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to the laft; 1 Cor. xiii. 12. "For now we fee darkly through a "glafs, but then face to face." But tho' it be an inferior vifion in refpect of that which is immediate and perfect; yet the eye of faith is a precious eye, and the vifions of Chrift by faith, are ravishing vifions; and he that beholds Chrift, the Lamb of God, by a fteady fixed eye of faith, cannot but admire, and be deeply affected with fuch a fight of him. The views of Chrift by faith, are ravifhing and transporting views, Pet. i. 8.
Whom having not feen, ye love; in whom, though now "ye fee him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeak"able, and full of glory."
It is a difparagement to fo glorious an object as Chrift, to behold him, and not wonder; to fee, and not love him. Certainly the admiration, love, delight, and joy of our hearts, are all the command of faith: for let us but confider what ravithing excellencies are in Chrift, for the eye of a believer to behold and admire.
First, God is in Christ, 2 Cor. v. 19. He is God manifest in the flesh, 1 Tim. iii. 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 perfon! "The Lord hath created a new thing upon the earth; A "woman shall compass a man," Jer. xxxi. 22. It is an argument of weakness, to admire little things; and of ftupidity, not to admire great things. Many, miracles (faith one) were wrought by Chrift in the flesh; but the greatest of all miracles was his affumption of flesh."
Secondly, The wisdom of God is in Chrift; 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 fince the beginning of time, as it hath done in the defignation of Chrift to be the Lamb of God, a facrifice for fin. Behold the Lamb of God! and in him behold the unfearchable wisdom of God, in recovering the elect perfectly from all the danger of fin, and yet making fin more dreadful to them, by way of their recovery from it, than ever it could be made by any other confideration.
Infinite wisdom, in fuiting the finner's remedy to the cause of his difeafe! The difeafe 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 faved him.
O profound wifdom! which from the lofs and ruin of our primitive glory (which was the undoing of us, foul and bo
dy) takes the occafion of raifing us to a far better state, and fettles us in it with a much better security than the former.
Who but Jefus Chrift, the wisdom of God, (as he is called, I Cor. i. 24.) could ever have ordered and over-ruled the worst of evils, fo as by occafion of the breach of the law, to raise more glory to God, than ever could have been given to him by the moft punctual observation of its commands, or by the most rigorous execution of its penalties? O the aftonishing depth of
Thirdly, The love of God is in Chrift. 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 fent his Son to be the "propitiation for our fins." O here, here is the love of God to finners! he manifefts love to us, in our daily provifions, protections, 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 Chrift to be a propitiation for us, when the angels that fell were left defperate; 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 Chrift is the mercy promifed, Luke i. 72. the capital mercy; fo he is the channel, thro' which all the ftreams of God's mercy flow freely to the fons of men, Jude 21. The mercy of God to eternal life, or his faving mercies, are only dispensed to us thro' Jefus Chrift. Behold the Lamb of God! a Lamb prepared by the astonishing mercy of God, a facrifice for us, when no facrifice was laid out for fallen angels. Mércy alone hath made this difference: mercy opened its tender eye, and looked through Chrift upon us, in the depth of our mifery in Chrift it is that the milder attribute of mercy is exercifed upon us, whilst severe justice punishes them.
Fifthly, All the hopes of poor finners are in Chrift, Col. i. 27. Take away Chrift, and where is the hope of our fouls? Tim. i. 1. it is by the blood of the Lamb that we have hope towards God: in his oblation, and no where elfe, our hope of falvation finds footing: on him it is, the anchor of hope is fixed, and the foul ftayed, when the ftorms of fear and inward trouble do arife, and beat violently upon it.
Sixthly, The falvation 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 preferved, Jude ver. 1. Look, as the fprinkling of the blood of the Pafchal Lamb upon the door-pofts of the Ifraelites, was that which preserved them from the deftroying angel; so the blood of Chrift, the Lamb of God, typified by that blood, faves believers from the wrath to come.
But who can open the unfearchable riches, or recount the ravishing excellencies found in Chrift? Angels, and the spirits of juft men made perfect, behold, and admire for evermore, the incomparable excellencies of Christ! Heaven would be no heaven to them, if they could not behold Chrift there, Pfal. Ixxiii. 25. But my bufinefs 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.
Ufe. And all the improvement I fhall make of it, fhall be in one ufe of exhortation; befeeching every one of you, whatever your prefent 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 a ftony hard heart, which cannot relent and mourn for all the wrong done to Jefus Chrift, by fin, whofe affections are benumbed and ftupified by fin, fo that no confiderations they can urge upon their own hearts, are able to thaw them, and caufe a relenting pang for fin; to fuch I would direct the words of this text, as the most effectual means to melt fuch hearts. Look hither, hard heart; "Behold the Lamb of God!" Confider, believe, and apply what is here fenfibly reprefented; and thy heart is hard indeed, if it relent not upon fuch a view of Christ. It is faid, Zech. xii. 10. "They fhall look upon me, "whom they have pierced, and mourn.' Behold the Son of God, brought" as a Lamb to the flaughter" for thee, a vile, polluted finner! 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 fufferings; how meekly and wil lingly he endured 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, mighteft be made the righteousness of God in him." Oh! whoever loved thee at that rate Chrift hath done? Who would endure that mifery that Chrift did endure for thy fake? Would thy father, or the wife of thy bosom,
or thy friend, that is as thy own foul, be content to feel that for thee (though but one hour) which Chrift felt, when "his
fweet was as it had been great drops of blood falling to "down to the ground?" Nay, thou wouldeft never taste such a cup for the faving of thine own child, as Chrift drank off, when he cried, "My God! my God! why haft thou forfaken 66 me ?" Behold how he loved thee!
Surely, if the rocks rent asunder at his paffion, thy heart is harder than a rock, if it thaw not at such a fight as this. Fix thine eyes a while 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 commif fion of it? Ó come hither, and "behold the Lamb of God!" and you cannot poffibly have flight thoughts of fin after fuch a fight of Chrift. See here the price of fin! behold what it coft the Lord Jefus Chrift 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 bofom of the Father, to be our ranfomer, and that at the price of his own life? Did the hand of fevere juftice fhed the heart-blood of this immaculate Lamb, to fatisfy for the wrongs thy fins have done to God? And yet, canft thou look upon fin as a light matter? God forbid!
I remember, when the worthies of Ifrael brake through the hoft of the Philiftines, and brought unto David the waters of the well of Bethlehem, it is faid, 2 Sam. xxiii. 17. "He would "not drink thereof, but poured it out before the Lord, and "faid, Be it far from me, that I fhould 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 tafte it, how pleasant foever it would have been to him, confidering what hazard was run to obtain it.
Ah Chriftian! 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 coft the blood of Chrift; one drop whereof is more valuable than all human blood; and yet wilt thou not deny thy lufts, nor refift a temptation for his fake?" Behold the lamb of God, flain for "thy fin!" and thou canst never have flight thoughts of it
Thirdly, Is there any among you that droop, and are discouraged in their spirits, because of their manifold aggravated
iniquities; who being overweighed with the burthenfome fense of fin, defpond and fink in their minds? To fuch I would apply the words of my text, as a fovereign cordial, to revive their hearts and hopes : "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh a
the fin of the world!"
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If the blood of the Lamb can take away the fin of the world, it can take away thy fin, though there be a world of fin in thee. For do but confider Chrift, as defigned from eternity to be our propitiation; John vi. 27. "Him hath God the Father fealed;" as facrificed in our room," in the fulness of time." 1 Cor. v. 7. "Chrift our paffover is facrificed for us:" As accepted by the Father with the greateft content and pleasure, even "fweet-fmelling favour," Eph. v. 2. As publicly justified and discharged by God, the Creditor, at his refurrection, 1 Tim: iii. 16. and John xvi. 9. And lastly, Confider him as now in heaven, where he "appears before God for us, as a Lamb that "had been flain," Rev. v. 6. bearing the very marks of his death, and prefenting them before God, as the most effectual and moving plea, to procure pardon, and mercy, for his people. Let these things, I fay, be duly pondered, and nothing will be found more effectual to relieve the defpondent minds of poor believers against the finking sense of their fina
He that represents himself in the facrament as wounded for you, fhews at the fame time, to the Father in heaven, the real body that was wounded; than which nothing more effectually moves mercy, or ftays the fliding feet of a poor believer's hope: And that whether we confider,
First, The dignity of that body which was wounded; the moft hallowed and deeply fanctified thing that ever was created; Luke i. 35. "That holy thing."
Secondly, Or his vicegerency in fuffering; "He was wound "ed for our tranfgreffions," Ifa. 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 faid to "fpeak better things than "the blood of Abel," Heb. xii. 24.) is this:
Father, have these poor fouls wounded thy name, thine honour, thy law? Behold the wounds thy justice hath inflicted on me, for reparation of all that wrong they have done thee!' O how fweetly doth the blood of the Lamb fettle the confcience of a poor drooping believer!
Fourthly, Is there any among you that are faint-hearted, and ready to fhrink away from any fufferings for Chrift, as un