loved me, and believed that I came out from God." Christ is now exercising the mediatorial office, which is to terminate when he shall come again in the glory of his Father, and in his own glory and of the holy angels, to surrender up his mediatorial kingdom, and to be with the Father and the Holy Ghost, God all in all, exercising the primary office of the government of God, our creator and sustainer. We are, therefore, to look forward to Christ's judgment of us, and then subsequently to God's judgment and government and Christ, who is now our holy, sacrificing high priest, sanctifier, and redeemer, is to sit upon the judgment-seat, and to pass the solemn sentence upon all his people. As he is the Son of man, so he tells us that he has to exercise judgment as the Son of man; for if we return to the 5th chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, we shall find him saying there, in the 28th and 29th verses, “Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil into the resurrection of damnation," It is the voice of the Son of man that is heard here; it is the Son of man's voice that calls them forth from the grave; it is the Son of man who says unto those on his left hand, “Depart, ye cursed," as it is the Son of man who says unto those on his right hand, "Come, ye blessed." This is the real argument of the apostle in the 15th chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, where he says from the 22nd to the 24th verse, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ the first fruits; afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to

God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority, and power. And as by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. Thus the Son of man is a brother to all men, the just as well as the unjust. In that common brotherhood he raises from the dead all his brethren, the wicked dead and the holy dead, but every man in his own order, Christ's people first and then the evil remnant in death and shades, to be cast into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, and experience the weight of the curse of their connection with Christ, of having been bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, and yet remaining corrupt, and sinful, and rebellious. It is an awful doctrine, therefore, that our blessed Saviour teaches us in this parable, that the pardoned sinner was afterwards a condemned sinner. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."


On Sunday next, if it please God, I shall take up this same subject, and enter into a most important scriptural enquiry respecting the secret counsels, the unchangeable promises of God, and the unconditional irreversibility of the pardon that comes to God's people in Christ, and of the changing promise, and of the conditional and temporary pardon that comes to the whole world through Christ.

It is indeed, brethren, an awful subject; it is also a blessed subject. We are sinners; and every one of us, good and bad, believer and uubeliever, are, temporarily speaking, pardoned sinners. We stand in this house this day before God, and Christ, and angels, precisely in the relationship spoken of here of that man who, owing ten thousand talents, but having nothing to pay, was

freely forgiven, but only forgiven upon his probation. That we may be pardoned in time, in order to have an opportunity of being pardoned for eternity. Oh, let us pray that we may be able to lay hold in such a manner upon the hope set before us in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we may not only have that temporary, and passing, and present, but yet real forgiveness, which we have in being members now of Christ; but that we may have that eternal forgiveness that will take away our sins for ever, and secure our blessedness for ever, when we rise from the grave, and live eternally and immortally with Christ for ever.

It is my duty to appeal also to you this morning for that important Society, which has for its object the proclaiming of this blessed Gospel of pardon throughout this kingdom. It is the voice of Christ to you, brethren, for not merely thousands, but millions of souls of our suffering brethren, who are needing the labourers in the harvest, and needing much more than ever we have yet done; for we have not yet, as Christians, the mind of Christ in us in its full activity, or we would have the hand of Christ in us in its loving bounty. If it were not so it would not be true, in this era of our Reformed Churches, that there is a larger number of persons in this kingdom uncared for than those cared for, in the preaching of the Gospel. If the words of Christ are what they ought to be, if the prayers of Christians sent forth were really importunate, we should not have toil and pleading to get an inadequate supply of men to go forth in their Saviour's name; not to deserts and distant wilds, but to our own neglected courts and alleys; to our thousands of fellow-subjects, who are uncared for, living in the midst of us, dark in the midst of light,

unholy in the midst of the preached Gospel, while we ourselves have a house in which to worship, and the Gospel of God preached to us. We have indeed, in this respect, much need to ask for pardon from Him who has set such an example of bounty and forgiveness, as to give not merely what he had, but to give himself also, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.

« ElőzőTovább »