Imatges de pÓgina

But a word, more interesting both to our affections and to our faith, unspeakably more interesting than any pronounced before or since in the face of the last enemy, offers itself to consideration in our Text. "Finished," is the last word, or one of the last words, not of a mere man, a 'common friend, or an eminent saint, but of the Saviour, who is God and man, and whose personal titles are Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last. "When Jesus therefore had received the vine"gar, he said, It is finished." We purpose, To describe the person of the Sufferer; explain the meaning of his last word; and illustrate his manner of uttering it. The suitableness of these considerations to the solemnities of the occasion is obvious. Commemoration of the dying of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the manner and form appointed and commanded by himself, is the object of this day's concourse; and the last word which he spake in dying suggests several considerations, which by the operation of his Spirit, accor-ding to the riches of his glory, will strengthen both our faith and affections, and excite to a lively commemoration of his death and love.

It is proposed, in the FIRST place, To describe the Person of the glorious Sufferer. Jesus, which is the name given him in our text, is God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, for ever, and the substitute and representative of men whom God hath given him. This sublime description should not be undervalued, because the terms are plain, and were learned when we were children. Though these terms have fixed themselves in our memory, our knowledge of their meaning and dignity needs to be extended, and our faith in them to be established, strengthened, and settled. In order to these important ends, the following particulars should be improved

as means:

First, Jesus, who in the face, and under the pangs of death, pronounced the word Finished, is God. In the days of his flesh, men challenged his claim to be God; and supposing him to be guilty of blasphemy when he asserted it, took up stones to stone him. "For a good work we stone "thee not, but for blasphemy; because that thou, being a "man, makest thyself God." But the only Begotten of the Father held his claim to be good; and from his claim rea

son, if it be not prepossessed, infers his right. Under the influence of ambition, honors will be claimed to which men have no right. But the demon of ambition could not set its throne in the heart of the Son of God, nor could the fear of stones prevail on him to desist from bringing forward his claim into the view of the world. In him all the fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily; and he could be guilty neither of blasphemy nor of robbery, in claiming to be equal with God, and one with the Father. Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, be neither ashamed nor afraid to profess the deity of the great God our Saviour to be your faith. The riches of the glory of his Godhead is one of the high springs of the river of the water of life, which issuing out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, conducts itself, not like the river of Egypt, into the plains of a single kingdom, but of the whole carth, turning dry fands into pools of water, causing wildernesses to bud and blossom, and the whole creation, as well as the city of God, to shout and sing. Were the source of this Celestial Nile to dry up, or its water to cease to overflow, every well of salvation would be emptied, the whole Church would be burnt up, and Christianity itself, like grass upon house-tops, would wither and die. Go into Poland, as the men of Judah were ordered to Shiloh, pass over the islands of Greece, send unto Kedar and the country of the East. Consider diligently the desolations which God hath made in these parts of the earth, for denying the Godhead, and dishonoring the person and office of his only begotten Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. From his Godhead redemption derives dignity; and the means of it, his obedience, sufferings, and death, consideration and efficacy. This raises their value above the actions and sufferings of - a man, and constitutes a price of redemption given for many, and sufficient for all. This imparts to his sacrifice a sweet-smelling savour, exceeding the flavour of mountains of myrrh and hills of frankincense; and this infuses virtue into his death, and advances it to an atonement and reconciliation for the sins of the people. What shall we say to these things? Let us hold fast our profession, and rather than deny the Lord that bought us, and make shipwreck of faith and a good conscience, let us encounter any diffieulty, face any danger, renounce any advantage, undergo

every trial, and suffer every degree of loss, ridicule, and contempt, not excepting the loss of life itseif.

Secondly, Jesus, who in the face and in the anguish of death, uttered the word Finished, is Man. In scripture, as in a glass, we behold the truth, the parts, the glory of his human nature. The truth of his human nature appears clearly in this glass. Seed of the woman, Seed of Abraham, Lion of the tribe of Judah, Rod out of the Stem of Jesse, Branch out of his roots, Son of David, Seed of David, Offspring of David, Fruit of his loins, are proofs of the truth of his human nature, as well as designations of the line of his ancestry according to the flesh. With relation to the same truth, Jesus is said to have been made flesh, made of woman, made like unto his brethren in all things excepting sin, to have taken part of flesh and blood, and, as our Sanctifier, to be of one with them who are sanctified. In the same glass the parts of his human nature are clearly and distinctly scen. The soul of our great High Priest was made an offering for sin; and while the offering burned on the altar, his soul was troubled, and exceeding sorrowful even unto death. A body was prepared for him, and he his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree. To bodily infirmities he subjected himself, and appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh, cating, drinking, hungering, thirsting, weeping, sweating, sleeping, like his brethren. Like them he was afflicted, wounded, scourged, crucified, killed, buried, quickened, revived, and raised again the third day, according to the scriptures. The glory of his human nature is also beheld in this glass. In the likeness of sinful flesh, the state of our Lord Jesus Christ was lower than the original state of our human nature. But though the second man descended lower than the first man, there is a glory in his unparalleled humiliation which surpasses the glory in the primitive exaltation of his figure, The Second man, who is the Lord from heaven, rises above the first man, who is of the earth, earthy; and the Man of sorrows is greater and fairer than the man who was the image and likeness of his Creator. As a man he hath not only pre-eminence, but his titles shew him to be more than a man. In an address to the Father, the church of Israel calls him "the Man of his right-hand;" and by one of the prophets, the Father acknowledges him to be "the Man who is his Fellow."

Thirdly, Jesus, who in the face and in the bitterness of death uttered the word Finished, is one person in two distinct natures. This is a new, a singular, a mysterious union. Nothing equalling it exists among the works of God, in any part of his dominions. Before the Son of God assumed our nature, and appeared in the likeness of men, his person was complete. When he took his part of the flesh and blood of which the children are partakers, he did not become another nor a more complete person. But he took to himself, or assured into his person, a new and another nature, which had not subsisted in it before. In virtue of this mysterious assumption, his person comes under new considerations. The fulness of the Godhead had always dwelt in him, but now all this fulness dwelt in him bodily, distinguishing him from the persons of the Father, and the Holy Ghost, and advancing him above every created person. Under this new consideration, the person of our Lord Jesus Christ is transcendently glorious and deeply mysterious. The natures are distinct, and each is incapable of the properties of the other. The human nature is incapable of immensity and omnipresence, and the divine, of locality and weakness. But in virtue of their union and subsistence, the qualities of the former and the perfections of the latter are ascribable to his person. Though one nature be agent or sufferer, the Person God Man performed all, and suffered all; and the actions or sufferings of one of his natures are frequently ascribed to the other nature in his person. The Son of God suffered, died, and rose; the Lord of glory was crucified; the Prince of life was killed; God shed his blood; and God laid down his life,-are forms of expression concerning the riches of the glory of the mystery of his person, invented and consecrated, and used under the authority of Inspiration itself; and though they seem harsh and dissonant to natural men, their truth and sublimity, their accuracy, precision, and meaning, are discerned by men of understanding, who are taught of God, and anointed and led by the Spirit of truth.

Fourthly, Jesus, who in the face, and under the sorrows of death, uttered the word Finished, is the represen tative and substitate of men whom the Father had given him. In redemption, substitution and representation are interesting considerations, which Revelation exhibits to our faith, and without acknowledging these it is impos,

sible either to account for the situation of our Redeemer, or to understand the meaning of his word. When pronouncing it, he found himself nailed to a cross, surrounded and abhorred by wicked men, and wounded and forsaken by the righteous God. But he was engaged in an enterprize for men, which it was necessary to perform in their nature and stead, and which interested the glory of the perfections of God in their salvation. Before the foundation of the world was established, the plan of this enterprize had been laid, and the execution committed to him, and undertaken by him. From his birth to the moment in which he uttered the mighty and triumphant word Finished, he had been incessantly employed; and the last part of his work, laying down his life, only remained now to be done. Before bowing the head to perform this unparalleled action, that was to complete the whole, our representative and surety, in whose mysterious person the agent and the sufferer meet together, and action and pas. sion condense into one righteousness, raised his voice and cried, Finished! That is, 'all is now over. Nothing which the Father hath given me to do remains to be done, but, according to his commandment, to bow my head and lay down my life.'

It is proposed, in the SECOND place, to explain the meaning of the Word which Jesus pronounced, in the bitterness of death, and in the ears of his adversaries. "Finished" is the word, and by its meaning we do not intend its signification merely as a part of speech, but its sense and import with relation to the enterprize concer ning which it is used. Under this consideration, it is a great and comprehensive word, and will be found to possess largeness of meaning far beyond vulgar and natural apprehensions. The following particulars, which we understand to be comprehended in it, shall be illustrated:

First, All things written in the law of Moses, the re velations of the Prophets, and the psalms of David, concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, before his death were accomplished and finished. That the fulfilling of the scripture concerning him is in the meaning of the expression is clear from the words in connexion with it: "Jesus, "knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the "scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. And they

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