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this is the bird selected to represent the Holy Spirit. Why should you vex and grieve his love? Rather seek his more powerful operations, that possessing him as an earnest, being sealed by him unto the day of redemption, and enjoying his witness to your adoption, you may rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory;
Beloved, let us watch and be sober, for it is more easy to sin away, and lose the gracious operations of the Spirit, than to recover and regain them. Let us be much in prayer, that we may receive the spirit in greater measure, enjoy his work in greater power, and be by him more thoroughly conformed to the likeness of our beloved Lord. Let us cultivate filial fear and tenderness of spirit, lest we become hardened through the deceitful. ness of sin.
Who can tell either the power or deceitfulness of sin! To what lengths it led David, into what depths of sorrow it brought him, and how many good things it kept back from him. If David fell, we may. If he grieved away the Spirit, we may. He had to groan over broken bones, blighted hopes, and blasted prospects, and all the effect of his own sin, so may we. Let us therefore fear, lest we peril our peace, confidence, and comfort; and let us cultivate a sense of our dependence on the Spirit, and learn to live in the Spirit, to walk in the Spirit, and to sow to the Spirit, that we may of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Blessed Comforter, dwell in our hearts, rule our spirits, and regu. late our lives, that we may ever, and in all things, glorify free and sovereign grace!
Slay, thou insulted Spirit, stay,
Tho' I have done thee such despite;
Nor take thine everlasting flight.
Tho' I have steel'd my stubborn heart,
And still shook off my guilty fears;
For forty long rebellious years :
Tho' I have most unfaithful been,
Of all whoe'er thy grace receiv'd;
Ten thousand times thy goodness griev'd:
In honour of my great High Priest;
To' exclude me from thy people's rest.
This only woe I deprecate,
This only plague I pray remove,
Nor curse me with this want of lore.
From now, my weary soul release,
Upraise me with thy gracious band,
And bring me to the promis'd land.
THE MARVELLOUS EXCHANGE.
2 COB, v. 21.
The Apostle is treating of the gospel minis. try, and showing that God is most us that men should be upon good terms with him. Therefore he does not appear in dazzling splendour, and glorious majesty, as when he gave the law ; but comes down to us in human form, in the person of his Son, in order to remove every impediment out of the way of our reconciliation to him. And having laid a foundation for friendship
, on honourable terms, he sends forth his ambassadors to invite, yea, to beseech men, to be reconciled unto him; promising not to im. pute their trespasses unto them, but to treat them as kindly, as lovingly, as if they were innocent, and had never offended him at all. The ground on which he does_this, is thus stated, speaking of Christ, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
The Lord Jesus was pure, without sin, His divine nature could not be tainted, or be in any way impure; as divine, he is the holy
God. His human nature was prepared for him, in the womb of the virgin, by the presence, power, and influences of the Holy Spirit. As the angel said to Mary, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; also, that holy thing that shall be born of thee shail be called the Son of God.” Thus, God created a new thing in the earth, a woman compassed a man, a clean thing was broughtout of an unclean. A child was born, who was not implicated in the guilt of Adam's sin, and whose nature was not tainted with human corruption. • In him was no sin.” The God man, was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. His natures were spotless, and his whole life was correct. He could appeal to the Jews, and ask, · Which of you convinceth me- of sin ?" Pilate was compelled to testify, “I find in him no fault at all, no, nor yet Herod." In every thought, word, and deed, he acted in exact accordance with God's pure, spiritual, and holy law. His death was unmerited, he did not deserve to die. He had broken no law. He had injured no one. And if he had not voluntarily offered to die the just for the unjust, the innocent for the guilty, he could not have been put to death.
His resurrection from the dead, by the power of the Father, was a glorious proof, that he “did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” “ He knew no sin.” The act of sin, never exposed him to
punishment. The guilt of sin, never troubled his conscience. The thought of sin, never polluted his breast.
“His life was pure without a spot,
And all his nature clean.” But he was made sin for us. He was not made a sinner, or he could not have been an acceptable sacrifice for sin. Sin was not transfused into him, though it was laid upon him. He was made an offering for sin, or a sin offering, and therefore he was treated as a sinner.
The sins of all he represented, of all for whom he became a substitute, were placed to his account. He became answerable for them. He voluntarily undertook to become responsible for them. The whole debt became his. Our breaches of the law were to be answered for by him. Therefore as sin was imputed to him, or placed to his account, it was punished in his person.
All that it was necessary to inflict, in order to satisfy justice, and present an example of God's hatred to sin, to the universe, was inflicted on him. The whole curse of the law, the whole desert of sin, the whole of the wrath of God for sin, was put into one cup, and presented to him. He looked into it and trembled, crying out, Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say?" He took it, and fell to the ground, blood oozing from every pore of his body, he cried in bitter agony, “If it be possible, let this cup pass