Not a Blessing We Enjoy, But May Put Us in Mind of [the Cross]

Stephen Charnock on the necessity of Christ’s death:

Had he only lived, he had not been a Savior.

If our faith stop in his life

and do not fasten upon his blood,

it will not be a justifying faith.

His miracles, which prepared the world for his doctrine;

his holiness, which fitted himself for his suffering,

had been insufficient for us,

without the addition of the cross.

Without this, we had been under

the demerit of our crimes,

the venom of our natures,

the slavery of our sins,

and the tyranny of the devil;

without this, we should forever have had

God for our enemy,

and Satan for our executioner;

without this, we had lain

groaning under the punishment of our transgressions,

and despaired of any smile from Heaven.

It was this death,

which as a sacrifice appeased God,

and as a price redeemed us;

nothing is so strong to encourage us;

nothing so powerful to purify us;

how can we be without thinking of it?

The world we live in had fallen upon our heads,

had it not been upheld by the pillar of the cross;

had not Christ stepped in

and promised a satisfaction for the sin of man.

By this all things consist;

not a blessing we enjoy, but may put us in mind of it;

they were all forfeited by our sins,

but merited by his precious blood.

From Christ Crucified, 32–33. Formatting and minor edits added.

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