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been already past. He foresaw them by the to him; all that he did and suffered in their bespirit of prophecy; but he described them in the half, they did and suffered in his
And language of history, to intimate their absolute their griefs and sorrows were transferred to him, certainty, and their perfect efficacy. Surely he so the merit of his submission and suffering is hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.' imputed to them. They become righteous in This from eternity he had undertaken to do, and his obedience, and are accepted in him the Bethe engagement became available in behalf of loved. The Lord, looking upon them in the face man from the period of his fall. The death of of his Anointed, sees no iniquity in them, apChrist possessed the same importance, and ex- proves of them, delights in them, and blesses ercised the same influence under the Old Testa-them with all spiritual blessings in heavenly ment dispensation, which belong to it under the places. His sufferings were completelyNew, as the only way of access to God, and the Effectual. All that he undertook to do, he sure ground of acceptance with him. The pro- has accomplished. In him we have the antitype phet tells
of the scape-goat, which carried away the sins of What the Saviour suffered—griefs' and 'sor- the people, after having been confessed by the rows,' representing an extremity of pain and an- high priest, into the wilderness. "He bare the guish both in soul and body which no finite mind sin of many, and made intercession for the transcan conceive, and which no human language can gressors.' The offering of the scape-goat needed express. Never was there any sorrow like his to be renewed every year; but this man, after he sorrow. The prophet describes the manner of had offered one sacrifice for sin, for ever sat down the Saviour's endurance, and tells us how he suf- on the right hand of God, having by this one offerfered ; with what meekness, and patience, and ing perfected for ever them that are sanctified, cheerful resignation he bore our griefs, and car- and become the Author of eternal salvation ried our sorrows.
Above all, he points out the unto all them that obey him.' The members of principle of the Saviour's sufferings, and declares the church on earth unite in expressing their dethem to have been purely
pendence on him, and acknowledging their obliVoluntary. It was not possible, indeed, that gations to him saying, 'in whom we have rethe cup which the Father had given him should demption through his blood, the forgiveness of pass away from him. But the obligation to suf-sins, according to the riches of his grace;' and fer resulted from choice, not from necessity. He the ascriptions of the redeemed in heaven assert could say, "Therefore doth my Father love me, the same truth, and breathe a similar spirit, and because I lay down my life, that I may take it commemorate the same deliverance, 'Unto him again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it that loved us and washed us from our sins in his down of myself. I have power to lay it down, blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto and I have power to take it again.' We had God, and his Father, to him be glory and dono claim on his sympathy. He beheld in us minion for ever. Amen.' nothing to attract his favour, but every thing The sufferings of Christ, it is true, have not to provoke his displeasure, and excite his ab- procured for his people the privilege of exemption horrence. Yet he “loved the church, and gave from the griefs and the sorrows of temporal himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse affliction; far less can they serve as a substitute it with the washing of water by the word; that for the griefs and the sorrows of genuine repenthe might present it to himself a glorious church, ance. But they open up a fountain of rich connot having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, solation and never-failing support under trials of but that it should be holy, and without blemish every description; and in particular, to mourners His sufferings were strictly
in Zion they give beauty for ashes, the oil of Vicarious. He endured them not merely for joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for our benefit, but as our substitute, and he endured the spirit of heaviness. Let us, by faith and them in our nature, which he took upon him prayer, look to him for strength both to act and with all its sinless infirmities attached to it. endure as seeing him who is invisible ; let us go Thus he literally put himself in our place, and to him without the camp, bearing his reproach ; bore not his, but our griefs, and carried our sor- not only willing to serve, but prepared to suffer in rows. So that what he endured actually for his his service and for his sake; rejoicing in the bepeople, they endured virtually in him. Hence lief that they who suffer for him shall also reign they are said to be crucified with him, to be buried with him, and that the sufferings of this present with him, and to be risen with him. What he life are not worthy to be compared with the is mediatorially, they are in virtue of their union glory which shall be revealed.
TWENTY-FIFTH DAY.-MORNING. subservient to the honour of the cross. He still
gloried in many things. He gloried in his in• But God forbid that I should glory, save in the firmities; but it was that the power of Christ cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,' Gal. vi. 14.
might rest upon him. He gloried in reproaches, The subject of this resolution is the cross of our in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses; but Lord Jesus Christ, by which we are to under- it was for Christ's sake. He became a fool in stand not the material or wooden cross on which glorying. He gloried in the birth of Christ, the Redeemer was suspended, and in which there in his life and labours, in his teaching and miracould be nothing whereof to glory; but the cles; but it was because they all pointed to the sacrificial cross, by which he made atonement for cross. He gloried in the doctrine of Christ, sin, and reconciled us unto God. In a more ex. because it was the doctrine of the cross; in tended sense the cross means the peculiar doc- the preaching of Christ, because it was the trines of the gospel, which all refer to the cross preaching of the cross; in the death of Christ, as the foundation on which they rest, and the because it was the death of the cross; in the centre in which they terminate. We may ob- triumphs of Christ, because they were the serve
triumphs of the cross. The apostle had the best The state of mind which the apostle expressed possiblein reference to this subject. He resolved to glory Reasons for resolving to glory in nothing save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; thus ex- in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. He saw pressing his approbation of it, his confidence in in it the most interesting display of the divine it, his attachment to it, his expectations from it, character that was ever presented to the world; his determination to adhere to it, to commend it, exhibiting the justice, the holiness, the power, to contend for it, to live under its influence. He the truth, and the mercy of God in perfect harspake in his public capacity, and expressed the mony, and with the clearest evidence. He bedetermination of every faithful minister of Christ; held in it the end and fulfilment of the Old Teshe spake also in his private character, and gave tament dispensation, which all pointed to the utterance to the feelings of every real believer. cross, and terminated in it. In the cross the type
He excluded every other ground of glorying was met by its antitype, the shadow by the subnot consistent with the honour of the cross. stance, the prefiguration by the reality, the preThere were many other things in which he had diction by the event: the dawn was succeeded been accustomed to glory: but he no longer by the day, the stars disappeared in the brighter regarded them as grounds of glorying. What! light of the Sun of righteousness. In the sacriShall he glory in his honourable descent; sprung fice of the cross the apostle witnessed the achievefrom the father of the faithful; of the stock of ment of a complete and final victory over sin, Israel; of the tribe of Benjamin; a Hebrew of and satan, and the world, and death. He disthe Hebrews? "God forbid.' Shall he glory in cerned in it the sure foundation of a sinner's his connection with the church of the living confidence and hope towards God, than which God; circumcised the eighth day; a member of other foundation can no man lay,' but on which the commonwealth of Israel; to whom pertained whosoever believeth shall not be confounded, the covenants, the adoption, the giving of the world without end. He knew it to be the only law, and the promises? “God forbid.' Shall he effectual mean of securing the attainment of then glory in his superior intellectual attain- i personal holiness, both by the moral perfecments; brought up at the feet of Gamaliel; pos- tions which it exemplifies, and the purifying sessing a mind highly cultivated by the pursuits influence which it exerts. The enemies of Christ of philosophy, and richly furnished with the stores praise virtue, but the disciples of the cross pracof literature? God forbid.' Shall he rather tise it. And as the cross is the effectual mean glory in the correctness of his moral deportment, of sanctification to believers, so it is the apas touching the law, a Pharisee; and as touching pointed instrument of conversion to sinners. the righteousness which is in the law, blameless? Upon all these grounds Paul might well say, God forbid.' What things were formerly gain "God forbid that I should glory, save in the to me, these I counted loss for Christ: yea, I cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.' count all things but loss that I may win Christ, This was in him the language of grateful exand be found in him.'
perience. He knew the value, because he had But whilst Paul rejected every ground of felt the efficacy of the cross. What but the inglorying not consistent with the claims of the fluence of the cross changed the fury of the percross, he made every other subject of glorying secutor into the zeal of the preacher, and the pride of the self-righteous Pharisee into the deeper interest when the character of the sufhumility of the Christian disciple? What but ferer is contrasted with the power of the cross supported him under the The unworthiness of those for whom he suffiery trials that befel him, and enabled him in fered. He the Just One suffered, but it was 'for the near prospect of martyrdom to say, “ Hence- the unjust ;' for the guilty, who were obnoxious forth there is laid up for me a crown of righte- to his justice ; for the depraved who were odious ousness which the Lord the righteous Judge will to his holiness, and averse to his service ; for give me at that day, and not to me only, but to aliens and enemies, for the worthless and helpall them that love his appearing.' For Paul is less, who neither deserved his favour, nor desired one only of an innumerable multitude who pos- it; 'for the ungodly,' whom he might not only sess the same confidence, and taste the same con- have left to perish in their sins, but whom he solations, and whose lips and lives express the was called on to punish for their sins. But in same acknowledgments.
order justly to estimate the sufferings of Christ, Mankind are naturally disposed to glory in we must considereverything save in the cross of Christ; but The gracious design for which he suffered. It whilst some glory in their wealth, and some in was not merely that he might save us from their rank, and some in their honours, and some wrath, but that he might sanctify us from sin, glory even in their shame, let our language be, and bring us unto God. He suffered that he "God forbid that I should glory, save in the might bring us to the knowledge of God, of his cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the perfections and government, of his righteous law world is crucified unto me, and I unto the and redeeming love, of his abhorrence of sin and world.'
his compassion for sinners, of the way in which he might be both a just God and a Saviour. He suffered that he might bring us to the favour of
God, by expiating our guilt, and procuring the TWENTY-Fifth Day.-EVENING. blessing of a free and full remission of sin; by
fulfilling the law, and working out for us a com* For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the plete and everlasting righteousness
. He sufjust for the unjust, that he might bring us to fered that he might bring us to the likeness of God,' 1 Peter üï. 18.
God, by providing a channel through which the Every view in which the sufferings of Christ influences of the Spirit are sent forth into the can be contemplated serves to enhance their hearts of his people, to renew them after the value, and furnishes additional reason for wonder image of Him that created them in righteousness and praise. How important do they appear and true holiness. He suffered that he might when viewed in connection with
bring us to the enjoyment of God on earth, by takThe character of the sufferer! “It is better,'as ing away sin which had set up a barrier between the apostle had observed, “that ye suffer for well- God and us; by thus opening up a way of access doing than for evil-doing. And he could appeal to God, and laying a foundation of acceptance to Christ as an illustrious example of generous with him, on the footing of which we may come and undeserved suffering. He was perfectly boldly to the throne of grace for mercy to pardon, just,' yet he suffered. The Jews loaded him and grace to help us in every time of need. with accusations, and demanded his crucifixion ; And he suffered that he might bring us to the but his innocence shone forth even to the convic- presence of God in heaven. The kingdom tion of his enemies. The wife of Pilate pro- which he received for himself, is at the same claimed it; for she “sent to him, saying, Have time the inheritance which he purchased for his thou nothing to do with the blood of that just people. At his ascension he took possession of man. Pilate himself bore public testimony to it in their name, and on their behalf. He is now, it; for he took water, and washed his hands by his word and Spirit, preparing them for it, and before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of conducting them to it; and as the completing act the blood of this just person. And to the same of his mediatorial administration he will introeffect the Roman centurion exclaimed, “Certainly duce them into the personal possesssion of it by this was a righteous man. We are assured by presenting them before the presence of his Fafar higher authority that he did no sin, and knew ther's glory "faultless and blameless with exceedno sin; that he is the Holy One and the Just, ing joy.' and did always those things that pleased the Those for whom Christ suffered needed to be Father.' The sufferings of Christ acquire a still brought nigh to God. They are by nature the children of wrath even as others; they are far | What are their attainments ? The answer is from God, and ready to perish. But they who clear and full,—the saints of God, who have sometimes were far off are made nigh by the made a covenant with him by sacrifice.' blood of Christ. And having thus been brought • The saints!' The title is borrowed from the nigh they ought to live near to God, cherishing a sanctuary of old, and it means to be set apart, or humble and contrite sense of their natural alien- separated, implying, that as the sanctuary was set ation and estrangement from him, and a grateful apart for the service of God, so his believing peoand affectionate sense of their restoration to his ple are separated from the ungodly, and devoted friendship, cultivating the feelings which are to his worship and fear. Did God dwell in the suited to the relation which they bear to him, sanctuary? They are the temples of the Holy and acting habitually under the impression that Ghost. Were all the ordinances of the sanctuary they are no longer "strangers or foreigners, but expressive of purity? They are pure in heart. fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the house Was holiness the law of the house? They are hold of God.'
enjoined, 'be ye holy, in all manner of conversation. With what propriety then are they termed saints? And is it not reason of surprise and hu
miliation that the term is used in the world as a TWENTY-Sixth Day.—MORNING. reproach; and that there are many who shrink
from bearing the appellation as though the deepest "Gather my saints together unto me; those that dishonour attached to it? Let it be our highest
have made a covenant with me by sacrifice,' ambition to be reckoned among the saints of God, Psal. l. 5.
for they truly are the excellent of the earth. It is well known that, when Jerusalem was de- As saints they are in covenant with God. This stroyed by the Romans, and the most fearful is the bond of connection between Jehovah and judgments were executed upon the unbelieving his people. His address to men is, hear and your Jews, those who had believed in Jesus Christ souls shall live, and I will make an everlasting were miraculously preserved. And to this his- covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.' torical fact there seems to be a reference here, in According to this covenant he becomes their God the spirit of prophecy, for the announcement comes and they his people,- He engaging to provide from Jehovah in the midst of threatened ven- for all their wants, and they unreservedly yieldgeance. "Our God shall come, and shall not keep ing up themselves to him. It engages pardon silence; a fire shall devour before him, and it and acceptance and purity and peace, all spiritual shall be very tempestuous round about him. He blessings here and hereafter, with a right to a shall call to the heavens from above, and to the competent portion of the good things of this life, earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my so far as they may be necessary and conducive to saints together unto me; those that have made a the real interests of his people. And the relation covenant with me by sacrifice.'
of God to them is expressed in this form of coveBut there is a more awful judgment than that nant for their encouragement and comfort: as it of Jerusalem intended here. It was typical of is written, “God willing more abundantly to show the final judgment of the world. And blessed be unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his God, he who preserved the Christians in the counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two imsiege of the ancient city, so that not a hair of their mutable things in which it was impossible for God heads was injured, will deliver his people in the to lie, we might have a strong consolation who day of final retribution, with a far more glorious have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set deliverance, -fulfilling again the gracious promise before us! Let the sinner enter into this coveof Christ, and far more illustriously than before. nant, and he will find it the ark of safety, the 'He shall send his angels with a great sound of a city of refuge, the hiding-place from the storm of trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect life and death and judgment. At the same time from the four winds, from one end of heaven to it implies a hearty and universal surrender to God. the other.' Nor will he be satisfied with their He receives us into favour, and we give him our deliverance merely, for he will exalt them to be hearts. He provides for our necessities, and we sharers of his own glory; as it is written, 'the yield him our services. He pledges to us his saints shall judge the world, -yea, they shall love, and we lay ourselves, all we are, and have, judge angels.
upon his altar. He avouches us to be his people, But who are they that shall thus be delivered and we avouch him to be our God. and honoured? What is their present character? | And how can a pure and holy God thus treat with sinners, such as we are? This covenant is than all the dwellings of Jacob; at the sacramade with him by sacrifice.' It was made in mental table, seeing Christ hath said 'do this in eternity, not with the sinner, but with the Sa- remembrance of me. Acting and living thus, viour, in the sinner's room. This is the testi- then may we trust there is evidence that when mony of the divine word, “I have made a cove- God shall pour out the vials of his wrath upon nant with my chosen,-I have given him for a the ungodly, we shall be included in the number covenant unto the people. Jehovah treats with of his people, of whom he shall say, 'Gather my sinners through the mediation of his Son, nor saints together unto me, those that have made a could his purity allow him to do so otherwise. covenant with me by sacrifice.' The covenant secured all the blessings the sinner needs, but it was on the condition of the death of its surety. Sinners are taken into covenant with God through the blood of the everlasting cove- TWENTY-SIXTI DAY.-EVENING. nant. They come to Jesus, are united to him by faith, obtain an interest in his death, are then
• Whom hace I in heaven but thee? and there is entitled to plead what he has done and suffered, none upon earth that I desire besides thee,' and so enter into covenant with God by sacrifice,
Psal. lxxiii. 25. even through the merits and mediation of the sa- THERE are many temptations, in the present crifice which Christ presented, when he gave his aspect of the world, to doubt and distrust the soul an offering for sin, and bare our sins in his providence of God; and on many occasions the own body on the tree. In no other way can the mind of David appears to have been greatly sinner come to God or enjoy his favour. “No harassed by them. He says, ver. 2, 3, “my feet man cometh unto the Father but by me.' But were almost gone; my steps had well nigh coming thus he is welcome. When the blood was slipped; for I was envious at the foolish, when seen on the houses of Israel in Egypt they were I saw the prosperity of the wicked.' Still worse, passed by and left in safety by the destroying he was tempted to express himself, ver. 13, 14, angel; and when the blood of the covenant is seen 'I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed upon the sinner God accepts him, and owns him my hands in innocency; for all the day long have for a son. On the ground of that sacrifice he may I been plagued, and chastened every morning.' ask and receive till his joy be full, God will with- But he was delivered from these vain and sinful hold no good thing from him. And he may con- thoughts. He informs us how this was, ver. 17, 'I tinually say, 'having therefore boldness to enter went into the sanctuary of God; then understood into the holiest of all, by a new and living way, I their end.' Looking at the events of time, as which he hath consecrated for us through the there shown in the light of eternity, he exclaimed, vail, that is to say, his flesh, and having an High ver. 19, how are they brought into desolation, Priest over the house of God, let us draw near as in a moment! they are consumed with terrors.' with a true heart, in full assurance of faith.' Humbled for his distrustful suspicions, he cried Thus, coming to God through a covenant, sealed out, “My heart was grieved, so foolish was I and by the sacrifice of his Son, we need not fear even ignorant; I was as a beast before thee. He to stand before him in the judgment.
counted his own conduct highly irrational, and Meantime, in the solemn anticipation of that recovering the right exercise of his mind, he judgment, let us see that we live as those who lifted up his soul to God, and said, “Whom have have entered into covenant with God by sacrifice. I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon In the prospect of being gathered in judgment, earth that I desire besides thee.' let us now gather together in the name of our These are the words of truth and soberness; great High Priest. There are many assemblies and whatever may be the outward aspect of where we ought not to be found,—not with the affairs, the more the exclamation of the psalmist ungodly in their pursuit of earthly pleasures and is considered and tried, so will it be found to be sensual gratifications, not at the race-course, the wise and reasonable. theatre, or the ball-room. Let us gather together Whom have I in heaven but thee? We at the family altar, knowing God will pour out know of two glorious orders of beings in heaven his fury upon the families that call not on his besides Jehovah, glorified saints and holy angels. name; in exercises of social prayer, knowing that But what are these compared with God? They if two shall agree upon earth, touching any thing may be admired, and in some respects imitated, they shall ask, it shall be done unto them; in the and their fellowship earnestly desired; but they sanctuary, for God loveth the gates of Zion more cannot be souglit unto in prayer, nor confided in