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Christ hath redeemed us from the law. Let us not hence conclude that the law is made void, that we are freed from its obligations. Shall we sin that grace may abound ? God forbid *.' Jesus Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfily.” He hath indeed redeemed us from its awful curse, eternal death - he hath placed us under a covenant of mercy, in which sincere, though imperfect, is accepted instead of perfect and unsinning obedience. But this covenant of grace, instead of making void the moral law, enforces all its precepts in the utmost purity and power-commanding us to be pure as God is pure, to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect; to follow after holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. - But this covenant of grace unfolds the hope of which the law knows nothing, that “ if any man sin, he hath an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous?.”
But let us remember that Jesus Christ hath given us the means of victory over sin. We live under a dispensation, which in the most clear and impressive manner enforces our duty; which in the sacrifice of the Son of God displays the infinite evil of sin; and which offers to each one of us grace to escape from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. If we continue in sin with this display of its enormity, with these means and motives to forsake » Rom. vi. 1.
y Matt. v. 17. 2 1 John ii. 1.
it, what can we expect but the severest punishment that insulted justice and contemned mercy can inflict. Be not deceived—“they that continye in şin are the servants of sin.;" and such have no inheritance in the kingdom of God. · Let us then devoutly adore the justice and holiness, the goodness and mercy of God, as displayed in the victory which he hath given us in our Lord Jesus Christ. His justice and holiness are displayed in the establishment of a law which required unsinning obedience, which allowed no transgression, which remitted no punishment, which exacted every penalty, though his only Son was the victim. The riches of his goodness and mercy are displayed in the pardon, the grace, the everlasting life which he offers us through Christ Jesus the Lord. He was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world;" and through the efficacy of his blood, the sincere and pious, who lived under the dispensation either of the law as proclaimed by the light of reason, nature, and tradition, or as delivered to the Jewish nation, were accepted; however imperfect their obedience, however inadequate it might be to the rigorous claims of the law. Finally
let us devoutly thank God, who hath not only given us the victory over the law and over sin, but over death-over death temporal and eternal. Yes--thanks be to God. Jesus Christ hath "abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through his Gospel.” Thanks be to God, "when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we also shall appear with him in gloryb”– "we shall be with him, for we shall see him as he is.” Why then, O my soul, dost thou tremble at the approach of death? Terrible, justly terrible indeed, are the pains and agonies of dying, of leaving the world and all thou dost hold dear, and entering on an untried scene. But look by faith to thy Redeemer-stay thyself upon himHe will conduct thee through the grave and gate of death to a joyful resurrection,
* John viii. 34.
And “sorrow not, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, as those that have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so they also who sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." “ O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law-but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
b Col. iii. 4.
• 1 Thess. iv. 14.
ROMANS iii. 24.
Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption
that is in Jesus Christ.
The transgressors of human laws, subjected to the avenging sentence of a human Judge, would inquire with eagerness concerning the means of escaping punishment, and listen with solicitude and with transport to the tidings of pardon. Brethren: -we are all transgressors of the laws of the Sovereign of the universe. We have violated the commands of Him, whose authority over us is supreme, founded on his power, and guided by his wisdom and his goodness. We are exposed to the penalties of a law proclaimed by this dread Sovereign, and denouncing woe eternal on its violators. Our condemnation has passed the lips of the Almighty Judge-and our sentence is“ indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish” -“ the worm that never dies--the fire which is
never quenched.” With what eager solicitude should we inquire--what shall we do to be saved?
Our release from condemnation, and our restoration to favour, are acts of the unmerited goodness, and the voluntary mercy of God. For in the language of the text-we are “justified freely by his grace.'
1. What is the nature of our justification ?
V. What are the external means of its conveyance ?
These are the inquiries which will afford a full view of this important subject *.
As our justification involves interests of infinite moment, it is not to be viewed as a speculative inquiry. It should excite our warmest feelings, and engage our most vigorous and patient research.'
I. What does our justification imply?
It is a term taken from legal proceedings; and it implies an accusation ; and an acquittal, or a
a Rom. ii. 8, 9. Mark ix. 44, 46, 48. * This subject is discussed with admirable clearness and precision in a treatise by Dr. Waterland. The Lord Bishop of Llandaff has rendered an essential service to the interests of religious truth, by the republication of the works of this eminently learned and orthodox divine; and by an interesting view of his life and comprehensive analysis of his writings,