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voluntary - the effect of native and free benevolence. And the Scriptures declare, that the same principle applies to his whole course of humiliation and suffering. Not only was it in obedience to the Father's will, but in perfect union of design with the Father, and in his own voluntary redeeming love, that he descended from the height of his glory, "took upon him the form of a servant,” and “humbled himself unto death even the death of the cross." “ Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.” “ Through the eternal Spirit” he “ offered himself without spot to God;" and he condescended to illustrate this act of mercy by an allusion to human friendship. “ Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.".

Thus then it is evident that the Scripture doctrine of mediation, both in its more general bearing, and in the peculiar view of the propitiatory sufferings of Christ, although far above the scope of human invention, is consistent with reason and agrees with experience.

In order, however, that we may apprehend with greater precision the reasonableness of

* John xv, 13. Comp. Rom. v, 6-8.

this doctrine, it is necessary for us to advert more particularly to two of its features.

1. Were a mediator required to act on behalf of some miserable criminal in order to rescue him from impending punishment, it would be a vast advantage if one could be found, who had a full understanding of the criminal's case, and abundant opportunity of sympathising with his sufferings, and yet was a person of commanding influence - whose natural situation would enable him to deal on equal terms with the offended party, say, with the supreme governor of the country. Should it be possible to obtain such a mediator, he would be selected by every person of reflection, in preference to any other who had either less knowledge of the criminal's sufferings, or less authority in dealing with the sovereign. How matchless then is the wisdom and mercy of that dispensation, under which we are provided with a Mediator, who in his human character (though sinless) was in all points tempted like as we are," and is, therefore, "touched with a feeling of our infirmities ;" and yet, being one with the Father in the Godhead, is one with him in dignity and power. "Father," said Jesus, "I

WILL that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am.” We are worms of the earth — finite, weak, degraded, and exposed to suffering ; God is supreme, and infinitely powerful and holy. Behold in Chris the all-availing Mediator -- the “ Daysman betwixt us” who can lay his hand upon us both !"

2. In contemplating the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God, we ought never to lose sight of its purpose, as declared by the apostle Paul that God "might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." There is nothing in Scripture which in the least degree supports the notion that our Heavenly Father is naturally implacable, and that his wrath was appeased by the sacrifice of an innocent victim. While the prevalence of bloody sacrifices among heathen nations in all ages of the world, plainly indicates the feeling that without an atonement there is no forgiveness of sin, and while it affords an evidence of some original revelation on the subject, the vulgar notion that a wrathful Deity is by this method rendered placable, receives no countenance from Christianity. In the Bible, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is represented as the means, appointed of the Father in perfect wisdom and love, whereby he might freely justify the sinner, and at the same time preserve inviolate the holiness of his own character, and the claims of his moral law.

Ceremonial sacrifice, as it was instituted on divine authority, was a display, and on the part of the offerer, an acknowledgment of the true desert of sin. It was an intelligible sign that the proper penalty of sin is death, and thus became an act of homage to the purity of the law and to the authority of God the lawgiver. On precisely the same principle, the sacrifice of the incarnate Son of God, was a public recognition of the most elevated and glorious kind, that sin is unalterably offensive in the sight of God. Nor is it possible to conceive an event by which this truth could have been so clearly manifested, or so efficaciously impressed on his rational creation.

At the same time it was an infinitely exalted example, and therefore proof, of the unmerited love and mercy of God towards a sinful world -an act of grace, which places the whole of our falien race under unutterable obligations to our redeeming God and Saviour.

Now I conceive that this matchless display of holiness and love in indissoluble union, fully accords with our most enlightened notions of the divine attributes ; that it agrees with all that we here know of the justice of God on the one hand, and of his mercy on the other ; that in the highest sense of the term, it is reasonable ; and that as such, it must forever claim the admiration, and call forth the praises, of God's intelligent creation.

SECTION V.

ON THE FITNESS OF THE SCHEME OF REDEMPTION.

When we speak of the fitness of the scheme of redemption, that is, of its suitableness to its proposed ends, we must always recollect that the ultimate design of every dispensation of Providence, is the glory of God; and it is clearly the highest point in the character of regenerate inen, that they are taught of the Spirit to co-operate in this design.

Such persons will be prepared to acknowledge that in that manifestation of holiness and

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