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complete satisfaction, it could not clear us of guilt. Infinite wisdom, that devised such a wonderful plan, not only to satisfy justice, but to pour upon us the whole fountain of goodness. Othe depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! This most exalted mystery is to the Jews' a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness; but to us who are thereby saved, it is the power of God and the wisdom of God: and we, with Paul, will declare, “ God forbid that we should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ;" Gal. vi. 14.
All the blessedness we can ever expect from the divine goodness, is procured by the death of Christ; for, “ He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Rom. viii. 32. And thus, while the death of Christ engages our heavenly Father, to give to the believers in his Son, every thing that his love and mercy can bestow; so also, believers themselves are thereby engaged to shew their gratitude for this, by continually striving, in all that they do, to please God; and, in this mutual engagement the New Covenant consists, which is founded on the blood of Christ : as Matthew writes, xxvi. 28, “ This is my blood of the New Covenant.” : 2. Verily, “ Christ died for all.” 2 Cor. v. 15.
And there is no one so great a sinner whom his grace alone is not able to save. But in order that this grace may become effectuat in us, ' faith is requisite, that is, we must 'heartily receive Jesus Christ aš our Saviour, and without doubting, rest assured, that only through him we can be made partakers of the mercy of God. Without the infinite merits of Christ all our attempts are in vain, and man can never be saved. This is clearly taught every where in the word of God, John iii. 15; “ For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have 'everlasting life;" and verse 18, " He that believeth on him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already." When we consider faith as' essential to salvation, it is to be under stood, that we mean faith unfeigned, sincere, and living, that is, “ faith which worketh by love," Gal. v. 6.
XXIII. Of the resurrection and ascension of Christ. · The dead Saviour was buried; but on the third day he rose again, and afterwards ascended into heaven. · The interment of our Saviour, was a proof that
he was really dead; but the abodes of the dead could not hold our Redeemer, as St Peter has declared to us : “ Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be bolden of them;" Acts ii. 24. Being buried on the Friday, he rested in the grave the Saturday, and rose again the third day, as he himself had more than once predicted. The scriptures had testified the same thing long before, because the prophet foreseeing in the spirit the victory of Jesus Christ over death and hell, sung this triumphal song:
song: “O death; I will be thy plague; Ograve, I will be thy destruction!" Hosea xiii. 14.>;
By the resurrection of Christ, we are completely assured that he hath conquered death; that he really is the Saviour sent us from God; and that our hope in him is stedfast and sure. Hence, the apostle writes concerning him: “ Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification;? Rom. iv. 25.' On his resurrection also, our hope in our own resurrection is founded. 6 For, if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again; even so them alsó which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him ;" 1 Thes. iv. 14.
Jesus Christ, after his resurrection, appeared to the apostles and to many others; and by in
'contestible proofs assured them, that he was risen indeed. After having given them most salutary instructions in regard to the great work of their apostleship, and 'making known to them that a door would soon be opened for their preaching the gospel throughout the world, even among all nations; and having promised to send them the Holy Spirit, who would lead them into all truth, he ascended into heaven before their eyes on the fortieth day after his resurrection, and sat down at the right hand of God, even the Father. This sitting intimates his resuming divine power and glory, which, though he possessed them from all eternity, yet, while he was on earth, they were concealed from mankind by the veil of his humanity, John xvii. 5.
XXV. Of the second coming of Christ. He also will come again to judge the living and the dead, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
His first appearance is past, and his second will also take place. The first was in humiliation, the second shall be in glory. The first was in mercy, the second will be in terrors; for in the first the Son of man came to save the world, but in the second he cometh to judge the world. In regard to this, we have the testimony of eternal
truth. “ When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations;” Matth. xxv. 31, 32.
The design of the second coming of Christ is to fulfil the demands of the inviolable justice of God,“ to give unto every one according to his works,” and thus completely to finish the work of our salvation; for the blessedness which is purchased by the death of Christ, we expect not on earth; but it is reserved for us in heaven. “ It is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels;" 2 Thes. i. 6,7. Consequent ly, this judgment day will be terrible only to un believing and unrepenting sinners; but to the faithful, and to such as have continued stedfast un to death in the ways of godliness, it is supremely desirable and joyful. Those will tremble, when they feel the cup of the wrath of God poured out upon them; while these shall rejoice at the reception of the unutterable reward for their constancy in the faith; when they shall be united unto Christ, whose love had burned in their hearts throughout their whole lives.