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An Address to the Father through the Son.
I CALL upon thee, O my God, yea, even upon thee do I call, who declarest thyself nigh unto all such as call upon thee in truth. But thou thyself art Truth, and therefore teach me, for thy mercies' sake, to perform this service as I ought; for without thee I know not how to please thee; and therefore do make it my most humble and earnest request to be taught by truth itself. All wisdom without thee is no better than folly, and to know thee alone, is the sum and perfection of knowledge. Inform me, therefore, O Divine wisdom, and make me to understand thy statutes. For I am fully persuaded, that he, and he alone is blessed, whom thou nurturest and teachest in thy law.
My desire is to call upon thee, and to do it in truth: but what can calling upon truth itself in truth mean, except applying to the Father by the Son ? Holy Father, thy Word is truth. In that Word of truth I call upon thee, O essential and original Truth, and beg to be directed in, and thoroughly taught the truth.
And what can be more delightful than to address Him that begot, in the name of his only begotten? than to move the Father to tenderness by the mention of his own dear Son ? A king's anger cools instantly, if the offenders are such favourites of the prince, as to make use of his name and interest: and servants find it no hard matter to come
off without blows, if the children are employed in their behalf. Since then these methods are so successful below, why should they not have the same good effect above? I will beg the Almighty Father, for the sake of his Almighty Son, to bring my soul out of prison, that I may give thanks unto his name. Loose me, Lord, from the bands of my sins, for the sake of thy only, thy co-eternal Son; and by the intercession of that dear, that Divine image and brightness of thy glory, now sitting at thy right hand, be reconciled to a poor sinful wretch; and, instead of that death, with which my wickedness deservedly threatens me, raise and restore me to a life of hope and blessedness.
This is indeed the only advocate I can employ: for whither should I flee, or whose interest should I depend upon with the Father, except to go to Him, who is the propitiation for our sins; who also sitteth at the right hand of God, making intercession for us? This therefore is my mediator with thee, heavenly Father; this my perfect high-priest, who needs not be sanctified with other blood, but hath made atonement, and stands before thee, pure and bright, in virtue of his own blood, with which he was washed for our sakes. This is that holy and unblemished, that acceptable and perfect sacrifice, offered for a sweet smelling savour unto God. This that Lamb without spot, who was dumb before his shearers; and though reviled, and buffetted, and spit upon, yet he opened not his mouth. This that righteous person, who did no sin, but condescended to bear our sins, and by his own stripes to heal our putrified sores. Look upon him, I beseech thee, and heal my soul.
bitter thime time thin, who it is insider, me
The Son's Sufferings represented to the Father.
Look, therefore, gracious Father, look upon this best and highest of Beings, who hath endured such indignities upon my account. Consider, most merciful King of heaven, who it is that suffered; and at the same time think for whom he suffered such bitter things. Is not this, my God, that spotless innocent, whom, though thy Son, thou wert pleased not to spare, that he might redeem thy servant? Is not this that author and giver of life, who was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and becoming obedient even unto death, was content to die in the most painful and ignominious manner? O thou, whose wonderful wisdom contrived the whole mystery of man's redemption! reflect, I beseech thee, that this is that very person who though begotten of, and resembling thee, in thy almighty power, yet was ordained by thee to partake of my weakness. It was thy own Divine, which clothed itself with my human nature, and in my flesh ascended the cross, and felt the torments of a most shameful death. O let this unspeakable instance of condescension and love be ever before thine eyes! See that beloved Son extended on the cross; behold his holy hand stained with innocent blood, and pardon those iniquities with which my wicked hands have been polluted. Behold his naked side pierced with a cruel spear, and wash me in that fountain, which by the eyes of faith I see flowing from that wound. Behold those blessed feet, which never
stood in the way of sinners, but walked in the paths of thy commandments, thrust through with merciless nails, and hold up my goings in thy paths, and give me grace to hate all evil ways, and to choose the way to truth and righteousness. I beseech thee, O King of saints, may it please thee, by this powerful Redeemer, so to dispose my heart and actions, that I may be united to him in the same spirit, who did not disdain to be united to me in the same flesh.
See his pale breast, his purple sides, his eyes languishing in death, his arms grown stiff, his pierced feet drenched with streams of precious blood ; look, glorious Father, look upon this body, bruised and broken, and torn, and then in mercy call to mind whereof I am made. Let the punishment of God and man, personally united, atone for a man created after his and thy likeness. Let the sufferings of the Redeemer be ever in thy sight, and in them overlook the offences of thy unworthy creature.'
Sinful Man the Cause of Christ's Sufferings.
What hadst thou done, O Saviour undefiled, to bring thee as a criminal before thy enemies’ bar? Or how hadst thou deserved to be treated with such rude and insolent, such unrelenting and triumphant barbarity ? What passage of thy whole life could they fix an accusation upon, what crime allege, to countenance so rigorous a sentence? If none, (as none they could) whence then thy shameful bitter death, or how camest thou to be condemned as a vile malefactor? It was I, alas! it was wretched I, that gave thee all those pains: it was I deserved the death that thou enduredst; and my offences gave those scourges, those nails, that spear, the power of slaying and wounding, and killing thee. O wonderful process ! mystery of justice! that the wicked should offend, and the righteous be punished for it! that the guilt and the condemnation should thus be separated! that the servant should contract a debt, and the Lord, to whom it was due, make satisfaction! that man should provoke the Divine vengeance, and God should feel the smart of it! How low, O Son of God, did thy humility stoop! How fervent was thy love! How boundless thy compassion !
For I have done wickedly, and thou art called to account for it: I armed an angry justice against myself, and it is discharged upon thy head: mine is the crime, and thine the torture: I have been proud, and thou art humbled; I am puffed up, and