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able to bear and endure any thing for his fake? To fuch I would fay in the words of this text, Behold the Lamb of God! Did Chrift fuffer fuch grievous things for you! and cannot you fuffer small matters for him? Alas! what is the wrath of man to the wrath of the great and terrible God? Befides, he was an innocent Lamb, and deferved not to fuffer the leaft degree of penal evil upon his own account; but thou haft deferved hell, and yet shrinkeft under the sufferings of a moment. Did he fuffer fo much for you; and can you fuffer nothing for him? Surely he, in fuffering for you; hath left you an "example, that you fhould follow his fteps," i Pet. ii. 21. What is our blood compared in dignity to the blood of Chrift? What are our fufferings compared in kind, or degree, to the fufferings of Chrift? Nothing is found to fortify a man's fpirit for fufferings, as the meditation of Chrift's fufferings for us doth.
Fifthly, Is there any among you that are impatient under your own perfonal trials and troubles, apt to howl under common afflictions from the hand of God, or fwell with revenge under injuries from the hands of men? To fuch I would fay, Behold the Lamb of God! Was Chrift a Lamb for meeknefs, and art thou à lion for fiercenefs? 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 fuffered patiently, and deferved it not; you fuffer 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 faid, that Chrift carried it as à Lamb when He was tried, and we like fwine, 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 promife, be cause their own unbelieving hearts fill them with unworthy fufpicions of the power, faithfulness, or willingness of God to perform them to them? O that fuch would behold the Lamb of God, as reprefented in this ordinance! Are not all the promises of God fealed to believers in the blood of the Lamb ? Heb. ix. 17, 18, 19, 20. Are not all the promifes of God, in Chrift, "Yea, and Amen, to all that are in him?" à Cor. ia 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 greateft promife that ever God made to us? And after VOL. VIII. M m
the fulfilling thereof, what ground remains for any to doubt the fulfilling of leffer promises?
Lastly, Is there any among you that defire 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 yer fouls in fo great an occation for it as this? Behold the Lamb of God! and this will do it.
Chrift calls off your eyes and thoughts from all other objects to himself; Ifa. lxv. 11. "I faid, 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, your hearts will melt within you
ROM. viii. 32. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all; how shall he not with him alfo freely give us all things.
HIS fcripture contains a moft weighty argument to encourage and confirm the faith of Christians in the expectation of all fpiritual and temporal mercies. It proceeds from the greater to the leffer affirmatively: he that delivered his Son for us, what can he deny us after such a gift? Every word hath its weight.
Did not God fpare (i. e. abate) any thing which his juftice could inflict upon his Son, his own Son, oppofed here to his adopted fons, as being infinitely more excellent than they, and moft 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 crofs, and all this for us, for us finners, for us enemies to God, for us unlovely wretches? "How fhall he not with him alfo freely give us alt "things?" How is it imaginable that God fhould with-hold after this, fpirituals or temporals, from his people? How fhall he not call them effectually, juftify them freely, fanctify them thoroughly, and glorify them eternally? How fhall he nor cloath them, feed them, protect, and deliver them?
Surely if he would not spare or abate to his own Son one ftroke, one tear, one groan, one figh, one circumstance of mifery, it can never be imagined that ever he fhould, after this, deny or withhold from his people, for whofe fakes all this was fuffered, any mercies, any comforts, any privilege, fpiritual or temporal, which is good for them, and needful to them. So that in the words we find, 1. A propofition. 2. An inference from it,
The propofition opens the feverity of God's justice to Chrift; the inference declares the riches of his mercy to us in Christ.
1. We have here before us a propofition, containing the feverity of divine juftice towards Chrift; and this is expreffed two ways, viz.
ift. Negatively; he spared him not,
2dly, Affirmatively; he delivered him up for us.
ft, 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 fparing mercy, which tho' it do not prevent nor deliver, yet it mitigates, allays, and gracioufly moderates our troubles; and tho' fparing mercy be defirable and fweet, yet it is the leaft and loweft fort of mercy that God exercifes towards any. Tho' it be mercy to have the time of fufferings fhortned, or one degree of fuffering abated, yet these are the lowest and leaft effects of mercy; and yet thefe were denied Jefus Chrift, when he ftood in our room to fatisfy for us: God fpared not one drop, he abated not one degree of that wrath which Chrift was to fuffer for us.
2dly, Affirmatively; but on the contrary, He delivered him up for us all.
He delivered him, as a judge by fentence of law delivers up the prisoner to be executed. It is true, Pilate delivered him to be crucified, and he alfo gave himself for us; but betwixt God's delivering, Pilate's delivering, and his own, there is this difference to be obferved; in God it was an act of higheft 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 før us.” For us, notes the vicegerency of his fufferings, not only for our good, as the final caufe; nor only for our fins, as the meritorious caufe; but for us, (i e.) in our room, place, or ftead according to Pet. iii. 18. and 2 Cor. v. 14.
2. We have alfo here before us a moft fweet and comfor table inference and conclufion from this propofition: If God have fo delivered him, bow fball he not with him freely give us all things? For Chrift comprehends all other mercies in himfelf; therefore in giving him for us, all other mercies are neceffarily with him given to us.
And these mercies the pooreft, weakeft believer in the world may warrantably expect from God; for as God delivered him for us all, fo the treasures of all spiritual and temporal mercies are thereby freely opened to us all, to the weak as well as to the ftrong.
He faith not, Chrift was delivered for all abfolutely, but for us all; i. e. all that believe, all that are elected and called; in whose person it is manifeft the apoftle here fpeaks, as Paraeus on the place well obferves. Hence these two doctrinal conclufions fairly offer themselves.
Doct. 1. That the rigour and feverity of divine justice was executed upon Jefus Chrift, when he fuffered for us.
Doct. 2. That believers may ftrongly infer the greatest of mercies to themselves, from the feverity of God's justice to Jefus Chrift.
I would willingly fpeak to both these points at this time, each affording fuch proper matter of meditation to us in fuch a fea-' fon as this. To begin therefore with the first observation. Doct. 1. That the rigour and feverity of divine juftice was executed upon Jefus Chrift, when he suffered for us; God did not fpare him.
In Zech. xiii. 7. you have God's commiffion given to the fword of justice, to fmite his own Son, and that without pity; "Awake, O fword, against my Shepherd, and against "the man that is my fellow; fmite the Shepherd," &c. And when this commiffion came to be executed upon Chrifl, the text tells us, God did not fpare 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 feverity of justice to Chrift appeared. 2. Why must juftice be executed on him in fuch rigour and feverity? Why there could be no abatement, mitigation, or fparing mercy fhewn him in that day?
1. Wherein the severity of divine juftice to Chrift appeared? And this will manifeft itself in the confideration of the following particulars."
First, Let us confider what Jefus Chrift fuffered, and we hall fee the feverity of juftice in his fufferings, for he suffered
all kinds of miferies, and that in the most intenfe degree of them: His fufferings were from all hands, from heaven, earth, and hell; from his enemies, who condemned him, buffeted him, reviled, fcourged, and crucified him; from his own dif ciples and followers, one of whom perfidiously betrayed him, another openly denied him, and all in the hour of his greatest trouble forfook and abandoned him.
He suffered in his body the most exquifite torments; the cross was a cruel engine of torment, and more fo to him than any other, by reafon of the excellent crafts and temperament of his body, and his most acute and delicate fenfe; for, as the schoolmen truly fay, he was optime complexionatus, of the most exact and exquifite complexion; and his fenfes remained acute and vigorous, no way blunted, during the whole time of his fufferings, but full of life and fenfe to the last gafp, as may be gathered from Mark xv. 39. "When the centurion, which stood "over against him, faw that he fo cried out, and gave up the "ghoft, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God." He fuffered in his foul; yea, the fufferings of his foul were the very foul of his fufferings; he felt in his inner man the exquifite torments and inxpreffible anguifh of the wrath of God. Hence was that preternatural bloody fweat in the garden; and hence that heart-rending out-cry upon the crofs, My God! my God! why haft thou forfaken me?
In all which fufferings from heaven, from earth, from hell, from friends, from enemies, there was no allay, or abatement of the leaft degree of mifery." God fpared not his own Son," (faith the text)" but delivered him up." Wherein the feverity of divine juftice to Jefus Chrift, is displayed in these five remarkable confiderations following.
Firft, God fpared not. If mercy, pity, and forbearance might be expected from any hand, furely it might be God; he is the fountain of mercy; "That the Lord is very pitiful, and "of tender mercy," faith the apoftle, James v. 11. The most melting and tender compaffions of a mother to her fucking child, are but cruelty in comparison with divine tenderness and mercy; Ifa. xlix. 15. "Can a woman forget her fucking "child, that fhe fhould not have compaffion on the fon of her "womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee."
Can a woman, the more affectionate fex, forget her fucking child, her own child (and not a nurse-child) her only child, whilft it hangs on her breaft, and, with the milk from her breaft, draws love from her heart? Can fuch a thing as this be in nature! Poffibly it may; fome fuch cruel mothers