« AnteriorContinuar »
pacity to learn those needful lessons of humility and SERM. patience, dictated by him; declaring such an indis- XXXII. position to transcribe those copies of submission to the divine will, self-denial, and self-resignation, so fairly set him by the instruction and example of Christ: for, Christ, saith St. Peter, suffered for us, gaμμ ὑπολιμπάleaving us an example, that we should follow his steps.
I Pet. ii. 21.
13. The willing susception and the cheerful sustenance of the cross, is indeed the express condition, and the peculiar character of our Christianity; in signification whereof, it hath been from most ancient times a constant usage to mark those who enter into it with the figure of it. The cross, as the instrument by which our peace with God was wrought, as the stage whereon our Lord did act the last part of his marvellous obedience, consummating our redemption, as the field wherein the Captain of our salva- rò rgózov τοῦ σταυροῦ. tion did achieve his noble victories, and erect his Const. Apost. viii. glorious trophies over all the enemies thereof, was 12 well assumed to be the badge of our profession, the ensign of our spiritual warfare, the pledge of our constant adherence to our crucified Saviour; in relation to whom our chief hope is grounded, our great joy and sole glory doth consist: for, God for- Gal. vi. 14. bid, saith St. Paul, that I should glory, save in the cross of Christ.
14. Let it be to the Jews a scandal, (or offensive 1 Cor. i. 23. to their fancy, prepossessed with expectations of a Messias flourishing in secular pomp and prosperity;) let it be folly to the Greeks, (or seem absurd to men puffed up and corrupted in mind with fleshly notions and maxims of worldly craft, disposing them to value nothing which is not grateful to present BARROW, VOL. II.
SERM. sense or fancy,) that God should put his own most XXXII. beloved Son into so very sad and despicable a condition; that salvation from death and misery should be procured by so miserable a death; that eternal joy, glory, and happiness should issue from these fountains of sorrow and shame; that a person in external semblance devoted to so opprobrious usage, should be the Lord and Redeemer of mankind, the King and Judge of all the world: let, I say, this doctrine be scandalous and distasteful to some persons tainted with prejudice; let it be strange and incredible to others blinded with self-conceit; let all the inconsiderate, all the proud, all the profane part of mankind openly with their mouth, or closely in heart, slight and reject it: yet to us it must appear
1 Tim. i. 15. grateful and joyous; to us it is moròs λóyos, a faith2 Tim. ii. ful and most credible proposition worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, in this way of suffering for them: to us, who discern by a clearer light, and are endowed with a purer sense, kindled by the divine Spirit ; from whence we may with comfortable satisfaction of mind apprehend and taste, that God could not in a higher measure, or fitter manner, illustrate his glorious attributes of goodness and justice, his infinite grace and mercy toward his poor creatures, his holy displeasure against wickedness, his impartial severity in punishing iniquity and impiety, or in vindicating his own sacred honour and authority, than by thus ordering his only Son, clothed with our nature, to suffer for us; that also true virtue and goodness could not otherwise be taught, be exemplified, be commended and impressed with greater advantage.
Since thereby indeed a charity and humanity so
Orig. in Cels. ii. p.
unparalleled, (far transcending theirs who have been SERM. celebrated for devoting their lives out of love to their country, or kindness to their friends,) a meekness so incomparable, a resolution so invincible, a patience so heroical, were manifested for the instruction and direction of men; since never were the 1 John ii. 2. 2 Cor. v. 19. vices and the vanities of the world (so prejudicial to the welfare of mankind) so remarkably discountenanced; since never any suffering could pretend to so worthy and beneficial effects, the expiation of the whole world's sins, and reconciliation of mankind to God, the which no other performance, no other sacrifice did ever aim to procure; since, in fine, no virtue had ever so glorious rewards, as sovereign dignity to him that exercised it, and eternal happiness to those that imitate it; since, I say, there be such excellent uses and fruits of the cross borne by our Saviour; we can have no reason to be offended at it, or ashamed of it; but with all reason heartily should approve and humbly adore the deep wisdom of God, together with all other his glorious attributes displayed therein. To whom therefore, as is most due, let us devoutly render all glory and praise. And,
Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our Apoc. i. 5, sins in his blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Blessing, and Apoc. v. 13. honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. Amen.
OF DOING ALL IN THE NAME OF CHRIST.
COLOSS. iii. 17.
And whatsoever ye do in word, or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. SERM. WHATSOEVER ye do in word, or deed: A XXXIII. duty we see the apostle enjoins us of a large extent, and therefore surely of a great importance; indeed of an universal concernment; such as must go along with, must run through all our words and all our actions. We are therefore much obliged, and much concerned to attend thereto, and to practise it carefully. But first we must understand what it is; the doing whereof depends upon understanding the sense of that phrase, (doing in the name of Jesus,) being somewhat ambiguous, and capable of divers meanings; which both in common use and in holy scripture we find it to bear, different according to the variety of matters or occasions to which it is applied; most of which are comprehended, and, as it were, complicated in that general one, according to which we may be said to do that in another person's name, which we do with any kind of reference or regard to him; such as our relations, or our obligations to that person do require; and the particular nature of the action doth admit. And according to this acception I conceive it safest and best to inter
pret St. Paul's meaning here, supposing it to com- SERM. prehend all the more special and restrained meanings of this phrase, truly applicable to the present matter; of which meanings I shall endeavour in order to propound the chief; and, together, both to unfold and to inculcate the several respective branches of this duty: yet first of all rejecting one or two, which cannot well be applied to this purpose.
To do in another's name, doth sometime denote the assuming another's person, or pretending to be the same with him, the very He. So, many shall Matt. xxiv. come in my name, prophesied our Saviour, saying, 15. am Christ: to do thus in Jesus's name, is the part of an Antichrist and an impostor. That sense therefore hath nothing to do here.
Jam. v. 10.
Matt. x. 4.
Again; to do in another's name, doth often imply doing alterius loco, or vice; in another's name, or stead, as a deputy, or substitute; representing the person, or supplying the office of another. So did the prophets come, and speak in God's name; what Jer. vii. 13. they declared, or enjoined, being therefore said to xiv. 14. be declared and enjoined by God himself; I spake Joh. v. 43. unto you, rising up early, and speaking, (viz. by the prophets, whom he sent, and who are said to come and speak in his name.) And thus the apostles spake in Christ's name: We are ambassadors 2 Cor. v. 20. for Christ; we pray you in Christ's stead, be re- Deut. i. 17. conciled. Thus also princes govern, and magistrates execute justice in God's name; whence they are styled gods, as being his lieutenants, administering that judgment which belongs originally and principally to him. Now for this sense, neither is it so proper, or convenient here; it agreeing only to some