Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

been defeated by the power of temptation-whether they ever recollect in a single instance, that the death of Christ believed and regarded and made use of in the way now explained, was a weapon put forth in the contest with sin; and we ask, on the other hand, those who did make use of this weapon-whether it ever failed them in their honest and faithful attempts to resist the instigations of evil? We apprehend that the testimonies of both, will stamp an experimental, as well as a scriptural soundness, upon the affirmation of my text, that he who by faith in the death of Christ is freed from the condemnation of sin, has also an instrument in his possession, which has only to be plied and kept in habitual exercise, that he may habitually be free from its power.



Romans vi, 8—10.

"Now, if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God."

By the death of Christ a full penalty was rendered for sin, insomuch that He could no more be reckoned with on account of it. He undertook to be surety for all who should believe; and having finished His undertaking, the matter was closed, and the creditor now ceased from putting in any further claim, or preferring any further challenge against Him. For us to be dead with Christ, is just to share in this very exoneration. It was for us that the account was settled; and, just as much as if by death the appointed penalty we had settled it ourselves, do we now stand acquitted of all further count and reckoning because of sin. In the covenanting of ordinary trade, a deficiency from our engagements brings us into debt; but should an able cautioner liquidate the whole, we, in him, may be said to have sustained the prosecution, and borne the damage, and are now clear of the weight of conscious debt-because in him we have made full and satisfactory payment. In our covenant with the Lawgiver of heaven and earth, a

deficiency from our engagements brings us into guilt; but should a competent mediator take upon his own person the whole burden of its imputation and its penalty, we, in him, may be said to have been pursued even unto death which was its sentence, and should now feel clear of the weight of conscious guilt-because in him we have rendered a full atonement. And we live beneath our privilege, we fail in making the required use of the great propitiation, we are deficient of the homage that is due to its completeness and its power-if we cast not the burden of legal condemnation away from our spirits. It is detracting from the richness and the efficacy of Heaven's boon, for us to cherish the haunting imagination of a debt, that the revealed Surety has done away-or, changing the terms, to cherish the haunting imagination of a guilt, for which the High Priest whom God Himself has set forth, has made a sacrifice wherewith God Himself has declared that He is well pleased. So that it is your positive duty to take the comfort of this, and to feel the deliverance of this. In as far as you do not, in so far you nullify the work of redemption, and cast a dimness and a disparagement over the most illustrious exhibition of Heaven's grace-dignified as it is with the full expression of Heaven's righteousness. Be dead with Christ then; and, this you are by putting faith in the atoning efficacy of that death. He who so believes is as free from condemnation, as if the cup of it had been put into his own hands, and he

[blocks in formation]

had already exhausted it to its last dregs-as if in his own person, he had walked the whole length of the valley and shadow of that death which every sinner has rightfully incurred-as if what was only possible for the Godhead to have borne within a given compass of time, He Himself had borne, the sufferings of that eternity which is in reserve for all the guilt that is unexpiated. Be dead with Christ, by giving credit to the gospel testimony about the death of Christ; and the whole of this tremendous retribution for sin with you is as good as over—and it is your own comfort, as well as God's commandment, that you henceforth, with the assurance of being set at liberty from sin, walk before Him relieved from the bondage both of its conscious guilt and of its anticipated vengeance.

But in order to be fully conformed to the death of Christ, we must advert to what is said in the 9th and 10th verses, about the full and conclusive efficacy of it-so conclusive, that it had not again to be repeated, for He had to die only once, and death hath no more dominion over Him. There was power enough for the whole purpose of our deliverance from guilt in the one offering-a truth of sufficient worth, it would appear, to be urged by the apostle in other places of the New Testatament; when he says, that Christ did not offer Himself often; for then must He have often suffered since the foundation of the world-but now once, hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice. of Himself: And Christ was once offered to bear

the sins of many: And it is through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, that we are cleansed from guilt: And, finally, laying upon this point the stress of a frequent reiteration, does the apostle say that it is by one offering that we are for ever perfected. There is surely a real practical importance in a matter so much insisted on; and accordingly, we infer from another passage, that it was to save the believer from the constant recurrence and revival, in his heart, of a sense of guilt-it was that, once purged, he should have no more conscience of sins-it was that he should look on the controversy between him and God as now fully adjusted, and at an end-it was that in the contemplation of that one act, even the decease which Christ accomplished at Jerusalem, he should feel as conclusively relieved from the imagination of guilt, as the son, in whose behalf the father has interposed and given ample satisfaction to all his creditors, feels himself relieved from the imagination of debt-it was that we should no longer conjure into life again, those fearful misgivings, which the one death of Christ and our death with Him should hush into everlasting oblivion-So that, if it be our duty to rejoice in the comfort of our 'full acquittance, through the satisfaction rendered by Him who poured out His soul for us-it goes to enhance the comfort still more, that there is an amount and a value in this same satisfaction, for meeting all the exigencies of our future history in the world-thus ministering the very antidote

« AnteriorContinuar »