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the condition of fallen man. As man our Lord Jesus Christ obeyed and suffered in our stead. As God, the work which He accomplished was infinitely meritorious. Let us recollect then, whenever we think of the name Jesus, that it was designed to inform us that the Redeemer of mankind was JEHOVAH the Saviour. And that this name intimates to us the reason why He who bore it came into our world; which was, as the angel of the Lord declared, because He should save His people from their sins.
The Apostle states a melancholy fact, when he says of both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin, that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.The depraved and miserable state of man was the cause of the humiliation of the Son of God. But this is a subject which we must every one of us bring home to our own consciences, if we would derive any benefit to ourselves from the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. To be a sinner against God, to be guilty before God,14 is to be in a most dreadful condition, since it is declared that the wages of sin is death.15 It matters not to us as individuals that multitudes are in the same state with ourselves. The destruction of the old world, of the whole race of mankind, except eight persons, is brought forward by the Apostle Peter to prove that the multitude of transgressors will not arrest the course of Divine vengeance against sin. Was it any consolation to the inhabitants of the old world to see the waters overwhelming all around them in one general ruin? Did those who escaped to the tops of the highest mountains derive any comfort from the idea, that others were swallowed up in the great deep, and they should not perish for some hours or days longer? It was then found that there was no possibility of escape from Divine vengeance. And so will sinners, who die in their sins, ever find that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.16 This made the Psalmist say, Horror hath taken hold upon me, because of the wicked that forsake Thy law.17 The word of God positively declares that the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.18 And it is of the utmost importance that we should be sensible to what sin exposes mankind; for unless the evil and danger of sin be felt, we shall not flee from the wrath to come, we shall derive no benefit from the declaration that Jesus should save His people from their sins. They that be whole need not a physician, said our blessed Saviour Himself, but they that are sick.19 Those who are not sensible that they are sinners against God, and exposed to His wrath on account of their transgressions, cannot have any idea that they are in need of a Saviour; no more than a man in good health supposes that he has need of the prescriptions of a physician. But to those who mourn over their sins with grief of heart, the name of Jesus will be precious; it will be a name above every name in their estimation. To them it will be a joyful declaration, that He shall save His people from their sins. They feel their need of His salvation. They will therefore rejoice that He is gracious to bestow it upon them ; that He is able to save, and willing to save all who apply to Him for an interest in His great salvation.
14 Romans iii. 9, 23, 19.
15 Romans vi. 23.
The way in which the Lord Jesus became the Saviour of sinners was by giving His life a ransom for sin. St. Peter addresses Christians, Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.20 He purchased His church with His own blood. When it was not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins,“ He Himself condescended to become the victim to Divine justice, to pay the ransom price, that He might deliver sinners from destruction. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.22 But when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son. For God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 3 What astonishing love was this ! Heaven resounds with praises to the Lamb that was slain for this wonderful display of His kindness to sinful man. How hard must that heart be, that is insensible to it. Well may
21 Hebrews x. 4.
22 John xv. 13.
it be called a heart of stone, when it is unimpressed by redeeming love.
Let it be our concern for ourselves, that we may obtain the blessings which the love of Christ has set before the sinful children of men. He graciously invites them, Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth. Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.24 It is because, The Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all, that we are encouraged to apply to Him for salvation; that the invitation runs, Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.25 But on the other hand it is asked, How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation ?26 If such a Saviour is provided ; One so suitable to our condition; One so willing, so able to save; what will become of those who are careless and indifferent about obtaining an interest in His great salvation? He Himself has told us, If ye believe not that I AM, ye shall die in your sins ; 21 and good were it for that man if he had never been born, 28 who shall taste the bitterness of eternal death. God grant that we may lay to heart the solemn declarations of His holy word; and that while the door of mercy is open, we may enter in and be saved.
23 Romans v.10, 8. Mat. xi. 28. 25 Rev. xxii. 17. 26 Heb. ii. 3.
The close of another year reminds us that the end of all things is at hand. May the consideration of it lead us to prepare in earnest to meet our God; and not to delay giving diligence to make our calling and election sure.99 May our minds be solemnised while we review the past. Let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and turn to the Lord with all our heart and soul ; and may we find in the name of JESUS that peace, and joy, and blessedness which it was designed to convey to them that believe in Him, that we may go on our way rejoicing in His holy name; and may look forward in hope that when we shall be called out of this world, we shall enter into the joy of our Lord, and rejoice in His great salvation for evermore.
27 John viii. 24.
28 Mark xiv. 21.
29 2 Peter i. 10.