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Beloved ! ye know there are two great gifts, that the Scripture makes mention of. First God makes the world, and man: and having made man, he gives all the world to man; there is one gift, and a great gift. Man having fallen, and lost his former happiness; Christ comes into the world, the second
person becomes man; and this man he gives unto the world.
First, He gave the world to man: and secondly, he gives Christ, this man, unto the world : and his second gift is the greater gift : it is a greater gift when Jesus Christ was given unto the world, than that the whole world was given to man. For now, take the world ; and though it hath many glorious pieces of God's workmanship; his power, and wisdom : yet God may give all the world to man, and not give him, himself; but when he gives Jesus Christ to man, he gives himself with him. Though there be many several pieces, beautiful pieces of God's workmanship in the world; yet they carry with them but the footsteps of God. Oh, but Jesus Christ he is the express image of the Father; and when he gives this express image unto a soul; as Christ is the express image of the Father, so the soul becomes the express image of Jesus Christ. Ye know what the apostle says, concerning our Saviour Christ: mark, “In whom the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily,” Col. ii. 9. That is, look what attributes, and excellencies are in God, the same are in Jesus Christ as Mediator: whatsoever attribute is in God, as God; the same shines forth in Jesus Christ as Mediator. The fulness of the Godhead dwells in Christ bodily; and the fulness of Christ dwells in every saint spiritually. Jesus Christ, he hath perfection for perfection; he hath attribute for attribute; he hath excellency for excellency with God the Father. And every gracious, godly soul, he hath grace for grace from Jesus Christ: of his fulness have we received, grace for grace: as the fulness of God the Father dwells in him bodily, so the fulness of Christ dwells in every christian spiritually.
And this fellowship hath God the Father called you unto:
By whom we have fellowship," 1 Cor i. 9; this hath God the Father called you unto.
Oh ! how infinitely are you bound unto God the Father, to honour and bless the Father! When
look upon the Son, methinks you should bless the
Father! and when ye look upon the Father, you should love the Son. As a mother does; when she looks upon her child, she loves the father; and when she looks upon the father, she loves the child again : so a christian, when he looks upon Jesus Christ, he should bless the Father ; and when he looks upon the Father, he should bless Jesus Christ, and love Jesus Christ : Dear Father, thou hast not only given us thy Son, but given us thy Son in such a way, that we should have
for grace, answerable to his grace: is this after the manner of men? Oh, therefore, why should not we all
Blessed be God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, you, you that love Jesus Christ, bless the Father: and you that bless the Father, love Jesus Christ: take yourselves to be infinitely bound unto God the Father, who hath given you such a Christ as this, of whom you should have grace for grace.
I have done. Only I would leave one exhortation with the saints that have received of Christ's fulness thus, grace for grace: it is thus, mark it I pray.
IV. Is this true, that of his fulness ye have all received, grace for grace, answerableness of grace ? that ye have fellowship with Jesus in all his graces ? Then be for ever contented to have fellowship with Jesus Christ in all his sufferings; and truly, well may ye be contented if you have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings; if you have suffering for suffering, ye shall have grace for grace, and grace for glory; if ye partake with him in his sufferings, ye shall partake with him in his graces, and partake with him in his glory. I say, well may ye be contented to have fellowship with him in his suffering; for if you have suffering for suffering, you shall have comfort for comfort: if you have fellowship with him in his sufferings, you shall have fellowship with him in his comforts too. Mark ye, When Jesus Christ suffered, had he a Deity to support him? So shall ye have. When Jesus Christ suffered, had he angels to minister to him? So shall you have. When Jesus Christ suffered, did he see the travail of his soul? So shall you see it. When Jesus Christ was lift up, he drew all men after him:
: so shall you do: when you are lift up for the truth upon the cross; you are apt to think, now will the truth suf
fer, now will the cause of God fall to the ground; but remember: if you have fellowship in his graces; if fellowship with Christ in his sufferings; you shall have fellowship with Christ in his comforts. This was one of his comforts, when he was lift up upon the cross, then he drew all men after him; so when you come to be lift up upon the cross, then shall men be drawn after the truths that
you suffer for: and never shall men be more drawn after the truths that you suffer for, than when you come to be lift up upon the cross to suffer for them. Oh, who would not be willing to partake with the Lord Jesus Christ in his sufferings, to have fellowship with him in his sufferings, to have suffering for suffering! It is observed, that our Saviour never met with any great debasement, but at that time, in the midst of that debasement, there was some breakings forth of glory. He was born in a stable, he was laid in a manger; here was his first debasement: here glory breaks forth; the wise men come and fall down before him, and offer gifts; frankincense and myrrh.
Again, He was baptized : he needed not to have been baptized; he was clean enough in his nature, he put our clothes upon him, stood in our nature : now he hears a voice from heaven, saying, “ This is my beloved Son,” Matt. iii. 17.
Again, you read of him riding upon an ass : not riding in a coach drawn with lions, or drawn with elephants, but riding upon an ass, in a mean way, a debased way; now breaks forth some glory, now they cry, Hosanna, hosanna to him.
Again, upon the cross, there he was most debased; then breaks forth some glory: the sun, that stands still, and vails his face, as one astonished at the world's Saviour : now does the vail of the temple rend in sunder, now glory breaks forth in the midst of his debasement; thus it was with Christ. Have you suffering with him for sufferings? Have you fellowship with Christ in his sufferings? you shall have fellowship with Christ in his comforts. Oh, therefore I beseech you,
be contented now to have suffering for suffering with Jesus Christ; and whensoever any suffering comes, especially for the truth, boggle not at it, be content and say within yourselves, Oh, blessed be the Lord, that hath called
me out to this work! I shall have this fellowship with Christ in his sufferings, I shall now have suffering for suffering, therefore I shall have comfort for comfort, I shall have grace for grace, I shall have glory for glory: oh, who would not be encouraged ? I leave this exhortation with you, comfort yourselves in these words, and never startle at suffering, as heretofore; but make account of this, that if have grace for grace, ye may meet with suffering for suffering; but then you shall have comfort for comfort, and ye shall have glory for glory. Think on these things, and the Lord give us to practise them.