Page images
PDF
EPUB

Sacraments, and ordained a miniftry to convey the bleffings of Religion to fucceeding ages.

He was a priest: man, having incensed and provoked God's juftice, by a continued course of fin, it was highly neceffary, that, in officiating for us with God, our Mediator fhould render Him fome great and honorable reparation in our behalf; and the greateft reparation he could make, was to take our punishment upon himself, and offer up his own life to God, as a facrifice, for our fins. Had God required the punishment of thofe that had finned, the whole race of mankind must have been destroyed: and he would not pardon us without fome commutation for the punishment that was due to his juftice, that he might preserve, and maintain, the authority due to his laws. Upon which account his infinite wifdom and goodness found out this expedient, that fome. other perfon should fuffer in our stead; and so we might not be deftroyed, neither our fins go unpunished. Jefus Chrift gave " himself "a ranfom for us, and, by that one oblation " of himself once offered, he made a full, perfect, and fufficient facrifice, oblation, and fatisfaction, for the fins of the world."

[blocks in formation]

He was a king: he came into the world, indeed, in a low condition, very different from that of a prince. He not only humbled himfelf in taking our nature upon him, but was born of mean parents, who could not bring a lamb, and, therefore, they, at his presentation in the temple, offered for him " a pair of tur"tles." And yet the Prophet Isaiah truly stiles him, "the Prince of peace." The angel Gabriel told his mother, that "He should reign "over the house of Jacob for ever." He obtained, in his human nature, an abfolute power and dominion, whereby "he became Lord "and Chrift; the Prince and Saviour of his people." And this was according to what he had told his Apoftles, before his afscension, “all power is given me in heaven and in earth;" by virtue of which he established a Church, in order to diffeminate his bleffings, and proclaim his falvation.

66

66

And he had a power to fend down the Holy Ghoft to fupport it with wisdom, and direct it in truth. "When the Comforter is

[ocr errors]

come, whom I will fend from the Father, "He fhall teach you all things:"-by this Spirit, he conducts his fubjects, if they will fub

mit to his direction, into the way that leadeth "The Son of man hath

to eternal life. "power to forgive fins," and he applies a pardon to every one who confcientiously embraces his Gospel: we are the purchase of his blood, and the trophies of his victory; and, "if we are faithful unto death, he will give us a 66 crown of life."

[ocr errors]

II. Let us confider, more particularly, the perfons for whom he was born. "Unto you is "born this day a Saviour." These words were fpoken to a few fhepherds, "who were keep

ing watch over their flocks by night." Now these shepherds were Jews; which people expected a Saviour to be born of, and for, their own nation. But fo jealous were they of their privileges, and fo unwilling others fhould participate with them, that they denied him to the reft of the world; as if "God was ftill to "be known, and worshipped, in Jewry only." And if he had not been a light to lighten "the Gentiles, as well as the glory of his people Ifrael, thefe glad tidings of great joy"

[ocr errors]

would have been nothing to us, who were ftrangers to the common wealth of Ifrael."

[ocr errors]

But bleffed, for ever bleffed, be the God of all confolation,

Bb 2

confolation, who fent his Son "to give light "to all who fat in darkness, and in the fhadow "of death! We were all concluded under "fin ;" and fince "the wages of fin is death," we were to fuffer eternal punishment, from which human means could fuggeft no delive We were all in the fame condition, and no one could take upon him, to fatisfy for others, who ftood in need of a Saviour himfelf; and therefore, had not He, who was both God and man, undertaken, and paid our ranfom for us, we must have been liable to the wrath of an incenfed God.

rance.

Having confidered by whom we are redeemed, and, that it was to deliver us from eternal punishment, Jefus Chrift, as on this day, "left the glory which he had with the "Father before the world was," may I not addrefs you in the words of our Saviour to his difciples "Will ye alfo go away?" and answer for you all," Lord! to whom fhall we go? "Thou haft the words of eternal life.

[ocr errors]

III. I fhall beg your attention, whilst I make fome reflections fuitable to this day's folemnity

That God fhould leave the throne of his

glory,

glory, and condefcend fo far as to take upon Him our flesh that He fhould purchase for us fo great an inheritance-what tongue of men, or of angels, can fufficiently admire it, and make any fuitable returns of praise? "He "took not on him the nature of angels, but " he took on him the feed of Abraham." Yet at "his birth, the angels called upon one an"other, to give glory to God." And fhall we, for whofe fake he came down from heaven, be infenfible of his love? Surely it ought to fill our hearts with a lively fenfe, and our mouths with a due acknowlegement, of his mercy! "A joyful and pleasant thing it is to "be thankful," to behold the goodness and favors of God, to recount his mercies, and to hope for a continuance, and increase of them. To obtain which, let us confider,

(2dly) That we are required to live, not only in the profeffion, but under the influence, of Christianity. We are to regulate our actions, our defires, our thoughts by the word of God. God is no more reconciled to fin now, than he was before the coming of our Saviour, neither is Chrift lefs a profeffed enemy to Satan. "There is no more concord between Him and

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »