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that were once dear and pleasant, as Abraham of his beloved Sarah, "Bury my dead out of my sight;" yet :hen the Lord delights in it as much as ever.
As God's love will be with you in the grave, so God's providence shall take order when you shall be laid in it. He will bring you thither in the best time; "Thou shalt come to thy grave as a shock of corn in its season." Job, 5 : 26; you shall be ripe and ready before God house
you there. It is said of David, that " after he had served his generation by the will of God, he fell asleep." Acts, 13 : 36. Oh what a holy and wise will is that will of God that so orders our death! And how proper is it that our will should be lost in his !
If you be in Christ, God's pardons have loosed all the bonds of guilt from you, before you lie down in the grave; so that you shall not die in your sins. It is a grievous threatening, " Ye shall die in your sins.” John, 8:24. Better be cast alive into a pit among dragons and serpents, than into your grave dead in sin. Oh what a terrible word is that, "His bones are full of the sins of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust !” Job, 20:11. But from the company of sin, in the
grave, all the saints are delivered. God's full, free, and final pardon has shut guilt out of your grave.
Whenever you come to your grave, you shall find the enmity of the grave slain by Christ: it is no enemy; nay, you will find it a privileged place to you: it will be as sweet to you that are in Christ, as a soft bed in a still, quiet chamber to one that is weary. Therefore it is said, "Death is yours," i Cor. 3:22; yours as a privilege ; your friend: there
shall find sweet rest in Jesus; be hurried, pained, troubled no more.
If in Christ, know this for your comfort, that your own Lord Jesus keeps the keys of all the chambers of death ; and as he unlocks the door of death when you enter it, so he will open it again for you when you
awake; and from the time he opens to let you in, till the time he opens to receive you, he himself watches over you while you sleep there. "I have the keys of death.” Rev. 1:18. Oh then, as you expect peace or rest in the chamber of death, get union with Christ. A grave with Christ is a comfortable place.
“He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.”
We come now to speak of the blessed ends for which Christ was so deeply abased. It is inconsistent with common prudence for a man to be at a vast expense of time, pains, and cost, without a worthy design. And it is much less imaginable that Christ should abase himself, by stooping from the bosom of his Father to the state of the dead, if he had not had some excellent and glorious design, the attainment of which might be equivalent to the sorrows and abasements he endured. That he had such a design is plainly implied in the words before us :
He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” In which we have,
1. The travailing pangs of Christ. So the agonies of his soul and torments of his body are fitly called, not only because of their sharpness and acuteness, but because they forerun and make way for the birth, which abundantly recompenses all those labors.
2. The assured fruits and effects of this travail ; Не shall see of the travail of his soul.” By seeing, understand the fruition, obtaining, or enjoyment of the end
of his sufferings. He shall not shed his blood at hazard; his design shall not fail; but he shall certainly see the ends at which he aimed.
3. This shall yield him great satisfaction ; as a "woman forgets her sorrow, for joy that a man is born into the world,” John, 16:21; he shall see it and be satisfied. As God, when he had finished the work of creation, viewed his work with pleasure and satisfaction; so doth our exalted Redeemer behold the happy issue of his sufferings. It affords pleasure to a man to see great enterprises brought to a happy issue. Much more doth it yield delight to Jesus Christ to see the results of the most profound wisdom and love shown in the work of redemption. Hence, All the blessed designs and ends for which the Lord Jesus
Christ humbled himself to the death of the cross, shall certainly be attained.
My present design is not to prove this proposition, nor to show the joy Christ will derive from the results of his death; but to inquire into some of the main and principal designs and ends of his humiliation. And we shall find, that as the sprinkling of the typical blood in the old testament was for four weighty ends or uses, 80 also the precious and invaluable blood of the testator and surety of the new testament is shed for four weighty ends.
I. That typical blood was shed and applied to deliver from danger:
" And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are ; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you, to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt.” Exod. 12: 13.
II. That blood was shed to make an atonement betwixt God and the people : " And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin-offering, so shall he do with this; and the priest shall make an
atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them." Lev. 4:20.
III. That blood was shed to purify persons from their ceremonial pollutions : "He shall dip the cedar-wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, with the living bird, in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water: and he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in the open
field.” Lev. 14:6, 7. IV. That blood was shed to ratify and confirm the testament or covenant of God with the people : "And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words." Exod. 24: 8.
These were the four main ends for shedding and sprinkling that typical blood ; and in like manner there are four principal ends for shedding and applying Christ's blood. As that typical blood was shed to deliver from danger, so this was shed to deliver from wrath, even the wrath to come. That was shed to make an atonement, so was this. That was shed to purify persons from uncleanness, so was this. That was shed to confirm the testament, so was this. As will appear more fully in the following particulars :
I. One principal design and end of shedding the blood of Christ was to deliver his people from danger, the danger of that wrath which burns to the lowest hell. So you find, 1 Thess. 1: 10, "Even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come.” Here our misery is speci. fied by the term wrath, a word of deep and dreadful sig. nification. The damned best understand the import of that word. But more, it is called wrath to come, implying both its futurity and perpetuity. It is wrath that shall certainly and inevitably come upon sinners. As
surely as the night follows day, as surely as the winter follows summer, so shall wrath follow sin and its pleasures. Yea, it is not only to come, but when it comes it will be abiding wrath, or wrath still coming. When millions of years and ages are gone, this will still be wrath to come; ever coming, as a river ever flowing.
From this wrath to come Jesus hath delivered his people by his death, which was the price of their redemption from the wrath of the great and terrible God: "Much more then, being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Rom. 5:9. The blood of Jesus was the price that ransomed man from this wrath. And,
1. He delivered his people freely, by his own voluntary interposition and undertaking of the mediatorial office, moved thereunto by his own pity and compassion, which yearned over them in their misery. The saints were once a lost generation, that had sold themselves, and their inheritance also ; and had not wherewithal to redeem either: but there was One who became their near kinsman, to whom the right of redemption belonged; who being the Heir of all things, undertook to be their God; and out of his own proper substance to redeem both them and their inheritance: them, to be his own inheritance, Eph. 1:11; and heaven, to be theirs. 1 Pet. 1:4. All this he did most freely, when none made supplication to him. No sighing of the prisoners came before him. He designed it for us before we had a being. And in the fulness of time freely expended the infinite treasures of his blood to purchase our deliverance from wrath.
2. Christ by death hath also delivered his people fully. A full deliverance it is, both in respect to time and degree. It was not a reprieve, but a deliverance. Therefore is he become "the Author of eternal salvation to them that obey him.” Heb. 5:9. And he died, not to