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may be found, but yet I will not forget thee, faith God. Though human corrupt nature may be fo vitiated, yet from the divine nature, eompaffion and mercy are infeparable; it flows as waters flow from their fountain, only here it restrained itself, and let not out one drop to Jefus Chrift, in the day of his fufferings: God, the God of mercy, fpared not.

Secondly, God fpared not, faith the text; i.e. he abated not any thing which juftice could inflict: Chrift was not fpared one ftroke, one tear, one groan, one drop, one figh, one fhame, one circumftance, no, not the least which juftice could demand as fatisfaction for man's fin.

There be divers kinds of mercy in God; there is in him preventing mercy, delivering mercy, and fparing mercy. Now fparing mercy (as Mr. Caryl on Job well obferves) is the loweft mercy of all the three; it is lefs mercy to be fpared or abated fome degree or circumftance of mifery, than to have mifery prevented by mercy's ftepping in betwixt us and it; it is lefs alfo than to be wholly delivered out of the hand of mifery: Either of thefe are greater acts of mercy, than to abate a degree, or fhorten an hour of our trouble; the leaft abatement of any one circumftance of mifery had been fparing mercy, though it had been but the leaft and lowest act of mercy; and yet even this was denied to Chrift; he was not abated one' minute of time, or the least degree of forrow. God fpared not,

Thirdly, He fpared not his own Son, riov dov. So ftiled figmanter, his own or his proper Son, in a fpecial and peculiar manner nearer and dearer to him than the angels, who are his fons by creation, Job i. 6. or any of the faints, who are his fons by grace, in the way of regeneration and adoption, John i. 12, 13. This was his own Son by nature, a son of an higher rank and order, Pfal. ii. 7. begotten in an ineffable manner, from all eternity, in his own divine effence; and fo is his Son by nature, having the fame effence and nature with the Father, being co-equal, co-effential, and co-eternal with the

Father.

No relation in nature is fo intimate, ftrict and dear as this; our children are not so much our own children, our bodies are not fo much our own bodies, as Chrift was God's own Son; and yet, though he were fo dear to him, his other felf, his exprefs image, his own dear Son, He spared him not: God spared not his own Son.

Fourthly, And that which makes a farther discovery of divine feverity towards Jefus Chrift, is this, that God spared not

his own Son in the day of his greatest diftrefs, when he cried to his Father in an agony, that if it were poffible the cup might pafs from him: For of that day, this fcripture is mainly to be understood, the day when he fell to the ground and prayed, "That if it were poffible the hour might pafs from him. And he faid, Abba, Father, all things are poffible unto thee, take away this cup from me," Mark xiv. 35, 36. He beheld his own dear Son fweltering under the heavieft preffure of his wrath, fweating great drops of blood, crying, "If it fible,

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let this hour, let this cup pass ;" and yet it could not be granted. O the feverity of God! he heard the cry of Ahab, and fpared him; he heard the Ninevites cry, and spared them; he heard the cries of Hagar and Ishmael, and fpared them; yea, he hears the young ravens when they cry, and feeds them; but, when his Son cried with the most vehement cry, that the cup might pass, he cannot be excufed, he must drink it up, even the very dregs of the cup of trembling, and that to the laft drop. O the juftice and feverity of God!

Fifthly, and lastly, Confider what the Father of mercies did instead of sparing the Son of his love, and the text will inform you, that "he delivered him up for us all." So it is noted in Acts ii. 23. "Him, being delivered by the deter"minate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and flain."

There was a conceffion or permiffion to those wicked inftruments that shed his blood, a loofing of the chain to those bandogs that compaffed him about; fuch a conceffion as never was given them before; for till then they were tied up from perpetrating their wickedness; but now the restraints of Providence are taken away, and he is delivered unto their will his own Father delivers him into the hands of cruelty. And thus you fee wherein the severity of divine justice to Chrift was manifeft.

In the laft place, let us fee the ground and reason of this rigour and severity to Chrift. Now, there are, among others, three fpecial reasons why Chrift could not be fpared.

The honour of divine justice required, that he should fuffer the utmost degree of punishment. It was meet that the rights. of heaven should be vindicated to the full, and that the juftice of God fhould have the laft mite it could demand for fatisfaction. And this was the special defign and aim of God in the fuffering of Chrift, as the apoftle speaks, Rom. iii. 25, 26. It was "to declare his righteoufnefs;" and left we fhould lofe the emphatical word, it is doubled and repeated, " to declare,

"I fay, at this time his righteoufnefs." And indeed herein God fully obtained his defign; for never was justice so honoured before, to have such a person as the Son of God ftand at its bar, and fuch a fum as his blood paid down at once for our difcharge: fo that juftice triumphs as well as mercy, and one attribute is not robbed to pay another.

As it was neceffary to God's fatisfaction, so it was necessary to ours alfo. If the Lord Jefus had not made full payment to the utmost mite, we could never have had full fatisfaction in our confciences, about that deep and dear concernment of our fouls, the remission of fin. Man is a guilty and a suspicious creature, and hard to be brought to an entire confidence in the pardoning mercy of God. Yea, it is impoffible to perfuade à convinced confcience, of the poffibility of remiffion, except you can also prove the fulness of divine fatisfaction; for confcience requires as much to fatisfy it, as God doth to fatisfy him. If God be fatisfied, then confcience can be fatisfied too, and fe curely reft upon that ground; but if there be any doubt of that, there is no appeafing of an anxious and jealous confcience: greatly therefore hath God confulted our peace in the severity of his juftice to Jefus Christ. "Now the God of peace; "who brought again from the dead our Lord Jefus, that great "Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting

covenant, "Heb. xiii. 20. Let the words be weighed; he is ftiled the God of peace, when he brought back Chrift from the dead; it was incenfed justice that put him to death, and appeafed juftice that brought him back from the dead; and that which pacified God, is the only thing in the world that is able to fatisfy the confcience of a finner.

3. Therefore did God proceed with fuch rigour and severity with Jefus Chrift, that thereby the demerit and evil of fin might be fully difcovered to the world, and an everlafting caution left upon all hearts to beware of contracting new guilt. If juftice had defcended in a visible form, and hanged up millions of finners in chains, it had not been fuch a warning as this against fin. Nay, let me fay, the grievous and eternal torment that the damned fuffer in hell, is not fuch a demonstration of the evil of fin as this is; for those torments are much unknown to men till they feel them; and when they begin to feel them, it is too late to be convinced or cautioned against fin then. But to fee fuch a perfon as Chrift exposed to the utmost severity of God's wrath for our fin, to see such things done in the green tree, may well make us cry out, "Lord, "what will be done to the dry tree ?" the infinite evil of

fin! O the inflexible severity of divine juftice! It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!

4. In a word; hereby Jefus Chrift is endeared the more to his people, by fuffering fuch great and hard things in their place and for their fakes. The extremity of his fufferings for us, commands the ftrength of his affection to us.

And thus you fee the reasons of all this severity to Jefus Chrift. God intended the fweeteft mercies for you, and therefore prepared the bittereft fufferings for Chrift: from his deep fufferings you may confidently conclude the best of mercies are defigned for you; as you will hear in the profecuting of the fecond doctrine, which, for dispatch, I purpose to handle as one ufe of this point now before me.

O the admirable and aftonishing love of God to us poor worms of the earth, to deliver up his own Son into the hands of his enemies, that thirfted for his blood! Long had they been reftrained from fatisfying their wickednefs, and executing their malice, till now; and this was the hour which he often spake of," My hour is not yet come." But, oh! what a dismal hour was it when it did come, when Providence let loose both devils and men upon Chrift, delivered him over to the will of his enemies! And this was not all; Chrift was not only deli*ered up into the hands of the worst of men, but, which was much more terrible, into the fevere hands of divine justice, to grapple with the pure, unmixed, and unallayed wrath of the great and terrible God.

Lastly, We will improve this point by a double use, by way of information, and exhortation.

Ufe 1. Of information.

First, The feverity of God's justice to Jefus Chrift informs us what a dreadful evil fin is, which fo incenfes the wrath of God even against his own Son, when he bare our fins, and ftood before the bar of God as our furety.

Come hither, hard hearts (hard indeed if this cannot break them ;) you complain, you cannot fee the evil of fin, fo as to be deeply humbled for it: fix your eyes a while here, and intently confider the point in hand: fuppofe you faw a tender and pitiful father come into open court with fury in his face, to charge his own, his only, and his moft beloved Son, and to profecute him to death, and nothing able to fatisfy him but his blood, and be well pleafed when he fees it fhed; would you not fay, Oh! what horrid evil hath he done! It must be some deep wrong, fome heinous crime that he is gulty of, elfe VOL: VIII

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could never be that his own father could forget his bowel of pity and mercy. Yet thus did the wrath of God break forth against his dear Son, when he stood before the bar, as our furety, charged with the guilt of our fins.

Secondly, Learn hence what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Well might Luther cry out, Nola Deum abfolutum, Let me have nothing to do with an abfolute God. Wo to them that ftand before God in their own perfons, without Chrift, how will justice handle them! "For "if these things were done in the green tree, what shall be done "in the dry tree?" Luke xxiii. 31. Did the Son of God fear, tremble, fweat clots of blood? Did he ftand amazed, and fall into fuch an agony of foul when he drank that cup, which he knew in a few hours he fhould drink up, and then never taste the bitterness of it more? How fad is their cafe that must drink of that cup for ever, a cup that hath eternity to the bottom!

Thirdly, How incomprehenfible and ravishing is the love of God to men, that would rather be so severe to Jefus Chrift, the darling of his foul, than make us the objects of wrath for ever? Which of you (though there be infinitely lefs tenderness in your hearts than God's) would lay your hands upon a child, the worst child you have, and put him to death for the fake of the best friend you have in the world? But God with his own hand delivered his Son, his only Son, that from everlafting was the delight of his foul, who never offended him, to death, the most curfed and cruel death, and all this for enemies how unfpeakable is this love, and paft finding out! Fourthly, Did not God spare his own Son? then let none of us fpare our own sins. Sin was that fword which pierced Chrift: O let forrow for fin pierce your hearts! if you spare fin, God will not fpare you, Deut. xxix. 20. We spare fin when we faintly oppofe it, when we excufe, cover and defend it, when we are impatient under just rebukes and reproofs for it; but all kindness to fin is cruelty to our own fouls.

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Fifthly, and laftly, If God did not spare Christ, certainly he intends to fpare believers for his fake.

The furety could not be fpared, that the principal might be fpared for ever. If God had fpared him, he could not have fpared us; if he afflicts his people, it is not for fatisfaction to himfelf, but profit to us, Heb. xii. 10. Should God fpare the rod of affliction, it would not be for our advangtage; fo many fanctified afflictions as are spared or abated, fo many mercies and fpiritual advantages are withheld from us. But as for thofe itrokes of juftice that are the effects of God's vindictive wrath,

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