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blame our disobedience against thee, when we had 80 many inviting temptations to it, and so little encouragement to the contrary? “ O prodigious im
pudence! With what face can you assert such a “ notorious falsehood, when you know in your own “ consciences, that besides all those pleasures that
are connatural to my service, and which do vastly “ exceed all the pleasures of sin, I laid an immortal
crown at your feet, and faithfully promised you, “ that if you would but spend a short life in my ser« vice, I would at the end of it receive you into that “ blissful state, where you should be happy beyond
your wishes, and to the utmost capacity of your “ nature; where you should live with God and an“gels in the most rapturous exercise of everlasting “ love and joy, which one would have thought had “ been sufficient to recompense you for those silly “ pleasures for whose sake you deserted me and my “ service. But, since you have trampled upon all my
offers, and would by no means be persuaded by all “ those mighty tenders I have made you, go, ye de
servedly cursed, into ever” Hold, Lord, we beseech thee, and before thou passest thy irrevocable doom upon us, hear this last petition we shall make for ourselves : We now confess that we are fully convinced (and O that we had understood it sooner!) what infinite reason we had to adhere to thee and thy service. It is our misery that these things were not sooner discovered to us, or at least that they were not so clearly discovered as to convince and persuade us. Had we but known what we now know, we would never have deserted thee as we did; and therefore we beseech thee have pity upon our ignorance, and impute not to our
wills the faults of our understandings, which are not in our power to remedy. “Why, is this the ut“ most that you can plead for yourselves? Have I “ not told you all these things beforehand as plainly
as words could express them? Have I not insti“ tuted an order of men in my church to explain “ these things to you, and to put you in mind of - them ? So that whatever you pretend, you could “ not but know and understand them; or if you did “ not, it was because you would not. And if you “ would wilfully shut your eyes against the light, it “ was your own fault that you did not see, and you
may thank yourselves for the consequents of it. "I plainly told you where your wickedness would “ end, and unless you were wilfully blind, you could “ not but see what the event of your sin would
prove, even while you were committing it; and you know in your own consciences that this fearful
doom, which now you deprecate, you were fairly “ warned of, when you might have easily avoided it “ by a timely submission, but you would not. And
seeing you would be so mad as to reject heaven “ when it lay before you, and leap into hell with
your eyes open, your blood be upon your own “ heads. For I have tried all the arts of love and “ methods of kindness to reclaim you; and since you “ have rendered them all ineffectual, what remains, “ but that you depart from me, like accursed wretches " as you are, into that everlasting fire prepared for “ the Devil and his angels ?”
And now, I beseech you, do not your own consciences consent to the justice and righteousness of this procedure? Is there any tolerable plea you can urge at the judgment seat of Jesus Christ which
here hath not been fully answered ? And if so, how inexcusable shall we be, when we come to plead our own cause in the great assembly of spirits ? For when these aggravations of our disobedience shall be laid open, our guilt will appear so foul and monstrous, that we shall doubtless be condemned by the unanimous vote of all the reasonable world; and as soon as the great Judge hath passed his sentence upon us, our own consciences will be forced to echo, Just and righteous art thou, O Lord, in all thy ways. Wherefore, as we would not be found inexcusably guilty, when we come to plead for our lives before the tribunal of our Saviour, let us all be persuaded to return to his service, and faithfully to continue in it, that so, instead of, Go ye cursed, we may hear from his mouth that welcome approbation, Well done, good and profitable servants, enter into the joy of
. III. I come now to the last proposition in the text, viz. And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only Son of the Father. In handling of which I shall do these two things :
1. Explain to you what this glory of the Word was which the apostle tells us they beheld.
2. Shew you that it was the glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father.
1. What was the glory of the Word which the apostle tells us they beheld ? I answer in general, by this glory here must be understood something that is resemblant to the glory of his dwelling in the tabernacle; because, as I have already shewed you, the apostle seems plainly to refer it, in that he doth not only tell us that the Word tabernacled among us, which alludes to his tabernacling among the Jews,
but he also tells us, that they saw his glory; which alludes to that glory of the Lord which the Jews beheld in that ancient tabernacle. Since therefore the apostle mentions this glory of the Word incarnate, by way of allusion to the glory of his divine presence in the tabernacle, it must necessarily bear some resemblance or proportion to it; because else it would be no proper allusion. The best way therefore for us to discover what this glory of Christ was which they beheld, is to consider wherein the glory of the divine presence in the tabernacle did chiefly discover itself; and that, you shall find, was in these four things: first, in a bright and luminous appearance; secondly, in exerting of an extraordinary power; thirdly, in giving laws and oracles; fourthly, in sensible significations of its own immaculate sanctity and purity. And in proportion and correspondence to these, the glory of the Word incarnate also must consist in these four things :
1st, In the visible splendour and brightness with which his person was arrayed at his baptism, and more especially at his transfiguration.
2dly, In those great and stupendous miracles that he wrought in the course of his ministry.
3dly, In the incomparable purity and goodness of his life.
4thly, In the surpassing excellency and divinity of his doctrine.
1st, That glory of the Word which St. John and the apostles beheld, consisted in that visible splendour and brightness with which his person was arrayed at his baptism, and more especially at his transfiguration ; in resemblance to that visible splen dour and brightness in which he appeared in the Mosaic tabernacle, where it is frequently said that the glory of the Lord abode and appeared, as you may see, Exod. xxiv. 16. and xl. 34. Which glory, it is evident, discovered itself in an extraordinary visible splendour, that shone from between the cherubims, and diffused itself thence all over that sacred habitation. And accordingly in Ezek. xliii. 2. it is said, that the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east, and the earth shone with his glory: which denotes that it was extraordinary bright and luminous, since the earth shone with the very reflection of it. And in this same glorious splendour was Christ arrayed, first at his baptism, and afterwards at his transfiguration. For at his baptism it is said, that the heavens were opened unto him, and that he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him, Matt. iii. 16. Where
like a dove, it is not necessary we should understand his descending in the shape or form of a dove, but that in some glorious form or appearance he descended in the same manner as a dove descends; and therefore St. Luke expresses it thus, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, Luke iii. 22. that is, he descended in some very glorious and visible appearance, in the same manner as doves are wont to descend when they come down from the skies and pitch upon the earth. But what that shape was in which he appeared is not here expressed; but that which seems to be most probable is this, that the Holy Ghost assuming a body of light, or surrounded as it were with a guard of angels appearing in luminous forms, came down from above just as a dove with his wings spread forth is observed to do, and
by the Holy Ghost's descendin