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«« rebuked of him.” “ Lift up the hands " which hang down, and the feeble knees.” No chastening is, for the present, joyous but grievous. You must feel pain that you may derive any benefit. But the seasonable and salutary influence of affliction will save you much labour and many a pang.

With what difficulyou have overcome an inveterate habit of indulgence, if adversity had not brought you to timely reflection? What pain must you have felt at death, if the disappointments and evils of life had not disengaged your affections from the present scene? To adversity you are indebted for the exercise of those virtues which are most ornamental to the christian character, and most proper for the present state of weakness and dependence. Be not grieved, therefore, as those who have no hope. These light afflictions, which are but for a moment, will work for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. The sun that was suddenly overcast, will soon shine forth with double brightness. The fields will again look cheerful, and the face of nature will again rejoice. AMEN!

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SERMON X.

On the merits and sufficiency of Christ, as an er

piatory sacrifice for the sins of man.

1

John, Chap. 1, VER, 29.

“ Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

THIS was the second publick testimony gi-
ven of our Saviour, after his entrance on his
ministry. The first came from heaven itself,
when this voice was heard from the excellent
glory, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I
“ am well pleased.” The second issued from
the lips of his forerunner, John the Baptist,
who bare witness of him, and, when he saw
him among the people coming towards him,
pointed him out to the by-standers, in these
emphatick and characteristick words, “ Be-
“ hold the Lamb of God, which taketh away
“ the sin of the world."

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How happy were those ears which heard this joyful sound ! how blessed those eyes which beheld the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth! with what eagerness, wonder and rapture must they have contemplated this extraordinary personage! This was a sight which many prophets and righteous men desired to see but could not. We too are, in some respects, deprived of this privilege. But, though the Lamb of God no longer tabernacles on earth, or is visible to mortal eyes, still we may, with the eye of faith, pierce within the veil and see him seated at the right hand of God. Nay, he has left, even on earth, pledges and memorials which serve to recall his memory, and, by objects addressed to the senses, to render him present to the imagination. We cannot now listen to those heavenly instructions which issued from his lips ; but we may still peruse them in that sacred book, wherein, though absent, he still speaketh. His bodily presence we can no longer enjoy ; but wherever two or three are assembled in his name, there is he graciously and spiritually in the midst of them to bless them. His glorious face is beheld only by angels and the spirits of the just made

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perfect ; but his broken body and shed blood are represented to us by the most striking and significative emblems. Come to this holy ta. ble, and you will “ behold the Lamb of God, “which taketh away the sin of the world.”— Here you will behold the whole mysteries of his appearance.. Here you will see him, sent of God, meek, innocent and inoffensive, led as a lamb to the slaughter, and offered in sacrifice to his father, that he might expiate the guilt of sin ; that he might purchase those gifts and graces which are requisite to the sanctification of sinners ; and, that, by exhibiting a noble example of virtue, and confirming the truth of all his doctrines, he might take away transgression and make an end of sin.

The phraseology of the text will egant and expressive, if we consider the persons to whom it was addressed, and the time when it was uttered. John was now speaking to a company of priests and levites, whose daily business it was to offer up lambs, in sacrifice to God, for the expiation of the sins of Israel. It likewise appears from the context, , that, the conversation happened about the time of offering up the evening sacrifice. In allusion, then, to the lambs offered under the

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law, and more especially to the paschal lamb sacrificed on the great feast of the passover, our Lord's forerunner styles him the Lamb of God. But this title, which was, at first, figurative and metaphorical, has become the peculiar and appropriate designation of Jesus Christ.

Even in his exalted state, amid the glories of his Father's throne, he disdains not that appellation which, in his state of humiliation, he acquired ; but still delights to be praised and magnified, not merely as God, but as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. In this character, the celestial Spirits fall down before him, and worship him, saying, “ Thou art worthy to take the book, “ and to open the seals thereof, for thou wast “ slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy

blood, out of every kindred and tongue and “ people and nation.” It cannot, therefore, be unsuitable in us, who are now assembled, to commemorate that sacrifice which Jesus Christ offered up

upon the cross, briefly, to contemplate him as the Lamb of God, to inquire for what reasons he is thus denominated, and 10 show in what sense, and by what means, he taketh away the sin of the world.

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VOL. 1.

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