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The necessity whereof, that we may the better apprehend
it, it will not be amiss we know, that these words are in two t Joh. 19. 37. sundry places two sundry ways applied. 1. Once by St. John
in the Gospel, 2. and the second time again by Christ Himself in the Revelation. By St. John to Christ at His first coming, suffering as our Saviour upon the cross. By Christ
to Himself at His second coming, sitting as our Judge upon + Rev. 1. 7. His throne, in the end of the world: “Behold He cometh
in the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, yea, even they that pierced IIim;" et plangent se super Eum omnes gentes terre. The meaning whereof is, Look upon Him here if you will; enjoin yourselves if you think good, either here or somewhere else; either now or then, look upon Him you shall. And they which put this spectacle far from them here, and cannot endure to “look upon Him Whom they have pierced,” et plangere Eum,“ and be grieved for Him,” while it is time; a place and time shall be, when they shall be enforced to look upon Him, whether they will or no, et plangent se super Eum, 'and be grieved for themselves,' that they had no grace to do it sooner. Better compose themselves to a little mourning here, with some benefit to be made by their beholding, than to be drawn to it there when it is too late, and when all their looking and grieving will not avail a whit. For there respicientes respiciet, et despicientes despiciet ; • His look shall be amiable to them that have respected His piercing here, and dreadful on the other side to them that have
neglected it.' And as they that have inured themselves to Lu. 21. 28. this looking on here, shall in that day “look up and lift up
their heads with joy, the day of their redemption being at hand;" so they that cannot bring themselves to look upon Him here, after they once have looked upon Him there, shall
not dare to do it the second time, but cry to the mountains, Rev. 6. 16. “Fall upon us, and to the hills, Hide us from the face of Him
That sits upon the throne." Therefore, respicient is no evil counsel. No, though it be facient se respicere.
In a word, if thus causing ourselves to fix our eyes on Him we ask, How long we shall continue so doing, and when we may give over?. let this be the answer; Donec totus firus in corde, Qui totus firus in cruce. Or if that be too much or too hard, yet saltem, at the least,' respice in Illum donec Ille te
respexerit, “Look upon Ilim till He look upon you again.' * For so He will. He did upon Peter, and with His look Ľu. 22. 61. melted him into tears. He that once and twice before denied Him and never wept, because Christ looked not on him, then denied and Christ looked on him, and "he went out and wept bitterly.” And if to Peter thus He did, and vouchsafed him so gracious a regard, when Peter not once looked toward Him, how much more shall He not deny us like favour, if by looking on Him first we provoke Him in a sort to a second looking on us again, with the Prophet, saying; Proposui Dominum coram me, 'I have set Thee, O Lord, before Ps. 16. 8. me;' and again, Respice in me, 8c. “O look Thou upon me, Ps. 119.132. and be merciful unto me, as Thou usest to do to those that love Thy Name.” “ That love Thy Name,” which is Jesus, “ a Saviour;" and which love that sight wherein most properly Thy Name appeareth, and wherein Thou chiefly shewest Thyself to be Jesus “a Saviour."
And to conclude, if we ask, How we shall know when Christ doth thus respect us? Then truly, when fixing both the eyes of our meditation “upon Him That was pierced,”—as it were one eye upon the grief, the other upon the love wherewith He was pierced, we find by both, or one of these, some motion of
grace arise in our hearts; the consideration of His grief piercing our hearts with sorrow, the consideration of His love piercing our hearts with mutual love again. The one is the motion of compunction which they felt, who when they heard such things “were pricked in their hearts.” The Acts 2. 37. other, the motion of comfort which they felt, who, when Christ spake to them of the necessity of His piercing, said ; “ Did we not feel our hearts warm within us?” That, from Lu, 24. 32, the shame and pain He suffered for us ; this, from the comforts and benefits He thereby procured for us.
These have been felt at this looking on, and these will be felt. It may be at the first, imperfectly, but after with deeper impression; and that of some, with such as nemo scit,'none knoweth,' but He that hath felt them. Which that we may endeavour to feel, and endeavouring may feel, and so grow into delight of this looking, God, &c.
PREACHED BEFORE THE
KING'S MAJESTY, AT WHITEHALL,
ON THE SIXTH OF APRIL, A. D. MDCIV., BEING GOOD-FRIDAY.
LAMENTATIONS i. 12.
Have ye no regard, () all ye that pass by the way? Consider,
and behold, if ever there were sorrow like My sorrow, which was done unto Me, wherewith the Lord did afflict Me in the
day of the fierceness of His wrath. [O ros omnes, qui transitis per viam, attendite et ridete si est dolor
sicut dolor Neus : quoniam vindemiavit Me ut locutus est Dominus
in die iræ furoris Sui. Lat. Vulg.] [Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be
any sorrow like unto My sorrow, which is done unto Me, wherewith the Lord hath afficted Me in the day of His fierce anger. Engl. Trans.]
Ar the very reading or hearing of which verse, there is none but will presently conceive, it is the voice of a party in
great extremity. In great extremity two ways: 1. First, in plaint.
such distress as never was any, “If ever there were sorrow like My sorrow;" 2. And then in that distress, having none to regard Him; “ Have ye no regard, all ye ?"
To be afflicted, and so afflicted as none ever was, is very much. In that affliction, to find none to respect him or care
for him, what can be more ? In all our sufferings, it is a com1 Cor. 10. fort to us that we have a sicut ; that nothing has befallen us,
but such as others have felt the like. But here, si fuerit sicut; “ If ever the like were”—that is, never the like was.
Again, in our greatest pains it is a kind of ease, even to find some regard. Naturally we desire it, if we cannot be
delivered, if we cannot be relieved, yet to be pitied. It Job 19. 21. sheweth there be yet some that are touched with the sense of our misery, that wish us well, and would give us ease if they could. But this Afflicted here findeth not so much, neither the one nor the other; but is even as He were an out-cast both of Heaven and earth. Now verily an heavy case, and worthy to be put in this book of Lamentations.
I demand then, “Of whom speaketh the Prophet this ? of Christ's himself, or of some other ?" This I find; there is not any of the complaint. ancient writers but do apply, yea in a manner appropriate, this speech to our Saviour Christ. And that this very day, the day of His Passion, truly termed here the day of God's wrath, and wheresoever they treat of the Passion, ever this verse cometh in. And to say the truth, to take the words strictly as they lie, they cannot agree, or be verified of any but of Him, and Him only. For though some other, not unfitly, may be allowed to say the same words, it must be in a qualified sense; for in full and perfect propriety of speech, He and none but He. None can say, neither Jeremy, nor any other, si fuerit dolor Meus, as Christ can; no day of wrath like to His day, no sorrow to be compared to His, all are short of it, nor His to any, it exceedeth them all.
And yet, according to the letter, it cannot be denied but they be set down by Jeremy in the person of his own people, being then come to great misery; and of the holy city, then laid waste and desolate by the Chaldees. What then? Ex Hos. 11. 1. Ægypto vocavi Filium Meum, “out of Egypt have I called My Son," was literally spoken of this people too, yet is by the Mat. 2. 15. Evangelist applied to our Saviour Christ. “My God, my God, Ps. 22. 1. why hast Thou forsaken me ?” at the first uttered by David ; yet the same words our Saviour taketh Himself, and that Mat. 27.46. more truly and properly, than ever David could; and of those of David's, and of these of Jeremy's, there is one and the
Of all which the ground is that correspondence which is between Christ, and the Patriarchs, Prophets, and people before Christ, of whom the Apostle's rule is, omnia in figurá iCor.10.11. contingebant illis; “ that they were themselves types," and their sufferings forerunning figures of the great suffering of the Son of God. Which maketh Isaac's offering, and Joseph's
SERM. selling, and Israel's calling from Egypt, and that complaint of
David's, and this of Jeremy's, appliable to Him; that He may take them to Himself, and the Church ascribe them to Him, and that in more fitness of terms, and more fulness of truth, than they were at the first spoken by David, or Jeremy, or any of them all.
And this rule, and the steps of the Fathers proceeding by this rule, are to me a warrant to expound and apply this verse, as they have done before, to the present occasion of this time; which requireth some such Scripture to be considered by us as doth belong to His Passion, Who this day poured out His most precious Blood, as the only sufficient price of the dear purchase of all our redemptions.
Be it then to us, as to them it was, and as most properly it is, the speech of the Son of God, as this day hanging on the cross, to a sort of careless people, that go up and down without any manner of regard of these His sorrows and sufferings, so worthy of all regard. “Have ye no regard ? O all ye that pass by the way, consider and behold, if ever there were sorrow like to my sorrow, which was done unto me, wherewith the Lord afflicted me in the day of the fierceness
of His wrath." The parts.
Here is a complaint, and here is a request. A complaint that we have not, a request that we would have the pains and Passions of our Saviour Christ in some regard. For first He complaineth, and not without cause, “ Have ye no regard?” And then, as willing to forget their former neglect, so they will yet do it, He falleth to entreat, “() consider and behold !”
And what is that we should consider? The sorrow which He suffereth, and in it two things; the quality, and the
1. The quality, Si fuerit sicut; 'if ever the like were ;' and that either in respect of Dolor, or Dolor Meus, 'the sorrow suffered,' or “the Person suffering.' 2. The cause: that is God That in His wrath, in His fierce wrath, doth all this to Him. Which cause will not leave us, till it have led us to another cause in ourselves, and to another yet in Ilim; all which serve to ripen us to regard.
These two then specially we are moved to regard. 1. Regard is the main point. But because therefore we regard but