Imágenes de páginas

is sick upto death," and yet does not know that he olabours under any disease. The scriptures are full of passages which must convince every man who has eyes to see, or ears to hear, or a heart to understand, that he is “born in sin.” What says David to this point? “Behold I was shapen in wick" edoess, and in sin hath my mother con66

ceived me.” What says Jesus. CHRIST on the subject? “The spirit is willing, but “ the flesh is weak.” What says St. Paul, in this respect? “ All have signed, and

come short of the glory of God.And what does St. John add to this picture of human corruption? “ If we say that we “ have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the “ truth is not in us." . But it is not necessary to search the scriptures in order to find a proof of the sinfulness of our nature for any man who will honestly search his own heart, will readily He will there find that he has a natural inclination to do that which his conscience tells him it is not right to do. I do not mean to say, that every man feels the desire of committing grievous and vicious sins, because this is the last stage of human iniquity; but I would assert, that all of us feel a strong propensity, (which all of us at times comply with) to follow after those unlawful things which the passions lust after; that all of us feel “a law in our members warriog against “ the law of our mind, and bringing us into “ captivity to the law of sin which is in our “ members ;" and, consequently, that the picture which the Psalmist draws of the universal sinfulness of mankind, is undeniably true; "there is none that doeth good," (or is without sin,)“ no, not one."

Now, such being the situation of all man. kind, we must necessarily be much alarmed at this our state, if we think at all; knowing, as we ought to do, how sinful we are, and assured, as we must be, that God is a holy and just Being, who will punish sinners according to their deserts.

What then ought reasonable creatures, placed in such an awful situation, most anxiously to desire? And what will that man actually long after, who has been awakened, by the grace of God, to a due sense of his sin and danger; and feels, that, without some relief and assistance, he must perish everlastingly? I will tell you, my friends. He will wish and desire, that God, whom he has so greatly offended, and who has threatened to punish offenders in the sorest manner, would pardon the many iniquities he has been guilty of; and, in addition to this, he will wish that God would enable him so to live for the time to come, that he might offend Him no more. Now, these two most precious benefits Jesus Christ has conferred upon mankind. “ He became obedient unto death, “ even the death of the cross,” to obtain our pardon; and he sends down his grace upon all his faithful servants, all who feel their wants, and apply to him for succour, to mend and regenerate their corrupt pa. ture, and to assist them in pleasing God by leading a life of. holiness and virtue. In what manner our nature became corrupt, we have an account in the Bible. We are there told how our first parents rebelled against their Maker: how they were driven from Paradise for their disobedience, and they and their posterity condemned to everlasting death: and how all the sons of men partook both of their fallen nature, and of the sentence which was passed upon them. Such was the state and case of mankind, when the Son of Man “ made hiniself of no “reputation, took upon him the form of a “ servant, and was made in the likeness of

men ;" that as a man he might make satisfaction to God for the offences of his “ brethren in the flesh," and suffer every thing which they had deserved to undergo, even unto death, that by this most compassionate undertaking, we, and all the children of Adam, might be restored to the favour of God, and have the hope and expectation of everlasting life once more given to us, provided we strove to be worthy of such'a blessing, by penitence for past offences, faith in the word and merits of the Saviour, and obedience to the laws of his Holy Gospel. This was the reason, my friends, why God suffered his ever-blessed Son to endure all the sorrows and sufferings which we read of in the gospel of the day, and these were the motives which prevailed upon Jesus Christ to undergo willingly every indignity and torment which wicked man could inflict upon him, and to become “ obedient " unto death, even the death upon the “cross.". It was because he had "willingly “offered himself," had undertaken the cause of sinners, had put himself in their room and stead, and therefore felt himself bound in justice to suffer what they, as sinners, were liable to suffer, in order to make reparation to the justice of God for the rebellion of mankind against their Maker, in the persons of Adam and Eve. This obedience to misery and death, in the place of man, you will find was shewn forth in the whole of our blessed Saviour's life ; for he took upon himself the condition of a servant, or of one of the humblest of mankind; he was born of a poor

and obscure virgin; he wanted at his birth the conveniences, if not the necessaries, of life, for he was laid in the manger of a stable, because there was no room for him at the inn; when he was grown up, he had not the common comforts of life; “ the foxes "have holes, and the birds of the air have "nests, but the Son of Man had not where “ to lay his head :" "he was despised and

rejected of men, a man of sorrows and

acquainted.with grief :" and finally, after having been scorned, derided, insulied, mocked, scourged, buffeted, spit upon, and tortured, he expired upon the cross by the death of a common malefactor.

These are truths, my christian brethren, with which it behoves us all to be acquainted, and not only to know, but to feel in the bottom of our souls: since the knowledge, belief, and application of them to pious and righteous purposes, to a holy and virtuous life, are the only foundation of our hopes of peace and pardon with GOD ALMIGHTY. Jesus CHRIST, and what he hias done and suffered for our sakes, is the spring and fountain of all the blessings which we either enjoy now, or hope for hereafter. Without his sacrifice, God would never have accepted the repentance of any sinner.

The curse pronounced at the fall would have hung over

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »