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vesture dipt in blood; and, once more, the man of sorrows, who was wounded with the palm, scourged with the lash, nailed to a tree, and crucified under the title King of the Jews, sits on the right hand of power, and, claiming the title King of kings and Lord of lords, smites the earth with the rod of his mouth, slays the wicked with the breath of his lips, and wounds the head over many countries.
4thly, The various representations which have been made of the person, sufferings, and glory of Christ, are suitable means of working in believers a lively frame of heart for shewing his death at his table. Faith and love, and hope, and joy, together with the deepest sorrow, humility, and reverence, are required in this holy action, which is a special and distinguishing part of our new obe. dience; and the several truths concerning him which have been represented and addressed to the understanding, tend to strengthen these and all other gracious qualities, and to kindle in our souls that fervent gratitude which should flame out in remembering his sufferings, death, and love. After exhibiting such captivating views of his humiliation and glory, every believer ought to come to his table under the deepest and most lively impressions, not only of the greatness and transcendency of his love, but of the evil and malignity of sin, and of the justice and holiness of God, in condemning and punishing it in the sufferings and death of his beloved and only begotten Son.
At the same time you should observe, that neither these, nor any other means, will produce such effects in your hearts, without the working of the Holy Spirit. Lift up thy prayer, O believer! for the working of his glorious power. By his power working mightily in thine inner man with the word, thy graces will revive, and thy soul, like a green olive, will bud and flourish in the house, and at the table of the Lord. Scripture furnishes examples of sup plicating the throne for the shedding forth of the Holy Ghost, and dictates words fit to be used on such solemn occasions. "O send out thy light and thy truth; let them "lead me, let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy "tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, "unto God my exceeding joy. Yea, upon the harp will I "praise thee, O God, my God. Why art thou cast down, "O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? hope "thou in God, for I shall yet praise him who is the health "of my countenance, and my God."
Lastly, The various representations exhibited of the person, sufferings, and glory, of our lord Jesus Christ, 'lead to the satisfactory answer of a question of the highest importance to the unbelieving, the ungodly, and the unholy. "What must we do to be saved?" Are ye serious when this question is brought upon the field? It supposes you to be in the state of perishing creatures, and that something must be done for your salvation. Do you deny yourselves to be in the perishing state? Were you not made sinners by the disobedience of one man,→ and by his offence, came not judgment upon you unto condemnation? Have not you yourselves sinned against the Lord continually, exceedingly, presumptuously-and doth not every sin that you have committed deserve his wrath and curse, both in this life and the life to come? Undoubtedly you are in the perishing state. May the Holy Spirit reprove and convince every unbelieving, ungodly, unholy creature in this assembly, of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement; and, by the revelation and operation of the law in his conscience, compel him to acknowledge and profess himself guilty and polluted in the sight of the Lord!
To deliver and save you from perishing, something must be done; but where shall the doer be found? Canst thou, O guilty and polluted creature, do for thyself? Vanity and error will put various expedients into thine head, and flatter thee that thou art able to do a part, if not the whole business. The book, however, that lies before thee, with every proof of its being given by inspiration of God, says, "Thou art without strengh," "dead in trespasses and "sins," and, through the ignorance and blindness of thine heart, "alienated from the life of God." Confess inability, O foolish and unwise, to do for yourselves! In truth, it is a palpable fact, and felt by every one who is not past feeling. Besides, salvation is not a business that may be done by some weak essays, or a few well meant endeavours, or general overtures of accommodation, or composition with the law of works. The righteousness which this law requires must be fulfilled, without offending in one point; and the vengeance which it denounces upon transgressors must be suffered, to the satisfaction and glory of the Lawgiver.
Behold, O perishing and helpless creatures! behold the Doer and the Sufferer! Look to Bethlehem, where the virgin brought him forth in the beauty of holiness, wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger! Follow him through the cities and villages of Israel, and observe him fulfilling the righteousness of the law in every point! Turn into Gethsemane and Gabbatha, the common-hall and the place of skulls, and behold him suffering the vengeance which the law denounces, to the satisfaction and glory of the Lawgiver! Whosoever hath an ear to hear, let him hear from the cross, "Finished!" which anticipation illustrated in these triumphant and comprehensive words: "I have glorified thee on earth, I have finished "the work which thou gavest me to do."
To the Doer and Sufferer thou must be united, betrothed, and joined, and married. The book before you saith so. His doings and sufferings, his obedience and blood, imputed and placed to account, apprehended and received, shield from the vengeance of the curse, make righteous before God, and entitle to life, and glory, and heaven. The Lord Jesus, in the midst of us, is mighty to save, ready to forgive, resting in his love, able to apprehend; and, by the voice of his word, in the ministry of reconciliation, calls to the froward, the disobedient, the stiff-necked, the stout-hearted, and the rebellious, to come forward, and, with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, submit themselves to his righteousness. Obey his voice, and receive his grace-believe in his name, and rejoice in his salvation. "God so loved the world, that he gave his only be"gotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not "perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his "Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the "world through him might be saved. He that believeth "on him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is "condemned already, because he hath not believed on the "name of the only begotten Son of God.”
THE SON OF GOD NAILED TO THE CROSS.
MARK XV. 25.
And they crucified him.
SIMPLICITY is the beauty of the writings which set forth to the world, the birth, and life, and death, and resurrection, of the Son of God. Avoiding the pomp of words, and suppressing the reflections and feelings of men, the writers, whom the Holy Ghost inspired and employed, relate facts, and without colouring or ornament, leave these to the Inspirer, who could persuade and enable the world to believe them whenever he pleased. Works surpassing human power, and exemplifying boundless goodness, are recorded without admiration; and indignities, unparalleled in the history of misery, are described without expressions either of indignation at the wickedness of the actors, or of astonishment at the patience and love of the Sufferer.
With monuments of power, and wisdom, and goodness, before him, a writer in the Psalms, by two dashes of his pen, describes the whole glory of creation, and leaves every reader at a loss which to admire, the elevation of thought, or the simplicity of expression: "He spake, and it was done." In simplicity of expression and elevation of conception equally dignified, the crucifixion of the Sou of God, a deed without example in the administration of Heaven, is completed, by another holy writer, in a single word, "And they crucified him." Astonishing! Was this man ignorant of the wickedness of the actors, the dignity of the Sufferer, and the momentous importance of the Cross? No: By the revelation of the same spirit who inspired the prophet Isaiah, and taught the apostle Paul, he knew these; and yet he hath not an epithet to bestow!
Upon the crucifixion of a good man, Xenophon or Livy would have lavished all the stores of descriptive language, loaded the memory of the murderers with every indignant epithet, and honored the virtue and heroism of the sufferer with the highest applause. Mark dispatches his history of the crucifixion of the Son of God in one word, saying, with apparent coolness and bold simplicity, “And they crucified him." Taught to record the deed, and suppress the reflection, he hath, however, given the world all that faith desires for a foundation, a fact under the hand and seal of the Spirit of truth.
The crucifixion of the Son of God never was intended to be concealed. So far from intending a concealment, the night before it was perpetrated, he instituted and commanded a commemoration of it in the face of the world. This commemoration is the object of our assembling ourselves together. He whom they crucified is alive again; he whom they crucified is sitting on the right hand of power; he whom they crucified is under promise to be with his followers, alway even unto the end of the world. Hoping that it will be according to this word, we will introduce the commemoration with speeches, First, Concerning the crucifiers; Secondly, Concerning the man whom they crucified; Thirdly, Concerning the crucifixion; Fourthly, Concerning the wonders in his crucifixion, and our interest in its Effects and Issues.
Concerning the crucifiers we speak, in the FIRST PLACE. This, though seemingly a poor and dry part of our theme, is not useless and uninteresting. No useless nor superfluous particulars stand in the testimony which the Holy Ghost bears to the Cross. In the Acts of the Apostles a concise account is inserted of the actors who crucified the Lord of glory. After Peter and John had reported to their own company the hard words which the priests and elders said to them, they lifted up their voice with one accord, saying, "Lord, thou art God, who hast made hea"ven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is; who "by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did "the heathen rage; and the people imagine vain things? "The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were "gathered together against the Lord, and against his "Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom