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Mark vi. E.
cence; he was to seek his food from a fig tree on the way;
SERM. and sometimes was beholden for it to the courtesy of XXXVI. Publicans ; di quãs ÉTTÚZEUGs, he was, saith St. Paul, a 2 Cor. viii. beggar for us.
Nature delighteth in ease, in quiet, in liberty: therefore did he spend his days in continual labour, in restless travel, in endless vagrancy, going about and doing good; John is. 6. ever haftening thither, whither the needs of men did call, ix.Ss. or their benefit invite ; therefore did he take on him the Aets x. 35. form of a servant, and was among his own followers as Luke xxii. one that ministereth; therefore he pleased not himself, but 27; suited his demeanour to the state and circumstances of things, complied with the manners and fashions, comported with the humours and infirmities of men.
Nature coveteth good success to its designs and undertakings, hardly brooking to be disappointed and defeated in them : therefore was he put to water dry sticks and to wash Negroes, that is, to instruct a most dull and stupid, to reform a most perverse and stubborn generation ; therefore his ardent desires, his folicitous cares, his painful endeavours for the good of men did obtain fo little fruit, had indeed a contrary effect, rather aggravating their fins than removing them, rather hardening than turning their hearts, rather plunging them deeper into perdition, than rescuing them from it; therefore so much in vain did he, in numberless miraculous works, display his power and goodness, convincing few, converting fewer by them; therefore, although he taught with most power- Luke iv.22, ful authority, with most charming gracefulness, with most convincing evidence, yet, Who, could he say, hath believed Joh. xii. 58. our report? Though he most earnestly did invite and allure men to him, offering the richest boons that heaven itself could dispense, yet, Ye will not, was he forced to Joh. v. 40. fay, come unto me, that ye may be saved : although, with afsiduous fervency of affection, he strove to reclaim them from courses tending to their ruin, yet how he prospered, sad experience declareth, and we may learn from that doleful complaint, How often would I have gathered thy Luke xiii. children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her 34. xix. 42.
SERM. wings, but ye would not ! óx Senyoate, your will did not XXXVI.
concur, your will did not submit.
In fine, natural will seeketh pleasure, and shunneth pain: but what pleasure did he taste? what inclination,
what appetite, what sense did he gratify? How did he Mark i. 13, feast, or revel? How, but in tedious fastings, in frequent Luke v. 16. hungers, by passing whole nights in prayer and retireJoh. iv. 6, ment for devotion upon the cold mountains ? What Luke vi. 12. sports had he, what recreation did he take, but feeling Matt. xiv. incessant gripes of compassion, and wearisome roving in 23.xviii.12.
quest of the lost theep? In what conversation could he divert himself, but among those, whose doltith incapacity
and forward humour did wring from his patience those Mart, xvii. words, How long shall I be with you ? how long hall I
fuffer you? What music did he hear? What but the rattlings of clamorous obloquy, and furious accusations against him? To be desperately maligned, to be info.. lently mocked; to be styled a king, and treated as a Nave; to be spit on, to be buffetted, to be scourged, to be drenched with gall, to be crowned with thorns, to be nailed to a cross; these were the delights which our Lord enjoyed, these the sweet comforts of his life and the notable profperities of his fortune: such a portion was allotted to him, the which he did accept from God's hand with all patient submission, with perfect contentedness, with exceeding alacrity, never repining at it, never complaining of it, never flinching from it, or fainting under it; but proceeding on in the performance of all his duty and prosecụtion of his great designs with undaunted courage, with unwearied industry, with undisturbed tranquillity and satisfaction of mind,
Had indeed his condition and fortune been otherwise framed; had he come into the world qualified with a noble extraction; had he lived in a splendid equipage; had he enjoyed a plentiful estate and a fair reputation; had he been favoured and caressed by men; had he found a current of prosperous success; had safety, ease, and pleasure waited on him; where had been the pious refignation of his will, where the precious merit of his
obedience, where the glorious lustre of his example ? SERM. How then had our frailty in him become victorious over XXXVI. all its enemies; how had he triumphed over the folicitations and allurements of the flesh, over the frowns and flatteries of the world, over the malice and fury of hell? How then could he have so demonstrated his immenfe charity toward us, or laid so mighty obligations upon
us? Such in general was the case, and such the deportment of our Lord: but there was somewhat peculiar, and be-. yond all this occurring to him, which drew forth the words of our text: God had tempered for him a potion of all the most bitter and loathsome ingredients that could be ; a drop whereof no man ever hath, or could endure to fip; for he was not only to undergo whatever load human rage could impose, of ignominious disgrace and grievous pain; but to feel dismal agonies of spirit, and those unknown sufferingsh, which God alone could infie, God only could sustain: Behold, and fee, he might Lam. i. 12. well say, if there be any forrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me; wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger ? He was to labour with pangs of charity, and through his heart to be pierced with deepest commiseration of our wretched case: he was to crouch under the burthen of all the fins (the numberless most heinous fins and abominations) ever committed by mankind: he was to pass through the hottest furnace of divine vengeance, and by his blood to quench the wrath of heaven flaming out against iniquity: he was to stand, as it were, before the mouth of hell, belching fire and brimstone on his face : his grief was to supply the defects of our remorse, and his suffering in those few moments to countervail the eternal torments due to us: he was to bear the hiding of God's face, and an eclipse of that favourable aspect, in which all bliss doth reside; a case which he that so perfe&ly understood, could not but infinitely resent: these things with the clearest apprehension
• Δ' αγνώσων σε παθημάτων ελέησον ημάς Κύριε, Lit. Gr.
SERM. he saw coming on him; and no wonder that our nature XXXVI. started at so ghastly a fight, or that human inftin&t should
dietate that petition, Father, if thou wilt, let this cup pass from me; words implying his most real participation of our infirmity; words denoting the height of those fad evils which encompassed him, with his lively and lowly refentment of them'; words informing us, how we should entertain God's chastisements, and whence we must seek relief of our pressures, (that we should receive them, not with a scornful neglect or sullen insensibility, but with a meek contrition of foul; that we should entirely depend on God's pleasure for support under them, or a releasement from them;) words which, in conjunction with those fqllowing, do shew how instantly we should quash and overrule any insurrection of natural desire against the command or providence of God. We must not take that prayer to fignify any purpose in our Lord to shift off his passion, or any wavering in resolution about it; for he could not anywise mean to undo that, which he knew done with God before the world's foundation; he would not unsettle that, which was by his own free undertaking and irreversible decree: he that so often with satisfaction did foretel this event, who with so earnest defire i longed for its approach; who with that sharpness of indignation did rebuke his friend offering to divert him from it; who
did again repress St. Peter's animosity with that serious Joh. xviii. expoftulation, The cup which my Father hath given me,
Shall I not drink it? who had advisedly laid such trains for its accomplishment, would he decline it? Could that heart, all burning with zeal for God and charity to men, admit the least thought or motion of averseness from drinking that cup, which was the sovereign medicine ad
ministered by divine wisdom for the recovery of God's Matt. xxvi. creation ? No; had he spake with such intent, legions of
angels had flown to his rescue; that word, which framed the worlds, which stilled the tempefts, which ejected devils, would immediately have scattered his enemies, and
d 'Επιθυμία επεθύμησα. Luke xxii. 15,
dashed all their projects against him : wherefore those SERM. words did not proceed from intention, but as from in- XXXVI, ftinct, and for instruction; importing, that what our human frailty was apt to suggest, that his divine virtue was more ready to smother; neither did he vent the former, but that he might express the latter.
He did express it in real effect, immediately with all readiness addressing himself to receive that unfavoury potion; he reached out his hand for it, yielding fair opportunity and advantages to his persecutors; he lifted it up to his mouth, innocently provoking their envy and malice; he drank it off with a most steady calmness and sweet composure of mind, with the filence, the fimplicity, the meekness of a lamb carried to the Naughter; no fretful
thought rising up, no angry word breaking forth, but a : clear patience, enlivened with a warm charity, shining in
all his behaviour, and through every circumstance of his paffion.
Such in his life, such at his death, was the practice of our Lord; in conformity whereto we also readily should undertake whatever God proposeth, we gladly should accept whatever God offereth, we vigorously should perform whatever God enjoineth, we patiently should undergo whatever God imposeth or inflicteth, how cross foever any duty, any dispensation may prove to our carnal sense or humour.
To do thus, the contemplation of this example may strongly engage us; for if our Lord had not his will, can we in reason expect, can we in modefty desire to have ours? Must we be cockered and pleased in every thing, whenas he was treated fo coarsely, and crossed in all things? Can we grutch at any kind of service, or sufferance ? Can we think much (for our trial, our exercise, our corre&ion) to bear a little want, a little disgrace, a little pain, when the Son of God was put to discharge the hardest talks, to endure the forest adverfities?
But farther to enforce these duties, be pleased to cast a glance on two considerations : 1. What the will is