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lineaments of moral evil, and displays more of its demerit than the most profound contemplation of the law, of the purity of its precepts, or the terror of its sanctions, could have conveyed to any finite mind. In reference, therefore, to the doctrine of the sacrifice of Christ, we may say, with triumphant confidence, what the apostle says in reference to the collateral doctrine of justification by faith, "Do we make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law."
Those persons, then, know nothing at all of the death of Christ-they are utterly ignorant of its nature and lesign,—who take encouragement from it to "continue in sin," or who are not propelled by it to a course of active obedience. He died for us, that, "whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” "He was manifested to take away our sins, and in him is no sin." "He died for all, that they who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again."
V. In illustration of this subject, I may remark in the fifth and last place, that in the death and sacrifice of Christ his followers have a most instructive and animating example of obedience, which it becomes them daily to study and imitate. Not that they are to aim at the literal imitation of his sacrifice by attempting to make atonement either for their own sins, or the sins of others. They have not, like Him, the independent disposal of their own life; and are not at liberty to lay it down except by the injunction or permission of him who gave it. Besides, by his one offering Jesus Christ has perfected for ever them that are sanctified and therefore, to attempt the literal imitation of his sacrifice would be, not to improve, but to counteract and nullify it. But in giving himself for us, he displayed an unquenchable zeal for the
divine glory, a profound submission to the divine will, and immeasureable love and compassion for the souls of men. He displayed further unconquerable fortitude, unparalleled patience, inexhaustible meekness and tenderness, and many other virtues; and all these virtues it becomes his disciples daily to contemplate and imitate.
But further, the obedience which the Son of God rendered to the precepts of the law during his life, as well as the sufferings which he endured at his death, constituted part of the satisfaction made by him to divine justice for human transgression; and therefore, in considering the connexion between his mediation and sacrifice on the one hand, and our sanctification on the other, we may fitly advert to his whole conduct while he sojourned upon earth. Now, it was one great object of his life to set us an example; and as he was the only partaker of human nature whose conduct is stained by no sin or imperfection, whose character exhibited a perfect exemplar of moral excellence, his pattern is the only one that we can follow entirely without any danger of being led astray. His example is the more suitable that he was pleased to descend to our circumstances, to expose himself to those temptations and afflictions with which we have to struggle, and to travel through life by that road of hardship and suffering marked out for the majority of his disciples. What renders his example still more valuable, and imparts to it all the excellence that any pattern can possess, is, that it is inexpressibly interesting and attractive; for it is the example of our best friend, our most generous benefactor,-a friend and benefactor who has done and borne such things for us, that, compared with Him, all other friends and benefactors lose their claim to those endearing appellations.
288 CONNEXION OF SANCTIFICATION WITH ATONEMENT.
Thus, then, it appears, that while Jesus Christ procured by his atoning death the right and the power to rescue men from the bondage of Satan, and to dispense the sanctifying influences of the Spirit, and while thus his sacrifice is the meritorious and procuring cause of our sanctification; and while, further, his death removes those moral impediments which our guilt interposed, to prevent love and obedience toward God, and furnishes the most powerful motives to holiness, his life and death constitute the grand model of sanctification. He is the great pattern of moral excellence to all believers; for they are "all predestinated to be conformed to the image of the Son of God, that he might be the first-born among many brethren."
Let us, then, incessantly study, and eagerly imitate, the virtues which are embodied in his character, and exhibited in his conduct. "For even hereunto are ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow his steps :" "who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again: when he suffered, he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness." Let us, taught by "the grace of God," manifested in Christ giving himself for us," deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world." And "forasmuch as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, let us arm ourselves with the same mind, that we no longer live the rest of our time in the flesh, to the lusts of men, but to the will of God." Being "bought with a price," let us glorify Him in our body and in our spirit, which are His.
ON THE PERPETUITY OF MIRACULOUS GIFTS IN THE
1 CORINTHIANS xiii. 8.-Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
In the New Testament we are taught most expressly to regard the Holy Spirit as the author not only of those purifying operations necessary to the sanctification of believers in every age, but also of those miraculous gifts and endowments conferred so copiously on the apostles, and on many of the primitive christians. "To one was given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit ; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues; but all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." In opposition to the commonly received opinion, that miraculous gifts were meant to be temporary, it has lately been maintained that they were intended to continue with the church in every successive age, and that
nothing but a culpable want or weakness of faith has occasioned the suspension of them; and not only so, it has been confidently asserted farther, that they have actually been revived in our own days.
That miracles may probably be restored in some extraordinary emergency in the future history of the church, is an opinion which has been entertained by many writers eminent for sobriety of judgment, and for the general soundness and correctness of their views. This opinion must not be confounded with that already mentioned, and which has been but recently broached. According to the one, miracles are regarded as rare and occasional events, adapted to some unusual crisis in the history of the church; according to the other, they form a part of her permanent dowry. According to the one, they are withheld in sovereign wisdom, not for any culpable deficiency on the part of christians; according to the other, their cessation is owing entirely to the want or the weakness of faith in the church, and their restoration may be expected as soon as their faith shall be sufficiently strong to render that restoration proper and expedient. It is the latter of these opinions chiefly that I propose to examine at present; but in doing this, I shall unavoidably be led to offer a few observations on the former.
I flatter myself, brethren, that it is almost superfluous to premise an apology for selecting this as a subject of public discussion. The vital doctrines of the gospel, and the "weightier matters of the law," ought unquestionably to form the ordinary topics of our ministry; but our spiritual taste must be grievously distempered if there be any subject in reference to which the question, What saith the scriptures respecting it? can be regarded with antipathy or indifference.