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faid: but I have mentioned it. by itself, because befides that fenfe of the obligation and purity of the law of God, which muft pave the way to a finner's acceptance of the righteousness of Chrift, there is a difcovery of the evil of fin, and its abominable nature, in every part of this "myf"tery of godlinefs, God manifefted in the flesh," and the truths founded upon it; so that the more these are believed, and the more they are attended to and recollected, the more must the believer be determined to hate and abhor every wicked and false way; every new view which he takes of the gospel of his falvation, every act of truft and confidence exerted upon it, muft increase his horror of fin, and excite him to fly from it.


Let us confider a little what views are prefented us of the evil of fin in the doctrine of Chrift, and of him crucified. Here we fee that a holy and juft God would not forgive fin without an atoneWhat a demonftaation is this of its malignity, if carefully attended to, and kept conftantly in our eye, as a part of our very idea of the Divine Nature! The difficulty in this cafe is our partiality in our own cause; we are unwilling to think fin fo very blame-worthy, because this is condemning ourfelves: but, let us confider what views an all-wife and impartial God hath of it, and form ours upon his. And that we may VOL. I.



not fo much as once blafphemously imagine, that he alfo is partial on his own fide, let us remember that he is the God of love, who, by this very falvation, hath magnified his love in a manner that paffeth knowledge. He fhews his fenfe of the evil of the crime, even whilft he is contriving, nay, in the very contrivance of a proper way for the criminal's escape. He is not, fo to fpeak, fetting forth the malignity of the offence, in order to justify the feverity of his own vengeance, but he is exerting his amiable attribute of mercy, and yet here muft the evil of fin appear.

Confider, in a particular manner, upon this fubject, the dignity and glory of the person who made this atonement. The value of the purchase may be seen in the greatnefs of the price; the evil of fin in the worth of the propitiation.

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For we are not redeemed with corruptible


things, fuch as filver and gold, but with the "precious blood of Chrift, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot *. It was no lefs a perfon than the eternal and only begotten Son of God, who was before all worlds, the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his perfon, who fuffered in our ftead. Whoever confiders the frequent mention in the facred oracles, of the glory and dignity of the perfon of Chrift, must be fatisfied that it is not

# I Fet. i. 18.


without defign; and none can truly relish or improve these truths, but fuch as thence learn the evil of fin, the immenfenefs of that debt which required one of so great, nay, of infinite and inexhaustible riches, to be able to pay it. A creature indeed behoved to fuffer; and therefore he became the son of man, but intimately united to the Creator, God blessed for ever. It was one of the first and earliest confeffions of faith, That Jefus Chrift was the Son of God; and this belief must have the strongest influence in fhewing us the evil of fin, which none else was able to expiate.

In many paffages of Scripture, God's fending his own Son into the world to fave finners, is represented as the strongest proof poffible of his compaffion and love. The nearness of the relation teaches us, as it were, to fuppofe fome reluc tance in beftowing him; in allufion to which there is a beautiful expreffion of the apostle Paul, "He that spared not his own Son, but deli"vered him up for us all, how shall he not with "him also freely give us all things?" The very fame thing fhews, with equal clearness, his abhorrence of fin. However ftrongly disposed to fave finners, he would have fin to be expiated, though his own Son fhould be the victim: if any thing could have made him difpenfe with it, this * Rom. viii. 32.

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fhould furely have had the effect: and therefore the condemning of fin feems to have been as much in view, as the falvation of the finner.

Every light in which we can view this fubject, contributes to set before us the evil of fin. I fhall only mention further, the greatness and severity of the fufferings of our Redeemer, as they are reprefented both prophetically, to fhew how much was exacted, and hiftorically, to fhew what was paid. As the whole of his life was to be a ftate of humiliation and forrow, it is faid, "* As many

were astonished at thee, his visage was so mar"red more than any man, and his form than the "fons of men." Again, "He is defpifed and

rejected of men, a man of forrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid, as it were, ❝ our faces from him; he was defpifed, and we "efteemed him not." Once more, "He was $ wounded for our tranfgreflions, he was bruised

for our iniquities: the chaftifement of our "peace was upon him, and with his ftripes we "are healed." In the hiftory of his life in the new teftament, we fee all this verified, in the meanness of his birth, and the continued infults and reproaches thrown upon him during the courfe of his life. There is one remarkable paffage, John viii. 57. "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and haft thou seen Abraham?" The

Ifa, lii. 14. liii, 5, 5.


meaning of this is hardly obvious, unless we fuppofe that his natural beauty and bloom was fo wafted and decayed by forrow, that he feemed to ftrangers near twenty years older than he really


In the clofe of the gospel, we have an account of the laft fcene of his fufferings, in the garden, and on the cross. "He was fore amazed, and

very heavy. His foul was exceeding forrow"ful, even unto death. His fweat was as it

were great drops of blood, falling down to the ground." He was at laft ftretched on an accurfed tree, where the pain of a tortur'd body was but small to the anguish of an overwhelmed spirit, which conftrained him to utter this heavy complaint, "My God, my God, why haft thou "forfaken me?" Let the Chriftian ftand at the foot of the cross, and there see the evil of fin, which required fo coftly an expiation. Let him there fee the holiness and juftice of God in its punishment. Let him hear the moft High, saying, "Awake, O fword, against the man who is my "fellow." And let him thence learn, how much fin is the object of divine deteftation.

Hath a believer then a firm perfuafion of all these truths? Are they the frequent theme of his meditations? And must they not necessarily fill him with an abhorrence of fin, inflame him with a-hatred of it, and excite in him a felf-lothing on C 3


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