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you lay hold on eternal life! One man goes to use a scythe, but he takes it by the blade and cuts himself; another goes to fight, but he seizes the sword by its edge, and wounds himself. Thus is it with the Gospel. The Gospel, unless it be believed as the Gospel of God, may be known only to condemn. God's Gospel is just such as you need. Ha! it makes one happy only to think of the good news of God to us, poor helldeserving sinners. Now, here, in the word, is the Gospel. God was in Christ-doing what ? Judging the world ? condemning the world? Nay, though if the world goes on rejecting Jesus there must be judgment; but “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself.” I shall never forget, when personally anxious, reading that 2 Cor. v. 19, where it is said, “ God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; but hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” If this be true, God is reconciled, and is not now imputing unto us our trespasses, having imputed them to Him who bore them upon the cross—who died to make atonement for them, who put them away by the sacrifice of Himself. Hence I repeat it, God is reconciled; He does not want to be reconciled, He only wants me to be reconciled-shows me the cross, where I see His love manifested, in the gift of His Son, who died the death due to me; but because of which death I may live. Let me explain. I

go into court, where I have to meet one to whom I owe a large sum of money. It must be paid, or I must suffer; but I cannot pay it; and now I am in court; and the sentence is, that the money must be paid on a given day. I leave the court, but I cannot pay it, and so I abscond from the country, I fly to the antipodes, anywhere to get away from justice ; but the person to whom I owe the money has devised a plan whereby, through another, he may receive the debt, and now can say, “Go after him into the land of his exile, seek him out, tell him the debt is paid, and that for the rest of his life I and the law are reconciled towards him. Tell him that he may return in peace, that no idea of a policeman, with his hand on his shoulder, need haunt or harass him; go, seek him out, go to the antipodes, go into all the world, tell him he is free.” The creditor is reconciled to me, and all that I, the debtor, want is, simply to know it, and, on knowing it, to be reconciled to him, and in relation to him to have perfect peace.

You understand me: as long as the sinner says the doom which is due to my sins must be paid, and I cannot pay it, he will only get away from God as far as he can ; in fact, he would rather not think of it, but go to his sports and his games, to his follies and his sins, being only happy when he can banish the thought. God devised a plan, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. The Son of God came down in the person of Jesus, took my sorrows, my sufferings, my sicknesses; what is more, He took my sin ; and, like the man who came into court, when he saw the debt, laid down the money. Here is the Gospel, “ The Lord laid down His life for us, died the just for the unjust. He was wounded for our transgressions, was bruised for our iniquities; the Lord laid on him the iniquities of us all.” The debt was thus paid; “ the price of pardon was his blood,” and He said it down, He bore our sins on the accursed tree, " was delivered for our offences”-sins-carried them down with Him into the grave, where, so to speak, they now are-lost, buried, forgotten; for, in virtue of the death

upon the tree for sin, God says, “I have cast thy sins behind my back.” Christ, who bore them to His grave, rose without them. He is without sin before God for us. And as He stands there for us, the sins truly are “behind his back,” being down in that heart of the earth, where for us the Divine Surety

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left them. And now, with the debt paid, and the Surety accepted in heaven, having gone in with His completed work, the message to the sinner is, that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Not that I am not a sinner; not that I have not sinned ; the debtor in the far land could never deny that the debt was his; but he could say that another had taken the debt: so with us. We have sinned; but the Lord laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquities of us all. God, on the cross, was imputing our sins to Him, so reconciling us to Himself.

And now you say, What must I do to be saved ? We reply, believe this message of God. You say, Is that all ? for that surely is a very little thing to have to do. What! a little thing for the Son of God to die ? a little thing to take your sin ? a

sin ? But

But you say, It is an easy thing, then, to be saved! Nay; not easy. I will suppose that I am at the antipodes, and that one comes to me and

says,

“ You remember the debt you owed ?" I say, “Yes;" and he says, “ That debt has I

” been paid." What now do I say? Do I say, “Oh,

Ꭾ I that is an easy matter, or it is too simple ?" No, indeed; not so simple—but vast! singular ! wonderful! I ask, Is it really true? I question my informant. If he be true, I am saved. Thus, beloved, may you identify me as a true witness. Oh! do identify me as a true witness for God; go to the book of God, and see that the Son of God did come down here for sinners; that He died. Observe, He did not deserve to die. He never did a wrong thing; He was God's own Son; He never broke a law. Why, then, did He die ? Because He took the place of the guilty ; and as God did not spare Him who took the place of the guilty, it was that He might save us who are guilty. Judgment for sin on the cross has been given, and is past: it would be unjust to ask for it twice; that is, once at

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the hand of our suffering Christ, and then at the hand of the believing sinner. Now, Jesus took the judgment, and every soul who will take the advantage of it – appropriate it — that soul, believing, is, on the

. authority of God, a saved soul. “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."

Beloved, these are marvellous times. God is working everywhere. What conversions ! How many! and of sinners of all sorts. And they still multiply; Look at one who, on his own showing, often raised his hand against his mother, but is now saved; look at another, whose hand became suddenly palsied over the mystic cards, and when carried to his room exclaimed, “Oh, my God, if my servant were not here, I would cry for mercy.

Again ; look at another, mingling in polite society, with everything but God; full of pleasure, so-called, but arrested, alarmed, led to the cross, saved. And another, a peer of the realm, who, for more than eighty years, was a rebel against God; in his old age his wife, lately converted, with tears consulted as to his salvation; by advice, she opened a meeting in her own drawing-room, and while the Gospel was being preached, the aged peer heard the truth which reached his soul; and on his dying bed sent this message to his former associates among the nobles, “ Tell them I have lived without God, but have now found Jesus; God saved a poor, miserable sinner, and He can and will save all who believe."

These, and thousands more, are from the lanes and cities of these Gentile times. Rejected by Israel, He receiveth sinners. And now, from out of our wanderings amidst the highways and hedges of our ignorance and sin, He seeks out the wanderers for His house the starving for His feast. With divine efficacy of grace He brings the wanderers in — compels us to His board. The Holy Ghost reveals Jesus— His grace,

His blood; and then we have a will against our old will—a heart against our old heart to come. A feast is remarkable for its abundance. How infinite and endless are the provisions of Divine love. It was in their midst the prodigal sat, in silent wonder. It was there, while listening to the music and the dancing, he feasted on the fatted calf.

Ah, beloved, angels have no such food. They drink not at the cup of salvation. They feed not on dying love. God Himself finds His highest food in His knowledge and love of His Son. We are called to feast on the same, and there, in the midst of such provisions, each one sings

“Oh, to grace how great a debtor.” Yes, each one, until in heaven our voices will be like the mighty orchestra of seas on seas-floods on floods and ocean joined to ocean in its sound; yea, like the noise of many waters, blending with the sweetness of harpers harping with their harps. Says Christ, “ Compel them to come in.” It is the

compulsion of love—the irresistible power of love. What but such power of love led out Rebecca from her father's house? What but such love led the exiles to their David in the lone cave of the wood ? Jesus, with His own dying love, shows Himself to the poor heart that needs Him, and that heart is captive to His love.

So it is : Jesus, in love, died to save the chief of sinners." You have only to believe in a crucified, a loving Christ. May God give you now to take the Gospel as it is in His own word.

We, too, would compel you. For now, then, we are ambassadors for Christ, “ And we beseech you in Christ's stead be ye reconciled to God.”

Mark that word, “in Christ's stead." If we stand in Christ's stead what patience we should havel what

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