Imatges de pÓgina

his public ministry, than the people who heard him were astonished at his doctrine ; as they perceived that, “he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." At another time, “All lore him witness and wondered at the gracious words, which proceeded from his lips.” “Even the officers who were sent to take him acknowledged, Nerer man spake like this man." And they certainly spoke the truth; for the greatest among the prophets could only say to the people, "Thus saith the Lord," but Christ could say, Verily, verily, I say unto you.

4. Christ must be set forth, not only as teaching the people while here upon earth, but the necessity of his spiritually teaching us now, must be insisted upon; as it is written in theprophets, " And they shall all be taught of God," or as our Lord hath said, “ He who hath heard and learned of the Father, cometh unto me.' Such is the blindness of the human heart, that none can enlighten it, but God himself; therefore he who in the beginning commanded light to shine out of darkness, must shine by the bright beams of his Spirit, into our hearts, or we shall never be made wise unto salvation. Nicodenius was not a little surprised, when our Lord said, “ Except ye be born again, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of God:” And many at this day, are as much surprised, to hear the necessity of divine illumination insisted upon, and are ready to say, “ How can these things be?" One might suppose that such persons had never read the vords of St. Paul, “ The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, they are foolishness unto bim, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." If the natural or unenlightened man cannot know the things of God, for this plain reason, because they are spiritually discerned; and if it is absolutely necessary to salvation, that we should know, and be ac. quainted with the things of God, it must follow, that every one should be taught of God, or divinely illuminated. ff it be asked, "How can these things be ? The answer is easy; our blessed Lord before he left this world, gave his disciples this promise : « And lo, I am with you always, even onto the end." I will be with

in the

and demonstration of my Spirit, and not only with you, but with all your successors till time shall be no more. Thus 'he sent St. Paul to the Gentiles, open

their turn them from darkness to light,” &c. But he could not do this of himself, he could only preach the gospel to their outward ears, and while he did this, the Holy Spirit applied

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eyes, and

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the word with power to their hearts, and they were divinely illuminated, and made wise unto salvation. Thus it is at this day; for as the same veil is still upon the hearts of me!), and as none can take it away but God, it semains an undeniable truch, that every man living njust be taught by himn., This is generally done while a person is attending upon a Jively heart-searching ministry ; Divine light shines into bis mind, and he sees that bis state is just what the Scriptures bear witness concerning it. That he is fallen from God, defiled with sin, and is therefore an object of his displeasure. Being guilty he sees the necessity of obtaining redemption in the blood of Christ, and being defiled with sin, he sees the necessity of experiencing divine grace, that he

may newed in righteousness and true holiness.

By this means be vot only gains the knowledge of his disease, but of the cure also. He sees that the Lord hatli laid help npoa one that is mighty to save, and strong to deliver. That Jesus ha!h pardon and peace, redemption and salvation to bestow upon all who feel their want of him : And when he is possessed of these inestimable blessings, our Lord will still act towards him in bis prophetic character. If be retains that simplicity of mind, that earnest desire to be wholly devoted to God which he enjoyed when he was first brought joto glorious liberty ; then he will be led into every necessary truth, and to know the whole will of God, so far as it concerns his present and eternal salvation ; for as divine light will shine upon his mind in reading and hearing the word of God, so he will also be taught many useful lessons, more iminediately by the Holy Spirit : New ideas which he never received from any man, nor read in any book, will spring up in his mind, and he will be made more deeply acquainted with the things of God.

As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." This Spirit will unfold the whole mystery of redemption to him, and especially it will lead him to look for the accomplishment of all the promises of God, and that all liis gracious designs may be fulfilled in hiin.

Those who neglect the word of God, thinking they must be wholly led by the Spirit, are certainly as far wrong on the one hand as they are on the other, who see' no necessity of being led by the Spirit, because God hath revealed bis will in us in his word : For as we cannot try the spirits, as the Apostle directs 115, but by the word, so on the other hand, sve can only understand the word by the assistance of the Spirit ; and every faithfulininister of Christ will find while

bearing a faithful testimony for his master, that netv light will frequently flow in upon his mind, so that he will not only see increasing beauty in divine truth, but will be enabled to explain and enfo:ce it in such wise, as he could not bave done by any wisdom or power of his own.

5. Christ our Redeemer was also anointed as our great High Priest; as it is written, “ Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec.” And as the Jewish High Priest offered up sacrifices and burnt-offerings for the sins of the people ; so our blessed Redeemer oftered up himself a spotless sacrifice for the sins of the whole world : For it pleased God to lay upon him the iriquity of us all, and by the shedding of his blood he hath obtained both present and eternal redemption for us. He then who would faithfully preach Christ, must set him forth as a propitiation for sin, that through faith in his name, all our sins may be freely and fully pardoned : And must strongly insist upon the absolute necessity of every one being brought to enjoy a clear sense of the paruoning love of God in bis own soul. He who rests short of this, rests short of gospel salvation, and is not savingly acquainted with Christ. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection," saith the Apostle. But what does that man know of the power of Christ's resurrection, who is not raised from the death of sin, to a life of righteousness by bim? We are exhorted to give all diligence to make our calling and election sure.' But how can this be made sure, till we are blest with a clear mani. festation of the love of God in Christ Jesus to our own souls ? This is the lowest degree of the gospel of salvation, and a man can neither be in a safe, nor in a happy state till be enjoy it. Let Christ be preached and redemption through his blood, that every poor sinner may fly for refuge to the only hope set before him in the gospel.

Christ our High Priest hath entered into the holy place not made with bands, eternal in tbe heavens, where he appears in the presence of God, making intercession for us. As the Jewish High Priest on the great day of atonement, took the blood of the sin-offering in a bason, and entered into the holiest of all, and there sprinkled the blood upon the mercy-seat, and made intercesion for the thousands of Israel, who were praying without: So our divine Saviour, having finished the work of redemption, by the sbedding of bis blood once for all, entered into the highest heavens, there to appear as our Advocate with God. Hence, “he is able to save to the uttermost all who come un!o God by him,

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seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." How strongly does the Apostle reason upon this head in these truely comfortable words : “ If when we were enemies, ne were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, low much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.". If when we lived in rebellion against God, such was his inercy and love towards us, that be brought is into his favour and family, by Jesus Christ, bis beloved Son ; how much more abundarit rea: on have we to believe, that being now in this happy state, we shall be wholiy sanctified, and eternally saved by his life of intercession for us at the Father's rightband!' The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous inani availeth much, but how much more abundantly, the prayers of the everlasting Son of God ! . Here then we may have strong consolation who are savingly acquainted with him, and interested in all that he bath done aid suffered ; as well as in all that he is now doing, at the right-hand of God. How ought the consideration of this, to increase our faith, to raise qur expectation, and to fill us with the most lively hopes of receiving at the hand of our heavenly Father, every blessing purchased for us, by the blood of his well beloved Son. He who is favoured with clear views of the gracious designs of God, may well rejoice in hope, seeing that every promise was made with no other design, but to be fulfilled, and is yea and amen in Christ Jefus, and the Holy Spirit is ever ready to witness the same, to every believing mind.

The Apostle informs us that the Mofaic law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope, by the glorious gospel, did; for although the way into the holiest, was not made manifest while the first tabernacle was standing, yet now, we may

have boldness to enter into the holiest of all by the blood of Jesus, by thát new and living way which he hath confecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, his flesh ; and having a. High Prielt over the house of God, let us diraw near, with a true heart, in full assu'ance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” It is easy to observe, that the Apostle alludes to the vail in the Jewish Temple, which 1 parated between the holy place, and the holiest of al!. This was made of the strongest iapestry, and when our blessed Lord expired upon the cross, it was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, so that the most holy place, and all the sacred things which it contained, were expofed to public view; and the way into it laid open: So now by the death of Christ our Redeemer, life and immortality are fully brought to light, and the way into the highest, holiest state of grace clearly revealed. Hence faith the Apostle, “Christ loved the chuich and gave himself for it, that he might fanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.” But notwithstanding these words are so remark. ably clear and expressive : many still doubt whether it is possible, for any one to be wholly sanctified while in this world. Let us therefore consider this important subjecta little farther. The work of creation is in a peculiar manner ascribed to God the Father, and all men will readily allow, that his work is perfect, in the highest degree : and the more minutely it is examined, the more perfect it will

ill appear. The work of redempjon is ascribed to God the Son, and every-one is obliged to confess, that his work is perfect: To entertain a doubt concerning this, would be to undermine the foundation of all our hopes, whether of present or eternal salvation : We most sacredly believe, tliat" he inade by his one oblation of himself once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world;" so that his work is also perfect in the highest degree. The work of sanctification is in a p culiar manner ascribed to God the Holy Ghost : but bere alas, if wegiie credit to inost commentators, we have nothing that looks toward perfection, but they dwindle the work of the Spirit of God upon the mind, almost to nothing. But what good reason can be giren for this? It cannot possibly be either for want of ability, or for want of love to the souls of men, that his work must always remain in such an imperfect state. We learn from the sacred scriptures, that God the Father so lored the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, buz bave everlasting life. In this wonderful transaction, the love of onr heavenly Father is so fully manifested, that we cannot possibly doubt of his willingness to save all those who cry to him for mercy. And we are sure, that God the Son so loved us, that he not only came down from heaven to seek and to save us, but he shed the last drop of his precious blood, to redeem us from the bondage of sin and corruption, to procure present and eternal redemption for us ; so that it would be strange indeed, for any one who ackuowledges this, to suppose that notwithstanding all that he bath done, and suffered; he is unwilling to impart the benefits of his death,

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