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what the Almighty intended in the revelation of himself which he made to Moses, “Who will by no means'clear the guilty ?” Does not this mean, that he will not clear them without fatisfaction made to his injured justice and holiness ? Is it not said, that, to sinners as such, “ Our God is a consuming fire ?". Did not the controversy between him and his creatures commence with the first transgression? Is not the breach perpetually, widened by the commiffion of actual fins ? Our iniquities have separated between us and our God; they have concealed his face and favour from us, and provoked his wrathful indignation.
* There can be no right judgment made of the nature and demerit of sin, without a due consideration of the nature and holiness of HIM against whom it is committed. Nothing, therefore, will state our thoughts aright concerning the guilt and demerit of fin, but a deep consideration of the infinite greatness, holiness, righteousness, and power of God. To which we may add, that God, in dealing with finners, acts not as to the effets of these properties of his nature, but on a preceding contempt of his bounty, grace, and mercy; as it is impossible that sin should come into the world but by the contempt of these; for, ante. cedently to all possibility of finning, God communi. cates the effects of his goodness and bounty to the creation; and in reference to those fins which are against the gospel, the effect of his grace and mercy.
• But let me confider, How can I hope for rea conciliation with the offended Majesty of heaven? Will the Lord be pacified by my prayers, by my tears, by my resolution to perform new obedience, or by my actual endeavours to discharge the duties incumbent upon me? Will the fire of God's dif. pleasure be quenched by any sufferings, or any forrows of mine ? Alas! there is nothing in any of these sufficient to satisfy for my past offences. Could I, from this moment to the end of life, perfectly keep the law, without offending in any one point, by thought, word, or deed, this would only be performing immediate duty; it would be no payment of the past debt.'
What then, my dear fellow-finner, is there no remedy? In the writings of Moses I find the institution of facrifices. Living creatures were, according to divine appointment, presented before God; their blood was fhed, and their flesh was consumed by fire upon the altar. These facrifices certainly muft refpe&t sin, and an atonement to be
This is that which will give us a due measure of the guilt and demerit of fin. We are to look upon it as a contempt of infinite goodness, bounty, grace, and mercy: and as rising up against infinite greatness, holinefs, righteousness and power. Then we shall view it as it is.'-Dr. Owen, on Heb. x. 30.
made for it. What other end could be designed by the effufion of blood in the service of the living God? But it was impossible that the blood of bulls and of goats should really take away fin. This however is done by the blood of Jesus Chrift, who, through the Eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God. We were by nature the enemies of God, and children of wrath. Millions of actual transgressions had exposed us still more to his awful indignation. If peace and reconciliation were not made for us, we could not expect to be accepted of him, or to receive any token of favour from him.
• It was a great work to make peace with God for finners, to make atonement for fin, and establish our reconciliation with God. This doctrine is the life and spirit of our religion, the centre wherein all the lines of it meet. "God forbid that I should glory fave in the cross of our Lord Jesus Chrift.” Those persons by whom a constant consideration of this is neglected, are strangers to the animating spirit of that religion which they outwardly profess. And therefore Satan employs all his artifices to divert the minds of men from a due attention to it. To this cause we ascribe much of the devotion of the Romanists, which effectually draws off the mind, not only from a spiritual contemplation of the excellency of Christ's offering, and its glorious benefits, but also from the
The Sovereign of the universe designed to manifeft his righteousness, his grace, his love, and his wisdom in the fubftitution of his only begotten, Son in our room, that he might suffer and die for our fins, the just for the unjust, and so bring us. to God.
“ He set forth Jesus to be a propitiation, to declare his righteousness.”. The righteousness
rational comprehension of the truth of the do&rine concerning what he did and suffered.
On the other hand, the Socinians please themselves and deceive others with a vain imagination that. there was no such work to be done. If we may believe them, there was no atonement to be made for sin, i no expiatory facrifice to be offered, no peace thereby to be made with God, no compensation to his justice, by answering the sentence and curse of the law due to sin. But surely, if they had not an unpardonable mixture of confidence and dexterity, they could not find out evasions against so many express divine testimonies as are directly opposite to their fond imagination, even tolerably to satisfy their own minds; or to suppose that any man can with patience bear the account they must give of the agency, the prayers, the tears, the cries, the fears, the wreftling, and the travail of the soul of Christ, on their supposition. But we may pass them over at present, as enemies of the cross of Chrift ; namely, of that cross whereby he made peace with God for finners.
of God was most eminently glorified in the reconciliation wrought out by the Mediator, when he made an atonement for us by his blood. Herein also is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation
Others there are, who by no means approve of any diligent inquiry into these mysteries. Our whole duty, according to them, is to be conversant in morality: but as for this fountain of grace; this basis of eternal glory; this demonstration of divine wisdom, holiness, righteousness and love; this great discovery of the purity of the law, and of the vileness of sin; this first, great, principal subject of the gofpel, and motive of faith and obedience ; this root and cause of all peace with God; of all fincere and uncorrupted love towards him; of all joy and consolation from him--they think it scarcely deserves a place among the objects of their contemplation. But such as are admitted into the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ, will not so easily part with their immortal interest therein. I fear not indeed to say, that he is likely to be the best, the most humble, the most holy and fruitful christian, who is most diligent in spiritual inquiries into this great mystery of reconciliation by the blood of the cross, and in the exercise of faith about it. Nor is there any such powerful mean of preserving the soul in a constant abhorrency of fin, and watchfulness against it, as a due apprehension of what it cost the Son of God to make atonement for it.'--Dr.Owen, on Heb. v. 7. abridged by Dr. Williams.