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cross, to see the triumph of the Saviour's love. Behold now the dreadful reverse ! View this sinner dying in all the unfelt miseries of a hardened conscience. . Ought he not in this dreadful hour to have considered that eternity, on the very brink and border of which he stood ? Ought he not to have confessed the sins of which he had been guilty ? Ought he not to have cried unto God for mercy ? Ought not even his bodily anguish to have subdued the stubbornness of his heart? And yet nothing availed to break or soften this nether millstone, which Satan had so tremendously hardened. He dies mocking Christ. Even thus it is, that the Saviour's cross hath an effect so different upon different individuals ; and the preaching of that cross also. “We are a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one, we are a savour of life unto life, and to the other a savour of death unto death." What, let me ask, is a sinner without the Redeemer's grace ?
What is man's heart,
until the Almighty Spirit reach it, act upon it, and melt it by the sprinkling of the Saviour's blood ? No pain, no danger, no sufferings, no warnings, not even the immediate prospect of death itself, will remove its obduracy; but rather seem to confirm it. May the grace of God, and the God of grace, touch the heart of any rebel against a Redeemer's power and love, and make him know and feel, that “there is none other name under heaven given to men, whereby they may be saved, but only the name of our Lord Jesus Christ ! An obdurate heart is the greatest of all the miseries, under which man, while yet out of the house of eternal woe, can labour. There is however a remedy, even for this disease. The same blood that touches the mercy-seat for a sinner's pardon, touching the sinner's soul by faith, will open a way thither for true repentance, and all the covenant blessings of salvation that are treasured up by the riches of divine mercy in Jesus Christ.
CHRIST SHEWING MERCY TO THE
(SECOND SERMON ON THE TEXT)
LUKE XXIII. 42, 43.
HE SAID UNTO JESUS, LORD REMEMBER ME, WHEN THOU COMEST INTO THY KINGDOM. AND JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, VERILY, I SAY UNTO THEE, TO-DAY SHALT THOU BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.
ALL the passages of our Saviour's life, while they testify the earnestness with which He went about doing good, under the strong influence of that Spirit of love which rested upon Him without measure, seem to have been preparations for the execution of that great priestly office which He exercised, when He offered Himself upon the cross, as the substitute for sinners, and the atonement for their sin. Accordingly, as He advances towards the hour of crucifixion, we behold more and brighter tokens of his glory, glory, as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth,” than even in the earlier stages of his ministerial progress. And when we stand by Him, as it were, on the mount of crucifixion, where the Lord made his soul an offering for sin ; while we cry with Pilate, in the view of his sufferings, “Behold the man!” that faith, which receives the holy record concerning his demeanour in his last agony, hath an ear to admit, and heart to embrace Him in the prophet's announcement, “Behold your God!” The case of the penitent thief is one of those bright gems in the manifestations of our Lord's dying love, which make the sufferings of his cross the crown of his mediatorial glory. Having already endeavoured to lay before you the spirit of the dying
I have now to de
II. THE MANNER IN WHICH IT WAS RECEIVED BY HIM WHOM IT OWNED AS LORD AND CHRIST, “Verily, I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” And surely they who have sat at Jesus' feet, to hear his word, and to learn, even, which were the first principles of the oracles of his truth, will acknowledge, that the leading idea conveyed by this answer connected with the circumstances of the individual to whom it was addressed, displayed,
(1.) The absolute freeness of our Saviour's grace. That doctrine which teaches, that a man, before he is made partaker of the Holy Spirit, may do works making him meet to receive grace, or to deserve it of congruity, is as entirely inapplicable here, as it is repugnant to the whole tenor of the word of God. This malefactor's life had been, in all probability, a life