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We have already shown that no less a being than God could atone for sin; but we must now remark that as man had sinned, so the law required that man should suffer. It was for this reason chiefly, we conceive, that our Saviour took not on him the nature of angels, but took upon him the seed of Abraham, being thus fitted in the estimation of the law to atone for the sins of man. Having therefore in due time appeared in the flesh, and sojourned a considerable time on earth for an example to his followers; the time drew nigh when the sentence of the law should be fulfilled in him who knew no sin; when he, who was God over all, blessed for ever, and who thought it no robbery to be equal with the Father, should be made a curse for us.

The sentence of the law was death; it behoved therefore, that the substitute should bear that sentence, and he did bear it in its fullest extent: He bore our sins in his own body on the tree, and thus magnified the law, and made it honorable. While hanging on the accursed cross, the Son of God exclaimed, 'It is finished; and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.' Then was justice satisfied,-it had wreaked its vengeance on the person of our Surety; and thus as many as believe in him, are saved from the wrath to come.

While he thus obtained our justification on Calvary, our great Redeemer also made provision for our sanctification. While he was yet with his disciples on the earth, he promised to send to them 'another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth.' To sanctify the heart of the believer, and to assimilate his character to that of God, is the peculiar office of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is not like

justification, attained at once; it is a progressive process. When a sinner believes in Jesus, his justification is completed, he is entirely freed from the punishment due to sin; but he is then only partially freed from the influence of sin itself. The work of the Spirit is only begun in his heart. That work, however, will still go on; day by day he will increase in love for holiness, and hatred at sin, though it will never be completed on this side of the grave.

Such, we conceive, is the design of the gospel, and such the means employed to accomplish this design. We shall now attempt to show the fitness of the means for the end.

We have already seen that the law was not adapted to the fallen state of man, nor indeed could be, so long as God was just; but 'what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

To man in his fallen and depraved state, the gospel is most admirably adapted. In calling upon a sinner, it does not address itself to his generous feelings; it does not appeal to his gratitude, and say, 'Can you any longer remain in disobedience to that God who has done so much for you?" "Can you any longer love sin, when you see its awful consequences in the death of the Redeemer?' The force of such language could only be felt by a renewed mind; such language were addressed to an unregenerate sinner in vain.

In his mind there is no generous feeling; it is wholly selfish. In his mind there is no impression

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of the love of God; there can, therefore, be no corresponding emotion of gratitude. How then, does the gospel address him? Is there yet any principle left in his depraved mind, which may be impressed by its declarations? Yes, there is such a principle, it is this very selfishness by which we have characterized him,—it is a love of self,desire of self-preservation,-a desire, when he sees his danger, to escape from the wrath to come, "What shall I do to be saved?' is the language of every sinner in this condition. It was for such characters that the gospel was intended, and it is to such that it holds forth its most gracious invitations. 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.' 'Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.'

If, through the blessing of the Holy Spirit, the sinner be led to this refuge, he immediately experiences a heavenly joy, a peace which the world knoweth not. To this joy succeeds love. His heart is now in some degree sanctified, and hence, he is in some degree capable of receiving impressions of holy love; the emotion of gratitude is excited in his bosom, and he loves in return. He feels that the debt of love which he owes is far greater than he can ever pay: and his language now is, 'What, can I do too much for him that died for me?' It is no longer a selfish principle which influences his conduct; he is now resolved to live not to himself, but to Him who died for him, and who rose again. It is not now we apprehend merely through the fear of future punishment, or even through the hope of future reward, that he avoids sin, and follows after holiness. He has now acquired a new nature, which cannot take pleasure

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of the love of God; there can, therefore, be no corresponding emotion of gratitude. How then, does the gospel address him? Is there yet any principle left in his depraved mind, which may be impressed by its declarations? Yes, there is such a principle, it is this very selfishness by which we have characterized him,-it is a love of self,-a desire of self-preservation,-a desire, when he sees his danger, to escape from the wrath to come, "What shall I do to be saved?' is the language of every sinner in this condition. It was for such characters that the gospel was intended, and it is to such that it holds forth its most gracious invitations. 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.' 'Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.'

If, through the blessing of the Holy Spirit, the sinner be led to this refuge, he immediately experiences a heavenly joy, a peace which the world knoweth not. To this joy succeeds love. His heart is now in some degree sanctified, and hence, he is in some degree capable of receiving impressions of holy love; the emotion of gratitude is excited in his bosom, and he loves in return. He feels that the debt of love which he owes is far greater than he can ever pay: and his language now is, 'What, can I do too much for him that died for me?' It is no longer a selfish principle which influences his conduct; he is now resolved to live not to himself, but to Him who died for him, and who rose again. It is not now we apprehend merely through the fear of future punishment, or even through the hope of future reward, that he avoids sin, and follows after holiness. He has now acquired a new nature, which cannot take pleasure

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