The Israelites when ready to take their march out of Egypt into a desolate wilderness, where they should be put to many plunges, and their faith tried to purpose; to prepare them the more for these, he entertains them at a gospel supper before they go forth—I mean the passover, which pointed to Christ. And no doubt the sweetness of this feast made some gracious souls among them, that tasted Christ in it, endure the hardship and hunger of the wilderness the more cheerfully. And the same care and love did our Lord Jesus observe in the institution of his supper, choosing that for the time of erecting this sweet ordinance when his disciples’ feet stood at the brink of a sea of sorrows and troubles, which his death and the consequences of it would inevitably bring upon them. Now the pardon of their sins, sealed to their souls in the ordinance must needs be welcome, and enable them to wade through their sufferings the more comfortably. Indeed, the great care which Christ took for his disciples, when he left the world, was not to leave them a quiet world to live in, but to arm them against a troublesome world. And to do this, he labours to satisfy their poor hearts with his love to them, and his father’s love to them for his sake; he bequeaths unto them his peace, and empties it in the sweet consolations of it into their bosoms; for which end he tells them, as soon as he got to heaven, he would pray his Father to send the Comforter to them with all speed, and sends them to Jerusalem, there to stay privately, and not go into the field, or openly contest with the angry world, till they received the strength and succour which the Spirit in his comforts should bring with him. By all which it doth abundantly appear how powerful this gospel peace is to enable the soul for suffering.
Now I proceed to show how this peace doth prepare the heart for all sufferings. And that it doth these two ways. First. As it brings along with it, and possesseth the soul where it comes, with such glorious privileges as lift it above all danger and damage from any sufferings whatever from God, man, or devils. Second. As it is influential unto the saint’s graces and affections, exciting them, and making them act to such a height, as lifts the Christian above the fear of trouble and suffering