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the atonement was made, the ruler, however benevolently inclined, could not pardon him consistently with his own character, the honour of his government, or the public good. After it is made, he can pardon bim, in consistency with them all; and, if the offender discover a penitent and becoming disposition, undoubtedly will, if he be a benevolent ruler.

From these observations it is manifest, that the atonement of Christ in no sense makes it necessary that God should accept the sinner on the ground of justice, but only renders his forgiveness not inconsistent with the divine character. Before the atonement, he could not have been forgiven ; after the atonement, this impossibility ceases. The sinner can now be forgiven, notwithstanding the turpitude of his character, and the greatness of his offences. But forgiveness is an act of grace only; and to the same grace must the penitent be indebted for all the future blessings connected with forgiveness.

I have now considered all the objections against the doctrine of the atonement, which I consider as claiming an an. swer; and shall therefore proceed, as I proposed at the commencement of this Discourse, to make some practical remarks, arising from the preceding observations, on this important subject.

REMARKS.

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From these observations it is evident,

1. That those who trust in the expiation of Christ will certainly inherit the favour of God.

In the text it is said, that God 'set forth Christ as a propitiation for sin, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness; that he may be just, when justifying him that believeth in Jesus. The end for which Christ was set forth as a propitiation, is, that God, consistently with justice, may justify those who believe in Christ. The peculiar and essential nature of the faith of such as believe in Jesus is, in one important particular, exactly defined also in the text, when it is styled ' faith in his blood :' the faith through which alone he is exhibited in the text as becoming a propitiation to men. This faith, or as I shall take tho liberty to call it, trust or confi

dence, (for such I hope hereafter to show it to be) is not, indeed, nor is it bere asserted to be, faith in the atonement only; but it is faith in the atonement pre-eminently. We are required to believe in the whole character and in all the offices of Christ; but we are required, peculiarly, to believe in him as the great propitiatory sacrifice for sin. Every one who is the subject of this faith, the real and only means by which we become interested in this propitiation, is amply exhibited in the text as entitled to justification.

That every such believer will certainly inherit the favour of God cannot be rationally doubted. While he was yet a sinner, condemned and ruined, God, moved by his infinite benevolence, sent into this world his beloved Son, to become incarnate, to become a subject of his law and a substitute for mankind, to lead a life of humiliation, and to die the accursed death of the cross, that he might redeem such sinners from the curse of the law, from a guilty character and the endless miseries of devouring fire. The condition proposed by himself, on which we become entitled to the blessings of this redemption, are all summed up in this single phrase, ' faith in Christ,' and pre-eminently in his atonement. This condition the believer has performed ; and is, therefore, entitled to these blessings. His title is secured to him by the covenant of redemption, by the immutable promise of God to him, by the glory and excellency of Christ's mediation, and by that amazing and immense purpose of infinito love, which proposed and accomplished all the parts of this wonderful work. Who can doubt for a moment, that he who proposed, he who accomplished, this astonishing design, will go on to accomplish every thing which it draws in its train? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not, with him also, freely give us all things ?' Can any thing be too dear to be given to those for whom Christ was given? Can any thing be too great to be expected by those who are vnited to the Son of God, as 'members of his body, of his Alesh, and of his bones;' who are become his seed' in the everlasting covenant; and to whom, unasked, he has from his own overflowing goodness given the glory, which he had with the Father before ever the world was?'

Let every believer, then, be completely assured that his cause is safe in the hands of God. He has chosen the good

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part,' and it shall never be taken from him.' He who has begun to befriend him in this infinite concern, will · leave him nor forsake him.' • All the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. Though he fall, yet shall he rise again; and his mercy God will not utterly take from him.' In the seed sown in his heart' there is a blessing,' the beginning of immortal life. Cold and wintry as is the climate beneath which it has sprung, unkind and barren as is the soil in which it grows, doubtful and fading as we often see its progress, it cannot die. The hand that planted it will cultivate it with unceasing care, and will speedily remove it to a happier region, where it will flourish, and blossom, and bear fruit for

• I am persuaded,' says St. Paul, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, 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.'

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2. It is equally evident, that those who reject the atonement of Christ are without any hope of the divine favour.

The favour of God is proffered to the inhabitants of this world through Christ alone ; and those only are promised an interest in it who cordially believe in him, as the expiation of sin. Had there been any other condition upon which this glorious blessing could be communicated, the same benevolence which planned and accomplished our redemption would undoubtedly have communicated it to us. No such communication has, however been made. On the contrary, it is often declared in the most explicit language, that he who believeth not shall be dainped.'

Even if the Scriptures had been silent, and no such awful declarations had been found in them, the nature of the subject holds out the strongest discouragement to every presumption of this kind. After such amazing efforts made on the part of God to bring mankind back from a state of rebellion, and to restore them to virtue and happiness, it cannot but be believed, that their obstinate continuance in sin must be regarded by him with supreme abhorrence. His law condemned them for their original apostasy to final ruin. To the guilt of this apostasy, unatoned, unrepented of, and therefore remaining in all its enormity, they in this case add the peculiar guilt of rejecting the singular, the eminently divine goodness of God manifested in this wonderful provision for their recovery. In what manner they could more contemptuously despise the divine character, in what manner they could more insolently affront the divine mercy, it is beyond my power to conceive. No other offer can be so kind, no other blessing so great, no other display of the divine character of which we can form a conception, so lovely. The ingratitude, therefore, is wonderful, the insolence amazing, the guilt incomprehensible! If,' then,

the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall these unbelieving, ungodly sinners appear?' If it be' a fearful thing' for all men, for heathen and for Mohammedans, ' to fall into the hands of the living God,' what must it be for these men, to whom Christ is offered freely, daily, and alway; who sit, from the cradle to the grave, under the noon-day light of the Gospel, and bask through life in the beams of the Sun of righteousness?

Whence do these persons derive their hope? From their character ? That could not save them under the law. It is the very guilt for which they are condemned. From their repentance? They exerciso none. Even if they did, it could never be accepted. A perfect repentance, as has been heretofore proved, cannot become an expiation for sin. But such repentance was never exhibited by men. Their repentance is not even a sorrow for sin. On the contrary, it is the mere dread of danger, a mere terrified expectation of punishment. Who, however abandoned, does not at times experience such repentance as this? Whoever dreamed that the dread of death ought to excuse the felon from the gibbet?

Let every unbeliever, then, tremble at the approach of the judgment. Let him no longer say to himself, · Peace, peace; when sudden destruction is coming upon him.' Let him ' turn to the strong hold,' while he is yet a ' prisoner of hope.' • Let him turn to the Lord with all the heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth, if he will turn, and repent, and leave a blessing behind him?'

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3. It is evident from the observations made in these Discourses that mankind are infinitely indebted to Christ for expiating their sins.

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Christ by his atonement has redeemed mankind from under the curse of the law. The sufferings to which they were doomed by this curse were endless sufferings. Without an expiation, a deliverance from these sufferings was impossible. Equally impossible was it for any other person beside Christ to make an expiation. From mere compassion to our ruined world he undertook the arduous labour of delivering us from these stupendous sufferings, and accomplished it at the expense of his own blood. Infinitely rich, for our sakes he became poor, that we through him might become rich. For him we had done nothing, and were disposed to do nothing. For us, influenced by his own overflowing goodness, he did all things. He taught us as our prophet, 'all things pertaining to life and godliness.' He lived before us as our example ; he died for us, as our propitiation ; he rose from the dead, as the earnest of our resurrection to endless life. He entered heaven, as our forerunner; he assumed the throne of the universe, as our ruler, protector, and benefactor At the end of the world he will appear as our judge and rewarder; and will conduct to the mansions of eternal life all those who have cordially accepted of his mediation; and will there, throughout interminable ages, ' feed them with living bread, and lead them to fountains of living waters.' To the obligations conferred by such a benefactor what limits can be set? Our deliverance from sin and sorrow is a boundless good ; our introduction to endless virtue and happiness is a boundless good. But of all this good the atonement of Christ is the foundation, the procuring cause, the commencement, and the security. thy is the Lamb, that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.' Such is the everlasting song, to which the ‘ four living creatures' in the Heavens subjoin their unceasing. Amen.'

With this glorious subject in our view, can we fail to be astonished at the manner in which the Saviour of the world is treated by multitudes of those whom he came to redeem? By what multitudes is he regarded with cold-hearted unbelief, and stupid indifference! By what multitudes, with open opposition and avowed hostility! By what multitudes, with shameless contempt, insolent sneers, and impudent ridicule! How often is his glorious name profaned and blasphemed by those whom he died to save from endless perdition! How many miserable

VOL. II.

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