« 이전계속 »
accept: for we now praise thee for thy goodness, and we declare to all the world, that thou hast done wonders of mercy for our salvation. And when the prophet enquired 66 what shall I render unto the Lord for all 66 his benefits done unto me?” he was led by the holy Spirit to make this resolution, “I will take the cup of “ salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord :" he went to the blessed sacrament, there to offer his sacrifice of thanksgiving, and there the holy Spirit directs the redeemed of the Lord to go in the last verse of the text. “And they sacrificed the sacrifices of thanks66 giving, and delared his works with rejoicing." This was the sacrifice of the Eucharist, to which the persons, who have been healed of their spiritual maladies, go, in grateful remembrance of the numerous and endless blessings, derived to them from the body and blood of Jesus Christ; of which the sacrifices of thanksgiving under the law were expressive memorials : for at every such sacrifice the blood of some pure clean animal was shed, and there were offered with it unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and the flesh of the sacrifice was to be eaten the same day it was offered. In like manner at our sacrifice of thanksgiving, where these figures are realized, we have the sacramental blood of the most clean and unspotted Lamb of God, with which we have bread, that is verily and indeed the flesh of Christ to the faithful, when it is, like these wafers and cakes, anointed with the holy unction of the blessed Spirit: when he accompanies the outward elements with his divine grace and blessing, then we partake of the body and blood of Christ. And his body is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed the only meat and drink which can support the soul: for without them we have no life, no spiritual divine life abiding in us. And after Christ has healed our infirmities, and restored our lost appetite, where should we go for food but to our Lord's table? Where can we receive, but from his body and blood, support to our souls and growth in grace? He
has instituted these outward signs to signify his inward grace, and has assured us, that he will do the same thing to the soul, which the elements do to the body. Upon this promise the redeemed rest. They go to the holy sacrament, both to offer their sacrifices of thanksgiving for what their Saviour hath done for their souls, and also to receive fresh pledges of his love and bounty. And whoever approaches the Lord's table with this faith, will always find occasion, when he comes from it to declare the works of Christ with rejoicing. God grant this whole scripture may be fulfilled in every one who hears, hears me, that seeing your natural sickness by sin, you may be disposed to fly to the great physician, and may receive such a perfect cure, that his praises may be your delight and joy for ever and ever.
I have now gone through the paraphrase upon the words; you have heard the sense and meaning of them laid open. They contain a most affecting image of the misery and distress of our fallen nature, which we will briefly review by way of spiritual application in these three particulars, under which it was before considered in the paraphrase:
First, The distress of the sick.
And first, As to the distress of the sick, you have seen it drawn by the holy Spirit in the strongest colours : and his painting has an universal likeness. It does not represent this or that man, but every man; every son of fallen Adam is here painted to the life : for before he is redeemed, he lies languishing and pining away in a course of sin: his soul is in such a bad habit, as his body is in, when it has lost all appetite for food, and not only does not desire it, but even lothes it, and continues in this weak feeble condition, until it draws near to the gates of death. Now Christ is the only support and food of the sinful soul; and yet it has no appetite for him, not only does not desire him but even lothes and abhors him, while it is drawing near to the gates. of death, and it will be the Lord's mercy, if the gates be not soon shut upon it.
And now, my brethren, let me bring this point home to you. Do you indeed believe, that this is a true picture of human nature, and of every one of you in your sinful state before you have redemption throughfaith in the blood of Jesus? The holy Spirit who drew it, declares it is. And why should you not believe him ? For it is founded upon a plain matter of fact, which you cannot deny, and that is, the universal core ruption of mankind. If they be all sinners by nature which is as certain as that they are men by nature, then they are all sick, and this picture is a true likeness of them all: for sin brings the soul low, and weakens its. faculties, as sickness does the body and its faculties; and as sickness takes away the appetite of the body, and creates an aversion to food, so does sin take away the appetite of the soul and creates an aversion to its food. This is plain matter of fact, and it is scripture too: for sin is the cause of this spiritual malady, and since all men have sinned, all men therefore are spiritually diseased with the pains and miseries of sin.. And there is no remedy upon earth, no human means, either by simple repentance, or by morality, to heal this dangerous sickness. The divine and almighty physician is the only healer of the nations, but the moralist and the infidel want him not the whole want no physician, but they that are sick, but they, who see and feel the evil effects of sin, earnestly, seek and implore his help, and for them he has healing in his wings; as the Evangelist has remarked.and “ Jesus healed all that were sick, that it might be ful6 filled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, say« ing, himself took our infirmities and bare our sick“ nesses.” And when took he our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses? Was it not when he bare our sins in his own body upon the tree? For by his stripes we are healed. When he took away, our sins, he then had
power to heal us, and consequently if he had not taken our sins away, we could not have been healed; but we must have remained in the foul leprosy of our transgressions, and in such a like condition as the prophet Isaiah has described. “Ah! sinful nation, a people 6 laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, children of 6 corrupters--the whole head is sick, and the whole 66 heart is faint-from the sole of the foot, even unto “ the head there is no soundness in it, but wounds, and 66 bruises, and putrefying sores.” This is a true description of all sinful people, and of every sinner in particular. And the image is just and expressive if you apply to the soul what is here said of the body : for sin makes the whole head sick, and the whole heart faint. Sin disorders all the faculties of the soul, so that from the sole of the foot even unto the head, there is no soundness; they are all corrupt, and the corruption will as certainly end in the destruction of the soul, as a like total corruption in the body would end in its destruction. - But I have heard persons enquiring, how can this be ? Can I be thus sick, even unto death, and not know it, and not feel it? Most undoubtedly you may. Your case may be dangerous, even desperate, and yet you may have no sense of it: for this is a spiritual disease, and the cause of it is sin, and every sin obscures and blinds the eyes of the soul, and makes its other senses gross and thick, and an habit of sin deadens them entirely, what St. Paul, speaking of the unregenerate, calls being past all feeling. So that you may be sick unto death, and yet be past all feeling. The body in the mean while may be in health, and the soul may be dying. The body may be as strong as Samson, and yet the poor soul may be languishing and fainting, and drawing near to the gates of death; and it is the nearer the less apprehensive you are of it. If sin has so blinded and deluded you, that you neither see your guilt, nor feel your danger, your case I pronounce to be at present desperate. You stand on the precipice. You are on
ne beg of your souls I impof will you not But are you
the very brink of ruin-one step more, and behold the pit is open. You fall. You are lost for ever. Eternal destruction is your portion. Men and brethren, take. warning. I entreat you by the tender mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ to stop, and to consider your case, Unless you are in love with pain and misery, be persuaded to request of our God, to open your eyes. Let me beg of you, for I see your extreme danger, and out. of love to your souls I importune you, to desire God to shew your true state. And will you not vouchsafe to send up one desire to him for yourselves ? But are you fully determined to keep your eyes shut against your danger, and to go on in your sins ? Would to God I knew the proper motives to awaken your consciences, and to make you sensible, that your sickness is unto death, if I did, you should not sleep a moment longer upon the brink of eternal destruction : for there indeed you lay, whether you see your danger or not. And can none of my exhortations, none of my friendly intreaties prevail with you to rouse up and to look into your own hearts, and to examine your state and condition ? Cannot I prevail ? If you still turn a deaf ear to me, O blessed Jesus, I will then turn to thee. Thou God of love, send thy good Spirit upon every person here present, on whom my arguments have made no impression, and shew them the dangerous malady of sin; that feeling the pain and misery of it, there may be raised in their hearts a strong cry for thy salvation. And may our most adorable God now work in you this happy change, that you may be disposed to apply for your cure to the great physician of souls,
Which is the second remark. You have heard how he treated the sick persons in the text. So soon as they cried to him for help, he came, and by a remedy which never failed restored them to perfect health ; and he treats all his patients with the same love and mercy. He only waits, till they be made to see their misery, and to cry unto him for deliverance: and if it be but one deep sigh, but one short prayer, “ Lord Jesus, be mer