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the very testimony of his enemies. Those words, which they flung upon him in reproach,—he saved others, himself he cannot save; this looks so like a Saviour; to save others by giving up himself! That he saved not himself, was not for want of power; for then he could not have saved others; but for this cause he would not save himself, that he might save others.”
So when Pilate gave this testimony to our Lord, I find no cause of death in this man; St. Ambrose has this remark upon it: “ Alas! (says he) there was indeed no cause of death in the man; for he was innocent: but there was cause of death in his name; which, he must die, in order to make good." His name Jesus upon the cross, was a certificate of the cause, end, and design of his death
The inscription over a malefactor usually signifies what he has done : that over our Saviour signified what he must do, namely “ Save his people from their sins;" as a sacrifice, “ Therefore you were mistaken, oh ye Jews, when you said, Let him come down from the cross, and we will believe. Had he come down, he would have left his name Jesus behind him, and we should have had reason to have inverted the argument, and to have said, he hath saved himself, and therefore he cannot save us, and we will not believe in him. You should rather have said, if he be the king of Israel, let him die for Israel. If he be the Son of God, let him die for the people of God. If he be indeed the Jesus, let hiin not desert his name.”
He would not abandon his character. No, that inscription was written in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew; three languages, as if designed to express that he died to save out of all kindreds, tongues, and people, In a word, had he come down from the cross and saved himself, he might have been our Lord, or any other name, becoming so great a person, but Jesus, in the sense of the text, he could not have been,
5. Let us act up to our expectations from this name.
You all know what you expect from Jesus-salvation from your sins. Then let us act like those who expect to be saved from their sins, and not as if we hoped to be saved in them. Do not let us expect that from the name, which Christ never put into it, nor designed should ever come out of it. Jesus is a sweet name (says one) but men do not love it should be-Lord Jesus. “ Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, Amen." They will not have him as God offers him, to be a prince and a Saviour. They divide what God has joined, the king and the priest. They divide here too; they would be content to have some of their sins destroyed; but they cannot leave the lap of Dalilah, nor divorce the beloved Herodias. They cannot be cruel to a right-eye, or to a right-hand. If the Lord will but pardon them in this thing, he shall be their Jesus too, for all the rest. But what if Jesus and you part upon this ? Will you give up your interest in his dear name, for any one lust in the world ? No, fall out with it, mourn over it, turn from it, withdraw from every occasion of it. Do they, who expect or desire to be saved from the plague, do they frequent the pest-house? Do they who desire to be saved from falling, dance and play carelessly upon the edge of the precipice? Do they, who expect or desire to be saved from sin, lead themselves into temptation.
6. Look to your interest in this dear name, and in all the import of it. Enquire
Do I love him above all things, so as that for his sake, and in comparison of him, all things else are counted as dross and dung? Happy they, who to such a question can answer with the apostle Paul, “ Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss, for the excel. lency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ.”
Do you think, that Jesus by himself alone, can make you happy without the things of this world ? If God should strip you of every thing else, “ Though the fig-tree should not blossom, neither fruit should be in the vines. Though the labour of the olive should fail, and the fields should yield no meat. Though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there should be no herd in the stalls, yet will you rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of your salvation ? " Though there should be a total failure of all creature comforts, yet could I rejoice in Jesus, who will never fail me, “ Never leave me, nor forsake me. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hind's feet, and will make me walk upon mine high places." “ The Lord is my portion, saith my soul, therefore will I trust in him.” And because he is so, I will account the “ Lines to have fallen to me in pleasant places, and that I have a goodly heritage.”
But says the carnal mind, will an interest in this Jesus quench my thirst when I am dry? Will it clothe my naked children, or go to market for them, and fetch home provision ? I answer, is it more likely that all this should be done without an interest in him ; by throwing off regard to him, who has all hearts and ways of men in his hand; and thereby forfeiting his regards to thee? I answer again, that an interest in this Jesus may do all this for thee ; because it interests thce in those promises which are said to belong to godliness ? “ And godliness hath the promise of this life as well as that which is to come.” But I answer further, that whether it do all this or not, it will do something better and greater; as much better and greater as heaven is in comparison of earth; the soul than the body; and eternity than time; God will either provide for us in this world, or take us out of it to heaven.
But further still, nothing can suffice without this. Give the soul riches, pleasures, honours, they will not satisfy. It languishes after Jesus. Riches, without him, are a snare; the prosperity of the fool that destroys. Beauty, without this, is an alluring varnish thrown over poison and death. Honours are but an elevation to a greater height, in order to the deeper fall. To return to the question. Is our heart with him ? How can we say we love him, if our heart be not with him ? Do we love to think of him? Are we uneasy without him? When he is withdrawn, are we unquiet and restless, till he return to us again? Are we afraid to offend him, and sorry when we have done so ? Do we mourn after the Lord, if he hides his face ; and are we restless till we have found him, whom our souls love ? Do we long to see him, meet him, and be with him ?
This inquiry will concern two sorts of persons.
1. Those who do not as yet feel an interest in this name, and the blessed meaning of it. Let me represent a few things to you to co-operate with the design of Jesus in taking that name upon him. As thus,
It is better to know your need of an interest in him, whilst it may be had, than to go on in the ignorance of your condition ; it is better to find out our wants while they may be supplied, than to let the matter run on till it is too late. You may have an interest in the saving import of this name, as freely as others. “He shall save his people.” You may be his people, as well as any that are called so. They, who are now his people, were once, lo ammi, were not his people. You, who are not, now may be so. You are undone, if not saved by Jesus. For there is no “ Other name given under heaven, whereby you can be saved.” Nor is there any other way of your being saved by that name, but by becoming his people ; for that name carries in it, salvation to his people—“ He shall save his people from their sins.” And besides, all the other names he wears will signify nothing to you without this ; nothing that you can take any comfort in. They will all be against you, and this name too will be against you, if it be not for you; if you neglect so great salvation.
2. To those who find they have an interest in this blessed name, I have a few things to say, and then will close.
In the first place, make use of this name with God. You have frequent business at the court above, unless you are prayerless persons. You have suits there depending about mercy and grace. Whose name or interest can you use but this of Jesus? It is with a mixture of pity and indignation that we hear the poor deluded papist crying out, “Oh, holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us. Oh, saint Paul, saint Peter, pray for us.” As if the names of Mary, saint Peter, and saint Paul, or a thousand other names, had any thing in them like the name Jesus. May not our Lord Jesus expostulate with these people, and say, “What did I come down and put on this name for? Did I put salvation into my name, to have others sought unto for the salvation it contains ? Have I not told you, there is “ One Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus ?” Have I not told you, that this is a name above every name, and that “At this name of Jesus every knee shall bow ?" Have I not told you, that “ Whatsoever you do, you must do all in the name of the Lord Jesus ? ” Is this office conferred on the King's son, and do you go to the King's servants ? Have I not told you, that “Whatever you ask in my name, you shall receive ?” And by referring all along to my own name, do I not plainly disallow, the use of any other names.'
Again, use this name with Jesus himself. Go to him and say, 01 Jesus, I am a poor sinner. I am come where thou hast bid me come, and where thy name invites me to come. I bring along with me thy dear name, Jesus. A name thou hast given on purpose to encourage our pleas upon it, like so many bills of credit to be drawn upon the riches of grace, contained in that name. Does it not import salvation from my sins also ? Thou that wouldst not leave thy paine upon a cross, wilt thou slight it upon a throne ? A throne of grace,
when it is duly pleaded before thee? No, it shall never be said that any petition was in a due manner presented in that name, that thou didst not answer. For thy name's sake therefore, for the credit of thy name Jesus, save me from iny sins.
Further; use this name, Jesus, with others. Let me use this name with you, as the apostle did to the Thessalonians: “ We beseech you brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as you have received of us how you ought to walk, so you would abound more and more."
Once more; use it with yourselves. Try what it will do against sin and Satan. It will not indeed work like a charm; but it is certain there are charms in it, that a good soul cannot easily resist. While I say with myself, upon occasion of sin or temptation, Is this, oh my soul, is this worthy of that dear name I shelter myself under? Is this suitable to the interest I claim in it, and the expectation I have from it?'
Depend firmly upon this name, and believe in it. This is his commandment, « That we believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and that we love one another as he hath commanded us.” Believe that he is, and will be, and will do, all that which his name imports.
Love and reverence this name, and take the comfort which it affords, against the fears that may arise from the power of our enemies or our own weakness.
Consider that the time is coming, when this name Jesus will be the most lovely sound, and he that wears it, appear to be the most lovely person in the world. At death, oh then for an interest in this Jesus, and all the saving import of His name! At judgment, when he shall, come in the glory of his Father, and in the glory of his holy angels, and in his own glory. When he shall take his place upon the throne, as judge of the world, and as the Saviour of them that believe in Jesus. Let them that are able figure to themselves with what spirit and joy they will look up to him who have an interest in him, and lift up their heads, because their redemption and Redeemer are come. As for others, I am persuaded they would never have been represented crying to the rocks, and to the mountains, to fall on them, and hide them from his face, if it would be to any purpose to cry to Jesus himself at that day. Jesus will then say, “ No, I wore this name long enough to let you know that I was willing to save you, as well as I saved others, but you would none of me. You have no more to do with the name Jesus. I am judge of all the world, and will give to every man according to his works; but I am Jesus only to those who believed in me, and belong to me. Your sins have ruined you, which you would not be saved from; and when you despised the reason of this name, you threw away the benefit of it too.- Depart from me, Jesus knows you not.”—Thus damnation will be pronounced by him whose name signifies salvation. But then he will say to those on the right hand." Come ye blessed of my Father, come and enjoy the full measure of glorious happiness, in a complete salvation. You see the misery I have saved you froin; from weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth; from eternal confusion, despair, and anguish, inmortal flames, and the worm
that never dies. Come and take possession of what I have saved you to—The kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” And then placing himself at the head of all his church, he will lead up the beautiful, the glorious triumph ; and after they have been presented to the Father, a glorious church without spot, wel. comed by angels, and have taken their allotted places and stations ; all they shall hear, see, and enjoy for ever, will be the eternal unfold. ing of the name Jesus.
REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES. THE PRIMITIVE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION; or an Historical Inquiry into the IDEALITY and CAUSATION of SCRIPTURAL Election, as received and maintained in the Primitive Church of Christ. By GEORGE STANLEY FABER, B.D. Second Edition. 8vo. 448 pp. T. BLENKARN.
CONTROVERSy on the subject of Election has existed among theo. logians, from the time of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. Men equally eminent for piety, high scholastic attainments, and rich intellectual endowments, have, on this subject, entertained directly opposite sentiments. At one time, questions relating to the Scriptural import of Election, engrossed a large share of the attention of divines; and the controversy was conducted with more of warmth of temper than was consistent with the spirit of Christianity, or with that of philosophy in search of truth. Happily the bitterness of spirit in which those discussions were formerly, by many persons, con. ducted, is now almost unknown. The fiery zealots who apply abusive epithets to those who differ from them, in questions concerning Election or Predestination, are now but very thinly scattered, and are but very lightly esteemed by the catholic, or universal, church of Christ. Although, we readily admit, we do not regard it essential to a man's salvation, that he should hold any particular opinion on the subject of Election, yet, we do not consider it to be a matter of perfect indifference, whether the opinions of men are, upon this subject, coincident with the meaning of the Holy Spirit, as expressed in the sacred Scriptures. There is a degree of importance connected with the right understanding of every part of divine truth. We ought therefore to be thankful to those persons who, by diligent research and careful study, endeavour to ascertain the meaning of the difficult passages of Scripture, relating to Election, which have long divided the opinions of wise and good men, and who then publish the result of their labours for the benefit of others.
Mr. Faber, the author of the volume now before us, when engaged in preparing for the press, his works on, The Difficulties of Romanism and The Apostolicity of Trinitarianism, had occasion to enter upon an extensive examination of the writings of the early Anti-nicene Fathers; and while he was thus engaged, he “ was struck with perceiving: that, in the early writings of the Church,