« EdellinenJatka »
mountain. O Lord hear, O Lord forgire, O Lord hearken and do. Defer not for thine own sake, O our God : for thy city and thy people are called by thy Name; Dan. ix. 16, 19.
But, alas ! what speak I of not deferring to a God of Mercy; who is more forward to give, than we to crave; and more loth to strike, than we to smart; and, when he must strike, complains, Why will ye die, O house of Israel? Let me rather turn this speech to ourselves. The delay is ours. Yet, it is not too late, either for our return or his mercies. The decree is not, to us, gone forth, till it be executed. As yet, our hedge stands, our wall is firm, our vine grows. These sharp monitions, these touches of Judgment have been for our warning, not for our ruin. Who knows if he will not return, and yet leave a blessing behind him? Oh, that we could turn unto him with all our heart, with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning! Oh, that we could truly and effectually abandon all those abominable sins, that have stirred up the anger of our God against us; and, in this our day, this day of our solemn Humiliation, renew the vows of our holy and conscionable obedience! Lord God, it must be thou only, that must do it.
Oh, strike thou our finty hearts with a sound remorse, and melt them into tears of penitence for all our sins. Convert us unto thee, and we shall be converted. Lord, hear our prayers; and regard our tears; and reform our lives; and remove thy plagues ; and renew thy loving countenance; and continue and add to thine old mercies. Lord, affect us with thy favours; humble us for our sins; terrify us with thy judgments: that so thou mayest hold on thy favours, and forgive our sins, and remove thy judgments; even for the Son of thy Love, Jesus Christ the Righteous : To whom, &c,
SINCE it seemed good to that Great Court to call this poor Sermon, amongst others of greater worth, into the public light; I have thus submitted to their pleasure. And now, for that they pleased to bid so high a rate as their command for that mean piece ; I do willingly give this my other statue into the bargain.
This work preceded, some little, in time, that, which it now follow's in place; not without good reason. Authority sends forth that ; this Will; and my Will hath learned ever to give place to Authority. Besides my desire to save the labour of transcriptions, I found it not unfit the world should see what preparative was given for so stirring a potion : neither can there be so much need in these languishing times of any discourse, as that, which serves to quicken our mortification ; wherein 1 so much rejoice to have so happily met with those Reverend Bishops, who led the way, and followed me, in this Holy Service. The God of Heaven make all our endeavours effectual to the saving of the souls of his people! Amen.
THE CHRISTIAN'S CRUCIFIXION WITH CHRIST.
A SERMON PREACHED TO HIS MAJESTY,
ON THE SUNDAY BEFORE THE FAST, BEING MARCH 30, 1628, AT WHITE
HALL: IN WAY OF PREPARATION FOR THÁT HOLY EXÈRCISE.
GALATIANS ii. 20.
but Christ liveth in me.
This holy correction makes my Text full of wonders; full of sao cred riddles. 1. The living God is dead upon the Cross; Christ crucified. 2. St. Paul, who died by the sword, dies on the Cross. 3. St. Paul, who was not Paul till after Christ's death, is yet crucified with Christ. 4. St. Paul, thus crucified, yet lives. 5. St. Paul lives not himself, while he lives. 6. Christ, who is crucified, lives in Paul, who was crucified with him.
See then here, both a Lent and an Easter: a Lent of Mortification, I am crucified with Christ; an Easter of Resurrection and Life, I live, yet not 1, but Christ lives in me.
The Lent of my Text will be sufficient, as proper, for this season. Wherein my speech shall pass through three long stages of discourse: CHRIST CRUCIFIED: ST. PAUL CRUCIFIED: ST. PAUL CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST. In all which, your Honourable and Christian patience shall as much shorten my way, as my care shall shorten the way to your patience,
I. CHRIST'S CROSS is the first lesson of our infancy; worthy to be our last, and all. The great Doctor of the Gentiles affected not to Ay any higher pitch. Grande crucis Sacramentum; as Ambrose. This is the greatest wonder, that ever earth or heaven
yielded. God incarnate was péye uusuiciov; 1 Tim. iji. 16: but God suffering and dying was so much more, as death is more penal than birth. The Godhead of Man and the Blood of God are two such miracles, as the angels of heaven can never enough look into; never admire enough.
Ruffin tells us, that, among the sacred characters of the Egyptians, the Cross was anciently one, which was said to signify eternal life: hence their learneder sort were converted to and confirmed in the Faith. Surely we know, that, in God's hieroglyphics, eternal life is both represented and exhibited to us by the Cross. That the Cross of Christ was made of the Tree of Life, a slip whereof the angels gave to Adam's son out of Paradise, is but a Jewish legend : Galatine may believe it; not we: but, that it is made the Tree of Life to all believers, we are sure. This is the only scale of heaven: never man ascended thither, but by it.
By this Christ himself climbed up to his own glory. Dominus regnavit à ligno; as Tertullian translates that of the psalm. Father, glorify thy naine; that is, saith he, Duc me ad crucem, “Lift me up to the tree," not of my shame, but of my triumph. Behold, we preach Christ crucified, saith St. Paul, to the Jews a stumbling-block, to the Greeks foolishness; but to them which are called, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God; 1 Cor. i. 23, 24. Foolish men! that stumble at power, and deride wisdom.
Upbraid us now, ye Fond Jews and Pagans, with a Crucified Saviour. It is our glory, it is our happiness, which ye make our reproach. Had not our Saviour died, he could have been no Saviour for us: had not our Saviour died, we could not have lived. See now the flag of our Dear Redeemer, this Cross, shining eminently in loco pudoris, in our foreheads; and, if we had any place more high, more conspicuous, more honourable, there we would advance it. O Blessed Jesu, when thou art thus lifted up on thy Cross, thou drawest all hearts unto thee: there, thou leadest captivity captive, and givest gifts unto men.
Ye are deceived, 0 ye Blind Jews and Painims; ye 'are deceived: it is not a gibbet, it is a throne of honour to which our Saviour is raised; a throne of such honour, as to which heaven and earth and hell do and must vail. The sun hides his awful head; the earth trembles; the rocks 'rend; the graves open; and all the frame of nature doth homage to their Lord in this secret, but divine pomp of crucifixion. And, while ye think his feet and hands despicably fixed, behold he is powerfully trampling upon Hell and Death; and setting up trophies of his most glorious victory, and scattering everlasting crowns and sceptres unto all believers.
() Saviour, I do rather more adore thee on the Calvary of thy Passion, than on the Tabor of thy Transfiguration, or the Olivet of thine Ascension: and cannot so effectuously bless thee, for Pater, clarifica, Father, glorify me; as for, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? since it is no news for God to be great and glorious; but for the Eternal and Ever-living God to be abased, to be abased unto death, to the death of the Cross, is that, which could
not but amaze the angels and confound devils; and, so much more magnifies thine infinite mercy, by how much an infinite person would become more ignominious.
All Hosannas of men, all Hallelujahs of saints and angels, come short of this Majestic Humiliation. Blessing, honour, glory and power be unto him that sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever; Rev. v. 13.
And ye, Honourable and Beloved, as ever ye hope to make music in heaven, learn to tune your harps to the note and ditty of these heavenly elders. Rejoice in this, and rejoice in nothing but this Cross: not in your transitory honours, titles, treasures, which will at the last leave you inconsolately sorrowful; but in this Cross of Christ, whereby the world is crucified to you, and you to the world. Oh, clip and embrace this precious Cross with both your arms; and say, with that blessed martyr, Amor meus crucifixus est, “My love is crucified.”
Those, that have searched into the monuments of Jerusalem, write, that our Saviour was crucified with his face to the west: which, howsoever spitefully meant of the Jews, as not allowing him worthy to look on the Holy City and Temple, yet was not without a mystery, Oculi ejus super Gentes respiciunt, His eyes look to the Gentiles, &c. saith the Psalmist. As Christ therefore on his Cross looked towards us sinners of the Gentiles; so let us look up to him. Let our eyes be lift up to this Brazen Serpent, for the cure of the deadly stings of that old serpent.
See him, () all ye Beholders, see him, hanging upon the tree of shame, of curse, to rescue you from curse and confusion, and to feoff you in everlasting blessedness. See him, stretching out his arms, to receive and embrace you; hanging down his head, to take view of your inisery; opening his precious side, to receive you into his bosom; opening his very heart, to take you in thither; pouring out thence water, to wash you, and blood, to redeem you. O all ye Nazarites that pass by, out of this dead lion seek and find the true honey of unspeakable and endless comfort.
And ye, great Masters of Israel, whose lips profess to preserve knowledge, leave all curious and needless disquisitions; and, with that divine and ecstatical Doctor of the Gentiles, care only to know, to preach, Christ and him crucified.
II. But this, though the sum of the Gospel, is not the main drift of my Text. I may not dwell in it, though I am loth to part with so sweet a meditation.
From Christ crucified, turn your eyes to PAUL CRUCIFIED. You have read him dying by the sword: hear him dying by the Cross; and see his moral, spiritual, living crucifixion.
Our Apostle is two men, Saul and Paul; the old man, and the new: in respect of the old man, he is crucified, and dead to the law of sin, so as that sin is dead in him; neither is it otherwise with every regenerate
Sin hath a body, as well as the man hath; Who shall deliver me from this body of death? Rom, vü. 24: a body, that hath limbs and