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SERMON XI.

HEBREWS v. 2.

WHO CAN HAVE COMPASSION ON THE IGNORANT, AND

OF THEM THAT ARE OUT OF THE WAY, FOR THAT

HE HIMSELF ALSO IS COMPASSED WITH INFIRMITY.

It hath pleased God in the scriptures of ruth, to set before us the exceeding sinfulness of sin, with the universal fall and total corruption of all mankind; to the intent, whenever it is given unto us through the gracious teachings and quickening influence of the Holy Ghost to feel our guilt, see our ruin, and acknowledge our danger, we may be fitted to receive the welcome news of a Saviour, and receive him as our salvation. In the everlasting gospel, the ever blessed God sets forth before us, life and salvation, pardon and redemption, in its utmost freeness, fulness and perfection: so that it is indeed the power of God to every one that believeth.

In this epistle the Lord Jesus Christ is set forth in the glories of his person,

and in the dignity and efficacy of his priestly office, with the blessings and benefits which flow therefrom. A subject which exactly suits us, so far as by the inward light and teaching of the Holy Spirit.we know. ourselves to be sinners, as the whole remedy and cure for sin is contained therein.

Of such vast use and importance did that great light of the Church of Christ, the renowned Doctor Owen conceive the epistle to the Hebrews to be, that he said, 'The natural world might as well be without the sun, as the church of "Christ without this epistle! · As the eternal dignity and everlasting efficacy of Christ's: sacrifice flows from the essential GODHEAD and divinity of his person, so this epistle begins with giving us an account thereof. The scriptures reveal and speak of Christ's essential, personal, mediatorial, and relative glory. “God, who at sundry times and divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds: who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high.” The apostle never treats of that great act of Christ's putting away our sins, and purging away the filth of them by the sacrifice of himself, without speaking of his co-existence in the GODHEAD and equality with the. Father, that from the view of him as one in the essential, incomprehensible, self-existing essence, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, we might trust in his work as our finished salvation; and derive everlasting consolation from his engagements with his Father on our behalf, and from his offices which receive all their validity therefrom. The sacred writer presents Christ, the Son of the living God, clothed withi Alesh and blood as the true Immanuel ; and calls upon us to contemplate his person, excellencies and office : U wherefore holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” As he pursues the subject he presents him in his priestly glory and mercy, as a great high priest that is passed into the heavens," to execute his office there agreeably to his personal dignity and royalty, his oneness with, and relation to his people. To make this great and interesting subject the more plain and familiar, the writer instances in the person, office, and qualifications of the high priests under the law, as symbolical of Christ: “ for every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way, for that he himself also is coinpassed with infirmity." Beloved, so complete is the revelation given us of Christ by the Holy Spirit in the written word, that did we but freely and spiritually apprehend and receive it, all our discouragements arising from guilt and sin would be entirely removed from our hearts. Did ministers preach Christ just exactly as he shines forth in the volume of inspiration, you would find ye wanted nothing but faith to receive the same, and your hearts would dance for joy. I cannot, I dare not say I preach Christ thus; but could I get through the Spirit's influence into the right art of preaching Christ, it would then be found, that one grand design of it is to remove all stumbling blocks out of the way, and that the one constant voice of Christ in it to saints and sinners is, “ Look unto me, and be ye saved. Behold me, behold me!” As the gospel expresses the mystery of God's love, so the subject of it is truly sublime and spiritual. ,Yet the whole gospel contains for the substance of it, but this one plain and simple truth that, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should vot perish but have everlasting life.” Which truth we are prone to overlook, on account of its spirituality and simplicity. Oh! that God the Spirit may be pleased most graciously to influence

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