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THE GREAT GIVER AND THE GREAT GIFT.

THE GREAT GIVER AND THE GREAT GIFT.

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shipped Him, they were made by Him, sustained by Him, they loved and obeyed Him with the utmost stretch of their love and obedience. He was over all from the beginning. Yet, for us, not for the angels, for us, us miserable sinners, who lay in darkness and the shadow of death. He gave Himself, I am almost afraid to go on, it seems so very marvellous, that my poor mind stands aghast at it ; but I must go on, it is true. Of course I cannot attempt to describe to you the profound wonder that possessed Heaven, when it was intimated that the Son of the Most High was about to give Himself for us mortals, and actually to betake Him to the land of our birth. Some I know would smile, some mortals, could they hear me talking now and thus, smile at my credulity, as they call it; but you are not disposed to smile, are you, brethren? There must have been a time when heaven (to speak after the language and thoughts of men) felt a void ; the Eternal Son having declared in its courts, that He would give Himself for us, and the Eternal Father that He was well pleased. What archangels and angels accompanied Him as His retinue, or whether he was alone and unattended, we are not told, suffice for us the fact-He gave Himself

God was manifest in the flesh. And now let us visit the place of His birth ; let us follow the footsteps of Him as the Son of Man; going up to Him as the two disciples did, let us say,

-“ Master, where dwellest. Thou ?" He will be sure to say unto us, as unto them—" Come, and see !” What! here, in this

sable! place for beasts of the field; is that He, that Child in the manger? Is that His mother, that lowlykoking woman? How came it thus! Oh! it was a navality that He was born there, the inn being full at the time. Ah! it was type of His lot, porch of His verily home. He had nothing grander all the way through –He gave Himself for us; He was conceived & the Holy Ghost; born of the Virgin Mary; wrapped in swaddling clothes ; laid in a manger ;-it was His own *and deed, a voluntary surrender of His reyalities

ye great ones of the earth, blush, for very base

, when you talk of pride, and pomp of cireum-
stabe; here is One greater than you all, who gave
Himself for us, and gave Himself thus.

man must suffer. Man had in-
, man must bid him off, and drive him off.
Xu had offended Heaven, man must make reconcilia-

up

Man had sinned,

Tited death,

tin Han had fallen, he must lift himself again, a be for ever lost. The resources of divinity met the trage case, and He gave Himself for us, who, though Bech

, consented to become man, and by the might of
La divinity accomplished the restoration, the salva-
ta of humanity. You will not wonder so much now,
lathaps

, at the strange fortunes of Jesus Christ ; you
i now that He is our substitute; He is the second
Siamo ; as in the first Adam all die, even so in Him,
the second Adam, all shall be made alive. He Him-

for us.

i bare our sins and carried our sorrows; by His

harges we are bealed ; the case is met, the world is

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table! place for beasts of the field; is that He, that hild in the manger? Is that His mother, that lowlyooking woman? How came it thus ? Oh! it was a suality that He was born there, the inn being full t the time. Ah! it was type of His lot, porch of His arthly home. He had nothing grander all the way orough-He gave Himself for us; He was conceived f the Holy Ghost; born of the Virgin Mary; wrapped swaddling clothes; laid in a manger ;-it was His own t and deed, a voluntary surrender of His regalities. lush! ye great ones of the earth, blush, for very lame, when you talk of pride, and pomp of circumance; here is One greater than you all, who gave imself for us, and gave Himself thus. Man had sinned, man must suffer. Man had inted death, man must bid him off, and drive him off. an had offended Heaven, man must make reconcilia

Man had fallen, he must lift up himself again, be for ever lost. The resources of divinity met the range case, and He gave Himself for us, who, though d, consented to become man, and by the might of s divinity accomplished the restoration, the salvan of humanity. You will not wonder so much now, haps, at the strange fortunes of Jesus Christ; you w now that He is our substitute; He is the second am; as in the first Adam all die, even so in Him, second Adam, all shall be made alive. He Himbare our sins and carried our sorrows; by His es we are healed ; the case is met, the world is

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THE GREAT GIVER AND THE GREAT GIFT.

67

you have

redeemed, man hath found a Saviour. It became Him to fulfil all righteousness, He fulfilled it. Justice exacted a strict demand, He met it! Law must needs be obeyed, He obeyed it. Death must have his mighty debt paid, He paid it. The grave must be cleansed by pure hands, He cleansed it. And now the new and living way is opened, now the kingdom of heaven is opened to all believers; and why? because the great God and our Saviour gave Himself for us.

The womb of the virgin, the lowly stable, the bloody rite of circumcision, subjection to earthly parents, the discipline of Nazareth, the waters of Jordan, the poor disciples, the desert solitudes, the city crowds, the betrayal of Judas, the mock judgment, the smiting, the spitting on-Oh! I cannot trust myself to go further ;

yes, you must, for you are a preacher of the cross . ... the agony and bloody sweat, the cross and passion, the death and burial—the resurrection and ascension, and the coming of the Holy Ghost, all testify that He gave Himself for us, and it was not in vain; for, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved ! And now

must try and turn the mighty flood of wonder into the many channels of your individual hearts. I would wish to see the grace of God at work within

you; I would do, if I could, as the woman did who took and hid the leaven in the meal till the whole was leavened. I would deposit a small portion of the

price of Christ in the meal of your nature, and leave
it to work ; but I cannot, there is a great gulf fixed
between human agencies and divine. “ Paul may plant,
und Apolos water, but God giveth the increase." Let
De, brwever, bid you isolate yourselves; draw away
from the mighty crowd of mankind, and be lonely;
forget
, for the moment, that

any

fellows; be
alone with God, as you will be when you die. For
I know how easy it is to be moved even to tears; how
readily we all exclaim at the great love of God; and
igh, and wonder, and wish ourselves better, without
taking the necessary pains ; I will take one aside and
til hina speak“ Yes, wretch that I am! I feel it;
dbe

leprosy lies deep within, my soul is palsied ; I am
1 sinner ; I am as such undone, the law is broken,
bo's infested, and even when I would do good, evil
is present with me; I kneel to pray, and am scared
herd thoughts, and the spirit of vanity; I try to
mork, but the work is marred in
lat in rain, tears cannot wash out the stain of my
0;lem undone, utterly undone." This is the soli-

my

hand ; I weep,

y el a sinner. Hear him again" Blessed be Thy este

, Thou art my Saviour ; Thou didst give Thyself atte ; I repent, I believe, I have forgiveness, I am

Hadromed, I am accepted in the beloved; I thank my

bed through Jesus Christ our Lord; my soul is at rest,

se aluse He loved me and gave Himself for me; I wait

a tope, I work in faith, I rest in love ; He who gave

we hath graciously said, “I will come

grace of Christ in the meal of your nature, and leave t to work; but I cannot, there is a great gulf fixed between human agencies and divine. “Paul may plant, nd Apollos water, but God giveth the increase." Let ne, however, bid you isolate yourselves; draw away from the mighty crowd of mankind, and be lonely; orget, for the moment, that you have any fellows; be lone with God, as you will be when you die. For know how

easy

it is to be moved even to tears ; how eadily we all exclaim at the great love of God; and igh, and wonder, and wish ourselves better, without aking the necessary pains; I will take one aside and id him speak_“Yes, wretch that I am ! I feel it; ne leprosy lies deep within, my soul is palsied ; I am

sinner; I am as such undone, the law is broken, fe is forfeited, and even when I would do good, evil present with I kneel to pray, and am scared

evil thoughts, and the spirit of vanity; I try to ork, but the work is marred in my hand; I weep, it in vain, tears cannot wash out the stain of my m; I am undone, utterly undone.” This is the soliquy of a sinner. Hear him again-"Blessed be Thy me, Thou art my Saviour; Thou didst give Thyself me; I repent, I believe, I have forgiveness, I am doned, I am accepted in the beloved; I thank my through Jesus Christ our Lord; my soul is at rest, ause He loved me and gave Himself for me; I wait nope, I work in faith, I rest in love ; He who gave self for me hath graciously said, “I will come

me;

Dear brethren, think, think again. Let not the marvels of redemption pass by unheeded. Let not the Saviour of sinners die in vain, as far as you are concerned. Let not the gospel of the grace of God be a dead letter. Draw the natural conclusion from the fact that He gave Himself for us; even this—then we give ourselves to Him! Poor offering! yet accepted

by Him.

“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto Him; it is your reasonable service.”

“ Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were an off' ring far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all."

* Night of Prayer

.

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