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" and forget not all his benefits; who forgiveth " all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy dis" cases, who redeemeth thy life from destruc“ tion, who crowneth thee with loving kindness 66 and tender mercies.”
Lastly, Whilst we are sorry that our sins were the cause of our Redeemer's sufferings, let us also rejoice that his sufferings were the cause of our salvation. Hence we obtained the victory over Satan, death, and hell: hence we have rendered to God full satisfaction for our past guilt: hence we have an interest in the blessing of eternal life. This is what St. Paul means when he tells us, that Christ became poor, that we might be rich :--He was disgraced, that we might be honoured : he wore a crown of thorns, that we might have a crown of glory : he was forsaken of God, that we might never be forsaken by him : in a word, he was numbered with thieves and transgressors, that we might be numbered with saints and angels in glory hereafter. Let this then be a rich cordial to support our drooping spirits against the pains of life and the terrors of death. For since Christ has paid the ransom for us by his death, who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? Heaven will not, and hell cannot; cheerfully, therefore, let us run the race that is set before us, looking M %
unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of the throne of God.'
This leads me to consider, secondly, the exaltation of Christ : “ Wherefore also God hath “ highly exalted him :"-has advanced him to the highest dignity: has exalted him above the grave in his resurrection, above the earth in his ascension, and above the heavens in seating him at his own right hand: has exalted him above all power; has given him a name above every other name; that at the sacred name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; that men and angels, the living and the dead, should acknowledge his majesty; and that every tongue, men of all nations and languages, should confess that, Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, and cry with the elders that surround the throne of God, “Worthy is .66 the Lamb'that was slain to receive power, and 6 riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, " and glory.”
.. If then Christ, who humbled and ahased himself so low, be thus highly exalted, let me exhort you in the words of the Apostle, to “humble
“ yourselves under the mighty hand of God, " that he may exalt you in due time.” Submit yourselves one to another : let your best ornament be that of a meek and lowly heart: there. is no virtue in the sight of God of greater price, there is none drawn in more amiable colours. --; .66 I dwell in the high and holy place,” says God himself, " with him also that is of a contrite 66. and humble spirit.” And He who thus hum. bled himself for us men and our salvation, has expressly told us, that “ blessed are the poor in “ spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
. Secondly, If Christ, who humbled himself thuş low, was again exalted by the mighty hand of God, above all principalities and powers, there is no cause why any of God's children, how low soever they are brought, should despair of rising again. Look up to Him who hanged for thee upon the cross, thou afflicted mourner, and learn patience. Art thou spoiled of thy goods? Thy Şaviour had not where to lay his head. Art thou falsely accused? Thy Redeemer wąs arraigned and condemned as a malefactor and blasphemer. Art thou visited with pain and disease? Thy God was wounded with whips and thorns. Dost thou sigh for thy grievous afflictions ? He was compelled to cry out, “ My “ God, my God, why hasự thou forsaken me!"
Is there wormwood in thy cup? There was gall in his. Hast thou things laid to thy charge which thou never knewest ? He was accused by false witnesses, who laid to his charge things that he knew not. Art thou despised and ridiculed : He was set at nought, spit upon, buffeted; yea, he was pressed down to the earth with many sorrows. “And yet he now sitteth at the right hand of God; “ for the suffering of “ death being crowned with glory and honour.”
Since then God will one day raise the poor from the dunghill to set him in the throne of princes, since he will cast the bright beams of his favour upon men of the lowest degree; why should any of his children be driven by their distresses to resign their portion in his promises, and to shut up their eyes in despair: Though they lie in the dust, like holy Job; though they are captives in the dungeon, like Jeremiah; though they are cast down to the deep below, like Jonas ; yet let them remember that they are not out of the reach of Providence. God has an outstretched arm, and is mighty to save. There is no place so high, which he cannot reach, to pull down the proud: there is no depth so low, which he cannot fathom, to draw up the humble and afflicted. .
Lastly, Whilst we derive comfort and refreshment in the multitude of our sorrows from the name of Christ, let this teach us to reverence and adore this holy name with the profoundest veneration and humility. Let us renounce and abhor that levity and inconsiderateness, that rashness and impudence, with which the name of Jesus is too often impiously profaned and blasphemed. Let us never name it without the deepest sense of his love and our own unworthiness. And may all who bear this sacred name live agreeably to their holy profession, and walk worthy of the vocation wherewith they are called ! And to those who yet sit in darkness and the shadow of death, who have never heard of thy name, look down, O merciful Saviour, with compassion from thy throne. Display thy healing light over the world. Recall the scattered tribes of Judah, thou great Messiah, and open the eyes of turks, infidels, and heretics, who now oppose thy power: that all nations may fall down before thee, and all people do thee service; that thy holy name may every where be glorified, and thy blessed kingdom enlarged ; and that all mankind may follow the blessed example of thy great humility, and become one fold under one shepherd.