Page images

grace and power sufficiently to have resisted the temptation, then how could i: be expected that he could have resided it? Because he had no mote grace nor power than what came from God. But let not God be accused with sin, which is an abomination to him; and at the same time. I believe that there was a possibility for Adam to fall into sin, because God had said, in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. And now to be brief—I see that Adam did fall from the command of the Lord hismaker, and perhaps it may be said, or thought by some, that he fell by his free will; but yet it appears to me, that it was not so altogether, btciuse the Lord his God had not given him this freedom or iiberty without any restriction or limitation ; therefore, it appears to me, that the devil was the first instigator of it, and that by his suggestion, and insinuating this thought into our first parents minds, and that by a false pretence of making them more wise, and that they should be as Gods, knowing good end evil; but still Adam was in the fault, because he had the power of acting and resisting; therefore, it appears to me, that he had somewhat stolen this freedom or liberty, which thing was den:ed him of God, and so he acted by the will of the devil; but not by the will of his God, so it was not God's will nor pleasure that he should disobey ; neither doth it appear that it was God's design that he should disobey; but sometimes I think that there always was and that there always will be trial of probation, and a victory to be gained before that a soul can enter into everlasting glo y. But the cause why this was so from the beginning, it is not given me to know, neither is it my duty to search much into it, but I really do think that there is something more in that evil spirit, the devil, than that of which we are aware of, (see Book 2nd, page 22, and 23,) and thus we see, that the devil had great power to t.jmpt Adam, but then he had not power Co force nor compel him into this shameful state in which we are all in by his disobedience.

Now, I see that when Adam had fallen from his God, that there was nothing short of his Maker that could save his soul from death, that is to say, that there was nothing to save him, except there was something provided to satisfy Divine justice which the Lord would accept of; for how could the Lord by Divine justice alone save his soul when the word was gone out of his mouth, that is to say, if thou break my "ommands, thou shalt surely die; thefefore, the word of the Lord is truth, and he cannot lie. Now we see that Adam was dead in sin, and which way was he to look for deliverance—if he looks to the word of God, that condemns him—and if he looks to himself, he sees that he is naked and cannot merit any thing that is good from the hand of his Maker. So in this state he is lost, and are all his offspring lost? Yes, for as in Adam, all died. Now, I see man cannot be i^aved, except the holy law be accomplished by man; but Adam cannot fulfil it, because he hath broke it, and God could not, according to his justice, be reconciled with man, except there was an atonement made for sin. And again, it doth not appear to me reasonable that the Holy Ghost should take upon him our sinful nature, because he proceedeth from the Father, and acts for the Father, and the Son on earth in spirit and not n person: and there may be a great deal more said concerning these things, but I orriit, and pass on, to be as plain as I can, that people of the lowest capacity may understand.

Now, seeing the state of man is so, 0 then, is there no way in which man can be saved—is there not so much as one twig to catch at to deliver our poor sinful souls from the burning. O, do not stay here, O my soul, in this state; look again! look again unto the rock of thy salvation! for there is one way, whereby, we may be saved, and but one! 0 praise, 0 my soul, praise the Lord, as long as thou hast breath praise His most holy name. Now, the Lord saw man in this sinful state, but he so loved him that he willeth his salvation. Now, 1 see that I stand in need of a Saviour, and bless the Lord, O my soul, for he hast provided me one; 0, well may the, good old writer say, All wisdom cometh from the Lord and is with him for ever. (Apoc. to Eccl. i. 1.) 0, what a mystery of glad tidings there is opened unto sinful man, that God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not peruh, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through himmight be saved. (John iii. 16, 17.) And by him the holy law of God is accomplished, for he left his Father's throne, and came down into this sinful world and became man as well as God, and was in the flesh as a substitute, and was tempted in all points as we are, but he sinned not. And although Adam broke the law of his God, the Son of God sanctified it, and fulfilled it; and he was the end of the law of God for righteousness, he established the covenant of the Lord, he made reconciliation to his Father for our tranagressions, and the Lord was satisfied by the merit of his Son, and said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matt. iii. 17.) Now I see that the covenant of the Lord stands sure in Christ, and blessed be all them that flee unto him for refuge.

Thou came from thy Father

From cherubs on high,
And left grand glory

For us to die.

Thou came from heaven.

And angels fair
And left thy mansions

Our sins to bear,

Thou came from Jerusalem,

The city of God,
And left celestial,

The place of love.

And came to a world

Of sin and woe,
For our transgressions,

Thy bood did flow.

And who is able to utter, or what tongue can tell what our Lord hast done and suffered for us; he is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and we hid, as it were our faces from him, he was despised, and we esteemed him not; surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; stricken, smitten of God and afflicted: but he was wounded and tormented for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; and have turned every one his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,. and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. (Isaiah liii.) But, speaking of Christ from his infancy, we see his humble and mean birth was in a manger, and he was humbled to the law of circumci"^on, and shed his blood at eight days old, in reference for the salvation of men. (Luke ii. 21.) And the foxes have boles, saith he, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son cf man hath not where to lay his head. (Matt. viii. 20.) And who can tell what his precious soul and mind parsed through when he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. (Matt. iv. 1.) And when the Jews charged him of blasphemy, because he had mercy and did good. (Matt. ix. 3.) And many a time they grieved his spirit, and said, he hast a devil, (John viii. 48) and is mad; why hear ye him? (x. 20.) And the Scribes and the Pharis'ees urged him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things; laying wait for him, and seeking to catch someihing out of his mouth, that they might accuse him. (Luke xi. 53.) But for all this he withdrew not his love from us, but he kneeled down, and prayed to his heavenly Father, and in an agony he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was as it were great drops cf blood falling down to the ground. (Luke xxii. 44.) And he suffered for our sins, being tempted, he is also able to succour them that are tempted, that wait with patience lor him. (Heb. ii. 18.) And when the time was near come, that our Lord should suffer for poor sinners, one of his own familiar friends, that is one of his disciple •, selleth him, and betrayed him into the hands of sinners by a kiss, for he had said to the people, whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he, hold him fast, and he came to Jesus and said, Hail master, and kissed him; but, notwithstanding, he gave his life into the hands of bloody and sinful men. So they took the Lord of Glory, and abused him, and all the disciples forsook him, and fled. Then was it fulfilled, which was spoken by Zechariah the prophet. Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man, that is my fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts. Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered, and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. (Zee. xiii. 7.) And so it was, for all the disciples forsook him and fled, and when the blessed Son of God spoke of his glory, and of his coming in the clouds of Heaven, they then charged him with blasphemy, and said he is guilty of death. Then did they abuse him, and spit in his face, and buffetted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, and they railed at him, and spoke bitter words to him, saying, prophesy unto us thou Christ; who is he that smote thee. (Matt. xxvi.) And one of his chief disciples, even Peter, denied him, by cursing and swearing.

.' x

So it appears that he had not so much as one open friend on the earth: but was exposed to a world of sinners, and delivered into the hands of the wicked—and even the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death; (Matt. xxvii. 1.) and they bound him and led him.away to judgment. And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not hi3 mouth. (Isaiah liii. 7.) Therefore he was delivered up to the will of the wicked to be crucified. And they gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers; and they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe; and platted a crown of thorns and put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand; and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed and smote him on the head; an 1 led him away to crucify him. And so they abused him, and gave him vine

far to drink, mingled with gall: an 1 after this they crucified im; and they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyed the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself: if thou be tha Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise, also, the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, and said, He saved others, himself he cannot save: if he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. And the thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth, or one of the thieves. (See Luke xxiii. 39) Now. from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land, until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli! Eli! Lama Sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Now, my reader, I have no Commentary to go by: then what can my weak capacity of mind say concerning such an important text of Scripture as this. My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?

Now, it appears to me, that our Blessed Saviour was left at that time in great agony, pain, and distress, for it appears that his Heavenly Pather did not comfort him in his last severe and painful conflict, neither did angels support him:

« PreviousContinue »