith) “ in our Lord Jesus Christ."
The next benefit specified by the Apostle is that of peace or reconciliation. No sooner are we “ justified by faith," than we have “ peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We are no longer in a hostile state ; no longer do we sustain the character and attitude of enemies ; but we are friends, brought into a state of amity and friendship with God, through Him who “ was made our peace,” who “ hath made peace by the blood of his cross."
The Apostle then specifies the privilege or advantage of access to the throne ; or as the word is rendered in the margin, of “ introduction :" “ By whom we have introduction;" as an obscure individual is by some individual of high rank and authority taken by the hand and presented at the throne. Thus Jehovah Jesus, the everlasting Son of the Father, introduces every penitent
On behalf of the Wesleyan Missionary Society.