(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us) Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Looking unto Jesus, as carrying on the great work of man's salvation, or A view of the everlasting Gospel"

Looking Unto Jesus 

2^==? CD 


~~ =co 




t = ___^c^ 

i^ r=cO 






Sequeet of 


1Re\>- lb, <L Scabbing, ©♦©, 

to tbe library 
of tbe 

Tttntveretts of Toronto 




TORONTO, 1801. 












Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the world." Isaiah xlv. 22. 


REV. ROBERT COX, A. M. , - -j oj 









T. Ankersley, Fnmer, 0r»aftr* 


A religious Public has long admired the spirituality 
of Ambrose's " Looking unto Jesus,' and at the same^ 
time complained of its tediousness. Under these circum- 
stances it is hoped, that the present edition will meet 
with a favour able reception. The Editor has lopped off 
various redundances, and has also omitted several essays, 
which, though useful in themselves, are evidently foreign 
to the professed object of the Author, 

The Editor takes this opportunity of stating that 
he does not wish to be considered as necessarily objecting 
to the sentIxME^ts contained in those parts of Ambrose, 
which he has deemed it desirable to omit. 




The Division and Opening of t)ie Words.— The Duty of Looking off ail 
other Things.— Directions how to Look off all other Things. 


X HE* most excellent subject to discourse or write of, 
is Jesus Christ. Augustin, after having commended 
Cicero's works for their eloquence, passed this sentence 
upon them, " They are not sweet, because the name of 
Jesus is not in them.'* And St. Paul determined not to 
know any thing save Jesus Christ and him crucified. 
This he made the breadth, and length, and depth and 
height of his knowledge: "yea doubtless (saith he) and 
I count all things but loss for the excellency of the 
knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord." 

In the knowledge of Christ, there is an excellency- 
above all other knowledge. There is nothing so pleasing 
and comfortable, so animating and enlivening ! Christ is 
the sum and centre of all revealed truths : we can preach 
nothing as the object of our faith, which doth not some 
way or other, either meet in Christ, or refer to him. 
Christ is the whole of man's happiness :— the sun to en- 



lighten him, the physician to heal him, the wall of fire 
to defend him, the friend to comfort him, the pearl to 
enrich him, the ark to shelter him, and the rock to 
sustain him under the heaviest pressures. He is the 
ladder between earth and heaven, the mediator between 
God and man, a mystery which the angels desire to 
look into. 

As Christ is more excellent than all the world, so this 
sight transcends all other sights. Looking unto Jesus 
is the epitome of a Christian's happiness, the quintes- 
sence of evangelical duties. The expression in the original 
is very emphatical. It signifies a withdrawing the eye 
from every other object to fix it upon one alone, even on 
Jesus, — a name that denotes his mercy, as that of Christ 
denotes his office. Various indeed are the impressive 
names which are given to him in the Scriptures. He is 
called Christ, as he is the anointed of God ; Lord, as 
he hath dominion over all the world ; Mediator, as he is 
the reconciler of God and man ; the Son of God, as he 
was eternally begotten before all worlds ; Immanuel, as 
he was incarnate, and so God with us ; and Jesus, which 
signifies Saviour, because he saves his people from their 

My design is to look at Jesus more especially, as 
carrying on the great work of our salvation from first to 



The Apostle (Heb. xii. 1 .) tells us of " a cloud of 
witnesses," which no doubt in their season we are to look 
unto. But when this second object comes in sight, he 
willeth us to turn our eyes from them, and to fix them 
upon Jesus Christ. So also there is a time when James 
may say, " Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have 
spoken in the name of the Lord for an example ;" — but 
when Jesus comes forth that said, "I have given you an 
example;" — an example above all other examples,^ — then 
" be silent, all flesh, before the Lord." Let all saints and 
seraphim cover their faces with their wings, that we 
may look on Jesus, and let all other sights go. 

It is especially our duty to look off all that is in the 


world, compriy the Apostle nnsed bder three heads, — 
" the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride 
of life ;" — pleasures, profits, and honours. 

1. We must look off the world in respect of its sinful 
pleasures. — We cannot fixedly look on pleasures and 
Jesus at once. Job tells us, that " they that take up 
the timbrel and harpj and rejoice at the sound of the 
organ, and spend their days in mirth," are the same 
that say unto God, " Depart from us, for we desire not 
the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, 
that we should serve him ? and what profit should we 
have, if we pray unto him ?" 

2. We must look off the world in respect of its sinful 

Srofits. — A look on this, keeps off our looking unto 
esus. " Whosoever loveth the world, the love of the 
Father is not in him.* Just so much as the world pre- 
vails in us, so much is God's love abated both in us, and 
towards U9. " Ye adulterers and adulteresses, (saith 
James) know ye not that the friendship of the world is 
enmity with God." When we have enough in God and 
Christ, and yet desire to make up our happiness in the 
creature, this is plain spiritual adultery. 

3. We must look off the world in respect of its sinful 
honours. — What is the desire to be well thought of and 
spoken of, but as if a man should run up and down after 
a feather flying in the air! It is a question whether he 
ever get it ; and if he do, it is but a feather. Such is 
honour : it is hard to obtain it, and if obtained, it is 
but the breath of a few men's mouths, and, which is 
worst of all, it hinders our sight of Jesus Christ. " Not 
many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not 
many noble are called." Worldly honour keeps many 
back from Christ, and therefore, " Moses, when he was 
come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's 

If it be more particularly enquired, — Why we must 
look off these things ?- — we reply, 

1. Because we cannot otherwise fixedly look upon 
Christ. — The eye cannot look upwards and downwards at 
once. We cannot seriously mind heaven and earth to- 
gether. " No man can serve two masters ;" especially 



such as jar, and have contrary employments, as Christ 
and Mammon have. 

2. Because all other things, in comparison of 
Christ, are not worthy a look. — They are temporary and 
fading, but Christ is an enduring substance, " the same 
yesterday, and to-day and for ever." All other things are 
thorns and vexation of spirit ; but Christ is full of joy 
and comfort, an object " altogether lovely." O who 
would make it his business to fill his coffers with pebbles, 
when he might have pearls or gold. Must you look off 
worldly riches, — See before you the riches of the graces 
of Christ! Must you look off sinful pleasures, — See 
before you at Christ's " right hand pleasures for ever- 
more !" Must you look off your own righteousness,—^ 
See before you the righteousness of Christ Jesus. 

3. Because all other things can never satisfy us. — 
The soul is too high to be exercised in the things of the 
earth. It is fit to converse not only with angels, but with 
the eternal God himself. Hence it wearies itself with 
looking on divers objects, and yet desires new ones ; but 
once admit it to behold the glorious sight of Christ, and 
then it rests fully satisfied. 


1 . Study every day more and more the vanity of the 
creature. — Men usually look on worldly things through 
some false glass, or at a distance, which makes them so 
admire them ; but if they could see them truly in them- 
selves, how uncomely would they appear ! Or if they 
could see them as compared to Christ, how vain would 
they be! Honours and greatness would appear as 
bubbles ; — pleasures and delights as shadows ! 

2. Have as little to do with the world as possible. — 
Things of this worjd have a glutinous quality ; if you 
let the heart lie any while amongst them, it will cleave 
unto them, and if it once cleave to them, nothing but 
repentance or hell-fire can part them. 

3. Be better acquainted with Jesus Christ. — Be more 
in communion with him ; get more taste of Christ and 
heaven, and earth will relish the worse for them. If 


Christ be in view, all the world then is but dung and 
dross, and loss in comparison. The glory of Christ will 
darken all other things. 

4. Meditate continually on heavenly things. — When 
a Christian has but a glimpse of eternity, and then looks 
down on the world again, how does he contemn worldly 
things ! "How doth he say of laughter, thou art mad, and 
of mirth, what is this thou dost ?" If the devil had set 
upon Peter on the mount, when he saw Christ in his 
transfiguration, and Moses and Elias talking with him, 
would he so easily have been drawn to deny his 
Lord ? So if the devil should set upon a believing soul, 
and persuade his heart to the profits, or pleasures, or 
honours of the world, when he is taken up in the mount 
with Christ, what would such a soul say ? — " Get thee 
behind me, Satan ; wouldst thou persuade me from hence* 
with trifling toys ?" 

5. Pray earnestly to God for his assistance. — ff Turn 
away mine eyes from beholding vanity," was David's 
prayer. Either God must do it, or you will be wearied 
in the multitude of your endeavours ; but if the Lord 
draw off the eye, it will be drawn indeed. If the heart 
bend downwards, go to God to erect it, and to incline it 
heavenwards ; if it be after covetousness, cry to God, 
" Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not unto 


An Explanation of the Act and Object. — Motives for looking unto Jesus, 
from our Wants in Case of neglecting the Duty— from our Riches if 
' Case of being lively in the Duty. — Additional Motives. 


X HE excellency of mental sight is far above ocular 
sight. We only see a part of the creation by the eye of 
the body, but the mind reaches every thing that is in it : 
yea, the mind reacheth to him that made it. God is 
invisible, and yet this eye sees God. It is said of Moses, 
that " he saw him that' is invisible." It is the sight of 
the mind that looks into the worth of any thing present- 
ed. A beast looks on gold as well as a man, but the 
sight and knowledge of the worth of it, is by the internal 
light of the mind. Now we know that the worth of a 
thing is the very cream of it, and this the eye of the 
mind conveys, and not the eye of the body. It is said 
of Joseph, that " he saw his brethren, and knew them, 
but they knew not him." This was the reason why 
Joseph was so exceedingly affected at the sight of them, 
though they were before him as common strangers ; 
whereas, although they saw him as a prince, they were 
taken no more with the sight of him than of any other 
man ; beause they knew him not. 

An experimental looking unto Jesus is that my text 
aims at : It is not a swimming knowledge of Christ, but 
a hearty feeling of his inward workings ; not heady no- 
tions of Christ, but hearty motions towards him, which 
are implied in this inward looking. 

Jesus is the object you must look at. — As of all objects 
lie has the pre-eminence in perfection, so should he have 
the pre-eminence in our meditation. It is he that will 


make us most happy when we possess him, and we can- 
not but be joyful to look upon him, especially when 
looking is a degree of possessing. His name Jesus 
includes both his office and nature ; for " there is none 
other name under heaven given among men, whereby 
we must be saved." And he is a perfect and an absolute 
Saviour ; — " he is able to save them to the uttermost that 
come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make 
intercession for them." I will not deny that the work 
of salvation is common to all the three persons of the 
Trinity. The Father saveth, the Son saveth, and the 
Holy Ghost saveth ; yet we must distinguish them in the 
manner of saving. The Father saveth by the Son ; — 
the Son saveth by paying the ransom of our salvation;— 
the Holy Ghost saveth by a particular application of 
that ransom unto men. Now, whereas the Son pays the 
price of our redemption, and not the Father nor the 
Holy Ghost, therefore, in this special respect, he is 
called our Saviour, our Jesus. 

What a variety of excellence is comprised in Jesus ! 
A holy soul cannot tire itself in viewing him. He is all 
and in all : — all belonging to being, and all belonging to 
well-being. What variety is in him ! Variety of time, 
He is Alpha and Omega; — variety of beauty, He is 
white and ruddy ; — -variety of quality, He is a lion and 
a lamb, a servant and a son ; — variety of excellency, He 
is a man and God. — Who shall declare his generation? 
All of the Evangelists exhibit unto us the Saviour, but 
every one of them in his particular method. Mark de- 
scribes not at all his genealogy, but begins his history at 
his baptism. Matthew searcheth out his original from 
Abraham. Luke follows it backwards as far as Adam. 
John passeth farther upwards, even to the eternal gene- 
ration of this word that " was made flesh." So they lead 
us to Jesus : in the one, we see him only among the men 
of his own time ; in the second, he is seen in the tent of 
Abraham ; in the third, he is much higher, namely, in 
Adam ; and finally, having traversed all ages, through 
6o many generations, we come to contemplate him in 
the beginning, in the bosom of the Father, in that 
eternity in which he was with God before all worlds. 


Jesus is the object, and looking unto him is the act ; 
but with such a look, as includes knowing, considering, 
desiring, hoping, believing, loving, joying, calling on, 
and conforming to him. It is such a look, as works in 
us a warm affection, raised resolution, and a holy con- 
versation. Briefly, it is an inward, experimental looking 
unto Jesus. 

This was the Lord's charge to the Gentiles of old ; 
" Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the 
earth — and I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nati- 
on that was not called by my name." And according to 
this command was their practice. " Mine eyes are ever 
towards the Lord," saith David ; and again, "they looked 
unjto him and were lightened, and their faces were not 
ashamed." And according to this command is the prac- 
tice of gospel-believers. " We all with open face, be- 
holding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed 
into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the 
Spirit of the Lord." Instead of the vail of Mosaical 
figures, God hath now given to his church the clear glass 
of the gospel, and hence all believers do by contempla- 
tive faith behold Christ, together with the glorious 
light of his Divine attributes ; and by means thereof, 
they are made like unto him in the glory of holiness, and 
in newness of life. 


To quicken us to this duty, I shall propose some im- 
portant considerations : — weigh them with an impartial 
judgment. Who knows, but through the assistance of 
Christ, they may prove effectual with your hearts, and 
make you resolve upon this excellent duty of looking 
unto Jesus. 

Consider our wants, in case of our neglect.— If Christ 
be not in view, there is nothing but wants. A Christless 
soul — a poor creature without any beam or ray of this 
Sun of Righteousness, — is in the most pitiable condition 
imaginable. Where Christ is not, there is no spiritual 
wisdom* no inclination to the ways and works of sancti- 


1 . Such an one is without contentment. — The soul in 
this case finds nothing but emptiness and vanity in the 
greatest abundance. Let a man have what the world can 
give; yet, if he have not Christ, he is nothing worth. 
Christ is the marrow and fatness, the fulness and sweet- 
ness of all our possessions : separate Christ from them, 
and they are bitter, and do not please us; empty, and do 
not fill us. 

2. Such an one is without any spiritual beauty. — 
From the sole of his foot, to the crown of his head, there 
is nothing in him, but loathsome and incurable maladies. 
Hence the greatest sinner is the foulest monster. Bodi- 
ly beauty without Christ is but as green grass upon a 
rotten grave. Did man see his uncomeliness and de- 
formity without Jesus Christ, he would style himself, as 
the prophet styled Pashur,MAGOR missabib — Fear round 
about, every way a terror to himself. 

3. Such an one is without peace. — There can be no 
joy and peace in the Holy Ghost without Jesus Christ. 
Joram asking Jehu, "Is it peace ?" was answered, "What 
hast thou to do with peace, so long as the whoredoms of 
thy mother Jezebel, and her witchcrafts are so many r" 
A Christless man asking the same question, can look for 
no other but Jehus answer, " What hast thou to do, O 
carnal man, with peace, so long as thy lasts are so strong 
within thee, and thy estrangements from the prince of 
peace so great?" The soul that is without Christ, is 
an enemy to the God of peace, a stranger to the cove- 
nant of peace, incapable of the word of peace, and an 
alien to the way of peace. 

4. Such an one is without life. — " He that hath not 
the Son, hath not life." Christ lives not in that soul ; it 
is a dead soul, " dead in trespasses and sins." As the 
dead see nothing of all that sweet and glorious light 
which the sun casts forth upon them ; so the dead in sin 
have no comfortable apprehension of Christ, though he 
shine in the gospel more gloriously than the sun at noon. 
And as " the dead know not any thing ;" so the dead in 
sin know nothing of the wisdom of Christ guiding 
them, of the holiness of Christ sanctifying them, of 
the fulness of Christ satisfying them, of the death of 



Christ mortifying their lusts, or of the resurrection of 
Christ quickening their souls. 

Let us even suppose that a person has once known 
Christ, but now, alas ! does not look at him. Such a 
case I confess may be. But, O ! the sin and sadness of 
those souls ! O the wants attending such characters. 

1 . They do not now taste the goodness of Christ. — 
Christ is no other unto, them, but as an eclipsed star, 
with whose light they are not at all affected. He is not 
sweet to them in his ordinances : they find not in them 
that delight and refreshment, which they usually minis- 
ter. Barzillai could not taste what he did eat, or what 
he did drink, nor could hear any more the voice of 
singing-men, or of singing-women ; so they cannot 
taste the things of God, nor hear the spiritual melody, 
which Christ makes to the souls of them that look unto 

2. They have now no love to Christ.-p-^They delight 
not themselves in him, as the rich man in his treasure, 
and the bride in the bridegroom ; and no wonder, for 
how should they, who turn their eyes from Christ, love 
him, though to others he appear the chief among ten 

3^ They have now no sense of Christ's love. — Whilst 
the soul neglects Christ, it cannot possibly discern his 
love. Christ appears not in his banqueting-house ; he 
enables not the soul to pray with confidence ; he makes 
it not joyful in the house of prayer. And hence it is 
that such souls move so slowly in God's service : they 
are like Pharaoh's chariots, without wheels. They per- 
ceive "not the love of Christ, either in the clear revela- 
tion of his secrets, or in the free communication of his 
graces, or in the sanctifying and sweetening of their 
trials, or in sealing up the pardon of their sins. O the 
want ! O the misery of this want ! 

4. They have now no experience of the power of 
Christ.T^-Christ's power consists in humbling men's 
hearts, in sanctifying their souls, in making them able 
to endure afflictions, and in causing them to grow in 
all heavenly graces : and this power they partake of, 
who rightly and experimentally look up to Christ. But 


if this duty be neglected, there is no such thing ; hence 
we call this the especial duty, for all other duties,, means 
and ordinances, if Christ be not in them, are nothing 
worth. It is only from Christ that virtue is communi- 
cated in spiritual ordinances. There were many people 
in a throng about Christ, but the infirm woman, that 
touched him, alone felt efficacy come from him. We 
see many attend the ordinances, but few only find the 
inward power of Christ applied utito' their souls. They 
that neglect this great mystery of looking unto Jesus, 
are no better than strangers to the power of Christ. 

5. They have not now a due sense either of their own 
wants, or of the excellency of Christ. — In this glass 
we see that man is blind, and no sun but Christ can en- 
lighten him ; — that man is naked, and no garment but 
Christ's can clothe him; — that man is. poor, and no 
treasure but Christ's can enrich him ; — that man is in 
debt, and none but Christ can make satisfaction for 
him ; — that man is empty, and none but Christ can fill 
him ;— that man is distressed, perplexed, tormented, 
and none but Christ can quiet him. All this,, and much 
more than this appears in this glass of Jesus. The 
soul that looks here cannot but comprehend an end of 
all other perfection ; yea, the further it looks on the 
creature, the deeper and deeper vanities it discerns. 
But, alas ! there is no observation, no sense, no feeling, 
either of men's wants, or of the world's vanity, or of 
any suitable good in Christ to them, that are not in this 
divine and spiritual contemplation. 


O the privileges of such as are lively in this duty. We 
may reckon up here those very things which the others 

1. Christ gives contentment unto them. — As the 
pearl satisfied the merchant in the parable, so Christ 
satisfieth the souls of his people. They that rightly 
look unto Jesus, may say, as Jacob did, " I have 

2. Christ gives glory unto them. — He is both the 


author and object of their glory ; he is the glory of their 
justification, as the garment is the glory of him that 
wears it ; — he is the glory of their redemption, as the 
ransomer is the glory of the captive : — he is their all in 
all, * to whom they give all honour, and glory, and 
power, and praise." 

3. Christ gives peace unto them. — "God is in Christ 
reconciling the world unto himself." They that hear 
Christ in the word, or that look unto Christ by the eye 
of faith, have this peace, for Christ is the revealer and 
worker of peace in all the children of peace. 

4. Christ gives life unto them. — " He that hath the 
Son hath life." He that hath Christ in his heart hath 
the life of grace, and the earnest of the life of glory. 

5. Christ gives a taste of his goodness unto them. — 
They cannot look unto him, but he makes them joyful 
with the feeling of himself and Spirit ; and hence it is 
that many times they break out into '* psalms, and 
hymns and spiritual songs, and make melody in their 
hearts unto the Lord." There is a goodness of illumi- 
nation, regeneration, sanctification, consolation, and 
spiritual freedom flowing from Christ to the souls of his 
saints, which to carnal men is a sealed well, whose 
waters they never tasted. 

• 6. Christ gives a sincere and inward love of himself 
unto their hearts.— No sooner is their eye of faith look- 
ing unto Jesus, but presently their heart is all on fire. 
Such a suitableness is between Christ and their souls, as 
is between the hearts of lovers : their love to Christ is 
like the love of Jonathan to David, a wonderful love ? 
and passing the love of women. They love him as the 
bridegroom to whom their souls are married, as the 
choicest pearl by whom they are enriched, as the sun 
of consolation, by whose beams their souls are com- 
forted, as the fountain by whom their hearts are refreshed, 
and their desires every way satisfied. 

7- Christ gives the sense of his own love to them. — 
They cannot look on Christ but they see him loving 
their souls ; they see him binding up their broken hearts ; 
they behold him, like Jacob, serving in the heat and 
fold for Rachel ; serving in manifold afflictions, from 
his cradle to his cross,, to make a spouse unto himself. 


8. Christ gives the experience of his power to them.— ^ 
They look on Christy feel his power in their souls de- 
stroying the works of Satan, healing all their spiritual 
maladies, sustaining them in all afflictions, ancf filling 
their souls with heavenly might. 

9. Christ gives the sense of their wants, and of his 
suitable goodness unto them. — In looking unto Jesus, 
they see themselves miserable, and all other things mi- 
serable comforters : they also perceive that Christ excels 
in beauty the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley. 
He appears to them fairer than all the flowers of the 
field, than all the precious stones of the earth, than all 
the lights in the firmament, and than all the saints and 
angels in heaven. Happy is the man that hath the God 
of Jacob for his God, whose hope is in the Lord his God ! 

10. We may lastly add Christ gives all things unto 
them. — " All things are yours (saith the apostle) whe- 
ther Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, 
or death, or things present, or things to come, all are 
yours ; and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." All 
the ministers of Christ from the highest to the lowest, 
" whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas ;" they are men 
that watch over you for your salvation. " The world" 
is yours ; indeed the world stands but for your sakes ; if 
your number were but once completed, quickly would 
the world be set on fire. " Life" is yours. It is a pre- 
paring you for a better life, even for eternity. " Death" 
is yours ; for you shall die just then when ft is best for 
you. Death shall serve but as a servant to your advan- 
tage. " Things present, and things to come" are yours. 
Godliness hath the promise of this life, and of that 
which is to come. I will add, the Lord himself is yours. 
Take God, and look on him in his greatness and in his 
power, — even this great God, the Lord of heaven and 
earth is yours ; he is yours, and all that he hath is yours, 
and all that he doth is yours. Here is an inventory of a 
Christians riches. If Christ be yours, the Father is 
yours, the Son is yours, the Spirit is yours, and all the 
promises are yours, for inChrist they are all made, and for 
him they shall be performed. Let then the proud 
man boast in his honour, the mighty man in his valour, 
and the rich man in his wealth, but let the Christian pro*- 


nounce himself 'happy, only happy, fully happy, in en- 
joying Christ, — in "looking unto Jesus." 


1. Looking unto Jesus will maintain your communion 
with him. — This communion with Jesus is heaven be- 
forehand! Hereby we enjoy his person, and all the saving 
fruits and privileges of his death : hereby we are carried 
up into the mount with Christ, that we may see him (as 
it were) transfigured. Oh it is a happy thing to have 

* Christ dwell in our hearts, and for us to lodge in 
his bosom ! Oh it is a happy thing to maintain a re- 
ciprocal communication of affairs between Christ and 
our souls! as thus: He bare our sins, and we take his 
healing ! He took upon him our unrighteousness, and Ave 
clothe ourselves with his righteousness ! He embraced 
our curse and condemnation, and we embrace his blessing, 
justification, and salvation ! 

2. Looking unto Jesus will preserve the vigour of all 
your graces. — How many alas complain of deadness 
and dulness in prayer, because of their inattention 
to this duty. For want of this recourse to Jesus Christ, 
your souls are as candles that are not lighted, and your 
duties are as sacrifices which have no fire. Fetch one 
coal daily from this altar; and see if your offerings will 
not burn: keep close to this fire; and see if your affections 
will not warm. Surely, if there be any comfort of hope,, 
if any flames, of love, if any life of faith, if any vigour of 
dispositions, if any motions towards God, if any meltings 
of a softened heart, they flow from hence. 

3. Looking unto Jesus, will increase your outward joy 
in him. — A frequent access to Christ, in the way of me- 
ditation, cannot but warm the soul in spiritual comforts. 
When the sun in the spring draws near our part of the 
earth, how do all things congratulate its approach! The 
earth looks green, the plants revive, the birds sing sweet- 
ly, and the face of all things smiles upon us. Christians, 
if you would but draw near, and look on the Sun of 
Righteousness, what a spring of joy would be within you! 
How would your graces be fresh and green ! How would 
you forget your winter sorrows ! How early would you 
rise to sing tlie praise of our dear Redeemer. 


From the Creation unto his first coming. 



Of Christ promised by degrees. The Covenant of promise as manifested 
to Adam — to Abraham — to Moses— to David — to Israel about the time 
of the Captivity. 


-TNI O sooner was the world made and the things therein, 
than man was created. At first he stood in no need of a 
Saviour, for he was made in holiness, the image of God. 
But alas ! this his state was but of short standing : it was 
the received opinion in former ages, that our first parents 
fell the very same day they were created. But though 
we cannot determine the time, we know assuredly that 
Adam by his sin deprived himself and all his posterity 
of the image of God ; and that all mankind, being in 
his loins, were partakers with him in the guilt of his sins. 
Hence it is the daily cry, not only of Adam, Abraham, 
David and Paul, but of every saint, — " O wretched man 
that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this 
death ?" But, believing souls, stay your complaints, here 
is gospel-news. 


No sooner had Adam fallen than God graciously 
hinted at a Saviour, and proclaimed to him, though in 
obscure terms, the covenant of grace. This covenant 
was frequently afterwards revealed to different individuals 
in a clearer or more obscure manner, in proportion as 
the coming of Christ was nearer or more remote. It is 
my present intention to refer to these different declarati- 
ons of the covenant, and to shew how Christ was pro- 
mised at different periods. 


The covenant of grace Is a compact made betwixt 
God and man, respecting reconciliation, and life eternal 
by Christ. This covenant was, immediately after the fall, 
expressed in these words, — " I will put enmity between 
thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; 
it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel " 
This promise contains in it good news of the overthrow 
of Satan's kingdom, and of man's freedom by the death 
of Christ. In order fully to ascertain its meaning, we 
shall explain the different terms in it. 

1. By the serpent is meant Satan united to a serpent. 
As men are said to be possessed of Satan, so was the 
serpent possessed of the devil. Satan could not provoke 
our first parents to sin by any inward temptation, as 
now he doth by the help of our corruption ; nor could 
he enter into their bodies, or minds, because of the 
holiness and glory that was in them ; and therefore he 
presumed to take a beast of the earth, and by disposing 
of his tongue he speaks within him. 

Such was God's love to man, that he condemns both 
the author and instrument of that evil. The serpent is 
punished according to the letter of the text, and Satan 
in its spiritual meaning. 

2. The woman wheresoever mentioned in this text, is 
Eve : she it was whom the tempter had seduced, and in 
just judgment for her familiarity with the tempt er,G od 
meets with her, saying to the serpent, " I will put enmity 
betwixt thee and the woman." 

3. The seed of the serpent is taken collectively, for 


the Devil and his angels, (as Christ calls them) and for 
all the sons of the devil, unconverted men, whose father 
and prince is the devil. Christ told the Jews, " Ye are 
of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye 
will do." And John tells us, " he that committeth 
sin is of the devil. — In this the children of God are 
manifest, and the children of the devil." And thus both 
devils and reprobates are reckoned as the seed of the 

4. The seed of the woman is that posterity of the woman 
which do not degenerate into the seed of the serpent. 
Hence " all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall 
suffer persecution," saith the apostle. " And I will put 
enmity (saith God) between thee and the woman," and 
also " between thy seed and her seed." And who can deny 
but these enmities have been ever since between Satan's 
seed and the saints ? 

5. The word which is translated " it or he shall 
bruise thy head" refers to one person of that same seed, 
even Jesus the Son of the living God. Here is the 
first hint of Jesus that ever was read or heard of in the 
world. This was the first gospel that ever was published 
after the creation. O blessed news ! fit for God's mouth 
to speak first to the world now fallen ! Come let us set 
a star upon it, write it in letters of gold, or rather write it 
on the very tables of our hearts. As David alone of all the 
host of Israel goes forth to fight with Goliath, and over- 
comes him ; so Christ alone of all the seed of the 
woman was to fight with the serpent, to overcome him, 
and to bruise his head. I will not deny, but by way of 
participation this promise may pertain to the whole body 
of Christ : "through him that loved us we are more than 
conquerors." In this sense many of the ancient and 
modern divines do extend this seed to the whole body of 
Christ; but primarily, and properly, it belongs to none 
but the Lord Jesus Christ. He only is the seed by 
whom the promise is accomplished, though the faithful 
also are the seed to whom and for whom the promise 
was made. 

6. By the serpent's head, is meant the power, rage, and 
kingdom of Satan. It is observed, that in the head of a 



serpent, lie its strength and life; so by a phrase of speech 
fitted to the condition of this serpent that was Satan's 
instrument, God tells the devil of the danger of his head, 
of his power and kingdom. This power and kingdom of 
Satan consist more especially in sin and death. 
Hence sin and death are usually called the works and 
wages of Satan. By the "braising" of his head, is meant 
the overthrowing of Satan's power. " He shall bruise thy 
head." Christ shall destroy sin, and death, and " him 
that hath the power of death that is the devil." The 
devil, and sin, and death, and hell are overthrown; not 
only the devil in his person, but the works of the de- 
vil, which by the fall he had planted in our natures, as 
pride, vain glory, ignorance, lust; not only Satan's works, 
but the fruits and effects of his works, as death and hell; 
so that all the faithful may sing with Paul, " O death, 
where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory ? Thanks 
be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord 
Jesus Christ." 

7. The heel of the seed of the woman is the humanity 
of Christ : the " bruising" of his heel, refers to the 
miseries, mockings, woundings, death and burial of 
Christ, all which he endured in his humanity ; or it 
extends further, to all the reproaches, afflictions, and 
persecutions of the faithful, by the devil and his agents, 
all which are but as a bruise in the heel, which cannot 
endanger the spiritual life of their souls. 

8. The enmity here referred to, principally relates to 
that which should subsist between Christ and Satan ; 
" he shall braise thy head," Christ shall break thy 
power. He fights not so much with the seed, as with 
the serpent : if Satan be overthrown, his seed cannot 
stand. " Thou shalt bruise his heel ;" thou shalt afflict 
him and his ; thou shalt cast out of thy mouth a flood 
of persecutions ; thou shalt " make war with him, and 
all them which keep the commandments of God, and 
have the testimony of Jesus Christ." 

I have held you a while in the explication of this first 
promise, because of the sweetness that is contained in it. 
It is full of gospel-truths. Strike but the flint, and there 
will fly out these glorious sparkles. \. That a Saviour 


was promised from the beginning of the world. 2. That 
this Saviour should free all his saints from sin, death 
and hell; the head, and power of the devil. 3. That 
to this end this Saviour should be a Mediator ; for God 
would not grant an immediate pardon, but the promised 
seed must first intervene. 4. That this Mediator should 
be of the seed of the woman, — that is, a man ; and yet 
stronger than the devil, endued with a divine power, 
and so he is God. 5. That this Man-God should ac- 
cording to his priestly office be a sacrifice for sin ; — the 
serpent shall braise his heel, he should suffer and die for 
the people ; and yet according to his kingly office he 
should overcome Satan ; — for he shall bruise his head, 
overthrow his kingdom, and make us more than con- 
querors. 6. That this promise of Christ, and of our 
justification is free : God of mere mercy brings forth 
this promise. There could be after the fall no merit 
in man ; and even now he promiseth remission of sins, 
and life eternal in, for, and through the Lord Jesus 
Christ. No doubt but in belief of this promise, the 
patriarchs and fathers of old obtained life, glory and 
immortality. " By faith the elders obtained a good 
report: by faith Abel obtained witness that he was 
righteous : by faith Enoch was translated that he 
should not see death : by faith Noah became heir of 
the righteousness of Christ." And how should it re- 
vive us in these last times, to hear, that the first 
thing that ever God did after the world was fallen, was 
this act of mercy, to make a promise of Christ, and 
to reconcile lost man to himself through the same Jesus 


The second breaking forth of this gracious covenant, 
was to Abraham ; and now it shines in a more glori- 
ous light than it did before. At first it was expressed 
in dark terms, but in this second manifestation, we 
have it laid down in plainer : — (c I will establish my 
covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after 


thee, in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, 
to be a God to thee, and to thy seed after thee." For 
the right understanding of this, we shall examine seve- 
ral particulars. — 

1. What is a covenant ? — It is a contract of mutual 
peace and good will, obliging parties on both hands to 
the performance of mutual offices. Thus was the 
covenant between God and Abraham : there was a 
mutual stipulation in it, on God's part to perform his 
promises of temporal, spiritual, and eternal grace ; and 
on Abraham's part to receive this grace by faith, and to 
perform due obedience to God. Hence we say the co- 
venant is a mutual compact between God and man, 
whereby God promiseth all good things, especially 
eternal happiness unto man ; and man doth promise to 
walk before God in all acceptable, free, and willing 
obedience, expecting all good from God, and happiness 
in God, according to his promise, for the praise and 
glory of his grace. In this description many things are 
considered. As, 1. That the author of this covenant 
is God ; not as our Creator, but as our merciful God 
and Father in Christ Jesus. 2. That the cause of this 
covenant is not any dignity, or merit in man, but the 
mere mercy and love of God. 3. That the foundation 
of this covenant is Jesus Christ, in and through whom 
we are reconciled unto God ; for since God and man 
were separated by sin, no covenant can pass between 
them, no reconciliation can be expected, nor pardon 
obtained, but in and through a Mediator. 4. That the 
party covenanted with, is sinful man ; the fall of our 
first parents was the occasioti of this covenant, and God 
was pleased to permit the fall, that he might manifest 
the riches of his mercy in man's recovery. 5. Tfiat the 
form of this covenant stands on God's part in gracious 
and free promises of forgiveness, holiness and happiness ; 
and on man's part in a astipulation of such duties as 
will stand with the free grace and mercy of God in Christ. 
6. That the stipulation on man's part required, is 
repentance for sin, belief in the promises, and a 
yielding of fear, reverence, worship and obedience to 
God according to his word. 


2. What is the establishing of this covenant ? — The 
Lord had before made a covenant with Abraham, and 
now he doth not abolish the former, and make another, 
but rather confirms, and establishes the former. It 
mavbe there was some doubting in Abraham: but now 
God would assure him infallibly of his will, so he adds 
the seal of circumcision. But what is circumcision to 
the covenant ? Much every way. Circumcision was 
not without shedding of blood, because the covenant 
was not yet established in the blood of the Messiah. 
Surely there was much in this; however the rite of itself 
was nothing, yet as it led the faithful patriarchs to the 
blood of Christ, assured the purging away of sin by his 
blood, and signed the circumcision of the heart by 
the Spirit of Christ, so it found acceptance with God. 

3. Between whom is the covenant to be established ? — 
" Between Me and thee (saith God) and thy seed after 
thee." The two heads of this covenant are God and 
Abraham ; on God's part are the whole Trinity of per- 
sons ; on Abraham's part are all the spiritual seed of 
Abraham, under which term all believers, whether 
Jews or Gentiles, are comprehended ; for heaven is no 
freer to a Jew, than to a Gentile. *' But if ye be Christ's, 
then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the 
promise." * 

4. For what time is the established covenant to en- 
dure ? — It is not for a few days, or months, or years, 
but for ever and ever. It is an everlasting covenant ; 
and indeed the word established implies this; " I will 
establish my covenant." I will have it stand and con- 
tinue for ever. This covenant is everlasting in respect 
of the promise made to Christ for us, before the foun- 
dation of the world. It is not an infant of days, but 
bears the same date with the divine being himself. The 
writs, evidences and charters of our salvation were 
concluded, and passed the sign and seal of the blessed 
Trinity from eternity. All the blessings of the cove- 
nant are also everlasting : forgiveness of sins are ever- 
lasting ; being once forgiven, they are " never remem- 
bered any more." Peace and joy is everlasting : " Your 
heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from 


you." Salvation is everlasting : " Israel shall be saved 
in the Lord with an everlasting salvation." Death may 
put an end to other covenants, but this covenant between 
God and us stands fast for ever ; though Abraham be 
dead, yet God is Abraham's God still, and by virtue 
of this covenant Abraham shall be raised up at the 
last day. 

5. What are the privileges of the covenant? — I 
answer, The covenant is full of blessings : it is a well 
of salvation, a fountain of good things, a treasury of 
unsearchable riches, which can never be emptied. 
Hence it is that our narrow capacities can never appre- 
hend the infinite grace that this covenant contains ; 
yet as we may see things darkly as in a map, so let us 
endeavour, as we are able, to view them in some map, 
that by the little we see, we may be raised up to the 
consideration of things not seen, which shall be revealed 
in due time. 

The privileges of the covenant are folded up in the 
promises of it: every promise contains a privilege, but 
the time of unfolding every promise is not yet come. 
Then only shall the promises of all sorts be unfolded, 
when the heavens " as a vesture shall be folded up." I 
shall for the present confine myself to those promises 
and privileges of the covenant, which we*6 manifested 
to Abraham. And they were, 

I. Things temporal. Thus we read God promiseth 
Abraham, " I will make of thee a great nation, and I 
will bless thee, and make thy name great ; and thou 
shalt be a blessing, and I will bless them that bless 
thee, and curse him that curseth thee, and unto thy seed 
will I give this land." " By myself have I sworn, saith 
the Lord, that in blessing I will bless thee, and in mul- 
tiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, 
and as the sand upon the sea shore, and thy seed shall 
possess the gate of his enemies." All temporal blessings 
come from God, and by virtue of this covenant. O that 
none of us had any wealth, but such as comes by vir- 
tue of a promise, and of the covenant of grace ! 

Touching these blessings, or privileges, I only add that 
God gave more of the temporal, less of the spiritual to 


the natural seed in the first ages, but in the latter ages, 
more of the spiritual privileges, and less of the tempo- 
ral ; yea, and thus it is at this day, for the most part, 
among the Christian seed of the Gentiles ; " For ye 
see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men 
after the flesh, not many mightv, not many noble are 

2. Things spiritual. Thus we read, " Fear not, 
Abraham, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great 
reward; I am God all-sufficient, or omnipotent, the 
almighty God; and I will be a God unto thee, and to 
thy seed after thee." O what precious promises are 
these ! I am thy shield, to keep thee from all evil : 
such a shield as no creature can pierce through ; such a 
shield as shall cover thee over ; nay, such a shield as 
shall cover thee about. I am thy exceeding great re- 
ward: I am the almighty God : 1 will be a God unto 
thee. This is the very soul of the covenant, and of alt 
the promises of God. All I am is thine ; myself, my 
goods, my glory ; whatsoever is in me, all that I have, 
and all my attributes are thine. My power, my wis- 
dom, my counsel, my goodness, my riches, whatsoever 
is mine in the whole world, I will give it thee for thy 
portion. Christians! was not this an exceeding great 
reward ? Who can understand the height, and depth, 
and length and breadth of this reward ? Surely, 
" happy is the people that is in such a case ; yea, 
happy is that people whose God is the Lord." 

6. What is the condition of this covenant ? — I an- 
swer, The condition of the covenant of grace is faith, 
and only faith : to this purpose it is said of Abraham, 
" He believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for 
righteousness." This text is often alleged by the apos- 
tles. It is such a belief as is opposed to fainting: as it 
is said of Jacob, when he heard the report of his sons, 
that Joseph was alive, his heart fainted, because he 
believed not ; but when he believed, his heart revived ; 
and David said of himself, " I had fainted, unless I 
had believed." So that it is a lively motion of the 
heart, assenting unto, and trusting on God, and in the 
word of God. This was the verv condition of the 


covenant, which God required of Abraham. " Abra- 
ham, dost thou believe that such a Messiah shall be 
sent into the world ! Art thou able to believe ?" w Yes, 
I believe, Lord," said Abraham. " Well" (said God) 
u I will put thee to the trial : I will give thee a son, 
though thou art as a dead man t and Sarah as a dead 
woman : art thou able to believe ? Again, thou seest 
the land of Canaan, thou hast not one foot in it, yet I 
will give thee this land, for thy possession : art thou 
able to believe this ?" Thus that act of faith, whereby 
Abraham believed that he should have a son, and that 
his children should possess the land of Canaan, was 
a shadow, a pledge of that main act of faith, whereby 
he believed the promised seed, in whom himself and 
all the nations of the earth should be blessed. But 
let this be remembered, that Abraham did not only 
believe the temporal promises, but every promise ; as 
" I will be thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward :" 
now, who is our shield but Christ, and who is our re- 
ward but Christ ? Especially he believed the promise of 
the seed: and who is the head of the seed but Christ ? 
Yea, he believed in that promised seed, in whom all 
the nations of the earth should be blessed : and who 
was that but Christ ? " Your father Abraham (saith 
Christ) rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it, and was 
glad." How could he see it ? u Thou art not yet fifty 
years old, (said the Jews) and hast thou seen Abraham?" 
Yes, even then he saw it, when he believed in Christ. 
He could see it no other way but by an eye of faith ; 
and therefore no question he believed in Christ, and 
that was counted to him for righteousness. 

But (may some say) if faith alone be the condition 
of the covenant, then what need is there of any obe- 
dience, or works of holiness ? " A good tree, (saith 
Christ) is known by its fruit ;" and so is right and 
sound faith : let a man believe in truth, and he cannot 
but love ; and if he love, he cannot but be full of good 
works. Abraham was justified by faith. But was not 
this faith accompanied with works ? When God bid 
him offer his son, did he not do it ? And was not that 
an exceeding great work ? Surely " his faith wrought 
with his works, and by faith was works made perfect." 


7. Who is the head, upon whom this covenant is 
established ? — I answer, Christ. " All the promises of 
God in him are yea, and amen, unto the glory of God 
by us." This was darkly held forth in the first mani- 
festation of the covenant to Adam; but in this second, 
it is fully expressed, and often repeated ; thus, Gen. 
xii. 3. " In thee shall all the families of the earth be 
blessed." And Gen. xviii. 18. " All the nations of the 
earth shall be blessed in Abraham." And Gen. xxii. 
18. " In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be 
blessed." By comparing these texts, we have a clear 
understanding thereof; in thee, in Abraham shall all 
the families and nations of the earth be blessed ; but 
lest Abraham himself thould be thought author of this 
universal blessing, an explanation is added. " In thee, 
that is in thy seed ; and this seed, saith the apostle 
is Christ." 



The next breaking forth of this gracious covenant 
was to Moses. The avenging justice of God had now 
seized on mankind for many generations, so that it was 
high time for God in the midst of wrath to remember 
mercy, and to break out into a clearer expression of the 
promise, or covenant of grace. To this purpose the 
Lord calls up Moses to Mount Sinai, and there, of his 
infinite love and mercy, he renews his covenant with 
him and the children of Israel. " I am the Lord thy 
God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out 
of the house of bondage ; Thou shalt have no other 
gods before me." Exod. xx. 2. 

For the right understanding of this, we shall examine 
several particulars. 

1 . Was the law delivered in a covenant-way ? — It is 
evident that it was, because it hath the name and the 
real properties of a covenant. It has the name of a 
covenant in these texts. u And the Lord said unto 
Moses, Write these words ; for after the tenor of these 
words, I have made a covenant with thee, and with 



Israel. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the 
covenant, the ten commandments. — And he declared 
unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to 
perform, even the ten commandments, and he wrote 
them upon two tables of stone." The law hath also 
the real properties of a covenant, which are the mutual 
consent and stipulation on both sides. You may see a 
full relation of this in Exod. xxiv. 3 — 8. " And Moses 
came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and 
all the judgments, and all the people answered with 
one voice, All the words which the Lord hath said we 
will do : and Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, 
and rose up early in the morning, — and he took the 
book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the 
people : and they said, All that the Lord hath said, will 
we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, 
and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the 
blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with 
you, concerning all these words. " Here you may ob- 
serve these properties of a covenant. God on his part 
expresseth his consent and willingness to be their God : 
and the people on their part give their full consent to be 
his servants. 

2. In what sense is the law a covenant of grace ? — I 
answer, The law may be considered thus in several 
senses. Sometimes it signifies any heavenly doctrine, 
whether it be promise or precept ; and in this sense the 
apostle tells us, " of the law of works, and of the law 
of faith." Sometimes it signifies any part of the Old 
Testament, in which sense Jesus answered the Jews, 
" Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods ?" 
Sometimes it signifies the whole ceconomy, and peculiar 
dispensation of God's worship unto the Jews, in which 
sense it is said to continue until John. Sometimes it is 
taken for some acts of the law only, " Against such 
there is no law." Sometimes it is taken only for the 
ceremonial law, " The law having a shadow of good 
things to come." Sometimes it is taken for that part of 
the moral law, which is merely preceptive, without any 
promise at all. Sometimes it is taken for the whole, 
moral law, with the preface and promises added unto 


it ; and in this last sense we take it, when we say it is a 
covenant of grace. 

3. How does it appear, that the law in this sense is a 
covenant of grace? — It appears, 1. By that contract 
between God and Israel, before the promulgation of 
the law. " If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep 
my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto 
me above all people : for all the earth is mine ; and 
ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy 
nation." Whereunto the prophet Jeremiah hath refer- 
ence, saying, " Obey my voice, and do them according 
to all which I command you: so shall you be my peo- 
ple, and I will be your God." Both these scriptures 
speak of the moral law, or ten commandments, contain- 
ing the preface and promises ; and how shall that law 
be any other but a covenant of grace, which runs in 
this tenor, " I will be your God, and ye shall be my peo- 
ple; my peculiar treasure; a kingdom of priests, an 
holy nation ; if ye will hear and obey my command- 
ments ?" Surely these privileges could never have been 
obtained by a covenant of works ! These are privileges 
vouchsafed of mere grace in Jesus Christ ; and therefore 
Peter applies this very promise to the people of God 
under the gospel. 1 Pet. ii. 9. 2. It appears by that con- 
tract between God and Israel in the promulgation of the 
law: then it was that God proclaimed himself to be the 
God of Israel, saying, " I am the Lord thy God, which 
brought thee out of the land ol Egypt, out of the house 
of bondage." This is a preface to the whole law, pre- 
fixed as a reason to persuade obedience to every com- 
mandment. But all acknowledge, that it is a free 
covenant, which proiniseth pardon of sin, and requireth 
faith in the Messiah. When God saith to Israel, " I 
am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the 
land of Egypt," doth he not propound himself as their 
King, Judge, Saviour, and Redeemer; yea and spiritual 
Redeemer from their bondage of sin and Satan, whereof 
that temporal deliverance from Egypt was a type ? 

4. Why should God in the law, deal with us in a 
covenant-way, rather than in a mere absolute supreme 
way ? — J answer, In respect of God ; it was his 


Sleasure in giving the law not only to manifest his wis- 
om, power, and sovereignty, but his faithfulness, 
truth, love, and the glory of his grace. If he had given 
the precepts without any promise, he might have disco- 
vered his supreme power, but his love and faithfulness 
could not have been known. " Because the Lord loved 
you, and because he would keep the oath which he had 
sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you 
out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the 
house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh, king of 
Egypt. Know therefore, that the Lord thy God he is 
God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and 
mercy with them that love him and keep his command- 
ments to a thousand generations." 

In respect of us ; God would rather deal with us in 
a covenant-way, than in a mere absolute supreme way, 
upon these grounds, — 1 . That he might bind us the fas- 
ter to himself. A covenant binds on both parts. The 
Lord doth not bind himself to us, and leave us free; no, 
" I will bring you (saith God) into the bond of the cove- 
nant." You may say, a command binds as well as a 
covenant ; it is true, but a covenant doth as it were twist 
the cords of the law, and double the precept upon the 
soul. When it is only a precept, then God alone com- 
mands it, but when I have made a promise to it, then I 
command it and bind it upon myself. 

2. That our obedience might be more willing and free. 
An absolute law might seem to extort obedience, but a 
covenant makes it appear more free and willing. This 
is the nature of the covenant of grace. First, God 
promiseth mercy to be our exceeding great reward ; and 
then we promise obedience, to be his free and willing 
people; and thus we become God's, not only by a pro- 
perty founded on his sovereign power and love ; .but by 
a property growing out of our own voluntary consent. 
We are not only his people, but his willing people. 

3. That our consolations might be stronger. This in- 
deed was the prime end why God delivered his law in 
way of a covenant, that he might endear himself to us, 
and so draw us to him with cords of love. Had God 
pleased, he might have required all obedience from us, 


and when we had done all, he might have reduced us 
into nothing ; but his love is such, that he will not only 
command, but he will covenant, that he might further 
express and communicate his love. How should this 
encourage us to go to God in all distresses ! O what 
thankful loving thoughts should we have of God, 
that would thus infinitely condescend to covenant with 
us ! 

5. What are the good things promised in this expres- 
sion of the covenant ? — Not to reckon up the temporal 
promises, the great mercies of God are expressed in these 
terms, u I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee 
out of the land of Egypt, out of tlie house of bondage." 
This is the great promise of the covenant ; it is as great 
as God himself. That we may better see it, and know 
it, I shall take it in pieces : the gold is so pure, that it 
is pity the least filing should be lost. Here God de- 
scribes himself by these notes. 1. By his only eternal 
and perfect essence, " I am the Lord." — 2. By the plu- 
rality of persons in that one essence, " I am the Lord 
God, Jehovah Elohim." — 3. By the propriety his people 
have in Jehovah Elohim, " I am the Lord thy 
God." — 4. By the fruit of that propriety in reference to 
Israel, " Which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, 
out of the house of bondage." 

1 . u I am Jehovah." This name denotes both his 
being, and his performance of his promise. Thus he 
was not known to the patriarchs : they only were sus- 
tained by faith in God's almighty power, without receiv- 
ing the thing promised ; but when the Israelites came to 
receive the promise, and to have full knowledge and ex- 
perience of his power and goodness, then they knew the 
efficacy of the name Jehovah. 

2. " 1 am Jehovah Elohim. " This denotes the plu- 
rality of persons. God, in delivering the law, not only 
shews his being, but the manner of his being ; or the 
trinity of persons in the unity of essence. The word 
signifies mighty ; or if we express it plurally, it signifies 
the Almighties, or almighty powers ; hence the scrip- 
tures apply the general name, God, to the persons 


severally: the Father is God, Heb.i. 1, 2. The Son is God, 
Acts xx. 28. And the Holy Ghost is God, Acts v. 3, 4. 
3. " I am the Lord thy God." Herein is the propriety, 
and indeed here is the mercy, that God speaks thus to 
every faithful soul, — " I am thy God." By this appro- 
priation, God gives us a right in him, yea, a possession 
of him. A right in him, as the woman may say of him 
to whom she is married, This man is my husband, so 
may every faithful soul say of the Lord, He is. my God. 
A possession of him: God doth not only shew himself 
unto us, but he doth communicate himself unto us in 
his holiness, mercy, truth, grace and goodness ; hence 
it is said, " We have fellowship with the Father and 
with his Son Jesus Christ." Surely this is the highest 
happiness of the saints, that God is their God ! If we 
could say, This house is mine, this town, this kingdom, 
this world is mine, what is all this ? But when a Chris- 
tian comes at length, and says, This God that made all 
the world is mine, this is enough ; indeed this is the 
greatest promise that ever was made, or ever can be 
made to any creature. God herein gives himself to be 
wholly ours. In his essence and glorious attributes he 
communicates himself to us for good ; and God per- 
sonally considered, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
they all enter into covenant with us. The Father pro- 
miseth to be a Father to us ; hence, saith the Lord, 
f* Israel is my son, my first born." The Son speaks to 
us in this language, " Thou art mine," I have redeemed 
thee, I have called thee by thy name ; and therefore thou 
art mine." This is Christ's covenant with us : he brings 
us back to his Father, from whose presence we were 
banished, and sets us before his face for ever : he pro- 
miseth to restore us to the adoption and inheritance of 
sons. What the Father hath purposed, and the Son 
hath purchased for us, the Holy Ghost effects in us : 
he applies the blood of Christ for remission of sins; he 
writes the law in our hearts ; he comforts us in our sad- 
ness; he supports us in our faintings, and guides us in 
our wanderings. Thus Elohim, God personally consi^ 
dered, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are in covenant 
with us. 


6\ What is the condition of this covenant on our 
part ? — The condition of this covenant, is faith in Jesus, 
which is implied in the promise, " I will he thy God, or, 
I am the Lord thy God ;" and commanded in the pre- 
cept built upon it, "Thou shalt have me to be thy God, 
or, Thou shalt have no other gods before me." But 
where is faith in Jesus Christ mentioned either in pro- 
mise or precept? I answer, if it be not expressed, it is 
very plainly intended. God is not the God of Israel, but 
in and through the Mediator; neither can Israel take 
God to be their God, but by faith in the Messiah. But 
to go no farther, what is the meaning of this first com- 
mandment in the affirmative part, but to " have one 
God in Christ to be our God by faith ?" It is true, there is 
no mention made of Christ, or faith; but that is no- 
thing. There is no mention of love, and yet our 
Saviour discovers it there. When the lawyer tempted 
Christ, " Master, which is the great commandment in 
the law?" you know Christ's answer, " Thou shalt love 
the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, 
and with all thy mind : this is the first, and great com- 
mandment." Now, as our Saviour discovers love there, 
so in like manner, are faith and Christ there the neces- 
sary consequents. 

But you may object, What say we to obedience? Is not 
that rather the condition of this covenant in the law ? 
The law is considered either more strictly, as it is only 
a rule of righteousness, holding forth life upon no other 
terms but perfect obedience ; or more largely, as that 
whole doctrine delivered on mount Sinai, with the pre- 
face and promises adjoined : in the former sense it is a 
covenant of works ; but in the latter sense it is a cove- 
nant of grace. — And yet I dare not say, That as the 
law is a covenant of grace, it doth exclude obedience. 
In some sort obedience as well as faith may be said to 
be a condition of the covenant of grace. I shall give 
you my thoughts in this distinction. Obedience to all 
God's commandments is either considered as a cause of 
life, or as a qualification. In the former sense it cannot 
be a condition of the covenant of grace, but in the lat- 
ter it may. If by condition we understand wkatsoever 


is required on our part, as precedent, concomitant or 
subsequent to the covenant of grace, repentance, faith 
and obedience are all conditions ; but if by condition 
we understand whatsoever is required on our part, as 
the cause of the good promised, though only instru- 
mental ; then, faith is the only condition. Faith and 
obedience are opposed in the matter of justification and 
salvation, not that they cannot stand together; (for 
they are inseparably united) but because they cannot meet 
together, as the cause of our justification and salvation. 
Now, when we speak of the condition of the covenant 
of grace, we intend such a condition as is among the 
number of true causes. Indeed in the covenant of works, 
obedience is required as the cause of life ; but in the co- 
venant of grace, though obedience must accompany faith, 
yet not obedience but only faith is the cause of life con- 
tained in the covenant. 

7. Who was the Mediator of this covenant ? — Moses 
was a typical, but Christ the spiritual Mediator ; and 
herein was Moses privileged above all before him; he 
was the mediator of the Old Testament, Christ reserv- 
ing himself to be the Mediator of a better covenant. 
There is however a great difference between Moses and 
Christ. Moses only received the law, and delivered it 
unto the people ; but Christ our true Moses fulfilled it. 
Moses broke the tables, to shew how we in our nature 
had broken the law ; but Christ our true Moses repairs 
it. Moses had the law only writ in tables of stone ; but 
Christ writes it in the tables of our hearts. Moses was 
mere man ; but Christ is God as well as man. Moses 
was only a servant in God's house; but Christ is a son ; 
yea, Christ is Lord of his own house the church : Moses' 
mediation was to shew what was the true manner of 
worshipping God ; but he did not give power to follow 
it ; he could not reconcile men to God; and therefore it 
appeared, that there was need of another reconciler, — the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

8. What do we find of Christ, and of his death in 
this manifestation of the covenant? I answer, In 
delivering the law we find something of Christ. 


2. In the law itself, as it is a covenant of grace, we 
find something of him. — In the preface he proclaims 
himself to be our God ; and in the first commandment 
we are bound to take this God to be our God ; and in 
the second he gives us a double motive to obey: "For 
I the Lord thy God, am a jealous God ; I shew mercy 
unto thousands of them that love me and keep my 
commandments." And in the fifth commandment he 
gives a promise of long life in Canaan, which is either 
to be looked at as a type of heaven, or literal ly> for a 
prosperous condition here on earth. Now, all these 
promises are made in Christ. God is not our God 
but in and through Jesus Christ. God will not shew 
mercy unto thousands, nor unto one of all the thousands 
of his saints, but as they are in Jesus Christ. God will 
not give us long life here, or eternal life hereafter, but 
in, for, and through the Lord Jesus Christ. What if 
Moses writ not down the word Christ ; yet certainly 
Moses wrote of Christ : his words imply Christ, as 
Christ himself told the Jews, " Had ye believed Moses, 
ye would have believed me, for Moses wrote of me." 
Surely Christ was, if not the only subject, yet the only 
scope of all the writings of Moses; and therefore in 
the law itself, you see we find something of Christ. 

3. In the exposition of the law, as Moses gives it here 
and there, we find something of Christ. — Yea, if we 
observe it, Moses brought something more to the ex- 
pression of Christ, and the covenant of grace, than 
ever was before. In the first promise it was revealed, 
that Christ should be the seed of the woman. In the 
second manifestation of the promise it was revealed, 
that Christ should be the seed of Abraham ; but in 
Moses' writings, we learn more expressly, that Christ 
should be incarnate, and have his conversation amongst 
men. The promise runs thus, " And I will dwell among 
the children of Israel, and will be their God, and they 
shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought 
them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell 
amongst them; I am the Lord their God." Again, Moses 
writing of Christ " The Lord thy God (saith he) will 
raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of 



thy brethren, like unto me, unto him shall ye hearken." 
Was not this a plain expression ? Peter, in his sermon 
to the Jews, preached Jesus Christ, and tells them that 
this "Jesus Christ was preached unto them before;" even 
in Moses' time; and for proof he cites this very text, "For 
Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the 
Lord your God raise up unto you, of your brethren, like 
Unto me, him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever he 
shall say unto you." 

4. In the confirmation of the law, we find something 
of Christ. — It was confirmed by seals and sacrifices. 
What were all these but a type of Christ? In the former 
expression of the covenant we found the seal of circum- 
cision, but now it pleased God to add unto the former 
another seal for the confirmation of their faith, namely, 
the passover. And was not this a type of Christ, the 
immaculate Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins 
of the world? Again in this manifestation, Moses brought 
in the priesthood, as a settled ordinance to offer sacrifi- 
ces for the people. And was not this a type of Christ, 
our true and unchangeable high priest ? No question 
the death and resurrection of Christ, the priesthood and 
kingdom of Christ, were prefigured by the sacrifices, 
brazen serpent, the priesthood of Aaron, and the king- 
dom of Israel. And I cannot hut think, that the godly 
spiritual Jews understood this very well ; and that these 
did not rest in sacrifices or sacraments, but that by faith 
they did really enjoy Christ in each of them. 

5. In the intention of God's, giving the law we find 
something of Christ. — The very end of God in holding 
forth the law was, that upon the sense of our impossibility 
to keep it, and of our danger to break it, we should desire 
earnestly, and seek out diligently for Jesus Christ. To 
this purpose, saith the apostle, " The law is our school- 
master to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified 
by faith ;" a school-master, you know, doth not only 
correct, but also teach: so the law doth not only condemn, 
if the work be not done, but it shews that power and 
help must be had, from the Lord Jesus Christ. If this 
be : so, how much to blame are they that, under pre- 
tence of free grace and Christ, cry down the law ! 


Rather let us cry it up, and this is the way to set up free 
grace and Christ. Surely he that discovers his defects by 
the perfect rule of the law, and whose soul is humbled he* 
cause of these defects, must prize Christ, desire Christ, 
advance Christ in his thoughts, above all men in the 


The next breaking forth of this gracious covenant was 
to David ; and in this manifestation appears yet more of 
Christ. The expression of it is chiefly in these words, 
" Although my house be not so with God, yet he hath 
made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all 
things and sure." For the right understanding of this we 
shall examine the following particulars : 

1. Who is the author of this covenant ? — David says, 
He, God the rock of Israel, the everlasting rock ; 
" the rock of their salvation." The psalmist frequently 
uses such figures as these, to shew that God is the 
mighty, ana immutable foundation and defence of all 
the faithful. 

2. To whom is the covenant made ? — David saith, 
"He hath made with me an everlasting covenant," either 
with Christ the antitype, or else with David himself, 
the type of Christ. Some are wholly for a covenant 
between God and Christ ; and they deny any such thing 
as a covenant between God and man ; but are not the 
testimonies express ? "Take heed to yourselves, lest you 
forget the covenant which the Lord hath made with you." 
" And I will make a new covenant with the house of 
Israel, and with the house of Judah." Take heed of such 
doctrines as tend unto licentiousness ! The covenant 
God makes with us binds us faster to God ; and if there 
be no covenant between God aud us, it opens a gap to 
the looseness of our spirits ; for how should we be 
charged with unfaithfulnes unto God, if we have not at 
all entered into a covenant with him ? 

3. How is the covenant said to be ordered ? — The 
word " ordered" sets out to us a marshalling of things 



together, in opposition to disorder and confusion. As 
we see in the army, every one is set in rank and file, so 
is every thing in this covenant, ranked, disposed, ordered, 
that it stands at best advantage to receive and repel the 

4. Wherein is the covenant sure? — I answer it is sure 
in the performance and accomplishment of it. Hence 
the promises of the covenant are called "the sure mercies 
of David," not because they are sure unto David alone, 
but because they are sure unto all the seed of David 
that are in covenant with God, as David was. The 
promises of God's covenant are not " yea and nay," 
various and uncertain, but they are " yea and amen," 
sure to be fulfilled. Hence the stability of God's cove- 
nant is compared to the firmness and unmoveableness of 
the mighty mountains ; nay, " mountains may depart, 
and the hills be removed" by a miracle, but "my kindness 
shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of 
my peace be removed, saith the Lord, that hath mercy 
on thee." Sooner shall the rocks be removed, the fire 
cease to burn, the sun be turned into darkness, and the 
very heavens be confounded with the earth, than the 
promise of God shall fail. 

5. Christ is more clearly manifested in this breaking 
forth of the covenant than in any of the former. — For here 
we see, 1. That he was God and man in one person; David's 
son, and yet David's Lord. " The Lord said unto my 
Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine ene- 
mies thy footstool." 2, That he suffered for us : and in 
his sufferings how many particulars are discovered ? As, 
first, his cry, " My God, my God, why hast thou for- 
saken me?" Secondly, The Jews' taunts, "He trusted 
on the Lord, that he would deliver him; let him deliver 
him if he delight in him." Thirdly, the very manner 
of his death, " They pierced my hands and my feet, I 
may tell all my bones, they look and stare upon me : 
they part my garments among them, and cast lots upon 
my vesture." 3. That he rose again for us ; " Thou wilt 
not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine 
holy One to see corruption." 4. That he ascended up 
in^o heaven ; " Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast 


led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts for men."" 
6. That he must be King over us, and over his enemies: 
** The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right 
hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The 
Lord shall send forth the rod of thy strength out of 
Zion. Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies." 6. 
That he must be a priest, as well as a king ; and a sacri- 
fice, as well as a priest. " The Lord hath sworn, and will 
not repent ; thou art a priest for ever after the order of 
Melchizedec. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest 
wickedness, therefore God, thy God hath anointed thee 
with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Sacrifice and 
burnt-offering thou vvouldst not have, but mine ear hast 
thou bored; burnt-offering, and sin-offering hast thou not 
required. Then, said I, Lo, I come, in the volume of 
thy book it is written of me, that I should do thy will, 
O God." See how clearly Christ is revealed in this ex- 
pression of the covenant ! It was never thus before. 


By reason of the captivity of Babylon Israel was 
almost destroyed ; and therefore then it was high time, 
that the Lord should appear like a sun after a stormy 
rain, and give them some clearer light of Christ. He 
doth so, especially in these words; " Behold the days 
come, saith the Lord, that I Avill make a new covenant 
with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; 
not according to the covenant which I made with their 
fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to 
bring them out of the land of Egypt, (which my cove- 
nant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, 
saith the Lord,) but this shall be the covenant that I 
will make with the house of Israel, after those days, 
saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, 
and write it in their hearts, and I will be their God, and 
they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more 
every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, 
saying, Know the Lord : for they shall all know me, 
from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith 


the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity, and will re- 
member their sin no more." In this expression of the 
covenant we shall examine these particulars : — 

1 . Why is it called a new covenant ? — It is called new 
in contradiction to the covenant of promise before Christ 
came. The very same words here are repeated in the 
epistle to the Hebrews, " Behold, the days come, saith 
the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the 
house of Israel, and the house of Judah. In that he 
saith, a new covenant, he hath made the first old ; now 
that which decayeth, and waxeth old, is ready to vanish 
away." The new covenant is usually understood in the 
latter sense : it is new because diverse from that which 
God made with their fathers before Christ \ it hath a new 
worship, new adoration, a new form of the church, new 
witnesses, new tables, new ordinances ; and these never 
to be disannulled, never to wax old, as the apostle speaks. 

2. Wherein doth this covenant excel the former, which 
God made with their fathers ? — 1 . It excels in the bene- 
fits and graces of the Spirit. — We find that under this 
covenant they were more plentifully bestowed upon the 
church than formerly. " I will set mine eyes upon them 
for good, and I will bring them again to this land, and t 
will build them, and not pull them down, and I will plant 
themj and not pluck them up; and I will give them an heart 
to know me, that 1 am the Lord, and they shall be my peo- 
ple, and I will be their God, for they shall return unto me 
with their whole heart. — And I will put my law in their 
inward parts, and write it in their hearts ; and I will be 
their God, and they shall be my people, and they shall 
teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man 
his brother, saying, Know the Lord ; for they shall all 
know me, from the least of them, unto the greatest of 
them, saith the Lord ; for I will forgive their iniquities, 
and I will remember their sin no more." 

2. It excels in the discovery of the Mediator, in and 
through whom the covenant was made. — In the former 
expressions we discovered much ; yet in none of them 
was so plainly revealed the time of his coining, the place 
of his birth, his name the passages of his nativity, his 
humiliation and kingdom, as we find them in this. 


* ' , 

Concerning the time of his coming. — " Seventy weeks 
are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, 
to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sin, 
and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in 
everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and 
prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy." 

Concerning the place of his birth. — 9 But thou Beth- 
lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thou- 
sands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto 
me, that is to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth 
have been from of old, from everlasting." 

Concerning his name. — " Unto us a child is born, 
unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon 
his shoulders ; and his name shall be called Wonderful, 
Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, 
the Prince of peace. In his days Judah shall be saved, 
and Israel shall dwell safely : and this is his name 
whereby he shall be called, The Lord our righteousness. 
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall 
call his name Immanuel." 

Concerning the passages of his nativity.— That he 
should be born of a virgin. That at his birth all the 
infants round about Bethlehem should be slain. That 
John the Baptist should be his forerunner, to prepare 
his way. That he should flee into Egypt, and be recalled 
thence again. I might add many particulars of this kind. 

Concerning his humiliation. — " Surely he hath borne 
our griefs, and carried our sorrows ; yet we did esteem 
him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he 
was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for 
our iniquities : the chastisement of our peace was upon 
him, and with his stripes we are healed. — He was op- 
pressed, and he was afflicted ; yet he opened not his 
mouth. — He was taken from prison, and from judgment, 
and who shall declare his generation ? He was cut off 
out of the land of the living : for the transgression of 
my people was he stricken.^— * It pleased the Lord to 
bruise him ; he hath put him to grief. — Therefore I will 
divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide 
the, spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out 
bis soul unio death, and he was numbered with the 


transgressors, and he bare the sin of many, and made 
intercession for the transgressors." One would think 
this were rather a history than a prophecy of Christ's 

- Concerning his kingdom. — "Rejoice greatly, O daugh- 
ter of Zion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem, behold, 
thy King cometh unto thee ; he is just, and having sal- 
vation, lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, 
the foal of an ass." 

He is a King, and therefore able. He is thy King, and 
therefore willing. Wonderful love, that he would come; 
but more wonderful was the manner of his coming : he 
that before made man a soul after the image of God, 
then made himself a body after the image of man. And 
thus we see how this covenant excels the former in each 
of these respects. 

3. How doth God put the law into our inward parts ? — 
God puts the law into our inward parts, by enlivening 
a man with the graces of God's Spirit suitable to his 
commandment. There is the law of God without us, 
as we see it, or read it in scripture, but when it is 
put within us, then God hath wrought an inward dispo- 
sition in our minds, that answers to the law without us. 
For example, this is the law without, " Thou shalt love 
the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thv 
soul, and with all thy strength." To answer whicfi 
there is a promise, H I will circumcise thy heart, and the 
heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God, with all thy 
heart, and with all thy soul." Now when this promise 
is fulfilled, then is the law put in our inward parts. 

4. What is it to have the law written in our hearts ?— 
This writing contains the former, and is something more. 
It is said to be written, that there might be something 
within answerable to the law without. Oh ! what a 
mercy is this, that the same God, who wrote the law 
with his own finger in tables of stone, should also 
write the same law with the finger of his Spirit in the 
tables of our hearts ! As you see in the wax the same 
impression that was on the seal ; so in the hearts of the 
faithful, the Spirit stamps an inward disposition, an- 
swering to every particular of the law. It k said to be 


Written, that it might be rooted and riveted in the heart, 
as, when letters are engraven in marble. If God write, 
it can never be obliterated. If Pilate could say, "What 
I have written, I have written," how much more may 
God ? Hence are all those promises of performance : 
"My covenant shalJ stand fast with him." " The root 
of the righteous shall not be moved." I deny not but 
men of great gifts may fall away, but surely the poorest 
Christian that hath but the smallest measure of grace, 
shall never fall away. If the law be written in our hearts, 
it still remains there. Sooner will the sun discard its 
own beams, than Christ desert the least measure of true 
grace, which is a beam from the Sun of Righteousness. 

5. How are we taught of God, so as not to need any 
other kind of teaching comparatively ? — God teacheth 
inwardly. — " In the hidden part thou hast made me 
know wisdom," saith David. And again, " I thank the 
Lord, that gave me counsel ; my reins also instruct me in 
the night season." The reins are the most inward parts 
of the body, and the night season, the most retired, and 
private time : both express the intimacy of Divine teach- 
ing. " God who commanded light to shine out of dark- 
ness, hath shined into our hearts." Man's light may shine 
into the head ; but God's light cloth shine into the heart. 
God teacheth clearly. — If ever the word come home to 
a heart, it comes with a convincing clearness. So the 
apostle, " Our gospel came unto you, not in word only, 
but in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much as- 
surance." God teacheth sweetly and comfortably.-— 
" Thou hast taught me," saith David, and then it follows, 
" How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter 
than honey to my mouth." Luther said, " He would not 
live in Paradise, if he must live without the word." 
Christ in ordinances doth as Mary, open a box of oint- 
ments, which difhiseth a spiritual savour in church- 
assemblies, and this only the spiritual Christian feels. 
These are the teachings of God, and in reference to this, 
" We shall no more teach every man his neighbour, and 
every man his brother, saying, K*iow the Lord." 

6. What is the universality of this knowledge ? — 
*■ Thev shall all know me from the least of them, to the 



greatest of them, saith the Lord." The meaning is, 
that although God hath several forms in his school ; 
fathers for experience, young men for strength, and babes 
for the truth and being of grace ; yet that all who are in 
the covenant of grace, shall be so taught of God, that 
they shall every one know him inwardly, clearly, 
sweetly, and savingly. 

7. How is God said to " forgive iniquity, and never 
more to remember sin ?" — God is said to " forgive ini- 
quity," when the guilt of sin is taken away, and " never 
more to remember sin/' in that the sinner after pardon is 
never more looked on as a sinner. Here is our comfort, 
that when God hath pardoned sin, he takes away the 
guilt as to condemnation; he now looks upon him not 
as a sinner, but as a just man ; and so in this sense he 
will forgive, and never more remember his sin. 

I have now shewn that a thread of the gospel and of 
the coveuant of grace, runs through the whole of the 
Old Testament. I have also set before you the object 
we are to look unto, namely, Jesus, as held forth in a 
way of promise or covenant, in that dark time from the 
creation till his first coming in the flesh. Our next bu- 
siness is to direct you how to look to him in this respect. 


Of knowing Jesus as carrying on the great Work of our Salvation from 
the Creation until his first coming. — Of considering — desiring — hoping 
— believing — loving — joying in — calling on — and conforming to Jesus 
in this respect. 


V>HRIST made the world for us, and he made us 
more especially for his own glory ; but presently after 
we were made, we sinned and marred the image 
wherein God made us. This was the saddest act that ever 
was ; it was the undoing of man, and (without God's 
mercy) the damning of all souls both of men and women 
to all eternity. But blessed be God for Jesus Christ ! 
At the very instant when all would have been damned, 
Christ intervened ; a covenant of grace was made with 
man, and Christ is the foundation, in and through 
whom we must be reconciled unto God. Come, O my 
soul, and study this covenant of grace in reference to 
thyself. Had not this been, where hadst thou been ? 
Nay, where had all the world been at this day ? Surely it 
concerns thee to take notice of this great transaction. 
Come, study the several breakings out of the covenant 
of grace : it is worth thy pains, it is " a mystery which 
hath been hid from ages, and from generations, but 
now is made manifest to the saints." Here lies the first 
and most firm foundation of a Christian's comfort ; if 
thou canst but study this, and assure thyself of thy part 
in it, thou art blessed for ever. O how incomparably 
sweet and satisfying is it to a self-studying Christian, to 



know the faithful engagements of the Almighty God, 
through the Son of his love, in a covenant of grace. 


It is not enough to know this subject, but we must 
seriously meditate upon, and consider it. 

1. Consider Jesus in the first promise made to 
Adam ; " It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise 
his heel." — When all men were under the guilt of sin, 
and in the power of Satan, and when thou, my soul, 
wert in as bad a case as any other, then to hear of a 
Saviour and Redeemer, sure this was welcome news ! 
Come draw the case nearer to thyself, thou wast in 
Adam's loins ; suppose thou hadst been in Adam's stead, 
and had found that after having been one day the 
monarch of the world thou wert become the slave of 
Satan, and condemned to be tormented with the devil 
and his angels. O what would then have been thy feel- 
ings, if thou hadst heard that a deliverance would be 
wrought out for thee by the promised seed ? In this 
promise, O my soul, is folded and wrapped up thy hope, 
thy heaven, thy salvation ; and therefore consider il ; 
view it over and over: it is a field that contains a precious 
treasure : there is in it a Saviour, a Redeemer, a deliv- 
erer from sin, death and hell. 

2. Consider Jesus in the promise made to Abraham ; 
" I will establish my covenant between me and thee, andl 
thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting 
covenant, to be a God to thee, and to thy seed after thee." 
—In respect of this covenant Abraham is called " the 
father of the faithful," and they which are of the faith, 
are called the children of Abraham. And, O my soul, 
if thou art in covenant with God, surely thou dost by 
faith draw it through Abraham, to whom this promise 
was made ; for " if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's 
seed, and heirs according to the promise." Consider 
what a mercy is this, that God should enter into a cove- 
nant with thee in Abraham. God makes a promise of 
Christ, and inclusively a covenant of grace, in his com- 

^|prting Adam, but he mak^s a covenant expressly under 


the name of covenant with Abraham and his seed. O. 
muse, and be amazed that the great and glorious God 
©f heaven and earth should be willing to enter into a 
covenant ! Think of it seriously : he is in heaven, and 
thou art on earth : he is the Creator, and thou art his 
creature : " Ah, what art thou, or what is thy father s 
house, that thou shouldest be raised up hitherto ?" When 
Jehoshaphat and Ahab were in covenant, Jehoshaphat 
said, " I am, as thou art, my people as thy people, my 
horses as thy horses." So^it is between God and us ; if 
once he give us the covenant, then his strength is our 
strength, his power is our power, his attributes are our 
attributes, we have interest in all. Thus runs the tenor 
of his covenant, " I will be a God to thee, and to thy 
seed after thee." This is the general promise : consider 
that it is God in Christ that is held forth to us in this 
phrase, I will be a God to thee. Here is the greatest 
promise that ever was made : Christ, God, is more than 
grace, pardon, holiness, heaven ; as the fountain of life 
is of more excellency than the streams. 

3. Consider Jesus in the promise made to Moses and 
the Israelites ; " I am the Lord thy God, that brought 
thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bon- 
dage." — Here is an overflowing blessing, which none 
can rightly value ; it is no less than the great and mighty, 
and infinite God ; if we had a promise of a hundred 
worlds, or of ten heavens, this is more than all. Con- 
sider the greatness of this promise, "I am the Lord thy 
God !" No question but Moses had many other rich pro- 
mises from God, but he could not be satisfied without 
God himself; " If thy presence be not with us, bring 
us not hence." And no wonder, for without God all 
things are nothing ; but in the want of all other things, 
God himself is instead of all : it is God's alone preroga- 
tive to be an universal good. The things of this world 
can but help in this or that particular thing : as bread 
against hunger, drink against thirst, clothes against cold 
and nakedness, riches against poverty, physic against 
sickness ; but God is an all-sufficient good ; he is all in 
all. Are we guilty of sin ? there is mercy in God to 
pardon us. Are we beset by corruptions ? There is power 


in God to subdue them. Are we disquieted in consci- 
ence ? There is that Spirit in God that can fill us with 
joy unspeakable and glorious. God may be enjoyed in 
any condition, in the meanest as well as the greatest, 
in the poorest as welj as the richest : God will go into a 
wilderness, into a prison with his people, and there he 
will make up all their deficiences. 

4. Consider Jesus in the promise made to David ; 
" He hath made \yith me an everlasting covenant, or- 
dered in all things and sure." — Christ hath prepared a 
kingdom which shall never fade,a spiritual and aheavenly 
kingdom that shall never cease ; and as he hath prepared 
it, so, it thou believest, he hath entered into a covenant 
with thy soul, to bestow it on thee : it is an everlasting 
covenant, and he will give thee everlasting life. 

5. Consider Jesus in that new covenant or promise, 
which God made with Israel and Judah ; " I will put 
my law into their inward parts, and write it in their 
hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my 
people. And they shall teach no more every man his 
neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know 
the Lord, for they shall all know me from the least of 
them to the greatest of them, saith the Lord : for I will 
forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no 
more."-— O my soul, if thou art in covenant with God, 
there is a certain spiritual power, or principle of grace, 
which Christ by his Spirit hath put into thy heart, en- 
abling thee in some measure to move thyself towards 
God. Consider this inward principle, it is an excellent 
subject worthy of thy consideration ! 

"I will be their God." This is the great promise of 
the new covenant ; it is as great as God is : though the 
heavens and the heaven of heavens be not able to con- 
tain him, yet this promise contains him ; " I will be 
their God." 

" They shall be my people." God looks upon all 
other things with indifference in comparison of his people. 
" The Lord's portion is his people, Jacob is the lot of 
his inheritance." The saints are those that God hath 
set his heart upon : they are children of God, the spouse 
of the Lamb : they are nearer God in some respects than 


the angels themselves, for the angels are not in a mystical 
union so united to Christ, as God's people are. Oh, 
the happiness of saints ! " I will be their God, and they 
shall be my people P 

" They shall teach no more every many his neighbour, 
and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for 
they shall all know me from the least of them to the 
greatest of them, saith the Lord." Consider this ! Oh, 
poor soul, thou coraplainest many a time of thy weak- 
ness, thou knowest little or nothing : why, see here a glo- 
rious promise ; if thou art but in covenant with God, 
thou shalt " be taught of God." He will open unto thee 
all his treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Not that 
private instruction, or public ministry must be excluded: 
these are appointed, and are subordinate to the Spirit's 
teaching. Consider if thou art thus taught of God ! 

" I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember 
their sin no more." O my soul, if thou hast a right to 
this promise, thou art delivered from eternal death, and 
art entitled to an eternal kingdom. Know thy blessed- 
ness aright ! consider how infinitely thou art indebted 
to God and Christ, and mercy, and free grace ! This 
promise sounds forth nothing but grace and blessing: 
— grace from God, and blessing on us : it is grace, be- 
cause nothing but grace and mercy can forgive ; it is 
grace, because God, if he will, hath power in his hand 
to revenge. O then let thy inmost thoughts and deep 
affections be exercised on this subject. If God and Jesus, 
and all thy good be included here, why should not thy 
whole soul be intent on this? Why shouldestthou spend 
it on the creature ? Why shouldest thou be so subject to 
carnal griefs and fears ? Surely all these are fitter to be 
fixed on God in Christ, on Jesus in a covenant of grace. 


It is not enough to know and consider Jesus as car- 
rying on the great work of our salvation in a covenant- 
way before his coming in the flesh, but we must also de- 
sire an interest in that covenant. No sooner has the 
soul by the Spirit been enabled to know and consider 


the covenant, than the affections begin to stir, and the 
soul begins to long after an interest in it. Its language 
then is, O that I might obtain a share in these blessings! 
I would fain be in covenant with God, for " this is all 
my salvation and all my desire." 

1 . Come, then, O my soul, and desire an interest in 
tbe covenant. — Say in thyself, Is the Lord willing to 
receive me to his grace? Was that his proclamation, u Ho i 
every one that thirsteth,comeyeto the waters: incline your 
ear and come unto me ; — And I will make an everlast* 
ing covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." 
And are these the promises offered in the covenant ? "I 
will put my law into your inward parts, and I will write 
it in your hearts, and I will be your God, and ye shall 
be my people." Oh, the blessed condition of those that 
are in covenant with God ! "Blessed art thou, O Israel, 
who is like unto thee, a people saved by the Lord !" But, 
ah ! what can I say ? No sin is like unto my sin ; no 
misery is like unto my misery ! I am an alien to God, I 
am separated from his people, I am out of the covenant. 
Like the poor Prodigal, I die for hunger, while those 
that are in my Father's house have bread enough : Oh 
that I were in their condition ! Never did David long 
more for the waters of the well of Bethlehem, than my 
soul now touched with the sense of sin, doth de- 
sire to be at peace with God, and in covenant with him. 

2. Desire thy improvement of the covenant. — It may 
be God hath given thee an interest in it, but, alas ! thy 
hold is so weak, that thou scarce knowest the meaning 
of it. The Lord may answer, but yet he speaks darkly 
as he spake to the woman, " Go thy way, and sin no 
more." It was a middle kind of expression, neither as- 
suring her that her sin was pardoned, nor yet putting her 
her out of hope that it might be pardoned ; so it may 
be God hath given thee some little ease, but he hath 
not spoken full peace : go on then and desire more con- 
firmation. Say in thine heart, O Lord, thou hast begun 
to shew grace unto thy servant; but, oh, manifest tome 
all thy goodness. Thou hast given me a drop, and I 
feel it so sweet, that now I thirst, and long to enjoy the 
fountain. Thou hast given me a taste, but my appetite 


is not hereby diminished, but enlarged; and good reason, 
for what are these drops and tastes, but only "the first 
fruits and earnests of the Spirit ?" Oh then, what are 
those harvests of joy ? What are those treasures of wis- 
dom, and free grace hid in God? I have indeed beheld 
"a feast of fat things," but, what a famine is yet in my 
soul! Lord I have longed for thy salvation. Come, 
Lord Jesus, come quickly. 

3. Desire after continuance of thy covenant-state. — 
Many a one cannot deny but that the Lord hath shewed 
mercy to him, but he fears that he shall not hold out: 
he feels within such a power of corruption, such strong 
temptations, that now he doubts, what will be the issue. 
Come now, and desire perseverance : Come with these 
pantings and breathings after God : put forth thy desires 
in these and the like expressions, " O Lord," thou hast 
said, " I will betroth thee unto me for ever." Thou hast 
said, " The saints shall be kept by the power of God." 
And if these be thy sayings, then, Lord, I desire the ac- 
complishment! O fulfil what thou hast said. My desires 
are like thyself, infinite, everlasting desires. 

4. Desire Jesus, the all in all, in the covenant of 
grace. — The most proper object of desire to fallen man 
is Jesus Christ. Hence it is, that a poor sinner, under 
the sense of sin, cries out with that vehemency of desire, 
u Christ, and none but Christ : give me Christ, or I am. 
lost for ever." But what is Christ to a covenant of grace ? 
He is the great business, he is the all in all. He is the 
Messenger of the covenant; the Witness of the covenant; 
the Surety of the covenant; the Mediator of the cove- 
nant ; and the Testator of the covenant. 

O what fuel is here to set our desires on flame ! Come, 
soul, and bend thy desires towards Christ, as the sun- 
flower towards the sun, the iron to the load-stone, and 
the load-stone to the pole-star. Yea, the nearer thou 
drawest towards Christ, the more do thou desire him. 
If David could say, "My soul breaks for the longings 
that it hath to thy judgments at all times," how may est 
thou say, "My soul breaks for the longings that it hath 
to thy mercies, and my Jesus at. all times 1 ." I gasp for 
grace, as the thirsty land for drops of rain; I thirst, I 



faint, I long for a draught of the " fountain opened to the 
house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem/' 
My thirst is insatiable ; my desire after Jesus in reference 
to the covenant, is " greedy as the grave, the coals thereof 
are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame." 


Hope is a confidence that a desired good will come. 
If the grounds be weak, then hope is doubtful, or pre- 
sumptuous ; but if the grounds be right, then hope is 
right, and we may cast anchor, and build upon it. 

If thou art in covenant with God, then hath God 
wrought in thee that condition of the covenant, a true 
and lively faith. " Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou 
shalt be saved." This is so sure a way of trial, that the 
apostle himself directs us thereunto; "Examine yourselves 
whether ye be in the faith." But how shall I examine, 
for there are many pretenders to faith in these days? Why, 
thus, True faith uniteth to Christ, overcometh the world, 
worketh by love, purineth the heart, and is founded upon 
the sense and pain of a lost condition. I know, Satan 
argues, " Thou art not worthy of Christ, and therefore 
what hast thou to do with Christ ? but faith con- 
cludes otherwise, I am not worthy of Christ ; I am out 
of measure sinful ; I tremble at it, and therefore I ought 
and must come to Christ ;" for what is faith, but the act 
of a sinner humbled, weary, poor, and self-condemned ? 
Hast thou this faith in Jesus ? O then hope in him : 
Draw on thy hope yet more and more : be not content 
only with a hope of expectation, but bring it on to a 
hope of assurance : thou canst not fail if thou hangest 
thy hope on Jesus. 


In order to assist you to believe in Jesus, 
1. Consider the gracious nature of God. — That which 
undoes broken hearts and trembling souls is misconceiv- 
ing of God. We have many times low thoughts of God's 
goodness, but large thoughts of his power and wrath ; 


now to rectify these misapprehensions, consider his 
name, and therein his nature : " The Lord, the Lord God, 
merciful, and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in 
goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, for- 
giving iniquity, transgression, and sin." 

2. Consider the gracious nature of Jesus Christ. — Our 
thoughts of God are necessarily more strange than of 
Christ, because of our infinite distance from the God- 
head ; but in Christ, God is come down into our nature, 
and so infinite goodness is incarnate. Art thou afraid, 
O my soul, at his name Jah, and Jehovah ! remember 
his name is Emmanuel : the lion is here disrobed of his 
garment of terror. See thy God disrobed of his terrible 
Majesty : see thy God is a Man, and thy Judge is a Bro- 
ther. O that name Jesus ! it sounds healing for every 
wound, set+lement for every distraction, comfort for every 
sorrow. But here is the misery, souls in distress had 
rather be poring on hell than heaven. 

3. Consider those tender offers of Christ, which are 
made in the gospel. — What is the sum of all the gospel, 
but this ? — " Take Christ, and life in Christ, that thou 
mayest be saved :" God is the first suitor ; he first prays 
the soul to take Christ. Hark at the door! Who is it that 
calls now, even now ? " Open unto me my sister, my 
love, my dove, my undefiled, for my head is filled with 
dew, and my locks with the drops of the night." What 
are these the entreaties of Jesus ? And, O my soul, wilt 
thou not believe ? Wilt thou not accept of this gracious 
offer of Christ ? O consider who is this that proclaimeth, 
inviteth, beseecheth I If a poor man should offer thee 
mountains of gold, thou mightest doubt of performance, 
because he is not of that power; if a covetous rich man 
should offer thee thousands of silver, thou mightest doubt 
of performance, because it is contrary to his nature ; 
but Christ is neither poor, nor covetous : He is able, 
and he is gracious, and his nature is to be faithful in per- 
formance. His covenant is sealed with his blood, and 
confirmed by his oath, that all shall have pardon that 
will believe. 

4. Consider the command on thee to believe. — " This 
is his commandment, that we should believe on the 
name of his Son Jesus Christ." Surely this command 

G 2 


should infinitely out-weigh all other countermands of 
flesh and blood, of Satan, nature, reason, sense, and all 
the world. Why, this command is thy very ground and 
warrant, against which the gates of hell can never pre- 
vail. When Abraham had a command to kill his only 
son, with his own hand, though it was a matter of as 
great grief as possibly could pierce his heart, yet he would 
readily submit to it ; how much more shouldst thou 
obey, when God commands no more but that thou 
shouldst (i believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ." 
There is no evil in this command : No > it comprehends 
in it all good imaginable. Have Christ, and thou hast 
with him the excellency and variety of all blessings both 
of heaven and earth. Have Christ, and thou hast with 
him a discharge of all- those endless torments of hell. 
Have Christ, aud thou hast with him the glorious Deity 
itself to be enjoyed through him to all eternity. 

5. Consider the messages of Christ, which he daily 
sends by the hands of his ministers. — " Now then we 
are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech 
you by us, we pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye recon- 
ciled unto God." What a wonder is here ! Would not 
an earthly prince disdain to send unto his rebellious 
slaves for reconcilement ? It is otherwise with Christ. 
He is glad to sue t© us first, and to send his ambassadors 
day after day, beseeching us to be reconciled unto him. 
Incomprehensible depth of unspeakable mercy and en- 
couragement to come to Christ ! Wilt thou take Christ 
to thy bridegroom, and forsake all others; this is the 
message which God hath bid me to deliver to thee. 
Shall God be thy God, and Christ thy Christ ? Wilt 
thou have the person of Christ, and all those privileges 
flowing from the blood of Christ? Surely thou art will- 
ing. Take him as thy Saviour and Lord, and forsake 
all others for him. This is true faith, the condition of 
the covenant. Believe in Jesus, and the covenant is es- 
tablished, and all doubts removed. 


In order to assist thy love, I will set before thee the 
love of God, and then thou canst not but love. 


1. Consider the time of his love.— He loved thee 
before the world was made ; hast thou not heard, and 
wilt thou ever forget it ? Was not his love from all 
eternity astonishing ? He loved thee in the very begin- 
ning of the world. Was not the promise expressed to 
Adam, intended for thee? As thou sinnedst in his loins, 
so didst thou not in his loins receive the promise, " It 
shall bruise thy head r" And not long after, when God 
established his covenant with Abraham and his seed, 
wast not thou one of that seed of Abraham ? " If ye 
are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs ac- 
cording to the promise." He loves thee now more esper- 
cially, not only with a love of benevolence, as, before, 
but with a love of complacency : not only hath he struck 
covenant with Christ, with Adam, with Abraham in 
thy behalf; but particularly and personally with thy- 
self. And O what a love is this ! If God loved thee 
before thou hadst a being ; yea, before the world, or any 
creature in it had a being ; how r much more now ! O the 
heighth, and depth, and length, and breadth of this 
immeasurable love ! O, my soul, I cannot express the 
love of God in Christ to thee : I but draw the picture of 
the sun with a coal, when I endeavour to express God's 
love in Christ. 

2. The effects of his love. — God so loves thee, as that 
he hath entered into a covenant with thee. O what a 
love is this ! Tell me, O my soul, is there not an infi- 
nite disparity between God and thee ? He is God above, 
and thou art a worm below : " He is the high and lofty 
One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy," and 
thou art less than the least of all the mercies of God. 
O wonder at such a condescension ! Had we the tongues 
of men and angels, we could never express it. God so 
loves thee, as that in the covenant he gives thee all his 
promises; indeed what is the covenant but a heap of 
promises ! As a cluster of stars makes a constellation, 
so a mass of promises concurreth in the covenant of 
grace. Christians, stand amazed ! What love is this 
to the children of men ! Oh that we should live to have 
our ears filled with this sound from heaven, " I will be a 
God to thee, and to thy seed after thee, I am the Lord 


thy God, I will be their God, and they shall be my peo- 
ple." Set before thee all the passages of God's love in 
Christ : are not these strong attractives to gain thy love ? 
Shall not all this love of God in Christ to thee constrain 
thy love ? God in Christ is the very element of love ; 
and whither should thy love be carried but to the ocean 
of love. 


Such is the excellency of spiritual joy, that it is re- 
served for heaven : God will not permit it to be pure 
and perfect here below; and yet such as it is, it is a 
blessed duty ; it is the light of our souls. O, my soul, 
exercise this joy. Is there not cause ? Come, see and 
own thy blessedness : take notice of the great things the 
Lord hath done for thee. He hath made a covenant with 
thee of temporal mercies. Thy bread is by covenant ; 
thy sleep is by covenant ; thy safety from sword is by 
covenant ; the very tilling of thy land is by a covenant 
of grace. Ezek. xxxvi. 34. He hath made a covenant 
with thee of spiritual mercies. God is become thy God: 
he is all things to thee : he hath forgiven thy sins ; he 
hath given thee his Spirit, to lead thee, to sanctify thee, 
to uphold thee in that state wherein thou standest ; and 
at last he will bring thee to a full enjoyment of himself 
in glory. O lift up thy head, strengthen the weak hands 
and the feeble knees ; serve the Lord with gladness and 
joyfulness of spirit, considering the da^of thy salvation 
draweth nigh. Write it in letters of gold, that thy 

BLESS THEE, AND TO SAVE THEE. I know these objects 

rejoice not every heart : a man out of covenant, if he 
look on God he is a consuming fire ; if on the law, it is 
a sentence of condemnation ; if on the earth, it brings 
forth thorns by reason of sins ; if on heaven, the gate is 
shut. But, O my soul, this is not thy case : a man in 
covenant with God looks on all these things with ano- 
ther eye. If he look on God, he saith, This is my 
Father ; if on Christ, This is my elder brother ; if on 
angels, These are my keepers ; if on heaven, This is my 
house. Come, poor soul, is it not thus with thee ? 


Art thou in covenant with God ? Or art thou not ? If 
yet thou doubtest, review thy grounds of hope, and 
leave not there, till thou come up to some measure of 
assurance ; but if thou art persuaded of thy interest, O 
then rejoice therein. If there be in thee any rejoicing 
faculty, now awake and stir it up : it is the Lord thy 
God, whom thou art to rejoice in : it is he whom the 
glorious spirits joy in : it is he who is the top of heaven's 
joy, their exceeding joy : and it is he who is thy God as 
well as their God. " Let Israel rejoice in him that made 
him, and let the children of Zion be joyful in their 


We must call on Jesus, or on God the Father, in and 
through Jesus, in reference to this gracious covenant* 
Now, this calling on God contains prayer and praise. 

1 . We must pray, we must use arguments of faith 
challenging God, " Turn thou me, and I shall be turned ; 
Why ? for thou art the Lord my God." This covenant 
is the ground on which all prayers must be founded: The 
covenant we know contains all the promises, and what 
is prayer but promises turned into petitions ? Thus 
prayed the prophet Jeremiah; " Do not abhor us for thy 
name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory; 
remember, break not thy covenant with us. — Why? 
Art not thou the Lord our God ?" And thus prayed the 
prophet Isaiah ; " Be not wroth very sore, neither re- 
member iniquity for ever, behold we beseech thee ;" and 
why so ? " We are all thy people." Is thy soul troubled 
for want of strength to do this or that duty ? Go to 
God and Christ, and say, " Lord, thou knowest I have 
no strength of myself, I am a barren wilderness, but 
thou hast entered into a covenant with me, that thou 
wilt put thy law into my inward parts^ thou wilt cause 
me to keep thy judgments and do them*" Here is the 
way; in every strait, flee to God and Christ, saying, 
" Thou art our Father, and we are thy people, O break 
not thy covenant with us." 

2. We must praise. — If we would have the blessing 
let us seek it with a purpose to have grace exalted ; thus 


Moses sought pardon, that God's mercy might appear ; 
and Christ prayed, " Father, glorify thy name," and 
presently there came a voice out of the cloud, "I have 
glorified it, and I will glorify it again." If we have the 
hlessing already, then let us ascribe the glory unto him 
that hath made good his promise unto us. We should 
make the praise of his grace to ring through the world, 
that heaven and earth might take notice of it, and wonder 
at the grace that hath been shewed unto us. "I will 
mention the lovingkindness of the Lord, and the praises 
of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed 
on us, and the great goodness towards the house of 
Israel, which he hath bestowed on them, according to 
his mercies ; and according to the multitude of his 
lovingkindnesses." See how the prophet mentions the 
kindnesses, the lovingkindnesses, the multitude of his 
lovingkindnesses : the goodness, and the great goodness 
of God : he would have God and grace to have all the 
glory. O my soul, hath God entered thee into a cove- 
nant of grace ? Why then, " Bless the Lord, O my 
soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name." 


We must conform to Jesus, in reference to this cove- 
nant of grace. — "We are changed by beholding, into the 
same image." If we look unto Jesus in this respect, 
this look will have such an influence upon us, that we 
shall conform to Jesus. But wherein consists this con- 
formity? I answer, in these several particulars. 

1. God in Christ offers a covenant of grace to us ; so 
we, through Christ, should embrace this gracious offer. — 
God is first with us ; he is the first mover, he begins 
with us before we begin with him, " I will bring them 
(saith God) into the bond of the covenant." Now, in 
this let us conform : doth he offer ? Let us embrace the 
offer ! Doth he lead the way ? Let us follow him step 
by step in that very way : let not us prescribe unto God, 
let not us presume to appoint the conditions of the co- 
venant ; but, take God and Christ upon his own terms : 
submit to that way of the covenant, and to those con- 


ditions of peace which the Lord prescribeth. O my 
soul hast thou come thus by little and little to touch 
the top of Christ's golden sceptre ? Why, then Is 
thy hand given to God, then art thou entered into a 
covenant of peace. Christ's offering, and thy receiving 
the covenant of grace, bear a sweet agreement, a harmo- 
nious conformity. 

2. God in Christ keeps covenant with us ; so we 
through Christ should be careful to keep covenant with 
God. — The Lord never will, never hath broken the 
covenants on his part ; but, alas, we on our parts have 
broken the first covenant of works ; take heed we break 
not the second, for then there remains no place for any 
more covenants with us. Sundry acts of faith are re- 
quired to this keeping of the covenant. As in the things 
to be believed, faith looks on the promise; so in things 
to be practised, faith looks upon the command. Faith 
will present no strange fire before the Lord : it knows, 
that God will accept of nothing but what is according 
to his own will. As faith takes direction from the rule, 
so in keeping of the covenant it directs us to the right 
end, that is, to the glory of God : we are of him, and 
live in him, and by faith we must live to him, and for 
him : Faith shields the soul against all hinderances that 
it meets with. Sometimes we are tempted on the right 
hand by the baits and allurements of the world ;" All 
these will I give thee, saith the world, if thou wilt be 
mine y but then faith overcomes the world, by setting 
before us better things than these. Sometimes we are 
tempted on the left hand with crosses and sufferings for 
the name of Christ, but then faith helps us to overcome, 
by setting before us the end of our faith and patience. 
Faith furnisheth the soul with strength and ability to keep 
the covenant, by directing it to Christ, in whom all ful- 
ness of grace and strength is treasured up for his people. 

O my soul, art thou acquainted with these acts of 
faith, enabling thee in some good measure to keep cove- 
nant with God ? Then is there a sweet conformity be- 
tween thee and Jesus. 

3. God in Christ hath highly honoured us. as his 
people j so we through Christ should honour him highlv, 


as our God. — We are all willing to be in covenant with 
God, that we may sit upon thrones, and possess a king- 
dom ; but we must think especially of setting up the 
Lord upon his throne. "Ascribe greatness to our God," 
saith Moses, Make it a name, and a praise unto him. 
Who shall honour him if his people will not ? The 
world knows him not. "God is not in all their thoughts." 
And shall God have no honour? O yes ! the Lord himself 
answers, " This people have I formed for myself, they 
shall shew forth my praise. 

But how should we honour God ? I answer,- — 

1. We must set him up as chief and highest in our 
esteem.— Thus Moses, '* Who is like unto thee amongst 
the gods? Who is like unto thee, glorious in holiness, 
feariul in praises, doing wonders ?" Thus David, "Thou 
art great, O Lord God, for there is none like thee, nei- 
ther is there any God besides thee, according to all that 
we have heard with our ears." And thus should we rise 
up in our thoughts and apprehensions of God, until we 
come to a holy extacy and admiration of God. 

2. We must count it our blessedness and highest dig- 
nity to be a people in covenant ivith God. — If when we 
are counted as things of naught, we can quiet ourselves 
in this, that " God is our God ;" if Avhen we are perse- 
cuted, imprisoned, distressed, we can say, with Jacob, 
" I have enough, because the Lord hath mercy on me, 
and hath taken me into covenant with him ;" surely then 
we do bear witness of God .before heaven and earth, that 
he is better to us than corn, or wine, or oil, or whatso- 
ever this world affords. 

3. We must lie under the authority of every word of 
God, and conform ourselves to the example of God.— 
We must labour to become followers of God, and imitate 
his virtues. It is a part of that honour which children 
owe to their parents, to obey their commands, and to 
imitate their godly example. We cannot honour God 
more, than when we are " humbled at his feet to receive 
his word," than when we renounce the manners of the 
world, to become his " followers as dear children." O 
think of this! for when we conform indeed, then are we 
■*' holy as he is holy, and pure as he is pure ;" and then 


how does this tend to the honour and glory of our God ! 
Thus far we have looked on Jesus as our Jesus, in 
that dark time before his coming; in the flesh ; our next 
work is to look on Jesus, carrying on the great work 
of man's salvation in his. first coming or incarnation. 

1 * 




Of the Tidings of Christ. -~~The Conception of Christ. — The Duplicity of 
Natures in Christ. — The Birth oj Christ,— Some Consequents ef 
Christ's Birth. 


W E shall extend this period from a little before the 
birth of Christ to the time of the baptism of John ; and 
shall notice several particulars. The first circumstance 
which we shall refer to in this period, is the tidings of 
Christ, as recorded in Luke i. 26, &c. "And in the sixth 
month the angel Gabriel was sent from God," &c. I 
shall a little insist on some of these words. 

The messenger was an angel. Man was too mean 
to carry the news of the conception of God. Never 
any business was conceived in heaven, that did so much 
concern the earth, as the conception of the God of hea- 
ven in a womb of earth ; no less therefore than an angel 
was worthy to bear these tidings ; and never angel re- 
ceived a greater honour. 

This angel salutes the virgin ; " Hail, thou that art 
highly favoured, The Lord is with thee, blessed art thou 


among women." Many men and women have been and are 
thespiritual temples of God; but never was any his material 
temple except Mary, and therefore " blessed art thou 
amongst women." And yet she was not so blessed in 
bearing Christ, as in believing in Christ: her bearing 
indeed was more miraculous, but her believing was more 
beneficial to her soul ! 

The virgin is troubled at this salute. She might well 
be troubled ; for if it had been but a man that had come 
in so suddenly, when she expected none ; or so secretly, 
when she had no other company ; or so strangely, the 
doors being shut ; she had cause to be troubled : how 
much more, when the shining glory of the angel so 
heightened the astonishment ! The angel however com- 
forts her; " Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour 
with God." 

Here is the foundation of her comfort and our happi- 
ness ; u Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and 
bring forth a Son, and shalt call his name Jesus." Never 
was mortal creature thus honoured, that her womb should 
yield that flesh, which was personally united to the 
Godhead ; that she should bear him that upholds the 
world. There is one wonder in the conception, another 
in the fruit ; both are marvellous, but the latter is more 
mysterious, and fuller of admiration. The fruit of the 
womb, is Jesus, a Saviour. Here was a Son, and such 
a Son as the world never had before, and here was the 
ground of Mary's joy. O come, let us dwell a little here. 
This name Jesus is better to us than all the titles of 
God : there is goodness and greatness in the name 
Jehovah, but we merited so little good, and deserved so 
much evil, that in it alone there had been small comfort 
for us, but in the name Jesus there is comfort, and with 
the name Jesus there is comfort in the^ name of God. In 
old times God was known by his names of power and 
majesty ; but his name of mercy was reserved till now, 
when God did purpose to pour out the whole treasure of 
his mercy, by the mediation of his Son. And, as this 
name is exalted above all names, so are we to exalt his 
mercy above all his works. It is an useful name ! In 
all distresses, miseries, perplexities, we beseech God by 


the name of Jesus to make good his own name, not to 
bear it for nothing, but, as he is our Saviour, to save us ; 
and this is our comfort, that. God will never so remem- 
ber our sins, as to forget his own blessed name, and 
especially this name Jesus. 

.The reason of his name was given by the angel to 
Joseph ; " Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall 
save his people from their sins."- But why from their 
sins ? We seem rather willing to be saved from poverty, 
ignominy, prison, death, hell. Sin is a thing that 
troubles but few. Alas ! sin is the very worst of evils : 
there is no poverty but sin ; there is no shame but sin ; 
there is no prison, but that prison is a paradise without 
sin ; there is no death that hath any sting in it but sin. 
Take out the sting, and you may put the serpent in your 
bosom: nay, I will say more, there would be no hell 
but for sin : sin first kindled the fire of hell, sin adds 
fuel to it ; take away sin, and that tormenting flame 
goes out. What abundance of benefits are here, in one 
word— " He shall save his people from their sins P 
There is no evil incident to man, but it ceaseth to be evil 
when sin is gone. If Jesus takes away sin he doth bless 
our very blessings, and sanctify our afflictions : he fetch- 
eth peace out of trouble, riches out of poverty, honour 
out of contempt, liberty out of bondage. This is that 
Jesus, the Son of God's love, the Author of our salva- 
tion, " in whom alone God is well pleased," and whom 
the angel published before he was conceived. 


The conception of Christ was the conclusion of the 
angel's message. No sooner had the virgin said, H Be 
it to me according to thy word," but according to that 
word it was. Immediately the Holy Ghost overshadowed 
her, and formed our Saviour in her womb. Now was it 
that the sun arose, that darkness vanished, that wrath, 
gave place to favour and salvation. Now was it that free 
grace came down from heaven, thousands of angels 
waiting on her, and singing, " Glory to God in the 
highest, peace on earth, good will towards men" 


In this conception of Christ are so many wonders, 
that ere we begin to speak them, we may stand amazed; 
fi without controversy great is the mystery of godliness, 
God manifest in the flesh." The agent of Christ's con- 
ception is the Holy Ghost. This agrees with that speech 
of the angel to Joseph, "That which is conceived in her 
is of the Holy Ghost." This conception of Christ was 
by the energetical command and ordination of the Holy 
Ghost, whereby that part of the virgin's blood or seed 
whereof the body of Christ was to be framed, were so 
cleansed and sanctified, that in it there should be neither 
Spot nor stain of original pollution. 

The effect was the framing of Christ's manhood. The 
matter of his body was the very flesh and blood of the 
virgin ; " He was made of a woman," saith the apostle, 
of the flesh, and blood, and substance of the woman, 
" And he vva« made of the seed of David, according to 
the flesfr.r The soul of Christ was not derived from the 
soul of the virgin, as a part thereof; but it was made as 
the souls of other men, of nothing, by the power of 
God ; and so infused into the body by the hand of God. 
O the condescension of our Jesus ! O that ever he 
would be conceived in the womb of a virgin ! O that 
he would run through the contumelies of our sordid nature, 
that he would not refuse that which we ourselves are in 
some sort ashamed of! The lower he came for us, the 
dearer and dearer let him be unto us : consider, in all 
these transactions, Christ was carrying on the great 
work of our Salvation, otherwise he had never been con- 
ceived, never had assumed to his person human nature, 
never had been map. 


The duplicity of natures in Christ appears in that he 
was truly God, and truly man. "To us a child is born," 
fcaith the prophet ; there is a nature human ; and " he 
shall be called the mighty God;" there is a nature divine, 
" God sent his Son," saith the apostle, therefore truly 
God ; and his Son, "made of a woman;" therefore truly 


That Christ is true God, both Scripture, and reasons 
drawn from Scripture evince. 

1 . The Scriptures call him God. u In the beginning 
was the word, and the word was with God, and the 
word was God." And "< unto the Son he saith, Thy 
throne, O God, is for ever." And ** Thomas answered 
and said unto him, My Lord, and my God." And 
u take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock, to feed 
the church of God which he hath purchased with his 
own blood." " And hereby perceive we the love of God, 
because he laid down his life for us." " And we know 
that the Son of God is come. This is the true God, and 
eternal life." And " without controversy great is the 
mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh." 

2. Unanswerable reasons drawn from Scriptures prove 
him God: thus it appears, 1. From those incommuni- 
cable properties of the Deity, which are ascribed unto 
him : He is eternal as God, Rev. i. 17. He is infinite 
as God, Matt, xxviii. 20. He is omniscient as God, 
Matt. ix. 4. He is omnipotent as God, " He that 
cometh from above, is above all." " He is able to sub- 
clue all things unto himself." " He hath the keys of 
hell and death." 

From those acts ascribed to him, which are only 
agreeable to the divine nature ; as to be the Author of 
our election, John xiii. 18. To know the secrets of our 
hearts, Matt. ix. 4. To hear the prayers of his people, 
John xiv. 1 4. To judge the quick and dead, John v. 22. 
And thus he creates as Goo, John i. 4. He commands 
as God, Matt. viii. 26. He forgives as God, Matt. ix. 
6. He sanctifies as God, John i. 12. He glorifies as 
God, John x. 28. 

From all those acknowledgments given to him by 
the saints, which are only proper unto God ; and thus 
he is believed on as God, John iii. 18. He is loved as 
God, 1 Cor. xvi. 22. He is obeyed as God, Matt. xvii. 
5. He is prayed to as God, Acts vii. 59. He is praised 
as God, Rev. v. 13. He is adored as God, Heb. i. 6. 
Phil. ii. 10. Surely all these are strong demonstrations, 
that Jesus Christ is God. 

But why was it requisite that our Saviour should be 


God ? 1 answer, t . Because none can save souls, nor 
satisfy for sin but God alone : " There is none," (saith the 
psalmist,) * that can by any means redeem his brother, 
nor give to God a ransom for him. — But God will redeem 
my soul from the power of the grave." 1. Because the 
satisfaction which is made for sin, must be infinitely me- 
ritorious. An infinite wrath cannot be appeased, but by 
an infinite merit ; and hence our Saviour must needs be 
God, to the end that his obedience and sufferings might 
be of infinite worth. 3. Because the burden of God's 
wrath cannot be endured by a finite creature : Christ 
therefore must be God, that he might abide the 
burden, and sustain the manhood by his divine power. 
4. Because the enemies of our salvation were too strong 
for us : how could any creature overcome Satan, death, 
hell, and damnation ? This required the power of God : 
there is none but God that could destroy " him that had 
the power of death, that is the devil." 

As Christ is God, so he is true man. He was born as 
man, and bred as man, and fed as man, and slept as 
man, and wept as man, and sorrowed as man, and suf- 
fered as man, and died as man ; and therefore he is man. 

But more particularly. Christ had a human body. 
" Wherefore when he came into the world, he said, 
sacrifice and offerings thou wouldest not, but a body hast 
thou prepared me." 

Christ had an human reasonable soul. M My soul is 
heavy unto death," said Christ. And, again, " Father, 
into thy hands I commend my Spirit." 

Christ had all the properties that belong either to the 
soul or body of a man : nay more, Christ had all the in- 
firmities of our nature, sin only excepted ; as cold, and 
heat, and hunger, and thirst, and weariness, and pain, 
and the like. 

But why was it requisite, that our Saviour should be 
man ? I answer, 1 . Because our Saviour must suffer, 
and die for our sins, which the Godhead could not do. 
2. Because our Saviour must perform obedience to the 
law, which was not agreeable to the lawgiver ; the God- 
head certainly is free from all manner of subjection. 3. 
Because our Saviour must satisfy the justice of God in 


the same nature wherein it was offended. 4. Because 
" by this means we might have free access to the throne 
of grace, and might find help in our necessities, having 
such an high priest, as was in all things tempted like 
unto us, and was acquainted with our infirmities in his 
own person." 

A real distinction in these two natures is also evident. 
In regard of essence, the Godhead cannot be the man- 
hood, nor can the manhood be the Godhead. In regard 
of properties, the Godhead is most wise, just, omnipo- 
tent, yea, wisdom, justice, omnipotency itself, and so 
is not the manhood, neither can it be. They have dis- 
tinct wills, "Not my will, but thy will be done, O Father," 
plainly shewing the difference between the will of a 
creature and the will of a Creator. The very actions 
in the work of redemption are inseparable, and yet dis- 
tinguishable : " I lay down my life and take it up again." 
To lay it down was the action of man, not of God; and 
to take it up was the action of God, not of man. 
It is easy to observe this real distinction of his two na- 
tures, from first to last. He was born of his mother, 
and wrapped in swaddling clothes, as being a man ; but 
the star shines over him, and the wise men adore him 
as being a God. He was baptized in Jordan, as being a 
man ; but the Holy Ghost from heaven descended upou 
him as being a God. He is tempted of Satan, as being 
a man; but he overcame Satan, and dispossessed devils, 
as being a God. He travelled, and was hungry, and 
weary, as being a man ; but he refreshed the weary, and 
fed the hungry, as being a God. He slept in the ship, 
and his disciples awoke him, as being a man; but he re- 
buked the winds, and stilled the raging of the tumultuous 
seas, as being a God. He was poor and needy and had 
not a house to put his head in, as being a man ; but he 
was, and is rich and mighty, and cannot be contained in 
the heaven of heavens, as being a God. He was sor- 
rowful and prayed as being a man; but he comforts the 
sorrowful, and heareth the prayers of his saints, as being 
a God. He was crucified as being a man; but he caused 
the sun to hide his face for shame when he was cru- 
cified, as being a God. He cried out on the cross, 
"Eloi, Eloi, Lamasabachthani," as being a man; but he 


could say to the thief, " To-day shalt thou be with me 
in paradise," as being a God. He died, was buried, and 
lay in the grave, as being a man ; but he overcame death, 
destroyed the devil, and raised up himself to life again, 
as being a God. After his resurrection, he appeared to 
his disciples, ate with them, and talked with them, as 
being a man ; but he provided meat, and vanished out of 
their sight, as being a God. He ascended into heaven, and 
the heavens now contain him, as he is man; but he sustains 
the heavens,and rides on the same, as being a God. Thus, 
we see two real distinct natures in Christ. The flesh is 
said to be deified, and the Deity is said to be incarnate ; 
not by the conversion of either into the nature of the 
other, but by assuming and adjoining the human nature 
to the divine, and yet still the human nature and the di- 
vine are distinct. 

From the union of these two natures believers derive 
the inestimable privilege of being themselves personally 
united to Christ. Of this unionfburthingsmaybeobserved. 

1 . It is a real union.—It is not a mere notional union, 
that consists only in the understanding ; it is not an 
imaginary thing, that hath no other being but in the 
brain ; no, it is a true, substantial union. In natural 
unions, I confess, there may be more evidence, but there 
cannot be more truth. 

2. It is a very near union. — You will say, how near? 
If an angel were to speak to you, he cannot fully satisfy 
you in this, only as far as our understanding can reach 
it, and the creatures can serve to illustrate these things. 
Take it thus, whatsoever by way of comparison can be 
alleged concerning the combination of any one thing 
with another, that, and much more may be said of our 
union with Jesus Christ. See how near the father and 
the child are, how near the husband and the wife are; see 
what union is between the branches and the vine, the 
members and the head : nay, see what the soul is to the 
body ; such is Christ, and so near is Christ, and nearer 
to the person of every true believer. " I live, yet not I, 
said Paul, but Christ liveth in me." As the soul is to 
the body of a natural man, so is Jesus Christ to my soul 
and bodv. 

K 2 


3. It is a compleat union.— If thou art united to Christ, 
thou hast all Christ ; thou art one with him in his na- 
ture, in his name ; thou hast the same image, grace and 
spirit in thee as he hath ; the same precious promises, the 
same access to God by prayer, as he: Thou hast the same 
love of the Father, all that he did or suffered, thou hast a 
share in it : thou hast his life and death ; all is thine. 
So on thy part, he hath thee wholly, thy nature, thy sins, 
the punishment of thy sin, thy wrath, thy curse, thy 
shame; yea, thy wit, and wealth, and strength, all that 
thou art or hast, or canst do possibly for him. " My 
beloved is mine, and I am his." 

4. It is an inseparable union, it can never be broken. — 
i( I will make, saith God, an everlasting covenant with 
them, and I will not turn away from them to do them 
good. I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall 
not depart from me." This is a glorious promise ; hence 
Paul triumphantly challenges all enemies* on earth, or 
hell, to do their worst to break this knot; "Who shall se- 
parate me from the love of God in Christ ? Shall tribu- 
lation, distress, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword ?" 
Come, all that can come, and see if that blessed union 
between me and Chiist shall ever be broken, by all that 
you can do. 


The birth of Christ now follows. A thing so won- 
derful, that it was given for a sign unto believers seven 
hundred and forty years before it was accomplished : 
* c Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign, 
Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son." A 
wonder indeed, and great beyond all comparison. Be- 
fore he was born, the prophets prophesy, the patriarchs 
typify, the types foretel, God promiseth, and the Son of 
God performeth. When he was born, angels ran er- 
rands, Gabriel brings tidings, the glory of heaven shines, 
a star displays, and the wise men are the heralds that 
proclaim his birth. But come a little nearer, " Let us 
go to Bethlehem," as the shepherds said, " and see this 
thing which is come to pass." If we step but one step 


into bis lodging, heaven's wonder is before oar eyes. 
Now look upon Jestis ! Look on him as in fulfiess of 
time, he carried on the great work of our salvation. 
Here you may read the meaning of Adam's covenant, 
Abraham's promise, Moses' revelation, David's succes- 
sion: these were but veils, but now we draw aside the 
curtain. Come take a view of the truth itself. What 
a strange birth is this ! Look on the babe, there is no 
cradle to rock him, no nurse to lull him, no linens to 
swaddle him, scarce a little food to nourish him. Look 
on the mother, there is no midwife's help, no downy 
pillows, scarce a little straw where she is brought 
to-bed. Look on Joseph, the reputed father ; he rather 
begs than gives a blessing : poor carpenter, that makes 
them a chamber of an ox-stall, and carves him a cratch 
to be his cradle. 

O admire the humility, patience, and infinite conde- 
scension of Jesus. That the Creator should become a 
creature, though an angel, it were a great gulf, which 
no created understanding could measure ; that he should 
reject angels, and take the seed of Abraham ; that fie 
should be made lower than the angels, who is God over 
all ; that he would be conceived, who is the uncreated 
wisdom ; in the dark prison of the womb, who is the 
light of the world ; that he would he born, who beareth 
all things ; the Lord of all, of a lowly hand-maid ; in 
fulness of time, who is eternity ; in a time of public 
taxation, who is the Lord of lords ; and that not at 
Rome, the lady of nations, nor at Jerusalem, the glory 
of the East ; but at Bethlehem, the least of the thou- 
sands of Judah ; not in a palace prepared, nor in his 
mother's house, but in an inn ; not in the best room, 
nor in any room of the house, but in a stable of beasts; 
not attended there with a royal guard, but with Joseph 
and Mary ; not stately enthroned, but laid in a manger; 
nor, lastly, his birth proclaimed by the kings at arms, 
but by poor shepherds. That the Word should be an 
infant not able to speak a word ; that life should be 
mortal ; that power should be subject to a poor carpen- 
ter; that the Lord of the covenant should be circumcised; 
that the God of the temple should be presented in the 


temple; that wisdom should be instructed ; that the 
feeder of all-things should be fed; that all these are pre- 
ludes, and but beginnings in his sufferings. O wonderful 
condescension! O admirable patience ! O rare humility ! 


1» When he Was but eight days old, he was circum- 
cised, and named Jesus*-*— in this early humiliation, he 
Elainly discovers the riches of his grace: now he sheds 
is blood in drops, and thereby gives an earnest of those 
rivers, which he after poured out for the cleansing of 
our nature, and extinguishing the wrath of God; and 
for a farther discovery of his grace, at this time his 
name is given him, which was JESUS. This is the 
name which we should engrave in our hearts, rest our 
faith on, and place our help in, and love with the over- 
flowings of charity, and joy, and adoration : above all 
things we had need of a Jesus, a Saviour for our souls, 
and from our sins, and from the everlasting destruction 
which sin will otherwise bring upon our souls. Hence 
this name Jesus, and this sign circumcision are joined 
together ; for by the eflusion of his blood, he was to be 
our Jesus, our Saviour : " Without shedding of blood 
is no remission," no salvation. " Circumcision was the 
seal ;" and now was it, that our Jesus was under God's 
great seal to take his office. " Him hath God the Fa- 
ther sealed." It is his office and his very profession to 
save. In which respect he is called "the Saviour of the 

2. When he was forty days old, "He was brought to 
Jerusalem, and presented to the Lord, as it is written in 
the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb 
shall be called holy to the Lord." — O wonder ! there was 
no impurity in the Son of God, and yet he is first cir- 
cumcised, and then brought and offered to the Lord. 
He that came to be sin for us, would in our persons be 
legally unclean, that by satisfying the law he might take 
away our uncleanness. He that was above the law, would 
come under the law, that he might free us, from the law. 
We are all born sinners, but O the unspeakable mercies 


of our Jesus, that provides a remedy as early as our sin. 
First, He is conceived, and then he is born, to sanctify 
our conceptions and our births; and after his birth he is 
first circumcised, and then he is presented to the Lord, 
that by two holy acts, that which was naturally unholy 
might be hallowed unto God. Christ hath not left 
our very infancy without redress, but by himself thus 
offered, he cleanseth us presently from our filthiness. 
Now is Christ brought in his mother's arms to his 
own house, the temple ; and as man, he is presented 
to himself as God. O how glorious did that temple 
seem, now the owner was within the walls of it ! 
Now was the hour and guest come, in regard whereof 
the second temple should surpass the first. You 
will say, What is this to me, or to my soul ? O yes, 
Jerusalem is now every where : there is no church- 
assembly, no Christian-heart which is not a temple of 
the living God ; and there is no temple of God 
wherein Christ is not presented to his Father. Thus 
we have the benefit of Christ's fulfilling the law of 
righteousness; " God sent his Son, made of a woman, 
made under the law, that he might redeem them that 
were under the law, that we might receive the adoption 
of sons." 

3. When he was yet under one year old, as some, or 
about two, as others, he fled into Egypt. — As there was 
no room for him in Bethlehem, so now there is no room 
for him in all Judea. No sooner he came to his own, 
but he must fly from them : what a w T onder is this ! 
Could not Christ have quit himself from Herod a 
thousand ways ? What could an arm of flesh have 
done against the God of spirits; but hereby he taught 
us to bear the yoke even in our youth. Thus would he 
suffer, that he might sanctify to us our early afflictions : 
he flies into Egypt, the slaughter-house of God's people, 
the sink of the world, the furnace of Israel's ancient 
afflictions.^ What a change is here ! Israel, the first- 
born of God fliesout of Egypt, into Judea; and Christ 
the first-born of all creatures flies out of Judea into 
Egypt. Now is Egypt become the sanctuary, and Judea, 
J:he inquisition-house of the Son of God. Surely he 
that is every where the same, knows how to make all 


places alike to his. He knows how to preserve Daniel, 
in the lions* den ; the three children in a fiery furnace; 
Jonah in a whale's belly ; and Christ in the midst of 

4. When he was now five years old, say some, or but 
two years and a quarter old, say others, an angel ap- 
pears again in a dream to Joseph, saying, " Arise, and 
take the young child and his mother, and return again 
into the land of Israel, for they are dead which sought 
the young child's life."-^-Herod, that took away the lives 
of all the infants in, or about Bethlehem, is now him- 
self dead, and gone to his own place. O the wonderful 
dispensation of Christ in concealing of himself from 
men ! All this while he carried himself as an infant, 
and suppressed the manifestation and exercise of that 
Godhead, whereto the infant-nature was conjoined. 
Oh how should we magnify him, or humble ourselves 
for hi in, who himself became thus humble for our sakes. 

5. Wher. he was twelve years old, " He with his parents 
went up to Jerusalem, after the custom of the feast." — 
This pious act of his younger years intends to lead 
our first years into timely devotion ; but I shall not 
insist on that ; I would rather observe him " sitting in 
the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking 
them questions." He, who, as God, gave them all the 
wisdom they had, doth now as the Son of man hearken 
to the wisdom he had given them; and when he had 
heard, then he asks, and after that no doubt he answers. 
His very questions were instructions ; for I cannot think, 
that lie meant so much to learn, as to teach those doc- 
tors of Israel. Surely these Rabbins had never heard 
the voice of such a tutor : they could not but see the 
very wisdom of God in this child, and therefore, saith 
the text, " They all wondered at his understanding and 
answers " Their eyes saw nothing but a child, but their 
ears heard the wonderful things of God's law. But why 
did ye not, O ye Jewish teachers, remember now the 
star, and the sages, and the angels, and the shepherds ? 
Why did ye not now bethink yourselves of Herod, and of 
his inquiry, and of your answer, that "in Bethlehem of 
Judea Christ should be born r" You cited the prophets, 


and why did you not mind that prophecy now, that 
" unto us a child is born, and unto us a son is given, and 
his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The 
mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of 
Peace ?" Fruitless is the wonder that endeth not in faith. 
No light is sufficient, where the eyes are held through 
unbelief and prejudice. 

6. After this, from twelve to the thirtieth year of his age, 
we read nothing of the acts of Christ, but that "he went 
down with his parents into Nazareth, and was subject to 
them." — As he went up to Jerusalem to worship God, so 
now he goes down to Nazareth, to attend his particular 
calling. This is the meaning of those words, "and he was 
subject to them." Christ's subjection to his parents extends 
to the profession and exercise of his life. Certainly 
Christ was not all that time, from twelve to thirty years, 
idle : as he was educated by his parents, so of his 
reputed father he learned to be a carpenter : this I take 
it is plain in these words, " Is not this the carpenter, 
the son of Mary ?" O the poverty, the humility of 
Jesus ! It appears at this time especially in his labour- 
ing, working, hewing of wood, or the like. Here is a 
sharp reproof to all those that spend their time in idle- 
ness, or without a particular calling. What ! are they 
wiser than Christ ? Our Jesus would not by any means 
thus spend his time. But concerning this time of his 
youth because in scripture there is so deep a sijence : I 
shall therefore pass it by. 



Of knowing Jesus, as carrying m the great Work of our Salvation in his 
Birth. Of considering — desiring — hoping — believing — loving — joying 
in — calling on — and conjorming to Jesus in this Respect. 


VV HAT looking comprehends, you have heard before: 
and that we may have an inward experimental look on 
him whom our souls pant after, let us practise all these 

Let us know Jesus, carrying on the great work of our 
salvation in his incarnation. There is not one passage 
in his first appearing, but it is of mighty concernment 
unto us. Is it possible, that the great God of heaven 
and earth should so infinitely condescend, but on some 
great design ? And what design could there be, but only 
his glory and the creature's good ? O my soul ! if thou 
hast any interest in Christ, all this concerns thee. The 
Lord Jesus in all these very transactions had an eye to 
thee ; he was incarnate for thee ; he was conceived, and 
born for thee. Look not on the bare history of things, 
for that is unprofitable ; the main duty is eying the end, 
the meaning of Christ, and especially as it relates to 
thee. What comfort were it to a poor prisoner, if he 
should hear, that the king of his mere grace, visited all 
the prisoners in this and that dungeon, and that he made 
a gaol-delivery, and set all free ; but he never came near 
the place where he lies bound in irons ? Or, suppose 
he gives a visit to that very man, and offers him grace 
and freedom, if he will but accept of it ; and because 
of his waywardness, persuades, entreats, commands 
him to come out, and take his liberty, and yet he will 


not regard or apply it to himself; what benefit shall he 
receive ? This is thy case, if thou art not in Christ : 
if thou hast not embraced and closed in with the offer, 
what is Christ's incarnation unto thee ? Come, learn, 
not merely as a scholar, to gain some notional knowledge; 
but as a Christian, as one that feels virtue coming 
out of Christ in each of these respects. Study close 
this great transaction in reference to thyself. There is 
no part of it, but it is of special use. How many waste 
their spirits in studying arts and sciences, things in 
comparison of no value ; whereas Paul " determined 
not to know any thing but Jesus Christ !" To know 
him in every point, whether in birth, or life, or death, 
is saving knowledge. O stand not upon cost, whether 
pains or study, tears or prayers, peace or wealth, goods 
or name, life or liberty ; sell all for this pearl. Christ 
is of that worth, that thou canst never over-buy him, 
though thou gavest thyself and all the world for him. 
The knowledge of Christ is the knowledge of every 
thing that is necessary either for this world, or for the 
world to come. 


It is not enough to know these great mysteries, but 
we must meditate upon, and consider them. Consider- 
ation fastens Christ more strongly to the soul, and as it 
were rivets the soul to Jesus Christ, and fastens him in 
the heart. Thus, O my soul, consider Christ, and what 
he did for thee when he was incarnate, and that thou 
mayest not confound thyself in thy meditations, consider 
a part of these particulars. 

1. Consider Jesus in his forerunner, and the blessed 
tidings of his coming in the flesh. — Now the long-looked- 
for time drew near, a glorious angel is sent from heaven, 
and he comes with an olive-branch of peace. First, he 
presents himself to Zachary, and then to Mary'; to her 
imparts the message, on which God sent him into this 
world ; " Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and 
bring forth a Son, and shall call his name Jesus." Till 
now human nature was less than that of angels, but by 

L 2 


the incarnation of the word, it was to be exalted above 
the cherubim. What blessed tidings were in this mes- 
sage ! The decree of old must now be accomplished, 
and an angel proclaim it upon earth. Hear, O ye sons- 
of Adam, this concerns you as much as the virgin : were 
we not all undone in the loins of our first father ? Was 
not this our condition, that, after a little life upon «arth, 
we should have been thrown into eternal torments, 
where had been nothing, but weeping, wailing and 
gnashing of teeth ? And now that God and Christ 
should bid an angel tell the news, " Ye shall not die : 
Lo, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and he shall 
be your Jesus : he shall save you from this hell, and 
death, and sin : he shall save you to the utmost ; his 
name is Jesus, and he shall not bear his name for naught, 
believe in him, and you shall live with him in glory." O 
blessed news ! Men may talk what they will of this 
and that news, but there is no news so welcome to one 
ready to perish, as that of a Saviour. Tell a man in 
sickness of one that will make him well ; tell a man in 
captivity of one that will set him free ; tell a man in 
prison condemned to die, of one that will save his life; 
and every one of these will say, this is the best news 
that ever was heard. O then if it be good tidings to hear 
of a Saviour, where is only a matter of loss of life, or 
of this earth ; how much more, when it comes to the 
loss of heaven, to the danger of he^l, when our souls 
are at stake, and like to be damned for evermore ? O 
my soul, ponder on these words, as if an angel seeing thee 
stand on4he brink of hell, should speak to thee, even 
to thy soul. 

2. Consider Jesus in his conception. — It was David's 
complaint, " Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in 
sin did my mother conceive me." O my soul, this was 
thy case, and hadst thou died in that condition, the 
word is express, that, "nothing defiled nor unclean shall 
enter into the city of glory." But here is the remedy, 
thy sinful conception is sanctified by Christ's holy concep- 
tion : the holiness of thy Jesus serves as a cover to hide 
thy original pollutions from the eyes of God. 

3. Consider the duplicity of natures in Jesus Christ.-"- 


u The word was made flesh." Certainly great is this 
mystery, that the Son of God is made of a woman ; 
that a creature gives being to the Creator : O my soul, 
consider, that all this was for us, and our salvation : he 
was man, that he might die for us ; and he was God, that 
his death might be sufficient to save us. Had he been mail 
alone, he might have suffered, but he could never have 
satisfied for sin ; and had he been God alone, he could 
not have satisfied the justice of God in the same nature 
wherein it was offended ; neither could he have died for 
sin, and the decree was out, that " without shedding 
of blood there is no remission." O my soul, consider 
this in relation to thyself. He is God-man, that he 
might suffer and satisfy for thy sins; he is God-man that 
he might be able, and fit to finish the work of thy sal- 
vation. As God, he is able, and as man, he is fit to 
discharge the office of Mediator ; as God he is able to 
bear the punishment of sin ; and as man he fit is to suffer 
for sin. Muse on this, it is a matter worthy of thy se- 
rious consideration. 

4. Consider the birth of Christ, who was born in a 
stable, for the saving of the children of men. — Come, 
receive Christ into thy soul, or if Christ be formed in 
thee, (I speak of the spiritual birth) O keep him in thy 
heart ! Let him fill thy soul with his divine graces. O 
that thou couldst say it feelingly, " I live, yet not I, 
but Christ liveth in me." O that this were the issue of 
thy meditation on Christ's birth ! even whilst thou art 
going with the shepherds to Bethlehem, and there findest 
thy Saviour lying in a manger, that thou wouldst bring 
him thence, and make thy heart to be his cradle ! 
Either draw virtue from him within, or thy meditation 
will be fruitless. 

5. Consider those few consequents after Christ's birth. — 
Every action of Christ is our instruction : Observe 
Christ's presentation in the temple. This was the law 
of those that first opened the womb. Now Christ was 
the first-born of Mary, and indeed " the first born of all 
creatures ;" and he was consecrated unto God, that by 
him we might be consecrated and accepted, when we 
were offered unto the Lord. Again, observe Christ's 


flight into Egypt. Though infancy is usually most quiet, 
yet here life and toil began together ; and see how 
speedily this comes after dedication unto God. We are no 
sooner born again, than we are persecuted. Again, ob- 
serve Christ disputing with the doctors in the temple. 
See how early his divine graces put forth themselves. 
" In him were hid all the treasures of wisdom and 
knowledge." His wisdom in his very infancy is admired, 
nor is it without our profit ; " for of God he is made 
wisdom unto us." Again, observe how he spent the re- 
mainder of his youth. In all his examples he meant our 
instructions : "He went down with his parents, and was 
subject to them ;" he was not idly bred, but served his 
generation in the poor way of a carpenter. Christ is 
inured betimes to the hardship of life, and to the strict 
observation of the law both of God and nature. 


If they that lived before Christ desired his coming, 
surely his incarnation should be the desire of all Chris- 
tians. There is virtue in every passage of Christ, in 
his conception, birth and the circumstances that followed 
his birth, though millions alas! feel no interest in them : 
if we then wish to be benefited by them, we must set our 
desires aright, and all the rest will follow. And is there 
not good reason for these desires ? View over all those ex- 
cellencies of Christ's incarnation, and above all, see the 
fruit of them. He was conceived that our conceptions 
might be sanctified : he was the Son of man, that he 
might suffer for us, and the Son of God, that he might 
satisfy divine justice: he was God and man in one per- 
son, that we might be one with him. He was conceived 
and born, that we might conceive the grace of Christ in 
our hearts, and bring it forth in our lives! Are not these 
desirable things? Never tell me of thy present enjoy- 
ments> for never was Christ so enjoyed in this life, but 
thou hast cause to desire yet more of him. Spiritual 
desires after Christ, do neither load nor cloy the heart, 
but rather open, and enlarge it for more and more. Who 
was better acquainted with Gad than Moses ? And yet, 


who was more importunate to know him better ? " I 
beseech thee, shew me thy glory." And who was more 
acquainted with Christ than Paul ? And yet who was 
more importuuate to be with him nearer ? " I desire to 
be dissolved, and to be with Christ." Closer union and 
communion with Christ are most desirable things ; and 
are not these the fruits of his incarnation and personal 
union? More love and reconciliation between God 
and us, are desirable things ; and are not these the 
fruits of Christ's birth ? A higher degree of holiness 
and likeness to God and Christ are desirable things : 
and are not these the fruits of his circumcision, 
and presentation to the Lord ? O then how is it that 
there is scarce any room in thy soul for Christ ? Will 
not the desires of the partriarchs witness against thee ? 
How cried they after Christ's coming in the flesh. 
" Bow the heavens, O Lord, and come down." " Drop 
down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour 
down righteousness, let the earth open and bring 
forth salvation." Js it possible that their desires 
should be more vehement after Christ than ours ? They 
lived on the dark side of the cloud, but we on the bright 
side ; the vail was upon their hearts, which vail is done 
away in Christ; they saw Christ afar off, and their sight 
was very dim and dark ; " But we all, with open face 
as in a glass, behold the glory of the Lord." Come then, 
draw nearer and nearer, till thou comest to union and 
enjoyment. Cry after Christ, " Why is his chariot so 
long in coming r Why tarry the wheels of his cha- 
riots r" 


Let us hope in Jesus carrying on the great work of 
our salvation at his first coming. Only here remember, 
I speak not of every hope, but only of such a hope, as is 
grounded on some certainty and knowledge. This is the 
main question, whether Christ's incarnation belongs unto 
me ? The prophet tells us, that "unto us a child is born, 
and unto us a son is given." But how may I hope 
-that this child is born to me, and that this son is given to 
me ? The surest way to know our interest in the birth 


of Christ, is to know Christ born in us, or formed in us, 
as the apostle speaks. The new birth is the effect of 
Christ's birth, and a sure sign that Christ is born to as. 
Say then, O my soul, art thou born anew? Is there in 
thee a new nature, a new principle? Is the image of God 
and of Christ in thy soul ? then was Christ incarnate 
for thee. Thou mayest try it by these following rules. 

1 . Where this new birth is, there are new desires, new 
comforts, new pleasures. — Sometimes with the prodigal 
thou wast content with husks ; yet now nothing will 
satisfy thee but thy Father's mansion, and thy Father's 
feast ; sometimes thou mindest only earthly things, but 
now the favour of God, the light of his countenance, 
society with him, and enjoying of him, are thy chief 

2. Where this new birth is, there is a new nature, 
Peter calls it, "The divine nature." A lively resemblance 
of this change in the faculties of the soul, we may discern 
in those natural faculties, which we have in common 
with beasts, as, to live, to move, to desire, to feel. The 
beasts having no higher principle than sense, use them 
sensually ; but a man enjoying the same faculties under 
the command of a reasonable soul, useth them rationally: 
so is it in a regenerate man, his understanding, will, and 
affections, when they had no other command but reason, 
he only used them rationally, but now being under the 

r guiding of the Spirit of Christ, they work spiritual^ 
and he useth them spiritually. Is there life within! then 
art thou born again, yea, even unto thee a child is born. 
This is one evidence. 

Again, our sonship is an effect of Christ's 1 sonship, 
and a sure sign, that "unto us a son is given." Say 
then, O my soul, art thou a son of God, dost thou re- 
semble God (according to thy capacity) being holy, even 
as he is holy ? Thou mayest try it by these following 

1. The sons of God, fear God. " If I be a father, 
where is my honour? (saith God) If I be a master, where 
is my fear ?" I know there is a servile fear unworthy a 
son of God ; but there is a filial fear, and that is an ex- 
cellent check to all our wantonness* Agreeable to this 


is the apostle's advice, " If ye call on the Father, pass 
your sojourning here with fear." 

2. The sons of God love God, and obey him out of a 
principle of love. Suppose there were no heaven or glory 
to bestow upon a regenerate person, yet would he obey 
God out of a principle of love: He is led by the Spirit, 
and therefore he obeys ; now the spirit that leads him is 
a spirit of love; and "as many as are led by the Spirit 
of God, are the sons of God." 

3. The sons of God imitate God in his love and good- 
ness to all men. Kindness to bad men is the highest 
degree of grace, and as it were the perfection of all. O 
my soul, canst thou imitate God in this ? Canst thou 
forgive thy enemies, do well to them that do evil to thee? 
O this is a sure sign of grace and son ship! It is storied 
of some heathens, who beating a Christian almost to 
death, asked him, " What great matter Christ did ever 
for him ?" " Even this (said the Christian) that I can 
forgive you, though you use me thus cruelly." O my soul, 
look on this, consult this ground of hope ; if this law 
be written in thy heart, write it down amongst thy evi- 
dences, that thou art God's son, yea, that even unto thee 
a son is given. 

Away, away, all despairs, and dejections, and des- 
pondencies of spirit ! If these be my grounds of hope, 
it is time to hold up head, and heart, and hands, and 
with all cheerfulness and confidence, and to say with the 
spouse, " I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine." 


I know many doubts are often in Christians, '■' What, 
is it likely that Christ should be incarnate for me?" Ah! 
ray soul, put thy propriety in Christ's incarnation out of 
dispute, that thou mayest be able to say, " As God was 
manifest in the flesh, and I may not doubt it ; so God is 
manifest in me. and I dare not deny it." 

To help the soul in this, I shall first propose the hin- 
derances of faith. 2. The helps of faith in this respect. 
3. The manner how to act our faith. 4. The encourage- 



ments to bring on the soul to believe its part in this bles- 
sed incarnation of Jesus Christ. 

There are but three things that can hinder faith, - 

1. The exceeding unworthiness of the soul. — And 
to this purpose are those complaints, "What! Christ 
incarnate for me! I am less than the least of all God's 
mercies, and fitter for hell and devils, than for union 
and communion with God and Christ, I dare not, I 
cannot believe. 

2. The infinite exactness of divine justice. — A soul 
deeply considering this, startles and cries, What will 
become of my soul ? One of the least sins that I stand 
guilty of deserves death, and the wages of sin is death. 
O then how should I believe ? What thoughts can I 
entertain of God's mercy and love to me; God's law con- 
demns me, my own conscience accuseth me, and justice 
will have its due. 

3. The want of a suitable Mediator, to stand between 
the sinner and God. — If on my part there be unworthi- 
ness, and on God's part severe justice ; and withal no 
mediator, which I may go unto, before I deal with the 
infinite glory of God himself, how should I but despair, 
and cry out ? "O wretched man that I am ! O that I 
had never been ; I cannot believe ; there is no room for 
faith in this case !" These are the hinderances. 

2. The helps of faith in this sad condition are these. 

1. A consideration that God is pleased to overlook 
the unworthiness of his creatures. — This we see plain in 
the very act of his incarnation ; himself disdains not to 
be as his poor creatures, to wear their own flesh, to take 
upon him human nature, and in all things to become 
like unto man, sin only excepted. 

2. A consideration that God satisfies justice, by setting 
up Christ, who is justice itself. — Now was is that 
" mercy and truth met together, and righteousness and 
peace kissed each other ;" now was it that free grace and 
inerit, that fulness and nothingness were made one. 
Now was it that truth ran to mercy, and embraced her, 
and righteousness to peace, and kissed her ; in Christ 
they meet, yea, in him was the infinite exactness of 
God's justice satisfied. 


3. A consideration that God hath set up Christ as a 
mediator. — But for the accomplishment of this design 
Christ had never been incarnate : we had sinned, and 
by sin deserved everlasting damnation, but to save us, 
and to satisfy himself, God takes our nature, and joins it 
to his Son, and calls that Christ a Saviour. This is the 
gospel notion of Christ : for what is Christ, but God in 
our nature, transacting our peace ? In Christ is that 
fulness, and righteousness, and love, to receive the first 
acts of our faith. These are the helps of faith, in re- 
ference to our unworthiness, God's justice, and the want 
of a Mediator between God and us. 

3. The manner how to act our faith on Christ incar- 
nate is this. 

1 . Faith must directly go to Christ. — We indeed find 
in the Bible some particular promises of this and that 
grace ; but the promises are not given without Christ. 
No, first Christ, and then all other things. " Incline 
your ears, and come unto me." Come unto Christ, and 
then "I will make an everlasting covenant; (which con- 
tains all the promises) even the sure mercies of David " 
As in marriage, the woman first consents to have the 
man, and then all the benefits that follow; so the soul 
by faith, first pitcheth upon Christ himself, and then 
on the privileges that flow from Christ. 

2. Faith must lie at the feet of Christ. — Some go to 
Christ, and look on him With loose and transient 
glances, and have but common apprehensions of him* 
Oh ! but we should come to Christ with solemn serious 
spirits : we should look on him piercingly, till we see 
him as God is in him, and thus and thus qualified from 
heaven. We should labour to apprehend what is the 
riches of this glorious mystery of Christ's incarnation, 
and study this mystery above all other studies. Nothing 
is so pleasant, and nothing is more deep. That one 
person should be God and man ; that bkssedness 
should be made a curse; that the invisible God 
should be made visible to sense ; that God should make 
our nature, which had sinned against him, to be the 
great ordinance of reconciling us unto himself; that this 
God-man should be our Saviour, Redeemer, Father, 
Friend ; Oh what mvsteries are these ! No wonder if 

M 2 


when Christ was born, the apostle cries, " We saw his 
glory, as of the only begotten Son of God." 

3. Faith must look principally to the end of Christ, 
as God coming in the flesh. — Now what was the design 
of Christ in this ? The apostle answers, " God sent his 
Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, to condemn sin in 
the flesh." God the Father sent into the world his only 
begotten Son, to abolish, in the first place, original sin. 
Mark these two words, " He condemned sin in the flesh," 
the (first word condemned, is by a metonomy put for that 
wl»eh follows condemnation, namely for the abolishing 
of sin ; as condemned persons used to be cut off, and to 
be taken Out of the world, that they may be no more; 
so Christ hath condemned or abolished this sin. For the 
second word, " in the flesh," is meant that human na- 
ture which Christ assumed. He abolished sin altogether 
in his own nature ; and that flesh of his, being perfectly 
holy, and the holiness of it being imputed unto us, it 
takes away our guilt in respect of the impureness of our 
nature also. Christ had not the least spot of original 
sin ; and if we are Christ's, then is this sin in some 
measure taken out of our hearts. But howsoever the filth 
of this sin may remain in part, yet the guilt is removed : 
in this respect the purity of Christ's human nature 
is no less reckoned to us for the curing of our defiled 
nature, than the sufferings of Christ are reckoned to us, 
for the remission of our actual sins. O my soul, look to 
this end of Christ, as God in the flesh. If thou con^ 
sider him as made flesh and blood, think withal, that 
his meaning was to condemn sin in our flesh. There 
flows from the holiness of Christ's nature, such a power, 
as countermands the power of our original sin, and 
acquits and discharges from the condemnation of the 
same sin. Not only the death and life, but also the con- 
ception and birth of Christ have their influence in our 

4. The encouragements to believe on Christ incarnate 
we may draw, 

1 . From the excellency of this object. — The incarna- 
tion of Christ is the foundation of all other actings of 
God for us : it is the very hinge, on which all turn ; it is 


the cabinet wherein all the designs of God do lie. Oh 
what a sweet object, of faith is this ! I know there are 
some other things in Christ which are most proper for 
some acts of faith, as Christ dying is most proper for 
the pardon of actual sin, and Christ rising from the 
dead for the evidencing of our justification ; but the 
strongest and purest acts of faith are those which take 
in Christ as such a person, laid out in all his glory. 
Christ's incarnation is more general than Christ's passion, 
or Christ's resurrection, and, as some would have it, 
includes all. Christ's incarnation holds forth in some 
sort Christ in his fulness,and so it is the full and complete 
subject of our faith. Come, poor soul, thy eyes are 
running to and fro, to find comfort and happiness on 
earth. O cast thy eyes back, and see heaven and earth 
in one object ! Look fixedly on Christ incarnate ; there 
is more in this than all the variety of this world, or of 
that world to come. Here is an object of faith, and 
love, and joy, and delight ; a compendium of all glories. 
2. From the suitableness of this object. — Christ in- 
carnate is most suitable for our faith to act upon. We 
are indeed to believe on God, but we cannot come to 
God but through a Mediator, and hence faith must 
directly go to Christ, as God in our flesh. O the infinite 
condescension of God in Christ 1 God takes up our 
nature, and joins it to himself as one person, and lays 
that before our faith ; so that here is God, and God 
suited to the particular state and condition of the sinner. 
Now with what boldness may our souls draw nigh to 
God ? Why art thou strange, poor soul ? Why 
standest thou afar off, as if it were death to draw nigh ? 
Of whom art thou afraid ? Is God comedown amongst 
men, and canst thou not see him, lest thou die and 
perish? Oh, look once more, and be not discouraged. 
See, God is not come down in fire, in the armour of 
justice and everlasting burning. No, he is clothed with 
the garments of flesh, he desires to converse with thee 
after thine own form. He is come down to beseech 
thee, to see with thine own eyes thy eternal happiness. 
It is the cry of some poor souls, " O that I might have 
my heart united to God !" Why, he is come down on 
this very purpose, and hath united our nature unto him- 


self. Oh, that ever there should be a heart of unbelief, 
after these sensible demonstrations of divine glory and 
love. Tell me, what wouldest thou have God do more? 
Can he manifest himself in a more suitable way to thy 
condition ? Is there any thing below flesh wherein the 
great God can humble himself for thy good ? It is sad 
to see believers shy in their approaches to God, or 
doubtful of their acceptance with him, when God him- 
self stoops first, and is so in love with our acquaintance, 
that he will be of the same nature that we are. O let not 
such a rock of strength be slighted, but every day enter- 
tain sweet and precious thoughts of Christ being incar- 
nate. Inure thy heart to believing on this Jesus, as he car- 
ries on the great work of our salvation at his incarnation. 
3. From the oifers of this blessed object to our souls. — 
As Christ is come in our nature to satisfy ; so he comes 
in the gospel freely and fully to offer the terms of love : 
therein are set out the most rich and alluring expressions 
that possibly can be; therein is set out that this incarnation 
of Christ, was God's own acting, out of his own love, and 
grace ; therein is set out the birth, and life, and death 
of Christ, and this he could not do but he must be in- 
carnate. God takes our flesh, and useth that as an 
organ or instrument whereby to act ; he was flesh to 
suffer, as he was spirit to satisfy for our sins. Methinks 
I might challenge unbelief, to appear before this con- 
sideration. What is not God incarnate enough to satisfy 
thy conscience ? Hear the voice of Christ inviting, 
" Come unto me all ye that are weary, and heavy laden 
with sin," and O let these rich and glorious openings of 
the heart of Christ overcome thy heart. See this miracle 
of mercy ! God is come down in flesh ; he is come as 
a price ; he himself will pay himself, according to all 
the demands of his justice ; and all this done, he offers 
and tenders himself unto thy soul. Oh! my soul, why 
shouldst thou fear to cast thyself upon thy God? Believe, 
Oh believe thy part in Christ incarnate. 


O my soul, canst thou possibly light on any object 
more attractive than the incarnation of Jesus Christ ? 


If love be the load-stone of love, what an attractive is 
this before thee ? Methinks the very sight of Christ 
incarnate is enough to transport thee with the apprehen- 
sion of his infinite goodness. See how he draws out the 
soul to union, vision and participation of his glory ! O 
yield up thyself unto him ; give him thyself, and con- 
form all thy affections and actions to his will. Love 
him, not with a divided, but with all thy heart. 

To excite this love, I shall propose the object, which 
will be argument enough. Love causeth love : now as 
God's first Jove to man was in making man like himself; 
so his second great love was in making himself like to 
man. It is usually said, that it is a greater love of God 
to save a soul, than to make a world ; and I think it 
was a greater love of God to take our nature than 
simply to save our souls. For a king to dispense with 
the law, and by his own prerogative to save a murderer 
from the gallows, is not such an act of love and mercy, 
as to take the murderer's clothes, and to wear them as 
his richest livery. God in taking our nature hath done 
this, and more than this : he would not save by his 
mere prerogative ; but he takes our clothes, our flesh, 
and in that flesh he personates us, and in that flesh 
he will die for us, that we might not die, but live through 
him for evermore. Surely this was love, that God 
will be no more God, as it were simply ; but he will 
take up another nature, rather than the brightness of 
his glory should undo our souls. 

It will not be amiss here to look back a little on the 
love of God, from that eternity before all worlds unto 
this present. 

1. God had an eternal design to discover his infinite 
love to some besides himself. — O the wonder of this; for 
though God was one, and in that respect alone, yet God 
was not solitary. In that eternity within his own essence, 
there were three divine persons, and between them there 
was a blessed communication of love. And yet, such 
was the love of God, that it would not contain itself 
within that infinite ocean of himself; but it would needs 
have rivers and channels into which it might run and 


2. God, in prosecution of bis design, creates a world 
of creatures ; some rational, and only capable of love, 
others irrational, and serviceable to that one creature, 
which he makes th« top of the whole creation. — Then 
it was that he set up one man Adam, as a common 
person to represent the rest; and bestowed upon him 
abundance of glorious qualifications. If we should 
view the excellency of this creature, either in the out- 
ward or the inner man, who would not wonder ? His 
body had its excellency, which made the Psalmist say, 
i£ I will praise thee ; for I am fearfully and wonderfully 
made, and curiously wrought in the lowest part of the 
earth." It is a speech borrowed from arras-work: the 
body of man is a piece of curious tapestry, consisting 
of skin, hones, muscles, sinews and the like. What a 
goodly thing the body of man was before the fall, may 
be guessed by the excellent gifts found in the bodies of 
some men since the fall. If all these were but joined 
in one, as certainly they were in Adam ; what a rare 
body would such an one be! But what was this body in 
comparison of that soul ? The soul was especially made 
after the image of God : the soul was tempered in the 
same mortar with the heavenly spirits : the soul was a 
beam of God's glory, an emanation of God himself. 

3. Within a while, this man, the object of God's love, 
fell away from God, and the whole world, fell toge- 
ther with him. Yet God's love would not thus leave the 
object: out of this dark cloud he lets fall some glimpses of 
another discovery: these glimpses were sweet; but, alas! 
they were so dark, that very few could spell them, or 
make any comfortable application of them ; but by de- 
grees God hints it out more, he points it out by types and 
shadows, and yet so dark, that in four thousand years, 
men were but guessing, and hoping through promises for 
a manifestation of God's love. This is the meaning of 
the apostle, who tells us of "the mystery that was hid 
from ages and from generations, but now is made mani- 
fest to his saints." I speak of the generality of men, 
for in respect of some individuals as Adam, Abraham, 
Moses, David, and the partriarchs, you have heard 
the Lord made his love clear to them in a covenant way. 


4. At last, in the fulness of time, God takes the flesh 
of those poor sinners, which he had so loved, and joins 
it to himself, and he calls it Christ, a Saviour. — Now 
was it that God descended, and lay in the womb of a 
virgin ; now it was that he joined our flesh so nigh to 
himself, as that there is a communication of properties 
between them both; that being attributed to God, which 
is proper to flesh, as to be born, to. suffer; and that being 
attributed to flesh, which is proper to God, as to create, 
to redeem. Who can but wonder that flesh should 
infinitely provoke God, and yet God in the same flesh 
should be infinitely pleased ? Surely God neVer mani- 
fested himself in such a strain of love as this before. If 
any thing will beget our love to God, surely Christ incar- 
nate will do it. Come then, O my soul, I cannot but 
call on thee to love thy Jesus ; and to provoke thy love, 
fix thy eye on this lovely object. Draw yet a little nearer, 
consider what love is in this design. God is in thy own 
nature, to take upon him all the miseries of thy nature; 
and art thou yet cold in thy love to Jesus Christ? Canst 
thou love him but a little who hath loved thee so much? 
O thou sweet Jesus, that clothest thyself with the clouds 
as with a garment, and now clothest thyself with the 
nature of a man ; O that thou wouldst inflame my spirit 
with a love of thee, that nothing but thyself might be 
dear unto me, because it so pleased thee to vilify thyself, 
thine own self for my sake. 


If it be so, that by our desire, and hope, and faith, 
and love, we have indeed reached the object which our 
souls pant after, hoVv then should we joy and delight 
therein ! O rejoice in the Lord, and again, I say, re- 
joice. Is there not cause ? What is the meaning of the 
gospel of Christ, but good tidings ? And wherein lie 
the good tidings according to its eminency, but in the 
glorious incarnation of the Son of God ? The birth of 
Christ is the comfort of comforts, and the sweetest balm. 
O my soul! how canst thou but rejoice if thou wilt 
consider these particulars ; 



1. God himself is come down into the world. — Be- 
cause it was impossible for thee to come to him, he is 
come to thee. This consideration made the prophet cry 
out, " Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion ; shout O 
daughter of Jerusalem : hehold, thy King cometh unto 
thee." He is called a King, and therefore he is able, 
and he is thy King, and therefore he is willing : but in 
rhat thy King cometh unto thee, here is the marvellous 
love and mercy of God in Christ. Kings do not usually 
come to wait upon their subjects, it is well if poor sub- 
jects maybe admitted into their presence to wait on 
thefiau But see the great King of heaven and earth, the 
King of kings, and Lord of lords stooping, and bow- 
ing the heavens to come down to thee. Surely this is 
good tidings of great joy. 

2. God is come down in the flesh. — He hath laid aside, 
as it w T ere, his own glory, whilst he coUverseth with thee. 
When God manifested, himself on Mount Sinai, he 
came down in thunder and lightning, but now God is 
come down in the flesh, and hath made his appearance 
as one of us, and there is not in this respect the least 
distance between him and us. Surely this is fuel for joy- 
to feed upon. 

3. God in the flesh is the first opening of his eternal 

purpose to do us good. — The seed of the woman was the 

first word of comfort that ever Was heard in the world 

after man was fallen ; and from this we may raise a 

world of comfort, for if God begins so gloriously, how 

will he end ? If God be so full of love as to come down 

in flesh now in this world, Oh, what matter of hope is 

laid up before us, of what God will be to us in that world 

to come? O my soul, weigh this subject, and make ah 

application of it to thyself, and then tell me, if thou 

hast not matter enough to raise up thy heart, and to "fill 

it with joy unspeakable and full of glory." When the 

wise men saw but the "star of Christ, they rejoiced with 

an exceeding great joy." How much more when they 

saw Christ himself? "Your father Abraham (said 

Christ to the Jews) rejoiced to see my day, and he saw 

it, and was glad." He saw it indeed, but afar off with 

the eyes of faith : they before Christ had the promise. 


but we see the performance; how then should we rejoice ? 
How glad shouldst thou be, O my soul, at the sight and 
the effect of Christ's incarnation ? " Awake, awake, O 
my soul, awake, awake, utter a song !" Tell over these 
passages, that God is come down into the world, that 
God is come down in the flesh, that God is come down 
in flesh in order to thy reconciliation ; that God is come 
down in the likeness of man, that he may bring thee up 
into the likeness of God, and that all these are but the 
first openings of the grace, and goodness, and glory of 
God in Christ to thy soul. 


Calling on Jesus contains prayer, and praise. 1. We 
must pray, that all these transactions of Jesus at his first 
coming may be ours ; and is not there encouragement 
for our prayers ? Christ's incarnation opens a door of 
rich entrance into the presence of God : we may call it, 
a blessed portal into heaven. This is that "new and living 
way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, 
that is to say, his flesh." With what boldness may we 
now enter into the holiest, and draw near unto the throne 
of grace ! God in his humanity animates our souls to come 
unto him, and to seek of him whatsoever is needful for 
us. Go then to Christ, O my soul, or to God the 
Father, in and through Jesus ; and desire that the be- 
nefit of his conception, birth, and wonderful union of 
the two natures of Christ may be all thine. 

2. We must praise. — This was the special duty prac- 
tised by all saints and angels at Christ's birth. " My 
soul cloth magnify the Lord," said Mary. " Blessed be 
the Lord God of Israel (saith Zachary) for he hath 
visited and redeemed his people." " Glory to God in 
the highest," said the heavenly host: only one angel 
brought the news, " Unto you is born this day in the 
city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord ;" 
but immediately after there was a multitude of the hea- 
venly host to sing praises. O my soul, do thou endea- 
vour to keep consort with those many angels. " O sing 
praises, sing praises unto God, sing praises" 

N 2 



The sight of Christ will make us like Christ; for 
as a looking-glass cannot be exposed to the sun, but it 
will shine like the same ; so God receives none to con- 
template his face, but he transforms them into his own 
likeness ; and Christ hath none that dive into these depths 
of his glorious incarnation, but they carry along with 
them sweet impressions of a transforming nature. Come, 
then, let us once more look on Jesus in his incarnation, 
that we may conform to him in that respect. But 
wherein lies this conformity ? I answer, in these and 
the like particulars. 

1. Christ was conceived in Mary by the Holy Ghost, 
so must Christ be formed in us in a spiritual sense by the 
same Spirit. " He hath begotten us by the word," saith 
the apostle James. God hath appointed no other means 
to convey supernatural life but this. Where no preaching 
is, there is a worse judgment than that of Egypt, where 
there was one dead in every family. By the word and 
Spirit the seeds of all grace are sown in the heart, and 
the heart closing with it, Christ is formed therein. 

2. Christ was sanctified in the virgin's womb, so must 
we be sanctified in ourselves. — "Be ye holy, as I am holy:" 
souls regenerate must be sanctified, " Every man, (saith 
the apostle) that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself 
even as He is pure." Christ could not have been a Sa- 
viour for us, unless first he had been sanctified ; neither 
can we be members unto him, unless we be purged from 
pur sins, and sanctified by his Spirit. To this purpose 
is that of the apostle, " I beseech you brethren, by the 
mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living 
sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God." In the Old Tes- 
tament, they killed beasts, presenting them unto the 
Lord ; but now we are to mortify the flesh, with the 
affections and lusts : all our inordinate passions, and evil 
affections are to be crucified ; and all that is ours must 
be given up unto God. Christ was sanctified from the 
womb, and sanctified in the womb, for our imitation : 
" For their sakes I sanctify myself, (saith he) that they 
also, might be sanctified." 


3. Christ the Son of man is hy nature the Son of God; 
so we poor sons of men must by grace become the sons 
of God. — " For this very end, God sent his own Son 
made of a woman, that we might receive the adoption 
of sons — Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a 
son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." 
This intimates, that what relation Christ hath unto the 
Father by nature, we should have the same by grace : 
by nature, " He is the only begotten Son of the Father, 
and as many as received him, (saith John) to them he 
gave power to become the sons of God, even to them 
that believe on his name." 

4. Christ the Son of God was yet the Son of man ; 
there was in him a duplicity ot natures really distin- 
guished ; and in this respect, the greatest majesty, and 
the greatest humility that ever was, are found in Christ; 
so we though sons of God, must remember ourselves to 
be bat sons of men. — Our privileges are not so high but 
our poor conditions, frailties, infirmities, sins may make 
us low. Who was higher than the Son of God ? And 
who was lower than the son of man ? As he is God, 
he is in the bosom of his Father; as he is man, he is in 
the womb of his mother; as he is God, his throne is in 
heaven, and he fills all things by his immensity ; as he 
is man, he is circumscribed' in a manger. Shall the Son 
of God be thus humbled for us, and shall not we be 
humbled for ourselves ? I say, for ourselves that deserve 
to be cast down amongst the lowest worms, and damned 
spirits ? What are we in our best condition here upon 
earth ? Had we the best natures, purest conversations, 
happiest endowments that accompany the saints, pride 
overthrows all ; it thrust proud Nebuchadnezzar out of 
Babel, proud Haman out of the court, proud Saul out 
of his kingdom, proud Lucifer out of heaven. Poor 
man ! how ill it becomes thee to be j:>roud, when God 
himself is become thus humble ! 

5. Christ did and suffered many things in his child- 
hood, so should we learn to u bear God's yoke in our 
youth." — It is good to imitate Christ even betimes, 
" Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." 
O ye parents, imitate Joseph and Mary, in their care 


and nurture of the holy child Jesus ; and O ye children, 
imitate Jesus the blessedest pattern that ever was, that 
as you grow in stature, you ajso may u grow in favour 
with God and man." Observe him in the temple, when 
he was but twelve years old, in the midst of the doctors, 
both hearing them, and asking them questions ; children, 
whilst little, should with their parents wait on God in 
the midst of our assemblies. Moses told Pharaoh, they 
must have their young ones with them to the solemn 
worship. And when Joshua read the law of God to the 
children of Israel, they had their little ones with them 
in that solemn assembly. Observe Christ also in 
Nazareth, where, during his minority, he was ever sub- 
ject to his parents ; so, " Children, obey your parents in 
the Lord, for this is right." Not only the law of God, 
hut the gospel of Christ makes mention of this, "Honour 
thy father and mother, which is the first command- 
ment with promise." I know the subjection of Christ 
extends to his particular calling, and this also is for your 
imitation. Religion and grace wherever they prevail, 
make men profitable, and, in this respect the poorest 
servant and drudge may have more comfort in his estate, 
than the greatest gentleman that hath nothing to do but 
to eat, and drink, and play. 

Thus far we have looked on Jesus as our Jesus in his 
incarnation, or his first coining in the flesh. Our next 
work is to look on Jesus carrying on the great work of 
man's salvation, during his life, from John's baptism, 
until his suffering and dying on the cross. 



.»©«©; 5^>;«*a»« 



0/ */k? /rs£ Kear 0/ Christ's Ministry. — The Preaching of John the 
Baptist. — The Baptism of Jesus- — The Fasting and Temptations of 
Christ. — The first Manifestations of Christ. 


W E now proceed to treat of the principal transactions, 
which were successively carried on during our Lord's 
ministerial office. And as John the Baptist's preaching 
was introductory to it, we shall begin with his ministry, 
which, commenced six months before that of Christ's. 


Now it was that the gospel began to dawn, and John, 
like the morning star, springing from the windows of 
the East, foretels the approach of the Sun of Righteous- 
ness. Now it was that he laid the first rough stone of the 
building in mortification and self-denial. I read not that 
ever John wrought a miracle, but good works convince 
more than miracles themselves. John's sermons were to 
those of Jesus, as a preface to a discourse: his usual note 



was, u Repentance, the ax to the root, the fan to the 
floor, the chaff to the fire." As his raiment was rough, so 
was his tongue; and thus must the way be made for Christ 
in obstinate hearts. Plausibility, or pleasing of the 
flesh is no fit preface to regeneration. If the heart of 
man had continued upright, Christ might have been 
entertained without contradiction ; but now violence 
must be offered to our corruptions, ere we can have room 
for grace. Never will Christ come into that soul, where 
the herald of repentance hath not been before him. 

Shall we hear that sermon which John preached in 
his own words ? " Repent ye, for the kingdom of hea- 
ven is at hand." These are the words when he first 
began to preach the gospel of Christ ; and indeed we 
find Christ himself cloth preach the same doctrine in the 
same words ; " Jesus began to preach, and to say, 
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand " 

Oh how seasonable is this sermon to us ! Christians, 
hath not the kingdom of heaven approached unto us? 
Take the kingdom of heaven for the kingdom of glory, 
are we not near to the door of glory, to the confines of 
eternity ? u What is our life, but a vapour that appear- 
eth for a little time, and then vanisheth away ?" We 
know not but ere the sun have run one round, our souls 
may be in that world of souls, and so either in heaven 
or hell. Or take the kingdom of heaven for the church 
of Christ, and what expectation have we now of the 
flourishing state of Christ's church here upon earth? 
■" Then shall the children of Israel and Judah be ga- 
thered together,— for great shall be the day of Jezreel." 
A time is at hand, that Israel and Judah shall be called 
together, that the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in ; 
and what is this, but the great day of Christ ? What 
manner of persons then ought we to be? How spiri- 
tual ? How heavenly minded ? " Arise, arise, shake 
off thy dust, for thy light is coming, and the glory of 
the Lord is rising upon thee." But I must not dwell on 
this : hi y design is to consider the transactions of Jesus 
in reference to 'our souls' health ; and John's sermons 
were only a preparative to the manifestation of Jesus. 



He that formerly was circumcised would now be bap- 
tised ; he was circumcised to sanctify his church that 
was, and he was baptised to sanctify his church that 
should be : we find him in both testaments opening a 
way into heaven. This was the first appearing of Christ 
in reference to his ministerial office : he that lay hid in 
the counsel of God from all eternity, and be that lay hid 
in the womb of his mother for the space of forty weeks, 
and he that lay hid in Nazareth for the space of thirty 
years ; now at last begins to shew himself to the world. 
" He comes from Galilee to Jordan, to John to be bap- 
tised of him*" Now was the full time come, that Jesus 
took leave of his mother, and his trade, to begin his Fa- 
ther's work, in order to the redemption of the world. 
For the clearer understanding of Christ's baptism, we 
shall examine several particulars. 

1. What reason had Christ to be baptised ? — We find 
John himself wondering at this, " I have need to be bap- 
tised of thee, and comest thou to me ?" Many reasons 
are given for Christ's baptism; 1. That he might bear 
witness to the preaching and baptism of John, and 
might reciprocally receive a testimony from John. 2. That 
by his own baptism, he might sanctify the water of bap- 
tism to his own church. 3. That he might "fulfil all 
righteousness ;" not only the moral, but the ceremonial 
and typical. Some think that the ceremony, to which 
our Saviour alluded in these words> was the washing of 
the priests in water, when they entered into their office. 
And surely this was the main reason of Christ's being 
baptised, that by this baptism he might be installed 
into his ministerial office. 

2. How did John know him to be the Christ ?— « It is 
very probable he had never seen his face before ; they 
had in their infancy been driven to several places, and 
they were designed to several employments ; besides the 
Baptist speaks expressly, " I knew him not, but he 
that sent me to baptise with water, the same said unto 
me, on whomsoever thou shalt see the spirit descending^ 



and abiding on him, the same is he that baptiseth with 
the Holy Ghost." Now this descent of the Holy Ghost 
was not till after baptism ; how then did he know him 
to be Christ ? It is not unlikely, but John knew Christ 
at his first arrival by revelation. Thus Samuel knew 
Saul, and thus John might know Christ. The know- 
ledge he had after baptism, was a further confirmation 
of that same knowledge that he had before baptism, and 
that not so much for his own sake, as for the people's : 
'* I saw and bear record that this is the Son of God." 

3. Wherein was the glory or excellency of Christ's 
baptism ? — The ancients give many encomiums to it, 
and in some respects prefer it to the birth of Christ $ 
Thus Augustin, " Many great miracles were at Christ's 
InVth, but they were far greater at his baptism ; the Holy 
Ghost overshadowed him in the womb, but he brightly 
shone on him in the river ; then was the Father silent, 
not a word from him ; but now a loud voice is heard 
from heaven, " This is rny beloved Son in whom I am 
well pleased ;" then was the mother under suspicion, be- 
cause she was found with child without a father, but now 
is the mother greatly honoured, in that the holy child is 
fathered by God himself." Then was Christ hid to the 
world, and this made John the Baptist say, "There stands 
one amongst you whom ye know not :" he was before 
his baptism, as a sun in a cloud, or a pearl in a shell, 
or a gold mine in a field, but now he appears in public, 
and to manifesthis glory, the heavens open, and from the 
heavens the Holy Ghost descends, and alights upon his 
sacred head, and God the Father gives a voice from heaven, 
declaring his divinity to the world. If the Jews require 
a sign, here is not one, but many signs at once, which as 
beams to discover a sun, so they discover this Sun of 
Righteousness to be risen amongst them : and herein was 
the glory of Christ's baptism. 

4. Why was it that the Holy Ghost descended on Je~ 
sus ?— 1. That John the Baptist might be satisfied; for 
this token was given John, when he first began to 
preach, " That upon whom he should see the Spirit de- 
scending, and remaining on him, the same is he which 
baptiseth with the Holy Ghost." 2. That Christ himself 


might be anointed, or installed into his function. " The 
Spirit of the Lord is upon me ; because the Lord hath 
anointed me, to preach good tidings unto the meek." As 
Aaron and his sons were anointed with material oil, 
when they entered into their offices, so Christ was by 
the Spirit (as it were) anointed, that so he might receive 
liis consecration, and institution for the office, that he 
was to enter on, — the pryiching and ministry of the 
gospel. 3. That at the beginning of the gospel, a clear 
and sensible demonstration of the whole Trinity might 
be made. The Holy Ghost in scripture hath a special 
regard to express this mystery upon singular occasions. 
It is the very first thing that is taught in all the Bible; 
" In the beginning God created," — there is the Father ; 
and "God said," — there is the Word, or the Son; 
" and the Spirit of God moved," — there is the Holy 
Ghost. And the very first word of the Bible, that 
speaks of man, holds out the Trinity as creating him ; 
" x\nd God said, Let us make man in our own image." 
He saith, Let us, to shew the Trinity of persons ; and 
he saith, In our image, not in our images, to shew the 
unity of essence. How fit then was it, that at the bap- 
tism of Christ, the three persons should be revealed ; es- 
pecially since he ordained baptism to be administered in 
all their names ? The Father speaks from heaven, the 
Son comes out of the water, and the Holy Ghost appears 
in the likeness of a dove. Thus every person of the 
Trinity gives some sensible evidence of his presence. 

We may here observe that the baptism we use, and the 
baptism of John, are in nature and substance the very 
same. John baptised, m Christ that should die, and rise 
again ; but we baptise in the name of Christ, that was 
dead, and risen again. We may also observe the folly 
of those who reject the baptism of water, upon the pre- 
tence of the baptism only with fire ! Christ (we see) hath 
joined them together, and let no man put them asunder. 
Christ himself was baptised with fire, and yet Christ 
himself was baptised with water. 

O 2 



No sooner is Christ come out of the water of baptism, 
but he enters into the fire of temptation. No sooner is 
the Holy Spirit descended upon his head, but he is led 
by the same Spirit to be tempted in the wilderness. No 
sooner doth God say, " This is my Son," but Satan puts 
it to the question, •* If thou be the Son of God." All 
these are but Christ's preparatives to his prophetical 
office. In the former section, Christ was prepared by a 
solemn consecration, and now he is to be further pre- 
pared by Satan ? s temptations. Several particulars are 
worthy of our notice ; I begin with the place where the 
temptation was—" the wilderness." 

This wilderness was not the same wherein John the 
Baptist lived, for that was inhabited, but this wilderness 
was void of men, and full of " wild beasts." As Adam 
in his innocency lived with wild beasts, and they hurt him 
not ; so Christ the second Adam lives here in the wilder- 
ness with wild beasts, and has no hurt at all. He is Adam- 
like in his safety and security; but above Adam in re- 
sisting temptation. Probably during his forty days 
abode there, Christ was continually exercised in prayer 
and fasting ; he knew he had a great work of redemp- 
tion to promote ; and therefore his conversation for this 
interval must be preparatory to it. In this respect, I 
know not but the' wilderness might be an advantage to 
Christ's design. Heaven usually is more open, and God 
more familiar in his visits in such places. 

2. The cause of Christ's going into the wilderness, was 
the Spirit's leading.—** Then was Jesus led of the Spirit 
into the wilderness." Christ was led by the good Spirit, 
to be tempted by the evil spirit. O wonder ! that the 
same Spirit which was one with the Father and the Son, 
now leads him into the wilderness to be tempted of the 
devil. Christ would not go into the combat uncalled, 
unwarranted ; how then should we, poor weaklings, pre- 
sume upon any abilities of our own ? If we are to pray 
not to be led into temptation, much more are we to pray 
not to run into temptation ; and yet for the comfort of 


God's people, if by divine permission, we are engaged in 
a, course of life that is full ofHemptations, let us look 
upon it as an issue of divine providence, in which we 
must glorify God. 

3. The end of the Spirit's leading Christ into the wil- 
derness, was either immediate or remote. — 1. The imme- 
diate end was to be tempted of the devil ; the remote 
end was his own glory and our good. 1. His own glo- 
ry appeared in this. Had not Satan tempted Christ, 
how should Christ have overcome Satan ? Herein was 
the power of Christ exceedingly manifested ; and also his 
faith, patience, humility and zeal. 2. As it was for his 
glory, so also for our good. Now we see what manner 
of adversary we have, how he fights, how he is resisted, 
and how overcome ; now we see the dearer we are to 
God, the more obnoxious we are to temptation ; now we 
see that the best saints may be tempted to the worst of 
evils, since Christ himself is solicited to infidelity, covet- 
ousness, and idolatry ; now we see, "that we have not 
a high Priest, that cannot be touched with the feeling 
of our infirmities, but such an one as was in all points 
tempted like as we are, yet without sin ; and therefore 
we may go boldly to the throne of grace, that we may 
receive mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." 
4.Th€ time and occasion of the devil's onset. — It was "at 
the end of forty days' fast, and when he was an hungered." 
Moses fasted forty days at the delivery of the law ; and 
Elias fasted forty days at the restitution of the law ; and 
to fulfil the time of both these types, Christ thinks it fit to 
fast forty days at the accomplishment of the law and the 
promulgation of the gospel. In fasting so long, Christ 
manifests his Almighty power ; and in fasting no longer, 
Christ manifests the truth of his manhood and of his 
weakness. And now our Saviour is an hungered. This 
gives occasion to Satan to set upon him with his fierce 
temptations. He hath temptations of all sorts ; the va- 
nities of the world for the intemperate, and the king- 
doms of the world for the ambitious. He considers the 
temper and constitution of the person he is to tempt, 
and he observes all our exterior accidents, occasions and 
opportunities ; but of this hereafter. 


5. The temptations themselves are three. — The first 
was this, " If thou be the Son of God, command that 
these stones be made bread." What a horrible entrance 
is this ! " If thou be the Son of God." No question 
Satan had heard the glad tidings of the angel, he saw 
the star, and the journey, and the offering of the sages ; 
he could not but take notice of the gratulations of Za- 
chary, Simeon, Anna ; and of late he saw the heavens 
open, and heard the voice that came down from heaven, 
" This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 
And yet now that he saw Christ fainting with hunger, as 
not comprehending how infirmities could consist with a 
Godhead, he put it to the question, " If thou be the Son 
of God." Here is a paint, in which lies all our happiness. 
How miserable were we, if Christ were not indeed the 
Son of God ! If Christ had not been the Son of God, 
how should he have ransomed the world ? How should 
lie have done, or how should he have suffered that which 
was satisfactory to his Fathers wrath ? If Christ be not 
the Son of God, we are lost, we are undone, we are 
<lamned for ever. Farewell glory, farewell happiness, 
farewell heaven. If Christ be not the Son of God, we 
must never come there. Well, Satan, thou beginnest thy 
assault like a devil indeed, " If thou be the Son of God ;" 
but what then ? " Command that these stones be made 
bread." He knew Jesus was hungry, and therefore he 
invites him to eat bread only of his own providing, that 
so he might refresh his humanity, and prove his divinity. 
There is nothing more ordinary with our spiritual ene- 
my, than by occasion of want to move us to unwarrant- 
able courses : " If thou art poor, then steal ; if thou 
canst not rise by honest means, then use indirect ones." 
I know Christ might as lawfully have turned stones into 
bread, as water into wine ; but to do this in a distrust of 
his Father's providence, to work a miracle of Satan's 
choice and bidding, could not be agreeable with the Son 
of God. And hence Jesus refuses to be relieved ; he 
would rather refuse to manifest the divinity of his per- 
son, than do any act, which had in it the intimation of a 
different spirit. O Christians ! it is a sinful care, to 
take evil courses to provide for our necessities. It may 


be thou hast found a way to thrive, which thou couldst 
not before. O take heed, was it not of the devil's 
prompting to change stones into bread, sadness into sen- 
sual comforts ? If so, Satan has prevailed. 

But what was Christ's answer ? " It is written, Man 
shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that 
proceedeth out of the mouth of God." — 1. " It is written,'* 
he easily could have confounded Satan by the power of 
his Godhead ; but he rather chose to vanquish him by the 
sword of his Spirit. Surely this was for our instruction. 
By this means he teacheth us how to resist and to over- 
come. Nothing in heaven or earth can beat the forces 
of hell, if the word of God cannot. O then how should we 
pray with David ; " Teach me, O Lord the way of thy 
statutes." 2. " Man shall not live by bread," &c. Whilst 
we are inGod's work,God hath made a promiseof the sup- 
ply of all provisions necessary for us. Jesus was now in his 
Father's work, therefore he was sure to be provided for, 
according to God's word. Christians, are we in God's 
service ? God will certainly give us bread ; and till he 
does, we can live by the breath of his mouth, by the light 
of his countenance, by the refreshment of his promises, 
by <f every word that proceedeth out of his mouth. 

The second temptation is not so sensual ; the devil 
sees that was too low for Christ, and therefore lie comes 
again with a temptation something more spi ritual ; " He 
sets him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, 
If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is 
written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee." 
He that was content to be led from Jordan into the wil- 
derness, yields to be led from the wilderness to Jerusa- 
lem. The wilderness was fit for a temptation arising 
from want, and Jerusalem, for a temptation arising from 
vainglory. Jerusalem was the glory of the world, the 
temple was the glory of Jerusalem, the pinnacle was the 
highest part of the temple ; and there is Christ content 
to be set for the opportunity of temptation. "Cast thy- 
self down," saith Satan, But why did not Satan cast him 
down ? He carried him up thither, and was it not more 
easy toHhrow him down thence ? O no, the devil may 
persuade us to a fall, but he cannot precipitate us without 


our own act: his malice is infinite, but bis power is 
limited ; he cannot do us any harm but by persuad- 
ing us to do it ourselves ; and therefore saith he to Christ, 
"Cast thyself &o\\n" 

To this Christ answers, " Thou shalt not tempt the 
Lord thy God." Though it is true, that God must be 
trusted in, yet he must not be tempted ; if means be 
allowed, we must not throw them away upon a pretence 
of God's protection. 

The third temptation is yet more horrid. Satan 
takes him up to the top of an " exceeding high moun- 
tain, and shews him all the kingdoms of the world, and 
the glory of them, saying, All these will I give thee, if 
thou wilt fall down and worship me." In this tempta- 
tion the devil united all his power of stratagem, and 
drew into one centre all the kingdoms and glories of the 
world, and represented them to the eyes of Jesus. He 
thought ambition more likely to ruin him, because he 
knew it was that which prevailed upon himself, and 
therefore, he said, "All these will I give thee, if thou wilt 
fall down and worship me." The Lamb of God that 
heard all the former temptations with patience, could by 
no means endure this. He commands him away, and 
tells him, " It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord 
thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Now was the 
devil put to flight, and in his stead, " the angels came 
and ministered unto Jesus," such things as his necessities 

O Christian, what shall we say to this ? If Christ was 
thus tempted by Satan, what may we look for ? Some- 
times it cheers my heart to think thatChrist was tempted, 
because thereby he knows how to succour those that are 
tempted ; and sometimes it affrights my soul to think 
that Satan durst be so bold with Jesus Christ. Oh ! what 
may he do with me ? How easily may he prevail against 
my soul ? When he came to tempt Christ, he found 
nothing in him to join with him in the temptation ; but 
in my heart is a world of corruptions, and unless the 
Lord prevent, I am quickly gone. 



Now it was time that " the Sun of Righteousness 
should arise," and shine in the view of the world. To 
manifest Christ were many witnesses. 1. From heaven, 
the Father is witness ; " the Father, saith he, that sent 
me beareth witness of me s* the Son is witness, for saith 
Christ, " I am one that bear witness of myself, and 
though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true, 
for I know whence I came, and whither I go ;" and the 
Holy Ghost is witness ; for that purpose he descended 
like a dove, and lighted upon him. 2. On earth, John 
the Baptist is witness, for saith Christ, " Ye sent unto 
John, and he bare witness unto the truth, — He came 
for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men 
through Christ might believe." No sooner was John 
confirmed by a sign from heaven, that Jesus was the 
Christ, but he manifests it to the Jews ; yea, he points 
him out with his finger, " behold the Lamb of God that 
takes away the sins of the world." 

And yet we find more witnesses : ° The works (saith 
Christ) that I do, in my Fathers name, they bear witness 
of me." These works or miracles of Christ Were many, 
but because we are speaking of his first manifestation, I 
shall instance only his first work, which was at a mar- 
riage in Cana of Galilee. The power of miracles had 
ceased since their return out of the captivity ; the last 
miracle that was done by man till this very time, was 
Daniel's tying up the mouths of the lions, and now Christ 
begins. He that made the first marriage in paradise, 
bestows his first miracle upon a marriage feast* O happy 
feast where Christ is a guest ! I believe this was no rich 
or sumptuous bridal. This poor bridegroom wants drink 
for his guests ; and as soon as the holy virgin hath notice 
of it, she complains to her son. Whether we want 
water, or wine, necessaries or comforts, whither should 
we go but to Christ? " But Jesus answered her, Wo- 
man what have I to do with thee ? Mine hour is not 
yet come." This shews that the work he was to do, 
must not be done to satisfy her importunity, but to pro- 



secute the great work of divine designation. In works 
spiritual and religious, all outward relation ceaseth. We 
must not deny love and duty to relations ; but in the 
things of God natural endearments must pass into spiri- 
tual, and, like stars in the presence of the sun, must not 
appear. Paul could say, " Henceforth we know no man 
after the flesh, yea though we have known Christ after 
the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." 

At the command of Jesus the water pots were filled 
with water, and the water by his divine power is turned 
into wine, where the different dispensation of God and 
the world is highly observable : " Every man sets forth 
good wine at first, and then the worst ;" but Christ not 
only turns water into wine, but into such wine, that the 
last draught is most pleasant. These were the first mani- 
festations of Jesus. You see he had several witnesses to 
set him forth; some from heaven, and some on earth ; the 
Father, Son^and the Holy Ghost witness from heaven ; 
the Baptist, disciples, and his works witness on earth ; 
and all bring in this testimony of Jesus, that he is u the 
Messiah, which is, being interpreted the Christ." 


Of the second year of Christ's Ministry. — His Sermons this year.— His 
prophetical Office. — His Miracles. 


Now was it that the office of the Baptist was expired , 
and Christ beginning his prophetical office, appears like 
the sun in his succession of the morning star. By this time 
he saw it convenient to choose more disciples : with this 
family he goes up and down Galilee, preaching the gos- 
pel of the kingdom and healing all manner of diseases. 
It is not my purpose to enlarge on all the sermons, mi- 
racles, and conferences of Christ with men : in this 
year therefore I shall limit myself to the consideration of 
Christ with regard to his preaching and miracles ; both 
these relate to his prophetical office. 

of Christ's sermons this year. 

1. His preaching this year was frequent, and amongst 
other sermons, now it was that he delivered the first ser- 
mon, " Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 

2. Now was it that he delivered that spiritual and 
mystical sermon of regeneration, at which Nicodemus 
wonders. " How can a man be born when he is old ? 
Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb 
and be born ?*' But Jesus takes off the wonder, in tell- 
ing him, this was not a work of flesh and blood, but of 
the Spirit of God, " for the Spirit bloweth where it list- 
eth ;*' and is as the wind certain and notorious in the 
effects, but secret in the principle and manner of produc- 
tion. Then Christ proceeds in his sermon, telling him 
vet of higher things, as of his descent from heaven, of 

V 2 


his passion and ascension, and of the mercy of redemp- 
tion, which he came to fulfill for all that believe ; of the 
love of the Father, the mission of the Son, the rewards 
of faith, and glories of eternity. 

3. Now was it that the throng of auditors forcing 
Christ to leave the shore, he makes Peter's ship his 
pulpit. Never were there any such nets cast out of that 
fishing boat before : while he was upon land, he healed 
the sick bodies by his touch, and now he was upon sea, 
he cured sick souls by his doctrine. He that made both 
sea and land, caused both to conspire tp his designs of 
good to the souls and bodies of men. 

4. Now it was that he preached that blessed sermon 
on " The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath 
anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor." No 
question but he preached both to poor and rich ; but the 
power and fruit of his preaching, were only received by 
the poor in Spirit. In the following particulars, his 
office js set out still in a higher tenor, u To heal the 
broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and 
recovering of sight to the blind ;" or as it is in Isaiah, 
" The opening of the prison to them that are bound." 

5. Now it was that he delivered the admirable "ser- 
mon upon the mount," It is a breviary of all those 
precepts which are truly Christian ; it contains in it all 
the mpral precepts given by Moses, and opens a more 
severe exposition than tbe Scribes and Pharisees had 
given ; it holds forth the doctrines of meekness, poverty 
of spirit, desire of holy things, mercy, purity, peace, 
patience, and suffering of injuries. He teacheth us how 
to pray, how to fast, how to give alms, how to contemn 
the world, and how to seek the kingdom of God, and 
its appendent rightequsness. 

pF Christ's prophetical office. 

The titles of Christ, in respect of his prophetical 
office, were these : Sometimes he is called doctor, or 
master ; " Be ye not called masters, for one is your 
Master, even Christ." Sometimes he is called a lawgiver; 
- There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to de- 


stroy." Sometimes he is called a Counsellor ; " And 
his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor." 
Semetimes he is called the apostle of our profession ; 
" Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly 
calling, consider the apostle, and high priest of our 
profession, Christ Jesus." Sometimes he is called the 
angel of the covenant ; " Even the angel of the cove- 
nant whom ye delight in." Sometimes he is called the 
Mediator of the new covenant ; "For this cause he is the 
Mediator of the New Testament," saith the apostle. 
Now, a Mediator is such a one as goes between two 
parties at variance, imparting the mind of the one to the 
other, so as to breed a right understanding, and thereby 
to work a compliance between both. And thus Christ 
is a Mediator between God and his people. 

1. As a prophet, Christ delivers to the people his 
Father's will, both in his own person, and by his ser- 
vants the ministers : — in his own person, when he was 
upon earth as a " minister of the circumcision," and by 
his servants the ministers, from the beginning of their 
mission to the end of the world. 

2. As a prophet, he opens and expounds the gospel. — 
The gracious purpose of God towards lost mankind, was 
a secret locked up in the breast of the Father; and so 
it had been even to this day, had not Christ, who was 
in the bosom of the Father, revealed it unto us. 

3. As a prophet, he gives us to understand, and to be- 
lieve the gospel. — " Then opened he their understanding, 
that they might understand the scriptures." He that at 
first opens scriptures, at last opens hearts. He enlightens 
every believer, not only with a common natural light, 
but with a special supernatural light, of saving, spiritual, 
and effectual knowledge. There is no prophet can do 
this save only Jesus Christ ; he only is able to cause our 
hearts to believe and to understand the matter, which he 
doth teach and reveal. Other prophets may plant and 
water, but he, and only he can " give the increase." 

The exellencies of Christ above all other prophets, are 
in these respects. — 

1. Other prophets were but types of this great pro- 
phet. Even Moses himself was but a figure of him, 


a A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto yon 
of your brethren, like unto me." These words plainly 
shew, that Moses was at the best but a shadow of Christ: 
now, as substances far excel shadows, so Christ far 
excels all the prophets. 

2. Other prophets spake only to the ears of men, but 
Christ speaks to the heart. — " He hath the keys of David, 
that openeth and no man shutteth, that shutteth and no 
man openeth." He only is able to open the eyes of the 
mind by the secret, kindly and powerfully working of 
his own Spirit. 

3. Other prophets had their commission and authority 
from Him. — " The words of the wise are as goads and 
wails fastened by the masters of the assemblies, which are 
given from one shepherd," and Christ is that one shep- 
herd from whom these words are given, and from whom 
these masters have their authoritv. 


The miracles of Christ which this year were many, 
were a verification of his doctrine. 

1. Now was it that at Cana, where he wrought the first 
miracle, he does a second : "a certain nobleman came to 
Jesus, and besought him to come down to his house, and 
to heal his son, who was at the point of death." This 
noble ruler seeks after Christ in his necessity : happy 
was it for him that his son was sick, for else he had not 
been so well acquainted with his Saviour. The first 
answer Christ gives this nobleman, is a word of reproof; 
" Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe :" 
Incredulity was the common disease of the Jews. The 
doctrine of Christ, and all the divine words tha the 
spake, must be made up with miracles, or they will not 
believe. What is it that condemns the world but unbe- 
lief? O what a sin is this! Christ's next answer is a 
word of comfort ; "Go thy way, thy son liveth." Oh the 
meekness, and mercy of Jesus Christ ! When we would 
have looked that he should have punished this suitor for 
not believing, he condescends to him that he may be- 
lieve : With one word doth Christ heal two patients, 


the son and father ; the son's fever, and the father's un- 
belief. We cannot but observe here the steps of faith ; 
he that believed somewhat ere he came, and more when 
he went, grew to more and more Faith in the way ; and 
when he came home, he enlarged his faith to all the skirts 
of his family. " And the man believed the word that 
Jesus had spoken unto him," and he went his way ; and 
in the way one meets him and tells him, " Thy son 
liveth ;" which recovery he understands to be at the same 
time that Christ had spoken those healing words, u and 
himself believed and his whole house." 

2. Now was it that " a centurion came unto Christ, 
beseeching him, and saying, My servant lieth at home, 
sick of the palsy, grievously tormented." Many suitors 
came to Christ, one for a son, another for a daughter, a 
third for himself; but I see none come for his servant, 
but this centurion ; and if we observe Christ's answer to 
his suit, we see how well pleased Christ is with his re- 
quest: Jesus saith unto him, "I will come and heal him." 
It may be this poor sick servant had more grace, or he 
had more need, and therefore Christ will go down to 
visit him. Nay, says the centurion, I am not worthy, 
Lord, that thou shouldest come under my roof; alas, 
Lord ! I am a Gentile, an alien, a man of blood ; but 
thou art holy, thou art omnipotent; and therefore, 
" only say the word, and my servant shall be whole." 
Mark this, O my soul, it is but a word of Christ, and 
my sins shall be remitted, my soul healed, and soul and 
body glorified for ever. The centurion knew this by the 
command he had over his own servants ; " I sav to this 
man, Go, and he goes, and to another man, come, and 
he comes, and to a third, do this, and he doeth it." Oh, 
that I were such a servant to my heavenly Master ! each 
of his commands says, Do this, and I do" it not: each of 
his prohibitions says, Do it not, and I do it." O that I 
could serve my Christ as these soldiers did their Master! 
Jesus marvels at the centurion's faith. We never find 
Christ wondering at gold, or silver, or costly and curious 
works; but when he sees the acts of faith, he soap- 
proves of them, that he is ravished with wonder. And he 
that both wrought this faith, and wondered at it, doth now 


reward it. ff Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, 
so be it unto thee, and his servant was healed in the 
self-same hour." 

3. Now it was, that " Jesus goes into the city of 
Nain." The fruitful clouds are not ordained to fall all 
in one field ; Nain must partake of the bounty of Christ, 
as well as Cana, or Capernaum. He no sooner enters 
the gate, but he meets a funeral ; a poor widow, with 
her weeping friends, is following her only son to the 
grave ; Jesus observing her sad condition, pities, com- 
forts, and at last relieves her. In his former miracles he 
was sued to ; but now Christ offers a cure, to give us a 
lesson, that whilst we have to do with the Father of 
mercies, our miseries and afflictions are the most power- 
ful suitors. Christ observes the widow's sadness, and 
presently speaks comfortably unto her, " Weep not ; — 
young man, I say unto thee, arise." See how the Lord 
of life speaks with command : the same voice speaks to 
him that shall one day speak to us, and raise us out of 
the dust of the earth : the same power that can raise one 
man, can raise a thousand, a million, a world. 

I have now given you several instances of the miracles 
of Christ in the second year of his ministry ; the grand 
object of which was to prove his mission from God, to 
demonstrate his power unto men, to confirm his gospel, 
to endear his precepts, to work in us faith, to help us 
heaven-ward. And may we not here remark, that Jesus 
Christ, in carrying on our soul's salvation is adding mi- 
racle to miracle. So contrary is our perverse nature 
to all possibilities of salvation, that if salvation had not 
marched to us all the way in a miracle, we should have 
perished in the ruins of a sad eternity. Indeed every 
man living in the state of grace is a perpetual miracle. His 
reason is turned into faith, his body into a temple, his 
earth into heaven, his water into wine, his aversions 
from Christ into intimate union with Christ. 


Of the third year of Christ's ministry. Christ's ordination of his Apos- 
tics. His reception of sinners. His easy yoke and light burden- 


JtllTHERTO all was quiet; neither the Jews, nor 
the Samaritans, did as yet malign the doctrine or person 
of Jesus Christ ; hut he preached with much peace on 
all hands till the beginning of this year. I shall not yet 
speak of his sufferings ; neither shall I speak much of 
his doings: but only of such things as refer principally 
to the main business of our souls' salvation. 

of Christ's ordination of his apostles. 

" And it came to pass in those days, that he went out 
into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in pray- 
er to God. And when it was day, he called unto him 
his disciples, and of them he chose twelve, whom also 
he named apostles." In this election of the apostles 
several particulars are Worthy of our notice. 

1. The time when they were chosen, was "after he 
had continued all night in prayer to God."— This shews 
the singular care that Christ had in this great employ- 
ment. To set men apart to witness his name, and to 
publish to the world the gospel of Christ he would not 
do without much prayer. 

2. The company out of whom they are chosen.—" He 
called unto him his disciples, and out of them lie chose 
twelve. Christ's ministers should first be disciples. O 
how unfit are they to take upon them the ministry of 
Christ, that were never yet the disciples of Christ ! first 
the grace of God within us, and then must that grace of 
God be discovered by us. 



3. The end to which they were chosen, was to apos- 
tleship. — That they might be Christ's legates to the sons 
of men, that they might be sent up and down the world 
to persuade men to salvation. 

of Christ's reception of sinners. 

Christ's reception of sinners appears, both in his doc- 
trine and practice. 

1. In his doctrine, Christ lays it down expressly; 
" Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, 
and I will give you rest." It is no more, but come and 
welcome. The gospel shuts none out of heaven, but 
those that by unbelief lock the door against their own 

Again, ff Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man 
thirst, let him come unto me and drink/' The very 
marrow of the gospel is contained in these words. On 
the last day of the feast of tabernacles, the Jews were 
wont with great solemnity to draw water out of the 
fountain of Siioam, and to bring it to the altar, singing 
out of Isaiah, " With joy shall ye draw water out of 
the wells of salvation." Now Christ takes them at this 
custom, and recals them from earthly to heavenly waters. 
All the time of Christ's ministry, we see him tiring 
himself in going about from place to place, upon no other 
errand than this, to cry at the markets, " Ho ! every 
one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters ! If any sinners 
love life, if any will go to heaven, let them come to me, 
and I will shew them the way to my Father's bosom, 
and endear them to my Father's heart." 

2. Christ's reception of sinners appears yet more in his 
practice. — How welcome were all sorts of sinners unto 
him! This he manifests. 1. Parabolically. 2. Really. 

1. Parabolically, especially in the parable of the lost 
sim. " When the prodigal was yet afar off, his father 
saw him : and had compassion on him, and ran, and fell 
on his neck, and kissed him." In these words observe, 
1 . His father sees him before he sees his father ; no 
sooner a sinner thinks of heaven, but the Lord takes 
notice of him. 2. The Lord sees him while he was yet a 


great way off. Sinners may be far off from God in their 
own apprehensions, and yet the Lord even then draws 
near to them. 3. His father had compassion on him ; 
the Lord's bowels yearn within him at the sight of his 
returning prodigals. 4. u His father ran :" there is 
much in this. If a sinner will but creep towards Christ, 
mercy will run to meet him. God's mercy is over his 
works, and over all our sins. 5. He fell on his neck, 
and kissed him. What ? those lips that had so often 
kissed base and abominable harlots ! The scope of the 
parable is this, that Christ is willing and glad to receive 
sinners. " Turn ye, turn ye, from your evil ways, for 
why will ye die, O house of Israel B 

2. Christ manifests this willingness in his practice 
really. — Amongst many instances, I shall insist only on 
one, a notable instance of this year. One of the Pha- 
risees named Simon, invited Christ to eat with him, 
which a certain woman that was a sinner heard of. She 
accordingly entered the house, " stood at his feet behind 
him weeping, and began to wash his feet with her tears, 
and to wipe them with the hairs of her head ; and she 
kissed his feet, and anointed them with ointment." O 
what a change ! She that was before so proud and vile, 
comes in remorse, and regret for her sins, and humbly 
stands at Jesus' feet. Our Lord's conduct implied that 
repenting sinners should be welcome to him ; and this 
welcome he published first ta Simon, " Her sins which 
are many are forgiven ;" and then to the woman, " Thy 
sins are forgiven thee, thy faith hath saved thee, go in 

Is Christ most willing to receive sinners ? O then 
who would not come to him ? Methinks, now all sinners 
of all sorts should say, Though I have been a drunkard, 
a swearer, an unclean person, yet now I hear Christ is 
willing to receive sinners, and therefore I will go to 
Jesus Christ. This is my exhortation, Come unto 
Christ; behold, here in the name of the Lord, I 
stand, and make invitation to poor sinners ; Oh, will 
not ye come ? How will you answer it at the great day, 
when it shall be said, The Lord Jesus made an offer of 
mercy to you, and you would not accept of it. Oh 3 

Q 2 


come to Christ, and believe on Christ : as Christ is 
willing to receive you, so be you willing to give up your 
souls to him. 

Many fears and jealousies are in the hearts of men, 
of the difficulty and severity of Christ's institutions ; 
and therefore, to remove that objection, he tells them 
plainly, there is no such thing, but rather the contrary, 
" My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." 

Christ Jesus came to break off from our necks those 
two great yokes ; the one of sin, by which we were 
kept in fetters and prisons : the other of Moses' law by 
which we were kept in pupilage and minority : and now 
Christ having taken off these two, he hath put on a third; 
he quits us of our burden, but not of our duty; he hath 
changed the yoke of sin, and the yoke of the law strictly 
taken, into the sweetness of his fatherly regimen whose 
very precepts carry part of their reward in hand, and 
assurance of glory afterwards. 

The reasons of the easiness, and pleasantness of the 
Christian religion, and the practice of it, I shall reduce 
into two heads. 

1. The Christian religion is most rational. — If we 
should look into the best laws that the wisest men in the 
world ever agreed upon, we shall find that Christ adopted 
the quintessence of them all into this one law. The 
highest pitch of reason is but as a spark, a taper, which 
is involved and swallowed up in the body of this great 
light, that is made up by the Sun of Righteousness. 
Some observe, that Christ's discipline is the breviary of all 
the wisdom of the best men, and a transcript of his 
Father's wisdom. 

2. The Christian religion is also composed of peace. — 
"Her ways are the ways of pleasantness, and all her paths 
are peace." Christ framed all his laws in compliance of 
this design of peace ; peace within, and peace at home, 
and peace abroad. " Great peace have they that love 
thy law;" by the aid of Christ and his grace, their 
passions are subdued, and they pass on their life sweetly 


andcalmly,without any perturbations much troubling their 
spirits : they have that " peace which passeth all under- 
standing." Whosoever obeys the laws of Jesus Christ, 
seeks with sweetness to remedy all differences ; he throws 
water upon a spark ; he lives sweetly with his wife, af- 
fectionately with his children, discreetly with his servants; 
and they all look upon him as their guardian, friend, and 
patron. If men would but live according to the Chris- 
tian religion, one of those great plagues that vexeth the 
world (I mean the plague of war) would be no more. 
And if all men that are called Christians, were indeed 
charitable, peaceable, just, loving, forbearing one ano- 
ther, and forgiving one another, what sweet peace should 
we have! How would this world be an image of heaven, 
and of that society of saints and angels above in glory ! 



JL HIS was the last year of Christ's ministry, in which 
were thousands of passages. The evangelist John relates 
more of Christ this year than in all the former, and if I 
studied not brevity, we might dwell more on his actings 
for us this year, than hitherto we have done from the 
beginning of his ministry. Now it was that he was trans- 
figured, now it was that he instituted that sacrament 
called " the Lord's supper," now it was that after sup- 
per, he made his farewell sermon, rarely mixt of sadness 
and joys, and studded with mysteries as with emeralds ; 
now it was that after sermon he blessed his disciples and 
prayed for them ; and then having sung a hymn, he went 
out into the mount of Olives, where, in a garden he be- 
gan his sufferings. But I do not intend to enlarge here, 
and shall therefore now direct you in the mystery of 
looking unto Jesus in respect of his life. 


Of knowing Jesus as carrying on the great work of our salvation in his 
life. Of considering—desiring — hoping— believing — loving — joying 
in — calling on — and conforming to Jesus in this respect. 


IN the gospels of the four evangelists we have an account 
of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ — a most important 
subject for the believers' study. Some have taken such 
pains in the study of these things, that they have written 
large volumes ; men have been writing and preaching 
many hundred years of the life of Christ, and they are 
writing and preaching still. O my soul, if thou dost 
not write, yet study what is written. Come with 
fixed thoughts, to this blessed subject, which will make 
thee wise unto salvation. Paul accounted "all things but 
dung for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus 
our Lord." If thou didst truly understand the excellen- 
cy of this knowledge, thou couldst not but account all 
things loss in comparison of this one necessary thing. 


There is a virtue goes along with a serious meditation, 
a changing transforming virtue ; therefore look farther, 
O my soul, have strong apprehensions of all those several 
passages of the life of Christ. 

1 . Consider the preaching of John Baptist. We talk 
of strictness, but shew me among all the ministers or 
saints of this age, such a pattern of sanctity and singu- 
lar austerity. He had an excellent zeal, and a vehement 
spirit in preaching ; and the best commentary upon all 
his sermons was his own life ; he was clothed in camel's 


liair, bis meat was locusts and wild honey. He con- 
temned the world, resisted temptations,despised honours, 
and was a rare example of self-denial and mortification; 
and by this means he made an excellent preparation for 
the Lord's coming. O my soul, sit a while under this 
preacher. See what effect doth it work on thy heart and 
life? Dost thou feel in thee a spirit of 'mortification ? 
Dost thou, with the Baptist, die to the world ? Dost 
thou abstain from pleasures and sensual complacencies, 
that the flesh being subdued to the spirit, both may join 
in the service of God ? Consider, the preaching of this 
forerunner of Christ, till thou feelest it to have some 
warmth in thy heart, and influence on thy life in order 
to holiness, self-denial and mortification. 

2. Consider the baptism of Christ. — Surely every soul 
that lives the life of grace, "is born of water and the 
spirit." Had not Christ been baptised, what virtue had 
there been in our baptism ? Christ's obedience in fulfil- 
ling the law, is imputed to all that believe unto righte- 
ousness, as if themselves had fulfilled, so the virtue of 
his baptism is derived unto us ; therefore if thou art in 
Christ, thou art baptised into his baptism ; thou par- 
takest of the fruit and efficacy of his death, and life, and 
baptism, and all. 

3. Consider the fasting and temptation of Christ in 
the wilderness. — Now we see what manner of adversary 
we have, how he fights, how he is resisted, how over- 
come. In one assault, Satan moves Christ to doubt of 
his Father's providence, in another, to presume on his 
Father's protection ; and when neither diffidence nor 
presumption can fasten upon Christ, he shall be tried 
with honour : and thus he deals with us, if he cannot 
drive us down to despair, he labours to lift us up to 
presumption; and if neither of these prevail,then he brings 
out pleasures, profits, and honours. O rtiy soul, whilst 
thou art in this warfare, temptations, like waves break 
one in the neck of another: if the devil was so busy with 
Christ, how shouldst thou hope to be free? But Christ 
is with thee in the temptation : he hath sent his Spirit 
into thy heart to make intercession for thee there; 
and he hintself is in heaven, making intercession and 


praying for thee there ; yea, his own experience of temp- 
tations hath so wrought in his heart, that his love and 
mercy is most of all at work when thou art tempted most. 

4. Consider Christ's first manifestations by his several 
witnesses. — We have heard of his witnesses from heaven, 
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ; and of his witnesses 
on earth, the Baptist, his disciples, and the works that 
he did in his Father's name; and even to this day is Christ 
manifested to us, yea, if we are Christ's, even to this 
day is Christ manifested within us. O my soul, consider 
this above all ! It is this manifestation within that 
concerns thee most. u Because ye are sons, God hath 
sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts." 

5. Consider the preaching of Christ. — O the admir- 
able sermons of this great prophet! Read and peruse 
those he hath left on record, yea, ruminate and meditate 
on them in order to piety and a holy life. How sweet 
was the first sermon of Christ, " Repent, for the king- 
dom of heaven is at hand ?" and how spiritual was that, 
" Except a man be born again he cannot see the king- 
dom of God ?" " Meditate on these things, and give 
thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear 
to all." 

6. Consider the miracles of Christ. — Here is a world 
of matter to run over. He turned water into wine; he 
healed the nobleman's son even at the point of death ; 
he cured the lepers by his touch ; he made the lame man 
to walk ; he made inveterate diseases to disappear at his 
speaking, even as darkness at the brightness of the sun ; 
he fed thousands of people with two small fishes and 
five loaves : he cast out devils, and commanded them 
whithersoever he pleased. O my soul consider these 
miracles, and believe that doctrine which »was ratified 
with arguments from above ! How shouldst thou but 
assent to all those mysterious truths which were so 
strongly confirmed by an almighty hand. 

7. Consider Christ's ordination of his apostles. — "He 
chose twelve, whom he named apostles :" and what was 
the office of these apostles, but " to go and teach all 
nations ?" The gospel was first preached in Jewry, but 
afterwards the sound of it came unto us. O the good- 



ness of God in Christ ! Of what near concernment, O 
my sou), is this to thee ! What art thou but a sinner of 
the Gentiles ? Understand that term: when the apostle 
wouW express the greatest sinners that the world had, he 
calls them " sinners of the Gentiles." Why ? The 
Gentiles knew not God, the Gentiles were unacquainted 
with Christ, the Gentiles walked in nothing but sin. O 
then what a love is this, that God should ever have 
thought of good will towards thee ! Surely this is one of 
the great mysteries of godliness, — " God manifested in 
the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached 
unto the Gentiles." 

8. Consider Christ's Teception of sinners. — He sent 
forth his apostles to call them in, and if they would 
but come, how ready was he to receive them! This 
was Christ's errand from heaven. Ah, my soul ! why 
shouldst thou despair because of sin ? Look on Christ 
as spreading out his arms to receive thee ; look on the 
gracious nature that is in Christ ; look on the office of 
Christ : it is an office of saving, and shewing mercy, that 
Christ hath undertaken; it is an office to receive sinners, 
yea, to " seek, and to save that which was lost." 

9. Consider the easiness of his yoke, and the light- 
ness of his burden. — O my soul, if thou canst but taste, 
thou wouldst find a world of sweetness in Christ's ways. 
There is sweetness in the word ; " How sweet are thy 
words to my taste, yea sweeter than honey to my mouth!" 
There is sweetness in prayer. Hast thou not known the 
time that thou hast tasted of the joys of heaven in prayer? 
There is sweetness in meditation : some call this very 
duty, the saints' pastime, which recreates the tired spirits. 
Oh, if men did but know what sweetness were in the 
ways of God, they could not but embrace them, and 
esteem one day's society with Jesus Christ, better than all 
the gold in the world. 


1. The meanest things of Christ are desirable things. — 
The very filings of gold, the dust of precious stones are 
of real value. Hence we read, that one poor woman 


sought no more but to wash Christ's feet, and to kiss 
them ; another breathes ont these desires, " If I may 
but touch the hem of his garment, I shall be whole.** 
John the Baptist thinks it an honour to " unloose the 
lachets of his shoes.'* David, to-be-" a door-keeper in 
the house of God.'* Yea, he puts a happiness on the 
sparrow, and the swallow, that build their nests besides 
the Lord's altar. 

2. The more considerable actions of Christ are espe- 
cially desirable. — I . To his friends, he was sweet and 
indulgent. Where there was any beginning of grace he 
did encourage it ; so was the prophecy, " A braised ret d 
shall he not break, and smoaking flax shall he not 
quench." 2. To his enemies, he was kind and merciful. 
He was never more familiar with any at first acquaint- 
ance, than with the woman of Samaria that was an 
adulteress : and Mary that had been a sinner, how 
sweetly did he appear to her at the first view ! How 
ready was he to receive sinners ! How gracious to sin- 
ners after pardon ! See it in Peter, he never upbraided 
him, only he looks upon him, and afterwards says, 
" Lovest thou me ?" Well may we exclaim, " In the 
way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee, 
the desire of our soul is to thy name, and the remem- 
brance of thee." 

3. The ever blessed and holy person of Christ is de- 
sirable above all. — If there be any thing worthy a wish, 
it is eminently in the Lord Jesus Christ ; there is no 
honour, no felicity, like that which Christ hath ; some 
are sons, Christ is an only son ; some are kings, but 
Christ is King of kings ; some are beautiful, Christ is 
the fairest of all the children of men; the brightest cherub 
is forced to skreen his face from the dazzling and shin- 
ing brightness of the glory of Christ. 


If thy hope, O my soul, be right and good, it will 
manifest itself by operations of saving grace. 

1. If Christ's life be mine, then am I freed from the 
law of sin. — This was the apostle's evidence, Rom. viii. 2. 

It 2 


"For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath 
made me free from the law of sin." Christ's life is 
called " the spirit of life/' because of its perfection : 
and this Spirit of life hath such a power in it, here termed 
a law, that it works out in believers a freedom, from the 
law, or power in sin. Look to this ! doth the power 
and dominion of Christ's life throw out of thy heart and 
life, that power and dominion of sin ? Here is one 
ground of hope. 

2. If Christ's life be mine, then shall I walk even as 
he walked. — Such is the efficacy of Christ's life, that it 
will work suitableness, and make our life in some sort 
like his life. The apostle observes, that our communion 
with Christ works on our very conversation ; " He that 
abideth in him, walketh even as he walked." The life 
of Jesus is not described to be like a picture, only for 
beauty and entertainment of the eye, but like the 
Egyptian hieroglyphics, is full of instruction. Christ is 
the image of his Father, and we are the images of Christ. 
Come then, O my soul, look unto Jesus, and look into 
thyself; yea, look and look, till thou art more trans- 
formed into his likeness : Look into his conversation at 
home and abroad, and then reflecting on thyself, look 
there, and tell me, canst thou find in thyself, the same 
disposition and conversation ? Then, here is another 
ground of hope ; O rejoice in it, aud bless God for it. 

Away, away, with all doubts and perplexing fears ! 
Would ever Christ have come with his power against the 
power of sin, if he had not meant to rescue thee ? Would 
Christ ever have set thee a copy, and have held thy hand 
and thy heart, to have writ legibly after him, if he had 
not meant thee "for a scribe instructed into the kingdom 
of heaven ?" Surely, " it is good, that I both hope and 
quietly wait for the salvation of God." I cannot hope 
in vain, if these be the grounds of my hope. 


Many souls stand aloof, not daring to make a particular 
application of Christ, and his life to themselves ; but 
herein is the property of faith, it brings all home, and 
makes use of whatsoever Christ is or does for itself. 


1. Faith directly goes to Christ. — Many poor souls 
humbled for sin, run immediately to the promise of par- 
don, and rest on it, not seeking for, or closing with 
Christ in the promise : this is a common error, but we 
should observe, that the first promise that was given, 
was not a bare word, simply promising pardon, peace, 
or any other benefit, but it was a promise of Christ's 
person, as overcoming Satan, and purchasing those be- 
nefits : — " The seed of the woman shall bruise the ser- 
pent's head." So, when the promise was renewed to 
Abraham, it was not a bare promise of blessedness and 
forgiveness, but of " that seed," that is " Christ," in 
whom that blessedness was conveyed; — "In thy seed shall 
all the nations of the earth be blessed." So that Abraham's 
faith first closed with Christ in the promise, and there- 
fore he is said to see Christ's day, and to rejoice, O re- 
member this in the first place, faith must go unto Christ, 
as compassed with all his promises, privileges, benefits. 

2. Faith must go to Christ as God in the flesh, made 
under the law. — We are debtors to God, and there is "a 
hand-writing against us, and contrary to us." Here is a 
bond of the law which we have forfeited : now, what 
would Christ avail, if he had not come under the law, if 
he had not been our surety, and undertook for us ? Our 
faith therefore must go to Christ, as made under the law, 
not only taking our nature upon him, but our debt also; 
our nature as men ; and our debt as sinful men. " He 
hath made himself sin for us who knew r no sin ;" He 
both satisfied the curse, and fulfilled the commandments. 


What a lovely object is the life of Christ ! Who can 
read it, who can think over his worthiness, in his person, 
relations and actions, and not love him with a singular 
love ? 

1. When he saw thee altogether unclean, he goes 
down into the waters of baptism, that he might prepare 
a way for the cleansing of thy polluted soul. 

2. When he saw the devil ready to swallow thee up, he 
himself enters into the list, and overcomes him, that thou 


mightest overcome, and triumph with Christ in his glory. 

3. When he saw thee in danger of death, through 
thy unbelief, he condescends so far to thy weakness, as 
to manifest himself by several witnesses. 

4. When he saw thee a sinner of the Gentiles, he sent 
his apostles and messengers abroad, and bade them 
preach the gospel to thee. 

5. When he saw thee in suspense, and heard thee com- 
plaining, " It is a hard passage, a high ascent up to 
heaven. What shall become of my poor soul } n He 
told thee, that " all his ways were ways of pleasantness, 
and all his paths peace ;" that thou shouldst find by ex- 
perience, that <f his yoke was easy, and his burden light.'* 
See, O my soul, here is the sum of all the particulars 
thou hast heard ; Christ loves thee, and Christ is lovely: 
his heart is set upon thee, who is a thousand times fairer 
than all the children of men. Doth not this considera- 
tion, like a mighty loadstone, draw thy heart unto him } 
O Christ, I am ashamed that I love thee so little. Draw 
me by thy Spirit, that I may love thee. " Many sins 
are forgiven me," O that I may love thee much ! 


Let us joy in Jesus, as carrying on the great work of 
our salvation for us during his life. But what is there in 
Christ's life, or in all the passages of his life to stir up 
joy? i answer, All his life, and all the passages of his 
life, if rightly applied, are excellent matter for the stir- 
ring up of thy affection : indeed the main of the work is 
in the application of Christ's life. 

t. Let us contemplate the life of Christ. — The reason 
we miss of our joys, is because we are so little in con- 
templation of Christ. He pities us m our sorrows, but 
he delights in us when we delight in him. Certainly he 
would have us to delight in him; and to that purpose he 
way-lavs our thoughts, that wherever we look, we may 
still think on him. O my soul, cast thine eyes which 
way thou wilt, and thou shalt hardly look on any thing, 
but Christ hath taken the name of that very thing 
upon himself. Is it day ? and dost thou behold the sun? 


He is called " the Sun of Righteousness." Or is it night? 
And dost thou behold the stars ? He is called a star. 
" There shall come a star out of Jacob" Or, is it morn- 
ing ? And dost thou behold the morning'-star ? He is 
called "the bright morning-star." Or is it noon? And 
dost thou behold clear light all the world over in thy hem- 
isphere? He is called "the light, that lighteneth every 
man that cometh into the world." Or to come a little near- 
er, if thou lookest on the earth, and takest a view of the 
creatures about thee, seest thou the sheep ? u As a sheep 
before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth:" 
Or, seest thou a lamb ? " Behold the lamb of God 
which taketh away the sins of the world." Seest thou a 
shepherd watching over his flock ? "I am the good 
shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of 
mine." Or seest thou a fountain, rivers, waters ? " In 
that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of 
David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and 
for uncleanriess." Or seest thou a tree good for food or 
pleasant to the eye ? He is called the tree of life. And 
as " the apple-tree among the trees of the wood so is 
my beloved among the sons." Seest thou a rose or a lily? 
" I am the Rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys." 
Or to come a little nearer yet, art thou within doors ? 
" I am the door, by me if any man enter in he shall be 
saved, and shall go in and out, and shall find pasture." 
Art thou adorning thyself, and takest a view of thy 
garments ? He is called a garment. " Put ye on the 
Lord Jesus Christ." Art thou eating meat, and takest 
a view of what is on thy table ? He is called "the bread 
of life, the living bread which came down from heaven." 
Thus Christ way-lays our thoughts, that wherever we 
look, we should ever think of him. 

2. Let us upon good grounds hope our interest in the 
life of Christ. — Hope and joy go together : if I have but 
assured hope that Christ's life is mine, I cannot but re- 
joice therein. Look t< this, O my soul ; peruse again 
and again thy grounds [>f hope; do not slightly run them 
over ; thou canst not ' be too sure of Christ. Thou 
readest in the gospel this and that passage of thy Jesus, 
canst thou lay thine hand on every line^ and say, This 


passage is mine, this sermon was preached, and this mi- 
racle was wrought for me, that I might believe, and that 
in believing I might have life through his name ? O then, 
how shouldst thou but rejoice ! 

3. Let us come up to more and more enjoyment of 
Christ. — In it are contained these things : 1. A propriety 
in Christ ; for as a sick man doth not feel the joy of a 
sound man's health, so neither doth a stranger to Christ 
feel the joy of a believer in Christ. 2. A possession of 
Christ : this exceedingly enlargeth our joy. O how 
sweet was Christ to the spouse, when she could say, " I 
am rny beloved's, and my beloved is mine." Many are 
taken up with the joy and comfort of outward possessions, 
but Christ is better than all. In Christ is comprised 
every scattered comfort here below. " Christ is mine, 
(saith the soul) and all mine." O the usefulness of 
Christ to all believing souls ! The scriptures are full of 
this, as appears by all his titles. He is " our life, our 
light, our bread, our water, our milk, our wine. He is our 
father, our brother, our friend, our husband, our king, our 
priest, our prophet. He is our justification, our sancti- 
fication, our wisdom, our redemption, our all in all." 
Alas ! I look on myself, and see I am nothing, I have 
nothing without Jesus Christ. Here is a temptation, 1 
cannot resist it; here is a corruption, I cannot overcome it; 
here is a persecution, I cannot down with it. Well, 
but Christ is mine, I have interest in Christ, and I have 
possession of Christ, and I find enough in Christ to sup- 
ply all nay wants. Those that lived with him, " all re- 
joiced for the glorious things that were done by him." 
And doth not thine heart leap within thee ? O my soul, 
I cannot bat check thee for thy deadness. It is said, 
that when " Christ was at the descent of the mount of 
Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to re- 
joice, and praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty 
works that they had seen." What! a multitude of dis- 
ciples rejoicing in Christ's acts? And art thou not one 
amongst the multitude ? If thou art a disciple, rejoice 
thou: surely it concerns thee as much as them, and there- 
fore rejoice ; lift up thy voice in harmony with the rest ; 
" rejoice, and a^ain rejoice." 



We read, that looking up to Jesus, goes for prayer in 
God's book. " My prayer will I direct to thee (saith 
David) and will look up." Thus " Stephen looked up to 
heaven ;" and let us look up to Jesus by calling on him: 
now this calling on him contains prayer, and praise. 

1. We must pray, that all these transactions of Jesus 
during his life, or during his ministry upon earth, may 
be ours. — We hope it is so, and we believe it to be so ; 
but for all that we must pray that it may be so. There 
is no contradiction between hope and faith, and prayer; 
" Lord, I believe, yet help my unbelief; be it to me ac- 
cording to my faith, how weak soever." 

2.We must praise God for all those passages in Christ's 
life. — Thus did the multitude ; " they praised God with 
a loud voice, saying, blessed be the King that cometh 
in the name of the Lord, peace in heaven, and glory in 
the highest." What, my soul, hath Christ done all this 
for thee ? Was he made under the law, to redeem thy 
soul, and adopt thee for his son to the inheritance of 
heaven I Came he down from heaven, and travelled 
so many miles on earth, to woo and win thy heart ? 
Spent he so many sermons, and so many miracles to 
work thee into faith ? O how shouldst thou bless, and 
magnify his name ! How shouldst thou break out into 
that blessed hymn, " To him that loved us, and hath 
made us kings and priests unto God, and his Father, to 
him* be glory and dominion, for ever and ever, Amen." 


We must look as one looks to his pattern; as mariners 
at sea keep an eye on that ship that bears the light ; so, 
in the race that is set before us, we must have our eye 
on Jesus, our blessed pattern. This must be our con- 
stant enquiry, " Is this the course that Jesus steered } n 
I shall examine these three queries : 1 . Wherein we 
must conform ? 2. Why we must conform ? 3. How we 
must conform to this life of Jesus. 



For the first, I answer, We must not, cannot conform 
to Christ, in the works proper to his Godhead ; as in 
working miracles. Nor need we conform to Christ in 
his voluntary poverty and ceremonial performances. 
But we must conform to Christ's life. 

1. In respect of his judgment, will and affections. — 
"Let this mind he in you (saith the apostle) which was 
also in Christ." 

2. In respect of his virtues, graces, and holiness. — 
All graces were in Christ. " And of his fulness have 
we all icceived, grace for grace." 

3. In respect of his words. — The very officers of the 
priests could say, " Never man spake like this man." 
"When he was reviled,he reviled not again." The apostle, 
speaking thus of Christ, tells us, that " herein Christ 
left us an example, that we should follow his steps." 

4. In respect of his carriage, conversation, close- 
walking with God. — The apostle sets forth Christ as a 
high priest, who " was holy, harmless, undefiled, and 
separate from sinners " And in like manner, saith Peter, 
u Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy 
nation, a peculiar people ; that ye should shew forth the 
virtues of him, who hath called you out of darkness into 
his marvellous light;" the word signifies properly to 
preach; so clearly should we express the virtues of Christ, 
as if our lives were so many sermons of the life of Christ. 

For the second, Why we must conform ? I answer, 
1. Because Christ hath done and suffered very much 
to that end. — If it had not been for thy imitation, I 
cannot think that Christ would have lived on earth so 
many years to have done so many gracious meritorious 

2. Because Christ is the best examplar of holiness 
that ever the world had. — Christ is " the head of the 
body, the beginning, the first-born from the dead ; in all 
things he hath the pre-eminence." And the rule is ge- 
neral, that, that which is first, and best in any kind, is 
the rule and measure of all the rest. Why, such is 
Christ ; O then let him be the guide of our life, and of 
our manners. 

3. Because Christ doth not only give us an example, 


but be doth assist us by its easiness. — Some observe, tbat 
Christ's piety (which we mast imitate) was even, con- 
stant, unblameable, complying with civil society, without 
any in3tances of actions greater than the imitation of 
men. We are not commanded to imitate a life, whose 
story tells us of ecstasies in prayer, of abstractions of 
senses, no; but a life of justice, piety, and devotion. 
And it is very remarkable, that besides the easiness of 
this imitation, there is a virtue in the life of Christ. It 
may be, we think our way to heaven is troublesome, ob- 
scure, and full of objection ; well, saith Christ, " But 
mark my footsteps ; come on and tread where I have 
stood, and you shall find the virtue of my example will 
make all smooth, and easy ; you shall find the comforts 
of my company, you shall feel the virtue and influence 
of a perpetual guide. 

4. Because Christ in his word hath commanded us to 
follow his steps. — " Learn of me, for I am meek and 
lowly in heart." " I have given you an example that ye 
should do as I have done to you." " And as he which 
hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of 
conversation ; because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am 
holy." We must be holy as Christ is holy, yet still we 
must look at the holiness of Christ, as the sun, and root, 
and fountain ; and that our holiness is but as a beam of 
that sun, but as a branch of that root, but as a stream of 
that fountain. 

For the third, How must we conform to this life ? I 
answer; 1. Let us be humbled for our little conformity 
to this copy. — What an excellent pattern is here before 
us, and how far, how infinitely do we come short of this 
blessed pattern ! Alas ! if Christ will not own me, 
unless he sees his image written upon me, what will be- 
come of my poor soul ? Christ was meek, and humble, 
and lowly in spirit; Christ was holy and heavenly ; and 
now when I come to examine my own heart according to 
this original, 1 find I am naturally as opposite to Christ, 
as hell to heaven. O my soul, whose image is this ? Is 
it the image of Christ or of Satan ? If the worst scholar 
in the school should write thus untowardly after his 
copy, would he not be ashamed ? O wo is me ! what a 

S 2 


vast disproportion is between Christ's life and mine. Thus, 
O my soul shouldst thou humble thyself; from each 
prayer, each meditation, each self-examination, shouldst 
thou fetch fresh occasions and matter of humiliation. 
2. Let us quicken our sluggish souls to conform to 
Christ. — I read but of two ends of Christ's coming into 
the World in relation to us, — to redeem his people, and 
to purify his people. " He gave himself for us, that he 
might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto him- 
self a peculiar people, zealous of good works." The one 
is the work of his merit, which goeth upward, to the 
satisfaction of his Father ; the other is the work of his 
grace, which goeth downwards to the sanctiflcation of 
his church : in the one he bestoweth his righteousness on 
us by imputation, on the other he fashioneth his image 
in us by renovation. And what, O my soul, wouldst 
thou destroy the end of Christ's coming in the flesh ? 
God forbid ! Let us provoke our souls to this conformity; 
let us excite our faint, drooping, languishing affec- 
tions and desires to this duty of conformity ; let us come 
up higher towards it, or if possible, completely to it, that 
the same mind, and mouth, and life, may be in us that 
was in Jesus Christ, that we may be found to walk after 
Christ, that we may tread in the very prints of the feet 
of Christ, that we may aspire continually towards him, 
and grow up to him, even " to the measure of the sta- 
ture of the fulness of Christ." 

3. Let us regulate ourselves by the life of Christ. — 
Whatever action we go about, let us ask, would Christ 
have done this, or at least, would Christ have allowed 
this ? It is true, some things are expedient and lawful 
with us, which were not suitable to the person of Christ. 
"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled ;" 
but it did not befit him. Writing of books is commend- 
able with men, but it would have been derogatory to the 
person and office of Christ ; for it is his prerogative to 
be in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, to be 
present to all bis members, to teach by power, and not 
by ministry, to write his law in the hearts of his people, 
and to make them his epistle. Contrition, mortification, 
and repentance for sin, are acts and duties necessary to 


our state and condition as sinners ; but these were un- 
suitable to Christ who was without sin. Now, as in 
these and some other things we must only respect the 
permission of Christ ; so in other things we must reflect 
upon the example of Christ ; as, 1. In sinful acts ab- 
horred by Christ, 2. In moral duties that were done by 

1 .In sinful acts abhorred by Christ,as when I am tempt- 
ed to sin, then am I to reason thus with myself; Would 
my blessed Saviour if he were upon earth, do thus and 
thus ? Would he have spent such a life upon earth as I 
do ? When I am moved by my own corruption, or by 
Satan, to drunkenness, gluttony, sinful and desperate 
society, to swearing, cursing, revenge, or the like ; then 
am I to ask, Is this the life that Christ led ? Or, if he 
were to live again, would he live after this manner } 
When I fall into passion, peevishness, rash words, or if 
it be but idle words, then am I to consider, Would 
Christ speak thus ? Would this be his language ? 

2. In case of moral obedience, concerning which we 
have both his pattern and precept,— I look upon Christ 
as my rule, and I question thus, Did Christ frequently 
pray both with his disciples, and alone ? and shall I 
never in my family, or in my closet think upon God? Did 
Christ shew mercy to his very enemies ? and shall I be 
cruel to his very members ? O my soul, look on all thy 
sins, and in all thy duties to thy original ; and measure 
them by the holiness of Christ. Whether in avoiding 
sin, or in doing duty, think, What would my blessed 
Saviour do in this case ? or, what did he in the like case 
when he was upon earth ? If we had these thoughts 
every day, if Christ were continually before our eyes, 
it would be a blessed means of living in comfort and 
spiritual conformity to the commands of God. 

4. Let us look fixedly on Jesus Christ, until we feel 
ourselves conforming to him. — To accomplish this, 

1. Let us set apart some time on purpose. — If together 
with our closet-prayer we would fall on this duty of 
looking unto Jesus by lively faith, how blessed a season 
might this be ! 

2. Let us remove hinderances. — Satan labours to hindet 


the soul from beholding Christ with the dust of the 
world. Let us take heed of fixing our eyes on this 
world's vanity ! Our own corruptions are also great hin- 
derances to this view of Christ ; away with all carnal 
passions, sinful desires ; unless the soul be spiritual, it 
can never behold spiritual things. 

3. Let us fix our eyes only on this blessed object. — 
A moving eye sees nothing clearly. When the angels 
are st»id to look into these things, the word signifies, 
that they look into them narrowly, as they who stooping 
down, do look into a thing ; so our eye of faith should 
be set upon Christ in a steady manner, as if we forgot 
all the things behind, and had no other business in the 
world but this. 

4. Let us look on Christ with a craving eye, with a 
humble expectation to receive a supply of grace from 
him. — " Lord, thou art not only anointed with the oil of 
gladness above thy fellows, but for thy fellows ; I am 
earthly-minded, but thou art heavenly; I am full of lusts, 
but the image of God is perfect in thee ; thou art the 
fountain of all grace, a head of influence, as well as of 
eminence ; thou art not only above me, but thou hast all 
grace for me ; and therefore, give me some portion of thy 
meekness, lowliness, heaveuly-mindedness, and of all 
other the graces of thy Spirit.** 

5. If, notwithstanding all this, we feel not for the 
present this conformity in us, let us act over the same 
particulars again and again. — The gifts of grace are com- 
municated by degrees, that we might be taken off from 
living upon a received stock of grace, and that we might 
still be running to the spring. We have a continual 
need of Chrisfs letting out himself and grace into our 
hearts, and therefore we must wait at the well-head 
Christ ; we must look on Christ, as appointed on purpose 
by bis Father to be the beginner and finisher of our 
holiness ; and we must believe that he will never leave 
that work imperfect whereunto he is ordained of the 

I have now done with this subject ; only before I 
finish, one word more. I deny not other helps, but 
amongst them all, if I would make choice which to fix 


upon, that I may become more and more holy, I would 
set before me this glass, — Christ's holy life. We 
were at first created after his image in holiness, and this 
image we lost through our sin, and to this image we 
should endeavour to be restored by imitation : and 
how should this be done, but by looking on Christ as 
our pattern ? In this respect I charge thee, O my soul, 
that thou make conscience of this practical, evangelical 
duty. Be much in the exercise of it ; not only in the 
day, but when night comes, and thou liest down on thy 
bed, let thy pillow be as Christ's bosom, in which John 
the beloved disciple was said to lean. And when day 
returns again, have this in mind; ever look unto Jesus 
as thy holy examplar. Yea, if it were possible, going 
and standing, sitting and lying, eating and drinking, 
speaking and holding thy peace, by thyself, or in com- 
pany, cast an eye upon Jesus ; for by this means thou 
canst not choose but love him more, and joy in him 
more, and trust in him more, and become more and 
more familiar with him, and draw more and more grace 
and virtue and sweetness from him. 





BOOK y. 


Of the Brook over which Christ passed.— The Garden into which he 
entered. — The Prayer he made there. — The Agonies he suffered there. — 
Of Judas' s Treason, and Christ's Apprehension. — Of Christ's Exa- 
mination and Condemnation. 


A HE first event of that night, was Christ's going oyer 
the brook Cedron to Gethsemane. " When Jesus had 
spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples 
over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into which 
he entered, and his disciples." Thus was fulfilled the pro- 
phecy, " He shall drink of the brook in the way." As 
waters signify afflictions, so Christ drinking of those 
waters signifies " Christ's suffering afflictions." 

Inthewayhe hath a serious conference with his disciples. 
" And when they had sung an hymn, they went out to- 
wards the mount of Olives ; ana then saith Jesus unto 
them, AH ye shall be offended because of me this night, 
for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep 
of the flock shall be scattered abroad." Christ now 
begins the story of his passion ; " The shepherd shall be 


smitten ;" and he proves it from God's decree, and from 
the prophecy, " Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, 
and against the man that is my fellow." God the Father 
is here brought in, as drawing and whetting his sword, 
and calling upon it, to do execution against Jesus Christ. 
Christ's sufferings were long since resolved on in the 
councils of heaven ; and now " the only hegotten Son, 
which lay in the bosom of his Father," reveals them to 
the disciples. 

The disciples on this discovery are amazed ; and 
Peter, who seems boldest, exclaims, " Though all 
men should be offended because of thee, yet will I never 
be offended." O rash presumption ! Peter prefers him- 
self before the rest, as if all the other disciples had been 
weak, and he only strong. Peter contradicts Christ's 
great discovery of his Father's design; "What, though 
Zechariah hath said it, and God hath decreed it, yet, on 
my part, I will never do it. Though I should die with 
thee, I will not deny thee." Peter should have said, 
" By God's assistance, I will not be offended, by the 
Lord's help, I will not deny thee;" but instead of that he 
exclaims "Though I should die with thee, yet Avill I not 
deny thee. Likewise said all his disciples." 

When David fled from Absalom out of Jerusalem, it 
is said, "that all the country wept with a loud voice, and 
all the people passed over : the king also himself passed 
over the brook Cedron, towards the way of the wilder- 
ness." So now Christ, as another David, with his dis- 
ciples, goes out of Jerusalem. What weeping was in 
the way I cannot tell ; but probably sadness was in the 
hearts both of him and his disciples,whose conference was 
of fleeing, suffering, dying the most grievous death : all 
the difference that I find between the type and antitype 
in this passage is, in that David fled from the face of 
Absalom ; but Christ goes out of Jerusalem, not to flee 
from Judas, or the Jews, but rather to commit himself 
into their hands. 

Ah, my brethren, let us remember, we are pilgrims 
and strangers upon ear h, and our way lies over the 
brook Cedron ; we cannot expect to enter with Christ 
into glory, but " we must first drink of the brook in the 
way/ we must endure many afflictions. You will say, 



" This is a hard saying, who can bear it }* There is too 
much of Peter's humour amongst us. Too many wish 
us to strew the way to heaven with flowers ; and are of- 
fended when we preach the cross and the strictness of a 
holy life. Well, but if this be the way that Christ hath 
led us, while others abide at ease in Zion, let us follow 
him in the valley, and over the brook Cedron. 


Matthew relates it thus, " Then cometh Jesus with 
them into a place called Gethsemane," that is " a valley 
of fatness :" seated at the foot of the mount of Olives. 
Accordingly John relates it thus, " Jesus went forth with 
his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden." 
Gardens are solitary places, fit for meditation and prayer; 
to this end we find Christ sometimes in a mountain, and 
sometimes in a garden. Gardens are places fit for repose 
and rest ; when Christ was weary with preaching, 
working of miracles, and doing acts of grace in Jeru- 
salem, then he retires into this garden. A garden was 
the place wherein we fell, and therefore Christ made 
choice of a garden to begin there the great work of our 
redemption. Christ goes especially into this garden, 
that his enemies might the more easily find him out ; the 
evangelist tells us, that Judas, " which betrayed him, 
knew the place, for Jesus oftentimes resorted thither 
with his disciples." Sure then he went not thither to hide 
himself, but rather to expose himself; and like a noble 
champion, to appear first in the field, and to expect his 
enemies. Thus it appears that Christ's death was vo- 
luntary. " He poured forth his soul unto death," (saith 
the prophet). " He gave himself for our sins," (saith 
the apostle.) Nay, himself tells us, " Therefore doth 
my Father love me, because I lay down my life : no 
man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself, I 
have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it 
up again." 


Jesus entering the garden, left his disciples at the en- 
trance of it, calling with him Peter, James and John: 


they only saw his transfiguration, the earnest of his fu- 
ture glory ; and therefore his pleasure was, that they only 
should see of how great glory he would disrobe himself 
for our sakes. And now he betakes himself to his great 
antidote, which himself prescribed to all the world. He 
prays to his heavenly Father : he kneels down ; and not 
only so, but falls flat upon the ground. He prays, with 
an intention great as his sorrow ; and yet with a submis- 
sion so ready, as if the cup had been the most indifferent 
thing in the world. The form of his prayer runs thus, 
" O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from 
me, nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." 

1. Observe the matter of his prayer. — " Let this cup 
pass from me, though I must taste it, yet, O that I may 
not be too long or tediously annoyed by it !" That which 
leads us \nto this interpretation, is that of the apostle ; 
" Christ in the days of his flesh offered up prayers and 
supplications, with strong cries and tears, unto him that 
was able to save him from death, and he was heard in 
that which he feared." How was he heard ? Not in the 
removal of the cup, for he drank it up all; but, in respect 
of the tedious annoyance, for though it made him 
sweat drops of blood, though it made him cry out, "My 
God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?" Though 
it laid him dead in his grave, yet presently, he revived, 
and awakened as a giant refreshed with wine ; and so it 
passed from him, as he prayed, in a very short time ; and 
by that short death, he purchased to his people ever- 
lasting life. 

2. The limitation of his prayer. — u If it be possible, 
if it be thy will ;" " If it be possible," signifies the earn- 
estness of the prayer ; and " if it be thy will," the sub- 
mission of Christ unto his Father. How many things 
needful to prayer do we find concentered in it. Here 
is humility of spirit, importunity of desire, a law- 
ful matter, and a resignation to the will of God. Some 
think this is the most fervent prayer that ever Christ made 
upon earth ; and I think it was the greatest submission 
to the will of God that ever was found upon the earth, 
for whether the cup might pass or not pass, he leaves it to 
his Father ; "nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." 

T <2 


But what was there in the cup, that made Christ pray 
thus earnestly that it might pass from him ? I answer, 

1. The great pain that he must endure. — All the buf- 
ferings, whippings, bleedings, crucifying; all the tor- 
ments from first to last throughout all his body now came 
into his mind, and all these were put into the cup, of 
which he must drink. 

2. The great shame that he must undergo. — " A good 
name is better than precious ointment, and loving favour 
better than silver and gold," so is shame a greater pu- 
nishment to the mind than any torture can be to the flesh. 
Now came into his thoughts, his apprehending, binding, 
judging, scorning, reviling, condemning. 

3. The neglect of men, notwithstanding both his pain 
and shame. — This I conceive was a more bitter ingredient 
than either of the former. Naturally men desire, if they 
cannot be delivered, yet to be pitied, but when a poor 
wretch is under many sufferings and great shame, and 
finds none so much as to regard ; it is a heavy case, and 
hence was Christ's complaint, " Have ye no regard, O 
all ye that pass by ? Consider and behold, if ever there 
was sorrow like unto my sorrow, which was done unto 
mej wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of 
his fierce anger." Christ is willing to redeem us with 
his own precious blood, but he saw many to pass by 
without any regard, yea, ready to trample his precious 
blood under their feet, and to "account the blood of the 
covenant as an unholy thing." This was another spear 
in the heart of Christ, a bitter ingredient in this cup. 

4.Theguilt of sin which he was now to undergo. — "Upon 
him was laid the iniquity of us all." All the sins of all 
believers in the world, from the first creation to the last 
judgment, were laid on him. O what a weight was this! 
Surely one sin is like a talent of lead ; O then, what 
were so many thousands of millions t The very earth 
itself groans under the weight of sin until this day. 
David cried out, that " his iniquities were a burden too 
heavy for him to bear." Then no wonder, if Christ 
bearing all the sins of Jews and Gentiles, bond and free, 
cry out, " My soul is heavy," for sin was heavy on his 
soul, Christ his ownself bare our sins in his own body 


oh the tree." — How bare our sins, but by his sufferings ? 
— " And he hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." — 
How laid on him, but by imputation ? — " And he hath 
made him to be sin for us who knew no sin." — How 
made sin for us ? Surely there was in Christ no guilt ; 
no, but he was made sin by imputation: he was our surety, 
and so our sins were laid on him in order to punishment. 
Little do we know or consider, what is the weight and 
guilt of sin. And this was another, ingredient in Christ's 

5. The power and malice of Satan. — The devil had 
a full leave; not as it was with Job, "Do what thou 
wilt, but save his life;" no, he had a commission without 
any such limitation. The whole power of darkness was 
let loose to afflict him as far as possibly he could ; and 
this our Saviour intimates, when he saith, " The prince 
of this world cometh." Now was it that the word must 
be accomplished, "Thou shalt bruise bis heel." If we 
look on the devil in respect of his evil nature, he is com- 
pared to a roaring lion ; not only is he a lion, but a roar- 
ing lion, his disposition to do mischief is always wound 
up to the height ; and if we look on the devil in respect 
of his power, there is no part of our souls or bodies that 
he cannot reach : the apostle, describing his power, gives 
him names above the highest comparisons, as "principali- 
ties, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spi- 
ritual wickedness above," O then, what a combat must 
this be, when all the power and all the malice of all the 
uevils in hell should (by the permission of God) arm 
themselves against the Son of God ! Surely this was a 
bitter ingredient in Christ's cup. 

6.The wrath of^God himself. — This (above all) was the 
most bitter dreg : it: lay in the bottom, and Christ must 
drink it also. " The Lord hath afflicted me in the day of 
his fierce anger." God afflicts some in mercy, but Christ 
in his anger, yea in the very fierceness of his anger. Now 
Christ saw himself bearing the sins of all believers, and 
standing before the judgment-seat of God. " Now is 
the judgment of this world, and the prince of this world 
shall be cast out." As if he had said, Now I see God 
sitting in judgment upon the world ; and as a right re- 


preservative of it, here I stand before his tribunal, ready 
to undergo all the punishments due to it for sin ; I know 
it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living 
God. I know God is a consuming fire. But for this end 
came I into the world ; O my Father, I will drink this 
cup. Lo here an open breast, come prepare the armory 
of thy wrath, and herein shoot all the arrows of revenge. 
And yet, O my Father, let me not be swallowed up by 
thy wrath ; there is in me flesh and blood in respect of 
my humanity ; "and my flesh trembleth for fear of thee, 
I am afraid of thy judgments. If it be possible, let this 
cup pass from me." 


Christ's passion in the garden was declared by his sor- 
row, and by his sweat. 

1. By his sorrow. — The evangelists diversely relate it. 
"He began to be sorrowful, and very heavy," saith Mat- 
thew. " He began to be sore amazed, and to be very 
heavy," saith Mark. " And being in an agony, he pray- 
ed more earnestly,"saith Luke. "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," saith John. 
All avow this sorrow to be great, and so it is confessed 
by Christ himself. " Then saith he unto them, My soul 
is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." Ah Christians, 
who can speak out this sorrow ? " The spirit of a man 
will sustain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can 
bear?" Christ's soul is sorrowful ; or if that be too flat, 
his soul is exceeding sorrowful ; or if that language be 
too low, his soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; 
such and so great, as that which is used to be at the very 
point of death ; and such as were able to bring death 
itself, had not Christ been reserved to a greater and an 
heavier punishment. Many a sorrowful soul hath been 
in the world, but the like sorrow to this, was never 
since the creation. Surely the bodily torments of the 
cross were inferior to this agony of his soul* It was a 
sorrow unspeakable ! 

2.By his sweat. — Luke only refers to it, "His sweat was 


as it were,great drops of blood falling down to the ground." 
His sweat was a wonderful sweat, not a sweat of water, 
but of red gore blood. It came not from him in small 
dews, but in great drops of blood ; and hence it is con- 
cluded as preternatural. These great drops of blood did 
not only drop out; but they were great drops of blood falling 
down to the ground : great drops, and those so plente- 
ous, that they went through his apparel, streaming to 
the ground. Now was it thut his garments were dyed 
Avith crimson. That of the prophet, though spoken in 
another sense, may be applied to this ; ■' Wherefore art 
thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him 
that treadeth in the wine fat ?" O happy garden, water- 
ed with such tears of blood ! How much better are these 
rivers " than Abana, and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, 
yea, than all the waters of Israel, yea, than all those 
rivers that water the garden of Eden !" 

Learn here, O my soul, the weight and burden of sin. 
We sin, and our eyes will scarce drop a tear ; but his 
eyes, and ears, and head, and hands, and feet, all run 
rivers of tears of blood for us, even for our sins. Let 
others in meditating on Christ's sufferings cry out against 
the Jews: in this bloody sweat of Christ, I see another 
use. Here is no Jew, no Judas, no Herod, no Pilate, 
no Scribe, no Pharisee, here are no tormentors to whip 
him, no soldiers to crown his head with thorns; here are 
neither nails, nor spear to fetch his blood out of his bodj'i 
*How comes it then to pass ? Is there any natural cause? 
The night is cold, which naturally draws blood inwards; 
in the open air he lies grovelling on the ground, and there 
"he sweats and bleeds." "O my heart, who hath done this 
deed ?" " As the Lord livetti, the man that hath done 
this thing, shall surely die." So said David, when Na- 
than replied upon him, "Thou art the man." O my 
heart, my sinful, deceitful, abominable heart, thou art 
the murderer ; thy sin sat upon the heart of Christ as a 
mountain of lead, when none was near ; then all the sins 
of believers, and amongst them thy sins, fell upon the 
soul of Christ, as so many murderers, and squeezed 
blood, and made him cry out, " My soul is heavy, heavy 
unto death." Go tby ways now and weep with Peter. 


and say with David, " I have sinned against the Lord/* 
Yea, " mourn over him, as one that mourneth for his 
only son ; and he in bitterness, as one that is in bitterness 
for his first born." 


1. By this time the traitor Judas had arrived at Gethse- 
rnane, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. — Augustine 
speaks of many offices of love, that Christ had done to 
Judas. He had called him to be an apostle, made him 
his friend, caused him to eat of his bread, and sit at his 
table ; yea, if his tradition be true, " Jesus had delivered 
Judas often from death, and for his sake healed his fa- 
ther of a palsy, and cured his mother of a leprosy." Of 
this we are sure, that he kissed him, and washed his feet, 
and made him his treasurer ; and now that Judas should 
betray Christ ! How doth this add to the sufferings of 
Christ. " Behold a multitude," and Judas in the front. 
The evangelist gives the reason of this, that he might 
have the better opportunity to kiss him : " Whomsoever 
I shall kiss, that is he, lay hold on him." He begins war 
with a kiss, and breaks the peace of his Lord by a sym- 
bol of kindness. 

It were well for the world, especially for the children 
of God, that Judas were alone in this transgression ; that 
there was no more perfidious, treacherous person in it 
besides him. But O how full is the world of such mis- 
creants ! There was never yet an Abel, but he had a 
Cain to murder him ; never yet a Moses, but he had a 
Jannes and Jambres to resist him ; never yet a Joseph, 
but he had unkind brothers to envy him ; never yet a 
Samson, but he had a Delilah to betray him ; never yet 
a David, but he had a Ahitophel to hurt him ; never yet 
a Paul, but there was an Alexander to do him much 
evil ; nay, it is well if in every assembly we meet not 
with a Judas. Alas, how many professors have we 
amongst us, that ^salute Christ, both by hearing the 
word and receiving the seals, and yet in their lives and 
conversations, deny him ? 

2, " Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and 


took him."— Yet before they took him, he himself begins 
the enquiry, and tells them, that he was " Jesus of Na- 
zareth, whom they sought." This was but a meek and 
gentle word, yet had it greater strength in it than the 
eastern wind, or the voice of thunder; for God was in that 
still small voice, and it struck them down to the ground. 
O the power of Christ ! and yet he suffers thejn to rise 
again, and they still persist in their enquiry after him. 
He offers himself to be sacrificed, only he sets them 
their bounds ; and therefore he secures his apostles to 
be witnesses of his sufferings. In this work of redemp- 
tion, no man must have an active share besides himself: 
he alone was to tread the wine press ; " If therefore ye 
seek me (saith Christ) let these go their way." And now 
they have his leave, with what malicious and spite- 
ful minds, do they assault our Saviour ! They compass 
him round ; and then they lay their wicked and violent 
hands upon him. How strikingly is their rage described 
by the Psalmist, " Many bulls have compassed me, 
strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round ; they gaped 
upon rne with their mouths, as a ravening and roaring 

O, my soul, thy sins were the band, the captain, 
and the officers that beset him ; the bulls that compassed 
him ; the roaring lions that gaped upon him. Why 
shouldst thou rise up agajnst the Jews, when thou find- 
est the traitor in thyself? O that thou wouldst turn the 
edge of thy detestation upon thyself, and "lothe thyself in 
thy own sight, for all the evils that thou hast committed!" 

" Then the band, and the captain, and the officers of 
the Jews took Jesus, and bound him."— Binding argues 
baseness. Fools and slaves were accustomed to be bound, 
and so were thieves; but is our Saviour numbered amongst 
any of these ? O yes, " In that same hour said Jesus to 
the multitude, Are ye come out as against a thief, with 
swords and staves ?" O wonderful condescension ! He 
that was eminently just, is reputed a thief; he that was 
equal with God, is become a servant; he that was 
stronger than Samson, is bound with cords, as a poor 
lamb for the slaughter ; and thus began our liberty from 
slavery and death ! 



Come, Christians, let us lay our hands upon our hearts, 
and cry, " O, my pride! my coveteousness ! my malice! 
my unbelief! my unthankfulness ! These were the 
rabble, that dragged Jesus by the hair of his head; these 
were they that shewed him in triumph to Annas ; nay, 
these were the Judas, Jews, Annas, and all: O that 
ever I should lodge within me such sins, such betrayers, 
such murderers of Jesus Christ." 
of Christ's examination and condemnation. 

Now it was, that they led him from Annas to Caiaphas; 
and presently a council of high priests, scribes, and 
elders all conspire to judge him, who is the judge of 
quick and dead. Several things are here worthy of our 

1. The captious examination of the high priest. — 
" The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and 
of his doctrine." Christ knew the frailty of his follow- 
ers, and might have said, " One, you see, hath betrayed 
me, and another will anon forswear me, he stays but for 
the crowing of the cock, and then you shall hear him 
curse and swear that he never knew me : and for all the 
rest, a panic fear hath seized upon their hearts, and they 
are fled, and have left me alone to tread the wine press." 
Yet he would not accuse them ; and therefore to the 
question concerning his disciples, he answered nothing. 
To the enquiry respecting his doctrine our Saviour 
answers, (O how wisely) " I spake openly to the 
world ; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the 
temple, whither the Jews always resort ; and in 
secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me ? 
Ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them; 
behold they know what I said." Ask these mine enemies, 
these who have apprehended and bound me, and brought 
me hither. They know what I said, let them speak, if 
they can, wherein I have transgressed the law. 

2. The stroke given Christ. — " One of the officers 
who stood by, struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, 
saying, Answerest thou the high priest so r" That face 
which the angels look upon with wonder, was now 


smitten by a base varlet, in the presence of a judge; 
and yet not one amongst them all reproved the fact, or 
spake a word for Christ. The blow was said to be given 
byMalchus, an Idumean slave, whose ear was cut off by 
Peter, and cured by Christ ; and thus he requites him 
for his miracle. This blow was foretold by Jeremiah, 
" He giveth his cheeks to him that smitetb him, he is 
filled full with reproach." Let the heavens be afraid, 
and let the earth tremble at Christ's patience, and this 
servant's impudence. If a subject should but lift up his 
hand against the son of an earthly sovereign, would he 
not be accounted worthy of punishment ; how much 
more in this case, when the hand is lifted up against the 
King of kings, and Lord of lords, whom not only men, 
but the cherubim and seraphim, and all the celestial 
powers above, adore and worship ! Come, look upon 
this lovely picture of patience. Christ was struck on 
the face, but he was never moved in his heart. Notwith- 
standing the abuse, he shewed all mildness and gentleness 
towards his enemies. O what art thou that canst not 
brook a word, that canst not bear the smallest oflence. 
Come, learn of Christ : if ever we mean to have an in- 
terest in his sufferings, let us conform to him in meekness 
and patience. 

3. The accusation of the witnesses. — He is falsely 
charged with the things that he never knew. They sought 
false witnesses, for true witnesses they could have none. 
" Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council 
sought false witnesses against Jesus, to put him to death.''* 
They were resolved that he should not live ; and now 
palliating their design, they seek out for witnesses. 
" Though many false witnesses came in to testify against 
him, yet they found none," because "their witness agreed 
not together." At last after inany attempts came two 
false witnesses, and said, " This fellow said, I am able 
to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three 
days." They accuse him for a figurative speech, which 
they could not understand, and which if he had effected 
according to the letter, it had been so far from a fault, that 
it would have been an argument of his power. 
These were the accusations of the false witnesses, to all 

U 2 


which Jesus answered nothing; he despised their accusa- 
tions, as not worth an answer. But, another accusation is 
brought in ; Caiaphas had a reserve, which he knew 
should do the business in that assembly. "I adjure thee," 
said he, "by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou 
be the Christ, the Son of God." The holy Jesus being ad- 
jured by so sacred a name, would notnow refuse an answer, 
but confessed himself to be " the Christ the Son of the 
living God :" And this the high priest was pleased (as 
the design wais laid) to call blasphemy; and in token 
thereof, he rends his clothes, prophetically signifying, 
that the priesthood should be rent from himself. 

4. The sentence of these judges. — Caiaphas pre- 
judging all the Sanhedrim, in declaring Jesns to have 
spoken blasphemy, and the fact to be notorious, then 
asked their votes ; " What think ye ?" and they answer- 
ed and said, " He is guilty of death." They durst not 
deny what Caiaphas had said ; they knew his faction was 
very potent, his malice great, and his heart set upon the 
business ; and therefore they all say, as he would have 
them, " He is guilty of death." 

5. Peter's denial. — Whilst these things were thus 
acting concerning Christ, a damsel comes to Peter, and 
tells him, "Thou wast with Jesus of Galilee." And then 
another maid tells the bye-standers, 51 This fellow was 
also with Jesus of Nazareth." And after a while, they 
that stood by spake themselves, " Surely thou art one of 
them, for thy speech bewrayeth thee.'' As if he had 
said, Thy very idiom declares thee to be a Galilean. 
Peter thus surprised, shamefully denies his Lord. And, 
1. He doth it with a kind of subterfuge, " I know not 
what thou sayest." He seems to elude the accusation 
with this evasion, I know not thy meaning. At the next 
turn, he goes on to a licentious boldness, denying Christ 
with an oath. And, lastly, he aggravates his sin so far, 
as to deny his Lord with " cursing and swearing." Here 
is a lie, an oath, and a curse. O Peter, is the man so 
vile that thou wilt not own him ! Hadst thou not before 
confessed him to be Christ, the Son of (he living God ? 
And dost thou not know him to be man, as well as God? 
Is not this the God-man, that called thee and thy brother 


Andrew at the sea of Galilee, saying, " Follow me, and 
I will make you fishers of men." Is not this he whom 
thou sawest in mount Tabor, shining more gloriously 
than the sun ? Is not this he whom thou sawest walking 
on the Water, and to whom thou saidst, " Lord, if it be 
thou, bid me come unto thee on the water ?" Surely 
here is a sad example of sinful weakness ; and a blessed 
example of repentance. No sooner the cock crew, and 
Christ gave a look on Peter, but he goes out and weeps 
bitterly. O the mercy of Christ ! he looked back on 
him that had forgot himself; and sends him out to weep 
bitterly, that so he might restore him mercifully to his 

Let us learn hence, to think modestly of ourselves ; 
" Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he 
fall." If Peter could first dissemble, and then lie, and 
then forswear, and then blaspheme, O let us " be not 
high-minded but fear." — And in case we fall indeed, as 
Peter did, yet let us not despair as Judas, but still, upon 
pur repentance, trust in God. Clement, an ancient 
iv riter, of whom Paul makes mention, declares that 
" As often as he heard a cock crow, he could not but 
weep, and bewail his denial/' As we are often sinning, 
so let us often repent ; it concerns us to be frequent in 
this duty of bewailing sin, and turning to God. 

6. The abuses which the base attendants offered to 
Christ. — The evangelists tell us, " Then did they spit in 
his face, and buffeted him, and others smote him with 
the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, 
thou Christ, who is he that smote thee ?" And " Many 
other things blasphemously spake they against him." What 
those many other things were, it is not discovered. Some 
ancient writers say, that Christ in that night suffered so 
many, and such hideous things, "that the whole know- 
ledge of them is reserved for the day of judgment." 
This however, is declared; "They spit in his face," an 
action expressive of the deepest reproach. "They buf- 
fet him :" before they struck with their open palms, but 
now with their closed fists, to render the blow more 
painful. "They cover his face," either that they might 
smite him more boldly and without shame, or that they 


might aggravate their cruelty with scorn. They then 
" smote him with the palms of their hands, saying, 
Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, who is he that smote 
thee ?" O impiety without example ! Surely if his pa- 
tience had been less than infinite, these injuries would 
have overpowered it ! 

And now the dismal night is done, what remains, but 
that we follow Christ, and observe him in his sufferings 
the next day. The Psalmist tells us, " Sorrow may en- 
dure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Only 
Christ can find this joy neither morning nor evening ; 
for after a dismal night, he meets with as dark a day. 


Of Christ's indictment, and Judas' 's fearful end. Christ and Barabbas 
compared. Christ stripped, scourged, cloathed in purple, and crowned 
with thorns. Christ brought fortli and sentenced. Christ's crucify- 
ing. What followed his crucifixion. 

of Christ's indictment, and judas's fearful end. 

^LBOUT six in the morning, Jesus was brought unto 
Pilate's house. "Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas 
unto the hall of judgment, and it was early. — When the 
morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the 
people took council against Jesus to put him to death. 
And when they had bound him, they led him away, and 
delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Then 
Judas which had betrayed him hanged himself." O the 
Teadiness of our nature to evil ! when the Israelites would 
sacrifice to the golden calf, " they rose up early in the 
morning.'" If God leave us to ourselves, we are as ready 
to practise mischief, as the fire is to burn. Several 
things are worthy of our notice. 

1. His accusers were " the chief priests and elders of 
the people." — The very same that before had judged him 
guilty of death, are now his accusers before the temporal 
judge. But why must our Saviour be twice judged ? I 
answer that his innocence might be more conspicuous, 
and because the Romans had restrained the Jews from 
the execution of their laws. 

2. The place of the accusation was at the door of the 
house. — "They would not go into the judgment-hall, 
lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the 
passover." What superstition and gross hypocrisy ! They 
are curious of a ceremony, but careless about shedding 
innocent blood; they are precise about small matters, 


but the weightier matters of the law, as mercy, judg- 
ment, fidelity, ^nd the love of God are disregarded. 

3. The matter of which they accuse him. — That he 
seduced the people, forbad to pay tribute to Caesar, and 
said he was a king. How great, but withal, how false 
were these their accusations ! Pilate was nothing moved 
with any of the accusations except the third ; and there- 
Fore letting the rest pass, he asked him, " Art thou the 
king of the Jews ?" To whom Jesus answered, " My 
kingdom is not of this world/* By which Pilate knew 
well that Christ was no enemy unto Caesar. Christ's 
kingdom is spiritual, his government is in the hearts of 
men ; and what is this to Ceesar ? 

4. Judas's repentance. — "Then Judas which had be- 
trayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, re- 
pented himself/' There is a repentance that comes too 
late ; Esau wept bitterly, when the blessing was gone, 
and in hell men shall repent to all eternity ; and such a 
repentance was this of Judas. About midnight he had 
received his money in the house of Annas, and now be- 
times in the morning, he repents his bargain, and throws 
his money back again. The end of this tragedy was, 
that Judas died a miserable death. "He went and 
hanged himself." And "he fell headlong, and burst 
asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out." 
Who would suffer for millions of gold, that which Judas 
suffered, and yet suffers in hell for thirty pieces of silver ? 
The Lord keep our souls from betraying Christ, and 
from despairing in God's mercy through Christ ! Amen, 


About seven in the morning Jesus was sent to Herod, 
who after having mocked him, and arrayed him in a 
gorgeous robe sent him back to Pilate, who proposed to 
the Jews, whether they would have Jesus or Barabba9 
loosed unto them. " Ye have a custom (said he) that I 
should release unto you one at the passpver, will ye 
therefore that I release unto you i\\e king of the Jews ? 
Then cried they all again, saying, not this man, but 


Barabbas : Now Barabbas was a robber, and He knew, 
that for envy they had delivered him," and he saw that 
Herod had sent hihi back again uncondemned, and there- 
fore he proposes this question, to rescue him from their 
malice. Several things here deserve our notice. 

1. The character of Barabbas.— He was a notable pri- 
soner. "One that had made insurrection, and who had 
committed murder in the insurrection/' and was also " a 
robber." One that was the greatest malefactor of his 
time ; and must he be saved, and Christ condemned ? 

2. The difference between him and Christ.— Barabbas 
was a thief, and by violence took away the bread of the 
needy ; Christ was a feeder and supplier of their wants, 
Barabbas was a murderer, and had slain the living: 
Christ was the Saviour, restoring life unto the dead. 
Barabbas was a raiser of sedition j Christ by precept and 
example enforced submission to the ruling powers. Here 
is a competition 1 The aathor of sedition, with the 
Prince of Peace ; a murderous mutineer, with a merciful 
Mediator ; the son of Belial, with the Son of God ! 

3. For whom the Jews gave their votes. — "Not this 
man, but Barabbas." " Let us have him crucified who 
raised the dead, and him released who destroyed the 
living : let the Saviour of the world be condemned to 
death, and the slayer of men be released from prison, 
and have his pardon." But there is something more ob- 
servable in this vote ; the Jews had a custom not to name 
what they held accursed ; and hence they did not say 
" Not Jesus but Barabbas ;" but " Not this man, not this 

Jelloiv, but Barabbas ;" as if they meant first to murder 
his name, and then his person. 

4. The question debated between Pilate and the Jews. 
— " What shall I do then with Jesus which is called 
Christ ?" There is more pity in a Gentile Pilate, than 
in all the Jews ; as if he had said, I know not what to 
do with him. How can I condemn him to death, who 
i of innocent life. " And they all said unto hirn, let him 
be crucified." This was the first time that they spake 
openly their design : it had long lurked within tbem, and 
now breaks out with unanimous consent. O wonderful! can 
no other death satisfy their malice, but the cross ? The 
cross was a gradual and slow death, it spun out pain 



into a long thread, and therefore they make choice of it, 
as they made choice of Jesus. Let him die, rather than 
Barabbas, and let him die the death of the cross, rather 
than any speedy death. Sometimes the Jews themselves 
could say, " He hath done all things well ; he maketh 
both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak." No 
wonder if Pilate object against these malicious ones, 
" What evil hath he done ?" But they instead of 
proving some evil against him, " cried out the more, 
Crucify him, Crucify him." O inconstant favour of 
men! their anthems of hosanna not long since joyfully 
uttered, are now turned into jarring notes, " Let him 
be crucified." And now is Pilate threatened into 
another opinion, they require his judgment, and 
the voices of them, and of " the chief priests prevailed," 
so it follows, " and when he saw he could prevail no- 
thing, but rather a tumult was made, he released Barab- 
bas unto them, and delivered Jesus to be scourged." 

Give me leave to look amongst ourselves. Are there 
not some amongst us, that prefer Barabbas before Jesus? 
O yes ! not to mention such as swear as the devil bids 
them and as Christ forbids, or such as prophane Sab- 
baths and drink to excess, those that listen to that old 
mutinous murderer in his seditious temptations ; those 
that reject the blessed motions of God's own Spirit, in his 
tenders and offers of grace ; those that embrace the world 
with its pleasures and profits, and make them their portion; 
all these, choose Barabbas, and reject Jesus Christ. 

Give me leave to look on the love and mercy of God 
in Christ. Our Jesus was not only content to take our 
nature upon him, but to be compared with the greatest 
malefactor of those times, and by public sentence to be 
pronounced more worthy of death than Barabbas. O 
the love of Christ ! He died that we might live. It 
was the voice of God as well as men, " Release Barab- 
bas, every believing Barabbas, and crucify Jesus." 

Another hour is gone, let us make a stand for a while; 
and the next time we meet, we shall see farther sufferings. 


About nine, (which the Jews call the third hour of he 


day) was Christ stripped, scourged, clothed with purple, 
and crowned with thorns : in this hour his sufferings ac- 
cumulated ; I must divide them into parts, and speak of 
them severally hy themselves. 

I. When Pilate saw how the Jews were set upon his 
death, he consented. — " Then the soldiers of the governor 
took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto 
him the whole band of soldiers, and they stripped him." 
He that adorns the heaven with stars, and the earth 
with flowers, is now himself stripped naked. O the 
mercy of Christ to us ! he found us stripped, and 
w T ounded, and that we might be covered, he quietly 
suffered himself to be divested of his own robes. He 
took on him the state of sinning Adam, and became 
naked, that we might first be clothed with righteousness, 
and then with immortality. 

2. Pilate gave him to be scourged. — Some think he 
did this, that the Jews might rest satisfied, and so desist 
from taking away his life. This is very probable, because, 
that after the scourging, he brings him out to the Jews, 
proclaiming, " I find no fault in him ;" and before his 
scourging, he says expressly, " He hath done nothing 
worthy of death, I will therefore chastise him, and re- 
lease him." Now did they tear Christ's flesh, till the 
pillar to which he was tied and the pavement were pur- 
pled with a shower of blood. " He was wounded for 
our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the 
chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with 
his stripes we are healed." Was ever love like unto this 
love? It was a divine love, emphatically, the love of 

3. They put on him a scarlet robe. — It was a loose 
short garment, at first used only by kings or emperors ; 
and the colour of it was suitable to Christ's condition : 
for he was now purple all over. His body and his gar- 
ment were both of a deep dyed sanguine colour. What is 
his scarlet garment, but the emblem of his wounded body? 
As he spake of the woman, " She anointed him afore- 
hand unto his burial," so Pilate, in the mystery, clothes 
him aforehand unto his bloody death. 

i. They "platted a crown of thorns, and put it upon 



his head." — A goodly crown for the King of Rings! We 
read of many sorts of crowns, hut never till this, of a 
crown of thorns. A crown it was to mock him, and a 
crown of thorns to torment him. In this we may read 
both his pain and shame. 1 . For his pain, " They took 
a reed, and smote him on the head," to fasten the crown 
of thorns upon him surer, and to imprint it deeper, till, 
as some think, it pierced his very skull. For his shame, 
As Jotham, put out his parable in scorn of Abimelech, 
so the soldiers in scorn, put on Christ's head this bramble 
crown. They protest against Christ as a feigned king, 
as if he were no fitter to be king of the Jews, than the 
bramble was to be king of all the trees in the forest. 

How many lessons might we draw from hence ! Our 
$ins caused the earth to bring forth thorns and briars ; 
and our Saviour must wear them, both to take away our 
gin, and the curse of it. From the crown of the head 
to the sole of the foot, we were full of sin,, and Christ 
accordingly must shed his blood from head to foot. 
" The whole head is sick," saith the prophet of us ; and 
the whole head of Christ is bniised with thorns to cure 
our sickness. O what a shame is it, for any of us to crown 
our heads with rose-buds, to spend our time in vanity 
and sin, when Christ our Lord had such a crown of 
thorns on his sacred head ! " The disciple is not above * 
his master, nor the servant above his lord : it is enough 
for the disciple to be as his master, and the servant as his 
lord." If our Lord and Master was crowned with thorns,, 
surely the members of Christ should not be effeminate, 
or given up to pleasures. 

Now, the hour sounds again, and calls us to go forth, 
and to behold King Jesus, with the crown wherewith 
he was crowned, in the day of his espousals. And this 
we shall do the next hour. 


About ten, Christ was brought forth and sentenced. 
" Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, 
and the purple robe, and Pilate saith unto them, Behold 
fche man." He thought the very sight of Christ would 


have moved them to compassion ; they had lashed him 
almost unto death ; they had clothed him with purple, 
crowned him with thorns ; and now they bring him out 
and expose him to public view; Pilate crying unto them, 
"Behold the man." Behold, I say not your king to pro- 
voke vou against him, nor yet the Son of God, which 
you say he makes himself to be ; behold the man, a worm, 
and no man. Behold how he stands disfigured with 
wounds, weltering in his blood ; and let this be sufficient 
to satisfy your rage. If it be for malice that you are so 
violent against him, behold how miserable he is ; if for fear, 
behold how contemptible he is : as for any fault, I find no 
fault in him. Some doctors affirm, That whilst Pilate 
cried out, Behold the man ; his servants lifted up the pur- 
ple robe, that so all might see his bloody, and macerated 
body : he supposed his words could not so move their 
hearts as Christ's wounds, " When the chief priests 
and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify 
him, crucify him." O ye Jews, children of Israel, seed 
of Abraham, is not this he concerning whom your fathers 
cried, "O that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou 
wouldst come down, that the mountains might flow down 
at thy presence ?" How is it that you should despise 
him present, whom they desired absent } How is it that 
your cry and theirs should be so contrary ? 

We find Pilate and the Jews yet debating the busi- 
ness ; Pilate is loth to pronounce the sentence, and the 
Jews provoke him to it with a threefold argument. 

1. " They had a law, and by their law he ought to 
die, because he made himself the Son of God." — The 
text tells us, that Pilate hearing this argument, was the 
more afraid. Pilate (saith Cyril) was a heathen idolater; 
and so worshipping many gods, he could not tell but that 
Christ might be one, of them; and therefore in condemning 
Christ, he might justly provoke all the gods, to be re- 
venged of him. " And from thenceforth Pilate sought 
to release him." 

2. The Jews threaten Pilate ; " If thou let this 
man go, thou art not Caesar's friend^ — -A forcible reason, 
as the case then stood. Jt was no small matter to be 
accused of high treason against Caesar; and therefore 


Pilate seems to bend : whom the fear of Christ's divinity 
had restrained, him the fear of Csesar's frown provoked 
to go on. And yet, before he gave sentence, " He takes 
water and washes his hands before the multitude, saying, I 
am innocent of the blood of this just person, see ye to it." 

3. The Jews engage themselves for him. — " His blood 
be upon us and our children." Act thou as judge, let 
him be condemned to die ; and if thou fear any thing, 
we will undergo for thee ; let the vengeance of his blood 
be on us, and on our children for ever. 

When Pilate heard that, he sat down in the judgment- 
seat. And here Pilate gave sentence that it should be as 
they required, and then he delivered Jesus to their will. 

From this sight of Christ, we may learn remorse. 
Not any of us who have crucified Christ by our sins, but 
we are called on at this time, to behold the man. Sup- 
pose we saw him with our bodily eyes ; suppose we had 
the same view of Christ as the Jews had ; suppose we saw 
him in the very midst of us wearing the crown of thorns, 
and the purple robe, and the reed held in his right hand ; 
suppose we heard the voice of Pilate speaking to us, as 
he did to the Jews, "Behold the man ;" suppose we saw 
the purple robe lifted up, and his body torn; and that some 
voice from heaven should come to us, saying, " This same 
is he whom ye have buffeted, scourged, crowned, crucified 
by your sins." Were not this enough to prick us in our 
hearts, and to make us cry, " Men and brethren, what 
shall we do ?" We look at the instruments, and cry, 
" Fy on Pilate, fy on the soldiers, fy on the Jews ;" but 
we look not on our sins, saying, fy on them. Could we 
hut realise our sins as the cause of these sufferings of 
Christ, methinks our hearts should break. Consider, yes- 
terday so many lies were told, and so many oaths were sworn; 
little did we think that all this while we had been strip- 
ping Christ naked, scourging Christ with rods, clothing 
Christ with a scarlet robe, platting a crown of thorns, 
and putting it on his head, sceptring him with a reed, 
and saluting him in scorn, " Hail, king of the Jews." 
Men, brethren, and fathers, be not deceived, Christ is 
mocked, scorned, and abused by you when you sin: 
your sins dealt with Christ, and in God's acceptation 


your sins thus deal with Christ, even to this very day. 
Never say it was long since Christ was crucified, and he 
is- now in heaven, for by your sins, you crucify again the 
Lord of glory, and put him again to open shame. O look 
on him whom you have pierced! Pilate thought that if the 
Jews would but behold the man, their hearts would have 
mollified; and shall not I think as well of you? It 
is a blessed means to make sin bittter, and to breed in 
our hearts remorse for sin, if we will but hearken to this 
voice of Pilate, " Behold the man !" 

of Christ's crucifying. 

About eleven, they prepare with all speed for the 

1 . The evangelist tells us, " They took the robe off 
from him, and put his own raiment on him." — Origen 
observes, " they took off his robes, but they took not off 
his crown of thorns." What served their interest, they 
pursued still, but nothing of mitigation or mercy to the 
afflicted Son of man. It is supposed that even this could 
not be done without great pain ; after his sore whipping 
his blood congealed, and by that means stuck to his 
scarlet mantle; so that in pulling off the robe, and put- 
ting on his own raiment, there could not but be a re- 
newing of his wounds. 

2. " They led him away, bearing his cross." — Thus 
they make good their double cry, "Crucify him, crucify 
him ;" first crucify him with it as a burden, and then 
crucify him with it as a cross. O the cruelty of these 
men ! they had scarce left him so much blood or strength 
as to carry himself; and must he now bear his heavy cross? 
Yes, till he faint and sink, so long he must bear it ; and 
longer too, did they not fear that he should die with less 
shame and smart than they intended him; to prevent this, 
"they constrained one Simon a Cyi enian to bear his cross 
after him." The cross was a Roman death, and so one 
of their abominations ; hence they themselves would not 
touch this tree of infamy, lest they should have been de- 
filed ; but to crucify the Lord of glory, they make no 
scruple at all. 


3. He comforted the women who followed weeping 
after him as he went along. — " And there followed him 
a great company of people, and of women, which also 
bewailed and lamented him : but Jesus turning to them, 
said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but 
weep for yourselves, and for your children.*' In the 
midst of his misery he forgets not mercy ; in the midst 
of all their tortures and scorn, he can hear his friends 
weeping behind him, and neglect all his own sufferings to 
comfort them, — "Weep not for me." He hath more com- 

Eassion on the women that followed him weeping, than of 
is own mangled self, fainting and bleeding unto death; 
he feels more the tears that drop from their eyes, than all 
the blood that flows from his own veins. Before, he 
would not vouchsafe a word to Pilate that threatened 
him, nor to Herod that entreated him ; and yet unasked, 
how graciously doth he turn about his bleeding face to 
these weeping women, affording them looks and words 
too, of compassion and consolation ; u Daughters of 
Jerusalem, weep not for me, but for yourselves." But 
what is the meaning of this } May we not weep for the 
death of Christ ? Do we not find in scripture, that all 
the people wept at the death of Moses ? That all the 
church wept at the death of Stephen ? That the women 
lamented the death of Dorcas ? And did not Christ 
himself weep for Lazarus, and for Jerusalem ? Nay, is 
he not here weeping showers of blood all along the way? 
And may not we drop a tear for all those purple streams 
of his ? I answer, the words are not absolute, but com- 
parative. Christ doth not simply forbid us to weep for 
our friends, but rather to turn our worldly grief into godly 
sorrow for sin. Christ pointed the women to the true 
cause of all their sorrow, which was their sins ; and 
thus we have cause to weep indeed. Our sins were the 
cause of the sufferings of Christ ; and in that respect, O 
that our heads were fountains, and our eyes rivers of 
tears ! O that the Lord would strike these rocky hearts 
of ours, with the rod of time remorse, that water might 
gush out ! O that we could mourn over Jesus, whom 
we have pierced, and "be in bitterness for him, as ona 
that is, in bitterness for his first born P 


4. No sooner was he come to the place of execution, but 
" they gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall." — 
It was a custom amongst the Jews and Romans, to give 
wine to the condemned ; "Give strong wine unto him that 
is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy 
heart." But in that they gave him vinegar mingled with 
gall ; it was an argument of their cruelty and envy. 

5. " They crucified him." — They fastened him on the 
cross ; and then lift him up. Now come the barbar- 
ous executioners, and begin to unloose his hands ; but 
not to liberty, but to worse bonds of nails. Then 
stript they off his gore-glewed clothes, and with them, 
not a little of his mangled flesh, as if it were not enough 
to crucify him as a thief, unless they flea him as a beast; 
then stretched they him as another Isaac on his own bur- 
den the cross, and drive their tenters through his hands 
and feet, whereon his whole body must hang. Having 
thus nailed him to the cross, they lift it up, and fix it in 
the ground. Now was David's prophecy fulfilled, " I 
may tell all my bones," and again, " all my bones are 
out of joint." How should my tears blot out what I 
write, when it is no other than he that is thus used, who 
hath blotted out that hand-writing of ordinances that 
was itgainst me. 

But the hour goes on, and this is the great business of 
the world's redemption, of which I would speak a little 
more. By this time we may imagine Christ nailed to the 
cross, and his cross fixed in the ground, which, with its 
fall into the place of its station, gave infinite torture, by 
so violent a concussion of the body of our Lord. In this 
crucifying of Christ, I shall notice the shame and pain. 

1. The shame. — It was a cursed death, " Cursed is 
every one that hangeth on a tree." It was chiefly inflicted 
upon slaves, that either falsely accused, or treacherously 
conspired against their master's life ; but on whomsoever 
it was inflicted, this death, in all ages among the Jews, 
hath been branded with a special kind of ignominy ; and 
so the apostle signifies, when he saith, "he abased him- 
self to the death, even the death of the cross." 

2. The pain. — It was a painful death. His legs and 
hands were violently racked, and pulled out to the 



places fitted for his fastening, and then pierced through 
with nails. By this means he wanted the use hoth of his 
hands and feet, and so he was forced to hang im- 
moveable upon the cross, as being unable to turn any 
way for his ease. The longer he lived the more he en- 
dured, for by the weight of his body, his wounds were 
opened and enlarged, his nerves and veins were rent and 
torn asunder, and his blood gushed out more and more. 
He died gradually and not at once ; the cross kept 
him a great while upon the rack. It was full three hours 
before his death ; and it would have been longer, if he 
had not freely and willingly given up the ghost. 

I may add, the pains of his soul while he hanged on 
the cross ; for there also Christ had his agonies and 
conflicts; these were the pains, or pangs of death, which 
Peter speaketh of. The word signifies the pains of a 
woman in travail. The prophet calls it "the travail of 
his soul;" and the Psalmist calls it the pains of hell ; 
" The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of 
hell gat hold upon me." The sorrows or cords of death 
compassed his body, and the pains of hell gat hold upon 
his soul ; and these were they that extorted from him 
that passionate expostulation, " My God, my God, why 
hast thou forsaken me ?" He conplains of that which 
was more grievous to him, than ten thousand deaths, 
" My God, my God, why hast thou withdrawn thy wont- 
ed presence, and left ray soul, as it were, in the pains of 
hell !" 

O the curse and bitterness that our sins have brought 
on Jesus Christ ! When I think on these bleeding veins, 
bruised shoulders, scourged side, furrowed back, har- 
rowed temples, pierced hands and feet, and then consi- 
der that my sins were the cause of all; methinks I should 
need no more arguments for self-abhorring! Christians, 
would not your heaits rise against him that should kill 
your father, mother, brother, wife, or husband ? O 
then, how should your hearts and souls rise against sin! 
Your sin it was, that murdered Christ, that killed him, 
who is instead of all relations, who ought to be a thou- 
sand times dearer to you, than father, mother, husband, 
child. One thought of this should, methinks, be enough 


to make you say, as Job did, " I abhor myself, and re- 
pent in dust and ashes. w O what is that cross on the 
back of Christ ? — -My sins. What is that crown on the 
head of Christ ?— My sins. What is that nail in the 
right-hand, and that other in the left-hand of Christ ? — 
My sins. O what is that speftr in the side of Christ? — 
My sins. What are those nails and wounds in the feet 
of Christ ? — My sins. With a spiritual eye I see no 
other engine tormenting Christ ; no other Pilate, Herod, 
Annas, Caiaphas condemning Christ; no other soldiers, 
officers, Jews or Gentiles, doing execution on Christ 
but only my sins ! 


1. About twelve, when the sun is usually brightest, it 
began to darken. — This darkness was so great, that it 
spread over all the land of Jewry ; some think over all 
the world ; so we translate it in Luke, " and there was 
a darkness over all the earth ;" and many Gentiles, ob- 
served the same as a great miracle. Dionysius the 
Areopagite said at first sight of it, " Either the world 
is ending, or the God of nature is suffering." Of this 
prophesied Amos. " And it shall come to pass in that 
day, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and 
I will darken the earth in the clear day." This superna- 
tural darkness continued for the space of three hours. 

2. About three, (which the Jews call the ninth hour) 
the sun beginning to receive his light, " Jesus cried with 
a loud voice, Eli, Eli, lamasabachthani, My God, My 
God, why hast thou forsaken me?" And then, that the 
scripture might be fulfilled, lie said, " I thirst." And 
(i when he had received the vinegar, he said, It is fi- 
nished. And at last, crying with a loud voice, he said, 
Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit, and having 
said thus, he gave up the ghost." His words were ever 
gracious, but never more gracious than at this time. 
We cannot find in all the books of men, in all the re- 
cords of time, either such sufferings, or such sayings, as 
were these last sayings and suffering of Jesus Christ. 

3. About four in the afternoon, " one of the soldiers 



with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there- 
out blood and water." This was the fountain of both 
sacraments, the fountain of all our happiness, " The 
fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inha- 
bitants of Jerusalem for siu and for uncleanness." Out 
of the side of Christ, being now dead, there issues 
water and blood, signifying that he is both our justification 
and sanctification. 

4. About five (which the Jews call the eleventh, and 
the last hour) Christ was taken down, and buried by 
Joseph and Nicodemus. 


Of knowing Jesus as carrying on tlie great work of our salvation in his 
death. Of considering — desiring — toping — believing — loping — -joying 
in — calling on — and conforming to Jesus in that respect. 


X HIS is the high point which Paul was ever studying, 
and preaching on. " I determined not to know any 
thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. !" 
Christ crucified is the rarest knowledge in the world. 
The person of Christ is a matter of high speculation, 
but Christ farther considered, as clothed with his gar- 
ments of blood, is that knowledge, which especially 
Paul pursues. O my soul, couldst thou have dived into 
the secrets of nature ? Couldst thou have "excelled the 
wisdom of all the children of the East-country, and all 
the wisdom of Egypt, and all the wisdom of Solomon, 
who spake of beasts, of fowls, of fishes, of trees 
from the cedar-tree that is in Lebanon, even to the hys- 
sop that springeth out of the wall," yet, without the sav- 
ing knowledge of Christ crucified, all this had been no- 
thing. Come then, and spend thy time for the future 
more fruitfully, in reading, learning, and knowing this 
one necessary thing. Study Christ crucified in every 
part ; but be sure thy study and knowledge, be rather 
practical than speculative. Do not merely learn the his* 
tory of Christ's death, but the efficacy, virtue and merit 
of it. Know what thou knowest in reference to thyself, 
as if Jesus had been all the while carrying on the busi- 
ness of thy soul's salvation; as if thou hadst stood by, and 
Christ had spoke to thee, as to the women, " Weep not 
for me, but for thyself; thy sins caused my sufferings, 
and my sufferings were for the abolition of thy sins." 



Every part of Christ's life is well worthy of our con-* 
sideration, but more especially the time of his sufferings. 
" Consider him (saith the apostle) that endured such 
contradictions of sinners against himself." — " Consider 
him, who for the joy that was set before him^ endured 
the cross, and despised the shame." 

1. Consider him passing over the brook Cedron. — ■- 
He cannot enter the door, but first he must wade through 
cold waters. Consider him entering into the garden of 
Gethsemane. In a garden Adam sinned, and in a 
garden Christ must suffer. No sooner was he entered, 
but he began to be agonized : all his powers and passions 
within him were in conflict. Consider, O my soul, how 
suddenly he is struck into a strange fear. Never was 
man so afraid of the torments of hell, as Christ, stand- 
ing in our room, is of his Father's wrath. Nor was he 
only afraid, but he began to be sore amazed. This sig- 
nifies an universal cessation of all the faculties of the 
soul from their several functions. We usually call it 
a consternation. O what an agony was this ! What a 
struggling passion of mixed grief ! " O my Father, 
since thou hast bent thy bow, here is an open breast, fix 
herein all thy shafts ; better I suffer for a while, than 
that all believers should be damned for ever. Thy will is 
mine, lo, I will bear the burden of sin ; shoot here thy 
arrows." What man or angel can conceive the agony, 
the fear, the sorrow, the amazement of that heart, that 
without any outward violence, bled through the flesh 
and skin, not some faint dew, but solid drops of blood ! 
Now is he crucified without a cross ; fear and sorrow are 
the nails, our sins the thorns, his Father's wrath the 
spear, and all these together, cause a bleeding shower 
to rain throughout all his pores. 

2. Consider his apprehension.— Judas is now at hand 
with a troop following him. See how without all shame, 
he sets himself in the van, and coming to his Lord, gives 
him a most traitorous kiss. " What, Judas ! betrayest 
thou the Son of man with a kiss ?" Hast thou sold the 


Lord of life to such cruel merchants, as covet greedily 
his blood and life ? At what price hast thou set him ? At 
thirty pence. What a vile price for the Lord of glory ! 
God was sold for thirty pieces of silver, but man could 
not be bought without the dearest heart-blood of the Son 
of God. Now they lay hold on his holy hands, and bind 
them with knotty cords. Now they bring him back 
again over Cedron, and carry him to the house of Annas 
in triumph. O my soul, consider these passages, till 
thou feel some motions in thy affections. Hadst not thou 
sinned, the Sun of Righteousness had never been 

3. Consider the hurrying of Jesus from Annas to 
Caiaphas. — A council is called, and Caiaphas, the high 
priest, adjures our Lord to tell hrm; " if he was Christ 
the Son of God." No sooner he affirms it, but he is 
doomed guilty of blasphemy. Now, again they disgorge 
upon him all their malice and revenge ; each one buffets 
him. They spit upon that divine face, they hoodwink 
his eyes, and strike him on the cheek, scoffing, and 
saying, " Who is it that smote thee ?" I am astonished 
how this patience overcomes not my anger ; this abasing 
assuageth not my pride, these violent buffets beat not 
down my presumption ! 

4. Consider the hurrying of Jesus from Caiaphas to 
Pilate. — Now he is accused of sedition and usurpation. 
He gives kingdoms that are eternal, but he will take 
away none that are temporal. Christ came not into the 
world to be Caesar's, or Pilate's, or Herod's successor ; 
but if they had believed, to have been their Saviour. O 
that I could contemn the world as Christ did, and above 
all seek the kingdom of God, and his righteousness. I 
feel unless I be willing with Christ to be despised and 
forsaken of all, I can have no inward peace, nor be 
wholly united to him. 

5. Consider the hurrying of Jesus from Pilate to 
Herod. — -There is he " questioned of many things/' and 
then "mocked and arrayed in a gorgeous robe." See how 
he emptied himself, and made himself of no reputation, 
that he might fill thee with goodness, and make thee 
wise unto salvation. 


6. Consider the hurrying of Jesus from Herod back 
again to Pilate. — New accusations are forged ; and when 
Pilate sees that nothing will do, but Christ must die, he 
delivers him to be stripped, scourged, clothed in purple, 
crowned with thorns, and sceptred with a reed. Who 
can number the stripes wherewith they tear his body, 
one wound eating into another. "There is no health in 
his bones by reason of my sins !" O joy of angels, and 
glory of saints, who hath thus disfigured thee ? Certainly 
they were not thy sins but mine. Love caused thee to 
take upon thee this heavy burthen, and mercy moved 
thee to take upon thee all my miseries. 

7- Consider that sad spectacle of Jesus wearing: the 
crown of thorns.— ^Suppose thyself in the case of .Jesus; 
what, if in so sensible a part as thy head is, men should 
fasten a number of thorns, yea, and those so sharp, that 
they should pierce into thy skull : why, thou canst 
hardly abide the prick of a pin, much less the piercing 
of so many thorns ; but thy Jesus was crowned with 
thorns, and sceptred with a reed, and that reed was taken 
out of his hands to beat the crown of thorns into his 
head. He was then whipped with cords, and rods, and 
being in this plight, thou art called on to " Behold the 
man :" It is my sins, O Lord, that have so troubled 
thee ; my sins were the thorns that pricked thee, the 
lashes that whipped thee, the purple that clothed thee: 
it is I Lord that am thy tormentor, and the very cause 
of these thy pains. 

8. Consider Pilate's sentence, that " Jesus should be 
crucified as the Jews required." — Follow him from Gab- 
bath a to Golgotha. See how they lay the heavy cross 
upon his shoulders, that were so rent and torn with 
whips. Accompany him to mount Calvary, and there 
see him lifted up on that engine of torture, the bloody 
cross. See his arms and legs racked with violent pulls, 
his hands and feet bored with nails, his whole body torn 
with stripes, and gored with blood. And now, O my 
soul, run with all thy might into his arms, held out at 
their full length to receive thee. Oh weigh the matter ! 
Because sin entered by the senses, therefore his head, in 
which the senses flourish, is crowned with searching 


thorns ; because the hands and feet are more especially 
the instruments of sin, therefore his hands and feet are 
nailed to the cross for satisfaction. O marvellous ! 
Surely here is matter for a serious meditation ! 

9. Consider the darkness that spread over all the 
earth. — Now is the sun ashamed to shew his brightness : 
the heavens are in mourning robes ; and the lamp of 
heaven is immantled with a miraculous eclipse. Christ 
in the garden tasted the bitter cup of God's tierce wrath, 
but now he drunk the dregs of it. But what is the 
meaning of this cry, " My God, my God, why hast thou 
forsaken me ?" This was not a total, but a partial dere- 
liction. This forsaking was not in respect of the being, 
hut of the feeling of God's favour. In his agony there 
was now and then, some little flash of light to cheer 
him, but now all the sense of God's love was gone. 
Christ now took the place of sinners, and God the Fa- 
ther shut him out, as it were, amongst the sinners. After 
this he speaks but a few words more, and gives up the 
ghost. He dies that we might live; he is dissolved, that 
we might be united to his Father. 

10. Consider the piercing of his side. — -O fountain of 
everlasting waters ! Methinks I see the blood running 
out of his side, more freshly than those streams which 
ran out of the garden of Eden, and watered the whole 
world. Consider the taking of his body down and the 
burying of it. Here is excellent matter for our medita- 
tion ! Let Joseph and Nicodemns bear his corpse ; let 
the blessed virgin go after it sighing, and weeping; let 
Mary Magdalen follow after him with a box of precious 
ointment; or, (that in this meditation 1 may be more 
spiritual) let the usurer come first with Judas's bag, and 
distribute to the poor as he goes along ; let the drunkard 
follow with the spunge filled with gall and vinegar, and 
check his wanton thirst ; let the young gallant come like 
his master with the crown of thorns upon his head ; let 
the wanton bear the rods and whips, wherewith Christ 
was scourged, and fright his own flesh ; let the ambiti- 
ous be clad in the purple robe ; the angry person in the 
seamless coat. Let every sinner draw something from 
the passion of Christ, to the mortifying of his sin : yea, 


let all turn mourners and bow their heads for the name 
of Christ ! 


Jesus Christ to a sinner, is the chief object of desire : 
but Jesus Christ, as crucified, is the chief part of that 
object. How many desirable things are centered in the 
death of Christ. 

1. There is in it a full satisfaction for sin. — -Many an 
huirfble soul is apt enough to complain : " O if I had 
not been so great a sinner, there might have been hope." 
This is to undervalue Christ's redemption ; this is to 
think, there is more in sin to damn, than in Christ's suf- 
ferings to save ; whereas all thy sins to Christ, are but 
as a little cloud to the glorious sun ; yea> all the sins of 
all the men in the world, are to Christ's merits, but as 
a drop to the ocean. There is in Christ's blood an infi- 
nite treasure, able to sanctify thee and all the world ; 
there is in Christ's death a ransom, sufficient to redeem 
all the sinners that ever were, or ever shall be. The 
price is of that nature, that it is not diminished, though 
it be extended to never so many : as the sun hath fulness 
of light to enlighten all the world, and if the blind do 
not see by it, it is not any scarcity of light in the sun, 
but by reason of his own indisposition ; so, if all men 
are not acquitted by Christ's death^ it is not because that 
was insufficient, bur because they, by their unbelief, re- 
ject this remedy. 

2. There is in it reconciliation and peace with God. — 
" In Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were afar off, are 
made, nigh by the blood of Christ, for he is our peace, 
who hath made both one, and hath broken down the 
middle wall of partition between us." When we were 
enemies, we were reconciled unto God by the death of 
his Son. This certainly should support the drooping 
soul. It may be thou criest, " My sins have made a 
breach between God and my soul ; 1 have warred against 
heaven, and now God wars against me ; and if the 
Lord be angry, yea, but a little, wbat will become of 
my poor soul r" But come and look on Christ's death, 


as the means of reconciliation, and thou canst not hut 
say, "() this death is desirable !" 

3. There is in it a blessed virtue to open heaven, and 
make a passage thither for our souls. — It is the blood of 
'Christ that rends the vail, and makes a way into the 
holy of holies, that is, into the kingdom of heaven. 
Without this blood there is no access to God. It 
is only by the blood of Christ that heaven is open to our 
prayers, and that heaven is open to our persons. This 
blood is the key that unlocks heaven, and lets in the 
souls of his redeemed ones. 

When I call to mind that Christ's death is my ran- 
som, that Christ's stripes are my cures, that Christ's 
blood is my fountain ; how should I pray in this sense^ 
" His blood be upon us, and on our children ?" How 
should I cry out with the woman of Samaria, '" O give 
me this water, that I thirst no more." But alas, I only 
say it. O that I could feel it ! When my spjrit is in 
right frame, I feel some desires after Christ's blood ; but 
how short are these desires, how unworthy of the things 
desired ? Come, Lord, kindle in me burning desires, and 
then give me the desirable object. 


By this hope, I intend only that which the apostle 
calls "full assurance of hope." It is not every hope that 
is a well-grounded hope ; and that we may discern that 
the grounds of our hope in Christ's death are not false, 
I shall lay down these signs. 

1. If Christ's death be mine, then is that great end of 
Ins death accomplished in me, viz. "By the sacrifice of him- 
self, he hath put away sin," even my sin.— And, " in 
him I have redemption through his blood, even the for- 
giveness of sins." — Come then and try by this sign ; 
canst thou assure thyself that thy sins are forgiven thee? 
There is no question then but thou art redeemed by his 
blood, thou hast part in his sufferings. Indeed this 
very character may seem obscure. Assurance of pardon 
is the "hidden manna, the white stone, which no man 
knoweth, saving he that receives it, and feels it ;" and yet, 
if thou diligentlv observe the Spirit's actings, even this 

Z «2 


may be known. Remission of sin, and repentance for 
sin, arc twins of a birth : these two God in scripture 
hath joined together ; " If we confess our sins he is 
faithful and just to forgive our sins." And "Christ 
is a Prince and a Saviour to give repentance to Israel, 
and forgiveness of sins.** In this way David assured 
himself; " I said, I will confess my transgressions unto 
the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin, 
Selah." It is no more than to ask thine own soul, Hast 
thou seriously and sincerely repented thee of sin ? Hast 
thou turned from all sin unto God with constancy and 
delight ? Surely this is peculiar to the child of God by 
virtue of Christ's death. 

2. If Christ's death be mine, then am I made con- 
formable to Christ in his death. — The same that was 
done to Christ in a natural way, is done in the believer 
in a spiritual way ; as Christ died for sin, so the belie ver 
dies to sin. " In that he died, he died unto sin, — like- 
wise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin." 
Observe here the analogy, and resemblance between 
Christ and us ; both die unto sin, Christ by way of ex- 
piation for the sins of others ; w r e by way of mortifica- 
tion and crucifying our own sins. 1 look upon this sign 
as the very touchstone of a Christian. And therefore, 
O my soul, if thou feel a real and increasing mortifi- 
cation of sin within thee, thou art surely a growing 
Christian ; thou hast fellowship with Christ in bis suf- 
ferings ; thy ground is solid, firm and stable ; thy hope 
hath a rock foundation, and thou mayest build upon it, 
that Christ's death and sufferings are thine, even thine. 
— " He loved thee, and gave himself for thee" 


Whilst many look upon believing in Christ as an easy 
duty, the humble soul cries out, " Is it possible 
that Christ should die for me? What a hard thing is it, 
considering my enmity against Christ, to believe that 
Christ died for me, that he gave himself even to the 
death of the cross for my soul !" Trembling soul, throw 
not away thyself in a way of unbelief! It may be thou 


wouldst not die for an irreconcileable enemy ; but are not 
the mercies of God above all the mercies of men ? 
O believe ! and that I may persuade effectually, I shall 
lay down some encouragements of faith. 

1 . One design of Christ's death, was to redeem us from 
the slavery of death and hell.— We were carnal, sold 
under sin ; whereupon the law seized on us, locked us 
up as it were in a dungeon ; yea, the sentence passed, 
and we but waited for execution : now to free us from 
this dismal state, Christ himself is made under the law, 
that he might redeem us. But with what must we be re- 
deemed? Surely with no easy price ! "Ye were not redeem- 
ed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with 
the precious blood of Christ." His precious blood was 
the price he paid when " he gave his life a ransom for 

2. Another design of Christ's death was to mortify 
our members which are upon the earth. — Not only would 
he remit sin, but he would destroy it : he would not have 
it " reign in our mortal bodies, that we should obey it 
in the lusts thereof." " He bare our sins in his own 
body on the tree, that we being dead unto sin, should 
live unto righteousness." Christ by his death had not 
only a design to deliver us from the guilt of sin, but also 
from the power of sin. "God forbid that I should glory, 
save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the 
world is crucified to me, and I unto the world." Paul 
was a mortified man, dead to the world, and dead to sin. 
But how came he so ? This he attributes to the cross of 
Christ, to the death of Christ. The death of Jesus was 
the cause of this death in Paul, " How much more shall 
the blood of Christ purge your consciences from dead 
works to serve the living God !" There is in the death 
of Christ, a value, and a virtue; the former is available 
to our justification, the latter to our sanctification. Now 
sanctification hath two parts, mortification, and vivifi- 
cation ; Christ's death or passive obedience is more pro- 
perly conducible to the one ; his life or active obedience 
to the other. 

O my soul, look to this; herein lies the pith and 
marrow qi the death of Christ ; and it now thou wilt 


but exercise thy faith in this respect, how mightest thon 
draw the virtue and efficacy of his death into thy soul ? 
If these encouragements are not sufficient, 

1. Consider the all-sufficiency in the death of Christ. 
— It is sufficient for the redemption of every man in the 
world, and effectual for all that have been, are, or shall 
he called into the state of grace, whether Jews or Gen- 
tiles, bound or free. Oh ! what encouragement is this 
for thee to believe thy part in the death of Christ ? 

2. Consider the worth of this glorious object, Christ 
crucified.— There is an infinity of worth in the death of 
Christ, and this ariseth, \. From the dignity of his 
person, he was God-man. The death of angels and men, 
if put together, could not have amounted to the excel- 
lency of Christ's death. Stand amazed, O believer, thou 
hast gained by thy loss, thou hast lost the righteousness 
of a creature, but the righteousness of an infinite Crea- 
tor is now made thine : hence it is many times called the 
" righteousness of God," because Christ is God, and be- 
cause it is such a righteousness as God is satisfied with : 
he looks for no better, yea, there can be no better. 2. 
This worth is not only in respect of the dignity of the 
person, but also in respect of the price offered. It was 
the blood of Christ, one drop whereof is of more worth 
than thousands of gold and silver ! it was this " blood 
that purchased the whole church of God," which a thou- 
sand worlds of wealth could never have done. Sweet 
soul, turn thine eyes hither ; surely this death of Christ 
is more satisfactory to God, than all thy sins possibly 
can be displeasing to-God. Come then, and close with 
Christ upon this encouragement. 

3. Consider the suitableness of this blessed object, the 
death of Christ. — There is in it a suitableness to our 
sinful condition, whatsoever the sin is. Hast thou had 
thy hands imbrued in the blood of saints ? See now 
how Christ, for thy sake, was esteemed of the Jews a 
murderer, and worse than a murderer. Barabbas is re- 
leased, and Jesus murdered. Is thy sin the sin of Ma- 
nasseh, of whom it is said, that " he used enchantments, 
and witchcrafts, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and 
with wizards ?" See now how Jesus Christ, for thy sake, 
was esteemed of the Jews as an impostor, an enchanter: 


they commonly reported of him that he had a devil, and 
that " he cast ont devil s, through Beelzebub prince of 
devils." Art thou a blasphemer ? Hast thou joined 
with those in these sad times, who have opened their 
mouths against the God of heaven, enough to make a 
Christian rend his heart, and weep in blood ? See now 
how Jesus for thy sake was judged of Caiaphas, and all 
the Sanhedrim, for a blasphemer of God, and that in 
the highest kind of blasphemy, as making himself equal 
with God. Surely all this he endured, that every blas- 
phemer may find mercy, if he will but come in, and 
believe in Jesus. Away, away unbelief, distrust, de* 
spair ! You see now the brazen serpent lifted up, you 
see what a blessed object is before yon ; O believe ! O 
look up unto Jesus ! O believe in him thus carrying on 
the work of thy salvation in his death. 


"Greater love than this hath no man, that a man should 
give his life for his friends y — " But God commendeth 
his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, 
Christ died for us." Here is an argument of love in- 
deed ! How should we but love him, who hath thus 
loved us ? In prosecution of this, I shall first shew 
Christ's love to us, and then exercise our love to him 

1. His love to us. — With what less than ravishment 
of spirit can I behold the Lord Jesus, who, from ever- 
lasting was clothed with glory and majesty, now wrap- 
ped in rags, cradled in a manger, exposed to hunger, 
thirst, weariness^ danger, contempt, poverty, revilings, 
seourgings 3 persecution ? But to let them pass ; into 
what ecstasies may I be cast, to see the Judge of all the 
world accused, judged, condemned ? To see the Lord 
of life dying Upon the tree of shame and curse ? To 
see the eternal Son of God struggling with his Fathers 
wrath ? To see him, who had said, " I and my Father 
are one/' sweating drops of blood in his agony, and cry- 
ing out on the cross, " My God, my God, why hast thou 
forsaken me ?" O whither hath his love to mankind 


carried him ? Had he only sent his angels from his 
chamber of presence to minister to us, it had been a 
great deal of mercy ; or, if it must be so, had Christ 
come down from heaven himself, only to visit us, or 
had he only wept over us, saying, " O that you had 
known, even you, in this your day, the things belonging 
to your peace !? This would have been such a mercy as 
that all the world would have wondered at it : but that 
Christ himself should lay down his life for his people, 
yea part with the sense and sweetness of God's love, 
which is a thousand times better than life : What rap- 
tures of spirit can be sufficient for the admiration of this 
infinite mercy ! Be thou swallowed up, O my soul, in 
this depth of divine love; and hate to spend thy thoughts 
any more upon the base objects of this wretched world. 
Look upon him ! He hangs on the cross naked, torn, 
and bloody, between heaven and earth, as if he were cast 
out of heaven, and also rejected by earth. He has a 
crown indeed, but such a one as few men will touch ; 
none will take from him. His hair is clotted with blood, 
his face clouded with black and blue : he is all over 
pitifully rent; outwardly, inwardly, body and soul. — I 
will think the rest. Had I the tongues of men and un- 
gels, I could not express it. O ! love more high than 
heaven ! the brightest seraphim that burn in love, are 
but as sparkles to that mighty flame of love in the heart 
of Jesus. 

If this be Christ's love to us, what is that love we owe 
to Christ ? O for a heart answerable to these mercies ! 
O God, raise up our souls to thee ; and if our spirits be 
too weak to know thee, make our affections ardent and 
sincere to love thee. The whole gospel is no other thing 
than a motive to draw man to God by the force of God's 
love to man. In this sense the holy Scriptures may be 
called, the book of true love, seeing therein God un- 
folds his love to us, and binds our love to him ; but of all 
the motives we may draw from Christ, and of all the 
arguments we may find in the gospel of Christ, there is 
none to this, the death of Christ, the blood of Jesus. 
Read these words, " his great lote wherewith he 
loved us," Or, if you cannot read, observe the hiero- 


glyph ics ; every stripe is a letter, every nail is a capital 
letter, every bruise is a black letter ; his bleeding wounds 
are as so many rubrics ; Is not this a great love ? Are no* 
all mercies wrapt up in this blood of Christ ? It may be 
thou hast riches, honours, friends, but thank the blood 
of Christ for all thou hast. It may be thou hast grace, 
but for this thank the blood of Jesus. Thou wast a re- 
bellious soul, thou hadst a hard and polluted heait, but 
Christ's blood was the fountain opened, and it took away 
all sin and all uneleanness. Christ is in all, and Christ 
above all, and wilt thou not love him ? O that all our 
words were words of love, and all our labours labours 
of iove, and all our thoughts thoughts of love, that we 
miglit speak of love, and muse of love, and love this 
Christ who first loved us, with all our heart, and soul, 
and might ! 


O the waters of comfort that flow from the sufferings 
and obedience of Christ ! Christ was amazed, that we 
might be cheered ; Christ was imprisoned, that we might 
be delivered ; Christ was accused, that we might be ac- 
quitted ; Christ was condemned, that we might be re- 
deemed ; Christ suffered his Father's wrath, that the 
victory might be ours, and that we might see him face 
to face in glory. Is not here matter of joy ? It may be 
sin, and justice, and conscience, and death, and hell, 
may appear as enemies, but is there not enough in the 
blood of Christ to chase them away ? 

Come then, and comfort yourselves in this death of 
Christ. Do you believe ? Why then do you sit droop- 
ing ? " What manner of communications are these that 
yon have, as ye walk and are sad ?** Away despair, 
disqnietness of spirit ! Christ is dead, that you might 
live. In this respect, every thing speaks comfort ; God 
and men, heaven and earth, angels and devils. The 
very justice of God is now your friend, and bids you go 
away comforted, for it is satisfied to the full. Heaven 
itself waits on you, and keeps the doors open that your souls 
may enter. O my soul, I see thou art poring on sin, cjn 

2 A 


thy crimson sins, but I would have thee dwell on that 
crimson blood of Christ ; the blood of sprinkling which 
speaks better things than the blood of Abel ; it cries for 
mercy, pardon, and salvation. Methinks this should 
make my heart leap for joy. It is this spiritual wine 
that makes merry the heart of man, and it is the voice 
of Christ to all his guests, u Eat, O friends, drink, yea, 
drink abundantly, O beloved." 


1. We must pray, that all these transactions of Christ 
in his sufferings and death may be ours. — If we direct 
our prayers immediately to Jesus Christ, let us tell him 
what pains he hath suffered for our sakes; arrd let us 
complain against ourselves, " O what shall we do, who 
by our sins have so tormented our dearest Lord? What 
contrition can be great enough, what tears sufficiently 
expressive, what hatred and detestation commensurate 
to those sad and heavy sufferings of our Jesus?" And 
then let us pray, that he would pity us, and forgive us 
those sins wherewith we crucified him, that he would 
bestow on us the virtue of his sufferings, that his wounds 
might heal us, his death might quicken us, and his blood 
might cleanse us from all our sin. 

2. We must praise the Lord for all these sufferings of 
Christ. — -Hath he indeed suffered all these punishments 
for us? O then what shall we render unto the Lorjd 
for all his benefits? What shall we do for him, who 
hath done and suffered all these things? But especially, 
if we believe our part in all the virtues, benefits, victories, 
purchases, and privileges of his precious death, then 
what manifold cause of thankfulness and praise is here! 
Be enlarged, O my soul, sound forth the praises of thy 
Christ; tune thy heart aright, and keep concert with all 
the angels of heaven, and all his saints on earth in sing- 
ing, " Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our 
sins in his own blood, and made us kings and priests 
unto God, and his Father, to him be glory and dominion 
for ever and ever, Amen." 



Objects have an attractive power, that do assimilate 
unto them, and no question but there is a power in faith 
to be like to Christ, by looking on him. 

In this particular^ I shall examine, 1. Wherein we 
must conform! 2. What are the means of this con- 

For the first, I answer, We must conform to Christ in 
his graces, sufferings, death. 

1. In the graces that most eminently shined in his 
hitter passion. — His life indeed was a gracious life; he 
was full of grace; but his graces shined most brightly at 
his death. I shall instance some of them. 

His humility was profound. — What, that the most 
high God, should vouchsafe to be contemned, and less 
esteemed than Barabbas a murderer; that Christ should 
be crucified between two thieves, as if he had been 
the ringleader of all malefactors; O what humility was 

His patience was wonderful. — The apostle Peter sets 
Christ as a blessed example before our eyes; "If when 
ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is 
acceptable with God, for even hereunto were we called, 
because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an exam- 
ple that we should follow bis steps. — Who, when he 
was reviled, he reviled not again; when he suffered he 
threatened not, bqt committed himself to him that jndg- 
eth righteously." O the patience of Christ ! 

His love was fervent. — " Herein is love, not that we 
loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to Ik* 
the propitiation for our sins/' This love is an exemplar 
of all love. "Be ye followers of God (saith the -postle) 
as dear children; and Witlk in love as Christ also loved 
us, and gave himself for us an offering and sacrifice unto 
God for a sweet smelling savour." In the temple there 
were two altars, the brazen and the golden; the brazen 
altar was for bloody sacrifices, the golden altar was for 
the offering of incense; now the former was a type of 
Christ's offering upon the cross, the latter of Christ's in- 

2 A 2 


tercession for us in glory ; in regard of both, the apostle 
tells, that Christ gave himself both for an "offering and 
sacrifice of a sweet smelling savour unto God." O! what 
love was this! 

His obedience was constant. He became obedient 
unto death, even the death of the cross. — " He sought 
not his own will, bat the will of him that sent him." 
There was a command, that the Father laid on Christ 
from all eternity, "O my son, my only begotten Son, 
thou must go down, and leave heaven, and empty thy- 
self, and die even the death of the cross, and go and 
bring the fallen sons of Adam out of hell." All which 
the Lord Jesus did in time; he was obedient to death, 
even to the death of the cross. Now, in all these graces 
we must conform to Christ. " Learn of me, for I am 
meek and lowly." "And walk in love as Christ also 
hath loved us." It is as if Christ had said, Mark the 
steps where I have trod, and follow me in humility, in 
patience, in love, in mercy, in obedience unto death. 

2. We must conform to Christ m his sufferings, if he 
calls us to them. This was the apostle's prayer, "That 
I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and 
the fellowship of his sufferings." But wherein is the 
conformity between our sufferings and the sufferings of 
Christ? I answer, our sufferings have no conformity 
with Christ in these two things ; 1. Not in the office of 
Christ's sufferings, for his were meritorious and satisfac- 
tory, ours only ministerial and for edification. 2. Not 
in the weight and measure of Christ's sufferings, for his 
were such as would have pressed any other creature as 
low as hell. 

Our sufferings must have conformity with Christ. 
1. In the cause of them ; Christ's sufferings were instru- 
mentally from Satan and wicked men ; we must look to 
suffer by the enemies of Christ, if we have any share in 
Christ. 2. In the manner of undergoing them, we must 
suffer with a proportion of that humility and patience, and 
love, and meekness, and obedience, which Christ shewed 
in his very sufferings. 3. In respect of the issue of them ; 
we must look upon Christ's issue, and expect it to be 
ours. "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things 


and so enter into glory ?" And " If we suffer with 
him, we shall also reign with him." 

O my soul, study this conformity, and comfort thyself 
in this condition of sufferings. Must we not drink of 
our Saviour's cup ? Never wonder that thou art hated 
or persecuted of men ; I tell thee, if Christ himself was 
now amongst us, in that very condition that sometimes 
he was, and should convince men of their wickedness, as 
searchingly as sometimes he did, I verily think he would 
be the most hated man in the world. 

3. We must conform to Christ in his death, carrying 
in us a resemblance and representation of his death. But 
what death is this ? I answer in a word, " a death unto 
sin (so the apostle) in that he died, he died unto sin; — 
likewise reckon ye yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin." 
There is a likeness between Christ's death and our death 
in this respect, " We are planted together in the likeness 
of his death." True mortification carries a resemblance 
of the death of Christ. As for instance, 

Christ's death was a voluntary death. " I lay down 
my life, that I may take it again : no man taketh it from 
me, but I lay it down of myself; I have power to lay it 
down, and I have power to take it again." Not all men 
on earth, nor all devils in hell could have enforced Christ's 
death, if he had not pleased : his death was a spontane- 
ous act, so is our mortification. " Thy people shall be 
willing in the day of thy power." Many may leave their 
sins against their wills, but this is not true mortification, 
it bears not in it the likeness of Christ's death, for he 
died willingly. 

Christ's death was a violent death. He died not na- 
turally, but violently ; " He was put to death in the 
flesh." " He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter." 
So is our mortification ; it is voluntary in respect of us, 
but violent in respect of sin. When a man lays violent 
hands on his sins ; when he cuts them off, being yet in 
their strength ; when he pulls up those weeds before they 
wither in themselves, this is true mortification. 

2. What are the means of this conformity as on our 
part ? I answer. 

1 . Go to the cross of Jesus Christ. — It is not all our re- 


solutions, promises, vows, endeavours without this, that 
will effect our conformity to Christ in his sufferings and 
death ; no, this conformity is a fruit of the death of 
Christ ; and therefore, whosoever would have this work 
wrought in him, let him first have recourse to Christ's 

2. Look up to him that hangs upon it. — Contemplate 
the death of Jesus Christ ; consider seriously his bitter, 
fchameful, painful sufferings. Consider who he was. 
What he suffered. Why he suffered. For whom he 
suffered. With what mind he suffered. Every one of 
these will make some discoveries either of his graces, or 
of his gracious actings in our behalf; and who can tell 
how far this very look may work on us to transform us 
into the very image of Jesus Christ ? 

3. Let us humbly bewail our defect, and inconfor- 
mity either to the graces, sufferings, or death of Christ. 
As thus, " Lo here the profound humility, wonderful 
patience, fervent love, constant obedience of Jesus 
Christ! These are the particulars to which I should 
conform. But, alas ! what a wide distance is there be- 
tween me and them ! Christ in his sufferings shined 
with graces, like so many stars in a bright winter's night ; 
but how dim are the graces in my soul ! Christ in his 
sufferings died ; he hung on the cross till he bowed his 
head, and gave up the ghost. " He died unto sin once." 
But alas ! how do I live in that for which he died ? To 
this day my sin hath not given up the ghost. My sin is 
not yet crucified. O how unanswerable am I to Christ 
in all these respects !" 

4. Let us rouse up our souls to this conformity. — Let 
us set before them exciting arguments. The greatest 
glory that a Christian can attain to in this world, is to 
have a resemblance to Jesus Christ. The more like we 
are to Christ, the better he is pleased with us. Again, 
a likeness to Christ in his death, will cause a likeness to 
Christ in his glory. " If we have been planted together 
in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the like- 
ness of his resurrection." 

5. Let us pray to God, that he will make us comformable 
\o Jesus Christ. — Is it grace we want? Let us beg of him. 


that of that fulness that is in Christ, we may, in our 
measure, receive grace for grace. Is it patience, or joy 
in sufferings that we want ? Let us beg of him, that as 
he hath promised, he will send us the Comforter, that 
so we may follow Christ cheerfully from his cross to his 
crown, from earth to heaven. Is it mortification our 
souls pant after ? Why then let us pray for this mor- 

And yet, when all is done, let us not think that sin 
will die in us altogether, for that is a higher perfection than 
this life will bear ; only in the use of the means, and 
through God's blessing we may expect thus fan that sin 
shall not reign, it shall not wear a crown, it shall not sit 
in the throne, it shall hold no parliaments, it shall give 
no laws within us ; we shall not serve it, but we shall 
die to the dominion of it by virtue of this death of Je- 
sus Christ. And this grant he who died for us. Amen, 





Of ike time and reasons of Christ's resurrection. Of the manner of his 
resurrection. Of the arguments of his resurrection. Of his appear- 
ing to Mary Magdalene. Of his appearing to his ten disciples. 


JL HE sun that went down in a ruddy clond is risen 
again with glorious beams. Christ's resurrection took 
place on the third day after his crucifixion. 

This was the time he had appointed, and this was the 
time marked out for him in the kalender of the prophets. 
From the various reasons which might be adduced for 
his resurrection we will select the following. 

1. That he might powerfully convince or confound his 
adversaries. — Notwithstanding their care, their watch, 
their seal ; at the very time he had told them before, he 
broke open the gates of death, and made the gates of 
brass to flee asunder. 

2. That he might confirm the faith of all his followers. 
— "If Christ be not risen, your faith is vain," saith the 
apostle. Christ's resurrection confirms our faith, as to 


his person and to his office ; for his person, this speaks 
him to he " the eternal Son of God, by his resurrection 
from the dead;'' and for his office, this speaks him to be 
the promised Messiah, the King and Saviour of his church. 

3. That it might clearly appear, that he had fully 
satisfied the justice of God for sin. — God laid the for- 
feiture of the bond on Christ; he arrested him, brought 
him to the gaol the grave, and there he was till the debt 
was paid to the utmost farthing; and then, that it might 
clearly appear that the bond was cancelled, the prisoner 
discharged, God's justice satisfied, he rose again from 
the dead. 

4. That he might conquer sin, death, and the devil. — 
Hence the apostle cries, victory upon the occasion of 
Christ's resurrection, "O death, where is thy sting? O 
grave, where is thy victory?" Now was the day that he 
spoiled principalities and powers, that he trod on the 
serpent's head, and took from him his armour wherein he 
trusted, and divided his spoils. Now was the day that 
Jonas came safe out of the belly of the whale, that 
the tabernacle of David that was fallen was raised 
again, that the Sun of Righteousness covered with a cloud, 
appeared and shone with greater lustre than before, that 
Samson took the gates of the city, and carried them away! 

5. That he might "become the first-fruits of them 
that slept." — Christ is called the first-fruits in a double 
respect. 1. In respect of the day whereon he rose. 
Paul was an excellent critic, the very feast carried him 
to the word; as the day of his passion was the day of 
ihe Passover, and the apostle thence could say "Christ 
is our passover;" so the day of Christ's rising, was the 
day of the first-fruits; and the apostle thence could say, 
"Christ is our first-fruits." Concerning this feast of the 
first-fruits; we read, Lev. xxii. 10, 11. It was their 
harvest of their basest grain barley, but the full harvest 
of their best grain of wheat, was not till Pentecost. 
Now, upon this day, the morrow after the Sabbath, the 
beginning of their first harvest, when the sheaf of their 
first-fruits was brought unto the priest, and waved before 
the Lord, Christ arose from the dead, and in this re- 
spect, Paul calls him the "first-fruits of them that slept." 

2 B 


He rose first as on this day, for the full harvest is not till 
the general resurrection. 2. He is called the first-fruits, 
in respect of them whom he thereby sanctified; for as a 
handful of the first-fruits sanctified the whole field of 
corn that was growing, so Jesus Christ, the first-fruits 
of the dead, sanctifies all those who are lying in the grave 
to rise again by his power, even when they are in the 
dust of death. 

6. That being formerly abased as a servant, and cru- 
cified as a sinner, he might thus be declared to be the 
Son of God, and exalted to be a Prince and Saviour. — 
" He was made of the seed of David according to the 
flesh, and declared to be the Sou of God with power, 
according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection 
from the dead." Of all the reasons of Christ's resur- 
rection we must look upon this as the main ; for as God 
hath made all things for his own glory ; so " Christ was 
raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father ;" or 
to the glory of himself, and of his Father. 


1. Christ rose again as a public character. — He stood 
in our stead, and therefore when he rose from death, we 
and all the church of Christ, rose together in him. Adam, 
we know\ was reckoned before his fall, as a public cha- 
racter, not standing singly for himself, but as represent- 
ing all mankind to come of him ; so Jesus Christ is 
reckoned to us, before his death, and in his death, and 
after his death, as a public person, not living, dying, or 
rising again, singly for himself, but as representing all 
the believers in the world. As among all the sheaves in 
the field, tliere was one sheaf in the name of all the rest 
waved before the Lord ; so when all were dead, Christ as 
the first-fruits, rose again from the dead, and by this act 
of his resurrection, all his people are risen in him. 

2. Christ rose again by his own power. — This he meant 
when he said, " Destroy this temple, and in three days 
I vvill raise it up." Here is a plain argument of the di- 
vine nature of Christ, for none ever did, ever could do 
that but God himself. It is true that the Father raised 


liim, and yet this contradicts not that he raised up him- 
self, " Whatsoever the Father doth, I do," saith Christ. 
Christ's resurrection is the indivisible work of the blessed 
Trinity ; it is a work common to all the three persons ; 
there is but one power of the Father, and of the Son ; so 
that of both it is truly verified, the Father raised him, 
and the Son raised himself. 

3. Christ rose again with an earthquake.—" And 
behold there was a great earthquake, for the angel of the 
Lord descended from heaven." The earth shook at his 
death, and now it trembles again at his resurrection ; 
plainly speaking,that it could neither endure his suffering, 
nor hinder his rising. 

4. Christ rose again, angels ministering to him. — 
" An angel came and rolled back the stone from the 
door, and sat upon it." Chrisf s power was not included 
in the grave, but extended to heaven, and to the hosts 
therein. However the chief priests and pharisees con- 
spired together to close him in the earth, yet the angels 
of heaven are ready to wait on him as tneir sovereign 
Lord. " An angel descended to roll away the stone," 
not that Christ was unable to do it himself, but this 
would manifest his power, by declaring his power over 
the mighty angels. He needed but to say unto his angel, 
"Do this, and he doth it." 

5. Christ rose again accompanied with others. — "And 
the graves were opened, and many bodies of saints 
which slept, arose, and came out of their graves after 
his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and ap- 
peared unto many." It may be the graves were opened 
when Christ was laid in his grave; but the saints came 
not out of their graves till Christ was raised. It is a ques- 
tion what became of those hodies which now arose ? 
Some think they died again ; but it is more probable, that 
seeing they rose to manifest the quickening virtue of 
Christ's resurrection, thev were also glorified with Christ; 
and as they rose with Christ, so they ascended up into 
heaven with him. 

6.- Christ rose again with a true, incorruptible, spiri- 
tual, and glorious body. — 

He had a truebodv, consisting of flesh, and bone ; so 
" 2 B 2 


he told his disciples, when they supposed him a spirit ; 
"Handle me, and see, (said he) for a spirit hath not flesh 
and bones, as ye see me have." I know his body after 
his resurrection was comparatively a spiritual body ; yet 
for all that, he never laid aside the essential properties of 
a true body. 

He had an incorruptible body. The apostle is ex- 
press, "Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more: 
death hath no more dominion over him." Consonant 
hereunto is that of Christ, " I am he that liveth, and 
was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, Amen." 

He had a spiritual body. It needed not meat and 
drink, as it did before. It is true, that the disciples "gave 
him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb, and 
he took it, and did eat before them ;" but this he did 
only to confirm their faith. He ate out of power, and 
not out of necessity ; not as standing in need of food, 
but to shew the truth of his being risen again. 

He had a glorious body. This appeared in his trans- 
figuration, " when his face did shine as the sun, and his 
raiment was white as light ;" but especially after his re- 
surrection and ascension, when " his head and his hair 
were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes 
were as a flame of fire, and his feet like unto fine brass, 
as if they burned in a furnace." It is true, that from 
his resurrection until his ascension, his body appeared 
not thus glorious to them that saw it ; but whether this 
glory was delayed during his forty days' abode upon the 
earth, or whether he so far condescended, for his disciples' 
sake, as to keep in his glory, that it might not dazzle them, 
it is hard to determine. I am apt to think, that in some 
sort he might draw in the beams of his glory, and yet 
that he was not entered into that fulness of glory, as 
after his ascension ; and so some expound these words 
of Christ to Mary, " Touch me not, for I am not yet 
ascended to my Father ;" Fix not thy thoughts so much 
upon my present condition, for I have not yet attained 
the highest pitch of my exaltation, nor shall I, until "I 
ascend unto my Father." 


Christ after his passion, " shewed himself alive by 


many infallible proofs," and never was matter carried on 
with more scruple and slowness of belief, than was this 
truth of Christ's resurrection. Mary Magdalene saw it 
first, and reported it, "but they believed her not." The 
two disciples that went to Emmaus, saw it also and re- 
ported it, "but they believed them not." Divers women 
together saw him, and came and told the disciples, "but 
their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they be- 
lieved them not." They all saw him, and even seeing him 
" yet they believed not for joy, but wondered." When the 
wonder was over, and the rest told it but to one that hap- 
pened to be absent, you know bow peremptory he was, 
" Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, 
and put my finger into the print of the narls, and thrust 
my hand into his side, I will not believe." In after 
times, the whole world stopt their ears at this report of 
the resurrection of Christ. It was with the Grecians at 
Athens a very scorn : " When they heard of the resur- 
rection of the dead, some mocked." It was with 
Festus a plain frenzy : Festus said with a loud voice, 
" Paul, thou art beside thyself, much learning doth make 
thee mad." The resurrection of Christ is even to this 
day as much opposed by Jews and Atheists, as any one 
article of our creed. And surely we had need to look 
to it, for " if Christ be not risen (as the apostle argues) 
then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain." 
Of all the precious truths in the book of God, we had 
need to be well skilled in the defending the resurrection 
of Christ. I mean not to enter into controversies, only 
I shall declare those clear demonstrations, that substan- 
tially prove Christ to have risen again; viz. the several ap- 
paritions that Christ made to others after his resurrection. 
He appeared unto Mary Magdalene apart. As a wo- 
man was the first instrument of death, so was a woman 
the first messenger of life. He appeared unto all the 
Marys together as they returned homewards from the 
sepulchre. Never any truly sought for Christ, but they 
were sure to find him. He " appeared to Simon Peter 
alone," he was the first among men who went into the 
sepulchre, and he first saw him that was raised thence. 
He appeared to the two disciples journeying towards 


Emraaus; the name of the one was Cleophas, and proba- 
ble it is the other was Luke, who out of his modesty con- 
cealed his own name. He appeared unto the ten apostles 
when the doors were shut. He appeared to all the disci- 
ples, "and Thomas was with them ;" and then he shewed 
them his wounds, to strengthen the weak faith of his 
wavering servants. He appeared to " Peter, and John, 
and James, and Nathaniel, and Didymus, and two other 
disciples/' when they were fishing at the sea of Tiberias : 
there he proved the verity of his Deity by that miracle 
of the fishes ; and the verity of his humanity by eating 
meat with them. He appeared unto more than five 
hundred brethren at once ; of this we read not in the 
evangelists, but the apostle Paul records it. He appear- 
ed unto James, the brother of the Lord ; called James 
the just, in regard of his upright and innocent life. He 
appeared to the eleven disciples on mount Tabor in Gali- 
lee. And this Matthew intimates when Jesus bade the 
women " tell his brethren that he was risen, and that 
they should go into Galilee, and there they should see 
him ; and accordingly in that mountain where Jesus had 
appointed them, they saw him and worshipped him." 
He appeared to all his apostles and disciples upon mount 
Olivet by Jerusalem, w^hen in the presence of them all 
he ascended up into heaven. He appeared unto Paul 
travelling unto Damascus. It is my intention to speak 
of the most considerable of these apparitions. 

of Christ's appearing to mary Magdalene. 

" The first day of the week com eth Mary Magdalene 
early, when it was yet dark unto the sepulchre, and 
seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre."' She 
departed from home before day, but by the time she came 
to the sepulchre the sun was about to rise: thither come, 
she finds the stone rolled away, and the body of Jesus 
gone ; upon this she runs to Peter and John, and tells 
them- " They have taken away the Lord out of the se- 
pulchre, and we know not where they have laid him." 
Then Peter and John ran to see, and not finding the 
body in the sepulchre, they presently returned. By this 


time, Mary Magdalene was come back, resolving to see 
the issue. Several things are here worthy of our notice. 

1. The time when he appeared. — It was the first day 
of the week, the next day to their Sabbath ; and it was 
" very early in the morning." The apparition was early, 
but Mary's seeking of Christ was so early, that " it was 

?et dark." She sought him early whom she loved entire- 
y. They that will not seek Christ until they have given 
over seeking other things, may justly fear to miss Christ. 

2. The place where he appeared. — It was in the 
garden where Christ was buried ; Christ makes choice 
of a garden, both for his grave, and resurrection, and 
first apparition. 

3. The person to whom he appeared. — It was Mary 
Magdalene ; she that sometimes lived a sinful life, now 
is first up to seek her Saviour. Let never any despair of 
mercy, that hears of the conversion of Mi.ry Magdalene. 
Her love to Christ appears at this time; " Mary stood 
without at the sepulchre weeping, and as she wept, she 
stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre. 

Mary stood at the sepulchre. She stood by the grave 
of Christ; it signifies her great love to Jesus Christ. 
She chooseth Christ's tomb for her best home, and his 
dead corpse for her chief comfort ; having lost the light 
of the Sun of Righteousness, she desired to dwell in 
darkness, in the shadow of death. Mary stood without 
at the sepulchre weeping. This was love indeed ; see 
how every word is a degree of love. At first she 
mourned for the departing of his soul out of his bodv, 
and now she laments the taking of his body ou* of the 
grave. And as she wept, she stooped down and looked into 
the sepulchre. That Christ is not in the tomb, her own 
eyes have seen, the disciples' hands have felt ; the empty 
winding sheet doth plainly avouch ; and yet for all this 
she will be stooping down, and looking in. She would 
rather condemn her own eyes of error ; she would rather 
suspect all testimonies for untrue, than not to look after 
him whom she had lost. Love thinks it hath never 
looked enough. 

4. The manner how he appeared. — She seeth "two an- 
gels in white, sitting, the one at the head, and the 


other at the feet where the hody of Jesus had lain." 
They say unto her, Mary, Woman, why weepest thou? 
She saith unto them, Because they have taken away 
my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 
Here was the cause of Mary's tears ; she knows not 
whither to go to find any comfort; her Lord is gone, his 
life is gone, his soul is gone, his body is gone ; yea 
gone, and carried, she knows not whither. 

After this, Christ himself appears, but first as unknown, 
and then as known. 1. As unknown, " She turned her- 
self back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it 
was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest 
thou ? Whom seekest thou r" A shower of tears comes 
between her and him, and she cannot see him ; or "her 
eyes were holden that she should not know him," or it may 
be, he appeared in some other shape, such as resembled 
the gardener, whom she took him for. " She supposing 
him to be the gardener, said unto him, Sir, if thou hast 
borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I 
will take him away." Her words to Christ are not much 
unlike the answer she gave the angels, only she seems to 
speak more harshly to Christ; to them, she complains 
of others, " they have taken away my Lord ;" but to 
Christ, she speaks as if she would charge him with the 
fact. But pardon love ; as it fears where it needs not, 
so it suspects very often where it hath o cause. When 
love is at a loss, he, or any that comes but in our 
way, hath done it, hath taken him away. 

Something she spoke now to Christ which she had not 
mentioiied to the angels. She said not unto them, "tell 
me where he is, and I will take him away." There is no 
essay too hard for love. She exempts no place, she 
esteems no person, she speaks without fear, she promises 
without condition, she makes no exception, as if nothing 
were impossible that love suggesteth. 

Through all this speech she enquires for Jesus, but 
never names him. This is love's own dialect. Who 
knows not him ? All the world is hound to take notice 
of him ; and therefore, Sir, gardener, whosoever thou 
art, u If thou hast borne him hence, O tell me where 
thou hast laid him." 


2. Christ appears as known : " Jesus saith unto her, 
Mary, she turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni, 
which is to say, Master." " Sorrow may endure for a 
night, hat joy comes in the morning." She that hi- 
therto had sought without finding, and wept without 
comfort, and called without answer, even to her Christ 
now appears, and addresses her by name. " Mary fV it 
was but a word : but, () what quickening and reviving 
was in the word! The voice of Christ is powerful: if 
the Spirit of Christ come along with the word, it will 
rouse hearts, raise spirits, work wonders. As she 
was ravished with his voice, so impatient of delay 
she takes his talk out nf his mouth, and to his 
first and only word, she answered but one other, 
" Rabboni," which is to say, Master. A wonder that 
in this verse but two words should pass between them ; 
but some give this reason, " that a sudden joy rousing all 
her passions, she could neither proceed in her own, nor 
give him leave to go forward in his speech." 
o Jesus saith unto her, " Touch me not, for I am not yet 
ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren, and 
say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and to your 
Father, and to my God, and your God.'* Mary is not 
satisfied to see her Lord, nor to hear her Lord, but she 
must touch him and embrace his feet; but on a sudden 
he checks her forwardness, " Touch me not." As if he 
had said, " O Mary, fix not thy thoughts so much 
upon my present condition, in as much as this is not the 
highest pitch of my exaltation." " But go to my bre- 
thren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and 
your Father, and to my God, and your God." Tell them 
that our relations and interests are all one : the same Fa- 
ther that is mine is theirs ; and the same God that is mine 
is theirs also. This was the command of Christ ; instead 
or touching him, she must go with a message to his apos- 
tles, and this was more beneficial both to her and them. 


"Then the same day at evening, being the first day 
, of the week, when the doors were shut, where the disci- 
's C 


pies were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and 
stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto 
you, and when he had so said, he shewed unto them his 
hands and his feet." 

1. It was the same day at evening. — Both at morn, 
noon, and evening, Christ shewed himself alive by many 
infallible proofs. Early in the morning he appeared to 
Mary, and presently after to the three Marys, Mho 
touched his feet, and worshipped hiin. About noon he 
appeared to Simon Peter; in the afternoon he travelled 
with two of his disciples almost eight miles, to the castle 
of Emmaus ; and, in the evening of the same day, he 
returned invisible from Emmaus to Jerusalem. At all 
times of the day, Christ is prepared, and preparing 
grace for his people. 

2. The place is laid down in this passage, * 4 where the 
disciples were assembled." — The evangelist Luke says 
expressly, it was in Jerusalem, but in what house it is 
unknown : only some conjecture that it was in the house 
of some disciple, wherein was an upper room. This 
upper room, according to the manner of their buildings 
at that time, was the most large and capacious of any 
other, and the most retired and free from disturbance. 
Christ came in when the doors were shut, either causing 
the doors to give place, the disciples not knowing how ; 
or else altering the very substance of the doors, that his 
body might pass through them. He that thickened the 
waters to carry his body, might also attenuate the doors 
to make w T ay for his body. 

3. The persons to whom he appeared were his disci- 
ples. — They that were shut up, not daring to step out of 
doors for fear of the Jews. It is Christ's usual course to 
appear to them who are full of fears, and griefs, and 
most in danger. " When thou passest through the wa- 
ters I will be with thee, and through the rivers they 
shall not overflow thee." 

4. The manner how he appeared. — " He stood in the 
midst." O ! what comfort is here to see Jesus Christ 
stand in the midst. Now may the disciples behold him 
as their blessed Peace-maker, their Mediator, as one that 
hath slain the enmity, not only that enmity between men 


41ml men, Jews and Gentiles, but also between God and 
men. This he did by his death, and now he declares it 
at his resurrection. " Having slain the enmity by his 
cross, he came and preached peace." " Jesus came and 
stood in the midst, and said unto thern, Peace be unto 
you." A seasonable salutation ; for now were the disci- 
ples in fear and trouble : they Jisfil no peace with God or 
man, or with their own consciences ; und therefore more 
welcome news could not have come. O the sweet of 
peace ! This little word is a breviary of all that is good: 
what can they have more than peace with God, and peace 
with men, and peace within ? Sure there is much in it, 
because Ciirist is so much upon it; at his birth the angels 
sing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace ;" 
at his baptism the form of a dove lighted upon him, and, 
what meant this ? But peace. In his life the fort of in- 
tegrity was his court, and what was here but peace? Near 
his death he gives peace as a legacy to his church, "Peace 
I leave with you, my peace I give you," at his resurreo- 
tion his first salutation to his apostles is a wish of peace, 
" Peace be unto you." 

" He shewed unto them his hands and his side." — I 
look upon this as a true and real manifestation of his re- 
surrection. Christ's body yet remaining on earth was 
not entered into that fulness of glory; and therefore 
he might then retain some scars, or blemishes, to mani- 
fest the truth of his resurrection unto his disciples. 

O the wonderful condescension of Christ ! What helps 
doth he continually afford to beget in us faith ? If we 
are ignorant, he instructs us ; if we sin, he corrects us; 
if we stand, he holds us up; if we fall down, he lifts us 
up again ; if we go, he leads us ; if we come to him, he 
is ready to receive us. There is not a passage of Christ 
between him and his, but it is a proof of love, and a mean 
either of begetting, or of increasing faith. 

2 C l 


Of knowing Jesus as carrying on the great Work of our Salvation in his 

I Resurrection. Of considering — desiring — hoping in — believing in — 
loving — joying in — calling on — and conforming to Jesus in that Respect. 


^ HIS is worth the knowing; u for if Christ he not 
risen, we are yet in our sins, and our faith is in vain, and 
our hope is in vain." O ! my soul, study this point, and 
remember that saving knowledge is ever joined with a 
particular application ; if Christ he my head, then he 
could not rise, but I rose with him and in him ; and 
thus, O my soul, look on Christ, and thus search into 
every particular of Christ's resurrection. Oh what de- 
lightful studies are these ! Hadst thou been with them to 
whom Christ appeared, would not thy heart have leaped 
with joy? Come, study it close, for the benefit of these 
apparitions extend to thee. 


1. Consider the time when Christ rose again. — As 
Christ had his three days, and no more, so must thou. 
The first day was called the day of preparation * the se- 
cond was the Sabbath dav ; and the third was the resur- 
rection day; so thy first day is a day of preparation, a 
day of passion, wherein thou must strive and struggle 
against sin and Satan, till thou give up the ghost. Thy 
second day is a day of rest, wherein thy body must lie in 
the grave, and thy flesh rest in hope until the trumpet 
sound, and bid thee arise, and come to judgment ; and 
thy third day is a day of resurrection unto glory. 


2. Consider the reasons why Christ arose. — Was it 
not to confound the Jews r They could not endure to 
hear of Christ's resurrection, and therefore, when Peter 
and the other apostles preached that point, " They were 
cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them." Again, 
was is not to confirm the faith of Christ's followers ? 
Till he was risen, their faith was but a weak faith, but 
after he had shewed himself alive by many infallible 
proofs, they could then cry out, "My Lord, and my God." 
Again, was it not to evidence that he had fully satisfied 
all our debts ? " The apostle tells us, That Christ was 
pur surety ;" at his death he was arrested, and cast into 
prison, whence he could not come till all was paid ; and 
therefore to hear that Christ is risen, is a clear evidence, 
that God is satisfied. Again, was it not to conquer sin, 
death, and the devil ? Now he took from death his sting, 
and from hell his standard ; now he seized upon the hand- 
writing that was against us, and nailed it to his cross ; 
now he spoiled principalities and powers, and came out 
of the grave as a mighty conqueror. Again, was it not 
to become the first-fruits of them that sleep ? Christ 

 was the first that rose again to die no more ; and by 
virtue of his resurrection we must rise again. Lastly, 
was it not that he might be declared to be the Son of 
God ? This is the main reason of all the rest. O then 
give him the glory, and praise of his resurrection. Let 
" every tongue confess, that Jesns Christ is Lord, to the 
glory of God the Father." 

3. Consider the manner of Christ's resurrection. — He 
rose as a public person ; in which respect his resurrection 
concerns us no less than himself. His resurrection was 
in the name of us all, and had in it a virtue to work the 
resurrection of us all. He rose by his own power; and 
so did none but Jesus Christ. O my soul, he was able 
to raise himself, much more is he able to raise thee up ; 
only believe and live for ever. An angel ministered to 
him at his resurrection. — " An angel came and rolled 
back the stone from the door, and sat upon it." Angels 
were the first ministers of the gospel, the first preachers 
of Christ's resurrection : they preached more of Christ 
than all the prophets did ; they first told the women 


that " Christ was risen, 1 ' and they did the first service to 
Christ at his resurrection, " in rolling the stone from the 
door's mouth." O my soul, that thou wert like these 
blessed angels ! How is it that they are so forward in 
God's service, and thou so backward ? One day thou 
cxpectest to be equal with the angels, and art thou now 
so far behind them ? Many of the bodies of the saints 
arose out of their graves at his resurrection. Look upon 
them as the fruit of Christ's resurrection, and as an 
earnest of thy own. Christ rose again with a true, in- 
corruptible, spiritual, and glorious body. O this is a 
blessed subject to think upon ; " We look for a Saviour 
(saith the apostle) the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall 
change our vile bodies, that they may be fashioned like 
unto his glorious body." O consider it, till thou feel the 
influence, and come to the assurance of this blessed 

4. Consider Christ's appearing to Mary Magdalene. — 
O the grief before he appeared, and the joys when he 
appeared ! Before, she apprehended that some one had 
taken away her Lord. After he appeared she was filled 
with joy. At first indeed he is unknown, but within & 
while- he utters a voice that opens both her ears and eyes. 
" Jesus saith unto her, Mary !" It was the sweetest 
sound that ever she heard ; hereby the cloud is scattered, 
and the Sun of Righteousness appears ; this one w 7 ord 
lightens her eyes, dries up her tears, and cheers her heart. 
O meditate on this. If Christ be absent, all is night ; but 
if Christ appear, he turns all again into a lightsome day. 

5. Consider Christ's appearing to the ten disciples. — 
u When the doors were shut for fear of the Jews, then 
came Jesus and stood in the midst, saying to them, Peace 
be unto you." Before his appearing sorrow and fear had 
possessed all their spirits ; sometimes they walked abroad 
and were sad ; and sometimes they kept within, and shut 
the doors upon them as being exceedingly afraid. In 
this condition Jesus Christ, who knows best the times 
and seasons of grace and comfort, comes and stands in 
the midst of their assembly and thus salutes them, 
Peace be unto you. No sooner is he risen, but he wish- 
eth peace to all his apostles ; no sooner meets he with 


them, but the very opening of his lips was with these 
words. However it is with us, peace or war; where 
Christ is King there is peace, and nothing but peace. 
Come, examine, art thou, O my soul, a member of this 
bodv, a subject of this kingdom ? Hath the influence 
of Christ's peace, wrought and declared at his resurrec- 
tion, any force on thee ? Hast thou peace with God, 
and peace within, and peace without ? Doth the Spirit 
assure thee, that Christ the Prince of peace, hath made 
peace and reconciliation between God and thee ? " O ! 
!• >w beautiful upon the mountain would the feet of him 
be, That should publish peace, that should bring these 
good tidings, that thou art a citizen of that Jerusalem, 
where God is King, and Christ the Prince of peace! 
Where all the buildings are compact together, as a city 
that is at unity within itself! 


What is there in Christ's resurrection, that should 
move our souls to desire it ? 

I answer, 1. Something in itself. 2. Something as in 
reference unto us. 

1. There is something in itself. — Had we but a view 
pf the glory, dignity, excellency of Christ as raised 
from the dead, it would put us on this heavenly motion. 
The object of desire is good, but the more excellent and 
glorious any good is, the more eager should our desires 
be : now Christ raised from the dead is an excellent ob- 
ject ; the resurrection of Christ is the glorifying of Christ; 
yea, his glorifying took its beginning at his blessed resur- 
rection ; now it was that " God highly exalted him, and 
gave him a name above every name." 

2. There is something in reference unto us. As, 1. 
" He rose again for our justification." — I grant, that 
Christ's death, and not his resurrection is the meritorious 
cause of our justification ; but on the other side, Christ's 
resurrection and not his death is for the applying of 
our justification. As the stamp adds no virtue, nor 
real value to a piece of gold, but only makes it cur- 
rent, so the resurrection of Christ was no part of the 
price or satisfaction which Christ made to God, yet it is 


that which applies all his merit, and makes it of 
force unto his members. " If Christ be not risen again, 
ye are yet in your sins, and your faith is vain." Remis- 
sion of sin, (which is a part of our justification) though 
purchased by Christ's death, yet could not be applied to 
us, or be made ours, without Christ's resurrection ; and 
in this respect, Oh ! how desirable it is! 

2. He rose again for our sanctification. — " He hath 
quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us 
up together with Christ." If you would know how you 
that were blind in heart, uncircumcised in spirit, utterly 
unacquainted with the life of God, are now light in the 
Lord, affecting heavenly things, walking iu righteous- 
ness ; it comes from this blessed resurrection of Jesus 
Christ. We are "quickened with Christ :" it is Christ's 
resurrection that raised our souls. " Reckon yourselves 
to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus 
Christ our Lord." This is the end of Christ's resurrec- 
tion, that we should be new creatures, of new lives > new 
principles, new conversations. 

.  3. He rose again for our resurrection to eternal life. — 
Christ is both the pattern and pledge of the resurrection 
of our bodies ; " for since by man came death, by man 
came also the resurrection of the dead." There is a virtue 
flowing from Christ to his saints, by which they shall 
be raised up at the latter dav ; not but that all the wick- 
ed shall be raised again by the power of Christ, as he is 
a judge; for "all that are in their graves shall hear his 
voice, and they shall come forth," — yet with this differ- 
ence, — "They that have done good unto the resurrection 
of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrecti- 
on of damnation." 

4. He rose again for the assurance of our justification, 
sanctification, and salvation. — This is the reason why 
the apostle useth these words to prove the resurrection 
of Christ, " I will give you the sure mercies of David ; y 
none of God's mercies had been sure to us, if Christ 
had not risen again from the dead. But now all is made 
sure ; his work of redemption being fully finished, the 
mercy which thereupon depended, was now made certain, 
(and as the apostle speaks) " sure unto all the seed.* 8 


Methinks a thought of this object in respect of itself, 
and in respect of us, should put our souls into a long- 
ing frame ! Is it not a desirable thing to see the King in 
his beauty ? If Christ incarnate was the desire of all na- 
tions, how much more is Christ in his glory ? O my 
soul, that thy portion may be with theirs who have right 
and title to this blessed resurrection of Jesus Christ. O 
that thou wert on the wing in thy desires after Christ ! 
O that feelingly thou knewest him, and the power of his 
resurrection ! that thou wert resolved to give no sleep to 
thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eye-lids, until thou 
could say, " Christ's resurrection is mine P 


We may examine the firmness of our hope in Christ's 
resurrection by these signs. 

1. If Christ's resurrection be mine, then is Christ's 
death mine. — The fruits of Christ's death and resurrec- 
tion cannot be severed : " If we have been planted to- 
gether in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in 
the likeness of his resurrection." Mortification and vi- 
vification are twins of one and the same Spirit, Depart 
from evil, and do good. — "Cease to do evil, learn to do 
well." As there cannot he a resurrection before a man 
die; so there cannot be a resurrection to a new life, but 
there must be a separation of the soul from the body of 
sin. Come search, try, examine, Hast thou any share 
in Christ's passion ? Knowest thou the fellowship of his 
sufferings ? Art thou made conformable to his death, 
that as he died for sin, so thou diest to sin ? 

2. If Christ's resurrection be mine, then is Christ's 
Spirit mine. — " If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, 
he is none of his. — Rut if the Spirit of him that raised 
up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you, then he that raised 
up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal 
bodies, (and I may add your immortal souls) by his Spi- 
rit that dwelleth in you." Christ's Spirit (if Christ's 
resurrection be ours) will have the same operation and 
effect in our souls, that it had in his bodv ; as it raised 

J D 


up the one, so it will raise up the other ; as it quickened 
the one, so it will quicken the other. 

3. If Christ's resurrection be mine, then am I planted 
together in the likeness of Christ's resurrection ; then 
am I made conformable to Christ in his resurrection. — 
Now if we would know wherein that resemblance is, the 
apostle tells us, " that like as Christ was raised up 
from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we 
also should walk in newness of life." Our mortification 
is a resemblance of Christ's death, and our vivification 
is a resemblance of Christ's resurrection. 

O my soul, try the growth of thy vivification, by these 
signs. Art thou led on to the exercise of new graces, 
adding grace to grace ? Dost thou find new degrees of 
the self-same grace ? Is thy love more hot ? Thy faith 
more firm ? All thy boughs more laden with the fruits 
of righteousness? Are thy duties more spiritual ? Are 
thy ends more raised to aim at God, to sanctify him, and 
to debase thyself ? Art thou more rooted in Christ ? In 
all thy duties and graces hast thou learned habitually to 
say, " I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me? " Come, 
search, try ; it may be, little winds have formerly shaken 
thee; but thy root is struck lower and lower into Christ; 
and now thou art not so soon shaken with every wind ; 
surely thy hope is well grounded ; thou hast a part in 
Christ's resurrection. 


O my soul, look to the main design of Christ in his 
rising again, and set thy faith on work to draw it down 
into thy soul. But here is the question, how should I 
manage my faith to draw down the virtue of Christ's 
resurrection for my vivification ? I answer. 

1. Go to the weli-head, look into the resurrection of 
Jesus Christ. — This one act contains in it these particu- 
lars; 1. That I must go out of myself to something 
else ; that i?, that check that lies upon the work of grace, 
to keep out pride, that faith sees the whole good of the soul 
in a principle extraneous, even the spriugs of Jesus. 2. 
That I must attribute all thatl am to Jesus Christ, and to 
the effectual working of his grace. "By the grace of God. 


I am what I am ;" and " I laboured more abundantly 
than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was 
with me." The life of grace springs only from the life 
and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and therefore, as I 
must deny myself, so I must attribute all to him from 
whom it comes. 3. I must lie at his feet with an hum- 
ble dependance upon him, and him alone for the supplies 
of grace: this was the apostle's practice, "O that I 
may be found in him ! O that I may know him, and the 
power of his resurrection ! O that by any means I might 
attain unto the resurrection of the dead !" Christ is the 
fountain of life, but faith is the means of life ; the power 
and original of life is entirely reserved to Jesus Christ, 
but faith is the bond on our part, whereby we are tied 
unto Christ, and live in Christ; and thus saith Christ 
himself; " I am the resurrection and the life, he that be- 
lieveth in me, though he were dead, yet he shall live." 

Pray therefore for an increase of faith ; complain 
to Christ that thou canst not believe as thou wouldst, and 
act thy faith vigorously on Christ's resurrection for a 
further degree of quickening. Christ is an everflowing 
fountain, and he would have believers to partake abun- 
dantly of what is in him. He cannot abide that any 
should content themselves with a present stock of grace. 
He is not as a stream that fails, or as a channel that runs 
dry. No, Christ is the fountain of life. I know there 
are other means of Christ's appointment, but if thou 
wilt live at the spring, drink in there, yea drink abun- 
dantly, according to the overflowing of this fountain. 


As the angel said to the woman, " Remember how he 
spake, when he was yet in Galilee," so say J to thee, re- 
member how he spake while he was yet on earth ; surely 
" his lips like lilies dropped sweet smelling myrrh." 

1. In his appearing to Mary. — Jesus saith unto her, 
" Woman, why weepest thou ? Whom seekest thou ?" 
Were not those kind words ? How often hath thy heart 
sighed o t complaints, "O where is he whom mv soul 
loveth ? I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you 

2 D 2 


Had aiy beloved, that ye tell hiai I am sick of love. 1 ' 
And then was not Christ seen in the mount ? Was not 
thy extremity his opportunity ? Did he not bespeak thy 
comforts with these words, " Why weepest thou ? Whom 
seekest thou ? What wouldst thou have that I can give 
thee ? And what dost thou want that I cannot give thee ? 
If any thing in heaven or earth will make thee happy, 
it is all thine own? Wouldst thou have pardon? Thou 
shalt have it ; I freely forgive thee all the debt. Wouldst 
thou have myself? Behold I am thine, thy friend, thy 
Lord, thy husband, thy head, thy God." Were not 
these thy Lord's reviving words ? Were not these heal- 
ing, quickening passages of Christ's love ? 

2. In his appearing to the ten. — " Jesus stood in the 
midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you." Lo, 
here more words of love ; in midst of their trouble 
Christ stands in the midst, speaking peace to their 
souls. And hath not Christ done the like to thet ? 
Hast thou not many and many a time been in troubles, 
that thou Itnewest not which way to turn thee ? And 
even then, hath not Christ come to thy spirit with an 
olive branch of peace, saying to thy restless soul, "Peace 
and be still r" And more than so, hath he not filled thee 
with joy and peace in believing ? 

i I might thus go on to consider other passages in other 
apparitions, but are not these enough to draw thy love ? 
O what love was this ! That Christ, after his resurrec- 
tion, should converse with men forty days ! W r orthy he 
was after so many sorrows, sufferings, reproaches ; after 
so cruel, ignominious, and bitter a death, immediately 
to have gone in triumph to glory ; and for the confirma- 
tion of his disciples' faith, he might have commanded 
the angels to have preached his resurrection. But he 
himself would stay in person, he himself would make it 
out by many infallible proofs that he was risen again ; 
he himself would, by his own example, teach us a lesson 
of love, of meekness, of patience, in waiting after suf- 
ferings for the reward. 

Methinks a few of these passages should set all our 
hearts on a flame of love ! O if the love of Christ were 
in us, it would make us wholly to despise this world; 


nay, it would be so strong and ardent, that we should 
not be able freely to think on any thing else but Jesus 
Christ; we should not then fear contempt, or the re- 
proaches of men ; we should not then fear death, or 
the grave, or hell, or devils, but we should sing in tri- 
umph, "O death! Where is thy sting? O grave! 
Where is thy victory ? — Thanks be to God which giveth 
us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord." 


A Christian estate should be a joyful and comfortable 
estate : none have such cause of joy as the children of 
Zion: And why so? A thousand reasons might be rendered; 
but here is one, " Christ is risen from the dead;, and be- 
come the first-fruits of them that slept.'" A commemo- 
ration of Christ's resurrection hath ever been a means of 
rejoicing in God. 

What possibly can be the condition of thy soul 
wherein thou mayest not draw sweet from Christ's 
resurrection ? 

Is thy conscience in trouble for sin ? " The answer 
of a good conscience towards God, is by the resurrection 
of Jesus Christ from the dead." Art thou afraid of con- 
demnation ? " He was delivered for our offences, and he 
was raised again for our justification." Dost thou ques- 
tion thy regeneration r M He hath begotton us again by 
the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." Art 
thou distressed, persecuted and troubled on every side ? 
The apostle tells thee wherein consists thy confidence ; 
" We always bear about in the body, the dying of the 
Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus might also be made 
manifest in our body. For we which live, are always deli- 
vered unto death for Jesus' ,sake, that the life also of 
Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh." Art 
thou afraid of death, hell, and the power of the grave ? 
Remember that Christ is risen from the dead, and by his 
resurrection death is swallowed up in victory ; so that 
now thou mayest sing, "O death ! where is thy sting ? O 
grave ! where is thy victory ? Now thanks be to God 


which hath given us victory, through our Lord Jesu& 

Away, away all doubtful thoughts ! Consider what 
joys were of old at the foresight of Christ's resurrection; 
bnt especially what joy was all the world over, when he 
rose again from the dead. Then came the angels from 
heaven, and appeared in white. " Then the disciples 
were exceeding glad, when they saw the Lord." All the 
primitive saints were affected with this news, and because 
of it, with the very day on which Christ rose. Cer- 
tainly, the Lord's day was in high esteem with the anci- 
ent church, and the principal motive was because of 
Christ's resurrection from the dead. O spend more of 
this day in spiritual rejoicing, especially in commemora- 
tion of Christ's resurrection, (yea, and of the whole work 
of redemption) or else you will not answer the institu- 
tion of the Lord. 


Let us pray that Christ's resurrection may be ours, and 
that we may be more und more assured of it. — Let us 
say with the apostle, " O that I may know him and the 
power of his resurrection." O that the Spirit of holiness, 
which quickened Christ from the dead, would by the 
same glorious power, beget holiness, and faith, and love, 
and all other graces in my soul ! O that Christ would 
by his resurrection, apply his active and passive obedi- 
ence to me ! O that he would be to me the Lord of the 
living, and Prince of life ; that he would overcome in 
me the death of sin, and that he would regenerate, 
quicken, and fashion me by the power of godliness to 
become like himself. 

Let us praise God for Christ's resurrection, and for all 
the privileges flowing from it. — Christ is risen, and by 
his resurrection he hath justified, sanctified, quickened, 
saved our souls ; and therefore " blessed be the God 
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Surely God re- 
quires a thousand hallelujahs ! Here is fuel enough; the 
Lord kindle a fire in every one of our hearts to burn out 
all our lusts, and to enflame all our hearts with a love to 


Jesus Christ. " Now blessed be the God and Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath begotten us again unto 
a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from 
the dead." 


In this particular I shall examine, 1. Wherein we 
must conform ? and 2. What are the means of this con- 
formity on our parts ? 

For the first, Wherein we must conform ? I answer 
in a word, in our vivification. Christ's resurrection was 
to newness of life ; it was a new life, a life different 
from that which he lived before, and so is our vivification 
a new life. 

1. It is a life of a new principle. — Before vivification, 
our principle was the flesh ; but now we have a new 
principle, a Spirit of holiness, the Spirit of God. 

2. It is a life of a new income. — I mean of a saving 
income, as of grace, power and light. Before vivifica- 
tion there was no such income : a man before his con- 
version might hear, and pray, and do all duties ; but 
alas ! he feels no virtue, no communion with Christ. 
After vivification, thou wilt in the use of ordinances 
frequently feel the saving incomes of God. In prayer, 
thou wilt feel the Spirit carrying up thy soul above itself; 
in hearing the word, thou wilt see the windows of hea- 
ven set open, and all manner of spiritual comforts 
showered down upon thee ; in meditation of the pro- 
mises, thou wilt find quickenings, encouragings, filling 
thy heart w|th gladness, and thy mouth with praises. 

3. It is a life of another kind. — Before vivification we 
were dead in sin, whilst alive, but after vivification we 
live ii spiritual life, a heavenly life, an immortal life. 
" If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, 
but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." The 
body indeed is subject to corporal death, through the 
remainder of sin ; but the Spirit is life, here, and shall 
be life hereafter, even for ever. And herein is our vivi- 
fication answerable to Christ's resurrection, " Like as 
Christ was raised up from the dead, by the glory of the 


Father, raised lip to a new life, even so we also should 
•walk in newness of life.'* 

For the second question, What are the means of this 
conformity or vivification which we must use on our 
parts ? I shall answer herein hoth to the state and 
growth of our vivification. 

1. Wait and attend upon God in the ministry of the 
word ; this is a mean whereby Christ ordinarily eftecteth 
this vivification. — By this means it is that dead souls are 
quickened : the ministry of the word is the trumpet of 
Jesus Christ, when that sounds, who knows but he may 
quicken the dead ? Hearken therefore to this word of 

2. Act faith upon the Lord Jesus as to justification. — 
As is the clearness and fixedness of our souls in bottom- 
ing ourselves on Christ for righteousness^ so will be our 
quickness, and successful progress in the work of holi- 

3. Trace every ordinance, and every duty for the ap- 
pearings of the Son of God. — Be much in prayer, 
hearing, reading, and fellowship with the saints ; be 
much in secret conversings with God, in meditation, 
enquiries and searchings ; and (which is a precious work) 
be much in diligent watching of, and listening to the 
workings, and intimations of the Spirit of God ; be 
much in observing the methods, and interpreting the 
meanings and language of God in all his secret dispen- 
sations with the soul. Certainly there will be abundance 
of the life of God conveyed to him that walks in these 
paths. O for a spirit of prayer, meditation ; for a spirit 
swallowed up in communion with God ! "Thou meetest I 
hi in that worketh righteousness, and those that remem-f 
ber thee in thy ways." 

4. Look much at Christ raised, Christ glorified. — 
Christ's resurrection was the beginning of his glory, and 
therein is comprehended both the glory that draws de- 
sires towards Christ, and the grace and power that 
establisheth faith in its dependance. Could we but keep 
our hearts in a more constant view, and believing medi- 
tation of the glory of Christ, our faces would certainly 
bring some beams of divinity with them from the mount. 


The very beholding of Christ hath a mighty virtue to 
leave the impressions of glory upon our spirits. 

5. Walk as we have Christ Jesus for an example. — 
This example of Christ, yields much to our vivification. 
Who can deny but that acting with the pattern ever in 
one's eye is very advantageous ? Come then, and if we 
would live the life of God, let us live as Christ lived 
after his resurrection* 






Of Christ's ascension. Of Christ's session at God's right hand. Of the 
time and persons to whom the Holy Ghost was sent. Of the manner 
how the Holy Ghost was sent. Of the measure of the Holy Ghost 
now given, and the reasons why he was sent. 


1 HE ascension of Christ contains in it a great part of 
the salvation of our souls. In prosecution of this, I shall 
refer to several particulars. 

1. That he ascended. — The prophets foresaw it; " 1 
saw in the night-visions, and behold one like the Son of 
man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the 
ancient of days, and they brought him near before him, 
and there was given him dominion, and glory, and a 
kingdom." The evangelists relate it; "He was received 
up into heaven. He was carried up into heaven." The 
eleven witness it: u For while they beheld, he was taken 
up, and a cloud received him out of their sight." The 
holy angels speak it; " For while they looked stedfastly 
toward heaven as he went up, : behold two men stood by 


them in white apparel ; which also said, Ye men of 
Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This 
same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, 
shall come in like manner as ye have seen him go into 
heaven." The apostles in their epistles confirm it ; 
" When he ascended up on high, he led captivity cap- 
tive, and gave gifts unto men, — he that descended, is the 
same also that ascended up far ahove all heavens." "Who 
is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God, 
angels, and authorities, and powers, being made subject 
unto him." 

2. How he ascended. — He ascended, blessing his 
apostles. " While he blessed them, he was parted from 
them, and carried up into heaven. It is some comfort 
to Christ's ministers, that though the world hate them, 
Christ doth bless them ; yea, he parted with them in a 
way of blessing ; as Jacob leaving the world, blessed 
his sons, so Christ leaving the world, blessed his apos- 
tles and all the faithful ministers of Christ, unto the end 
of the world. 

He ascended visibly in the view of the apostles. — 
" While they beheld, he was taken up." He was not 
suddenly snatched from them, as Elijah was ; nor se- 
cretly and privily taken away as Enoch was ; but in the 
presence of his apostles and disciples he ascended up into 

He ascended principally by the mighty power of his 
Godhead. — Thus never any ascended up into heaven but 
Jesus Christ ; for though Enoch and Elijah were assum- 
ed into heaven, yet not by their own power, nor by 
themselves ; it was God's power by which they ascended, 
and it was by the help and ministry of angels. 

He ascended in a cloud. — " While they beheld, he 
was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their 
sight. Hereby he shews that he is Lord of all the crea- 
tures; he had already trampled upon the earth, walked upon 
the sea, vanquished hell or the grave, and now the clouds 
received him, and the heavens are opened to make way for 
this King of glory to enter in. 

He ascended in triumph. — "When he ascended up on 
high, he led captivity captive." He led them captive, 

2 E 2 


who had captivated us. Death was led captive without 
a sting ; hell was led captive as one that had lost her 
victory; the serpent's head being bruised, was led before 
him in triumph, as was Goliah's head by David returning 
from the victory; and this was the first act of his triumph. 

3. Whither he ascended. — The gospel tells us into 
heaven : only Paul saith, that " he ascended far above 
all heavens." But the meaning is, he went above all 
these visible heavens, into those heavenly mansions 
where the angels and the spirits of the just have their 

4. Why he ascended. — The reasons are, on Christ's 
part, that through his passion he might pass to glory. 
" Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to 
enter into his glory ?" On our part, 

1. That in our stead he might triumph over sin, death 
and hell. — In his resurrection he conquered, but in his 
ascension he led sin, death and the devil in triumph at 
his chariot wheels. 

2. That he might lead us the way, and open to us the 
doors of glory. 

3. That he might assure us that he had now fulfilled 
all those offices which he was to perform here on earth 
for our redemption. 

4. That he might thoroughly convince believers of 
their perfect righteousness. — "The Spirit when he 
comes (saith Christ) shall convince the world of sin, and 
of righteousness, and of judgment : of sin, because 
they believe not on me, of righteousness, because I go 
to my Father, and ye see me no more." If Christ had 
not fulfilled all righteousness there had been no going to 
heaven for him, nor remaining there ; but his ascension 
to heaven proclaims openly, that he hath completely 
finished the work he had to do for us here ; that God 
was well pleased with Jesus Christ, and with wljat he 
had done and suffered for us ; that we have virtually our 
share in heaven with him. When Jesus entered into 
heaven, he seemed thus to challenge Justice, " Make 
room here for me and mine, Who should hinder ? Hath 
the law any thing to say to these poor souls for whom 
I died ? If any in heaven can make objection, here 


I am to answer in their behalf." Methinks, I imagine 
a silence in heaven, (as John speaks) at this speech, 
only mercy smiles, justice gives in the acquittance, and 
God sets Christ down at his right hand. That he bath 
a new design to be acted in heaven for us ; he is taken 
up into glory that he may act gloriously the second part 
of our righteousness, I mean that he might apply it, 
and send down his Spirit to convince us of it. Three 
great things Christ acts for us now in glory ; He is 
in place of an advocate for us, " He liveth to inter- 
cede for us." He is the great provider for us ; he is 
laying in a stock of glory for us against we come there ; 
" In my Fathers house are many mansions. I go to 
prepare a place for you." He sends down his Spirit to 
convince us that Christ's righteousness is ours. Indeed 
the means of procuring this, was the life and death of 
Christ, but the means of applying this righteousness, 
are those following acts of Christ's resurrection, ascen- 
sion, session, intercession. By his death, he obtained 
righteousness for us, but by his ascension, he applies righ- 
teousness to us. 

of Christ's session at god's right hand. 

2. For the session of Christ at God's right hand, I 
shall examine. 1. What is God's right hand ? 2. What 
it is to sit there? 3. According to what nature doth 
Christ sit there ? 4. Why is it that he sits at the right 
hand of God ? 

1. What is this right hand of God ? — I answer, The 
right hand of God, is the majesty, dignity, dominion, 
power, and glory of God. " The right hand of the 
Lord is exalted, the right hand of the Lord doth vali- 
antly, — Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in 
power, thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces 
the enemy." 

2. What it is to sit at the right hand of God ? — I au- 
vswer, it is not any corporal session at God's right hand, 
but the word is metaphorical, and borrowed from the 
custom of kings, who place those they honour, and to 
whom they commit the power of government at their right 


band. This sitting at God's right hand implies His 
glorious exaltation, and the actual administration of his 
kingdom. > 

Christ is exalted. — ft Wherefore God also hath highly- 
exalted him, and given him a name above every name, 
that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow." This 
session is the supreme dignity and glory given by the Fa- 
ther unto Christ after this ascension ; this session is the 
peerless exaltation of the Mediator in his kingdom of 
glory. There was a time, when the office which Christ 
undertook for us made him a man of sorrow, but when 
he had finished that, dispensation, then he was filled 
with glory ; there was a time when the fiowings of 
Christ's glory from that personal union was stayed and 
hindered, by special dispensation, for the working of 
our salvation ; but when that miraculous stay was once 
removed, and the work of our redemption fully finished, 
then he was exalted beyond the capacity or comprehen- 
sion of all the angels of heaven. 

Christ reigns, or actually administers his glorious 
kingdom, and this is the principal part of Christ's sitting 
at God's right hand. — Some describe this session at God's 
right hand to be all one with his reigning in equal power 
and glory with the Father ; but the Son hath always so 
reigned, and the Holy Ghost hath always so reigned, 
who yet is not said in scripture to sit at the right hand 
of the Father; I believe therefore, there is something in 
this session or reign of Christ, which doth difference it from 
that reigning power and glory of the Father, and of the 
Son as only God, and of the Holy Ghost; and if we would 
know what this is, I would call it an actual«administration 
of his kingdom, or an immediate executing of his power 
and glory over every creature as mediator. 

a. According to what nature is Christ said to sit at the 
right hand of God? — I answer, according to both natures; 
He sits at God's right hand as God ; hereby his divinity 
was declared, and his kingdom is such, that none that is 
a mere creature can possibly execute. He sits at God's 
right hand as man too ; hereby his humanity was exalted, 
and a power is given to Christ as man : " he hath given 
him power to execute judgment, in as much as he is the 
Son of man." 


4. Why doth Christ sit at the right hand of God ? — I 
answer, on Christ's part, that he might receive power and 
dominion over all the creatures ; "all power is given unto 
me in heaven and in earth." 

On our part many reasons may be given. To this 
purpose he sits at God's right hand, that having now 
fulness of grace and glory in himself, he might be ready 
to communicate the same to his church, who are the 
members of his body ; that he might give them grace 
here, and glory hereafter, when he shall deliver up his 
kingdom to his Father, and be all in all. 

That he might be the object of divine adoration. — 
Then especially it was said and accomplished, " Let all 
the angels of God worship him ; and let all men honour 
the Son, as they honour the Father." 

3. That he might intercede for his saints. — " Now of 
the things which we have spoken this is the sum, w T e 
have such an high-priest, who is set on the right hand 
of the throne of the majesty in the heavens, and a mi- 
nister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which 
the Lord pitched and not men. He is set on the right 
hand of God as an high-priest, or minister to intercede 
for us. 

4. That true believers may assuredly hope by virtue of 
Christ's session, to sit themselves in the kingdom of 
glory. — Christ sitting in heaven is a very figure of us. 
Christ's person is the great model and first draught of all, 
that shall be done to his body, the saints; therefore he is 
said to be the captain of our salvation that leads us on; 
he is said to be our forerunner into glory. He breaks the 
clouds first, and appears first before God, he sits down 
first, and is glorified first, and then we follow. 

5. That he might defend the church itgainst her ene- 
mies, and at last destroy all the enemies of the church. 

6. That he might send down the Holy Ghost. — To this 
purpose Christ told his disciples whilst he was yet on the 
earth, that he must ascend into heaven, and reign there. 
" It is expedient for you, that t go away, for if I go not 
away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I 
depart, I will send him to you." Christ is now in hea- 
ven, and sits at God's right hand, that he may send us 


his Spirit, by whose working we seek after heaven, and 
heavenly things, where now Christ sits. 



It was an use among the ancients in days of great joy 
and solemnity, to send presents unto men; thus Christ, 
in the day of his majesty and inauguration, in that great 
and solemn triumph, " When he ascended up on high, 
led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." " And 
when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all 
with one accord in one place, and suddenly there came a 
sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it 
filled all the house where they were sitting ; and there 
appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and 
it sat upon each of them; and they were all filled with 
the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, 
as the Spirit gave them utterance." Out of these words, 
I shall observe these particulars : the time when ; the 
persons to whom; the manner how; the measure what ; 
and the reasons why, the Holy Ghost was sent. 

1. For the time when the holy Ghost was sent, it is 
said, " When the day of Pentecost was fully come," this 
was a feast of the Jews so called because it was ever kept 
on the fiftieth day, after the second of the passover. — 
Fifty days were the appointed time of the Jews' harvest; 
their harvest being bounded as it were with two remark- 
able days, the one being the beginning, the other the end 
thereof. The beginning was the second of the passover ; 
the end was the fiftieth day after, called the Pentecost. 
Upon the former they offered " a sheaf of the first-fruits 
of their harvest ;" upon the Pentecost they offered " two 
wave-loaves." The sheaf being offered, all the after-fruits 
throughout the land were sanctified ; and the two loaves 
being offered, it was a sign of the harvest ended ; and 
now we find, that as there were fifty days between the 
second of the passover and the Pentecost, so there were 
fifty days between Christ's resurrection, and the coming 
down of the Holy Ghost. 

2. For the persons to whom the Holy Ghost was sent, 


it is said, "to all that were with one accord in one place." — 
Who they were it is not here exprest, yet from the 
former chapter we may conjecture, they were " the 
twelve apostles, together with Joseph called Barsabas,and 
the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his 
brethren." These all continued with one accord in one 
place, for so was Christ's command, " that they should 
not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of 
the Father, which, saith he, Ye have heard of me." This 
was the great promise of the Old Testament, that Christ 
should partake of our human nature, and it was the great 
promise of the New Testament, That we should partake 
of his divine nature : he was clothed with our flesh ac- 
cording to the former, and we are invested with his Spirit 
according to the latter promise. For this promise the 
apostles and others, had long waited, and for the accom- 
plishment they were now fitted and disposed. 


1. He came suddenly. — Which either shews the ma- 
jesty of the miracle, or the truth of it; there could be 
no imposture in it, when the motion of it was sudden ; 
or the purpose of the miracle, which was to awake and 
affect them to whom it came ; usually sudden things 
startle us, and make us look up. We may learn to re- 
ceive those holy motions of the Spirit, which sometimes 
come suddenly, and we know riot how; I am persuaded 
the man breathes not amongst us Christians, that some- 
times feels not the movings and breathings of the Spirit 
of God. O that men would take the wind while it 
blows ; and the water while the angel moves it ; as 
not knowing when it will, or whether ever it will blow 

2. He came from heaven. —The place seems here to 
commend the gift; as from earth, earthly things arise; 
so from heaven, heavenly, spiritual, and eternal things. 

3. He came down from heaven like a wind. — Of alL 
bodily things, the wind comes nearest to the nature of a 
spirit^ it is quick and active as the Spirit is. But more 

2 F 


especially the Holy Ghost is compared to a wind in re- 
spect of its irresistible workings ; as nothing can resist 
the wind, so nothing can resist the Spirit of God. 
Again, the Holy Ghost is compared to wind, in respect 
of its free actings, " The wind bloweth where it listeth," 
and so the Spirit bloweth where itlistetli; who can give 
any reason why the Spirit breathes so sweetly on Jacob, 
and not on Esau ; on Peter, and not on Jndas ? 

4. He came like " a rushing mighty wind." — -As the 
wind is sometimes of that strength, that it rends in sun- 
der mountains and rocks, so are the operations of the Holy 
Spirit; it takes down all before it; it made a conquest of 
the World, beginning at Jerusalem, and spreading itself 
over all the earth. 

5. He filled all the house where they were sitting.-^- 
All the men and women (an hundred and twenty) in this 
room were visited from on high, for the Holy Ghost 
came upon them, and dwelt in them. It filled all the 
house where they were sitting ; to signify, that all the 
other houses in Jerusalem felt none of this mighty rush- 
ing wind. Have we not sometimes the experience of 
this in our congregations ? One sound is heard, one 
breath doth blow, and it may be, one here, and another 
there, shall feel the Spirit, shall be affected with it sen- 
sibly; but twenty on this side them, and forty on that side 
them sit all becalmed, and go their way no more moved 
than when they came into God's presence. O that this 
Spirit of the Lord would come daily and constantly into 
our congregations ! O that it would fill every soul in 
the assembly with the breath of heaven ! " Come, holy 
Spirit ; awake O north-wind, and come thou south-wind, 
and blow upon our gardens, that the spices thereof may 
flow out." 

6. He came down in the form of tongues.- — The apos- 
tles were not only inspired, for their own benefit, but 
they had gifts bestowed on them to impart the benefit to 
more than themselves. But why did the Holy Ghost 
appear like tongues ? I answer, 

The tongue is the sole instrument of knowledge, which 
conveys the same from man to man; though the soul be 


the fountain from whence all wisdom springs, yet the 
tongue is the channel whereby this wisdom is commu- 
nicated. In like manner the Holy Ghost is the sole 
teacher of all truth ; though Christ he the wisdom of 
God, yet the Holy Ghost is the teacher of this wisdom 
to men ; and hence it is that the Holy Ghost appeared in 
the form of tongues. They were "cloven tongues," to 
signify, that the apostles should speak in divers languages: 
if there must be a calling of the Gentiles they must needs 
have the tongues of the Gentiles wherewith to call them. 
They were fiery tongues, to signify, that there should 
be an efficacy, or fervour in their speaking ; the world 
was so overwhelmed with ignorance and error, that the 
apostles' lips had need to be touched with a coal from the 
altar. O that we of the ministry had these fiery tongues ! 
May we not fear that the Spirit is gone, whilst the people 

are dead, and we are no more lively in our ministry ? 



That this was the time of the coming of the HolyGhost, 
is very plain; but that the Holy Ghost was not given 
before this time, we cannot say, certainly the prophets 
spake by him, and the apostles had him, not only when 
they were first called, but more fully when "he breathed 
on them, and said unto them, receive ye the Holy Ghost." 
So that if ye study the reconciliation of these things, I 
know not any way better than to put it on the measure, 
or degrees of the Spirit's mission.— Before this they were 
gently breathed on, and refreshed with a small gale ; but 
now they were all blown upon with a mighty wind. At 
first, he was sent only in drops and dew, but now he was 
poured out in showers in abundance. " The Holy Ghost 
(saith Paul) was shed on us abundantly." 

For the reasons why the Holy Ghost was sent, they 
are several : 

1. That all the prophecies, concerning this mission 
might be accomplished. — Isaiah speaks of a time when 
"the Spirit should be poured upon us from on hix?h, and 

2 F 2 


the wilderness should be a fruitful field." And Zachary 
prophesies, " In that day I will pour upon the house of 
David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the 
Spirit of grace and supplication." And Joel prophesies 
yet more expressly, " It shall come to pass, that I will 
pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your 
daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream 
dreams, your young men shall see visions ; and also upon 
the servants and upon the hand-maids in those days J 
will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy." But 
of all the prophecies concerning the mission of the Holy 
Ghost, our Saviour gives the clearest and the most particu- 
lar; "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another 
Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever, even 
the Spirit of truth.'* "Behold I send the promise of my 
Father upon you, but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, 
until ye be endued with power from on high." "It is ex- 
pedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the 
Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will 
send him unto you." It was of necessity that all these 
prophecies, and promises must be accomplished, and 
therefore was the Holy Ghost sent amongst us. 

2. That the holy apostles might be furnished wit}i 
gifts and graces suitable to their conditions, stations, 
places. — To this purpose, no sooner was the Spirit sent, 
but u they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began 
to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them 
utterance." They were filled with the Holy Ghost, not 
that they were before empty, but now they were more 
full of the Spirit than ever they were before, and " they 
spoke with other tongues ;" other than ever they had 
learned. The wisdom and mercy of God is very observ- 
able herein, that the same means of divers tongues 
which was the destroying of Babel, should be the means 
conferred on the apostles to work the building of Sion. 

3. That he might fill the hearts of all the saints, and 
make them temples and receptacles for the Holy Ghost. 

« Know ye not that your body is the temple of the 

Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, 
and ye are not your own !" It is said, that after the 


mighty rushing wind and cloven fiery tongues, they were 
all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with 
other tongues." The Holy Ghost begins inward, and 
works outward ; it first alters the mind, before it changes 
the speech. And thus for the daily ministrations, such 
must be appointed as were "full of the Holy Ghost." And 
Stephen is said to be " full of the Holy Ghost ;" and 
Barnabas is called, "a good man, and full of the Holy 



£f knowing Jesus as carrying on the great Work of our Salvation in his 
ascension, session, and mission of the 'Spirit. Of considering — desir* 
ing — hoping in — believing in — lovfig — joying in — calling on — and 
conforming to Jesus in that respect. 


AX ERE is an object of admiration indeed, the very 
angels at the sight of it, stood admiring and adoring ! 
Come then, O my soul, arid take a view of that which 
they admire. It concerns thee in particular ; and there- 
fore study close this argument, and know it for thyself. 
Study the ascension of Christ, how, and whether, and 
why he ascended. Study the session of Christ at God's 
right hand. Study the mission of the Holy Ghost ; not 
a circumstance in it, but deserves thy study. What vo- 
lumes have been written of physics, metaphysics, ma- 
thematics ? And are not these subjects of more worth, 
and value, and benefit, than all those ? There is not a 
line or expression of Christ in the Scripture, but it is 
matter enough for a whole age to comment on ; thou 
needest not leave old principles for new discoveries, for 
in these very particulars thou mightest find successive 
sweetness unto all eternity. 


1. Consider Christ's ascension into heaven. — Me r 
thinks souls should put themselves into the condition of 
the disciples, " when they looked stedfastly towards 
heaven as Christ went up." Gaze, O my soul, on this 
wonderful object. Thou needest not fear any check from 


God or angels, so that thy contemplation he spiritual. 
No sooner had Christ finished his work of redemption 
here on earth, but on mount Olivet, he assembles with 
his disciples, where having given them commands, he 
begins to mount; and being a little lifted up into the air, 
presently a cloud receives him. Herein is a clear de- 
monstration of his Godhead ; clouds are usually in 
Scriptures put for the house, or temple of God himself. 
Christ in his ascension to heaven enters into a cloud ; 
this was his chariot, led by thousands and ten thousands 
of his angels. But stay not thy contemplation in the 
cloud. He ascends yet higher, through the air, and 
through that heaven of fixed starsj nor stops till he 
comes to the gates of the imperial heaven. In all this 
triumphant march, some tell us of a heavenly harmony 
made by those quiristers of heaven, the blessed angels ; 
and that this is the meaning of the Psalmist, " God is 
gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a 
trumpet." In this meditation pass not over thy duty, 
" Sing praises to God, sing praises, sing praises unto 
our King, sing praises." Thou hast cause, O my soul, 
to praise him, especially if thou considerest that Christ 
ascended not for himself, but for thee. It is God in our 
nature that is gone up to heaven. Thy interest is in this 
very ascension of Jesus Christ, and therefore dost thou 
consider thy head as soaring up ? O let every member 
praise his name ! And yet stay not by the way, but 
consider Christ being now arrived at heavens* doors, 
those heavenly spirits that accompanied him, began to 
say, "Lift up your heads, O ye gates, even lift up your- 
selves, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall 
come in." To whom some of the angels that were 
within, not ignorant of his person, but admiring his 
majesty and glory, said again," Who is the King of glory ?" 
and then they answered, " The Lord strong and 
mighty, The Lord mighty in battle;" and thereupon 
those " twelve gates of the holy city, of the new Jerusa- 
lem " opened of their own accord, and Jesus Christ 
with all His ministering spirits entered in. O my soul, 
how should this heighten thy joy, and enlarge thy com- 
forts. Every sight of Christ is glorious, and in every 


sight thou shouldst wait on the Lord Jesus Christ for 
some glorious manifestations of himself. 

2. Consider Christ's session at God's right hand. — No 
sobner was Christ entered into heaven, but he was brought 
before his heavenly Father, and a dominion given him 
above all creatures, yea above the hierarchy of all the 
angels. O the glory of Christ at his first entrance into 
glory ! Immediately all the angels fell down and wor- 
shipped him; immediately his Father welcomed him with 
the highest grace that ever was yet shewn. " Come, 
(said he) Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thy 
enemies, thy footstool." O my soul, meditate on this 
session of Christ at God's right hand, and draw down 
some virtue, and sweetness into thyself. What ? Was 
Christ exalted ? Had he a name given him above every 
name ? Walk then as becomes those that have so 
glorious a head. Defile not that nature which in thy 
Christ was so highly honoured ! 

3. Consider the mission of the Holy Ghost. — No 
sooner is Christ inaugurated in his throne, but he scat- 
ters his coin, and gives gifts, yea the gift of gifts, the 
gift of the Holy Ghost. O my soul, consider this 
princely gift of Christ. Such a gift was never before ; 
but when God gave his Son. "God so loved the world, 
that he gave his Son," and Christ so loved the world that 
he gave his Spirit. But, consider especially to whom this 
Spirit was given ; " unto us a Son is given," saith the 
prophet, and " unto us the Holy Ghost is given," saith 
the apostle.* And yet above all, consider the reasons of 
this gift in reference to thyself; was it not to make thee 
a temple of the Holy Ghost ? Stand a while and admire 
the condescending, unspeakable love of Christ in this ! 
If thou hast Christ, thou hast all things, and if thou 
hast the Spirit of Christ, thou hast Christ himself, not 
notionally, but really and essentially. 


What is the virtue of Christ's ascension, but that we 
might ascend ? And what the virtue of Christ's session, 
but that we might sit down with him on his throne ? 


And what the virtue of the mission of his Spirit, but 
that we might partake of the Holy Ghost ! Oh let these 
he the objects of our desires ! 

1. Let us see Christ ascending, and so desire to as- 
cend with hira. — When Christ ascended it was not mere- 
ly for himself, but also in our stead. As the high priest 
ascending into the holy of holies, carried all the names 
of the twelve tribes on his breast ; so Jesus Christ as- 
cending into heaven, carried the names of all believers 
on his breast, thereby shewing they were likewise to 
come after him. How then should we long after him, 
and cry as Elisha after Elijah, when he saw him ascend- 
ing, " My father, my father, the chariots of Israel, and 
the horsemen thereof !" A desire after Christ and his 
ascension is the way to heaven ; if thou wilt ascend after 
Christ, set thy desires upon Christ ; if thou wilt arrive 
at true glory, breath after Christ ascending up into his 

2. Let us see Christ sitting down at the right hand of 
God, and so desire to sit with him. — When Christ sat 
down it was not in his own right simply, as it is his in- 
heritance, but with relation to his members; " He hath 
quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us 
up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places, 
in Christ Jesus." He sat down as a common person, 
thereby shewing that we were to sit down with him. 
" Him that ovcrcometh, will I grant to sit with me in 
my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down 
with my Father in his throne." O rny soul, desire after 
this, for this is worthy of thy desire : this is a great 
thing, a high exaltation. It consists in the image of 
God, and communion with God. Whatever thou givest 
or deniest, Lord, give me this, and I have enough forever. 

3. Let us see Christ's mission of his Holy Spirit, and 
desire a share in that gift. — We cannot expect to 
sit with Christ, but we must have the Spirit of Christ. 
Consider, O my soul, all things here below are either 
temporal or spiritual ; and of things spiritual, this is 
the sum, " the indwelling of the Spirit." O Lord give 
me thy Spirit, and thou canst not but with him give me 
all things. 

2 G 



This was the apostle's prayer, "Now the God of hope 
fill you with all joy and peace in believing : that ye may 
abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost." 
Could we abound in hope that Christ's ascension, session, 
and mission of the Spirit did belong to us, we should 
never be ashamed. O, then let us look to our hope, and 
be sure that it be of the right stamp, which in reference 
to 'each of these passages we may examine thus. 

1. If Christ's ascension be mine, then am I ascended 
with Christ. — We may ascend into heaven by faith, and 
love, though for the present we are on earth ; "If ye be 
risen with Christ, seek these things which are above, 
where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God ; set your 
affections on things above, and not on things on the 
earth." If Christ our head be ascended, then we that 
are his members, must follow after him in our affections. 
Christ tells us, "Where our treasure is, there will our 
hearts be also." If Christ our treasure be ascended into 
"heaven, our affections, our hearts will follow after him ; 
and if our hearts be in heaven, we ourselves, both souls 
and bodies shall tit last ascend. 

2. If Christ's session be mine, then am I set down 
with Christ in heavenly places.— I mean not bodily, but 
by faith, which faith makes it as sure to my soul, as if I 
had a foot already in heaven. The apostle saith of Christ, 
" We see Jesus who was made a little lower than the 
angels, crowned with glory and honour," and so we may 
be sure the thing is as good as done, for if he be above, 
all must come under. In like manner we see not our- 
selves in present possession, but we see Christ crowned, 
and ourselves sitting with hirn virtually; and therefore 
at last we shall see ourselves actually crowned, and sit- 
ting together with Christ in heavenly places. 

3. If Christ's Spirit be/mine, and sent to me, then have 
I both the person, and train of the Spirit of Christ. — It 
is the having the Spirit, and the working of the Spirit in 
me, that is my evidence of the Spirit's mission; I look 
upon this as the greatest question, and the weightiest case 
of conscience that can be proposed, — Whether the Spirit 



of Christ doth reside in us ? " Know ye not that ye are 
the temple of God (saith the apostle) and that the Spirit 
of God dwelleth in you ?" And again, " Know ye not 
that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost t* 
In this he seems to ]n\i it out of question, that true Chris- 
tians know, that the Spirit of God dwells in them; if we 
know not this, we cannot know that we have any part in 
Christ, because the Holy Spirit is the principal bond of 
our union; if we know not this, we cannot know that we 
are justified, for we have nothing to do with Christ's 
righteousness by which we are justified, until by our 
spiritual union, Christ is made ours. If we know not 
this, we cannot know we are the adopted children of God, 
for it is the Spirit of adoption whereby Ave cry " Abba, 
Father." If we know not this, we cannot know that we 
are sanctified, for it is the Spirit which is the beginner and 
perfecter of our sanctification. If we know not this, we 
cannot knowthat our prayers are heard, for it is "the Spirit 
that helps our infirmities, and that makes intercession for 
us, with groanings which cannot be uttered." If we know 
not this, we cannot know whether we are in error or truth, 
for it is the Spirit who enlightens us, and leadeth us into 
all truth. If we know not this, Ave cannot know our 
own comforts, for he is the only true comforter. Come 
then, and let us search whether we have the Spirit of 
Christ dwelling in us. 


Faith should eye Christ as far as he goes ; if he be 
ascended, so should faith; if he go into glory, and sit 
down there, and act there for his people, so should faith: 
it is not enough to have only a faith of justification, but 
of glorification. O come then let us see Christ in hea- 
ven, and we can have no less than a glorious faith ! We 
are still in the lower form ; many of us take in no more 
of Christ than what was done on the cross ; we seldom 
follow Christ into heaven, to see what he is doing there 
for us. O my soul, mount up and be on the wing, and 
eye the meaning of Christ in all his doings. Now the 
ends of Christ's accension, session, and mission of his 
Spirit were several ; I shall instance only these few. 

2 G 2 


1. Christ ascended that we might ascend. — Look 
whatever God acted on Christ's person, that he did as in 
our behalf, and he means to act the same on us. Was 
Christ crucified ? so are we. Is Christ risen again ? So 
are we risen together with him. Is Christ gone up into 
glory? so are we: heaven is now opened and possessed by 
Jesus Christ for us, and at last we shall ascend even as 
he ascended. How should faith pry into this ? As we 
must go through all ordinances and creatures till we come 
to Christ, so through all conditions of Christ until we 
come to glory. 

2. Christ sat down that we might sit with him in 
heavenly places. In this height of glory, Christ is the 
pattern of what we shall be. O how should faith stand 
and gaze on Jesus Christ in this respect ? What, is he 
on God's right-hand ? and is he there preparing a man- 
sion for my soul ? Admire, O my soul, this aim of Christ. 
The meaning of his exalting himself was to exalt thee, 
and the meaning of his exalting thee on this manner, is to 
manifest to all the world what the Son of God is able to 
do, in raising so poor a creature to so rich a glory. 

3. Christ sent down the Holy Ghost, that he might 
help us to cry " Abba, Father," and make us to come 
boldly to the throne of grace.— It is the Spirit that takes 
us by the hand, and leads us to the Father, when others 
stand at a distance, and cannot come near. Though 
others are kept out by officers and guards, yet the 
adopted child, who hath received the Spirit of adoption, 
can say, " Make way there, and let me come to my Far 
ther; guards are appointed to keep out strangers, but 
not sons." 

4. Christ sent down the Holy Ghost also that he 
might guide us into all truth. — I mean into all necessary, 
saving truths. In this respect we have need of the 
Spirit in these days. He it is that dictates to us which 
is the true religion : he it is that transcribes upon our 
hearts, that which was before only written in our books: 
he it is that not only reveals truth from without, but 
imprints it also on the soul, as a man doth a seal by 
impressing it on the wax. As the written word is the 
testimony without us, so are these impressions of the 


Spirit the testimony within us, by which we may know 
every necessary truth as it is in Jesus. Men may take 
from us our Bibles, our teachers, our friends ; or impri- 
son us where we cannot enjoy them ; but they cannot 
take from us the Spirit of Christ. This witness within, 
is a permanent, settled, and standing witness ; O ! what 
an excellent help is here, that a poor Christian hath 
beyond all the furniture of the most learned men that 
want this testimony of the Spirit of Christ ? Surely this 
advantage will exceedingly furnish us against all temp- 
tations to any error, that is plainly contrary to the es- 
sentials of religion. 


Two things I shall instance, which may be as the 
load-stones of our love to Christ: the first is his glory, 
and the second his bounty. 

1. His glory. — No sooner was he ascended, and set 
down at God's right hand, but John had a sight of him, 
and O what a glorious sight ! " He was clothed with a 
garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with 
a golden girdle ; his head and his hairs were white like 
wool, as white as snow ; and his eyes were as a flame of 
fire, and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned 
in a furnace, and his voice as the sound of many waters; 
and he had in his right hand seven stars, and out of his 
mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and his countenance 
was as the sun that shineth in his strength." When 
John saw him thus, he swoons at his feet, but Christ 
for all his glory holds his head, saying, " Fear not, I 
am the first, and the last ; I am he that liveth, and was 
dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, Amen, and 
have the keys of hell, and of death." A glorious Christ, 
is good for dying sinners ! Would sinners but draw 
near, and see this King in the chariot of love, he would 
certainly draw their souls unto him. Nay, were all the 
damned in hell brought up with their fiery chains to the 
door of heaven, and permitted to behold the throne, and 
the Lamb, and the glorified spirits clothed in white, 
with crowns of gold on their heads, and palms in their 


hands, singing the eternal praises of their King: how 
Avonld they be sweetened in their pain, and ravished 
with the fulness of those joys and pleasures that are in 
Christ's face for evermore I O who ean think of the 
glory that is in this delightful one, and not be swallow- 
ed up in love? Who can think of -Christ's sitting at 
God's right hand, and sparkling in his glory, and not 
love him with the whole heart, soul and might ! 

2. His bounty. — No sooner was he ascended, and set 
down at God's right hand, but he gives gifts unto men, 
and sends down the Holy Ghost. O my soul, how 
shouldst thou but love Christ, the great emperor of 
heaven and earth ! It was he that gave thee his Spirit ; 
it was he that " took of the Spirit which is upon him, 
and put it upon thee." And doth not the dignity of 
Christ enhance the value of the gift ? As all gifts are 
signs of love, so the love of a great personage, and the 
gifts issuing from such alove,ought more to be accounted 
than any gifts of any meaner person whatsoever. Again 
what greater gift had Christ in store, than to give his 
own Spirit ? The Spirit proceedeth from him, and is 
the same essence with himself. The Spirit is the third 
person of the true and only God-head, proceeding from 
the Father, and the Son, and co-eternal, co-equal, and 
consubstantiai with the Father, and the Son. O the 
bonds of love that are upon man towards Christ in this 
respect ! Come, my soul, and take a view of the glory 
and bounty of Jesus Christ ! If thy heart be not iron, 
how shouldst thou choose but love. If either beauty or 
bounty, if either majesty, or magnificence can draw thy 
affection, Christ will have it, for in him is all. 


How should it heighten my joys, and enlarge my 
comforts, when I consider that Christ is ascended into 
glory ! — By this it is evident, that Christ is accepted 
of the Father for me, or otherwise, he should never 
have been received into heaven. I need not doubt of 
my acceptance at the throne of grace, when Jesus Christ 
is accepted for me, and that I stand in such a relation of 
Jesus Christ. 


How should it heighten my joys and enlarge my com- 
forts, when I consider that Christ is set down at God's 
right hand ! — Now he hath the keys of heaven delivered 
into his hands. Now, he is in a capacity of acting ali- 
bis love to me in the most glorious way. He is highly 
advanced, and thereby he hath the advantage to advance 
me, and to glorify me. O what joy may enter into this 
poor, dark, disconsolate soul of mine, whilst I but 
think over these glorious passages of Christ in glory. 

How should it heighten my joys, when I consider that 
Christ hath sent down his Holy Spirit into my heart ! — 
O what comfort is this, to know that the Spirit of Christ 
is my inmate ; that my soul is the temple of the Spirit of 
God; that Christ is in me of a truth, and that not only by 
the infusion of his grace, but by the indwelling of his Spi- 
rit! O my soul, lay aside thy sad complaints, and forget 
this earth and earthly troubles. Look up to Jesus Christ, 
and rejoice in him who hath done all this for thy salva- 
tion. Either the Spirit of God is not thy Comforter, 
or thou canst not but receive comfort in these passages. 


1. Let us pray that we may have our part in these 
transactions ; or let us pray for more and more assurance 
thereof unto our souls ; for though we do believe, yet 
we may not be without our doubts, and in case of doubts, 
what better means than prayer? 

2. Praise God for these great transactions of his Son. 
— Are they not mercies like mountains lying one upon 
another, and reaching up to the very heavens ? Did not 
love break out at first in a direct line, and as it went 
along, hath it not wound up itself, in such a variety of 
unthought of discoveries, as amazeth men and angels } 
" Now bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within 
me, bless his holy name, bless the Lord, O my soul, 
and forget not all his benefits." 


A serious beholding of Jesus in his ascension, session; 


and mission of his Spirit, is enough to change us into 
the same image from glory to glory. It was the saying 
of an experienced saint, " View a glorified Christ, see 
him as in that relation and condition, and you will soon 
have the sparkles of the same glory in your hearts." 
Christ is now exalted, he is now in glory at the right 
hand of God ; O let all our actings be glorious I let all 
our walkings, joys, breathings, be as in glory. " If ye 
be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, 
where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God ; set your 
affections on things above, and not on things on the 
earth." For this purpose, 

1 . Let us watch opportunities for heavenly exercises,' — 
God now by his ministers calls, "Come ye to the waters; 
come, buy wine and milk without money ; come to me, 
and your souls shall live. Now is the accepted time, 
behold, now is the day of salvation." Whilst ministers 
call, and we live under the droppings of the word, these 
are opportunities for heaven. O then, he that never 

E rayed, let him now pray ; and he that never heard, let 
iin now hear. The Lord is now come near to us ; 
Christ Jesus is calling, and mercy is entreating, and love 
is beseeching, and wisdom is crying after us. 

2. Take heed of resting in the formality of duties. — 
Many souls that have enlightenings of conscience, dare 
not but take opportunities for heavenly duties ; but then 
comes in the temptations of the devil, and corruptions 
of their own hearts, and they say, now duty is done, our 
task is over, and what needs more ? Alas, it is not what 
have we done, but where have we been. Have our 
souls been in heaven, with God and with Christ? Have 
we had any communion with the Father, and with the 
Son in our duties? O take heed of formality: it will 
exceedingly hinder our conversation in heaven. Ask in 
duty, what affections have been acted ? How much are 
we got nearer heaven thereby ? And by this means we 
shall come to a heavenly conversation. 

3. Let us look up unto Jesus, as hanging on the cross, 
and as sitting on the throne. — This is the apostle's rule, 
" Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our 
faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured 


the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the 
right hand of the throne of God." These two are the 
objects of a Christian's look, who studies an heavenly 
conversation, — Christ's cross, and Christ's session ; by 
the cross he is the author, and by the throne he is the 
finisher of our faith : in the first, is set down his love to 
us ; in the second, is set down our hope of him. Come 
then, and settle your thoughts and look on this blessed 
object. A sight of Christ's cross, but especially of 
Christ's throne, is a blessed mean to wean us from the 
world, and to elevate our affections to things above. 

4. Let us wait for the appearing of Jesus Christ. — "Our 
conversation is in heaven, (saith the apostle,) from 
whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus 
Christ." Where his expectations are, there a man's 
conversation will be ; if we expect ere long that the 
Lord Jesus will appear in glory, and that we shall see 
him, not with other, but with these same eyes, the very 
waiting for these things, will help our conversation to 
be heaven-ward. Certainly the day is coming, when 
Jesus Christ shall come with his angels in his glory, and 
then shall the bodies of the saints, shine gloriously be^ 
fore the face of God and Jesus Christ. O the wonder 
of this day ! The glory of Christ shall then darken the 
glory of the sun, but my body shall not be darkened, 
but rather shad shine like the glorious body of Jesus 
Christ. O let me wait for *his ; let me look for it every 
day ! God hath but a little work for me here on earthy 
and when that is done, this shall be my condition. 

5. Let us observe the drawings and movings of the 
Spirit, and follow his dictates. — To this purpose Christ 
ascended, and sat down at God's right hand, and sent 
down the Holy Spirit, that the Holy Ghost being come 
down, he might do his office in bringing on our souls 
towards salvation ; and if ever our souls get above this 
earth, and get acquainted with this living in heaven, it 
is the Spirit of God that must be as the chariot of Elijah, 
yea, the very living principle by which we must move 
and ascend. O then take heed of quenching its motions, 
or resisting its workings ! Take heed of grieving our 
guide, or knocking off the chariot wheels of this Holy 

«2 H 


Spirit. We little think how much the life of grace, and 
the happiness of our souls depend upon our ready and 
cordial obedience to the Spirit of God : when he forbids 
Us, and we will go on, when he tells us which is the 
way, and we will not regard ; no wonder if we are 
strangers to a heavenly conversation. If we will not 
follow the Spirit, while it would draw us to Christ, how 
should it lead us to heaven, or bring our hearts into the 
presence of God ? O let us learn this lesson, and let 
not only the motions of our bodies, but also the very 
thoughts of our hearts be at the Spirit's beck. If we 
cherish these motions, and hearken to the Spirit, what 
a help should we find it to heavenly conversation ? 

*«» '..:.,., ...v.,!,- .-.-■ ;. . ,;;,-., .^W...-.,-^- 



— — «*«>©KEM©»««»». — 



What the intercession of Christ is. To whom and for whom Christ's in- 
tercession is made. Wherein the intercession of Christ consists. Htw 
powerful Christ's intercession is with God. 


VV E have spoken of Christ's entrance into heaven, 
and of his immediate actings after Jus entrance there ; 
that transaction which yet remains and will remain until 
his corning again, is his intercession for his saints. In 
these actings of Christ in heaven, (if we will follow 
him) we must go from glory *"z glory. No sooner come 
we out of one room of glory, but presently we step into 
another, as glorious as that before. In prosecution of 
this, as in the former, I shall first lay down the object, 
and secondly, direct you how to look upon it. The 
object is Jesus carrying on the great work of our salva- 
tion in his intercession : in ordering of which I shall ex- 
amine several particulars : 

What is the intercession of Christ ? — Christ's in- 
tercession is his gracious will, fervently and immoveably 
desiring, that for the perpetual virtue of his sacrifice, 
all his members might both or their persons and 



duties, be accepted of the Father. I call the inter- 
cession of Christ his own gracious will ; for we must 
not imagine, that Christ in his intercession prostrates 
himself upon his knees before his Father's throne, utter- 
ing some submissive form of words ; that is not beseem- 
ing the majesty of him that sits at God's right hand. 
When he was yet on earth, the substance of his requests 
for his saints ran thus, " Father, I will, that they also 
whom thou hast given rue be with me where I am." 
And much more now he is in heaven is this the form of 
his intercessions. The foundation of Christ's interces- 
sion is, the sacrifice or death of Christ ; and hence we 
make two parts of Christ's oblation ; the one expiatory, 
wheti he suffered upon the cross ; the other presen- 
tatory, when he doth appear in heaven before uod for 
us : the one was finished on earth, when Christ suffered 
without the gate ; the other is performed in heaven, now 
Christ is within the city : the one was a sacrifice indeed, 
the other is not so much a sacrifice as the commemora- 
tion of a sacrifice : the first was an act of humiliation, 
and this latter is an act of glory : the first was for the 
obtaining of redemption, and this latter is for the appli- 
cation of redemption. The matter interceded for, is, 
u that all the saints, and their services, might find ac^ 
ceptance with God.'* By Christ's intercession his satis- 
faction is applied to our persons, and the defect of our 
duties is covered and removed ; and both we and our 
works are approved and accepted of God the Father. 

Christ intercedes according to both natures. Accord- 
ing to his humanity, partly by appearing before his Fa- 
ther in heaven, and partly by his desiring our salvation. 
" Christ is entered into heaven itself, now to appear in 
the presence of God for us." According to his deity, 
partly by applying the merit of his death, and partly by 
willing the salvation of his saints ; and as the effect 
thereof, by making request in the hearts of the saints 
with sighs unspeakable ; " Elect, through sanctification 
pf the Spirit and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." 
This sprinkling is the applying of the blood of Jesus, 
and that is an act of intercession. Again, " Father, I 
will, that they whom them hast giveu me be with ixie 


where I am;" he desires as a man, but he wills as God, 
and as the effect of this he gives the Spirit ; " the Spirit 
itself maketh intercession for us 5 with groanings which 
cannot be nttered." But what are the intercessions of 
the Spirit to the intercessions of Christ ? I answer, 
much every way ; the Spirit's intercessions are as the ef- 
fect, and Christ's intercessions are as the cause; the 
Spirit's intercessions are as the echo, and Christ's inter- 
cessions are as the first voice ; the Spirit intercedes for 
men, in and by themselves, but Christ intercedes in his 
own person. 



Christ's intercession is directed immediately to God 
the Father; " If any man sin, we have an advocate 
with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." In the 
work of intercession are three persons, a party offended, 
a party offending, and the intercessor distinct from them 
both : the party offended is God the Father ; the 
party offending is sinful man ; and the intercessor is Jesus 
Christ. I deny not but Christ's intercession, is made to 
the whole Trinity, but yet immediately, and directly to 
the first person, and in him to the rest. 

This intercession is made, in one sense for the world; so 
Christupon the cross, prayed for the bloody Jews, "Father 
forgive them, for they know not what they do." But in a 
particular manner for every faithful man. As the high 
priest went into the sanctuary with the names of the 
twelve tribes upon his breast, so Christ entered into the 
holiest of all, with the names of all believers upon his 
heart, and still he carries them upon his breast, and pre- 
sents his Avill and desire unto his Father for them ; nor 
doth he only intercede in general, but whatever thy name 
is, John, Peter, Thomas, Mary, Martha, if thou art 
a believer, Christ prays for thee. It is our common 
practice to desire the prayers of one another; but, O 
who would not have a share in the 'prayers of Jesus 
Christ ? Why, certainly if thou belie vest in Christ, 
Christ prays for thee. 



1 . Christ's intercession consists, in the presenting of 
his person for us. — He himself went up to heaven, and 
presented himself. The apostle calls this, " an appear- 
ing for us ; Christ is not entered into the holy place 
made with hands, but into heaven, now to appear in the 
presence of God for us." Bat how appears he for us ? 
I answer, 1. In a public manner; whatsoever he did in this 
kind he did it openly and publicly. He appears for us in 
the presence of God the Father; he appears for us in the 
presence of his saints and angels : heaven's eyes are all 
upon him in his appearing for us. 2. He appears for 
us as a Mediator : he stands in the middle between God 
and us ; hence it is that he is God-man, that he might 
be a Mediator between God and man. 3. He appears 
for us as a sponsor and a pledge : surely it is a comfort 
to a man to have a friend at court that may own him, 
and appear for him ; but if this friend be both a mediator 
to request for him, and a surety to engage for him ; what 
a comfort is this ! And thus Christ appeared in every 

2. Christ's intercession consists in the presenting of his 
wounds, death and blood, as a public satisfaction for 
the debt of sin ; and as a public price for the purchase 
of our glory. — We read in the law, "that when the high 
priest went within the vail, he took the blood of the 
bullock, and sprinkled it with his ringer upon the mercy- 
seat eastward ; and before the mercy-seat he sprinkled 
the blood with his finger seven times." Surely these 
were "patterns of things to be done in the heavens." Christ 
that was slain without the gate, carried his own blood 
into the heaven of heavens ; " for by his own blood he 
entered in once into the holy place, having obtained 
eternal redemption for us." And thither come, he 
sprinkles it (as it were) upon the mercy-seat, — he applies 
it, and obtains mercy by it. By the blood of Christ, 
Gods mercy and justice are reconciled in themselves, 
and reconciled unto us. Christ's blood was shed upon 
the earth, but Christ's blood is sprinkled, now he is in 


heaven. This is that " blood of sprinkling that speaks 
better things than that of Abel." Mark that : — 
Christ's blood hath a tongue ; it speaks, it cries, it prays, 
it intercedes ; yea, the Lord's ears are so filled with it, 
that it drowns all other sounds, and rings continually in 
his ears. I will not say that the very blood which Christ 
shed on the cross is now in heaven, nor that it speaks in 
heaven, these sayings are merely metaphorical ; yet this 
I maintain as real and proper, that the power, merit, 
and virtue of Christ's blood are presented by our Saviour 
to his Father, both as a public satisfaction for our sins, 
and as a public price for the purchase of our glory. 

3. Christ's intercession consists in the presenting of 
his will, his request for us, grounded upon the virtue of 
his glorious merits. — "Father,I will that they also whom 
thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they 
may behold my glory which thou hast given me." This 
was a piece of Christ's prayer whilst yet he was on earth, 
and it is a summary of Christ's intercession which now 
he makes for us in his glory. 

4. Chiist's intercession consists in the presenting of 
our persons in his own person to bis Father, so that now 
God cannot look upon the Son, but he must behold the 
saints in him. — This was shadowed out by that act 
of the high priest, who went into the holy of holies, 
with " the names of all the tribes of Israel upon his 
shoulders, and upon his breast." And this the apostle 
speaks yet more plainly, " By him we have an access 
unto the Father, and in him we have boldness and access 
with confidence." The word access, signifies properly — an 
introduction to God ; alluding to the custom in princes' 
courts, where none may come into the presence chamber, 
unless they be brought in by some favourite or courtier 
there; thus, nonemay haveaccess into the presence of God, 
unless they be brought in by this favourite of heaven, 
the Lord Jesus Christ, whose very office it is to bring 
men unto God. He takes us by the hand and leads us 
to the Father. ? 

5. Christ's intercession consists in the presenting of 
our duties unto God. — : " All our righteousnesses are as 
filthy rags," but Christ draws out the evil of dnty, and 


failings in duty, before he will present them unto God : 
and he observes what good there is in any of our duties 
or performances, and with that he mingles his own 
prayers and intercessions, and presents all as one work 
interwoven or mingled together unto God the Father. 
6. Christ's intercession consists in the presenting of our 
plea or answer in heaven* to all those accusations that are 
brought against us. — And this I take to be the meaning of 
the challenge, "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of 
God's elect ? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that 
condemneth ? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is 
risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also 
maketh intercession for us." Christ intercedes, and who 
shall condemn ? Christ takes off all accusations, and 
who shall charge ? If sin, or Satan, shall dare to 
accuse, our Jesus is ready at God's right hand to an- 
swer all. And in this respect he is truly called our advo- 
cate ; " If any man sin, we have an advocate with the 
Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.'* We have an ad- 
vocate that pleads for us, that answers for us ; that in a 
way of equity, (grounding all upon his own merits) calls for 
the pardon of our sins, and for the salvation of our souls. 


How powerful Christ's intercession is with God will 
appear, if we consider, 

1. That Christ is our great high- priest to God. — "We 
have such an high-priest, who is set down at the right 
hand of the majesty on high." Now it was the way of 
God to lend his ear in special manner to the high-priests; 
and therefore the people usually ran to them, when 
they would enquire of God. Now such an high-priest 
as this, (though with far more eminency) is Christ to 
God. He stands in the middle, or indeed next to God, 
as he is in these gospel-times our great high-priest; and 
therefore he must needs prevail with God in every peti- 
tion he puts up for us. 

2. That Christ was called to this office by God. — 
" Christ glorified not himself to be made an high-priest, 
but ho was called of God as Aaron was." It was God 


the Father, that designed him to it, and that furnished 
him for it, and that invested him in it. " The Lord hath 
sworn, and will not repent, thou art a priest for ever 
after the order of Melchisedec." Now to what purpose 
should God call him to this office, hut especially to in- 
tercede for them to whom God was willing to communi- 
cate salvation ? Surely the Father is engaged to hear 
his Son, in that he is an high-priest to God, and called 
to his office by God. 

3. That Christ is God's Son, and that is more than 
God's high-priest. — He is his beloved Son, his Son that 
never gave him the least offence ; surely then, when he 
intercedes for man, he is most like to speed. If a child 
do but cry, " My Father, my Father," he may prevail 
very much, especially with a Father that h tender- 
hearted ; Jesus Christ is the precious Son of God the 
Father ; and God the Father, is a dear and kind-hearted 
Father. How then should the intercessions of Christ 
but be most powerful with God ? All the relations of 
son and father in the world,* are but a shadow of this 
relation between God and Christ: it is so near, that 
though they are two, yet Christ speaks of them, as if 
they were but one ; " I and my Father are one." If 
then the Father should deny him any thing, he should 
deny himself, or cease to be one with his Son, which 
can never be. 

4. That Christ is God himself. — How powerful in this 
respect must his intercessions be unto the Father ! It is 
true, that Christ is another person, but one and the same 
God with the Father. Christ is the very self of God, 
both God sending, and God sent. Christ is the fellow 
of God; "Awake, O sword against my shepherd, and 
against the man that is my fellow." Nay, Christ is 
God, and not another God, but one God ; " God of God, 
light of light, very God of very God, begotten, not 
made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom 
all things were made." Can we imagine now thtit God 
himself should be denied any boon of God himself? 
We have brought it now so near, that if God be God, 
and God be omnipotent, that he can do, and have what- 
soever he pleases ; then Christ being one God with his 
Father, he must needs prevail. 

2 I 


Of knowing Jesus as carrying on the great work of our salvation in his 

'intercession. Of considering — desiring — hoping in — believing in — 

loving— joying in — calling on — and conforming to Jesus in that respect. 


V^HRIST is now interceding for us at the right hand 
of God : ever since his ascension into heaven he hath heen 
doing this work ; it is a work already of above sixteen 
hundred years ; and summer, and winter, night and day, 
Christ hath been still praying, still interceding. Christ's 
love hath no vacation, no cessation at all. Yea, even 
now whilst you read this, Christ is acting as an advocate 
for you. Is not this worth the knowledge ? O my soul, 
leave oft" thy vain studies of natural things ! If they 
do not conduce some way or other to the right under- 
standing of this, they are not worth the while. O the 
excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ ! Study 
his intercession in all the former particulars ; only re- 
member this, that in Christ's intercession are many se- 
crets which we must never know on this side heaven. 
O take heed of entering into this labyrinth without the 
clue of the word ; above all, desire the guidance of the 
Spirit to enlighten thy darkness, and whatever thou 
knowest, " know it still for thyself." 


1. Consider the nature of Christ's intercession. — 
What is it but the gracious will of Christ fervently de- 
siring that for the virtue of his death and sacrifice, thy 
person and performances might be accepted of God ? As 
Christ on earth gave himself to death, even to the death 


of the cross, for the abolition of sin, so now in heaven 
lie prays the Father, " by his agony and bloody sweat, 
by his cross and passion," that thy sins may be pardoned, 
thy service accepted, and thy soul saved. This is the 
will of Christ, even thy justification, sanctification, and 
salvation ; and "accordingly he presents his will, " Fa- 
ther, I will that all those privileges flowing from my 
death, may be conferred on such a person ; such a sonl 
is now considering my intercession, and my will is, that 
his very meditation may find acceptance with God." 

2. Consider the person that intercedes for thee. — It is 
Christ in both natures : it is thy mediator, one between 
God and man. In this respect thou mayest consider 
him as one indifferent, and equally inclining to either 
partv. Christ partook of both natures, Godhead, and 
manhood, that so he might be tit to stand in the gap 
between his Father and us. 

3. Consider the person to whom Christ intercedes. — Is 
it not to his Father r Thon art sure to speed well, O my 
soul, for God is the Father of thy intercessor. If I had a 
suit to some majesty, and the prince would mediate, I 
might hope to speed : Christ is God's prince, and in re- 
spect of us, " the first begotten of many brethren." 

4. Consider the persons for whom Christ intercedes. — 
It is for all believers, and in particular for thee. O that 
ever the world, or flesh, or devil, should steal this me- 
ditation out of my heart ! O that ever I should forget 
that Christ is gone to heaven, that he is entered into the 
holy of holies, and that he carries my name into the 
presence of God the Father ! I speak the same to thee 
that readest ; if thou art a believer, there is no doubt 
hut Christ is speaking a good word to his Father in thy 
hehalf. He can no more forget thee in his intercessions, 
than a mother can forget her sucking child. Look up 
to Jesus, yea, look, and never leave looking, till thou 
spiest thy own name written on his heart. 

5. Consider wherein Christ's intercession consists. — 
Is it not in the presenting of his person, blood and pray- 
ers ? Is it not in the presenting of our persons and per- 
formances, or answers to the accusations of Satan ? 
Men little think how busy our Mediator and advocate, is 

2 13 


now in heaven for us, Men little think that Christ is 
appearing, and his blood is crying, and his prayers are 
ascending, and his robe of righteousness is covering us 
and the iniquity of our holy things. O my soul, look 
up, consider Jesus, thy Saviour in these respects! Christ, 
and Christ's blood, and Christ's prayers, are all at work! 
Christ plays the advocate, and pleads thy cause, and 
perfumes thy duties with his incense, and takes thy per- 
son to God his Father. 

6. Consider the power of Christ's intercessions with 
his Father. — Is he not to this purpose a priest to God, 
and called thereto by God ? Is he not the Son of God, 
yea, God himself? Is not the Father's heart as much 
towards us and our salvation as Christ's own heart ? As 
sure then as Christ is gone into heaven with thy name 
engraven on his heart, so sure shalt thou follow him, 
and be with him where he is. 


I cannot but wonder what a dulness seizeth on my heart, 
and on all the hearts of the sons of men, that we have 
no more longing after Christ, whose heart is ever panting 
and longing after us. Surely we do not set ourselves to 
find out experimentally the sweetness that is in Christ ; 
if there were not another object to think upon, but only 
this one of Christ's intercession. 

1. In Christ's intercession, lies the present transaction 
of our soul's salvation. — Such passages as hitherto we 
have spoken of are done and past ; (though the virtue 
and influence of them will continue for ever,) but Christ's 
session and mission of his Spirit, and his blessed inter- 
cession, both were, and now are the very present em- 
ployment of Jesus Christ. Now he prays, now he pre- 
sents his person, merits and intercession. This is the 
present transaction of Jesus Christ, and therefore most de- 
sirable. Methinks I long to know what Christ is now 
doing in heaven for my soul. And is it not this, — is not 
all his time spent either in reading pardons for his re- 
deemed ones, or in presenting petitions for them, and 
pleading for them i 


*2. In this present transaction lies the application of 
all Christ's former actings. — Christ's incarnation, con- 
ception, birth, life and death, which more especially we 
look upon as the meritorious causes of our salvarion, 
had been nothing to us, if they had not been applied by 
Christ. Christ purchased salvation by those acts, but 
he possesseth us of our salvation by this consummate 
act of his intercession. But if Christ's intercession be 
the applying cause, if it bring home to my soul all the 
former transactions of Christ, saying, " All these are 
thine, even thine f how desirable must this intercession 
be ! 

3. In this application lies that fellowship which w« 
have with the Father and the Son. — " I pray for these, 
that as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they 
also may be one in us." Understand this soberly, we 
cannot think that there should be that oneness in 
equality between God and us, as between God and 
Christ ; no, but there is oneness in similitude, even in 
this life. By virtue of Christ's intercession we have 
oneness with God and Christ, not only in comforts, but 
also in graces. Some are apt to think, that all commu- 
nion with God and Christ, consists only in the comforts 
of the Holy Spirit, whereas Christians may as really 
have communion with God in secret conveyances of 
grace, in inward supports, in the hidden drawings of 
the soul God-ward, as in the more open and comfortable 
manifestations of God unto the soul. And is not this a 
most desirable thing ? 

4. In this communion lies the fruition of Christ in 
glory. — -Grace brings to glory ; if communion here, we 
shall have communion hereafter ; and this also is a part 
of Christ's prayer and intercession; " Father, I will, 
that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where 
I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast 
given me." We think them happy on earth that have 
many stately palaces ; O Christians, how happy will you 
he, when you come to be heirs of many mansions in 
heaven ? But why speak I of mansions, now I am nam- 
ing Christ ? It is the saying of an eminent divine, " I 
should refuse heaven, if Christ were not there; take Christ 


away from heaven, and it is but a heartless dwelling." 
And therefore, after Christ had spoken of many mansi- 
ons, and of a place that he- would prepare for his saints; 
■he adds farther, to increase their joy, "I will come again, 
and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye 
may be also." 

O my soul, if this be the business of Christ's inter- 
cession, how is it that thou art not sick unto death with 
the vehement thirst after thy portion in Christ's interces- 
sion ? If there be such a thing as desire in this heart of 
mine, O that now it would vent itself with mighty 
longings after this blessed object ! 


O my soul, hope in Jesus, but rest not till thou canst 
give a reason of thy hope, till thou canst prove that they 
are the hopes which grace and not nature hath wrought ; 
that they are grounded upon scripture promises and 
sound evidences; that they purify the heart; that the 
more thou hopest the less thou sin nest ; that they depend 
on sure and infallible causes, as on the truth, power and 
mercy of God ; on the merits, mediation, and interces- 
sion of Jesus Christ. Is this last amongst the rest, the 
spring of thy hope? Canst thou follow the stream, till 
it brings thee to this fountain, that now thou canst say, 
u O this intercession is mine l* Come, search, and try, 
it is worth the pains. 

I. If Christ's intercession be mine, then is the Spirit's 
intercession mine. — In this case, we need not ascend up 
into heaven to learn the truth ; rather let us descend into 
our own hearts, and look whether Christ hath given us 
his Spirit, which makes us cry unto God, " with sighs 
and groans which cannot be expressed." Let us search 
whether we feel the Spirit of Christ crying in us, Abba. 
Father. Certainly these two are as the cause and the 
effect. Christ's intercession in heaven, and his Spirit's 
intercession on earth are as twins of a birth ; or rather 
Christ's intercession in heaven breeds another intercessi- 
on in the hearts of his saints. O my soul, canst thou 
by the help of the Spirit go to the Father in the name of 


Christ ? As Christ is gone before into the holy of holies 
to intercede, so canst thou with boldness follow after, 
u and enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus ?" 
Canst thou say, God hath given me his Spirit, and his 
Spirit hath shewed me Christ as my Mediator at the 
right hand of God ; and now, under the wing of such a 
Mediator, I can, by the Spirit's assistance, go with 
boldness to speak any thing in the ears of God ? Surely 
this is the fruit, the effect of Christ's intercession, and 
therefore thou mayest comfortably conclude, Christ's in- 
tercession is thine. 

2. If I feel a holy disposition to pray and intercede 
for others, especially for the distresses of the church of 
God, then is Christ's intercession mine. — We should (as 
near as we may) in every thing conform to Christ ; and 
this conformity is an evidence of our interest in Christ. 
O my soul, go down into the inmost closet of thy heart, 
look what disposition there is in it towards the members 
of Christ ; and thou mayest conclude there is in Christ's 
heart the very same disposition towards thee. Can I 
think that thy narrow, straitened bowels are larger than 
those wide, compassionate and tender bowels of Jesus 
Christ? As a drop of water is in comparison of the 
ocean, so is my heart to Christ's, and my love to Christ's. 
Corne then, and try by this sign. 


Faith in going to Christ as interceding for us, is prin- 
cipally to look to the end and design of Christ in his 
intercession : now the ends of Christ, as in reference to 
us, are these, — 

1. That we might have fellowship with the Father 
and the Son. — " I pray for these, that as thou Father 
art in me, and I in thee, they also may be one in us." 

2. That we might have the gift of the Holy Ghost. — 
" I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another 
comforter, that he may abide with you for ever, even 
the Spirit of truth." 

3. That we might have protection against all evil. — 
" I pray that thou wouldst keep them from the evil." 


4. That we might have free access to the throne of 
grace. — So the apostle, " Seeing we have a great high- 
priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of 
God, let us hold fast our profession, and come boldly to 
the throne of grace." 

5. That we might have the inward intercession of the 
Spirit, which is as it were, the echo of Christ's interces- 
sion in our hearts. — " The Spirit maketh intercession 
for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." It is 
the same Spirit's groans in us, which more distinctly 
and fully in Christ prayeth for us. 

6. That we might have the sanctification of our ser- 
vices ; of this the Levitical priests were a type. — " They 
bear the iniquity of the holy things of the children of 
Israel, that they might be accepted. And he is the an- 
gel of the covenant, who hath a golden censer to offer 
up the prayers of the saints." 

7. That we might have the pardon of all sin. — It is 
by virtue of Christ's intercession, that a believer sinning 
of infirmity hath a pardon of course, for Christ is his 
advocate to plead his cause ; or if he sin of presump- 
tion, and the Lord give repentance, he hath.a pardon 
at the hands of God the Father, by virtue of this inter- 

8. That we might have the salvation of our souls in 
the day of Jesus. — "Father, I will, that they also whom 
thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they 
might behold my glory." To see the Lord Jesus Christ 
glorified, must be a glorious thing. What is it but to 
behold the lustre of his divinity through his humanity ; 
In this respect our very eyes shall see God, as much as 
is possible for any creature to see him. O the ravishing 
sight of saints! Christ is so lovely, that the saints cannot 
leave, but they must and will " follow the Lamb where- 
soever he goes." There shall be no moment to all eternity, 
wherein Christ shall be out of sight to so many thousand 
thousands of saints. Is not this a blessed end of 
Christ's intercession t 

Let our faith then act dependency upon the interces- 
sion of Christ for these very ends. Let us rely upon 
Christ ; let us cast ourselves upon the very intercession of 


Jesus Christ, saying, " O my Christ, there is enough 
in thee, and in this glorious intercession of thine: and 
therefore there will I abide for ever." 

Faith must ever and anon be wrestling with God, that 
virtue may go out of Christ's intercession into our hearts. 
I have heard, Lord, that there is an office erected in 
heaven, that Christ as high-priest should be ever praying 
and interceding for his people. O that I may feel the 
efficacy of Christ's intercession ! Am I now in prayer ? 
O that f could feel in this prayer the spiritual fire, which 
usually falls down from Christ's intercession into the 
heart ! O that my pardon may be sealed, my grace con- 
firmed, my soul saved in the day of Jesus ! 


Two things especially will excite our love. Christ's 
love to us, and our propriety in Christ. 

1. He had an eternal love to man. — Since God was 
(rod (O boundless duration !) the Lord Jesus, in a man- 
ner was longing for the dawning of the day of creation. 

2. In the beginning of time he loved man above all 
creatures. — After he had made them all, he then spake 
as he never did before, "Let us make man in our image, 
after our likeness, and let him have dominion over the 
fish of the sen, and over the fowl of the air, and over 
the cattle, and over all the earth." And though man 
unmade himself by sin, Christ's love was not broken off, 
but held forth in a promise till the day of performance; 
" The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." 

3. In the fulness of time his love was manifested. — 
The seed then blossomed, and the birth came out in an 
high expression of love ; the love of Christ was born, 
and saw the light. " After that (saith the apostle) the 
kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man ap- 
peared." I shall not need to instance it in succeeding 
passages ; so far as we have gone, we have clearly seen. 
Christ's life was a perfect mirror of his love ; as there is 
no beam in the sun, in which there is no light ; so there 
was no act in the life of Christ, but to a spiritual eye it 
shines with the light of love. 

2 K 


4. At this time there is a coal of burning love in the 
breast of Christ. — This lire was indeed from everlasting, 
but the flames are as hot this day as ever. Now it is 
that Christ loves, and lives ; and wherefore lives r Only 
to love us, and to intercede for us. Christ makes our 
salvation his constant calling; " Yesterday, and to-day, 
and for ever." O the love of Christ towards our poor souls! 
if I might but stay, and take some turns in this large 
field of love, how many thousands of particulars might 
I draw out of Scripture, expressing Christ's love to us 
in this respect. 

Another motive of our love to Christ, is our proprie- 
ty in Christ. — " Ye are not your own," said the apostle 
of its ; and " He is not his own," may we say of Christ. 
" My beloved is mine, and I am his," saith the spouse. 
Not as if Christ should leave oft* to be his own, when 
he becometli ours ; but he so demeans himself, in respect 
of his love, as if he were not his own. He assumes 
such offices of engagements, as if he were all for us, 
and nothing for himself; thus he is called " a Saviour, 
a Redeemer, a King, a Priest, a Prophet, a Friend, a 
Guide, a Head, a Husband, a Leader, Ransomer, and 

O my soul, come hither and put thy candle to this 
mighty flame. If thou hadst as many hearts in one as 
there are men and angels in heaven and earth, all these 
would be too little for Jesus Christ. O then for a soul 
filled with all the fulness of God ! O for a soul stretched 
out to its widest capacity and circumference for the en- 
tertainment of God ! O my soul, that thou wert but 
" able to comprehend with all the saints, what is the 
breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to 
know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge !" 


If at Christ's birth was so much joy, because a Savi- 
our was proclaimed, is not our joy to be heightened 
when salvation is effected ? If the first act of Christ's 
mediation was so joyous, shall not the last act of his 
mediation be much more joyous ? — But I hear many 


objections which keep back joy ; they are as bars at the 
doors of many heavy hearts, that joy cannot enter in : 
I shall instance some. 

I am much opposed ; (says one) "dogs have compassed 
me, the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me ;" 
they persecute, reproach, revile. And what then ? 
What matters opposition of men, so long as Christ doth 
intercede for thee in beaven ! And tell me, hast thou 
no experience of this truth ? Doth not relief strangely 
come in now and then ? Write upon the forehead of 
such favours, " I have a merciful and compassionate 
Mediator in heaven." 

I am much tempted, (says another) that I cannot pray. 
Alas, my prayers are without spirit and life. Be hum- 
bled for it, and yet know this, that when thou canst not 
pray, Christ prays for thee, and he prays that thou 
mayest pray. And tell me, hast thou no experience of 
this truth ? Hath not thy spirit sometimes been enlarged 
in prayer ? Hast thou not sometimes in prayer been 
lifted up above thyself and above the world ? Conclude 
then, " My Intercessor above hath sent me this gift ; it 
is not I but Christ's intercession, that by secret operation 
hath given me the Spirit to help my infirmity : these are 
the intercessions of the Spirit of Christ, and they are 
the very echo of the intercessions of Christ in his own 


1. Let us pray or sue ©ur interest in this intercession. 
-—It is a question among the schools, Whether we may 
conveniently pray to Jesus to pray to his Father in our 
behalf? But thus far is granted, that we may pray to 
Christ to make us partakers of- his intercessions, and to 
mingle our prayers with his prayers, that they may find 
acceptance with God his Father. Intercession is the of- 
fice of the whole person of Christ, and of the two na- 
tures of Christ ; but he performs this office one way ac- 
cording to his divine nature, and another way according 
to his human nature. It is thus agreed on all hands, that 
we may call on Jesus, or on God the Father in and through 



Jesus, that Christ's intercessions may be ours, and that 
he would make it out to us in a way of assurance every 
day more and more. 

2. Let us praise God and Christ for every transaction 
in heaven for us. — Is Christ praying for us ? O let us 
be on the exercise of praising him ! Is Christ interced- 
ing for us ? Let us give him the glory of his interces- 
sion. Heaven is full of his praises ; why should not the 
earth ring with the sound thereof? " Praise the Lord, O 
my soul, and all that is within me, praise his holy name!" 


In every action of Christ there is something imitable 
for us. In the present work, I shall instance these few 

1. Christ appears in heaven for us, let us appear on 
earth for him. — Is there not equity as well as conformity 
in this duty ? O my soul, consider what Christ is doing, 
consider wherein the intercession of Christ consists. 
He appears in heaven before saints, and angels, and 
before God his Father in thy behalf; and art thou afraid 
to appear before worms, dust and ashes in his cause, or 
for his truth ? Shall Jesus Christ own thee in heaven, 
and wilt thou not own Jesus Christ here in this world r 
O what a mighty engagement is here to own his cause in 
these backsliding times ? 

2. Christ spends all his time for us and our salvation, 
let us spend all our time for him, and in his service. — 
The apostle tells us, that "he ever liveth to make inter- 
cession for us." It is not for a day, or a month, or a 
year, but he lives for ever upon this account ; during all 
the time from his ascension until the end of the world. 
Surely people do not think what Christ is doing in hea- 
ven for them. If you would seriously consider, that 
Christ without any intermission, is ever, ever interced- 
ing ; how should this engage you in his service ! 

3. He prays for us unto his Father, and let us pray 
for ourselves, and for all sorts of men, to Jesus Christ.— 
" Learn of me," (saith Christ) and as. far as he is imitable 
let us follow him. Doth Christ pray r Let us pray. 


Doth he pray for us and others r Let us pray for our- 
selves, and then let us pray one for another. 

4. Christ by his intercessions, iC saves us to the utter- 
most," and let us therefore serve him to the uttermost. — 
Surely all we can do is too little to answer so great a 
love as this. O Christians, why should it be esteem- 
ed a needless thing to be rigorously and exactly circum- 
spect ? Christ paid our debt to the uttermost farthing, 
drank every drop of our bitter cup, and now presents all 
unto his Father, by way of intercession, and saves us 
" thoroughly, to the uttermost ;" why should we not la- 
bour to perform his service, and to fulfil every one of his 
commandments thoroughly and to the uttermost also ? 
Certainly there is a duty which concerns us, to be "zea- 
lous of good works ;" " to walk circumspectly ;" to be 
" fervent in spirit." O that ever men should be afraid 
of taking God's part too much, or fighting too vali- 
antly under the colours of Christ ; of being too busy 
about the salvation of their own souls, and of bei* 1 " * 
gular in the duties of religion ! 





Of Christ's preparing for judgment. Of Christ's coming to judgment. 
Of Christ's summoning the elect to judgment. Of Christ and the saints 
meeting at the judgment- day. Of Christ's sentencing his saints. Of 
Christ and the saints judging the rest of this world. Of Christ and the 
saints going up into heaven, and the end of this world. Of Christ's 
delivering up the kingdom to God, the Father. Of Christ's subjection 
to the Father, that God may be all in, all. Of Christ's being all in all 
io his redeemed t» all eternity. 

of Christ's preparing for judgment. 

1 3lND is not yet all done ? O the unwearied patience, 
love and mercy of Christ in carrying on this mighty 
work ! He began it before the beginning of the world; 
since then he hath been labouring in it about six thousand 
years; and now the time of restoring being come, be 
will perfect what he hath begun. When once the num- 
ber of all his elect shall be completed, and the work of 
his intercession shall be at an end, then immediately will 
follow these particulars. 

1. " A great voice comes out of the temple of heaven, 
saying, it is done." — It comes out of the temple of hea- 
ven, that we may understand it to be the voice of Christ. 


And if this speech he directed unto God, it is as if Christ 
had bespoke his Father thus ; "And now, O my Father, 
I have done ; that office of the priesthood, which we 
erected, is now at an end. I have sat at thy right hand 
interceding for my saints ever since my ascension ; and 
now their number is completed, I am resolved to unpin 
the fabric of the world, and to take it down ; it stands 
but for their sakes, and therefore now let the seventh 
angel blow his trumpet, that the mystery of God may be 
finished." "I swear by him that liveth for ever and ever, 
that time shall be no longer." 

2. No sooner is this said, but the " seventh angel 
sounds." — This seventh angel (saith Pereus) is the arch- 
angel that proclaims Christ's coming with a great and 
mighty shout. " For the Lord himself shall descend 
from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch- 
angel, and with the trump of God." But before he de- 
scend, and I believe upon the very discovery of his coming 
down, there will be a shout in heaven ; for so it follows, 
"And the seventh angel sounded, and there were 
great voices in heaven." This is the long-looked for 
day; the day of perfecting the number of the saints; 
the day of joining the souls and bodies of the saints 
together ; the day of convening all the families both 
of saints and angels under one roof; the day of 
bringing up the bride unto the Lamb, and of completing 
the marriage-solemnity. And therefore no wonder, at 
this news great voices were made in heaven. Now they 
shout and sing a new song, " The kingdoms of tins 
world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his 
Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever." 

3. After this shout, " the four and twenty elders 
which sit before God on their seats, fall upon their faces, 
and worship God, saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord 
God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come, 
because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and 
hast reigned." By these four and twenty elders, we un- 
derstand all God's saints of the Old and New Testament. 
comprehended under the twelve patriarchs, and twelve 
apostles. They rise off their seats, and fall on their 
faces ; first they praise, and then they pray. They 
praise God for taking to himself his own power; Christ 


connived (as it were) till now at the power of his ene* 
mies. Antichrist, and not Christ, seemed to rule, and 
sit in the temple of God, but now Christ is resolved to 
rule himself, and to make all his enemies his footstool. 
They pray Christ to go on to judgment. This time was 
not for mortals to know, but now it was revealed to these 
celestial spirits by Christ ; and therefore they beg, Go 
on Lord Jesus ; reward now thy servants, prophets, and 
saints, and destroy them which destroy the earth. 

4. God the Father is well pleased with Christ's purpose 
of judging the world. — "The Lord said unto my Lord, 
Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies 
thy footstool." These words were spoken to Christ at 
his ascension into heaven ; and now God speaks them 
again to Christ : for " as yet (saith the apostle) we see 
not all things put under him." And God's purpose was 
that Christ should rule, until he had put all things in 
subjection under his feet. The kingly rule that Christ 
hath from his ascension is upon his Father's throne, but 
the kingdom that Christ shall have at the day of judg- 
ment, and ever after, is the joint reign of him with the 
Father; he shall have a throne himself, and the saints 
shall sit with him in his own throne. And now, saith 
the Father, " Sit thou at my right hand, Sit on my 
throne by me; go on to judge the nations ; I will not 
judge them but only in thee, and by thee ; Lo ! I 
have committed all judgment unto the Son. Go then, 
put on thy robes, appear in thy glory ; empty heaven 
of all the glorious spirits that are therein, and 
let them wait on thee to thy judgment-seat. Pass thy 
doom on all flesh ; and send reprobates to hell, and bring 
up hither all thy saints, that they may live with thee, 
and behold thy glory for ever and ever." I cannot but 
wonder at this joy in heaven, and that we have so little 
of this on earth. We say, " Thy kingdom come, thy 
will be done on earth as it is in heaven ;" but if our 
prayers were fervent, what longings would be in our 
hearts after Christ's coming! How should we rejoice at 
the very thoughts thereof! " The Spirit and the Bride 
say come," and Christ himself saith, " Surely, I come 
quicjdy ;" O let us say, Amen to it ; " Even so come, 
Lord Jesus." 



No sooner Christ is prepared, and all in readiness, 
but he descends from his imperial throne, to the judg- 
ment-seat. In this passage I shall observe these parti- 

1. He descends with his train.-^He comes with his 
royal attendants out of heaven. " Behold the Lord 
comes with mighty angels. Behold the Lord comes with 
ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon 
all." Daniel tells us of a thousand thousand that this day 
minister unto Christ, " a thousand thousand ministered 
unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood 
before him." Or if heaven have more, I believe heaven 
will empty itself of all the saints, and all the angels; 
not one spirit, whether saint or angel, shall stay behind, 
when Christ descends ; " The son of man shall come in 
his glory, and all the holy angels with him." O what a 
glorious day will this be ? If one sun make the morning 
sky so glorious, what a glorious morning will that be, 
when so many thousands of suns shall shine overall our 
heads, the glorious body of Christ surpassing them all 
in splendour ! 

2. In his descent he shakes the heavens. — •** The 
powers of the heavens shall be shaken." " At his nod 
the pillars of heaven tremble, and are astonished." In 
this shaking the evangelist adds, that" the sun shall be 
darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 
and the stars shall fall." The very coming of Christ 
shall bring with him such a light, that the splendour of 
the sun and moon shall be obscured. 

3. As he passes through the elementary world, a fire 
doth usher him. — " Our God shall come, and shall not 
keep silence : a fire shall devour before him, and it shall 
be very tempestuous round about him." " Behold the 
Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a 
whirlwind. And the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from 
heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire." In which 
respect, Daniel saw "his throne like the fiery flame, and 
his wheels as burning fire ; a fiery stream issued and 

2 L 


came forth from before him." And, at last, this fire 
shall have that effect, that the very "elements shall melt 
with fervent heat ; the earth also and the works that are 
therein shall be burnt up." O Christians, what cause 
have we to make the apostle's use of this event ! "See- 
ing all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of 
persons onght we to be in all holy conversation and god- 
liness, looking for, and hastening unto the coming of the 
day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire, shall be 
dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat." 
4. He descends lower and lower till he is enwrapt with 
clouds, — " Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting 
on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds 
of heaven." When he went up into heaven, it is said, 
" a cloud received him out of their sight," and the an- 
gels then said, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing 
up into heaven ? The same Jesus which is taken up 
from yon into heaven, shall so come in like manner as 
ye have seen him go into heaven." " I saw in the night 
visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with 
the clouds of heaven." Here is the first sight of Christ 
to men on the earth, when once he is come down into the 
clouds, then shall they lift up their eyes, and have a full 
view of Jesus Christ. " Then shall appear the sign of 
the Son of man in heaven, and they shall see the Son of 
man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and 
great glory." 

of Christ's summoning the elect to judgment. 

No sooner is Christ in the clouds, his throne of judi- 
cature, but he summons his elect to judgment. Several 
particulars are here worthy of notice. 

1. "He sends his angels with a great sound of a trum- 
pet." — So loud shall the sound be, that it will pierce into 
the ears of the dead in the graves. It will shake the 
world, rend the rocks, dissolve the bonds of death and 
burst the gates of hell. 

2. " The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with 
a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump 
pf God."— As at the creation he said, "Let there be light, 


and there was light," so at the dissolution of the world, 
he will say, " Let the dead arise, let the sea ^ive up the 
dead that are therein, and death and hell deliver up the 
dead which are in them;" and it will he so. "Marvel not 
at this (saith Christ) for the hour is coming in the which 
all that are in the graves shall hear my voice, and they 
shall come forth l n 

3. No sooner is the shout made hut the saints arise. — 
It is true that the saints that are alive need no resurrec- 
tion, hut upon them will this trumpet have its effect. 
Something like death shall seize upon them, and they 
shall he changed. They were sown in corruption, they 
are raised in incorrnption ; they were sown in dishonour, 
they are raised in glory ; they were sown in weakness, 
they are raised in power. 

4. No sooner are the souls and hodies of the saints 
re-united, but they are caught up by the holy angels into 
the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. O what a scene 
is here ! Is it possible that such a meditation should pass 
without some saving impression on my soul. If my ears 
shall hear that sound, and if my eyes shall see these 
sights, is it not time for me to lay these things to heart, 
that 1 may be found faithful and well-doing ! As sure 
as I have this book in my hand, I must he one of those 
that shall hear the sound of the trumpet, and away I 
must from the mouth of my grave, wherever I shall he 
buried, to the cloud where Christ doth sit. O my God, 
set this home on my soul. Where is my lamp ? And 
where is my oil } Are all ready? And am I ready and 
prepared to meet the Lord in the air r Christians, if 
we have any life in us, let us act and realize this to the 
life. This would keep us close to Christ, and to the 
banner of Christ : who would not march under this 
banner, and adhere to him, that but reads over these 
summons of souls at the last dreadful day } 


No sooner are the saints lifted up, and set before the 
Judge, but these things follow. 



1. They admire the infinite glory and excellency that 
is in Christ, — " When he shall come, he shall be glori- 
fied in his saints, and he shall be admired in all them 
that believe." ^ All that believe shall break out into ad- 
miration of Jesus Christ ; they shall at the first sight 
observe such an excellency in him, as they shall be in- 
finitely taken with. Here we speak of Christ, and in 
speaking we admire ; but how will they admire, when 
they shall not only speak or hear, but see and behold 
him, who is the ''express image of God, and the bright- 
ness of his Father's glory r 

2. They adore and magnify the grace and glory of 
Jesus Christ.— -As it is said of the twenty-four elders, 
that " they fell down before him that sat on the throne, 
and worshipped him, that liveth for ever and ever, and 
cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art 
worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and 
power ; for thou hast created all things, and for thy plea- 
sure they are and were created,*' so all the saints, now 
advanced to stand before the throne, fall down before 
Christ, and worship him that liveth for ever, shouting 
and singing about Jesus Christ, and setting out his glory, 
grace, and goodness. " After this I beheld, (saith John) 
and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, 
of all nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues, 
stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, and cried 
with a loud voice, saying, salvation to our God, which 
sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb ; and all the 
angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders, 
and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their 
faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen ; blessing, 
and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, 
and power, and might,be unto our God,for ever and ever," 
Amen. Saints and angels will both give glory to Jesus 
Christ that day. Every elect man will then acknowledge, 
here is Christ that shed his blood for me ; here is the 
Saviour that laid down his life for me ; here is the per- 
son that mediated, and interceded, and made peace for 
me ; here is the Redeemer that delivered, and redeemed 
me from the wrath to come : and then they begin those 
hallelujahs, that never never shall have an end, u hal- 



3. Christ sets them on his right hand. — " Upon thy 
right hand, doth stand the queen in gold of Ophir ." 
When he himself ascended up into heaven, then said the 
Father to him, "Son, sit thou down at my right hand ;" 
and no sooner the saints are ascended up to Christ, but 
he says the same to them. Christ entertains them, as 
God the Father entertained him ; he at the right hand 
of God, and they at the right hand of Christ. The 
Lord now puts upon his saints heaven's glory; he adorns 
them with all his ornaments for the marriage-day, and 
indeed here is the beginning of the solemnity of the 
marriage of the Lamb ; not but that the contract was 
before, but the solemnity was reserved for this day, and 
all the glory of this day is for nothing else but: to set out 
the solemnity of the marriage. 

O Lord, if it seem good to thee, let me have tribula- 
tion here, let me here spend my days in sorrow, and my 
breath in sighings, so that I may but there be placed at 
thy right hand. For then will joy come, and sorrow will 
vanish ; sorrow is but for a night, this night of life, but 
joy will come in this morning of the resurrection, and 
it never shall be night again. 

of Christ's sentencing his saints. 

No sooner are they set on his right hand, but he pre- 
pares for sentence. 

1. The books are opened. — " I saw the dead, small 
and great, stand before God, and the books were opened, 
and another book was opened, which is the book of life." 
This is spoken after the manner of men, in whose pub- 
lic judgments are produced all the writings of the pro- 
cess, informations, depositions of witnesses, to shew 
that all actions, even the most secret ones, shall then be 
rehearsed and made manifest. By these books are pro- 
bably meant the books of the Old and New Testament, 
wherein all things either to be done or omitted, are pre- 
tcribed by God : and the books of our consciences, which 
now are shut up and concealed from men, but then shall 


be made manifest to all the world. To these books 
another is added, which is proper to the saints, called 
" the book of life.'* This book contains in it the names 
of all that are saved from first to last. O what is the 
joy of the saints when they see this book opened, and 
their names engraven there in letters of glory ! 

2. All the actions, graces, duties, and (it may be) sins 
of saints shall be produced,, and laid open. — The Holy 
Ghost tells us, that "the dead were judged out of those 
things which were written in the books.** Then it will 
be known who served the Lord in spirit and truth, 
and who did not ; then men and angels shall know, such 
a day this poor saint performed such a spiritual service ; 
every prayer in public or private, every tear shed for sin, 
every spiritual meditation, or self-examination ; every 
ejaculation, or looking up unto Jesus, shall be recounted. 

Then shall the king say to them on his right hand, 
u Come ye blessed of my Fatlier, inherit the kingdom 
prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'* 
Every word here is full of life and joy ; " Come" This 
is the King's invitation of his saints to his court: he had 
summoned them before to his presence, and now they 
are about him, they must come nearer yet, they must go 
with him into his presence-chamber. " Come ye Messed 
of my Father." Christ blessed them when he went up 
to heaven, and whilst yet on earth he pronounced them 
blessed many a time, but now he calls them " the blessed 
of his Father;" it is the Father's will as well as Christ's 
that they should be blessed. " Inherit the kingdom." 
Christ had told them before, u It is your Father's plea- 
sure to give yon the kingdom ;" but then they were only 
as children under age, but now they are " heirs of God, 
and joint heirs with Christ ;" and therefore they must 
have the inheritance in possession. This is the solemn 
coronation of the saints ~ it is the anointing, the setting 
of the crown upon their heads. u Inherit the kingdom 
prepared for you" God's first work was to make hea- 
ven for himself and his saints to dwell in. But why for 
them r Were not the angels the first creatures that 
possessed it r Yes ; but the angels are not properly the 
heirs of God and Christ, as the saints are ; the angels 


are but ministering spirits, and the servants of the 
bridegroom ; but the saints are the bride herself, 
and co-heirs with Christ ? Prepared for you jrom 
the foundation of the world? This was the great design 
of God and Christ from all eternity. It is not a business 
of yesterday ; no, the eternal thoughts of God have been 
upon it. 

O what thoughts are in saints when this sentence is 
declared ! What joy do they experience ! Methinks 
if it were possible that tears could be in a glorified state, 
the saints could not see Christ reach out a crown to set 
it on their heads, but they would weep, and hold away 
their heads, but Christ will have it so. " This honour 
have all the saints ; praise ye the Lord." 



No sooner shall the saints be acquitted, anointed, and 
crowned, but they must be enthroned, and sit with Jesus 
Christ to judge the world. 

1. As Christ is on a throne, so must the elect be set on 
thrones. — M To him that overoometh will I grant to sit 
with me in my throne." Thrones are for kings and 
judges ; and in that Christ hath now lifted up his saints 
to this condition, he will have them sit with him as so 
many judges and kings ; or if it be more honour to have 
thrones by themselves, than to sit with Christ in his 
throne, John in his vision saw many thrones, " And I 
saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was 
given unto them." 

2. They on the left hand shall then be called to receive 
their doom. ^— Now shall their hearts fail them for fear: 
now shall they seek death, but shall not find it ; now 
shall they cry to rocks and mountains, "Fall on us, and 
hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, 
and from the wrath of the Lamb." But all in vain ; the 
command is out, angels and devils will force them to the 
bar, for the Lord hath spoken it, "Those mine enemies, 
which would not that I should reign over them, bring 
them hither." O who can conceive the terrible thoughts 


of these men's hearts ! Now the world cannot help 
them ; their old companions cannot help them ; the 
saints neither can, nor will ; only the Lord Jesus Christ 
t;an, but O there is the soul-killing misery, he will not. 

3. A strict account shall then be required and given of 
their sins, temporal gifts, and spiritual blessings.— Of 
their sins. Come (will Christ say) now confess your sins 
before all the world. Time was that you concealed your 
sins, but now every sin shall be laid open before God, 
angels and men. And now is the black book of their 
Consciences opened, wherein appear all their sins, ori- 
ginal and actual, of omission and commission. O the 
number of evil thoughts, words and deeds that now are 
laid open 1 All the projects of the heart, though never 
acted, must now be discovered. Nay, yet more, such 
sins as by the sinners themselves were never taken notice 
of, shall this day come out. O what a day will this be, 
when not a sin committed by any reprobate from the be- 
ginning of the world, but now it shall be rehearsed. 

As an account of all sins, so an account of all tem- 
poral gifts which God hath imparted to reprobates, must 
now be given. Some have the gifts of the world, as 
riches, honours, places of authority; others have the 
gifts of the body, as health, strength, beauty, life; 
others have the gifts of the mind, as understanding, 
wisdom, learning ; now of all these gifts must they give 
an account. Come you that are rich, (saith Christ) 
u render an account of your stewardship ;" how have 
you spent your riches ? The like will he say to others 
according to the talents bestowed on them. " You ex- 
celled in strength, health of body, and length of days ; 
and now tell me, and publish it to all the world, how were 
these improved." I believe many a sad answer will be 
given to Christ of these things. 

Not only of gifts temporal, but of all blessings spiri- 
tual, though but tendered and 'offered, must all give an 
account. O the sad accounts that many a soul will 
make of these things ! Methinks I hear some wicked 
wretch confessing Christ, "True, Lord, I lived at such 
a time when the sun of the gospel shone bright in my 
face, and in sueh a place where all was Goshen : I lived 


under such a minister, who set before me life and death; 
many and many a powerful and searching sermon have 
I heard, any one passage whereof (if I had not wickedly 
and wilfully forsaken my own mercy) might have been 
unto me the beginning of the new birth and everlasting 
bliss, O how fresh is the reproof, admonition, exhort- 
ation of such and such a preacher now in my mind ? 
How earnestly did he entreat me ? With what love and 
compassion did he beseech me? But alas ! I stifled all my 
convictions. And not only ministers, but the Spirit 
of Christ sometimes spake to my heart. I remember 
at such a time, Christ himself (as it were) bowed the hea- 
vens, and came clown to entreat me for my soul's health. 
O the strivings of the Spirit of Christ, as if he had been 
loath to have taken a denial! O Christ, I remember 
thy words when thou criedst to me, Open sinner, open 
thy heart to thy Saviour, and I will come in, and sup 
with thee, and thou with me. But, alas, I resisted 
Christ and his Spirit ; O thou Judge and Saviour, I 
tired out thy patience, I gave thee a repulse, I trampled 
thy precious blood under my feet, and now I am expect- 
ing no other but to eat the fruit of my own way. 

4. Christ and his saints proceed to sentence. — First, 
Christ the chief Judge shall pronounce it, " Depart 
from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for 
the devil and his angels." Every word breathes out no- 
thing but vengeance and woe. Give me leave a little to en- 
large upon these words. No sooner Christ begins the 
sentence, "Depart from me," but methinks I imagine 
the reprobates to reply, " How ! depart from thee ? O 
Christ, thou art the greatest good, and therefore to be 
deprived of thee is the greatest evil. We were made by 
thee, and for thee, O let us never be divided from thee!" 
" Away, away, (saith Christ) ye have no part in me, or 
in my merits." But they may reply again, " If we must 
depart from thee, at least, give us thy blessing before we 
go ; thou hast great stores of blessings, and we hope 
thou hast one yet in store for us, we crave but a small 
thing, but a blessing. O it is a little one." "No; 
depart from me ye cursed, in place of a blessing take 
the full curse of your father; you have been most prodigal 

<2 M 


and disobedient children, you have followed him who 
had my first curse, and now share ye curses with him. 
Cursed be you in your souls, and in your bodies, and in 
your thoughts, and in your words, and in the heinousness 
of your sins, and in the grievousness of your punishment." 
"But, If wemust depart from thee, and depart accursed, 
yet appoint us some convenient place to go into. Create a 
fruitful piece of ground, and let a goodly sun daily shine 
upon it. O if wemust go from thee, the source and fountain 
of heavenly sweetness, afford us some plenty of earthly 
pleasures, which may in some sort recompence our loss." 
" No ; depart from me ye cursed into fire : though fire 
naturally burns not spirits, yet I will elevate this fire 
above its nature ; you have sinned against nature, and I 
will punish you above nature." " Fire ! Alas, that ever 
we were born ! Who is able to rest in fire ? But if we 
must into fire, let the sentence stand but a very short time: 
quench the fire quickly." " No, depart from me, ye 
cursed, into everlasting fire, it was kindled by my breath, 
and it hath this property, among other strange qualities, 
that it is an unquenchable fire : as long as I arn God it 
shall endure; and when I cease to be happy, then shall 
ye cease to be miserable." "O woe is us ! What, to live 
in a fire perpetually, without all hope of end ? Yet, 
allot us then some comforters, whose gentle words may 
sweeten our torments, or somewhat dull the keen edge 
of our extremity." "No, no, depart from me ye cursed 
into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 
they shall be your comforters, they that will triumph in 
your miseries, they that are your, daily desperate ene- 
mies : they that will tell you by what deceits and by-ways 
they led you from me, and that will give you every hour 
new names of scorn and horrible reproach." O my bre- 
thren, I tremble at the very mentioning of this sentence! 
and O what will they do on whom it must pass ! I be- 
seech you before we pass from it, ask your souls this one 
question, Can. you dwell with everlasting fire ? If you 
can, go on in sin, but if you cannot, stop here, and re- 
pent of sin. 

The saints shall judge the very self-same judgment: 
" Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?" 


That they, as well as Christ, shall judge the world, is 
without controversy. " And judgment was given to the 
saints of the Most High," "Ye also shall sit upon twelve 
thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Behold, the 
Lord corneth with ten thousands of his saints, to ex- 
ecute judgment upon all." " Know ye not that we shall 
judge the angels ?" Not only shall we judge the worlds 
but the god of the world ; the principalities and powers 
that lead captive wicked men at their pleasure ; even they 
must be judged by those whom they formerly foiled : so 
then there is no question but they shall judge. But how 
the saints shall judge together with Christ, is a very deep 
question. For my part I am apt to think, that it shall 
not be directly known, ere it be seen and done. 


No sooner are the reprobates gone to their place, but 
Christ ariseth from his judgment-seat, and with all the 
glorious company of heaven, marches towards the hea- 
ven of heavens. O what a comely march is this ! what 
songs of triumph are sung ! Christ leads the way, the 
cherubim and seraphim attend ; angels, archangels, 
principalities, powers, patriarchs, prophets, priests, 
evangelists, martyrs, and confessors follow the Judge 
and the King of glory ; singing with melody, as never ear 
heard ; shining with majesty, as never eye hath seen ; 
rejoicing without measure, as never heart conceived. O 
goodly troop of captains ! each doth bear a palm of vic- 
tory in his hand, each doth wear a crown of glory on his 
head. The church militant is now triumphant : with a 
final overthrow have they conquered devils, death, and 
hell; and now must they enjoy God, life, and heaven. 

No sooner are Christ and his company in heaven, but 
this world is set on fire. ' ; The heavens shiill pass away 
with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fer- 
vent heat; the earth. also 3 and the works that are therein 
shall be burnt up." 

Christians, whv are we so busy about this world? 
Look about you ; not one of these visible objects shall 
that day remain, .or have a being : those houses wherein 



we dwell,these temples wherein we meet,this country and 
the seas that surround it, shall be all on fire, and consume 
to nothing. Let others then boast of their inheritances, 
but Lord give me an inheritance above all these visibles : 
heaven shall remain, when earth shall vanish. Here 
we have no abiding city, hut, O let us seek one to come, 
even that one that shall abide for ever and ever. Amen. 



No sooner is Christ in heaven, but he presents the 
elect unto his Father; of this the apostle speaks, "You 
hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, 
to present you holy and unblameable, and unreprovable 
in his sight." And now having discharged all the offices 
imposed on him, he leaves his function by delivering up 
his regal commissions to the Father. 

Christ is said to deliver up the kingdom in three re- 

1. Because be ceaseth to execute that authority, which 
nevertheless he hath. As a judge that goeth from the 
bench is a judge still, although he giveth no judgment, 
but employeth his time in other matters ; so Christ is 
said to resign his place, not that his authority is subject 
to diminution, but in that he makes no shew, for when 
his enemies are all put under, there is np need that any 
more blows should proceed from his kingly power. 

2. Because the manner of his kingdom, after the 
judgment-day shall be wholly changed. There is no need in 
heaven of good laws to keep men from wickedness; the 
orders of this life are changed into a new kind of go- 
vernment, and in that respect he is said to give over the 

3. He presents himself unto his Father, not only his 
offices, but Christ himself is presented and subjected 
unto God. Christ is considered either as God, or as 
man, and Mediator between God and man. Christ as 
God, hath us subject to him, and is subject to none ; but 
Christ, as man and Mediator, is subject to his Father, 
together with us. In the same way as Christ delivers up 


the kingdom to the Father, is Christ also to be subject to 
his Father; but Christ delivers up his kingdom as man, 
and as Mediator between God and man: in these respects 
Christ must reign no more; at that day his Mediatorship 
shall cease; and by consequence, in respect of his Media- 
torship, or in respect of his humanity, he shall that day 
be subject to his Father. Now it is God reigns over us, 
but only by Christ as Mediator. God's immediate reign we 
discern not so clearly for the present, but when the end 
shall come, and Christ shall resign his office of Media* 
torship, then shall the glory of Christ's divinity appear 
more eminently, not only above all creatures, but above 
the brightness of Christ's humanity itself : and in this 
respect Christ then shall be subject, if not by a new sub- 
jection, yet so as never was before. 

O my soul, what will be thy feelings, when Christ 
shall present himself unto the Father with thee and all 
saints saying, " O my Father, here we are all before 
thy glorious Godhead. Welcome me, and welcome 
mine : we all expect as high an entertainment, as heaven 
or the God of heaven can afford !" 

of Christ's subjection to the father, that god 
may be all in all. 

Here we enjoy God by means, as in the use of the 
word, and sacraments ; but when that kingdom, (where 
these administrations are made use of) shall be delivered 
up, then shall God himself be all in all, without means, 
without defect, without end. 

1. Saints in glory enjoy God immediately. — Here we 
enjoy God by means ; either he communicates himself 
unto us through his creatures, or through his ordinances; 
and hence it is that we know him but in part, we see him 
but in a glass darkly ; but when he shall be our all in all, 
we shall see him face to face; we shall then " see God 
as lie is," clearly and immediately. 

2. Saints in glory enjoy God fully.— " Now I know 
in part (saith the apostle) but then shall I know, even 
as 1 am known." Ocr enjoyment of God is here but in 
its infancy, there it will be in its full age; here it is in 
drops, there it will be in the ocean ; here we see God's 


back parts, and we can see no more ; but there we shall 
see his face. 

3. Saints in glory enjoy God solely. — Not as if there 
were nothing else in heavert but God, but that God in 
heaven shall be f all in all,'* or instead of all. It is 
God in heaven that makes heaven to be heaven. The 
saints' blessedness and God's own blessedness, doth con- 
sist in the enjoyment of God himself. We shall not 
properly enjoy any thing else but God. And, indeed 
what can we imagine to be in heaven, which is not emi- 
nently in God himself? If it be greatness, power, glory, 
victory, majesty, all these are his ; if it be joy, love, peace, 
beauty, or any thing desirable, all these are in him. It 
is he only that fills the whole capacity of the soul ; it is 
he that so fills it that it can hold no more ; it is he only 
that is the object of love, and therefore he only is pro- 
perly enjoyed, he only is possessed with a full content, 
as portion enough, and as reward enough for the soul 
for ever. 

But shall not the saints have to do with something else 
in heaven ? Yes, I believe there shall be in heaven a 
communion of the blessed spirits of God, an association 
of the saints and angels of God ; yet this shall not take 
away the sole enjoyment of God, that he should not be 
their " all in all ;'" for they shall not mind themselves, 
or their own good, as created things, but altogether God; 
they shall not love them, or one another as for them- 
selves, but only for God ; here we love God for himself, 
and it is a gracious love ; but there we shall love our- 
selves for God, and it is a glorious love. 


Some may object, If God be all in all, what becomes 
of Christ r Is not this derogatory to him ? I an- 
swer, No, for, 

1. It is not the Father personally and only, but the 
lieit-y- essentially and wholly, that is our all in all. — 
When we say God is all in all, we do not exclude the 
Son, and Holy Ghost; for the whole Godhead is "all in 



all" to all the saints, as well as the first person of the 

2. It is not derogatory to Christ, bnt rather it doth 
exceedingly advance Christ in the thoughts of all his 
saints. — While it was necessary Christ veiled his Deity, 
and when his work of mediation is fully finished, 
Christ then shall reveal his Deity to his saints more than 
ever before. In this respect might I say, If any person 
in the Trinity receives more honour than other, Christ 
should have most ; "Every creature which is in heaven, 
heard I saying, Blessing, honour, glory, and power be 
unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the 
Lamb, for ever and ever." Not only unto God, bnt 
particularly " to the Lamb for ever and ever." 

Now then as I have spoken of God, so that I may 
speak of Christ, and conclude all with Christ, I assert 
this doctrine, " That the glory of Christ, which the 
saints shall behold in Christ to all eternity, is their all 
in all." In the discussion of which I shall open three 

I. What is the glory of Christ ? — I answer, the glory 
of Christ is either human or divine. There is a human 
glory, which in time was more especially conferred upon 
his manhood. There is an essential or divine glory, 
which before time, and after time, even from everlasting 
to everlasting, issueth from the Godhead. I shall speak 
of both these, that we may rather take a view of Christ 
in those glories, (as we are able) wherein he will appear 
to his saints as their "all in all" to all eternity. 

His human glory regards his soul or body : for his 
sonl, Christ was from the first instant of his conception 
full of glory, because even then he received grace not 
by measure. It is true, that by the special dispensation 
of God, the fulness of glory was withheld from Christ 
in the time of his passion, but Christ was no sooner ex- 
alted, and set on the right hand of God, but immediate- 
ly the interception of glory was altogether removed. 
Then it was that his soul was filled with all joy, which 
could possibly flow from the sight of an object so infi- 
nitely pleasing, as is the essence, majesty, and glory of 
God. And then it was, that his body was replenished 


with as flinch glory as was proportionable unto the greatest 
capacity of any creature. Surely Christ's manhood is 
exalted unto a higher degree of glory, than the most 
glorious saint or angel ever was or shall be. Principali- 
ties, powers, mights, and dominions, fall short of his 

His essential divine glory is that glory which Christ 
hath as God : this he never laid aside ; but as the sun 
in a gloomy day may not send forth his beams, so Christ 
the Sun of Righteousness, in the time of his abode upon 
earth, (except a little glimpse only in his transfiguration) 
did not send forth his glorious beams ; but hereafter the 
body or humanity of Christ shall not hinder the break- 
ing forth of all his divine glory. But of the nature of 
this divine glory we must be content to be ignorant till 
we enter into the confines of eternity. 

2. How shall the saints behold this glory ? — I answer, 
as Christ hath a twofold glory, so there is a twofold 
manner of beholding it ; — ocular and mental. 

1 . There is an ocular vision, a sight of Christ with 
our very eyes ; "Whom I shall see for myself, and mine 
eyes shall behold him." With these eyes we shall one 
day behold the human glory of Christ : I doubt not we 
shall behold the beauty of heaven, the shining bodies of 
the saints, but above all, our very eyes shall delightfully 
contemplate Christ's glorious body; and indeed this 
shall drown all the other sights. 

2. There is a mental vision, a sight of Christ by the 
eyes of our understandings ; and surely this exceeds the 
former. The eye of the body is only on the body of 
Christ, but the eye of the soul is on the body and soul, 
on the humanity and Deity of Jesus Christ. This is 
the very top of heaven, when saints shall be enlightened 
with a clear and glorious sight of Christ as God : divines 
usually call it, " Beatifical vision." 

3. Wherein is the comprehensiveness of this expres- 
sion, that "the beholding of Christ is our all in all ?" — 

1. It comprehends the immediate seeing and looking 
upon all that majesty and glory which Jesus Christ hath. 

2. It comprehends the enjoyment of Christ in his 
glory. — Surely the saints shall not be mere idle spectators 


of the glory of Christ, but they shall enjoy him, and be 
taken into fellowship with him. It was said of Moses, 
that he did see the land of Canaan, but he was not ad- 
mitted into it ; it is otherwise with the saints, they shall 
see heaven, and they shall enter into heaven. " Come 
thou faithful servant, and enter into thy Master's joy," 
not only behold it, but enter into it. They must behold 
Christ, and take possession of Christ, and enjoy him as 
their own. In this respect is Christ our all in all. He 
is all in himself, and if we enjoy him, he is "all in all" 
unto us. 


Many excellent things are in this transaction. Is it 
not of high concernment, that he that now sits at God's 
right hand interceding for us, should thence come again 
to judge the world, and after judgment take up his saints 
with him into glory ? Cast thyself down at the feet of 
Christ, and cry out, O the depth of glory, and majesty, 
and goodness, and grace in thee ! O the riches of love, 
that thou shonldst let out thyself in these several admir- 
able dispensations ! Come, be exact in this study ; ga- 
ther up all the crumbs and filings of this gold ; the least 
beams of the glory of Christ (especially as it shines and 
glitters at his second coming) have so much light, and 
love, and splendour in them, as that they will be very 
sweet to look upon them Every piece or part of this 
knowledge will be of special use and worth ; yea, the 
low and imperfect knowledge of this mystery is of infi- 
nitely more value than the high and perfect knowledge 
of ten thousand things besides. 


1. Consider Christ preparing for judgment. — Realize 
it, as if thou saw or heard the same. No sooner the 
time determined which God hath appointed, but Christ 
commands, "Make ready ye angels to wait upon me, and 
ve glorious souls that now are with me ; it is the Father's 

3 N 


pleasure, and it is my pleasure to go down into the 
nether world, and pass my doom upon all flesh." O 
wtiat a shout may I imagine in heaven at this news ! If 
those that live on earth are commanded hy Christ, "to lift 
up their heads because their redemption draweth nigh ;" 
how much more shall they joy in heaven, who have 
i( waited for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of 
their bodies !" 

2. Consider Christ's coming to judgment. — All now in 
readiness, the Son of God comes forth with all his glo- 
rious attendants. O what a goodly sight is here ! In 
this meditation I may see with John, " the new Jeru- 
salem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared 
as a bride adorned for her husband." Down come 
Christ and the angels, and the spirits of the just made 
perfect ; and as they come along, see how they shake 
the heavens ; see what a flood of fire goes before them ; 
see how they pass into the cloud, where Christ erects a 
throne for himself to sit on. Here is enough to dazzle 
my eyes, and to take up my thoughts; O my soul think 
upon it ! 

3. Consider Christ's sentencing his saints for eternal 
glory. — The books are opened, and in the presence of 
all the world, Christ pronounces that sentence, "Come, 
ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared 
for you from the foundation of the world." Come my 
saints, come with me to glory ; come from labour to 
rest; from the jaws of death, to the joys of eternal life. 
Come now and possess with me the inheritance of hea- 
ven, where you shall be for love, sons ; for birth-right, 
heirs ; for dignity, kings ; for holiness, priests. Come, 
you may boldly enter in, for my Father hath prepared 
and kept it for you, ever since the first foundation of the 

4. Consider Christ and the saints judging the rest of 
the world. — No sooner are the saints sentenced, but 
Christ turns to the wicked, and bids them " go into 
everlasting fire ;" in which sentence the saints shalj join 
with Christ himself. When the saints appear, it is not 
only by a summons, but with commission; not only to 
be judged, but to judge; not only shall they stand at 


Christ's right hand, but they shall sit down on the 
throne of the Son of God, to judge the wicked angels 
and the world. 

5. Consider Christ and his saints going up into hea- 
ven. — No sooner hath he done his work with the world, 
and sent them away, but he shall go with all his troops 
following him into heaven. And as they go along, 
heaven opens unto them, and they enter in. What 
welcomes they have there is past my telling. O my soul, 
think over these things, and be so enlarged in thy 
thoughts, that before they go, thou mayest feel the 
sweet, and taste of this goodness of the Lord. 

6. Consider all the several transactions that will follow 
in heaven. — Then will Christ present all his elect to 
God his Father. Then will he give in all his commis- 
sions which he hath received from his Father. " Then 
will the Son himself be subject to the Father, that God 
may be all in all." I cannot stay to enlarge on these ; 
only remember, though God be all in all, that excludes 
not Christ, for he also is all in all to all his saints, even 
to all eternity. O then what infinite satisfaction mayest 
thou expect in the beholding of Christ in heaven ! The 
lustre of his glory will be diffused unto all, so that some 
shall enjoy the rfory of the sun, others of the moon, 
and others of the stars. O my soul, if thou art but a 
star there, yet if thou art filled with that light that 
comes from the Sun of Righteousness, it is enough. O 
consider this looking unto Jesus : As it is thy duty on 
earth, so it is thy privilege and highest happiness in 
heaven for ever and ever. 


Whilst many shrink at the thoughts of death and 
judgment, it is the privilege of believers to regard the 
day of Christ as a desirable season. 

1. It is " a day of the manifestation of the sons of 
God." — Then shall it be known who are true saints, and 
who are reprobates : here we live in confusion, and in 
our most refined churches (if we have none scandalous) 
yet we may have many hypocrites, and we cannot dis- 



cern them ; but in that day it shall be known who are 
the Lord's, and who are not. The hypocrite shall then 
be unmantled, and the sons of God shall shine and 
glitter as the snn, that all may run and read, " These 
are God's elect, these are the sons and daughters of the 

2. It is " the day of adoption, and of the redemption 
of our bodies." — -I deny not that the saints are adopted 
and redeemed before this day ; but this adoption, and 
redemption is not consummated, before Christ come 
again to judgment ; then shall Christ say, " These are 
my sons whom I have redeemed, and as I have set them 
free, so now shall they live and reign with me for ever 
and ever." 

3. It is " the day of Christ's coming." — He was here 
not long since, travelling upon the earth, and about our 
business ; which done, he went away to heaven upon a 
special errand for his saints ; and there now he is to in- 
tercede for them, and prepare them mansions for eter- 
nity. And no sooner shall he have dispatched his busi- 
ness, but he will come to earth again to give a report of 
his transactions there. O ! why are his chariots so long 
in coming ? Why tarry the wheels of his chariots ? 

4. It is " the day of Christ's glory." — What glorious 
descriptions have we in scripture of Christ's coming to 
judgment ! " The Son of man shall come from heaven 
with power and great glory ;" and the work is no sooner 
done, but he shall return again into heaven with power 
and great glory. Not to mention the essential glory of 
Christ, O ! the glory of Christ as Mediator ; all the 
glory that Ahasuerus could put upon his favourites was 
nothing to this spiritual and heavenly glory, which the 
Father will put upon the Son ; it is a glory above all 
the glories that ever were, or ever shall he ; it is an eter- 
nal glory ; and the tongues of all the saints shall he em- 
ployed to all eternity to celebrate it. This will be their 
everlasting song, " Unto him that loved us, and washed 
us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us 
kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be 
glory and dominion for ever, and ever, Amen." 



A scriptural hope is a sure anchor to the soul, but 
the hope of the hypocrite shall perish. Now, to clear 
this point, that our hopes are of the right stamp, and 
not counterfeit hopes, I shall lay down some signs, 
whereby we may know that Christ's coming is for us, 
and for our good, and for the grace that is to be given 
us at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

1 . If we are born again, then will his glorious coming 
be to glorify us. — " Blessed be the God and Father of 
om Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his abundant 
mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope, to an 
inheritance incorruptible." Come then, you that hope 
for glory, try yourselves. Is there a change in your 
hearts, words, and lives ? Is there a mighty work of 
grace upon your spirits ? Are you experienced in the 
great mystery of regeneration r Here is your evidence 
that your hopes are sound, and that you shall sit upon 
thrones to judge the world. 

2. If we long for his coming, then will he come to 
satisfy our longings. — " Blessed are they that hunger 
and thirst, for they shall be satisfied." " Christ was 
once offered to bear the sins of many ; and unto them 
that look for him shall he appear the second time, with- 
out sin, unto salvation." This " looking for Christ," is 
in scripture a frequent description of a true believer in 
Christ. Real Christians are ever "looking for, and has- 
tening unto the coming of the day of God." Here are 
two signs in one verse, " Looking for, and hastening 
unto :" true believers are not only in a posture looking 
for the coming of Jesus Christ; but also, as it were going 
forth to meet Jesus Christ with burning lamps. Now 
Christians, lay this character to heart. Do you long for 
this glorious and second coming of Christ ? Content not 
yourselves with a hope of possibility or probability, but 
reach out to the lull assurance of hope. The hope of pos- 
sibility is but a weak hope; the hope of probability is but 
a fluctuating hope ; but the hope of certainty is a set- 
tled hope. Such a hope sweetens all the thoughts of 



God and Christ, of death and judgment, of heaven, yea, 
and of hell too, whilst we hope that we are saved from it. 


Believing in Christ is more than hoping in Christ : 
faith eyes things as present, but hope eyes things as fu- 
ture ; and hence the apostle describes faith to be " the 
substance of things hoped for." O if we could but see 
things now, as they shall appear at that last general day 
of judgment, how mightily would they work upon 
our souls ! I verily think the want of this work 
of faith is the cause almost of all the evil in the world; 
and the acting of faith on this subject, would produce 
fruits, even to admiration. If we could but see that 
glory of God in Christ, and these glorious treasures of 
mercies that shall then be communicated; if we could but 
see those dreadful evils that are now threatened, and 
shall then be fulfilled; this would draw the hardest 
heart under heaven. Come let us act faith this day ; as 
if this day were the last day; a thousand years are but 
as one day to faith : it takes present possession of the 
glorious things of the kingdom of God even now. 

Iw Faith must principally look to the purpose of 
Christ in his second coming to judgment. — Now the 
ends are, in respect of the wicked, that they may be 
destroyed, for " he must reign till he hath put all his 
enemies under his feet." He shall come with flaming 
rire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and 
obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ ; who 
shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the 
presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. 
This is the day when the wicked shall suddenly start out of 
sleep, and meet with ghastly amazedness at the 
mouth of their sepulchres ; above them stands the Judge 
condemning, beneath, hell gaping, on the right hand, 
justice threatening, on all sides, the world burning ; to 
go forward is intolerable, and to go backward is impos- 
sible, to turn aside is unavailable ; which way then ? 
heaven's gates are shut, hell's mouth is open, where they 
must end their endless misery. O the shrieks that will 
then be heard, when millions of men and women, at 


the same instant, shall fearfully cry out, and when their 
cries shall mingle with the thunders of groaning hea- 
vens, and with the crack of the dissolving world, when 
the whole fabric of nature shall shake into dissolution 
and eternal ashes. " Consider this ye that forget God, 
lest he tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver 

2. In respect of the godly, that they may be saved, that 
they may see and enjoy Christ to all eternity. — This is 
a main end of Christ's coming, " I will come again, 
and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye 
may be also. And Father, I will, that those whom thou 
hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may 
behold the glory which thou hast given me." 

3. In respect of Christ himself, that he may be glo- 
rified in his justice and in his mercy. 

1 . His justice will be glorified, especially in punishing 
the wicked : here on earth little justice is done on most 
offenders, though some public crimes are sometimes 
punished, yet the actions of closets and chambers, the 
designs and thoughts of men, escape the hand of jus- 
tice ; and therefore God hath so ordained it, that there 
shall be a day of doom, wherein all that are let alone 
by men, shall be questioned by God. Then all thoughts 
shall be examined, and secret actions viewed, and the 
infinite number of those sins which escaped here, shall 
be blazoned there. O how will God glorify his justice 
at that day! Surely his justice shall shine, and be emi- 
nently glorious in every passage. 

2. His mercy will be glorified in rewarding the saints. 
— And this is the supreme end of his coming to judgment, 
" He shall come (saith the apostle) to be glorified in his 
saints." Not but that the angels shall glorify the riches of 
his grace, as well as saints ; but because the angels never 
sinned, "(They have now kept their robes of innocency, 
their cloth of gold above five thousand years, without 
one spark of dirt, or change of colour ;") therefore the 
glory of his grace is more especially fastened on saints 3 
that sometimes were sinners. And hence their song to 
all eternity will be, " glory to the lamb, and glory 



Thus for directions : one word of application, or a 
few motives to work faith in you in this respect. 

1. Christ in his word and by his ministers invites you 
to believe. — These are his letters from heaven, " Come 
all to the marriage supper of the Lamb ; oh, every one 
that thirsts come in.** Heaven's gate is open to all that 
knock. There is Rahab the harlot, and Manasseh the 
murderer, and Mary that had so many devils. Ah poor 
soul, why dost thou make exceptions, where God makes 
none ? Why shouldst thou exclude thyself out of these 
golden gates, when God doth not r 

2. Christ by his spirit, moves, excites and provokes 
you to believe. — "It is the Spirit that convinceth the 
world of sin, especially of that great sin of unbelief; 
and then of righteousness,*' which Christ procureth by 
going to his Father. It is the Spirit that enlightens and 
directs you, as occasion is, saying, " This is the way, 
walk ye in it." It is the Spirit that rouseth and awaken- 
eth you by effectual motion, " Arise my love, my fair 
one, and come away." If now then you feel your spirits 
docile, say with him in the gospel, I believe, Lord help 
my unbelief. I believe when Jesus comes again, he will 
receive me to himself, and that I shall be for ever with 
the Lord. Amen, Amen. 


In order to excite our love to Christ let us meditate 
on his love to us. 

1. Christ will come. — Is not this love ? As his de- 
parture was a rich testimony of his love, " It is expedi- 
ent for you that I go away," — so in his returning, " I 
will not leave you comfortless, I will come unto you." 
O how can we think of Christ's returning, and not me- 
ditate on the greatness of his love ? Might he not send 
his angels ; but he must come himself ? We are filthy 
Lazars, from the crown of our heads, to the soles of 
our feet we are full of sores ; and yet the King of hea- 
ven puts on his best attire, and comes in person with all 
his retinue of glory, to fetch us from our graves to his 
own court of heaven. 

2. Christ will sentence his saints for eternal life.-*- 


Here is love indeed ! Every word of the sentence is full 
of love. It contains the reward of his saints, a reward 
heyond their work, and beyond the promise, and beyond 
their thoughts, and beyond their understanding. It is 
ti participation of the joys of God, and of the inherit- 
ance of the judge himself. '" Come, enter into your 
Master's joy, inherit the kingdom.'* Never was more 
love expressed in words than Christ expresseth in this 
sentence, " Come ye blessed," &c; 

3. Christ will take up all his saints with him into glory, 
where he will present them to his Father, and then be 
their all in all to all eternity.— This is the height of Christ's 
love; this is the immediate love that comes out from the 
precious heart of Jesus Christ. I want words to ex- 
press this love of Jesus : a sea of love is nothing, it hath 
a bottom ; a heaven of love is nothing, it hath a brim ; 
but infinite, eternal, everlasting love hath no bottom, 
no brim, no bounds ; — and do we not yet love him ? Do 
we not yet feel the fire of love break forth ? If not, it 
is time to turn our preaching into prayer, — "O thou who 
art the element or sun of love^ come with thy power ; 
let out one beam, one ray, one gleam of love upon my 
soul. Shine hot upon my heart, remember thy promise, 
to circumcise my heart, that I may love the Lord my 
God, with all my heart, and with all my soul." 


Christ delights to have his people look upon him with 
delight. All tfiat Christ doth to his saints tends to this 
end : if he cast down, it is but to raise them up ; if he 
humble, it is but to exalt ; if he kill, it is but to make 
alive ; in every disposition still he hath a tender care to 
preserve their joy. If you find it a hard thing to joy in 
Jesns in reference to his second coming, think of these 

1 . Christ's coming is the Christian's encouragement. — 
" Yon shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with 
power and great glory ; and when these things begin to 
come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for 
vour redemption draweth nisjh." The signs of his coin- 

3 O 


ing are the hopes of your approaching glory; and what 
should you do then but prepare for it with exceeding joy ? 
Many evils now surround you ; Satan hath his snares, and 
the world its baits, and your own hearts are apt to be- 
tray you into your enemies' hands; but when Christ 
comes,; you shall have full deliverance, arid perfect re- 
demption ; and therefore look up, and lift up your heads. 
2. Christ will lead us into glory. — As the bridegroom 
after nuptials leads his bride to his own home, that there 
they may dwelt together, so Christ our royal Bridegroom 
will lead us into the palace of his glory. And is not 
this joy of oar Lord enough to cause our joy ? O what 
welcomes shall we have into this city ? There shall we 
see Christ; there shall we be set as a seal on Christ's 
arm, and as a seal upon his heart ; there shall we be 
filled with his love, enlightened with his light, encircled 
in his arms, following his steps, praising his name, and 
admiring his glory. There shall we joy indeed ; "for in 
thy presence there is fulness of joy, and at thy right 
hand there are pleasures for evermore." 


1. Let us pray for the coming of Christ. — This was 
the constant prayer of the church, " Come, Lord Jesus, 
come quickly. The Spirit and the bride say, come." 
Well knows the bride that the day of Christ's coming is 
her wedding-day, the day of presenting her unto his 
Father ; and therefore, no wonder if she pray for the 
hastening of it. "Make haste, my beloved, and be 
thou like to a roe, or a young hart." 

2. Let us praise him for his coming. — Our engage- 
ments to Christ, even for this transaction, are so great, 
that we can never extol his name ; at that day the books* 
shall be opened, and why not the book of our engage- 
ments to Jesus Christ ? I can surely tell you it is writ- 
ten full ; the page and margin, both within and without, 
are written full. O then let our hearts be full of praises! 
let us join with those blessed elders that fell down before 
the Lamb, and sung, " Worthy is the Lamb that was 
slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and 
strepgth, and honour, and glory, and blessing." 



When the apostle would persuade Christians to pati- 
ence under the cross, he lays down first the cloud of 
witnesses, ail the martyrs of the church of Christ ; and 
secondly, Jesus Christ himself, as of more virtue and 
power than all the rest. There are several particulars 
in which we should conform. 

1. Christ will prepare for judgment ; let us prepare 
for his judging us. — If Christ come and find us unpre- 
pared, what will become of us ? The very thought of 
Christ's sudden coming to judgment, might well put us 
into a waiting posture, that we might be still in readiness. 
It cannot be long, and alas, what is a little time when 
it is gone. Is it not high time then to prepare our 
lamps, to trim our souls, to watch, and fast, and pray, 
and meditate, and remember, that for all our deeds, good 
or evil, God will bring us to judgment? 

2. Christ at his coming, will summon all his saints to 
arise, and to come to him in the clouds ; let us then 
summon our souls to arise to Christ in the heavens. — 
What Christ will do really at that day, let us do spiritu- 
ally on this day. We had need to be continually stirring 
up the gifts and graces that are in us. It is the Lord's 
pleasure that we should daily come to him: he would have 
us on the wing of prayer, and on the wing of meditation, 
and on the wing of faith : he would have us to be still 
mounting up in divine contemplation to his Majesty. 

3. Christ will at last judge all our souls 3 aud judge 
all the wicked to eternal flames ; O let us judge our- 
selves, that we may not be judged of the Lord. Let us 
search out our sins, and confess them before the Lord. 
Let us cry mightily to God in Christ for the remission of 

4. Christ at his coming will be glorified in his saints ; 
O let him now be glorified in us. — Let us now conform to 
the image of his glory ; let us look on Christ till we are 
like Christ, not only in grace, but in glory; and this 
glory, as it comes from him, so let it redound to him. 
Let us so behold the glory of the Lord 5 in the glass of 
the gospel, as that we may be " changed into the same 

2 02 


image from glory to glory," from a lesser measure, to a 
higher measure of glory. 

Now all is done, shall I speak a word for Christ, or 
rather for ourselves in relation to Christ. If I had but 
one word more to speak in the world, it should be 
this; "let all our spirits be taken up with CHRIST." 
Surely Christ is enough to fill all our thoughts, de- 
sires, hopes, loves, joys, or whatever is within us, or 
without us. Christ alone comprehends all the circum- 
ference of all our happiness. O the worth of Christ ! 
Compare we other things with Christ, and they will 
bear no weight at all. Cast into the balance with him 
angels ; they are wise, but he is wisdom : cast into the 
balance with him men ; they are liars, lighter than 
Tanity, but Christ is " the Amen, the faithful witness r 
cast into the scales kings, and all their glory ; why, 
he is King of kjngs ; cast in two worlds, and add 
to the weight millions of heavens of heavens, and 
Christ outweighs all. Shall I yet come nearer home ? 
What is heaven but to be with Christ ? What is life 
eternal but to believe in God, and in his Son Jesus 
Christ? Where may we find peace with God, and re- 
conciliation with God, but only in Christ? As Christ 
is all in all, so let him, O my soul, be the full and com- 
plete subject of thy desire, and hope, and faith, and love, 
and joy; let him be in thy thoughts the first in the 
mprning, and the last at night. Remember how he 
came out of his Father's bosom for thee, wept for thee, 
bled for thee, poured out his life for thee, is now risen 
for thee, gone to heaven for thee, sits at God's right 
hand, and rules all the world for thee, makes inter- 
cession for thee, and at the end of the world will come 
again for thee, and receive thee to himself, to live 
with him for ever and ever. Surely if thus I believe 
and live, mv life is comfortable, and my death will be 
sweet. If there be any heaven upon earth, I shall find 
it in the practice and exercise of this gospel duty, in 


/'. iiikersley, Printer , Hank,- Street, Bradford.