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be satisfied for sins past? Justice must have satissaction, or you can. ncver have remission, Rom. iii. 25, 26. and no work wrought by man can satisfy divine justice; nor is the latisfactibn of Christ made over to any for their discharge, but to such, only, as are in him; therefore, never expect mercy out of Christ.
Infer, 2- Is Clmst, the mercy of mercies, greater, better, and more necejsary than all other mercies; then let no inferior mercy satisfy you for your portion.
God hath mercies of all forts to give, but Christ is the chief, the prime mercy of all mercies: O be not satisfied without that mercy. When * Luther had a rich present sent him, "he pro"tested God should not put him off lb;" and David was of the same mind, Plal. xvii. 14. If the Lord should give any of you the desires of your hearts in the good things of this life, let not that satisfy you, whilst you are (Thriftless. For,
First, What is there in these earthly enjoyments, whereof the vilest men have not a greater fulness than you Job xxi. 7, 8, 9, Io, 11. Psal. xvii. 10. and Ixxiii. 3, 12.
Secondly, What comfort can all these things give to a foul already condemned, as thou art? John iii. 18.
Thirdly, What sweetness can be in them, whilst they are all unsanctified things to you? enjoyments, and sanctification, are' two distinct things, Psal. xxxvii. 16. Prov. x. 22. Thousands of unsanctified enjoyments will not yield your fouls one drop of solid spiritual comfort.
Fourthly, What pleasure can you take in these things, of which death must, shortly, strip you naked? You must die, you must die -, and whose then shall all those things be, for which you have laboured? Be not so fond, to think of leaving a great □ame behind you; 'tis but a poor felicity (as Chrysostome well observes) to be tormented where thou art, and praised where thou art not f : the sweeter your portion hath been on earth, the more intolerable will your condition be in hell; yea, these earthly d<Jights do not only increase the torments of the damned, but also prepare (as they are instruments" of sin) the fouls of men for damnation, Prov. i. 32. " Surely the prosperity of fools shall "destroy them." Be restless, therefore, till Christ, the mercy of mercies, be the root and fountain, yielding and sanctifying all other mercies to you. v
Infer. 3. Js Christ, the mercy of mercies, injinitely better than
* Valde pretestatus sum, me nolle Jic ab eo fatiari. Luth. f For 'hen the devouring flame burns up those whom carnal Viicifiire pollute*.
all other mercies; then let all that be in Christ he content, and -well satisfied, -whatever other inferior mercies the -wisdom of God sees fit to deny them. You have a Benjamin's portion, a plentiful inheritance in Christ; will you yet complain? Others have houses, splendid and magnificent upon earth; but you have "an house made wiihout hands, eternal in the heavens," 2 Cor. v. 1. Others are cloathed with rich and costly apparel, your fouls are clothed with the white, pure robes of Christ's righteousness. Ka. bii. to. " I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, "my soul shall be joyful in my God: for he hath cloathed me "with the garment of saLvation, he hath covered me with the "robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with "ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels." Let those that have full tables, heavy purses, rich lands, but no Christ; be rather objects of your pity, than envy: it is better, like store-cattle, to be kept lean and hungry; than, with the satted ox, to tumble in flowery meadows, thence to be led away to the shambles. God hath not a belter mercy to give than Christ, thy portion; in him all necessary mercies are secured to thee, and thy wants and straits sanctified to thy good. O! therefore, never open thy mouth to complain against the bountiful God.
Infer. 4. Is Christ the mercy, (i. e.) he in whom all the tender mercies of God towards poor sinners are; then let none be discouraged in going to Christ, by reason of the fin and uniuorthiness that are in them: his very name is mercy, and as his name is, ib is he. Poor drooping sinner, encourage thyself in the way of Faith; the Christ to whom thpu art going, is mercy itself to broken-hearted sinners, moving towards him in the way of faith: doubt not that mercy will repulse thee; it is against both its name, and nature, so to do. Jesus Christ is so merciful ro poor souls, that come 10 him, that he hath received aud pardoned the chiefest of sinners; men that stood as remote from mercy, as any in the world, 1 Tim. i. 15. 1 Cor. vi. 11. T^of^ that shed the blood of Christ, have yet been washed in that blood from their sin, Acts ii. 36, 37. Mercy receives sinners, without exception of great and heinous ones. John vit 37. "If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink." Gospel invitations run, in general terms, to all sinners that are heavy laden, Mat. xi. 28. When Mr. Bilney, the martyr, heard a minister preaching at this rate, O thou old sinner, who hast been serving the devil these fifty or sixty years; dost thou think that Christ will receive thee now? O! said he, what a preaching of Christ is here Had Christ been thus preached tome in the day of my trouble for sin, what had become of me? But, blessed be God, there is a sufficiency, both of merit,' and mercy, in Jesus Christ, for all sinners, for the vilest among sinners, whose hearts shall be made willing to come unto him. So merciful is the Lord Jesus Christ, that he moves first, Ma. lxii. t, ,2. so merciful, that he upbraids none, Ezek. xviii. 22. so merciful, that he will not despise the weakest, if sincere, desires of fouls, Isa. xlii. 3. ib merciful, that nothing more grieves him, than our unwillingness to come unto him for mercy, John v. 40. so merciful, that he waiteth, to the last, upon sinners, to shew them mercy, Rom. x. 21. Mat. xxiil 37. in a word, so merciful, that it is his greatest joy when sinners come unto him, that he may strew them mercy, Luke xv. 5,22.
Objett. But yet it cannot enter into my thoughts that I should obtain mercy.
Sol. First, You measure God by yourselves, 1 Sam. xxiv. 19. "If a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away?" Man will not, but the merciful God will, upon the submission of the enemies to him.
Secondly, You are discouraged, because you have not tried. Go to. Jesus Christ, poor distressed sinners; try him, and then report what a Christ thou findest him to be.
Object. But I have neglected the time of mercy, and now it is too late.
Sol. How know you that? Have you seen the book of life, or turned over the records of eternity? Or do you not unwarrantably intrude into the secrets of God, which belong not to you? Besides, if the treaty were at an end, how is it that thy heart is now distressed for sin, and follicitous after deliverance from it?
Object. But I have waited long, and yet see no mercy for me.
Sol. May not mercy be coming, and you not fee it? Or have you not waited at the wrong door? If you wait for the mercy of God through Christ, in the way of humiliation and saith, and continue waiting; assuredly mercy shall come at last.
Infer. 5. Hath God persormed the mercy promised to the Fathers, the great mercy, the capital mercy, Jesus Christ; then let wo man distrust God for the persormance of lesser mercies, contained in any other promises of the scripture. The performance of this mercy secures the performance of all other mercies to us. For,
First, Christ is a greater mercy th-an any other which yet remains to be performed, Rom. viii 32.
Secondly, This mercy virtually comprehends all other mercies, 1 Cor. iii. zi, 22, 23.
Thirdly, The promises that contain all other mercies, are ratifii d and confirmed to believers in Christ, 2. Cor. i. 20.
Fourthly, It was much more improbable that God would bestow his own Son upon the world, than that he should bestow7 any orher mercy upon it. Wait, therefore, in a comfortable cxp<station of the fulfilling of all the rest of the promises in thtir seasons. Hath he given thee Christ? He will give thee bread to eat, raiment to put on, support in troubles, and whatsoever else thy sbul or body stands in need of: The blessings5 contained in all other promises, are fully secured by the performance of this great promise; thy pardon, peace, acceptance with God now, and enjoyment of him for ever, shall be sttlsilkd: The great mercy, Christ, makes way for ail other mercies to the fouls of believtrs.
Infer. 6. Lastly, How mad are they that part -with Christ, the hest of mercies, to secure and preserve any temporal lesser mercies to themselves! Thus Demas and Judas gave up Christ to gain a little of the world ; O foul-undoing bargain! How dear do they pay for the world, that purchase it with the loss of Christ, aud their own peace for ever I'
Blessed be God for Jesus Christ, the mercy of mercies.
Containing a third Motive to enliven the genera] Exhortation, from a third Title of Christ.
Cant. V. Part of Verse 16. Yea, He is altogether lovely.
AT the ninth verse of this chapter, you have a query propounded to the spouse, by the daughters of Jerusalem s "What is thy beloved more than another beloved?'' To this question the spouse returns her answer in the following verses, wherein stie asserts his excellency in general. Ver. 10. "He.is "the chiefest among ten thousands;" confirms that general assertion, by an enumeration of his particular excellencies, to ver, 16. where she cloles up her charaBer and encomium of her beloved, with an elegant epiphonema, in the words that 1 have read; "Yea, he is altogether lovely."
The words, you fee, are an affirmative proposition, setting" forth the transcendent loveliness of the Lord Jesus Christ; a&d naturally resolve themselves into three parts, viz.
1. The subject.
a. The predicate.
3. The manner of predication.
First, The subject, He, viz. the Lord Jesus Christ, after whom (he had been seeking, for whom she was sick of love; concerning whom these daughters of Jerusalem had enquired: whom she had endeavoured so graphically to describe in his particular excellencies. This is the great aud excellent subject of whom she here speaks.
Secondly, The predicate, or what she affirmeth, or saith of him, viz. That he is a lovely one, Machamaddim, desires; according to the import of the * original, '* which signifies earnestly
to desire, covet; or long after that which is most pleasant, "grateful, delectable, and admirable;" The original word is both in the abstract, and of the plural number, which speaks Christ to be the very essence of all delights and pleasures; the very soul and substance of them. As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean, which is the congregation or meeting-place of all the waters in the world i so Christ is that ocean in which all true delights and pleasures meet.
Thirdly, The manner of predicatisn : He is [altogether] lovely, Totus, totus defiderabilis; lovely in all, and in every part: as if (he had said, Look on him, in what respect or particular you will; cast your eye upon this lovely object, and view him any way; turn him in your serious thoughts^ which way you will; consider his person, his offices, his works, or any other thing belonging to him; you shall sind him altogether lovely: There is nothing ungrateful in him; there is nothing lovely without him. Hence note,
Doct. 'That Jesus Christ is the loveliest persm souls (an set their eyes upon. Plal. xlv. 2, " Thou art sairer than the childrea "of men."
That is said of Jesus Christ, which cannot be said of any creature; that he is "altogether lovely." In opening this lovely point, I shall,
1. Weigh the importance of this phrase, " altogether lovely."
2. Shew you in what respects Christ is so.
First, Let us weigh this excellent expression, and particularly consider what is contained in it, and you shall sind this expression, "Altogether lovely i"
* Significat appetere, expetere iua& jwmdiMi., gratvn, vohtpiuasunty utile et amaiilt qst, fa$<
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