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IIe became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him.
Heb. v, 9. Having obtained eternal redemption for us. Heb, ix, 12. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we.
being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness. 1 Pet. ii, 2. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all siu. 1 John i, 7. What was the state of man, to require this salvation ?
Our Church, in her ninth article, describes man as “ very far gone from original righteousness, and of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit : and therefore, in every person born into this world, it deserveth God's wrath and damnation." Dead in trespasses and sins. Eph. ii, 1.
The heart is totally depraved. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great; and that every
imagination of the thougbts of his heart was only evil continu
ally, Gen vi, 5. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.
Jer. xvii, 9. From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulte
ries, fornications, &c. Matt. xv, 19; Mark vii, 1.
The Liturgy of our Church teaches us to confess, that “ there is no health in us :" that " we are tied and bound by the chain of our sins:” and that “through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered.” Are all men by nature in this wretched condition ?
Yes. There is none that doeth' good. They are all gone aside-there is
none that doeth good, no vot one. Ps. xiv, 1, 3. How was this occasioned 2
By the fall of Adam.
But our own actual transgressions, without original sin, would be sufficient to ruin us. They are more in number than the hairs of our head, and attended with the most shocking aggravations.
If you are yet in the state in which you were born into the world, you are living in iniquity, or rather dead in trespasses and sins, and consequently exposed to the wrath and damnation of God. But awful as your condition is, it is not hopeless. Jesus, who died for
your redemption, and who ever liveth to make inter. cession for you, is waiting to extend to you the benefits of his cross and passion. Come unto him, and though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. How did Jesus redeem us ?
By taking upon him our nature, and dying in our stead. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. John i, 14. Of whom, concerning the flesh, Christ came. Rom. ix, 5, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman. Gal. iv, 4. Made in the likeness of men. Phil, ii, 7. One Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
i Tim, ii, 5. Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh.
1 Tim. iii, 16. He took not on him the natnre of angels ; but he took on him the
seed of Abraham, &c. Heb. ii, 16, 17. He was sustained in the same manner as other infants, for like them he was helpless and dependent: he hungered, thirsted, and was weary; and was a partaker of the various infirmities of childhood. Jesus increased in wisdom and stature. Loke ii, 52.
He had all the affections of men. He wept, and rejoiced in spirit. And when he was come near, he bebeld the city, and wept over it.
Luke xix, 41.
He only differed from us in being sinless.
iv, 15. Such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled,
and separate from sinpers. Heb. vii, 26. What were the circumstances attending our Saviour's incar
nation? He was conceived by the Holy Ghost: born of the Virgin Mary. He had no earthly father, as other children have; Joseph was only his supposed parent. Luke iii, 23.
This wonderful event was foretold many ages before by Isaiah the prophet. ' A virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son. Lea, vii, 14;
Matt. i, 83.
It was announced to Mary herself by an angel. · The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, &c. Luke i, 35. When does our Church celebrate the Nativity of Jesus Christ?
At the season called Christmas.
This holy festival should be set apart for devout thankfulness, and the promotion of those religious feellings which would prevent our affronting God by the abuse of his mercies. What does the Creed further teach us to believe concerning
The Roman Governor of Judea. Luke iji, 1. He is mentioned, to shew that at the time of our Saviour's birth, the supreme government was departed from the Jews, as had been foretold in Gen. xlix, 10. If our Saviour was both God and man, in which nature did · he suffer?
In his human nature only: his divine nature could not be subject to pain. Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh. 1 Pet. iv, 1. How did he suffer?
In his body and in his soul-poverty and privation; hunger, and thirst, and fatigue ;-pain, and desertion, and shame, and death :- all the horrors and sufferings of which human nature is capable; all that malice could invent, or cruelty inflict. He was a man of sorrows from the cradle to the grave. He was born in a stable, laid in a manger, banished from his country while a child, spent his youth in the occupation of a carpenter, was without a bome in his manhood, was tempted of the devil in the wilderness, and persecuted and derided by men during his ministry. He was betrayed by Judas, one of his own disciples; forsaken by the rest of his followers; denied by Peter with oaths ; taken by the soldiers in the garden of Gethsemane; led bound to Annas, and thence to the palace of Caiaphas the High Priest; thence taken to Pilate's judgment-hall, when false witnesses testified against him, and he was unjustly condemned. He was scourged, crowned with thorns,
buffeted, clothed in purple, and had a reed put into his hand; the knee was bowed to him in derision, and he was hailed as “ King of the Jews,”, in bitter mockery. He was stripped; probably not only his garments, but his skin was torn off, and there was none to pity; (Ps. Ixix, 20.) though Pilate presented liim before his murderer's in the extremity of his wretchedness, and said, “ Behold the man!” He was led away to Golgotha, bearing his cross, till he fainted under the load. Hé was crucified. He endured a punishment considered by the Romans so degrading that it was never inflicted on freemen, but only on the vilest slaves. He was stripped naked, his arms extended, his hands and feet pierced and nailed fast to the cruel tree; and thus was he lifted up between two thieves, a spectacle to men and angels. His whole body was so dislocated, that all the bones were out of joint; (Ps. xxii, 17.) and in this deplorable state his life-blood ebbed slowly away, amidst the revilings of the beholders, and even of his fellow-sufferers ; till he cried with a lond voice, “ It is finished, and gave up the ghost.” Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye,
through his poverty, might be rich. 2 Cor. viii, 9. And when he bad fasted forty days and forty nights, he was after
wards an hungred. Matt. iv, 2. Jesus saith, I thirst. John xix, 28. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well.
John iv, 6. All they that see me, laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they
sbake the head. Ps. xxii, 7; see also verses 12-18. He is despised and rejected of men. Isa. liii, 3. And they found Mary and Joseph, and thc babe lying in a inanger.
Luke ii, 16. Flee into Egypt, for Herod will seek the young child to destroy bim. • Matt. ii, 13. Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary? Mark vi, 3. The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the
Son of Man hath not were to lay his lead. Matt. viii, 20. Then was Jesus led op of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted Nor, were outward and bodily afflictions the whole, or even the chief part of his sufferings. His soul was deeply acquainted with grief, and he agonized under the extremity of spiritual distress. If the anguish of soul endured by one convinced sinner be so great, what bounds can we imagine to His grief when the hand of God was pressing on him for the sin of millions ! My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
of the Devil. Matt. iv, 1. The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, behold a
man gluttonous and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and
sinners. Matt. xi, 19. Natt, 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19, contain an account of bis
erncifision, and the circumstances attending it.
Ps. xxii, 14. Ile began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Matt. xxvi, 37. My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. Matt. xxvi, 38, My God, my God, why bast thou forsaken me. Matt, xxvii, 46. He began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy. Mark xiv, 33. His sweat was as it were great drops of blood. Luke xxii, 44.
Well might he address ungrateful sinners in the lauguage which Jeremiah has put into the mouth of Jerusalem. Is it nothing to you all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be,
any sorrow like unto my sorrow. Lam. i, 19.
The sufferings of Christ were perfectly voluntary. He could have had at any moment twelve legions of angels, amounting to 600,000, to his assistance; and one of those mighty beings was sufficient to destroy all the immense army of Sennacherib. But he so loved men, as to place himself for their sakes under the wrath of God; and suffered willingly, because he had pledged himself as our surety; that by his stripes we might be healed.
Do not say, like the Scribes and Pharisees, (Matt. xxiii, 30.) “ If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in his blood.” Every time we sin we are sharers in their guilt, for we • crucify the son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Heb. vi, 6. What assurances have we that Christ really was dead? for
bodily death is part of the punishment of sin. Jesus-gave up the ghost. Mark xv, 37. Having said thus, be gave up the ghost. Luke xxiii, 46, I lay (my life] down of myself, John x, 18. One of the soldiers pierced his side, and forthwith came thereout
blood and water. Job xix, 34. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. 1 Cor. v, 7. Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures :--Was buried and ,