Psalm 73:23

"Nevertheless, I am continually with thee. " - Psalm 73:23

Yes, my soul, and well it is for thee that it is so; there is a nevertheless in the precious redemption by Jesus, which secures thee, amidst all thy languishing seasons, when to thy view it sometimes appears as though the Lord had forgotten to be gracious, and had shut up his loving-kindness in displeasure. And whence this security but in Jesus, and the covenant engagements of God thy Father in him? The everlasting worth and efficacy of the Redeemer's righteousness and death, are the same amidst all the changeable circumstances of his people's warfare. By the expression of being continually with Jesus, is meant, no doubt, that union with his person, as the sinner's Surety, which gives security and firmness to the everlasting state and happiness of his redeemed. And it is this which constitutes, not only the safety of his people now, but the happiness of his people forever. Heaven itself, but for Jesus, and the constant flow of righteousness and glory in him, and from him, would cease to be heaven. The souls of just men made perfect could be no longer happy nor righteous, but as those supplies flow in upon their souls from him. So that the everlasting preciousness of Jesus, as the glorious Head of his people, is thus confirmed, and the felicity of the church must be wholly made up from this eternal union with him. Hence how precious the thought, "I am continually with thee!" And is this thy portion, my soul? Art thou alive to this sweet and soul-reviving thought? Is Jesus, thy Jesus, continually with thee, and thou continually with him? See to it, that the nearness of Jesus to thee hath the same effect upon thee, as with things in nature, when the earth and the inhabitants testify their sense of feeling. Doth not the earth, and the plants, and the birds, and everything look gay when the sun renews the face of the earth, and shines with loveliness to make all nature smile? And shall thy Sun of Righteousness arise unobserved or unenjoyed, who comes with healing in his wings? Oh precious Jesus, cause me so to live upon thee, that I may be always eyeing thee, in dark seasons as well as bright hours; that, from never suffering thy dear image to depart for a moment from my heart, I may be so prepared to behold thy face in open glory, when the veil of this flesh is removed, and I awake up after thy likeness, that, though I change my place, I shall not change my company. In earth, or heaven, yet, if with thee, happiness is begun in the soul; and faith, in lively exercise, is itself an anticipation of glory, by just so much as the soul realizeth thy sweet presence, in being ever with the Lord.

Revelation 19:7-8

"The marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. " - Revelation 19:7-8

Behold, my soul, behold that day, that glorious day, in which redemption is to be consummated, and in the kingdom of heaven; when the Son of God brings home his bride, the church, the full celebration of God's glory in the happiness of the redeemed in Jesus, everlasting joy will burst forth. See how thy nature is then to be adorned. The whole body, the church, is then to be arrayed in the robes of Jesus's righteousness, having been washed from all their sins in his blood. And these nuptial ornaments are to be granted or given to the church; for she hath no righteousness of her own; but as all along in this world she had professed, so there in the upper world she triumphantly sings," I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a' bride adorneth herself with her jewels. "Isa. lxi. 10. Pause, my soul, over this view. Is this to be thy adorning in glory? See to it then, my soul, that it becomes thy covering now. How suited is it to all thy circumstances! Thou hast no fine linen, nothing clean, nothing white. Think how comely Jesus's robe of righteousness must be to appear in. This is the wedding garment, by faith worn at his supper upon earth, and the same in fruition in which thou art to sit down at his table above. And Oh how suitable a covering to hide all thy deformity, to conceal and take away all thy pollution. And will not this procure thee favour and acceptance with God? Is it not thus that Jesus's followers are distinguished from men of the world? Art thou now clothed with it? Hath God the Spirit put it on? Doth Jesus now send thee his love-tokens as his betrothed; and, in the ordinances of his grace, doth he grant thee many sweet espousals? Oh then, my soul, see to it, that thy righteousness is that of Jesus's own, with which his church is arrayed, and that these robes are always clean and white, which are washed in the blood of the Lamb: for, ere long, the midnight cry will be heard; "Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him!" Oh precious Lord Jesus! give me to hear that voice with joy, that, with holy wings of love, in the last office of faith, to be then swallowed up in sight, I may arise to enter with thee into the marriage, to sit down with thee forever.

1 Samuel 16:12-13

"And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him; for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren." - 1 Samuel 16:12-13

Was David singled out from amidst his brethren, to be the Lord's anointed; and do I not behold in this the representation of Jesus, that Holy One, concerning whom the Lord spake in vision, and said, I have laid help upon One that is mighty; I have exalted One chosen out of the people? Yes, thou Lord our righteousness, in this I behold thee. And let my soul make this sweet subject the meditation of my morning song, for surely it is a lovely song, to hail thee the chiefest among ten thousand. I behold thee then, thou dear Emanuel, by the eye of faith, as coming up from everlasting, when amidst that immense multitude of those thou disdainest not to call thy brethren, thou stoodest forth, in the eternal view, as the glorious One, to be the Christ, the God-man Mediator, for the salvation of thy church and people. Here, precious Jesus, didst thou appear, to God our Father's view, pre-eminent above thy fellows. And of the whole body, the church, which God our Father in the great decree determined to form as the receivers of grace and mercy, and of eternal life and salvation, thou wert appointed their glorious Head; and in thee, and from thee, and through thee, they might become a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that thou mightest present it to thyself in love. And surely, dearest, precious Jesus, had every individual of thy redeemed brethren been present, as all the Sons of Jesse passed in review before the prophet, to have chosen their glorious head, on none but thee could that choice have fallen. All voices would have echoed to Jehovah's proclamation: "Arise, anoint him; for this is he. "Yes! truly, Lord, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise; and all thy Father's children, with devout rapture and holy joy, shall bow down before thee. Thou art heir of all things, the chiefest and first, born in the womb of mercy. It is thou that art entitled to the most full, honourable, and unchangeable right to all thy Father's inheritance. "Men shall be blessed in thee, and all nations shall call thee blessed. "My soul, delight thyself unceasingly in this contemplation of thy Jesus. God thy Father hath chosen him. He hath anointed him with the holy oil for salvation, and the Spirit was given unto him, not by measure. And is not God's chosen thy chosen; the Father's anointed, thine anointed? Is there any in heaven, or upon earth, to whom thou art looking for help, or strength, or comfort, or salvation, but to Jesus? Who but Jesus, my soul, wouldest thou have for a Saviour? What object so desirable as Jesus, to claim thy love? Witness for me, ye sons of light, ye angels that see his face and do his pleasure, that Jesus is my only beloved, my hope, my portion. Shortly I shall join your assembly, and with you bless and adore Jesus in endless song, the fairest and chiefest among ten thousand.

John 11:36

"Behold how he loved him!" - John 11:36

The tears of Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus produced that astonishment in the mind of the Jews, that they thus exclaimed! But had they known, or did the whole world know, what I know of thy love to me, thou dear Redeemer of my soul, every one that heard it might with greater wonder cry out," Behold how he loveth him!" I would for the present pass by, in my contemplation of thy love, all the numberless instances of it, which I possess in common with thy church and people; for though these in every and in all cases carry with them the tokens of a love that passeth knowledge, yet, for the meditation of the morning, I would pause over the view of Jesus's love to me a poor sinner, not as it is displayed in general mercies, even the glorious mercies of redemption, but as those mercies come home, in their personal direction of them to my own heart, even to mine. Think, my soul, what a huge volume thou wilt have to read over in eternity, of Jesus's love to thee, as distinguished, express, personal, and particular. And, amidst all the several chapters of that love, how wilt thou dwell with rapture on those two sweet verses of it, which, like the hymn in one of the psalms, thou wilt have to chant aloud, after the review of every blessing noted down; "for his mercy endureth forever. "I mean, first, that Jesus should ever look with pity on thee; and next to this, that after such distinguishing grace, the floods of sin and corruption in thee should not have quenched that love, and extinguished it forever. The thought of Jesus's love, if looked at only in these two points of view, will be enough to employ thy immortal faculties in contemplation, and love, and praise to all eternity. Pause, my soul, and take a short view of each. Jesus looked on thee, loved thee, called thee, redeemed thee, manifested himself to thee, otherwise than he doth to the world; and this at a time when thousands and tens of thousands are passed by, of temper, mind, disposition, and understanding, in every point of view vastly thy superiors, and far more promising to glorify him. Bow down, my soul, while thou ponderest over the rich mercy, and refer all the praise and all the glory unto him, whose free grace, not thy deserts, became the sole cause. And when thou hast fully turned this astonishing subject over in thy mind, think again, that after such distinguishing grace, how increasingly astonishing it is that all thy repeated and aggravated transgressions have not extinguished this love towards thee, but that Jesus still loves, though thou hast been, and still continuest, so ungrateful. Oh love unequaled, past all comprehension! When shall this base, this shameful heart of mine so love thee, as to live to thy glory? Lord, I abhor myself in this view of thy grace and my vileness!

Song of Solomon 4:2

"Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them." - Song of Solomon 4:2

See, my soul, how Jesus sets off the beauties of his church, when made comely in his comeliness, which he hath put upon it. Jesus's whole church forms but one flock; for there shall be one fold and one shepherd. And though it is called a little flock, and a flock of slaughter, yet it is a beautiful flock in the Lord's hand. But wherefore are the teeth of the church said to be like a flock shorn? Probably, from their never being exercised but upon divine things: shorn to all desires in which unshorn and carnal persons delight. The believer feeds on Jesus: his flesh he finds to be meat indeed, his blood drink indeed: To the roof of his mouth this becomes, like the best wine," which goeth down sweetly, causing even the lips of those that sleep to speak. "And how do believers, like sheep, come up from the washing, but when from the washing of regeneration, and a renewing of the Holy Ghost shed upon them abundantly, through Jesus Christ, they come up clean and washed in Jesus's blood, and adorned in the robe of Jesus's righteousness, and are presented before God and the Father, and accepted in the Beloved? And Oh how fruitful are they, like sheep which bear twins! None are barren or unfruitful among them, because they shew forth the praises of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvelous light. The twin graces, if they may be so called, of faith and love, of prayer and praise, mark whose they are, and to whom they belong. The old fleece of nature being taken from them, they are shorn to the world, and the former filthiness and uncleanness of mind, they are washed from to themselves: and hence they come up to mention the loving-kindness of the Lord, and to prove that they are neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord, and in the power of his might. My soul, is this thy state? Are thy teeth like this flock; and thy knowledge and enjoyment of Jesus a real heartfelt enjoyment of him? Canst thou truly relish nothing of food but what hath Jesus in it? nothing pleasant to thy taste but this bread of God, which came down from heaven? Comfort thyself then, my soul, that by and by the teeth of death will separate, like the sheep that is shorn, the body of corruption under which thou still groanest, being burdened; and thou shalt come up from the washing in the fountain of Jesus's blood, clothed in his garment of salvation, and made a meet partaker of an inheritance with the saints in light!

Luke 18:5

"And the apostles said unto the Lord, increase our faith." - Luke 18:5

Did the apostles need so to pray? Then well may I. Oh! thou great author and finisher of our faith! I would look up to thee, with thankfulness, that thou hast granted even the smallest portion of faith to so unworthy a creature as I am. Surely, my soul, it is as great a miracle of grace that my God and Saviour should have kindled belief in thy stony heart, amidst all the surrounding obstructions of sin and Satan which lay there, as when the miraculous fire from heaven, in answer to the prophet's prayer, came down and consumed the wetted sacrifice. I praise thee, my God and King, this day, in the recollection of this unspeakable, unmerited mercy. And though this faith in my heart still be but as a grain of mustard seed; though it be but as a spark in the ocean; though it be but as the drop of the dew, in comparison of the river; yet, blessed, precious Jesus! still this is faith, and it is thy gift. And is it not a token of thy favour? Is it not an earnest of the Holy Spirit, and a pledge of the promised inheritance? Babes in faith, as well as the strong in the Lord, are equally thine; for it is said that "as many as were ordained to eternal life believed; "(Acts xiii. 48.) "and to as many as believed, thou gavest power to become the sons of God. "So it is by thyself blessed Redeemer, and not by the strength or weakness of the faith of thy people, their justification before God the Father is secured. Precious is that scripture which tells us, that by thee all that believe, whether great faith or little faith - "all that believe, are justified from all things." Acts xiii. 39. But, my soul, while the consciousness of thy possessing the smallest evidences of faith in thy beloved, gives thee a joy unspeakable and full of glory, dost thou not blush to think what ungrateful returns thou art making to thy Redeemer in the littleness of thy faith in such a God and Saviour? Whence is it that thine affections are so warm in a thousand lesser things, and so cold towards Jesus? Whence that his holy word thou so often hearest as though thou heardest not? Whence the ordinances of Jesus's house, the promises of his scriptures, the visits of his grace; whence these pass again and again before thee, and thou remainest so cold and lifeless in thy affections? Whence that the temptations of Satan, the corruptions of thine heart, the allurements of the world, gain any influence upon thee? Whence that thou art so anxious about things that perish; about anything, about nothing, deserving to be called interesting; whence so seldom at the court of the heavenly King, where thou oughtest to be found daily, hourly, waiting; and whence, under trials, or the want of answers at a mercy-seat, fretful, impatient, and misgiving - whence all these, and numberless other evils, but from the weakness and littleness of thy love to Jesus, thy trust in Jesus, thy dependence upon Jesus, and thy communion with Jesus? All, all arise out of this one sad cause, my soul, thine unbelief. Jesus, Master, look upon me, put the cry with earnestness in my heart, that I may unceasingly, with the apostles' prayer, be sending forth this as the first and greatest petition of my whole soul - "Lord, increase my faith."

Micah 2:13

The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them." - Micah 2:13

Pause, my soul, over this precious scripture, and ask thine own heart who this Almighty Breaker can be, except the Lord Jesus Christ; for he, and he alone, answers to such a divine character. Was it not he which came up as the Breaker from everlasting; when, in the council of peace, the divine decree was broken open, and the Son of God stood forth the sinner's Surety? Was it not he whom John saw by vision, who alone was found worthy in heaven to open the book, and loose the seals thereof? Was it not the same precious Holy One, who, when in the volume of the book it was found written of him, that he should fulfill the law of Jehovah for sinful man, cried out," Lo, I come? And was it not Jesus, even thy Jesus, my soul, that in the fullness of time came up as the Breaker, to break down the dreadful bar of separation which sin had made between God and man, and to open a new and living way for the sinner to God by his blood? And when he had broken down the fence sin had made in disobedience to the divine law, the accusations of Satan, the dominion of death and the grave, by sustaining the whole weight and burden of all in his own precious person; did he not, as the Almighty Breaker; burst asunder the bars of death, and prove himself thereby indeed to be this Almighty Breaker in such a palpable evidence, that it was impossible his holy soul could beholden by it? And hath he not broken through all intervening obstacles, ascended up on high, led captivity captive, entered into glory, and there ever liveth and appeareth in the presence of God for us? Is not Jesus then this Almighty Breaker? But, my soul, look yet further. It is said also, in this blessed scripture, that the Breaker is not only come up before them, (that is, his people,) but that "they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it; and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them. "And so they are, if so be this Almighty Breaker hath broken down the strong holds of sin and Satan in which they lay bound; broken down the natural hatred and enmity of their own heart against God and his Christ in which they were born, and in which they lived, and must have died, but for his sovereign grace manifested in them and towards them; burst open the prison doors of Satan, and broke off his cursed chains, and brought them out! If these things are wrought and accomplished in the people, may they not be said, in his strength, to have broken up, and have passed through the gate of Satan's dominions, and are gone oust by it into the glorious liberty of the sons of God? Is it so, my soul, in thy experience? Dost thou indeed know Jesus for thy Almighty Breaker, by such sweet and precious tokens of his love and power? Hath thy King passed thus before thee, and thy Lord on the head of thee? Oh then, be ever on the lookout for all the renewed visits of his grace, in which he still acts as thine Almighty Breaker, in breaking down all the remaining obstacles which thy unbelief, and fears, and doubts, are continually raising up against thy own happiness, in his precious manifestations. Look up to him daily, hourly, minutely, if possible, that he may break down all the remains of indwelling corruption in thy nature, by which these fears and this unbelief gets hold fast in thy soul; and be often on the lookout also for that glorious day of God, when this Almighty Breaker shall finally and fully come, and break through the clouds to judgment, to break down every remaining evil that keep thee now from the everlasting enjoyment of thy Lord. Hasten, blessed Jesus! come, my beloved, and, with a glory infinitely surpassing all conception, manifest thyself as the Almighty Breaker, in this full display of thy sovereignty and power. And then, as Samson (the type in this instance) carried with him the gates of his prison, so wilt thou break up and carry away all the gates of thy people's graves, and take all thy redeemed home with thee to glory, that where thou art, there they shah be also. Hail, thou Almighty Breaker! Jesus omnipotent, reigneth!

Romans 14:9

"For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. " - Romans 14:9

And was this the cause, dearest Jesus, of all thy sufferings, that thou mightest be the universal monarch on thine eternal throne? Then bend thy knee, my heart, and all the affections of my soul, and hail thy Jesus Lord of all! Now, Lord, I see through thy blessed teaching, though a fool, and slow in heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken - now I see how expedient it was that Christ should suffer, and should enter into his glory. Yes, thou art, indeed, Lord both of dead and living; the dead to raise, even the dead in trespasses and sins; and the living to live in them, and rule, and guide them. And as thou art Lord both of dead and living, so, precious Jesus, wilt thou be Lord over all the dead and lifeless affections of thy redeemed. Surely, Lord Jesus, my soul may well believe this; for if, when upon the cross, thou didst conquer death, now thou art upon the throne, every power must be put beneath thy feet. Shout then, my soul, .shout all ye followers of the Lord; never more let dead frames, or dying affections, or unbelief, or all the temptations of Satan, cast us down. Is not Christ upon the throne? And is he not Lord both of dead and living? And hath not this Almighty Lord, both of dead and living, power to save, power to quicken dead sinners, and comfort living saints; to give grace to the weak; and to them that have no might, to increase strength? Hath he not power to kindle anew his own graces that he first planted; to bring back again wanderers, to reclaim the long-lost backsliders, to soften hard hearts, to bind up broken hearts, to justify the guilty, to sanctify the filthy, to adopt orphans, to bless the fatherless, to be gracious, and kind, and merciful - in a word, to be Jesus? For in that one word is summoned up all. Oh blessed Master! Oh for an heart to love thee, to live to thee, to walk with thee, to rejoice in thee, to be always eyeing thee on thy throne; and never, never to lose sight of thee, my glorious, risen, and exalted Saviour, in this sweet and endearing point of view, in which thy servant the apostle hath here represented thee; that it was for this end, as well as a thousand other blessed purposes, that Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of dead and living. Hallelujah. Amen.

Matthew 24:28

"Wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. " - Matthew 24:28

My soul! these are the words of Jesus, none of which should be suffered to fall to the ground. No doubt much instruction is contained in this passage. An eagle is a bird of prey: and Job saith, that the eagle hasteneth to the prey as the swift ships. Job ix. 26. In all birds of prey there is great sagacity, a vast quickness of scent to smell their proper food afar off; and thus natural instinct, added to a rapacious appetite, compel those creatures to fly swift to their prey, and to devour the carcass. Is there nothing in all this that suits thee, my soul? Oh yes: If Jesus hath given thee a real principle of life in himself, which becomes a spiritual quickening from day to day, and from one hour to another, thy hungering and thirsting for Jesus will be as earnest and as importunate as the instinct of nature in those birds for daily food. Pause, my soul, and say - is it so? Dost thou seek after Jesus in his ordinances, in his word, in retirement, in meditation, in prayer, in providences; and, in short, in all the various ways by which thou mayest enjoy him, as a famished bird would hasten to his prey? If Jesus be indeed the one blessed object of thy desire, will not this be manifested by the earnestness of thy desires? Did David long for the waters of Bethlehem when thirsty? Did he declare," that as the hart panteth for the water brooks," so he longed for the enjoyment of God? Here then, my soul, mayest thou learn how to estimate the real standard of thy affections to thy Jesus. Oh for grace to have the soul exercised day and night, and never, never to give over those longings, like pregnant women, until the full desires of the soul in Jesus, and upon Jesus, be fully gratified. Methinks as the eagles gather together unto the carcass, so should believers be found feasting upon Jesus. In Jesus, and his glorious excellencies, everything is suited to the wants of the believer: his name, his person, his work, his blood, his righteousness; every perfection, every promise, every experience we have had in him in times past, becomes food to the soul. So that the spiritual cravings of the soul, when the soul is in health and strength, like the natural cravings of the bird of prey, act like the same instinct to lead to and to feed upon Jesus. See then, my soul, whether this morning thou art risen with a keen appetite for Jesus. Surely thou hast tasted that the Lord is gracious in times past. And if thou art in health of soul, wilt thou not as much hunger again for this heavenly food, as the body of an healthy man craves for his morning meal? Oh blessed Lord, give me this appetite. Excite an hungering in me for thee. Let it be for thyself; not for thy gifts only, not for thy graces only, sweet as these are; but, blessed Jesus, let it be for thyself. And let this desire be continual: every day, and all the day. And let it be wholly to thee, in all that belongs to thee. I mean, after everything in Jesus; thy cross, if needful, as well as thy crown; a love to thy precepts, as well as thy promises. And, O let this desire be so insatiable, so earnest, so unceasing, that nothing I have of thee may so satisfy me that I should long no more after thee; but rather provoke my soul's appetite, and tend but to inflame my heart and longings more and more, till, from tasting of thee here below, thou bringest me to the fountain-head of enjoyment above, where my longing eyes and longing soul shall feast upon Jesus and his love for ever and forever. Amen.

John 17:22

"The glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one. " - John 17:22

Those are sweet views of Jesus which point to our oneness and union with him, by which alone we derive an interest in him, and are made partakers both in his grace and glory. By virtue of this it is, that the glory the Father gave Jesus, as Mediator, all his people are interested in, and truly enjoy. For though like the heir of a kingdom, when an infant, the babe is unconscious of his dignity, yet is not the less entitled to his high birth and rank: so the seed of Jesus, while in this childhood of existence, though they do not live up to their high privileges through the weakness of their faith, yet their claim in Jesus is not the less. Jesus hath given them the glory of being brought within the covenant, the glory of redemption, the glory of the Holy Ghost's gifts and influences; and, in short, all the glory which a state of grace implies, and which is the earnest of the future fullness of glory. And, my soul, dost thou ever pause over this account of present glory as if thou didst not truly know thine interest and the enjoyment of it? Look at it only under these two considerations, and then bow down under a sense of it in the dust before God. In the first, put forth thy utmost faculties to calculate that glory which, if thou art one of Jesus's redeemed people, thou now truly hast in having union with Christ! Who shall undertake to describe that glory imparted to a poor worm of the earth, who is brought into union with God's dear Son? Paul speaks of it as an high privilege, when he said, , Ye are come to an innumerable company of angels. "But what is the society of angels, compared to an union with Jesus? Moreover, angels have no such privilege: for while Jesus is to them their Lord and Sovereign, and governs them by his supreme command, yet is he not to them as he is to his church, the glorious head of that church, which is his body, and by which he perpetually communicates to all his members a source of gracious and glorious influences, according to what he hath said," Because I live, ye shall live also. "Hence, what the Redeemer said to the Father is explained on this sure testimony - "The glory thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one." Look at the subject under another consideration. Hath not Jesus given present glory to all his redeemed in that communication which is perpetually passing and repassing between him and them by virtue of this oneness, and unity, and interest, into which they are actually brought? My soul, what sayeth thy experience to this precious truth? Dost thou really and truly partake of what is Jesus's; and doth he not really and truly partake of what is thine? Is there not an exchange, a barter, a fellowship, carried on between thy glorious head and thyself? Surely thou hast communion in whatever belongs to Christ as Mediator; in his righteousness, in his grace, his redemption, his glory. And doth not Jesus manifest continual tokens that he takes part in all that concerns thee; thy sorrows, thy wants, thine afflictions? Was it not said of him, ages before his incarnation, when speaking of his people, "in all their affliction he was afflicted?" And is it not said now, that "whosoever toucheth his people toucheth the apple of his eye?" Oh unparalleled grace! 0 matchless love, that the Son of God should thus manifest his affection! What will you call this, my soul, but what thy God and Saviour hath called it - the glory which the Father gave him, he hath given to his people. And all this on purpose to prove that they are one with him. Hallelujah!

1 Corinthians 15:20

"Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept." - 1 Corinthians 15:20

One view more, my soul, while thou art meditating upon this delightful subject of thy Redeemer's triumph over death and the grave, and now look at Jesus's resurrection as a sure pledge and confirmation of thine own. Did Jesus's holy body arise? Then so shall thine, sinful and polluted as it now is, but then made a glorified body by virtue of thy union with him. For so saith the Holy Ghost, by his servant the apostle "He shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. For if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. "Phil. iii. 21. Rom. viii. 11. Pause then, my soul, and rejoice in this glorious and transporting doctrine. As sure as Jesus arose, so sure shall all his people; for Jesus arose as the first fruits. Jesus arose not as a private person, but as the public Head. Never call to mind the resurrection of Jesus, but be sure to connect always with it this blessed view of the subject - every redeemed believer is part of Christ's body. And as we are by nature part of the first Adam, and die, from our union and connection, and being of the same nature with him; so, by grace, being part of Christ's mystical body, who is called in scripture, particularly on this account, the second Adam, his people are interested in all that concerns him; and because he liveth, they must live also. Hence he is called the first fruits, the first-born from the dead. And as all the after fruits of the harvest follow the first fruits; so the saints, born again in God, follow the first-born from the dead to glory. Oh heart reviving subject! The eyes that now read these lines, and the hand that now writes them, is a part of Christ's mystical body by regeneration, must assuredly be a part in the resurrection. In the eye of the law they are one. Jesus is the head of his body the church: and how incomplete in glory would be that glorious head without the whole and every individual member of his fair one, his spouse, which he hath betrothed to himself forever. Shout then, my soul, and shout aloud, and say with Job - "Though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." My flesh shall moulder indeed, in the dust, and see corruption. And so would I have it to be. Vile' and polluted as it now is, and fighting as it. now doth against my soul's desires and affections, methinks I would not, if it were possible, take it with me to heaven as it now is. But when Jesus shall change this vile body, and have fashioned it like unto his glorious body, then it will be without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; and then soul and body, united together in love, and both united to the Lord, will form one united object to praise and glorify God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to all eternity! My soul, dwell upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; and as thou believest that Jesus died and rose again, so equally believe also, that all they that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this the apostle had in commission from the Lord to tell all true believers, that when Jesus shall "descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, the dead in Christ shall arise; and then they which remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall they ever be with the Lord. "Oh for grace to comfort one another with these words!

Romans 4:25

"Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." - Romans 4:25

My soul, thou must not yet dismiss - no, nor ever dismiss, the sweet and precious subject of thy Lord's resurrection. One part of it thou hast not yet scarce glanced at; and yet it is such a one as thine everlasting safety, and thy justification before God depends upon. "For," as the Holy Ghost hath said, by the mouth of his servant the apostle," if Christ be not risen, then are believers yet in their sins. "1 Cor. xv. 17. See to it then, my soul, that what this sweet scripture of the morning saith be true, that Jesus was delivered for thine offences, and was raised again for thy justification. While Jesus was on the cross, and when Jesus was taken down and laid in the grave, the payment and the ransom for sin was then discharging. Jesus was then truly delivered for our offences. And when he arose from the dead, then the poor sinner, for whom he was delivered, and for whom he died, was truly justified before God; for thereby proof was made that the debt was paid, the receipt given, and God, in confirmation of it, styled himself by a new name, even the God of Peace, in bringing again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, as the great Shepherd of his sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant. Hence the resurrection of Jesus was like going into the presence of God to cancel the bond, the hand-writing of ordinances, that was against us. It was as if Jesus gave this testimony in his glorious resurrection, that both sin and death had now lost their retaining power; the dominion of both were for ever done away, and all true believers in Christ might join the apostle's song - "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth; who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." My soul, be sure to keep this in constant view, when, at any time, thou art meditating on the death and resurrection of Jesus: and let both be thy daily meditation. Think how truly blessed, how truly happy, how present and everlastingly secure, must those souls be who are interested in the death and in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. By the one he hath purchased their pardon, and by the other he hath justified their persons; so that, when law and justice present their charge against them, this is the unanswerable plea - Jesus "was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification." Oh dearest Lord, grant me daily and hourly to be bringing into all my spiritual enjoyments the sweet sense and consciousness of being thus interested, justified, and se, cared. Give me a present right and title, that I may live upon it; and by and by, when thou shalt call me home,, then, Oh Lord, present me finally and fully, once for all, as made comely in thy comeliness, clothed in thy righteousness, and fully prepared, both in soul and body, for everlasting happiness and glory among them that are sanctified.

Romans 1:4

"And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." - Romans 1:4

Do not, my soul, hastily pass away from this most precious subject of thy Lord's resurrection. It is an inexhaustible theme, and will be among thy felicities in eternity. Yesterday, thou didst but barely consider the fact. Let this day occupy thy thoughts on another sweet portion of it, in beholding how Jesus effected it by his own power and Godhead. He had said before that he had power to lay down his life, and power to take it again. And he had told the Jews to destroy the temple, by which he meant the temple of his body, and be would raise it again in three days. He had proclaimed himself to be the resurrection and the life: and here he proved it, when he was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by his resurrection frown the dead. Now, then, pause over this glorious view of Him who was thus proved to be one with the Father, and who, at the same time, was one ill thy nature, bone of thy bone, and flesh of thy flesh. Beautiful and comprehensive is the expression - "declared to be the Son of God!" for who but God could accomplish such an event? And by the Spirit of holiness he was equally declared to be not liable to corruption; for, as God's Holy One, it was impossible that his flesh should see corruption. Psalm xvi. 10. And the Holy Ghost again, by Peter the apostle, explains it when he saith," Christ was put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. "I Pet. iii. ‘18. The flesh here means his human nature; and the quickening by the Spirit (being what is called the antithesis, that is,. the opposite to flesh) means his own Spirit, his own power and Godhead; similar to what is said in' the Hebrews concerning the offering of Jesus, that through the Eternal Spirit he offered himself, Heb. ix. 14 - meaning, that his Godhead gave dignity and value to the offering of his body for the sins of his people. Ponder this blessed truth, my soul; for it is most blessed, and of much greater importance than, at the first view of the words, it may strike you. Behold in it, that it was the Godhead of Jesus by which thy Jesus triumphed over death and the grave. The Father's hand was in it most certain, as it was in all the other acts of redemption; for the Holy Ghost taught the church, by Paul, that God. had raised up the Lord. 1 Cor. vi. 14. And manifested by this, saith the Holy Ghost, that he was the God of peace, in bringing again from the dead the Lord Jesus Christ. Heb. xiii. 20. And the Holy Ghost had his almighty hand in the same; for it is the Spirit that quickeneth; and hence Christ is said to have been justified in the Spirit. I Tim. iii. 16. But while we are taught by these scriptures, and others to the same purport, to behold both the Father and the Holy Ghost acting in the resurrection of Jesus - by this, and others of the same kind, we are taught to view the Godhead in Christ as the cause of his resurrection. For if Jesus had been raised by the power of the Father and the Holy Ghost only, how would he have been declared to be the Son of God by his resurrection? For, in this case, nothing more would have been manifested in his resurrection than in the resurrection of others; for it is by the power of God that the dead are to be raised. Hence, my soul, behold the vast importance of this great point in the resurrection of thy Lord: and never lose sight of this blessed truth, that thy Jesus, who is thy resurrection and thy life, arose himself by this self- quickening principle. Behold, in this point of view, what a glorious truth is the resurrection of Jesus. And what a lovely promise did the Lord, by the prophet, give to all the people of God concerning this, ages before this glorious event took place - "Thy dead men shall live; together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out her dead." Isaiah xxvi. 19.

Luke 24:34

"The Lord is risen indeed." - Luke 24:34

Let thy meditations, my soul, this morning, be sweetly exercised upon thy risen and exalted Saviour. For if thy Lord be indeed risen, then will it undeniably follow, that as he died for our sins, so he arose for our justification, and is thereby become the first fruits 0f them that sleep. Beg of God the Holy Ghost to lead thee into the devout contemplation and enjoyment of this soul-reviving subject. Trace the testimonies of this wonderful event, until, frown being overpowered in the vast assemblage of witnesses, thou art prompted to cry out in the same language," the Lord is risen indeed. "And surely never was there any one fact so fully, so dearly, and so circumstantially confirmed. It hath the united testimony of heaven and earth: of angels and men, of the living and the dead, of friends and foes; and God himself confirming it in the midst of his people, by sending down the Holy Ghost agreeably to the promise of Jesus at the day of Pentecost. Review these things in order. First, heaven gave in its evidence in those supernatural signs which issued in the morning of Jesus's resurrection; for we are told that "an angel descended from heaven, and rolled back the stone from the door of Jesus's sepulchre, and sat upon it." And, secondly, earth gave her testimony also to the same, by the convulsions sustained at his approach - "there was a great earthquake. "And then again, as angels came to inform the pious women who waited to embalm the sacred body of Christ, that Jesus was risen; so the testimony of multitudes among men gave equal attestation to this glorious truth. For besides the many separate and distinct appearances Jesus made to numbers, he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, by way of confirming the undoubted fact. The living, who ate and drank with him after he arose from the dead, surely could not be mistaken. And the dead which arose from their graves, as if to celebrate the glories of his resurrection, in which they took part, came forth when the sepulchre yawned at the triumph of Jesus, and went into the holy city and appeared unto many. And not only the friends of Jesus, but the foes of Jesus, became undesignedly the witnesses of this great truth: for, by attributing his resurrection to the disciples stealing away his body, they positively proved that the body of Christ remained not in the sepulchre. And that the poor timid disciples whose meetings were all in secret for fear of the Jews, should project such a scheme as to take away the body, which the Roman soldiers were purposely placed to secure, is not to be equaled in folly in the very idea, unless by that other part of the childish story, that the body was stolen while the guard slept, that so the testimony, it should seem, to this tale, is the testimony of men sleeping. Here then, my soul, in devout contemplation, take thy stand at the door of the sepulchre of thy Jesus, and ponder over such a multitude of witnesses, who all cry out with one voice, as the angels did to the astonished women," He is not here; for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay." And O thou dear Redeemer, do thou, while my soul is pondering these things, do thou draw nigh, as thou didst to the disciples on the morning of thy resurrection, and sweetly commune with me of all these blessed truths concerning thyself; lead me, by faith, through all the precious subject, from the sepulchre to thine house of prayer, to the ordinance and thy table, from thy cross to thy crown; and cause my whole heart to burn within me, while thou art talking to me by the way, and while thou art opening to me the scriptures. Then shall I truly rejoice that my Lord is indeed risen from the dead, and my soul is risen with him, from dead works, to serve thee, the living and true God.

John 19:42

"There laid they Jesus." - John 19:42

My soul, it is usual for the relations and friends of those that are deceased to attend the funeral. Art thou a friend, a relation, of Jesus? Oh yes; I trust thou art. He was, and is, the dearest of all friends, the nearest of all relations. He is at once all and every one - the Father, the Husband, the Brother. The invitation is therefore sent to thee, personally to thee. Every voice of affection calls thee to the tomb of Jesus, saying, "Come, see the place where the Lord lay." And if, like Mary Magdalene, from more abundant love, thou art asking, "Where have they laid him?" - the answer immediately is returned, "Come and see." Yes, thou dear Redeemer! by that faith thou hast graciously given me, I will come and see. Let my faith take wing, and light down in Joseph of Arimethea's garden, and behold the place where the Lord lay. Was this the memorable spot? Did Jesus lay here? Did he here make (according to the ancient prophecy foretold of him)"his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth? "Here let me look; here let my soul wander in contemplation. Oh what a marvelous sight to behold Jesus thus lain in the grave. Surely we may cry out, as the church did in the view," My beloved is white and ruddy. "Never did death triumph so before. Never did the grave receive and hold' such a prisoner. But, my soul, behold also, in the view, how Jesus triumphed even in death. It was "through death he destroyed him that had the power of death-that is, the devil, that he might deliver them who, through fear of death, are all their life-time subject to bondage. "And what saith Jesus to my soul from the grave? Fear not," I have the keys of death and the grave: fear not to go down to the Egypt of the grave, I will go with thee, and will surely bring thee up again from thence. "And observe, my soul, as the grave could not detain thy Lord, thine Head, a prisoner; so neither can the grave, beyond the appointed time, detain any of his members. And as the union between the Godhead and the manhood in Jesus was not broken off by death, so neither can the union between Jesus and his people be interrupted by death. The covenant of redemption, the union of Jesus with his people, the love of God in Christ to the souls and bodies of his redeemed, all these rot not in the grave; nay, where sin is taken out, the very enmity of the grave is slain; and though it acts as a devourer of our corrupt bodies, yet it acts as a preserver also of the refined part, that the dust and ashes of his saints Jesus may visit, and manifest his care over, from day to day. Precious Lord, here then, as in everything, thou hast the pre-eminence. Thou hast gone before: thou hast sweetly perfumed the grave by having lain there. And where should the dying members be but where their living Head hath been before? Hence then, my soul, take comfort and fear not, when thy partner, the body, is called upon to go down to the grave. When the soul flies to Jesus in heaven, the body will sweetly rest in Jesus till summoned from the grave. Thy God, thy Jesus, hath the appointment for thy departure; both the place where, the time when, and the manner how, are all with him. He hath the keys both to open the door of death, and to open the kingdom of heaven. Leave all then with him. Frequently; by faith, visit his sepulchre, and behold where they laid him, And in the triumphs of thy Jesus, as thine head, already take part, as a member of his body, crying out with the apostle, "Oh death where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory? God be praised who giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Luke 23:46

"And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost." - Luke 23:46

My soul, ponder well these last of the last seven words of thy God and Saviour which he uttered on the cross; for surely they are most sweet and precious, and highly interesting, both on thy Saviour's account and thine own. And first remark, the manner in which the Lord Jesus thus breathed out his soul; not like a man spent and exhausted, after hanging so many hours on the cross, faint with loss of blood, and such agonies of soul as never one before endured; but it was with a loud voice, thereby proving what he had before declared - "No man taketh my life from me; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." Precious Jesus, how sweet this assurance to thy people. But wherefore cry with a loud voice? A whisper, nay, a thought of the soul only, if with an eye of communication to God the Father, would have been sufficient, if this had been all that was intended. Wherefore then did Jesus cry with a loud voice? Was it not that all in heaven, and all in hell might hear? Did not angels shout at the cry? Did not the spirits of just men made perfect among the faithful gone to glory in Jesus's name, hear, and sing aloud? Did not all hell tremble when Jesus thus cried aloud, conscious that the keys of the grave, and death, and hell, were now put into his Almighty hand? Oh! precious, precious Jesus! was this among thy gracious designs for which, when thou wert retiring from the bloody field of battle, as a conqueror, thy loud voice shouted victory? And was there not another sweet and gracious design in this loud cry, Oh! thou blessed Jesus? Didst thou not intend thereby that poor sinners, unto the ends of the earth, might, by faith, hear and believe to the salvation of their souls? Didst thou not, dearest Lord! when bowing thy sacred head, as if to take a parting look of the disciple and the Marys, at the foot of the cross, and beholding them as the representatives of all the members of thy mystical body, didst cry with a loud voice, that all with them might behold thy triumphs, and rejoice in thee their glorious Head? Yes, Lamb of God! we adore thee in this glorious act; for we do accept it as it really is, the act of our one glorious head. In this solemn committing of thy spirit to the Father, we consider our spirits also as committed with thee, and by thee. (My soul! mark this down carefully in. the inmost tablet of thine heart.) In all this, blessed Jesus! thou wert, and art, our Head. Thou didst, to all intents and purposes, take every individual believer of thine as a part of thyself, and by this act didst commit, with thyself, the whole into thy Father's hands, to be kept until the hour of their dropping their bodies, then to be united to thee forever. Oh! precious Jesus! O precious mercy of our Jesus, how safe, how eternally safe, and secure, are all thy redeemed! Well might thine apostle say, "No man liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself; for in Jesus his people ever live, and in Jesus they securely die." Henceforth, dear Lord! let me know myself to be already committed with thee, and by thee, into the hands of my God and Father in Jesus, and when the hour cometh that the casket, in which that precious jewel, my soul, now dwells, is opened for the soul to take her departure, O then for faith in lively, active, earnest faith, to follow the example, and to adopt the very language of my God and Saviour; and to cry out - "Lord Jesus, into thy hands I commend my spirit; for thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, thou God of truth!"

John 19:30

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, it is finished." - John 19:30

Perhaps these words formed the sixth cry of the Lord Jesus on the cross. The glorious close of all his sufferings was now arrived; and full of these high ideas which occupied his holy mind, he cried out, "It is finished!" What is finished? Redemption-work is finished. All the long series of prophecies, visions, types, and the shadows of good things to come, which pointed to Jesus and redemption by him, were now finished in their accomplishment. The law was finished in its condemning power; and the gospel commenced its saving influence. Jesus, by that one sacrifice now offered, had forever perfected them that are sanctified. The separation between Jew and gentile was now finished and done away forever. Jesus had now "gathered together, in one, all the children of God which are scattered abroad." The iron reign of sin and Satan, of death and hell, were now broken in pieces by this stone cut out of the mountain without hands; and life and immortality, pardon, mercy, and peace, were brought to light, and secured to the faithful, by this finished redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ. The peace, the love, the favour of God the Father, was now obtained; and that spiritual kingdom of the Lord Jesus, which shall have no end, was from this moment set up in the hearts and minds of his people. The sure descent of the Holy Ghost was now confirmed; and the Lord Jesus already, by anticipation, beheld his Israel of old, and his gentile church, as well as Ethiopia and the multitude of the isles, stretching forth their hands unto God. Full of these and the like glorious prospects the mind of Jesus was filled; and having received the vinegar, as the last prophecy remaining then to be completed, he cried out, "It is finished!" My soul, never let these precious, precious words of Jesus depart from thy mind. Do by them as Moses commanded Israel concerning the words he gave them; "let them be in thy heart, and in thy soul; bind them as a sign upon thine hand, and let them be as frontlets between thine eyes." Tell thy God and Father what thy Jesus hath told thee - "It is finished!" He hath finished redemption for thee; and He will finish redemption in thee. He hath destroyed death, both satisfied and glorified the law, taken away the curse, made full restitution for sin, brought in an everlasting righteousness, and opened the glorious mansions of the blessed as the home and rest of all his people. Oh my soul, let these dying words of thy Jesus be made by thee as an answer to all thy prayers, and begin that song to the Lamb, which ere long, thou wilt fully and loudly sing among the church above - "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood."

John 19:28

"After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I Thrist." - John 19:28

After this, that is, I conceive, (though I do not presume to mark the very order in which the Lord Jesus uttered his loud cries upon the cross,) after his complaint of desertion: for whether this was the fourth or fifth of the seven last words of the Redeemer, I dare not determine: yet the words themselves were highly important, and significant of great things, in reference to Jesus and his people. Jesus thus cried, that the scriptures might be fulfilled, it is said; for it had been prophesied of him, that gall was given him to eat - and, when thirsty, vinegar to drink, Ps. lxix. 21. And the soldiers, unconscious of what they did in fulfilling this very prophecy, gave him sponge dipped in vinegar. But, my soul, was it the thirst of the body thy Jesus complained of? I think not. He had before declared, at his last supper, that he would drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until the day he drank it new in the kingdom of his Father. What could be then the thirst of Jesus, but the thirst of his soul, for the accomplishment of redemption for his people, and the accomplishment of redemption in his people. He thirsted with an holy vehement thirst for the everlasting salvation of his ransomed, and seemed to anticipate the hour by this expression, when he should see the travail of his soul, and be satisfied. But did not Jesus also, in this hour, as bearing the curse and wrath of God for sin, thirst in soul with that kind of thirst which, in hell, those who bear the everlasting torments of condemnation feel, when they are under an everlasting thirst which admits of no relief! That representation the Lord Jesus gives of this state, in the parable of the rich man's thirst, serves to afford a lively but alarming view of such superlative misery. Oh that those who now add drunkenness to thirst, would seriously lay this to heart. Did God Suffer his dear Son, to whom sin was but transferred, and not committed by him - did he suffer him to cry out under this thirst? and what may we suppose will be the everlasting cry of such as not only merit his wrath for sin, but merit yet more his everlasting wrath for refusing redemption by Jesus, who thirsted on the cross to redeem sinners: from endless thirsting in despair and misery? My soul, did Jesus thirst for thee? Were his dying lips parched, and his soul deeply athirst, for thy salvation? And shall not this thirst of thy Redeemer kindle an holy thirst in thee for him, and his love and his great salvation? Wilt thou not now this morning anew, look up by faith to the cross and to the throne, and catch the flame of love from his holy, loving, longing, and languishing eyes, until all thy powers go forth in vehement desires, like him of old, crying out - "As the hart thirsteth for the water brooks, so longeth my soul after thee, O God. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; for thy love is better than wine."

Matthew 27:46

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani; that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" - Matthew 27:46

Mark, my soul! Jesus had hung upon the cross now for six hours. Think what agonies he sustained both in soul and body. The fury of hell had broke out upon him, and in the cruelties of the men around him, exercised upon his sacred person, manifested how extensive that fury was. But had this been all; had God the Father smiled upon him, had the cup of trembling been taken away, some alleviation would have taken place in Jesus's sufferings; but so far was this from being the case, that the heaviest load of the sorrow his holy soul sustained, was the wrath of the Father due to sin, as the sinner's surety. Angels, no doubt, looked on. All heaven stood amazed. And, at length, overpowered with the fullness of sorrow and anguish of soul, the dying Lamb cried out," My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? "Pause, my soul, while thou hearest in the ear of faith, still vibrating in the air, the dolorous cry; and conceive, if it be possible, what the holy, harmless, undefiled Jesus felt, when such expressions of exquisite terror and distress were forced from his dying lips. What forsaking was this of Jesus by God his Father? Not the dissolving of the union between them: not the withdrawing the arm of his strength; for Jesus still calls him, "Eli, Eli," that is, My strong One. Not that he left him to himself; neither that his love for Jesus was lessened: but it was the withdrawing or withholding those sweet manifestations whereby he had sustained the human nature of Jesus, through the whole of his incarnation. It was beholding Jesus in this solemn season as the sinner's surety; and as such, it was a punishing desertion; implying that as Jesus stood, or rather hung, with all the burden of our sins, he was so deserted for that time as we, out of Jesus, deserve to be forsaken forever. The cry of Jesus, the shriek of his precious soul, under this desertion, represented the everlasting shrieks of them that are cast out of God's gracious presence to all eternity. Here pause again, my soul. And wouldst thou have howled this endless, pitiable cry forever, had not Jesus uttered it for thee once? And art thou, by virtue of it, saved from this wrath to come? Hath Jesus both borne thy sins, carried thy sorrows, and been forsaken of his Father, that thou mightest enjoy his presence and favour forever? My soul, what wilt thou render to the Lord for all his benefits? Wilt thou not take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord, now thy Jesus hath for thee taken the cup of trembling, and drank all the dregs of it? Precious, precious Redeemer, may I never, never lose sight of thee in this part of thy sufferings also; and especially eye thee still more when my soul is under the hidings of God's countenance. Let me recollect, dearest Lord! that thou hast been forsaken before thy people, and for thy people; and here, as in all other instances, thou hast the pre-eminence, so as to sanctify even our momentary desertions to our good and to thy glory. Yes, precious Lord! such are the blessed effects of thy desertion, that hence my soul learns, my God still supports, though my God may withhold his comforts. Jesus was forsaken for a season, that my soul might not be forsaken forever. And grant me, dearest Lord, from thy bright example, to cast myself wholly upon thee, as thou didst upon thy Father, when all sensible comforts fail, convinced that thou "art the strength of my heart, and my portion forever!"

Luke 23:43

"And Jesus said unto him, verily I say, unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in Paradise." - Luke 23:43

My soul, hear the gracious words of thy Jesus. This was the third cry of the Redeemer on the cross. And Oh! how full of grace, rich, free, unmerited, unexpected, unlooked-for grace, to a poor lost perishing sinner, even in the very moment of death. Let. the self-righteous Pharisee behold this example of redeeming love, and wonder, and be confounded. Surely no one will venture to suppose that this man's good works were any recommendation, when the poor wretch was dying under the hands of justice. What was it then that saved him but the complete salvation of Jesus? The Son of God was offering his soul on the cross a sacrifice for sin, and being between two notorious sinners, gave a rich display of the sovereignty of his grace, and his love to poor sinners; and in confirmation, snatched this one as a brand from the burning - took him from the very jaws of hell, and that very day led him in triumph to heaven; thereby manifesting to every poor sinner, in whose heart he puts the cry for mercy, that, that cry shall never be put forth in vain. And mark, my soul, how powerful, the grace of the Lord Jesus wrought upon this man. He and his companion both knew that before night they would both be in eternity. The thought affected neither; they joined the rabble in insulting Jesus. "Save thyself and us," was the language of the heart of both, until the grace of Jesus wrought on this man's mind, and changed the reviler into an humble suitor. What could there be in Jesus thus to affect him! Jesus hung upon the cross like a poor Jew. Jesus had been always poor, and never more so than now. And yet, in the midst of all these surrounding circumstances, such a ray of light broke in upon this man's mind, that he saw Jesus in all his glory and power, acknowledged him for a King, when all the disciples had forsook him and fled, and prayed to be remembered by him when he came into his kingdom. Precious Lamb of God! bestow upon me such a portion of thy grace as, under all the unpromising circumstances around, may call forth the like conviction of thy power, and my need. And Oh! that this pattern of mercy might be reviewed by thousands of poor perishing dying sinners! Methinks I would have it proclaimed through all the public places of resort, through all the haunts of licentiousness, among the numberless scenes of hardened sinners who fear that they have sinned beyond the possibility of forgiveness. Oh look at this example of Jesus's love, ye that are going down to the grave full of sin and despair! behold the thief! behold the Saviour! And Oh for a cry of grace like-that of the dying malefactor - "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom;" and Jesus's gracious answer - "To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise."

John 19:26, 27

"When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, woman, behold thy son. Then saith he to the disciple, behold thy mother." - John 19:26, 27

This was the second among the dying words of the Lord Jesus; and no doubt, of high importance in their full sense and meaning: not simply to recommend Mary to the care of the beloved apostle, John, but probably of greater moment in reference to the church of Jesus at large. My soul, is it not very certain that the Lord Jesus knew all the events which would take place in all generations of his people? And as such, did not Jesus perfectly well know also that the time would come when divine honours would be offered to Mary? These points cannot be disputed. Well then, is it not worthy the closest observation, that Jesus both in this place, and upon all other occasions, when speaking of Mary, called her woman? Why so? If, as Jesus knew, that there would be some who would pray to her, and call her mother of God, by which name the Holy Ghost never, distinguished her, neither the Lord Jesus himself; could there have been a more decided method adopted than this to discountenance such idolatry, than when Jesus, in his dying moments, called Mary only woman? Besides, was it not on another account, that as Jesus was to be the seed of the woman, which was promised to bruise the serpent's head, such a dying testimony might serve instead of a thousand witnesses, in proof of the confirmation of the fact: and Mary's song might be the song of thousands - "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour!" But when we have thus attended to the second cry of Christ upon the cross, in reference to those sweet points, do thou, my soul, remember also how tenderly those expressions of thy Lord recommend all the endearing affections of love and regard through all the members of Christ's mystical body. To behold our mother, or to behold our sons, are only different expressions to intimate that all true believers in Jesus are members of one another, and of his body, his flesh, and his bones. And as it was by our Lord himself in this life, so is it with all his redeemed, both in this life and in that which is to come; they who do the will of his Father, which is in heaven, the same are Christ's brethren, and sisters, and mother.

Luke 23:34

"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." - Luke 23:34

My soul, art thou still taking thy stand at the foot of the cross? Art thou still looking up to Jesus? If so, listen now to his voice. There were seven expressions of Jesus, which were his last words, which he uttered on the cross. The last words of dying friends are particularly regarded: how much more the last words of the best of all friends; even the dying friend of poor lost perishing sinners. Those which I have chosen for the portion of the day were the first; and they contain the strong cry of Jesus to his Father for forgiveness to his murderers. And what endears those expressions yet more to the heart are, that they are not only the first upon the cross, but they are wholly, not for himself, but the people. During the whole painful process of suffering, when they scourged him, crowned him with thorns, smote him with their hands, and mocked him, we hear no voice of complaint. "He was led as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth." Precious, meek Lamb of God! But now, when lifted up on the cross, Jesus broke silence, and cried out, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Pause, my soul. Look again at the cross. Was not Jesus now entered upon his high priest's office? Was not the cross as the altar from whence the sacrifice was offered? Was not Jesus himself the sacrifice? And was not Jesus the sacrificer? Might not the pale, the dying, whitened visage of Jesus be compared to the white ephod of the high priest; the streaming blood, flowing over his sacred body from the several wounds, as the incense of his censer; and the dying sweat of his holy frame, like the smoke ascending with the sweetest savour before God? As the arms of Jesus, when he thus prayed, were stretched forth on the cross, so the high priest spread forth his hands, when burning the incense for sacrifice, in pleading for the people. Hail, thou glorious high priest! in this the humblest moment, and the most powerful of thine intercessions. Surely every wound of thine, every look, every feature, every groan, pleaded with open mouth this gracious intercession for forgiveness of sinners. Lord, was I not included in the prayer? Was not the eye of Jesus upon me in the moment of this all-prevailing advocacy? Oh ye of every description and character, that still sit unconcerned and unmoved at this cry of the Son of God, "is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?" Think, my poor unawakened brother, how justly that voice might have been heard for all the enemies of Jesus - "Depart from me, ye cursed;" when the tender language of Jesus was, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And think, moreover, that the same gracious voice is still heard in heaven, and of the same blessed force and efficacy as ever; for while our sins are calling for judgment, the blood of Jesus calls louder for mercy. Dear Lord, let this first cry of thine upon the cross, be the first and last of all my thoughts, under every exercise and temptation of sin and Satan - "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Philippians 2:8

"He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." - Philippians 2:8

My soul, dost thou not feel, at every step towards Calvary, somewhat of the angel's words when he cried," One woe is past, and behold there come two woes more hereafter? "Rev. ix. 12. Surely, never was there a manifestation of the holiness of Jehovah, nor the utter detestation of God against sin, as was set forth in the crucifixion of Jesus. Would men, would angels, see what sin really is, let them go to the cross of Jesus. The casting rebellious angels out of heaven, the curse pronounced upon the earth, the drowning the old world by water, the burning of Sodom by fire; nay, the millions of miseries among men, and the unquenchable fire of hell; though all these may make the souls of the awakened exclaim against sin, yet all these are slight and inconsiderable things, compared to the wrath of God poured out upon the person of God's own Son, when he died the accursed death of the cross. My soul, take thy stand this day at the foot of the cross. Behold the Lamb of God! There see divine justice more awfully displayed than would have been in the everlasting ruin of all creation. And Oh may it be thy portion, my soul, while looking unto Jesus, to say as Paul did - "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." But, my soul, while thou lookest up to Jesus hanging on the painful tree, contemplate the sufferings of the Lord Jesus in his sacred body. The death of the cross was a violent death; for as there was no sin in Jesus, there could not have been those seeds of death, which in all the race of Adam, are found to bring forth fruit unto death. Precious thought this, even in the moment of beholding Jesus's life taken by violence. Had Jesus not died by a violent death, he would have been no sacrifice; for that which died of itself naturally, could not by the law have been offered to God. The death of Jesus was also a cursed death; for it is written, "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." Behold, my soul, thy Lord thus lifted up a spectacle between heaven and earth, as if cursed and despised both of God and man. The death of Jesus was a painful death, in which many deaths were, as it were, contained in one. The nails driven through the most feeling parts of the hands and feet, and the body stretched forth on the transverse timber; in this manner the cross, with the Lord Jesus fastened upon it, was lifted up in the air, until the bottom fell into its socket, which suddenly shook the whole and every part of his sacred body; and thus the whole weight hanging on his pierced nailed hands, the wounds in both hands and feet by degrees widened as he hung, until at length he expired in tortures. Precious, precious Redeemer! was it thus thou didst offer thy soul an offering for sin? Was there no method, in all the stores of Omnipotency, for satisfying divine justice, but by thy holy, harmless, undefiled body dying the violent, cursed, painful death of the cross? Oh by the crimson fountain of thy blood, which issued from thy pierced side, enable me to sit down, day by day, until I find my whole nature crucified with thee in all its affections and lusts. Let there be somewhat, dearest Lord, of an holy conformity between my Lord and me; and if Jesus died for sin; may my soul die to sin; that by mortifying the deeds of the body I may live; and by carrying about with me always the dying of the Lord Jesus, the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in my mortal body.

Isaiah 53:12

"He hath poured out his soul unto death." - Isaiah 53:12

My soul! from the garden to the cross, follow Jesus. Behold him apprehended and hurried away, both to judgment and to death. He who struck to the ground the band that came to take him, might surely, by the same breath of his mouth, have struck them to hell, and prevented his being apprehended by them. But one of the sweetest and most blessed parts of Jesus's redemption of his people, consisted in the freeness and willingness of his sacrifice. Yes, thou precious Lamb of God! no man (as thou thyself hadst before said) had power to take thy life from thee; but thou didst lay it down thyself: thou hadst power to lay it down, and thou hadst power to take it again. Delightful consideration, to thee, my soul! Now, my soul, let this day's meditation be sacred to the view of thy Redeemer pouring out his soul unto death. And to­morrow, if the Lord give thee to see the morrow, let the solemn subject of thy study be the sufferings of Jesus in his body. Pause then, my soul, and call up all the powers of thy mind to the contemplation of what the scripture teacheth concerning thy Redeemer's pouring out his soul unto death. Seek the teachings of the Holy Ghost in this solemn and mysterious subject. The original curse pronounced on the fall, which Jesus took upon himself, and came to do away, contained somewhat vastly great. For as the blessing promised to obedience," Do this, and thou shalt live," certainly meant somewhat much greater than mere animal life, and implied sweet fellowship and communion with God; so the curse to disobedience, "Dying, thou shalt die," as plainly intimated much more than the mere return of the body to the dust out of which it was taken: it meant what in scripture (Rev. xx. 6.) is called the "second death," meaning hell and everlasting misery. Hence, in the recovery of our lost and fallen nature from this awful state, when Jesus undertook the salvation of his people, he was to sustain all that was our due; and, in the accomplishment of this, he not only died in his body, but he poured out his soul unto death. As the sinner's representative, and the sinner's surety, he bore the whole weight and pressure of divine justice due to sin; according to what the Holy Ghost taught - "Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil." - Rom, ii. 9. Not that the Redeemer needed, in the accomplishment of this, to go down into hell to suffer the miseries of the damned; for when the avenging wrath of God came upon him, he endured it here. The wrath of God may be sustained in earth as well as hell: witness the evil spirit that is called the prince of the power of the air, Ephes. ii. 2; for wherever the apostate angels are, they still endure divine wrath. Hence, when the Lord Christ poured out his soul unto death, by reason of the extremity of his soul sufferings, and soul's traval! for his redeemed, he sustained all this as the sinner's surety, in becoming sin and a curse, to feel and suffer all that was the sinner's due. Oh! who shall say, what heart shall conceive, the greatness and extensiveness of thy sufferings, precious, precious Lamb of God! Oh! who shall undertake fully to shew the infinite suitableness of Jesus to every poor humble convinced sinner, in delivering him from the wrath to come! Here, my soul, fix thine eyes; here let all thy powers be employed in the unceasing contemplation, while beholding Jesus, thy Jesus, "pouring out his soul unto death; while numbered with the transgressors, and bearing the sin of many, and making intercession for the transgressors. "

John 18:4-6

"Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward and fell to the ground." - John 18:4-6

What a glorious scripture is this! Ponder it well, my soul; for of all the miracles of thy, Jesus, there is not one more sweet and satisfactory to contemplate. Yesterday thou wast looking at thy Redeemer under a heavy cloud. Look at him as he is here represented, for he is still, in this transaction, in the same garden of Gethsemane; and behold how the Godhead shone forth with a glory surpassing all description. Observe what a willing sacrifice was Jesus. He knew the hour was come, for he had said so. He doth not wait to be taken, and by wicked hands to be crucified and slain: but he goeth forth to surrender himself. Yes! Jesus did not go to the garden of Gethsemane for nothing; he knew Judas would be there; he knew the powers of darkness would be there; he knew his whole soul would be in an agony; but there Jesus would go. He had said at the table of his disciples," Arise, let us go hence. "Precious, precious Jesus! how endearing to my poor soul is this sweet view of thy readiness and earnestness to become a sacrifice for the sins of thy people. Thou hast this baptism, Lord, to be baptized with; and how wast thou straitened until it was accomplished! There was a time, dear Lord, when the multitudes sought for thee to make thee a king; so convinced were they, for the moment, who thou wert; and then thou didst hide thyself from them. But now thine enemies come to make thee king with a crown of thorns, and to nail thy sacred body to the cross, thou didst hasten to meet them. Well might the prophet say, thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people. Look at this scripture again, my soul. "Whom seek ye?" said Jesus. Did they not know him? It was a light night, most probably; for the moon was then at the full; besides, the seekers of Christ had lanterns and torches. How was it they did not know him? Didst thou for the moment, dearest Lord, do by them as thine angels at the gate of Lot by the Sodomites, so cause their eyes to be holden that they should not know thee? Was there somewhat of a miracle in this also? But, my soul, behold the wonder of wonders that followed: no sooner had Jesus said to their inquiry, (whom seek ye) "I am he," than they went backward and fell to the ground. Was there indeed some sudden overpowering emanation of the Godhead, breaking through the vail of Jesus's flesh, which induced this effect? Was it ever known, ever heard of, in any age or period of the world, of such an effect before? Supposing all the monarchs of the earth, with the mightiest armies of men, could be assembled together, how should such an event be induced by the breath of their mouth? Contemplate this, my soul, again and again Rejoice, my soul, in this view of thy Saviour; for never, surely, was a greater miracle of thy Redeemer's wrought; and remember how soon it took place after his agony. Never go to Gethsemane in meditation, without taking the recollection of it with thee. "Behold the man!" behold the God! Here was nothing exercised by Jesus; no weapon, no threat, no denunciation, no appeal to the Father. Jesus only simply said, "I am he," and they fell to the earth. Precious Jesus, what a volume of instruction doth it afford. If such was the effect in the day of thy flesh, how sure is that scripture concerning the day of thy power, in which it is said," The Lord shall consume the wicked with the breath of his mouth, and destroy them with the brightness of his coming. "2 Thess. ii. 8. And if, my soul, there was such power in the word of thy Saviour, when he only said to his enemies, "I am he," why shouldest thou not feel all the sweetness and gracious power of his love, when he saith, "Fear not, I am he; behold I am with thee: it is I; be not afraid." Ponder, my soul, in this view also, the awful state of a soul hardened by sin. The enemies of Jesus, though they fell to the ground at his mere word, felt no change, no compunction, at the display of it. Judas also was with them. Yes! he fell also; but Satan had entered into him, and a reprobate mind marked him as the son of perdition. Oh precious Jesus! how fully read to thy people, in every part of thy word, is the solemn truth, that grace makes all the difference between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not. Oh keep me, Lord, and I shall be well kept; for unto thee do I lift up my soul!

Luke 22:44

"Being in an agony." - Luke 22:44

My soul, art thou still in Gethsemane? Look at Jesus once more; behold him in his agony; view him in his bloody sweat, in a night of cold, and in the open air, when we are told the servants, in the high priest's hall, were obliged to make a fire of coals to warm themselves. In such a night was thy Jesus, from the extremity of anguish in his soul, by reason of thy sins, made to sweat great drops of blood. Look at the Lord in this situation; and as the prophet, by vision, beheld him coming up with his dyed garments, as one that had trodden the wine fat; so do thou, by faith, behold him in his bloody sweat; when, from treading the winepress of the wrath of God, under the heavy load of the world's guilt, his whole raiment was stained with blood. Sin first made man to sweat: and Jesus, though he knew no sin, yet taking out the curse of it for his people, is made to sweat blood. Oh thou meek and holy Lamb of God! methinks, I would, day by day, attend the garden of Gethsemane by faith, and contemplate thee in thine agony. But who shall unfold it to my wondering eyes, or explain all its vast concern to my astonished soul! The evangelists, by their different turns of expression to point it out, plainly shew, that nothing within the compass of language can unfold it. Matthew saith, the soul of Jesus was "exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. "Matt. xxvi. 38. The sorrows of hell, as is elsewhere mentioned, encompassed him. Ps. xviii. 5. My soul, pause over this. Was Jesus's soul thus sorrowful, even with hell sorrows, when, from the sins of his people charged on him, and the penalty exacted from him as the sinner's surety, the wrath of God against sin, lighting upon him, came as the tremendous vengeance of hell? Mark describes the state of the Lamb of God as "sore amazed." The expression signifies the horror of mind; such a degree of fear and consternation as when the hairs of the head stand upright, through the dread of the mind. And was Jesus thus agonized, and for sins his holy soul had never committed, when standing forth as the surety of others? John's expression of the Redeemer's state on this occasion is, that he said," his soul was troubled." John xii. 27. The original of this word troubled, is the same as the Latin's derive their word for hell from. As if the Lord Jesus felt what the prophet had said concerning everlasting burnings. Isa. xxxiii. 14. "My heart," said that patient sufferer, "is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels." Ps. xxii. 14. Hence Moses, and after him Paul, in the view of God's taking vengeance on sin, describe him under that awful account - "our God is a consuming fire" Deut. iv. 24. Heb. xii. 29. Beholding his Father thus coming forth to punish sin in his person, Jesus said - "Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, therefore my heart faileth me," Ps. xl. 12. And Luke folds up the account of Jesus with "being in an agony;" such a labouring of nature as implies an universal convulsion, as dying men with cold clammy sweats: so Jesus, scorched with the hot wrath of God on sin,  sweated, in his agony, clots of blood! My soul, canst thou hold out any longer? Will not thine eye-strings and heart-strings break, thus to look on Jesus in his agony!. Oh precious Jesus! were the great objects of insensible, inanimated nature, made to feel as if to take part in thy sufferings; and am I unmoved? Did the very grave yawn at thy death and resurrection; and were the rocks rent, while my tearless eyes thus behold thee? Oh gracious God, fulfill that promise by the prophet," that I may look on him whom I have pierced, and mourn as one that mourneth for his only son, and be in bitterness as one that is in bitterness for his first-born."

Matthew 25:36

"A place called Gethsemane. " - Matthew 25:36

My soul, let thy morning meditation be directed to the garden of Gethsemane, that memorable spot, sacred to the believer, because so much beloved and resorted to by Jesus. Here Jesus oft came with his disciples. And here, my soul, do thou often take the wing of faith, and flee in devout contemplation. Was this place dear to thee, thou precious Redeemer? And was it not because here thou didst enjoy the sweetest refreshing in communion with the Father? Was it not because here thou knewest would begin the conflict and the agony, in which the great business for which thou camest on earth would be accomplished. Didst thou abide here, Lord, a whole night, after a day's constant preaching to the people, the week only before thy crucifixion. (See Luke xxi. 37.) And when the night was past, didst thou again repair to the temple to the same employ? Was Gethsemane dear to Jesus! Was here his favorite haunt? And shall not my soul delight to be oft here in solemn meditation? Will not my Lord lead me there, and go with me there, and sweetly speak to me there; that while, in imagination, I tread the sacred ground, my soul may view the several spots, and say - Here it was, perhaps, my Redeemer was withdrawn a stone's cast from his disciples, that the powers of darkness might more furiously assault his holy soul; and here stood the angel sent from heaven to strengthen him; and here the Lord Jesus was in his agony, when the sweat of his body forced through all the pores great drops of blood, falling down to the ground! Is this Gethsemane? And why Gethsemane? The Jews call it Ge-hennom, or hell; for here it was that Josiah burnt the idol vessels. 2 Kings xxiii. 4 - 10. And it is the same as Tophet, the only word the Jews used for hell after their return from the Babylonish captivity. The field of Kedron was indeed a dark and gloomy place; and by its side ran the foul and black brook which Jesus passed over when he went into Gethsemane. Here David, of old, went mourning and lamenting, when Ahitophel, like another Judas, betrayed him, and his life was sought after. 2 Sam. xv. 23. And here the Son of David passed also, when the man of whom David by the spirit of prophecy spake, (Ps. xli. 9.) which eat bread with Jesus, lifted up his heel against him. And was this Gethsemane the favoured spot of Jesus, because here he had so sweetly enjoyed communion with his Father, and because he here should encounter the powers of darkness? Learn then, my soul, from thy Jesus where thou oughtest to seek grace in a refreshing hour, to comfort a trying hour. Say, my soul, where should be thy dying place, but where thy God hath most blessed thy living place? There, Jesus, make my seasons (if needs be) of conflict, where thou hast sanctified and made blessed by thy Bethel visits. And was a garden the favoured spot of Jesus? Yes, it was in a garden the first Adam lost himself and his posterity; there, then, Jesus will recover the forfeited inheritance. Did the devil begin in heaven to ruin man? Why, then, in Gethsemane Jesus will begin to conquer hell for man's recovery. Did Satan, from the garden, bind and carry captive the first Adam? Then from a garden also shall he cause to be bound, and carried away to the cross, the second Adam," that he, by death, might destroy him that had the power of death - that is, the devil; and deliver them who, through fear of death, are all their life-time subject to bondage. "Solemn Gethsemane! awful, but hallowed spot! Here would I often come here contemplate Jesus, my blessed Surety, groaning, yet! conquering; pressed under all the hellish malice of the devil, yet triumphing over all; deserted by his disciples, sweating a bloody sweet, sustaining the wrath of offended justice, drinking the cup of trembling! Is this Gethsemane? Oh, thou Lamb of God, thou paschal Lamb! here oft bring me; here shew me thy loves: and as thy joys were here turned into sorrows, give me to see how the curses which I deserved, but which thou didst endure, were converted into blessings; and that by thy stripes I am healed. Hail sacred Gethsemane!

Isaiah 53:3

"A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." Isaiah 53:3

My soul, there is one feature in thy Redeemer's character, which, in the unequalled abasement of his person, demands thy constant contemplation. I fear it hath not been considered by thee as it ought. And yet it is so sweetly accommodating and lovely, that the more thou beholdest thy Jesus in this tender light, the more endeared he must appear to thee. The prophet, under the Holy Ghost, hath here in a few words sketched the outlines of it - "A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief?" It was most essential that Jesus should be all this, because it belonged to the curse which he became for his people, when he offered himself as their surety. You will remember, my soul, the curse which God pronounced upon the earth, and man's passage through it, when he broke the divine law. The ground was cursed; the product of it was to be thorns and thistles; in sorrow, and in the sweat of the brow, was man to eat bread; and, at length, death was to close the life. Now it behoved him who undertook to remove the curse, to bear that curse before the removal of it; and, as such, it behoved Jesus to be "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. "Hence all these seized on the Lord Jesus in the first moment he assumed our nature. And though he had no sin in his nature; not being born in the ordinary way of our nature, yet, as a Surety, he was at once exposed to all the frailties in the sinless sorrows, and travails, and labours of it. This sentence would not have been fulfilled, had not Jesus eat bread in the sweat of his brow. So interesting a part, therefore, was it in Christ's life, that he should labour in a common occupation, that this part of the curse might not go by, without being accomplished. And how eminently, my soul, was this part indeed fulfilled, when, in the garden, the sweat of his brow was drops of blood! How full of thorns and thistles was the earth to Jesus, may be in some measure considered, when we behold him in the unequalled sorrows of the opposition he met with from the world, the unkindness of friends, the malice of enemies. The thorny crown put upon his sacred head was little considered by those that put it; but yet it was, in reality, crowning him Lord of sorrow and grief, beyond all men that ever were exercised with affliction. So great, indeed, was the continued load he bore of grief, and so much did it tend to waste and wear the spirits, that according to that expression of the Jews to him - "thou art not yet fifty years old," evidently proved, that he had the visage of one of fifty, when only thirty. And it is remarkable, though we are told that Jesus rejoiced in spirit, yet we never read that he was once seen to laugh during his whole life. Precious Jesus, enable me ever to be looking unto thee, thou meek and lowly Lamb of God! And may I never lose sight of this sweet part of thy character also; that whilst thou didst bear our sins, so didst thou carry our sorrows; and in fulfilling the law, didst take away the curse also, when in sorrow thou didst eat bread all the days of thy life.

Leviticus 26:21-22

"And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness. And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities, into a land not inhabited." - Leviticus 26:21-22

Pause, my soul, and behold the tender mercy of thy God, in thus causing to be represented to the church of old, by so striking a service, that grand and most momentous doctrine of the gospel, which, in after-ages of the church was fully set forth and completed, when Jehovah laid upon our Lord Jesus Christ the iniquities of his people. And do, my soul, attend to those several most interesting points here graciously revealed. As first - this was at the express command of God. Yes, who but God could transfer or permit a change of persons in the transferring of sin? This is one of the most blessed parts of the gospel, that when Jesus bore our sins in his own body on the tree, it was by the express will and appointment of Jehovah. The Lord Jesus took not those sins on himself; but the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all. Mark this down in strong characters. Then next consider - that as Jesus had a transfer of all the sins of his people, consequently they were no longer upon the people, from whom they were transferred. Here faith finds full scope for exercise, in giving God the credit due to God. The sending away the goat was intended to represent the full remission of sins; and by the goat bearing them away into a land not inhabited, intimated that those sins should never be seen nor known anymore; according to that precious scripture of the Holy Ghost by the prophet - "The iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found," Jer. 1. 20. And there is one sweet thought more, not to be overlooked in this blessed scripture, concerning those sins. Observe, my soul, the particularity of the expression. The confession of Aaron, the great high priest, was not only of all the iniquities of the children of Israel, but all their transgressions in all their sins. Pause, my soul, over this view, and recollect that there are many, and sometimes very heinous and aggravated circumstances of transgression in thy sins. Now what a sweet thought of relief to thy mind is it, under particular and galling circumstances, of sin, to behold thy Jesus bearing thy sins, and all the transgression of all thy sins. The Lord caused to meet in him, as the passage might have been rendered, the iniquities of us all. Isa. liii. 6. Jesus was made as the common, receiver, the drain, the sink, into which all the sins, and every minute and particular sin, was emptied. "He shall drink of the brook in the way," said the Holy Ghost. Ps. cx. 7. Was not this the black and filthy brook of Kedron, into which all the filth from the sacrifices of the temple was emptied? Here it was Jesus passed, when, in the night of his entering on his passion, he went into the garden. Look to this, my soul, and see whether it doth not strikingly, though solemnly, at the same time, set forth Jesus bearing all and every particular transgression in all thy sin. One thought more. The goat thus laden with all the sins of the people, was to be sent away by the hand of some fit man into the wilderness. As none but Jesus could be competent to bear sins, so none but Jesus could be fit to bear them away into a land of everlasting forgetfulness. It doth not lessen the beauty of this blessed scripture in the representation here made, in Jesus being set forth under two characters; for he is so in many. None but Jesus can indeed accomplish all: he is the High Priest, the Altar, and the Sacrifice, through all the law; and he is the fit man here represented, as well as the burden-bearer of sin. Hail! thou great High Priest! Blessed forever be thou who hast borne away all the sins of thy people into a land not inhabited. Thou hast crossed out, in God's book of account, each and every individual sin, and the transgression of all our sins, in the red letters of thy blood; and never shall they appear again to the condemnation of thy people.

Jeremiah 23:6

"And this is his name whereby he shall be called - THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" - Jeremiah 23:6

Begin this month, my soul, with contemplating thy Jesus in this glorious distinction of character; and beg of God the Holy Ghost, who hath here declared that, under this character, Jesus shall be known and called, that every day through the month, and through the whole of life, thou mayest find grace and strength so to know and so to call Jesus, as to be everlastingly satisfied that thou art made the righteousness of God in him. And first, my soul, consider who and what this Holy One is. He is the Lord Jehovah. In the glories of his essence, he is One with the Father. In his Personal glories, he is the Lord thy Mediator. And in his relative glories, he is thy righteousness. For, by virtue, of his taking thy nature, what he is as Mediator and as the Surety of his people, he is for them. Pause over this blessed view, and then say, what can be more blessed than thus to behold Jesus as what he is in himself for his people. Look at him again, my soul, and take another view of him in his loveliness; in what he is to his people. This precious scripture saith, that he is the Lord our righteousness; that is, by virtue of his Godhead he is our righteousness, in such a sure way, and with such everlasting value and efficacy, as no creature could be. The righteousness his redeemed possess in him, and have a right in him, and are entitled to in him, is the righteousness of God; and therefore impossible ever to be lost, and impossible ever to be fully recompensed in glory. Sweet and blessed consideration! it seems too great to be believed. And so it would indeed, if the authority of Jehovah had not stamped it, and made the belief of it the first and highest act of a poor sinner's obedience. And observe, my soul, yet further, there is this blessed addition to the account "he shall be called so." By whom? Nay by every one that knows him. The poor sinner shall call him so, who is led to see and feel that he hath no righteousness of his own; he shall call Jesus his Lord, his righteousness. He shall call him so to others; he shall call upon him for himself: he shall be that true Israelite, that very one whom the prophet describes - "Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength." The redeemed upon earth, the redeemed in heaven, the church of the first-born, shall call him so. The whole army of patriarchs and prophets, and apostles, all shall know Jesus as the Lord our righteousness. Nay, God himself, our Father, shall call his dear Son by this glorious name; for it is He who hath constituted and appointed him as the Lord our righteousness. And that Jesus is our righteousness is from this very cause, "that he is made of God to us wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that he that glorieth may glory in the Lord." Now, my soul, what sayest thou to this sweet view of Jesus in this most precious scripture? Is not this name of Jesus most grateful to thee, as ointment of the richest fragrancy poured forth? Can any name be as sweet and delightful to one convinced, as thou art, that all thy righteousness is as dung and dross, as that of Jesus the Lord our righteousness? Witness for me, ye angels of light, that I renounce every other; and from hence forth will make mention of his righteousness, and his only. Yes, blessed Jesus, my mouth shall daily speak of thy righteousness and salvation; for I know no end thereof.