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In these and many more passages, that lie spread in different parts of the New Testament, it appears to be asserted, that the death of Christ had an efficacy in the procurement of human salvation. Now these expressions mean something: mean something substantial: they are used concerning no other person, nor the death of any other person whatever. Therefore Christ's death was something more than a confirmation of his preaching; something more than a pattern of a holy and patient, and perhaps voluntary martyrdom; something more than necessarily antecedent to his resurrection, by which he gave a grand and clear proof of human resurrection. Christ's death was all these, but it was something more; because none of these ends, nor all of them, satisfy the text you have heard; come up to the assertions and declarations, which are delivered concerning, it.

Now allowing the subject to stop here: allowing that we know nothing, nor can know any thing concerning it, but what is written: and that nothing more is written, than that the death of Christ had a real and essential effect upon human salvation, we have certainly before us a doctrine of a very peculiar, perhaps I may say, of a very unexpected kind, in some measure hidden in the counsels of the divine nature, but still so far revealed to us, as to excite two great religious sentiments, admiration and gratitude.

That a person of a nature different from all other

men; nay superior, for so he is distinctly described to be, to all created beings, whether men or angels: united with the Deity as no other person is united: that such a person should come down from heaven, and suffer upon earth the pains of an excruciating death, and that these his submissions and sufferings should avail and produce a great effect in the procurement of the future salvation of mankind, cannot but excite wonder. But it is by no means improbable on that account, on the contrary, it might be reasonably supposed before hand, that if any thing was disclosed to us touching a future life, and touching the dispensations of God to men, it would be something of a nature to excite admiration. In the world in which we live, we may be said to have some knowledge of its laws and constitution, and nature: we have long experienced them: as also of the beings, with whom we converse or amongst whom we are conversant, we may be said to understand something; at least they are familiar to us: we are not surprised with appearances, which every day occur. But of the world and the life to which we are destined, and of the beings amongst whom we may be brought, the case is altogether different. Here is no experience to explain things: no use or familiarity to take off surprise, to reconcile us to difficulties, to assist our apprehension. In the new order of things, according to the new laws of nature, every thing will be suitable; suitable to the beings, who are to occupy the future world: but that suitableness cannot, as it seems to me, be possibly perceived by us, until we are acquainted with

that order and with those beings: so that it arises, as it were, from the necessity of things, that what is told us by a divine messenger of heavenly affairs, of affairs purely spiritual, that is, relating purely to another world, must be so comprehended by us, as to excite admiration.

But, Secondly; partially as we may, or perhaps must comprehend this subject, in common with all subjects which relate strictly and solely to the nature of our future life, we may comprehend it quite sufficiently for one purpose: and that is gratitude. It was only for a moral purpose that the thing was revealed at all: and that purpose is a sense of gratitude and obligation. This was the use, which the apostles of our Lord, who knew the most, made of their knowledge. This was the turn they gave to their meditations upon the subject; the impression it left upon their hearts. That a great and happy Being should voluntarily enter the world in a mean and low condition, and humble himself to a death upon the cross, that is, to be executed as a malefactor, in order, by whatever means it was done, to promote the attainment of salvation to mankind, and to each and every one of themselves, was a theme they dwelt upon with feelings of the warmest thankfulness; because they were feelings proportioned to the magnitude of the benefit. Earthly benefits are nothing compared with those, which are heavenly. That they felt from the bottom of their souls. That, my opinion, we do not feel as we ought: but feeling


this, they never ceased to testify, to acknowledge, to express the deepest obligation, the most devout consciousness of that obligation to their Lord and Master, to him whom, for what he had done and suffered, they regarded as the Finisher of their faith, and the Author of their salvation.




HEBREWS, ix. 26.

"Now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."

IN a former discourse upon this text I have shown, first, that the scriptures expressly state the death of Jesus Christ as having an efficacy in the procurement of human salvation, which is not attributed to the death or sufferings of any other person, however patiently undergone, or undeservedly inflicted: and further it appears that this efficacy is quite consistent with our obligation to obedience; that good works still remain the condition of salvation, though not the cause; the cause being the mercy of Almighty God through Jesus Christ. There is no man living, perhaps, who has considered seriously the state of his soul, to whom this is not a consoling doctrine, and a grateful truth. But there are some situations of mind, which dispose us to feel the weight and importance of this doctrine more than others. These situations I will endeavour to de

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