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or mind, the most horrid and most sorrowful of deaths, all these aggravated by the conscience of his own clearest innocence, by the extreme ingratitude of those who misused him, by the sense of God's displeasure for the sin of man, by all the embittering considerations which a most lively piety and tender charity suggested; in submitting to all this most freely and most calmly without any regret, any disturbance.
Wherein an unexpressible and unconceivable charity, ('a charity indeed which surpasseth knowlege,' as St. Paul speaketh,) evidenced in the constant strain and tenor of his whole life, passing through all his designs, all his words, and all his actions; for din dev cvepyerô, as St. Peter says in the Acts, he did nothing else, but go about doing good,' and benefiting men; curing their diseases, relieving their wants, instructing their minds, reforming their manners, drawing them to God and goodness, disposing them to the attainment of everlasting bliss and salvation. It is love, we may observe, which was the soul that animated and actuated him in all things ; which carried him with unwearied resolution and alacrity through all the cruel hardships and toils, through all the dismal crosses and ignominies he endured : his life was in effect but one continual ex. pression of charity, (differently exerting itself according to various opportunities, and circumstances, and needs of men,) the which was consummated, and sealed by his death; the highest instance of charity that could be; for, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.'
Wherein, finally, (in which life, I say, of Jesus,) all holiness, all virtue, all goodness (suitable to him, who was to be not only the teacher and the persuader of the best life, but a , living standard and pattern thereof; who was to merit of God in man's behalf, to conciliate God's favor towards us, and appease his anger against us) do shine and sparkle with a beauty and a lustre transcending all expression. All which particulars might, were it now proper and seasonable, be thoroughly declared by instances extant in the evangelical history. So that the characteristical qualities of the Messias do clearly and abundantly agree to Jesus our Lord.
His performances should next be considered and compared ;
but the time doth not admit that we should now proceed any farther.
Now, blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.' Amen.
SUMMARY OF SERMON XVIII.
ACTS, CHAP. IX.-VERSE 22.
The five particulars proposed for explanation repeated. The first and second of these having been dispatched, we entered into the third, which is of the highest consequence, beginning to declare that Jesus, our Lord, is the Christ, from the circumstances of his advent, and from his personal qualifications: we now proceed to declare the same from the exact correspondence of his undertakings, &c. to those which were predicted of the Messias ; together with the consequences of what the Messias was to do, and what Jesus did answerably effect.
1, One great performance of the Messias was, by inspiration and in the name of God, to make a complete discovery of divine truth; to publish a law of perpetual obligation ; to institute a religion perfect in all respects, &c. The doctrine which Jesus taught is shown to have done this in the completest manner, with regard to the character of God himself; concerning our own nature, origin, and end, &c.; also with regard to the most accurate rule of life, suitable to our nature and our welfare: it is also shown that no religion can be purer from superstitious alloys and useless incumbrances; none can have the like advantage of setting before us a living copy and visible standard of good practice; none can build our duty on more solid grounds, and direct it to better ends; no doctrine can afford more and greater encouragements to the practice of it; none can, in a more sure or kindly manner, appease and satisfy the conscience. Such is the doctrine, law, and religion of Jesus; so that hence we may reasonably infer that the doctrine taught, the law promulgated, the religion instituted by him in God's name, are the very same which the predictions concerning the Messias refer unto, as the last which should come from God.
2. But of his doctrine particularly, it was signified that it should be very comfortable, joyful, and acceptable to mankind : this enlarged on, and illustrated from Scripture.
Now to all this the preaching of Jesus did exactly correspond ; it being, as it was named, a gospel, or message of good and joy: this explained.
3. Collateral unto, or coincident with those performances, namely, the teaching such a doctrine, publishing such a law, &c., was the formal institution of a new, everlasting covenant, dissolving all other; a covenant between God and man; a
; covenant of grace and mercy, and salvation, &c. : this covenant described at large.
Now that Jesus did institute such a covenant, wherein all the benefits promised on God's part, and all the duties required on ours, do punctually correspond to the terms of that predesigned by the prophets, is apparent from the whole tenor of. the Christian gospel : this shown.
4. In coincidence also with these performances, it is declared that the Messias should erect a kingdom, spiritual in nature, universal in extent, and perpetual in duration ; by the power and virtue of which the enemies of God's people should be curbed and quelled; the subjects of it should live together in peace, and safety, and prosperity.
The chief testimonies of ancient Scripture predicting this kingdom have been already mentioned : at this time therefore, the nature and extent of it only are treated of, for the illustration and proof of our main purpose.
5. If we singly compare the particular consequences and successes of the Messias's performances, expressed by the pro
phets, we shall find an exact correspondence in what hath followed our Lord's undertakings.
This shown, with regard to the great opposition that should be made against his doctrine by Jews and Gentiles ; with regard to his person, which should be acknowleged, worshipped, and blessed over all the world ; with regard to a diffusion of the knowlege of God over all nations; also to that righteousness which in the times of the Messias should commonly prosper ; to the peace, love, charity, and justice which should ensue on the entertainment of the Messias's doctrine and laws; to the great princes and potentates which should submit to him, avowing his authority and reverencing his name, &c.; also with regard to a particular consequence of what the Messias should do, that, by virtue of his performances, idolatry, or the worship of wicked spirits, should be conspicuously vanquished and destroyed; also with regard to the state of things consequent on all these performances, a state so different from the former state of mankind, that it is called the creation of a new world.
Other important considerations of this kind still remain : these reserved to a future occasion. Conclusion.