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" in fashion as a man?" Yes, these also form the object of their frequent contemplation, and most intense affection. His boundless condescension, his godlike virtues, his unequalled sufferings, are the themes of alternate astonishment, delight, and praise. To enumerate all these, in all their instances, would be to recount his whole life. On each discourse, action, or suffering, we might meditate from morn to eve, and still discover new excellencies in it: nor should we, after all, know half the beauties of his mind. In his last sufferings especially, we see all his glories united, as to their hardest trial, and most illustrious display. It is not pity for the man, which the remembrance of these scenes of sorrow chiefly inspires. Weep not for me,”* were his own words, when pressed by all the billows of affliction. It is not indignation for his enemies. These he taught us, by his own example, to consider as objects rather of pity, than of resentment: “Father," said he, “ forgive them ; for they know not what

they do!”+ It is not sympathy with his scattered flock : for the case of Peter shews that the Saviour's power, even then, was not broken; that his eye was still upon them; and that Satan was disappointed in his attempts for their destruction. It is not even self-gratulation at seeing Jesus the victim of justice in our stead : for if an idea of ourselves occur to our minds, while thus engaged, it is only to heighten those affections of which he is the object, by reminding us of the meanness and unworthiness of the creatures, for whom he groaned and died. But it is esteem, admiration, love, and every kindred sentiment, streaming on the mind from the Luke xxiii, 28.

# Ibid. 34

display of the collected excellencies, which those sufferings called forth-a display, which never was before, and which never shall be again beheld, unless, as on earth, in sacramental emblems, and “ in " the midst of the throne, and of the elders” above, in the exhibition of a Lamb, as it had been “slain,"* to waken the raptures, and give harmony to the songs, of the celestial worshippers. — Whither, thou eternal Son of God, whither didst thou stoop, and why? Was thine that painful, igno.. minious, and accursed death, which we are this day to commemorate? Was this the manner in which thou chosest to manifest thy love to men ? to exchange the songs of adoring angels for the insults, of sinners; thy heavenly throne for the shameful tree; and the smiles of thy Father for the darkness of his countenance? Are these hands and feet, now nailed to a cross, the hands and feet of him who stretched out the heavens, and whose footstool is the earth? Is this the head formed for a crown of glory, which now is torn by a crown of thorns? And is it the soul that knew no stain, which thus utters, its anguish, “ I am exceeding sorrowful, even unto “ death :”+

My God, my God, why hast thou “ forsaken me?"I-But thou wast thus wounded for our transgressions, that thou mightest be a ransom for many: and such was the will of the Fa, ther who sent thee! Love unexampled! Love to men, which prompted thee to undertake their redemption ! -Love to God, which made thee voluntarily submit, to all that was demanded for it! Love stronger than death, in its most fearful form! Love, which all the terrors of infinite justice in

the Rev, V. 6. 4 Matt. xvi. 38. # Ibid. xxvii. 46.

censed, could not subdue ; love “ which passeth

knowledge !"-Such was the force, such the glories of that love, which Jesus exhibited from his cross. And is it not enough to constrain all the affection of his saints? Why, indeed, should we mention more? “ Love is the fulfilling of the law,"* the beginning and the end of every moral excellence; yet in the same scene, other beauties of holiness also shone; or rather, perhaps, other aspects of the same comprehensive grace. Under the apprehension of his sufferings, how was he straitened! Yet his faithfulness remained unshaken, and his zeal unquenched. How provoking were his injuries; yet with what meekness were they received ! How heavy were his sorrows; yet with what patience were they borne! How affectionately mindful was he of his friends, how forgiving to his enemies, how submissive to God! And how wondrously (for here all seems collected,) how wondrously combine inviolable regard for his own and his Father's law, with pardon for its transgressors; resolute justice, with yielding pity, and soft smiling love !-Surely, even when he shall come again, and receive us to himself; when we shall be like him, and see him as he is; we must look back to the days of his humiliation, and to this its saddest scene, to behold aright the glory of the Lord.

We are, however, far from asserting that the consideration of the inestimable benefits, which are obtained through Christ, does not tend to animate and enhance our love to him. But they are not, they cannot be the foundation on which it rests. For let us attend to the natural progress of our feelings,

4 Rom. Xüi. 18.

in the case of benefits received. A fellow creature confers on you a favour; you are willing to believe it the effect of benevolence; you love him : but you do not love him for the gift, but for the benevolence which the gift exhibits. And while the careless observer represents your love as springing from an ungenerous motive, you in reality regard its object, because, in your opinion, endowed with an estimable quality. For make the supposition that you believed the favour to be bestowed for selfish ends; no emotion of love is felt: nay, such a favour is considered as rather offering an insult, than conferring an obligation: it excites displeasure rather than attachment.-Christ Jesus, therefore, to every intelligent being capable of. estimating his worth, whether immediately interested or not in the blessings of his redemption, will appear altogether lovely : though the sense of an interest in these must certainly bring his loveliness more home to our regards. Hence, in a subsequent part of this chapter, angels, who needed no Saviour, are represented as desiring to look into the predictions and the accomplishment of his salvation : and this, no doubt, not only to gratify a laudable curiosity, but to animate their love to his person, their admiration of his excellence, their joy in the contemplation of it, and to awaken ecstacy suitable to the heavenly song, in which they are elsewhere declared to join,

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive

power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and * honour, and glory, and blessing !** “Therefore, to quicken our love to the unseen San

* Rev. v. 12.

viour, let us meditate on the state from which he hath rescued us, on the glories of his heavenly kingdom to which he calls us, on the toils and sorrows through which he travelled, that he might be “ the “ author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey “ him :"_Of a deliverance from sin and endless misery, of a renewed nature tending to perfection, and of a crown of glory which fadeth not away. Meditate on these as dearly bought, though freely bestowed; bought by the shedding of his own blood, and the unknown sufferings of a soul holy and undefiled.

And, christians, labour, see to it, that your love be without dissimulation, and without corrupt motive. Christ deserves your love: and the considerations of self are not worthy to be compared with the excellencies of his nature, in whom dwelleth bodily the fulness of infinite perfection. Hence he will admit of no competitor in our affections : for to do so were to sanction a false preference, and to approve an unworthy destination of our supreme regards. My son, give me thine heart,"* is the language of his wisdom.

Lovest thou me more " than these?”+ is his demand, with respect to our dearest companions and friends. Yea," says her “ if any man come to me, and hate not his father, “ and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, " and sisters, yea, and his own life also," --hate them. not in comparison with me," he cannot be my “ disciple.”# And true love complies with his requisition : “ Lord, thou knowest all things; thou “ knowest that I love thee.”] It counts less the value of his benefits, than the affection of the giver; * Pror, qüi. 46.

q dola mi. 15. Luke ziv. 16 $ Jahn ai. 13

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