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was held in the mire of the pit, until the time fpeci fied by the covenant, for his deliverance from it. The Father's will had a very holding influence upon him; as a motive full of power; a motive, the force whereof no circumftance could break. Having faid, "Lo, I come: in the volume of the "book it is written of me: I delight to do thy " will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart," Pfal. xl. 7, 8. having fald fo, he not only could not, in point of obligation, but would not in point of choice, refile or go back. "The "cup (faid he) that the Father hath given me, "fhall I not drink it," Joha xviii. 11. and again, "Father, if this cup may not pass from me, ex

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cept I drink it, thy will be done," Matth. xxvi, 42. The honour of his Father's law held him in this miry clay the requifition of fuffering and obedience, made by it, was fo fupported by divine juftice, that it was impoffible, in any confiftency, with regard to thefe, for him to do otherways than abide in that mire, finking and dangerous as it was, until both fhould fay, It is enough. For "he

came, not to deftroy the law, but to fulfil it," Matth. v. 17. not only to fulfil the demands of the law, in way of obedience; but to fecure the honour and majefty of it, by fuffering what ranfomed finners, through difobedience, would have otherways been fubjected unto. The falvation of his people was another circumftance, by which the feet of Chrift were held in the mire of the pit. His errand was to feek and fave them, as loft finners, Matth. xviii. 11. Nothing lefs than doing and fuffering, to the whole extent of what the will, law and juftice of the Father required, was fufficient to reach that noble, neceffary and generous end: and therefore, as he loved them; as he commiferated their fituation; as he willed their recovery ;

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very as his whole heart was fet on their whole redemption; and as he was determined, that no foul the Father had given him, should be loft; his flicking as well as finking in the miry clay, was quite inevitable. His own honour was a crowing circumitance, by which our Lord's feet were held faft in this clay, while they funk deep into the mire. He had faid it, and therefore would not, could not, go back; he had fworn it, and therefore it was impoffible for him to make enquiry : and as in the faith of his doing as he had faid, the Father had, for fome thoufands of years before the fulness of the times, been continually faving finners, and receiving them to his glory; his fenfe of honour, and regard to his covenant engagements, were too delicate and ftrict, to leave the fmalleft poffibility of his failing, in the least iotta, of all he had undertaken to do and fuffer. Nay, fo much did he enter into the fpirit of his work, and keep the ends of his humiliation in view, that, until all the prophecies concerning his fufferings were accomplished, he could not, would not, leave the miry clay; for when at the very point of death, ready, juft ready, to expire, "That the fcriptures


might be fulfilled, he faid, I thirft," John xix. 28. The fcripture to which our Lord then referred, is written in the lxix pfalm and 21 verfe, in thefe words, "They gave me gall for my meat, "and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." Had it not been out of more regard to the fulfilment of the holy fcriptures, than to the gall and vinegar, it is certain, the bleeding Lamb had not thus expreffed himfelf; but he knew that this, as well as other prophecies, behoved to take place; and therefore was held in the mire of the pit, until the homely fpunge was prefented, and the dreadful potion received; when, in the language of in


fpiration, he could, with refpect to all that was written in Mofes, the prophets and the pfalms, concerning him, fay "It is finished," John xix. 30. To all this it may not improperly be added, that our Lord's future reward, as Man Mediator, had its own influence on keeping him in this miry clay, until he had finished the work and warfare to which his approaching reward had a respect; "Who (in the words of the apostle) for the joy "that was fet before him, endured the crofs, defpifing the shame," Heb. xii. 2. But,

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However long a perfon, literally, in such a pit and mire might live, in the nature of the thing, he behoved to die there; beautifully and fignificantly pointing out the death and burial of Jefus Christ. For, however long he weathered out the ftorm, it overcame him at laft. The waters of wrath rufhing down overflowed him; and the miry clay continuing to yield, buried him. The first of thefe, in the facred page, is expreffed by his "giving, or yielding, up the ghost," John xix. 30. The human foul and human body of the heavenly Man were fairly parted. He that went continually about doing good, lay a pale, breathless, and exanimate corple: his tongue, that spake as - never man did, was filenced: his eyes, that never beheld the needy with indifference, were clofed : his hands, fo often employed in offices of kindness, lo! they fall down all lacerate and torn: his feet, that never failed to carry him about his Father's bufinefs; behold them gored with blood, and gafhed with nails! his facred temples, fee how they bleed from countless pores! while ftreams of blood befpattering his other members, and staining all his raiment, flow from his facred fide! and to deepen the awful tragedy, you cannot but obferve, how his murderers turned him out of his


very garments, and made a prey of his clothing. Ah! is this naked, this wounded, this mangled and outcast piece of clay, the very Jefus of Nazareth, fo mighty once in word and deed! Yes, my brethren, there and thus he lies, but lies as the covenant reprefentative of loft finners; nor could it be otherways, fince he trode the wine-prefs of the Father's wrath alone. See, see, the victim falls the facrifice flain! the fcene of life, as to him, in a fuffering capacity, closed! and to crown the whole, the curtain of the grave, by and by falls! For as he died, fo the evangelifts affure us he was buried; was decently wrapped up in clean linen, conveyed to Jofeph of Arimathea's family tomb; laid in a new niche of the rock, never be fore ftained with dead bodies; and fhut in by a great ftone rolled to the mouth of the fepulchre. But, do ye not fee thefe daughters of Jerufalem following the folemn proceffion, clothed in fable weeds, and drenched in floods of tears? do ye not hear his mother fobbing out a grief, too big for utterance? while her companions in forrow, Mary Magdalene, and other great debtors to free grace, can only exprefs their tender feelings by fighs and groans. But hark! what meant that horrid crash, and what yonder univerfal gloom? The earth fhook, my brethren, the rocks rent, and the fun, for a time, hid his face; all nature appeared in mourning robes, from the fixth to the ninth hour of the day; and no wonder, when he, who in his divine character, was, is, and continues the God of univerfal nature, fuffered, and fuffered unto death.


From the two preceeding fections, true Chriftians cannot do otherwife than infer the love and


grace of God their Saviour. You fee the price of your redemption, the value Jefus Chrift put upon your falvation, paying fo much for it; the wrath you were fubjected unto, are now delivered from; together with the vastness of that mercy, by which you are fecured from fuch vaft wrath. Since you were naturally the children of this wrath; fince you would ftill have been exposed to it, if not actually groaning under it, had not the Mediator feasonably interpofed; fince being under no obligation, arifing from finners themselves, to undertake this labour of love, he might have left the whole apoftate family to wander and perish for ever; and fince, while others are lying under the cloud of wrath, you are diftinguished by his grace; does it not follow, by the moft natural and neceffary confequence, that you are bound to view thefe things, into which angels themfelves defire to look, with wonder, joy and gratitude? to aim at expreffing your high thoughts of redeeming love, by the exercise of humble praife, firm, believing and ftedfaft obedience; and at expreffing them, by a generous concern for the fouls of others, expofed to wrath, and yet infenfible of their danger, and unaffected with it. Help them therefore, by your prayers, advice and example; do every thing within your fphere, in a dependence on grace, to draw them from beneath the impending cloud of the wrath of God; or, in the words now under confideration, to draw them out of the horrible pit and miry clay. Nor ceafe to pray for thofe, whofe province it is to labour in word and doctrine, that they may be endowed with holy fkill, divine fagacity, and bleffed fuccefs, in their minifterial endeavours, after the recovery of loft finners.

From what was the fituation of the Man Chrift Jefus, when acting in the room of finners, the pre

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