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which we cannot form a perfect idea at present, and unless the vengeance of a justly offended God should hereafter pour the vials of his wrath upon our guilty heads, we shall never know them. God grant that Christ may have endured them for every one of us. The outward part of his passion was but a faint picture of what he endured, when the chastisement of our peace was laid upon him, and yet of the outward part he might truly say, “ Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass “ by, Behold and see if ever there was any sorrow like “ unto my sorrow,” &c. The shame that ought to cover all our faces he endured; for us the guilty, and shameless in guilt, if by continuing in sin we put him again to an open shame, he was despised and rejected of men; he was mocked, and derided, and spit upon, buffeted and scourged, crowned with thorns and blindfolded, falsely accused, and falsely condemned. Then behold him bearing his cross. When we see him fainting and sinking under the load, and his face and raiment covered with blood, does it not bring to mind what he says of himself in the book of Psalms ? “ The “ ploughers ploughed upon my back and made long “ furrows"-they ploughed up his back with the long and deep wounds of their stripes and scourges; but by these stripes we were healed. Nay, he says more in another Psalm, that he was so wounded from head to foot, there was no whole part in his body: and you cannot doubt of it, if you raise your eyes to the cross, and see the suffering bleeding Lamb of God in the last scene of his passion. And yet this was the least part of his sufferings. “Give me any grief,” says the wise man, “but the grief of the mind, for a wounded spirit “ who can bear? Who indeed can bear a spirit wounded of God ? When Jesus was in the garden, his soul was exceeding sorrowful, was in an agony, even unto death ; but these were only the beginning of sorrows. When he took upon him the iniquities of us all, and almighty justice finding them upon him demanded full satisfaction, and received it to the utter
a cannot lehere was that healed.es and sick with a de
most farthing, then he had a wounded spirit, such as all the men upon earth, no, not all the holy angels in heaven could have sustained for a monient. He bore it for six hours hanging upon the cursed tree, until all · was finished ; then he bowed his head and gave up
the ghost. And thus he was made sin for us, and suffered for our sins, who knew no sin himself, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him: and he became obedient to death, even the death of the cross, and tasted death for every man. He died to save our souls and bodies from the power of death. And he rose again, that we might receive justification to life, that' our souls might arise here from the grave of sin, and that our bodies might in God's good time arise from the grave of death, and both of them, united in a glorified state, might receive eternal life as the free gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. And being thus made perfect through obeying and suffering, through death and resurrection, he became the author of eternal salvation. He wrought out such perfect righteousness to be imputed unto sinners, that he is now able to save them to the uttermost. He has the infinite merit of his obedience to atone for their disobedience. He has the infinite merit of his sufferings to free them from suffering. He died, to save them from the first and the second death. He rose again, that they might rise to a newness of life here in grace, and to life everlasting in glory. And he is now the one Mediator between God and man, able and willing to plead the fulness of his merits for the acceptance of every sinner, who comes unto God the Father through him. From
Hence it follows, That Jesus Christ is the foundation of our acceptance. If God the Father ever receive us as just and righteous, it must be in the perfect righteousness of his Son. We must be accepted in the Beloved ; in whom the Father was well pleased, and through whom he will be well pleased, with us. The passages before cited clearly prove, that this is the
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doctrine of all scripture. The Psalmist has given us the sentiments of the Old Testament worthies—“I will “ go in the strength of the Lord God—I will make “ mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.”. And God forbid that we, under the New Testament, should make mention of any other. Shall we go about to establish our own righteousness in opposition to the righteousness of God ? Or shall we, under the guilt of original and actual sin, think of working out any righteousness for which we shall be accepted in part or altogether? If we could, then Christ obeyed and suffered in vain. If we could attain saving knowledge by the light of nature, and could act agreeably to it by the law of nature, then of what use would be the light and law of the gospel ? But nature has no light, it is dark and blind in the things of God, and what can its law be, that is discovered by a dark and blind nature, but darkness and blindness ? Nay, it is something worse. If fallen nature has any law, it is the law of the members, which warreth against the law of God, and bringeth a man into captivity to the law of sin. This is the only law of nature to be met with in the word of God: for nature is fallen and corrupt; it is depraved in the will and affections, as well as ignorant in the understanding. It is always inclined and prone to evil ; “ for the flesh" (which stands in scripture for the fallen depraved affections of the natural man) “ lusteth al“ ways against the spirit, and the spirit against the “ flesh, and these two are contrary the one to the “ other”—the will of the natural man is always contrary to the will of God; from hence it follows, that. what is called the religion of nature, is contrary to the religion of God: because nature used with religion confines it to man's nature, no other nature being concerned in the question; and man's nature is fallen and corrupt, sinful in the fountain, and sinful in the streams, and what then can the religion be, which this nature is able to discover and to practise ? Certainly it must be a blind and corrupt religion. Jesus Christ makes no
part of it. He is not the foundation upon which it stands. The finest system of the religion of nature that ever was delineated builds nothing upon him, and since there is no other foundation but 'him, consequently it stands upon nothing. And if the heart was not corrupt as well as blind, it would be unaccountable what should tempt men with the pure word of God in their hands, which is able to make . them wise unto salvation, to neglect it, and to write, and read, and study those antichristian systems, which can teach no wisdom, but what is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Men and brethren, be not offended; it behoves me to use great plainness of speech. If I was to speak smooth things, and to give flattering titles to the religion of nature, I should not be the servant of Christ; for this religion was set up, and has been used to hurt his interest, and when we see it has succeeded, surely it is high time for those servants, who love their master's praise more than the praise of men, to set themselves strenuously against it. Happy will it be for this place, if the noble company of his servants should increase, until the religion of nature has not one admirer left. Jesus Christ will be exalted among you in proportion as the religion of nature falls in esteem : and he has promised,them that honour me, I will “ honour.” Honour Jesus Christ, and exalt him above all, and then his highest honours shall descend upon this university, and he will make her very enemies to be at peace with her. Oh for that happy day, when the honour that is of God shall be sought after as the crown and reward of all your studies. And why need we doubt it? We have an earnest before our eyes. Do we not see the religion of nature losing its interest every day ? Do not men begin to be afraid of trusting the vast concerns of eternity upon it ? And have they not good reason? For has it not appeared, from what has been said, that its first principles are antichristian ? They suppose man's natural faculties to be able to in.
vestigate the things of God-Scripture absolutely denies it. They suppose he has will and power to act agreeably to the will of God-Scripture absolutely denies that he has either will or power. They suppose that, by practising the duties of natural religion, you may altogether or in part render yourselves acceptable to God-Scripture absolutely denies this, declaring that there is no other foundation of acceptance but Jesus Christ. And besides, the religion of nature manifestly tends to rob the God of our salvation of his glory, and to lessen the merits of his righteousness, as much as scripture tends to exalt both. And both are exalted, wherever the scripture is received pure and unmixed with human systems; and we have melan- : choly experience of the contempt offered to both, wherever the religion of nature is embraced. The doctrine of the ever-blessed Trinity, on which all scripture stands, makes no part of this religion. So that the religion of the Bible and the religion of nature have different objects of worship. The Christian worships one God in trinity, and trinity in unity; but this is rank idolatry with the natural man, who adores one supreme being, a metaphysical divinity, existing in one person, with certain imaginary attributes, such as infinitely extended, filling all space, &c.—Hence he explodes the divinity of Jesus Christ.-Hence he despises the authority of his laws. Hence that dissoluteness of morals throughout the kingdom, which all men see, and even the professors of natural religion confess. Would to God they were convinced, what a great share they have in it, and how much of it they have to answer for. It would be for their present and eternal peace, if, instead of maintaining and teaching this unscriptural religion, which is the sink of heresy and corruption, they would join their hearts and hands in exalting the religion of Jesus Christ, and his infallible word, wherein that religion is contained, and in labouring to bring the lives as well as the opinions of men into obedience to it. How highly it is incumbent