« PreviousContinue »
remembrance of thee: I eat of this bread, and drink of this cup, in remembrance that I have wounded, and grieved, and bruised thee; in remembrance that I have made thee behold the wrath of thy Father, and separated thy precious blood from thy body. But at the same time, the thoughts of thy wonderful love, in the midst of thy pains and sorrows, must yield my soul unspeakable delight. Wherefore, while I am grieved with thy grief, I will feast myself in the pleasures and triumphs of thy love, I will partake of thy torments, and also of thy joys, which thy love did yield in the midst of thy agonies."
Luke xxii, 44. And being in an agony, he prayed more
earnestly; and his sweat was as it ‘vere great
drops of blood falling down to the ground. “ See, O my soul, how thy sin oppresses the Son of God! See how great the horror of it is, that it forced him into agonies, and these agonies vent themselves in a bloody sweat! He saw the wrath of God, that tremendous tempest ready to burst on thee. He saw the hell thou hadst deserved, and the torments thou hadst merited. He knew the sinfulness of thy sins in their whole extent, and what affronts they have offered to the great Majesty of Heaven. Sensible of the infinite purity of God, he knew the heinousness of thy transgressions. He saw the everlasting furnace, the burning lake that was to be thy recompense.
He stood in the gap, exposed to that divine wrath which thou hadst merited. He became a covert from the
tempest, enduring the storm for thee, and bearing thy sins. O how dreadful must have been that which his body breaks forth into a strange kind of sweat! O my soul, didst thou ever consider what thy sins cost thy Redeemer! Now behold his agony! Now witness this dreadful conflict for thee, and learn ever hereafter to loathe thyself, and to loathe all sin !**
Isa. liii, 5. He was wounded for our transgressions.
Redeemer! kind, unspeakably kind, to poor sinners wert thou in all thy life, thy sufferings, and thy death. I would ever contemplate the mysteries of thy cross, as expiating my sins, and displaying the wonders of diving love. O the love and the wisdom of God, which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. They denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto them, and killed the Prince of life. In every wound would I see another token and proof of thy tenderness and grace. thy wounds then prove the most powerful remedies to rid me of my corruptions! When any impure thoughts rise in me, let thinking of thy wounds crush them; when sluggishness in religion assaults me, let thy wounds and the remembrance of them make me vigilant in thy service: and when in the holy sacrament I thiok of thy wounds, let all my vain imaginations expire.”
Let me then ever remember Christ. • He did not forget us. He thought of us in his own extremity. At
. bis death he regarded us more than he did himself.
He put up many a petition for us, but few for himself. In the garden, on the cross, and in the grave, his lost sheep were still in his mind. He thought of them both day and night." And from the height of his glory, amid the worship of the heavenly world, the Saviour still regards his people on earth. “ Unworthy as they are, he loves them; mean as they are, he is not ashamed to wear their form, and call them brethren. He forgets the songs of angels to listen to their sighs
It is his delight to minister to their wants, to protect them in their dangers, and to comfort them in their sorrows." O may I never forget his love !
Heb. ii, 9. We see Jesus, made a little lower than the
angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with
glory and honour. Heavenly Father! grant that thy Holy Spirit may bring to my remembrance all that which Christ did for me, whenever I go to his table; so that by the eye of faith, I too may see the suffering and glorified Redeemer. Blessed Redeemer! I desire to call to mind thy glory before the world was, thy love in undertaking the work of our redemption, thy birth of a lowly virgin, thy life of sorrow, thy shame and contempt, thy rejection by man, thy bloody sweat and agony, thy crown of thorns, thy stripes, the nails in thy hands and thy feet, thy cross and all thy passion, thy painful death, and thy burial in the tomb, and the sin of man as the cause of these thy humiliations and sufferings. O how
See Bradley's Sermons.
declared to hiin, This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise; 0 do thou make me also an illustrious trophy of thy mighty grace. I would look to thy wounds for my pardon, to thy merits alone for my justification. I acknowledge, I feel that I deserve nothing; but Jesus, remember me, even me, amid the assembled millions who will stand before thee in judgment at the great day of account. And, O may I never forget thee; but, filled with a sense of thy love, spend my whole time and strength, and all I am, and all I have, for my Redeemer.
John vi, 56. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my
blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. In such a passage, let me never rest in the outward emblem, but look through the figure to the truth, and by the sign realize the thing signified. Our Lord has assured me his words here are spirit and life. May I then have a spiritual appetite for this spiritual food! O may thy Holy Spirit give me a just and lively sense of my guilt and misery, and of my great need of Christ, so that I may earnestly long for, and, as with a keen and discriminating appetite, hunger and thirst after his salvation. I would now by faith realize, and receive out of, that fulness which there is in him for our use. He took upon him my nature, and is touched with a feeling of my infirmities. He is my Shepherd, who laid down his life for me.
He is my priest, who made atonement for my sins, and intercedes in my
behalf. He gave himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God. He is my complete Saviour, delivering me from all my sins. He has wisdom, power, grace, and compassion, adapted to all my wants. His love passeth knowledge. He shed his blood for me,' a miserable and perishing sinner, and that blood cleanses from all sin. He is the propitiation for our sins. I believe this from my very heart. I rely upon him as my only Saviour. I would now, through the bread and wine, view afresh the atoning death of my Lord. My eyes look unto thee, O gracious Redeemer. O my soul, and all ti:at is within me, praise and magnify the Lord, who died, who rose again, who intercedes for thee, and who is now present in the assembly of his people. Thus let me abide in him, and he give me his Spirit, and dwell in my heart by faith ; thus may I enjoy an increasing communion with him as my all-satisfying portion, my joy, and my strength; thus may my appetite for the world and its pleasures be taken away; and may
I find Christ and his salvation to be meat indeed, and drink indeed, to niy needy soul.
Matt. xxvi, 26. Take, eat ; this is my body. “O blessed tidings to the poor distressed soul, famished with feeding on husks and vanity. Behold, thou sayest, take, eat, offering thyself unto me, and commanding me to feast on thine own flesh, on thy all-sufficient alonement, yea, on all thy merits and graces. Lord! thou tenderest most freely what I need infinitely, and that which I desire above all things. Adored be thy wonderful bounty, in compliance wherewith, (unworthy as I am,) I yet stretch out a trembling hand to take hold of Christ. O may I now receive Jesus as my Lord, believe on his name, and livé upon his fulness."*