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being peremptory on this point, I would remark, that some such idea seems to be countenanced by various expressions of scripture. We read "of the travail of his soul," and of his "soul being made an offering for sin: it is said, that "it pleased the Lord to bruise” him, and "put him to grief;" and that "he was made a curse for us ;" expressions which, though involved in awful obscurity, seem naturally descriptive, not only of sufferings the most dreadful, but of sufferings proceeding apparently from the direct infliction of a divine hand.

On the whole, then, enough has been said to prove that the bodily tortures of the Saviour, excruciating though they were, formed only a small fraction of his sufferings that the sufferings of his soul constituted, as it has been expressed, "the soul of his sufferings;" and that his sufferings were such as none but God could inflict, and none but the Son of God sustain.

Were these sufferings, then, absolutely infinite ? We may be allowed thus to speak of them, if we use the term in a lax and popular sense; but as it is not applied to them in scripture, and as a nature which was created and finite, must be limited in its capacities of endurance, as well as in its capacities of action, it seems better to speak of them as unutterably great, as inconceivably dreadful.

If the question were put, why is not ampler, or why is not complete information furnished respecting the nature or degree of those sufferings, it might be replied, that to have given complete information would probably have been impracticable, even if it had not been inexpedient; and inexpedient, if it had not been impracticable. It is probable that the agonies endured by the Son of God in the garden, and on the cross, like the pangs of the lost in the pit of perdition, could not have

been fully apprehended by us, even if they had been fully described; but it is probable also, that the intimations given of them in the sacred writings are intentionally obscure that much about them is purposely concealed: for that obscurity and reserve render them the more, not the less, fit to strike and impress our dull and sluggish spirits.

When we attempt to penetrate the Saviour's agonies, we thus feel ourselves in circumstances somewhat similar to those of the patriarch Abraham, when a "horror of great darkness fell upon him." We enter, We enter, as it were, into a region of gloom and horror: the further w advance the more terrific becomes the darkness; and after having proceeded as far as we can go, we feel that shades of thicker darkness, that horrors still more horrific, stretch beyond in measureless extent.

Reserving till afterwards the consideration of the practical lessons suggested by this subject, let me conclude at present by reminding you of the nature and design of the Saviour's sufferings. "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed." "He loved us, and gave himself for us." "He gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity." I ask you, then, whether, renouncing all self-dependence, and viewing the death of Christ as a true and proper sacrifice and satisfaction, you rely humbly on it for pardon and salvation. And I ask you further, whether you have applied to him for deliverance from the dominion, as well as from the punishment, of sin. If you have, and if, under the constraining influence of this love, you live habitually in dependence on his grace, and in subjection to his authority, you ought to come to his table, and to come to it with humble confidence and grateful joy, that you may there



commemorate his dying love. But if such be not your character and sentiments, you have no right to that holy ordinance. If such sufferings were inflicted on the innocent representative of sinners, what will be the punishment of sinners themselves, who refuse to repent? "Let a man examine himself then, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup." The Lord accompany what has been said with his blessing, and to his name be all the praise. Amen.



HEBREWS Vi. 11.—And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence, to the full assurance of hope unto the end.

You will probably recollect, my friends, that a few years ago, I delivered to you a discourse on what is called "the full assurance of faith;" that is, the assurance of our personal salvation. I had then occasion to remark that, in the strict and philosophical sense of the term, assurance implies a full and unmingled conviction, it excludes all doubt, and does not admit of degrees. But the term is often employed in a popular and inferior acceptation, not as excluding every particle of doubt, but as expressing a high degree of hope or confidence; such a persuasion as exerts a powerful and controlling influence over the feelings and the conduct. It is in that lax or popular sense that the term is employed when we speak of the assurance which it is supposed the christian may obtain of his personal salvation. To call that assurance the "full assurance of hope" rather than the "full assurance of

This sermon, though imperfect, is inserted, not only from the interesting nature of the subject, but from its having been the last sermon the author delivered.

faith," would therefore be more accurate; and it would also be more in accordance with the language of scripture; for in the only instance in which the scripture mentions the "full assurance of faith," the expression refers, not to the assurance of personal salvation, but to a firm belief of the vital truths of the gospel, those in particular which relate to the person and offices of Christ. On the occasion alluded to, I took the expression in the sense in which it is now generally employed, that is, as referring to the knowledge which it is supposed a christian may obtain of his gracious state, and his glorious destiny; and I showed that the substance of what the scriptures teach on the subject may be comprised in three propositions, which I endeavoured to prove and illustrate. First, assurance is not absolutely essential to the character of a saint or a christian-in other words, a man may be in a state of grace and salvation without certainly knowing it; secondly, assurance is attainable; and thirdly, it is highly desirable. Such seems to be the amount of what the scriptures teach on that interesting topic. Assurance is not essential; it is, however, attainable; it is exceedingly valuable and desirable, and it ought therefore to be the object of our strenuous and constant pursuit.


With regard to that assurance, there is one thing which must strike the attentive reader of the New Testament, and that is, that it would seem to have been a far more common attainment in the apostolic than it is in our times. Attend to the terms used by the apostle Paul, when he has occasion to advert to his own state and prospects, and you will find that he generally employs the language of unhesitating certainty, of triumphant confidence:-"I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against

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