« PreviousContinue »
tate to go still further? WHY SHOULD HE NOT
CHERISH A FULLY ASSURED HOPE OF BEING
PARDONED AND ACCEPTED? What! has God so loved the world as to give his own Son to die for sinners, and will he spurn you from his feet? What! does he delight generally in mercy, and will he reject you? What! has he unfolded a marvellous scheme of redemption, issued unlimited offers of pardon, invited all to repent and turn to him, and will he not welcome you when you pant for his salvation? Surely such suspicions are dishonourable to the divine character, and are the effect of unbelief and temptation. Surely they can be calculated only to drive you to utter despair. Surely they come from the Tempter, who was a murderer from the beginning. Surely there never was a single instance of the God of mercy refusing to hear and answer prayer. Dismiss then such dejecting thoughts! Arise, penitent, and let me lead you to the footstool of salvation. Lift up your drooping head. See your heavenly Father looks upon you in love. His face is all benignity and grace. Confess before him your sins, plead his invitation, cast yourself on his mercy. Hark! he says, Thy sins are forgiven thee; he bids thee go in peace; he assures thee that he is reconciled, he embraces and accepts and consoles thee! Believe the stupendous blessing. It may seem too great for you to receive, but it is not too great
for God to bestow. His mercy is his glory. He is beyond compare in his forgiveness, as in all his other benefits. Celebrate then his praises; adore his matchless grace; exclaim in admiring gratitude, Lord, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him; yea the poor and needy from him that spoileth him? Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity-because he delighteth in mercy? The very sense you entertain of the value and necessity of the blessing; the holy wonder itself at pardoning mercy which fills your heart, is some evidence of your interest in it. Soon shall your faith be more confirmed. Soon shall you see that God has indeed had compassion on you. Soon shall you experience in your growing sanctification that he has subdued your iniquities; soon believe with joy that he has cast all your sins into the depths of the sea. Nor shall you be long ere you can contemplate as yours all the truth and mercy promised to the fathers from the days of old; and feel your interest in the covenant of grace with all its benefits and blessings. In the mean time, adore your Saviour; wait his pleasure; celebrate his praise; live to his glory; and commend to others his mercy. Honour him by a holy and humble life and temper and exercise towards the miserable around you the forbearance you have
found yourself. Be Be ye merciful, as your Father in heaven is merciful. Thus living in his faith and fear and love, you shall enjoy his presence and favour upon earth, and at length shall behold his unveiled glory in heaven, and celebrate his mercy and compassion towards the remnant of his heritage in his immediate presence for
THE EFFECTS OF OUR LORD'S PASSION.
ISAIAH LII. 11.
He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be
THERE is no subject so stupendous, and yet so consolatory, as the death and passion of our divine Lord. It is the leading fact of Christianity; and the doctrine connected with it is the joy of every true penitent. References to it perpetually occur, whatever topic of faith or practice we may discuss. But it is necessary frequently to contemplate the sufferings of Christ as a distinct question, and to consider in one view the surprising effects which they are calculated to produce. This is the subject presented to us in those words of the Prophet, in which God the Father is represented as engaging to the Messiah, that, When his soul should be made an offering for sin, he should see his seed, he should prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord should prosper in his hand;
and then, in my text, that he should see of the travail of his soul, and should be satisfied.
The subject, therefore, presented for our consideration is, the Passion of Christ; in meditating upon which, let us notice both The sufferings of our Lord; and The satisfaction which he feels at viewing the effect of them.
I. THE SUFFERINGS OF OUR LORD.
The passion of Christ comprehends all that he endured upon earth, and particularly in the last scenes of his public ministry. It includes the sufferings of his body and of his mind. But the Scriptures sometimes speak more directly of the agony of his soul. This is the case in my text. Whatever were the pains which our Lord bore in his body, they were only faint pictures of those of his mind. The outward part indeed of his afflictions is most apparent, and might seem to be most affecting; but it is the inward part which was really the most severe and unutterable. All trouble that presses on the mind is of itself by far more overwhelming than any thing which regards the body. The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear? To the sufferings of the Redeemer's soul let us then especially attend.
These sufferings were CONTINUAL.