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O daughter of Zion, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes, make thee mourning and most bitter lamentation ; Jer. vi. 26. Fast, and pray, and prosper,
And, in the mean time, for us, let us not think it enough to forbear a meal, or to hang down our heads like a bulrush for a day: but let us break the bands of wickedness; and, in a true contrition of soul, vow and perform better obedience. Oh, then, as we care to avert the heavy judgments of God from ourselves and our land, as we desire to traduce the Gospel with peace to our posterity, let each man humble one: let each man rend his heart, with sorrow for his own sins and the sins of his people: shortly, let every man ransack his own soul and life; and offer a holy violence to all those sinful corruptions, which have stirred up the God of Heaven against us; and never leave, till, in truth of heart, he can say, with our blessed Apostle, I am crucified.
III. Ye have seen Christ crucified, St. Paul crucified: see now BOTH CRUCIFIED TOGETHER; I am crucified with Christ, It is but a cold word this, I am crucified. It is the company that quickens it, He, that is the Life, gives it life; and makes both the word and act glorious; I am crucificd with Christ.
Alas, there is many a one crucified, but not with Christ!
The Covetous, the Ambitious man, is self-crucified. He plaits a crown of thorny cares, for his own head: he pierces his hands and feet, with toilsome and painful undertakings: he drencheth him. self, with the vinegar and gall of discontentments: he gores his side and wounds his heart, with inward vexations. Thus, the man is crucified; but with the world, not with Christ.
The Envious man is crucified by his own thoughts, He needs no other gibbet, than another man's prosperity: because another's person or counsel is preferred to his, he leaps to hell in his own halter. This man is crucified; but it is Abithophel's cross, not Christ's.
The Desperate man is crucified, with his own distrust. He pierceth his own heart, with a deep, irremediable, unmitigable, killing sorrow; he pays his wrong to God's justice with a greater
mercy; and leaps out of an inward hell of remorse, to the bottomless pit of damnation. This man is crucified; but this is Judas's cross, not Christ's,
The Superstitious man is professedly mortified. The answer of that Eremite in the story is famous; “Why dost thou destroy thy body?” “Because it would destroy me.” He useth his body therefore, not as a servant, but a slave; not as a slave, but an enemy. He lies upon thorns, with the Pharisee: little ease is his lodging, with Simeon the anachoret: the stone is his pillow, with Jacob: the tears his food, with exiled David: he lanceth his flesh, with the Baalites: he digs his grave with his nails: his meals are hunger; his breathings, sighs; his linen hair-cloth, lined and laced with cords and wires: lastly, he is his own willing tormentor, and hopes to merit heaven by self-murder. This man is crucified; but not with Christ.
wrong to his
The Felon, the Traitor, is justly crucified: the vengeance of the law will not let him live. The Jesuitical Incendiary, that cares only to warm himself by the fires of states and kingdoms, cries out of his suffering. The world is too little for the noise of our cruelty, their patience; while it judgeth of our proceedings by our laws, not by our executions. But, if they did suffer what they falsely pretend, (as they now complain of ease,) they might be crucified; but not with Christ: they should bleed for sedition; not conscience; they may steal the Name of Jesus; they shall
not have his Society, This is not Christ's cross: it is the cross of Barabbas, or the two malefactors; Tūv Ousuoia5wv; Mark xv. 7.
All these, and many more, are crucified; but not, as St. Paul was here, with Christ. How with Christ? In Partnership; in Per
1. In PARTNERSHIP of the suffering. Every particularity of Christ's crucifixion is re-acted in us, Christ is the model; we, the metal: the metal takes such form, as the model gives it; so are we spread upon the Cross of Christ in an answerable extension of all parts, to die with him; as the prophet was upon the dead chiļd, to revive him. · Superstitious men talk of the impression of our Saviour's wounds in their idol St. Francis. This is no news. St. Paul, and every believing Christian, hath both the lashes and wounds and transfixions of bis Jesus wrought upon him. The crown of thorns pierces his head, when his sinful conceits are mortified: his lips are drenched with gall and vinegar, when sharp and severe restraints are given to his tongue: his hands and feet are nailed, when he is, by the power of God's Spirit, disabled to the wonted courses of sin: his body is stripped, when all colour and pretences are taken away from him: shortly, his heart is pierced, when the life-blood of his formerly-reigning corruptions is let out. He is no true Christian, that is not thus crucified with Christ.
Woe is me! how many fashionable ones are not so much as pained with their sins! It is no trouble to them, to blaspheme, oppress, debauch: yea, rather it is a death to them, to think of parting with their dear corruptions. The world hath bewitched their love. That, which Erasmus saith of Paris, That after a man hath acquainted himself with the odious scent of it, (hospitibus magis ac magis adlubescit) " it grows into his liking more and more;" is too true of the world and sensual minds. Alas, they rather crucify Christ again, than are crucified with Christ! Woe to them, that ever they were: for, being not dead with Christ, they are not dead in Christ; and, being not dead in Christ, they cannot but die eternally in themselves: for the wages of sin is death; death in their person, if not
in their surety:
Honourable and Beloved, let us not think it safe for us to rest in this miserable and deadly condition. As ye love your souls, give no sleep to your eyes nor peace to your hearts, till ye find the sensible effects of the Death and Passion of Christ your Saviour within you, mortifying all your corrupt affections and sinful actions; that ye may truly say with St. Paul, I am crucified with Christ.
Six several times, do we find that Christ shed blood; in bis Cir. cumcision, in his Agony, in his Crowning, in his Scourging, in his Affixion, in his Transfixion: the instrument of the first was the Knife; of the second, vehemence of Passion; of the third, the Thorus; of the fourth, the Whips; of the fifth, the Nails; of the last, the Spear. In all these we are, we must be Partners with our Saviour.
In his Circumcision, when we draw blood of ourselves by cutting off the foreskin of our filthy, if pleasing, corruptions; Col. i. 11: in his Agony, when we are deeply affected with the sense of God's displeasure for sin, and terrified with the frowns of an angry Father: in his Crowning with thorns, when we smart and bleed with reproaches for the name of Christ; when that, which the world counts honour, is a pain to us for his sake; when our guilty thoughts punish us, and wound our restless heads with the sad remembrance of our sins: in his Scourging, when we tame our wanton and rebellious Aesh with wise rigour and holy severity: in his Affixion, when all the powers of our souls and parts of our body are strictly hampered and unremovably fastened upon the Royal Commandments of our Maker and Redeemer: in his Transfixion, when our hearts are wounded with divine love, with the Spouse in the Canticles; or our consciences with deep sorrow.
In all these, we bleed with Christ; and all these, save the first only, belong to his crucifying.
Surely, as it was in the Old Law, xwpis aipalexxuries without bloodshed there was no remission; Heb. ix. 22: so it is still and ever in the New. If Christ had not thus bled for us, no remission: if we do not thus bleed with Christ, no remission,
There is no benefit where is no partnership. If Christ therefore bled with his agony, with his thorns, with his whips, with his nails, with his spear, in so many thousand passages as tradition is bold to define; and we never bleed, either with the agony of our sorrow for sin, or the thorns of holy cares for displeasure, or the scourges of severe Christian rigour, or the nails of holy constraint, or the Spear of deep remorse; how do we, how can we for shame say, we are crucified with Christ?
Divine St. Austin, in his Epistle or Book rather to Honoratus, (Epist. 120. ad Honoratum), gives us all the dimensions of the Cross of Christ. The Latitude he makes in the transverse: this, saith be, pertains to good works; because on this his hands were stretched. The Length was from the ground to the transverse: this is attributed to his longanimity and persistance; for on that his body was stayed and fixed. The Height was in the head of the cross above the transverse; signifying the expectation of supernal things. The Depth of it was in that part, which was pitched below within the earth; importing the profoundness of his free grace, which is the ground of all his beneficence.
In all these must we have our part with Christ. In the Transverse of bis cross, by the ready extension of our hands to all good works of piety, justice, charity; in the Arrectary or beam of his cross, by continuance and uninterrupted perseverance in good; in the Head of his cross, by a high elevated hope and looking for of glory; in the Foot of his cross, by a lively and firm faith, fastening our souls upon the affiance of his free grace and mercy. And thus shall we be crucified with Christ
his own Cross. 2. Yet, lastly, we must go further than this; from his Cross to his PERSON. So did St. Paul, and every believer, die with Christ, that he died in Christ: for, as in the First Adam we all lived, and sinned; so, in the Second, all believers died, that they might live.
The First Adam brought in death to all mankind; but, at last, actually died for none but himself: the Second Adam died for mankind, and brought life to all believers. Seest thou thy Saviour therefore hanging upon the Cross? all mankind hangs there with him: as a Knight or Burgess of Parliament voices his whole borough or country.
What speak I of this? The arms and legs take the same lot with the head. Every believer is a limb of that body: how can he therefore but die with him, and in him? That real union then, which is betwixt Christ and us, makes the Cross and Passion of Christ ours; so as the thorns pierced our heads, the scourges blooded our backs, the nails wounded our hands and feet, and the spear gored our sides and hearts: by virtue whereof, we receive justification from our sins, and true mortification of our corruptions.
Every believer therefore is dead already for his sins, in his Saviour: he needs not fear, that he shall die again. God is too just, to punish twice for one fault; to recover the sum, both of the surety and principal. All the score of our arrearages is fully struck off, by the infinite satisfaction of our Blessed Redeemer.
Comfort thyself therefore, thou Penitent and Faithful Soul, in the confidence of thy safety: thou shalt not die, but live; since thou art already crucified with thy Saviour: he died for thee; thou diedst in him. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies. Who shall condemn? It is Christ that died; yea rather that is risen again, and lives gloriously ut the right hand of God, making intercession for us. To thee, O Blessed Jesu, together with thy Coeternal Father and Holy Spirit, Three Persons in One Infinite and Incomprehensible Deity, be all praise, honour, and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
CHRISTIAN LIBERTY LAID FORTH:
IN A SERMON PREACHED TO HIS LATE MAJESTY AT WHITE
HALL, IN THE TIME OF THE PARLIAMENT HOLDEN ANNO 1628.
BY JOSEPH BISHOP OF EXON.
GALATLANS V. I.
Stand fast therefore in the Liberty, wherewith Christ hath made
As if my tongue and your ears could not easily be diswonted from our late parliamentary language, you have here, in this Text, Liberty, Prerogative, the Maintenance of both : Liberty of subjects, that are freed; Prerogative of the King of Glory, that hath freed them ; Maintenance of that liberty, which the power of that great prerogative hath atchieved: Christian Liberty; Christ's Liberation; our Persistance : Stand fast in the Liberty, wherewith Christ hath made you free.
I. Liberty is a sweet word : the thing itself is much sweeter : and men's apprehensions make it yet sweeter than it is. Certainly, if liberty and life were competitors, it is a great question, whether would carry it: sure I am, if there be a life without it, yet it is not vital. Man restrained is like a wild bird shut up in a cage; that offers at every of the grates to get out, and grows sullen when it can find no evasion; and, till stark famine urge it, will not so much as feed, for anger to be confined.
Neither is the word more sweet, than large : there are as many liberties, as restraints; and as many restraints, as there are limitations of superior commands; and there are so many limits of commands, as there are either duties to be done, or sentences to be undergone. There is a liberty of the parts, and a liberty of the man.
There is a drunken liberty of the Tongue; which, being once glibbed with intoxicating liquor, runs wild through heaven and earth; and spares neither him that is God above, nor those which are called gods on earth. The slanderer answered Pyrrhus well :