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"wifdom, and ftrength, and honour, and glory, "and bleffing. And every creature which is in
heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, "and fuch as are in the fea, and all that are in "them, heard I, faying, Bleffing, and honour, "and glory, and power be unto him that fitteth "l upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever "and ever."
11. WE proceed now to the fecond general head of difcourfe, viz. To confider what reafon every real Chriftian hath to glory in the cross. This indeed opens to us a fubject of the most amazing compafs and extent. Though there is nothing here but what is vile and contemptible to an unbelieving worldly mind; by the eye of faith, every thing that is wonderful, amiable, and valuable, is difcovered in the highest perfection. I cannot particularly enumerate every fubject of glorying in the crofs; and therefore fhall juft point out to you the three following fubjects of meditation, which though they often run into one another, may be confidered in diftinct and feparate lights. 1. The glory of di. vine perfection fhines in it in the brightest manner. 2. The riches of divine grace are manifefted in it to the most aftonishing degree. 3. The fanctifying efficacy of it is fo tranfcendently fuperior to that of any other mean, as fhows it to have been the appointment of infinite wisdom.
1. The glory of divine perfection fhines in it in the brightest manner. Would we directly contemplate the glory of the invifible God, as it
shines in his works and ways? let us look the crofs. It hath been fometimes, and very justly, faid of the works of God, that they have ufually in them fomething much more wonderful and excellent than appears at first view. It hath alfo been further obferved, that, in this refpect, there is a complete contraft and oppofition between the works of the Creator, and those of the creature. Every thing that flows from God, the more strictly we examine it, and the more perfectly we know it, the more we shall admire it; but every work of the creature, the more perfectly it is known, the more its inherent weakness always appears. This difcovers itfelf even in comparing the produce of the field with the effects of human art. Naturalifts obferve, that the finest and most admirable human manufactures, when feen, as by a finer fenfe, with the affiftance of a microfcope, appears quite coarfe and irregular; but that if you look at a pile of grafs, or any thing natural, with the fame affistance, you will fee ftill more exquifite and delicate. ftrokes of the almighty operator.
If this is the cafe even in the material pro. ductions of natural power, how much more muft it be fo in the unfearchable myfteries of God's fpiritual kingdom? In none will it hold more than in this chief of the works of God, this glorious though despised object, the cross of Chrift. Here indeed the glory of God appears in all its luftre. It appears in fo ftrong and fo variouslights, that the higheft angels are employed, delighted, and loft in the contemplation of it: 1 Pet.
i. 12. "Which things the angels defire to look "into." Eph. iii. 10. " To the intent that now "unto the principalities and powers in heavenly
places, might be known by the church the "manifold wifdom of God." O what a display of power in the union of God and man! What an almighty arm was required to make thefe things meet, which were infinitely diftant! The Creator of the ends of the earth born of a woman! the felf-exiftent become a feeble infant the Lord of glory covered with shame! the judge of all condemned to fuffer! the author of life giving up the ghost!
What unfearchable wisdom appears in finding a victim able to bear almighty vengeance in finding a way by which fin might be at once punished and pardoned, juftice fully satisfied, even where mercy is extended! Little wonder indeed that the angels defire to look into this mystery. They had tafted the fruits of divine benignity in the happiness of innocent creatures; they had feen the glory of divine juftice in the perdition of the rebel-angels; but the crofs of Chrift was the first thing that difcovered to them the glory of divine mercy, in pardoning the chief of finners, without in the least obscuring the brightnefs either of justice or holiness, nay to the illuftration of both. In the cross of Chrift there is a more awful and penetrating view of the juftice and holiness of God, than could have been given by the irreparable deftruction of the whole race of Adam. And at the fame time, his not "fparing his own Son," but "delivering him up
"for us all," is a more aftonishing effect of love, than pardon without fatisfaction could have been, had that been a thing in itself poffible. There is no end or measure to our views of this fubject; but I hope many of you will now fay, with the apostle Paul, what I dare fay he has not yet done repeating in heaven, Rom. xi. 33. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom "and knowledge of God! how unfearchable are his judgements, and his ways paft finding " out!"
2. The riches of divine grace are manifested in the cross of Chrift to the most astonishing degree. It is not merely a wonderful work of God, which all his intelligent creatures may behold with admiration, but it is a defign in which we ourselves have an immediate and an infinite concern: For, If. liii. 5. "He was wounded for "our tranfgreffions, he was bruifed for our ini
quities: the chaftifement of our peace was up" on him, and with his ftripes we are healed." O what an amazing display of unmerited love! Every divine perfection indeed appears in it very clearly, but chiefly love. The tender mercy of our God predominates, actuates, and reigns through the whole. Chrift's undertaking, in general, is the fruit and evidence of the everlasting love of God: John iii. 16. "For God fo loved "the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, "that whosoever believeth in him, should not "rish, but have everlasting life." Salvation, in the whole of its purchase and effects, was the fruit
and expreffion of the infinite love of Chrift:
Rev. i. 5. 6. Unto him that loved us, and wash"ed us from our fins in his own blood, and hath "made us kings and priefts unto God, and his "Father; to him be glory and dominion for "ever and ever. Amen." The believing foul is never more at a loss than when attempting to confefs its obligations to redeeming love. The human mind never feels its weaknefs more than when it attempts to conceive, or to illuftiate, this truly incomprehensible subject.
The grace of redemption may be confidered and illuftrated in a great variety of lights: From the greatness of the mifery from which we are delivered; for "we are faved from wrath through "him" From the greatness of the happiness to, which we are intitled; for we are made "heirs "of God, and joint heirs with Chrift:" From the guilt and unworthinefs of the objects of this love; for it was "when we were enemies" that
we were reconciled to God by the death of his "Son." But befides thefe confiderations, there is more than enough of divine mercy to excite our wonder in the cross of Chrift, the price paid for our redemption.
Great fufferings ufually melt the heart to fympathy and tenderness, though we have no immediate concern in them at all: but how much more must every fource of tenderness be opened, when we confider the sufferer as an innocent perfon, and as fuffering in our room! Remember the perfon, remember the nature, remember the greatnefs, remember the end, of his fuffer