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have not been slain. His covenant with death and his agreement with hell stand firm. What, then, would the unhumbled, unsubdued sinner do in heaven? How could he stand in the presence of that holy God who out of Christ is a consuming fire ?
But there are some who do consent to the terms of salvation. There are some that rejoice in their emancipation from sin. They love to repent. They love to obey the law of God. They love to recline upon the arms of an Almighty Saviour. They show by their works the genuineness of their repentance, and faith, and love. They do not calculate upon the mercy of God, while rejecting Christ and living in sin. They have evidence of their final justification before God, only as they have evidence that they are united to Christ by faith-by a true and living faith-a faith that works by love, and purifies the heart, and overcomes the world. They are willing Christ should take away all their sins-not one single sin do they wish to retain. They would be crucified to the world and the world unto them. Many such have reached heaven, and many more will reach there. So that Christ will not have died in vain. “I beheld," says John, “and lo! a multitude which no man could number, gathered from all nations, stood before the throne and before the Lamb: and they cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God and to the Lamb! Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever!"
Here let us remark--it is strange that any should be found, who, calling themselves Christians, and Christian ministers, refuse to pay Jesus Christ that worship here on earth, which he is represented in these passages as receiving in heaven! Such sons, if they are admitted into heaven, will have indeed to learn a new song, for they must learn a new religion ! We come now to the last question upon
the text, viz:
III. By whom was the sin of the world taken away?
“ Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world.”
Was this Lamb of God a created being, or an uncreated being? What does John say of him in the chapter from which our text is taken? In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. He was then, at least in the beginning, with God. “In the beginning,” here, according to Grotius, means from eternity. He was, according to this, one of the persons in the Godhead. But he says also, that this Word which was in the beginning with God, was God. And this Word which was God, became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. This is good testimony
The angels testify upon this subject: “I heard," (says John) “the voice of many angels round about the throne, and their number was ten thousand
times ten thousand and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain !"
When the Father introduced his Son into the world, he did it with the proclamation, “ Let all the angels of God worship him.” But could they worship him if he was not God? Would it be right to worship any created mortal, however exalted ? But Christ was worshipped when on earth, and is worshipped now in heaven -therefore he must be God as well as man.
Again: The work which he is declared to have done, shows him to be a Divine being. He took away
the sins of the world. But how could he have done this if he was only a created mortal ? How could he, as a created being, do any thing more than keep the law of God perfectly himself? In that case he would have had no time nor capacity to do any thing more than meet the demands of the law in his own case.
But an atonement was needed for man. A Saviour was called for, who in addition to perfect obedience must possess sufficient dignity of character to give that obedience infinite value. An infinite law was violated, and an infinite atonement was needed. The Lamb of God made that atonement; therefore he was God as well as man. He magnified the law and made it honourable. He performed the mighty task of taking away the sins of the whole world. He bore our sins and carried our sorrows. He was stricken and smitten of God, and afflicted. The physician of the body takes away the maladies of the body by the application
of means external to himself. But the physician of the soul had no remedy external to himself. The only remedy he could afford was his own agonies and blood. Nothing but his blood would stop Justice in his pursuit of the sinner.
66 The justice of God, not to be propitiated by any other means, pursues the sinner on earth and in hell; nothing in the universe can arrest it in its awful career, until it stops in reverence at the Cross of Christ.” At the cross Justice sheathed his glittering sword, to be drawn no more till the judgment day-sheathed it in the soul of an expiring Saviour. Then, when the sun was eclipsed then, when the earth quaked—then, when the dead arose-then, when the Lamb of God said, “It is finished”—the sin of the world was taken away. Taken away by one who was competent to the almighty task. Taken away by one whose sufferings shrouded the sun in mourning, and whose groans shook this great globe.
1. We see in view of our subject why some deny the divinity of Christ. If the law was an infinite law, then its violation brought an infinite curse upon man, and then it required an infinite one to remove that curse from man. But he who came to be a propitiator for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world, was God God manifest in the flesh. Was the sacri. fice too great? Was the atonement too extensive? If the law violated was a finite law-if the curse was a finite curse, then it was. But as the sacrifice for sin was an infinite sacrifice, it demonstrates the infinitude of the law and of the penalty. Well may men tremble in view of a Deity incar. nate atoning for sin.
This makes sin appear exceeding sinful. This points forward to the infinitude of that curse which must fall upon
the transgressor who dies without repentance and faith.
Again: We see in view of our subject another reason why some deny the Supreme Divinity of the Lamb of God. If the Son of God was only a created being, then his work in atoning for sin corresponded to his powers and capacities. This view of his character makes sin a small matter-a little evil, which could be taken away from the world by a created being.
If Christ was not God as well as man, then man was not wholly lost then man was not totally depraved. Show that Christ was not God as well as man, and you show a limitation to man's depravity and ruin.
No wonder that some are anxious to show that the Lamb of God was not Deity as well as man.
But take the testimony of John, that the Word which became flesh was God, and then you show the unlimited extent of man's depravity and ruin. Show the deity of the Saviour, and then you show the total depravity of man. The fact that it required an Almighty Saviour to help man is proof positive that he was in a helpless condition. If