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spared the Amalekites, and did not wait for Samuel to sacrifice to the Lord. We all know, that it is this want of faith which excludes thousands from entering the kingdom of God; the gospel dispensation, while it is called to-day ; and will banish them for ever from his presence in glory. Is it then matter of wonder that we should be anxious, and in earnest, in pointing out to mankind the only remedy for all their spiritual maladies : the only balm of comfort for the wounded heart, the only solace in affliction. Nay, rather, let us speak the truth; the only wonder is, that we are not ten thousand times more in earnest in this most essential point, upon which rests the eternal safety of immortal souls.
Let us be in earnest, for we are so in all other things of consequence, money, health, &c.; but let us recollect that this work is not to be effected in our own strength. “ It is not of him that runneth, nor of him that willeth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” Faith is the gift of God; faith is an answer to prayer;
66 faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We are not sufficient to
this labour of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God, who makes us able ministers of the New Testament, if we are such. His Spirit giveth life. We are mighty through the Scriptures, and mighty through God, to the pulling down the strongholds of error. To see Christ as a Saviour, he who says, “ Behold the Lamb of God," must know that God only can give the seeing eye. Then we know and do testify that he is the Christ, the Saviour of the world !
2. We are to inquire in what manner the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world. This is a question which can be answered only by the light of Scripture. Christ takes
the sin of the world, as the scapegoat under the law carried the sins of the people, which were confessed over him, into a land not inhabited. To this end they must be placed upon
him. Wonderful transaction ! But let Isaiah speak : “ 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! He bare our sins in his own body upon the tree! The heavy burden of our ori
ginal and actual sin is, if we believe in him, carried away; the remembrance of those transgressions which is grievous, the burden of them which is intolerable, is borne by our gracious Redeemer ; our sins are made his; his righteousness is made ours by imputation. He is numbered with the transgressors to save us; we are accounted righteous solely through his merits. Let St. Paul speak : “ He was made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Whether, in the great and awful day of judgment, the sins of those who shall be saved will be placed before their view, pardoned, cancelled, and forgiven for Christ's sake; or whether, being blotted out of the book of God's remembrance, the handwriting of ordinances which was contrary to us being taken out of the way, having been nailed to the cross, they will be sunk for ever in oblivion; I do not presume to decide : according to that text of the psalmist, “ Your sins and your iniquities will I remember no more;" (but I will venture to
that the latter idea accords the most closely to my own frail notions of free, unmerited
pardon.) Be this as it may, let God's glory be advanced ; let the salvation of the sinner be, as it is, complete; let the proffered pardon be sealed ; let the ransom be accepted,-yes! all this hath God wrought; and we, the potsherds of the earth, will not talk of ways and methods with our great Creator. But rather let us look to our own duty: if any doubt should arise in the mind, let us remember it is the Lord who reveals these truths to us. He reveals : let us humbly adore his revelation of mercy. He gives his Son; let us accept the sacrifice. He calls for faith ; let us believe in him. He
pours out the Spirit; let our hearts and souls and bodies be temples of the Holy Ghost. He says,
“ Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else. Let our eye be directed towards him. He declares that his yoke is easy, and his burden light; let us take them upon us, and find rest unto our souls. Thus Christ bears our sins. Not a single act of suffering or of temptation which we must have borne, was wanting to fill
сир. dregs he drank it: “
Father, if it be pos
To the very
sible, (consistently with the salvation of man and thy glory; if it be possible, let this cup pass from me); nevertheless not my will, but thine be done."
Let this awakening subject be improved by us to the purposes of general edification.
1. Let it cause us to fix our eye more directly upon this great sacrifice for sin. Let us behold the Lamb of God! To this end, it may be well, especially before we approach the table of the Lord, carefully to examine ourselves, to know whether any other favourite object has the ascendency in our affections; whether we are looking to ourselves for comfort; to the world for happiness; to our friends for approbation, rather than to Christ for the true enjoyment of every blessing. If to him the
be directed, all will be well. We shall find that the kingdom of God is within us; that it is righteousness, joy, and peace
in the Holy Ghost. God's Spirit will testify with our spirits that we are the children of God. We shall
We shall use the world as not abusing it, because the fashion of it passeth away. We shall cultivate the friendship of real Christians, who may assist in raising