An Exhortation: THE FIRST TABLEAndrew Gray (1634-1656) - A Powerful Preacher Who Died at a Young Age
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I SUPPOSE, there are some of us here this day, that it had been better for us we had been at a mountain side. I suppose there are some of us here this day, that would have given their consent to the murdering of Christ Jesus. I think faith is away, and God away too: and would ye know the reason of it? It is, we feed and feast without Christ.
I do not desire to enter upon a description of Christ, neither do I desire to conceal his comely beauty. But, O believers, and expectants of heaven! there are five parts of Christ’s blessed body that might overcome you, and constrain you to cry out, that ye are content to take him.
First, Does not the face of Christ overcome you? And is not that a pleasant part of him, is there not much beauty there? Yea, as much beauty as might overcome these cursed hearts of ours. And we may say this of him, there was never one person saw him, that turned to be his enemy.
The second part of Christ’s body that may overcome you, and constrain you into subjection to him, is, his blessed speech: heard ye never him, that spake as never man spake?
The third part of Christ’s body that sometimes overcomes his own, and makes them yield to him, is, his blessed feet. When they behold his dispensations, they are constrained to cry out, How beautiful is he, whose legs are as pillars of gold, set upon sockets of silver! O to see the stately goings of this Prince in the sanctuary.
The fourth part of Christ’s body that useth to overcome his own, is, his blessed eyes. It was but one look of him that made Peter go out and ‘weep bitterly’. And let me say this by the way, I think this communion had been the better, if some of us had not been here; and it is an evidence that there are but few sights of Christ among us,
The fifth part of Christ’s blessed body that useth to overcome his own, is, his blessed hands. 0 what a life, think ye, is it to lie betwixt the breasts and arms of him? This is a feast above the feast of Ahasuerus, that lasted for a hundred and fourscore days. But there is a feast above that, that will not have an end. And I would ask you this question, will ye go there, think ye?
Would you know what these elements are ? I shall tell you what they are, they are even the portraiture of Christ; they are even Christ drawn upon the cross, and all these five wounds that he had. Know ye the language of the wound in his side? It says, Come, come; and the wounds in his hands say, Come, come. And who would not come then? Now, in that night wherein he was betrayed. – (that decreed night, that blessed night, that remarkable night, which night, if it had not been, we should never have had this day – 0 bless him for that night! in a manner, when Paul speaks of him, he sets him out in general terms, he says, He, (and it says this to us, that Paul thought it an endless work to recommend precious Christ) – he said, Eat and drink in remembrance of me. I think Christ knows not forgetfulness, but in this, he forgets believers wrongs that they do unto him; but he will never forget their good works. However, that ye might have a complete feast, He took the cup, saying, drink ye all of it. I would ask three questions at you, and I would have you think on them.
The first question I would ask at you, is, what are your present thoughts of Christ? 0 if he would come in and say, Behold me! behold me! one sight of Christ would make us all lie dead at his feet, and cry out, Woe are we, we are undone! What would ye give for a sight of a crucified Saviour, if he would come in and say, friend, behold the wounds that I received for you?
The second question I would ask at you, is, would ye not give much for half an hour’s faith and tenderness? What would you give for that?
The third question I would ask at you, is, does the tasting of this feast make you to hope to taste of that feast that is above, that they that are there are drinking of? I confess, we drink of the streams, but they of the fountain. 0 when shall these blue heavens be rent, and we admitted to the marriage supper of the Lamb?
I shall say no more, but long for the day, when all the language of heaven and earth shall be, Come, come. Then shall Christ be crying, Come, come. And ten thousand of angels crying, Come, come. And the bride that is below shall cry, Come, come. And they that are in the exercise of faith, saying, Come, come. What a blessedness will that be, think ye, that ever these cursed thoughts of ours shall yet live to cry out, Come, come, blessed Lord Jesus? 0 for one sight of him, we would even take him in our arms! Would ye be content with this, that this place were your graves? Now commend precious Christ, and let him bless his ordinances to you, etc.
Andrew Gray was an exceptionally gifted young preacher. This work is a set of 5 treatises to establish the heart of believers in Christ and give them assurance. Gray is one of the easiest Scottish puritans to read.