What is man, that thou art mindful of him: and the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him lower than the angels : to crown him with g1ory and worship.
But, Lord, what is man, or the son of man, that thou didst this day visit him? that thou this day crownedst him with that glory, didst him that honour? So we may begin to-day; for it is a day of wonder, of glory and worship; to stand and wonder at God's mercy to the sons of men, and return him glory and worship for it.
For, Lord, "what is man," that the Son of God should become the Son of man to visit him? that God should make Him lower than the angels, who is so far above them, that he might crown us, who are so far below them, with glory and honour equal to them or above them? It was a strange mercy, that God should make such a crumb of dust as man to have dominion over the works of his own hands; that he should put all things in subjection under his feet; that he should make the heavens, the moon, and stars for him: and the Psalmist might very well gaze and startle at it. But to make his Son such a thing of nought too, such a Quid est, that nobody can tell what it is, what to speak- low enough to express it; such a novissimus hominum, such an abject thing as man, such a cast-away as abject man, as the most abject man; bring him below angels, below men; and then raise him up to glory again, that he might raise up that vile [177/178] thing called man together with him, and restore the dominion when he had lost it; is so infinitely strange a mercy that it is nearer to amazement than to wonder.
And indeed the Prophet here is in amaze, and knows not what to say. Both these mercies he saw here, but he saw not how to speak them:--God's mercy in man's creation, and God's mercy in man's redemption too; what God made man at first, and to what he exalted him when he had made him; what God made his Son for man at last, what he made him first and last; lower than the angels first, higher than they at last, that he might show the wonders of his mercy to poor man both first and last.
But if David did not see both in the words he spake, the Apostle did; for to Christ he applies them. And that is authority good enough for us to do so, to bring it for a Christmas text; especially Christ himself applying the second verse, "Out of the months of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength," as spoken in relation to him-self. And that is authority somewhat stronger. Yet to omit nothing of God's mercy, to do right on all hands to Prophet and Apostle and Christ too, we shall take them in both senses. To refer them to man, the plain letter with the whole design and contest of the Psalm is sufficient reason. To understand them yet of Christ, he himself and his Apostle will bear us out. And though the text be full of wonder, it is no wonder that it has two senses; most of the Old Testament and prophecies have so a lower and a higher, a literal and a more sublime sense. Thus, "Out of Egypt have I called my son;" "Rachel's weeping for her children;" "I have set my King upon my holy hill of Sion;"--all applied to Christ or his business and affairs, and yet spoken first to other purposes, of Israel or David. I should lose time to collect more places. It is better I should tell you the sum of this, that it is the Prophet David's wonder at God's (healing towards man, and his dealing towards Christ, that lie should deal so highly mercifully towards man, and so highly strangely towards Christ: so mercifully with man, as to remember him, to visit him, to make him but little "lower than the angels, and crown him with glory and worship:" so strangely with Christ, as to make him a "Son of man" [178/179] and lower than the angels first, then afterward to crown him with glory and worship. Things all to be highly--wondered at;--and the text best to be divided into God's mercy, and David's wonder.
I. God's mercy manifested here in three particulars.
I. In his dealing with man. "What is man?" etc. In the literal sense of the words.
2. In his dealing with Christ, in respect to man. "What is the Son of man?"
3. In his dealing with man, in the sublimer sense of the text, again in respect to Christ. "What is man, and the Son of man?" in the same sense too.
1. His mercy in his dealing with man will best appear (i.) by what he did: and (ii.) for whom he did it; that be should do so much for man; that he should do it for so little; so little, so inconsiderable a thing as man.
Six branches there are here of what he did.
(1.)He was and is ever "mindful of him." (2.) He "visits" him. (3.) He "made him but a little lower than the angels," but one step below. (4.) He did that only, too, to exalt him, "to crown him," as we read it. (5.) He crowned him also. (6.) He crowned him "with glory and with worship" too.
If you will know (ii.) for whom all this: it is
(1.) For man. Adam, a piece of clay.
(2.) For the son of man. Enos, a piece of misery.
(3.) For a mere Quid est, for a thing we know not what to call it.
(4.) It is for one that the prophet wonders God should mind or think on; that lie should come into God's mind, much more into his eve to be visited by him: such a one that it is a wonder he should be thought on.
2. His dealing with Christ in respect to man, which is the Apostle's interpretation of the words, is a second manifesto of his mercy, and showed
(i.) In his exinanition. That God, for man's sake, should (1) make him "lower than the angels." That (2) he should make him so low as man. As man (3) and "the son of man." Such a son of man (4) that we cannot know how to name him; such a Quid est, such a we cannot tell what, a wonder, a gazing-stock, not worth seeing or remembering.
[179/180] And all only that man by him might be visited and remembered.
(ii.) In his exaltation. That, notwithstanding all this, God should, a while afterwards, remember him, " visit " him, " crown " him, " crown him with glory and honour."
(iii.) And both exinanition and exaltation. That he might yet visit man the more, remember him with greater mercies, crown him with richer graces; crown him with higher honours here than lie did in the creation, and with higher glory hereafter than the fast nature could pretend to.
II. Upon all these the second general, the prophet's wonder comes in well; will follow handsomely, as the conclusion of all, the application of all, to teach us to wonder and admire at all this mercy, and take up the text and say it after David, "What is man, Lord, what is man, that thou," etc.
That we may wonder and worship too, and give God glory and worship for this wonderful mercy, for the glory and worship that he has given us, I begin now to show you his mercy in all the acts here specified; and the first is, his being mindful of us, or remembering us.
1. And "he remembers that we are but dust," and so deals accordingly; blows not too hard upon us, lest he should blow us clean away. That is a good remembrance, to remember not to hurt us; and "the Lord hath been mindful of us," says the Psalmist again, hath and will ever be" mindful of his Covenant," though we too often forget ours; "the bride may forget her ornaments," and "the mother her sucking child;" "yet will not I," says God, "forget you." The Hebrew here is in the future, as the Latin is in the present: but all times are alike with God; what he is, he will be to us; even when he seems to forget us, lie is mindful of us. Recordaris operationum ejus, says the Chaldee; "Thou rememberest his works, to reward them," but that is too narrow: Thou remem-berest his substance, all his bones and members, forgettest none, to preserve them; thou rememberest his soul, to speak comfortably to it; thou rememberest his body, to feed and clothe it; thou rememberest his goings out and his comings in, to direct and prosper them; thou rememberest his very tears, and puttest them up in bottles: all these things are [180/181] noted in his book,--put down there. When we are shut up in the ark, and all the floods about us, then he remembers us as he did Noah, and in due time calls us out. When we are unhappily fallen into Sodom, among wicked hands, and the city ready to be all on fire about our ears, then be re-members us as he did Lot,--nay, as he did Abraham rather, when he delivered Lot. He is so good, that he remembers us for one another: remembers us for Abraham's, Isaac's, Jacob's, and David's sake; remembers the son for the father, the nephew for the uncle, the friend for the friend's, Job's friends for Job's sake. So mindful is God of us, so continually minding us, such a care of its he has, he careth for all." "No God like him for the careth of all." I would we were as careful again to please him, as mindful of him.
2. And yet he is not only mindful of man, but visits him too. And "thy visitation," says holy Job, " has preserved my spirit." Will you know what that is? "Thou hast granted me life and favour;" so the words run just before; not life only, for his being mindful of us says that sufficiently, but favour also: his visiting intimates some new favour, somewhat above life and safety.
Indeed, visiting is (i.) sometimes punishing: "I will visit their sin." And it is a mercy to man sometimes that God visits and punishes him; it keeps him from sin, increases him in grace, advances him in glory. "And what is man, that thou thus visitest him," O Lord, and sufferest him not to run headlong to destruction, though he so deserve it?
But visiting here (ii.) is in a softer, milder way; it is to bestow some favour on us. Thus holy Job, in words some-what like the text, "What is man, that thou shouldst magnify him, and that thou shouldst set thine heart upon him;" and "that thou shouldst visit him every morning, and try is. him every moment?" So God's visiting, in Job's interpreta-tion, is a magnifying of man, a setting of his heart upon him to do him good, a visiting him with some mercy or other every morning, a purging and purifying him from tin and dross. In the prophet Jeremiah's style, it is the "performing his good word" unto us; and in the Psalmist's, a "visiting with his salvation." Great mercy, without question.
Hence it is that he visits us by his Son, to bring us to [181/182] salvation. Thus good old Zacharias understood it, when he starts out, as it were on a sudden, with his Benedictus, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people." He visits us when we are sick, and heals our sicknesses: he visits us in our sadness, and dispels our sorrows; he visits us in prison, and pays our debts; he visits us in our dangers, and delivers us out; he visits us in our prosperities, and rejoices with us in them; he visits us by his mercies, by his prophets, by his graces, by his Spirit. Yet all these are nothing to this visiting by his Son, or little they are without it; or else they are all included in it: health and joy, liberty and deliverance, peace and mercy, comfort and instruction, grace and spirit; all in it; all in the coming down of Christ to visit us. How infinite is thy mercy, that thou thus dost visit poor sinful man.
3. But thou wert infinitely merciful to him long before, when thou first madest him, when "thou madest him but little lower than the angels." BracÚ ti, some little thing, but not much. Thou gayest him understanding as thou didst them, only theirs is a little clearer and without discourse. But they understand, and so does man; they have wills, and so has he; they are spirits, and he has one. They are God's ministers, and so is man; only they do all with more nimbleness and perfection; for they have no bodies to hinder them, but man has. In that he is somewhat under them, yet not much neither, since Christ has so exalted our nature as to unite it to the Godhead, and made all his angels worship it.
And which takes much too from this diminution, this minuisti eum--it is but BracÚ ti, in a second sense, "for a little while" (for so it is possible to be rendered), whilst we live here, for a few years and days: it will not be long ere we be "s£ggeloi "equal to the angels " we are now below.
And yet we are a degree nearer to them now, if we expound the word that we render angels as S. Jerome, Pagnin, and some others do. The word is Elohim, one of the names of God; and S. Chrysostom found a translation with BracÚ ti par_ QeÕn [182/183] "he made us but a little lower than God himself." And may well seem so when he sets a Dixi, Dii estis upon us; tells us that "he said we were gods," and " the children of the Most High."
4. But bear it what sense it will, what diminution it can, it is all but to exalt us by it, to crown us. Thou hast made Christ to crown him, only to crown; so we read it in the old translation: our very diminutions are sent us to augment our glory; so infinitely great is God's mercy to us, that our very lessenings are for our greatening: a rare excess of mercy, to make us lower so to make us higher.
5. And it is high indeed when it exalts us to a crown; and past doubting too, when it comes to a coronasti, thou hast done it, as it is here both in the old Latin and the new English; certain to hold, too; not to be one of those corrupt-ible crowns the Apostle speaks of, of bays or laurel, in the Olympic games. f we add the other reading mentioned by S. Chrysostom, coronabis, thou shalt crown him.; hast already, and shalt again, shalt continue crowning him; here is a mercy will hold as well as stretch, as everlasting as it is infinite. Two senses there are of coronasti, of this crowning: it may signify either plenty or reward. "Thou crownest the year with thy goodness;" "he crowneth thee with loving kindness." In both it signifies an abundance of mercies and blessings. But " he shall receive a crown," is the same with a high reward. In both senses God crowns man here, with the fulness of heaven and earth; gives him liberty to feed and clothe himself with what he pleases, keeps nothing of all his plenty from him; and, which is more, gives him it as it were a reward for his labour, though it be vastly far above all his pains.
6. If this reward be "glory" now as here it is, he has put a crown of gold indeed upon his head, as the Psalmist speaks. The glory to be made after the very image and likeness of God himself, and to be made so at a consultation with so much solemnity; that is the glory here. It was a kind of one to be made somewhat near the angels' likeness; but to have God's added to it is glory upon glory. What glory like God's? what glory of man like that, to be like God?
[183/184] Having "honour" added to this glory, that all the crea-tures should do homage to him; the fiercest and stubbornest of them submit their necks under his feet, and the very crooked serpent creeps away as afraid of him; none of them dare to lift him up a head, or a horn, a paw, or crest, or hiss against him: for the fowls of the air, and fishes of the sea, all of them to serve to his command and use,--what is man become now? what hast thou made him thus, O God? Much of this glory, I confess, is now departed from him, or blurred or sullied in him, that we can see little of his former purer rays, by reason of his own sin and folly; yet thus God made him, all this he did for him, and the glimmerings of all these glories and mercies are still upon him. And the mercy, peradventure, is the greater, though the glory be the less, in that, notwithstanding all man's demerits, he yet continues, in some degree or other, all these mercies to him. You will see it still the greater, if you now consider who it is all this is done to; who it is that God thus remembers, visits, makes, and crowns with glory and worship.
(i.) A worshipful piece, God wot--a poor thing, called man, styled Adam here--a piece of clay and dirt, ex limo, a pure clod, a mere walking pitcher; brittle and duty too, and the dirtier since his fall.
Miserable (ii.) besides. Enos is a second word the Psalmist here expresses man withal; and that signifies a sad, sick, calamitous, miserable, incurable wretch; and which adds to it so by descent too, and by entail never here to be cut off filius Enos, the son of man, the son of misery; he comes crying into the world, as if he foresaw it ere he well could see, and felt it at his first appearance. How innumerable are the troubles, how unavoidable the necessities, how incredible the mischances, how numberless the sicknesses, how insupport-able the infirmities, that surround him from his first hour! Infinite need there is that God should be mindful of him, that he should have some eye upon him, and regard him; for he comes in helpless into the world, and continues so if God help him not.
This is that, then, (iii.) makes the prophet come with a Quid est: Lord, what a thing is this! what a thing is man!--[184/185] a thing so hidden with infirmities, so covered with misfortunes, so clouded with griefs, so compassed with sorrows, so wrapped up in night and darkness, in sins and miseries, that one knows not what it is, or how to christen it.
Such a thing only we may conceive it, (and we cannot conceive half of its poornesses and emptinesses), that we can only gape and wonder at it. In the 144th Psalm, where the Psalmist propounds this question, as it were again, of "What is man?" he answers presently (verse 4). "Man is like a thing of nought, his time passeth away like a shadow." He is not so much as a thing; he is but like it, though that very thing be a thing of nought too; a mere shadow of a thing of nought he is: which we may well wonder at, but cannot well imagine; and wonder again that God should think of such a shadow as he, that he should be mindful of the dust of the earth, that he should regard the dirt, that he should visit as we know not what, that he should raise a piece of clay so near angels and himself, that he should crown such a dunghill of wretch-edness and misery; that he should bestow his glory upon such a shadow, and worship upon the dust of his feet, and the dirt under him. O Lord, how wonderful is thy goodness towards the children of men!
It is more wonderful for all that, if we now consider his dealing with his own Son, for the sakes of the sons of men. The second particular of his mercy, that for man and the sons of men he has made this text to be said of him also; made him a thing to be wondered at, by his dealing with him, both by his exinanition and by his exaltation. To him now we come to apply the words, for to him they properly belong. Where, first, (i.) we will find out his exinanition, or his being emptied and abased, to be wondered at.
"What is man?" so only before; but what is now the best of men, " the Son of man" himself. The term of Son of man is very proper unto Christ; called so by Daniel, long before he was so; and it may, bear a note, that Christ, he only, is properly filius hominis in the singular, the Son of man single, born of the Virgin without a man. Others are filius hominum in the plural: every one is so, born by the help of two, father and mother both. But notwithstanding, "man" and "the son of man" are diminutions to the Son of God; for to have been [185/186] made like angels had been a high derogation; but lower than they, what shall I call it?
But, (ii.) so low as man--can you lend me a word for it? for "what is man," that God should be made one? I have told you over and over what he is; but what art thou, O blessed God, that thou shouldst be made such a thing as he?
Or, (iii.) if "man" he must be made, what heed he be made "the Son of man" yet? He might have brought a human nature down from heaven, that had been fittest for him,--an incor-ruptible humanity. To be man and the Son of man, rottenness of rottenness, vanity of vanity (for man in the Psalmist's phrase is nothing else), there is a debasement below debase-ment.
And yet (iv.) to be such a Son of man, that has a Quid est, a si quis, writ over him to inquire who he is; so obscure and ignoble that neither David nor Esay can discern him; but Esay with a Quis est, and David here with a Quid est, only can decipher him; "without form or comeliness," form or fashion, or name, or title, one "despised and rejected even of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs," one that men would "hide their faces from," as the prophet speaks of him; to be made such a one as this, we may all wonder indeed, prophets and people, all of us--nay, be all amazed at it.
I can show you him yet lower; (v.) "lower than the angels," that we have told you; but they were good ones but malis etiam, so S. Austin, lower than the bad ones; laid under their cruelty and fury in his death, and not over them, surely, always in his life, when the devil was per-mitted to carry him from mountain to mountain, to the pinnacle of the temple, or where he pleases. This is stranger still.
Yet this might be a glory, as a trial: but (vi.) to be visited, that is punished, and not after the visitation of all men neither, but even the basest; to be a man raised up for punishment, made to be scourged, afflicted, and abused, a homo quoniam visitas, made man only to be punished; the Son of man, only to be under the power and lash of man, the worst of men too, the basest of the people ; scorned and [186/187] spit upon, beaten and buffeted, torn and rent and lashed and pierced by who would of them. What wonder is there not in his thus being made the Son of man?
But lastly to be as it were out of God's mind the while; so visited by him as if he were no way mindful of him, as if he had clean forgotten him who he was; remembered not at all that he was his Son he used so, that he was forced to cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"- art no more mindful of me? This is a Quid est beyond the very text, a wonder that is above what is explicit there. Yet such a man he was made too; so that we may justly now ask, Quid est, in the highest key, "What is man?"--what is this man?--what is the business, what the matter, that all this is done unto him? that God thus makes and un-makes him, and makes him again we know not what?
And we should more wonder yet, but for the following words, that all this is but "to crown him with glory and Honour." But that affords us a new wonder still, that God should so crown such a one as this he we speak of. And, to speak truth, his exaltation after all this, the exaltation of our human nature in him, as poor, wretched, and contemp-tible as it is, a new work of wonder.
Had it been a nature born and framed to glory, it had been none at all; had it been a king, or of the royal lineage, to have been crowned, there had been no strangeness in it but to crown a "worm," to crown "the very scorn of men," as he terms himself, with glory, and "the outcast of the people" with honour and worship-this is a quis enarrabit, "who can declare this generation," how it should come to a crown?
Yet before we come to speak of that, let us go through the lower parts of his exaltation: and, as poor a thing as God made him (and that was poor enough) yet did he not forget him. (1) He was so mindful of him, even in his low estate, that "he gave his angels charge over him," would not let his foot slip, or dash against a stone; would not suffer a bone of him to be broken, or one tittle of his covenant to fail him; sent his angels too to look after, to minister to him; a whole host of them to declare him this day to the world.
[187/188] Nay, (2) came and visited him himself; he and his Holy Spirit with him at his baptism; he and Moses and Elias with him in the Mount, where he gave testimony he was his Son, his "beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased."
Nay, (3) that which might seem in one sort a diminution, was in another an exaltation: he made him but a "little lower than the angels," was an exalting him, when it made even his body little inferior to their spirit; and that it did, when he could pass through a crowd of people as invisible as an immaterial spirit. Nay, before that, when he came into the world without any blemish to his mother's vir-ginity; as if he had been a spirit, not a body: and after that, when he arose out of his tomb, the stone upon it; when lie entered and the doors were shut; when he vanished out of sight, &c. they knew not how be went. Paulo minus [ab] angelis indeed: this is little less than angels, I can tell you. But S. Austin "tells you more, Naturâ humanâ Christi Deum solum majorem, "that God only is greater than Christ's human nature." The hypostatical union to the Deity has made it so; and those infinite graces of his soul are somewhat more than Paulo minus, above the angels' rarest endowments.
Yet this is nothing to the crown that follows; "for we see Jesus," says the Apostle, "who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour." Har' ¢gg_louj dÒxh ka timÍ stef£uwsaj, so Euthymius thinks it may be read without a comma; above the angels with glory and honour hast thou crowned him, with a glory Beyond theirs. Indeed, four crowns he was crowned with: a crown of flesh; "with that his mother crowned him" in his incarnation: a crown of thorns; with that the soldiers crowned him at his passion: a crown of precious stones, de lapide pretioso, at his resurrection; (the four endowments of glorious bodies, Charity, Agility, Impossibility, and Incorruptibility, were the stones of it:) and a crown of pure gold at his ascension, when he shone like the sun in gloria, and went up cum corona, with a crown or ring of blessed saints, into the highest heavens. [188/189] With these two last God crowned him; these two were his exaltation, and the crown or reward of the two other.
And, to make this crown the more glistering and glorious, here is "honour" added to it, "a name given him above every name," that at the mention of it, "every knee is now to bow, both of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;" made "better than the angels;" so much better that all things, even the angels themselves, "authorities and powers," all sorts of angels, are made "subject unto him," and are therefore bid "all to worship him," says S. Paul. Such honour has Christ after his humi-liation; and we may expect some after ours: if we humble ourselves, we also shall be exalted, and crowned with glory. And so it seems we are entitled to it by the sufferings of the Son of man, and by his visiting us; our glory is much increased by his glory, our honour higher by his redemp-tion than in our first creation; so that we may now well take up the words again, and pronounce them with greater astonishment still, that he should so remember, visit, and crown his redeemed people as he does.
For what is man, indeed, that God should redeem him at so great a price? What access can it be to God to raise him out of his ruins? Might he not more easily have made a new stock of men of better natures, than have redeemed Adam's?
Or if he would have needs so much magnified his love as to have redeemed him because he had made him, would not a restoring of him to his first estate have been well enough but that he must raise him to a higher? Without doubt it had, but that God in mercy thinks nothing too much for him.
It appears so by his remembering him. (l.) Man was a true Enos, and that is obliviscens, a forgetful piece; yet God remembers him, and comes down in the evening of his fall, a few minutes after, and raises him up with a promise of the seed of the woman, to set all straight again. There he did as well visit as remember him.
And, in the pursuance of this singular mercy, he still [189/190] (2) visits him every morning, morning and evening too; visits by his angels, by his priests, by his prophets, by his mer-cies, by his judgments, by his Son, by his Holy Spirit, by daily motions and inspirations. These are the visits he hourly makes us since he visited us by his Son, far more plentifully than before: more abundant grace, more gracious visits; for if his Son be once formed in us, he will never give over visiting till he crown us.
Yet (3) by degrees he raises us up to some angelical purities and perfections before he crown us: our nature is much elevated by the grace of Christ; and what the Jew did only to the outward letter, we are enabled to do to the spirit of it, to inward purity as well as the outward. Thus and thus you heard of old, says Christ; but I say more; not a wanton look, not a murderous thought, not a reproachful word, not the slightest oath. He would refine us fain some-what near the angels, to be pure as they.
But (4) we shall not do it gratis; he will crown us for it, "quicken us together with Christ, raise us up together, and make us sit together in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus:" honours us with the name of "friends," reveals himself unto us, fills us with the riches of Christ, adopts us to be his sons; makes us members of Christ, partakers of his Spirit; makes himself one with us, and we with him; washes us by one sacrament, feeds us by another; comforts us by his word, compasses with the ministrations of righteousness that exceeds in glory; pardons our sins, heals our infirmi-ties, strengthens our weaknesses, replenishes us with graces, urges us with favours; makes us with "open face behold them is as in a glass," "behold the glory of the Lord," and "changes us at last into the same image from glory to glory." "What is man, O Lord, or the son of man" that thou shouldst do thus unto him? And what are we, O Lord, what are we, that we are so insensible of thy mercies? what base, vile, unworthy things are we, if we do not now pour out our-selves in thanks and wonder, in praise and glory, for this exceeding glory!
Wonder we (1), stand we and wonder, or cast ourselves upon the earth, upon our faces, in amazement at it, that God should do all this for us; thus remember, thus visit, [190/191] thus crown such things as we. That (2) he should pass by the angels to crown us, leave them in their sins and misery and lift us out of ours. That (3) he should not take their nature at the least, and honour those that stood among them; but take up ours, and wear it into heaven, and seat it there.
And there is a visit he is now coming to-day to make us, as much to be wondered at as any,--that he should feed us with his body, and yet that be in heaven; that he should cheer us with his blood, and yet that shed so long ago; that he should set his throne and keep his table and pre-sence upon the earth, and yet heaven his throne and earth his footstool; that he should here pose all our understandings with his mysterious work, and so many ages of Christians, after so many years of study and assistance of the Spirit, not yet be able to understand it. "What is man," or "the son of man," O blessed Jesu, that thou shouldest thus also visit and confound him with the wonders of thy mercy and goodness?
Here also is glory and honour too, to be admitted to his table; nowhere so great: to be made one with him, as the meat is with the body; no glory like it. Here is the crown of plenty: fulness of pardon, grace, and heavenly benediction. Here is the crown of glory: nothing but rays and beauties, lustres and glories, to be seen in Christ, and darted from him into pious souls. Come take your crowns, come compass yourselves with those eternal circlings.
Take now the "cup of salvation," and remember God for so remembering you: call upon the name of the Lord, and give glory to your God. If you cannot speak out fully (as who can speak, in such amazements as these thoughts may seriously work in us?) cast yourselves down in silence, and utter out your souls in these or the like broken speeches:---What is man, Lord what is man? What am I? How poor a thing am I! How good art thou! What hast thou done unto him! How great things! what glory what honour, what crown hast thou reserved for me! What shall I say? How shall I sufficiently admire? What shall I do again unto thee?
1. What shalt thou do? Why (1) if God is so mindful [191/192] of us men, let us be mindful of him again; remember he is always with us, and do all things as if we remembered that so he were.
(2.) Is he so mindful of us? Let us be mindful of ourselves, and remember what we are, that we may be humbled at it.
(3.) Does he remember us? Let us then again remember him with our prayers and services.
2. Has he visited us? Let us in thankfulness visit him again, visit him in his temple, visit him at his table, visit him in his poor members, the sick, the imprisoned.
3. Has he made us lower than the angels? Let us make ourselves lower and lower still in our own sights. Is it yet but a little lower than the angels? Let us raise up thoughts, and pieties, and devotions to be equal with them.
4. Has he crowned us with glory? Let us crown his altars then with offerings, and his name with praise; let us be often in corona, in the congregation of them that praise him, amongst such as keep holiday. Let us crown his courts with beauty, crown ourselves with good works; they should be our glory and our crown: and for the worship that he crowns us with too, let us worship and give him honour, so remember, so visit, so crown him again; so shall he, as he has already, so shall still remember us last, and bring us to his own palace, there to visit him face to face, where he shall make us equal to the angels we are now below, and crown us with an incorruptible crown of glory through Christ, &c.