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here behold him in the attitude of devoting himself to the amazing work of human redemption. HE GAVE HIMSELF. We

may view him, either far back in the ages of eternity, when in the counsels of Heaven he offered himself for the stupendous undertaking of rescuing a guilty race from merited ruin and wretchedness, or when in the fulness of time, he entered upon the mighty enterprize. In either case, we see him cheerfully consenting to meet the terrible array of foes and frowns, of sorrows and sufferings, which were in the way of the momentous achievement. When he gave himself, he did it, not as we sometimes give ourselves to the pursuit of an object, with only some general and indistinct apprehensions of the efforts, the labors, the trials, and pains it may cost us, but with a full and accurate view of every step, every event, and every pang involved in the work. He did not give himself to it, hoping that the task might be easy, and the conflicts few ; but he did it knowing that it must occasion him untold suffering. Standing on the watch tower of eternity, and beholding all time and its events, he offered himself a willing sacrifice for the sins of the world. He gave himself to be poor and destitute, not having where to lay his head-to be despised and rejected of men-to be buffeted and spit upon, to be scourged and crowned with thorns—to be deserted and frowned upon by his heavenly Father--to be falsely accused, unjustly condemned, and cruelly and wantonly deprived of life by the protracted agonies of crucifixion. He gave his own holy, sinless soul to be made a sin-offering for a world of transgressors. HE GAVE HIMSELF to be denied, betrayed, and abandoned by his own followers to the brutal rage

of excited enemies. Ah! HE GAVE HIMSELF to feel a world's guilt pressing on his innocent soul.

Our Saviour devoted himself to this work cheerfully, freely, without constraint. This gift being sometimes spoken of as the gift of the Father, and sometimes as the gift of the Son, teaches us, that the Son and the Father are one. What the one gives, the other gives also. This mode of speaking is peculiar to the scriptures, and to this single subject. When we read, that Jesus Christ, who is God's unspeakable gift, GAVE HDSELF, laid down his own life and took it again, we must conclude, that one passage of scripture plainly contadicts the other, or that God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, are alike the supreme God. But who will charge the word of unerring truth with contradicting itself? It is the word of Him who cannot lie. This kind of proof is irresistible. The conclusion that Chilst is God, is inevitable. Indeed, the very passage we are considering stands in immediate connexion with ORE, which is generally understood to declare the same great truth. I will repeat it. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, even eair Saviour Jesus Christ, WHO GAVE HIMSELF FOR US, THAT HE MIGHT REDEEM US FROM ALL INIQUITY, AND PURIFY UNTO HIMSELF A PECULIAR PEOPLE ZEALOUS OF GOOD WORKS.

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We have seen the manner in which the divine Saviour gave himself; it concerns us now to notice for what end he made this sublime consecration—this infinite saerifice. HE GAVE HIMSELF FOR US. Every child of Adam can, with the utmost propriety and truth, say= The Saviour GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME. He tasted death for every man. Every man is alike in need of spiritual redemption. The ransom requisite for the redemption of one, is adequate to the redemption of the whole of our species. The Apostle used this language in writing to a christiani brother And there is doubtless a peçuliar sense, in which this may be said of true christians. They are partakers of his redemption. But he gave himself a ransom for all. The special and personal benefits of his redemption, are, however, limited to penitent believers. They alone really seek and desire these benefits. HE GAVE HIMSELF for such—he in soñe sort, assumed their condition-placed himself in their

sors.

stead—became subject to their accidents as transgres

He was cut off, but not for himself. He suffered, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. He was made sin for us—an offering and a sacrifice for sin ; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. That is, that in him we might show the nature, the extent, and the righteousness of the divine requirements. Or that we might by the grace of God be freely justified, through the redemption there is in him.

It is observable, that there are two principal ends attained in respect to sincere believers, by Christ's giving himself for them. These are distinctly noticed in the text. The first is redemption from all iniquity. By this we are to understand their exemption from the curse of transgression, as well as their ultimate deliverance from the impurity and power of all sin. He bore that curse.

He suffered the penalty of God's violated law. This is what is meant by the expressions—He bore our sins in his own body on the tree-On him was laid the iniquity of us all. In consequence of his sufferings and death, believers shall not suffer the just deserts of their sins. They shall not come into condemnation, but are passed from death unto life. They are justified from all those things, from which they could not be justified by the moral law. If the question arises in any mind, how the sufferings of Christ can avail to redeem men from the penalty of sin, the only answer is, that God has declared that they are available to this end. This ought to satisfy us. It is enough for us to know with certainty that such is the fact. It is according to the constitution of God's spiritual kingdom, that the sufferings and death of Christ shall infallibly secure from final suffering, all who repent and believe in him. Without this very equivalent, we are impliedly assured, that God could not be just in pardoning a single transgression. Though the divine declarations on this point ought to be satisfactory, and will be so to all well dis

posed minds, yet we are not forbidden to seek for an answer to this question, in the propriety and suitableness of this grand feature in God's gracious economy.

A reason for the availableness of the Saviour's sufferings in redeeming sinners from the penalty of transgression, may be found in the infinite dignity of his person. He was God that suffered, though not as God. The acts and properties of either nature, are attributable to his person. We are also told, that'. God purchased his church with is own blood ;—that is, with the blood shed by him who was God manifest in the flesh. There could be no merit in the sufferings of a mere creature, which could avail to prevent the deserved suffering of of a fellow creature. But when we are told, that the great God our Saviour GAVE HIMSELF FOR US, THAT HE MIGHT REDEEM US FROM ALL INIQUITY, we may discern a reasonableness—a fitness in that act being available in behalf of transgressors.

But the redemption of Christ extends farther, than to the removal of the penal curse of transgression. It is an ultimate deliverance from all the defilement and sway of sin. It would be a limited and imperfect redemption indeed, that leaves its subjects still wearing the chains, and still wallowing in the pollution of sin. A glorious perfection and completeness pervades the economy of grace. The gracious gift of a Saviour to turn away from sinners the avenging sword of divine justice, brings with it an influence, which gradually extinguishes the dominion of sin in the believer's soul. The Saviour did not finish his work, until he had received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost; nor did he ascend to resume his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high, without shedding forth the sacred influence upon the world he had redeemed with his blood. This was the great gift he received for men, when leading captivity captive he ascended on high. This perpetuates and perfects the work he undertook. Thus by his once offering himself, he hath perfected for

HIMSELF A PECULIAR PEOPLE.

ever them that are sanctified. That is, he has secured their emancipation from the guilt and the power of sin.

This leads me to consider the other principal end attained in respect to real believers by the offering of Christ, to wittheir sanctification. To PURIFY UNTO

The blessed agent by whom this work is accomplished, has already been mentioned. But it is important that we should remember, that the kingdom of grace is a kingdom of means adapted to certain high and glorious ends. Now the means by which the Holy Spirit effects, the sanctification of believers, are those very truths and doctrines involved in the great subject of redemption—the doctrines of the cross.

In the scriptures the sacrifice or the blood of Christ, is sometimes spoken of as the procuring cause of our justification, and sometimes, as the means of our sanctification. Much more being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. Here the blood or offering of Christ, denotes the merits of his atonement. But there are other passages in which the blood of Christ, by which we are redeemed, is spoken of as the means of our sanctification.

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot unto God, purge your consciences from dead works to serve the living God. The saints in heaven are represented as walking in white, because they had washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. Now the term blood when used in this figurative sense, evidently means the doctrines of the cross, which are the great means of purifying the believer's heart. Ye are clean, said the Saviour to his disciples, through the word which I have spoken unto you. A belief of the great doctrine, that the Lord Jesus Christ

himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity, is the means by which the Holy Spirit promotes the sanctification of all who believe. Nor, is it believed, throughout the whole range of thought, considerations can be found so strongly urging the crucifixion of

gave

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