Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

31 Vol. II.

The Sufferings of Christ

their End and Ioflu.

ence.

2 Cor. V. 14, 150

For the Love of Christ constraineth us,

because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then we are all dead : and that he died for all, that they which live, should noi henceforth live to themselves, but unto him pobich died for them, and rose again.

more common in our Mouths, that the Warmth of the Primitive Times, and the Coldness of our own ; their Charity and Purity , our Sensuality and Selfishness : But i wish we did not content our selves with only magnifying those happy Times, and complaining of our own, but did heartily apply our selves to restore decay'd Charity to its Primitive Power and Lustre. And nothing, I

think,

C4

Vol. II think, will so effectually contribute to

this, as the frequent and devout Contemplation of the Sufferings of Jesus. This was the Subject that imploy'd the Thoughts of those Times we so much admire. Jesus Christ, and him Crucified was the only thing St. Paul determined to know ; aud this, 'tis plain, was enough : For great is the Confidence of Hope ; Trong and vehement the Longings and Desires after Chrift; great is the Transport and Exaltation of Spirit : And finally, great is the Zeal for God's Glory, and for the Service of his Church, which the Apostle expresses throughout this Chapter. And if we enquire whence all these excellent Affections spring, what is the Source and Origen of them, we shall find it to be that which is assigned in my Text, namely, The love of Christ in dying for us. And may God so allist us at this time by his Holy Spirit, thac the Consideration of Christ's Sufferings may have the same Influence upon us which it had upon St. Paul, and inflame our Breasts with the same holy Passion it did bis : That it may prevail with us to dedicate our Lives to the Honour of God, and the

Interest

[ocr errors]

Interest of Vertue, that we may come Vol. II. experimentally to say with him, The love of Christ constraineth us, &c.

There is nothing obscure in the words, and I shall not spend time in an unnecessary Explication of them ; but shall from them discourse of these Three things:

I. The deplorable state of Mankind

before they were Redeemed by

Christ, Then were all dead.
II. The Passion of Christ, He died,

and the great End of it, For all.
III. The Influence his Suffering for
us ought to have upon us.

And that is twofold :

1. It should beget in us a fervený

Love of him. We should be
possessed, animated, and infla-
med by Love : for this is im-
plyed in the word owexci, The

love of Christ constraineth us.
2. It should prevail with us to de-

vote our selves to his Honour
and Service, To live not to our
selves, but to him who died for
us, and rose again.

Vol.II. 1. Of the state of Mankind without

Christ, Then we are all dead, &c. This imports, that the whole Word lay un. der the Dominion and the Guilt of Sin. The Effect of the former was, That the Light and Power, both of Reason and Grace, was oppress’d and extinguish'd in them, and the Life they lead, instead of being Rational, Spișitual, and Heavenly, was wholly Sensual, Earthly and Devilish. The Consequence of the latter was, That they were subject to God's Wrath, and Eternal Punishment, For the wages of fin is Death. And though no Dispensation did ever so clearly and so fully reveal the Eternal Misery that attends the Impenitent, as that of the Gospel ; yet both the Law of God and Moses did sufficiently affure both the Jew and Gentile, as St. Paul proves, Rom. 1.2, 3. Chapt. that he who lived wickedly was worthy of death ; and that Tri. bulation and Anguish, Indignation and Wrath, should one day certainly overwhelm every foul of man that did evil, whether Jem or Gentile

. On these Accounts it is that Sin, in the Language of the Scripture, is so frequently call'd Death.' But Death, though

[ocr errors]

it be the greatest Terror of Humane Na-Vol. II.
ture, can never give us a just and full
Representation of the fatal Effects and
Consequences of Sin :'for Death at-
tacks the Body, but Sin the Soul. The
one destroys the Mortal, the other the
Immortal Part of us. Death exitin.
guishes the Sensitive and Animal ; Sin
the Rational and Spiritual Powers and
Faculties of Man. Death defaces
the Beauty of the Body ; Sin the 1-
mage of God in the Soul. Death ren-
ders us loathsom to our dearest Friends,
so that we must be buried out of their

Sin hateful to God,to our good
God and gracious Father, so that we
must be for ever banished his Presence.
Death

puts

and end to the Pleasures and Satisfa&ions of Earth ; Sin excludes us from the Joys and Glories of Heaven. The Pangs of Death are short ; but those of Sin will be for ever : for the Worm that gnaws that Sinner's heart must never die ; and the Fire that Sin kindles must never be quench'd.

This view of Sin, as it gives us a plain account of the Nature and dismal Consequences of it; so does it tend to form in our Minds a true No. țion of the Reason and Design of

Christ's

fight;

« EdellinenJatka »