« ZurückWeiter »
with God, salvation belongs unto the Lord. It is
It is not at all strange, that a doctrine which lays the ax to the very root of man's pride, should be so much opposed and rejected ; for we make it evident that we are no degenerate plants, but the real offspring of him, who aspiring to be as God, thereby funk beneath the dignity conferred upon him as man ; seeing we are naturally actuted by the same spirit, and are in a way little different, doing the same thing. But this doctrine leaves us wholly at the mercy of God to save us, or damn us ; according to this no man has aught to glory in but the Lord alone, and his free grace; all boasting is excluded, and every faint in glory has been, and will be saved, as an helpless finner.
Methinks upon the whole, some of you are ready to say e'er this, why this man is so far from being a messenger of peace unto us, that we hear of nothing but a dreadful and eternal war; so far from bringing us glad tidings, that he has arrested us in
dividually as malefactors, arraigned and sentenced
Ye are guilty creatures, and obnoxious to eter-
Then let me address you in the words of the baptift, bebold the Lamb of God; ye are obnoxious, but Jesus has undertaken for you the whole of your deliverance and salvation. David besought him saying, be surety for thy servant. Pf. cxix. 122. The Lord said, I have laid help upon one that is mighty. Pf. lxxxix. 19. Your sins have exposed you to everlasting sorrows, but Jesus the eternal Son of the Father, carried our forromis, and bare our fins, in his own body on the tree. He engaged his heart to come near to the Lord, Jer. xxx. 21. as the high-priest of his people by his own most precious and invaluable blood; and in that exalted character he is now seated at the right hand of the majesty on high, and is a Saviour to the uttermost for all that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make interceffion.
Ye conscious finners, let the fountain of your tears be dried up, since there is a fountain of mercy, grace, and everlasting love, opened to
you in the side of a glorious Redeemer ; bring your ulcerous souls, your corrupt and depraved hearts ; here is the balm of Gilead; the bloody balm of a fuffering Saviour, which tried, was never yet found ineffectual. Ye need not imitate your parents in the garden, and attempt to cover your nakedness with leaves. Lo, here is a compleat garment, the righteousness of the adorable Jesus ; cloathed with
this, ye shall stand with great boldness in the presence of those that accused you ; ornamented with this ye shall stand, not like Joseph before a Pharaoh, or Daniel when arayed in royal robes; but ye shall stand in the presence of Jehovah; absolved from sin, purged from impurity, and cloathed in blood-bought linen, ye shall sit down at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Who his own self bare our Sins, in his
own Body on the Tree. HE principal scope of this large letter
to the churches, appears to have been,
a desire to establish them in those truths concerning Jesus Christ, which had already been preached unto them, and thro' the reception of which, by that faith which is the operation of God, they were now in the possession of a lively hope of a more glorious inheritance to be poffeffed hereafter. And to animate and encourage them under the various trials and afflictions, that would necessarily be the result of turning their backs on the evil customs of the world, and forsaking the paths of immoral and ungodly men; and of following Jesus the despised Nazarene in self-denied obedience, in the regeneration. In order to this, he reminds them of the everlasting love of God, in electing them to glory according to his foreknowledge, Ch. i. 1. 2. of the abundant mèrcy of God in begetting them again to a lively hope ; of the inestimable price with which they were redeemed, and the incorruptible word by which they were begotten to newness of life. The 2d Chap. is introduced with a warm and pathetic exhortation to brotherly love, and christian affection, which should first evidence itself in putting away or laying apart all malice, and every temper and disposition, contrary to that love, which was now to be their distinguishing character ; and by the abounding of which, all men might know them to be the disciples of the Lord Jesus. He also inculcates the most exalted morality, (as flowing from the most excellent source, and stimulated by motives the most powerful and persuasive,) in a conscientious discharge of every relative duty, and the most fervent piety; in a patient acquiescence in all sufferings, and a chearful resignation to all afflicțions ; which faith he, “ ye ought the rather to “ do, because it is thank-worthy if a man for ” conscience towards God, endure grief, suffer“ing wrongfully," and " if ye then take it pa
tiently it is acceptable, grateful with God. “ Moreover, hereunto were ye called and have “ the most exalted pattern for patient suffering 6 set before you ; for Christ also suffered for us, “ leaving us an example that we should follow “ his steps.” And the apostle here having had occafion to mention Christ, immediately lays down his subject, and digresses from the line of his exhortation, that he might at once indulge himself, and edify the church, by a short but plenary defcription of that great facrifice, the body of the Lord Jesus Christ, “ who without spot presented « himself to God." Of whom in the words of