Sermon upon Philippians ii. 7.

Phil. ii. 7.—But made himself of no reputation.

The apostle, to cure their pride, which was the cause of their divisions, urgeth Christ’s example. His lowliness and humility is set forth by two things—terminus a quo and ad quern, or the height of elevation wherein he stood, and the depth of humiliation to which he condescended. The former, ver. 6, the latter in the 7th and 8th verses.

1. The height wherein he stood: ver. 6, ‘Who being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God.’ That phrase is to be regarded, υπαρχων εν μορφη Θεου, ‘being in the form of God.’ By the form of God is meant the divine essence, as clothed with glory and majesty. As the form of a servant is really a servant, so his being in the form of God showeth that he was from all eternity true God, adorned with divine splendour, glory, and majesty. The other phrase, ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα Θεω, ’he thought it no robbery to be equal with God,’ signified that this doth justly and naturally belong to him, and was not usurped by him. The devils were thrown out of heaven for usurping divine honour: 2 Peter ii. 4, ‘God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;’ and Jude 6, ‘And the angels, that kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved to everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day.’ They were not contented with the place they were in, but would be independent of themselves, equal to God, by usurpation and robbery; and so, instead of angels, became devils. But Christ is not God by usurpation, but God by nature; he was not thrust down, but came down.

2. His examination and abasement, which is—(1.) Generally set forth; (2.) Particulars are mentioned.

[1.] Generally, εκενωσεν εαυτον, ‘He made himself of no reputation,’ in the text; εταπεινωσεν εαυτον, ‘He humbled himself,’ ver. 8.

[2.] The particulars are his incarnation, mean life, and accursed death. Let us stand a little, and consider this condescension by comparing the terms. That the creator should stoop so low as to become a creature, and go down from the form of God to the form of a servant, from equality with God to subjection to men, from being Lord of all to a state of obedience, and that obedience carried on in the way of the most perfect self-denial, ‘Obedient to the death,’ and that death [[@Page:125]] clothed with all the circumstances that might make it grievous, it was painful, ignominious, and accursed.

‘I shall insist only on the general description of it, εκενωσεν εαυτον, ‘He made himself of no reputation;’ emptied himself, lessened himself; in the next verse, ‘humbled himself.’

Doct. That the Lord Jesus did for our sakes empty, lessen, and humble himself.

I shall open three things—(1.) How far Christ was lessened; (2.) That this was his own voluntary act; (3.) That this was for our sakes.

I. How far Christ was lessened. It chiefly lieth in these two things—(1.) Obscuring his godhead; (2.) Abatement of his dignity.

1. His godhead was obscured by the interposing veil of our flesh. He did empty himself of that divine glory, splendour, and majesty which before he had; not by ceasing to be what he was, but by assuming something to himself which he was not before, viz., the infirmity of the human nature, which did for a time hide his divine glory, so that little of it did appear, and that to some few only that narrowly observed him: John i. 14, ‘We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father.’ To the generality it was otherwise: Isa. liii. 2, ‘He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground, he hath no form or comeliness, and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.’ As the covering in a dark lantern hideth the light from shining forth, so did the human nature obscure his divine glory; for he assumed not this nature as it shall be in heaven, perfectly glorified, but as it is now since sin entered into the world, clothed with manifold infirmities. He came in the form of a servant, not of a glorified saint. The apostle, Rom. viii. 3, calleth it, ‘The likeness of sinful flesh.’ The estate and condition of his assumed flesh was exposed to all those infirmities which in us are the punishment of sin. Though he continued still infinite, eternal, and omnipotent, and in his greatest abasement was still the Lord of glory, yet his external habit and appearance was that of a mean afflicted man; and the divinity, though not separated, withheld its influence, to leave the human nature to suffer whatever the humanity was capable of. As it exposed the soul to desertion, so the body to all manner of sufferings, and death itself.

2. His dignity was lessened, and there was a depression of the glory, of his former state, that which the Romans called capitis diminutio, a lessening of state and condition. The eternal Word set himself at nought, lessened and humbled himself from the condition of being Lord of all to that of a subject and ordinary man: Gal. iv. 4, ‘But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.’ From a judge of the world he became a party. It was a condescension of God to take notice of man’s misery: Ps. cxiii. 6, ‘Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth.’ Much more to make a party in it, and to be found among the miserable.

Three steps of condescension we may eminently take notice of—

[1.] That Christ, ‘who thought it no robbery to be equal with God,’ is made less than God: John xiv. 28, ‘My Father is greater than I; [[@Page:126]] compared with John x. 30, ‘I and my Father are one.’ As mediator incarnate, he undertook an office designed him by God, and obeyed him in all things. They are one in essence, yet the Father was greater than he; not as he was God, but man and mediator, and in his present state of humiliation. For he bringeth it there to prove that, by departing out of the world then, he should be exalted to a more glorious estate than that in which he was during his abode upon earth, because the veil should then be laid aside, and that glory which he had with God before the world was made should fully appear: John xvii. 5, ‘And now, Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.’

[2.] That he was not only lesser than God, but lesser than the angels, ηλαττωσας αυτον βραχυ τι παρ αγγελους, Heb. ii. 7, ‘Thou madest him a little lower than the angels,’ or for a little time, the time that he spent here on earth. Man is inferior to an angel, as man, in the order of being; much more as mortal, for the angels never die; therefore his very incarnation and liableness to death was a great lessening of his dignity. Though the incarnation of Christ was the exaltation of our nature, yet it was the depression and humiliation of the Son of God. God could stoop no lower than to become man, and man could be advanced no higher than to be united to God.

[3.] That in the human nature he was depressed beyond the ordinary condition of man. For he came in such a form and course of life as was beneath the ordinary rate of mankind: Ps. xxii. 6, ‘I am a worm, and no man, a reproach of men, and despised of the people.’ So Isa. liii. 3, ‘He was despised andy rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs, and we hid as. it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not;’ as a vile and abominable creature, both despised, and rejected, scarce deemed worthy the name of a man, or to have any converse and fellowship with them. It is in Hebrew, חול הישיס the leaving off of a man; as if we should say, the very list and fag-end of mankind; so low and mean that the nature of man can hardly descend lower: Mark ix. 12, ‘The Son of man must suffer many things, and be set at nought;’ it is εξουδενωθη, made nought worth, or nothing. Thus did he appear in the meanest and most abject form of mankind, not in any glorious estate and majesty. Survey the whole course of his life; he was born of a poor virgin, and, instead of a better place, laid in an inn; which probably being taken up by persons of great quality, he was laid in the basest place of the inn, in a manger. His birth was revealed to poor shepherds, not to emperors and kings, not to Caesar at Rome. Presently after his birth he was banished together with his mother into Egypt, and exposed to the troubles and toils of a long journey into a strange country for refuge. Afterward, till he appeared in his ministry, we read little of him. His supposed father a carpenter, and he himself called so: Mark vi. 3; ‘Is not this the carpenter?’ He made yokes and ploughs, saitb Justin Martyr. Certainly it is probable that, as he submitted to other parts of the curse, so this: ‘In the sweat of thy brows shalt thou eat thy bread.’ In the course of his ministry he suffered many affronts and reproaches. Surely his life was a life of sorrows. We find him begging water when thirsty, John iv. 9; that a fish paid tribute for [[@Page:127]] him, Mat. xvii. 27. He had little money, and had no certain residence and place of abode, but lived by contribution: Mat viii. 20, ‘The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.’ At his death, never was child of God under so much misery as Christ himself. His own heavens, his own Father, his own godhead, did hide their face and consolation from him. God’s wrath pressed the weight of punishment, with the full power of justice, both upon his soul and body. Those for whom he died despised him. He himself, being emptied of all things which make men respected in the world, was depressed lower than any man, and was as a worm to be trod upon. He was made a matter of common talk and reproach in all men’s mouths, condemned by the ruling part of the world, and set at nought by the basest of the people, derided and scorned in his most holy behaviour, his bitter sufferings made matter of sport and laughter, malice feeding itself with pleasure upon his pain and misery, and expressing itself with the basest signs of mocking which disdain could devise, flouting at his saving doctrine, and insulting over him as if he had neither been the Son of God nor an honest man; and all this was counted little enough for satisfaction of justice, exacting of him the due punishment of our sins.

II. That this was his own voluntary act. He made himself of no reputation. You may read that men set him at nought: Acts iv. 11, ‘This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders.’ Nay, we read, Heb. ii. 7, ‘Thou madest him a little lower than the angels.’ It was an act of God himself; yet on Christ’s part it was voluntary, undertaken for the glory of God and the good of men. It was not imposed upon him by constraint, without his consent, or against his will. An act of love and an act of obedience are truly consistent. A punishment is imposed upon us against our will, but here was a voluntary susception of our burden. None of this was due to him upon his own account, but ours. It was no punishment for his self-exalting, but an act of gracious condescension. This appeareth in scripture two ways—

1. In that what he was to do and undergo was proposed to him, and he willingly accepted of the terms and conditions. When no kind of sacrifices and offerings were sufficient to take away sin and save sinners, then he said,’ Lo, I come to do thy will,’ Heb. x. 6, 7. It was told him what it would cost him if he would deliver and save mankind; all was written down in God’s book; that he must be made under the law, take upon him the form of a servant, make his soul an offering for sin. How did he like these conditions? ‘I was not,’ saith he, ‘rebellious, neither turned away back,’ Isa. 1. 5. No; he refused not the terms, but cheerfully submitted to them: ‘I delight to do thy will, O God.’ He delighted in the thoughts of it long ere it came about: Pro v. viii. 31, ‘Rejoicing in the habitable part of the earth, and my delights were with the sons of men.’ And when it was to be actually done, he Repented not.

2. The scripture assigneth this work unto the love and condescension of Christ himself, as the next and immediate cause of his engageing in it, and performance of it: Gal. ii. 20, ‘I live by the faith of the [[@Page:128]] Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me;’ Eph. v. 25, 26, ‘Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word;’ Rev. i. 5, 6, ‘Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.’ The apostle telleth us, 2 Cor. viii. 9, ‘Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.’ He condescended to a poor and low condition, and suffered therein for our good, that we might be partakers of the riches of the grace of God. TIL That this was for our sakes. Christ hath a double relation— (1.) As our mediator, redeemer, and saviour; (2.) As the pattern and example of holiness in our nature. Both ways it was for our sakes.

1. As our mediator. So he emptied himself that we might be filled with all grace. He was born of a woman that we might be born of God: Gal. iv. 4, 5, ‘When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons;’ 2 Cor. v. 21, ‘He was made sin for us that knew nO sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ He was made a curse that we might have the blessing: Gal. iii. 13, 14, ‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. That the blessing of Abraham might come on the gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.’ He was forsaken for a while that we might be received for ever. And, to speak to the very case, 2 Cor. viii. 9, ‘He was made poor for us, that we through his poverty might be rich.’ There are some things in the mediation of Christ which belong to ministry, others to authority. Those which belong to ministry, as to be in the form of a servant, and die; he must be a man for that. Some things belong to authority, as to bring us back to God, to make our peace with God, to convey the Spirit, to vanquish Satan, to raise the dead, to deliver us from hell, to make us everlastingly blessed; he must be a God for that; but so as first that which is necessary to be done by his manhood be. done for us; first the merit of his humiliation was to be interposed before we could be acquainted with the power of his exaltation. God took this way, partly because we were to be restored in a way contrary to that by which we fell. We fell by pride, and we must be restored by humility. We would be as God, not in a way of blessed conformity, but cursed self-sufficiency. Therefore, to expiate this pride, God must become like man, take our nature, and suffer in it Once man, in the pride of his heart, attempted to be like God; and God by a mystery of humility became like man, that he might bring man into a nearer degree of likeness to God. Partly because the honour of his justice required it. Reconciliation supposeth satisfaction; for we are not at peace with God till his justice be appeased. And the Spirit of ‘God had not been sent if God had not been at peace with us, for this is the token of his friendship. And till the Spirit be given to change both our natures and estate, we have no title to the pardon of sin and eternal life. Therefore the merit of Christ’s humiliation is at the bottom of all the good we expect from God. Partly because he [[@Page:129]] delighteth to carry on our salvation by contraries. Christ emptied himself to fill all things, became poor that we might be rich, brought life out of death, covered his glory, wherewith he would enrich the world,’ under shame and disgrace. In the same way that Christ purchased it we obtain it. A christian is tossed with tempests, and yet the peace of God preserveth his heart. He hath nothing, and yet hath all things; was disgraced in the world, and yet approved of God. There was nothing stronger than Christ’s seeming weakness; in his lowest abasement he discovered the greatest power of his godhead. He satisfied the justice of God, overcame death and his Father’s wrath, triumphed over. Satan, crushed his head when he bruised his heel. The apostle telleth us, 1 Cor. i. 25, ‘The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men,’ το μωρον και το ασθενες. The foolish part and the weak part, that which in man’s opinion hath least wisdom or strength in it. Nothing is such a glorious act of wisdom and power as salvation by Christ dying, Christ abased; as also to bring a christian to heaven by afflictions, rather than to suffer him to be prosperous in the world.

2. By way of pattern and example. Christ, that came to set open the way to heaven, would also teach us the way to heaven, not only by his doctrine, but example. Christ made himself of no reputation, and therefore we should be dead to the reputation and grandeur of the world, which is the great diversion and hindrance to the heavenly life. The apostle, when he bringeth this instance, he saith, ‘Let the same mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus,’ Phil. ii. 5. This very thing is propounded to our imitation. The Son of God had wisdom to choose, right to enjoy, power to procure, the best condition which the world affordeth; but yet he chose a mean state of life, subject to many afflictions and sorrows. Here I shall show—(1.) The power of Christ’s example in the general; (2.) What he teacheth us by emptying himself, or making himself of no reputation.

First, His example hath an alluring power, or great force in moving; this is the example, not of an equal or inferior, but of a great person, one far above us. This great person is Jesus Christ our Lord, the great messenger of the God of heaven, who came to reclaim mankind from their vain courses, and to instruct them in the way of life.

[1.] His example is a perfect and unerring pattern; for his life is religion exemplified, a visible commentary on God’s word. He came not only to restore us to God’s favour by his merit, but to set us an example: 1 Cor. xi. 1, ‘Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ.’ Then you cannot err, if you follow Christ in his imitable actions.

[2.] It is an engaging pattern. Christ’s submission to a duty should make it lovely to us. The disciple is not above his lord, nor the servant above his master: ‘If I then, your Lord and master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet,’ John xiii. 14. Shall we decline to follow such a leader? 1 John ii. 6, ‘He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also so to walk even as he walked.’ Alexander, conqueror of the world, achieved most of his great exploits by his example. When hardly beset, he would make the first in every danger and desperate action; when his army grew sluggish, as laden with spoils of their enemies, he commanded all his carriages to be [[@Page:130]] fired; and when they saw their king devote his rich treasures to the flame, they could not murmur if their mite and pittance were consumed also. If Christ had only taught us contempt of the world, and not given us an instance of it, his doctrine would be less powerful.

[3.] It is an effectual pattern. The Spirit of Christ goeth along with it, as well as his doctrine: 2 Cor. iii. 18, ‘We are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ His steps drop fatness. He hath left a blessing behind in all the way that he hath trodden before us, and sanctified it to us, that we may follow after him with comfort.

[4.] It is a very encouraging pattern; for he sympathiseth with us in all our difficulties, having entendered his own heart by experience: Heb. ii. 18, ‘In that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted;’ Heb. iv. 15, ‘We have not an high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are.’ He knoweth the weaknesses and reluctances of human nature in our hardest duties, and will pity and pardon our infirmities.

[5.] The example of Christ will be armour of proof against all temptations. The apostle saith here, ver. 5, ‘Let the same mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus;’ and in 1 Peter iv. 1, ‘Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind.’ If this mind be in you, temptations will have little force upon you.

Secondly, What he teacheth us hereby.

[1.] Patience under all the indignities we undergo for God’s sake in the course of our pilgrimage: 1 Peter ii. 21, it is said,’ Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps.’ So Heb. xii. 2, ‘Looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.’ Let us be contented to be abased for him. He descended from heaven to the grave, as low as he could, for us; therefore let us submit to any condition for his glory. Some that profess his name will suffer nothing for him. If they may enjoy him or his ways in peace and quietness, well and good; but if trouble arise for the gospel’s sake, immediately they fall off. The most, yea, the best, have a secret loathness and unwillingness to condescend to a condition of trouble and distress for the gospel. How to these I will but propound these three considerations—

(1.) If Christ had been unwilling to die for us and suffer for us, if the same mind had been in Christ, what had been our estate and condition to all eternity? Without his sufferings we should have suffered eternal misery. If you would not have Christ of another mind, let the same mind be in you.

(2.) We cannot lose for him as much as he hath done for us: 2 Cor. viii. 9, ‘Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich.’

(3.) We are gainers by him if we part with all the world for his sake: Mark x. 29, 30, ‘There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake [[@Page:131]] and the gospel, but be shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.’ Oh! then, do not stand upon terms. The same mind or spirit answerable to Christ was that of David: 2 Sam. vi. 22, ‘I will be yet more vile than thus.’ Christ became vile for us, made himself of no reputation; and shall we be flouted out of our religion? If he had disdained to endure grief and sorrows, and stood upon befitting terms, what had become of us?

[2.] Humility. We are far inferior to Christ, and shall we stand so much upon our reputation? Mat. xi. 29, ‘Learn of me, for I am meek, and lowly in heart.’ Learn of me, not to make worlds or work miracles, but to be contented with the lowest place, the meanest service, to be anything and do anything to bring glory to God; and that not out of necessity, but choice: Mat. xx. 28, ‘Even as the Son of man came not to, be ministered unto, but to minister.’ It is brought to check aspiring or affecting domination in the church. They that love the pre-eminence, would be great and high, seem to dislike Christ’s proceeding; especially those that rend and tear all to advance themselves or to grow greater in the world. See that magnificent preface to the history of Christ’s washing his disciples’ feet: John xiii. 3, ‘Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God.’ Poor worms 1 that are but three degrees distant from dust and nothing, how do we stand upon our terms! Christ, when his own thoughts were most filled with his own glory, doth the meanest office. Surely, considering Christ’s humility, we should no more over-value ourselves, nor desire high esteem with others, nor affect pre-eminence, nor undervalue and despise others.

[3.] More exact obedience. Christ’s condescension was a special act of grace and love, but it was also a signal act of obedience. It is so called in the 8th verse, ‘He humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.’ It was done in pursuance of the Father’s command; and elsewhere, Heb. v. 8, 9, ‘Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.’ By the multiplicity of his sufferings he learned obedience; and the impression is according to the stamp and seal. Christ came to be the leader of an obeying people.

[4.] Self-denial as well as obedience. Preferring a public interest, the glory of God, and the good of souls, before his own glory as God, and the interests of that natural life that he assumed: Rom. xv. 3, ‘‘Christ pleased not himself;’ and John xii. 27, 28, ‘Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name.’ That was enough, if God was glorified. Every christian should be thus affected: Phil. i. 20, ‘That Christ may be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death.’

[5.] The last lesson is contempt of the world and all the glory thereof. Christ teacheth us this lesson by making himself of no reputation two ways—

(1.) The example of his own choice. The Lord of heaven and earth [[@Page:132]] despised and neglected the glory and riches of this world. He passed through the world to sanctify it as a place of service; but chose not pomp of living, nor the happiness of it, lest we should choose it as our rest and portion: ‘They are not of the world, as I am not of the world,’ John xvii. 16. Those that are dearest unto God must look by crosses and trials to be fitted for another world. If a man say never so much for contempt of the world, yet live in the love of it, his saying is nothing. But Christ would be a pattern of his own doctrine. Contempt of the world is a lesson of great consequence; salvation lieth upon it: 1 John ii. 15-17, ‘Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world: if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him; for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world; and the world passeth away, and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.’ Whether we are high or low, full or kept bare, it concerneth us all to learn it. Though we flow in wealth, we should be as having nothing, and sit loose from the creature. If we are poor, we must count grace a preferment: James i. 9, 10, ‘Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted; but the rich, in that he is made low, because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.’ There is required of all an hearty preparation for, when they are not called to a patient enduring of, afflictions for Christ’s name: Phil. iv. 12, ‘I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructed, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ This is of a hard digestion to a natural man. Now Christ’s example is a great help to us to check our worldly desires; let us not affect greater eminency in the world than Christ had; and to check the vanity of fulness, or our carnal complacency, that it may not be a snare to us: 1 Tim. v. 6, ‘The woman that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.’ Christ was a man of sorrows; do you profess Christ, and yet are you addicted to vain pleasures, and not able to deny them?

(2.) As it is an argument to confirm us in the certainty of the happiness of the world to come. It were best to choose the easiest life here if we did not believe eternity, to live a life of pomp and ease. The troubles and miseries of the godly have been counted a sure argument to confirm it: 1 Cor. xv. 19, ‘If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.’ God would not make us miserable by our duty.’ And 2 Thea i. 5, ενδειγμα της δικαιας κρισεως του Θεου, ’It is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God.’ If the consideration of godly men’s sufferings in this world be of moment to such an inference, much more the sufferings of Christ, who was not only a man good and innocent beyond example, instructing the souls, curing the bodies of so many men, but also the Son of God. His exaltation is a pledge of our happiness, and his humiliation an argument he is gone there as our forerunner.

Application to the Sacrament. This duty bindeth us both to the mediatory and moral consideration of Christ’s abasement.

1. The mediatory consideration of Christ’s abasement. That we may grow in faith and love, we remember the death and sufferings of the Lord Jesus for the increase of faith and love.

[[@Page:133]] [1.] Faith. Here is the foundation laid of all our happiness, and deliverance from sin and misery. Here is a merit and a price full enough to purchase all needful graces. He became poor that we might he rich, and not have a slender measure of grace: John i. 16, ‘Of his fulness we all receive, and grace for grace.’ He was emptied that we might be filled: Eph. iv. 10, ‘He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things;’ and 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23, ‘All things are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s;’ John x. 10, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly;’ Titus iii. 5, 6, ‘He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.’ What may we not promise ourselves from God made man, made sin, made a curse for us? Surely a larger and plentiful measure of the gifts and graces of the Spirit.

[2.] His great love to lost sinners; for he made himself of no reputation for our sakes. Such was the inconceivable love of our Lord Jesus Christ to the souls of men, that he was willing to condescend to any condition for their good and salvation. Some will do a kindness, so as themselves may not be the worse, nor the poorer, nor disgraced, nor adventure the displeasure of others; but Christ hath filled us by emptying himself, taken our nature, and was subject to misery, out of love to the salvation of lost sinners. He did willingly lay aside his glory, which he had with the Father before the world was, to suffer in his human nature the utmost of misery and grief which the malice of men and devils could infliot, and which seemed good to the Father to order and appoint for a satisfaction to provoked justice. Quanlo vilior, tanto charior—Bernard. So much .more vile as Christ was, so much dearer should he be to us.

2. Let us improve the moral consideration of Christ’s being a pattern and example to us. We feed upon Christ that we may be like him. Other food is assimilated and changed into our substance, but here we are changed into it. We who give up our names to Christ must expect to enjoy the’ fruits of his obedience in the same steps wherein he walked before us. If we can condemn the world, be content to be of no reputation that we may glorify God and finally save our souls, then are we like Christ. We come to arm ourselves with the same mind which was in Jesus, to get above the hopes and fears, pains and pleasures, honours and profits, of the present world; ουδενμεγα; nothing in this world should be great to us. These things are transitory, soon conveyed out of sight, the basest and vilest of men are capable of them, the most generous are above them. Therefore we should be weaning our hearts more and more from this world, and drawing them off to another world; for we profess ourselves to be followers of a poor Saviour.