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bear the sins of many." The debt is all paid: our Lord preached this Himself, in the seventh chapter of Luke. “ There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both.”. What can you do with a poor man who has nothing to pay? you may take the bed from under him; you may shut him up in prison; but what good is that? It may be all very well in a commercial country like this; we must, perhaps, have recourse to these things. But look at the gospel—" And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both.” * Tell me, therefore, which of them will love him most ?” (said Christ to the pharisee.) “Simon answered, and said, I suppose he to whom he forgave most. And He said unto him, thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she has washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her liead. Thou gavest me no kiss : but this woman, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore, I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loreth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” (Luke vii. 43—48.)
Now, my hearers, I have got more text than I can preach out fully: Pulpiters are often tried and harrassed with having too much text, and I have too much here. “ Șo Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many."
We read in Zechariah's prophecy, “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness." There is a restriction, “ to the house of David, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem," that is the saving part of it. “ Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many." I looked at my Greek Testament to-day, and I find that the meaning of the word "once,” in the Greek, as it stands in our text, may be rendered "once for all.” Let me read it in this sense, “So Christ was offered, once for all (that is out and out'-— for ever ') to bear the sins of many!” We can do nothing-creature merit, or works, are all unavailing-GRACE, and grace only, saves the elect. Remember the case of Uzzah and the ark. The ark was shaking in the cart which the oxen drew: and Uzzah put forth his hand, as he thought to preserve the ark, and God struck him dead upon the spot. So, if you attempt to bring anything in your hand, it is an evidence against you, that you are dead in trespasses and sins. Augustus Toplady says:
“Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling."
“Once for all! Christ was offered to bear the sins of many." I must leave that part of my subject -a most important part of my text is now to
" And unto them that look for Him, shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Christ then is coming again. You believe the fact, my hearers, that He has been once; you are an infidel if you do not believe that. But whether you believe it or not, I proclaim from the pulpit that He has been ; and that he has died as the all-sufficient atonement on the cross of Calvary, entirely pacifying the anger of God against sin and elect sinners. Mark ! "Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it;" he loved her from all eternity. “ Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” That love was evidenced by that death on the cross. “And unto them that look for Him shall he appear the second time, without sin unto salvation." He is coming again. Hear what the apostle says to the church at Thessalonica: “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." OT, as it is in the Greek, " Exhort one another with these words."
I am not going to enter upon the second advent of our blessed Lord, except to proclaim the fact from the pulpit, that he is to appear again : that he is coming from heaven, preceded by his herald archangel: and the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised, and the elect shall be gathered from all quarters of the earth, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. And the man in this pulpit, the man in the desk, and the people in those pews shall then be there--and who shall stand when he appeareth? That is the solemn point. You in London, have much outward distraction; and so have we, comparatively quiet people in the country; Satan is very busy everywhere.
Death is a solemn'announcement to us all. I cannot imagine a more startling declaration of truth and fact, amid the distraction, and hurry, and bustle of a London life, than to be told you must die. Neither can I imagine anything more seasonable amid the solemn stillness of this house of prayer, than to be told from the pulpit, that you must die—that you and I must each stand at the judgment-seat of God; and that Christ is coming again to gather together His own people, then comes the mighty fact
"How stands the case my soul with Thee ?
For heaven are thy credentials clear!
Is he thy great forerunner there;
To seek salvation in His name;
All cent'ring in the worthy Lamb."
But mark the point—"Unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time.” Now I have sufficiently dwelt upon that part of the text: I have insisted on the doctrine that he is coming again-the second time. Now, then, look at those words, " Without sin.” What are we to understand by that? He never had any sin ! He was the holy God! It was proclaimed to the highly-favoured virgin, from whose womb the Saviour was to come_"The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that HOLY THING, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke i. 35.) The sinless Christ, the only man without sin. The sin-bearer of His elect family-himself “ without sin, boly, harmless, undefiled, and separate (as Paul says) from sinners; without sin, though in union with chosen sinners, in a way in which he, and they never can be separated.
What is the meaning of that-His coming again without sin ?” My hearers, it is impossible to understand it in English; we get at it more intelligibly in the Greek. I believe I am not straining the passage, in rendering it thus. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without blood unto salvation." That is, without having to shed any more blood, as an atonement for sin.
Now I purposely pause here, because I feel this to be a tremendous subject for sinners to reflect upon.
Do not suppose I pique myself on a mere knowledge of Greek: the teaching of the spirit of God is what we want: and the Holy Ghost can teach any unlettered man, who has never been to school, and who cannot read a word even of English, much less of Greek, to understand the Truth, contained in God's word. I want you to understand this in the way in which I put it before you, because it may simplify the subject to you in some degree: that “to them that look for him, shall he appear the second time, without having to shed blood" again, by way of atonement. Thus salvation's work is “ finished"—the salvation of the church is accomplished! In a passage in Daniel, it is written, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sin ; and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the the vision, and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."
That has been done when He came first. Calvary's cross has registered the fact—the name of every blood-bought sinner is registered in the Book OF LIFE-and a battalion of devils, and innumerable sins, can never blot one name out of that book which has been everlastingly written there. And is not this good news? Is it not a blessed proclamation to hear from the pulpit, and on the authority of God's Holy WORD that salvation's work is finished, accomplished, done! and all this by the precious blood of the Redeemer.
“That blood which can remove my guilt,
That blood which the great Saviour spilt;
That blood which pardons all my sin." Is that blood to you a token? Remember the Passover, and its history in Exodus--the blood seen upon the lintel was the sign to the destroying angel, Again in Ezekiel ix. 4, " And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." But for what did they sigh and cry? A man may sigh and cry for many things he may be discontented and peevish, and fretful carnally-ill-tempered because of worldly difficulties-cross from family causes, and domestic annoyances—but this is not the sigh, nor the cry which obtains the mark. Listen, “Set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."
“Let the sighing of the prisoner come before Thee; according to the greatness of Thy power preserve those that are appointed to die.” It is the poor prisoner under the conviction of sin, and law, and conscience, that only sighs and cries so as to obtain the mark; carnal sighs and carnal groanings will not avail with God. It is that sigh which proceeds from a broken heart, under an inward sense of abominations, under a felt knowledge of your own corruption, depravity and sin. Bear with my plain speaking.
I am understood, I trust, my hearers, on this point, of Christ's appearing the second time, without having to make any more atonement, to shed any more blood-for sin!
To do justice to such a subject, is quite impossible; we cannot preach it; we cannot fully declare such a glorious subject; it beats, it masters the power of any human tongue. Christ's blood has “once"-"once for all"atoned for all the sins of the church. This is Protestantism-all else is Popery. Christ has absolved the church from the guilt of all sin-in Him is our salvation. The only absolution which the poor sinner wants, is that which my brother has declared unto you this evening, from the desk, in the church of England's declaratory form of words "the absolution and remission of our sins” by God Ilimself. Neither he nor I wish, neither do we dare to assume the office of absolvers ; the only absolution, and the only pardon of sin, and for sinners, is that which has been effected on the cross by the eternal Holy GOD MAN! O that cross !
* Jesus, the God, extends his arms,
Upon a cross of love and dies."
"O! wondrous cross, 0! bleeding Lamb,
I'll sing thy love, and tell thy fame;
Will to thy wounds for shelter go."
That is the one only shelter. The sinner made sensible, often needs a shelter; and when the rain falls heavy, and the wind beats high, we need a . shelter. It was so; I was told here, in Brick Lane, the other Sunday, No shelter to be had; you could not run into the houses. So, Christ is the only shelter. “ The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runneti into it, and is safe." The Christian is continually pursued by enemies, like the hunted animal which is followed by the pack of hounds. There is but one refuge, but one shelter for safety, and that refuge is the Lord Jesus Christ; and when the sinner is made sensible of his sins, and is enabled to look to Christ, he runneth unto Him, and is safe from all evill. In Him is salvation! in Him is a strong tower of defence against the world, flesh, and the devil, and against all the wickedness, and wretchedness of self.
And here I come to the experimental point in the text; and the time reminds me that I should stop; but listen to me" And unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Here is a word for every poor, hungry, trembling sinner in this house of prayer. I should be grievously disappointed were I deceived in the hope I feel that there are several here who are looking unto Jesus ”-looking fo: -looking at Him! Here is the point! Such as are looking for Christexercised about Him-seeking for evidences of their own personal interest in His precious blood-such as are tried, and ask, Am I one whom His precious blood has redeemed ? Am I a vessel of mercy afore prepared unto glory ? Such long to know their “election of God." "Take us the foxes,
the little foxes, that spoil the vines : for our vines have tender grapes.” (Song ii. 15.)
It is one thing to be a professor, it is another to be a possessor. And men may talk of ministers, and that they can only hear such and such preachers; but the reality of hearing is when Christ is heard through His ministering servants. Ministers can only preach with power, as God bestows that power; I can only preach as I am taught of the Lord—it is His work, and it is His special teaching; it is one thing to preach what is called a sermon-another to preach CHRIST'S GOSPEL. How strongly Cowper speaks of false teachers
“From such apostles, O! ye mitred heads,
It is a tremendous office to be a messenger to the church-to be the bearer of God's word to poor hungering, thirsty sinners. But the point I am preaching on is this, " To them that look for Him shall He
the second time without sin unto salvation.” Now, that looking is the sign, the evidence of a new heart; not a change of heart as the so-called evangelicals” assert. There is no such thing as a “change of heart," it is the 5 new heart." “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” The scriptural word is " a new heart," and that new heart will be looking for and after Jesus !
“ I thirst, but not as once I did,
The vain delights of earth to share ;
That I shoull seek my pleasures there.
First wean'd my soul from earthly things ;
The mirth of fools and pomp of kings.
That quickens all things where it flows;
Bloom as the myrtle or the rose.” Can you say that? Do you know that want ? then you have an evidence, "a token for good!” You want something—so did the repenting prodigal, when he had spent all—as Englishmen say, when he “had sown his wild oats," —rebellious, riotous, wasteful! then, when he had spent all he began to be in want.” He wanted something, and that something was only to be found in his father's house. And 0! the mercy! his father saw him, had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
“The prodigal's returned, the apostate vile and base."
None could be worse ! But 0! the love! Listen. " But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill; and let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead,