Page images

admire or trust in human virtue! Above all, what is the foundation and corner-stone of selfrighteousnefs? It is pride, that fin of all others moft odious and abominable in the fight of God. Is it not a matter of daily experience, that those persons who are evidently most loose and careless in their own practice, and who, one would think, should have least of that kind to rely upon, are most prone to a self-righteous plan, and most ready to despise the doctrine of-justification through the imputed righteousness of Chrift, Are

you sometimes surprised at this, Christians ? The thing is easily explained. They know little either of the law of God or their own hearts. They seldom study the one, or reflect upon the other. If they did, they would soon be afha. med of such a pretence. Those who apply them. selves with the greatest diligence to the study of holiness in heart and life, do always most fenfibly feel, and most willingly confess, that all their righteousnesses are as filthy rags before God.

4. In Christ Jesus, and the blood of the everlasting covenant, there is abundant provision made for the pardon of all our fins, and peace with an offended God. “ Behold the Lamb of ac God, which taketh away the fin of the world !" Behold the Lamb which God himself hath or. dained, and set apart for this important work, and which he will certainly accept !

Deliver " them,” faith he, “ from going down to the i pit: I have found a ransom.” Behold the ima maculate and spotlefs victim in the purity of his human, and the glory of his divine nature ! There is no fin so atrocious but his blood is suf

ficient ficient to wash away the guilt. Is there any finper in this assembly burdened with a sense of guilt, arrested by an accusing conscience, terris fied by the thụnders of the law, ready to cry out, “ Who can stand before this holy Lord « God! My flesh trembleth because of thee : “ I am afraid of thy judgements." Let such an one know, that help is laid on him that is “ mighty to fave." Let your guilt be what it will, who can so far derogate from the Redeem: er's glory as to suspect that his blood cannot purge it away? Give no heed to unbelieving thoughts, or discouraging suggestions ; but be " strong in faith, giving glory to God;" and attend to the Saviour's own words : " Him that " cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.”.

5. In the last place, Let all the children of God, whose hope hạth still been in the divine mercy through a crucified Saviour, embrace the opportunity now given them of profeffing, exer, cising, and strengthening their faith in the great atonement, Plead your relation to God through Chrift, and encourage yourselves in his all-fuffi ciency and merit. Look upon his sufferings for humbling you under a sense of the evil of sin, which made fuch an expiation neceffary. No. thing ferves more to abase and level human pride, than to fee our nature on the cross, tho' perfonally united to the divine. Look upon him in his agony, for mortifying and crucifying fin in you. There is a purifying virtue, and fanctifying efficacy, in the blood of Christ. It not only speaks peace to the wounded conscience, but purges the conscience from dead. works to serve the living God. I am not against the introduction of every argument from scrip. ture or reason against fin, or in support of duty; but let them never supplant the great, the leading, the constraining argument, which is drawn from the cross of Christ. Believe it, my brethren, nothing so much reconciles the heart to duty, nothing so kindles a holy indignation against fin, as a believing view of the Lamb of God, which taketh away the fin of the world. This gives the Spirit of adoption a child-like fear, and a child-like love. This fills the Christian with comfort, this inspires the Christian with zeal. To feek our comfort in a separate way, or in the first inftance from our duties, is to make that comfort feeble and variable as the duties are defective ; but to enliven our duties by the comforts of the gospel, is to follow the order of the covenant of grace, by which we at once promote the glory of God, and most effectually secure our own comfort and peace. This is the Spirit breathed by the apostle Paul, with whose words, Gal. ii. 19. 20. I shall conclude : For I through the law am dead “ to the law, that I might live unto God. I am “ crucified with Chrift: Neverthelefs I live;


yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the “ life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the “ faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and

gave himself for me,”





The love of Christ in redemption.

RE v. i. 5.

Unto him that loved us, and wasbed us from our

fins in his own blood.

Action Sermon.

[ocr errors]

HE bare repetition of these words is suffi

cient to convince every hearer how well they are suited to the design of our present meeting. Redeeming love is certainly the most delightful of all themes to every real Christian. It is the immediate and direct object of our contemplation in the Lord's supper. This ordinance was instituted to keep up the remembrance of the sufferings and death of Christ, which was the great and finishing proof of his love. How then can you attend on it in a more be. coming and dutiful, a more pleasant and desireable, or a more happy and useful frame of spirit, than when


hearts are filled with a sense of the love of Christ, and you find yourselves difposed to join, with a mixture of joy and won. der, in the doxology of the apostle John, in the text, Unto him that loved us, and wafbed us from sur sins in his own blood ? The author of this book is sometimes styled

the 6 be to you,

the disciple whom Jesus loved. Since, therefore, it pleased his matter to distinguifa him by the tenderness of particular friendship, it is no wonder that we find so much of the delightful affection of love in his writings. In the beginning of this chapter, he gives an account of the general subject and defign of the book of Revelation, the manner in which the discoveries contained in it were made to him, and his fidelity in testifying them to others. Then follows the apoftolic falutation to the seven churches in Afia, which is a solemn benediction, in name of all the persons of the adorable Trinity : “ Grace


peace, from him which is, and " which was, and which is to come;" (that is, from God the Father, the ancient of days, immutable and eternal); "and from the seven “ fpirits which are before his throne;" (not to detain


with a eritical account of this phrase, it means the Holy Ghost, single in his perfon, but multiplied in his gifts; the variety, fullness, and perfection of which, are denoted by this form of expression); " and from Jesus “ Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the “ first-begotten from the dead, and the prince * of the kings of the earth.” To him you see he gives three illustrious characters.

1. The faithful witness, who came from above, and revealed the whole will of God for our falvation ; who being the eternal truth, might be absolutely depended on in the account he was by the apoftle to communicate, of the great events of Providence towards his church


« PreviousContinue »