Page images
PDF
EPUB

GUISH OF HIS SUFFERINGS.

less consequences ; when we behold this object absorbing his ’ regard, satisfying his wishes,' and adding to his joys, we shall begin to estimate it somewhat more according to its real importance.

But we are not merely to consider the salvation of sinners as satisfying the Saviour, but as satisfying him AFTER ALL THE PRECEDING AN

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and seeing it shall, notwithstanding that travail, be satisfied. What an inexpressible dignity does this consideration confer on the redemption of man! Even in human affairs an object, in order to satisfy the mind, 'must repay the previous labour and anxiety and expense which the attaining of it has occasioned. If a design has cost us but little, a small measure of success will afford us pleasure. But if immense pain and suffering, and privation and solicitude have been incurred in the execution of a particular project, we cannot be satisfied without a proportionate success. Thus the merchantman, after the toil and expense of his search, is satisfied only when he discovers a pearl of great price. Thus the physician, after intense application and care, expects and desires the complete recovery of the patient. Thus the parent, after the tenderness and instruction and prayers and tears which a beloved child

has occasioned him, is only fully satiated by its future obedience and piety. To estimate, then, the satisfaction of our Lord in seeing the effects of his sufferings, we must recall what has already been remarked of the extent of them. We must reflect on the infinite condescension of the Saviour in becoming man, in order to endure them. We must con. sider how little a part of them we are able to comprehend. And then we must endeavour to raise our minds to the grandeur of the success which can compensate for such agonies. But the very mention of these topics overpowers the human mind. The glory of our Lord's divine nature is unspeakable: the depth of his humiliation cannot be fathomed, and the extremity of his passion in the garden and on the cross is beyond all human conception. And yet upon all this agony and woe the Saviour reflects with repose and satisfaction, when he sees the fruits which they have produced. Such is his love to his heavenly Father, such his compassion for sinners, such his view of the bliss of heaven, such his estimate of the horrors of hell, such his apprehension of the consequences of moral evil, and of the state of rational and immortal creatures separated by it from God, that in looking back on all he has endured, and in looking forward to all it is to accom

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

plish, he is contented and satiated with the sight. zji Already, when upon earth, he rejoiced in spirit at the revelation of mercy. to babes. And now that he is in his glory, he joys over every sinner that repenteth. In proportion as all the designs of divine grace are accomplished, his satisfaction augments. And when the end shall come, and he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when the heathen shall have been given him for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession; when unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places shall be at length displayed all his manifold wisdom; when, surrounded with his redeemed and faithful and elect servants, he shall be celebrated for ever with humble and sublime hallelujahs, and shall be perfectly and uninterruptedly glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that have believed-then shall, he see, in the fullest sense, of the travail of his soul, and be filled with ineffable satisfaction and joy.

· But nothing can supply us with adequate conceptions on this great subject. Let us in eonclusion observe,

1. The light which it casts on the VALUE OF THE SOUL OF MAN. Both the inconceivable agony of our Lord's passion, and the satisfaction he derives from its effects, suppose the unspeakable worth of the human soul.. With God the means are always proportioned to the end. And what was the design to be accomplished by the birth and sufferings of the eternal Word? Was it not to redeem and save men? Was it not to rescue us from everlasting death? Was it not to restore us to the favour and image of God? Was it not to bring us to pardon, holiness, and obedience here, and to endless happiness hereafter? And what is the ground of that satisfaction which the Saviour feels in the consequences of his death, but the inestimable value of the soul? And yet what is it of which mankind think so little as of their souls ? What is it which men set so light by, and sacrifice for so base a price? What is it which they give in exchange for the meanest gratifications, and barter for the vilest lusts? What is it which is so forgotten in life, and so neglected in the approach of death? What topic is so difficult to be impressed on the conscience by the ministers of religion? What is so uninteresting, so strange, so forbidding to the bearer? And yet for the redemption of your soul, sinner, all the passion of the gracious Saviour was endured; and from the actual salvation of it his satisfaction is to be derived. Awake, then, to the importance of this subject! Estimate your soul at its true value. Remember for what it was formed, and of what it is capable. Consider after whose image it was created, and by whose blood redeemed. Judge also from these very circumstances what must be the misery which awaits it, if finally impenitent. Tremble at that hell, to rescue men from which the Son of God was content to leave his glory, and suffer and die. Begin the first duty of a rational and accountable being, the care of the soul. Repent, and believe the Gospel. Approach the once suffering, but now exalted Redeemer, receive his grace, repose your trust on his atonement, devote yourself to his service.

We may notice,

II. The light which this subject reflects on the hope of A PENITENT'S ACCEPTANCE WITH Christ. For surely the Saviour will cast out none who come to him. Surely, if he endured such a travail, such anguish of soul and body, a passion so unutterably tremendous, and that for the redemption of sinners, he will never reject any one who sincerely renounces his sins and flies to him. Surely his atonement can reach the case of the worst offender. If he is God as well as man, if his passion was voluntary as well as severe, then no extremity of guilt can exceed the merit of his death; then no sinner need de-spair His blood cleanseth from all sin. And

« EelmineJätka »