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SERM. nature upon Him, in order to redeem mankind at the price XLVI.

of His own blood. For this He had engaged to do: to take the nature of men upon Him, that as a man He might make satisfaction to God for the offences of sinful men, and suffer every thing that they had deserved to suffer, even death itself; and by this most kind, most merciful undertaking, we, and all mankind, are restored to the favour of God, and have a right given us to eternal life and happiness, if we are not wanting to ourselves.

And now, Christians, you see why God would suffer His own Son to be put to death by wicked men ; and why His Son would choose to be so punished. It was because He had undertaken the cause of sinners, and had put Himself in their room, and place, and stead ; and therefore was in justice bound to suffer what they as sinners had deserved, and were obliged in justice to undergo, in order to satisfy the justice of His offended Father, who therefore suffered His Son to be so treated and put to death.

This you will find was manifested in all our Saviour's whole life and sufferings : for He took upon Himself the condition of a servant; He was born of a poor virgin; He wanted at His birth the very necessaries of poverty ; He was forced to flee for His life into Egypt as soon almost as born. When He was grown up, and appeared in the world, He was treated with the most opprobrious language, and had not where to lay His head. And all this He was to undergo, not only to convince mankind what they as sinners do deserve, but also to satisfy the justice of God.

But this will appear still more plain, when we consider the last part of His life. And here I shall have a very good occasion to explain to you several passages of the Gospels relating to our Saviour: His being betrayed, tried, condemned, and crucified; which will be well worth your knowing and remembering; and by which you will be convinced, that the sufferings of Christ were all foreknown and determined by God.

For example: Jesus Christ having, for our sakes, taken upon Him the form (the condition) of a servant, He was to be treated as such; and therefore Judas and the Jews could agree upon no other sum for betraying and selling

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4.]

his Master, but thirty pieces of silver, which was just the Exod. 21. price of a servant, as we find in the law of Moses.

And here one cannot pass by observing, how little those that tempt others to wickedness are concerned for what follows. Judas, his eyes being opened, was overwhelmed with horror at what he had done, and flung back the money they had given him, declaring that he had betrayed the innocent blood. This mournful confession, and sad affliction, never moved them. All they answered was,

What (Matt. 27. is that to us ? See thou to that."

Little do people fear the sin of covetousness; and yet here we find it the occasion of one of the greatest crimes that ever was committed; so true it is, THAT THE LOVE OF MONEY IS (1 Tim. 6.

10.) THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL.

To proceed: when Judas betrayed Him, Jesus Christ did not so much as upbraid him; when false witnesses were set up to take away His life, He did not so much as once complain of the injustice; for He had put Himself in the place of guilty sinners, and therefore took patiently the worst of usage.

Of this patience we have a memorable instance in a circumstance which attended His examination by the chief priest; for when one smote Him on the face, and rebuked Him, He answered with the utmost mildness, “If I have (John 18.

23.) done evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why smitest thou Me?” How different was this from what St. Paul answered, when the high-priest commanded Him to be smitten on the face; “God shall smite thee, thou whited wall! For (Acts 23.

3.] sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law.”

Upon Pilate's declaring, over and over again, that he found no fault in Christ : that He had done nothing worthy of death ; and for his part he would wash his hands, that he might be clear of the blood of so just a man; the Jews, with one voice, cried out, “His blood be upon us and upon our (Matt. 27. children;"--and so it is to this day. They are a people

25.) dispersed over the whole world, and treated with contempt wherever they go.

But His righteous blood was required of them in a most signal and dreadful manner, within forty years after they so

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SERM. ' unjustly crucified the Son of God; and at the very time of LXVI.

the Passover, when their city was besieged, and when no less than eleven hundred thousand were slain at one time. And Pilate, the unrighteous judge, who had both acquitted and condemned the Lord Christ, by a righteous judgment of God was soon after called from his government and banished, and within four or five years hanged himself out of despair.

But even after our Lord was condemned, He was used worse than the most notorious criminals are ever used, or suffered to be treated. They spit in His face, and buffeted Him; they crowned Him with a crown of thorns, and so led Him out to crucify Him. Why was all this suffered by God His Father? Was it not to shew mankind, that as sinners, nobody can use us worse than we deserve; and that He, having put Himself in the place of sinful men, must of necessity suffer after this manner? For so the Prophet Isaiah

had foretold, no less than seven hundred years before, that chap. 53. the Messiah should be so used, in these words, “He was”

(that is, He was to be) “despised, and rejected of men. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth. But He was wounded for our transgressions, and with His stripes we are healed. For the Lord laid on Him the iniquities of us all.” Thus it was written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer.

And now He was led out to be crucified. And here pray let us observe the providence of God. He was carried to be crucified to a mountain called Calvary, that is, a place of a skull, from an old tradition that Adam was there buried. But whether that was so or not, this we are sure of, that this was the very mountain Moriah, where Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his only, his beloved son ; who was to be a type

or figure of Jesus Christ. And the prophet having foretold Isa. 53.

that the Messiah was to be numbered with the transgressors, the Jews, not knowing what they did, fulfilled that prophecy, and crucified Him between two thieves. So wonderfully surprising are all the ways of God, and ordered for the confirmation of our faith and trust in Jesus Christ!

He is now upon the cross, His hands and His feet nailed to it. One would think that their envy and malice was now satisfied: but there were other prophecies to be fulfilled.

save.

The Prophet David had said in the person of the Messiah, “They pierced my hands and my feet ;” and, that He who Ps. 22. was to be so used, “should be laughed to scorn in the midst of His sufferings;" that they should say in scorn, “He trusted in the Lord that He would deliver Him; let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him." Let us observe how this prophecy was most exactly fulfilled: the chief priests and rulers mocked Him and said, “He saved others, Himself He cannot (Matt. 27.

11, &c.] If He be the Son of God, let Him deliver Him," &c. What use are we to make of this strange blindness of this people? Why, we may see, in the perverse blindness of the Jews, what we ourselves should be, and what we should do, if we, for our sins, were forsaken of God, and left to ourselves.

The sufferings of Christ were now so extremely great, that He was forced to cry out, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me!" These are the very words of the twentysecond Psalm, which the Prophet David foreshewed would be made use of by Him who was thus to suffer, that we may see that every sinner, in whose place Christ then was, does deserve to be forsaken of God, and would be so forsaken, if Christ had not thus suffered for him.

When God appointed the Passover, in order to keep up the remembrance of this people's deliverance out of the bondage of Egypt, which was also to be a type or figure of a greater deliverance by Jesus Christ, He ordered, that a bone of the (Exod. 12.

46.) Lamb that was sacrificed should not be broken.

Observe now the wonderful order of Providence : there was a great man of the Jews, who had begged of Pilate the body of Christ. Pilate marvelled, if He were already dead; which he would not have done, had he known what a dreadful night He had had in His agony in the garden, when He sweat great drops of blood, and after this was kept the whole night without sleep, hurried through the streets, first to one highpriest's house, then to another, then to Pilate, then to Herod, then to Pilate again; and, after all this, out of the city to the place where He was crucified, bearing His cross till He could no longer stand under it. But when Pilate had enquired of the centurion, he gave him leave to take the body.

SERM. But before the bodies were taken down, the soldiers brake LXVI. the legs of the two thieves; and why not the legs of Christ? (John 19. 33, &c.) They knew nothing of the Passover, and yet God so ordered

it, that they broke not His legs ;--but one of them, to make

sure work, ran a lance into His heart, and fulfilled another Zech.12.10. prophecy of the Messiah, that “they should look on Him

whom they had pierced.”

And now He is buried. And, because He had openly declared, that they should kill Him, and that after three days He would rise again from the dead, the Jews took all imaginable care to secure the body till after the third day; they procured a guard of soldiers to watch the sepulchre, and sealed the stone that covered the door of the tomb. And such was the order of Providence, that not one of the Apostles were concerned in His burial. Thus God, in a manner we do not always take notice of, confirms our faith.

But after all the care of the Jews, our blessed Lord did rise again the third day, and conversed with His disciples, with five hundred at one time; and after He had instructed them in the things concerning His Church, He ascended before their eyes into heaven, there to appear before God, for. all such as, through faith in His blood, go unto God for any blessings they stand in need of.

And now, good Christians, do not imagine that I have made these observations upon our Saviour's death and resurrection, only to please your curiosity. Very far from it : but it was, that you might be convinced of these truths : forasmuch as the knowledge and firm belief of these truths is the only foundation of our hope of pardon and peace with God. This being the spring and fountain of all the blessings which we either enjoy now, or hope for hereafter. Without this God would never accept of the repentance of any sinner. It is Jesus Christ (as the Apostle assures us, Col. i. 20) THAT HAS MADE OUR PEACE WITH GOD, BY THE BLOOD OF His

CROSS,

So that it would be the greatest boldness in any man to presume to ask any favour of God, without asking it for Christ's sake, who by His death has obtained this mighty blessing for His sinful creatures, that God, for His sake, will hear, and receive, and grant our petitions. This is the

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