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than to sport with the miseries of man, or ultimately to aggravate his distress.
When he has discovered to his hearers that natural prosensity to evil which manifests its existence in every heart, by a variety of external transgressions : when he has convinced them by the word of God, and by an appeal to every man's conscience, that they are unable to deliver themselves either from that fatal propensity, or its dreadful consequences : after he has thus demonstrated the need in which they stand of a Redeemer, who hath “all power in heaven and in earth,” if they harden not their hearts ; if they stand like the first sinner, naked and trembling before God, having received the sentence of death in themselves : in a word, when they cry out, like the publicans and soldiers alarmed by the preaching of John, “what shall we do?" they are then properly disposed to receive " the glorious gospel of Christ," and will be enabled to experience its powerful effects. From this time the evangelical pastor affectionately preaches remission of sins through faith in the name of a merciful Redeemer.
This is the very same method which Christ and his forerunner pursued. “ Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world,” was the cry of John the Baptist. And “ blessed,” said our Lord, " are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 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 the Son, hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Whosoever shall drink of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but it shall be in him a well of water," a source of sacred consolation, “springing up into everlasting life.” Again, when it was inquired by the multitude, “what shall we do, that we may work the works of God ? Jesus said unto them, this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. All this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son and believeth on him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Thus it was that our adorable Master proclaimed salvation through faith in himself: and indeed, it was for this end alone that he appeared upon earth; as we learn from the last address he made to
his disciples : “It behooved,” said he, “ Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day, that remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem,” the abode of his murderers.
Observe the great commission given to those messengers of peace. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature : he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” To the same purpose was the commission with which the apostle Paul was afterward honoured : “ I have appeared unto thee,” said the persecuted Jesus, " for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness to the Gentiles, unto whom I now send thee, to open their eyes, to tyrn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them that are sanctified, by faith that is in me."
The apostles unanimously preached in obedience to the orders, and in conformity to the example of their benevolent Lord. And all true ministers, instructed by the same Divine teacher, continue to proclaim the glad tidings of the gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ ; laying as much stress in all their sermons upon this efficacious grace, as the apostle of the Gentiles was accustomed to do in all his epistles. Take a few instances of St. Paul's usual custom in this respect: After having convinced the Romans of their corruption and misery, he sets before them "the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past: that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Therefore," continues he, “being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ." To the Corinthians he writes: “Brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, unless ye have believed in vain.'
ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus. God hath reconciled us to himself, by Jesus Christ, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation ; to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them: for he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we
might be made the righteousness of God in him."
To the Galatians: “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by faith, and not the works of the law. Before faith came we were kept under the law. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ: but after that faith is come, we are no more under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” To the Ephesians: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath made us accepted in the Beloved : in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins. By grace are ye saved, through faith: and that not of yourselves ; it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast. Finally, my brethren, put on the whole armour of God; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." To the Philippians: "Stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel. We rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh: yea, I count all things but loss, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” To the Colossians: “ It pleased the Father, that in him (the Son] should all fulness dwell; and (having made peace through the blood of his cross) by him to reconcile all things unto himself. And you that were sometimes alienated, and enemies in your mind by wicked' works, hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable in his sight; if ye continue grounded and settled in the faith. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him; rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving." To the Thessalonians: “Let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith: for God hath not appointed us unto wrath; but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, because that your faith groweth exceedingly." Now "The Lord shall come
to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all believe. Wherefore we pray that our God would fulfi you the work of faith with power; that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in him." To Timothy: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. Howbeit, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. For God our Saviour will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth :- for there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all. Great is the mystery of godliness : God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. God hath saved us, [that is to say, hath put us in possession of the same present salvation which the sinful woman experience ed, who, while she prostrated herself at the feet of Jesus, in faith and prayer, received from him these consolatory sentences; Thy sins are forgiven thee; thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.'] God hath saved us, not according to our works, but according to his own grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus; who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” To Titus : “ Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ, to T'itus mine own son after the common faith: grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour, who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. We ourselves were sometimes disobedient, but after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us; that being justified by his grace we should be made heirs of eternal-life." To Philemon he writes: “Grace be to you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God, hearing of thy faith which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus Christ
. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” Thus a persecuted Saviour became the “ Alpha and the Omega" of this great apostle.
In his epistle to the Hebrews he uses the same language. It begins and concludes with Him, who is “the Beginning and the End" of all things. God," saith he, “ hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, by whom also he made the worlds. Who being the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high. It became him for whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the same : that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their life time subject to bondage. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered: and being made perfect he became the author of eternal salvation. This man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Having therefore a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near in full assurance of faith. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen : for by it the elders obtained a good report who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in' fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Wherefore, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Now the God of peace make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.”
The same Saviour whom St. Paul was so anxious to declare in his epistles, he as constantly preached in his
He was no sooner converted, but straightway, says St. Luke," he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.” Take an abridgment of the first of his sermons which is left upon record, and