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terrors upon you? Have you ever been driven out of all your carnal confidences, and particularly your own righteousness? Have you ever surrendered yourselves to the Conqueror? Has he overcome you by the sweet constraints of his love? And upon what terms did you surrender? Did you surrender as a rebel, lying at mercy? Did you submit to his terms without pretending to dictate any of your own? Did you submit voluntarily and cheerfully? Did you surrender yourselves universally, without any reserve? Do you since endeavour to behave as dutiful subjects? And do you find his service to be perfect freedom?
And now, in consequence of this trial, Who is upon the Lord's side? Who? What is your real character? Are you to be ranked among the subjects of Christ, or among the enemies of his crown and dignity?
Could I now collect the rebels together into one company, I would tell them some very alarming things from that God to whom they refuse to submit. Yes, sinner, as Ehud said to Eglon, king of Moab, I have a message from God unto thee. Judges iii. 20.
In his name, and as his ambassador, I warn you of the dreadful consequences of your unnatural rebellion against him. You cannot make good your cause against him. He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength; who hath hardened himself against him, and prospered? All nature is subject to him, and he can order the meanest part of it to be the executioner of his vengeance upon you. If you refuse to submit, you shall as surely perish as you have a being. Of this you have reason to be apprehensive at all times, but especially at this time, when your almighty enemy is attacking your country with the terrors of war, and your neighbourhood with an epidemical raging distemper. Sicknesses are his soldiers, and fight in his
cause against a rebellious world. He says to one, Go, and it goeth; and to another, Come, and it cometh. And are you not afraid some of these deadly shafts may strike you now, when they are flying so thick around you? God has for many a year used gentler weapons with you, but now he seems about to take the citadel by storm. Now, therefore, now without delay, lay down your arms and surrender yourselves to him.
I have also joyful news to communicate, even to you rebels, if you are disposed to hear it; and that is, that your injured Sovereign is willing to be reconciled to you after all your hostilities, if you will now submit to the terms of reconciliation.
Therefore, I pray you in Christ's stead be ye reconciled to God. Christ is not here in person; but lo! I am here to manage the treaty in his name, though I also am formed out of the clay.
THE DIVINE PERFECTIONS ILLUSTRATED IN THE METHOD OF SALVATION, THROUGH THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST.
A SACRAMENTAL DISCOURSE.
JOHN xii. 27, 28.-Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy
SHOULD a favourite child now come running to you, with all the marks of agony in his countenance, and with these words in his mouth, "I am troubled; my very soul is troubled, and I know not what to say;" it would raise all the tender sensations of fatherly compassion and anxiety in your breasts, and you would solicitously inquire, "What ails my dear child; what is the cause of your distress?" But here your ears are struck with a more strange and affecting sound; you hear the source of all consolation complaining of sorrow: "I am troubled; my very soul is troubled, and in a commotion like the stormy ocean." You see the wisdom of God, the guide of the blind, pausing-hesitating—at a stand—at a loss what to say. And will you not so far interest yourselves in his sorrows, as solicitously to inquire, "What ails my dear Lord? Judas has not yet betrayed him; the rabble have not yet apprehended him, and dragged him away, like a flagitious malefactor: as yet his face is not dishonoured with spitting
nor bruised with blows; as yet I see no crown of thorns upon his sacred head; no nails in his hands and feet; no spear in his side; no streams of blood and water running down his body. He is at liberty, and surrounded with his usual friends: nay, at this time even the despised Jesus begins to grow popular; the humble Jesus, the man of sorrows, has just now entered Jerusalem in triumph, like a conqueror, surrounded with the applauses and hosannas of the multitude. Now also the first fruits of the Gentiles are brought to him; a number of Greek proselytes beg an interview with him, and desire his instructions; a thing so agreeable to him, that as soon as he hears of it, he cries out, The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified, John xii. 23. And why does my Lord alter his voice so soon? Why, my blessed Jesus, why this sudden fall from joy to trouble, from triumph to sorrow and perplexity? The reason was, that though his sufferings were not now upon him, yet he saw them approaching: he saw the fatal hour just at hand; and this immediate prospect raises all the passions of his human nature, and throws him into a sea of troubles. He did not fall into his sufferings through inadvertency, or the want of foresight; and his fortitude and resolution were not owing to any hopes of escape, or an expectation of better usage. But we are expressly told, that Jesus knew all things that should come upon him, John xviii. 4. He saw the rugged road before him, all the way from his cradle to his cross. He rushed into dangers with his eyes open, and went on courageously to encounter the last enemy, death, fully expecting to meet him in all his terrors.
Now the foresight of sufferings is a peculiar aggravation; it brings them upon the anxious expectant by anticipation they are reflected back upon him, before they are actually inflicted; and thus the pain of a few moments
may be diffused through a length of years. times the expectation of an evil is more tormenting than the evil itself. Our happiness is in a great measure owing to our being happily blind to the future, and ignorant of the calamities. But Jesus had not this mitigation of his sufferings: the cross, the scourge, the nails, the crown of thorns, were ever before his mind: so that he could say with yet greater reason than his servant Paul, I die daily, I am in deaths oft. By this painful foresight, the crown of thorns was always upon his head; the nails were all his days fastened in his hands and feet; and his whole life was, as it were, one continued crucifixion. How peculiarly aggravated, how long continued, how uninterrupted do the severities of his sufferings appear, when viewed in this light! and how does this display his fortitude and the strength of his love! though he had this tragical prospect before him, yet he did not draw back or give up the arduous undertaking; but he resolutely held on his way; he was irresistibly carried to meet all these terrors, by his ardent zeal for his Father's glory, and his unconquerable love to the guilty creatures whose salvation he had undertaken. Sometimes, indeed, he shows he was a man; that he was capable of all the tender and painful sensations of human nature: and if he had not been such, his sufferings would have been no sufferings. At such times his innocent humanity seems struck aghast, pauses and hesitates, and would fain shrink away from the burden, would fain put by the bitter cup. But immediately the stronger principles of zeal for the divine glory, and love to man, gain the ascendant, calm all these tumults of feeble nature, and irresistibly impel him on to the dreadful encounter in its most shocking appearances. Oh! the generous bravery
* 66 Morsque minus poenæ quam mora mortis habet."-OVID.
"Oh blindness to the future! kindly given."-POPE.