« AnteriorContinuar »
derived; and denoting the anguish and troubles of them that are in that place of torments. .
And the fourth tells us, he was in an agony ; Luke xxiii. 44. all expressing; in several emphatical notioos and metaphors, the extremity of Christ's anguish aod torment. This cannot but greatly affect and break the believer's heart.
Thirdly, But then that which most affects the heart, is Christ's undergoing all this, not only in love to us, but in our room and stead. He suffered Dot for any evil he had done, for there was no guile found in his mouth, Ila. liii. 4, 5. But the just suffered for the unjust, i Pet. ii. 18. It was for me, a vile, wretched, worthless finger. It was my pride, my earthliness, the hardness of my heart, the corruption of my nature, the innumerable evils of my life, that brought him down to the duft of death : “ He was made fio for us, who knew no fia," 2 Cor. v. 21.
Who can believingly eye Christ, as suffering such paids, such wrath, such a curse, in the room of fuch a finger, such a rebel, so undeserving, and fo ill-deserving a creature, and pot mourn as for ao only fon, and be in bitterness as for a first
boro pour as for an einer and foil.com of fachas fuch pa
and fruits of the sufferings of Christ, what great things he hath purchased by his stripes and blood for poor lioners; a full and final pardon of fin, a well-fettled peace with God, a sure title and right to the eternal inheritance; and all this for thee, a law-condemned, a self-condemned sinner. Lord, what am I, that such mercies as these should be purchased by such a price for me? For me, when thousands and ten thousaods of sweeter dispositiops must buro in hell for ever! Oh, what manner of love is this!
Fifthly, Faith melts the heart, by exerting a threefold act upon Christ crucified :
if, A realizing act, represeating all this in the greatest certainty and evidence that can be. These are no devised fables, but the sure and infallible reports of the gospel.
2dly, An applying act; “ He loved me, aod gave himself for “ me," Gal. iii. 20. “ He loved us, and washed us from our “ fins in his own blood,” Rev. i. 5.
3dly, and lastly, By an inferriog or reasoning act. If Christ died for me, then I shall Dever die : If his blood were paid down for me, then my fios, which are many, are forgiven me : If he was condemned in my room, I am acquitted, and Mall be saved from wraih to come, through him. O how weighty do these thoughts prove to believing souls !
1. Use, for information. Then fure there is but little faith, because there is so much deadness and unaffectedness among profeffor's. A believing light of Christ will work upon a gracious heart, as a dead fop, a bé. loved and only fon, uses to do upon a tender father's heart.
Reader, was it ever thy fad lot to look upon fuch an heart. reading object? Didit thou ever feel the pangs and commotions in thy bowels that some have felt upon such a light ? Why, lo will thy heart work towards Christ, if ever thou believingly lookest on him whom thou hast pierced
sofer. 2. Then the afting and exercising of faith is the beft expedient to get a tender heart, and raise the dead affections.
We are generally full of complaints how hard, how dead and stupid our hearts are ; we are often putting such cases as these, how shall I get a broken heart for sia : How shall I raife my dead heart in duty? Why this is the way, bo expedient id all the world like this; look upon him whom thou haft pierced; it is the melting argument.
2. Ufe, of examination. But that which I especially aim at in this point, is for the trial and examination of thy heart, reader, is the poiot of true evangelical repentance, which is thy proper business at this time, and I will go no further than the text for rules to examine and try it by
Rule 1. All evangelical repentance hath a fuperdatural spring, * I will pour out the Spirit of grace, and they hall mourn." Till the Spirit be poured out upon us, it is as easy to press water out of a rock, as to make our hearts relent and mourn. There are lodeed natural meltings, the effects of ao ingedu.. ous temper, buč these differ in kind and nature from godly forrow.
Rule 2. Godly sorrows are real, fiacere, and dedissembled; " they shall moorn, as for an only son."
Parents need oot any natural helps to draw tears on such ac. counts; 0! their very hearts are pierced, they could even die with them ; sighs, groans, and tears, are not hanged out as false sigas of what is not to be found in their hearts.
Rule 3. Evangellical sorrow is very deep; so much the mourging for an only son, a firft-born, mutt import. These waters, how still soever they be, ruo deep, very deep, in the bottom channel of the soul. See Acts ii. 37. They were cut to the heart,
Rule 4. Faith is the inftrument employed in breaking the heart; “ they shall look, and mouro.” This is the burning-glass that contracts the beams, and fires the affections.
Rule 5. Lastly, The wrong fio harh. done to God, and the sufferings it bath brought Chrift under, are the piercing and heart-wounding considerations ;." They shall look upon me, § whom they have pierced, and mourn." The piercing of Christ by our fin, is that which must pierce thy soul with for
THẺ T E N T H
JOHN vi. 55. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is
breadtity of fallent difcoword Jesus Chris
TN the context our Lord Jesus Christ makes a most spiritual 31 and excellent discourse to the Jews, about the nature and Deceflity of faith in him ;, taking the occasion thereof from the bread, which a little before he had so miraculously multiplied and fed them with : railing up their minds to more sublime and fpiritual things, and letting them know that bread, how sweet foever it was, ;' was but a shadow of himself, infinitely more sweet and necessary. i love me
These words, are a proposition, in which are these three things observable ; 1 ;
First, The subject; my flesh and my blood.
H i j
en This indeed.net; my Alesh and Spiritual food, drink indee
, First, The subject ; my flesh and my blood, i.e. my humapity; this is meat and drink, trưe fpiritual food. If it be demanded, why he had not said, I am meat and drink indeed; but rather chuses to say, my flesh and blood is so?. The reason is evideot, faith learned Camero; because if you take away Mesh and blood from Christ, he cannot be food or life to us : for, in order to his being so, he mult fatisfy God for us, and obtain the remission of our sins; but without thedding of blood there is no remission. Now, forasmuch as by the offering up
of his body, and shedding of his blood, he hath obtained para don and life for us; therefore his fielh and his blood, is called our meat and our drink, that by which our souls live. Which brings us to the secood thing:
Secondly, The predicate; it is meat and drink: i.e. It is to our souls of the fame use and necessity, that meat and drink are to our batural life, which cannot be sustained, or continued without them.
The life of our fouls as necessarily depends upon the flesh and blood of Christ, as our natural life doch upon meat and drink. Yet beware of a mistake here : the flesh and blood, ar the humanity of Christ, is not the fountain of our spiritual life, but the channel rather through which it flows to us from his divinity. By reason of his incarnation and death, righteoufness and life came to us.
Thirdly, The manner of predication is very emphatical ; it is “ meat indeed, and driok indeed.” Which notes two things :
First, Reality, in opposition to all legal shadows and types.
Secondly, Transcendent excellency, far furpafsiog all other food, even manna itself, which, for its excellency, is stiled angels food. “ My felh is meat iodeed,” i. e. true, fubftantial, and real food to fouls, and choice, excellent, and incomparable food. Hepce observe, Doct. That what meat and drink is to our bodies, that, and
much more than that, the flesh and blood of Chrif is to be
lieving souls. Two things require explication in this point. Fitf, Wherein the resemblance, or agreement lies, betwixt the flesh and blood of Christ, and meat aod drink? Secondly, wherein the former transcends and excels the latter ?
1. Query. Wherein lies the resemblance and agreement between the flesh and blood of Christ, and material meat and driok ?
Sol. The agreement is manifest in the following particulars.
First, Meat and drink is necessary to support natural life; we cannot live without it. Upon this account, bread is called the staff and stay; i. e, the support of the natural spirits, which do as much lean and depend upon it, as a feeble man doth upon his staff; Isa. ii. 1. But yet how necessary foever it be, the fielh and blood of Christ is more indispenGbly neceffary for the life of our fouls; John vi. 53. “ Except ye eat the “ flesh of the Son of 'man, and drink his blood, ye have no “ life in you.” Our souls have more absolute need of peace and pardon by Christ, than our bodies have of meat and drink.
Better our bodies were starved and familhed, than our fouls damned and loft for ever,
Secondly, Meat and drink are ever most sweet and desirable, to those that are hungry and thirsty. It is hunger and thirst, that gives value and estimation to meat and drink; Prov. xxvii. 7. “ To the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet;" and so it is in our esteem of Christ; Joho vii. 37. “ If any man 66 thirst, let him come to me, and drink.” When God, by il. lumination and conviction, makes men deeply sensible of their miserable, loft, and perishing condition : then ten thousand worlds for Christ. All is but dung and dross, in comparison of the excellency of Christ Jesus,
Thirdly, Meat and drink must undergo an alteration, and lose its own form, before it actually nourishes the body. The corp is ground to pieces in the mill, before it be made bread to nourish us. And Christ must be ground betwixt the upper and Deiher milftone of the wrath of God, and malice of men, to be made bread for our souls. The prophet faith, Ifa. lii, 14. : His visage is marred more than any man's. He did not look
like himself, the beauty and glory of heaven; but the reproach of men, and despised of the people. Oh what an alteration did, his incarpation and sufferings make upon him! Phil. ii. 6, 7, Quantum mutatus ab illo!
Fourthly, Natural food must be received into our bodies, and have a natural union with them; and Christ must be received into our fouls, and have a spiritual union with them by faith; or else we can have no nourishment, or benefit by him. An empty profession, a mere talkative religion, nourishes the inner man, just as much as the right of meat, and our commending of it, doth our outward man. It is Christ's dwelling in our hearts by faith, Eph. iji. 17. our receiving of him, Jobo i. 12. our eating his flesh, and drinkiog his blood, John vi. 53. i.e. The effečtual application of Christ to our souls by faith, chat makes us partakers of his benefits.
Fifthly, Meat and drink must be taken every day, or elfe na. tural life will languish; and spiritual life will Qever be comfortably maintained in us, without daily communion with Jelus Christ. If a gracious foul neglect, or be interrupted in its course of duties, and stated times of prayer; it will be quickly discernible by the Christian himfelf, in the deadness of his own heart; and by others also, in the barreoness of his discourses, And in these things stand the analogy, and agreement of the Alesh and blood of Christ, with meat and drink.