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found lying about the place of safety. Now, you see that this covert from the tempest was of no avail to those who refused to run into it. The object of this illustration is easy to be understood. We see then that the atonement of Christ will avail those nothing who do not run into his name; which, to those who do run is a strong tower, and an hiding place from the indignation of that God, who will tear them in pieces that forget him.
We readily see that a tower, however strong, will not protect those who do not run into it.
Also water in a dry place, will not avail those any thing who refuse to drink of it.
The Man, who is Christ, is represented as a great rock in a weary land. How refreshing it must be to a man fainting with heat to find a great rock at hand, to whose shadow he may repair for protection from a scorching sun! The Rock Christ is every where offering himself, the salvation of man. But they who turn from him, and refuse to put their trust in him, must perish beneath the wrath of that God, who is a consuming fire."
Christ is the only foundation, on which, if we build, our salvation is certain; but if not we must perish. And the name of Christ is the only name, by which man can be saved; but in this name we must trust, or perish.
4. The great worth and infinite importance of atonement, and at the same time the absolute necessity of obedience on our part in order to salvation, may be illustrated by a bridge thrown over a rapid stream, which can be passed no other way than by means of it.
We will suppose that nothing but inevitable destruction awaits all those who remain on this side of the bridge; for here is a wilderness full of ravenous beasts, a wilderness from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent.”*. Besides,
Isai, xxx, 6,
the inhabitants are reduced to extreme poverty, being wretched and miserable; and must soon, unless relief be afforded them, perish with hunger, or be devoured by those voracious animals or poisonous reptiles. In the midst of wretchedness, when they could discern no eye to pity them, a proclamation goes forth bidding them welcome to pass the bridge, where they would find every thing necessary to make them happy. Some hear the trumpet's joyful sound, obey the command, comply with the invitation, and with rapture repair to the bridge. pass over to the other side, and find every thing as expressed in the proclamation. Others make light of it. They hate the builder of the bridge, and all his family; yea, they hate the men who came to publish "the good tidings;” while those who passed over cry, saying, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that pubJisheth peace; that bringeth
good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion thy God
Those who had made light of the proclamation, having spent all their days in "weaving the spider's web” to prepare to pass the rapid stream, you see in the attempt to pass, plunging into the mighty waters; you hear their shrieks and dying groans; but you will see them no more; they are gone to the bottom of the deep: “they sunk as lead in the mighty waters.”
In this illustration, we have a most bright display of divine benevolence, and human folly: benevolence, in the rich provision made for our salvation; and the extreme folly of man, in making light of it. It teaches that atonement will avail nothing to the disobedient. “Beware therefore lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and perish." Christ, surely, will not prove to be the Author of eternal salvation unto those who love him not, and keep not his commandments. For, if any
* Isai, lü, 7.
man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maran-atha. Yea, if we despise the Gos pel, and neglect the great salvation, the blood of Christ will, indeed, aggravate our condemnation. "Whosoever shall fall upon this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."*
On the other hand, "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance."t
*Matt. xxi, 44. † Psalm lxxxix, 15.
THE VICTORY OF CHRIST OVER HIS ENEMIES, A GROUND FOR THE REDEEMED TO PRAISE HIM.
ISAIAH Ixiii, 2, 3, 4.
Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine-fat? I have trodden the wine press alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart; and the year of my redeemed is come.
WE learn the reason why the gift of salvation is through Jesus Christ.
Salvation, it is evident from the Scriptures, is a gift of God through Christ: and the honour of our salvation belongs to him; because, he, being the predicted Seed of the woman, has fulfilled his part of the covenant of redemption by bruising the serpent's head.
God the Father sent his Son Jesus into the world with a commission to accomplish a certain work: And, before he left the world, he said to his Father; "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." The work which was given Christ to do, was to destroy the works of the devil, or, which is the same thing, to bruise the serpent's head. It was for this end that the
Son of God left the bosom of his Father, and came down into this dark and rebellious world; for, in this world, Satan had raised a rebellion against the God of heaven. Being beguiled by the subtlety of the serpent, man also, though created at first in the image of God, became a rebel. "He that sinneth is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning." And, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."
Messiah has answered the purpose for which he came into the world: for he has destroyed the works of the devil. The rebellion is suppressed; Satan is confounded; his head has received a deadly wound; and his kingdom of darkness trembles to its lowest foundation, and will finally fall and sink forever beneath the indignation of the mighty Conqueror; who "hath on his vesture, and on his thigh, a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." The blood of the enemies of Christ, is represented as being sprinkled upon his garments; "and I," says Christ, "will stain all my raiment." Hence, he, whose "name is called The Word of God, was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood." Let "every creature," then, "who is in heaven, and on the earth," ascribe "Blessing, and hon. our, and glory, and power, unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever.'
The end, for which the glorious Redeemer came into the world, is accomplished. "The prince of this world is judged." And in a view of the death which he should die, "Now," said Christ, "is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." Through the bruise of the heel of Christ, Satan is destroyed; and his kingdom of darkness will finally sink into everlasting perdition.
Christ's having suppressed the rebellion, by his victory over Satan and all the powers of darkness, and having laid a foundation for reconciliation, peace, and happiness among men, renders it suitable, that all the