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we are informed by the same Apostle that the precious blood of Christ was the price paid for man's Redemption. “ Jesus Christ (says he) by his own blood, entered once into the holy place, having obtained eternal Redemption for us.” Heb. ix. 12. The necessary conclusion from which premisses is; that in Jesus Christ was perfected that mysterious connection, which according to the wisdom of the divine plan, was necessary to the completion of man's redemption. For had not Jesus Christ been man, he could not have shed his blood for the sins of man.
And had he not been God, the blood which he shed for the Redemption of sinners had not been adequate to the purpose. In that compound character then in which Jesus Christ is described in Scripture as “ the second Adam,” and at the same time “the Lord from Heaven;" 1 Cor. xv. 47.-as the son of man, and at the same time “ the IVord of God;" and in that alone, was he qualified to answer to the interesting title, by which “ the righteous branch raised unto David,” was heretofore distinguished.
« This is his name, whereby he shall be called,” says the Pro
phet, “ The Lord our Righteousness.” Jer. xxiii. 6.
When therefore we put this case together ; considering on the one hand what a gracious God has done, to open the gate of everlasting life, which the fall of man had shut against him ; and beholding on
; the other, self-sufficient man taking a leaf, if we may so say, out of the devil's book ; setting up for independence, and daringly rejecting the proffered plan of Salvation through the medium of a crucified Redeemer; we tremble at the idea; and conclude with the Apostle, that we are at a loss to know “ how they shall escape who neglect so great salvation.”-For if the precious blood shed on the Cross availeth nothing in this case, most true it is that the Scripture holdeth forth no other prospect to sinful man, 66 but a certain fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation.” Heb. x. 27.
But by a common abuse of language, unbelievers are often given credit for being wiser than other men; because they dissent from established opinions; as if wisdom consisted in singularity; or to be
lieve, was a reflection on the competency of man's rational faculty. On this head it may be sufficient to observe; whilst no folly is equal to the folly of those who
pretend to be wise above what has been revealed ; that it is as great an abuse of reason to reject a truth, capable of being proved by its own proper evidence, because we do not fully comprehend it, as it is a neglect of it to admit a truth, without the examination of any evidence at all. For, to reason, is to examine the truth or falsehood of any subject, by comparing it with its own proper evidence. But to determine on a subject abstracted from its evidence, as many do on the doctrines of Christianity, is not to reason so much as to conjecture: it is to suffer pride, prejudice, or interest, to take place of fair argument; and in such case, the conclusion drawn, will not be the conclusion of a sound head and unperverted understanding, but that of a corrupt heart, and licentious imagination.
With respect to the point at issue between unbelievers and Christians, we hesitate not, confidently to affirm, that no historical facts whatever, of equal date, are so well authenticated, as those recorded in the Bible; nor is there any proposition in the whole circle of science more capable of satisfactory demonstrietion, than that Christian doctrine of Redemption, which the uniform tenor of Scripture conspires to illustrate and confirm ; “to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.” 2 Cor. v. 19.
Those philosophers, as they are falsely called, who pride themselves in prejudging a cause, which they want either candour, honesty, or ability fairly to examine, are not to be reasoned with, so much as to be prayed for.
To members of the Christian Church, who, as such, professedly embrace the doctrine of Salvation through a crucified Redeemer, it may be
proper to observe in conclusion; that as the danger of being wise above what is written is certainly very great; so the danger of being wise against what is written, is by no means inconsiderable. In the one case, man is led to reject the gracious plan of Salvation through
Christ; in the other to abuse it. To be wise unto Salvation, we must read the Bible as it is written; neither adding to, nor diminishing aught from the contents of that sacred Book; neither making mysteries where there are none, nor disbelieving those which have been revealed. As a divine Revelation, the whole of the Bible must be taken together: the design of it being to furnish that information on the great subject of Redemption, necessary to man under the different circumstances of his present state of trial. With this idea before them, the Apostles preached the Old Testament, compleated in the great subject of the New. A mode of preaching which can alone do justice to the consistency of the divine plan of Salvation; by making the spirit of God speak the same language from Genesis to Revelations.
When therefore it is considered that the work of Redemption was the voluntary act of the Reedeemer, in consequence of man's having forfeited his original state of happiness, and being rendered utterly in