In my library is a book that is over three hundred years old. The book is fifteen sermons preached in England by John Sharp, the Archbishop of York in the 1690s.
One of the sermons was given in 1691 to members of the English government in London and to William III and Mary II, the then King and Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The sermon’s text was the second half of Hebrews 9:26. This says
But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Here is part of the sermon.
God has sent his Son, his only Son into the world to assure us of his good will toward us; to give a demonstration of the heartfelt love and kindness that he bears to every human soul, that he would not have any of them perish, but that they should all come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. This Son of his does most solemnly in the name of his Father proclaim pardon and remission of sins to everyone that should believe in him. There is no sinner forgotten, even the oldest, the worst, the most evil, if they will come and submit to the yoke of Jesus Christ, have his certain promise that they shall be received.
And lest anyone should fear God’s justice, believing that there can be no satisfaction made to it for their sins, our Lord has taken care to remove that objection. For by the immeasurable merits of his very nature and the free unconstrained offering up of himself to a hideous death upon the cross for all humanity, he has made a full and complete satisfaction to God’s justice for all the sins of the world, from the beginning to the end of time.
O how welcome ought this news be to us! How uplifted should we be at the infinite kindness of God made known to us by our Saviour! Praised be God for his astonishing love. Forever worshipped be our Lord Jesus, who has made atonement for us by his blood. O let us ever kiss and hug the precious Scriptures of the New Testament that say that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, to save you, and me, and all sinners, even the greatest of sinners.
What fabulous preaching, spoken not only to ordinary people but to government and royalty.
How encouraging! This Gospel of God’s saving grace has been faithfully proclaimed for hundreds of years. This Gospel of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is the answer to humanity’s need for forgiveness and hope. This Gospel of redemption is unchanging; it is the power of God for salvation.
Let us celebrate this Gospel today; let us take this Gospel into every area of our lives; let us announce this Gospel by word and deed, in our homes, neighbourhoods, places of work, with family and friends, and to strangers. As Hebrews 9:26 says: Christ appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
May our hearts, voices, and lives rejoice. Christ has done it.
視頻大意翻譯(video Chinese translation):
上周，在我圖書館裡看到了一本已有300多年歷史的書。這本書是約克大主教約翰·夏普 1690 年代在英國宣講的十五篇講道。
Grace and peace