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find from St. Luke's account of this interview of Jesus with them, that they were to “ preach remission of sins in his name among all nations." This then was the Gospel, those glad tidings of great joy, which they were to proclaim throughout the world, " Remission of sins in the name of Jesus Christ."

Such was the Gospel which St. Peter preached to the Jews on the day of Pentecost, when he said to them, “ Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” Such was the Gospel which the same Apostle preached to the Gentiles, when he said to Cornelius, and to those assembled with him to hear the things commanded of God, “To Him,” that is, to Jesus Christ, "give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.

Such in like manner was the Gospel which St. Paul preached in the text to the Jews at Antioch in Pisidia. Having entered into their synagogue on the Sabbath-day, and obtained permission to address them, he shewed them very fully and clearly that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, the promised Saviour, whom the prophets had foretold, and their pation had so long expected. And having proved this point, he proceeded to apply the

subject in the words of the text, “ Be it known unto you therefore, Men and Brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins, and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

These were the gracious tidings which he was commissioned to bring them; while they having heard the heavenly message, were to be careful how they neglected it. For as it would be a message of life to them if they received it, so it would be a message of more dreadful death to them, if they received it not. " Beware, therefore, (pursues the Apostle) lest that come upon you which is spoken of in the prophets, Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and perish: for I work a work in your days; a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.” The judgements predicted by the prophets would surely fall with tenfold vengeance on that generation, if they slighted and rejected the Gospel, which now was preached unto them. But, my Brethren, let me remind

you,

that the office of the Ministers of Christ is the same now that it ever was. We come not to you indeed with the same authority which the Apostles exercised; we come not unto you claiming divine inspiration, nor confirming our words by signs and miracles : but

we come to you preaching the same Gospel, proclaiming to you the same gracious tidings of Forgiveness of Sins through Jesus Christ, and warning you in the same solemn manner to beware how you slight these mercies, and reject so great salvation. This is the office which we hold among you; and in discharge of it I would say to you, as St. Paul said to these same Jews at Antioch, “ Men and Brethren, unto you are the words of this salvation sent.' I would address you this day as he then addressed them in the words of the text, setting before you, on the one hand,

I. The glad Tidings of the Gospel ; and, on the other hand,

II. The Guilt and Danger of rejecting them.

And may that blessed Spirit, who alone can give efficacy to the preaching of the Word, so bring it home with power to your hearts, that you may feel its quickening influence on your

soul, and find that God is with us of à truth!

I. Let me set before you the glad Tidings of the Gospel, as they are stated in the text. “ Be it known unto you, Men and Brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins, and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."

Here you are reminded of the great blessing which the Gospel offers you, Forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ.” My Brethren, we have all sinned; and sin unpardoned will ruin the soul. We have all in numberless instances transgressed that holy law of God; of which every transgression is sin, and brings us under condemnation. Sin is a debt due to the justice of God; a debt, which, unless it be paid, will assign the sinner for ever to the prison of hell. Till sin be remitted, it lies charged upon the soul which has committed it. And God has expressly declared, « The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” “I will by no means clear the guilty.” “I will not at all acquit the wicked.”

As to paying this debt ourselves, it is entirely out of our power.

We can of our. selves do nothing to obtain remission of sins. We have nothing to give, nothing to offer. Only one thing can suit our case; a free and full forgiveness: that very blessing which the Gospel brings to us through Jesus Christ.

He saw the lost condition of sinners. He saw and pitied them. And though He were the Son of the Most High, “God over all blessed for evermore," yet, out of pure compassion to sinners, He came to be their Saviour. He put himself in their place, took on himself their nature, and offered up himself in their stead. By the one great sacrifice of Himself, he made satisfaction to the justice of God, and fully answered the demands of his holy law. Thus, in His own person, He paid the debts of sinners. Thus, " by His blood they have redemption, even the forgiveness of sins.” That forgiveness of which they stood in need, that forgiveness by which alone they can be saved, is now vouchsafed to them through Him, in virtue of His merits and His sufferings for them.

Take notice, my Brethren, how this matter stands. If

If your sins be not freely pardoned, you must bear the guilt and punishment of them for ever and ever. But Christ offers freely to pardon them.

He proclaims to you the forgiveness of sins, through the infinite value of that precious blood-shedding, which He made for them on the Cross. He offers to deliver you for ever from all the pains and penalties, from all the guilt and punishments to which sin has subjected your miserable and immortal souls. Is not this a Gospel, a gracious message indeed?

Are not these glad tidings of great joy indeed ?

“ God is in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” How ardently I wish that I could duly impress your hearts and minds with a sense of these glorious Truths! Let me, with this view, more particularly point out to you the nature of this forgiveness of sins which the

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