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end of time the remembrance of the benefit received from the death of Christ; that sinful men might seek pardon through faith in the blood of the Lamb of God, and putting their trust in His sacrifice for sin, might enjoy peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, being justified by faith in His name. This being the case, a participation in the Lord's supper seems to be peculiarly appropriate to the season in which the church of Christ, militant here on earth, calls to mind “the agony and bloody sweat, the cross and passion, the precious death and burial” of our most adorable Redeemer. Let the believer in Christ, while his meditations are directed to the sufferings of his Surety at the close of His earthly course, anew devote himself to the service of his once crucified Saviour who loved him and gave Himself for him. Let him present himself a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable unto God, which is his reasonable service, being constrained by the love of Christ, being influenced by the mercies of God.34
Let us examine ourselves with regard to the view that we take of the bloodshedding and death of Christ. Are we sensible that we are verily guilty before God? Do we desire that the blood of Christ may be sprinkled upon our consciences, to cleanse us from guilt, and to
34 Romans v. 1, xii. I.
make us acceptable to God? Let us seek the blessing at His footstool, in the use of the appointed means of grace, and we shall not fail of obtaining it, to the relief of our necessity, and to the setting forth of His glory.
And not only pardoning mercy, but also sanctifying grace is to be derived from the blood of Christ. He suffered, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood.35 He gave Himself for us, not only that He might redeem us from all iniquity, but that He might purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.36 The pardoned sinner is cleansed in the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness, 37 so that he is freely forgiven all trespasses ,38 and his heart is purified by faith, so that sin has no longer dominion over him. He partakes of the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, whereby he is kept from living in sin. Yet, as long as the Christian is in this world, he is exposed to the assaults of sin and Satan. His natural corruption is not eradicated, although its power is subdued; and therefore he has need of the blood of Christ to be applied afresh to his conscience, that guilt may not fill him with dread of his heavenly Father, and cut him off from communion with God.
A further benefit to be derived from the blood of Christ is, that our High Priest and sacrifice hath by His own blood entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 39 He is gone to plead the merit of His sufferings and death before the throne of God, on behalf of His believing people, and as their Forerunner to prepare mansions for them in His eternal kingdom and glory; where the benefits which they have received from His bloodshedding and death will be the theme of their rejoicing for evermore; where they will sing, Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. How great will be the blessedness of those who shall sing the new song before the Lamb in the midst of the throne, Thou art worthy; for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood !40 In this sense, every true Christian may say, His blood be on us, and on our children. May its blessings descend upon us all, that through faith in the blood of Christ, we may have pardon and peace with God, and eternal life.
35 Heb. xiii. 12. 36 Titus ii. 14. 37 Zech. xiii. I. 38 Coloss. ï. 13.
THE CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST,
John xix. 30.
WHEN JESUS THEREFORE HAD RECEIVED THE
VINEGAR, HE SAID, IT IS FINISHED: AND HE BOWED HIS HEAD, AND GAVE UP THE GHOST.
The event which we this day call to mind, and which these words present to our view, is the most extraordinary and the most important event that ever occurred upon earth. It had been the subject of prophecy for four thousand years before it took place; and the benefits resulting from it will be experienced as long as the world shall continue in existence; and throughout eternity it will be the cause of praise unceasing to the redeemed around the throne of God in heaven.
In the second Lesson, and in the Gospel for this day, the circumstances which attended the apprehension and crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, as related by St. John, are brought before us ; in the same manner as the account given by St. Matthew was appointed to be read on the Sunday next before Easter. On that occasion we considered the conduct of the Jewish people with regard to our Saviour, when He was brought before Pilate, the Roman governor; and the dreadful imprecation which they uttered in order to relieve his conscience, and to procure the condemnation of the Lord Jesus. Let us now in the
First place, review the circumstances which attended His crucifixion and death; and then consider more particularly in the
Second place, the import of the words of the text, which our Saviour uttered just before He expired; and
Thirdly, the feelings with which it becomes us to contemplate this wonderful transaction of redeeming love.
May we meditate on these subjects with grateful hearts, seeing our own personal interest in the redemption of Christ, and praying that the Spirit of God would take of the things of Christ and reveal them to our souls, to our edification and comfort.
First, Our Evangelist relates that, when Pi