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never-dying souls. You know not, however, what a day may bring forth. Begin then to cry mightily to God from this hour. Seek deliverance from the vengeance you deserve; seek it through him who was made a curse for you. "In him there is redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
As it respects you, my dear friends, who, from scriptural experience, are enabled to say,
“Christ hath redeemed us ;" I just beg leave to remind you of your exalted privileges, and of your infinite
obligations to him, Consider what he hath done and suffered to redeem you;
and how great the blessings are, which result from this redeeming love. Let his obedience, sufferings, and death, in connexion with the pardon, and peace, and the sacred influences of the Spirit, which you enjoy, be subjects for frequent meditation. Thus will you see cause for constant humiliation, faith, and gratitude; and, from pure evangelical motives ; you will be induced to serve him, “who hath loved you, and given himself for you." Ere long the sable curtain of death will be drawn around your pillow-weeping friends will be waiting to give you their last farewell—but God will be the strength of your heart, and your portion for ever; and you will find it your privilege to exclaim, “Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Mankind partake of Redemption
THROUGH BELIEVING IN CHRIST.
ACTS, CHAPTER XIII, VERSE 39.
By him, all that believe are justified from all Things, from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses.
DEPRAVED as we are by nature, sinful as we are by practice, and condemned by the righteous Law of God, what an exhilarating consideration is it, to learn that a deliverance from this awful condition is accomplished for us! Reconciliation for iniquity, is now obtained—an everlasting righteousness is brought in—the divine law is magnified—and every thing necessary for our eternal salvation is completed. The substance of our last discourse authorises us thus to speak. The two subjects preceding that, were not indeed of so encouraging a description. An adherence to truth, and a conviction of the importance of knowing ourselves aright, induced me to give a faithful and scriptural representation of our state by nature and practice. But, blessed be
God, we have been enabled to turn to a brighter and more encouraging theme. We have been directed to a restorer of the breach.--The Almighty Saviour has been presented to our minds, as the deliverer of sinners from the ruins of the fall, by carrying their sorrows and becoming a curse for them.
After such considerations every individual impressed with the importance of eternal concerns, will necessarily feel anxious to know how he can be made a partaker of the benefits of this redemption. The present discourse, therefore, it is presumed, will be found suitable and interesting, since the text will lead us, after having briefly noticed,
I. The impossibility of being justified by the law of Moses to point out,
II. The means by which we partake of justification.
The truth of the first particular may, indeed, be collected from former subjects; but as it is immediately connected with the text; and as the discussion of it may cause the means of justification to be more highly prized, we feel no hesitation in advancing a few remarks respecting it. Already has the Law of Moses undergone an investigati
Feeble as the rays of light were with which we examined its particulars, we could
not but observe, that its extensive requirements brought us in guilty before God, under every commandment. Every precept pronounced its authoritative sentence upon us, and left us exposed to the just judgment of the Lawgiver.
Compared with the demands of the divine law, our transgressions appear more in number than the hairs of our head. And if we, short-sighted mortals, can notice so many things done, which ought not to have been done; and so many left undone, which ought to have been done; what must the pure and piercing eye of Almighty God behold in us? Every irregular thought we have indulged, every improper word we have spoken, and every deviation from duty in the smallest degree, are always present to his view. What a long and enormous catalogue of offences, therefore, against his righteous law, delivered by Moses, must He discover! Can we then be justified by this Law? The idea is absurd. To be justified is to be acquitted-to be freed from past sin by pardon. And how can a hope of this be indulged, consistently with reason? Indeed, nothing can be more evident than that “ Ye cannot be justified by the law of Moses."
It should also be recollected that this Law makes no allowance even for the least offence. If it did, the line of its requirea ments could never be precisely drawn. It is true, it makes a difference, like the law of our own land, in the heinousness of crimes; but the smallest transgression brings in the soul guilty, and exposes it to condemnation. If all its requirements are not continued in, the sentence of death is incurred*. He that offends but in one point, is as certainly though not as heinously, guilty before God, as if he had offended in allt. That no man, therefore, can be justified by the Law is strikingly evident. Hence we hasten to what will be more appropriate to our present purpose-to notice,
II. The means by which we become partakers of juståfication.
The procuring cause of our justification, or acquittal froih guilt, is the merit of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was obedient unto death, fulfilled all righteousness, magnified the Law, and made it honourable. This he did not for himself; but for the guilty sons of men.
He obeyed the Law, that his obedience might be placed to our account, and accepted by our offended God instead of our own. His obedience being thus imputed to us, we are accounted righteous before God; and are considered as perfect and complete, as though we had obeyed the Law in our own persons. These remarks arise
• Galatians, ch. iii, ver. 10. + James, ch. ii. ver. jo.