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under those glorious distinctions of character: "Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations. And thou shalt be called the Repairer of the breach, the Restorer of the paths to dwell in!" (Isa. lviii. 12.) Thus much will be sufficient in the view of his Almighty person, to shew how very suited as well as competent our most glorious Christ was " to remove the iniquity of his people in one day."
My next office, which by my proposal I have to perform, will be, to shew you that by this removal the church is wholly freed both from sin and the merited punishment; for in all he did or wrought or suffered, he acted as the public head of his church and people; and his becoming "a curse for them, redeemed them from the curse," (Gal. iii. 13.) and "being made sin for them who knew no sin, they became the righteousness of God in him." (2 Cor. v. 21.)
In prosecuting this part of the subject, I earnestly request your close attention. When this Almighty Holy One stood forth the head and representative of his body the church, it is expressly said that "the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isa. liii. 6.) Consequently, the iniquity of his people being laid on him, all iniquity was taken from them, and when he stood up chargeable with their sins, they were freed from them. They could not at the same time, be on both. And the Surety and Sponsor thus bearing their iniquity, the principal debtor became free. This was very beautifully set forth by type under the Old Testament, by various representations, but in none more striking than by the figure of the scape goat on the great day of atonement. The high priest was commanded on that day to lay both his hands on the head of the goat, and confess over him "all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, in all their sins, putting them
upon the head of the goat, and then to send him away by the band of a fit man into the wilderness. And it was said that the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities into a land not inhabited." (Levit. xvi. 21, 22.) Here we behold the church freed both from the charge of sin and the punishment due to it, and the Lord of life and glory for awhile burthened with both. And hence the prophet recording this marvellous transaction said, "In those days and in that time saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found; for I will pardon them whom I reserve." (Jerem. 1. 20.)
But we must not stop here. We behold in this statement sin and all its tremendous consequences put upon Christ, and his body the church thereby freed from all. It behoves us next to enquire, and on Scripture authority, how the Lord freed himself from the vast burden, and thereby removed "the iniquity of that land in one day.”
And in the investigation of this inquiry, we enter upon a subject of such profound wisdom and mystery, as is explainable only by the Lord, and capable of being received by none but the spiritually taught of God. For although by study, reading Scripture, attending ordinances, and the like, we may, from the mere natural powers of reason, obtain a rational knowledge of the things of God; yet the spiritual apprehension of them, and the spiritual enjoyment of them, can only be received by those who from the new birth are made spiritually alive "to know the things which are freely given unto them of God." But where this sovereign work is wrought, the children are all "taught of God, and great is the peace of the children." All such are led to see Christ putting away sin by the sacrifice of himself." He freed himself from the load and guilt of sin by his holy obedience to the whole law of God, which we have
all broken; and by his sufferings and death he made ample satisfaction to the just punishment of sin. And as the infinite greatness of his person gave an infinite value to all he did and suffered, he accomplished what he had undertaken, when he said, "And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day."
But still there ariseth a question of some difficulty to answer, until by divine teaching we are brought savingly acquainted with it; namely, how and by what authority it is that our sins are transferable to another. For though through grace we are brought to see a redundancy of merit, both from the almightiness of Christ's person, and the almightiness of his salvation, to make more than ample amends for our delinquency, yet till we see the authority of the transfer, faith cannot find warrant to believe to the saving of the soul. Hence the glorious and crowning point of all is, that all the persons in the GODHEAD, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, had an equal hand in planning and executing this great salvation, and the church is taught to give equal praise to the Holy Three in One for such unspeakable mercy. For although Christ, the visible Jehovah, in his own person, wrought out the stupendous deliverance, yet herein he was the gift of the Father, and sealed to the work by the Holy Ghost; and hence all the persons in the GODHEAD concurred in the accomplishment. And hence the prophet's song, "Sing, O ye heavens, for the Lord hath done it; shout ye lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein, for Jehovah hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel." (Isaiah xliv. 23.)
And now in conclusion, shall I ask what is the result of this whole discourse? Let me, with great affection, put a few questions to all here present. Hath the Lord by sovereign grace, in the new-birth,
brought you into an acquaintance with the plague of your own heart, as to have shewn you that you are alike involved by original and by actual sin, in the universal iniquity of the land? Are you also sensible, and by the same divine teaching, that all men by that fall in Adam, are alike helpless to their own deliverance? Have you been brought into such knowledge of the person, glory, almightiness, and all-sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ, as to believe in his power, and to be convinced that by that power, " he hath removed the iniquity of his land in one day?" And, under these convictions, are you so totally stripped of self, and all self-righteousness, as to the laying low in the dust before God, convinced that "salvation is in no other; neither is there any other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved?"
If these impressions of soul wrought by sovereign grace, are upon you, there will be the accompaniment, that a salvation, full and free, and wholly in God, without respect to merit, or deservings or undeservings in man, is at once equally suited to saint and sinner; the debtor of five hundred pence, or the debtor of fifty; for both are equally insolvent before God. I pray God to give every awakened, convinced sinner to see that Christ is suited as truly for him, as he is for Christ. And I And I pray God to give every one that is brought to believe in the glorious truth, that "Christ hath removed the iniquity of his land in one day!" that the real, cordial, and hearty belief, must be connected with the living upon it. Here (ought every one of this description to say) I behold the promised salvation confirmed. Christ "the most Holy hath finished the transgression; made an end of sins; made reconciliation for iniquity, and hath brought in everlasting righteousness!" Blessed for ever, blessed be God, in Christ. Amen.