Imágenes de páginas

ner under heaven that is estranged from Christ, ever think to be spared. If God would have spared any, he would have spared his only Son. But if he will be a mediator of the covenant, God will not spare him, though his own Son. We may acquaint you hereafter, what it cost Christ to stand in the room of sinners. The Lord from thence give our hearts some sense of that great provocation that is in sin, that we may mourn before him, when we look upon him whom our sins have pierced.

(3.) Will God help us to take a view of the issue of all this, of the substitution of Jesus Christ, placing him in our stead, putting his soul in the place of our souls; his person in the place of our persons; of the commutation of punishment, in which the righteousness, holiness, and wisdom of God laid that on him which was due unto us. What is the issue of all this? It is to bring us unto God; to peace with God, and acquitment from all our sins; and to make us acceptable with the righteous, holy, and faithful God; to give us boldness before him; this is the issue. Let us consider this issue of the sufferings of Christ, and be thankful.


Ir is the table of the Lord that we are invited to draw nigh unto. Our Lord hath a large heart and bountiful hand; hath made plentiful provision for our souls at this table; and he saith unto us, by his Spirit, in his word, 'Eat, O my friends, yea, drink abundantly.' It is that feast that God hath provided for sinners. And there are three sorts of sinners that I would speak a word unto, to stir them up unto a due exercise of faith in this ordinance, according as their condition doth require. There are such as are not sensible of their sins, so as they ought to be; they know they are not; they are not able to get their hearts affected with their sins, as they desire. There are some that are so burdened, and overpressed with the sense of their sins, that they are scarce able to hold up under the weight of them; under the doubts and fears wherewith they are distressed. And there Delivered February 22, 1673-4.

are sinners, who are in enjoyment of a sense of the pardon of sin; and do desire to have hearts to improve it in thankfulness and fruitfulness.

Something of these several frames may be in us all; yet it may be, one is predominant, one is chief; one in one, another in another; and therefore I will speak a few words distinctly to them all.


1. There are sinners who are believers, who cannot get their hearts and spirits affected with sin so as they ought, and so as they desire. There is not a sadder complaint of the church, as I know, in the whole book of God, than that, Isa. Ixiii. 17. Why hast thou hardened our hearts from thy fear?' Poor creatures may come unto that perplexity through an apprehension of the want of a due sense of the guilt of sin, as to be ready thus to cry out, Why is it thus with me? Why am I so senseless under the guilt of all the sins that I have contracted? I have a word of direction unto such persons. Are there such among us? It is a direction unto faith to be acting in this ordinance. It is that which we have, Zech. xii. 10. They shall look unto him whom they have pierced, and mourn.' Why, brethren, Christ is represented unto us in this ordinance, as he was pierced, as his precious blood was poured out for us. Let us act faith, if God help us, in two things:


(1.) Upon the dolorous sufferings of Christ, which are represented here unto us. Let us take a view of the Son of God under the curse of God.

(2.) Remember that all these sufferings were for us; 'They shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and then mourn.' The acting of faith upon the sufferings of Christ, as one that suffered for us, is the great means in this ordinance to bring our hearts to mourn for sin indeed. Therefore pray, let us beg of God, whoever of us are in any measure under this frame, that our insensibleness of the guilt and burden of sin may be our great burden. Let us try the power of faith in this ordinance, by getting our hearts affected with the sufferings of Christ in our behalf. Let us bind it to our hearts and consciences; and may the Lord give a blessing.

2. There are others who, it may be, are pressed under the weight of their sins; walk mournfully, walk disconsolately.

I know there are some so, in the condition expressed by the psalmist, Psal. xl. 12. Innumerable evils have compassed me about, mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head, therefore my heart faileth me.' Some may be in that condition that their hearts are ready to fail them, through the multitude of their iniquities taking hold upon them. What would you direct such unto in this ordinance? Truly, that which is given, John iii. 14, 15.' As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.' The Lord Jesus Christ is lifted up, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness; and here he is lifted up, as bearing all our sins in his own body upon the tree. Here is a representation made unto poor sinners whose hearts are most burdened; here is Jesus Christ lifted up with all our sins upon the tree. Let such a soul labour to have a view of Christ as bearing all our iniquities, that believing on him we should not perish, but have life everlasting. God hath appointed him to be crucified evidently before our eyes, that every poor soul that is stung with sin, ready to die by sin, should look up unto him, and be healed; and virtue will go forth, if we look upon him, for 'by his stripes we are healed.'

3. There may be some that live in full satisfaction of the pardon of their sins, and are solicitous how their hearts may be drawn forth unto thankfulness and fruitfulness. Remember that place, Rev. i. 5, 6. To him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.' Remember this, that whatever your state and condition be, you have here a proper object for faith to exercise itself upon; only be not wanting unto your own comfort and advantage.


Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.-Matt. xxviii. 20.

[ocr errors]

By the end of the world' we are to understand the consummation of all things; when all church work is done, and all church duties are over; when the time comes that we shall pray no more, hear no more, no more administer ordinances; but till then, saith Christ, take this for your life and for your comfort, Do what I command you, and you shall have my presence with you.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

There are three things whereby Christ makes good this promise, and is with his church to the end of the world. First, By his Spirit. Wherever,' saith he, two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them;' Matt. xviii. 20. by his quickening, guiding, directing Spirit, as a Spirit of grace and supplication, as a Spirit of light and holiness, and as a Spirit of comfort.

Secondly, Christ is present with us by his word. Saith the apostle, Col. iii. 16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,' or plentifully. And how then? Then,' saith he, Eph. iii. 17. Christ dwelleth in us by faith.' The word dwelleth in us plentifully, if mixed with faith; and Christ dwelleth in us; he is present with us by his word.

Thirdly, Christ is present with us in an especial manner in this ordinance. One of the greatest engines that ever the devil made use of to overthrow the faith of the church, was by forging such a presence of Christ as is not truly in this ordinance, to drive us. off from looking after that presence which is true. I look upon it as one of the greatest engines that ever hell set on work. It is not a corporeal presence; there are innumerable arguments against that; every thing that is in sense, reason, and the faith of a man, overthrows that corporeal presence. But I will remind you of one or two texts wherewith it is inconsistent. The first is that * Delivered May 17, 1674.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

in John xvi. 7. Nevertheless,' saith our Saviour, it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.' The corporeal presence of Christ, and the evangelical presence of the Holy Ghost, as the Comforter, in the New Testament, are inconsistent. I must go away, or the Comforter will not come.' But, he so went away as to his presence, as to come again with his bodily presence, as often as the priests call. No, saith Peter, Acts iii. 21. The heavens must receive him;' for how long? 'till the time of the restitution of all things.' I go away as to my bodily presence, or the Comforter will not come; and when he is gone away, the heavens must receive him until the time of the restitution of all things. We must not therefore look after such a presence.

[ocr errors]

I will give you a word or two, what is the presence of Christ with us in this ordinance; what is our duty; and how we may meet with Christ when he is thus present with us; which is the work I have in hand. Christ is present in this ordinance in an especial manner three ways: by representation; by exhibition; by obsignation, or sealing.

I. He is present here by representation. So in a low, shadowy way God was present in the tabernacle, in the temple, in the ark and mercy-seat; they had a representation of his glory. But Christ here hath given us a more eminent and clear representation of himself. I will name but two things:

1. A representation of himself, as he is the food of our souls.

2. A representation of himself, as he suffered for our sins.

These are two great ways whereby Christ is represented as the food of our souls, in the matter of the ordinance; and Christ as suffering for our sins is represented in the manner of the ordinance; both by his own appointment. The apostle saith, Gal. iii. 1. 'Jesus Christ was evidently crucified before their eyes. Evidently crucified,' doth not intend particularly this ordinance, but the preaching of the gospel, which gave a delineation, a picture, and image of the crucifixion of Christ unto the faith of believers. But of all things that belong unto the gospel, he is most evidently crucified before our eyes in this ordinance; and it is agreed

« AnteriorContinuar »