St. Jori 1. 29. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and said Behold the Lamb of God, which tAketh away the sin of world. It is certain from the Word of God that the bUfO^ of goats and cahes, of bulls and sheep, can neV^^ take away sin, nor cleanse the conscience of i^^ guilty. It is certain from the Word of God, tb^ no mere human being can redeem his brother , or gi^ to God a ransom for him* It is certain from tt*^^ Word of God, that in sacrifice and offering, au^^^ burnt-offerings, and offering for sin, God had vl^^ pleasure, which were offered by the Law.f It i^ ^ certain from the Word of God, that the Lord coulcJ not be pleased, after a man's fashion, with thousands of rams, or ten thousands of rivers of oil, nor with the sacrifice of a first-bom for a father's trans-gression, or with the fruit of the body for the sin of the soul.§ othing that the whole world could * Ps. xlix. 7. t Heb. x. 8. § Mic. vi. 7.

SERMO XXII. 161 , offer would compensate to the Almighty for man's ^^bedience. othing that all the sinful generaI tions of fallen Adam could contrive or imagine would

[ for one moment arrest the arm of justice. We must look for something more than this earth by itself could offer ; for something more than human nature ^uld ever bring about. If silver, and gold, and precious stones cannot so much as ransom the body from deaths much less can they secure the soul from everlasting punishment. ^Reason seems to say as much. Did ever any man J^'^el the holier for any offering he had made, external *^ Iiimself ? Did ever any man feel within him a conscience cleansed by the use of outward rites and ^^i^emonies, apart from the revealed mercies of God ? I^id ever any man through a 6rotAer*s help arise *J^oiai the depths of sin and sorrow, and say truly, ' I am delivered from all mine iniquities; they are "lotted from the memory of my Judge ; in forgiveness I am safe?'* Did ever any man at any time ^^xd that the sacrifice of thousands of animals, or the ^nfferings of thousands of men, had power to make *^^^Jai perfect in the presence of the Almighty ? -And yet an escape from eternal perdition, a prepaoratory holiness^ a gradual perfection, an inward P^ace of the forgiven soul, are things which all men ^eed, and in their better moments seem to long for. It may be indeed that they cannot alwavs tell what ¦

162 SERMO XXII. it is they feel^ what the yearning of their hea^ may mean ; but we can interpret it for them by iJ light of the Word of God. And we can do mc^ than interpret ; we can tell them where to lool and where to meet with all that they need and wig for^ while we set up our Christian standard as a ensign upon a Mil, Behold the Lamb of God whk taketh away the sin of the world* God has provided a Lamb for a burnt-offering ; Lamb without spot or blemish ; a Lamb that oui weighs the value of all the earth contains mw precious j a Lamb whose blood can wash away ever sin, and all the guilt of all the generations of mankind a Lamb whose death can purge the conscience fr(p dead works to serve the living God. The imenlightene mind may ask, "How can these things be? Whs makes this marvellous difference between the o» Lamb of God and the millions of men^s sacrifices? Is it because of God^s appointment? ot simp so; for God appointed animal sacrifices under t Law, and accepted them from the patriarchs befc the Law; but they could not take away sin; tl» were only types of that one Sacrifice which can "t^ away sin/^ Is it because He who is the- Lamb God was the best and holiest man that ever liv^ o ; for the righteous man could only save his o' soul alive by his righteousness ; he could not red^ even one other soul, however perfect he might

SERMO xxn. 163 himself; for it costs more to redeem their souls, so that he mtest let that alone for ever, writes the Psalmist :

that is to say, o mere human being can rescue anoth.er from temporal death; how much less then can Ixe rescue from eternal death ? ^^Ti^at then shall we think of those who speak of this Ijamb of God as one of God's created works ; as a xnere creature, though haply the highest and the i>«st? How could such an one take away the sm of the world ? or relieve the consciences of the guilty generations of mankind ? And what shall we say of those who set this Lamb of God down on a level with ourselves, as a man, though haply the ^t and purest of the race, a true and faithful pattern of all human excellence ? How should the ueath of such an one do you and me the good we need? Should we not still remain before God in ^^ unforgiven guilt? How should our hearts be ^>3aforted by all His holy sufferings? How could *ie ever say to sin-stricken souls and grief-worn spirits. Come unto Me, and I will git)e you rest. Surely the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Lamb ^* Ood slain from the foundation of the world, must ^^ tnore than man, more than angel, more than any ^^^ature of God^s hand. Yes; He is indeed the

^^ly-begotten Son of the Everlasting Father; the ^^U-beloved from all eternity; the Express Image ^f the Divine Person ; the Lord Jehovah, Very God M%

164 SERMO XXIL of Very God ; begotten, not made ; of one substanee with the Father : He by whom all things were made. Behold, then, in Him the Lamb of God which taketb away the sin of the world. He that made us can re-make ; He that condemned can absolve ; He that punished can forgive. But now, as it is written in the Word of God, Once, in the end of the world, hath He appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself The Son of God has died as the Son of Man. Surely He hatk borne our sorrows, and by His stripes we are healed. The heart of the mourner is with the Lord in the garden of Gethsemane ; the eye of the believer is lifted to the cross on Calvary; the soul of the sinner takes comfort from the sorrowful loud cry. My Ood, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? The worshipper of the crucified Jesus knows within himself the de^T truth of that saying from the Cross, It is finished. But is it finished? is the whole mystery of '^^ demption brought to a close ? The fevered sufffe^^" on his bed of sickness answers. o; the tollingf the funeral bell rings out a solemn o; the lii^''-" mounds of turf some six feet by two which lift i^^ sod of our churchyards, answer. o. The death ^ the Lord Jesus has not redeemed our bodies frc7^ death, corruption, and the grave ! There is the^ there must be for man^s satisfaction, something h^^ yond the Cross of Christ ; something beyond tb^

SERMO XXII. 165 »tli and burial of the Lord Jesus. The untold ignish of His holy soul must end in unutterable ?y; death must conquer death, that life and imiortality may be brought to light. Therefore the jamb of God which was slain from the foundation f the world, that Lamb which alone can take away in by the sacrifice of Himself, w«* delivered for our offences and was raised again for otcr justification ;* ind thus declared to he the Son of God with potoer, yxording to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Otherwise, if Christ be not raised, our faith is vain; we are yet in our sins; guilt still H^eighs down the conscience ; sorrow eats out the comfort of the soul. If Christ be not raised, then hey which have Mien asleep in Christ are perished >!• ever. Weep over your graves and mourn without ope, as tlhe heathen mourn and weep, for none can ee again. But it is not so ; for now is Christ risen -<?;» the dead J and become the first-fruits of them that ^^t. Awake and siMg ye that dwell in the dust, >r the earth shall cast forth her dead. The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the oken of God^s restored favour, the seal of our reL€mption, the sign of our forgiveness, the hope of our utore, the assurance of our own resurrection. Yes ; Be that raised up Christ from the dead shall also lukhen our mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth * Rom. iv. 25.

166 SERMO xxn. in us.* In the day of the consummation of 0!^

things, the Head, which is Christ, will not appe^«^ without His members, which are the saints of Gocl^ the gentle, pure-hearted, believing lovers of Jesca^ their Lord. In that day, the devil, the old 8erpen't>.^ will have Ais members also : all that have love^^ darkness rather than light ; all that might have dom.^^* better, but have chosen sin, and shame, and folly ^ all that might have known better, but have dose^^^ their eyes to the Gospel truth ; all that have pr^ ferred the crowns of the world to the cross of Chrisfc::^^.^ the pleasures of wickedness to the self-denials of ^^^ true faith, the ease of a fleshly life to the conflic^''"*^ of the Christian profession. They shall hear tit ^^ voice of the Son of Man, and come forth from the graves ; they shall tremble at the voice of the arch angel and the trump of God ; they shall rise shame and everlasting contempt. But they tAat har=i — ^ ^ dmie good, shall rise unto the resurrection of life. They that have done good. What have you ai^^^ I done, O my brethren ? what are you and I doing"^ Oh, what is our life? Is it a struggle against i^^^^"^ firmities, sin, and naughtiness? is it a love of tt=^*^ truth and holiness of God ? is it a patient foUowii** ^ of the Lord Jesus? is it a sweet obedience to tfc^^ Gospel message ? is it a growing faith, a strengthe^^^ " ing hope, an abounding charity ? Where is o*^ ^ * Rom. viii. 11.

SERMO XXII. 167 hearths treasure, O my brethren? Whither do our hearts wander ? What are the visions of our souls — visions of earth or visions of heaven ? Can we say with the holy seer in the Book of Revelation, / beheldy

and, lo, in the midst of the throne [of God) stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the eaHh.^ That was the risen Christ. There He is l>efore God the Eternal Father, risen, ascended, glorified. Lift up your hearts, and in the faith ^f His Resurrection, Behold the Lamb of God which ^keth away the sin of the world, * Rev. V. 6.

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