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ture-phrase (as I have before observed) denoteth ministry; and to sit, rest; and there is no posture more easy, than to sit with a stool under one's feet: till Christ's enemies then be all under his feet, he is not fully in his rest. It is true, in his own person he is in rest; he hath finished the work which was given him to do, and therefore is entered into his rest. He hath already ascended up on high, and led captivity captive; yet in his members he still suffers, though not by way of pain or passion, yet by way of sympathy or compassion; he "is touched with a feeling of our infirmities." As by the things which he suffered, he learned obedience towards God, so by the same sufferings he learned compassion', and thereupon mercy and fidelity towards his members; for no man can be more tenderly faithful in the business of another, than he who by his own experience knoweth the consequence and necessity of it. And therefore he is said to be afflicted, in all the afflictions of his people: and the apostle' tells us, that the afflictions of the saints "fill up the remainders," or "that which is behind of the sufferings of Christ." For as the church is called 'the fulness of Christ,' who yet of himself is so full, as that he " filleth all in all" (neither doth the church serve to supply his defects, but to magnify his mercy); so the church's sufferings are esteemed the fulness of the sufferings of Christ, although his were of themselves so full before, as that they had a 'consummatum est,' to seal up both their measure and their merit. And therefore our sufferings are called his, not by way of addition, or improvement unto those, but by way of honour and dignity unto us: they show Christ's compassion towards us, and our union and conformity to him, but no way either any defect of virtue in his, or any value of merit in ours; or any ecclesiastical treasure, or redundancy out of a mixture of both. Very profitable they are for the edification of the church, but very base and unworthy for the expiation of sin; very profitable for the comfort of men, but very unprofitable to the justice of God. So then, though Christ rest from suffering in himself, yet not in his saints; though the serpent cannot come to the head, yet it is still bruising of his heel. Here then the apostle's inference is good, "There remaineth therefore a rest unto the people of
h Heb. v. 8.
i Heb. ii. 17, 18.
k Isai. Ixiii. 9.
Heb. iv. 15. I Col. i. 24.
God," and that such a glorious rest as must arise out of the ruin of their enemies; when the wicked perish, they shall see it, and rejoice, and shall wash their feet in the blood of their adversaries. The revenge of God against his enemies is such as shall bring an ease with it: "Ah," saith the Lord, "I will ease me of mine adversaries, I will avenge me of mine enemies." This is the comfort which the Lord giveth his people,―That they shall be full, when their enemies shall be hungry; and that he will appear to their joy, when their enemies shall be ashamed.°
This must teach wicked men, to take heed of persecuting the members of Christ, for they therein are professed enemies to him, whom yet they would seem to worship. This is certain, that all the counsels and resolutions which are made against the subjects or laws of Christ's kingdom, are but 'vain imaginations,' which shall never be executed. He will at last avenge the quarrel of his people, and, in spite of all the power or malice of Hell, make them to sit actually in heavenly places with him, whom he hath virtually and representatively carried thither already. And it should comfort the faithful in all their sufferings for Christ's sake: because hereby they are, First, Conformable unto him: Secondly, They are associates with him: Thirdly, They are assured that they are in a way to rest: "for," saith the apostle, "it is just with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you, and to you who are troubled, rest, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven." And "inasmuch," saith St. Peter, "as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings, —when his glory shall be revealed, ye shall be glad also with exceeding joy." And this joy shall be so much the greater, because it shall grow out of the everlasting subjection of the enemies under Christ's feet; and those whom here they persecuted and despised, shall there with Christ be their judges.'
Secondly, As it noteth the rest, so likewise the triumph of Christ, when he shall set his feet on the neck of his enemies. The apostle saith, that he "triumphed over them in his cross."s And there are two words which have an allusion unto the forms of triumph, exspoliation, and publication, or
m Isai. i. 24. n Isai. lxv. 13. q 1 Pet. iv. 13. r 1 Cor. vi. 2, 3. Gen. Dier. lib. 6. cap. 6.
o Isai. lxvi. 5.
representation of the pomp, unto the world of the faithful. "He spoiled principalities and powers," that is, he took from them all their armour, wherein they trusted, and "divided the spoils." The armour of Satan was, principally, "the hand-writing of the law which was against us," or contrary unto us. So long as we were under the full force and rigour of that, so long we were under the possession and tyranny of Satan: but when Christ nailed that unto the cross, and took it out of the way, then all the other panoply of Satan was easily taken from him. He was then spoiled of all his weapons and provisions of lust: for the world, and therewithal, the things which are in the world, were unto us crucified in the cross of Christ; so that now by faith in him, we are able to overcome the world, to value it aright, to esteem the promises thereof thin and empty, and the threatenings thereof vain and false; the treasures thereof baser than the very reproaches of Christ"; and the afflictions thereof not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us ", as being in their measure but light, and but momentary in their duration. The power and wisdom of Satan was likewise in the cross of Christ most notably befooled and disappointed: for when he thought that he had now swallowed up Christ, he found a hook under that bait; he found that which neither himself, nor any of his instruments could have suspected, that Christ, crucified, was indeed the wisdom of God, and the power of God; and that, through death, he chose to destroy him who had the power of death.c
Again, He made "a show," or public representation of this his victory, and of these his spoils, openly unto the world. As the cross was his triumphal chariot, so was it likewise 'ferculum pompæ,' the pageant, as it were, and table of his spoils. For though to a carnal eye there was nothing but ignominy and dishonour in it, yet to those that are called, there is an eye of faith given to see, in the cross of Christ, Hell disappointed, Satan confounded, his kingdom demolished, the earthly members of the old man crucified, affections and lusts abated, and captivity already led captive. And indeed what triumph of any the most glorious con
u Luke xi. 22. a Rom. viii. 18.
* Gal. vi. 14.
y 1 John v. 4, 5.
z Heb. xi. 26.
1 Cor. i. 24. Heb. ii. 14.
queror was ever honoured with the opening of graves, the resurrection of the dead, the conversion of enemies, the acclamation of mute and inanimate creatures, the darkness of the sun, the trembling of the earth, the compassion of the rocks, the amazement of the world, the admiration of the angels of Heaven, but only this triumph of Christ upon the cross? And if he did so triumph. there, how much more at the right hand of the Majesty on high, where he is crowned with glory and honour,-and at that great day, which is therefore called "the day of the Lord Jesus," because he will therein consummate his triumph over all his enemies, when he shall come with the attendance of angels, in a chariot of fire, with all the unbelievers of the world bound before his throne, and with the clamour, applause, and admiration of all the saints.
And this is a plentiful ground of comfort to the faithful in all their conflicts with Satan, sin, temptations, or corruptions; -they fight under his protection, and with his Spirit, who hath himself already triumphed, who accounteth our temptations his, and his victories ours; who turned the sorest perplexities which the world shall ever see, into a doctrine of comfort unto his disciples. Whenever, then, we are assaulted with any heavy temptation to discomforts, fears, faintings, weariness, despair, sinful conformities, or the like; let us not toss over our own store, nor depend upon any strength or principles of our own, but look only by faith unto the victories of Christ, and to this great promise which is here made unto him, as head and captain of the church, by whom we shall be able to do all things, and, though we were surrounded with enemies, to escape, as he did, through the midst of them all. We know the cat's 'unum magnum,' in the fable, was more worth than the fox's thousand shifts, notwithstanding all the which he was caught at the last. Our enemies come against us in armies, with infinite methods and stratagems to circumvent us; this only is our comfort, that we have "unum magnum," one refuge which is above all the wisdom of the enemy,-to climb up unto the cross of Christ, and to commit the keeping of our souls unto him, out of whose hands no man can take them. When David went forth against Goliah, he did not grapple with
d Luke xxi. 25, 28.
him by his own strength, but with his sling and his stone at a distance overthrew him. It is not good to let Satan come too close unto the soul, to let in his temptations, or to enter into any private and intimate combat with him: this was for our captain only to do, who, we know, entered into the field with him, as being certain of his own strength :-but our only way to prevail against him, is to take faith as a sling, and Christ as a stone; he will undoubtedly find out a place to enter in and to sink the proudest enemy. We are beset with enemies, yea, we are enemies unto ourselves; the burden of the flesh,-the assaults of the world, the fiery darts of Satan,-treason within, and wars without,-swarms of Midianites, troops of Amalekites,-the sea before us, the Egyptian behind us ;-sin before, Satan and the world be hind:-either I must run on and be drowned in sin; or I must stand still and be hewed in pieces with the persecutions of wicked men; or 1 must revolt and turn back to Egypt, and so be devoured in her plagues. In these extremities the apostle hath given us our "unum magnum,"-" Look unto Jesus;" he that is the author, will be the finisher of our faith it is yet but a little while, he will come, and will not tarry he is in the view of our faith, he is within the cry of our prayers, he sitteth at the right hand of power; nay, he there standeth, and he is risen up already in the quarrel of his saints.f The nearer the Egyptian is to Israel, the nearer he is to ruin, and the nearer Israel is to deliverance. Though Moses have not chariots, nor multitudes of weapons, yet he hath a rods, a branch", an Angel of God's presence, which can open the sea, and give an issue to the greatest dangers, which can turn the enemy's rage into his own ruin. There is no enemy so close, so dangerous, so unavoidable as our own lusts. Now the Lord promiseth to deal with the sins of his people, as he did with the Egyptians. We know their tyranny he subdued with plagues; their first-born, the strength and flower of the land, he slew before; and those who afterwards joined themselves against his people, he drowned in the bottom of the So saith the prophet, "He will subdue our iniquities," he will purge them away; the power and strength of them
g Isa, xi. 1.
• Heb. x. 36, 37. i Exod. xxxiii. 14. 16.
d Heb. xii. 1, 2. h Zech. iii. 8.
f Acts vii. 56. k Psalm lxv. 3.