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GOD IS LOVE.
with the angel of the covenant when he the word of eternal life. He appears to found he had got hold of a being who have formed his religious character chiefly could bless him, he grasped him the on the model of Brainerd ; and as he more powerfully, and would not let him equalled him in his patience, fortitude, go. God is well pleased with your ear- humility, and love, so he strictly renestness; take hold of the same conde- sembled him in his end. Both, nearly scending angel of the gospel covenant, at the same age, fell victims to a series and say, “ I will not let thee go unless of intolerable privations and fatigues, thou bless me."
voluntarily incurred in the course of their Let those who have the Spirit of adop- exertions for the propagation of the faith tion recollect their privileges. If child- of Jesus. And though their death was ren, then heirs, heirs of God: this is your not a violent one, the sacrifices they made, blessing. Turn from the world, and and the sufferings they endured, entitle claim the communications of his grace, them to the honours and rewards of a the sanctifying influence of God the protracted martyrdom. Their memory Spirit. Take hold of his infinite mercy, will be cherished by the veneration of all and out of that fulness we shall receive succeeding ages; and he who reads their them, and grace for grace; until at last lives will be ready to exclaim, “ Here is we enter on the great inheritance above, the faith and patience of the saints." and see him in his glory for ever and ever.
God is love: all his perfections and THE PULPIT GALLERY.
procedures are but so many modifications of his love. What is his omnipotence but the arm of his love? What his omniscience but the medium through which he contemplates the objects of his love ? What his wisdom but the scheme of his love? What are the offers of the gospel
but the invitations of his love? What The religious public have lately been the threatenings of the law but the warnfavoured with a rich accession to the re- ings of his love? They are the hoarse corded monuments of exalted piety, in voice of his love, saying, “ Man! do thythe life and religious experience of the self no harm." They are a fence thrown lamented Henry Martyn. It is delightful round the pit of perdition, to prevent rash to behold in the history of that extraordi- men from rushing into ruin. What was nary man, talents, which attracted the the incarnation of the Saviour but the admiration of one of the most celebrated richest illustration of his love? What seats of learning, consecrated to the hon- were the miracles of Christ but the conour of the cross; an enterprising genius, descensions of his love? What were the in the ardour of youth, relinquishing the sighs of Christ but the breath of his love? pursuit of science and of fame, in order What were the prayers of Christ but the to travel in the steps of a Brainerd and a pleadings of his love? What were the Schwartz. Crowned with the highest tears of Christ but the dew-drops of his honours a university could bestow, we love? What is this earth but the theatre see him quit the luxurious shades of for the display of his love ? What is academic bowers, fór a tempestuous ocean heaven but the Alps of his mercy, from and a burning clime, for a life of peril whose summits his blessings, flowing and fatigue, from which he could expect down in a thousand streams, descend to no other reward than the heroic pleasure water and refresh his church situated at of communicating to perishing millions its base? - Dr. Waugh.
TESTIMONY TO THE CHARACTER OF HENRY
BY THE LATE REV. R. HALL.
ON THE VICARIOUS SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST.
BY THE RT. REV. DR. BLOMFIELD,
BISHOP OF LONDON.
* For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures.”—1 Cor. xv. 3.
The words which are here rendered | ascertained by that stupendous miracle ; “ first of all," are otherwise interpreted, but it would have been to the conseious and mean, amongst the chief things or sinner a life of seclusion from the preprincipal doctrines of the gospel. It is sence of God and an immortality of wo, not very material which of the two sen- Whatever comfort is to be derived from tences we attach to the expression ; for the reflection, that the resurrection of the words which St. Paul had delivered Jesus Christ from the dead is the earnest to the Corinthians, first in order, were no and assurance of our own, derives all its doubt considered by him to be first in im- efficacy from the truth that he died for portance; they were the foundation, on our sins. It is only through this medium which the whole superstructure of Chris- that the prospects of the eternal world tianity was to be raised. The great and can be contemplated without apprehenastonishing fact that Jesus Christ died sion by sinful man,—it is this considerafor our sins, as an essential and vital truth tion alone which enables us to view the of the gospel revelation, occupies every attributes of God with complacency and where the most conspicuous place in the comfort, and diffuses over them a sweet preaching of the great gospel : which he and attractive view of love. The sufferhimself describes as being emphatically ings and death of our Saviour Christ are the “preaching of the cross.” So en- indeed a most interesting and important tirely does the whole fabric of gospel subject of inquiry, as evincing his perfect truth appear to him to rest on this one sincerity and devotedness, and proving foundation stone, that he speaks of it as his own entire conviction of the truth of being the one needful and sufficient point what he taught; and we are by no means of knowledge for the Christian minister; to lose sight of this consideration in view
- I determined,” he says, “not to know ing the benefits which have been derived any thing among you save Jesus Christ by us from that wonderful act of condeand him crucified; God forbid that I scension and goodness. But if we go no should glory save in the cross of our farther than this, we stop very far short Lord Jesus Christ.” The hope of Chris- of the whole truth ; and our notions of tians, which was made sure by the resur- that part of the Christian economy, which rection of Jesus, had its root in his cruci- the apostle held to be of primary and vital fixion; for if he had not died for our sins, importance, will be miserably defective his rising again would not have esta- and inaccurate. If the death of Christ blished the fact of our justification ; life was nothing more than his last and most and imınortality would indeed have been I decisive attestation of the truth of his teaching, it was a mere historical fact in- silent as to the great object which was to volving in itself no peculiar doctrine,-a be achieved by the voluntary death of fact, of which St. Paul could not have Christ, the prophets of the Old would been ignorant if he had ever heard the have furnished an explanation of that name of Jesus; and yet he says that he act of humiliation and mercy, calculated received it, that is to say, by revelation; to satisfy all our anxiety, and to animate the subject of that revelation being, not all our hopes; and to make the gospel simply the fact that Christ had died, but dispensation appear in its true colours, as that he had died for our sins.
affording a complete and sovereign remedy Again, had our blessed Lord submitted for sin. That the prophets distinctly anto a painful and ignominious death, only nounced the connexion between the suffor the purpose of establishing his own ferings of Christ and the salvation of veracity, and setting a seal to the truth of mankind is a fact pointed out by St. Pe the message of holiness which he had ter, of which salvation he says: “ The proclaimed, it might indeed have been prophets have inquired and searched said of Him, considering how deeply, the diligently, who prophesied of the grace best interests of mankind were involved which should come unto them searching in the belief of that message, he laid what or what manner of time, the Spirit down his life for the sake of mankind,- of Christ, which was in them, did signify, for their improvement and for their in- when it testified beforehand the suffer. struction; but in no intelligible sense of ings of Christ and the glory that should the word could it be said, that, he died follow.” More particularly in the great for their sins; the particle form" died for and evangelical prophet, the doctrine of their sins"-being in the original a word the atonement is clearly and unequivowhich signifies on account of ; evidently cally marked out, that we should find in implying, that as sin caused the death of his glorious foreshadowing of gospel Christ, so the death of Christ was to be truth, a sure and immovable foundation the cause of God's forgiving sin. The for this vital doctrine : and even if it had expression " for our sins,” cannot reasona- not been seen, as in fact it is, so interbly be taken in any other sense than this woven with the whole texture of apostolic -in expiation of our sins ; as in the fifth teaching, every attempt to separate it chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews; would lacerate and mutilate the Christian “ Every high priest taken from among system, and leave it disfigured with an men, is ordained for men in things per- open inconsistency. Let us hear it: taining to God, that he may offer both " Surely he hath borne our griefs and gifts and sacrifices for sins.” But the carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem concluding words of the text are quite him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. decisive, as to the sense in which Jesus But he was wounded for our transgresChrist is declared, by the apostle, to have sion, he was bruised for our iniquities : died for our sins. “I delivered unto you the chastisement of our peace was upon first of all that which I also received, how him, and with his stripes we are healed. that Christ died for our sins according to All we like sheep have gone astray; and the Scriptures,” that is to say, according the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity to the prophecies, concerning the Mes- of us all. For the transgression of my siah, which are contained in the Jewish people was he stricken.” No Christian, Scriptures. In these prophecies, there- it is to be presumed, will dispute that fore, we may expect to find, not merely these prophecies relate to the sufferings the declaration, that the Messiah, the and death of the Messiah ; and will any anointed one, should die, but some inti- one, whether a Christian or not, deny that mation of the manner in which his death the sufferings are described and are spoken should be connected with the sins of of as expiatory, undergone by one person mankind; and such in fact is the charac- in the stead of others, and for the purpose ter of these predictions. Had the writers of redeeming them from the consequences of the New Testament been altogether of their sins. What is the commentary of the apostle upon this sublime and account, sin-offerings, or trespass-offeraffecting prophecy? Hear the words of ings; but those sacrifices went no farther St. Peter;— Christ also suffered for us, than to procure a remission of the tem. leaving us an example, that ye should poral punishment due to those offences ; follow his steps : who did no sin, neither in consideration of them, God being was guile found in his mouth: who, pleased to withhold his immediate judgwhen he was reviled, reviled not again: ment which had been denounced against when he suffered, he threatened not; but offenders. But it was impossible that committed himself to him that judgeth such offerings could, by any intrinsic righteously: who his own self bare our worthiness of their own, make amends sins in his own body on the tree, that we for sin, or appease the righteous Judge being dead to sin, should live unto right- of mankind ; that could only be effected eousness: by whose stripes ye were by a sacrifice of a very different kind, of healed.” The prophet says, “For the which those were merely the shadows: transgression of my people was he smit- yet they were the shadows, and therefore ten." The apostle says to the Romans, they resembled the substance as to their “ He was delivered for our offences ;” and outward appearance, especially in one to the Galatians, “ He gave himself for remarkable feature,~in the shedding of our sins.” Again, the language of Isaiah blood :-“ Almost all things," says the is, “ The chastisement of our peace was apostle, in the passage above referred to, upon him.” St. Paul tells the Ephesians," are by the law purged with blood; and « But now in Christ Jesus, ye who some- without shedding of blood there is no times were far off are made nigh by the remission. It was therefore necessary blood of Christ.” “ He was led as a lamb that the pattern of things in the heavens," to the slaughter," is the prophetical de- that is, the things under the spiritual scription : Ye were redeemed,” says dispensation, “should be purified with the apostle, “ with the precious blood of these ; for Christ is not entered into the Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish holy places made with hands, which are and without spot." Were there any the figures of the true; but into heaven doubt as to the bearing of this prophecy itself, now to appear in the presence of upon the doctrine of satisfaction and God for us; nor yet, that he should offer atonement, it would be removed by the himself often, as the high priest entereth express prediction of the angel solemnly into the holy place every year with blood delivered to Daniel-that the Messiah of others; for then must he often have should “ finish transgression and make suffered since the foundation of the an end of sin, and make reconciliation for world :" that is, since the Mosaic disiniquity.” If therefore, my brethren, pensation : “but now once in the end of Christ died for our sins according to the the world hath he appeared to put away Scripture, he died in expiation of those sin by the sacrifice of himself.”—This sins,-he died to reconcile man to God. then is the reasoning of the apostle, as
But the Scriptures of the Old Testa- the expiatory sacrifices under the law ment set forth the expiatory nature of offered year by year continually, were Christ's suffering and death; not merely effectual, by God's gracious appointment, in express prophecy, but in the imagery to procure remission of the temporal of type and shadow. It is to this more punishment due to offences under the particularly, that St. Paul refers in the Mosaic law; so the sacrifice of Christ passage which I recommend to your most and his precious blood shed upon the serious and careful perusal, as most com- cross, offered by him once for all in the pletely establishing the doctrine of the heavenly sanctuary, is effectual to the atonement, -I mean the ninth and tenth remission of those penalties which are, of Hebrews. Under the law, offences from the nature of eternal justice, due to the committed in ignorance, or through inad- sins of all mankind, for which it is imposvertency, might be expiated by certain sible that the blood of bulls and of goats sacrifices, which were called, on that I could ever be taken as a commutation.
After such testimony as this, we may of the perfect law of holiness,—by the well dispense with all further argument, promises of reward, nay, by the prospect to prove First, That Christ died for our of immortality, if I am at the same time sins, AND SECONDLY, That He died for our assured of what my own reason and consins according to the Scriptures. This is, science too plainly suggest to me, that in truth, the point to which all the Scrip- obedience, complete, unvaried obedience, tures directly or by implication tend, is not within my power, and that, if it this is the centre to which all the lines were possible for me to do all that God of Christian verity verge; Christ cruci- requires of me, I should still be an unfied to take away the sins of the world, profitable servant, deserving of no thanks, according to the pre-determined council and no recompense ? What then have I of God; foreshadowed, by his Holy Spi- to look for, knowing how infinitely short rit, in prophecy and type; carried into I come to such a sinless, though unproeffect by the unwilling agency of those fitable obedience ? I am compelled to who rejected and despised him. If the acknowledge with shame and confusion death of our Saviour Christ had not been of face, that my sins are more in number a real and complete expiation for the sins than the hairs of my head. The gospel of mankind,-had not effected an atone- without the atonement might certainly ment, that is to say, the reconciliation of contribute to my present ease and commen with God, the whole system of fort, by regulating my actions and deScripture might have been deprived of sires; and it would promote the peace and its characteristic beauty, and enervated of well-being of society, because it incul. its strength. The apparatus of prophecy, cates the duties of forbearance and love : of type, and emblem would have wanted but it would not remove the load of guilt its corresponding reality under the gos- which lies so heavily on me in the sight pel dispensation ; the revelation vouch- of a just and holy God; although it might safed, by the Holy Spirit, of the nature diminish, for it could never do away, the of the divine attributes, the law of holi. number of my actual transgressions, it ness, and the sinfulness of man-while would not suffice to calm the pangs of they enhanced and magnified the glory of remorse, it would not mitigate the horrors God, would have blotted out the hand of the parting hour, without the fair proswriting of ordinances.
pect of deliverance from the wrath to The incarnation of our Lord and Sa- come. But admit the doctrine of the viour Christ is the great mystery of god-atonement, and the gospel at once appears, liness ; it is a mystery in itself, but it is as it was described by the angel who a mystery of godliness only when viewed heralded the birth of its divine author, not in connexion with its end, the death of only “ Glory to God in the highest”an all-sufficient Mediator. His doctrines but “On earth peace;" peace between were the emanation of perfect wisdom, man and God, Christ reconciling man holiness, and love; and they proceeded unto God by the cross, having slain the from his love in all the persuasiveness of enmity thereby. The gospel is indeed reality ;-the works which he did testi- the glory of God; but it is from the cross fied the truth of his declaration, that he alone that it beams with a healing revivwas the Son of God; and it was placed ing light. The brightness of his presence beyond all dispute by the most won would be unapproachable and intolerable derful of his miracles, his resurrection were it not shrouded by the veil of suffrom the dead. Therefore of the truth of fering humanity, in the person of his inhis religion, of his divine authority, and carnate Son, dying for the express purits paramount obligation on the con- pose of bringing us near to God. For sciences of mankind, I can entertain no “now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes doubt. But in what respects am I a were far off are made nigh by the blood gainer by the light which has thus been of Christ.” “It is not, therefore, by the shed on the whole of the promises of precepts merely of the gospel, nor by the God, by the instruction they have given revelations of the gospel, nor by the ordi