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came? The strange requirements, at (1.) As all the moral attributes of Deity first, appear impossible to be fulfilled ; are inseparably related to holiness, so in but Christ has reconciled-Christ has ful. Christ the eternal love of goodness-holifilled them all. And He whom Jeremiah ness--as an ever-active attribute, comes speaks of as a glorious monarch, is well | into view when we think of His rightdescribed by the apostle Paul as having eousness. The holy actions of the Son been made sin, or a sin-offering, for us. of God, before He appeared on earth,
Surely, of all prophecies, the fulfilment though unrecorded to us, must have been of such as appear almost incapable of known and celebrated by the angels fulfilment is intended thoroughly to of God. Although our sin-darkened awaken the attention of mankind. We thoughts cannot be permitted, on earth, cannot expect ever to know a more mar- to penetrate back, as it were, into the vellous truth of Scripture than this beautiful light and holiness of those ages reconciliation of seeming contradictions, that preceded the ages of our world, yet in the person of the Son of God-at once
are we constrained to believe in the our King, our High Priest, and our heavenly life of the Son of God, and in Atonement.
His glorious holiness. Before the sunIn many of the pious Jews, who looked light struck upon our world, or its wideforward to the coming of Messiah, such winding shores were covered with rational words as Jeremiah’s would excite the creatures—before the sea flowed, or the hope of a good and wise ruler, under cloud hovered in the sky-ere yet the whose benignant sway the animosity of foundations of the mountains were laid, the tribes would be quelled, and all their or the stars began to shed their scintilenemies subdued. Even Christ's disciples lating rays across the material universewere thus partial in their interpretation the holy Son of God had His being in of the Scriptures; looking only at the the light of the almighty throne, infinite bright spots in the prophetical picture, and unchangeable in His righteousness, they always expected Christ to allow His and the only-beloved of God. Unless exaltation to a seat of princely honour on thus we think of the dignity and holiness earth; and that He would give to each of of Christ, as He existed in the blessedthem corresponding advancement under ness of heaven, and before He was maniHis dominion. Nor were they unde- fested to mortal eyes, we cannot rightly ceived, till the Saviour's body lay cold value what He has done, as the self-sacriand still in the hollowed rock, near the ficing Friend of sinners. But looking place where He was crucified. At that back, as it were, to His former majesty time, their hopes, always too earthly, and perfect holiness, we see more clearly sank even lower still; and it was only the greatness of His effort to save us. after they had lost their Master's bodily (2.) Nor was the holiness or the rightpresence altogether, that they received, or eousness of the Son of God impaired, or could receive, their greatest comfort—the lessened in any degree, by His wondrous true Comforter,-and could understand condescension in taking our nature upon their Lord's essential glory, with the full Him, consenting to call us brethren, and meaning of His incarnation and death. yielding to death for our sakes. Suffering Then, at last, they came to remember and self-denial have no immorality in them, better His own words, and to compre- although they may have been made needhend how He who knew no sin, but ful by sin. To suffer is not to sin; but all was righteousness itself, had been made sin necessitates suffering, either bodily or a sin-offering for them, that they might mental, or both. At the same time, penibe made the righteousness of God in tence, which is a species of suffering, does, Him.
under the Christian dispensation, prevent Let us turn our attention to the nature greater suffering. And the earlier the peni. of His righteousness who is called, "the tence, the less will be the suffering to Lord our Righteousness," and who was every true follower of Christ. “For if we made a sin-offering for us.
would judge ourselves, we should not be
judged.” Suffering checks human trans- , which, in every possible point of view, gression, if it does not always purify the constituted everlasting righteousness and human heart. It weakens the power that everlasting gain. The most precious man has to do wrong, if it does not always jewel on earth might escape from its betdispose him to act uprightly. But over ting, and be found in ashes or in dust-to many it has a marvellous power to sweeten outward appearance it might be marred, the temper, to purify the heart, and to and its beauty for a time concealed ; but breathe a spirit at once of Christian re- while it remained really unchanged, it signation and Christian zeal over the will. would be as precious as ever. Its value Suffering, then, it is evident, does not might not be known by those who found of itself make the human character less it; but that could not make its absolute pure or moral. And we cannot bring value less. It might be sold at a low. ourselves to a proper comprehension of rate, peradventure for thirty pieces of Christ's righteousness, unless we under- silver, its value being far more than ten stand that His sufferings and humiliation thousand times the sum; yet would not had no power to change the purity of His that affect its intrinsic preciousness, or holiness. We do not call the philanthro- take away from its beauty. And in pist degraded though he becomes the Christ Jesus there was holiness, undimcompanion of prisoners, and familiar, in med and bright as ever, though, to the his walks of benevolence, with diseases, world's eye, He had no form, comeliness, and squalor, and wretchedness in all its or beauty, and though, in the world's forms. His condescending, self-forgetting memory too, His visage is that of one kindness is not surely of itself immoral. more marred than any–His form that of The eye of “the world,” clouded as it is a tortured man, of whom the worldling by sin and pride, will call it a demeaning has often heard, but in whom he cannot of himself; but the unworldly will think believe as his King, Priest, and Atonethat such conduct ennobles man or wo- ment. man, giving a beauty to the character (3.) Christ's righteousness was rather which cannot fade. Although Christ's increased, than lessened, if we might so human flesh was subjected to the attacks speak, by all He did, and taught, and of Satan, and to the wants and woes of suffered on earth. He came to reveal, humanity, yet was He never out of har- vindicate, and enhance the holiness and mony with the divine will. No discon- righteousness of God; and it was as the tent or murmuring, nothing that could last hours of His life drew nigh, and as bedim the holiness of His character, ap- the betrayal, the cross, and the sepulchre peared in the man Christ Jesus. Satan arrayed themselves before the Redeemer, tried every avenue that was possible to that He could say: “O righteous Father! find access to the heart of Christ, and the world hath not known thee: but I to corrupt His humanity, and at every have known thee, and these have known available moment sought to hinder the that thou hast sent me.” He came to establishment of Christ's kingdom, but in identify himself with men, and to be their vain. Even the needless suffering and substitute as well as friend, in perfectly mockery that seemed to be heaped upon obeying the will of God, and in offering His holy head on the night in which He and making atonement for foul revolt, on was betrayed, and on the day in which their part, against that holy will. He He was crucified, by those whom He came to increase the righteousness of the desired to save, could not invade the universe; and all He did was done in meekness of the blessed Redeemer. In righteousness for this great end. Sin the very depth of His humiliation, the was a stranger to His holy soul; and He bright purity of His nature was un- desired to make it as strange to the souls changed, and we do well to meditate of those whom He condescended to call on this; for it is too common a result in His brethren. He adopted our position the careless beholder of the Saviour of on earth, that an everlasting relationship men, to count that a loss of character might exist between us and Him, and
that He might make us worthy to be the doomed, but adopted brethren in the sons and daughters of God in heaven. favour of God. This atonement was reNeither would God have pardoned us, quired by God the Father. It was necesnor, verily, should we liave had pity on sary for the vindication of eternal justice ourselves, had not this Redeemer been in the eyes of sinless angels, and in the provided who has been provided. He eyes of the angels who had sinned, and of identified himself with our nature, in the arch-demon by whom man was misall except its taint of sin. He identi. led. We do not read in the Scriptures, of fied himself with our wants and woes redemption as possible for the angels that --they became His own—He chose them fell from heaven. If man could have - yet without our sin. Truly, “ He been redeemed without the divine atonehath borne our griefs, and carried our ment of Christ, why could not they? If sorrows." The grievous results of sin- man resists, and fights against the prothe ordinary penalties of God's violated vided atonement, will not he, too, become law–He the sinless did bear as we have irredeemable, and for ever lost? The age to bear them ; but He did more-and gravated condition of the rebel angels it is at this part of the high theme seems to consist in their not only having of Christ's righteousness that so many sinned, and fallen from higher knowledge stumble, and fall into confusion and and dignity. than man's, but in their first faithlessness; or, undermining one after malevolently seducing, and then thwarting another the doctrines connected with and resisting the redemption of mankind. the atonement, find, at last, their liopes Whether we think of man's views of God's and happiness for ever crushed beneath inviolable law, or of the views which other the wilful ruin.
beings may be supposed to have, (for the (4.) Christ wag "made a sin-offering for Scripture warrants us in saying that the us." "He suffered, the just for the un- angels desired to look into the wondrous just, that He might bring us unto God." plan for the redemption of sinuers,) the He was the Lamb of God, on whom our holy words which proclaim the reality of sins were laid. He died for us. His death the atonement, or are plainly deduced brought us life.
from it, are traceable as by a sunbeam in The central truth in all the circum- the Book of God. The Church of God stances of Christ's incarnation, is the fact has never lost the truth which Christ's of atonement; and all the doctrines of own voice proclaimed: “The Son of Man Christianity are as vitally connected with came not to be ministered unto, but to that sublime truth, and it with them, as minister, and to give His LIFE a RANSOM the blood vessels and capillaries of the for many.” No shallow speculator shall body are connected with the heart, and ever lessen the power those words have the heart with the circulation and nour. over the hearts of Christians, nor shall ishment of the bodily system. The man any tamper with the sublimity and power that explains away, or tries to make light of the truth which they tell, without knowof a truth so great and central as this, is ing at length tlie awful guilt of “counting surely an enemy to the Christian religion, the blood of the covenant, wherewith sancand to the peace of his own soul. There tification is imparted, an unholy thing." is no illustration, almost, provided it does The atonement is a truth conveyed in not serve to dishonour the theme, that can every Christian ordinance well observed. too strongly impress on us the fact, notonly It cannot be plucked from those whom that Christ was crucified through the Christ came to save. It is entwined malignity of wicked men and of Satan, about the heartstrings of humanity; and but that this was permitted in God's wise it is the strongest tie that binds Christian providence; and that the death of the faith and gratitude to the person and Holy One, who had identified himself character of the man Christ Jesus. Dear with humanity, and had become the sub- is it alike to the pious peasants and stitute for man, was the only available princes of the world, to the loftiest and plan for the reinstatement of His death-' to the lowliest intellects; and every mind
that admits the sublime truth in its power, Christ. Every variety of mind and of is thereby ennobled.
disposition is provided for in the great Ye who would escape at once the wrath plan for saving and sanctifying Christians. of God and the sirocco breath of sin, seek The subjugation of the worst and wildest ye this high altar-like rock of shelter on wills has been accomplished-the most the level waste. In the shadow of this wayward affections have been world-altar ye are safe. Doubt, sin, death, manded-resistance to the most powershall have no real dominion over those ful and most insinuating temptations who find this refuge, who believe in Christ has been carried out, under the Gospel as at once Priest and Sacrifice, Redeemer of Christ. All this has been done, and and Ransom.
all this is done every day. Are we, (5.) The fountain of sanctification, too, my Christian friends, the subjects of is discovered in the sublime shadow of such sanctifying power ? Whether the the altar of atonement. Not without thought brings doubt and fear, like the having sanctification begun, the while, sudden storm-cloud lowering o'er the do the sons and daughters of God receive sun-lit haunts of men, or whether it the truth, that Jesus died for them. “The brings a fainter or clearer hope, like blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin;" day-dawn suffusing the skies and clouds and they that are Christ's have to cru- in the east, it is a subject we ought cify " the flesh, with its affections and never to find out of place to us. Courlusts." They are engaged, before they age to entertain such thought is absoknow it, at a price incalculable, and by lutely demanded of us. If there is no every tie of reason and affection, to live proof in our life and conversation as to Him who, for this end, gave His life. Christians, that a better life has begun But after they know the real nature of in the soul, then there is no proof, either their obligation, how sad, how terrible in the sight of man, or in the sight of will it be, if, of all their obligations, this the Redeemer of men, that we believe appears the last, the least, the most easily in His atoning righteousness, and in forgotten! The purity of principle, and its grand results. And, certainly, withthe increasing rectitude of life, demanded out the evidence which the better reguof His followers by the Lord Jesus, is in- lation of the thoughts, desires, and actions separable from a genuine belief in His can afford, no proof that he is really a atoning righteousness, and in the power believer in the Lord Jesus Christ can be He has at all times to intercede for and given to any of the sons of men. For our to bless His own. He died, not to secure own comfort, then, for the comfort of for any one an immunity to sin, or the others, for the good of the Church of prolongation of an impenitent or tempor. Christ, by the memories of Christian izing state, but to gain emancipation friends departed, and in gratitude to from sin's present power, and sin's cease- Him who laid down His life for us, let less misery, for all His followers. In us betake ourselves to those channels one sense, we might enumerate many through which alone forgiveness, comreasons for the death of our Redeemer; fort, and salvation flow. As often as we but the central reason, that under which betake ourselves thither, their strength. all others are secondary and subordinate, ening and purifying effects will be seen. is the atonement. Sanctification, how. The regeneratiog power of the Holy ever, gradually increasing spiritual aid, Spirit cannot but be exercised over as well as salvation, has been won for us, those who, instead of resisting, ever made sure to us, if we verily believe in eagerly seek the instrumentality whereChrist as the Gospel reveals Him. And with the Spirit most effectually subdues all strength for the Christian life, direc- the human beart to the divine will. tion for every step that has to be taken The prayer of faith, rising in the shadow in the way of righteousness-all possible of home, or of God's holy house, rising help, mental and spiritual, are prepared, continually, must be heard. They that and are daily offered to believers in "hunger and thirst after righteousness
shall be filled." It is the will of Christ, “The power of faith often shines the and it will be His work, to make them most where the character is materially " the righteousness of God in Him."
weak. There is less to intercept or interEvery Christian must seek for true
fere with its workings.”--Archdeacon Hare. consolation and peace in the thought,
“A boat may as well get to land withthat all that requires to be done for out oars, as we to heaven without labour. him will be done, through Christ, unless, We cannot have the world without by his indifference or obstinacy, he casts labour, and do we think to have heaven? contempt on the only means of salva- gold. Heaven's gate is not like that iron
If a man digs for gravel, much more for tion. Let cold indifference and sinful gate which opened to Peter of its own obstinacy be overcome—and many of us accord. We must win the garland of have exhibited them, without knowing, glory by labour, before we wear it with almost, that we did so—and Christ will triumph. God hath enacted this law :
That no man shall eat of the tree of perform His part.
paradise but in the sweat of his brow; Ye who have long found peace and how, then, dare any censure Christian rest in Christ, and who have been long diligence? How dare they say: 'You leading the life of faith, ye need not our take more pains for heaven than needs ?' directions or our prayers so much as we
God saith : Strive as in an agony need yours. But are some even of you, say: "You are too strict;' but whom shall
Fight the good fight of faith;' and they at times, less faithful, and, through many we believe ?-An holy God that bids us mental or bodily woes and pains, prompt- strive, or å profane atheist that saith ed to wish that the life-long struggle were
we strive too much?”— Watson. ended, and that sin and care could wring the heart, and try the strength no more? “What imprudence is it to lay the Be patient! for the time of your deliver. heaviest load upon the weakest horse ! ance comes ever nearer. Yet a few quiet So, to lay the heavy load of repentance
on thyself when thou art enfeebled by Sabbath-days— yet a few struggles in sickness, the hands shake, the lips Christ's behalf-yet a few efforts to seek quiver, the heart faints. Oh! be wise in His righteousness, and the world and sin time. Now prepare for the kingdom ! shall fall away from your spirit, and He who never begins his voyage to
heaven but in the storm of death, it is a leave you free, for ever free, to serve
thousand to one if he doth not suffer an your Saviour and your God. Amen.
eternal shipwreck.”— Watson.
ADDRESS TO PARENTS OF THE WORKING CLASSES ON THE
IMPORTANCE OF THEIR CHILDREN.
CHRISTIAN PARENTS OF THE WORKING | great tide of human life rushes past his Classes ! I wish you to see clearly, and door as ignorant and heedless of all that feel deeply, the importance of your is passing within, as is the tide of ocean children, so that you may be led to con- of the dwellers on the shore which it sider with earnest thought how you may laves with its billows ! Nevertheless, best train them up in the way which such you and your children, my brother, are beings should go. A working man, espe- of more importance than the tongue can cially in a great city, is apt to think that express, or the mind fully comprehend. neither he nor his family are of any im- Let us consider the matter a little with portance whatever. What is he, or his reference to your children. poor family, to this great thronging, 1. Your children are of great importbusy, and bustling world ? Who cares ance to society. It is you who supply whether he is ill or well, in joy or sorrow, our factories with hands, our ships with alive or dead? Of what importance are seamen, our army with soldiers, and our those children to any human being be houses with servants. Upon the chayond the walls of his lonely home? The racter of those whom you send forth every