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“6 not in usm." We accordingly do confess this in the Church Service. We all acknowledge, that we have offended against God's holy laws; that we have left undone those things which we ought to have done; that we have done those things which we ought not to have done; thať there is no health in us; that we are miserable offenders. Similar acknowledgments are made in other parts of the Liturgy; and the Scripture hath concluded all men under sin, and represents “ all the “ world as guilty before God”.”
But God has a right to, and his law enjoins, perfect unerring obedience. Every transgression of that law is disobedience to the authority of the lawgiver, and exposes us to the penalty of disobedience. The “ wages of sin is deatho;” “ the soul " that sinneth, it shall die." 66 Cursed “ is every one that continueth not in all “ things that are written in the law to do 66 them." “ The wrath of God is re“ vealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men'.”
• Rom. vi. 23.
1 John i. 8. p Ezek. xviii. 4.
n Rom. iii. 19.
How shall we escape this wrath of God, this curse of the law ?-By repentance and amendment of life?--But why should we think that repentance alone will be sufficient? A man does not pay off the debts which he has contracted in time past, by resolving not to incur fresh debts for the time to come. A person who has been guilty of murder or some other heinous crime, is not cleared by the goodness of his life afterwards; but, by the laws of the land, is at any time liable to be punished for his offence. And each of our manifold transgressions of the divine law renders us guilty in the sight of God, and consequently liable to punishment: . How then shall we be delivered from this state of guilt and liability to punishment? shall we look round for help to any fellow mortal? Alas! “no man may deliver his “ brother, nor make agreement unto God “ for him. It cost more, much more, to “ redeem our souls." Neither could any of the angels effect our deliverance, for even they are not pure in the sight of
1 Rom. i. 18.
• Psalm xlix. 7, 8.
God, but are charged by him with follyt
But, when we could do nothing for ourselves, and were without hope from any other quarter, “ in due time Christ died “ for the ungodly.” It pleased the eternal Son of God himself to redeem us, and for this purpose to take our nature upon him, to endure a life of distress and suffering, and at length, since “ without shed
ding of blood is no remission",” to undergo a shameful and agonizing death upon the cross.
Inasmuch as he was man, he made expiation for the sins of men in the very nature that sinned; and inasmuch as he was God, the sacrifice, the expiation which he offered, was infinite in value, and sufficient for the guilt of the whole world.
This sacrifice of the death of Christ is the leading subject of the holy Scriptures, from one end of them to the other. It was in effect promised to Adam immediately after the fall; was represented by the animal sacrifices of the patriarchal ages
and of the Mosaic dispensation; and was foretold, still with increasing distinctness as the time of its accomplishment drew near, by the holy Prophets. The prophecy of Isaiah in his 53d chapter is particularly remarkable. “Surely he hath “ borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. “ Yet we did esteem him stricken, smit“ ten of God, and afflicted. But, he was “ wounded for our transgressions, he was s bruised for our iniquities ; the chastise“ment of our peace was upon him, and * with his stripes we are healed. All we s like sheep have gone astray, we have “ turned every one to his own way, and “ the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity 66 of us all.
He is brought as a lamb to " the slaughter—for the transgression of
my people was he stricken.” Our blessed Lord himself tells us, that “God
so loved the world, that he gave his * only-begotten Son, that whosoever be“ lieveth in him should not perish, but “ have everlasting lifes.” He speaks of his own “ blood as being shed for many,
* John iii. 16.
" for the remission of sinsy,” and of “his “ flesh being given for the life of the 5 world?.” The discourses and writings of his chosen followers are full of passages to the same purport.
66 Christ hath loved “ us,” says St. Paul, “and hath given “ himself for us, an offering and a sacri“ fice to God, for a sweet-smelling sa“ voura.” Again, “ Christ our passover 66 the Lamb slain from the foundation of " the world";" “ the Lamb of God, that “ taketh away the sins of the world,” is sacrificed for us. 6 He who knew no sin, " was made sin,” or a sin offering, “for “ us, that we might be made the right“eousness of God in him d
“ Christ “ hath redeemed us from the curse of the “ law, being made a curse for use;" " that so he might reconcile us to God by the “ crossf." “ He loved us, and washed “ us from our sins in his own blood 8.' " He gave himself a ransom for all h.”
y Matt. xxvi. 28. * John vi. 51. 1 Cor, v. 7. c John i. 29. e Gal. iii. 13. 'Ephes. ii. 16. Mark x. 45,
Ephes. v. 2. d 2 Cor. v. 21,
. Rev, i, 5,