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The Sacrifice of Christ.

The Sacrifice of Christ.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. WILLIAM HOWELS,

Ephesians v. 2.

" Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us,
and hath given himself for us, an offering and
a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling sa-
vour."'
BY REV. WILLIAM HOWELS,

Ephesians v. 2.

" Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us,
and hath given himself for us, an offering and
a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling sa-
vour."'

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 18, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST. BY REV. WILLIAM HOWELS,Ephesians v. 2. " Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling sa- vour."' o one but God can oppose sin successfully. Such is the weakness of the creature, that all finite beings, in all their immaculate glory, are incapable of opposing one sinful propensity suc- cessfully. But for the mighty power of God, sin would invade heaven, sweep its inhabitants into hell, and bury them there for ever. If we once knew ourselves, we should feel the absolute necessity of God's covenant, in all its infinitely glorious provisions ; not only to raise us from the death of sin, to justify us, to sanctify us, to make us perfect as God is perfect, and holy as he is holy ; but to keep us in a state of perfection 58 THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST. through the countless ages of eternity. If we knew ourselves individually, we should have no dispute about doctrine ; we should feel that, whatever the disposition of a finite being may be, good or evil, he must be eternally responsible to God. We should feel, at the same time, that the most exalted intelligence, and the purest, as well as the most exalted, would soon undo and ruin himself, if left to his own guidance. If we turn over the pages of revelation, we there see what God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
 
have done for fallen man ; first, m the Saviour's fulfilment of his covenant offices here below, in dying the just for the unjust; and, secondly, in the sanctifying, strengthening, and refreshing in- fluences of the Spirit of the living God. Till these truths are known and prized, man is alto- gether indisposed to attend to the voice of God. Rebellion is his element and his delight ; and all the eloquence of heaven and earth would be in- sufficient to deter him from the commission of a single sin. The mighty power of God alone can effect this, and carry on the work to perfection. Under its transforming influence, he listens with delight to the inspired writers when they charge him " to lay aside all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, with all malice ; and be ye kind one to another, ten- der hearted, forgiving one another, even as God THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST. 59 for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Be ye, therefore, followers of God, as dear children." We know the delight with which children follow their parents : this is the delight which true re- ligion inspires. It disposes us to follow God through every difficulty. Perhaps the trials to which we may be exposed are much greater than we are aware of. We possess and enjoy profound peace, no one presuming to disturb or molest us in the least degree in the service of God ; the law of the land shielding and protecting us. God grant that this peace may not be used and converted by Satan and our own deceitful hearts into a cradle to rock us to sleep on the brink of hell. Perhaps prosperity is the severest test to which principle can be brought.
 
We need not be desirous of fire and sword to try our principles, if we are conscious of triumphing over our bosom lusts, while in the lap of pros- perity. " Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an offer- ing and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour." In the first place, let us consider, I. The sacrifice of Christ ; and in doing so, I would first observe, that a divine person was abso- lutely necessary. The aggregate excellencies of finite being are infinitely too little to present the 60 THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST. Almighty with a sacrifice for sin. Finite being, however excellent, possesses nothing but what is due to God, for, and from, itself; while it is equally true, that the principle of obedience must continue to emanate from the bosom of God into the bosom of his servants throughout eternal ages. The individual who undertakes to atone, must have a perfect knowledge of the offended and the offending party. He must know the perfection of the one, and the imperfection and sinfulness of the other. If sin requires impartial punishment, it must, for that reason, demand all the punishment that is due to it. The individual who is punished for transgression, must be one who has a perfect knowledge of the evil and de- sert of sin. Again: He who atones, must be in possession of infinite worth. othing less than the glory of infinity and eternity can atone for transgres- sion. The individual must also be possessed of

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