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love the Queen.” How could he love the Queen ? Was he not, on the morrow, to be hung by her laws ? Where, in his case, was there a way for love? There was room enough for misery, fear, and dread; but none, in the nature of things, for love.

Or suppose I had said, “My poor man, you must reform, be sorry, turn over to a new life.” On the morrow he was to die. The law demanded his death ; and none of those inward exercises of soul, nor outward moral amendments, would or could stay that demand. He had wept his last tears; he had groaned under the the sentence. But of weeping and groaning no account is taken by the law. He must be hung by law, or saved

by grace.

Now, these were the two alternatives that lay before God. God must, according to His justice, which demanded the sinner's death, utterly condemn him; or on the ground of grace, save him. He chose the latter. Grace reignednot at the expense of law, but by a most glorious vindication of the righteousness of law. Christ became sin; that is, He became responsible for its penalty, which was death. And that death He suffered-suffered for us. He took the place of the guilty; He bore the judgment of the guilty; and consequently the guilty, for whom He suffered, need not die. Life has been purchased for them. As has been well said, "Infinite worth has met and discharged eternal penalties.Thus the Gospel of the grace of God-God's good news (Rom. i. 1,)-is “the opening of the prison to them that were bound." It is the proclamation of pardon for the guilty—of salvation for the lost. It is

It is a message which puts us into a divine life; yea, into association with Christ. Says Paul“ We who were dead in sins, are quickened together with Christ, and raised us up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

Thus to know God-His grace and love to us as

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far more.

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sinners—is the true spring of our love to Him. love him because he first loved us." meagre Gospel merely to say that unless we change our ways, or love God, we shall be lost.

This may be man’s Gospel, but it is not God's. It is God's Gospel to say—We were guilty, lost; we had to die—were under sentence of death ; but Christ took that sentence-He did die for us. Receiving this, believing it, we are saved-yes; receiving it, or believing it as simply as did the murderer receive or believe the message which gave him bis life. Such is faith. The blessedness, however, of believing, is not in thinking of faith itself, but of its object; even as the murderer never thought of how he was to believe the message, but of the astounding and joy-inspiring truth which that message conveyed. And when he read or knew that message, it gave him life, joy, peace, gratitude. It was in him the germ of every emotion and affection which became a subject of such grace as that bestowed on him. Thus also is it with the good news of Christ. Strange preachingto tell everything but the Gospel ! Sad overlooking of my mission had I


into the prison cell, expatiating on the horrors of murder, and on the misery of the drop, and had enjoined on the criminal (a hopeless task in his case) sorrow for the past, and amendment for the future, but had forgotten to produce the Queen's reprieve! Melancholy trifling is it with souls, when sin is pourtrayed, and the law is opened, and death described, and the Judge at the door, and heaven depicted as lost, and hell—its doom, its fire, its worm, and flame-displayed; but no reprieve—no announcement of pardon-no news of life ! -no Gospelno good news of God !--no proclamation of Christ-no kingdom of heaven opened to all believers !

Let me not be mistaken. None can over-estimate the evil of sin, or the awfulness of death, and judgment, and eternity, to the unsaved. But to begin and end with these-how melancholy ! and may I not add, how cruel! Many a sinner already knows the misery of sin, the dread of dying, and the fear of hell. What he wants is to be saved. My poor prisoner—he knew the misery of murder, the horrors of the gallows. What he needed, and that which alone would meet his case, was grace, pure grace--the gift of his life. In no other way could it come. He had no reason to show for his life. He had no hope. Grace alone could meet his case. Grace alone can meet ours. Nor shall we ever take other ground-no, not even in heaven. It will be always and for ever

“Oh, to grace how great a debtor !" It will be always and for ever_“ Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and

Amen.” And, now, such is yrace. But the tree is known by its fruit. And, oh! what fruit! what joy and peace, on the reception of it! And we do not sin that grace may abound, but we put off the deeds of our former selves, that fruit may abound. For since we are raised up together with Christ, we mortify all that is not suitable to Him, or to the scene in which He hath placed us. That scene is heaven, (heavenly places,) where, before God, we are as Christ is—accepted in the beloved; righteous as He. Our title to enter into the holiest of all is simply the blood, which is there, and which cleanseth from all sin.

But, oh, are there any in this multitude who have never seen themselves to be dead ? or that all their works, their religion, their prayers even, in such condition, are but dead works. Ah, it is this which men do not see.

Satan blinds them by this deadly doing.

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It is when we see that Christ died for dead people people DEAD IN SINS—that we have the true light beginning to shine into us. The dead are shut up to God for life; for only God can give life.

66 And we, being dead in trespasses, are made alive together with Him.

.. having forgiven you all the trespasses." I know that strait, indeed, is this gate, and narrow, indeed, the way, and that few there be that find it; but except ye enter it ye are yet in your sins. .

And do we not now see what repentance is ? Repentance is a change of mind. It is a change about God. It is a change in us. What a change of mind respecting the Queen my poor felon had !-what a revulsion in himself. Grace got into his heart, and wrought all manner of change there. But there had been no change had he not received the grace. The carnal mind sees nothing good of God. When the Gospel reveals, and the Spirit shows, that Christ died for us, we not only see God in a new aspect, but what the eye sees the heart is moved to feel. “For God, who

. commanded light to shine out of darkness, hath shined into our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Hence we have another heart, by grace, quite opposed to the old heart, by nature, whose presence, alas! within us is still prone to unbelief.

Repentance is not merely It is surely that ; but it is more. It affects the whole life. Doctrine, experience, life, all find their centre in the returned prodigal. It were a pleasant task, as he rests enfolded in his father's arms, or is seated, in silent wonder, at his father's table, to make inquiry into the change that had befallen him-how hateful his old life; how blessed the new ! Surely, over the scene

where he sat might be read the inscription, “ BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED." Wondrous grace! Wondrous love!




“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord 80 cometh as a thief in the night.".-1 Thess. v. 1 to end.

THE Apostle reckoned that the Thessalonians knew the truth concerning both the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ for His saints, as He had promised in the fourteenth of John, and His subsequent coming in judgment to the world. Concerning the first of these, “ Ye show what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven.And, beloved saints, what I want you to do is, that you keep your eye fixed, not so much on the past, not so much on any memories, painful or pleasant, that you may

have of the life which now lies behind you—not on any of the experiences even of your past spiritual life, nor yet so much on your present trials or pursuits, but on the hope the Lord Himself has given you, that He who once ascended will again descend and take us to Himself, that where He is there we may be also.

He will come not then as Judge for judgment on the world, but as Son from heaven, to receive us to Himself; and also as Head, to take up the Church, which is His body, which then will have become complete. This—the Lord's coming for us is our special hope. It was that for which the Thessalonians were waiting,

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