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Sermon 21. The second preparative Act of Christ for his own Death.

1 Corinthians xi. 23-25

The Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.

Christ had no sooner recommended his dear charge to the Father, but (the time of his death hastening on) he institutes his last supper, to be the lasting memorial of his death, in all the churches, until his second coming; therein graciously providing for the comfort of his people, when he should be removed out of their sight. And this was the second preparative act of Christ, in order to his death: he will set his house in order, and then die.

- This his second act manifests no less love than the former. It is like the plucking off the ring from his finger, when ready to lay his neck upon the block, and delivering it to his dearest friends, to keep that as a memorial of him: “Take this, &c. in remembrance of me.”

In the words read, are four things noted by the apostle, about this last and lovely act of Christ, viz. the Author, Time, Institution, and End of this holy, solemn ordinance.

1. The author of it, The Lord Jesus: It is an effect of his lordly power, and royal authority; Matth. 28: 18. “And Jesus came, and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and earth: Go ye therefore.” The government is upon his shoulders, Isa. 9: 6. He shall bear the glory, Zech. 6: 13. Who but he that came out of the bosom of the Father, and is acquainted with all the counsels that are there, knows what will be acceptable to God? And who but he can give creatures, by his blessing, their sacramental efficacy and virtue? Bread and wine are naturally fit to refresh and nourish our bodies; but what fitness have they to nourish souls? Surely none, but what they receive from the blessing of Christ that institutes them.

2. The Time when the Lord Jesus appointed this ordinance. “In the same night in which he was betrayed:” it could not be sooner, because the passover must first be celebrated; nor later, for that night he was apprehended. It is therefore emphatically expressed “en tei nukti”, in that same night, that night for ever to be remembered. He gives, that night, a cordial draught to his disciples before the conflict: he settles, that night, an ordinance in the church, for the confirmation and consolation of his people, in all generations, to the end of the world. By instituting it that night, he gives abundant evidence of his care for his people, in spending so much of that little, very little, time he had left, on their account.

3. The Institution itself; in which we have the memorative, significative, instructive signs, and they are bread and wine; and the glorious mysteries represented and shadowed forth by them, viz. Jesus Christ crucified; the proper New-Testament nourishment of believers. Bread and wine are choice creatures, and do excellently shadow forth the flesh and blood of crucified Jesus; and that both, in their natural usefulness, and manner of preparation. Their usefulness is very great; bread is a creature necessary to uphold and maintain our natural life; therefore it is called the staff of bread, Isa. 3: 1. Because as a feeble man depends and leans upon his staff, so do our feeble spirits upon bread. Wine was made to cheer the heart of man, Judg. 11: 13. They are both useful and excellent creatures; their preparations, to become so useful to us, are also remarkable. The corn must be ground in the mill, the grapes torn and squeezed to pieces in the winepress, before we can either have bread or wine. And when all this is done, they must be received into the body, or they nourish not. So that these were very fit creatures to be set apart for this use and end.

If any object, It is true, they are good creatures, but not precious enough to be the signs of such profound and glorious mysteries: it was worth creating a new creature, to be the sign of the new covenant.

Let him that thus objects, ask himself, whether nothing be precious without pomp? The preciousness of these elements is not so much from their own natures, as their use and end; and that makes them precious indeed. A loadstone at sea is much more excellent than a diamond, because more useful. A penny-worth of wax applied to the label of a deed, and sealed, may in a minute have its value raised to thousands of pounds. These creatures receive their value and estimation on a like account. Nor should it at all remain a wonder to thee, why Christ should represent himself by such mean and common things, when thou hast well considered that the excellency of the picture, is its similitude and conformity to the original; and that Christ was in a low, sad, and very abased state, when this picture of him was drawn; he was then a man of sorrows. These then, as lively sighs, shadow forth a crucified Jesus, represent him to us in his red garments. This precious ordinance may much more than Paul, say to us, “I always bear about in my body the dying of the Lord Jesus:” That is the thing it signifies.

4. Lastly take notice of the use, design, and end of this institution. “Eis ten emen anamnesin”, in remembrance, or for a memorial of me. O there is much in this: Christ knew how apt our base hearts would be to lose him, amidst such a throng of sensible objects as we here converse with; and how much that forgetfulness of him and of his sufferings, would turn to our prejudice and loss; therefore does he appoint a sign to be remembered by: “As oft as you do this, ye show forth the Lord’s death till he come.” Hence we observe, suitable to the design of this discourse,

Doct. That the sacramental memorial Christ left with his

people, is a special mark of his care and love for them.

What! To order his picture (as it were) to be drawn when he was dying, to be left with his spouse! To rend his own flesh, and set abroach his own blood to be meat and drink for our souls! O what manner of love was this! It is true, his picture in the sacrament is full of scars and wounds: but these are honourable scars, and highly grace and commend it to his spouse, for whose dear sake he here received them.

“They are marks of love and honour.” And he would be so drawn, or rather he so drew himself, that as oft as his people looked upon the portraiture of him, they might remember, and be deeply affected with those things he here endured for their sakes. These are the wounds my dear husband Jesus received for me. These are the marks of that love which passes the love of creatures. O see the love of a Saviour! This is that heavenly Pelican that feeds his young with his own blood. We have read of pitiful and tender women that have eaten the flesh of their own children, Lam. 4: 10. But where is that woman recorded that gave her own flesh and blood to be meat and drink to her children? Surely the spouse may say of the love of Christ, what David in his lamentations, said of the love of Jonathan, “Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.” But to prepare the point to be meat indeed, and drink indeed to thy soul, I shall discuss briefly these three things, and hasten to the application.

First, What it is to remember the Lord Jesus in the sacrament.

Secondly, What aptitude there is in that ordinance, so to bring him to our remembrance.

Thirdly, How the care and love of Christ is discovered, by leaving such a memorial of himself with us.

Remembrance, properly, is the return of the mind to an object, about which it has been formerly conversant; and it may so return to a thing, it has conversed with before, two ways; speculatively and transiently; or affectingly, and permanently. A speculative remembrance is only to call to mind the history of such a person and his sufferings: that Christ was once put to death in the flesh. An affectionate remembrance, is when we so call Christ and his death to our minds, as to feel the powerful impressions thereof upon our hearts. Thus, Mat. 26: 75. “Peter remembered the word of the Lord, and went out, and wept bitterly.” His very heart was melted with that remembrance; his bowels were pained, he could not hold, but went out and wept abundantly. Thus Joseph, when he saw his brother Benjamin, whose sight refreshed the memory of former days and endearments, was greatly affected, Gen. 43: 29, 30. “And he lift up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son: and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake to me? and he said, God be gracious to thee my son. And Joseph made haste, for his bowels did yearn upon his brother, and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.” Such a remembrance of Christ is that which is here intended. This is indeed a gracious remembrance of Christ: the former has nothing of grace in it. The time shall come when Judas that betrayed him, and the Jews that pierced him, shall historically remember what was done; Rev. 1: 7. “Behold he comets with clouds, and every eye shall see him; and they also which pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” Then I say, Judas shall remember; This is he whom I perfidiously betrayed. Pilate shall remember; This is he whom I sentenced to be hanged on the tree though I was convinced of his innocence. Then the soldiers shall remember; This is that face we spit upon, that head we crowned with thorns; Lo, this is he whose side we pierced, whose hands and feet we once nailed to the cross. But this remembrance will be their torment, not their benefit. It is not therefore a bare historical, speculative, but a gracious, affectionate, impressive remembrance of Christ, that is here intended: and such a remembrance of Christ supposes and includes,

1. The saving knowledge of him. We cannot be said to remember what we never knew; nor to remember, savingly, what we never knew savingly. There have been many previous, sweet end gracious transactions, dealings, and intimacies betwixt Christ and his people, from the time of their first happy acquaintance with him: much of that sweetness they have had in former considerations of him, and hours of communion with him, is lost and gone; for nothing is more volatile, hazardous, and inconstant, than our spiritual comforts: but now at the Lord’s table, there our old acquaintance is renewed, and the remembrance of his goodness and love refreshed and revived: “We will remember thy love more than wine; the upright love thee,” Cant. 1: 4.

2. Such a remembrance of Christ includes faith in it. Without discerning Christ at a sacrament, there is no remembrance of him; and, without faith, no discerning Christ there. But when the precious eye of faith has spied Christ, under that vail, it presently calls up the affections, sayings “Come see the Lord.” These are the wounds he received from me. This is he that loved me, and gave himself for me. This is his flesh, and that his blood; sic oculus, sic ille manus, &c. so his arms were stretched out upon the cross to embrace me; so his blessed head hung down to kiss me. Awake my love, rouse up my hope, flame out my desires; Come forth, all ye powers and affections of my soul; come, see the Lord. No sooner does Christ by his Spirit call to the believer but faith hears; and discerning the voice, turns about, like Mary, saying, Rabboni, my Lord, my Master.

3. This remembrance of Christ includes suitable impressions made upon the affections, by such a sight and remembrance of him: and therein lies the nature of that precious thing which we call communion with God. Various representations of Christ are made at his table. Sometimes the soul there calls to mind the infinite wisdom, that so contrived and laid the glorious and mysterious design and project of redemption: the effect of this is wonder and admiration. O the manifold wisdom of God! Eph. 3: 10. O the depths, the heights, the length, the breadth of this wisdom! I can as easily span the heavens as take the just dimensions of it. Sometimes a representation of the severity of God is made to the soul at that ordinance. O how inflexible and severe is the justice of God! What, no abatement! no sparing mercy; no, not to his own Son? This begets a double impression on the heart.

(1.) Just and deep indignation against sin; Oh cursed sin! It was thou used my dear Lord so; for thy sake he underwent all this. If thy vileness had not been so great, his sufferings had not been so many. Cursed sin! thou wast the knife that stabbed him: thou the sword that pierced him. Ah what revenge it works! I remembered that it is storied of one of the kings of France, that hearing the bishop (as I remember it was Remegius) read the history of Christ’s trial and execution, and hearing how barbarously they had used him, he was moved, with so tragical and pathetical a history, to great indignation against Pilate, the Jews, and the rude and bloody soldiers, and could not contain himself, but cried out, as the bishop was reading, “O that I had been there with my Frenchmen, I would have cut all their throats who so barbarously used my Saviour.”

To allude to this: when the believer considers and remembers, that sin put Christ to all that shame and ignominy, and that he was wounded for our transgressions, he is filled with hatred of sin, and cries out, O sin, I will revenge the blood of Christ upon thee! thou shalt never live a quiet hour in my heart. And,

(2.) It produces an humble adoration of the goodness and mercy of God, to exact satisfaction for our sins, by such bloody stripes, from our surety. Lord, if this wrath had seized on me, as it did on Christ, what had been my condition then! If these things were done to the green tree, what had been the case of the dry tree?

Sometimes representations, (and not common ones), are made of the love of Christ, who assumed a body and soul, on purpose to bear the wrath of God for our sins. And when that surpassing love breaks out in its glory upon the souls, how is the soul transported and ravished with it! crying out, what manner of love is this! here is a love large enough to go round the heavens, and the heaven of heavens! Who ever loved after this rate, to lay down his life for enemies! O love unutterable and inconceivable! How glorious is my love in his red garments! Sometimes the fruits of his death are there gloriously displayed; even his satisfaction for sin, and the purchase his blood made of the eternal inheritance: And this begets thankfulness and confidence in the soul, Christ is dead, and his death has satisfied for my sin. Christ is dead, therefore my soul shall never die. Who shall separate me from the love of God? These are the fruits, and this is the nature of that remembrance of Christ here spoken of.

Secondly, What aptitude or condecency is there in this ordinance, to bring Christ so to remembrance?

Much every way; for it is a sign, by him appointed to that end, and has (as divines well observe) a threefold use and consideration, viz. as it is memorative, significative, and instructive.

1. As it is memorative, and so it has the nature and use of a pledge or token of love, left by a dying to a dear surviving friend. And so the sacrament, as was said before, is like a ring pluckt off from Christ’s finger, or a bracelet from his arm; or rather his picture from his breast, delivered to us with such words as these; “As oft as you look on this, remember me; let this help to keep me alive in your remembrance when I am gone, and out of your sight.” It induces to it also,

2. As it is a significative sign, most aptly signifying both his bitter sufferings for us, and our strict and intimate union with him; both which have an excellent usefulness to move the heart, and its deepest affections, at the remembrance of it. The breaking of the bread, and shedding forth the wine, signify the former; our eating, drinking, and incorporating them, is a lively signification of the other.

3. Moreover, this ordinance has an excellent use and advantage for this affectionate remembrance of Christ, as it is an instructive sign. And it many ways instructs us, and enlightens our mind, particularly in these truths, which are very affecting things.

1. That Christ is the bread on which our souls live, proper meat and drink for believers, the most excellent New-Testament food. It is said, Psal. 78: 25. “Man did eat angels food:” he means the manna that fell from heaven, which was so excellent, that if angels, who are the noblest creatures, did live upon material food, they would choose this above all to feed on. And yet this was but a type and weak shadow of Christ, on whom believers feed. Christ makes a royal feast of his own flesh and blood, Isa. 25: 6. All our delicates are in him.

2. It instructs us that the New Testament is now in its full force, and no substantial alteration can be made in it, since the testator is dead, and by his death has ratified it. So that all the excellent promises and blessings of it are now fully confirmed to the believing soul, Heb. 9: 16, 17. All these, and many more choice truths, are we instructed in by this sign: And all these ways it remembers us of Christ, and helps powerfully to raise, warm, and affect our hearts with that remembrance of him.

Thirdly, The last enquiry is, How Christ has, hereby, left such a special mark of his care for, and love to his people. And that will evidently appear, if you consider these five particulars.

1. This is a special mark of the care and love of Christ, inasmuch as hereby he has made abundant provision for the confirmation and establishment of the faith of his people to the end of the world. For this being an evident proof that the New Testament is in its full force, (Matth. 26: 28. “This is the cup of the New testament in my blood,”) it tends as much to our satisfaction, as the legal execution of a deed, by which we hold and enjoy our estate. So that when he saith, Take, eat, it is as much as if God should stand before you at the table with Christ, and all the promises in his hand; and say, I deliver this to thee as my deed. What think you, does this promote and confirm the faith of a believer? if it does not, what does?

2. This is a special mark of Christ’s care and love, inasmuch as by this he has made like abundant provision for the enlargement of the joy and comfort of his people. Believers are at this ordinance, as Mary was at the sepulchre, with fear and great joy, Matth. 28: 8. Come, reader, speak thy heart, if thou be one that heartily lowest Jesus Christ, and hast gone many days, possibly years, mourning and lamenting because of the inevidence and cloudiness of thine interest in him; who hast sought him sorrowing, in this ordinance, and in that, in one duty, and another: if at last Christ should take off that mask, that cruel covering (as one calls it) from his face, and be known of thee in breaking of bread: suppose he should, by his Spirit, whisper thus in thine ear as thou sittest at his table, Dost thou indeed so prize, esteem, and value me? Will nothing but Christ and his love content and satisfy thee? Then, as sweet, lovely, and desirable as I am, know that I am thine: take thine own Christ into the arms of thy faith this day: Would not this create in thy soul, a joy transcendent to all the joys and pleasures in this world? What thinkest thou of it?

3. Here is a signal mark of Christ’s care and love, inasmuch as this is one of the highest, and best helps for the mortification of the corruption of his people. Nothing tends more to the killing of sin, than this does. Christ’s blood, as it is food to faith, so it is poison to our lusts. O what a pill is wrapt up in that bread! what an excellent potion is in that cup to purge the soul? One calls that table, an altar, on which our corruptions are sacrificed and slain before the Lord. For how can they that there see what Christ suffered for sin, live any longer therein?

4. Moreover his care and love appear in providing an ordinance so excellently adapted, to excite and blow up his people’s love into lively flame. When Joseph made himself known to his brethren, “I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold, be not grieved:” O! what showers of tears and dear affections were there? How did they fall upon each others necks! so that the Egyptians wondered at the matter. How does the soul (if I may so speak) passionately love Jesus Christ at such a time? O what a Christ is my Christ! “The fairest among ten thousand.” What has he done, what has he suffered for me! what great things has my Jesus given, and what great things has he forgiven me: A world, a thousand worlds cannot show such another. Here the soul is melted down by love at his feet; it is pained with love.

5. To conclude; Christ’s care and love are further manifested to his people, in this ordinance, as it is one of the strongest bonds of union betwixt them that can be: 1 Cor. 10: 17. “We being many, are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread.” And though, through our corruptions, it falls out, that what was intended for a bond of union proves a bone of contention, yet, inasmuch as by this it appears how dearly Christ loved them; for as much also as here they are sealed up to the same inheritance, their dividing corruptions here slain, their love to Christ, and consequently to each other, here improved; it is certainly one of the strongest ties in the world, to wrap up gracious hearts in a bundle of love.

And thus I have dispatched the doctrinal part of this point. The improvement of it is in the following inferences.

Inference 1. Did Christ leave this ordinance with his church to preserve his remembrance among his people: Then surely Christ foresaw, that, notwithstanding what he is, has done, suffered, and promised yet to do for his people, they will for all this be still apt to forget him.

A man would think that such a Christ should never be one whole hour together out of his people’s thoughts and affections: that wherever they go, they should carry him up and down with them, in their thoughts, desires, and delights: that they should let their thoughts work towards Christ as the longing thoughts of her that is with child do work after that she longs for: that they should lie down with Christ in their thoughts at night, and when they awake be still with him that their very dreams in the night should be sweet visions of Christ, and all their words savour of Christ.

But O the baseness of these hearts! Here we live and converse in a world of sensible objects, which, like a company of thieves, rob us of our Christ, and lay the dead child in his room. Wo is me, that it should be so with me, who am so obliged to love him! Though he be in the highest glory in heaven, he does not forget us; he has graven us upon the palms of his heads; we are continually before him. He thinks on us, when we forget him. The whole honour and glory paid him in heaven by the angels, cannot divert his thoughts one moment from us; but every trifle that meets us in the way, is enough to divert our thoughts from him. Why do we not abhor and loathe ourselves for this? What! Is it a pain, a burden, to carry Christ in our thoughts about the world? As much a burden, if thy heart be spiritual, as a bird is burdened by carrying his own wings.

Will such thoughts intrude unseasonably, and thrust greater things than Christ out of our minds? For shame, Christian, for shame, let not thy heart play the wanton, and gad from Christ after every vanity. In heaven nothing else takes up the thoughts of saints to eternity; and yet there is no tiring, no satiety. O learn to live nearer that heavenly life. Never leave praying and striving, till thou canst say as it is, Psal. 63: 5. “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips; whilst I remember thee on my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.”

Inf. 2. Hence also we infer, that sacrament-seasons are heart melting seasons; because therein the most affecting and heart-melting recognitions and representations of Christ are made. As the gospel offers him to the ear, in the most sweet, affecting sounds of grace; so the sacrament to the eye, in the most pleasing visions that are on this side heaven.

There, hearts that will not yield a tear under other ordinances, can pour out floods: Zech. 12: 10. “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and mourn.” Yet I dare not affirm, that every one whose heart is broken by the believing sight of Christ there, can evidence that it is so by a dropping eye. No, we may say of tears, as it is said of love, Cant. 8: 7. If some Christians would give all the treasures of their houses for them, they cannot be purchased: yet they are truly humbled for sin, and seriously affected with the grace of Christ. For the support of such, I would distinguish, and have them to do so also, betwixt what is essential to spiritual sorrow, and what is contingent. Deep displeasure with thyself for sin, hearty resolutions and desires of the complete mortification of it, this is essential to all spiritual sorrow; but tears are accidental, and in some constitutions rarely found. If thou hast the former, trouble not thyself for want of the latter, though it is a mercy when they kindly and undissembledly flow from a heart truly broken.

And surely, to see who it is that thy sins have pierced, how great, how glorious, how wonderful a Person that was, that was so humbled, abased, and brought to the dust, for such a wretched thing as thou art, cannot but tenderly affect the considering soul. If it was for a lamentation in the captivity, “that princes were hanged up by the hands, and the faces of the elders not reverenced,” Lam. 5: 12. And if at the death of Abner, David could lament, and say, “A prince, and a great man is fallen in Israel this day,” 2 Sam. 3: 38. If he could pathetically lament the death of Saul and Jonathan, saying, “Daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet; the beauty of Israel is slain upon the high places!” Ah! how much more should it affect us, to see the beauty of heaven fallen, the Prince of life hang dead upon a tree! O let the place where you assemble to see this sight of your crucified Jesus, be a Bochim, a place of lamentation.

Inf. 3. Moreover hence it is evident, that the believing and affectionate remembrance of Christ, is of singular advantage at all times to the people of God. For it is the immediate end of one of the greatest ordinances that ever Christ appointed to the church.

To have frequent recognitions of Christ, will appear to be singularly efficacious and useful to believers, if you consider,

1. If at any time the heart be dead and hard, this is the likeliest means in the world to dissolve, melt, and quicken it. Look hither hard heart; hard indeed if this hammer will not break it. Behold the blood of Jesus.

2. Art thou easily overcome by temptations to sin? This is the most powerful restraint in the world from sin: Rom. 6: 2 “How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” We are crucified with Christ, what have we to do with sin? Have such a thought as this, when thy heart is yielding to temptation. How can I do this, and crucify the Son of God afresh! Has he not suffered enough already on earth; shall I yet make him groan as it were for me in heaven! Look, as David poured the water brought from the well of Bethlehem, on the ground, though he was athirst, for he said, it is the blood of the men? i.e. they eminently hazarded their lives to fetch it; much more should a Christian pour out upon the ground, yea, despise and trample under foot, the greatest profit or pleasure of sin; saying, Nay, I will have nothing to do with it, I will on no terms touch it, for it is the blood of Christ: it cost blood, infinite, precious blood to expiate it. If there were a knife in your house that had been thrust to the heart of your father, you would not take pleasure to see that knife, much less to use it.

3. Are you afraid your sins are not pardoned, but still stand upon account before the Lord? What more relieving, what more satisfying, than to see the cup of the New Testament in the blood of Christ, which is “shed for many for the remission of sins?” Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is Christ that died.”

4. Are you staggered at your sufferings, and hard things you must endure for Christ in this world? Does the flesh shrink back from these things, and cry, spare thyself? What is there in the world more likely to steel and fortify thy spirit with resolution and courage, than such a sight as this? Did Christ face the wrath of men, and the wrath of God too? Did he stand as a pillar of brass, with unbroken patience, and steadfast resolution, under such troubles as never met in the like height upon any mere creature, till death beat the last breath out of his nostrils? And shall I shrink for a trifle? Ah, he did not serve me so! I will arm myself with the like mind, 1 Pet. 2: 2.

5. Is thy faith staggered at the promises? Can’t thou not rest upon a promise? Here is what will help thee against hope to believe in hope, giving glory to God. For this is God’s seal added to his covenant, which ratifies and binds fast all that God has spoken.

6. Dost thou idle away precious time vainly, and live unusefully to Christ in thy generation? What more apt both to convince and cure thee, than such remembrance of Christ as this? O when thou considerest thou art not thine own, thy time, thy talents are not thine own, but Christ’s; when thou shalt see thou art bought with a price (a great price indeed) and so art strictly obliged to glorify God, with thy soul and body, which are his, 2 Cor. 5: 14. This will powerfully awaken a dull, sluggish, and lazy spirit. In a word, what grace is there that this remembrance of Christ cannot quicken? What sin cannot it mortify? What duty cannot it animate? O it is of singular use in all cases to the people of God.

Inf. 4. Lastly we infer; Though all other things do, yet Christ neither does, nor can grow stale. Here is an ordinance to preserve his remembrance fresh to the end of the world. The blood of Christ does never dry up. The beauty of this rose of Sharon is never lost or withered. He is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. As his body in the grave saw no corruption, so neither can his love, or any of his excellencies. When the saints shall have fed their eyes upon him in heaven, thousands and millions of years, he shall be as fresh, beautiful, and orient as at the beginning. Others beauties have their prime, and their fading time; but Christ abides eternally. Our delight in creatures is often most at first acquaintance; when we come nearer to them, and see more of them, the edge of our delight is abated: but the longer you know Christ, and the nearer you come to him, still the more do you see of his glory. Every farther prospect of Christ entertains the mind with a fresh delight. He is as it were a new Christ every day, and yet the same Christ still.

Blessed be God for Jesus Christ.

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