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“ He hath redeemed us to God by his 66 blood':' for 'we were not redeemed with “ corruptible things, as silver and gold, “ but with the precious blood of Christ, 56 who was fore-ordained before the found“ation of the world." Both in the Epistle to the Ephesians, and in that to the Colossians, St. Paul says, in nearly the same words, “in whom we have re
demption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins!.”
In the latter of these Epistles the apostle reminds us, that he who shed his blood to procure the forgiveness of our sins, was he who " is the image of the invisible God; “ he by whom all things were created, " that are in heaven and that are in earth, “ visible and invisible; that all things “ were created by him and for him. And “ he is before all things, and by him all things consist m.”
This is the great and glorious Being who for us men and for our salvation for the forgiveness of our sins-submitted to be buffeted, and scourged, and spit upon, Rev. v. 9.
1 Pet. i. 18, 19, 20. Col. i. 14, » Col. i. 15, 16, 17.
to be treated as the lowest malefactor, and at length to undergo death, even the death of the cross ; who submitted to be fixed to the accursed tree, by nails driven through his hands and feet, and thus to expire in torment.
And now let us seriously and honestly ask ourselves, my friends, whether we really believe these things? Whether we are thoroughly persuaded in our hearts, that when we were in a lost and ruined state, the eternal Son of God died upon the cross to save us? Do we, I say, really believe this? If we do not believe it, we are yet in our sins, are yet in a state of condemnation. It is generally true, that - without faith it is impossible to please * God," and with respect to this great doctrine in particular, it is most certainly true, that the death of Christ will not profit those who refuse to believe in it when it is preached to them. Christ by the shedding of his blood has purchased salvation ; but the mean, by which it is applied to our own souls, as we are taught by the Scriptures, and from the authority of the Scriptures by our Church', is faith. In other words, it is by faith, by a firm belief in these truths-a belief which disposes us to keep God's commandments, that our souls reap the benefit of Christ's death upon the cross.
in Heb. xi. 6.
« God so loved - the world, that he gave his only-begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in him s should not perish, but have everlasting “ lifep.” And toward the conclusion of his Gospel, St. John says, “ these things “ are written, that ye might believe that - Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and " that believing ye might have life through o his nameq.” St. Paul teaches us, that " with the heart man believeth unto righte6 ousness";" and when asked by the gaoler at Philippi, what he must do to be saved, his reply was, “ Believe in the
Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be "saved."
But though faith in the death of Christ is thus necessary, we must bear in mind that a faith which does not produce good
• See Art. xi. and the Homily. • John xx. 31, I Rom. X. 10.
P John iii. 15. s Acts xvi. 31.
works is dead and worthlesst. Let us return then to the question before asked ; do we indeed and really believe that the glorious Son of God died upon the cross for our sins ? If we do believe it, surely we must be sensible that sin is something awfully serious, since it required so tremendous a sacrifice. And shall we continue any longer in sin ? Certainly, if Christ died for sin, we are bound by every consideration of interest and duty to do all that we can to die to sin, and if so, 66 how shall we who are dead to sin live
any longer therein ?” When tempted by the world, or by the desires of the flesh, to do any thing contrary to the will of God, endeavour to figure to yourselves, to represent to your imaginations, the holy. Jesus expiring upon the cross with the nails driven through his hands and feet, and think that it was for you, for your sins, that he endured such agony, And can our hearts be so hard, as after this wilfully to persist in sin ? If we do, we (to adopt the strong language of the Apostle) in some sort “ crucify the Son of
! James ii. 17.
“God afresh, and put him to open shame"." No, my friends; if you wilfully continue in any
known sin ; if you do not lament your transgressions, and really try and pray to get the better of them, do not any more pretend to acknowledge Jesus Christ as 'your Lord ;--do not any more pretend to believe that HE SUFFERED UNDER PONTIUS PILATE, WAS. CRUCIFIED, DEAD, AND BURIED ; do not any more pretend to hope for the FORGIVENESS OF SINS through his blood.
But you say, that you do believe in these things. Consider then, if I may adopt the language of a late prelate* of our Church, 6that as the malignity of ses sin is so great, the danger of a life of
s wilful sin must be much more formida46 ble than imagination is apt to paint it. 6 The weight of punishment naturally due " to sin must bear some proportion to its ««! intrinsic malignity, and to the extent of $6 the mischiefs which arise from it. The "" punishment must also bear some just "proportion to the price, which has been "paid for our redemption, Terrible must
a Heb. vi. 6. * Bp. Horsley.