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of iniquity, from the moment in which he was nailed upon the cross, to that in which he owned the dying Saviour, and put his whole soul into the

prayer,

Lord, remember me, when thou comest into thy kingdom.” He had most probably been a reviler and blasphemer of the Son of God; and amidst his own sufferings, had joined the cry of those who mocked and dishonoured the Lord of life and glory. Here was one, who had daringly trampled upon all the laws of God and man; who was 'as the offscouring of all things; the object of universal dislike or dread ; one, in short, who was most plainly and palpably without merit to deserve the favour of Jesus Christ ;-one who was without any predisposition of heart to seek his mercy ;-one who had no service to offer

; -one who had enjoyed no ordinance that was calculated to lead him to Christ; one who had possessed no means of grace, which, through the grace of means might have taught him the excellency of salva

tion, and the love of Christ Jesus to sinners. And yet, in a moment, the mouth, which was scarcely closed from reviling, is opened to acknowledge the Lord as Christ, and to plead for that Saviour's mercy and remembrance, when he should come into the kingdom of which faith saw Him hold the sceptre, and reign over it, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What then, except the riches of our Lord's free mercy could have produced this change? That it was thus produced, wholly independent of any will on the part of the malefactor,-as impenitent-as obdurate as his fellow to the very moment, when he justified God, defended the innocence of the Redeemer, and cast the cause of his soul by faith into that Redeemer's hands for its salvation ;--that Christ by his Spirit was all in all to this mighty transformation there can be no doubt, except indeed that tremendous character of doubt, which wil. ful infidelity delights to indulge and to publish, if thereby the Saviour may be dishonoured. That same power, which darkened the sun so suddenly, not less suddenly enlightened the darkness of this man's soul. That power, which made the earth to tremble, which rent the rocks, and tore the veil of the temple in twain, from the top to the bottom, moved the stubbornness of his heart, and rent it in twain to make a passage for the entrance of the Son of God, and all the blessings of his eternal salvation. And surely the love, which led to this exercise of power in taking away from the dying man his stony heart, and giving him a heart of flesh, must have been wholly undeserved. He had not done, he was not spared to do, any thing which might have merit in the sight of God,-even if merit were possible to man; and yet the Saviour's love is fixed upon him, and makes him pass in an instant from death unto life.

Now here is the great and glorious peculiarity of the gospel-here the inimitable excellence that makes it good tidings

of great joy to every sin-convinced mindthat " it is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy, Christ hath saved us,”—if we are the happy subjects of his salvation at all. You and I, dear brethren, if we have put on the Lord Jesus Christ by faith, were, according to the Father's purpose and grace, put into his hands. He passed by us when we lay in our pollution and our blood :-He cast over us the mantle of his Righteousness :He called us in that season, when our conversion would most effectually glorify the triumphs of his love, and gave us that grace of faith which brought us to Him and united us to Him for ever.

To every one redeemed to God, doth the Son now as freely, and in goodness as entirely undeserved, stretch forth the hand of his salvation, as to the thief upon the cross.

Life eternal is given, just as the manna, was given in the wilderness :—the manna, that each hungry Israelite might gather, and eat it; life

eternal, that every poor and perishing sinner may receive, and enjoy it. Do any of you say, “But I have no merit wherewith tò deserve this gift of GodThen have you just as much as the allgracious God requires. “Without money and without price” is His bountiful declaration. Freely, and abstractedly from all deservings, are, so to speak, His gracious terms. You have no merit; but has your divinely excellent Redeemer nothing meritórious ? The glorious gift of salvation is conferred for his sake alone. Not ye yourselves, but Jesus Christ hath given effect to the Father's

in

purpose

your behalf: and hath obtained eternal redemption for you. O, come to Him; for the mercy thus freely provided in Him. Plead with Him, Lord, remember me ;" and he will indeed bear your memorial on his heart before God.

Is not our observation conversant with the solemn truth that men cannot apprehend Christ by their own natural wisdom,

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