By Thomas Brooks, 1675
Now thus you have seen:
(1.) That the sufferings of Christ have been free and voluntary, and not constrained or forced.
(2.) That the sufferings of Christ have been very great and heinous.
(3.) That the punishments which Christ suffered for our sin, were, in their parts, and kinds, and degrees, and proportion—all those punishments which were due unto us by reason of our sins; and which we ourselves would otherwise have suffered.
(4.) That Jesus Christ did feel and suffer the very torments of hell, though not after a hellish manner.
(5.) That he who did feel and suffer the torments of hell, though not after a hellish manner, was God-man.
(6.) That the punishments that Christ did sustain for us, must be referred only to the substance, and not to the circumstances of punishment.
(7.) That the meritorious cause of all the sufferings of Christ, were the sins of his people.
IV.Now to that great question of giving up your account at last, according to the import of these ten scriptures, [Eccles. 11:12, 14; Mat. 12:14, and 18:23; Luke 16:3; Romans 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10; Heb. 9:27, and 13:17; 1 Pet. 4:7.] you may, in the fourth place, make this safe, noble, and happy plea. "O blessed God, Jesus Christ has suffered all those things that were due unto me for my sin; he has suffered even to the worst and uttermost; for all that the law threatened was a curse, and Christ was made a curse for me, Gal. 3:13; he knew no sin—but was made sin for me, 2 Cor. 5:21; and what Christ suffered he suffered as my surety, and in my stead; therefore, what he suffered for me, is as if I had suffered all that myself; and his sufferings has appeased your wrath, and satisfied your justice, and reconciled you to myself!"
2 Cor. 5:19, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." "And he has reconciled both Jews and Gentiles unto God, in one body, on the cross; having slain enmity thereby." Jesus Christ took upon him all my sins—all of them were laid upon him, and he bore or suffered all the wrath and punishment due for them, and he suffered all as my surety, in my stead, and for my good; and you designed him for all this, and accepted of it as sufficient and effectual on my behalf. Oh, with what comfort, courage, and confidence, may a believer, upon these considerations, hold up his head in the great day of his account.
Let me now make a few INFERENCES from the consideration of all the great and grievous sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ—
1. First, Let us stand still, and admire and wonder at the love of Jesus Christ to poor sinners; that he should rather die for us, than the fallen angels."For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants." Hebrews 2:16. They were creatures of a more noble extract, and in all probability might have brought greater revenues of glory to God. Yet that Christ should pass by those golden vessels, and make us vessels of glory—oh, what amazing and astonishing love is this! [This is the envy of devils, and the astonishment of angels and saints.] The fallen angels were more honorable and excellent creatures than we. They were celestial spirits; we earthly bodies, dust and ashes. They were immediate attendants upon God, they were, as I may say, of his privy chamber; we servants of his in the lower house of this world, farther remote from his glorious presence. Their office was to sing hallelujahs, songs of praise to God in the heavenly paradise; ours to dress the garden of Eden, which was but an earthly paradise. They sinned but once, and but in thought, (as is commonly thought)—but Adam sinned in thought by lusting, in deed by tasting, and in word by excusing. Why did not Christ suffer for their sins—as well as for ours? Why, if he suffered for any sins—why not for theirs, rather than ours? "Even so, O Father, for so it pleased you," Mat. 11:26.
"We move this question, not as being curious to search your secret counsels, O Lord—but that we may be the more swallowed up in the admiration of the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of the love of Christ, which passes knowledge." The apostle, being in a holy admiration of Christ's love, affirms it to pass knowledge, Eph. 3:18-19; that God, who is the eternal Being, should love man when he had scarcely a being, Proverbs 8:30-31, that he should be enamored with deformity, that he should love us when in our blood, Ezek. 16, that he should pity us when no eye pitied us, no, not even our own. Oh, such was Christ's transcendent love, that man's extreme misery could not abate it. The deploredness of man's condition did but heighten the holy flame of Christ's love. It is as high as heaven, who can reach it? It is as low as hell, who can understand it? Heaven, with all its glory, could not contain Him. Neither could all hell's torments make Him refrain! Such was His perfect matchless love to fallen and miserable man. That Christ's love should extend to the ungodly, to sinners, to enemies who were in rebellion against him, Romans 5:6, 8, 10; yes, not only so—but that he should hug them in his arms, lodge them in his bosom, dandle them upon his knees, and lay them to his breasts, that they may suck and be satisfied—is the highest degree of love, Isaiah 66:11-13.
It is astonishing that Christ should come from the eternal bosom of his Father, to a region of sorrow and death, John 1:18; that God should be manifested in the flesh, the Creator made a creature, Isaiah 53:4; that he who was clothed with glory, should be wrapped with rags of flesh, 1 Tim. 3:16; that he who filled heaven, should be cradled in a manger, John 17:5; that the God of Israel should fly into Egypt, Mat. 2:14; that the God of strength should be weary; that the judge of all flesh should be condemned; that the God of life should be put to death, John 19:41; that he who is one with his Father, should cry out of misery, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me!" Mat. 26:39: that he who had the keys of hell and death, Rev. 1:18, should lie imprisoned in the sepulcher of another, having, in his lifetime, nowhere to lay his head; nor after death, to lay his body, John 19:41-42. That He would do all this for man, for fallen man, for miserable man, for worthless man--is beyond all conception!
The sharp, the universal and continual sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, from the cradle to the cross, does above all other things speak out the transcendent love of Jesus Christ to poor sinners. That wrath, that great wrath, that fierce wrath, that pure wrath, that infinite wrath, that matchless wrath of an angry God, that was so terribly impressed upon the soul of Christ, quickly spent his natural strength, and turned his moisture into the drought of summer, Psalm 32:4—and yet all this wrath he patiently underwent, that sinners might be saved, and that "he might bring many sons unto glory," Heb. 2:10. Oh wonder of love!
The Curtii laid down their lives for the Romans, because they loved them. Just so, it was the greatness of his love, which made our dear Lord Jesus lay down his life, to save us from hell and to bring us to heaven. As the pelican, out of her love to her young ones, when they are bitten with serpents, feeds them with her own blood to recover them again. Just so, when we were bitten by the old serpent, and our wound incurable, and we in danger of eternal death—then did our dear Lord Jesus, that he might recover us and heal us, feed us with his own blood, Gen. 3:15; John 6:53-56. Oh unspeakable love! This made one cry out, "Lord, you have loved me more than yourself; for you have laid down your life for me." It was the golden link of love, which alone fastened Christ to the cross, John 10:17, and which made him die freely for us, and which made him willing "to be numbered among transgressors," Isaiah 53:12, that we might be numbered among the "general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven," Heb. 12:23.
If Jonathan's love to David was wonderful, 2 Sam. 1:26, how wonderful must the love of Christ be to us, which led him by the hand to make himself an offering for us, Heb. 10:10, which Jonathan never did for David. For though Jonathan loved David's life and safety well—yet he loved his own better; for when his father cast a javelin at him to smite him, he flies from it, and would not abide his father's fury, notwithstanding his wonderful love to David, 1 Sam. 20:33-35; making good the philosopher's notion—that man is a life-lover.
Christ's love is like his name, and that is Wonderful, Isaiah 9:6. Yes, it is so wonderful, that it is above all creatures, beyond all measure, and contrary to all nature. Christ's love is above all creatures, for it is above the angels, and therefore above all others. Christ's love is beyond all measure, for time did not begin it, and time shall never end it; place does not bound it; sin does not exceed it; no estate, no age, no gender is denied it; tongues cannot express it; minds cannot conceive it. Christ's love is contrary to all nature; for what nature can love where it is hated? what nature can forgive where it is provoked? what nature can offer reconcilement where it receives wrong? what nature can heap up kindness upon contempt, favor upon ingratitude, mercy upon sin? And yet, Christ's love has led him to all this; so that well may we spend all our days in admiring and adoring of this wonderful love, and be always ravished with the thoughts of it. But,
2. Secondly, See that you love the Lord Jesus Christ with a superlative love, with an overtopping love.There are none who have suffered so much for you as Christ; there are none who can suffer so much for you as Christ. The least measure of that wrath that Christ has sustained for you, would have broken the hearts, necks, and backs of all created beings. O my friends! there is no love but a superlative love, which is any way suitable to the transcendent sufferings of dear Jesus. Oh, love him above your lusts, love him above your relations, love him above the world, love him above all your outward contentments and enjoyments; yes, love him above your very lives; for thus the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, saints, primitive Christians, and the martyrs of old, have loved our Lord Jesus Christ with an overtopping love: Rev. 12:11, "They loved not their lives unto the death;" that is, they slighted, scorned, yes, despised their lives, exposing them to hazard and loss, out of love to the Lamb, "who had washed them in his blood." [Acts 20:24, and 21:12-13; 2 Cor. 1:8-10, 4:11, and 11:23; Heb. 11:36-39.]
I have read of Kilian, a Dutch schoolmaster, who being asked whether he did not love his wife and children, answered, "Were all the world a lump of gold, and in my hands to dispose of—I would leave it at my enemies' feet to live with them in a prison. But my soul and my Savior are dearer to me than all." "If my father, "says Jerome, "should stand before me, and my mother hang upon, and my brethren should press about me—I would break through my brethren, I would throw down my father, I would tread my mother underfoot—to cleave to Jesus Christ!" "Had I ten heads," said Henry Voes, "I would allow them all to be chopped off in martyrdom for Christ." "If every hair of my head," said John Ardley, martyr, "were a man, they should all suffer for the faith of Christ." "Let fire, racks, pulleys," said Ignatius, "and all the torments of hell come upon me—just so that I may win Christ."
Love made Jerome to say, "O my Savior, did you die for love of me? —a love more dolorous than death—but to me a death more lovely than love itself. I cannot live, love you, and be longer away from you." ["They do not love Christ, who love anything more than Christ," Augustine. The more Christ has suffered for us, the dearer Christ should be unto us. The greater and the bitterer Christ's sufferings have been for us, the greater and the sweeter should our love be to him.]
George Carpenter, being asked whether he did not love his wife and children, which stood weeping before him, answered, "My wife and children!—my wife and children! are dearer to me than all Bavaria—yet, for the love of Christ, I know them not." That blessed virgin in Basil, being condemned for Christ to the fire, and having her estate and life offered her if she would worship idols, cried out, "Let money perish, and life vanish—Christ is better than all." Sufferings for Christ are the saints' greatest glory; they are those things wherein they have most gloried: "Your cruelty is our glory," says Tertullian. It is reported of Babylas, that when he was to die for Christ, he desired this favor, that his chains might be buried with him, as the ensigns of his honor.
Thus you see with what a superlative love, with what an overtopping love, former saints have loved our Lord Jesus; and can you, Christians, who are cold and low in your love to Christ, read over these instances, and not blush? Certainly the more Christ has suffered for us, the more dear Christ should be unto us; the more bitter his sufferings have been for us, the more sweet his love should be to us, and the more eminent should be our love to him. Oh, let a suffering Christ lie nearest your hearts; let him be your manna, your tree of life, your morning star. It is better to part with all, than with this pearl of price. Christ is that golden pipe through which the golden oil of salvation runs; and oh, how should this inflame our love to Christ! Oh, that our hearts were more affected with the sufferings of Christ! Who can tread upon these hot coals, and his heart not burn in love to Christ, and cry out with Ignatius, "Christ my love is crucified!" Cant. 8:7-8.
If a friend should die for us, how would our hearts be affected with his kindness! and shall the God of glory lay down his life for us, and shall we not be affected with his goodness? John 10:17-18. Shall Saul be affected with David's kindness in sparing his life, 1 Sam. 24:16, and shall not we be affected with Christ's kindness, who, to save our life, lost his own? Oh, the infinite love of Christ, that he should leave his Father's bosom, John 1:18, and come down from heaven, that he might carry you up to heaven, John 14:1-4; that he who was a Son should take upon him the form of a servant, Phil. 2:5-8; that you slaves should be made sons, that you enemies should be made friends, that you heirs of wrath should be made heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, Romans 8:17; that to save us from everlasting ruin, Christ should stick at nothing—but be willing to be made flesh, to lie in a manger, to be tempted, deserted, persecuted, and to die upon a cross! Oh what flames of love to Christ, should these things kindle in all our hearts!
Ah! what sad metal are we made of, that Christ's fiery love to us—cannot inflame our love to him! Moses wondered why the bush was not consumed, when he saw it all on fire, Exod. 3:3—but if you but look into your own hearts, you shall see a greater wonder; for you shall see that, though you walk like those three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, Dan. 3, even in the midst of Christ's fiery love flaming round about you—yet there is but little, very little, true smell of that sweet fire of love to be felt or found upon you or in you.
Oh, when shall the sufferings of a dear and tender-hearted Savior kindle such a flame of love in all our hearts, as shall still be a-breaking forth in our lips and lives, in our words and ways—to the praise and glory of free grace? Oh, that the sufferings of a loving Jesus might at last make us all sick with love! Cant. 2:5. Oh let him forever lie between our breasts, Cant. 1:13, who has left his Father's bosom for a time, that he might be embosomed by us forever. But,
3. Thirdly, Then in the sufferings of Christ, as in a gospel-mirror, you may see the odious nature of sin—and accordingly learn to hate it, arm against it, turn from it, and subdue it.Sin never appears so odious as when we behold it in the red glass of Christ's sufferings, Psalm 119, 104, 113, 128, and Romans 7:15, and 12:9. Can we look upon sin as the occasion of all Christ's sufferings, can we look upon sin as that which made Christ a curse, and which made him forsaken of his Father, and which made him live such a miserable life, and which brought him to die such a shameful, painful, and cruel death—and our hearts not rise against it? Shall our sins be grievous unto Christ—and shall they not be odious unto us? Shall he die for our sins—and shall not we die to our sins? Did not he suffer for sin—that we might cease from sin? Did not he "bear our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sin, should live to righteousness"? 1 Pet. 4:1, and 2:24. If one would kill our father, would we hug and embrace him? Surely not! We would be revenged on him. Sin has killed our Savior, and shall we not be revenged on it. Can a man look upon that snake that has stung his dearly-beloved spouse to death, and preserve it alive, warm it at the fire, and hug it in his bosom? Would he not stab it with a thousand wounds? It is sin which has stung our dear Jesus to death, which has crucified our Lord, clouded his glory, and shed his precious blood! Oh, how should this stir up our indignation against sin!
Ah, how can a Christian make much of those sins, which have killed his dearest Lord! how can he cherish those sins which betrayed Christ, and apprehended Christ, and bound Christ, and condemned Christ, and scourged Christ, and which violently nailed him to the cross, and there murdered him! It was neither Judas, nor Pilate, nor the Jews, nor the soldiers—which could have done our Lord Jesus the least hurt, had not our sins, like so many butchers and hangmen, come in to their assistance!
After Julius Caesar was treacherously murdered, Antonius brought forth his coat, all bloody, cut and mangled, and laying it open to the view of the people, said, "Look, here is your emperor's coat!" Whereupon the people were all in an uproar, and nothing would satisfy them but the death of the murderers, and they ran to the houses of the conspirators and burnt them down to the ground. But what was Caesar's coat, compared to the body of our dear Lord Jesus, which was all bloody, rent, and torn for our sins? Ah, how should this provoke us to be revenged on our sins! how should we forever loathe and abhor them! how should our fury be whetted against them! how should we labor with all our might to be the death of those sins that have been the death of so great a Lord, and will, if not prevented, be the death of our souls to all eternity!
To see God thrust the sword of his pure, infinite, and incensed wrath through the very heart of his dearest Son, notwithstanding all his supplications, prayers, tears, and strong cries, Heb. 5:7, is the highest manifestation of the Lord's hatred and indignation of sin that ever was, or ever will be! It is true God revealed his great hatred against sin, by turning Adam out of paradise, and by casting the angels down to hell, by drowning the old world, and by raining hell out of heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah, and by the various and dreadful judgments that he has been a-pouring forth upon the world in all ages. But all this hatred is but an emblem of hatred, compared to that hatred which God manifested against sin in causing the whole curse to meet upon our crucified Lord, as all streams meet in the sea. It is true God reveals his hatred of sin by those endless, easeless, and remediless torments that he inflicts upon devils and damned spirits—but this is no hatred, compared to that hatred against sin, which God revealed when he opened all the floodgates of his envenomed wrath upon his Son, his own Son, his only Son, his Son who always pleased him, his Son who never offended him, Isaiah 53:5-6, and Proverbs 8:30-31, and Mat. 3:17.
Should you see a father who had but one son, and he such a son in whom he always delighted, and by whom he had never been provoked; a son who always made it his business, his work, his heaven to promote the honor and glory of his father, John 8:49-50, and 9:4; a son who was always most at ease when most engaged in his father's service; a son who counted it his food and drink to do his father's will, John 4:34: now should you see the father of such a son inflicting the most intensified pains and punishments, tortures and torments, calamities and miseries upon this, his dearest son—would you not wonder at the cause of the father's exercising such amazing, such matchless severity, fury and cruelty upon his only son? [Jer. 44:4, and Zech. 8:17.] Now cast your eye upon the actings of God the Father towards Jesus Christ, and you will find that he has inflicted more torments and greater torments upon the Son of his dearest love, than all mortals ever have or could inflict upon others. Isaiah 53:6, "The Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all." God made all the penalties and sufferings that were due to us—to fall upon Jesus Christ. God himself inflicted upon dear Jesus whatever was requisite to the satisfying of his justice, to the obtaining of pardon, and to the saving of all his elect: verse 10, "It pleased the Lord to bruise him, he has put him to grief." Neither all the devils in hell, nor all the men upon earth, could never have bruised or put to grief our Lord Jesus. If it had not pleased the Lord to bruise him and put him to grief, he had never been bruised or put to grief. Oh, how should this work us to look upon sin with indignation!
Suppose a man should come to his dinner table, and there should be a knife laid down, and it should be told him, "This is the very knife that cut the throat of your child!" If this man would use this knife as a common knife, would not everyone say, "Surely this man had but very little love to his child, who can use this bloody knife as a common knife!" Just so, when you meet with any temptation to sin, oh, then say, "This is the very knife which cut the throat of Jesus Christ, and pierced his sides! This very knife was the cause of his sufferings, and made Christ to be a curse!" Accordingly let your hearts rise against sin!
Ah, how well does it befit Christians to look upon sin as that accursed thing, which made Christ a curse—and accordingly to abhor it! Oh, with what detestation should a man fling away such a knife! and with the like detestation should every Christian fling away his sins, as Ephraim did his idols: "Get away from me! What have I any more to do with you?" Hosea 14:8. "Sin, you have slain my Lord; you have been the only cause of the death of my Savior!" Isaiah 2:20, and 30:22. Let us say as David, "Is not this the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?" 2 Sam. 23:17. Just so, is not this the sin which poured out Christ's blood? Oh, how should this enrage our hearts against sin, because it cost the Captain of our salvation, Heb. 2:10, not the hazard—but the very loss of his life!
God showed Moses a tree with which he might make the bitter waters sweet, Exod. 15:25. But, lo! here is a tree with which you may make the sweet waters of sin, to become bitter. Look upon the tree on which Christ was crucified, remember his cross, and the pains he suffered thereon, and the seeming sweetness that is in sin will quickly vanish. When you are solicited to sin, cast your eye upon Christ's cross, remember his astonishing sufferings for sin, and sin will soon grow distasteful to your souls. How can sin not be hateful to us--if we seriously consider how hurtful it was to Jesus Christ? Who can look upon the cross of Christ—and excuse his sin, as Adam did, saying, "The woman which you gave me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat"? Gen. 3:12. Who can look upon the cross of Christ and emblazon his sin, as Judas did, saying, "Hail, Master"? Mat. 26:49. Who can look upon the cross of Christ and deny his sin, as Gehazi did, saying, "Your servant went no where"? 2 Kings 5:25. Who can look upon the cross of Christ and defend his sin, as Jonah did, saying, "I do well to be angry"? Jonah 4:9.
O sirs! where is that hatred of sin that used to be in the saints of old? David could say, "I hate vain thoughts and I hate every false way," Pa. 119:104, 113, 128. And Paul could say, "I do the very thing I hate," Romans 7:15. "It is better," says one, "to be in hell with Christ, than to be in heaven with sin." Oh, how odious was sin in the saints' eye! The primitive Christians chose rather to be cast to lions without—than to be left to lusts within—so great was their hatred of sin. "I had rather," says Anselm, "go to hell pure from sin, than to heaven polluted with that guilt." "I will rather," says another, "leap into a bonfire—than willfully to sin against God." Under the law, if an ox gored a man so that he died—the ox was to be killed, Exod. 21:28. Sin has gored and pierced our dear Lord Jesus—oh, let it die for it! oh, avenge yourselves upon it, as Samson did avenge himself upon the Philistines for his two eyes! Judg. 16:28.
Plutarch reports of Marcus Cato, that he never declared his opinion in any matter in the senate—but he would close it with this passage, "I still think that Carthage should be destroyed." Just so, a Christian should never cast his eye upon the cross of Christ, the sufferings of Christ, nor upon his sins—but his heart should say, "I think pride should be destroyed, and unbelief should be destroyed, and hypocrisy should be destroyed, and earthly-mindedness should be destroyed, and self-love should be destroyed, and vain-glory should be destroyed, etc." The Jews would not have the pieces of silver which Judas cast down in the temple put in the treasury, because they were the price of blood, Mat. 27:5-6. Oh, lodge not any one sin in the treasury of your hearts, for they are all the price of blood! But,
4. Fourthly, Let the sufferings of our Lord Jesus raise in all our hearts a high estimation of Christ.Oh, let us prize a suffering Christ—above all our duties, and above all our graces, and above all our privileges, and above all our outward contentments, and above all our spiritual enjoyments! Mat. 10:37; Luke 14:26. A suffering Christ is a commodity of greater value than all the riches of the Indies, yes, than all the wealth of the whole world. "He is better than rubies," says Solomon, "and all the things you can desire are not to be compared to him," Proverbs 8:11. He is that pearl of great price, which the wise merchant purchased with all that ever he had, Mat 13:46; no man can buy such gold too dear. Joseph, (who was a type of the Lord Jesus,) —then a precious jewel of the world, was far more precious, had the Ishmaelitish merchants known so much, than all the balms and myrrhs that they transported, Gen. 37:25. And just so, is a suffering Christ, as all will grant, who really know him, and who have experienced the sweet of union and communion with him.
Christ went through heaven and hell, life and death, sorrow and suffering, misery and cruelty—and all to bring us to glory—and shall we not prize him? When in a storm, the nobles of Xerxes were to lighten the ship to preserve their king's life—they leaped into the sea! But our Lord Jesus Christ, to preserve our lives, our souls—he leaps into a sea of wrath! Oh, how should this work us to set up Christ above all!
What a deal of stir has been made about Alexander the Great, and Constantine the Great, and Pompey the Great—because of their great power and authority. But what was all their greatness and grandeur, compared to that greatness and grandeur which God the Father put upon our Lord Jesus Christ when he gave all power in heaven and in earth unto him, and set him down at his own right hand? Mat 28:13; Heb. 1:13; Eph. 1:20. O sirs! will you value men according to their titles, and will you not highly value our Lord Jesus Christ, who has the most magnificent titles given him? He is called King of kings and Lord of lords, Rev. 17:14, and 19:16. It is observed by learned Drusius, that those titles were usually given to the great kings of Persia. Yet the Holy Spirit attributes these great titles to Christ, to let us know that, as God has exalted Christ above all earthly powers, so we should magnify and exalt him accordingly.
Paul, casting his eye upon a suffering Christ, tells us that he esteems of "all things," Phil. 3:8, as rubbish in comparison of Christ. "All things" is the greatest account that can be cast up, for it includs all prizes, all sums; it takes in heaven, it takes in the vast and huge globe and circle of the capacious world, and all excellencies, within its bosom. "All things" includes all nations, all angels, all gold, all jewels, all honors, all delights, and everything else besides—and yet the apostle looks upon all these things but as "dung," dogs' dung, as some interpret the word, or dogs' meat, coarse and contemptible, in comparison of dear Jesus. [The original word notes the filth that comes out of the entrails of beasts, or offal cast to dogs.]
Carraciolus, that noble Italian marquis, was of the same mind and metal with Paul, for when he was strongly tempted, and solicited with great sums of money and preferments, to return to the Romish church, he gave this heroic answer, "Cursed be he who prefers all the wealth of the world to one day's communion with Christ!" What if a man had large domains, stately buildings, and ten thousand rivers of oil! What if all the mountains of the world were pearl, the mighty rocks rubies, and the whole globe a shining diamond! yet all this were not to be named in the same breath, wherein there is mention made of a suffering Christ. Look, as one ocean has more waters than all the rivers in the world, and as one sun has more light than all the luminaries in heaven, so one suffering Christ is more "all" to a poor soul, than if it had the all of the whole world a thousand times over and over.
O sirs! if you cast but your eye upon a suffering Christ, a crucified Jesus! There you shall find righteousness in him to cover all your sins, and plenty enough in him to supply all your needs, and grace enough in him to subdue all your lusts, and wisdom enough in him to resolve all your doubts, and power enough in him to vanquish all your enemies, and virtue enough in him to heal all your diseases, and fullness enough in him both to satisfy you and save you—and that to the utmost, Heb. 7:25. [I have read of a Roman servant, who knowing his master was sought for by officers to be put to death, he put himself into his master's clothes, that he might be captured in his place; and so he was, and was put to death for him; whereupon his master, in memory of his thankfulness to him and honor of him, erected a brazen statue. But what a statue of gold should we set up in our hearts to the eternal honor and exaltation of Jesus, who not in our clothes, but in our very nature, has laid down his life for us!]
All the good things that can be reckoned up here below have only a finite and limited benignity. Some can clothe but cannot feed, others can nourish but they cannot heal, others can enrich but they cannot secure, others can adorn but cannot advance. All serve some good purpose—but none can fully satisfy. They are like a beggar's coat, made up of many pieces, not all of which, are enough either to beautify, defend, or satisfy. But there is enough in a suffering Christ to fill us and satisfy us to the full.
Christ has the greatest worth and wealth in him. Look, as the worth and value of many pieces of silver is to be found in one piece of gold; just so, all the petty excellencies which are scattered abroad in the creatures, are to be found in a bleeding, dying Christ! Yes, all the whole volume of perfections which is spread through heaven and earth, is epitomized in him who suffered on the cross! A man cannot hyperbolise in speaking of Christ and heaven—but must entreat his hearers, that they would conceive much more than he was able to express. Certainly it is as easy to compass the heavens with a span, and contain the sea in a sea-shell—as to relate fully a suffering Christ's excellencies, or heaven's happiness. O sirs! there is in a crucified Jesus something proportionable to all the straits, needs, necessities, and desires of his poor people. [John 6:5-6, 37; Rev. 13:14; Mat. 9:12; Isaiah 9:6; Heb. 2:10; Acts 5:31, and 7:37-38; Heb. 2:17-18, and 4:15-16; 2 Cor. 11:2; Isaiah 9:6-7; John 20:17; 28:16; Rev. 22:16; Eph. 1:22-23.] He is bread to nourish them, and a garment to cover and adorn them, a physician to heal them, a Counselor to advise them, a captain to defend them, a prince to rule them, a prophet to teach them, and a priest to make atonement for them; a husband to protect them, a father to provide for them, a brother to relieve them, a foundation to support them, a root to quicken them, a head to guide them, a treasure to enrich them, a sun to enlighten them, and a fountain to cleanse them. Now what more can any Christian desire--to satisfy him and save him; and to make him holy and happy, in time and eternity?
Shall the Romans and other nations highly value those who have but ventured to lay down their lives for their country—and shall not we highly value the Lord Jesus Christ, who has actually laid down his life for his sheep? John 10:11, 15, 17. I have read of one who, walking in the fields by himself, suddenly fell into loud cries and weeping, and being asked by one who passed by and overheard him the cause of his lamentation, replied, "I weep to think that the Lord Jesus Christ should do so much for us men, and yet not one man of a thousand so much as minds him or thinks of him." Oh what a bitter lamentation have we cause to take up, that the Lord Jesus Christ has suffered so many great and grievous things for poor sinners, and that there are so few who sincerely love him, or who highly value him; most men preferring their lusts, or else the toys and trifles of this world, above him. But,
5. Fifthly, Let the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ work us into a gracious willingness to embrace sufferings for his sake, and cheerfully and resolutely to take up his cross and follow him."If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Matthew 16:24. Did Christ suffer—who knew no sin; and shall we think it strange to suffer—who know nothing but sin? Shall he lie sweltering under his Father's wrath, and shall we cry out under men's anger? Was he crowned with thorns—and must we be crowned with rose-buds? [Godfrey, king of Jerusalem, refused to be crowned with a crown of gold, saying that it was not fitting for a Christian to wear a crown of gold, where Christ, for our salvation, had worn a crown of thorns.] Was his whole life, from the cradle to the cross, made up of nothing but sorrows and sufferings—and must our lives, from the cradle to the grave, be filled up with nothing but pleasures and delights? Was he despised—and must we be admired? Was he debased—and must we be exalted? Was he poor—and must we be rich? Was he low—and must we be high? Did he drink of a bitter cup, a bloody cup—and must we have only cups of consolation? Let us not think anything too much to do for Christ, nor anything too great to suffer for Christ, nor anything too dear to part with for such a Christ, such a Savior—who thought nothing too much to do, or too grievous to suffer—so that he might accomplish the work of our redemption. He left heaven for us—and shall not we let go this world for him? He left his Father's bosom for us—and shall not we leave the bosoms of our dearest relations for him? Psalm 45:10-11; Mat. 10:37. He underwent all sorts of sufferings for us—let us as readily encounter with all sorts of sufferings for him.
Paul was so accustomed to sufferings for Christ, that he could rejoice in his sufferings, he gloried most in his chains, and he looked upon his scars, buffetings, scourgings, stonings for Christ—as his greatest triumphs, 2 Cor. 12:10, and 11:23-28. And how ambitious were the primitive Christians of martyrdom in the cause of Christ? And of late, in the times of the Marian persecution, how many hundreds cheerfully and willingly laid down their lives—mounting Elijah-like to heaven in fiery chariots! And oh, how will Christ own and honor such Christians at last, who have exposed themselves to hazards, losses, and sufferings for his sake! Rev. 3:21, as those brave souls, who loved not their lives unto the death, Rev. 12:11; that is, they despised their lives in comparison of Christ; they exposed their bodies to horrible and painful deaths, their temporal estates to confiscation, and their persons to all manner of shame and contempt, for the cause of Christ, Heb. 11:33-39, and 10:34. In the days of that bloody persecutor Dioclesian, the Christians showed a glorious faith in the face of martyrdom, and the savageness of the persecutors. This bred wonder and astonishment in beholders. In all ages and generations, those who have been born after the flesh have persecuted those who have been born after the Spirit, Gal. 4:29; and the seed of the serpent have been still a-multiplying of troubles upon the seed of the woman.
"Would any man take the church's picture," says Luther, "then let him paint a poor silly maid, sitting in a wilderness, compassed about with hungry lions, wolves, boars, and bears, and with all manner of other cruel hurtful beasts; and in the midst of a great many furious men, assaulting her every moment and minute." And why should we wonder at this, when we consider that the whole life of Christ was filled up with all sorts and kinds of sufferings? Oh, where is that brave spirit, which was upon the saints of old? Blessed Bradford looked upon his sufferings for Christ as an evidence to him who he was in the right way. "It is better for me to be a martyr than a monarch," said Ignatius when he was to suffer. ["If one man did suffer all the sorrows of all the saints in the world—yet they are not worth one hour's glory in heaven!" Chrysostom.] "Happy is that soul, and to be equaled with angels, who is willing to suffer, if it were possible, as great things for Christ, as Christ has suffered for him," says Jerome. "Sufferings are the ensigns of heavenly nobility," says Calvin. Modestus, lieutenant to Julian the emperor, said to Julian, "While those Christians suffer they deride us," says he, "and the torments are more fearful to those who look on—than to the tormented themselves!"
Vincentius laughed at those who slew him, saying, "that to Christians, tortures and death were but sports." And he gloried when he went upon hot burning coals, as if he trod upon a bed of roses. It was a notable saying of a French martyr, when the rope was about his fellow martyr's neck, "Give me that golden chain, and dub me a knight of that noble order." "Paul rattled his chain, which he bore for the gospel, and was as proud of it as a woman of her ornaments," says Chrysostom. "Do your worst, do your worst," said Justin Martyr to his persecutors; "but this I will tell you, that you may put all that you are likely to gain by the bargain—into your eye and weep it out again." Basil will tell you, that "the most cruel martyrdom is but a trick to escape death, to pass from life to life; for it can be at most, a day's journey between the cross and paradise. "Their names which are written in red letters of blood in the church's calendar, are written in golden letters in Christ's register, in the book of life," says Prudentius.
Though the cross be bitter—yet it is but short. "A little storm," as one said of Julian's persecution, "and an eternal calm follows!" "Methinks," said one, "I tread upon pearls, (when he trod upon hot burning coals,) and I feel no more pain than if I lay in a bed of down, (and yet he lay in flames of fire.) "I am heartily angry," says Luther, "with those who speak of my sufferings, which, if compared to that which Christ suffered for me, are not once to be mentioned in the same breath." Paul greatly rejoiced in his sufferings for Christ; and therefore oftentimes sings it out: "I Paul a prisoner," as you may see by these scriptures, [See Acts 28:17; Eph. 3:1, and 4:1; 2 Tim. 1:8; Phil. 1, 9: 2 Cor. 11:23; Romans 16:7; Col. 4:10; Phil. 23.] It is not, "I Paul an apostle," nor "I Paul enrapt up in the third heaven." Christ showed his love to him, in rapping him up in the third heaven; and he shows his love to Christ in suffering for him.
During the cruel persecutions of the heathen emperors, the Christian faith was spread through all places of the empire, "because the oftener they were mowed down," says Tertullian, "the more they grew." "I am the the most unfit man for this high office of suffering for Christ, that ever was appointed to it," said blessed Sanders. Austin observed, that "though there were many thousand Christians put to death for professing Christ—yet they were never the fewer for being slain." Cyprian, speaking of the Christians and martyrs in his time, said, "They may kill them—but they cannot overcome them." "The more we are cut down by the sword of persecution, the more we increase," says Tertullian. Eusebius tells us of one who wrote to his friend from a stinking dungeon, and dates his letter from, "My lovely orchard." "Burn my foot if you will," said that noble martyr, "that it may dance everlastingly with the blessed angels in heaven." The young child, who, when his flesh was pulled in pieces with pincers, by the command of Antiochus, said with a smiling countenance, "Tyrant, where are those smarting pains with which you threatened me? Make me to flinch and cry out if you can!" Bainam, an English martyr, when the fire was flaming about him, said, "You Papists talk of miracles, behold here a miracle, I feel no more pain than if I were in a bed of down; it is as sweet to me as a bed of roses!"
Lawrence, when his body was roasted upon a burning gridiron, cried out, "This side is roasted enough, turn the other side." Marcus of Arethusa, when his body was cut and mangled, and anointed with honey, and hung up aloft in a basket, to be stung to death by wasps and bees, looked down, saying, "I am going to glory, despising you who are below." Henry Voes kissed the stake. Hawks clapped his hands in the flames when they were half consumed. John Noys blessed God that ever he was born to see that day. Ridley called his execution day, his wedding day.
Thus you see a "cloud of witnesses" to raise and inflame your hearts into a free, ready, willing, cheerful, and resolute suffering for that Jesus who has suffered so much for you. O sirs, when we see all sorts of Christians, divinely defy and scorn their torments and tormentors, when we see them conquering in the midst of hideous sufferings, when we hear them expressing their greatest joy in the midst of their greatest sufferings, we cannot but conclude that there was something more than ordinary that did thus raise, cheer, and encourage their spirits in their sufferings. And doubtless this was it, "the recompense of reward" on the one hand, and the matchless sufferings of Jesus Christ for them on the other hand, Heb. 11:24-26, and 12:2. The cordial wherewith Peter is said, by Clemens, to comfort his wife when he saw her led to martyrdom, was this, "Remember the Lord, whose disciples if we are; we must not think to speed better than our master."
It is said of Antiochus that, being to fight with Judas, captain of the army of the Jews, he showed unto his elephants the blood of the grapes and mulberries, to provoke them the better to fight, 1 Mac. 6:3-4. Just so, the Holy Spirit has set before us the wounds, the blood, the sufferings, the dying of our dear Lord Jesus—to encourage us to suffer, with all readiness and resoluteness, whatever calamities or miseries may attend us for Christ's sake, or the gospel's sake. Ah, what a shame would it be if we should not be always ready to suffer anything for his sake, who has suffered so much for our sins as is beyond all conception, beyond all expression! Never was Jacob more gracious and acceptable to his father Isaac, than when he stood before him clothed in the garments of his rough brother Esau. Then the father, smelling the savor of the elder brother's garments, said, "Behold, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed," Gen. 27:27. And never are we more gracious and acceptable to our heavenly Father, than when we stand before him clothed in the rough garments of Christ's afflictions and sufferings. O Christians, all your sufferings for Christ, they are but inlets to your glorious reigning with Christ.
Justin Martyr says that when the Romans did immortalize their emperors, as they called it, they brought one to swear that he saw him go to heaven out of the fire. But we may see, by an eye of faith, the blessed souls of martyrs fly to heaven, like Elijah in his fiery chariot, or like the angel who appeared to Manoah, in the flames. By the consent of the schoolmen, all martyrs shall appear in the church triumphant, bearing the signs of their Christian wounds about them, as so many speaking testimonies of their holy courage, that what here they endured in the behalf of their Savior may be there an addition to their glory. But,
6. Sixthly, Has Jesus Christ suffered such great and grievous things for you? Oh then, in all your fears, doubts, and conflicts with enemies, within or without—fly to the sufferings of Christ as your city of refuge!Did Christ endure a most ignominious death for you? Did he take on him your sinful person, and bear your sin and death and cross, and was made a sacrifice and curse for you? Oh then, in all your inward and outward distresses, shelter yourself under the wings of a suffering Christ, Psalm 90:1, and 91:1, 4, 9. I have read of Nero, that he had a shirt made of a salamander's skin, so that if he went through the fire in it, it would keep him from burning. O sirs, a suffering Christ is this salamander's skin—which will keep the saints from burning in the midst of burning, from suffering in the midst of sufferings, from drowning in the midst of drowning, Dan. 3:24, 29, and Isaiah 43:2. In all the storms that beat upon your inward or your outward man, eye the sufferings of Christ, lean upon the sufferings of Christ, plead the sufferings of Christ, and triumph in the sufferings of Christ, Zech. 12:10; Cant. 8:5; 2 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 6:14.
It is storied of a martyr, that, writing to his wife, where she might find him when he was fled from home, "Oh, my dear," said he, "if you desire to see me, seek me in the side of Christ, in the cleft of the rock, in the hollow of his wounds; for there I have made my nest, there will I dwell, there shall you find me, and nowhere else but there." In every temptation let us look up to a crucified Christ, who is fitted and qualified to support tempted souls, Heb. 2:17-18, and 4:15-16. Oh my soul, whenever you are assaulted, let the wounds of Christ be your city of refuge where you may fly and live! Let us learn, in every trouble which presses us—whether it be sin, or death, temptation, or any other evil—to translate it from ourselves to Christ! And all the good in Christ—let us learn to translate it from Christ to ourselves!
Look, as the burgess of a town, sitting in the Parliament-house, bears the persons of that whole town, and what he says the whole town says, and what is done to him is done to the whole town. Just so, Christ upon the cross stood in our place, and bore our sins, Isaiah 53:4-6; and whatever he suffered we suffered; and when he died all the faithful died with him and in him.
I have read of a gracious woman who, being strongly tempted by Satan, replied, "Satan, if you have anything to say to me, say it to my Christ, say it to my surety, who has undertaken all for me, who has paid all my debts, and satisfied divine justice, and set all reckonings even between God and my soul." Do your sins terrify you? Oh then, look up to a crucified Savior, who bore your sins in his own body on the tree, 1 Pet. 2:24. When sin stares you in the face, oh then turn your face to a dying Jesus, and behold him with a spear in his side, with thorns in his head, with nails in his feet, and a pardon in his hands. ["The strongest antidote against sin is to look upon sin in the red glass of Christ's blood!" Austin.] Have you wounded your conscience by any great fall or falls? Oh, remember that there is nothing in heaven or earth more efficacious to cure the wounds of conscience than a frequent and serious meditation on the wounds of Christ. Does death, which rides upon the pale horse, Rev. 6:8, look ghastly and deadly upon you? Oh then, remember that Christ died for you, Romans 5:6, 8, and that by his death he has swallowed up death in victory, 1 Cor. 15:55-57. Oh, remember that a crucified Christ has stripped death of his sting, and disarmed it of all its destroying power. Death may buzz about our ears—but it can never sting our souls.
Look, as a crucified Christ has taken away the guilt of sin—though he has not taken away sin itself, so he has taken away the sting of death—though he has not taken away death itself. He spoke excellently, who said, "That is not death—but life, which joins the dying man to Christ! And that is not life—but death, which separates the living man from Christ!" [Death will blow the bud of grace into the flower of glory!] Austin longed to die, that he might see that head which was crowned with thorns. "Did Christ die for me," says one, "that I might live with him? I will not, therefore, desire to live long away from him." All men go willingly to see him whom they love—and shall I be unwilling to die that I may see him whom my soul loves? Bernard would have us never to let go out of our minds the thoughts of a crucified Christ. "Let these," says he, "be food and drink unto you; let them be your sweetness and consolation, your honey and your desire, your reading and your meditation, your contemplation, your life, death, and resurrection!" Certainly he who shall live up to this counsel, will look upon the king of terrors as the king of desires!
Are you apt to tremble when you eye the curse threatened in the law? Oh then, look up to a crucified Christ, and remember that "he has redeemed you from the curse of the law, being made a curse for you," Gal. 3:13. Does the wrath of God bewilder you? Oh then, look up to a crucified Christ, and remember that Christ has trod the winepress of his Father's wrath alone, Isaiah 63:3, that he might deliver you from wrath to come! 1 Thes. 1:10. Is the face of God clouded? Does he who should comfort you stand afar off? Oh then, look up to a crucified Christ, and remember that he was forsaken for a time—that you might not be forsaken forever!
Are you sometimes afraid of condemnation? Oh then, look upon a crucified Christ, who was condemned that you might be justified. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died." Romans 8:33-34.
Ah, Christians, under all your temptations, afflictions, fears, doubts, conflicts, and trials—be persuaded to keep a fixed eye upon crucified Jesus; and remember that all he did he did for you, and that all he suffered he suffered for you! This will be a strong cordial to keep you from fainting under all your inward and outward distresses, according to that saying of one of the ancients, "I may be troubled—but I shall not be overwhelmed, because I remember the print of the nails and of the spear in the hands and side of Jesus Christ!" Oh, that Christians would labor, under all their soul-troubles, to keep a fixed eye upon a bleeding Christ; for there is nothing which will ease them, quiet them, settle them, and satisfy them like this. Many, may I not say most, Christians are more apt to eye their sins, their sorrows, their prayers, their tears, their resolves, their complaints, than they are to eye a suffering Christ; and from hence springs their greatest woes, wounds, miseries, and dejection of spirit. Oh, that a crucified Christ might be forever in your eye, and always upon your hearts! But,
7. Seventhly and lastly, Has Jesus Christ suffered such great and grievous things? Then this truth looks sadly and sourly upon the papists.In this red glass of Christ's blood, you may see how vain and wicked, how ridiculous and superstitious, the devices of the papists are—who for pacifying of God's wrath, and for the allaying of his anger, and for satisfying his justice, and for the obtaining of pardon, etc., have appointed penances and pilgrimages, and self-scourgings and soul-masses, and purgatory, and several other suchlike abominations, which the Scripture nowhere commands—but everywhere forbids; which inventions and abominations of theirs tend only to derogate from the dignity and sufficiency of Christ's sufferings, and to reflect dishonor and disgrace upon that full and perfect price which Christ has paid for our ransom, and to set up other saviors in the room of our blessed Redeemer. [Surely that religion which loves to lap blood, and which is propagated and maintained by blood, and which prefers their own inventions and abominations before the blood and sufferings of Christ—that religion is not of God. But such is the Romish religion; consequently their religion is not of God.]
Certainly all Popish pardons, penances, pilgrimages, masses, whippings, scourgings, etc., they unavoidably fall before the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ—as Dagon fell before the ark, Goliath before David, Haman before Mordecai, and as the darkness falls before the morning light. And as for their purgatory, they do not know certainly where it is, nor how long it will last, nor what sort of fire is there; neither can they show us how corporeal fire should work upon the souls in purgatory, they being spiritual and incorporeal; they cannot tell us whether the pains of purgatory be at all times alike, neither can they tell us whether the good or evil angels are the tormentors of the souls in purgatory. And as for the whipping, scalding, freezing of souls in purgatory, they are but "old wives' fables," and the brain-sick fancies of some deceitful people, to cheat poor ignorant people of their money, under a blind pretense of praying their souls out of purgatory.
Christ offered himself "once for all," Heb. 10:10. But the Romish priests offer him up daily in the mass, an unbloody sacrifice; and so they do what lies in them to "tread under foot the blood of God, the blood of the covenant," Acts 20:28; Heb. 10:29. To be short, Popery in effect is nothing else but an underhand, secret witness-bearing against Christ in all his offices, and against all that he has done and suffered for the redemption and salvation of sinners, as might be made abundantly evident—but that I may not now launch out into that ocean. I only give this brief touch by the way, that I might raise up in all your hearts a greater detestation of Popery, in this day wherein many are so warm for it, as if it were their only Diana.
And let thus much suffice, concerning the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the improvement that we should make of them.
Thus you may clearly see, by what I have said concerning the active and passive obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ, that whatever we are bound to do or suffer by the law of God—all that did Christ do and suffer for us, as being our surety and mediator. Now the law of God has a double challenge or demand upon us: one is of active obedience, in fulfilling what it requires; the other is of passive obedience, in suffering that punishment which is due to us for the transgression of it, in doing what it forbids. For as we were created by God, we did owe unto him all obedience which he required; and as we sinned against God, we did owe unto him a suffering of all that punishment which he threatened. And we being fallen by transgression, can neither pay the one debt, nor yet the other. Of ourselves we can do nothing that the law requires; neither can we so suffer as to satisfy God in his justice wronged by us, or to recover ourselves into life and favor again.
And therefore Jesus Christ, who was God-man, did become our surety, and stood in our stead or room, and he did perform what we should, but could not perform; and he did bear our sins and our sorrows; he did suffer and bear for us—what we ourselves should have borne and suffered, whereby he did fully satisfy the justice of God, and made our peace, and purchased pardon and life for us.
Christ did fully answer to all the demands of the law, he did come up to perfect and universal conformity to it. He did whatever the law enjoins, and he suffered whatever the law threatens. Christ, by his active and passive obedience, has fulfilled the law most exactly and completely, Gal. 3:13. As he was perfectly holy, he did what the law commanded; and as he was made a curse, he underwent what the law threatened. And all this he did and suffered in our steads and as our surety. Whatever Christ did as our surety, he made it good to the full; so that neither the righteous God, nor yet the righteous law, could ever tax him with the least defect. This must be our great plea, our choice, our sweet, our safe, our comfortable, our acceptable plea, both in the day of our particular accounts when we die, and in the great day of our account, when a crucified Savior shall judge the world.
Although sin, as an act, be transient—yet in the guilt of it, it lies in the Lord's high court of justice, filed upon record against the sinner, and calling aloud for deserved punishment, saying, "Man has sinned, and man must suffer for sin!" But now Christ has suffered, that plea is taken off. "Lo here," says the Lord God, "the same nature that sinned, suffers; my own Son, being made flesh, has suffered death for sin in the flesh; the thing is done, the law is satisfied." Thus whereas sin would have condemned us, Christ has condemned sin; he has weakened, yes, nullified and taken away sin—in the guilt and condemning power of it—by that abundant satisfaction that he has given to the justice of God by his active and passive obedience. So that, "there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus," Romans 8:1, 3; for the blood of the mediator outcries the clamor of sin; and this must be a Christian's joy and triumph and plea in the great day of our Lord Jesus.
As Christ was "made sin for us," 2 Cor. 5:21, so the Lord does impute the sufferings of Christ to us—that is, he accepts of them on our behalf, and puts them upon our account; as if the Lord should say unto every particular believer, "My Son was your surety and stood in your stead, and suffered and satisfied and took away your sins by his blood. In his blood I find a ransom for your soul; I do acknowledge myself satisfied for you, and satisfied towards you, and you are delivered and discharged. I forgive you your sins, and am reconciled unto you, and will save you and glorify you for my Son's sake. In his blood you have redemption, and the forgiveness of your sins."
As when a surety satisfies the creditor for a debt, this is accounted to the debtor, and reckoned as a discharge to him in particular. "I am paid and you are discharged," says the creditor. Just so it is in this case; "I am paid, says God, and you are discharged, and I have no more to say to you but this. Enter into the joy of your Lord!" Mat. 25:21.