« AnteriorContinuar »
free when in the regions of death and captivity, because he only had power to lay down his life, and power to take it up again, for us.
He therefore was the victor and the victim, and therefore the victor, because the victim. He was the priest and the sacrifice, and for that reason the true High Priest, because the true sacrifice to thee our God. Firm, therefore, are those hopes I entertain, of having all my diseases healed by him, because he sitteth at thy right hand, living for ever to make intercession for us. Those diseases, I must own, are many and sore, for the prince of this world hath much in me; but I apply to thee for health, by the merits of that Redeemer, in whom his malice could find nothing. Justify me by him, who did no sin, neither was any guile found in his mouth. By that holy and spotless head of all thy saints, convey health and salvation to thy weak polluted member. Deliver me, I beseech thee, from my sinful habits, my vicious dispositions, my faults of wilfulness, of negligence and ignorance. Fill me with thy grace, and help me to excel and resemble thee, the perfection of goodness. Keep me stedfast in the way of thy commandments, and enable me to grow and persevere in virtue unto the end, that I may live and die according to thy will.
What other foundation could a sinful creature, laden with guiit, and quite overwhelmed with frailties, have for, hope? What could poor I, whose conscience upbraids me with infinite faults and neglects, have looked for, but judgment and fiery in dignation, had not thy Word, O God, been made flesh, and dwelt among us? But this marvellous dispensation will no more suffer me to despair, than my own condition, without it, could have justified
my hope: for who shall dare to despair when we, even while we were enemies, were reconciled by the death of thy Son; and, therefore, without all question, being reconciled, shall much more be saved by his life? This is my hope, the rock of my confidence, even the precious blood of thy dear Son, which he shed for us, and for our salvation. In him I revive, and take courage to approach thee, not having my own righteousness, or presuming in any degree upon any work of mine, but that righteousness which is of thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, even the righteousness of God, received by faith in his sacrifice for me.
For this, I give thee my most unfeigned thanks, O tender lover of souls, who by thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, hast created us again to a new life when we had made ourselves nothing, and worse than nothing; and hast wonderfully delivered and restored us to a spiritual being, when we were sunk and absolutely lost in sin and misery.
All praise be to thy fatherly compassion, which · from the bottom of my heart I admire and thankfully adore, for that inexpressible love wherewith thy bowels yearned over ruined man, whereby thou didst extend to most unworthy wretches such marvellous grace; didst send thy only begotten out of thy own bosom, for our universal benefit, and save poor sinners, when the children of wrath and perdition.
All honour and praise be to thee, for his miraculous incarnation and holy nativity, whereby he took flesh of the substance of his blessed mother, for us, and for our salvation, that as he had been before from all eternity very God of God, so he might be in time very man of man.
· Glory and praise be to my God for his passion and painful crucifixion, for his death and resurrection, for his triumphant ascent into heaven, and his sitting in our nature, at the right hand of the Majesty on high. For on the fortieth day after his rising from the dead, he went up in the sight of his disciples, far above all heavens, and from this throne did, according to his most true promise, shower down the Holy Spirit most plentifully upon the sons of adoption. · All honour and thanksgiving be unto thee, O Father for ever, for that shedding of his most precious blood, whereby we are redeemed, washed, and sanctified from our sins, and admitted to be partakers of the Divine nature. ,
Blessed, for ever blessed be that astonishing and unspeakable goodness, which so tenderly loved, wretches so unworthy of thy love, and saved a perishing world by thy only, thy best loved Son. For no instance of thy mercy can compare with this; no expression of it can be carried higher, than that thou shouldst so love the world as to give thy only begotten Son, that all who believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. And this is life everlasting, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent; to know thee by a right faith, and to manifest that knowledge by works suitable to such a faith,
The Father's Love.
O LOVE inestimable! that delivered up a Son, to ransom a servant; an only, an entirely beloved Son, for a wicked and rebellious servant. God was made man, that perishing man might be rescued from the tyranny and power of devils. How infinitely kind was that Son, how tender of souls, whose pity was content to stoop so low for our salvation, so low, as not only to take our nature of his virgin mother, but in it to shed the blood he took, and endure the scandal and torture of the cross ! Behold the merciful and gracious God, coming in grace and mercy, infinite from his own Divine essence, and such as no being but God, who is love and goodness itself, could be capable of; coming to seek and to save that which was lost. Behold the careful shepherd looking for his stray sheep, searching till he find it, and when he hath found it, carrying it back to the fold upon his shoulders with most affectionate joy.
Who can forbear admiring, adoring, exulting with transports of joy, at the infinite goodness of thee, my God, and the love wherewith thou lovedst us? Thou sentest thy own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin didst condemn sin, that we might be made thy righteousness in him. For “this is the very paschal lamb without blemish and without spot, who by his death hath destroyed death, and
by his rising to life again, hath restored to us everlasting life.”
But what, alas! are we able to repay thee for such wonderful benefits, such astonishing demonstrations of thy concern for us? What praises, what thanksgivings are sufficient? Though thou shouldest impart to us all the knowledge and wisdom, all the activity and power, of angels which wait continually about thy throne, and execute all thy pleasure, yet could we not be qualified for any action worthy so vast a favour: though every limb were a tongue, yet could we not even thus sound forth thy praises as they deserve: for even angels themselves, are too weak to comprehend the depth and glories of this mystery, infinite as thyself, and therefore such as could only be effected, such as can perfectly be known, by thy own knowledge only, infinite as thy own goodness. How have we deserved, that thy Son, and our God should take upon him, not the nature of angels, but should take the seed of Abraham; that he should become like us mortals in all things, sin only excepted; that he should honour this mortality with the glories of his resurrection, with a crown of immortality; that he should exalt it far above all heavens, above all the innumerable company of angels, above cherubim and seraphim, and place it at thy own right hand; that angels should praise, that dominions should adore, that all the powers of heaven should fall down, and humble themselves before, and cast their crowns at the feet of, this man and God in one person, seated in dignity so far above them all!
This exaltation is my joyful hope: this my firm and only confidence; for even that Jesus, in that glorious Lord, is a part of every one of us. We are