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parently nothing to blame, but rather every thing to praise, he finds, on minute inspection, enough to convince him that he imperceptibly sought his own honour, and not the honour that cometh from God only. He feels that he is inwardly defiled; he is convinced that all his duties have been shamefully defective ; he discovers nothing on which he can safely depend for pardon and acceptance. Like the unclean spirit, when dispossessed of his peaceful residence, he turns this way and that ; seeking rest, but finding none : and the reason is obvious : he is looking for that in himself which is only to be found in Christ. Peace for a troubled conscience is not to be attained in this way ; nor will the trembling sinner ever experience the inestimable. blessing, till his attention be called from himself to the cross-till, as a perishing wretch, he look to him that said, when referring to his own death, If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me.'
The inquiry of a soul, in this perplexed state, is-How the Judge of the world can,
consistently with the holiness of his nature, and the immutability of his truth in the threatenings, justify a sinner who, during his whole life, has paid little or no regard to either ? Now, in the cross of Christ, this question is explicitly answered—the whole mystery is completely developed. He that commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shineth in the heart, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.' The eye of faith discovers how God can be just, and the justifier of him that believeth. The just God and the Saviour are beheld with awful reverence and delightful astonishment! Tears of gratitude stream from the eyes of the adoring penitent: he looks upon him whom his sins have pierced, and mourns. • Surely,' he exclaims with the prophet, he hath born our griefs, and carried our sorrows-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.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the ini.
quity of us all-God forbid that I should henceforth glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ-who loved me, and gave himself for me.'
In the cross of Christ, the loving kindness of God to man appears with meridian lustre. By this despised means of human happiness, and this only, the divine perfections are glorified, and the chief of sinners saved. Not, be it remembered, by works of righteousness which we have done ; for there is nothing we ever have done, or ever shall do, that can merit an interest in the divine favour. Suppose a character, among the apostate sons of Adam, in whom resides all the moral excellency that ever dignified human nature since the fall; and, on the other hand, one in whom concentres all the moral evil committed since that fatal period ; and it will be found on examination that, in point of justification before God, they stand on a perfect level. The accumulated virtue of the former, if pleaded as that which might render him acceptable to his Judge, would avail nothing; nor would
the enormous guilt of the latter, simply considered, be an obstacle to the bestowment of grace and of glory.
Moral rectitude in all its forms, we ought, nevertheless, to admire, and studiously endeavour to cultivate. A disregard of this, where final, renders eternal happiness impossible, and condemnation absolutely necessary. That virtuous actions are praiseworthy in the sight of men, and, in a comparative view, in the sight of God, is certain ; but that these actions, however numerous, or however splendid, are of no use in the affair of justification is demonstrable: and it is this grand fact, and this only, that abolishes, in a religious view, all human distinctions; that exalts the riches of sovereign grace ; opens a door of hope for the guilty; and effectually secures all the glory of salvation to our adorable Immanuel.
That Christ is the only author of salvation, must never be forgotten. It may be said, in reference to all he did as surety of the church, as well as to the complete conquest of his ene
mies; • Of the people, there was none with him : there was none to help, none to uphold: therefore his arm brought salvation.' The work of redemption was assigned to him in the everlasting covenant; it was what he then voluntarily undertook to perform, and what, as mediator, he came to execute in the state of his humiliation on earth. By perfect conformity of heart and of life to the moral law; by suffering on the cross the dreadful penalty annexed to transgression ; the stupendous undertaking was accomplished. That it was complete in all its parts we can have no doubt, because to this the divine Jesus bore unequivocal testimony when, in the agonies of death, he cried, “It is finished; and gave up the ghost.' As, therefore, he had no partner, no assistant in the work, we are not to imagine that he will give his glory to another. He that glorieth must glory in the Lord only.
not saved, says apostle, by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saveth us, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ : whom God hath set forth to be
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