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He does not merely wish, like the impenitent malefactor, to be saved from sufferings and death; but he seeks, above all things, deliverance from the power
of evil within his heart, and a meetness for the kingdom of heaven. That earthly and carnal mind, which belongs to man in his natural condition, has been exchanged, in his case, for a devout aspiration after the purity and joys of an eternal inheritance. And, while the disciple of the cross enjoys with gratitude that portion of this world's wealth which God has kindly given to him, he bears for ever in his soul that heavenly-minded prayer, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”
3. Such a prayer, my Christian brethren, never ascends from a man's heart in vain. And, if we would recognise in the case of the penitent malefactor the common condition and blessedness of Christians, we must send forward our thoughts to that blissful moment in which the prayer that was uttered on the cross, and the expectation of the church throughout all ages, shall be fulfilled. The Christian shall be made partaker of eternal life. He shall hereafter be advanced to a glorious immortality, and admitted to that kingdom and happiness for which he has been prepared. “ Thou shalt be with me in paradise.” That is the language which proceeds from the cross of Jesus to every humble and faithful soul. And nothing less than the fulfilment of this promise, which is the end of a Christian's hope, will hereafter be the consummation of a Christian's experience. There are, indeed, many portions and degrees of blessedness, which flow to a believer even now from the cross of the Redeemer. That cross speaks peace to his conscience: he hears the blood of his Saviour pleading against his multiplied offences, and saying, “ Father, forgive them;" and he rejoices in an assurance that the atonement has indeed been made, and that the work of redemption“ is finished.” But, dear brethren, the Saviour of man must translate him to a state of nobler enjoyment, to another and a better world than this, if he would make him completely happy. He must convey the sanctified spirit to a region of perfect holiness, and he must place it in the presence of an approving God. Now, let us thankfully remember, while we contemplate the crosses which were raised on Calvary, that our Redeemer has sealed this blessing, as well as all others, with his blood. He fails not to assure us of this final, this complete, salvation. Here is the word of his promise to each of his faithful people : “ Thou shalt be with me in paradise.” — Fear not when thou passest through the grave and gate of death. The mortal shall one day put on immortality; the garment of imperfection shall be exchanged for a robe of purity; the voices of the profane, which now grate upon thine ear, shall be followed, for ever, by the songs of the holy and the happy :thou shalt be with me IN PARADISE.-Go on,
and faint not, in the paths of love and holiness. The love that is within thy soul shall kindle into a brighter flame; the lowliness of thine heart shall be honoured with a crown of transcendent glory; the highest expectations of thine aspiring spirit shall be fulfilled to thee beyond thought and beyond conception :—thou shalt be with Me in paradise.'
Brethren beloved in the Lord, the crucified Redeemer! Have
Have you, let me ask, considered man in his forlorn condition without a Saviour,—a dying, a wretched, and a hopeless creature ? Have you contemplated that Saviour himself, -offering a voluntary and acceptable sacrifice for sin, and suffering that death which is the destruction of the
power of the grave? Have you looked at the blessed condition of man as a partaker of Christ's salvation, -as dying, indeed, but having a soul converted to God and prepared for heaven, and being the undoubted and rejoicing heir of a glorious immortality ? Then, let me beseech you, in conclusion, not to rest satis
fied, for yourselves, without possessing a personal interest in the inestimable blessings of redemption! Feeling the wretchedness of
lost and ruined condition by nature, and convinced of the love and omnipotence of your crucified Redeemer, seek, in the exercise of humility, faith, and prayer, to become continually partakers of the pardon and blessings which he has purchased, and of the victory which he has obtained. And let none of us lightly or hastily dismiss from our minds the important subjects which have now been brought before us. Let the crosses of Calvary be the tabernacles of our abiding contemplation. And let us pray that, by the blessing of our Saviour and our God, it may indeed be good for us to be there!
THE CRUCIFIED SAVIOUR OUR EXAMPLE.
1 PETER ii. 21.
Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example,
should follow his steps.
THERE is one point of view, above all others, in which the sufferings of our Lord upon the cross are important and interesting to us all.
" Christ suffered for us." “ He bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” And great indeed will be our loss, if we do not listen with our inmost souls, in the spirit of humility, gratitude, and faith, to that exhortation which speaks to us as the objects of divine compassion,—“ Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world !” “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
But there is also another light in which the sufferings of our blessed Saviour are deserving of