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be fatisfied for fins paft? Justice must have fatisfaction, or you can never have remiffion, Rom. iii. 25, 26. and no work wrought by man can fatisfy divine juftice; nor is the fatisfaction of Chrift made over to any for their discharge, but to fuch, only, as are in him; therefore, never expect mercy out of Chrift.
Infer. 2. Is Chrift, the mercy of mercies, greater, better; and more neceffary than all other mercies; then let no inferior mercy fatisfy you for your portion.
God hath mercies of all forts to give, but Christ is the chief, the prime mercy of all mercies: O be not fatisfied without that mercy, When Luther had a rich prefent fent him, "he pro"tefted God should not put him off fo:" and David was of the fame mind, Pfal. xvii. 14. If the Lord should give any of you the defires of your hearts in the good things of this life, let not that fatisfy you, whilft you are Chriftless. For,
First, What is there in these earthly enjoyments, whereof the vilest men have not a greater fulness than you? job xxi. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Pfal. xvii. 10. and lxxiii. 3, 12.
Secondly, What comfort can all these things give to a foul already condemned, as thou art? John iii. 18.
Thirdly, What fweetnefs can be in them, whilft they are all unfanctified things to you? enjoyments, and fanctification, are. two diftinct things, Pfal. xxxvii. 16, Prov. x. 22. Thousands of unfanctified enjoyments will not yield your fouls one drop of folid fpiritual comfort.
Fourthly, What pleasure can you take in these things, of which death muft, fhortly, ftrip you naked? You must die, you muft die; and whose then shall all thofe things be, for which you have laboured? Be not fo fond, to think of leaving a great name behind you; 'tis but a poor felicity (as Chryfoftome well obferves) to be tormented where thou art, and praised where thou art not †: the fweeter your portion hath been on earth, the more intolerable will your condition be in hell; yea, these earthly delights do not only increase the torments of the damned, but alfo prepare (as they are inftruments of fin) the fouls of men for damnation, Prov. i. 32. "Surely the profperity of fools fhall "deftroy them." Be reftlefs, therefore, till Chrift, the mercy of mercies, be the root and fountain, yielding and fanctifying all other mercies to you.、
Infer. 3. Is.Chrift, the mercy of mercies, infinitely better than
*Valde proteftatus fum, me nolle fic ab eo fatiari. Luth.
For then the devouring flame burns up thofe whom carnal plea
all other mercies; then let all that be in Chrift be content, and well Jatisfied, whatever other inferior mercies the wifdom of God fees fit to deny them. You have a Benjamin's portion, a plentiful inheritance in Chrift; will you yet complain? Others have houses, fplendid and magnificent upon earth; but you have "an houfe made without hands, eternal in the heavens," 2 Cor. v. I. Others are cloathed with rich and coftly apparel, your fouls are clothed with the white, pure robes of Chrift's. righteoufuefs. Ifa. Ixi. 10. "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my foul shall be joyful in my God: for he hath cloathed me "with the garment of falvation, he hath covered me with the "robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels." Let thofe that have full tables, heavy purses, rich lands, but no Chrift; be rather objects of your pity, than envy: it is better, like flore-cattle, to be kept lean and hungry; than, with the fatted ox, to tumble in flowery meadows, thence to be led away to the shambles. God hath not a better mercy to give than Chrift, thy portion; in him all neceffary mercies are fecured to thee, and thy wants and ftraits fanctified to thy good. O! therefore, never open thy mouth to complain against the bountiful God.
Infer. 4. Is Chrift the mercy, (i. e.) he in whom all the tender mercies of God towards poor finners are; then let none be dif couraged in going to Chrift, by reafon of the fin and unworthiness that are in them: his very name is mercy, and as his name is, fo is he. Poor drooping finner, encourage thyfelf in the way of Faith; the Chrift to whom thou art going, is mercy itself to broken-hearted finners, moving towards him in the way of faith doubt not that mercy will repulfe thee; it is against both its name, and nature, fo to do. Jefus Chrift is so merciful to poor fouls, that come to him, that he hath received and pardoned the chiefeft of finners; men that flood as remote from mercy, as any in the world, 1 Tim. i. 15. 1 Cor. vi. 11. Those that shed the blood of Chrift, have yet been washed in that blood from their fin, Acts ii. 36, 37. Mercy receives finners, without exception of great and heinous ones. John vii 37. "If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink." Golpel invitations run, in general terms, to all finners that are heavy laden, Mat. xi. 28. When Mr. Bilney, the martyr, heard a minifter preaching at this rate, O thou old finner, who hast been ferving the devil thefe fifty or fixty years; doft thou think that Chrift will receive thee now? O! faid he, what a preaching of Chrift is here? Had Chrift been thus preached to me in the day
my trouble for fin, what had become of me? But, bleffed be God, there is a fufficiency, both of merit, and mercy, in Jefus Chrift, for all finners, for the vilest among finners, whofe hearts thall be made willing to come unto him. So merciful is the Lord Jefus Chrift, that he moves first, Ifa. lxii. 1, 2. fo merciful, that he upbraids none, Ezek. xviii. 22. fo merciful, that he will not defpife the weakest, if fincere, defires of fouls, Ifa. xlii. fo merciful, that nothing more grieves him, than our unwillingnefs to come unto him for mercy, John v. 40. fo merciful, that he waiteth, to the last, upon finners, to fhew them mercy, Rom. x. 21. Mat. xxiii. 37. in a word, fo merciful, that it is his greatest joy when finners come unto him, that he may fhew them mercy, Luke xv. 5, 22.
Object. But yet it cannot enter into my thoughts that I should obtain mercy.
Sol. Firft, You measure God by yourselves, 1 Sam. xxiv. 19. "If a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away?" Man will not, but the merciful God will, upon the fubmiffion of the enemies to him.
Secondly, You are difcouraged, because you have not tried. Go to Jefus Chrift, poor diftreffed finners; try him, and then report what a Chrift thou findeft him to be.
Object. But I have neglected the time of mercy, and now it is too late.
Sol. How know you that? Have you feen the book of life, or turned over the records of eternity? Or do you not unwarrantably intrude into the fecrets of God, which belong not to you ? Besides, if the treaty were at an end, how is it that thy heart is now diftreffed for fin, and follicitous after deliverance from it?
Object. But I have waited long, and yet fee no mercy for me. Sol. May not mercy be coming, and you not fee it? Or have you not waited at the wrong door? If you wait for the mercy of God through Chrift, in the way of humiliation and faith, and continue waiting; affuredly mercy fhall come at last.
Infer. 5. Hath God performed the mercy promised to the Fathers, the great mercy, the capital mercy, Jefus Chrift; then let no man diftruft God for the performance of leffer mercies, contained in any other promifes of the fcripture. The performance of this mercy fecures the performance of all other mercies to us. For,
First, Chrift is a greater mercy than any other which yet remains to be performed, Rom. viii. 32.
Secondly, This mercy virtually comprehends all other mercies, I Cor. iii. 21, 22, 23.
Thirdly, The promises that contain all other mercies, are ra tified and confirmed to believers in Chrift, 2. Cor. i. 20. Fourthly, It was much more improbable that God would be flow his own Son upon the world, than that he fhould bestow other mercy upon it. any Wait, therefore, in a comfortable expectation of the fulfilling of all the rest of the promifes in their feafons. Hath he given thee Chrift? He will give thee bread to eat, raiment to put on, fupport in troubles, and what foever elfe thy foul or body ftands in need of: The bleffings contained in all other promises, are fully fecured by the perfor mance of this great promife; thy pardon, peace, acceptance with God now, and enjoyment of him for ever, fhall be fulfil led: The great mercy, Chrift, makes way for all other mercies to the fouls of believers.
Infer. 6. Laftly, How mad are they that part with Chrift, the beft of mercies, to fecure and preferve any temporal leffer mercies to themselves! Thus Demas and Judas gave up Christ to gain a little of the world; O foul-undoing bargain! How dear do they pay for the world, that purchase it with the lofs of Chrift, and their own peace for ever!.
Bleed be God for Jefus Chrift, the mercy of mercies.
Containing a third Motive to enliven the general Exhortation, from a third Title of CHRIST.
CANT. V. Part of Verfe 16.-Yea, He is altogether lovely.
T the ninth verfe of this chapter, you have a query pro pounded to the spouse, by the daughters of Jerufalem; 'What is thy beloved more than another beloved?" To this queftion the fpoufe returns her anfwer in the following verfes, wherein the afferts his excellency in general. Ver. 10. "He is "the chiefest among ten thousands;" confirms that general af sertion, by an enumeration of his particular excellencies, to ver 16. where the closes up her character and encomium of her be loved, with an elegant epiphonema, in the words that I have read; "Yea, he is altogether lovely."
The words, you fee, are an affirmative propofition, fetting forth the tranfcendent lovelinefs of the Lord Jefus Chrift; and naturally refolve themfelves into three parts, viz.
1. The subject.
2. The predicate.
3. The manner of predication.
First, The fubject, He, viz. the Lord Jefus Chrift, after whom fhe had been feeking, for whom she was fick of love; concerning whom thefe daughters of Jerufalem had enquired: whom fhe had endeavoured fo graphically to defcribe in his particular excellencies. This is the great and excellent subject of whom fhe here fpeaks.
Secondly, The predicate, or what the affirmeth, or faith of him, viz. That he is a lovely one, Machamaddim, defires; accor ding to the import of the original," which fignifies earnestly * to defire, covet; or long after that which is most pleasant, grateful, delectable, and admirable;" The original word is both in the abstract, and of the plural number, which speaks Chrift to be the very effence of all delights and pleasures; the very foul and fubftance of them. As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean, which is the congregation or meeting-place of all the waters in the world: fo Chrift is that ocean in which all true delights and pleasures meet.
Thirdly, The manner of predication: Heis [altogether] lovely, Totus, totus defiderabilis; lovely in all, and in every part as if fhe had faid, Look on him, in what refpect or particular you will; caft your eye upon this lovely object, and view him any way; turn him in your ferious thoughts, which way you will; confider his perfon, his offices, his works, or any other thing belonging to him; you shall find him altogether lovely: There is nothing ungrateful in him; there is nothing lovely without him. Hence note,
Do&t. That Jefus Chrift is the loveliest person souls can set their eyes upon. Pfal. xlv. 2. "Thou art fairer than the children "of men."
That is faid of Jefus Chrift, which cannot be faid of any creature; that he is "altogether lovely." In opening this lovely point, I fhall,
1. Weigh the importance of this phrafe, "altogether lovely." 2. Shew you in what refpects Christ is fo
First, Let us weigh this excellent expreffion, and particularly confider what is contained in it, and you shall find this expreffion, "Altogether lovely:"
* Significat appetere, expetere quod jecundum, gratum, volup. Luofum, urile at amabile eft. Pag.