Page images

but he was exposed to the will of wicked men, and to the devil himself, in this severe and tormenting act; for it appears to me that the devil had done all that he was able to do in tempting or blessed Lord all through his life to the intent that he might gain his own enil, and so to overthrow the kingdom of our Lord, and to cast his enterprize down to the ground, so that he might triumph against the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who had said, And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. And we see from the time that God created man upon the earth, that it was the devil's design to deface the cause of God and to ruin the souls of men. But who is able for these things but a real child of God.

0, I pray thee, stand by me, O Lord, and help me, and deliver my

soul from error; antud again, let me name the text, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matt. xxvii. 46.) Now, according to my serious thoughts and reflection, I think, if I mistake not, that Satan had some hand in this, and was suffered to move God against his Son, even as he was suffered to move God against Job. Now we read of Job and of his prosperity, and he was a good man, and the candle of the Lord shone upon him. Then Satan answered the Lord and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side ; thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the lan l; but put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face, as uch as to say, I do not know that he is a good mart

. Let him be proved, and see if he will stand the day of trial or not. So Satan obtained leave to tempt Job, and to destroy his cattle, to see if he could provoke Job to sin against his God; but the devil prevailed not, but Job blesseth the God of his salvation. Now it appears to me, that Satan was not satisfied, as if he thought he had not justice done him; and Satan answered the Lord. and said, Skin for skin : yea, all thrat a man hath will he. give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thiy face. And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold he is in thine hand, but save his life. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils, from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And now we see, that Satan's design Was is possible to destroy Job's soul an! to ch:rge him as an hypocrite, or in other words, that is to say, he would be as sad as an hypocrite, if God taketh away his temporal bless.. ings, or in other words, let him have the day of trial, and then see if he will not become wicked, or let him be tried as the wicked, and then see if he will not become wicked. And we see that Satan is for having fair play, or more than fair play on his side, if he giveth ever such foul. But see my little Book, called The Trials of the Righteous. So you see that this cruel enemy the devil, is suffered to tempt man and even the Son of God himself: for we see that he tempted himn through the various seasons of his life: and what can we think made our Blessed Lord to utter words like these when he was hung upon the cross-My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?- I have no comment to go by; but, I really believe that the devil had some hand in it, as he had in the case of Job. And again-My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why he was forsaken may be thisbecause sin may have its just reward for the Lord hast laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah liji. 6.) And why he was forsaken may be, that divine justice might be satisfied ; because he made his soul an offering for sin: and the chastisement of our peace was upon him. And again, why he was forsaken may be, that the devil may be put the more to silence-for I have some idea, that as Satan was suffered to try Job, so was he suffered to try our Lord, that if possible, according to his design, he might overthrow the plan of salvation; for he tried and tempted him through his life, but could not prevail. So then at the last, in our Lord's agony and violent pain, it may be something like this, that Satan perhaps may dispute with God, or calumniate or accuse our Saviour falsely, as he did concerning Job, and so argue with God, with words like these. How could the Son of God, which came from heaven commit sin, who is like unto God himself, and besides all this, he hast been supported by angels, and the spirit of God and just men made perfect (Matt. xvii. 3.) But now withdraw thy heavenly graces from him, and let him have justice laid upon him to the greatest extent, and then see if he will bear away the sin of the world. Therefore his sorrow, and his sufferings were so great, that I cannot comprehend it fully. But it appears that he was left in great distress, but he was holy, and the heavy hand of justice was upon him, and his burden made him cry out like David in his distress, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me, why art thou so far from helping me ? (Psalm


22.) But, notwithstanding, our Lord finished his work, which his heavenly Father gave him to do. (John xix. 30.) And he died as innocent as a lamb, and said, Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit. And having said thus, he gave up

the Ghost. Now, it appears, that when he was hung upon the that there was darkness over all the earth, about the space

of three hours, and the sun was darkened. And it appears to me, that the sun and the heavens mourned for the lamb; and I think, if there was ever mourning in heaven, it was when the Son of God suffered upon the cross. But it is said, he will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces. (Isaiah xxv. 8.) And now hear and see how right and plain Isaiah speaks of him, and saith he was taken from prison and from judgment, and who shall declare his generation, for he was cut off out of the land of the living. For the transgression of my people, was he stricken, and he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth; yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him. He hath put him to grief, when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand, he shall see of the travail of his soul,

and shall be satisfied, for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore, will I divide him a portion with the great, because he hath poured out his soul unto death, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah liii.) His visage was marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons (Isaiah lii. 14.)


humbled sinner may say, has he suffered all this for me, yes, he hast suffered all this for you, and for me; and now he is entered into his glory, and there he is our surety, and pleads for every repenting sinner, and in all his distress he left not the Godhead. But the Father with the Son and the Holy Ghost are God, and will be our God for ever and ever, if we believe in him, and serve him aright, and will be our guide even unto death. Oh! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and

ye that hath no money, come ye buy and eat, yea, come buy wine and milk, without money, and without price. For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee in a little wrath, I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have

[ocr errors]

of men.


mercy on thee, saith the Lord, thy Redeemer. O then let no flesh dare to despise the Lamb for ever, for great is the loving kindness of the Lord Jesus, Amen, Amen.

[blocks in formation]

5 His life, O how sweet,

His Grace is refreshing,
My soul doth admire,

The joys of his charms,
To see his grand mansions,

Which he hath prepared,
When we shall appear

In his lovely sweet arms.

6 There to drink the sweet pleasures

That flows from his fountain,
And to sing Hallelujah

To redeeming grace,
There to behold our king

In his grandeur and glory,
And Christ our victory,

Face to face.

7 O glory, O glory,

To God in the highest,
And praise ye his Son

For ever more,
Which hath redeemed our souls

From the snares of all evil,
And crowns us with love,

Of the joy he's insured.

[ocr errors]

blessed Redeemer, was there ever love like thine, when thou saw man in his lost and ruined state and condition, then thou had great mercy on him, and left thy lovely station, and the high order of heaven, and condescended unto rebellious man on earth in the lowest, even for his good, and to suffer and to die an ignominious death upon

the cross,

in order that thou may pluck our poor sinful souls as brands from eternal burnings; yes, thou did, thou lovely lamb, and when I consider and contemplate upon thy wonderful and kind miracles, which thou wrought upon thy poor sinful, and impotent, and helpless creatures, and that thou hath oftentimes bestowed the same upon me, this seems enough, my Lord, to fill my heart with contrition, and to melt me into love ; but when I behold thee nailed on the cross for our sins, and that with an audible voice, exclaiming, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me. This fills my soul with wonder, love, and praise, because thou hath loved me so much, and I have loved thee so little.

I never limit

O, may

« PreviousContinue »