Flavel, Fountain of Life, File 34.
( ...continued from File 33)
Sermon 34. The fifth excellent Saying of Christ upon the Cross, 
John 19: 28. 
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, 
that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 
    It is as truly, as commonly said, death is dry: Christ found it 
so, when he died. When his spirit laboured in the agonies of death, 
then he said, I thirst. 
    This is the fifth word of Christ upon the cross, spoken a 
little before he bowed the head and yielded up the ghost. It is only 
recorded by this evangelist; and, there are four things remarkable 
in this complaint of Christ, viz. The person complaining: the 
complaint he made: the time when, and the reason why he so 
    First, The person complaining. Jesus said, I thirst. This is a 
clear evidence, that it was no common suffering: great and resolute 
spirits will not complain for small matters. The spirit of a common 
man will endure much, before it utters any complaint. Let us 
therefore see, 
    Secondly, The affliction, or suffering, he complains of; and 
that is thirst. There are two sorts of thirst, one natural and 
proper, another spiritual and figurative: Christ felt both at this 
time. His soul thirsted, in vehement desires and longings, to 
accomplish and finish that great and difficult work he was now 
about; and his body thirsted, by reason of those unparalleled 
agonies it laboured under, for the accomplishing thereof: but it was 
the proper natural thirst he here intends, when he said, I thirst. 
Now, "this natural thirst," of which he complains, "is the raging of 
the appetite for moist nourishment, arising from scorching up of the 
parts of the body for want of moisture." And, amongst all the pains 
and afflictions of the body, there can scarcely be named a greater, 
and more intolerable one, than extreme thirst. The most mighty and 
valiant have stooped under it. Mighty Samson, after all his 
conquests and victories, complains thus, Judges 15: 18. "And he was 
sore athirst, and called on the Lord, and said, Thou hast given this 
great deliverance into the hand of thy servant, and now shall I die 
for thirst, and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?" Great 
Darius drank filthy water, defiled with the bodies of the slain, to 
relieve his thirst, "and protested, never any drink was more 
pleasant to him." Hence, Isa. 41: 17, thirst is put to express the 
most afflicted state, "When the poor and needy seek water, and there 
is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear 
them;" i.e. when my people are in extreme necessities, under any 
extraordinary pressures and distresses, I will be with them, to 
supply and relieve them. Thirst causes a most painful compression of 
the heart, when the body, like a sponge, sucks and draws for 
moisture, and there is none. And this may be occasioned, either by 
long abstinence from drink, or by the labouring and expense of the 
spirits under grievous agonies and extreme tortures; which, like a 
fire within, soon scorch up the very radical moisture. 
    Now, though we find not that Christ tasted a drop since he sat 
with his disciples at the table; after that no more refreshments for 
him in this world: yet that was not the cause of this raging thirst; 
but it is to be ascribed to the extreme sufferings which he so long 
had conflicted with, both in his soul and body. These preyed upon 
him, and drank up his very Spirits. Hence came this sad complaint, I 
    Thirdly, Let us consider the time when he thus complained. 
"When all things were now accomplished," saith the text, i.e. when 
all things were even ready to be accomplished in his death. A 
little, a very little while before his expiration, when the pangs of 
death began to be strong upon him: and so it was both a sign of 
death at hand, and of his love to us, which was stronger than death, 
that would not complain sooner, because he would admit of no relief, 
nor take the least refreshment, until he had done his work. 
    Fourthly, and lastly, Take notice of the design and end of his 
complaint: "that the scripture might be fulfilled, he saith, I 
thirst;" i.e. that it might appear, for the satisfaction of our 
faith, that whatsoever had been predicted by the prophets, was 
exactly accomplished, even to a circumstance in him. Now it was 
foretold of him, Peal 69: 21. "They gave me gall for my meat, and, 
in my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink;" and herein it was 
verified. Hence the note is, 
    Doct. That such were the agonies and extreme sufferings of our 
    Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross, as drank up his very spirits, 
    and made him cry, I thirst. 
    "If I, (said one) should live a thousand years, and every day 
die a thousand times the same death for Christ that he once died for 
me, yet all this would be nothing to the sorrows Christ endured in 
his death." At this time the bridegroom Christ might have borrowed 
the words of his spouse, the church, Lam. 1: 12. "It is nothing to 
you, all ye that pass by? See and behold, if there be any sorrow 
like unto my sorrow which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord has 
afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger." 
    Here we are to enquire into, and consider the extremities and 
agonies Christ laboured under upon the cross, which occasioned this 
sad complaint of thirst; and then make application, in the several 
inferences of truth deducible from it. 
    Now the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross were 
two fold, viz. His corporeal, and spiritual sufferings: we shall 
open them distinctly, and then show how both these meeting together 
upon him in their fulness and extremity, must needs consume his very 
radical moisture, and make him cry, I thirst. To begin with the 
    First, His corporeal and more external sufferings were 
exceeding great, acute, and extreme sufferings; for they were sharp, 
universal, continual, and unrelieved by any inward comfort. 
    First, They were sharp sufferings; for his body was racked or 
digged in those parts where sense more eminently dwells: in the 
hands and feet the veins and sinews meet, and their pain and anguish 
meet with them; Psal. 22: 16. "They digged my hands and my feet." 
Now Christ by reason of his exact and excellent temper of body, had 
doubtless more quick, tender and delicate senses than other men: his 
body was so formed, that it might be a capacious vessel, to take in 
more sufferings than any other body could. Sense is, in some, more 
delicate and tender, and in others dull and blunt, according to the 
temperament and vivacity of the body and spirits; but in none as it 
was in Christ, whose body was miraculously formed on purpose to 
suffer unparalleled miseries. and sorrows in: "A body hast thou 
fitted me," Heb. 10: 5. Neither sin nor sickness had any way 
enfeebled or dulled it. 
    Secondly, As his pains were sharp, so they were universal, not 
affecting one, but every part; they seized every member; from head 
to foot, no member was free from torture: for, as his head was 
wounded with thorns, his back with bloody lashes, his hands and feet 
with nails, so every other part was stretched and distended beyond 
its natural length, by hanging upon that cruel engine of torment, 
the cross. And as every member, so every particular sense, was 
afflicted; his sight with vile wretches, cruel murderers that stood 
about him; his hearing with horrid blasphemies, belched out against 
him; his taste with vinegar and gall, which they gave to aggravate 
his misery; his smell with that filthy Golgotha where he was 
crucified, and his feeling with exquisite pains in every part; so 
that he was not only sharply, but universally tormented. 
    Thirdly, These universal pains were continual, not by fits, but 
without any intermission. He had not a moment's ease by the 
cessation of pains; wave came upon wave, one grief driving on 
another, till all God's waves and billows had gone over him. To be 
in extremity of pain, and that without a moment's intermission, will 
quickly pull down the stoutest nature in the world. 
    Fourthly, and lastly, As his pains were sharp, universal and 
continual, so they were altogether unrelieved by his understanding 
part. If a man have sweet comforts flowing into his soul from God, 
they will sweetly demulce and allay the pains of the body: this made 
the martyrs shout amidst the flames. Yes, even inferior comforts and 
delights of the mind, will greatly relieve the oppressed body. 
    It is said of Possidonius, that, in a great fit of the stone, 
he solaced himself with discourses of moral virtue, and when the 
pain twinged him, he would say, "O pain thou does nothing, though 
thou art a little troublesome, I will never confess thee to be 
evil." And Epicures, in the fits of the colic, refreshed himself, ob 
memoriam inventorum, i.e. by his inventions in philosophy. 
    But now Christ had no relief this way in the least; not a drop 
of comfort came from heaven into his soul to relieve it, and the 
body by it: but, on the contrary, his soul was filled up with grief, 
and had an heavier burden of its own to bear than that of the body; 
so that instead of relieving, it increased unspeakably the burden of 
its outward man. For, 
    Secondly, Let us consider these inward sufferings of his soul 
how great they were, and how quickly they spent his natural 
strength, and turned his moisture into the drought of summer. And, 
    First, His soul felt the wrath of an angry God, which was 
terribly impressed upon it. The wrath of a king is as the roaring of 
a lion; but what is that to the wrath of a Deity? See what a 
description is given of it in Nahum 1: 6. "Who can stand before his 
indignation: and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His 
fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him." 
Had not the strength that supported Christ been greater than that of 
rocks, this wrath had certainly overwhelmed and ground him to 
    Secondly, As it was the wrath of God that lay upon his soul, so 
it was the pure wrath of God, without any allay or mixture: not one 
drop of comfort came from heaven or earth; all the ingredients in 
his cup were bitter ones: There was wrath without mercy; yea, wrath 
without the least degree of sparing mercy; "for God spared not his 
own Son," Rom. 8: 32. Had Christ been abated or spared, we had not. 
If our mercies must be pure mercies, and our glory in heaven pure 
and unmixed glory, then the wrath which lie suffered must be pure 
and unmixed wrath. Yea, 
    Thirdly, As the wrath, the pure unmixed wrath of God, lay upon 
his soul, so all the wrath of God was poured out upon him, even to 
the last drop; so that there is not one drop reserved for the elect 
to feel. Christ's cup was deep and large, it contained all the fury 
and wrath of an infinite God in it! and yet he drank it up: he bare 
it all, so that to believing souls, who come to make peace with God 
through Christ, he saith, Isa. 27: 4. "Fury is not in me." In all 
the chastisements God inflicts upon his people, there is no 
vindictive wrath; Christ bore it all in his own soul and body on the 
    Fourthly, As it was all the wrath of God that lay upon Christ, 
so it was wrath aggravated, in divers respects beyond that which the 
damned themselves do suffer. That is strange you will say; can there 
be any sufferings worse than those the damned suffer, upon whom the 
wrath of an infinite God is immediately transacted, who holds them 
up with the arm of his power, while the arm of his justice lies on 
eternally? Can any sorrows be greater than these? Yes; Christ's 
sufferings were beyond theirs in divers particulars. 
    First, None of the damned were ever so near and dear to God as 
Christ was: they were estranged from the womb, but Christ lay in his 
bosom. When he smote Christ, he smote "the man that was his fellow," 
Zech. 13: 7. But in smiting them, he smites his enemies. When he had 
to do, in a way of satisfaction, with Christ, he is said not to 
spare his own son, Rom. 8: 32. Never was the fury of God poured out 
upon such a person before. 
    Secondly, None of the damned had ever so large a capacity to 
take in a full sense of the wrath of God as Christ had. The larger 
any one's capacity is to understand and weigh his troubles fully, 
the more grievous and heavy is his burden. If a man cast vessels of 
greater and lesser quantity into the sea, though all will be full, 
yet the greater the vessel is, the more water it contains. Now 
Christ had a capacity beyond all mere creatures to take in the wrath 
of his Father; and what deep and large apprehensions he had of it 
may be judged by his bloody sweat in the garden, which was the 
effect of his mere apprehensions of the wrath of God. Christ was a 
large vessel indeed; as he is capable of more glory, so of more 
sense and misery than any other person in the world. 
    Thirdly, The damned suffer not so innocently as Christ 
suffered; they suffer the just demerit and recompence of their sin: 
They have deserved all that wrath of God which they feel, and must 
feel for ever: It is but that recompence which was meet; but Christ 
was altogether innocent: He had done no iniquity, neither was guile 
found in his mouth; yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him. When 
Christ suffered, he suffered not for what he had done; but his 
sufferings were the sufferings of a surety, paying the debts of 
others. "The Messiah was cut off, but not for himself," Dan. 9: 26. 
Thus you see what his external sufferings in his body, and his 
internal sufferings in his soul were. 
    Thirdly, In the last place, it is evident that such extreme 
sufferings as these, meeting together upon him, must needs exhaust 
his very spirits, and make him cry, I thirst. For let us consider, 
    First, What mere external pains, and outward afflictions can 
do. These prey upon, and consume our spirits. So David complains, 
Psal. 39: 11. "When thou with rebukes correctest man for iniquity; 
thou makes his beauty to consume away as a moth," i.e. look, as a 
moth frets and consumes the most strong and well wrought garment, 
and makes it scary and rotten without any noise; so afflictions 
waste and wear out the strongest bodies. They make bodies of the 
firmest constitution like an old rotten garment: They shrivel and 
dry up the most vigorous and flourishing body, and make it like a 
bottle in the smoke, Psal. 119: 83. 
    Secondly, Consider what mere internal troubles of the soul can 
do upon the strongest body: They spend its strength, and devour the 
spirits. So Solomon speaks, Prov. 17: 22. "A broken spirit drieth 
the bones," i.e. it consumes the very marrow with which they are 
moistened. So Psal. 32: 3, 4. "My bones waxed old, and through my 
roaring all the day long: for day and night thy hand was heavy on 
me: my moisture (or chief sap) is turned into the drought of 
summer." What a spectacle of pity was Francis Spira become, merely 
through the anguish of his spirit? a spirit sharpened with such 
troubles, like a keen knife, cuts through the sheath. Certainly, 
whoever has had any acquaintance with troubles of soul, knows, by 
sad experience, how, like an internal flame, it feeds and preys upon 
the very spirits, so that the strongest stoop and sink under it. 
    Thirdly, When outward bodily pains shall meet with inward 
spiritual troubles, and both in extremity shall come in one day; how 
soon must the firmest body fail and waste away like a candle lighted 
at both ends? Now strength fails a-pace, and nature must fall flat 
under this load. When the ship in which Paul sailed, fell into a 
place where two seas met, it was quickly wrecked; and so will the 
best constituted body in the world, if it fall under both these 
troubles together the soul and body sympathise with each other under 
trouble, and mutually relieve each other. 
    If the body be sick and full of pain, the spirit supports, 
cheers, and relieves it by reason and resolution all that it can; 
and if the spirit be afflicted the body sympathises and helps to 
bear up the spirit; but now, if the one be over laden with strong 
pains, more than it can bear, and calls for aid from the other, and 
the other be oppressed with intolerable anguish, and cries out under 
a burden greater than it can bear, so that it can contribute no 
help, but instead thereof adds to its burden, which before was above 
its strength to bear, then nature must needs fail, and the friendly 
union betwixt soul and body suffer a dissolution by such an 
extraordinary pressure as this. So it was with Christ, when outward 
and inward sorrows met in one day in their extremity upon him. Hence 
the bitter cry, I thirst. 
    Inference 1. How horrid a thing is sin! How great is to that 
evil of evils, which deserves that all this should be inflicted and 
suffered for the expiation of it! 
    The sufferings of Christ for sin give us the true account, and 
fullest representation of its evil. "The law (saith one) is a bright 
glass, wherein we may see the evil of sin; but there is the red 
glass of the sufferings of Christ, and in that we may see more of 
the evil of sin, than if God should let us down to hell, and there 
we should see all the tortures and torments of the damned. If we 
should see them how they lie sweltering under God's wrath there, it 
were not so much as the beholding of sin through the red glass of 
the sufferings of Christ." 
    Suppose the bars of the bottomless pit were broken up; and 
damned spirits should ascend from thence, and come up among us, with 
the chains of darkness rattling at their heels, and we should hear 
the groans, and see the ghastly paleness and trembling of those poor 
creatures upon whom the righteous God has impressed his fury and 
indignation, if we could hear how their consciences are lashed by 
the fearful scourge of guilt, and how they shriek at every lash the 
arm of justice gives them. 
    If we should see and hear all this, it is not so much as what 
we may see in this text, where the Son of God, under his sufferings 
for it, cries out, I thirst. For, as I shewed you before, Christ's 
sufferings, in divers respects, were beyond theirs. O then, let not 
thy vain heart slight sin, as if it were but a small thing! If ever 
God shew thee the face of sin in this glass, thou wilt say, there is 
not such another horrid representation to be made to a man in all 
the world. Fools make a mock at sin, but wise men tremble at it. 
    Inf. 2. How afflictive and intolerable are inward troubles. Did 
Christ complain so sadly under them, and cry, I thirst? Surely then 
they are not such light matters as many are apt to make of them. If 
they so scorched the very heart of Christ, dried up the green tree, 
preyed upon his very spirits, and turned his moisture into the 
drought of summer, they deserve not to be slighted, as they are by 
some. The Lord Jesus was fitted to bear and suffer as strong 
troubles as ever befell the nature of man, and he did bear all other 
troubles with admirable patience; but when it came to this, when the 
flames of God's wrath scorched his soul, then he cries, I thirst. 
    David's heart was, for courage, as the heart of a lion; but 
when God exercised him with inward troubles for sin, then he roars 
out under the anguish of it, "I am feeble, and sore broken; I have 
roared, by reason of the disquietness of my heart. My heart panteth, 
my strength faileth me: As for the light of mine eyes, it is also 
gone from me," Psal. 38: 8, 10. "A wounded spirit who can bear!" 
Many have professed that all the torments in the world are but toys 
to it; the racking fits of the gout, the grinding tortures of the 
stone, are nothing to the wrath of God upon the conscience. What is 
the worm that never dies but the efficacy of a guilty conscience? 
This worm feeds upon, and gnaws the very inwards, the tender and 
most sensible part of man and is the principal part of hell's 
horror. In bodily pains, a man may be relieved by proper medicines; 
here nothing but the blood of sprinkling relieves. In outward pains, 
the body may be supported by the resolution and courage of the mind; 
here the mind itself is wounded. O let none despise these troubles, 
they are dreadful things! 
    Inf. 3. How dreadful a place is hell, where this cry is heard 
for ever, I thirst! There the wrath of the great and terrible God 
flames upon the damned for ever, in which they thirst, and none 
relieves then. If Christ complained, I thirst, when he had 
conflicted but a few hours with the wrath of God; what is their 
state then, that are to grapple with it for ever? When millions of 
years are past and gone, ten thousand millions more are coming on. 
There is an everlasting thirst in hell, and it admits of no relief. 
There are no full cups in hell, but all eternal, unrelieved thirst. 
Think on this ye that now add drunkenness to thirst, who wallow in 
all sensual pleasures, and drown nature in an excess of luxury. 
Remember what Dives said in Luke 16: 24. "And he cried and said, 
Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip 
the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue, for I am 
tormented in this flame." No cups of water, no bowls of wine in 
hell. There, that throat will be parched with thirst, which is now 
drowned with excess. The songs of the drunkard turned into cowlings. 
If thirst in the extremity of it be now so insufferable, what is 
that thirst which is infinitely beyond this in measure, and never 
shall be relieved? Say not it is hard that God should deal thus with 
his poor creatures. You will not think it so, if you consider what 
he exposed his own dear Son to, when sin was but imputed to him. And 
what that man deserves to feel, that has not only merited hell, but, 
by refusing Christ the remedy, the hottest place in hell. 
    In this thirst of Christ we have the liveliest emblem of the 
state of the damned, that ever was presented to men in this world. 
Here you see a person labouring in extremity, under the infinite 
wraths of the great and terrible God lying upon his soul and body at 
once, and causing him to utter this doleful cry, I thirst. Only 
Christ endured this but a little while, the damned must endure it 
for ever: in that they differ, as also in the innocence and ability 
of the persons suffering, and in the end for which they suffer. But, 
surely, such as this will the cry of those souls be that are cast 
away for ever. O terrible thirst! 
    Inf. 4. How much do nice and wanton appetites deserve to be 
reproved? The Son of God wanted a draught of cold water to relieve 
him, and could not have it. God has given us variety of refreshing 
creatures to relieve us, and we despise them. We have better things 
than a cup of water to refresh and delight us when we are thirsty, 
and yet are not pleased. O that this complaint of Christ on the 
cross, I thirst, were but believingly considered, it would make you 
bless God for what ye now despise, and beget contentment in you for 
the meanest mercies, and most common favours in this world. Did the 
Lord of all things cry, I thirst, and had nothing in his extremity 
to comfort him; and dost thou, who hast a thousand times over 
forfeited all temporal as well as spiritual mercies, condemn and 
slight the good creatures of God! What, despise a cup of water, who 
deserves nothing but a cup of wrath from the hand of the Lord! O lay 
it to heart, and hence learn contentment with any thing. 
    Inf. 5. Did Jesus Christ upon the cross cry, I thirst? Then 
believers shall never thirst eternally. Their thirst shall be 
certain satisfied. 
    There is a threefold thirst, gracious, natural, and penal. The 
gracious thirst is the vehement desire of a spiritual heart after 
God. Of this David speaks, Psal. 42: 1, 2. "As the hart panteth 
after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My 
soul thirsteth for God, for the living God, when shall I come and 
appear before God?" And this is indeed a vehement thirst; it makes 
the soul break with the longings it has after God, Psal. 119. It is 
a thirst proper to believers, who have tasted that the Lord is 
    Natural thirst is (as before was noted) a desire of refreshment 
by humid nourishment, and it is common both to believers and 
unbelievers in this world. God's dear saints have been driven to 
such extremities in this life, that their tongues have even failed 
for thirst. "When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, 
and their tongue faileth for thirst," Isa. 41: 17. And of the people 
of God in their captivity, it is said, Lam. 4: 4. "The tongue of the 
sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst. The 
young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them. They 
that feed delicately are desolate in the streets; they that were 
brought up in scarlet embrace dung hills." To this many that fear 
the Lord have been reduced. 
    A penal thirst, is God's just denying of all refreshments or 
relief to sinners in their extremities, and that as a due punishment 
for their sin. This believers shall never feel, because when Christ 
thirsted upon the cross, he made full satisfaction to God in their 
room. These sufferings of Christ, as they were ordained for them, so 
the benefits of them are truly imputed to them. And for the natural 
thirst, that shall be satisfied: for in heaven we shall live without 
these necessities and dependencies upon the creature; we shall be 
equal with the angels in the way and manner of living and 
subsisting, "isangeloi eisin", Luke 20: 6. And for the gracious 
thirsting of their souls for God, it shall be fully satisfied. So it 
is promised, Mat. 5: 6. "Blessed are they which hunger and thirst 
after righteousness, for they shall be filled:" They shall then 
depend no more upon the stream, but drink from the overflowing 
fountain itself, Psal. 36: 8 "They shall be abundantly satisfied 
with the fatness of thy house, and thou shalt make them drink of the 
river of thy pleasures: for with thee is the fountain of life, and 
in Thy light shall we see light:" There they shall drink and praise, 
and praise and drink for evermore; all their thirsty desires shall 
be filled with complete satisfaction. O how desirable a state is 
heaven upon this account! and how should we be restless till we come 
thither; as the thirsty traveller is until he meet that cool, 
refreshing spring he wants and seeks for. This present state is a 
state of thirsting, that to come of refreshment and satisfaction. 
Some drops indeed come from the fountain by faith, hut they quench 
not the believer's thirst; rather like water sprinkled on the fire, 
they make it burn the more: but there the thirsty soul has enough. 
    O bless God, that Jesus Christ thirsted under the heat of his 
wrath once, that you might not be scorched with it for ever. If he 
had not cried, I thirst, you must have cried out of thirst 
eternally, and never be satisfied. 
    Inf. 6. Lastly; Did Christ in the extremity of his sufferings 
cry, I thirst? Then how great, beyond all compare, is the love of 
God to sinners, who for their sakes exposed the Son of his love to 
such extreme sufferings? 
    Three considerations marvellously heighten that love of the 
    First, His putting the Lord Jesus into such a condition. There 
is none of us would endure to see a child of our own lie panting, 
and thirsting in the extremity of torments, for the fairest 
inheritance on earth; much less to have the soul of a child 
conflicting with the wrath of God, and making such heart-rending 
complaints as Christ made upon the cross, if we might have the 
largest empire in the world for it: yet, such was the strength of 
the love of God to us, that he willingly gave Jesus Christ to all 
this misery and torture for us. What shall we call this love? O the 
height, length, depth, and breadth of that love which passeth 
knowledge! The love of God to Jesus Christ was infinitely beyond all 
the love we have for our children, as the sea is more then a 
spoonful of water: and yet, as dearly as he loved him, he was 
content to expose him to all this, rather than we should perish 
    Secondly, As God the Father was content to expose Christ to 
this extremity, so in that extremity to hear his bitter cries, and 
dolorous complaints, and yet not relieve him with the least 
refreshment till he fainted and died under it. He heard the cries of 
his Son; that voice, I thirst, pierced heaven, and reached the 
Father's ear; but yet he will not refresh him in his agonies, nor 
abate him any thing of the debt he was now paying, and all this for 
the love he had to poor sinners. Had Christ been relieved in his 
sufferings, and spared, then God could not have pitied or spared us. 
The extremity of Christ's suffering was an act of justice to him; 
and the greatest mercy to us that ever could be manifested. Nor 
indeed (though Christ so bitterly complains of his thirst) was he 
willing to be relieved, till he had finished his work. O love 
unspeakable! He does not complain, that he might be relieved, but to 
manifest how great that sorrow was which his soul now felt upon our 
    Thirdly, And it should never be forgotten, that Jesus Christ 
was exposed to these extremities of sorrow for sinners, the greatest 
of sinners, who deserved not one drop of mercy from God. This 
commends the love of God singularly to us, in that "whilst we were 
yet sinners, Christ died for us," Rom. 5: 1. Thus the love of God in 
Jesus Christ still rises higher and higher in every discovery of it. 
Admire, adore, and be ravished with the thoughts of this love! 
             Thanks be to God for this unspeakable gift. 

(continued in file 35...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-09: flafn-34.txt