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and to make them partakers of eternal life in the world to come.
The reason and necessity for our belief that Christ suffered appears from the assurance we thence receive that he wile and he was truly man ; which if he were not, man neceffing of could not be redeemed by him. We are also here- this faith. ) by assured, that satisfaction is made to the justice of God for our fins; whereof in his decree no remission could be but by shedding of blood. Welikewise learn from this faith, that he is truly affected with the utmost compassion of our afflictions, and is a most faithful and merciful high-priest, touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and therefore ready to succour them thatare tempted. And finally, such a belief as this prës pares us to receive with patience the sufferings of this life: for, if God spared not his own Son, how shall he spare his adopted ones, whose best evidence of their being his children is their being under his fatherly correction? otherwise, as the apostle observes, we should be bastards, and not fons: but if, when we suffer with him, we also suffer like him, and follow the admirable pattern he has left us of humility and patience, and absolute fubmission to the will of God, we then shall be made partakers of his divine holiness. And, by hiscrucifixion, our Saviour cancelled the obligation we were under to per form the whole law, and blotted out the hand-writing of ordinances, which was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; so we ought to learn, that, if we will be Christ's, we must crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts, and glory in nothing, save in the cross of Jesus Christ crucified. And ...,
II. Although Jesus was both God and man, yet he did truly and properly die, by an actual departure of Of Cbrif's his soul from his body; in whose union his life, as deatb. man, consisted : asappears notonly from the many plain texts of scripture, which say that he died; but farther from those texts, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having thus faid, he gave up the ghost by the means of a violent death, caused by the pains and tortures' inflicted on him, which could not, without a miracle, but diffolve that natusal disposition of the body, which is necessary to continue its
union with the foul. He voluntarily, I say, submitted him, self to that violence, which could not have been forced upon him without such a submission; and therefore he faith, No man taketh away my life from me, but I lay it down of myself, &c. · And, after he had so submitted himself, he could not by the course of nature avoid that death. - After this view of the humiliation of our blessed Saviour, it cannot be improper for us to consider what effect his life, doctrine, and sufferings should have upon us, and to remark
Chrif by what steps he draws us to God: in which indraws us to quiry we shall soon be convinced, that his method God.: to prevent our falling into sinful actions was to lay a restraint upon our thoughts, which lead to them, and toob
lige us to govern our looks, which give birth to our thoughts. a i To obviate all those evils which proceed from an
s precept. inordinate desire of riches, he hath discovered to us that admirable temper of mind distinguished in his gospel by poverty of spirit, which maketh us even sit loose to the good things we poffefs. To keep us at a distance from the temptations of lying and detraction, he hath forbid all idle words, that the care to avoid them might secure us from fall ing into those greater crimes. To hinder the fatal effects of anger and revenge, he hath nipped these passions in the bud, by commanding us to love our enemies, and to do good to them that hate us. To facilitate the virtue of patience, sa necessary in this vale of tears, he hath manifested to us the treasures that are hid in adversity, and the advantage of being perfecuted for his fake; that what theworld calls misfortune and calamity often proves the blerled occasion of making us happy both in this and the next life: Blessed are they that mourn; blessed are they that are persecuted. And to make us quiet and easy in ourselves, and gentle to others, he requireth us to have a quick sense of our own weaknesses and defects, and readily to condescend to the lowest offices for the good of our distressed brethren. : All which commands he inforces by his own example; for
we in his own person he hath recommended to us the By example.
per most hard and difficult, as well as those that are most useful and serviceable. To teach us piety and devotione
he frequently retired, and spent whole nights in prayer ; and from worldly occurrences raised matter for spiritual thoughts; and conformed not only to divine institutions, but to human appointments that tended to promote virtue. That we might learn humility, this Prince of glory condescended to the poverty of a stable; this Wisdom of the Father became dumb, and was reduced to the simplicity of an infant; he spent thirty years of his life in retirement, subject to his parents, and unknown to the world. That we might be ready to exercise universal charity to the bodies and souls of men, the whole course of his life was employed in good works. That we might suppress all ambitious desires, he refused the offer · of the kingdoms of this world, and the glory of them; and, when the people would have made him a king, he withdrew, and they knew not where to find himn out. That we might be obedient to government, he paid tribute, though he was free from any such obligation, and was forced to work a miracle to perform it. That we might live above the world, he chose to have no part or share in the poffeffion of it, the Son of man not having where to lay his head. He was perfectly contented in his mean circumítances, that in all our suffers ings we might be resigned to the will of God: in his bitter agony he renounced the strongest inclinations of nature, and submitted to the appointment of the Almighty. That a regard to the judgment of the world might not prevail upon us to tranfgrefs the laws of our God, he made himself of no reputation; and, in order to do good to mankind, was contented to be esteemed one of the worst of men, a magician, an impostor, a friend and companion of publicans and sinners, and a seducer of the people. 'And for us to resist all temptations to anger, and preserve an evenness of mind under all provocations, he bore with the dulness and slowness of his disciples, both in their understanding and believing what he plainly taught; and answered the sharpest reproaches of his enemies with calm arguments and modest silence, never bringing a railing accusation instead of a sound reason. That we might practise that difficult duty of loving our enemies, he prayed most earnestly for his, even when he felt the most cruel effects of their malice, and imputed it to their igno
rence : Father, fays he, forgive them, for they know not what they do: And, that he might excite us to the performance of our duty, he has offered pardon and forgiveness of what is past, and perfect reconciliation to God, by the merits of his death and passion; provided we return to him by sincere repentance, faith, and obedience to his law.* He strengthens us at present, and inables us to do our duty,
by enlightening our dark minds, byexcitingourwills by gract. to that which is good, and by raising our courage under difficulties, dangers, and temptations : he raises our fears by the threatenings of eternal punishment in the next life, and encourages our hopes by the promises of everlasting rewards to the whole man, body and soul: which are the most powerful considerations to take men off from sin, and bring them to goodness, whereby they may obtain eternal
- Wherefore, it should be our greatest care to please him,
: by a constant regard to his commandments, and What we Bright to an endeavour to prevail on others to do the same; kearn from by making a daily progress in virtue and piety, that bence. we may be conformed to the likeness of that beloved object; by setting a great value upon all means and opportunities of converting with him, in prayer and meditation, in hearing his word, and receiving the blessed tokens of his love, which he hath left us in the blessed facrament of the Lord's Supper ; by being more provoked to hear his holy name blafphemed, than for any reproach that can be çaft upon ourselves; and by longing for his glorious appearing, that we may enjoy him without interruption to all eternity, in the glory of God the Father.
* III. Christ, being taken down from the cross, was buried, His burial. à
as has been typified by Jonah lying three days and burialthree nights in the whale's belly; and intimated in that of the Pfalmift, My flesh shall rest in hope, &c. which plainly teacheth, that the body was to be buried, but not lie in the grave to see corruption. Isaiah is more express, saying, He made his grave with the wicked, and with
* See this explained on page viii. in the Preface to this book by the 18th Article or Rcligick.
the rich in his death. Whence this part of our christian faith should work within us correspondent to it: 2
Its influence. for we are buried with him in baptism unto death," that, like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life, being raised from the death of fin unto the life of His defcent righteousness. And, as Christ died for us and into bell.
was buried, so also is it to be believed, that he went down • into hell,* And here
Let it be remarked, that the pious solemnities used in the burial of our Saviour, the honourable inention of Red the persons concerned in it, and of the women decent bra who brake the box of precious ointment to pre- rials. pare his body for it, have been in all ages thought sufficient grounds for the decent burials used in the christian church: and this custom of the church is said to have had a great influence in the conversion of the Heathens : and after christianity had got possession of the Roman empire, it soon put an end to the old custom of burning the bodies of the dead. Nature itself directs, that some respect seems due to the dead bodies of men, for the sake of the fouls which once inhabited them, but much more to those, which have been the living temples of the Holy Ghost, and, being bought by Christ, thall be one day made liķe unto his glorious body, according to that mighty working whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.
IV. In the fifth Article of our christian faith we profefs to believe, that Jesus Christ on the third day of here arofe again from the dead: for the beloved and only- júrrection of begotten Son of God, who was crucified and died Corijl. for our fins, did not long continue in the state of death; but on the third day, of by his infinite power, did truly revive and raise himself again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertain
• See the 3d Article of Religion.
+ He was buried three days, according to the common computation of days, both ancient and modern, and particularly in fcripture computation. So Lazarus is said to be four days dead, though the fourth day, wherer n he was raised, was one of them. Eight days were said to be accomplished for Christ's circumcision, but the day of his birth and circumcision too went buih into that account