Images de page
PDF
ePub

sins of the world ; thine therefore, if thou canst lay hold on him by
a lively faith, and make him thine.

This for the choice.

Secondly, the Preparation follows : so Christ is the Paschal Lamb, in a threefold respect : in resemblance of his killing, sprinkling his blood, and roasting.

[1.] This lamb, to make a true passover, must be Slain : so was
there a necessity, that our Jesus should die for us. The two dis-
ciples, in their walk to Emmaus, hear this, not without a round re-

proof from the mouth of their risen Saviour; o fools, and slow of
heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken, ought not Christ lo
have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? Luke xxiy.
25, 26. Ought not ? there is necessity : the doom was in Para-
dise, upon man's disobedience: morte morieris; thou shalt die the
death. " Man sinned; man must die. The First Adam sinned; and
we, in him : the Second Adam must by death espiate the sin. Had
not Christ died, mankind must : had not he died the first death,
we had all died both the first and second : Without shedding of
blood there is no renuission ; Heb. ix. 22. Hereby, therefore, are
we freed from the sense of the second death, and the sting of the
first, to the unfailing comfort of our souls. Hereupon it is, that
our Saviour is so careful, to have his death and passion so fully re-
presented to us in both his sacraments: the water is his blood, in
the first sacrament; the wine is his blood, in the second. In this,
he is sensibly crucified before our eyes: the bread, that is his body
broken; the wine, his blood poured out. And, if these acts and
objects do not carry our hearts to a lively apprehension of Christ
our True Passover, we shall offer to him no other than the sacrifice
of fools. Lo here then, a sovereign antidote against the first death,
and a preservative against the second, The Lamb slain from the be-
ginning of the world. Why should we be discomforted, with the
expectation of that death, which Christ hath suffered? Why
should we be dismayed, with the fear of that death, which our ali-
sufficient Redeemer hath fully expiated ?

[2.] In the first institution of this passover, the blood of the
lamb was to be Sprinkled upon the posts and lintels of the doors
of
every Israelite :

: so, if ever we look for any benefit from Christ
our Passover, there must be a particular application of his blood
to the believing soul. Even very Papists can say, that, unless our
merits or holy actions be dyed or tinctured in the blood of Christ,
they can avail us nothing : but this consideration will meet with us
more seasonably upon the fourth head.

[3.] This passover must be Roasted home; not stewed, not parboiled. So did the true Paschal-Lamb undergo the flames of his Father's wrath, for our sins. Here was not a scorching and blistering, but a vehement and full torrefaction. It was an ardent heat, that could fetch drops of blood from him in the garden; but it was the hottest of fames, that he felt upon the Cross, when he cried out, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Oh, who can, without horror and amazement, hear so woeful a word

[ocr errors]

VOL. V.

[merged small][ocr errors]

!

fall from the mouth of the Son of God? Had he not said, My Father, this strain had sunk us into utter despair: but now, in this very torment is comfort. He knew he could not be forsaken of him, of whom he saith, I and my Father are one : he could not be forsaken, by a sublation of union; though he seemed so, by a subtraction of vision; as Leo well. The sense of comfort was clouded, for a while, from his Humanity : bis Deity was ever glorious; his faith firm; and supplied that strong consolation, which

present sense failed of; and, therefore, you soon hear him, in a fuil concurrence of all heavenly and victorious powers of a confident Saviour say, Father, into thy hands 1 commend my spiri. In the mean while, even in the height of this suffering, there is our ease: for, certainly, the more the Son of God endured for us, the more sure we are of a happy acquittance from the Tribunal of Heaven : the justice of God never punished the same sin twice over. By his stripes, we are healed: by his payment, we are discharged: by his torments, we are assured of peace and glory.

Thus much of the preparation.

Thirdly, the Eating of it follows in the appendances, the manner, the persons.

[1.] The Appendances. It must be eaten with unlearened bread, and with sour or bitter herbs. Of the unleavened bread we have spoken enough before. For the herbs, that nothing might be wanting, the same God, that appointed meat, appointed the sauce too, and that was a salad of, not pleasing, but bitter herbs: herein providing, not so much for the palate of the body, as of the soul; to teach us, that we may not hope to partake of Christ without sensible disrelishes of nature, without outward afflictions, without a true contrition of spirit. It is the condition, that our Saviour makes with us, in admitting us to the profession of Chris tianity: He shall receive a hundred fold, with persecutions; thuse, to boot; that, for His sake and the Gospel's, forsakes a!); Mark

Sit down therefore, ( man, and count what it will cost thee to be a true Christian: through many tribulations, &c. Neither can we receive this evangelical passover, without a true contrition of soul for our sins past. Think not, my Beloved, that there is nothing but jollity to be looked for at God's table.' Ye may frolic it, ye that feast with the world; but, if ye will sit with Christ and feed on him, ye must eat him with bitter herbs. Here must be a sound compunction of heart, after a due self-examination, for all our sins, wherewith we have offended our good God. Thou wouldest be eating the Paschal-Lamb; but with sugar-sops, of some pleasing sauce: it may not be so; here must be a bitterness of soul, or no passover. It is true, that there is a kind of holy mixture of affections in all our holy services; a yaunúningov

. Rei joice in him, with trembling; saith the Psalmist. It is and should be our joy, that we have this Lamb of God to be ours; but it is our just sorrow, to find our own wretched unworthiness of so great a mercy. Godly sorrow must make way for solid joy and com

X. 30.

[merged small][ocr errors]

fort. If there be any of you therefore, that harbours in your breast a secret love of and complacency in your known and resolved sins, Procul, 0 procul : let him keep off from this Ho.y Table: let him bewail his sinful mis-disposition; and not dare to put forth his hand to this passover, till he have gathered the bitter herbs of a sorrowful remorse for his hated offences. And, where should he gather these, but in the low grounds of the Law? There they grow p'enteously : lay the Law then home to thy soul: that, shall show thee thy sins; and thy judgment school thee. Yea, Dear Christians, how can any of us see the body of our Blessed Saviour broken, and his blood poured out; and, withal, think and know that his own sins are guilty of this tort offered to the Son of God, the Lord of Life; and not feel his heart touched with a sad and passionate apprehension of his own vileness, and an indignation at his own wickedness that hath deserved and done this? These are the bitter herbs, wherewith if we shall eat this passover, we shall find it most wholesome, and nourishable unto us to eternal life.

[2.] The Manner of the Eating of it follows, in three particulars.

Ist. The whole lamb must be eaten; not a part of it. 2dly. Not a bone of it must be broken.

3dly. In one house, at once; nothing to be reserved, or car. ried out.

For the first ; you find it not so in any other cookery or provision of this kind. Many a lamb did the Jews eat in all the year besides: these were halved and quartered, as occasion served; but, for the Paschal-Lamb, it must be set on all whole : the very entrails must be washed, and put into the roast, and brought to the board in an entire dish. Whosoever would partake of Christ aright, must take whole Christ; not think to go away with a limb, and leave the rest : that he should dividere mendacio "Christuin ; as that Father speaks. As, in God's demands of us, he will have all or none; so, in his grant to us, he will give all or none. He would not have so much as his coat divided : much less will he abide himself shall

. There have been heretics, and I would there were not so still, that will be sharing and quartering of Christ : one, will allow of his Humanity; not his Eternal Deity : another, will allow his human body; but not his soul; that must be supplied by the Deity: another, will allow a divine soul, with a fantastic body: one will a.low Christ to be a Prophet, or a Priest; but will not admit of him as a King. In vain do all these wretched mis-believers pretend to partake of Christ the Passover, while they do thus set him on by piecemeal. They are their own monstrous fancies, which they do thus set before themselves; not the true PaschalLamb: whom we do most sacrilegiously violate instead of receiving, if our faith do not represent himn to us wholly God and Man; soul and body; King, Priest, and Prophet : here, he is so exhibit. ed to us; and, if we do thus believe in him and thus apply him to our souls, we do truly receive him, and with him eternal salvation.

Two particulars follow, yet more, in the Manner. Then, the Persons allowed to this banquet : no uncircumcised might eat thereof. Then, in the next place, we should descend to the Second Head of our discourse, that Christ is OUR Passorer. Then, that he is our Passover SACRIFICED; and sacrificed FOR US.

Ye see what a world of matter yet remains ; and offers itself, as in a throng, to our meditations : but the long business of the ensuing sacrament forbids our further discourse; and calls us, from speaking of Christ our Passover, to partaking of him: For which he prepare our souls, that hath dearly bought them, and hath giren himself to be our True Passover: To whom, with the Father and the Blessed Spirit, One Infinite and Incomprehensible God, be all praise, honour, and glory, now and for ever. Amen,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

SERMON XL.

THE SONS OF GOD LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD:

A SERMON PREACHED ON WHITSUNDAY, IN THE PARISH CHURCH OF

HIGHAM, IN THE YEAR 1652.

ROM. viii. 14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of

God. This only day is wont to be consecrated to the celebration of the Descent of the Holy Spirit: and, therefore, deserves to be, as it is named, the true Dominica in albis, “Whitsunday.”

White is the colour of Innocence and Joy. In respect of the first, this, together with the feast of Easter, was wont, in the primitive times, to be the solemn season of Baptism and Sacramental Regeneration: in respect of the second, it was the season of the just triumph and exaltation of the Church; which was, as this day, graced, confirmed, and refreshed, with the miraculous descent of the promised Comforter. In both regards, every Christian challenges an interest in it: as those, who claim to be the sons of God by Baptism, the Sacrament of Regeneration; and to be endued and furnished with the sanctifying gifts of that Blessed Spirit, whose wonderful descent we this day celebrate. Which, how can we do better, than by enquiring into what right we have to this Holy Spirit, and to that sonship of God, which, in our baptism, we profess to partake of?

We are all apt, upon the least cause, to be proud of our parentage. There are nations, they say, in the world, whereof every man challenges gentility, and kindred to their king: so are we wouit to do spiritually to the King of Heaven. Every one hath the Spirit of God: every one is the son of God.

It is the main errand we have to do on the earth, to settle our hearts upon just grounds, in the truth of this resolution: and this Text undertakes to do it for us; infallibly deciding it, that those, and none but those, that are led by the Spirit of God, are the Sons of God. So as we need not now think of climbing up into heaven, to turn the books of God's eternal counsel; nor linger after enthusiasms and revelations, as some fanatical spirits use to do; nor wish for that holy dove to whisper in our ear, with that great Arabian Impostor: but only look seriously into our own hearts and lives; and try ourselves thoroughly by this sure and unfailing rule of our

« PrécédentContinuer »