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others, by drawing them to sin, or discouraging them in that which is good. The apostle lays a great stress upon this argument, against the abuse of our Cliristian liberty, to the offence of others--Rom. xiv. 15.... Destroy not him with thy meat for whom Christ died; and again he urges it on the same occasion.... 1 Cor. viii. 11. Shall not we deny ourselves and our own satisfaction, rather than occasion guilt or grief to them for whom Christ humbled himself, even to the death of the cross ? Shall we slight those whom Christ put such a value upon ? Shall we set those with the dogs of our flocks, whom Christ purchased with his own blood, and set among the lambs of his flock? God forbid !
This also commands us to do all we can for the spiritual welfare and salvation of the souls of others. Did Christ think them worth his blood, and shall not we think them worth our care and pains ? Shall not we willingly do our utmost to save a soul from death, and thereby hide a multitude of sins, when Christ did so much, and suffered so much, to make it feasible? Shall not we pour out our prayers for them for whom Christ poured out his soul unto death, and bear them upon our hearts whom Christ laid so near his? Bles. sed Paul, in consideration hereof, not only made him. self the servant of all, to please them for their edification, but was willing to be offered upon the sacrifice and service of their faith, (Phil. ii. 17.) and so to fill up what was behind of the afflictions of Christ for his body's sake.... Col. i. 24. And if we be at any time called upon even to lay down our lives for the breth. ren, we must remember, that in that, as well as in washing their feet, Christ hath left us an example.... i fohn iii. 16.
(6.) Come and see the purchase of the blessing of the new covenant. The blood of Christ was not on. ly the ransom of our forfeited lives, and the redemption of our souls from everlasting misery; but it was the valuable consideration upon which the grant of
- eternal life and happiness is grounded. Christ's death
is our life: that is, it is not only our salvation from death, but it is the fountain of all our joys, and the foundation of all our hopes. All the comforts we have in possession, and all we have in prospect-all the privileges of our way, and all those of our home, are the blessed fruits of that accursed tree on which our Redeemer died.
(1.) See the blood of Christ, the spring from whence all the blessings of the covenant flow. That is the price of all our pardons: 'We have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins,' (Eph. i. 7.): without the shedding of blood, that blood, that precious blood, there had been no remission. That is the purchase of the divine favor, which is our life, we are made accepted only in the beloved.... Eph. i. 6. Peace is made a covenant of peace settled, and peace secured to all the sons of peace, by the blood of his cross, and not otherwise....Col. i. 20. That is the price paid for the purchased possession, that they which are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance'.... Heb. ix. 15. Christ was made a curse for us, not only to redeem us from the curse of the law, but that we, through him, might inherit the blessing.... Gal, iji. 13, 14.
Thus out of the eater comes forth meat, and out of the strong sweetness, Behold, he shews us a mystery:
(2.) See the blood of Christ, the stream in which all the blessings of the covenant flow to us. The blood of Christ, as it is exhibited to us in this ordinance, is the vehicle, the channel of conveyance, by which all graces and comforts descended from heaven to earth. * This cup is the New Testament in the blood of Christ, and so it becomes a cup of blessing, a cup consolation, a cup of salvation. All the hidden manna comes to us in this dew. It is the blood of Christ speaking for us, that pacifies an offended God: It is the blood of Christ sprinkled on us, that purifies a defiled conscience. As it was the blood of Jesus that
consecrated for us the new and living way, and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers ; so it is by that blood that we have boldness to enter into the holiest.... Heb, x. 19, 20.
Come and see how much we owe to the death of Christ...the rich purchases he made for us, that he might cause us to inherit substance, and might fill our treasures. Let this increase. our esteem of the love of Christ, which was not only so very extensive to himself, but so very advantageous to us. Let this also inliance the value of covenant blessings in our eyes. The blessings of this life we owe to the bounty of God's providence; but spiritual blessings in heavenly things we owe to the blood of his Son: Let these therefore be to us more precious than rubies: Let these always have the preference: Let us be willing to part with any thing rather than hazard the favor of God, the comforts of the spirit, and eternal life...remember. ing what these cost. Let us never make light of wisdom's preparations, when we see at what rate they were brought in. To them who believe, they are precious; for they know they were purchased with the precious blood of Christ, which we undervalue as a common thing, if we prefer farms and merchandize before heaven and the present earnests of it.
CHAPTER IX. Some account of the precious benefits which are to be
received by faith in this ordinance. In the Lord's Supper we not only shew the Lord's death, and see what is to be seen in it, as many who, when he was upon the cross, stood afar off beholding: no, we must there be more than spectators; we must eat of the sacrifice, and so partake of the al-, tar....I Cor. xi. 18. The bread which came down from heaven was not designed merely for shew-bread ..bread to be looked upon; but for household-bread...
bread to be fed upon...bread to strengthen our hearts, and wine to make them glad ; and wisdom's invitation is, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine that I have mingled. Christ's feeding great multitudes miraculously, more than once, when he was here upon earth, was (as his other miracles) significant of the spiritual provision he makes in the everlasting gospel, for the support and satisfaction of those that leave all to follow him : If we doʻnot all eat, and be not all filled...abundantly satisfied with the goodness of his house, it is our own fault. Let us not strait. en and starve ourselves ; for the master of the feast has not stinted us : he has not only invited us, and made provision for our entertainment, but he calls to us, as one that bids us heartily welcome, Eat, O friends ; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.... Cant. vi. 1.
All people are for what they can get: Here is something to be got in this ordinance, if it be rightly improved, which will turn to our account infinitely more than the merchandize of silver, or the gain of fine gold, Christ and all his benefits are here not only set before us, but settled upon us under certain provisos and limitations ; so that a believer who sincerely consents to the covenant, receives some of the present benefits of it in and by this ordinance, both in the comfortable experiences of communion with God in grace, and the comfortable expectations of the vision and fruition of God in glory.
Gospel ordinances in general, (and this in particular, which is the seal of gospel promises) are wells of salvation, out of which we may draw water with joybreasts of consolation, from which we may suck and be satisfied-golden pipes, through which the oil of grace is derived from the good olive, to keep our lamps burning: we receive the grace of God herein in vain, if we take not what is here tendered-gospel blessings upon gospel terms. We are here to receive Christ Jesus the Lord; and since, with him, God freely
gives us all things, (Rom. viii. 32.) we must, with him, by faith, take what he gives—all spiritual blessings in he:rvenly things by Christ Jesus.
First, Here we may receive the pardon and forgiveness of our sins. This is that great blessing of the new covenant, which makes way for all other blessings, (removendo prohibens) by taking down that wall of partition which separated between
us and God, and kept good things from us. It is the matter of that promise
which comes in as a reason for all the rest: I will do so and so for them, for I will be mer. ciful to their unrighteousne9s... Heb. viii. 11. This is that great blessing which Christ died to purchase for us; his blood was shed for many for the remission of sins ; and perhaps he intimated this to be in a special manner designed by him in his sufferings, when the first word we find recorded, that he spoke after he was nailed to the cross was, Father, forgive them, (Luke xxiii. 34.) which seems to look not only to those that had an immediate hand in his death, but those that are remotely accessary to it, as all sinners are, though they know not what they do.
The everlasting gospel is an act of indemnity....an act of oblivion we may call it, for it is promised that our sins and iniquities will be remembered no more ; it is, indeed, an act of grace ; repentance and remission of sins is by it published in Christ's name to all nations. It is proclaimed to the rebels, that if they will lay down their arms, acknowledge their offence, return to their allegiance, approve themselves good subjects for the future, and make the merits of him whom the Father hath appointed to be the Mediator their plea in suing out their pardon, the offended Prince will be reconciled to them...their attainder shall be reversed, and they shall not only be restored to all the privileges of subjects, but advanced to the honors and advantages of favorites. Now it concerns us all to be able to make it out, that we are entitled to the benefit of this act that we are qualified accorcing