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that sacred side, from whence issue so many streams of life for the wretched posterity of Adam: let me admire that sacred body, which is the redemption of a lost world let me embrace that Jesus, who gave himself for me; and let me behold him, never, never to lose sight of him more." his infinite mercy, grant us all this grace. be glory for ever. Amen.
THE BELIEVER EXALTED TOGETHER WITH
EPHESIANS ii. 4, 5, 6.
God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
N studying the history of the lives of those eminent saints of God, whose memory scripture hath transmitted to us, we can with difficulty refrain from deploring, the extreme difference which God has been pleased to make between their privileges and ours. Nay, we are sometimes disposed to flatter ourselves, that if these privileges had been equal, our attainments in virtue might have made a nearer approach to those which have rendered them so respectable in the church. Who would not surmount the difficulties of the most painful career, if he were to enjoy, like Moses, intimate communications with deity; if his eyes were strengthened to behold that awful majesty which God displayed on Mount Sinai? Who could
retain the slightest shadow of incredulity, and who would not be animated to carry the gospel of Christ to the uttermost boundaries of the globe, had he, like Thomas, seen the Lord Jesus after his resurrection; had Jesus Christ said to him, as he said to that apostle: Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands: and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing? John xx. 27. Who could remain still swallowed up of the world, had he seen, with the three disciples, Jesus Christ transfigured on the holy mount; or, had he been, with St. Paul, caught up to the third heaven, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter? 2 Cor. xii. 2, 4,
I have no intention, my brethren, to inquire how far this conception may be illusory, and how far it may be founded in truth: but I wish you attentively to listen to the declaration made by the apostle, in the words of my text. They stand in connection with the last verses of the preceding chapter. St. Paul had advanced not only that God bestows on every believer the same privileges, in substance, which he has vouchsafed to saints of the first order, but that he actually works in them the same wonders which he operated in Jesus Christ, when he restored to him that life, which he laid down for the salvation of mankind, and when, amidst the acclamations of the church triumphant, he received him into paradise.
In the text, our apostle expresses in detail, what he had before proposed in more general terms. He says, that as Jesus Christ, when dead, was restored to life, and raised from the tomb; in like manner we, who were dead in trespasses and sins, have been quickened, and raised up, together with him: and that as Jesus Christ, when raised up from
the dead, was received into heaven, and seated on his Father's right hand, in like manner we, after our spiritual resurrection, are admitted to a participation of the same glory. Let us view these two texts in their connection, in order to comprehend the full extent of the apostle's idea: God, as we read in the conclusion of the preceding chapter, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, has displayed what is the greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, and put all things under his feet. And, in the words of the text, God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved. us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Eph. ii. 4, 5, 6.
This proposition, I acknowledge, seems to present something hyperbolical, which it is not easy to reconcile to the strictness of truth: but the dif ficulties which prevent our comprehending it, do not so much affect the understanding as the heart. It would be much more intelligible, were the love of the creature less predominant in us, and did it less encroach upon the feelings necessary to our perception of a truth, which is almost altogether a truth of feeling. We should, accordingly, have been cautious how we ventured to treat such a subject, at our ordinary seasons of devotion: but, on this day, we believe all things possible to your pious affections. We believe that there can be nothing too tender, nothing too highly superior to sense,