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PEACE BY CHRIST.

It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell. And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.—(Col. i. 19, 20.)

While some men represent the Supreme Being as having settled the endless misery of some, the endless felicity of others, irrespective of the merits or demerits of the one or the other, but every human being inclu. ded in the bliss or misery, there are others who repre. ent the Almighty as leaving every man to become the framer of his own future state, whether of boundless bliss or misery.

We object to both these schemes. The first is alto. gether unlike him whose ways are equal; and no man can have the assurance of the understanding, whether he is bound for bliss or misery; he may vacillate be. tween hope and fear, but certainty, we think, he never can arrive at. The latter scheme is quite as objectiona. ble, for it represents the Maker of mankind as having so little interest in the fate of the being whom he had made, that by possibility, every man taking the unwise

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course, the effect might be that not one of the children of men would ever arrive at felicity.

The first is the philosophic doctrine of fate, the last the doctrine of free will; neither of them supported by Scripture, but both of them corrupting the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ. How happy, then, is it for us, that we have the pure word of God before us, and the perfect liberty of searching to know what is the will of God concerning us, and that when we have found it, we may rejoice together in it, for it is good, only good, and good continually.

We think it will be acknowledged by all, that the salva. tion of the soul is the subject of the text; and we think, that the first sentiment expressed here, indicates the in. terest which God takes in our happiness. “It pleased the Father ;" it was not a matter of indifference but of interest. It pleased the Father that in Jesus, the Son of God, all fulness should dwell. Now let it be carefully remembered, that the fulness of any thing is all that it can contain ; and if we are asked, what is the quality of that fulness, we answer, the divine and human nature. For proof of the divinity of Christ, we have before us the assurance (Col. ii. 9.) that, “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily ;" and we may be permit. ted here to ask, what can be correctly attributed to Deity, that is not in the fulness of the Godhead ?' The language is yet stronger: it is all the fulness of the Godhead bodily ; and why bodily, if not to show the Union of the human and divine nature, in the person of the Redeemer? This doctrine of union, is also seen in the connexion between Christ and his redeemed. Christ is the head of every man; (1 Cor. xi. 3 ;) we

are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones ; (Eph. v. 30 ;) we are complete in him. (Col ii. 10.)

The next subject which our text presents, is the peace which is made for us by our Redeemer; the text reads, “having made,” in the past tense ; the margin reads “ making peace,” implying a progressive work. They are both true, and we will look at this subject in

both ways.

First, as a finished salvation. “Having made peace.' ' We find the Saviour, in the near prospect of his suffer. ing, offering up a divine prayer, in which he says : “[ have finished the work which thou gavest me to do ; (John xvii. 4 ;) and when hanging on the cross, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, he said, I thirst, received the vinegar, said, It is finished, bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John xix. [28, 29.) A beautiful view of the will of God respecting us, and of this being a finished salvation, is given in the epistle to the Hebrews, where the apostle says :-“ By the which will, we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all.” (Heb. x. 10.)

Second, as a progressive salvation. “Making peace.” The finished salvation is the groundwork of the progressive; it is in perfect accordance with, if it be not the very essence of the Gospel. The distinguished apos tle to the Gentiles, says, we preach Christ crucified ; (1 Cor. i. 23 ;) and wherever this crucified Saviour was believed in, there was peace, for,

« we which have believed, do enter into rest.” (Heb. iv. 3.) This preaching of the Gospel of the cross, is the progressive work, the making of peace ;” and this work shall go on. till the Jew shall be brought in with the fulness of

the Gentiles. (Rom. xi. 25.) It may be asked, how can he who is at enmity against God be considered as having his peace made with God? We answer ; his unbelief is the cause of his enmity; he knows not the peace which God hath made by the blood of the cross ; but rather thinks God his enemy, and would rather destroy than be destroyed.

This subject may be illustrated by the supposition of a case which, in its leading features, has taken place in our own day. Two distant nations are at war; but war cannot last for ever, and at length peace is made. Some portion of the fleets and armies of the belligerents are far distant from the scene of negotiation, and do not know of peace; they think of nothing but what each thinks his duty to take, sink, burn, and destroy; they are enga. ged in the dreadful conflict, each thinking it his duty by all means to seek the destruction of the other; but while the work of death is thus going terribly on, a flag is seen in the distance, the angel of peace appears, and the arm that was lifted to give the blow of death, falls harmless, and the hand which he thought to imbrue in the blood of his fellow, and for which he hoped to obtain the shout of applause and the crown of the victor, is now reached out to bind up the wound it had itself in. flicted ; and each is desirous of showing to the other, by the reciprocity of good offices, that though enemies in war, they are in peace friends. But the peace was made while they were at war; the moment the treaty was signed, there was national peace and friendship; the nations of these contending parties were at peace while they were in the conflict of battle ; nay, they were themselves included in the nation's peace, while they

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were personally engaged seeking each other's death. How strange, that what but a moment before was an act of heroism, to be honoured and rewarded, would now be considered murder, and not to be atoned for, but by the death of the offender! And how is this peace, so great and so sudden, made ? The answer is easy, it is simply by faith ; these opponents had the message of a finished peace placed before them; they knew the authority by which it was made ; they knew the messengers who brought the good news; they had the conviction of the understanding, that their nations were at peace, while they themselves were at war; and that their conflict was continued by their ignorance, and that their present enjoyment of peace and rest, is the consequence of that peace which was made while they were thus engaged in war.

The Christian has also believed, and thus entered into rest. The next subject presented to us, is the means by which this peace was made, and that is, “ through the blood of his cross.To the mind that does not receive the Scripture as the authority of God, difficulties may appear; but to us who have no doubt but that God speaks to us through the apostle, it is enough when we have, thus saith the Lord. The consideration that this is the way which the wisdom of God was pleased to appoint, gives us the perfect assurance that it is the way most likely of all others to effect its desired ob. ject; nay, because he cannot be mistaken, it must and will effect its purpose; the offering of Christ once for all, is the continual theme of prophecy, and the burden of the song with the apostles; they know no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be

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