Flavel, Fountain of Life, File 21.
( ...continued from File 20)
Sermon 21. The second preparative Act of Christ for his own Death. 
1 Corinthians 11:23-25 
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 
    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, 0 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 
    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 
    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. 

(continued in file 22...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-09: flafn-21.txt