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Already, when upon earth, he rejoiced in spirit at the revelation of mercy to babes. And now that he is in his glory, he joys over every sinner that repenteth. In proportion as all the designs of divine grace are accomplished, his satisfaction augments. And when the end shall come, and he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when the heathen shall have been given him for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession; when unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places shall be at length displayed all his manifold wisdom; when, surrounded with his redeemed and faithful and elect servants, he shall be celebrated for ever with humble and sublime hallelujahs, and shall be perfectly and uninterruptedly glorified in his saints, and admired in all of them that have believed then shall he see, in the fullest sense, of the travail of his soul, and be filled with ineffable satisfaction and joy.
But nothing can supply us with adequate conceptions on this great subject. Let us in conclusion observe,
I. The light which it casts on the VALUE OF THE SOUL OF MAN. Both the inconceivable agony of our Lord's passion, and the satisfaction he derives from its effects, suppose the unspeakable worth of the human soul. With God
the means are always proportioned to the end. And what was the design to be accomplished by the birth and sufferings of the eternal Word? Was it not to redeem and save men? Was it not to rescue us from everlasting death? Was it not to restore us to the favour and image of God? Was it not to bring us to pardon, holiness, and obedience here, and to\endless happiness hereafter? And what is the ground of that satisfaction which the Saviour feels in the consequences of his death, but the inestimable value of the soul? And yet what is it of which mankind think so little as of their souls? What is it which men set so light by, and sacrifice for so base a price? What is it which they give in exchange for the meanest gratifications, and barter for the vilest lusts? What is it which is so forgotten in life, and so neglected in the approach of death? What topic is so difficult to be impressed on the conscience by the ministers of religion? What is so uninteresting, so strange, so forbidding to the hearer? And yet for the redemption of your soul, sinner, all the passion of the gracious Saviour was endured; and from the actual salvation of it his satisfaction is to be derived. Awake, then, to the importance of this subject! Estimate your soul at its true value. Remember for what it was formed, and of what it is
capable. Consider after whose image it was created, and by whose blood redeemed. Judge also from these very circumstances what must be the misery which awaits it, if finally impenitent. Tremble at that hell, to rescue men from which the Son of God was content to leave his glory, and suffer and die. Begin the first duty of a rational and accountable being, the care of the soul. Repent, and believe the Gospel. Approach the once suffering, but now exalted Redeemer, receive his grace, repose your trust on his atonement, devote yourself to his service.
We may notice,
II. The light which this subject reflects on the hope of A PENITENT'S ACCEPTANCE WITH CHRIST. For surely the Saviour will cast out none who come to him. Surely, if he endured such a travail, such anguish of soul and body, a passion so unutterably tremendous, and that for the redemption of sinners, he will never reject any one who sincerely renounces his sins and flies to him. Surely his atonement can reach the case of the worst offender. If he is God as well as man, if his passion was voluntary as well severe, then no extremity of guilt can exceed the merit of his death; then no sinner need despair-His blood cleanseth from all sin.
And if the satisfaction of the Redeemer is described as arising from the sight of the effect of his travail, then assuredly he will welcome and accept the humble and depressed penitent.. The salvation of such penitents is the very joy and delight of our compassionate Master, the spoils of his victory, and the reward of his sufferings.
Need I observe,
III. The illustration which this subject supplies of THE POWERFUL MOTIVE, BY WHICH THE CHRISTIAN IS CONSTRAINED TO OBEY HIS SAVIOUR? What can claim and fix our love and obedience, if such sufferings, voluntarily endured for us, cannot? When shall we make any adequate returns for such woe, sych anguish, such condescension, such love? Where is the heart that has really felt its sins and the extent of its obligation to the travail of the Redeemer's soul, which does not burn to sacrifice every lust at his cross, to devote every power, to employ every exertion, to express every act of gratitude and obedience? Surely being not our own, but bought with a price, we should glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits, which are his.
Lastly I must notice,
IV. The light this subject throws on THE FU
TURE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. For, if the engagement of the Covenant of Redemption expressly be, as we have learned, that our Lord shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied, then we may go forth in the cause of missions and of the Bible with a humble confidence. Our trust is not in an arm of flesh. The sufferings of the Redeemer are the pledge of our success: the word of prophecy is our encouragement; the promise and oath of God our security. We are indeed of ourselves unable to effect a single conversion. We are unworthy to be engaged in such a cause. But our Saviour bids us proceed, and engages to be with us even unto the end of the world. We have little to do or to suffer, compared with what he endured for us; yet he accounts for all our attempts as proofs of our love. Then, shall we not occupy ourselves with that which is his chosen object? Shall we not endeavour to share, so to speak, his satisfaction? Shall not our hearts be filled and elevated with a design which contents and satiates the mind of the Son of God? Yes, blessed Saviour, in thy strength we will go forward. We will approach every accessible part of the globe. We will circulate in all quarters thy sacred Word. We will send the missionary to proclaim thy cross and in doing this we will repose our confidence in thy power and thy