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among creatures. Friend laying down life for friend, and one good man dying for another, is the height above which the love of man cannot rise. Greater love hath no man "than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." But the love of the Son of God ascends unspeakably higher. The just suffering for the unjust, Christ dying for sinners, God laying down his life for enemies, are demonstrations, to which there is none equal in the records of the reign of love among men. "The Son of God loved "me, and gave himself for me." "Christ loved us, and "gave himself for us." "Christ loved the church, and "gave himself for it." "Hereby perceive we the love of "God, because he laid down his life for us."—With these texts before you, read the history of his agony, and come to his table, saying within yourselves, "Unto him who lov"ed us, and washed us in his own blood, be glory and do "minion, for ever and ever. Amen."
5thly, The agony of the Son of God is an effect of invisible and mysterious causes. In the garden, where he fell under it, no visible causes existed. It was a place to which he had often resorted. Nothing ever troubled him in it before, and no enemy was there when he entered.What could be the causes of his amazement now; or whence came the sorrows with which he found himself surrounded and overwhelmed? An invisible weight press. ed him to the ground, an invisible fire melted his heart, an invisible sword entered into his soul, invisible powers presented themselves before him, in battle array, and in their presence his invisible Father bruised him in his anger, and in his wrath against sin, which lay upon him, and spared him Behold the mystery which unfolds itself in this agony, unparalleled in the records of suffering., A mystery, wrapped up, and hid from the wise and prudent, but laid out and revealed unto babes: The holy One and the just, in our nature, in our stead, and under the imputation of our iniquities, falling before his Father alone, while his Father alone, to whom vengeance belongeth, multiplies his sorrows and his wounds; and into his spirit pours all the bitterness of the curse! Who is able to stand when he fell, and what agonies are reserved for despisers of the benefits of his agony!
6thly, The agony of the Son of God is the essence of penal bitterness and anguish of spirit. Why did he cry,
"O, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from "me?" why did he wrestle? why did he throw out "sweat "as it were great drops of blood falling down to the "ground?" Why did he sorrow even unto death? why was he thus oppressed and afflicted? and why did he need and receive the offices and consolations of a servant? The mystery of these expostulations unfolds and opens itself to the world in prophecy. "Surely he hath borne our "griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem him "stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was "wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our "iniquities, yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; the "chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his "stripes we are healed." And by the ministry of reconciliation these illustrations are added: "God spared not "his own Son, but delivered him up for us all." "For he "made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we "might be made the righteousness of God in him." "The "just uered for the unjust, that he might bring us to "God." "He his own self bare our sins in his own body "on the tree, that, we, being dead to sin, should live unto "righteousness, by whose stripes we are healed." Lying under imputed sin, and humbling himself to bear it, the curse entered into his suffering nature, like water, and filled every member of his holy body, and every faculty of his holy soul, with the sorrows and bitterness of death.
Lastly, observe, The agony of the Son of God, in our nature, is not the horror of a desponding and broken heart, but the conflict of a firm and vigorous mind. In his holy nature despair and melancholy found no place, nor, from the beginning to the end of his agony, was there a failure in trust or in hope. Instead of failures in any part, the law beheld every holy affection, and every gracious quality shining forth in perfection through the whole. Passive graces, humility, meekness, patience, resignation, long-suffering, mingling with active faith, love, hope, joy, cover his agony with glory, and raise admiration in every believer. The state of his mind under his agony ought to be taken from the elevation of his discourses and prayers before it began. "Father, glorify thy name."— "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in "him; and if God be glorified in him, God shall also glo"rify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him."
"Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son
also may glorify thee. I have glorified thee on earth, I "have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And "now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with "the glory which I had with thee before the world was." -Did the only begotten of the Father lose sight of these sublime and luminous objects, give up these elevated sentiments, and throw himself into despair? This would have gratified principalities and powers, and this was the aim of every temptation which these adversaries presented. "But behold, I shew you a mystery." Under impressions of wrath, under operations of the curse, under pangs of crucifixion, and under the cloud of infamy that hung over the cross, these great objects appeared to his eye, and operated on his mind. This we infer from his perfection, and this we receive under the hand of an apostle: "For the joy that was set before him he endured the "cross, despising the shame." Acknowledge, O hearer! and carry to the holy table this revelation of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, his dear Son, wading the troubled ocean of his wrath; and, in the weakness and feeling of our nature, crying, "Let not the water"flood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up;" and in the strength and glory of his person, and with his eyes lifted up to heaven, saying, "Father, the hour is "come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify "thee!"
Exhortation to believers.-Holy brethren, partakers "of the heavenly calling," read our text over again; and after the illustrations which we have given of its meaning, hear it proclaim, in the ear of the world, the words standing at the beginning of this discourse: "It is a fearful thing "to fall into the hands of the living God!" Wherever his wrath begins to burn, hell exists, though there be neither fire nor brimstone. From Bethlehem, where his dear Son was born in the likeness of sinful flesh, unto Calvary, where he died under sin on the cross, the record of his life is the history of sorrow and grief; and never through the whole course of it, excepting once, do we hear him rejoicing in spirit, while toward the end he uttered these amazing words: «My sout is exeeling sorrowful, even un"to death!" Before the thorns wounded his head-before
the nails pierced his hands and his feet-before the spear entered into his body, an invisible sword passed through his soul, an invisible fire melted his heart, and an invisible weight crushed him to the ground.
Behold the expense of atonement, and consider the obligations which ye lie under to him by whom it was made, and by whom it is received. Hear these words: "The "love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, "that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he "died for all, that they who live should not henceforth live "unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and "rose again."-Sanctification is not living unto ourselves: As the principle and end of obedience, self is a crucified, and, in you, an expiring and abjured tyrant. Sanctification is living unto him who died for you, and rose again. His death and resurrection are principles of spiritual life, which operate with vigour and effect through the whole breadth and length of our conversations. Under their influence, come to his table, leaning upon the top of the staff, which the apostle puts into your hands, in these words: "If when we were enemies, we were reconciled to "God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconci "led, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but "we also joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by "whom we have now received the atonement." :
When apprehensions of wrath raise, as they frequently will raise, alarms in your conscience; and impressions of the curse awaken doubts and fears of your acceptance and safety, remember the conflict in the garden, and the benefits which are the issue of it. After wading the deep waters of sorrow and wrath, and stilling, in your stead, the noise of their waves, the Son of God came upon the shore, in his resurrection, with your security against condemnation, under the hand of the God of peace, who, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, brought him again from the depths of the sea, and the power of the grave, that your faith and hope might be in God.With respect to you that troubled ocean is at rest, and, though roaring still against the world lying in wickedness, it cannot swallow up you, whom his love hath set upon a rock, raised above water-mark, and established by a perpetual decree: "As I have sworn that the waters of Noah "should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I "would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.",
I would have you also to observe, that the exercise of the Son of God under his agony is exemplary. He prayedprayed earnestly-prayed more earnestly; and in doing so "left you an example, that ye should follow his steps." Ye should not amuse yourselves with hopes of passing through life without sorrows and agonies. Though your sorrows and agonics cannot be like his, they may be great and perplexing. In such extremities give yourselves to prayer. Pray earnestly, and more earnestly. He who was the man of sorrows, is now within the vail, and on the right-hand of power. But assure yourselves of his knowledge and sympathy, of his readiness to receive your supplications to the throne, and of his ability to disentangle your perplexities, and bring you into his everlasting kingdom. "For in that he himself hath suf"fered, being tempted, he is able to succour them who are "tempted."
Address to unbelievers. From the sweat and agony of the Son of God, under the sins of many, every sinner who refuses his atonement may infer the agony that he must endure under his own iniquities. At this moment, in the construction of the scriptures of truth, you are making God a liar! At this moment you lie under wrath; and should you go out of the world under it, you shall lie un der this weight for ever. Devouring fire, and everlasting burnings, are metaphors, which have a terrible sound; and hell, where the terror in these metaphors is felt, must be dreadful above all our conceptions, especially when it is considered; that the wrath of the Lord, which like a stream of brimstone kindles it, is heated and inflamed against unbelievers with the wrath of the Lamb!
Be thoughtful and serious, O hearer! Eternal misery is not a false alarm, or a terror raised by superstition and gloominess. Between guilt and agony, the reasonable and holy law of God fixes a connection, which nothing with respect to you, excepting atonement, can dissolve.We would not say this were we speaking to men who ncver sinned. Before sin entered into the world, the doctrine of virtue and vice was sufficient. The amiableness and advantages of virtue, and the misery and odiousness of vice, were motives to love and retain the former, and to hate and avoid the latter; but by their fall in Adam the