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ings. Now there is one word which proves the vicariousness, and that word contains three letters. Dear brethren, if you can take those three letters and apply them to your own name, you shall have as much happiness as the past, the present, and the future can give you—you shall have as much happiness as body, soul, and spirit are capable of receiving—you shall have as much happiness as the three worlds, heaven, earth, and hell can think of—you shall have as much happiness as the blessed trinity chooses to bestow. And when we are called on to hear and consider this report, the Prophet seems to say. Earth, Earth, Earth, by all the regard you have for body, soul, and spirit—by all your concerns and associations connected with the past, the present, and the future—by all your interests connected with the heavens and the earth, and the world beneath it—by all that you can receive from Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—hear these words of the Lord. But what is the word of three letters? It is the little word Oub. "He was wounded for our transgressions—he was bruised for our iniquities—the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed." O, dear brethren, may the Spirit of God fill your hearts with the comfort which these three letters contain, when they join you to Christ: his vicarious sufferings, death, and his intercession, and the glories of his second coming, and all the happiness connected with his kingdom, in this short word you have the atonement expressed in the analysis of it. May the Holy Ghost fill your souls with the satisfying consciousness that all the purchased blessings of that atonement are yours for ever!
After mentioning' the atonement, I would just intimate what are the lessons we ought to learn from this— from these doctrines of Christ's divi
nity, and of the atonement. The first I could deduce is this—What an enormous load of guilt is ours? There are many ways of forming an estimate of this guilt. When I look at the barred Paradise, I have some idea of it. When I look at the drowned world, I have some idea of it. When I look at Sodom consumed with fire—at Jerusalem trampled down—when I look at hell's flames, and see them kindled by the hot displeasure of the Lord, I have some idea of it. But I have not the full Scriptural idea of the enormity of our guilt till I believe this simple fact, that Christ was God, and was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us; until I behold the streams of guilt and of suffering rolling from all the creation upon him—until I see the iniquities of us all caused to meet upon him—until I behold the blessed Jesus prostrate in the garden of his agony, and nailed to the cross; and then when I have drawn near to him in the hour and power of darkness, and have heard out of the cloud that surrounds his cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me i" Then I have received some idea of what an enormous load of guilt our sinful nature has contracted.
The next lesson I would have you learn is, the great change that must take place in us. How can I form an estimate of this change that must take place in me? a change, illustrated br the change that took place in the Lord Jesus Christ. Who can describe this to us, who can describe the difference between the Son of God and the suffering man Jesus Christ? Who can describe the difference between the Son, when cast off by the Father, and the man Christ Jesus rejoicing in the brightness of the Father's love? Who can describe the difference between the first Adam and the second Adam? When you can describe these differences, then you shall have same estimate of the mighty change that must be made in you, in passing out of the guilty, accursed, suffering first Adam, into the justified, the pure, the glorified second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear brethren, again / »ee in this the mercy of God, and many more lessons which I cannot dwell upon at present. The mercy of God is taught by this doctrine of the atonement. I do not know whether you can infer the mercy of God from creation, therefore the poor infidel has no light respecting this most endearing attribute, the mercy of God. For instance, if there are some things in creation which seem to say that we are favourites of God, there are other things in creation that seem to say we are treated as his enemies. If there is health, for instance, now playing in our veins, and giving elasticity and strength to our frame, there is also sickness preying upon us, at another time, and making us the victims of a thousand sufferings. If there is the pure breeze fanning and feeding life, there is also the malaria impregnated with death. If there be softness in the zephyr, there is also wildness in the storm; if plenty crowns the harvest now, again famine desolates the land; if there be sunshine to-day, to-morrow cometh gloom; if here rushes the cooling and refreshing mountain stream, then the volcano rolls its burning and wasting lava-flood. Look, in fine, through creation, on the one side you have indeed ranged certain evidences of God's benevolence, but, on the other side, the striking evidences of His anger. Oh, where will you find certainty and relief in your perplexity and distress, but in the sure word of revelation. And, it is very remarkable in the Old and New Testament, you find no attribute of God so often mentioned as the attribute of mercy. Mercy is the sun of the
Bible, which reached its meridian when Christ hung on Calvary.
Again, dear friends, when you think of thei divinity of Christ, and when you think of the atonement, what conceptions ought you to have of the ylory that awaits you? Do you know, my dear brethren, what conceptions you ought to feel respecting the joy you will have in a few years, after a few short stages of time have passed over you? Let a few winters shed their snows on your houses—let a few more summers smile upon your path—let disease and death come over you and hurry you out of this land of sin and misery, and then, what tongue shall describe your happiness? In death, the rod and the staff of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shall accompany you; and in the day of the resurrection—in the day of the entrance into the glorious inheritance—in the day of the enjoyment of the heavenly kingdom, what tongue shall describe the happiness belonging to you? I cannot describe your happiness fully, when I tell you that all the saints have been longing for it, from Abel down to the present hour— when I tell you that the whole creation is described by St. Paul as raising one voice, and that voice is the voice of invocation, and the meaning of that invocation is, "Let the manifestation of the sons of God come." I cannot describe it fully to you, when I say it is the work of the Holy Spirit to prepare men for the enjoyment of that inheritance; that is a great way of illustrating it when we tell you that God himself calls the inheritance peculiarly his own work, for he says, "I create all things new," new blessings, and new natures to participate and enjoy them. I cannot describe these things fully until I come to this truth—your inheritance is just as valuable as the life of Jesus. The blood of Jesus '^Christ is called the
blood of God—the Church which God purchased by his own blood. When you have told out the value of that blood—that is, when you have told out the value of all the unsearchable riches of heaven's treasure house, then you have the value of the happiness which you shall receive. Happiness ever progressive throughout eternity, shining forth in fresh beauties and developing fresh glories as you travel on your way onwards and upwards, with eagle's flight and with eagle's gaze, towards the source of all light and warmth, to the virtuous universe, towards the fountain of all purity and joy, even the covenanted God of your salvation. Dear brethren, anticipate this happiness—rise above earth —wear the royal robes of dignity upon you—let them not be soiled by this earth—walk through the world as those who are above it—walk through the world as those who have a better inheritance prepared for them—who have the Redeemer of the world for their brother and husband, and God for their all-satisfying portion.
Lastly, dear friends, who shall describe the dreadful punishment ofhimvho rejects the Gospel T Mark, my friends,
each of you will leave this house today quite a different person from what you entered it: every word the minister speaks softens or hardens; prepares you for heaven or ripens you for hell. Oh, which of these processes has been going on to-day? It is not an essay of philosophy, it is not a metaphysical exercise, they are the words of the living God, before whom we shall all stand, which we have spoken to you. Oh, then, consider, if these truths respecting Christ and his nature, and his offices, and his atonement, do not soften your heart, and subdue your unruly will, and bring you to God, how shall you stand in the day of the wrath of the Lamb, when Jesus Christ shall come in the clouds of heaven, and in the glory of his Father, and shall take vengeance on those who know not God and obey not his Gospel. May the God of all mercy avert from us all the curses of that day, and give us to hear the accents of the Saviour's love, pronouncing in our ears, "Come ye blessed children of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
DELIVERED BY THE REV. JOHN VAUGHAN, LL.B.
AT ST. CLEMENT-DANE'S CHURCH, MAY 29, 1831.
Ephesians, iii. 14—19.—" For this cause 1 bow my knees unto the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in hear en and earth is named; that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might byhisSpirit m theinnerman; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in tore, may be able to comprehend with alt saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filed with all the fulness of God."
That prayer is one of the primary duties, and one of the most valuable privileges of the Christian, none but those who are accustomed to live without it will hesitate to acknowledge. It is strongly recommended to us in the Scriptures, both by pre • cept and example. It is one of the main channels through which the Lord is pleased to dispense the richest blessings; it is one of the means by which he condescends to administer to their consolation and support in the hour of trial; strength and courage in the day of weakness; mercy and grace to help in time of need.
In all ages of the church the saints of Gon have been eminently men of prayer. Nor have they prayed for themselves alone. Taught by divine grace to feel a serious concern for their own souls, they have learned to feel for the souls of others. Hence, they have diligently employed the most effectual means in their power of benefiting their fellow-creatures (especially those of the household of faith) by pouring forth in their behalf fervent supplications at the throne of mercy.
Of this intercessory prayer St. Paul has furnished us in the text with a fine example. And it is not only worthy of our serious attention and regard in this particular point of view; it not only presents us with a model for our
imitation in praying for others, but it is replete, generally, with the most valuable instruction. It is also by no means inappropriate to the subject, which our church brings more immediately before our view this day. For if we do not find the doctrine of the Trinity directly asserted, we find it clearly implied in it. It contains a distinct reference to each of the sacred three: to God the Father, to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Spirit. "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." May the same divine Spirit, who dictated this prayer to the Apostle, be graciously pleased to direct and aid the exposition of it, to which, in dependence on his blessing, I would lead your attention.
The prayer thus begins: "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." The cause to which St. Paul here alludes, we learn on a reference to the context. "I desire," saith he, in the verse immediately preceding the text, "that ye faint not at my tribulations for you." He was at that time a sufferer in the cause which he so ardently loved. His zeal and boldness in preaching among the Ephesians and other Gentiles "the unsearchable riches of Christ," had brought upon him the rage and persecution of the enemies of the Gospel, and he was now detained as a prisoner at Rome. But the Apostle was not one of those, who, when persecution or tribulation ariseth because of the word, are presently offended. No difficulties, no opposition, no persecution, could damp his ardour in the great cause in which he had embarked. In his captivity his soul retained its wonted greatness. He was not discouraged, nor deprest; he knew in whom he had believed, and was willing not only to suffer bondage but even to die for his sake. But he felt some anxiety respecting the effect which his sufferings in the cause of the Gospel might have upon the Christians at Ephesus. They were yet, if I may so express it, but young in Christianity; they had but recently been converted to the faith of Christ; and he felt a degree of fear, lest they should be discouraged by the sufferings to which they saw him exposed, by his boldness in maintaining and preaching that faith; and be thus led to abandon a cause which had brought upon him hatred, persecution, and imprisonment. Accordingly, St. Paul endeavours to comfort and encourage them: "I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you." And in order that he may beheld the accomplishment of this desire, and see the Ephesian converts (undismayed by the dangers and difficulties of this warfare) continue to fight_the good
fight of faith, with the courage and constancy which become the soldiers of Christ, he avails himself of the grand resource, of which his enemies could not deprive him; he flees to the throne of grace, and there pours forth the supplications of his heart in behalf of those whom he is addressing "For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
My brethren, let us learn to copy this example. In every season of difficulty or trial—on every occasion of alarm or apprehension, whether for ourselves or others—in every possible emergency, let us betake ourselves to prayer.
Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice
Returning from his ways;
And say—" Behold, he prays!"
Instead of attempting to hew out for ourselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that will hold no water, let us have recourse at once to the fountain of living waters. Instead of looking for deliverance, or support, or strength, in every direction but that of Heaven. Instead of leaning on every arm but one that is Almighty—instead of placing our reliance on every friend but the best, let us bow our knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. To Him let our prayers be directed—on Him let our hope, and faith, and confidence be reposed, and we shall assuredly find, that when we are weak, then are we strong; that when we are most sensible of our own helplessness, and fix our dependance simply and entirely upon the Lord, we shall find him most near to succour and support us; that when we most feel our own insufficiency, we shall have the most convincing proofs that our sufficiency is of Him.
But while we derive this lesson from our text, before we quit this part of our subject, let us not omit to mark