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said Amen.” “ For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father, He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him."
Having treated briefly of the object of their worship, the Lamb, I come now to shew why he is so called.
First, Because of his innocency; he having done no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth, 1 Pet. ii. 22; “ Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.”
Secondly, Because of his meekness and gentleness in the hands of his enemies, and submission to their cruelty and rage. A lamb makes little resistance in the hands of a butcher, and less in the hand of its shearer; no animal of its size so passive and meek. There is nothing about it but is useful; nor any thing in its nature that is voracious, cunning, sly, or savage; to which the Saviour is compared in his meek and gentle deportment. “ He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who shall declare his generation ? For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was he stricken.”
Thirdly, He is compared to a lamb on account
of his usefulness. There is nothing about a lamb but is useful. It is excellent food, if not the very best of animal food; hence the Saviour says, “ My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” “ Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” This spiritual eating and drinking shews the mysterious union there is between Christ and the believer; for as food received, digested, and concocted, nourishes every part of the body, and increases it, so the soul who receives the Saviour by faith into his heart, as crucified for him, finds the sentence of death, his soul-deadness removed, and life divine communicated; “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him." All other food perishes; but this food is spiritual and divine; and is no less than an eternal feast of fat things, intended to entertain a troubled mind, quicken and nourish'a perishing soul, and satisfy the boundless desires of it with the love of God. Such souls should live above the fear, as they shall surely live above the power, of all that is called death; “ He that eateth of this bread shall live for ever,” John vi. 58.
The wool of the lamb is excellent for clothing, as well as the skin for other uses : “ The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.” And I believe there is some sweet meaning in this text: “ I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you,
live,” Ezek. xxxvii. 6. However, the Saviour is not only the food of our souls, but our clothing also; “ Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and walk in him.” He is our covering; “ Blessed is the man whose sin is covered,” Psalm xxxii. 1. “The Lord hath covered me with the robe of righteousness ;” and unless he does we shall be found naked, Rev. xvi. 15. In short, we must feed on him, or die; we must be found in his righteousness or be damned, and that is the truth of it.
Fourthly, There is no other fountain opened for sin but the Lamb's blood. All that are in heaven « have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb;" and if he wash us not we have no part in him, John xiii. 8. No cleansing but this can purge the conscience from the sting of guilt, the curse and wrath of the law, or from dead works, that we may serve the living God. He that is a stranger to the blood of the Lamb, is pursued and haunted by the wrath of God, the sentence of death, and a guilty conscience; no fountain but the blood of the Lamb of God can sprinkle the heart from an evil conscience. No peace, no reconciliation or friendship, with a sin-avenging God, but by an application of this atoning blood; this is “ the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” Under this atonement of the Lamb the Israelites escaped the destroying angel's sword in Egypt:
Through faith he [Moses) kept the passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the
firstborn should touch them,” Heb. xi. 28. And you pharisaical advocates for a form of godliness, who have so often said ' O Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world, grant us thy peace,' see that you reject not this fountain; if you do, you reject all peace and reconciliation with God; and the consequence will be, that an awful separation and an infinite distance will take place between you and the fountain of life, and an eternal war will commence where the loss will be all your own; He will draw his sword, and come down on the people of his curse to judgment, Isaiah xxxiv. 5; “ By fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh, and the slain of the Lord shall be many." You that despise this fountain of the Lamb's blood shall feel his wrath; and though you never asked for an interest in him, yet you shall pray to be hid from him : “ The kings of the earth and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond man, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,” Rev. vi. 15, 16.
To whom this Lamb is no Saviour, he will be an inexorable judge. They that never sued for his grace shall feel his wrath; he will curse his enemies once for all; “ Depart from me ye cursed;" and they will curse him; “ They shall fret them
selves, and curse their king and their God," and pierce their own souls by it, and that to all eternity. Happy, and eternally blessed, is that soul that can say from his own experience, « The blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin." The saints' best performances stand in need of washing; and our vile and corruptible bodies, which are to be changed, and divested of all corruption and raised in incorruption, with which we are to be clothed when mortality is swallowed up of life, must have a washing in this fountain of the Lamb's blood : “ These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple.”
He is called “ the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Indeed he was slain in the purpose of God from all eternity; and in God's secret counsel and foreknowledge his death was decreed, purposed, appointed, and determined from all eternity. Jesus, speaking of his death, saith, “ To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world.” He was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, though it was by the instrumentality of ungodly men that he was taken, and by wicked hands he was crucified and slain, Acts ii. 23.
He is called the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, being typified by the offerings that Abel brought, called the firstlings of his flock,