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attributes ? Had they seemed to be at variance one with another? And do they meet together, and are they reconciled again, and do they meet in everlasting bonds of friendship? Where was the meeting? It was on Mount Calvary. In whom did they meet? In the person of our suffering Lord. There it was that “mercy and truth met together;" there it was that “ righteousness and peace embraced each other.” And now the moral attributes of God through Jesus Christ are in harmony, and will shine forth with transcendent glory to all eternity.

Let me add, that this atonement, thus complete in its nature, is unchanging in its efficacy. There are some remedies that are very efficacious for a time; but through the lapse of time, and the circumstances of time, may lose their efficacy, and become useless. Thank God, it is otherwise here. This sovereign remedy has not lost its power through the revolution of years. The balm of Gilead is as efficacious now, as when it first began to ooze from the sacred wounded tree on Mount Calvary. There was a pool in Jerusalem, the waters of which, at a certain season, had a very extraordinary healing virtue, so that “ whosoerer stepped in first after the troubling of the waters was healed of whatsoever disease he had.” Some writers have affirmed, that this was the pool into which the blood of the sacrifices ran. Be this as it may, all seem agreed, that there was something symbolical in this, that there must have been here an emblematical representation of the healing blood of the atonement, the blood of Jesus Christ. But then there was a circumstance in this pool that made a disparity. In the case of that pool it was only the first man who stepped in who obtained the cure; all the rest were disappointed. But it is otherwise here : here is a fountain open, and always open; a “ fountain open for sin and uncleanness :" and it is not the first man that steps in, no nor the second man, not the thousandth man that steps in, that obtains the cure; but all who

“ Plunge into this purple flood,

Rise unto the life of God.” And if, my friends, we are prepared this morning, by a vigorous act of faith, to plunge into that crimson flood, we shall prove the virtue of the blood of Jesus.

“ Ah, but so many centuries have elapsed since that atonement was shed. Had I been where the soldier was, and had I beheld the blood and water commingled gush from that side, I could not have doubted its efficacy and its power: but eighteen centuries have passed away." Yes, my friends, but still the atonement has not lost its power. Remember you not what John beheld, when wrapped in an entranced vision in the Isle of Patmos ; and, amongst the rest, he saw " in the midst of the throne a Lamb:" yes, an emblem of the sacrifice of the atonement; a sacrificial Lamb. But it was another thing for the sake of which I introduced that passage: he saw " in the midst of the throne a lamb, as it had been newly slain.” Why several years had elapsed when John had that representation ; several years had gone by between that time and the precise period when the sacrifice of Calvary was offered. No matter ; let some twenty or thirty years have revolved, the sacrifice appears, as it were, as a lamb that was newly slain. And if we had this morning the powers of vision John exercised, and if we could penetrate into that world, wo should behold the same emblem of the atonement and the lamb as newly

slain; and that blood as efficacious now, as when it flowed from the Saviour s side.

“ Ah," say some, “and we agree with the preacher in these three points · the atonement was unquestionably of divine appointment: and because of divine appointment must have been adequate for the end for which it was appointed; for a holy and wise God can do nothing in vain : and because complete in its nature, therefore unchanging in its efficacy, or how could it be complete ? and must remain so: still this mediatorial system continues, and still the world remains. But then the point is, Was that atonement made for me?

"Was that precious blood shed, my sin to atone ?" Ah! my fellow sinner; that is the question: Was it made for thee, and was it made for me? I have met with perhaps some scores, certainly with very many individuals, in different parts of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in the course of the last thirty years, whose minds on this point have been so perplexed, that in some instances their very understandings were all but upset.

“ If I were satisfied on this point," "some have said, “ I should have relief in a moment. If I could believe that Christ shed his blood for me, I could embrace that Saviour.” Now what could I say to these people? I tell you most ingenuously what I have said, again and again. I have asked, “Who are you?" “Who are we?" they have replied, with the big tears streaming from their eyes :

“Who are we? We are poor, guilty, perishing sinners.” I have asked, “ Are you quite sure of that? Are you certain that you are ?" “ Certain? Ah! as certain as we exist : there is nothing that we believe, nothing that we know, that is more certain than this—that we are sinners ; poor, guilty, perishing sinners.” “Well then," I have said, “I am equally clear, that, if you are a poor, guilty, perishing sinner, here is a Saviour." Nay: “ This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save"-to save whom? This man, and that man? Him, and not me? This is not “ to save." No; he came to save sinners : and if you can only prove to me that you are sinners, I engage any day to prove to you that he is a Saviour for you: “ For he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for our's only"-hear it, all you that are desponding, and all but in despair—" not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world." He became our kinsman redeemer; as the law provided that the next of kin must be the man who had the right to redeem those that were involved: none but he could interfere, but he from his consanguinity had the right to redeem. There was a meaning in this ; there was a strong erangelical view here. The reference to it is evangelical. The Apostle describes Jesus as taking on him, “ not the nature of angels :" had he took on him the nature of angels, that would not have made him our kinsman: but says he, “ he took upon him the seed of Abraham:" he took upon him our human nature. Why I defy any man living to prove to me that there was ever a human being in the world, or ever will be, whose common ature Jesus did not assume.

He took upon him our common nature: then I say he was kinsman of my own; and, if the kinsman of every man, he had the right of redemption for every man, and he by the grace of God,“ tasted death for every man."

Here, then, is the remedy, a sovereign remody, a sufficient remedy, a sufficient

atonement. But, then, an unapplied remedy is no remedy for me or for you It is not enough that the remedy is presented, and pressed on your acceptance; the remedy must be received and applied, or the cure cannot be effected. It is not enough that we are redeemed by Christ-and, thank God, we are redeemed by Christ-but we must be redeemed by the power of the atonement; it must be applied and received.

What, then, is it TO RECEIVE THE ATONEMENT?

In the first place it must be received by an act of the mind, on conviction that it is the truth. To my mind, it appears a vital doctrine of evangelical religion, that when God reveals any great truth to man, for the examination of man, and the credence of man, and the reception of man, he takes care that that great doctrine, or truth, shall be attested with evidences of credibility, sufficient to produce conviction on every unbiassed mind. Now, I think this is the case with reference to the doctrine of the atonement by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. To my mind there is no doctrine of revealed religion, as unfolded in this book, more distinctly revealed, more amply attested, than the doctrine of the atonement for sin by the sacrifice of Jesus. I find it asserted in the promise made to the patriarchs; I find it contained in the announcements of the Hebrew prophets; for "to him gave all the prophets witness :" and they gave witness to him as a suffering Saviour. I find it in the symbolical representations of the Mosaic institute; in the whole sacrificial system I see "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." I find it expressly asserted by our Lord in his own personal ministry: and I find, in almost every page in the epistles addressed to the different churches o Jesus Christ-I find it applied throughout, and variously, in the apocalyptic vi on. This great doctrine sparkles all over the face of God's revealed truth: it shines, as with a sun-beam, in almost every page in the Inspired Volume. It is (if such a figure may be allowed) the golden thread, that is so interwoven with the whole texture of revealed truth in this book, that you cannot draw it out but you tear the whole.

My conviction is, h wever, that this may be admitted by the understanding, where it is not receive cordially; where it is not experimentally received. It is one thing for the understanding to be convinced of truth; and it is another thing for that truth to be cordially embraced; and the atonement of sin experimentally received. And if the former include all that a man can know and prove, and all that he can ascertain by intellectual operation, the latter implies what a man can feel and realize in his own experience. And I think, my friends, no man will ever thus experimentally receive the atonement, till he has received another great truth antecedent to this; and a great truth which lies at the foundation of all evangelical truth; and that is, the universal depravity and guilt of man. I never yet met with a man who was disposed to quibble at the doctrine of the atonement, or deny it, who, so far as I could perceive, had any just scriptural views of sin. On the other hand, I know not that I ever met with a man in my life, who appeared to see the evil, and feel the bitterness of sin, who was disposed to question or deny the doctrine of the atonement for sin. These two things are connected together. If I am not a sinner, or if sin be a very trivial thing, where is the necessity of atonement? But if I am a sinner, and if the demerit of sin be beyond all that I can conceive, why, then,

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I must have a refuge somewhere; there must be an atoning sacrifice somewhere, or I am undone.

I well remember a conversation I had with a personal friend of my own, who was educated in another creed, and who, for many years of his life, was disposed stoutly to deny every idea of atonement by vicarious sufferings. However, books were put into his hands, and he was led, by a friend of his in this city, to attend some meetings for social prayer ; when his heart was touched, and when he began to think, “ There is something more in what they call evangelical religion than I am aware of:” and he began to doubt, that his former views might not be perfectly correct; and to apply himself in good earnest to the arguments to prove the doctrine of the atonement. “ And,” said he, “ my understanding was convinced ; I felt I could not answer the arguments. But for months after my understanding was convinced, that as sure as the Scriptures are true, the doctrine of the atonement is divine; yet,” said he, “ for months my heart rebelled: the pride of my heart could not brook it; and I still rejected it:" (that gentleman is now, not only member of our society, but a class leader) “ and it was not till I had received a deeper conviction of sin, and the commandment came,' in all its power and force, on my conscience, and I received the sentence of death in my own soul as a sinner, that I was disposed heartily to venture on the atonement of Christ. But then, all the pride of my intellect forsook me: I saw and felt I was a guilty sinner before God; that I could furnish no meritorious ground on which to stand before my Creator. I saw the suitableness and the excellency of the provision made in the atonement. Then it was, by simple faith, that I ventured on that atonement, and proved its efficacy."

And so must you and I. We must feel that we are guilty: we must despair of help from any other quarter; and shut up to the faith of the Gospel, seeing that this is the only refuge for us, we must take shelter there, and by simple faith venture on Jesus ; seek, until we find redemption in his blood, the forgiveness of our sins. Nor are we to stop here. In this book it is asserted, “ The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.” The blood of Christ is not only atoning blood, and therefore our guilt may be cleansed; but it is pardoning blood, and therefore our nature may be made clean.

It is proper, however, to add, that the atonement must be practically received. All the doctrines of the Gospel are practical in their tendency and design Name to me any doctrine that cannot be brought to bear on the practice, temper, and conduct, and I engage to prove that it is not essentially a doctrine of the Gospel. They are all doctrines “according to godliness :" and this is pre-eminently the case with the doctrine of the atonement; it is calculated to exert a powerful and hallowing influence on human conduct. Are there not some who need now to be reminded of this ? Do not some of us speak (and perhaps there are some who speak very fluently) on the atonement of Christ, on the promises of Christ, and on the superabounding grace of Christ : but are they all the while “ denying themselves of ungodliness, and worldly lusts," and “living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world ?” My dear friends, the doctrine of the atonement is not received savingly where it is not received practically : that man does not truly and really glory in the cross of Christ, who is not, by the cross of Christ, crucified to the world, and the world crucified unto him. Hear how Paul teaches those to whom he writes the practical use of this doctrine. The love of Christ constraineth us," he says, “ because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead : and that he died for all, that they which live"—that obtain life by his death“ should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them." Addressing the Corinthians in another place, he says, “ Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price;" ye are the property of another; ye are involved; ye have been redeemed by a price; ye are not your own; “ therefore" -for this very reason—“therefore g!orify God,” (he is your redeeming God)“therefore glorify God in your body, and your spirit, which are God's." But if we have cordially and believingly received the doctrine of the atonement, and realized the power and the efficacy of that precious blood, then shall we be found walking in the truth ; then will the love of Christ constrain us in the path of obedience. Talk you of morals? Yes, the sages of antiquity did; and very eloquently. Talk you of morals? Yes, our modern infidels, our sneering infidels talk, and some of them talk very eloquently on the subject. Talk they of morals ? Ah! but we want something more than talk. Talk they of morals ?

“O thou bleeding Lamb! Thou Maker of new morals to mankind!

The great morality is, Love of Thee." Let the love of God in Christ penetrate the heart of man; let it become a living, powerful principle in the heart of man, and it is a principle that will operate in all circumstances, and all conditions, and will prompt us on in the path of holy obedience.

Where the atonement is thus received, great will be the JOY.

In the first place, we have joy. What is joy? It is a very agreeable emotion - just the opposite of sorrow and grief. It is the essence of grief to depress ana contract; it is the essence of joy to dilate and elevate. But then we are not now speaking of mere human passion or emotion ; but we are speaking of a divine affection; we are speaking of joy, which shall operate in the spirit, in the heart of the man who has believed and received the atonement. fruit of the Spirit is joy." Before you received the atonement you had

sorrow, had you not ? Ah! sorrow filled your hearts; and sometimes the sorrow was all but overwhelming ; every refuge seemed to fail, and you said, “What shall I do ?” “What can I do?" At last you were directed to the atonement: you saw its suitableness and its adaptation, that it was just what your case required: and you ventured on that atonement; you received the reconciliation; sorrow fled away, and joy, and peace, and hope, and love, and happiness sprung up in your heart. Have you forgotten that hour? Surely it was to you a never-tobe-forgotten hour; and when you think of it now, does it not rekindle and re-awaken your joy?

But then, this is not all: we have not joy simply, but we “joy in God." We do not merely joy in this justification, though that is a ground of joy; we do not joy merely in this reconciliation, though that is a ground of joy; we do not joy in this introduction to the throne, though that is a ground of joy; we do not joy merely in the prospect of glory that awaits us yonder, when we arrire at our Father's house, though that is an occasion of joy; we do not rejoice in

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