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them from their duty, when the image of God shall be formed anew within them, and they shall be perfect as their heavenly Father is perfect.
This destruction of the works of the devil, he accomplishes in various ways.
First of all, he taketh away the sin of the world by the influence of his Holy Spirit. Such was the infinite value of the sacrifice which he offered, that it availed, not only, to produce an act of pardon, and a blotting out of transgression, and an exemption from punishment, but, also, various gifts and graces necessary to the regeneration, sanctification and comfort of his people. These seeds of holiness are implanted in the sinner, at the moment of conversion, through the operation of the blessed Spirit.These, daily watered with the dew of heaven, spring up and flourish, bringing forth the fair fruits of faith and love, and every christian virtue. The weeds of sin are thereby rooted out. The old man with his deeds is put off. Their polluted natures are gradually washed, sanctified, and purified by the in-dwelling of the Holy Ghost, and the communication of those gifts and graces which Jesus purchased. Sin is taken away, and they who are followers of
the Lamb, and partake of the benefits derived from his sacrifice, walk in newness of life.
The Lamb of God also taketh away the sin of the world by that perfect example of every virtue which he exhibited. sented a pattern worthy of all imitation ; he allured his disciples to virtue by the amiable excellence of his own character. He showed, by his life and conduct, how we may live in the world, unpolluted by it's vices, unseduced by it's pleasures, undismayed by it's dangers, and victorious over it's temptations.
The Lamb of God taketh away the sin of the world by the precepts which he delivered. These were so plain, that the most ignorant could understand them; they were so pure, that they led forward their observers to perfection. No sin, not even the appearance of evil was tolerated by his perfect law. We are required to be perfect, as God is perfect, and holy, as he is holy. And what is more, this law is enforced by the most awful sanctions ; nothing less than glory, honour, and immortality to those who continue patient in welldoing, and tribulation and anguish to every son of man that doth evil. Could any thing be devised more effectual to discourage wicked
ness and to take away sin, than the publication of a law forbidding every kind of sin, requiring absolute purity, and supported by such glorious promises, and by threatenings so terrible ?
In short; the Lamb of God taketh away the sin of the world by those numerous motives and arguments which the consideration of his sacrifice for sin affords to induce us to forsake sin and follow after holiness. But these, the length of the important service which we have in view, prevents us from illustrating. Indeed, throughout the whole discourse, we have rather suggested hints to be prosecuted in your own minds, than given a complete illustration of any
of the ideas which have passed in review before us.
Enough, I hope, has been said to direct you to a proper employment of your thoughts upon this solemn occasion ; to strengthen your faith in the merits of Christ's blood, and to animate
you with love and gratitude to him who hath appeared once, in the end of the world, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.— Remember always, that, as he, once, appeared as a lamb to take away the sin of the world, he will, hereafter, appear in the character of
a judge to deliver from punishment, and admit to the possession of endless and unspeakable joys those whom he has saved from guilt and corruption ; that, as he was, once, offered up to bear the sins of many, so to those who look for him he will appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
The character of Jonathan a model for imitation.
2 SAMUEL, CHAP. 1, VER. 23.
“ Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their deaths they were not divided.”
THESE words are part of that beautiful elegy which the psalmist of Israel composed upon the occasion of the death of his beloved friend and companion, Jonathan. Let us, my brethren, engage in the profitable and pleasant contemplation of some of the most striking features in the character of this young prince, which is one of the most finished and perfect that occurs in the annals of the world, What was recorded in the historical parts of the Old Testament, was written for our instruction : and every character in sacred writ exhibits either a pattern for us to imitate, or an example of what we ought to avoid.