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agonies could not abate his love or make it lefs, and that fo much fatisfaction he took in their company, that he speaks with the highest pleasure of one ordinance more remaining, wherein there would be another opportunity for enjoying it before he fuffered?

3. Did Chrift fpeak with fo much fatisfaction of eating the paffover with his difciples before he fuffered? We may be fure his defire is not lefs of meeting his friends at his table now, at the feast he hath made for them on his body broken and blood shed, which he hath bid them to eat and drink of in remembrance of him. When he has brought them hither, he hath called them into his banquetting-house, and his banner over them will be love?

4. Did Chrift often think of his death, and at laft from eating and drinking with his difciples, willingly go to meet it? Let us herein learn of Chrift, and looking forward to our own change approaching; go to his table to feast with him, thereby to get ftrength to prepare to meet the king of terrors as he did, without overwhelming fear, nay with pleafing hope, that after feasting with him here in a lower manner, we shall be called to higher entertainments in the kingdom of God above, and there live and reft, and rejoice with him for ever,

SER

SERMON XVI.

JOHN VI. 67, 68.

Then faid Jefus unto the twelve, will ye also go away ?

Then Simon Peter anfiered him, Lord, to whom fhall we go? Thou haft the words of eternal life.

IN

N the latter part of this chapter, we have an excellent fermon of our bleffed Lord concerning himself as the bread of life.

Having miraculoufly fed five thousand men with five loaves and two small fishes, one day, he was followed the next by the fame multitude; not because they were convinced from the miracle that he was the Meffiah, and defirous to receive his doctrine for the food of their fouls, but because he had fed their bodies, and, as they hoped, ftill would do fo. This he takes notice of, and charges them with. ver. 26. Verily, verily I fay unto you, Ye feek me, not because ye faw. the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. They followed Christ not for the refreshment of their fouls, but of their bodies, and the respect they feemed to fhew to him, arose only from this, that they might have their bellies filled by him.

Upon

Upon this our Lord directs them to look higher, ver. 27. Labour not for the meat that perijbeth, but for that which endureth to everlasting life. And he, going on to deliver feveral matters of doctrine that their carnal minds could not take in, instead of humbly defiring to be farther inftructed by him, they first murmured at him, and then left him: they quarrelled at the doctrine, and then turned their backs upon him, the preacher of it, ver. 66. From that time many of his difciples went back, and walked no more with him. Of his difciples, i. e. of his more frequent hearers that were among this multitude. These being gone, our Lord puts the question for the trial of the faith and refolution of those that abode with him: Then faid Jefus unto the twelve, Will ye alfo go away? Then Simon Peter anfwered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou haft the words of eternal life.

In our Lord's queftion we may take notice of feveral things.

1. What chrift fpeaks of, viz. of apoftacy, and of this upon the actual revolt of many that bare the name of his disciples, and had for fome time followed him.

2. To whom he speaks upon this occafion, viz. To his chofen twelve; and it may be to fome others befides them that ftill remained with him.

3. Of the manner of his putting this question; viz. with an air of concern, fufficiently expreffive of his deep fenfe of their deplorable state who had fallen off, and of his earnest defire of the

the falvation of those who were yet with him: Will ye alfo go away?

4. Of Peter's answer in the name of the reft, which is vehement and earnest, Lord, to whom Shall we go? As if he should fay, We have been chofen and highly favoured by thee, and are under fo many obligations to thee; we to whom thou haft peculiarly manifefted thyself and admitted to communion with thee, are so infinitely obliged, that to whom should we go? Hereby declaring,

1. That there is no other Saviour to whom to go, and in whom to truft, but Chrift.

2. That they, thefe difciples, could not defire, nor did they need any other: Nay,

3. That they could not bear the thought of forfaking and quitting their hope in him: And,

4. That the ground of all this was, He had the words of eternal life: q. d. Let who will, through ignorance or prejudice, think or fpeak hardly of thee; deny, difown or turn their backs upon thee, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou haft the words of eternal life.

From the whole we may obferve,

I. Their cafe is fad, who after a fair profeffion of being the followers of Chrift, at length forfake him and go away.

II. Chrift is tenderly concerned for the fafety of his real difciples, in their abiding with him. III. How many foever go away from Chrift, true believers fee and own they have the greatest reafon to abide with and cleave to him, as having the words of eternal life.

I. Their

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I. Their cafe is fad, who after a fair profeffion of being the followers of Chrift, at length forfake him and go away.

Here two things are diftinctly to be confidered.

1. Many may take up a profeffion of being the followers of Chrift, who afterward may turn apoftates and go away.

2. The fadnefs of their cafe with whom it is thus: 1. Many may take up a profeffion of being the followers of Chrift, who afterwards may prove apoftates and go away.

As to this we may confider,
(1.) The matter of fact.
(2.) To what it may be owing.
(1.) The matter of fact.

Some, as it was here faid of many of Chrift's hearers, are difciples of him, and it may be feeming zealous ones, who after all go back: And how long foever they have followed him before this time, may now walk no more with him. How many are there that feemingly begin in the Spirit, and end in the flefh? Efcape the pollution of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jefus Chrift, and afterwards are entangled thereby and overcome? The latter end of whom is worfe than their beginning.

There are too many fad and flagrant inftances of this, which call us more to lament their apoftacy, than to prove the truth of it. Many that once ftood fair for heaven, and gave up their names to Chrift, as agreeing to follow him in the way of faith and holiness thither, have first

declined

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