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or we may dread him, but it is utterly impossible that we can love him. In order, therefore, that this counteracting principle may take effect, we must see God under a new character; we must, in the very first instance, be satisfied of his good-will towards ourselves; we must behold him advancing towards us, as it were, with the olive branch and a blessing in his hand. Then, but not until then, will it be possible for us to love him.

And now let us turn to the gospel and see if it meets the want which has been described. Guilt beholds God in his character of offended majesty: who will show him to us as a reconciled Father? We are convinced that his wrath burns against sin; who will satisfy us that he is ready to have compassion on the sinner? Would that this were the serious and earnest inquiry of every one present! The answer is ready, Go, stand before the cross of Christ; consider the incarnation, the sufferings, and death, of the Son of God; and read the glowing comment of an apostle on the mystery before you,—“ In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because God sent his only-begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that God loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. We have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love!” (1 John iv. 9, 10, 14, 16.)

Here then is our answer; the cross of Christ proclaims it; the blood of the Lamb confirms the truth of it :-“ God is love!" And observe the effect which this discovery is intended to produce. It is precisely that which we require. Here is at once an antidote to the sinful dread of the Almighty, and an invitation to filial love. “ There is no fear in love,” continues the apostle, “but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him," _here is the very essence of the remedy we are inquiring after,because he first loved us.” (iv. 18, 19.)

Mark then how completely the gospel provides for the wants of fallen man; and how well it is adapted to restore him to the love and the service of his Maker. Man heard the voice of God in the garden, and he said, “I was afraid.' Man sees the Son of God upon the cross, and he exclaims, · We love him, because he first loved us !' Oh the ineffable glory of the cross of Christ! Here is the fountain of that perfect love which may banish fear from the soul of man! Here, in the face of a dying Redeemer, we may delight to behold our God; and here, while we behold him, we may be filled, by his Holy Spirit, with peace and with joy in believing !

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VII. And now, Christian brethren, let me remind you

that there is only one way in which these blessings can become your own; and let me seriously ask


for what purpose, and in what you approach and contemplate the cross of Jesus? What is that faith with which you visit the scene of the Redeemer's sufferings, and whereby you hope to receive the blessings of reconciliation and of peace ?

Do you repair to Calvary only to “ crucify the Son of God afresh,” and to “put him to an open shame?Do you name the name of Christ, and yet care not to depart from iniquity? Do you carry the cross of your baptism into the haunts of ungodliness, and blush not to wear it amidst the pollutions and revelries of vice? Then, turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; or look not for peace to the blood which you are despising, and wonder not if at last you are thrust forth as outcasts from happiness and God.

Or, are you there to mock the Saviour of the world with a hypocritical devotion ?

Do you your hearts



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take up a profession of religion, and talk of the
love of God in Christ, while yet in
you are strangers to the power of the gospel,
and the things which you speak of are really no
motives within you, exciting to godliness of liv-

Then expect not to derive a solid tranquillity from

your hollow and worthless profession. Expect not, as long as this shall be the whole of your religion, to be delivered from the terrors of the Almighty by virtue of that cross which is the subject of your empty admiration.

But, lastly, do you indeed approach this wonderful display of God's unbounded love as faithful disciples of the crucified Redeemer? Do

you believe the solemn announcements, — do trust in the finished atonement,—do you obey from the heart the sacred injunctions,-of him who was delivered for your offences, and rose again for your justification ? Then you require not to be told that, while thus you believe in the anointed Saviour of the world, the fear which hath torment is banished from your souls, and the paths of your dutiful obedience are paths of pleasantness and peace.

Brethren beloved in the Lord, may the Holy Spirit of grace preserve you, and lead you onward, in the way of humility, faith, and holiness ! May you derive increasing tranquillity and con

do you

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fidence from an increasing devotedness to him who is the author and giver of peace! Cease not to draw near to God with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, and to run with patience the race that is set before

So shall


indeed seek peace, and ensue it; and, in the moment of doubt or of anxiety,—in the hour of death,-and at the day of judgment,-instead of trembling, like Adam, at the presence of the Most High, you will hear the voice of the omnipotent Redeemer, saying to yourselves, as it said to the disciple of old, amid the tempest and the waves, “ It is I: be not afraid !”

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