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fins in his own blood, and hath made us Kings ands E R M. Priests unto God, and his Father ; to him be glory 11.
and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him Apoc. v. 13.
that fitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. Amen.
S E R M O N III.
Upon the Passion of our bleffed Saviour.
Phil. ii. 8.
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled him
self, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
HEN, in consequence of the original apo-s ERM.
ftasy from God, which did banish us from paradise, and by continued rebellions against him, inevitable to our corrupt and impotent nature, man-Cyril.c. kind had forfeited the amity of God, (the chief of Jobs in pa all goods, the fountain of all happiness,) and had in- 303. curred his displeasure, (the greatest of all evils, the Col. ii. 6. foundation of all misery ;)
When poor man having deserted his natural Iren.iii. 33, lord and protector, other lords had got dominion over i. xvi. bim, so that he was captivated by the foul, malicious, cruel spirits, and enslaved to his own vain Iren. iii. 8. mind, to vile lusts, to wild passions :
When, according to an eternal rule of justice, Gen. ir. 7. that sin deferveth punishment, and by an express ii. 17. law, wherein death was enacted to the transgressors of God's command, the root of our stock, and con- Iren. v. 16. sequently all its branches, stood adjudged to utter destruction :
Rom. iii. 23. V. 12.
When, according to St. Paul's expressions, all the III. world was become guilty before God, (or, subjected to
God's judgment :) all men (Jews and Gentiles) were Rom. iii. under fin, under condemnation, under the curse; all men inmiddeos to were concluded into disobedience, and shut up together Rom. iii. 9. (as close prisoners) under fin; all men bad finned, and 0.16, 18. come short of the glory of God: death had pasjed over Gal. ii. to. all, because all had linned:
When for us, being plunged into fo wretched a
condition, no visible remedy did appear, no possible Gal. iii. 22. redress could be obtained here below : (for what
means could we have of recovering God's favour, who were apt perpetually to contract new debts and guilts, but not able to discharge any old scores ? What capacity of mind or will had we to entertain mercy, who were no less stubbornly perverse and obdurate in our crimes, than ignorant or infirm? How
could we be reconciled unto Heaven, who had an Rom. vi. innate antipathy to God and goodness ? [Sir (ac
cording to our natural state, and secluding evangeliRom. vii. cal grace) reigning in our mortal bodies, no good thing Rorn: vi. dwelling in us; there being a predominant law in our
members, warring against the law of our mind, and bring.
ing us into captivity to the law of fin; a main ingreRom. vi. 6. dient of our old man being a carnal mind, which is
enmity to God, and cannot submit to his law.; we being Ephes
. iv. alienated from the life of God by the blindness of our Rom. viii. hearts, and enemies in our minds by wicked works.
How could we revive to any good hope, who were ουχ υποτάσ.
dead in trespasses and fins, God having withdrawn his Epher. iv. quickening spirit? How at least could we for one
moment stand upright in God's sight, upon the na
tural terms, excluding all fin, and exacting perfect Ephef.ii. s. obedience ?) (Rom. vi.
When this, I say, was our forlorn and desperate Plal.cxliii. case, then Almighty God, out of his infinite good
ness, was pleased to look upon us (as he sometime 21Xiv. 7: did upon Jerusalem, lying polluted in ber blood) with an
cye of pity and mercy, lo as graciously to design a
12. 14. 20. 22.
18 Coloff. i. 21. Hom. v. 10.
reTit. i. 2.
Gen. ii. 17
redemption for us out of all that woeful distress :'S ER M. and no sooner by his incomprehensible wisdom did 111. he foresee we should lose ourselves, than by his immense grace he did conclude to restore us.
But how could this happy design well be com- Eph. i. 4. passed ? How in consistence with the glory, with the 9. 11. & iii. justice, with the truth of God, could such enemies 2 Tim. i.9. be reconciled, such offenders be pardoned, such 1 Pet. 1: 26. wretches be saved? Would the omnipotent Majesty, Rom. xvi. so affronted, design to treat with his rebels imme-25
: diately, without an interceffor, or advocate? Would the sovereign Governor of the world suffer thus notoriously his right to be violated, his authority to be Nighted, his honour to be trampled on, without fome notable vindication or satisfaction? Would the great Patron of justice relax the terms of it, or ever permit a gross breach thereof to pass with impunity? Would the immutable God of truth expose his ve- Athan. de racity or his conftancy to suspicion, by lo reversing Incarn that peremptory sentence of death upon finners, that it should not in a fort eminently be accomplished ? Would the most righteous and most holy God let flip an opportunity to advantageous for demonstrating his perfect love of innocence, and abhorrence of iniquity? Could we therefore well be cleared from our guilt without an expiation, or reinstated in freedom without a ransom, or exempted from condemnation without some punishment ?.
No: God was so pleased to prosecute his designs of goodness and mercy, as thereby nowise to impair or obscure, but rather to advance and illustrate the glories of his sovereign dignity, of his severe justice, of his immaculate holiness, of his unchangeable steadiness in word and purpose. He accordingly would be sued to for peace and mercy: nor would he grant them absolutely, without due compensations for the wrongs he had sustained ; yet so, that his goodness did find us a Mediator, and furnish us with means to satisfy him. He would not conde