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bone, and flesh of his flesh. O what is this! Christian doft thou know and believe all this, and thy heart not burn, within thee, in love to Chrift? O! then, what a heart haft thou? What art thou, by nature, but finful duft, a loathfome finner, viler than the vileft creaturé, caft out to the loathing of thy perfon in the day of thy nativity! O that ever the Lord of glory fhould unite himself to fuch a lump of vileness! take fuch a wretch into his very bofom! Be astonished, O heavens and earth, at this! this is the great mystery which the angels ftooped down to look into: Such an honour as this, could never have entered into the heart of man. It would have feemed a rude blafphemy in us, to once have thought, or spoken of fuch a thing, had not Christ made firft the motion thereof: Yet how long didst thou make this Lord of glory wait upon thy undetermined will, before he gained thy confent? Might he not justly have fpurned thee into hell, upon thy first refufal, and never have made thee fuch another offer? Wilt thou not fay, Lord, what am I, and what is my father's houfe, that fo great a King should stoop fo far beneath himself, to fuch a worm as I am! That ftrength fhould unite itself to weakness, infinite glory to fuch bafenels! O grace, grace, for ever to be admired!
Infer. 3. Is Jefus Chrift the Lord of glory? Then let no man count himself difhonoured by fuffering the vileft indignities for his fake: The Lord of glory puts glory upon the very fuffering you undergo in this world for him. "Mofes efteemed the re"proaches of Chrift greater riches than the treafures of Egypt," Heb. xi. 26. he caft a kingdom at his heels, to be crowned with reproaches, for the name of Chrift. The diadem of Egypt was not half fo glorious, as felf-denial for Chrift. This Lord of glory freely degraded himself for thee, wilt thou ftand hefitating with him upon terms? It is certainly your honour to be difhonoured for Christ, Acts v. 41. to you it is given, in behalf of Chrift, not only to believe, but alfo to fuffer for his fake, Phil. i. 29. The gift of fuffering is there matched with the gift of faith; it is given as an honorarium, a badge of honour to fuffer for the Lord of glory. As all have not the honour to wear the crown of glory in heaven, fo few have the honour to wear the chain of Chrift upon earth. * Thuanus reports of Ludovicus Marfacus, a knight of France, that, being led to fuffer with other martyrs, who were bound, and he unbound, because a
Y y 2
* Cur me non quoque torque donas, et infignis hujus ordinis militem creas? Thuanus,
perfon of honour; he cried out, Why don't you honour 66 me with a chain, too, and create me a knight of that no"ble order?" My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations, James i. 2. (i. e.) trials by fufferings. David thought it an honour to be vile for God, and that is a true obfervation, that difgrace itself is glorious when endured for the Lord of glory.
Infer. 4. Is Chrift the Lord of glory? How glorious, then, fball the faints one day be, when they shall be made like this glori ous Lord, and partake of his glory in heaven? John xvii. 22, "The glory which thou gavest me, I have given them :" Yea, the vile bodies of believers fhall be made like to the glorious body of Chrift, Phil. iii. 21. What glory, then, will be communicated to their fouls? True, his effential glory is incommunicable; but there is a glory which Chrift will communicate to his people. "When he comes to judge the world, he will come
to be glorified in his faints, and to be admired in all them "that believe," 2 Thef. i. 10. Thus he feemeth to account his focial glory, which fhall refult from his faints, a great part of his own glory: As we have now fellowship with him in his fufferings, fo we shall have a fellowship, or communion with him, in his glory: When he fhall appear, then fhall we, also, appear with him in glory; then the pooreft believer shall be more glorious than Solomon, in all his royalty. It was a pious faying of Luther, that he had rather be Chriftianus rufticus, quam Ethnicus Alexander; a Chriftian clown, than a Pagan emperor. The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour, though he live next door to a graceless nobleman: But it doth not yet appear what they shall be. The day will come, it certainly will come, for the Lord hath fpoken it, when they fhall shine forth as the fun in the kingdom of their Father,
Infer. 5. How hath the devil blindfolded, and deluded them that are frighted off from Chrift, by the fears of being difhonoured by him? Many perfons have half a mind to religion, but when they confider the generality of its profeffors to be perfons of the lowest, and meanefst rank in the world, and that reproaches and fufferings attend that way; they fhrink back as men athamed, and as Salvian faith, Mali effe coguntur, neviles habeantur; they chufe rather to remain wicked, than to become vile: But to them that believe, Chrift is an honour; as the word, which we translate precious, might be rendered, 1 Pet. ii. 7. Till God opens mens eyes thus, they will put evil for good, and good for evil. But O dear bought honours, for which men ftake their fouls, and everlafting happiness! Paul was not of your mind,
yet for birth he was an Hebrew of the Hebrews; for dignity,
can ye believe (faith Chrift) who receive honour one of ano"ther?" John v. 44. Saints and finners, upon this account, are wonders one to the other, It is the wonder of the world, to fee Chriftians glorying in reproaches; they wonder that the faints run not with them into the fame excefs of riot; and it is a wonder to believers, how fuch poor toys, and empty titles (rather than titles of honour) should keep the world, as it doth, from Jefus Chrift, and their everlasting happiness in him.
Infer. 6. If Chrift be the Lord of glory, how careful should all be who profefs him, that they do not dishonour Jesus Christ,, whofe name is called upon by them? Chrift is a glory to you, be not you a fhame and difhononr to him. How careful had Christians need be, to draw every line, and action of their lives exactly: The more glorious Chrift is, the more circumspect and watchful ye had need to be. How lovely would Jefus Chrift appear to the world, if the lives of Chriftians did adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour, in all things! Remember you reprefent the Lord of glory to the world; it is not your honour only, but the honour of Chrift which is engaged, and concerned in your actions. O let not the carelessness, or fcandals of your life, make Jefus Chrift afhamed to be called your Lord. When Ifrael had grievously revolted from God, he bids Mofes rife and get down from thence; for (faith he). thy people, which thou haft brought forth out of Egypt, have corrupted themselves, Deut. ix. 12. as the Lord were ashamed to own them for his people any longer. It was a cutting queftion, James ii. 7. apt to ftartle the confciences of thole loofe profeffors; "Do they not blafpheme that worthy name by which
ye are called?" Your duty is, to adorn the gospel by your converfations, Titus ii. 10. The words fignify to deck, trim, or adorn the gofpel, make it trim, neat, and lovely, to the eyes of beholders. When there is fuch a beautiful harmony, and lovely proportion betwixt Chrift's doctrine and your prac tices, as there is in the works of creation, wherein the comeli. nefs and elegancy of the world much confists, (for to this the
· 350 The Method of Grace. SERM. XIV. apostle's word here alludes) then do we walk fuitably to the Lord of glory.
Infer. 7. What delight fhould Chriftians take in their daily con verfe with Jefus Chrift in the way of duty? * Your converfes in prayer, hearing, and meditation, are with the Lord of glory: The greatest peers in the kingdom, account it more honour to be in the prefence of a king, bare-headed, or upon the knee at court, than to have thousands standing bare to them in the country. When you are called to the duties of communion with Christ, you are called to the greatest honour, dignified with the nobleft privilege creatures are capable of in this world: Had you but a fenfe of that honour God puts upon you by this means, you would not need fo much preffing and striving, to bring a dead and backward heart into the fpecial prefence of Jesus Christ. When he faith, Seek ye my face, your hearts should echo to his calls; Thy face, Lord, will we feek. But, alas! the glory of Chrift is much hid, and veiled, by ignorance, and unbelief, from the eyes of his own people; it is but feldom the best of faints, by the eye of faith, do fee the king in his glory.
Infer. 8. If Chrift be fo glorious, how should believers long to be with him, and behold him in his glory above? Most men need patience to die, a believer fhould need patience to live. Paul thought it well worth enduring the pangs of death, to get a fight of Jefus Chrift in his glory, Phil. i. 23. "The Lord direct
your hearts into the love of God, and patient waiting for "Chrift," (faith the apostle) 2 Theff. iii. 5. intimating, that the faints have great need of patience, to enable them to endure the state of distance and feparation from Chrift, fo long as they muft endure it in this world. The Spirit and the bride fay, come, and let him that heareth, fay, come, and let him that is a thirst come: even fo, come Lord Jefus, and be thou as a fwift roe upon the mountains of feparation.
Bleffed be God for Jefus Chrift, the Lord of glory.
Suppofe (faith Mr. Rutherford) there were no letter of command, yet there is a fuitablenefs betwixt the law engraven on the heart, and the fpiritual matter commanded. There is an heaven in the bofom of prayer, though there were not a granting of the suit, Rutherford's Treatife of the Covenant, p.
Opening the fixth Motive to come to CHRIST, contained in the fixth and laft Title of CHRIST.
LUKE ii. 25. ——Waiting for the [Confolation] of Ifrael.
Several glorious titles of Chrift have been already spoken to, out of each of which, much comfort flows to believers: It is comfortable to a wounded foul, to eye him as a phyfician; comfortable to a condemned and unworthy foul, to look upon him under the notion of mercy: The lovelinefs, the defirablenefs, and the glory of Chrift, are all fo many fprings of confolation. But now I am to fhew you, from this fcripture, that the faints have not only much confolation from Chrift, but that Christ himself is the very confolatio of believers: He is pure comfort wrapped up in flesh and blood.
In this context, you have an account of Simeon's prophecy concerning Chrift; and in this text, a defcription of the person, and quality of Simeon himself, who is defcribed two ways.
1. By his practice.
2. By his principle.
His practice was heavenly, and holy; he was a juft and devout man: The principle from which his righteousness and holiness did flow, was his faith in Chrift; "he waited for the confolation "of Ifrael." In which words by way of periphrafis, we have,
1. A defcription of Chrift, the confolation of Ifrael.
2. The defcription of a believer, one that waited for Chrift. First, That the confolation of Ifrael is a phrafe defcriptive of Jefus Chrift, is beyond all doubt, if you confult ver. 26. where he, (..) Simeon is fatisfied by receiving Chrift into his arms, the confolation for which he had fo long waited.
Secondly, And that waiting for Chrift is a phrase describing the believers of thofe times that preceded the incarnation of Chrift, is past doubt; they all waited for that bleffed day: But it was Simeon's lot to fall juft upon that happy point of time, wherein the prophecies and promifes of his incarnation were fulfilled. Simeon, and others that waited with him, were fenfible, that the time of the promife was come, which could not but
* It is a phrafe, common and well known among the Jews at that time, by which the coming of Chrift was fignified. Ludov. Capell.