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· rate us from the love of Christ ? shall tribula
tion, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that, neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor princi. palities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.' '
As, therefore, we have such indubitable evidence of the everlasting love of God to sinners, wherefore dost thou doubt ? O thou of little faith! Let me say to you, Lavinia, as Jesus did to the ruler of the synagogue, fear not-only believe-and thou shalt be made whole. When the ancient Israelites in the wil. derness were bitten by the fiery serpents, Moses, you remember, was commanded to make a brasen serpent—to set it upon a pole, and, to tell every one who was bitten, that if he looked upon it he should live. Now, if instead of instantly looking at this serpent, the
wounded Israelite had stood reasoning with himself about the malignant nature of his wound, or querying whether the means of recovery were adapted to the end ; or whether a cure might not be effected some other way, he would have paid very dear for his ungrateful hesitancy. The healing of his body was connected with implicit and prompt obedience to the divine command : it was the only method prescribed for relief; and had the command been disregarded, he must inevitably have perished.
, Now, thus it is, in a spiritual sense, with the soul. It is by nature the subject of moral evil, extremely depraved, and obnoxious to final perdition : and from this perdition there is no possibility of escape, except in the way that infinite mercy has graciously provided. What that way is, we learn from the lips of him who said, I am the way, and the truth, and the life ; and of whom the brazen serpent was a striking figure. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,' said the compas· sionate Saviour, 'even so must the Son of man
be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life -He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already: because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Now, this Jesus has, according to his own declaration, been lifted up on the cross, as was the serpent on a pole in the desart ; and he is still exhibited in the gospel as crucified—as the only way of escape from everlasting ruin-as the only medium of human happiness. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.'
But what, it may be asked, is the language of this crucified Saviour to perishing sinners? does it equal the language of Moses? Yes : it is equally benign, and quite as encouraging. Let the trembling soul hear, and rejoiceLook unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends
of the earth : for I am God, and there is none else-Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall livemI am the bread of life : he that cometh to me shall never hunger;, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst-I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live : and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die Unto me every knee shall bowevery tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come ; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justi. fied, and shall glory.'
Such is the encouraging answer given by the voice of benevolence and of truth to the trembling querist ; and nearly similar is the paraphrase of a celebrated writer in replying
to the same inquiry. 'Look unto me, wretched ruined transgressors, as the wounded Israelites looked unto the brazen serpent. Look unto me dying on the cross as your victim, , and obeying the law as your surety.--Not by doing, but by looking and believing; not by your own deeds, but by my works, and my sufferings, be ye saved. This is the mysterious, but certain way of salvation. Thus shall ye be delivered from guilt ; rescued from hell; and reconciled to God. Who are invited to partake of this, inestimable benefit ? All the ends of the earth. People of every nation un. der heaven ; of every station in life; of every condition, and of every character, not except. ing the chief of sinners.—To me, every knee shall bow. Every soul of man, who desires to inherit eternal life, shall submit to my righteousness, and as an unworthy creature, as an obnoxious criminal, obtain the blessing wholly through my atonement.-To me every tongue shall swear, . Be man's supposed virtues ever so various, or ever so splendid, all shall be disclaimed, and my worthiness alone shall stand. Renouncing every other trust, they shall re