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our Lord Jesus Christ, see how much Paul did in actually revealing the will of God to men. Jesus preached three years; but Paul thirty. Jesus preached only to Jews; but Paul to Jew, and Greek, and Roman, Parthian, Scythian, barbarian, bond and free. Jesus numbered his converts by hundreds ; Paul his by thousands. Jesus confined his labours to the narrow limits of Palestine ; Paul overleaped all such bounds; he took the wide earth for his field, and, flying as on angel's wings, he preached the Gospel alike to the bearded Jew, the barbarians of Melita, the philosophers of Athens, and in the streets and palaces of Rome to the conquerors of the world. Yet look at this great apostle; he lies as low at Jesus' feet as the woman who washed them with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
He wore chains for Christ, and gloried in them ; nor was ever queen so proud of her diamond coronet, nor man in office of his chain of gold, as he of the iron manacles he wore for Christ, and boldly shook in the face of kings. To serve the cause of Jesus he could submit to be beaten, and scourged, and starved, and stoned, and cast at Ephesus to hungry lions ; but one thing he could not bear-grief and horror seize him when he finds himself set on a level with his master. divided church, rent by factions and full of partisanship, where one is crying, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos, and a third, I am of Cephas, and a fourth, I am of Christ, he turns round with indignation to ask“ Is Christ divided ? was Paul crucified for you ? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul ?" In whatever
others may glory, he ascribes all the glory of redemption to the cross of Christ; and, rebuking that party spirit and respect for human authority which is still too prevalent among us, he exclaims—“God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2. Our Lord does not redeem us, as some say, simply by his example.
That man is, in a sense, my saviour, who leads me safely along any dangerous path. The brave guide, for instance, who, high up on the beetling precipice, appears to shuddering spectators below like an insect creeping along its face, who now plants the point of his foot in that crevice, now poises himself on that rocking stone, now, laying strong hand on a friendly root, with a thousand feet beneath, swings himself round this dangerous corner, now, with arms stretched out, and with more than a lover's eagerness, embraces the rock, and now steps lightly along the fallen tree that bridges the fearful chasm, and so, going before, shows me where to turn, and what to hold by, I regard—and on looking back at that tremendous path,and horrible abyss-regard with gratitude as my saviour. But for him, I had never achieved the passage ; my body had been mangled, and my unburied bones left to bleach in the depths of that dark ravine.
And in a corresponding way, according to some, our Lord redeemed us. He set us such an example of every virtue, of patient endurance, of living, suffering, dying, that we also, by closely following his footsteps, may reach the kingdom of heaven. Alas for our safety! fare
well to the hope of heaven, a last farewell, if it turn
What a delusion! God knows, if it had not been for the everlasting arms that caught us when falling, and often raised us when fallen, and for the overflowing love that has pardoned a thousand and a thousand sins, I, and you, and all, had perished long ere now. We had never stopped falling, till, like a stone that, rolling down the hill-side and bounding from crag to crag, at length, with a sullen sound, plunges into the lake, we had been lost in hell. Follow his example! Tread his footsteps ! Live as he lived ! Walk as he walked! Who is sufficient for these things ? No woman ever bore such a son as Mary's; for in him a clean thing came out of an unclean. Death has darkened many a house and church and land, but never extinguished such a light as was quenched in blood on Calvary; it was as if he had raised his arm and plucked, not a star, but the sun from heaven. This earth was never trodden by such feet as walked the Sea of Galilee, and were nailed upon the cross.
For more than thirty years they trod earth’s foulest paths, and, when heaven received him back, had neither spot nor stain. And as he lay dead three days in a grave, which, respecting its prisoner, did not dare to mar his face, or touch him with its corrupting finger, so in a world that has been the grave of virtue and holiness and piety, he passed three-and-thirty years amid corruption uncorrupted, a friend to harlots, a guest of publicans, associated with sinners, yet sinless, holy, harmless, undefiled-like oil among water, separate from sinners.
Again, I ask, who is sufficient for these things ? What man liveth and sinneth not? Who has not often to cry—“Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not;" and, when once down, what stops him from going straight down to hell, but the promise, which faith catches and holds and hangs by, “I will heal their backsliding, and love them freely ?" We should certainly attempt always to follow Jesus, to walk as he walked, to speak as he spake, to think as he thought, and to mould our whole conduct and conversation on the pattern that he hath left us; yet our best attempts will leave us more and more convinced that our only hope for redemption, salvation, forgiveness, lies in the mercy of the Father and the merits of the Son. Pray for and make sure of an interest in these, for even after we have been made new creatures in Jesus Christ, the most that we can do—nor that without the aids of the Holy Spirit—is “to creep along the path which the Saviour walked, and leave the mark of our knees where he left the prints of his feet.
3. Christ has redeemed us by suffering in our room and stead. Our ransom was his life, the price of our redemption his blood.
“ Without shedding of blood is no remission;" " the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." This is the grand truth, the central doctrine, the culminating point of the Gospel. It rises lofty above all others. And, as some Alpine summit, crowned with snows and piercing the blue skies, rises up bright and clear, to catch the rays of the morning sun, and be
descried from a far long distance, so the doctrine which cheers us, caught the eyes and revived the hearts of Adam and Eve amid the withered bowers of Eden. The promised seed was to bruise the serpent's head, and that serpent was to bite His heel. There was to be salvation, but salvation through suffering; and, as could only be, salvation through the suffering of a substitute. It was as a substitute for sinners that Jesus was daily set forth in the sacrifices of the Jewish altar; and to one of these, as very graphically exhibiting the connection between bloodshed and sin forgiven, let me request your attention.
The offering I refer to was made on the greatest of all ceremonial occasions—the day of atonement. Two young goats, kids of the goats, are selected from the flock, and presented before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle. These young, innocent, spotless creatures, standing there in the sight of the silent solemn multitude, are a double type of Jesus, when, in the councils of eternity, he presented himself before Jehovah, saying, "Lo, I come in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God.” The lot is cast—one for the Lord, the other for the scapegoat—to determine which shall represent our Saviour in the act of his death, and which in the fruit of his death, namely, the bearing away of the sins of the people. The first falls as a sin offering. The High Priest, having caught its flowing blood in a golden bowl, enters within the veil, and, alone, sprinkles it upon and before the mercy-seat. Coming forth, he goes up to the living goat; standing over it, he lays his hands