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is exactly suited to our state. The best inventive faculties and the most cultivated imagination can never devise a term of salvation as shall so fully meet the interests of man as does the condition of faith. For instance, shall man be saved without any condition whatever ? Admit this for the sake of argument and what are the results ? Man would then have no divinely appointed employment for his various powers and so at length the whole man would come to be engaged in the service of Satan. But salvation by grace through faith urges on man the constant, holy exercise of all his faculties and furnishes bim with a motive to obedience far stronger than any thing else could supply; for while it cheers him with its bright hopes and happy smiles it also warns him by its difficulties, its contingencies and its dangers. Let us suppose in the next place that man is to be saved on account of his own worth and virtues. It is easy to show that such a condition of salvation is wholly impossible. The moral, the man of moderate and even temperament might, perhaps, manage to control their feelings and to regulate their conduct, but what is to become of the sensualist, the impetuous, the avaricious, the reckless, and the fiery-hearted ? By what means shall the victim of ambition satiate his burning thirst for glory or bring down his towering aspirations to the monotony of ordinary life? Were man to be saved by any thing he has, or can acquire, the triumph would be too much for his humility and all his excellences would be immolated at the shrine of vanity. Thus to be saved through personal merit would be impossible to one half our race and a curse to the other half. Salvation by grace through faith, excludes all boasting and puts the blessing within the reach of the whole family of man. Seeing that merit fails us shall we try suffering—shall man go to heaven through misery and woe? Such a condition
of salvation were a reflection on the goodness of God. Men's hearts are too much oppressed with grief already and to increase that grief were indeed a needless torture. From these illustrations you will perceive that faith as the condition of salvation is the best term that could have been appointed inasmuch as it is exactly suited to our state, and had God been anxious so to constitute the plan of redemption as to make it impossible to one half the race and destructive to the rest, He had only to suspend it on any other condition than that of faith, and His object would have been fearfully accomplished.
The entire subject, the discussion of which we have just now finished, furnishes us with an amazing view of the extent of redeeming love. Some have regarded the the word so in the text as expresive of the degree of love wherewith the Father hath loved us, while others have regarded it only as a particle of connection. Those who adopt the former view, find an infinity of signification in the little word "so." But we incline to take the word as a particle of connection, and not as indicating the degree of redeeming love. In accordance with this view, the meaning of the passage is God loved the world and therefore gave His Son to die for it, or in other terms, God must have loved the world, inasmuch as He gave His Son for its ransom.
How much the Father loved the world we do not know, we cannot tell.
" In vain the first-born seraph tries to sound the depth of love divine. They cannot reach the mystery, the length, the breadth, the height."
God only knows the love of God. But
says the infidel, So much love shown to so small a world is extravagance—a waste of love. What we call the vast machinery of redemption, the sceptic calls, “ Ocean into tempest wrought, to waft a feather, or to drown & fly.” It is easy for the sceptic to speak in this way. A
man that has cultivated his imagination by a close study of the philosophy of fiction, finds no difficulty whatever in peopling fairy-realm with lovlier and more glorious worlds
He can give them sunny lands more bright and fair where flowerets scent the balmy air. He can give them wondrous faculty, free them from toil, and bid them luxuriate in pleasures that can never bring satiety. But despite all these pretty imaginings, old mother earth is large enough and good enough for man. For us this earth has charms and associations that no other world possesses. It has been trod by my Redeemer, and consecrated by His blood. Christ bled upon the ground thereby purchasing for it a temporary redemption, and it shall endure so long as man shall need an earthly habitation. So far from being sorry that it is a little world that Jesus came to save, we rejoice in the fact, because it is a greater display of love than would have been if the earth had been more worthy the Divine regard.
Those who sin against redeeming love can have no excuse for their sins. From our hearts we pity the man that bleeds in the iron-grasp of hardhearted tyranny. The victim's miseries do not justify his rushing into sin, but they are certainly an explanation of his reckless inconsistency—an explanation which will not be lost sight of at the bar of God. But, sinner, God has shewn no caprice to you. He has never taken advantage of your
weakness. He has no pleasure in your sufferings, still less pleasure in your death. In all the history of the Divine procedure we find nothing contrary to love and mercy. Many say that they can find things in Providence contrary to this doctrine-that they can find things which it is impossible to reconcile to the love of God. For instance, the merchant-mariner comes forward, lays his misfortunes in juxtaposition with our text. I, says he, embarked my all in one vessel, I was wrecked on a foreign shore, in that catastrophe I lost all I had in the world. Having wandered in distant countries, after having endured the greatest sufferings, I see nothing before me but a life of poverty and a pauper's death, for in this world I have not as much money as would buy me a coffin, or pay for a shroud. Is it for this that I denied myself of sin ? Is it for this that I believed your Bible-Christian, where now is your God of love ? Oh unhappy mariner ! cruel as thy misfortunes may appear, they are not contrary to the love of God! These storms are necessary to the purification of the atmosphere, and if they did not occasionally come forth from the caves of Neptune and Æolus, the world would be depopulated by pestilence, and destroyed by foul air. And for your personal share in it, and for your personal griefs and sufferings, this disciplinary life of trial and adversity is doubtless necessary for your good. Murmuring Christian, do not say it is hard in God to use me thus. You will not say so one day. There shall come a time when even you shall declare that your heavenly Father loved you even when he tried you thus. Then you will say my heavenly Father hath done all things wisely and well. Now clouds and darkness are round about Him, but when the night of time passes away, and the morning of eternity arises, all these interve. ning clouds shall disappear, and then you will see, , what now you ought to be consoled by believing, that though clouds and darkness are round about Him judgment is the habitatation of His throne. Still the text is true, true for every man, true in every circumstance of life, true in all times, and true for evermore.
"God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
THE CALL OF JEREMIAH TO THE PROPHETIC
BY THE REV. LUKE H. WISEMAN, OF LONDON.
"THEN SAID I, AH LORD God! BEHOLD, I CANNOT
FOR I AM A CHILD. BUT THE LORD SAID UNTO ME, SAY
In this chapter we have an account of the call of Jeremiah to the prophetic office. He was raised up at a time when the Jewish nation had almost filled up the measure of their iniquities, they wholly gave themselves to idolatry, to avenge themselves on God, as it would seem, because He would not bear with their continued profligacy. They had become altogether desperate and hardened; and wrath came upon them to the uttermost. Jeremiah has been called the weeping prophet, in reference principally to his well-known exclamation, “O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people !” (chap. ix. 1.) We must not, however, refer this