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without a spurn, beauty without a blot, and perfection without the smallest staw. What, but Divine Wisdom, could have formed such a grand design? what, but Divine Love, could have execute such a costly plan? God manifested! manifested in the flesh! manifested in the likeness of sinful flesh! manifested in the character of a subject; under authority as a son; in waiting as a servant! Hov/ever low this grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in the view of naughty mortals, it is celebrated in the highest strains of angelic praise, heavenly wonder, and seraphic joy. Though small and despised, without form and comeliness, in the eyes of unbelievers, and partly too in the eyes, of militant saints themselves; the Jerusalem above is filled with ceaseless hosannahs unto this son of David; as once humbled, though now exalted; once obedient, though naw obeyed; wounded, though now healed; dead, though now alive; entombed, though now enthroned. As the circumstance of his former humiliation gives peculiar life to the whole consort within the vale; it mould excite the wonder, as well as command the attentien, of the churches below, and encourage the travellers of hope to essay the exercise of humble patient waiting for God. What a distinguishing grace does it give to this path of the saints, that it was trode before them by the King of saints? In the exercise of believing patience, holy obedience, may they not trade the prints of their Redeemer's feet, as the Divine Forerunner? may they not fee the way all along paved by himself? And what encouragement is afforded to the enemies of Jesus Christ, to sall in with the gospel design of saving sinners; since, in order to win, gather and ransom their souls, he humbled himself; and to them sends this
word word of salvation, for their improvement; in the way, for the ends, to the praise of Divine Grace?
Did Jesus Christ, the New Testament Jacob, cry? then all the true Israel of God will be praying and wrestling persons. Wherever the same spirit directs, wherever the same motives prevail, wherever the lame practice appears, though mixed with numberless, nameless, imperfections and discouragements, there is reason to conclude, you belong to Christ's samily, make a part of his little flock. Do ye find it a relief, under pressures, afflictions, and temptations, to retire from society, and pour out your hearts to God? without such opportunity of retirement, for that purpose, are your hearts as bottles like to burst, and your feelings too big for mortality to endure? Is any place a palace to you, where liberty to draw near to the Lord's feat, and to fill your mouths with arguments, is commanded and enjoyed? have you secret, sensible, unutterable uneasiness, when your closed lips are not opened, your languid hearts not enlarged; but when lifelessness and formality are written upon all your praying seasons? Is it your ambition to have your chains broken, your fetters knocked off, and your souls taken out of prison, that you may glorify the name of the Lord? or, is the felt or feared want of such concern, matter of exercise and bitterness to you? Then it would seem you were animated with the Spirit of Christ. And therefore, whatever arguings against yourselves prevail, you are surely Galileans, your speech bewrayeth you.
Nor are your privileges less distinguishing, than is your character; since onr Lord cried, and cried for you, in the days of his humiliation. Had he not cried, our crying would have been in vafn, our prayers ineffectual, and all our expectations as the giving up of the ghost. But did the Redeemer
cry? cry? were such petitions offered up by the blessed Immanuel? and did the hearer of prayer himself become a supplicant? Then all hail, my praying friends! it is the surest earnest, your cry is heard, and your tears are come up before God. Nor is this all, for our dear Lord continues to act in the capacity of an Intercessor within the vail, until all the ends of his cries and groans are fully reached, . in the final salvation of your souls. However distant in respect of comfortable enjoyment from the Lord as your God, the Redeemer abides in the divine Presence, and abides for your behoof. Put honour therefore upon him, by presenting his cry to the Father, as your plea for access and acceptance. Put honour upon him, by committing your wants, weaknesses and requests, into his hand, who has so much to say with the hearer of prayer; nay, who in his Divine Nature, is the hearer of prayer himself. Nor give place to discouragement, since you have such a noble, generous, and prevalent friend at the court of heaven.
Prayerless persons, however, have no pretensions to the character and privileges of Christians. Yon who can be whole days and nights, without bowing a knee at the throne of grace; who can ly down, and rife up, without praying to the God of your life, the length of your days, and the rock of your salvation; who can find and take time for every thing else but devotion; who prefer any employment to that of prayer, any society to that of solitude, any enjoyment to that of secret intercourse with heaven; who can make public, or at most samily prayer suffice, without studying closet devotion; who can enter your samilies, your shops, your barns, your folds, and even your churches, day after day, as prayerless as the grovelling little animals that follow you; and who, whatever
sashion sashion you may make of prayer, enter not at all into the spirit of it, know nothing beyond the external performance, skim on the sursace of that important duty: What are you? are you young and gay? are you rich and wealthy? are you wise and penetrating? are you admired and esteemed? It matters not, though you had all the beauties, the grandeurs, and the advantages, the creation itself can give; you are prayerless wretches, graceless persons, Christless fouls; you have no interest in the Redeemer's cry, no part in his intercession, and, for any thing appears, shall have no lot in the inheritance of the faints in light. Rouse, awake, up, 0 sleepers! arise, shake off these guilty, these deadly, these accursed slumbers; cry, now cry unto God, as a God in Christ, that ye perish not: if not interested in the merit of Immanuel's cry, if not followers of him in his prayerful character, you shall not only cry and not be heard, but shall roar under the load of unmendable, unbearable despair, in that place where horror, everlasting horror and anguish, reign and jlwell.
Of the Messiah's passive obedience, or his being in 'J the horrible pit and miry clay."
AS a common person, our Lord lived, died, and rose again; as representing others, he humbled himself; and in the same capacity he was exalted by the Father; so that believers may look
upon upon him in both points of view, with distinguishing pleasure; and consider themselves as particularly interested in what he was, did, suffered, enjoyed, and procured, as Man-Mediator. Nor are his sufferings inexpressive of the trials to which his members may be exposed, under which they may groan in the house of their pilgrimage; for as they all will be made conform to him in his glory, it is no more than reasonable, they should be like him in his low condition.
In these low circumstances, however, our Lord can only be considered as Man-Mediator. To suppose the contrary, would argue the grossest blasphemy, the highest impiety; because, in his divine nature, he neither suffered, nor was capable of it; in that view he was, is, and continues the independent Jehovah, infinitely happy, infinitely removed from every circumstance subversive of perfection in happiness. None of these passions or connections, which to mortals are the source of their infelicities, are, or can possibly be known by him, who is the immortal, the everlasting God. So that when inspired writers represent him in such humbled circumstances, we must consider him only as the Man Christ Jesus. In which capacity, indeed, though he was absolutely divested of these passions which are the teeming womb of sorrow and distress to mere men; yet his connections were such, as laid him under inevitable obligations to go through the hottest furnace of trial ever mortal trode, and through such a furnace, as no man but himself was ever capable of treading. He was connected with the Law-giver by covenant, and with law-breakers by substitution; and thence exposed, justly exposed, to all the Law-giver could demand, and to all the law-breaker should undergo.
The horrible pit and the miry clay are only different