Imatges de pÓgina

me all ye ends of the earth and be saved!" Out of those cries, and tears, and bloody drops came a blessing which millions sought but never found, and which is now waking up the voice of praise to the ends of the earth, and putting shouts of halleluia into the lips of the dead! And where the knowledge of the Savior's sacrifice has not yet gone, it would not be extravagant to say, the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for its manifestation, and the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together for a deliverance which it alone can effect. Aye, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is "the desire of all nations"-" the pearl of great price."

Let us secondly, look at the sacrifice of the Savior as a monument of the Divine glory. The heavens, in all their varied beauties and vast and boundless magnificence, proclaim the glory of God. But this far outshines the wonders of the skies. It is to the Lord emphatically for a crown of glory and for a diadem of beauty. In two ways does it exhibit the Divine glory; first by furnishing an imperishable monument of his perfections, and secondly by securing the allegiance and everlasting services and praises of millions of aliens and rebels.

The sacrifice of Christ will be unto the Lord a bright and imperishable monument of his love. "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Nowhere else did this perfection receive such a complete and tender exemplification. This was love which overlooked the most aggravated causes of alienation and hatred, it prompted to the most astounding humiliation and suffering, it described the wide disparity between offended heaven and guilty earth, and looks to the salvation of uncounted multitudes from the death of sin and their exaltation to the sublimities of everlasting life. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us." Behold, and say, was ever love like this!

It will be to the Lord a monument of his power. The work of creation itself does not display a more wonderful putting forth of his power. A word called a world into existence; but a word could not call it back when it had wandered from its orbit. quired a far more wonderful expedient.

It will be to the Lord a monument of his justice. The lightnings which blasted rebel angels, and the awful thunders ever rolling in

the prison-house of the damned, speak the language of Jehovah's justice; but the tears-the groans—the dying agonies of the great Redeemer give to this attribute a voice more awful still. If God spared not his own Son when he was found in the room and stead of sinners, if the awful mandate went forth, "Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd;" how deep and eternal must be his abhorrence of sin, and his purpose to punish it? Surely, while the glad notes of salvation are being chaunted on the plains of glory, there will be a voice mingling in the song, and crying to the universe, "Stand in awe, and sin not."

The sacrifice of Christ will also be to the Lord a monument of his wisdom. How wonderfully it brings together conflicting principles without touching upon the rights or honor of either. How gloriously it dispenses pardon to the criminal, and at the same time authority and grandeur to the law. One has said, "when man sinned, methinks holy angels struck their harps in plaintive strains, and cried, alas! he is gone. They had seen the direful effects of sin before they had seen it seize upon angelic natures, and thin the ranks of heaven; and when man sinned, doubtless they expected that man would share in a similar doom. How can it be otherwise? Will God cease to be just? Will he suffer the honors of his government to be trampled in the dust? Perish such a thought as this. It cannot be. Methinks, it is repeated from world to world, it cannot be; and echoed back in dismal strains it cannot be. Then man is lost, forever lost! Amid this consternation, a voice is heard sweeter than the voice of an angel, or the harp of a seraph-it comes from him who is the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of his person. Lo I come! to do thy will O God! I will take the sinner's place. In my bosom shall the sword of justice be sheathed. I will make the great atonement.' What new mystery is this? Angels stooping from their lofty seats in glory, desire to look into it. And in all parts of the universe the song is sung, O the depths of the riches, both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!'" 1


But to form a complete estimate of the glory which the Redeemer's sacrifice brings to God, we must also take into the account that


new song" which none could learn but they which are redeemed

'Baker's "Christ the Mediator," p. 23.

from the earth, and which is to be sung before the throne in the midst of heaven's bright orders forever and ever. Surely it brings "glory to God in the highest!"

Finally, let us briefly look at the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the great subject of the christian's glory. There have been those in all ages of the christian era who have looked upon the death of Christ more as a thing of contempt than of glorying. It has been singled out as the thing most notoriously prominent in infamy. In the eyes of many, it was the death of a criminal-of an odious traitor-of a detestable impostor-of a vile slave. The Jews looked upon it as of all things the most cursed. The Gentiles viewed it with thrilling scorn and contempt. Nevertheless, the holy apostles were not ashamed to preach "Christ and him crucified;" and the cross has ever been the christian's highest glory.

And the christian glories in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, because it is the great foundation of his hopes. Because the Savior died, he believes that his ten thousand damning sins have been atoned for and forgiven, and that the hallowed smile of his reconciled God beams on him. Because the Savior died, he anticipates death with the glad belief that it is not an eternal sleep, and marches to his tomb with all its damps and horrors, as the place wherein to dress himself for heaven-as the attiring room for corruption to put on incorruption and fit him for the beatific vision. And because the Savior died, he looks forward with transporting hope to the day when he shall be clothed with the unsullied habiliments of glory and join with the glittering throngs of the ransomed in ascribing "Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."

He glories in the sacrifice of Christ again, because it is the great consideration which urges him to obedience and faithfulness to God. There is a very affecting incident recorded by the great Roman historian connected with the death of Manlius. When the Gauls were threatening to overwhelm the capitol, at night he stood upon its walls and fought hand to hand, until he had repelled them and saved the city. Afterwards he was accused; but the capitol towered in sight of the forum where he was tried, and as he was about to be condemned he stretched out his hands and pointed weeping to that arena of his triumph. At this the people burst into tears, and the judges could not pronounce sentence. Again the trial pro

ceeded, but again in the same way it was defeated; nor could he be convicted until they had removed him to a low spot from which the capitol was invisible. And so, my brethren, while the cross is in view, vainly will earth and sin seek to shake the christian's loyalty and devotion. One look at that bloody monument of a love which alone and when all was dark and lost interposed for our rescue, and all their efforts will be baffled. Low must he sink, and blotted from his heart must be the memory of that deed, before he can become faithless to his Redeemer or perfidious to his glory. There is a power in the cross which crucifies him unto the world, and crucifies the world unto him-it is the great propelling motive to holiness and love-the source of those sweet streams which water the flowery Eden of the church.

Yes, there is glory in the cross. It was a glorious Savior who died upon it. It was a glorious love which led him to die. It was a glorious object to redeem a world. And it is unspeakable glory which it has secured for the righteous. Oh, who would not glory in such an instrument-in such a badge! Who would censure the apostle for that bold and vehement expression, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." Wealth he no doubt once had at his command-his learning was vast and his genius mighty-authority, honor and power were within his reach, but he gloried only in the cross. Heaven grant that we may be animated with the same magnanimous spirit!

My direction then is, my hearers, if you wish to find the only sufficient sacrifice ever made for sins, go to the cross of Jesus. There you will find it flowing with virtue free and exhaustless as the love which provided it. If you wish to have the fullest and most glorious exhibition of the perfections of God, go to the cross of Jesus. There you will find lengths and breadths and depths and heights in the Divine government, and the Divine nature which the universe never previously beheld. If you wish to find a subject in which to repose your confidence and honor without fear of ever coming to shame, go to the cross of Jesus. It is this in which apostles, and martyrs, and reformers gloried, and in which ransomed millions in heaven are this day glorying. And if you wish to find the consideration to melt and move your hard and faithless heart, go to the cross of Jesus. Meditate upon the awful scenes of Calvary, and look at the sufferings of the blessed Son of God to save

you from eternal perdition; and if anything can excite your emotions, you will find them excited there. Aye, the cross, the cross! the cross first-the cross last-the cross now and forever! Cling to it; rely on it; place your hope in it; and make it the subject of your highest honor. In health and in sickness, in prosperity and in adversity, at home and abroad, among friends and among enemies, in life and in death, in time and in eternity, cleave ye only to the cross. Therein lies your strength, your safety, and your glory. It will be an anchor to your soul, a guide to your path, and a passport to conduct you into the mansions of the redeemed in heaven.

And particularly to those of you who have not yet decided with the whole heart in favor of the religion of Jesus, do I hold up and recommend the cross. Here it is, in all its grandeur, and in all its glory. It is held out to you with all the cordiality and freeness as when this work devolved on apostlic hands. There is not one single blessing, and its blessings are many, which it has conferred on any soul, which it will not confer upon you, if you embrace it as others have done before you. Look then to this as your last and only hope. Pray God in all earnestness to make it the effectual instrument of your salvation. And settling down your whole confidence and dependence in its merit, praise the wondrous love which has provided it, nor once doubt the certainty of your salvation. tender to you then the gladsome invitation of your Savior, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light,"


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