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Written by Wilson Thompson   

A SERMON.

Delivered by WILSON THOMPSON,

in Lebanon, on the fourth Lord’s day in July, 1823.

The following discourse is published by request of a number of the members of the Baptist Church in Lebanon, as near verbatim as can be from memory .As I had no notes, nor any thoughts of writing it at the time of delivering it, nor for several days afterwards, it is probable that it is not verbatim literatim; but having been inspected by a number who

heard it extempore, they say there is no observable difference in matter or style.

Some of the same arguments are repeated in it that are used in the foregoing discourses, and it may serve as a recapitulation of the whole, I therefore choose to place it here.

LUKE 23:35. "And the people stood beholding; and the rulers also with them, derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself; if he be Christ, the chosen of God."

Those who have made themselves conversant with the scriptures, and have read with interest the history of our blessed Saviour’s humiliation, will need no remarks on the foregoing verses, as the very recital of the text itself will lead their minds to the contemplation of that pleasing, mournful hour, when the Son of God was fastened to the cross between two malefactors, there to suffer and die for the fallen sons of an apostate Adam. The sufferings and death of Christ in behalf and for the salvation of sinners, were irrevocably settled in the purpose of God; but the Jews were ignorant of that purpose, and therefore that purpose could not have had any influence on them to be active in its accomplishment; but they were under the influence of their carnal mind, which is enmity to God. This was Peter’s sentiment, when he was full of the Holy Ghost, and said, "Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain."

The purpose of God with regard to the incarnation and death of the blessed Jesus, was shadowed out by the ceremonies of the law, and taught by the sons of Aaron in the Levitical priesthood, by every bleating lamb and bleeding bullock that stained with purple gore the burning altar in the Jewish temple; hence says the apostle, "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." This purpose was revealed to the holy prophets under the former dispensation, and they with hearts of gratitude, souls fired with a hallowed flame of the Holy Spirit, and tongues or pens flowing with melting strains of refined eloquence, "showed before the coming of that just one," who had been promised to Abraham, believed in by the fathers, described by the seers as a king who should reign in Israel, that Judah and Jerusalem should be saved in his reign, and the horn of David be exalted in honor, and his kingdom be glorious. In consequence of these prophecies the Jews were authorized to look for a great king to rise from Abraham’s loin; but they supposed his honors would be of this world; that he would wrest the government from the Romans; tear the galling yoke from the neck of the Jews; advance their honors, and make the surrounding nations their tributaries. These seem to have been the towering expectations of the Jews, these selfish views, the national hopes and the political prospects of the descendants of Abraham, in regard to the dignities of the promised Messiah. "All Israel was in expectation;" Daniel’s weeks rolled round, the infant of Bethlehem was born in a manger, an innumerable company of the heavenly host, in ecstasies of praise announce the birth of the Saviour in language the most interesting to men, and the most delightful to themselves, they close the message with a loud anthem, "Glory to God in the highest; on earth peace, good will toward men, for this day is born unto you in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." He is soon persecuted, his parents must flee their country to save his life, he is raised in poverty , and continues with his parents until he commences his ministry , he sanctions John’s baptism by his example, overcomes the tempter in the mount, calls his disciples to follow him, goes from place to place doing good, and professes to be the Son of God, the Saviour of men, the light of the world, the bread of life, the root and Lord of David, as well as his Son. When the Jews found that he made such high pretensions as these, they undertook to entangle him in his words, and to treat him with contempt and ridicule. Had he professed to be a prophet of the ordinary cast, or even a great prophet; nay, even one of the old prophets risen from the dead, it seems at least some of them would have believed it; had he told them he had come to advance their political glories, erect monuments of honor to their nation, and unsheathe the glittering sword for the defense of Jerusalem, to avenge her wrongs in the blood of nations, his miracles had, no doubt, been sufficient to have caused the Jews to rally round his standard with warlike enthusiasm, and thirst for the blood of their enemies; but when he declared, My kingdom is not of this world, that he was from above, that God was his Father, that he and his Father were one, &c. , they took up stones to cast at him, accused him of blasphemy, because he, being a man, made himself God. For his doctrine, profession, and pretensions to Divinity, they accused him, reviled him, persecuted him, and pointing at him with the finger of scorn, they say, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Is not this the carpenter’s son? He speaks blasphemy. He is beside himself. He hath a devil, and is mad. Crucify him, crucify him! Their highest expectations were temporal national grandeur, and as he made no pretensions to this, they rejected him as the Messiah, condemned him as an impostor, brought him before the rulers, and sentenced him to the painful and shameful death of the cross, on which they placed him, and then "the people stood beholding, and the rulers also with them, deriding him, saying, He saved others, let him save himself, if he be the Christ, the chosen of God."

In attending more particularly to our text, we shall notice two things which present themselves to our view in these words.

First: Christ’s pretensions to divinity , and,

Secondly: The moral turpitude of the human heart as exposed in his crucifixion.

First. Had Jesus professed no more than a delegated divinity, the Jews would not have been so much enraged at him; but when he declared himself to be God, in the highest sense, saying, "I and my Father are one," they took "up stones to cast at him." They had read in their scriptures that God was the only Saviour , but Christ made pretensions to salvation; therefore they understood that he made out that he was God; they were taught to believe in a God that was invisible, but Christ was a man passing daily amongst them; they could see him, and even see him associating and eating with sinners, and he seemed to be their friend; the Jews rejected him, and said, with a firm determination, "We will not have this man to reign over us." Thus the Jews refused him as their king and Messiah, because "He being a man made himself God." But surely they did not understand their own scriptures, for this was the very character the prophets had described when they spoke of the Messiah. Isaiah says, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." This shows that the Messiah would be a man -a child -a male child -a son; but though a man, he was to be the very God; for "His name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace." Now because Christ said that he [being a man] was this very character, the Jews said, "He is a blasphemer," and I find that even now many men who call themselves christians, and profess some reverence for Jesus and his divinity are much offended if we call him "the everlasting Father;" but the promised Messiah was to be so called, although clothed with the body of a child, a son, or human nature. Thus Christ professed to be his real character; and if the people would not believe his words, he would refer them to his works; which bear testimony of him. Hear him say, "Of myself [as man] I can do nothing. The works which I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. I am in the Father, and the Father in me." See his works: "The dead are raised up," "the dumb speak," "the lepers are cleansed," "all pestilential diseases are cured," "the blind see;" nay, "even the winds and the seas obey him," and the devils and unclean spirits cry out at his presence, and leave the possessed at his rebuke, "the water becomes choice wine at his bidding," and the fig tree withers under his curse. If he is not the "mighty God, the everlasting Father," these works challenge all your reason and philosophy to account for on any magic principles, or cunning slight of hand; no, the world must be silent, and believe what he says, "I and my Father are one, " or drown these evidences in the hideous clangor, "Crucify him, crucify him;" for if they should maliciously attribute his miracles to Beelzebub; they have been once silenced on that subject already.

That Jesus existed in two natures but few deny; but that his divine nature was exclusively God, but few comparatively acknowledge; and many object to the pre-existence of his human nature. I shall therefore turn your attention to a few passages of scripture to prove these important points. "There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." The man Christ Jesus implies; or rather expresses his human nature; for his human nature was the man, and the man was the mediator; then ever since there was a mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus has existed; but "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself." It pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell in him. The whole fulness of the Godhead [not the second person only] dwelt is him bodily. Thus the human nature of Christ is "the way to the Father," that dwelt in him; and so he said, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me." That is the same as to say, no man can come unto God but by a mediator, I am the only mediator -the man Christ Jesus; therefore no man can have access to God, but by me; for he is in me. "No man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." The scriptures of the old and new Testaments unite in declaring that God was never seen by man. John says in his gospel, chapter 1, vs.18, "No man hath seen God at any time;" and when he wrote his first epistle [although some say this was after he had seen the Alpha and the Omega in the Isle of Patmos] his sentiment is the same, for there we find the same words, chap.3, vs.12, "No man hath seen God at any time." Paul was of the same opinion when he wrote his first letter to Timothy, last chap., verses 15, 16; he says, speaking of Christ, "Which in his time he shall show who is the blessed and only potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see." God declared the same to Moses, saying, "No man shall see my face and live." Now how shall we reconcile the above scriptures with the many places where men have seen God and have talked with him? I would fain hope that those who deny that the mediator ever existed before he was born of the virgin, that is, that the man Christ Jesus existed before he was born of the virgin Mary, would attempt to reconcile those scriptures; for I know not how they would proceed in it; but if we will admit that there was a mediator, "the man Christ Jesus," between the patriarch’s, prophets, and saints of old and God, as there is now between us and God and that he could be seen through that medium by them, as he was by the apostles; that is, his glory could be seen in the face of Jesus; then all is easy, but must appear paradoxical any other way, as Christ said to Philip, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." "God was in Christ, " and they who have seen Christ and the glory of God shining in his face, have seen all of God that can be seen, for naked divinity is invisible, and no man hath seen it, nor can see it. Did Moses see God in Horeb? It was his glory as a flame of fire in a bush; and the wonder was, the bush was not consumed. Did the Lord speak to Moses? It was "out of the midst of the bush." The bush was to represent the humanity, and the fire the glory of the divinity and so the glory of God was seen in the bush, as it is revealed in the flesh of the mediator. Did Abraham see the Lord? He was in human shape or form, and conversed with him with regard to Sodom, then the man in human nature not only existed in Abraham’s day, but when he was seen, God’s glory was seen shining in him, and so Abraham saw the Lord. When Jacob, Manoah, and many others, saw and conversed with God, in the form of a man, could this be and yet the man not then be in existence? We might turn your attention to many places where God was seen by men, but time would fail us to speak of all the prophets, and fathers, and kings, who saw him as a man at different times from the creation to the birth of Christ in the manger. But we may well say the divine glory was seen in the man or human nature, and no other way was God ever seen, for no man could see him [except in the mediator] and live, for divinity unveiled is invisible to mortals, nor could mortality bear the sight and live. John says, "The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him;" and Christ says, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Here in him they see their God in the displays of his power, grace, and glory , and are constrained to lift their voice with the poet, and sing,

"O sacred beauties of the man,

The God resides within,

His flesh all pure without a spot,

His soul without a sin."

 

I may safely say, "No man hath seen God at any time," but when "God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness," shines into our hearts, it is to "give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." Then we can see God reconciled and reconciling us to himself; then may we say, with pleasing wonder, "I have heard of thee with the hearing of the ear, but now mine eyes see thee, wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes." Thus God is seen in the exercise of his wisdom, power and grace, in the displays of his glory and his alluring love; but all in Christ the mediator and medium of communication from God to man; he is the only way to the Father - the Father is in him -we cannot come to the Father but by him, nor see the Father but in him.

Thus we have clearly seen that the human nature of Christ did pre-exist his birth at Bethlehem, and was seen by the saints of old, and God appeared to them in the man, and they saw his glory and said, "We have seen God" -"the Lord God of Israel." In the same way they saw God, who saw Christ, when he was here on earth, in the days of his flesh; and so John in the Isle of Patmos, on the Lord’s day, when he was in the spirit, saw him that was like unto the son of man, him that had been dead and was alive, and lives for evermore, and hath the keys of hell and of death. Here his human nature is brought to view; but his exclusive divinity is as plainly manifested, for he declares himself to be the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Is there any God distinct from the FIRST and the LAST? If not, then Jesus in his divine nature is exclusively God, for he is the first and the last, and beside him who is the first and the last, I know of no God. "The LORD GOD of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must be shortly done." Jesus is the Lord of the holy prophets, for he says, "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches." "Thus saith the LORD, the king of Israel and his redeemer, the LORD OF HOSTS, I am the first, and I am the last, and beside me there is no God. " Jesus is the "first and the last;" therefore beside Jesus there is no God. Jesus is the Lord God of the holy prophets, who sent his angel; he is the ALPHA and OMEGA, as saith Jehovah, "I even I am the LORD, and beside me there is no saviour."

Jesus is both Lord and Saviour -"our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." Then Jesus is that Lord beside whom there is no saviour. In Jesus the whole fulness of the Godhead dwells, and if the whole fulness is in him, then the whole triune God was in him -the whole trinity of "Father, Word, and Holy Ghost." Here the "three that bear record in heaven," have displayed their glory. Here the God of angels and men, he who gilds heaven with his smiles, who pours forth the eternal torrent of celestial glory , which transports the glorified millions, and extorts from every heavenly tongue the sweet anthem, "Glory to God in the highest;" here I say, in the body of Christ the triune God descends to men. {*When I say the God descends in the man or body of Christ, let it be understood of the manifestation of the Triune God. God fills all space, and is every where present; but he has revealed himself to men, in the man who came down from heaven, and in this sense God is spoken of as coming down; that is, in the man God reveals himself to men on earth, and becomes accessible to men.} Let angels strike their highest strains, lift their voices in sweet concert, bursting from the battlements of heaven, pursue the object of their worship down to earth -earth, the seat of confusion, strife, and war , where the prisoners groan with lingering pain, where mortality spreads its desolating influence, and death armed by sin, exerts its power to fill the tombs with ghastly skulls and moldering bones. While death with all its train, armed by man’s rebellion, with all the implements of slaughter, goes forth with velocity and revenge, and without the least relenting, drags the rebel man down to endless pain and woe -behold the Saviour -the mighty God in human form descends -the angels know the peace his presence gives, and in accents of joy and acclamation of praise, they sing to listening shepherds, "Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men; for this day is born in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the LORD." O my brethren, did the Lord descend as a Saviour for us; and shall our hearts not burn with joy? Shall our tongues be silent? Our affections cold? Our devotions languid, and our zeal uninspired! Shall we who have rebelled, we who have sold ourselves for naught -but O amazing grace -hear it fellow sinners -we for whom the only God in human form descends in humble flesh -we for whom the man, the mediator suffered here below, and died to save our souls from endless pain -behold him in the garden sweating great drops of blood - see the hand approach him with a deceitful kiss -see him buffeted, spit upon, crowned with piercing thorns, and smitten with a reed, and his omniscience insulted with a challenge to prophesy -see him stained with purple gore, with feet and hands transfixed and torn with iron javelins, fastened to the cross. The trinity in unity is now in him, the Father is in him, for this as we have seen he has frequently declared, then it is the truth when he says, "I and my Father are one," and while he hath a people on earth to record his name; they like the prophet will say; "His name shall be called the MIGHTY GOD, the EVERLASTING FATHER, the Prince of Peace;" this is our Immanuel. The Holy Ghost was in him, for he was "anointed with the Holy Ghost [ or oil of gladness] above his fellows;" not above his fellows as a divine person; that is, above the Father and Holy Ghost, but the human nature was anointed above his fellows as man, the prophets and apostles may be said to be anointed with the Holy Ghost in a measure, but he without measure, and if without measure, it was with the whole of it; and so "the spirit of the Lord God was upon him." "All scriptures were given by inspiration of God; "but that God was the Holy Ghost; for "holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost;" but that Holy Ghost was the spirit of Christ, for Peter says, when speaking of the prophets who prophesied of this salvation, and the grace that should be revealed, that they were "searching what, or what manner of time the spirit of Christ which was in them did signify , when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." Then the spirit of Christ which was testifying in the prophets was the Holy Ghost by which they spoke, and this was that God by whose inspiration all scriptures were given. Therefore God the Holy Ghost, and the spirit of Jesus, is the same thing, and except we have the spirit of Christ [that is the Holy Ghost] we are none of his. Thus the whole trinity of Father, Word, and Holy Ghost is in the man Christ Jesus. {*When I say the whole trinity or the whole Godhead was in the man Christ, I would not be understood to mean that God was circumscribed by the corporeal body of Christ, but that the God which was manifested in the flesh or body of Christ, was God to the exclusion of all persons distinct from him; and that the Father, Word, and Holy Ghost are manifested in the man, and not the second person only, to the exclusion of the Father and Holy Ghost.} This honor he claimed, this glory his followers ascribed to him, this was his profession of himself, and for this profession men both Jews and Greeks opposed him. The Jews were taught in their scriptures that God was the only Saviour; therefore, when Christ taught the people to believe and trust in him for salvation, they reviled him, buffeted and scourged him, sought for false witnesses, and condemned him. They raised him on the cross, and offered him vinegar and gall, and with sarcastic jeers seem to rejoice at his pain, and tauntingly derided him saying, [by way of mockery] "He saved others; let him save himself, if he be the Christ, the chosen of God." While we further illustrate our present subject, we shall attend to the second proposition therein.

Secondly: We shall show the moral turpitude of the human heart as exposed in the crucifixion of Christ. We have seen that according to the pretensions of Christ he was both God and man; that he professed himself to be the only Saviour, &c. By making this profession the Jews reproached him as a blasphemer , rejected him as an impostor, and crucified him as a malefactor. And in order to revile him for pretending to have a power to save others, they call on him to save himself if he be the Christ the chosen of God, as if they had said, he professed to be the saviour of men, the God of Israel, the vanquisher of devils, the rebuker of diseases, pain, and death itself. Now we will test his power; now let him save himself; let him loose the nails with which he is fastened to the cross, and come down. This was the hour and power of darkness; this was the day when sin and Satan both engaged in all their dreadful forms , and summoned the rebellious sons of men to engage in the unequal war. They rally round the cross, with unrelenting hearts; they challenge the Saviour to give a proof of his power, in delivering himself. "Let him come down from the cross, and we will believe." I will not say he could not come down; I will not limit the power of the holy one; but the iniquities of his sheep were laid upon him, the decision of heaven was past upon it; the time predestinated of God had expired; and "to this hour he had come," in this way he was to finish the work which he had engaged in; this the prophets had showed before; this the shadows under the law had pointed to; and therefore it doth not appear how it could have been consistent with his plan of grace to have come down from the cross. No kind hand to help him; no comforter to sooth his sorrows. The rulers and the people deride him; devils seem to rejoice, and hell with a delusive hope, for awhile seem to triumph. His mother and John standby to behold the scene in melting grief! But rebels for whom he died remained unfeeling, with hearts unmoved and calloused by the tyrant sin; and filled with enmity, continue their derision. Here we may see the picture of the human heart, the malignity of human nature since the fall, and be convinced that "the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God." Is not shame, pain, mockery , and derision enough for the Saviour to bear? No, he must die, he must give his life for his sheep. While devils smile with a vain hope of victory , and men with hearts of steel, make sport of his pain; the God forsakes the man, and leaves him, here to die. O hear him who had borne all his grief before in silence cry out in mournful accents, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me." Now for a while hell seemed to triumph; the sun blushes into darkness; black chaos spreads her gloomy veil around the trembling earth; while rocks in wild confusion start and quake; all nature mourns; the temple rends its veil; and the very dead forsake their graves, and bend their course for the city , as if to chide the murderers of their Lord. Then Jesus cried, "It is finished, and gave up the ghost." May I say, that devils reached their arm to grasp the laurel, and call the worlds their own; but their arm was too short to reach the prize. The heart of man, not moved with all these sufferings, set a guard to watch the tomb in which he sleeps in death. The disciples mourn, and women prepare their ointment; but two days are all that Jesus sleeps; the third behold him rise again. The God that left him on the cross returned again, and raised him from the dead. It was the Father that raised him from the dead, and he was quickened by the Holy Spirit, then the Trinity; God I say, resumed his body again; and so the Saviour rises; the gloom recedes; the angels descend to announce his resurrection; the earth quakes under the display of his victory , and the guard become as dead men; the disciples filled with amazement run to the sepulcher; but lo, the Saviour left the tomb. The victorious conqueror has spoiled the powers of earth and hell; he has conquered death, and "by death destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil;" he has loosed the powers of death, and could no longer be holden of it; he has got the "keys of hell and of death," he teaches his disciples into the nature of his conquest, by the space of forty days, he declared he had all power in heaven and earth in his hand, and commissioned them to "go forth into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature," and then ascended "up on high," "led captivity captive," "brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." And may I not safely say, his humanity is the throne of grace, and his divinity the God of grace enthroned. There his glory shines; there his love is revealed. Did John hear his voice as the sound of many waters? He turned to see the voice, and he saw one like the son of man, girt about the paps with a golden girdle; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet like fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace, and his head and his hair white like wool, as white as snow. He is Jesus; he is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; on his vesture and on his thigh is his name, written in large capitals, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. O let angels praise him; let saints adore him; let elders cast their crowns at his feet, and utter their creed in accents of devotion, saying, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, thou who art, and was, and is to come;" while the redeemed thousands on earth reverberate the same sentiment, in this high anthem, "Great and marvelous are thy works, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints." Thus saints on earth, and elders round the throne, in strains alike, may swell their notes in solemn chord, and own their God in Christ, the Lord of lords, and strain their high immortal powers to speak his worth, and count his victories o’er.

Time admonishes me, I must come to a close by a brief recapitulation. My brethren, we have seen in this discourse that the mediator is the Man Christ Jesus, that as such he was seen by Moses, Abraham, &c., before his birth of Mary; that God was in him, and his divine glory was visible in the man, so that the saints saw God in human form, and worshipped him. That in the days of his incarnation they who saw him saw the Father, as it is said," And we beheld his glory, [the glory of the only begotten of the Father] full of grace and truth." So that "he that hath seen Jesus, hath seen the Father;" that the "Word was made flesh;" the Father was in him, and he was anointed with the Holy Ghost without measure, and so was made a quickening spirit, and so the whole trinity in God was revealed by and in the person of Jesus Christ. We have seen that in this way God was seen in the mediator, in whom "the whole fulness of the Godhead dwelt;" and so although no man had ever seen God [unveiled divinity,] yet they had seen the man, the visible form of God, and had beheld his divine glory, and in this way the scriptures are true, and easily reconciled, while they declare that God was never seen, and again, that many have seen the Lord God of Israel. They saw the man, and in him they beheld the glory of God, but not his divine essence unveiled. We have seen that Jesus is the Lord God of the holy prophets, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, and the God beside whom there is no saviour. We have seen that it was for making this profession, "I and my Father are one;" that the Jews took up stones to cast at him; for this they accused him, for this they reviled him, and for this they tauntingly said, "He saved others, let him now save himself, if he be the Christ, the chosen of God." We have seen the moral turpitude of the human heart displayed and exposed in awful colors, while men with devils join in strong alliance, to slay in murderous form the only Saviour, and shut the only door of hope, and stop the way of communication from God to man; to break down the ladder on which the ministering angels pass; to overset the throne of God, and stop the river

springing up from thence from wafting blessings down to men. But sovereign power prevailed; and although God forsook, and left him here to die beneath their rage, and bear the heavy curse and glittering sword that now awoke from slumbering long; and smote the shepherd of the sheep. The man, the mediator died; the purple torrent which cleanses from all sin, then stained his body on the cross. O brethren see! Here is sin exposed. O hear our Jesus cry , "It is finished," and give up the ghost; count the victories he has won, and say to listening angels, all these victories are mine; but stop not here; behold him rising; the God reanimates the man; he bursts death’s bars and bolts asunder; he wrests the victory of the grave; the conqueror mounts aloft; and after he shows himself alive to many witnesses, he leaves this world of woe; he makes a bright cloud his chariot, and rides in triumph to where he had been before all worlds; and leading captivity captive, he opens wide the portals of celestial glory to his people, and says, "Be of good comfort, I have overcome the world, and where I am there shall ye be also, for I will come again and receive you to myself." O brethren, what manner of persons ought we to be; we for whom the blessed Jesus groaned and died; we for whom the battle was fought, the victory won, the prize taken, and heaven’s high portals opened for our admission to the enjoyment of that "inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away."

My fellow sinners, who are bound with me to the judgment seat of Christ, is it nothing to you that Jesus died? Does those groans and cries that pierced the skies; those pains and sighs which Jesus bore; convulse the earth and rend the rocks, and yet we remain unfeeling and unmoved! Does all the victories he has gained, and all the glory he reveals, appear so poor in our esteem, that we have no heart to love him. O sinner, you must see him by and by, but not fastened to the cross, to be taunted and mocked by mortals; not to bear the nails and spear; not to bear the insults of rebels; but with the dignity of a Judge "coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory." The earth and heavens shall flee away at his presence; the earth quaking, the seas roaring, and men’s hearts failing them with fear, when worlds on worlds, in one general crush, shall all dissolve in liquid flame. But hark! The judge invites his sheep to his right hand, and they arise above these melting ruins, and shout their loud hosannas with immortal tongues, and say, "Not unto us, not unto us, but unto thy name be the glory." While Jesus says, "Come up ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." But hear ungodly sinner, here behold the awful contrast; and see at the left hand of the Judge the guilty crowd in deep confusion; and hear them utter their desperate choice in language of wild despair, "Rocks and mountains fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand."

O that God may awaken the careless, if it may be for his glory, and comfort the mourners in Zion, and grant his children "the spirit of wisdom, of power, and of a sound mind," that they may say with understanding and gratitude, "We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we should know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ, that is, the true GOD and eternal life."

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 September 2006 )
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Purpose

The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.