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teries which are beyond the discovery of man. It is one of those things, into which the angels desire to look. What has been revealed to us is, That the death of Christ was the interposition of heaven for preventing the ruin of human kind. We know, that under the government of God, misery is the natural consequence of guilt. After rational creatures had, by their criminal conduct, introduced disorder into the Divine kingdom, there was no ground to believe that, by their penitence and prayers alone, they could prevent the destruction which threatened them. The prevalence of propitiatory sacrifices, throughout the earth, proclaims it to be the general sense of mankind, that mere repentance was not of sufficient avail to expiate sin, or to stop its penal effects. By the constant allusions, which are carried on, in the New Testament, to the sacrifices under the Law, as presignifying a great atonement made by Christ, and by the strong expressions, which are used in describing the effects of his death, the sacred writers show, as plainly as language allows, that there was an efficacy in his sufferings far beyond that of mere example and instruction. Part we are capable of beholding; and the wisdom of what we behold we have reason to adore. We discern in this plan of Redemption, the evil of sin strongly exhibited, and the justice of the Divinegovernment awfully exemplified, in Christ suffering for sinners. But let us not imagine, that our present discoveries unfold the whole influence of the death of Christ. It is connected with causes, into which we cannot penetrate. It produces consequences too extensive for us to explore. God's thoughts are not as our thoughts. In all things we see only in part; and here, if any where, we see only as through a glass darkly. This, however, is fully manifest, that Redemption is one of the most glorious works of the Almighty. If the hour of the creation of the world was great and illustrious, that hour, when, from the dark and formless mass, this fair system of nature arose at the Divine command, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy; no less illustrious is the hour of the restoration of the world, the hour when, from condemnation and misery, it emerged into happi.
ness and peace. With less external majesty it was attended; but is, on that account, the more wonderful, that, under an appearance so simple, such great events were covered.
It is finished! Holy victim, thy sufferings are finished ! All is finished, that wicked men were wonderfully destined to contribute towards the general déliverance: what remains, infinite power and infinite mercy shall accomplish. The disciples,-those few of them who had the courage to be present at this dismal scene,-hung their heads in sorrowful despondency, and seemed to have abandoned the hope, that this was he who should redeem Israel. But Israel is redeemed. The high sacrifice, appointed before the foundation of the world, typified in all the sacrifices of the law, is now slain, and is accepted. That Jesus, who, accord. ing to his own prediction, hath expired on the cross, shall, according to his own prediction, be raised again on the third day. He is raised. He is entered into glory. He is sitten down for ever at the right hand of the Majesty on high. There he pleads the merits of his blood, in behalf of those crying sins, that caused it to be shed. Nor does he plead in vain. The final judgment is committed to him; and the greatest of sinners, that will but forsake their evil ways, have no reason to fear the severity of a Judge, who hath himself been touched with the feeling of our infirmities. On the other hand, let not any deceive themselves with a vain reliance on his merits, who, after all that the Son of God hath done and suffered for them, remain impenitent. The sacrifice of the cross was no less a display
of the just severity, than of the tender mercy of God. The authority of his government must be maintained. This rendered intercession and atonement necessary for the pardon of sin. For those, who neglect so great salvation, who cannot be reclaimed by the promises and threatenings of the gospel, by the warnings of God's wrath, by the assurance of mercy, by the contemplation of their Saviour's love,- for those, who cannot be reclaimed by these powerful motives from
obstinate courses of wilful vice, there assuredly remain. eth no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for of fiery indignation, which, at the last day, shall burn with unextinguishable rage, against those incorrigible adversaries of God and goodness.
ON THE CONSOLATIONS OF RELIGION.
What is it, О child of sorrow, what is it that now wrings thy heart, and bends thee in sadness to the ground? Whatever it be, if thou knowest the truth, the truth shall give thee relief. Have the terrors of guilt taken hold of thee? Dost thou go all the day long mourning for thy iniquities, refusing to be comforted? And, on thy bed at night, do visions of remorse disturb thy rest, and haunt thee with the fears of a judgment to come? Behold! The Redeemer hath borne thy sins in his own body on the tree; and, if thou art willing to forsake them, thou knowest with certainty, that they shall not be remembered in the judgment against thee. Hast thou, with weeping eyes, committed to the grave the child of thy affections, the virtuous friend of thy youth, or the tender partner, whose pious attachment lightened to thee the load of life ? Behold! They are not dead. Thou knowest that they live in a better region, with their Saviour and their God; that still thou holdest thy place in their remembrance; and that thou shalt soon meet them again to part no more. Dost thou look forward with trembling to the days of darkness, that are to fall on thyself, when thou shalt lie on the bed of sickness, when thy pulse shall have become low, when the cold damps have gathered on thy brow, and the mournful looks of thy attendants have told thee, that the hour of thy departure has come? To the mere natural man this scene is awful and alarming. But, if thou art a Christian, if thou knowest and obeyest the truth, thou needest fear no evil. The shadows, which hung over the valley of death, shall retire at thy approach: and thou shalt see, beyond it, the spirits of the just, and an innumerable company of angels, the future companions of thy bliss, bending from their thrones, to cheer the departing soul, and to welcome thee into everlasting habitations. Why, then, my Christian Brother, why should slavish terrors of the future disquiet thy soul, in the days of this vain life, which passeth away like a shadow? The Gospel hath not given thee the spirit of fear, but of confidence and joy. Even now there is no condemnation to them, who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit; and, when they die (a voice from heaven hath proclaimed it), Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labour, and their works do follow them.
ON THE EARTH, AS ADAPTED TO THE NATURE OP MAN.
If we consider thd earth as allotted for our habitation, we shall find that much has been given us to enjoy, and much has been left us to improve; that we have ample ground for gratitude, and no less for industry. In those great outlines of nature, to which art cannot reach, and where our greatest efforts must have been ineffectual, God himself has finished these with amazing grandeur and beauty. Our beneficent Father has considered those parts of nature as peculiarly his own, as parts which no creature could have skill or strength to amend, and therefore made thend incapable of alteration, or of more perfect regularity. The heavens and the firmament show the wisdom And the glory of the Workman. Astronomers, who are best skilled in the symmetry of systems, can find nothing there that
they can alter for the better. God made these perfect because no subordinate being could correct their defects. When, therefore, we survey nature on this side, nothing can be more splendid, more correct, or more amazing. We there behold a Deity, residing in the midst of an universe infinitely extended every way, animating all, and cheering the vacuity with his presence. We behold an immense and shapeless mass of matter, formed into worlds by his power, and dispersed a intervals, to which even the imagination cannot travel in this great theatre of his glory, a thousand suns, like our own, animate their respective systems, appearing and vanishing at Divine command. We behold our own bright luminary fixed in the centre of its system, wheeling its planets in times proportioned to their distances, and at once dispensing light, heat, and action. The earth, also, is seen with its twofold motion, producing by the one the change of seasons, and by the other the grateful vicissitudes of day and night. With what silent magnificence is all this performed! with what seeming ease!
The works of art are exerted with interrupted force, and their noisy progress discovers the obstructions they receive; but the earth, with a silent steady rotation, successively presents every part of its bosom to the sun, at once imbibing nourishment and light from that parent of vegetation and fertility) But not only provisions of heat and light are thuy supplied, but its whole surface is covered with a 'transparent atmosphere, that turns with its motion, and guards it from external injury. The rays of the sun are thus broken into a genial warmth; and wbile the surface is assisted, a gentle heat is produced in the bowels of the earth, which contributes to cover it with verdure. Water also is supplied in healthful abundance, to support life and assist vegetation. Mountains arise to diversify the prospect, and give a current to the stream.
Seas extend from one continent to the other, replenished with animals, that may be turned to human support; and also serving to enrich the earth with a sufficiency of vapour. Breezes fly along the surface of the fields, to promote health and vegetation. The coolness of the evening invites to rest, and the freshness of the morn