Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.2

BERM. XXXV.1 THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST, 85 pertaining to the kingdom of God," Acts i. 3. and more especially for the teachings of his own Spirit, which he poured out upon them after he went to heaven. By these means they were more completely furnished for their ministry, and learned the doctrines of the gospel, in a more perfect manner than ever our Lord himself taught them in his life-time. Thus it appears that though Christ was the founder of a new religion among men, yet there is good reason to be given, why he did not teach plainly and publicly some of the chief doctrines of this religion, during his own life on earth, viz. because these doctrines were built on his death, his rising again, and ascending to heaven, which events were then unaccomplished.* Thence we may infer, as we pass along, that if we would learn the plainest and fullest account of the gos- pel of Christ, it is not enough for us to consult merely his public sermons, or the histories of his life, which are called the four gospels, but we must read carefully the writings of the apostles after he went to heaven; for, during the life of Christ, neither did he preach, nor did the apostles themselves learn this gospel in the complete extent and glory of it. But this is only an inferenee ty the way. [This is a proper pause in the middle of this sermon, when it is read in families.] Let us proceed to the next reason to prove that Christ was a propitiation for our sins in his death. VI. The terrors of soul, the consternation and in ward agonies which our blessed Lord sustained a little before his death, were a sufficient proof that he endured punishments in his soul which were due to sin. These were vastly greater than the persecutions of bloody men, and the mere fears of dying : Can it ever be imagined, that the Son of God, whose virtues and graces, whose patience and holy fortitude sparkled with a divine lustre in the various parts of his life, should have'shewn so much natural fear, and innocent disquietude of spirit, at the mere thoughts of death by the bands of men, if he * I grant there are some ,other ingenious and probable reasons offered by the author of Miscellanea Sacra, why Christ did not communicate his gospel so completely to his disciples in bis own life-time. Essay 1. p. 155- 159, but what 1 have mentioned-is sufficient for my purpose. G3