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tion of the cross of Christ, on which his sufferings were completed. Nay, of fo much moment was this, that it seems to have made the sum of the gospel, as preached by the apostles; 1 Cor. ii. 2. “ For I determined not to “ know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him 16 crucified.”
The sufferings of Christ, then, ought to be ever present to the mind of the believer. The neceflity and importance of this is plain from both the feals of the covenant of grace. The water in baptism represents the blood of Christ; and we are told, Rom. vi. 3. “Know ye not, " that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Chrift,
were baptized into his death.” The inftitution of the Lord's fupper also had the remembrance of Christ's sufferings, as its dire& and immediate intention; I Cor. xi. 24, 25, 26. “And when he had given thanks, he brake " it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is bro. “ken for you : this do in remembrance of me. After the " same manner also he took the cup, when he had fupped,
saying, This cup is the new teltament in my blood : " this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. “For as ofien as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup,
ye do fhew the Lord's death till he come.” Remember, then, Christians, how he left the throne of his glory, and took upon him the form of a servant. Remember him despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. His life, indeed, was one continued scene of forrow, from the cradle to the grave,
I hope the particulars of his sufferings are not strangers to your meditations : may the Lord enable you to contemplate them with faith and love. Remember his agony in the garden, when he suffered from his Father's hand : For “ it pleased the Lord to bruise him, and to put him to “ grief." Think, O Christian, what it was to redeem a lost world, when you hear him saying, as in John xii. 27. “ Now is my soul troubled ; and what shall I say? Fa. " ther, save me from this hour; but for this cause came “I unto this hour.” Remember him seized by the treach
of one of his own disciples; accused and arraigned as a felon; dragged to the tribunal of an unrighteous judge ;
clothed with a purple robe, and crowned with thorns in derision of his kingly office; feverely scourged; blind. folded, buffeted, and spit upon; and the whole, indeed, so conducted by the righteous permission and unfeen direction of divine Providence, that hardly any expression, either of cruelty or contumely, was omitted. Cease to wonder, my dear friends, that profane wretches deride the figus of his sufferings, when you remeniber that the blinded rabble attending the important trial were permitted to insult him, saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, who s is he that smote thee."
Remember him going forth without the camp, bearing his reproach. Remember that spotless victim, the Lamb of God, stretched upon a cross, and nailed to the accursed tree, while he fuffered all that the extremity of bodily pain, and the most unutterable anguish of spirit, could possibly inflict upon an innocent creature. No wonder that the earth did shake, that the rocks were rent, and the natural fun refused to give his light, when the Sun of Righteoufness was under so great an eclipse. Did the Saviour then willingly submit to all this pain and ignominy for our fakes? Was not this the most expensive love; and can we refuse to say with the multitude of the heavenly host, Rev. v. 12.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to re“ceive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and " honor, and glory, and blessing ?"
6. The love of Christ was the most generous and disinterested love. The supposition or suspicion of any interested views in what one person does for another, nay, even the possibility of his serving any purpose of his own at the same time, greatly abates the value of any favor, and leffens the sense of obligation. But nothing of this kind can be so much as imagined here. It was giving to those from whom he could receive nothing, and emptying himself of that glory to which the whole creation could not make any addition. The truth is, we ought to consider in the fame light every other mercy of God, as well as the love of Christ his Son, which was the source of them all; Job xxii. 2, 3, 4. “ Can a man be profitable unto God, as he " that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous ? or is “ it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect? “ Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with “ thee into judgment?” And to the fame purpose, Job xxxv. 5, 6, 7, 8. “ Look unto the heavens, and fee, and “ behold the clouds, which are higher than thou. If thou “ finnest, what dost thou against him? or if thy transgref“ fions be multiplied, what doft thou unto him? If thou “ be righteous, what givest thou him ? or what receiveth " he of thine hand ? Thy wickedness may hurt a man as " thou art, and thy righteousness may profit the son of “ man.” The essential glory anıl happiness of the Deity, and consequently of the Eternal Word, can receive no addition, nor suffer the smallest diminution, from the state of any, or of all his creatures. He was infinitely happy in himself from all eternity, before there was man or angel to serve him, and would have continued so though they had never been. How infinitely then are we indebted to this generous Saviour ! with what gratitude ought we to cele. brate his pure and disinterested love, who graciously interposed in our behalf, and delivered us from the wrath of God, by bearing it in our room!
7. In the last place, the love of Christ was a most fruitful, active, and beneficent love. The effects of it are unIpeakably great; the blessings which we reap from it are not only infinite in number, but inestimable in value. They are indeed almost as valuable as their price was costly. It was not to be supposed that so great a person would be employed upon a trivial work, or an infinite price paid for an inconsiderable purchase. But how, my brethren, shall we form any adequate conception of the benefits that flow from our Redeemer's death? All that is necessary for us, all that is desirable to us, all that is truly precious in itself, is effectually made ours : Rom. viii. 32. “ He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him * up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give “ us all things?" 1 Cor. i. 30. “ But of him are ye in “ Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and * righteousness, and fanctification, and redemption."
(1.) We are through Christ delivered from condemnation : Rom. viii. 1. “There is therefore now no con" demnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walks « not alter the Aeth, but after the Spirit.” Do you know any thing of a senle of guilt ? Does your Creator's power and greatness ever inake you afraid ? Have you treinbled at the approach of the king of terrors? Or of that day of righteous judgment, when God shall render to every man according to his works ? Christ our Saviour hath delivered us " from the wrath to come.” This is the first ground of the apostle's afcription in the text: Unio him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in bis own blood. Hear also the apostle's triumphant assurance, Rom. viii. 33, 34. " Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's " elect? It is God that justifieth : who is he that con“ dernneth ? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen
again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also “ maketh intercellion for us."
(2.) Through Christ the believer is assured, that he shall receive every thing that is necessary for him in his passage through the world. The Spirit is purchased and bestowed to lead him into all truth, and to fanctify him wholly. Christ did not satisfy himself with cancelling our guilt, but made effectual provision for the renovation of our nature. The Spirit is also given as a spirit of confolation. He is styled the Comforter, who shall abide with us forever. Without enlarging at this time on the com. forts of the gospel, they are sufficiently commended in the following words of the apostle, Phil. iv. 7. “ And the "peace of God which pafleth all understanding, shall keep
your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” To thele add a fanctified providence. As many as are reconciled to God through Christ, may rest satisfied that all things Thall work together for their good. The most opposite events, prosperity and adversity, health and sickness, ho. nor and reproach, nay, every thing without exception, shall be fubfervient to their interest : 1 Cor. iii. 21, 22, 23. “ For all things are yours; whether Paul or Apollos, or “ Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things pre
“ fent, or things to come, all are yours; and ye are “ Christ's; and Chrill is God's."
(3.) Through Christ the believer is entitled to everlast. ing glory and happiness, in the enjoyment of God to all eternity. This was among the lalt things he told his dil. ciples before he left the world : John xiv. 2, 3. “In my “ Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I “ would have told you: i go to prepare a place for you. “ And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will coine
again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, " there ye may be also.” You are this day to comme. morate your Redeemer, who died once upon a cross, but who has now been many ages upon a throne: Rev. i. 18. “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I ain “ alive for ever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell " and death." He is able to make his faithful disciples more than conqueror's over all their spiritual enemies; or, as it is expressed in the passage where the text lies, he will make thein kings and priests to God and his Father. . In the passage immediately preceding the text, he is called the first begotten from the dead ; and elsewhere we are told, that the order of the resurrection is, “ Christ the first “ fruits, and afterwards they that are Christ's at bis co. “ Diing.” It shall both finish and illustrate his love when he fhall raise them that fleep in the dust; when he “ shall “ change their vile bodies, that they may be fathioned like
unto his own glorious body, according to the working " whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himselt." At present, how imperfect are our discoveries? how weak and feeble our conceptions ? how cold and languid our affections ! Now we “ fee through a glass darkly, but " then face to face.” Ohow joyful to every believer the deliverance from a state of suffering, temptation and fin, and the possession of perfect holiness and unchangeable happiness! And O how great the opposition of the future to the prelent state! No more struggling with the evils of life : No more perplexity or anxious care for food and raiment; no more diftres from fickness or pain; no prifons nor oppreflors there; no liars nor flanderers there ; no.complaints of an evil heart there, but the molt perfect