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And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.-John iii. 14, 15.
INTROD.-Law our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. Moses.
I. Deadly natnre of sin.
Act, like the sting, bite. In its guilt, like the venom infecting. In its consequence, pain, death. (Prov. xxiii. 32.) Approaches as a serpent. It stupifies, or makes raging. One serpent killed man with one bite.
II. Powerful remedy prepared.
Brass, bright, durable. Serpent in the likevess of Christ in the likeness of sinful flesh, without sin. Serpent accursed,-Christ was made a curse. Lifted up on the cross, to heaven. On the Gospel pole. Christ is the Physician and remedy. He is the Judge and goes through the executiou.
HII. Way to apply the remedy.
Not by works. (These remedies are preparations of our own. Formalists, Moralists.) But, by looking to Christ, (Isa. xlv, 22; 2 Cor. iv.) till the sting is extracted, the soul is pardoned and healed.
Behold Christ at the door, in the garden, on the cross. Your sin fastened on him. The serpent braised his heel. His Godhead, unbruised, raises him. See him ploading your cause. I bring the pole near. Look
and be saved. Look steadily through all clouds. In faith, in hope, in love, with detestation of sin.
IV. Encouragement to believe.
1. “That they might not perish.'-In sin, death, hell, everlasting destruction.
2. “But might have everlasting life,'-health, life of grace, and glory for ever.
3. This is fulness of salvation. The freeness, 'Whosoever believeth on him,' &c.
4. APPLICATION.-Careless singers.-Is sin so terrible ? Play not; trifle not with it; rest not with its sting; plead not for its life; put not off its cure; misery of sinners here, and in hell; gnawn by serpents, envy, rage, disappointment, worm.
Is he a sovereign remedy?--Convinced sinners, despair not; neglect it not; spoil it not; use it in haste,
To avoid death, to secure life, to get strength to go through the wilderness to Canaan.
3. Backsliders, look again.—Let there be enmity, &c.
4. Believers, look on till you have got to Canaan. Serpents follow you; but so does the Rock. Help others;
tell of the Physician. Shew you are healed; work, and eat.
For whom (Jesus Christ my Lord] I have suffered the
loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ.-Phil. iii. 8.
INTROD.-— Win Christ. What a prize!
Kings have run in this race : Beggars uot excluded. It is for all that “run lawfully.'
1. Let us take a view of the prize.
Riches, honours, pleasure, earth, heaven, life, eternal life, men, angels, God in three persons, Christ in three offices.
II. The way to gain it.
Faith. It is the ticket that always brings the gloribus prize. If a distracted murderer, dying thief, &c.
III. What loss we are called to suffer.
• All things.'-Loss of carnal rest, fair reputation, prospects of fortune, (Balaam,) friends, sensual pleasures, life itself: All this is lost in appearance ; found in reality.
IV. This loss is small.
It is but the loss of dung,--something base, disagreeable to the sight and smell, fit to be cast out, and buried out of the way.
APPLICATION.-Ungodly.—You too will soon suffer the loss of all things ;' but for a worse cause than Christ's.--You will lose all good things on earth; get all evil things in hell. O view Christ's excellency and the dung of the earth.
Mourners.--Look to Christ and be saved. Win a gracious Christ now, aud you will have a glorious one
Run, lay aside every weight, despondeucy, gloom, hard thoughts of Christ and his blood. Put in a blank, a blot, and you will have a prize.
Backsliders.-0, what have you left ? The pursuit of Christ.-What do you grasp ? Dung.
Weak Believers.-Be strong, Christ is all. O hold him fast. He hath apprehended you.
Unto us was the Gospel preached as well as unto them,
but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.-Heb. iv. 2.
1. The everlasting gospel was preached to the Jews.
1. In the promises. The woman's seed, the seed of Abraham, Shiloh, Messiah, the prophet like unto Moses.
2. Types.-Noah, Aaron, Joshua, Brazen Serpent. Purification, Sacrifices, as the Daily Lamb, the Paschal Lamh, the Scape Goat, offers of free mercy. This and the promise are chiefly meant here.
JI. “The gospel is preached to us.'
Ju the promises, types, antitypes, sacraments, daily offers of niercy and pardou.
II. The word preached did not profit them.'
They remained, (1.) unconvinced, (2.) unholy, (3.) unhappy, (4.) unfit for glory.
IV. The reason. It was not mixed with faith in them that heard it.'
Faith is the ingredient without which the preaching of apostles, angels, and of Christ is lost.
Faith is that by which the preaching of babes avails.
The word is milk, food, physic, cordial. Faith sucks, eats,
Gallios, beware. The king is courting a beggar's love
There are spices and gold in the East Indies, which we believe, though we have not seen.-It is only fools, who believe only when they see.
Faith is both a gospel blessing, and a term of access. It takes the word and promises. Mix them now.
APPLICATION.-1. Mischievous unbelief defeats the word, crucifies Christ.
2. Beware of it. Pray before, at, and after the word.
3. Do you profit ?—You have faith-vice versa. 4. Ye careless,-Believe a God, death, hell, heaven.
5. Ye mourners, believe Christ, his blood, promises, will, power. 6. Believers. Believe and profit-shew it-tell of
Rend your heurts and not your garments, and turn unto
the Lord your God: For he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.-Joel ii. 13.
INTROD.—This becomes us at all times, especially in Lent.
I. The first precept. “Rend your hearts, not your garments.'
1. Negative part.
A mean, coarse habit was a token of grief.—Rending of garments was, and still is, sign of great sorrow and amazement. Job rent his mantle : (Job i. 20 :) So did his friends. (Job ii. 12.) So did Tamar ravished. (2 Sam. xiii. 19.) So did Hushai when David filed before Absalom: 'He met him with his clothes rent, and ashes or earth on his head.' (2 Sam. xv. 32.) (High Priest.)—This became at length an hypocritical