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ment of the work. The human nature could feel our infirmities, sin excepted ; the divine could relieve them. The human could share our troubles, the divine could soothe them. The human could expire upon the cross, the divine could ascend into heaven. The human could expiate sin, the divine could reconcile the Father. The ONE God and man hath appeased the wrath of heaven. God conceived the plan; Divinity enshrined in humanity carried it into execution. As wicked children were we, who had gone astray and incurred the displeasure of our Father; there was nothing left in ourselves to induce us to return; the fall was too great, the nature of sin too deadly, the guilt too deeply rooted. Our sufficiency could not come of ourselves, but it was of God,—of God in Christ. Christ was the advocate with the Father, who had decreed that death should follow sin. Death did follow sin; for Christ died and atoned for the sins of all mankind. Jehovah was satisfied with the sacrifice, and again took his children into favour. His justice was preserved, his mercy was manifested. Now
then are we justified, not through our own merits, but through Christ's merits—not through our own works, lest any man should boast, but through Christ's death. "For all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”
Christ has ascended to the Father, but according to his promise he has sent his Holy Spirit, whose office is to sanctify us, and who shall abide with us for ever. Ifthen we are justified through Christ Jesus, and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, our salvation should be our first and most important consideration. Christ has done all for us;
he has reconciled the Father, he has atoned for sin, and has sent his Holy Spirit to sanctify us, and by his ordinary powers to prepare us for heaven. We might suppose
then, that with such assistance our salvation was sure; but, no, many are called, but few are chosen." The evil nature of man doth remain, even in the regenerate, and although a reconciliation has taken place with the Father, man may again depart from grace and cause his own condem
nation. Man may grieve the Holy Spirit; he may quench him, and thus make his last state worse than his first. The way of salvation is open; Christ is the door; the Holy Spirit is sent to direct us, and man is exhorted by the ambassadors of heaven to make his calling and election sure. "After we have received the Holy Ghost," says the sixteenth Article of our Church, 66 we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of God we may arise again and amend our lives. And therefore they are to be condemned, which say, they can no more sin as long as they live here, or deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent." Hence we may conclude, that it requires a continual supply of grace from on high to keep us in the way that leadeth unto life, and that our prayers and our willing reception of this power are absolutely necessary to secure a continuance of the Holy Spirit's gifts.
This then is the great and important doctrine of the Christian religion, and it is 'given to us in the ministry of reconciliation. To wit, that God was in Christ,
reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."
We come now to the last point to be noticed. God "hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." When our Saviour had introduced Christianity into the world, he gave power to the Apostles, with the extraordinary assistance of the Holy Ghost, to propagate the tenets and doctrines that it contained. Under them priests, as they are now called, and deacons to assist them, were appointed for this holy purpose. Unto us the word of reconciliation is committed, and be it remembered, that we do not rashly undertake this sacred office, or madly rush into the priesthood, but we trust that we are called by the Holy Ghost, to deliver unto you the word of reconciliation. The ministers of religion are God's ambassadors; nothing therefore, but a divine appointment, can qualify any person to hold that sacred office. It is, then, our business to consider how a man becomes divinely appointed.
We know, that among the Jews, none could approach the presence of God in a sacerdotal character, but such as were appointed by him. Aaron and his sons, and the Levites, were consecrated by the express command of God, and all of them had their distinct commission from heaven. It was a principle generally admitted and acted upon, both in ancient and modern times, that fit persons should be duly appointed and set apart to perform the offices of public worship. At the time of our Saviour's advent, none dared to exercise the office of the Christian Ministry, till they were commissioned by their Lord and Master. The twelve Apostles were first appointed by him, and subsequently the other seventy. After his resurrection he breathed upon them the Holy Ghost, and then gave them authority to perform all the functions of the Church, and to convey the same authority to others, promising that he would confirm what was done in his name, and that he would be with them and their successors, even unto the end of the world. The work of the ministry became