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terminate in a glorious triumph. In comtemplating the cross of Christ, all these enemies will be seen once completely baffled and vanquished. They are not altogether. destroyed, but they are in chains in the hand of the Mediator, and shall be destroyed in due time. This is the safety of believers against the prevalence of these enemies. When they become troublesome to believers, and when fear of danger begins to agitate their minds, they ought to look to the cross, and consider the security it affords them. Their minds ought not to be wholly occupied about present advantages, they ought to anticipate future victories. Their final victory, though future, is as certain as Christ's which is past, because it is inseparably connected with his. Christ finally overcame by his death; so will they; and though death prevail over the body for a time, yet even this last enemy shall be destroyed.
11. In the Lord's body the believer ought to take a view of of the dreadful nature of sin. This is the more necessary, because a peculiar exercise of soul about it belongs to the suitable observation of the holy supper.
Two things in sin demand our consideration-Its malignity and its demerit. The malignity of sin is its opposition to the object against whom it is committed. It is the violation of the divine law. This implies an attempt on the life, authority, and happiness of God, though it is not in the power of the sinner to effect it. It has relatively an infinite evil in it, and will necessarily be infinitely hateful to God. Being an attack on his life, he must necessarily hate it in the same proportion that he regards his life, that is, infinitely.
THE demerit of sin is its desert of punishment. This is in proportion to its malignity. As God hates it in
finitely, so it deserves infinite punishment. There is no way in which a creature can be subjected to infinite punishment, but by the endless duration of it. The final sentence on the wicked expresses the endless duration of it, but it could not be eternal unless sin deserved infinite punishment. By sin the sinner is eternally cut off from all good, and eternally subjected to all evil. If we view it with respect to God, there is an infinite malignity in its very nature: if we consider it with respect to man, its penal consequences are infinitely evil, as it deprives the sinner of an infinite good, and subjects him to endless misery.
BUT we are in danger of scepticism in our notions of the evil nature and demerit of sin. We readily admit that the evil of it is great, and demerit very great, yet hesitate about the infinity of them. By viewing sin in the sufferings of Christ we may be aided in forming ust conceptions of it. If satisfaction could have been dispensed with, it would have been done in the case of the Son of God. The irreconcilability of the divine nature to sin was the reason of its imputation to the Son of God, and his punishment for it. Besides, if less than infinite punishment was due to sin, or if less could have been admitted, a finite creature might easily have undergone it, and made satisfaction. And this would have been done, rather than to incarnate the Son and punish sin in him.
WHEN the believer commemorates the death of Jesus, he ought not to overlook sin which was the cause of it, and which rendered it so terrible. By what he sees here he must be convinced that, had not Christ died: he could never have enjoyed God, and must have suffered the most dreadful punishment eternally. He must see that a very peculiar exercise of scul about
it is necessary in observing this ordinance. Is God so infinitely averse to sin that he cannot be reconciled to
it? Did he, on this account, deny the sense of love to his own Son, when he was suffering under it? And shall any communicant presume that he shall walk in the light of his countenance, while he has not been careful to have this evil thing removed? With what resolution and perseverance ought he to institute a scrutiny into his heart and life, in order to discover this evil thing, and have it destroyed? Surely it becomes the believer, for whose sins Christ bled and died, to look on him, whom his sins pierced, and mourn. This would be a happy prelude to joy unspeakable.
FINALLY. In the crucified Saviour the believer sees the happy medium of all his gracious intercourse with God. He owes his interest in the divine favour to the death of Jesus Christ. "When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son." Rom. v. 10. This was laying the ground work. union to Christ, the believer becomes with him a joint heir of God. But it is through the same medium that he enjoys communion with him. "Having, therefore, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near," &c. Heb. x. 19-22. Jesus was not only appointed to restore friendship between God and sinners, but also to be the medium through which it should be maintained. It is through him that God communicates all favours to men. "My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory, by Christ Jesus." Phil. iv. 19. On the other hand, when believers present their services unto God they do
it through the Mediator. "No man," said Christ, "cometh unto the Father but by me.' John xiv. 6. "Through him we have access by one Spirit unto the Father." There is a beauty and propriety in this; that as Jesus is a head of connection between the Father and us, so it is fit he should be a medium of intercourse also.
In the holy supper the believer does not hold communion with Jesus alone, but with God through him. "Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." Here the Father displays and communicates his love to his people through Jesus the Mediator; giving them the revelation of the knowledge of his glory, in the face of Jesus Christ." I now proceed to a few Inferences.
1. It is of much importance to form just conceptions of Christ. Scarcely can an error be introduced into the Christian scheme, but it will affect our view of him; so complex is his character, so extensive his work, and so universal his influence. There are in him many things of distinct consideration, but we must beware of separating them, as it will prove inimical to our interest. While we speak of the Lord's body, his sufferings, and death, we are not to view him as a "Person of our own order." His death proves that he was man, but, if the nature of it is duly considered, it will also prove that he was God. Deity cannot suffer, humanity can. Humanity cannot expiate sin, Deity can. The sufferings necessary to expiate sin were too weighty for human nature, but Jesus bore them, being both God and man. If he were only a man, his sufferings could be of no value, and there would be no pardon. If he is not man, he has not died, and sin is not expiated. If the personal union of
his natures is denied, though the truth of both be held, his sufferings would be merely human and of no value. If his substitution is denied, he can have no righteousness for sinners, and they, instead of becoming heirs of God, must continue heirs of hell. If he has not sustained the curse, we remain under it. If he has not put away sin by atonement, he can never destroy its power in our hearts. If he has not destroyed death by his cross, he has no new life for us, and we must continue dead in sin. If his blood was not the price of our redemption, his intercession can avail us nothing. Thus might we enlarge, and see the fatal consequences of wrong views of Christ.
You see, then, Christians, the importance of forming just and worthy conceptions of Jesus. You must conceive of him as he is, and not as the corrupt mind may apprehend him. The Scriptures unfold his characRead it carefully there. It is important to your faith in him. "They that know thy name will put their trust in thee." Psalm ix. 10. To know Christ,
“If ye believe not that
These are his own It is not enough you must believe
and to form just conceptions of him, are the same. your views of him are wrong, you can never believe in him according to his character. I am he, ye shall die in your sins." words, and demand your attention. that you believe him to be Messiah: what he is, what he has done, what is his fulness, &c. If you believe that he is God, but not man; that he is man, but not God; or that though he is both God and man, he has not expiated sin, you cannot believe in him as your Saviour. Implore his Spirit as you can neither form proper conceptions of him nor believe in him otherwise. You have his promise. "I will send you ano