Sermon 256. The Believer's Challenge
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, June 5th, 1859, by the
REV. C.H. SPURGEON
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.
"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God,who also maketh intercession for us"-Romans 8:34.
THE PROTEST OF an innocent man against the charge of an accuser may well be strong and vehement. But here we have a more uncommonand a sublimer theme. It is the challenge of a justified sinner protesting with holy and inspired fervour that his characteris clear and his conscience clean, even in the sight of heaven. Yet it is not the natural innocence of his heart, but theperfect mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ, which gives him this amazing confidence. May the Spiritof God enable me to expound to you this most blessed portion of God's Word.
We have before us in the text the four marvellous pillars upon which the Christian rests his hope. Any one of them were all-sufficient.Though the sins of the whole world should press on any one of these sacred columns, it would never break nor bend. Yet forour strong consolation, that we may never tremble or fear, God hath been pleased to give us these four eternal rocks, thesefour immovable foundations upon which our faith may rest and stand secure. But why is this?why needeth the Christian to have such firm, such massive foundations? For this simple reason: he is himself so doubtful,so ready to distrust, so difficult to be persuaded of his own security. Therefore hath God, as it were, enlarged his arguments.One blow might, we should have imagined, have been enough to have smitten to death our unbelief for ever; the cross oughtto have been enough for the crucifixion of our infidelity, yet God, foreseeing the strength of our unbelief, hath been pleasedto smite it four times that it might be razed to rise no more. Moreover, he well knew that our faith would be sternlyattacked. The world, our own sin, and the devil, he foresaw would be continually molesting us; therefore hath he entrenchedus within these four walls, he hath engarrisoned us in four strong lines of circumvallation. We cannot be destroyed. We havebulwarks, none of which can possibly be stormed, but when combined they are so irresistible, they could not be carried, thoughearthand hell should combine to storm them. It is, I say, first, because of our unbelief; and secondly, because of the tremendousattacks our faith has to endure, that God has been pleased to lay down four strong consolations, with which we may fortifyour hearts whenever the sky is overcast, or the hurricane is coming forth from its place.
Let us now notice these four stupendous doctrines. I repeat it again, any one of them is all-sufficient. It reminds me ofwhat I have sometimes heard of the ropes that are used in mining. It is said that every strand of them would bear the entireonnage, and consequently, if every strand bears the full weight that will ever be put upon the whole, there is an absolutecertainty of safety given to the whole when twisted together. Now each of these four articles of our faithis sufficient to bear the weight of the sins of the whole world. What must be the strength when the whole four are interlacedand intertwisted, and become the support of the believer? The apostle challenges the whole world, and heaven and hell too,in the question, "Who is he that condemneth?" and in order to excuse his boldness, he gives us four reasons why he can neverbe condemned. "Christ has died, yea, rather, is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, whoalso maketh intercession for us." We shall first look over these four pillars of the believer's faith, and then, afterwards, we shall ourselves take up theapostle's challenge, and cry, "Who is he that condemneth?"
I. The first reason why the Christian never can be condemned is because CHRIST HATH DIED. We believe that in the death ofChrist there was a full penalty paid to divine justice for all the sins which the believer can possibly commit. We teach everySabbath day, that the whole shower of devine wrath was poured upon Christ's head, that the black cloud of vengeance emptiedout itself upon the cross, and that there is not left in the book of God a single sin against abeliever, nor can there possibly be even a particle of punishment ever exacted at the hand of the man that believeth inJesus, for this reason,-that Jesus has been punished to the full. In full tale hath every sin received sentence in his death.He hath suffered, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. And now, if you and I are enabled this morning to go beneaththe bloody tree of Calvary, and shelter ourselves there, how safe we are! Ah! we may look around and defy all our sins todestroy us. This shall be an all-sufficient argument to shut their clamorous mouths, "Christ hath died." Here cometh oneand he cries, "Thou hast been a blasphemer." Yes, but Christ died a blasphemer's death, and he died tor blasphemers. "Butthou hast stained thyself with lust." Yes, but Christ died for the lascivious. The blood of Jesus Christ, God's own Son, cleansethus from all sin; so away foul fiend, that also has received its due. "But thou hast long resisted grace, and long stood outagainst the warnings of God." Yes, but "Jesus died;" and say what thou wilt, O conscience, remind me of what thou wilt;lo this shall be my sure reply-in "Jesus died." Standing at the foot of the cross, and beholding the Redeemer in his expiringagony, the Christian may indeed gather courage. When I think of my sin, it seems impossible that any atonement should everbe adequate; but when I think of Christ's death it seems impossible that any sin should ever be great enough to need suchanatonement as that. There is in the death of Christ enough and more than enough. There is not only a sea in which to drownour sins, but the very tops of the mountains of our guilt are covered. Forty cubits upwards hath this red sea prevailed. Thereis not only enough to put our sins to death, but enough to bury them and hide them out of sight. I say it boldly and withouta figure,-the eternal arm of God now nerved with strength, now released from the bondage in which justice held it, is ableto save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by Christ.
This was my subject last Sabbath day, therefore I take it I shall be fully justified in leaving the first point-that Christ hath died, while I pass on to the other three. You will bear in mind that I discussed the doctrine of the satisfaction of Christ'satonement by his death, in the sermon of last Sunday morning. I come, therefore, to notice the second argument. Our firstreason for knowing that we cannot be condemned is, because Christ has died for us.
II. The second reason a believer hath, is-that CHRIST HAS RISEN AGAIN.
You will observe that the apostle has here prefixed the words, "yea rather!" Do you see the force of this expression? As muchas to say, it is a powerful argument for our salvation, that Christ died; but it is a still more cogent proof that every believershall be saved, that Christ rose again from the dead. This does not often strike us. We generally receive more comfort atthe cross than we do at the empty sepulchre. And yet this is just through our ignorance and throughthe blindness of our eyes; for verily to the enlightened believer there is more consolation in Jesus arising from thetomb, than there is in Jesus nailed to the cross. "Yea rather," said the apostle; as if he would have it, that this is a stillmore powerful argument. Now what has the resurrection of Christ from the dead to do with the justification of a believer?I take it thus: Christ by his death paid to his Father the full price of what we owed to him. God did as it were hold a bondagainstus which we could not pay. The alternative of this bond, if not paid, was, that we should be sold for ever under sin,and should endure the penalty of our transgressions in unquenchable fire. Now Jesus by his death paid all the debt; to theutmost farthing that was due from us to God Christ did pay by his death. Still the bond was not cancelled until the day whenChrist rose from the dead; then did his Father, as it were, rend the bond in halves, and blot it out, so that thenceforwardit ceasesto have elfect. It is true that death was the payment of the debt, but resurrection was the public acknowledgment thatthe debt was paid. "Now," says Paul, "yea rather, he is risen from the dead." O Christian, thou canst not be condemned, forChrist has paid the debt. Look at his gore, as it distils from his body in Gethsemane and on the accursed tree. But rather,lest there should be a shadow of a doubt, that thou canst not be condemned, thy debts are cancelled. Here is the full receipt;theresurrection hath rent the bond in twain. And now at Gods right hand there is not left a record of thy sin; for when ourLord Jesus Christ quitted the tomb, he left thy sin buried in it-once for all cast away-never to be recovered. To use anotherfigure,-Christ's death was as it were the digging out of the gold of grace out of the deep mines of Jesus' sufferings. Christcoined, so to speak, the gold which should be the redemption of his children, but the resurrection was the minting ofthat gold; it stamped it with the Father's impress, as the current coin of the realm of heaven. The gold itself was fusedin the atoning sacrifice, but the minting of it, making it into that which should be the current coin of the merchant, wasthe resurrection of Christ. Then did his Father stamp the atonement with his own image and his own superscription. On thecross I see Jesus dying for my sins as an expiating sacrifice; but in the resurrection I see God acknowledging the death ofChrist,and accepting what he has done for my indisputable justification. I see him putting his own imprimatur thereupon, stampingit with his own signet, dignifying it with his own seal, and again I cry, "Yea rather, who is risen from the dead,"-who thencan condemn the believer? To put Christ's resurrection yet in another aspect. His death was the digging of the well of salvation.Stern was the labour, toilsome was the work; he dug on, and on, and on, through rocks of suffering, into the deepestcaverns of misery; but the resurrection was the springing up of the water. Christ digged the well to its very bottom,but not a drop did spring up; still was the world dry and thirsty, till on the morning of the resurrection a voice was heard,"Spring up O well," and forth came Christ himself from the grave, and with him came the resurrection and the life; pardonand peace for all souls sprang up from the deep well of his misery. Oh! when I can find enough for my faith to be satisfiedwith evenin the digging of the well, what shall be my satisfaction when I see it overflowing its brim, and springing up with lifeeverlasting? Surely the apostle was right when he said, "Yea rather, who hath risen from the dead." And yet another picture.Christ was in his death the hostage of the people of God. He was the representative of all the elect. When Christ was boundto the tree, I see my own sin bound there; when he died every believer virtually died in him; when he was buried we were buriedin him, and when he was in the tomb, he was, as it were, God's hostage for all his church, for all that ever should believeon him. Now, as long as he was in prison, although there might be ground of hope, it was but as light sown for the righteous;but when the hostage came out, behold the first fruit of the harvest! When God said, "Let my Anointed go free, I am satisfiedand content in him," then every elect vessel went free in him; then every child of God was released from durance vile nomore to die, not to know bondage or fetter for ever. I do see ground for hope when Christ is bound, for he is bound forme; I do see reason for rejoicing when he dies, for he dies for me, and in my room and stead; I do see a theme for solid satisfactionin his burial, for he is buried for me; but when he comes out of the grave, having swallowed up death in victory, my hopebursts into joyous song. He lives, and because he lives I shall live also. He is delivered and I am delivered too. Deathhath no more dominion over him and no more dominion over me; his deliverance is mine, his freedom mine for ever. Again,I repeat it, the believer should take strong draughts of consolation here. Christ is risen from the dead, how can we be condemned?There are e'en stronger arguments for the non-condemnation of the believer in the resurrection of Christ than in his preciousdeath and burial. I think I have shown this; only may God give us grace to rest upon this precious-"yea, rather, who isrisen from the dead."
III. The next clause of the sentence reads thus: "WHO IS EVEN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD." Is there not any word of specialcommendation to this? You will remember the last one had, "Yea, rather." Is there nothing to commend this? Well, if not inthis text, there is in another. If, at your leisure, you read through the fifth chapter of this epistle to the Romans, youwill there very readily discover that the apostle proves, that if Christ's death be an argument for oursalvation, his life is a still greater one. He says in the tenth verse of that chapter, "If, when we were enemies, wewere reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more"-that's the word I wanted-"much more we shall be saved by his life." We may look, then, at this third clause, as having a "much more" before it, comparing Scripturewith Scripture. We cannot be condemned for "Christ hath died. Yea rather, is risen again; (much more) is even at the right hand ofGod." Here is an argument which hath much more power, much more strength, much more force than even Christ's death. SometimesI have thought that impossible. Last Lord's day, I thought by God's good help I was enabled to persuade some of you that thedeath of Christ was an argument too potent to be ever denied-an argument for the salvation of all for whom he died. Much more,let me now tell you, is his life, much more the fact that he lives, and is at the right hand of the Father. Now I mustcall your attention to this clause, remarking that in other passages of God's Word, Christ is said to have sat down for ever at the right hand of God. Do observe with care the fact that he is always described in heaven as sitting down. This seemsto me to be one material argument for the salvation of the believer-Christ sits in heaven. Now, he never would sit if the work were not fully done. Jesus when he was on earth, had a baptism to be baptisedwith, and how was he straiteneduntil it was accomplished! He had not time so much as to eat bread, full often, so eager was he to accomplish all hiswork. And I do not, I cannot imagine that he would be sitting down in heaven in the posture of ease, unless he had accomplishedall-unless "It is finished!" were to be understood in its broadest and most unlimited sense. There is one thing I have noticed,in looking over the old levitical law, under the description of the tabernacle. There were no seats whatever provided torthe priests. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering sacrifice for sin. They never had any seats to sit on.There was a table for the shew-bread, an altar, and a brazen lover; yet there was no seat. No priest sat down; he must alwaysstand; for there was always work to be accomplished, always something to be done. But the great high priest of our profession,Jesus, the Son of God, hath taken his seat at the right hand of the majesty on high. Why is this? Because, now the sacrificeiscomplete for ever, and the priest hath made a full end of his solemn service. What would the Jew have thought if it hadbeen possible for a seat to have been introduced into the sanctuary, and for the high priest to sit down? Why, the Jew wouldthen have been compelled to believe that it was all over, the dispensation was ended; for a sitting priest would be the endof all. And now we may rest assured, since we can see a sitting Christ in heaven, that the whole atonement is finished, theworkis over, he hath made an end of sin. I do consider that in this there is an argument why no believer ever can perish.If he could, if there were yet a chance of risk, Christ would not be sitting down; if the work were not so fully done, thatevery redeemed one should at last be received into heaven, he would never rest, nor hold his peace.
Turning, however, more strictly to the words of the text, "Who is even at the right hand of God"-what meaneth this? It means,first of all, that Christ is now in the honourable position of an accepted one. The right hand of God is the place of majesty, and the place of favour too. Now, Christ is his people's representative. When he died for them they had rest; when he rose again for them, they had liberty;when he was received into his Father's favour, yet again,and sat at his own right hand, then had they favour, and honour, and dignity. Do you not remember that the two sons ofZebedee asked to sit, one on the right hand and the other on the left? Little did they know that they had already what theyasked for-for all the church is now at the right hand of the Father; all the church is now raised up together, and made tosit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. The raising and elevation of Christ to that throne of dignity and favour,is theelevation, the acceptance, the enshrinement, the glorifying of all his people, for he is their common head, and standsas their representative. This sitting at the right hand of God, then, is to be viewed as the acceptance of the person of thesurety, the reception of the representative, and therefore, the acceptance of our souls. Who is he that condemneth, then?Condemn a man that is at the right hand of God! Absurd! Impossible! Yet am I there in Christ. Condemn a man who sits nextto hisFather, the King of kings! Yet there is the church, and how can she in the slightest degree incur condemnation, when sheis already at the right hand of the Father with her covenant head. And let me further remark, that the right hand is the place of power. Christ at the right hand of God signifies that all power is given unto him in heaven and in earth. Now, who is he that condemnsthe people that have such a head as this? O my soul! what can destroy thee if omnipotence is thy helper?If the aegis of the Almighty covers thee, what sword can smite thee? If the wings of the Eternal are thy shelter, whatplague can attack thee? Rest thou secure. It Jesus is thine all-prevailing king, and hath trodden thine enemies beneath hisfeet, if sin, death, and hell, are now only parts of his empire, for he is Lord of all, and if thou art represented in him,and he is thy guarantee, thy sworn surety, it cannot be by any possibility that thou canst be condemned. While we have anAlmightySaviour, the redeemed must be saved; until omnipotence can fail, and the Almighty can be overcome, every blood-boughtredeemed child of God is safe and secure for ever. Well did the apostle say of this-"much more-much more than dying and rising again from the dead, he lives at the right hand of God."
IV. And now I come to the fourth; and this also hath an encomium passed upon it-"WHO ALSO MAKETH INTERCESSION FOR US." Ourapostle, in the epistle to the Hebrews, puts a very strong encomium upon this sentence. What does he say upon it? A littlemore than he said about the others. The first one is, "Yea rather;" the second one is, "Much more." And what is the third? Remember the passage-"He is able also to save them unto the uttermost that comeunto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Lo! this is-"to the uttermost;" what we thought, perhaps, to be the very smallest matter in the recital, is just the greatest. "To the very uttermost" he is able to save, seeing he ever lives to intercede-the strongest argument of the whole four. Let us try to meet this question,"Why does Christ intercede to day in heaven?" A quaint old divine says, that "When God in his justice rose from his thronetosmite the surety, he would make no concession whatever. The surety paid the debt." "Yet," said the Judge, "I will notcome down to earth to receive the payment; bring it to me." And therefore the surety first groped through death to fight hisway up to the eternal throne, and then mounting aloft by a glorious ascension, dragged his conquered foes behind him, andscattering mercies with both his hands, like Roman conquerors who scattered gold and silver coins in their triumph, enteredheaven.And he came before his Father's throne and said, "There it is; the full price: I have brought it all." God would not godown to the earth for payment; it must be brought to him. This was pictured by the high priest of old. The high priest firsttook the blood, but that was not accepted. He did not bring the mercy-seat outside the veil, to carry the mercy-seat to theblood. No; the blood must he taken to the mercy-seat, God will not stoop when he is just; it must be brought to him. So thehighpriest takes off his royal robes, and puts on the garments of the minor priest, and goes within the veil, and sprinklesthe blood upon the mercy-seat. Even so did our Lord Jesus Christ. He took the payment and bore it to God,-took his wounds,his rent body, his flowing blood, up to his Father's very eyes, and there he spread his wounded hands and pleaded tor hispeople. Now here is a proof that the Christian cannot be condemned, because the blood is on the mercy-seat. It is not pouredout onthe ground; it is on the mercy-seat, it is on the throne; it speaks in the very ears of God, and it must of a surety prevail.
But, perhaps, the sweetest proof that the Christian cannot be condemned, is derived from the intercession of Christ, if weview it thus. Who is Christ, and who is it with whom he intercedes. My soul was in raptures when I mused yesterday upon twosweet thoughts; they are but simple and plain, but they were very interesting to me. I thought that had I to intercede foranybody, and do a mediating part, if I had to intercede for my brother with my father, I should feel I hadgot a safe case in hand. This is just what Jesus has to do. He has to intercede with his Father, and mark, with our Fathertoo. There is a double precedent to strengthen our confidence that he must prevail. When Christ pleads, he does not pleadwith one who is stronger than him or inimical to him, but with his own Father. "My Father," saith he "it is my delight todo thy will and it is thy delight to do my will, I will then that they, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am." Andthen he adds this blessed argument, "Father those for whom I plead are thine own children, and thou lovest them as muchas I do," yea, "thou hast loved them as thou hast loved me." Oh, it is no hard task to plead, when you are pleading with aFather for a brother, and when the advocate can say, "I go to my Father and to your Father, to my God and to your God." Suppose,my dear friends, that any of you were about to be tried for your life, do you think you could trust your advocacy with anymanyou know? I do really think I should be impatient to speak for myself. But my counsel would say, "Now just be quiet, mydear sir, you perhaps may plead more earnestly than I can, because it is for your own life, but then you do not understandthe law, you will make some blunder or other, and commit yourself and spoil your own cause." But still I think if my lifewere in hazard, and I stood in the dock, and my counsel were pleading for me, my tongue would be itching to plead for myself,and Ishould want to get up and just say, "My lord, I am innocent, innocent as the babe newly born, of the crime laid to mycharge. My hands have never been stained with the blood of any man." Oh! I think I could indeed plead if I were pleading formyself. But, do you know, I have never felt that with regard to Christ. I can sit down and let him plead, and I do not wantto get up and conduct the pleading myself. I do feel that he loves me better than I love myself. My cause is quite safe inhishands, especially when I remember again that he pleads with my father, and that he is his own Father's beloved Son, and that he is my brother-and such a brother-a brother born for adversity.
"Give him, my soul, thy cause to plead,
Nor doubt the Father's grace."
It is enough; he has the cause, nor would we take it from his hand even if we could-
"I know that safe with him remains,
Protected by his power-
What I've committed to his hands
Till the decisive hour."
Well did the apostle say, "To the very uttermost he is able to save them that come unto God by him, because he ever livesto make intercession for them."
I have thus given you the four props and pillars of the believer's faith. And now my hearers, let me just utter this personalappeal to you. What would you give, some of you, if you could have such a hope as this? Here are four pillars. Oh unhappysouls, that cannot call one of these your own! The mass of men are all in uncertainty; they do not know what will become ofthem at last. They are discontented enough with life and yet they are afraid to die. God is angry withthem, and they know it. Death is terrible to them; the tomb affrights them, they can scarcely understand the possibilityof having any confidence this side of the grave. Ah, my hearers, what would you give if you could obtain this confidence?And yet it is within reach of every truly penitent sinner. If you are now led to repent of sin; if you will now cast yourselfon the blood and righteousness of Christ, your eternal salvation shall be as sure as your present existence. He cannot perishwhorelies on Christ, and he who hath faith in Jesus may see the heavens pass away, but not God's Word. He may see the earthburned, but into the fire of hell he can never go. He is safe, and he must be saved, though all things pass away.
And now this brings me to the challenge. Fain would I picture the apostle as he appeared when he was uttering it. Hark! I hear a brave, strong voice, crying, "Whoshall lay anything to my charge?" "Who is that?-Paul. What! Paul, a Christian! I thought Christians were a humble, timid people.""They are so; but not when they are arrayed in the robes, and invested with the credentials of their Sovereign. They are lambsin the harmlessness of their dispositions, butthey have the courage of lions when they defend the honours of their King. Again, I hear him cry, "Who shall lay anythingto my charge?"-and he casts his eyes to heaven. Is not the wretch smitten dead? Will not such presumption as this be avenged?Does he challenge purity to convict him of guilt? O Paul, the thunderbolt of God will smite thee! "No," says he, "it is Godthat justifieth, I am not afraid to face the highest heaven, since God has said that I am just. I can look upward withoutdistressing fear." "But hush! repeat not that challenge." "Yes," saith he, "I will. Who is he that condemneth." And Isee him look downwards; there lies the old dragon, bound in chains, the accuser of the brethren; and the apostle stares himin the face, and says, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" Why, Paul, Satan will bring thundering accusationsagainst thee; art thou not afraid? "No," says he, "I can stop his mouth with this cry, 'It is Christ that died;'-that willmake him tremble, for he crushed the serpent's head in that victorious hour. And I can shut his mouth again-'yea rather,that is risen again,' for he took him captive on that day;-I will add, 'who sitteth at the right hand of God.' I can foilhim with that, for he sits there to judge him and to condemn him for ever. Once more I will appeal to his advocacy 'Who makethintercession for us.' I can stop his accusation with this perpetual care of Jesus for his people." Again, cries Paul, "Whoshall lay anything to my charge?" There lie the bodies of the saints he has martyred, and they cry from under the altar-"OLord! how long wilt thou not avenge thine own elect?" Paul says,-"Who can lay anything to my charge?" And they speak not;"because," says Paul, "I have obtained mercy-who was before a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious, that in me first hemight show forth all longsuffering." "Christ hath died, yea rather, hath risen again." And now standing in the midst of menwho mock, and boast, and jeer, he cries-"Who can lay anything to my charge?" and no one dares to speak, for man himselfcannot accuse; with all his malevolence, and acrimony, and malice, he can bring nothing against him; no charge can stand atthe bar of God against the man whom he hath absolved through the merits of the death of Christ, and the power of his resurrection.
Is it not a noble thing for a Christian to be able to go where he may, and feel that he cannot meet his accuser; that whereverhe may be, whether he walketh within himself in the chambers of conscience, or out of himself amongst his fellow men, or abovehimself into heaven, or beneath himself into hell, yet is he a justified one, and nothing can be laid to his charge. Who cancondemn? Who can condemn? Yea, echo O ye skies; reverberate, ye caverns of the deep. Who cancondemn when Christ hath died, hath risen from the dead, is enthroned on high, and intercedes?
But all things pass away. I see the heavens on fire, rolling up like a scroll-I see sun, moon, and stars pale now their feeblelight-the earth is tottering; the pillars of heaven are rocking; the grand assize is commenced-the herald angels descend,not to sing this time, but with thundering trumpets to proclaim, "He comes, he comes to judge the earth in righteousness,and the people in equity." What says the believer now? He says, "I fear not that assize, for who cancondemn?" The great white throne is set, the books are opened, men are trembling, fiends are yelling, sinners are shrieking-"Rockshide us, mountains on us fall;" these make up an awful chorus of dismay. There stands the believer, and looking round on theassembled universe of men and angels, he cries, "Who shall lay anything to my charge?" and silence reigns through earth andheaven. Again he speaks, and fixing his eyes full on the Judge himself, he cries, "Who is he that condemneth?" Andlo, there upon the throne of judgment sits the only one who can condemn; and who is that? It is Christ that died, yearather, that is risen again, who sitteth on the right hand of God, who maketh intercession for him. Can those lips say, "Depart,ye cursed," to the man for whom they once did intercede? Can those eyes flash lightnings on the man whom once they saw insin, and thence with rays of love they did lift him up to joy, and peace, and purity? No! Christ will not belie himself. Hecannotreverse his grace; it cannot be that the throne of condemnation shall be exalted on the ruins of the cross. It cannotbe that Christ should transform himself at last; but till he can do so, none can condemn. None but he hath a right to condemn,for he is the sole judge of right and wrong, and if he hath died shall he put us to death, and if he hath risen for us, shallhe thrust us downwards to the pit, and if he hath reigned for us and hath been accepted for us, shall he cast us away, andif hehath pleaded for us, shall he curse us at the last? No! Come life, come death, my soul can rest on this. He died for me.I cannot be punished for my sin. He rose again, I must rise, and though I die yet shall I live again. He sits at the righthand of God, and so must I. I must be crowned and reign with him for ever. He intercedes, and he must be heard. He beckonsme, and I must be brought at length to see his face, and to be with him where he is.
I will say no more; only may God give us all an interest in these four precious things. An angel's tongue might fail to singtheir sweetness, or tell their brightness and their majesty; mine has failed-but this is well. The excellency of the poweris in the doctrine, and not in my preaching. Amen.