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our room, would yet engage in the work of our redemption, and steadily pursue it to the last ! When the bitter cup was even at his own mouth, he declared with a zeal and earnestness never to be forgotten, but for ever to be admired, With defire have I desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer. This is an instance of love that hath depths in it that invite angels to stoop down to look into, and should peculiarly affect his ranfomed ones, when going to the feast of love, the supper of their Lord.
Considering his original freedom and greatness, how infinitely above us, and in no deed of us, &c. What amazing condescension was it in him, thus to testify his concern for us !
He willingly offered himself of old in the council of peace about our redemption, and undertook to make satisfaction to divine justice: And after his incarnation, he always knew of, and frequently foretold his own sufferings and death. Upon the account of its preparing the way for them, he so earnestly delired to eat this passover the text speaks of, it being the last he should eat of before he suffered death.
This is wonderful, and the more fo, considering the greatness of his sufferings, and the lights and neglects which he foresaw he should meet with from some that would call themselves his friends.
2. Did Christ, with his death and crucifixion before him, say to his disciples, With defire have I desired to eat this pafsover with you before 1 suffer ? How plain is it, that having loved his own, he loved them to the end ? That the greatest
agonies could not abate his love or make it less, and that so 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 suffered ?
3. Did Christ speak with so much fatisfaction of eating the passover with his disciples before he suffered ? We
be sure his desire is not less 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 Christ often think of his death, and at last from eating and drinking with his disciples, willingly go to meet it ? Let us herein learn of Christ, and looking forward to our own change approaching; go to his table to feast with him, thereby to get strength to prepare to meet the king of terrors as he did, without overwhelming fear, nay with pleasing 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 rest, and rejoice with him for ever,
SER MON XVI.
JOHN VI. 67, 68. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, will ye also
go Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom
shall we go? Thou hast the words of eter
N the latter part of this chapter, we have an
excellent sermon of our blessed Lord concerning himself as the bread of life.
Having miraculously 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 Messiah, and desirous to receive his doctrine for the food of their souls, but because he had fed their bodies, and, as they hoped, still would do so. This he takes notice of, and charges them with. ver. 26. Verily, verily I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw. the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves
, and were filled. They followed Christ not for the refreshment of their souls, but of their bodies, and the respect they seemed to shew 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 several matters of doctrine that their carnal minds could not take in, instead of humbly desiring to be farther instructed 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 disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Of his disciples, 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 resolution of those that abode with him: Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.
In our Lord's question we may take notice of several things.
1. What christ speaks of, viz. of apostacy, and of this upon the actual revolt of many that bare the name of his disciples, and had for some time followed him.
2. To whom he speaks upon this occasion, viz. To his chosen twelve; and it
be to some others besides them that still remained with him.
3. Of the manner of his putting this question ; viz. with an air of concern, sufficiently expresfive of his deep sense of their deplorable state who had fallen oíf, and of his earnest desire of
the salvation of those who were yet with him: Will ye also go away
? 4. Of Peter's answer in the name of the rest, which is vehement and earnest, Lord, to whom shall we go? As if he should say, We have been chosen and highly favoured by thee, and are under so many obligations to thee; we to whom thou hast peculiarly manifested 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 trust, but Chrift.
2. That they, these disciples, could not desire, nor did they need any other : Nay,
3. That they could not bear the thought of forsaking 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 speak hardly of thee ; deny, disown or turn their backs upon thee, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou haft the words of eternal life.
From the whole we may observe, I. Their case is fad, who after a fair profession
of being the followers of Christ, at length for
fake him and go away. II. Christ is tenderly concerned for the safety
of his real disciples, in their abiding with him. III. How many soever go away from Christ
, true believers see and own they have the greatest reason to abide with and cleave to him, having the words of eternal life.