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“ doth so easily beset us, and let us run with
patience the race set before us, looking un" to Jesus, the authour and finisher of our faith; “ who, for the joy that was set before him, “ endured the cross, despising the shame, and “ is now set down at the right hand of the " throne of God.”
5. The doctrine of atonement is highly comfortable to every true christian. It assures him of the complete salvation of all those who were chosen before the foundation of the world. Christ hath paid his ransom, and he cannot be lost. He hath destroyed the hand-writing which was against him, by nailing it to his
It, also, assures him of the complete perseverance of the saints in a state of grace. If they fall away, either finally or totally, it must go to impeach, either, the perfection of Christ's atonement, or the sufficiency of God's grace to keep them from falling. But Christ hath made complete atonement, and hath purchased grace
sufficient for them in every trying hour. How, then, shall believers be nioved ? The winds may beat, and the rains may descend, but they cannot be overthrown, for their foundation is on a rock.
In confirmation of this precious truth, we may add, that, Jesus hath not only purchased salvation, but, is also exalted, a Prince and a Saviour, in order to make a perfect application of it. Thus, says he himself, “I give un“ to my sheep eternal life, and they shall ney“ er perish, neither shall any be able to pluck “ them out of my hand.” It was promised to him, from eternity, that, when he should make his soul an offering for sin, he should see his seod, and the travail of his soul, and be satisfied. This promise must be fulfilled ; for, in him, all the promises are, yea and amen. But, how could it be fulfilled, if any of those who had been made partakers of the heavenly gift, should fall away? What satisfaction could he have in seeing those, for whom he died, perish ? Could it answer, either, the will of the Father, “that of all given him, he “ should lose none,” or, the intentions of his own love, in giving himself for us? But, it must be, entirely, to his own, and to his Father's satisfaction, for him to be able to say, “ here am I, and the children whom thou hast
given me : those that thou gavest me, I “ have kept, and none of them are lost.”
How pregnant with comfort and consolation are such doctrines to the believer ! They fill him with assurance of grace, peace of mind, and joy in the Holy Ghost. When conscience
the soul, when the law presents it's terrours, when the accuser of the brethren suggests his fears, he may refer them to Christ, and point out his atonement.
He will answer all accusations, he will satisfy all demands.He is their sun and shield, he will give grace and he will give glory, he will withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly.They may adopt the language of St. Paul : “ We know that all things shall work together “ for good to theni who love God, to them “ who are the called according to his pur“ pose.”
For, as he argues, “ be that spared “not his own Son, but delivered him up for “ us all, how shall he not, with him, also free
ly give us all things?" If he gave us so great a gift, he will not, surely, refuse to give us the trifling comforts of this life, if they are for our advantage. In whatever situation of life, then, we are placed, we may be sure, that, we are not beyond the reach of our Father's love. The rays of his goodness can pierce the darkest cloud of adversity. If we are in
poverty and want, we may rest satisfied, that, such a state tends more to promote our general good, and the perfection of our character, than a state of the greatest ease and affluence. If we suffer under affliction, we ought to consider it as the chastening of a parent, and not the punishment of a judge. Punishment it cannot be : our substitute hath borne all the punishment, and exhausted all the wrath. In short, under every calamity, we ought to comfort ourselves with this consideration, that, it is not so great as we deserve, or as the Son of God endured on our account.
What happiness, then, have they who are partakers of Christ's sufferings! What evils are they freed from ! What good things are they put in possession of ! They are delivered from sin, Satan, death and hell : they enjoy peace with God, the glorious liberty of his children, and a title to all the blessings of the new covenant. These are glad tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. These make them rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. On the other hand, how dreadful is the situation of those who have no interest in Christ's atonement. They shall not see life, for the wrath of God abideth upon them.--Loaded with the guilt of their sins, God is their adversary, and he will cast them into that prison whose dreadful gates shall not be unbarred till they have paid the utmost farthing. To aggravate their misery, the whole blame lies upon themselves, for they have rejected the mercy which was offered 10 them, and thereby treasured up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath. For,” says the Apostle, to the Hebrews, “ if we sin wilfully o after that we have received the knowledge " of the truth, there remaineth no more sa“ crifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking “ for of judgment and fiery indignation which “ shall devour the adversary.” And how fearful a thing is it to fall into the hands of the living God ! Let us, therefore, kiss the Son lest he be angry, and we perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little : blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
To conclude, since the doctrine of atonement has so excellent a tendency, and answers so many important purposes, let us cheerfully embrace it, let us zealously defend it against the attacks of it's enemies, let us earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. There never was more need for exer