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are the pathed us frand priests unon fos eve
sat with me at the last communion-table, that are not fitting at the higher table, and are drinking it new with Christ in his father's kingdom: What a sweet song are they presently finging! « Uhto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen." O that I may this day get a foretaste of that celestial feast and heavenly joy, and such a seal of Christ's love as may fill my soul with hope to be a communicant at the upper table, if God shall call me hence before the next communion! “ Lord, let me have one good day in all my life time : Shew me a token for good before I die."
RETIRE presently, o communicant, for prayer and meditation, in order to excite and quicken grace in the foul; and, in a special manner, fee to get faith enlivened, and love inflamed. And, for this end, 1. Take a new view of Christ's sufferings, and his unparalleled love manifefted therein : “ Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the fins of the world.” If you have a clear discovery of his love and sufferings at the table, be taking frequent views of him before-hand.
Consider how free and undeserved Christ's love was. Behold the Son of God intreated by no man, but hated by all men ; yet in his love and pity intreats for man, yea, suffers and dies for him, even then when he was a finner and an enemy to him. Behold him fuffering for fin, that never finned: Yea, behold him made“ sin for thee, who had no fin: that thou, who hadst no righteousness, might be made the righteousness of God in him.” View his love with wonder, that made him take on the heavy burden of your iniquities, and bear it, till he swate, bled, groaned, and cried under the weight. Behold him struggling, praying,' and falling to the ground, till he is all covered with his own blood : Fix the eye of faith upon him, till thine eye affect thing heart. Take a view of his tears and bloody sweat, his
pierced hands and wounded feet, his scourged back and open fide, his streaming heart and yearning bowels to poor sinhers : This is he, O Ginner! that would rather die than thou shouldst die, who chose thy life before his own, and now pleads his blood before his Father.
Behold and wonder at his love, that made him tread the wine-press alone for us, and drink the cup of the red wine of the wrath of God; a cup whereinto all our vile and deadly lins were grated, a cup that no angel durft taste; yea, the tasting of it made Christ's heart to . melt like wax in the midst of his bowels, Psal xxii. 14. which was a greater matter than if the whole world had melted to nothing: Yet he drank it off, with the bitterest dregs of it, and left not so much as one drop of it for us. Behold him taking his moft precious heart's blood, to quench hell's flames that were ready to break out on us ! Was there ever love like this?
This love is unsearchably great: You may sooner find out the height of heaven, the breadth of the earth or the depth of the sea, than measure Christ's love ; for it pafseth knowledge, Eph. iii. “ It is an unfathomable ocean, that hath neither bank nor bottom. O whither did his love carry him ? Even from heaven to earth, from the throne to the manger, from the manger to the cross, from the cross to the grave 3 yea, from the glory of heaven to the torments of hell, and all this for poor creatures, that were despicable as worms, defiled as lem pers, deformed as monsters, black as Ethiopians, yea as black and ugly as hell could make us. Worse are we than devils, if we are not affected with this love, that made the glorious Son of God leave the heaven of his Father's presence, and wade through hell for dregs of the creation. Did Christ see any thing in us to make him love us ? No, he saw much to lothe us, but nothing to love us : Yet the time when we were most lothsome was Christ's time of love, Ezek. xvi. We were lying polluted in our blood, and all spread over with
running ulcers and putrifying fores, when Chrift loved .us. Our souls were as unlovely as Lazarus's body, whose fores the dogs licked ; or Job's body, when he was full of boils, and fat in the ashes, and scraped him.
felf with a potsherd : Yet all this could not cool his affection to us. The instances of Christ's love are inexpressible, both in their nature and number. Wonder at his condescendency, in becoming not only a creature, but such a mean creature as man, for us ; yea, not only a man, but in taking on him the form of a fervant for us, and being willing not only to lie in a manger, but in a cold grave for us. Wonder that the glorious Redeemer of Israel should be content to be born as a beggar, live as a servant, and die as a llave for us. Wonder that he, who is infinitely pure, should be willing, not only to be numbered among finners, and to bear our Gns, but also to be made fin, and likewise a curse for us. Was it not for you and your advantage he did all this? and, will you not admire and love him? He was content to endure the poverty of the world, that you might enjoy the riches of heaven : He lived in the form of a servant, that you might have the adoption of sons : He humbled himself to live with men, that he might exalt you to live with God : He bowed his soul to death, that he might raise you to eternal life: He was fhut up forty days with the devil, that you might not be shut up with him for ever : He was hungry, that you might be fed : He was numbered among transgressors, that you might have a room among the blessed. O believer, he wept, that you might re
joice: Sorrow oppressed his heart, that everlasting joy · might be on your head : He was scourged and wound
ed, that you by his stripes might be healed of sin's wounds: He was crowned with thorns, that you might be crowned with glory: He was slandered and condemned before men, that you might be justified and acquitted before God: He bore the curse, that you might inherit the blessing : He drank the bitter and poisonous cup of God's wrath, that you might drink the pure river of life : He was deserted of God, that you might not be forfak. en by him eternally: He bore the burden of fin and wrath, that you might be freed from that burden: He hung upon our cross, to advance us to fit upon his throne : He cried out in forrow upon a cross, that we might shout joyfully in singing God's praise for ever:
en was deserted to fou might diriger and
hung upo He criedly in finging
He thirsted on the cross, that we might not thirst eter.. nally, with Dives, for a drop of cold water to cool our tongue : He struggled in a bloody agony, that we might not strugle arong devils in hell's furnace for ever : Oh, what shall we say of this love ! “ Lord Jesus, thy pity was infinite, thy love hath overflown all banks, and thy compassion knew no bounds: Thou stoodst before the mouth of hell that I deserved, and stoppedst the flaming furnace of divine vengeance, that was breaking out against me: When I was, like Isaac, bound to the altar, ready to be sacrificed to justice, thou, offeredst thyself, like the ram caught in the thicket, to be sacrificed in my room : When my sins had raised a terrible tempeft, which threatened to drown me eternally, thou wast con. tent to be thrown overboard, like Jonah, to appease the storm: When the sword of justice was furbished, and ready to be theathed into my bowels, thou interposedít betwixt me and it, and receivedft the blow into thy heart: When I was shipwrecked and perishing, thou castedst thyself in as a plank of mercy to save my life. Can I think on this, and my heart not burn? Can I. speak of it, and not seek, with Joseph, a secret place to weep in ?” :
View the furpassing nature of Christ's love. No love like to it; yea, Christ's love to us transcends his love to all other things : He loved us more than angels, for he would not put on their nature : He loved us more than heaven; for he left that to come and save us : He loved us more than riches and honour; for he chose poverty,
and became of no reputation, to redeem us: He loved · us more than the comforts of life; for he parted with
these, and became a man of sorrows for our fake: He loved us more than his blood; for he willingly parted with that for us : He loved us more than his soul or body; for he gave both these to be an offering for our fins : He was more concerned for us than for himself; he rejoiced more in our welfare than in his own; he wept and prayed more for us than for himself; and, in the time of his greatest strait, when heaven, earth, and hell, were all at once rushing upon him, we have his prayer, John xvii. Yet it is all spent for us, except one VOL. I. 3 S
verse or two for himself. Again, Christ loved us more than his life ; and “ all that a man hath will he give for his life ;" yet Christ willingly parted with that for our sake : But, is there nothing that is better than life? Yes, David tells us of one thing that is better, Psal. lxiii. 3. “ Thy loving kindnefs is better than life.” The faints and martyrs, that parted with all other things, would by no means part with that, they would rather part with a thousand lives than quit with that; yet Christ, who had infinitely more of it than ever any faint attained to, for our fakes parted with it, and had the light of God's countenance totally eclipfed from him on the cross, so that he cried out, “ My God, my God, why haft thou forsaken me?"
II. If you would have the facramental graces quickened, particularly faith, take a view of Christ in all his sweet offices and relations : “ Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth,” Ifa. xlv. 22. O communicant, endeavour upon the morning of a communion-fabbath, to give a believing look to Christ in all his blessed offices and relations; and this will strengthen and quicken faith, and help thee to act it the more dif. tinctly at a communion-table.
1. Look to Chrift, as a bankrupt debtor to his surety, and say, “ Lord, I owe many thousand more than I can pay, but thou hast a sufficient ransom to pay all my debt: Í flee to thee as my surety : Lord, undertake for me, and satisfy thy Father's justice, that I be not seized on, and dragged to hell's prison for ever.”
2. Look to him as an able physician to cure thy wounds : “ Say, Lord, here lies a Job full of boils, a Lazarus full of sores at thy gate; here a paralytic hand, here a blind eye, here a hard heart, here a plague, and there a wound, that have scorned all other physicians, and despised all other remedies ; let me this day get the balm of Gilead, even the sovereign plaister of thy blood, to my various maladies; one touch of the hem of thy garment, and I shall be whole."
3. Look to him as a ransomer of captives, and say, 6 Lord, it was thy errand to proclaim liberty to the captives : I look to thee this day to knock off my fete