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his soul, cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me."
But who can describe, or who imagine, what were the final sufferings of the Saviour of men? By the hand of God he was afflicted for human guilt; by the wickedness of man he was persecuted, scourged, buffeted, spit on, condemned, crowned with thorns, and crucified. But at length the Saviour exclaims, "It is finished." And here is the end of his sufferings and sorrows, the triumph over his enemies, and the termination of his trials and conflicts. No more will he suffer the pressure of poverty, or sustain "the contradiction of sinners against himself." No more will he fall prostrate in sorrow, and suffer the agony of a bloody sweat. No more will he be crowned with thorns, and undergo the fierce torments of crucifixion. His laborious and calamitous pilgrimage is now at an end. The sorrows of thirty-three years are now recompensed with glory and honour; and, as the Mediator, he is now about to return to his own heaven, from whence his love, as the eternal Son of God, had brought him down. For a little while he was despised and rejected of men; but afterwards God "gave him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow; of things in heaven, and things in the earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
7. Finally, redemption is finished.
Christ had before fulfilled all the demands of the law by his perfect obedience; and now he has ended all the penalties that were to be endured. He has undergone every thing that was necessary to make atonement for sin. "He suffered the death of the cross for our redemption; and made then, by his own oblation of himself once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world." A complete ransom for sinners has been paid to the divine justice. It has, therefore, no more demand upon those who plead the merit of the sacrifice of Christ. "He has made an end of sin; he has put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." But how is this to be viewed in respect to us 1 There are some who speak and write of Christ's having made, on the cross, a finished salvation. But a little consideration will shew the impropriety of this phrase. Salvation is finished in regard to its purchase and price; and hence the redemption that Christ has accomplished, is called a finished redemption. But there must be the work of Christ in us, as well as the work of Christ for us. The satisfaction and atonement of Christ is perfect and sufficient; but it must be applied to our souls in the way appointed by God, convincing us of our sin, and bringing us to a dependence on the Saviour for an interest in the blessings of redemption. The evidences of the application, are faith, repentance, and obedience. The apostle Paul informs us, "God set forth his Son to be a propitiation through faith in his blood." Repentance is also one of "the things which accompany salvation;'' and hence we are exhorted,—" Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out." And again it is said: "Christ became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him." The means of the application of the Saviour's finished redemption, are the Word of God and the sacraments. "Sanctify them," said the Saviour in his last intercessory prayer on earth; "through thy truth: thy word is truth. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth." St. Paul assures us, that " Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water and the Word." And again: "As many of you as have been baptized intoChrist, have put on Christ. We are buried with him by baptism into death. And if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." "Arise and be baptized," said Ananias to Paul, "and wash away thy sins." The apostle Peter, referring to the salvation of Noah and his family in the ark, says; "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." And our Lord assures us, that "he who believeth and is baptized, shall be saved." We "acknowledge therefore (with the church) one baptism for the remission of sins." The other sacrament is likewise connected with the application of Christ's salvation to our hearts. We are made partakers of the body and blood of Christ, and of the benefits purchased thereby by the Lord's supper. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread, which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? Jesus said unto his disciples, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." "The body and blood of Christ are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful, in the Lord's supper." But observe, brethren, when the salvation is thus applied, it is not finished. It is not finished at the death of the believer. His body is yet in the grave. But when the Lord comes "the second time without sin, unto salvation," the vile bodies of his people will be raised and changed, "that they may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself." But though the blessed Jesus did not finish salvation on the cross, he finished redemption, brought in everlasting righteousness, and " opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers."
Lest I weary your patience, at present I add no more. The remaining heads purposed to be considered, must be deferred to another opportunity. '' Consider what has been said; and the Lord give you understanding in all things."
John xix. 30.
IT IS FINISHED.
These are nearly the last words which the Redeemer of the world uttered before he expired on the cross. He only added, "Father, into thy hands I commend iny spirit;" and then " he bowed his head and gave up the ghost." When all things were finished, the Saviour freely and willingly resigned himself to the stroke of death. In the original language used by the Evangelists—two of them say that he expired, or breathed out his soul; one, that he delivered, or yielded up his spirit; and the other, that he dismissed his spirit. The language of the prophet Isaiah is also in conformity to that of the Evangelists. "He poured out his soul unto death." All these expressions shew that Christ's life was not taken away, but resigned; and that although there was much violence in his death, there was no compulsion to occasion it. The terms used by the different writers, imply more than merely the death of the Saviour; for they demonstrate that he died voluntarily and freely. "No man," said Jesus himself, "taketh my life from me, but I lay it down of myself." He alone, of