Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

able to bear and endure any thing for his fake? To fuch I
would say in the words of this text, Behold the Lamb of God!
Did Chrift fuffer such grievous things for you! and cannot
you suffer small matters for him? Alas! what is the wrath of
man to the wrath of the great and terrible God? Besides, he
was an innocent Lamb, and deserved not to suffer the leaft
degree of penal evil upon his own account, but thou hast de-
ferved hell, and yet shrinkelt under the sufferings of a moment:
Did he suffer so much for you; and can you suffer nothing
for him ? Surely he, in suffering for you; hath do left you an
« example; that you should follow his steps;" i Pet. ii. 21.
What! is our blood compared in dignity to the blood of
Chrift? What are our sufferings compared in kind; or degree;
to the sufferings of Chrift? Nothing is found to fortify a man's
fpirit for sufferings, as the meditation of Christ's sufferings for
us doth.

Fifthly, Is there any among you that are impatient under your own personal trials and troubles; apt to howl under common afflictions from the hand of God, of swell with revenge under injuries from the hands of men ? To such I would say, Behold the Lamb of God! Was Christ a Lamb for meekness, and art thou a lion for!fierceness? Was he filent, not once opening his mouth; when he suffered most vile things from the hands of finners; and can you bear nothing ? He suffered patiently, and deserved it not; you suffer impatiently, and have deserved infinitely more.

O that you would learn to be more Chrift-like in all your trials and afflictions ! let it not be said, that Christ carried it ms à Làmb when he was tried, and we like swine, grumbling or howling when we are tried. O get a Christ-like temper!

Sixthly, Is there any among you that stagger at the promises; through unbelief; that cannot rely upon a word of promise, be cause their own unbelieving hearts fill them with unworthy sufpicions of the power, faithfulness, or willingness of God to perform them to them? Q that such would behold the Lamb of God, as represented in this ordinance! Are not all the pro, mises of God fealed to believers in the blood of the Lamb?

Heb.ix. 17, 18, 19, 20. Are not all the promises of God; ini - Christ, “ Yea, and Amen; to all that are in tim ?” 2 Cor. ja

20. Or is there any thing put into any promise of greater value than the blood of the Lamb; that was shed to purchase it ? Or is not the giving of Chrift to die for us, the accomplishment of the greatest promise that ever God made to us? And after VOL. VIII;

Mm

S

LL

the fulfilling thereof, what ground remains for any to dcube the fulfilling of sesler promises ? . Lastly, Is there any among you that desire to get up your affections at this table, to have your hearts in a melting temper, to awaken and rouze up all the powers of yo, i souls in so great an occation for it as this? Behold the Lamb of God! and this will do it.

Christ calls off your eyes and thoughts from all other objects to himself; ila. Ixv. it. “I said, Behold me! behold * me!" Fix the eye of faith here, and you will feel a pang quickly coming upon your hearts like that, Cant. ii. 5. “ Stay me - with flaggons, comfort me with apples; I am fick with love." Your eyes will affect your hearts; whilft you behold, youg hearts will melt within you.

THE SIX TH. :::M E D I T A TION,

U PON Rom. viii. 32. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered

him up for us all; how fall he not with him also freely give us all things. Fico :.. T HIS scripture contains a moft weighty argument to en: '1 courage and confirm the faith of Christians in the expectation of all spiritual and temporal' mercies. It proceeds from the greater to the lesser affirmatively: he that delivered his Son for usy what can he deny us affer such a gift ? Every word hath its weight..

Did not God spare (i. é. abate) any thing which his justice could inflict upon his Son, his own Son, opposed here to his adopted fons, as being infinitely more excellent than they, and most dear to him above and beyond all others; but, on the contrary, delivered him up, how dear foever he was unto him, to humiliation, contradiction of finners, to all forrows and temptations, yea, to death, and that of the cross, and all this for us, for us finners, for us enemies to God, for us unlovely wretches? “ How fall he not with him also freely give us alt “ things ?”. How is it imaginable that God should with-hold after this, spirituals or temporals, from his people? How fhall he not call them effectually, justify them freely, fanctify there thoroughly, and glorify them eternally? How shall he por: cloath thein, feed them, protect, and deliver them?....so

na sparing sallays are be delikate

Surely if he would not spare or abate to his own Son one stroke, one tear, one groan, one figh, one circumstance of misery, it can never be imagined that ever he should, after this, deny or withhold from his people, for whose fakes all this was suffered, any mercies, any comforts, any privilege, fpiritual or temporal, which is good for them, and needful to them. $o that in the words we find, 1. A propofition. 2.

An inference from it, 1. The proposition opens the severity of God's justice to Christ; the inference declares the riches of his mercy to us in Christ. :!: ii. We have here before us a proposition, containing the feverity of divine justice towards Christ, and this is expressed two ways, viz. ... i ift. Negatively; he spared him not..! 2dly, Affirmatively; he delivered him up for us.

, Negatively; He spared not his own son. There is a threefold mercy of God, viz. Preventing mercy, which steps between us and trouble: delivering mercy, which takes us out of the hand of trouble; and sparing mercy, which tho' it do not prevent nor deliver, yet it mitigates, allays,and graciously moderates our troubles; and tho' sparing mercy be desira. , ble and sweet, yet it is the least and lowest sort of mercy that God exercises towards any. Tho' it be mercy to have the time of fufferings shortned, or one degree of suffering abated, yet these are the lowest and least effects of mercy, and yet these were denied Jesus Christ, when he stood in our room to satisfy for us : God spared not one drop, he abated not one degree of that wrath which Christ was to suffer for us... - 2.dly, Affirmatively; but on the contrary, He delivered him up for us all.

He delivered him, as a judge by sentence of law delivers up the prisoner to be executed. It is true, Pilate delivered him to be crucified, and he also gave himself for us : but betwixt God's delivering, Pilate's delivering, and his own, there is this difference to be observed ; in God it was an act of higha

eit justice; in Pilate an act of greatest wickedness; in him.. - felf, an act of wonderful obedience. ..

God, as by an act of highest justice, delivered him up for us. For us, notes the vicegerency of his sufferings, not only for our good, as the final cause; nor only for our sins, as the meritorious cause; but for us, (i e.)in our room, place, or stead according to

Pęt. iii. 18. and 2 Cor. v. 1.4.

o fatisfvre denied Jequest and lealt degree of fure to have the

276

2. We have also here before us a moft sweet and comfors, table inference and conclusion from this proposition: If God have so delivered him, how fball he not with him freely give us all things ? For Christ comprehends all other mercies in himself; therefore in giving şim for us, all other mercies are necessarily with him given to us."

And these mercies the poorest, weakest believer in the world may warranţably expect from God; for as God delivered him for us all, so the treasures of all spiritual and temporal mercies are thereby freely opened to us all, to the weak as well as to the strong. "

He faith not, Chrift was delivered for all absolutely, but for us all ; i. e. all that believe, all that are elçcted and called ; in whose person it is manifest the apostle here fpeaks, as Pa. raeus on the place well observes. Hence these two doctrinal conclusions fairly offer themselves. Doct. 1. That the rigour and severity of divine juftice was.

executed upon Žesus Chrift, when he suffered for us. Doct. 2. That believers may strongly infer the greatest of mercies to themselves, from the severity of God's jufice to

Jesus Chrifti I would willingly speak to both these points at this time, each affording such proper matter of meditation to us in such a seaton as this. To begin therefore with the first observation. Doct. 1. That the rigour and severity of divine justice was

executed upon Jesus Christ, when he suffered for us ; God

did not spare him... In Zech. xiii, 7. you have God's commission given to the fword of justice, to smite his own Son, and that without pi. ty; " Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, and against

the man that is my fellow smite the Shepherd,” &c. And when this commission came to be executed upon Christ, the text tells us, God did not spare him ; all the vials of his wrath were poured out to the last drop. .."

Two things require' our attention in this point: 1. Wherein the severity of justice to Christ appeared. 2. Why must justice be executed on him in such rigour and severity? Why there could be no abatement, mitigation, or sparing mercy, thewn him in that day?

1. Wherein the severity of divine justice to Christ appeared ? And this will manifest itself in the confideration of the follow, ing particulars.

First, Let us consider what Jesus Christ suffered, and we hall see the severity of justice in his sufferings, for he suffered

all kinds of miseries, and that in the most intense degree of them: His sufferings were from all hands, from heaven, earth, and hell; from his enemies, who condemned him, buffeted him, reviled, scourged, and crucified him ; from his own disa ciples and followers, one of whom perfidiously betrayed him, another openly denied him, and all in the hour of his greatest trouble forsook and abandoned bim.

He suffered in his body the most exquisite torments; the cross was a cruel engine of torment, and more so to him than any o. ther, by reason of the excellent crasis and temperament of his body, and his most acute and delicate sense ; for, as the schoolmen truly fay, he was optime complexionatus, of the most exact and exquisite complexion ; and his senses remained acute and vi. gorous, no way blunted, during the whole time of his sufferings, but full of life and sense to the last gasp, as may be igathered from Mark xv. 39. «When the centurion, which stood © over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the

ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.”

He suffered in his foul, yea, the sufferings of his foul were the very foul of his sufferings ; he felt in his inner man the exquisite torments and inxpressible anguish of the wrath of God. Hence was that preternatural bloody sweat in the garden ; and hence that heart-rending out-cry upon the cross, My God! my God! why haft thou forsaken me?

In all which sufferings from heaven, from earth, from hell, from friends, from enemies, there was no allay, or abatement of the least degree of misery." God spared not his own Son," (faith the text) « but delivered him up.” Wherein the severity of divine justice to Jesus Christ, is displayed in these five remarkable confiderations following..."

First, God Spared not. If mercy, pity, and forbearance might be expected from any hand, surely it might be God; he is the fountain of mercy; “ That the Lord is very pitiful, and " of tender mercy," saith the apostle, James v. 11. The most melting and tender compassions of a mother to her fucking child, are but cruelty in comparison with divine tenderness and mercy; Isa. xlix. 15. “Can a woman forget her sucking “ child, that the should not have compassion on the son of her " womb ? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee."

Can a woman, the more affectionate sex, forget her fucking child, her own child (and not a nurse-child) her only child, whilst it hangs on her breast, and, with the milk from her breast, draws love from her heart ? Can such a thing as this be in nature ! Possibly it may ; some such cruel mothers

« PreviousContinue »