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" accepted in the Beloved.” Here are the firm, sure, and unalterable purposes of God, in his trinity of persons confirmed. So God the Father is represented in Scripture, proclaiming : “I have said, mercy shall be built up for ever.” How? It is added: “I have made a covenant with my chosen !" (Ps. lxxxix. 2, 3.) And hence, Christ is elsewhere said "to have been justified in the Spirit!” (1 Timothy iii. 16.). Oh! the blessedness and safety of the redeemed of the Lord ! · So much upon the present occasion may suffice, on the first branch of our discourse the infinite greatness of Christ's person. We shall now be better prepared, under divine teaching, to enter upon the second point proposed, namely, to behold him in our nature personating his church, and people, bearing our sins, when under the vast pressure which no created power could have sustained, the Lord of life and glory uttered the dolorous cry: “While I suffer thy terrors, I am distracted!"
And here the subject of this divine appointment opens before us in all its endearing characters, in that we are taught it was our nature which wrought out the salvation of the Lord's people, upheld and made effectual by the indwelling GODHEAD. And there is this manifested wisdom evidently made to appear in it. For as the nature of inạn had sinned, that nature should obey. The law of God allowed a change of persons, but not a change of nature. Man had incurred punishment. Man shall sustain it. An angel could not have made a suitable reparation; but it must be the same nature which had broken down the fence of the divine law that shall be “the Repairer of the breach, the Restorer of the paths to dwell in.” (Isaiah lviii. 12.) Moreover, as the great enemy of souls had triumphed over our nature, by this divine process, that same nature shall triumph over hell; and thus the worm
Jacob. is made to thresh the mountains, and beat them small as chaff.” (Isaiah xli.) Oh! the blessedness of that victory which the church in her Almighty Head obtained over the accursed foe of God and man, when our most glorious Christ “blotted out the handwriting of ordinances which was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Coloss. ii. 14, 15.)
But how shall we acquire faculties for the apprehension of Christ's personal sufferings in the accomplishment ? Certain it is from the Scripture statement, that all, and every part, summed up, in the judgment passed upon our first parents at the fall, were included in the punishment sustained by Christ, both in body, mind, and spirit. He said himself: “ The sorrows of hell compassed him about; the snares of death prevented him.” (Ps. xviii. 5.). But what those sorrows of hell were is impossible to be conceived. That the whole human nature of Christ was compassed with them is fully stated in various parts of Scripture. He is said to have “ made his soul an offering for sin.” (Isaiah liji. 10.) In another Scripture he is said to have satisfied his church" through the offering of his body once for all.” (Heb. x. 14.) And that he yielded up his Spirit to God, in the act of dying, is as truly certified, when on the cross he said: “Father! into thy hands I commend my Spirit!" (Luke xxiii. 46.) All which proves that the whole human nature of Christ was exercised in those sufferings. But to what extent, to what awful length, those sufferings reached-here we cannot advance a step to explore. That he drank “ the cup of trembling even to the dregs, is declared, and wrung them all out.” Hence the cry in the text: “While I suffer thy terrors, I am distracted.” We can add nothing to these views.
We can form no adequate conception of them. Here therefore we pause, to ponder the marvellous subject for we can go no farther. Here we behold the tremendous effects of sin! And here only our deliverance!
Let us not dismiss the subject until that we have looked up again for grace to make the suitable improvements from it. How infinitely momentous must be salvation which could only be accomplished by means so wonderful! How important must it be to know that we have a personal interest in it! And how clearly, from such views, is the apostle's statement answered of the impossibility for any to escape
who neglect so great salvation !” Precious Lord Jésus! give to the souls of thine that are before thee true, scriptural, spiritual apprehensions, in the knowledge of thy person, and of our interest in thy finished salvation! While we hear the relation of thine unparalleled sorrows, give us to see our fellowship in them. While with the ear of faith we hear thee
say, “ While I suffer thy terrors, I am distracted;" may the Holy Ghost realize in our hearts our right in thy suretyship redemption ; and to know that by “thy stripes we are healed.” And while we behold Thee having drunk the cup of trembling even to the dregs; and behold the whole curse pronounced at the fall drained all dry; give unto us, Lord, to take “ the cup of salvation and call upon the Name of the Lord !” “ Now the God of peace sanctify us wholly; that our whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!” Amen.