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ferings, you would account all your days but lost wherein yon have not known him; and in all times your hearts would find no refreshment like to the remembrance of his love.
Having somewhat considered these sufferings, as the apostle's argument for his present purpose, we come now,
2dly, To take a nearer view of the particulars, by which he illustrates them, as the main point of our faith and comfort: of them here are two things, their cause and their kind.
1. Their cause; both their meriting cause and their final cause. What in us procured these sufferings unto Christ; and what those his sufferings procured unto us. Our guiltiness brought suffering upon him; and his suffering brings us unto God.
1st, For the meritorious cause, our guilt brought sufferings on Christ. The evil of sin hath the evil of punishment inseparably connected with it: We have a natural obligation of obedience unto God, and he justly urges it; so that where the command of his law is broke, the curse of it presently followeth. And though it was simply in the power of the Supreme Lawgiver to have dispensed with the infliction, yet having, in his wisdom, purposed to be known a just God in that way, following forth the tenor of his law, of necessity there must be a suffering for sin.
Thus, the angels that kept not their station, falling from it, fell into a dungeon, where they are, under chains of darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day *; and man fell under the sentence of death. But in this is the difference betwixt man and them; they were not of one, as parent or common root of the rest, but each one fell or stood for himself alone, so a part of them only perished; but man fell altogether; so that not one of all the race could escape condemnation, unless some other way of satisfaction be found out. And here it is, Christ suffered for sins, the just for the unjust : Father, says he, I have glorified thee on earth". In this a Jude 6.
John xyii. 3.
plot, indeed, do all the divine attributes shine in their full lustre; infinite mercy, and immense justice, and power, and wisdom. Looking on Christ as ordained for that purpose, I have found a ransom, says the Father'; one fit to redeem man, a kinsman, one of that very same stock, the Son of man; one able to redeem man by satisfying me, and fulfilling all I lay upon him; my Son, my only begotten Son, in whom my soul delights: And he is willing, undertakes all
, says, Lo I come", &c. We are agreed upon the way of this redemption; yea, upon the persons to be redeemed; it is not a roving blind bargain, a price paid for we know not whom. Hear his own words: Thou hast given the Son (says the Son to the Father) power over all flesh; that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given himo; and afterwards, all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them'.
For the sins of those he suffered, standing in their room; and what he did and suffered, according to the law of that covenant, was done and suffered by them. All the sins of all the elect were made up into an huge bundle, and bound upon his shoulders. So the Prophet speaks in their name; Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; and the Lord laid (or made to meet] on him the iniquity of us all, where he had spoken of many ways of sin, and said, we have turned every one to his own way; he binds up all in the word of iniquity as all one sin, as if it were that one transgression of the first Adam that brought on the curse of his seed, borne by the second Adam, to take it away from all . that are his seed, that are in him as their root.
He is the great High Priest appearing before God with the names of the elect upon his shoulders; and in his heart bearing them and all their burdens, and offering for them, not any other sacrifice but himself; charging all their sin on himself, as the priest did the sins of the people on the head of the sacrifice. He, Job xxxiii. 24. d Psal. xl. 7. e John xvii. 2. [Verse 10.
& Isa, liii. 5.
by the Eternal Spirit, says the Apostle, offered up himself without spot unto God, spotless and sinless b; and so he only is fit to take away our sin, being a satisfactory oblation for it. He suffered; in him was our ransom, and thus it was paid. In the man Christ was the Deity, and so his blood was, as the Apostle calls it, the blood of God'; and, being pierced, it came forth, and was told down, as the rich price of our redemption; not silver nor gold, nor corruptible things, as our Apostle hath it before, but the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemishk.
Obs. 1. Shall any man offer to bear the name of a Christian, that pleases himself in the way of sin ? that can delight and sport himself with it, when he considers this, that Christ suffered for sin ? Do not think it, you that still account sin sweet, which he found so bitter, and light, which was so heavy to him, and made his soul heavy to the death. You are yet far off from him; if you were in him, and one with him, there would be some harmony of your hearts with his, and some sympathy with these sufferings, as endured by your Lord, your head, and for you. They that, with a right view, 'see him as pierced by their sins, that sight pierces them, and makes them mourn; brings forth tears, beholding the gushing forth of his blood. This makes the real Christian an avowed enemy to sin: shall I ever be friends with that, says he, which killed my Lord? No, but I will ever kill it, and do it by applying his death. The true penitent is sworn to be the death of sin: He may be surprised by it, but there is no possibility of reconcilement betwixt them.
Thou that livest kindly and familiarly with sin, and either openly declarest thyself for it, or hast a secret love for it, where canst thou reap any comfort ? None can flow from these sufferings to thee continuing in that posture. : It is all one, as if Christ had not suffered for sins; yea, it is worse than if no such thing had been, that there is salvah Heb, ix. 14.
1 Pet. i. 17. Vol. II.
i Acts xx. 28."
tion, and terms of mercy, unto thee, aud yet thou perishest: That there is balm in Gilead', and yet thou art not healed. And if thou hast not comfort from Jesus crucified, I know not whence thou canst have any that will hold out. Look about thee, tell me what thou seest, either in thy possession, or in thy hopes, that thou esteemest most, and layest thy confidence on; or, to deal more liberally with thee, see what estate thou wouldst choose, hadst thou thy wish. Stretch thy fancy to devise an earthly happiness. These times are full of unquietness; but give thee a time of the calmest peace, not an air of trouble stirring; put thee where thou wilt, far off from fear of sword and pestilence, and encom, pass thee with children, friends, and possessions, and honours, and comfort, and health to enjoy all theşe; yet one thing thou must admit in the midst of them all, within a while thou must die; and, having no real portion in Christ, but a deluding dream of it, thou sinkest through that death inte another death far more terrible. Of all thou ens joyest, nothing goes along with thee but uppardoned sin, and that delivers thee up to endless sorrow. Oh! that you were wise and would consider your latter end". Do not still gaze about you upon trifles, but yet be entreated to take notice of your Saviour, and receive him, that he may be yours. Fasten your belief and your love on him ; give all your heart to him, who stuck not to give himself an offering for your sins",
2. To you that have fled in to him for refuge, if sensible of the Church's distress, be upheld with this thought, that he that suffered for it will not suffer it to be undone. All the rage of enemies, yeay the gates of hell, shall not prevail against ito; he may, for a time, suffer the Church to be brought low for the sins of his people, and other wise reasons, but he will not utterly forsake it. Though there is much chaff, yet he hath a precious number in thase Jer. iii. 18. m Deut. xxxii. 29. a Eph. V. 2.
• Matt. xvi. 18.
kingdoms, that he shed his blood for. Many God hath called, and yet is to call : He will not lose any of his flock that he bought so dear?; and for their sake he will, at one time or another, repair our breaches, and establish his throne in these kingdoms. And for yourselves, what can affright you while this is in your eye? Let others tremble at the apprehension of sword or pestilence; but sure you have for them, and all other hazards, a most satisfying answer in this?, “My Christ hath sufferred for sin; I am not to fear that; and that set aside, I know the worst is but death. But I am wrong; truly death, that is the best, to be dissolved; and to be with Christ is [rodrý požiarov xpstooor] much more better!"
This were a happy estate indeed; but what shall they think that have no assurance? Those that doubt that Christ is theirs, and that he suffered for their sins: I know no way but to believe on him, and then you shall know that he is yours: From this is the grand mistake of many; they would first know that Christ is theirs, and they would believe, which cannot be, before he comes theirs by believing. It is that which gives title and propriety to him; he is set before sinners as a Saviour that hath suffered for sin, that they may look to him and be saved; that they may lay over their souls on him, and then they may be assured he suffered for them.
Say then, what is it that scares thee from Christ ? this thou seest is a poor groundless exception, for he is set before thee as a Saviour to believe on, that so he may be thy Saviour. Why wilt thou not come unto him ? why refusest thou to believe? Art thou a sinner? art thou unjust? Then he is fit for thy case: He suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust. Oh! but so many and so great sins! yea, Is that it? It is true indeed, and good reason thou think
But, Ist, Consider if they be excepted in the proclamation of Christ, the pardon that comes in his name: If not, if he make no exception, why 4 Rom. v. 1, 2, 3.
r Phil.i. 23.
P Acts xx. 23.