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faints, after the refurrection, shall with these corporeal eyes, fee their Redeemer, according to Job xix. 26, 27.
The fight of Chrift by faith (which is all the fight of him that any man now hath, or can have in this world) as it is much more excellent than the firft; for blessed are they that have not feen, and "yet believe," John xx. 29. fo it is much inferior to the laft; I Cor. xiii. 12. "For now we fee darkly through a glafs, but then "face to face." But though it be an inferior vision in respect 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 steady fixed eye of faith, cannot but admire, and be deeply affected with fuch a fight of him. The views of Chrift by faith, are ravishing and tranfporting views, 1 Pet. 1. 8. "Whom having not feen, ye love; in whom, though now ye fee him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy "unfpeakable, 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 at the command of faith for let us but confider what ravishing excellencies are in Chrift, for the eye of the believer to behold and admire.
Firft, God is in Chrift, 2 Cor. v. 19. He is God manifefted in the fefb, 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 fhall "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 wifdom of God is in Chrift; yea, in him are hid all the treafures of wisdom and knowledge, Col. ii. 3. Never did the divine wifdom difplay 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 wifdom, in fuiting the finners 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 fathion as a man; that faved him.
O profound wisdom! which from the lofs and ruin of our primitive glory (which was the undoing of us, foul and body) takes the
occafion of raising us to a far better state, and fettles us in it with a much better fecurity than the former.
Who but Jefus Chrift, the wisdom of God, as he is called, 1 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 most punctual obfervation of its commands, or by the most rigorous execution of its penalties? O the aft onifhing depth of wisdom!
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 desperate; therein was love indeed! All the love that breaks out in the variety of providences for us in this world, in our healths 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, through 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 through Jefus Chrift. Behold the Lamb of God! a Lamb prepared by the aftonishing mercy of God, a facrifice for us, when no facrifice was laid out for fallen angels. Mercy alone hath made this difference: mercy opened its tender eye, and looked through Christ upon us, in the depth of our mifery: in Chrift it is that the milder attribute of mercy is exercised upon us, whilft fevere juftice 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 stayed, 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 i. 12. Neither is there any other name given under heaven by which we muft be faved." 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-posts of the Ifraelites, was that which preserved them from the deftroying angel; fo the blood of Chrift, the Lamb of God, typified by that blood, faves believers from the wrath
But who can open the unfearchable riches, or recount the ravishing excellencies found in Chrift? Angels, and the fpirits of juft men made perfect, behold, and admire for evermore, the incomparable excellencies of Chrift! 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 endea vouring farther to unfold it: for new wonders will appear in Christ, if we behold him to eternity.
Ufe. And all the improvement I shall make of it, fhall be in one ufe of exhortation; befeeching every one of you, whatever your prefent condition and estate may 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 fenfible of a flony 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 Chrift. 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! Be hold the invaluable blood of this facrifice, fhed for thee! Bring thy thoughts close to this fubject; think who it is that was made a Lamb for facrifice; for whom he endured all his unfpeakable fufferings; how meekly and willingly he endured all the wrath of God and men, ftanding in his perfect innocency, to be flain for thee. Behold! he was made fin for thee, who had no fin; that thou, who hadft no righteoufnefs, mightest be made the righteoutnefs 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 bofom, or thy friend, that is as thy own foul, be content to feel that for thee, (though but one hour) which Christ felt, when his fweat was as it had been great drops of blood falling down to the ground? Nay, thou wouldeft never tafte fuch a cup for the faving of thine own child, as Chrift drank off, when he cried, My God! my God! why haft thou forfaken me?' Behold how he loved thee!
Surely, if the rocks rent afunder at his paffion, thy heart is harder than a rock, if it thaw not at fuch a fight as this. Fix thine eyes a while here, and thine eye will affect thine heart.
Secondly, Is there any among us that make too light of fin, and are eafily overcome by every temptation to tle commiffion of it? O 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 bolom of the Father, to be our ranfomer, and that at the price of his own life? Did the hand of fevere juftice shed 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 Philistines, 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 coft an equal quantity of their blood, yet it had been but a low argument to diffuade him from drinking it, to this conderation that now lies before thee. Thy fin actually cost 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 canft never have flight thoughts of it any more.
Thirdly, Is there any among you that droop, and are difcouraged in their fpirits, because of their manifold aggravated iniquities; who being overweighed with the burthenfome fenfe 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 away the fin of the world!'
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 vii. 27. Him hath God the Father sealed;' 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 greatest content and pleasure, even as a fweet-fmelling favour,' Eph. v. 2. As publicly juftified and difcharged 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 fenfe of their fin.
He that reprefents 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,
Firft, 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 wounded for our tranfgreffions,' Ifa. liii. 5. It was for that hard, proud, vain, dead heart, that thou complainest of. Or,
Thirdly, The end and defign of thofe wounds; which was to repair the honour of God, and the violated law: the language of that blood (which is faid to speak better things than the blood of Abel, Heb. xii. 24.) is this:
Father, have thefe 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 unable to bear and endure any thing for his fake? To fuch I would fay in the words of this text, Behold the Lamb of God! Did Chrift fuffer fuch grievous things for you! and cannot you fuffer fmall matters for him? Alas! what is the wrath of man to the wrath of the great and terrible God? Befides, he was an innocent Lamb, and deserved not to fuffer the leaft degree of penal evil upon his own account; but thou haft deferved hell, and yet shrinkest under the fufferings of a moment. Did he fuffer fo much for you; and can you fuffer nothing for him? Surely he, in fuffering for you, hath left you an example, that you fhould follow his fteps,' Pet. ii. 21. What is our blood compared in dignity to the blood of Chrift? What! are our sufferings compared in kind, or degree, to the fufferings of Chrift! Nothing is found to fortify a man's fpirit for fufferings, as the mediation of 'Chrift's fufferings for us doth.
Fifthly, Is there any among you that are impatient under your own 'perfonal trials and troubles, apt to howl under common afflictions from the hand of God, or fwell with revenge under injuries from the hands of men! To fuch I would fay, Behold the Lamb of God! Was 'Chrift a Lamb for meekness, and art thou a lion for fiercenefs? Was he filent, not once opening his mouth, when he fuffered moft vile things from the hands of finners, and can you bear nothing? He fuffered patiently, and deferved it not; you fuffer impatiently, and have 'deferved infinitely more.
O that your would learn to be more Christ-like in all your trials and afflictions! let it not be faid, that Chrift carried it as a Lamb when