« PrécédentContinuer »
of all sorts cry to heaven, and are answered with threats; yea, with variety of vengeances. Take this with thee yet, o thou Worldling, which hast the greedy worm under thy tongue with Isaiah's dogs, and never hast enough: thou shalt meet with two things, as unsatiable as thyself; the Grave, and Hell: and thou, whom all the world could not satisfy, there be two things whereof thou shalt have enough ; Enough mould in the grave, enough fire in hell.
I love not to end with a judgment; and, as it were, to let my sun set in a cloud. We are all Christians : we should know the world, what it is; how vain, how transitory, how worthless. We know where there are better things, which we profess ourselves made for, and aspiring to. Let us use the world like itself; and leave this importunate wooing of it to Heathens and Infidels, that knew no other heaven, no other God.
like that counsel better, “ Be covetous :" “ Be ambitious.” Covet spiritual gifts. i Cor. xiv. 1. Never think you have grace enough : desire more; seek for more: this alone is worth your affections, worth your cares. Be still poor in this, that you may be rich; be rich, that you may be full; be full, that you may be glorious. Be Ambitious, of favour, of honour, of a kingdom; of God's favour, of the honour of saints, of the kingdom of glory. Whither, He, that hath bought it for us, and redeemed us to it, in his good time, safely and happily bring us! To that Blessed Saviour of ours, together with the Father, and his Good Spirit: the God of all the World, our Father, Redeenier, and Comforter, be given all praise, honour, and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
THE PASSION SERMON; PREACHED AT PAUL'S CROSS, ON GOOD-FRIDAY, APRIL 14, 1609.
TO THE ONLY HONOUR AND GLORY OF
WHICH HATH DONE AND SUFFERED ALL THESE THINGS FOR MY SOUL,
HIS WEAK AND UNWORTHY SERVANT
HUMBLY DESIRES TO CONSECRATE HIMSELF AND HIS POOR
BESEECHING HIM TO ACCEPT, AND BLESS THEM TO THE PUBLIC GOOD,
AND TO THE PRAISE OF HIS OWN GLORIOUS NAME.
TO THE READER.
I Desire not to make any apology for the edition of this my Sermon. It is motive enough, that herein í affect a more public and inore enduring good. Spiritual niceness is the next degree to unfaithfulness. This point cannot be too much urged, either by the tongue, or press. Religion and our souls depend upon it; yet are our thoughts too much beside it. The Church of Rome so fixes herself, in her adoration, upon the Cross of Christ, as if she forgat his glory: many of us so conceive of him glorious, ihat we neglect the ineditation of his Cross, the way to his glory and ours. If we would proceed right, we must pass from his Golgotha to the Mount of Olives, and from thence to heaven; and there seek and settle our rest. According to my weak ability, I have led this way in my speech; beseeching my readers to follow me with their hearts, that we may overtake hiin, which is entered into the true sanctuury, even the highest heavens, to appear now in the sight of God for us.
JOHN xix. 30. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished;
and bowing the head, he gave up the Ghost. The bitter and yet victorious Passion of the Son of God, right honourable and beloved Christians, as it was the strangest thing that ever befel the earth, so is both of most sovereign use, and looks for the most frequent and careful meditation.
It is one
of those things, which was once done, that it might be thought of for ever. Every day therefore must be the Good Friday of a Christian; who, with that great Doctor of the Gentiles, must desire to know nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I. There is no branch or circumstance in this wonderful business, which yields not infinite matter of discourse. According to the solemnity of this time and place, I have chosen to commend unto your Christian attention, our Saviour's Farewell to Nature (for his reviving was above it) in his Last Word, in his Last Act. His LAST WORD, It is finished; his Last Act, He gave up the Ghost. That, which he said, he did. If there be any theme, that may challenge and command our ears and hearts, this is it: for, behold, the sweetest word that ever Christ spake, and the most meritorious act that ever he did, are met together, in this his last breath. In the one, ye shall see him triumphing: yielding, in the other; yet so as he overcomes.
Imagine, therefore, that you saw Christ Jesus, in this day of his passion, who is every day here crucified before your eyes, advanced upon the Chariot of his Cross; and now, after a weary conflict, cheerfully overlooking the despight and shame of inen, the wrath of his Father, the law, sin, death, hell; which all lie gasping at his foot: and then you shall conceive, with what spirit he saith, Consummatum est, It is finished.
What is finished ? shortly; all the Prophecies, that were of him; all Legal Observations, that prefigured him; his own Sufferings; our Salvation: THE PROPHECIES ARE ACCOMPLISHED, THE CEREMONIES ABOLISHED, HIS SUFFERINGS ENDED, OUR SALVATION WROUGHT: these four heads shall limit this first
part my speech; only let them find and leave you attentive.
1. Even this very word is prophesied of; All things that are written of me, have an end, saith Christ. What end? This, It is finished. This
This very end hath his end here. What therefore is finished? Not this prediction only of his last draught, as Augustin: that were too particular. Let our Saviour himself say, Au things that are written of me by the prophets. It is a sure and convertible rule, “ Nothing was done by Christ, which was not foretold: nothing was ever foretold by the prophets of Christ, which was not done."
It would take up a life to compare the Prophets and Evangelists, the predictions and the history, and largely to discourse how the one foretells and the other answers ; let it suffice to look at them running. Of all the Evangelists, Saint Matthew hath been most studious, in making these references and correspondences; with whom, the burden or under song of every event, is still, ut impleretur, that it might be fulfilled. Thus hath he noted, if I have reckoned them aright, two and thirty several prophecies concerning Christ, fulfilled in his birth, life, death*. To which St. John adds many more. * Isaiah vii. 14. Matth. i. 23,
Hosea xi. 1. Matth. ii. 15.
Jerem. xxxi. 15. Matth, ü. 18.
Our speech must be directed to his Passion: omitting the rest, let us iusist in those.
He must be apprehended: it was fore-prophesied; The Anointed of the Lord was taken in their nets, saith Jeremiah: but how? he must be sold: for what? for thirty silver pieces; and what must those do? buy a field: all foretold; And they took thirty silver pieces, the price of him that was valued, and gave them for the potters field, saith Zechariah (miswritten Jeremiah, hy one letter mistaken in the abbreviation.) By whom? That child of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. Which was he? It is foretold; He that cateth bread with me, saith the Psalmist. And what shall his Disciples do? Run away: so saith the prophecy; I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered, saith Zechariah. What shall be done to him? He must be scourged and spit upon: behold, not those filthy excrements could have lighted upon his sacred face, without a prophecy; I hid not my face from shame and spitting, saith Isaiah. What shall be the issue? In short, he shall be led to death: it is the prophecy; The Messiah shall be slain, saith Daniel: what death? he must be lift up; Like as Moses lift up the serpent in the wilderness, so shall the Son of Man be lift up. Chrysostom saith well, that some actions are parables; so may I say, some actions are prophecies : such are all types of Christ, and this with the foremost." Lift up, whither? to the Cross: it is the prophecy; hanging upon a tree, saith Moses: How lift up? nailed to it: so is the prophecy; Foderunt manus, They have pierced my hands and my feet, saith the Psalmist: With what company? two thieves: With the wicked was he numbered, saith Isaiah: Where? Without the gates, saith the prophecy. What became of his garments? They cannot so much as cast the dice for his coat, but it is prophesied; They divided my garments, and on my vestures cust lots, saith the Psalmist. He must die then on the Cross: but how? voluntarily. Not a bone of him shall be broken : what hinders it? lo, there he hangs, as it were neglected and at mercy; yet all the raging Jews, no, all the Devils in hell cannot stir one bone in his blessed body: it was prophesied in the Easter-Lamb, and it must be fulfilled in him that is the True Passover, in spite of Judg. xiii. 5. Math. ii. ult.
Psalm viii. 2. Marth. xxi. 16. Isaiah xl. 3. Matih. jïi. 3.
Isaiah v. I.
Mauh. xxi. 33. Isaiah ix. 1. Matth.iv. 15.
Psalm cxviii, 22.
Psalm cx. 1. Math. xxi. 44.
l'salm xli, 9. Matth. xxvi. 23. Isaiah xlii. 1. Matth, xii. 18.
Isaiah lijj, 10. Matth. xxvi. 54. Jonah i. 17. Matth. xii. 40.
Zech, xii. 7. Matth. xxvi.31. Isaiah vi. 9. Matth. xii. 14. Lam.iv. 20. Matth. xxvi. 56. Psalm lxxviii. 2. Matth. xii. 35. Isaiah 1. 6.
Matth. xxvi. 67. Isai. xxxv. 5. 6. Matth. xv. 30. Zech. xi. 12, 13. Match. xxvii. 9. Isaiah Ixii. 11.
Psalm xxii. 18. Matth. xxvii. 35. Zech, ix. 9.
} Matth. xxi. 5. Psalm xxii. 1. Maith,xxvii. 46. Jerem, vii. 11. Matth, xxi, 13. Psalm lxix. 21. Matth. xxvii. 48.
I have corrected these references in several places, as they were given very inaccurately. More might be added to them, by a careful comparison of St. Mauhew with the Old Testamenc.-EDITOR.
fiends and men. How then? he must be thrust in the side: behold, not the very spear could touch his precious side being dead, but it must be guided by a prophecy; They shall see him whom they have thrust thorough, saith Zechariah. What shall he say the while? not his very words but are forespoken: his Complaint, Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani, as the Chaldee, or "nziy, as the Hebrew, Psalm. xxii. 2: his Resignation, In manus tuas, Into thy hands I commend my spirit ; Psalm xxxi. 5: his Request, Father, forgive them: He prayed for the transgressors, saith Isaiah. when he saw all these prophecies were fulfilled, knowing that one remained, he said, I thirst. “ Domine, quid sitis?" saith one; “ O Lord, what thirstest thou for?” A strange hearing, that a man, yea that God and man dying, should complain of thirst.
Could he endure the scorching Hames of the wrath of his Father, the curse of our sins, those tortures of body, those horrors of soul, and doth he shrink at his thirst? No, no: he could have borne his drought, he could not bear the Scripture not fulfilled. It was not necessity of nature, but the necessity of his Father's decree, that drew forth this word, I thirst.
They offered it before, he refused it. Whether it were an ordinary potion for the coudemned to hasten death, as in the story of M. Antony, which is the most received construction; or whether it were that Jewish potion, whereof the Rabbins speak, whose tradition was, that the malefactor to be executed, should, after some good counsel from two of their teachers, be taught to say, “ Let my death be to the remission of all my sins*, and then that he should have given him a bowl of mixed wine, with a grain of frankineense, to bereave him both of reason and paint: I durst be confident in this latter; the rather, for that St. Mark calls this draught, oīvou éru UPVIouevov, Myrrh-wine, mingled, as is like, with other ingredients; and Montanus agrees with me in the end, Ad stuporem et mentis alienationem: a fashion, which Galatine ob serves out of the Sanhedrim, to be grounded upon Prov. xxxi. 6. Give strong drink to him that is ready to perish: I leave it modestly in the midst: let the learneder judge. Whatsoever it were, he would not die, till he had complained of thirst, and in his thirst tasted it. Neither would he have thirsted for or tasted any, but this bitter draught; that the Scripture might be fulfilled; They gave me vinegar to drink. And lo, now Consummatum est; Au is finished.
If there be any Jew amongst you, that, like one of John's unseasonable disciples, shall ask, Art thou he, or shall we look for another ? he hath his answer. Ye men of Israel, why stand you gazing and gaping for another Messiah? In this alone, all the prophecies are finished; and of him alone, all was prophesied and was finished. Paul's old rule holds still, To the Jews a stumbling block; and that more ancient curse of David, Let their table be made a snare: And Stephen's two brands stick still in the flesh of these wretched men! one in their neck, stiffnecked, cnimpotpzxnaos;
* Sit mors mea in remissionem omnium iniquitatum mearum. 1 Ut usus rationis tollatur.