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save from death ;' still He lives, who can and will hear us in that which we fear."
Are there any among you, whose hearts are dejected, whose spirits are bowed down by the guilt of your past sins?
Do they “press so heavily upon you, that you are not able to look up?" And do you fear that a just and holy God can never pardon a being so utterly vile and sinful ? Yet, do not despond: “turn to him in weeping and fasting, and prayer," and ye shall “ taste and see how gracious the Lord is,” how boundless his mercy towards the fallen sons of men.
Yes, ye shall behold him reconciled even to you, in Christ Jesus ; whose blood the beloved Apostle assures you, “cleanseth from all sin." Remember too, to say with Elihu,
the Prophet Isaiah: “He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities : the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with his stripes we are healed.” In a word, He died for your sins, and rose again for your justification, “ that He might bring you to God.” The curse, and condemning sentence of the law, are indeed terrible; but if ye truly fly to Christ for refuge, and are really united to him by a vital and active faith, He hath nailed the curse and the condemnation to his.cross, He hath purchased and sealed your pardon with his precious blood. Again, are you overpowered with the glory and majesty of God? Are you ready
“behold God is great, and we know him not?" Still, in humble confidence, turn your eyes to your compassionate High Priest, who “can be touched with the feeling of your infirmities.” Remember, while He sojourned upon earth, – His was not a form of terror; for we read, that little children approached him, and were blessed in his arms; that sinners sate and ate with him ; that the poor, the diseased, and the unhappy, gladly sought his aid ; nor ever sought it in vain : so strikingly did He fulfil the beautiful prophecy concerning him : “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; He shall gather his lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young." Yes, my
christian brethren, in the meek and lowly Jesus, God was graciously pleased to manifest Himself, not in the thunders and lightnings of Sinai, not with blackness, and darkness, and tempest; but with the kindness of friendship, and the mildness of love. Witness these, among
Witness these, among the many gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth: “Come unto me,
that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” And now that He hath “ascended up on high,” and hath “ upon his vesture and upon his thigh a name written, King of kings, and
Lord of lords,-still is He touched with a feeling of our infirmities,” still will He strengthen our weakness, “cleanse us from all filthiness of flesh and spirit,” be our never-failing Advocate with the Father,—and in all our trials and necessities, assuredly hear our cry, and relieve us.
But farther, are you discouraged by the corruption of your nature, by the lainentable imperfection of your spiritual knowledge, by your manifold acts of disobedience, by the wandering of your thoughts, and the deadness of your devotions ?
Yet be comforted. Ever blessed be God !--for these, for all your defects, a sure remedy is mercifully provided, in the perfect righteousness, the inexhaustible treasures of wisdom and knowledge, the sinless obedience, the stedfastness and undying affection of Christ Jesus, your Redeemer,—“the same yesterday, to day, and for ever.'
Yet once more: are you assailed by temptations, those fiery darts of the Wicked One, whose power to harm you, the infidel and the scorner-those active ministers of Satan-would willingly persuade you to doubt? Still, through faith in a crucified-a glorified Saviour, a supporting stay will ever be afforded
Divine grace is that all-powerful stay.
Your great High Priest, whose self-oblation bought the precious gift, will mercifully vouchsafe it in your hour of need. He, who himself endured
temptation from the same arch fiend, and that too, in a wilderness, where there was none to comfort him,-will never suffer his faithful servants to be “tempted beyond what they are able to bear;”—but in each trying conflict, will ever prove their shield and their support, and make his grace victorious in their weakness.
Wherefore, beloved in Christ, having such a Redeemer, "mighty to save,” let me, in conclusion, exhort you all to “hold fast your profession without wavering:” yea, to “hold fast that ye have, that no man take away your crown,' even that crown of everlasting glory, which will be the gracious reward of your continued fidelity. Hear our Lord's precious promise to his conquering soldiers. " To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” O! then, my dear friends, let us “be faithful unto death,”-assured that Christ will conquer all our spiritual enemies by his invincible Word, and divide us an inheritance in that heavenly kingdom, whither He is gone to prepare a place for us. And, since “man is born to trouble,” let us not merely expect and prepare for afflictions, but endeavour patiently to bear the Lord's chastenings; remembering, that “if Christ, though a Son, learned obedience by sufferings,” how much more do we require the salutary lessons they teach.
Nor let any
sufferings, shake, for an instant, our firm allegiance to Him, who being consecrated by them to his high office, is become “the Author of eternal salvation to all that obey him.”
Having, like the Apostles, seen our victorious Lord “ascending up on high,” and “ captivity itself led captive” by the mighty Conqueror,—-let us, with them, fall down and worship him : and instead of consuming our precious hours in idle dreams of temporal grandeur, or curious enquiries after those“ times and seasons, which the Father hath reserved in his own power,” let us vigorously apply ourselves to “run the race that is set before us;” and by a diligent improvement of time and opportunities, prepare for Christ's final appearance, when the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven, in the glory of his Father, and his own glory, with a majestic pomp which every eye shall see, and with the sound of a trumpet, which even all the nations of the dead shall hear.
Finally, brethren, when by faith, we behold the High Priest of a “better and more perfect tabernacle,”— that great High Priest who hath wrought our eternal redemption, and entered once for all, into heaven for us,-let his blood which is our redemption, be our confidence. To that blood alone let us look ; let the death of Christ be ever thankfully remembered by us, as