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to the last; 1 Cor. xiii. 12. “ For now we see darkly through a “ glass, but then face to face.” But tho'it be an inferior vilon in respect of that which is immediate and perfect ; yet the eye of faith is a precious eye, and the visions of Christ by faith, are ravishing visions ; and he that beholds Chrift, the Lamb of God, by a steady fixed eye of faith, cannot but admire, and be deeply affected with such a light of him. The views of Christ by faith, are ravishing and transporting views, 1 Pet. i. 8. “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now “ ye see him
not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeak“ able, and full of glory.”.
It is a disparagement to fo glorious an object as Christ, to behold him, and not wonder; to feç, and not love him. Cer. tainly the admiration, love, delight, and joy of our hearts, are all the command of faith: for let us but consider what ravithing excellencies are in Chrift, for the eye of a believer to behold and admire.
First, God is in Chrift, 2 Cor. v. 19. He is God manifeft in the flesh, Țim. ii. 16. A God incarnate, is the world's wonder? Here is finite and infinite joined in one; eternity matched with time ; the Creator and creature making but one per. fon! “ The Lord hach created a new thing upon the earth ; A ço woman shall compass a man,” Jer. xxxi. 22. It is an argu. ment of weakness, to admire little things; and of stupidity, not to admire great things. Many, miracles (faith one) were
wrought by Christ in the flesh; but the greatest of all mi• racles was his affumption of flesh.'
Secondly, The wisdom of God is in Christ; yea, in him are, hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Col. ii. 3. Never did the divine wisdom display its glorious beams, in the eyes of men and angels, in any work of God since the beginning of time, as it hath done in the designation of Christ to be the Lamb of God, a facrifice for fin. Behold the Lamb.of God! and in him behold the unsearchable wisdom of God, in reco. vering the elect perfectly from all the danger of fin, and yet making sin more dreadful to them, by way of their recovery, from it, than ever it could be made by any other consideration.
Infinite wisdom, in suiting the finner's remedy to the cause of his disease! The disease was the pride of man; the remedy was the humiliation of the Son of God. Man affected to be as God; that ruined him: God comes down, affumes flesh, and will be found in fashion as a man ; that saved him.
O profound wisdom ! which from the loss and ruin of our. primitive glory (which was the undoing of us, foul and bo
dy) takes the occasion of raising us to a far better state, and settles us in it with a much better security than the former,
Who but Jesus Christ, the wisdom of God, (as he is called, 1 Cor. i. 24.) could ever have ordered and over-ruled the worst of evils, so as by occasion of the breach of the law, to raise more glory to God, than ever could have been given to him by the most punctual observation of its commands, or by the most rigorous execution of its penalties? O the astonishing depth of wisdom !
Thirdly, The love of God is in Christ. Behold the Lamb of God! and in him behold the love of God, in the highest and most triumphant discovery that ever was, or can be made of it in this world! 1 John iv. 10.“ Herein is love, not that we
loved him, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the y propitiation for our sins.” O here, here is the love of God to finners! he manifests love to us, in our daily provisions, protecţions, deliverances, and comforts. That we have health, when others groan under pains; therein is love: that we have bread to eat, when others are ready to perish ; therein is love. O! but to have Çhrist to be a propitiation for us, when the angels that fell were left desperate ; therein was love indeed! All the love that breaks out in the variety of providences for us in this world, in our health and estates, in our relations and comforts, is nothing compared with this love: Herein is love indeed!
Fourthly, The tender mercies of God over poor finners are in Chrift. As Christ is the mercy promised, Luke i. 72. the capital mercy; so he is the channel, thro' which all the streams of God's mercy flow freely to the sons of men, Jude 21. The mercy of God to eternal life, or his saving mercies, are only dispensed to us thro' Jesus Christ. Behold the Lamb of God! a Lamb prepared by the astonishing mercy of God, a sacrifice for us, when no sacrifice was laid out for fallen angels. Mércy alone hath made this difference : mercy opened its tender eye, and looked through Christ upon us, in the depth of our misery: in Christ it is that the milder attribute of mercy is exercised upon us, whilst severe justice punishes them.
Fifthly, All the hopes of poor finners are in Christ, Col. i. 27. Take away Christ, and where is the hope of our souls ? Tim. i. 1. it is by the blood of the Lamb that we have bope towards God: in his oblation, and no where else, our hope of falvation finds footing: on him it is, the anchor of hope is fixed, and the soul stayed, when the storms of fear and inward trouble do arise, and beat violently upon it.
Sixthly, The Salvation of our fouls to eternity, is in Chrift;
Acts iv. 12. “ Neither is there any other, name given under “ heaven by which we must be saved.” He is the ark, in whom we are preserved, Jude ver. 1. Look, as the sprinkling of the blood of the Paschal Lamb upon the door-posts of the Israelites, was that which preserved them from the destroying angel; so the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, typified by that blood, faves believers from the wrath to come.
But who can open the unsearchable riches, or recount the ravishing excellencies found in Christ ? Angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect, behold, and admire for evermore, the incomparable excellencies of Chrift! Heaven would be no heaven to them, if they could not behold Christ there, Pfal.
But my business rather lies in improving this point, than endeavouring farther to unfold it : for new wonders will appear in Chrift, if we behold him to eternity.
Use. And all the improvement I shall make of it, shall be in one use of exhortation ; beseeching every one of you, whatever your present condition and estate be, “ to behold the Lamb of “ God, which taketh away the fin of the world !” And,
First, If there be found among you any that are sensible of ftony hard heart, which cannot relent and mourn for all the wrong done to Jesus Christ, by fin, whose affections are benumbed and stupified by fin, so that no considerations they can, urge upon their own hearts, are able to thaw them, and cause a relenting pang for fin; to such I would direct the words of this text, as the most effectual means to melt such hearts. Look hither, hard heart; “ Behold the Lamb of God!" Con.. fider, believe, and apply what is here fenGbly represented; and thy heart is hard indeed, if it relent not upon such a view of Christ. It is faid, Zech. xii. 10. “ They shall look upon me, “ whom they have pierced, and mourn.
Behold the Son of God, brought “ as a Lamb to the slaughter” for thee, a vile, polluted sinner! Behold the invaluable blood of this facrifice, Thed for thee! Bring thy thoughts close to this subject ; think who it is that was made a Lamb for facrifice; for whom he endured all his unspeakable sufferings ; how meekly and wil lingly he endered all the wrath of God and men, standing in his perfect innocency, to be flain for thee. Behold! he was “ made fin for thee, who had no fin; that thou, who hadst no “ righteousness, mightest be made the righteousness of God in
him." Oh! whoever loved thee, at that rate Christ hath done? Who would endure that milery that Christ did endure for thy fake? Would thy father, or the wife of thy bosom,
or thy friend, that is as thy own soul, be content to feel that for thee (though but one hour) which Chrift felt, when “his “ sweet was as it had been great drops of blood falling to “ down to the ground?” Nay, thou wouldleft never taste such a cup for the saving of thine own child, as Christ drank off, when he cried, “My God! my God! why halt thou forsaken
?" Behold how he loved thee! Surely, if the rocks rent asunder at his passion, thy heart is harder than a rock, if it thaw not at such a fight as this. Fix thine eyes a wbile here, and thine eye will affect thy heart.
Secondly, Is there any among us that make too light of fin, and are easily overcome by every temptation to the commifé sion of it? O come hither, and “behold the Lamb of God !" and you cannot possibly have flight thoughts of fin after such a fight of Christ. See here the price of fin! behold what it cost the Lord Jesus Christ to expiate it. Did he come into the world as a Lamb, bound with the bands of an irreversible decree, to die for fin ? Did he come from the bosom of the Father, to be our ransomer, and that at the price of his own life? Did the hand of severe justice shed the heart-blood of this immaculate Lamb, to satisfy for the wrongs thy fins have done to God? And yet, canst thou look upon sin as a light matter? God forbid !
I remember, when the worthies of Israel brake through the host of the Philistines, and brought unto David the waters of the well of Bethlehem, it is said, 2 Sam. xxiii. 17. “He would “ not drink thereof, but poured it out before the Lord, and « said, Be it far from me, that I should do this : Is not this the « blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives?”
He longed for it, and yet would not taste it, how pleasant foever it would have been to him, considering what hazard was run to obtain it.
Ah Christian ! it was but the hazard of their blood, that gave check to David's appetite to the water : And if the water had cost an equal quantity of their blood, yet it had been but a low argument to diffuade him from drinking it, to this confideration that now lies before thee. Thy fin actually cost the blood of Christ; one drop whereof is more valuable than all human blood; and yet wilt thou not deny thy lufts, nor refit a temptation for his fake? “ Behold the lamb of God, flain for “thy fin!" and thou canst never have fight thoughts of it any more.
Thirdly, Is there any among you that droop, and are difcouraged in their spirits, because of their manifold aggravated
iniquities; who being overweighed with the burthenfomë sense of fin, despond and link in their minds? To fuch I would apply the words of my text, as a sovereign cordial, to revive their hearts and hopes : “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away
the sin of the world !" If the blood of the Lamb can take away the fin of the world, it can take away thy sin, though there be a world of fin in thee. For do but consider Christ, as designed from eternity to be our propitiation ; John vi. 27. “Him hath God the Father sealed;" as facrificed in our room, “in the fulness of time." 1 Cor. v: 7. “ Christ our passover is facrificed for us :" As accepted by the Father with the greatest content and pleasure; even
as à “ sweet-Imelling favour,” Eph. v. 2. As publicly justified and discharged by God, the Creditor, at his resurrection, 1 Tim. iii. 16. and John xvi. 9. And lastly, Consider him as now in heaven, where he “appears before God for us, as a Lamb that “ had been slain," Rev. v. 6. bearing the very marks of his death, and presenting them before God, as the most effectual and moving plea, to procure pardon, and mercy, for his people. Let these things, I say, be duly pondered, and nothing will be found more effectual to relieve the despondent minds of poor believers against the finking sense of their fins
He that represents himself in the facrament as wounded for you, fhews at the same time, to the Father in heaven, the real body that was wounded; than which nothing more effectually moves mercy, or stays the sliding feet of a poor believer's hope: And that whether we consider,
First, The dignity of that body which was wounded; the most hallowed and deeply sanctified thing that ever was created; Luke i. 35. “That holy thing.”
Secondly, Or his vicegerency in suffering ; "He was wounds “ ed for our transgressions,” Ísa. liii. 5. It was for that hard, proud, vain, dead heart, that thou complainest of. Or,
Thirdly, The end and design of those wounds, which was to repair the honour of God, and the violated law: the language of that blood (which is said to “speak better things than “ the blood of Abel," Heb. xii. 24.) is this :
• Father, have these poor souls wounded thy name, thine honour, thy law ? Behold the wounds thy justice hath inflict
ed on me, for reparation of all that wrong they have done • thee! O how sweetly doth the blood of the Lamb settle the conscience of a poor drooping believer !
Fourthly, Is there any among you that are faint-hearted, and seady to shrink away from any fufferings for Christ, as uit