Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

or the justice of God; since the former can produce no indictment against him, and the latter has accorded to his free and full justification. The wrath of God, says the scripture, is revealed from beaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousBefs of men, but Jesus Christ is appointed and set forth to be a propitiation for sin, that the finner might be reconciled through faith in bis blood, and obtain the remission of fins; and hereby be delivered from the curse, and freed from condemnation. Sinners because of their transgressions have deserved to die eternally, and to wail on beds of inextinguishable fire for ever; and nothing but the blood-shedding of the Son of God could prevent it ; for without shedding of blood (says the law which was but a shadow) there is no remission, not even in the shadow ; much less in the realizing, substantiating dispensation of the gospel. But since Christ the Lord has died, he has made a full and perfect fatisfaction for the sins of all that shall believe in him; and notwithstanding a finner may cry out in respect of his corrupt nature yet remaining, and the frequent ebullitions of corruption, “ O wretched man that “ I am, who shall deliver me from the body of “ this death ? Yet the believer will always have a heart-reviving answer in readiness, I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, I shall be delivered from the body of death I feel, and from the death I might justly fear, had he not died to redeem me.

2dly, Salvation respects that state of blessedness, which Jesus the forerunner is gone to prepare for his people ; and concerning which he hath said, I will come again and receive you to myself, that

wbere

where I am, there ye may be also. This is that salvation, the finner made holy, enjoys in the light of God's countenance ; by which his heart is made glad more than with wine ; and in the beatific light of the most amiable of all objects, whose footsteps shine with such refuigent brightness in the things that are seen, the workmanship of his hands. The royal psalmist seems to have had a - Jively conception of this heavenly blessedness, and a thorough knowledge wherein it did consist, when he says, Pf. lxxiii, 25, “ Whoin have I in heaven " but thee? What are all the glories that heaven itself can boast in comparison of my God, a kingdom without Christ, can yield no happiness, not even a kingdom in heaven; thrones and crowns, &c. compared with him, are not worth a wish, not even to be enjoyed through everlasting ages and in heaven too. But, says he, Pf. xvi, 11, “ in thy presence there is fullness of joy. What can I want when I have thee? Happy soul that can say the Lord is my portion, even while on earth these shall have no lack, and in heaven there is (Sebabb,) expressive word, fullness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. So near to thee my God, I must be happy, thy munificient hand dispenses blessings in abundance, and from the smilings of thy face eternal day and infinite delights issue ; for these pleasures, will be such for evermore. Not like the transient blaze of feeble pleasures arising from created good, which disappoint our most fanguine expectations, and vanish tasteless in the highest enjoyment of them.

Precious salvation ! How marvellous the love that first moved it! How unsearchable the wif

dom

dom that planned it! How sovereign, strange, and free the grace that effects it! 'Tis wonder all! Lord what is man? It had been a mercy to have saved the sinful, obnoxious creature from hell ; but how inconceivably high does that mercy rise, that exalts him to heaven; restores him to the divine image and favour; and confers a crown of everlasting felicity! This complete and consummate salvation, comprehends in it, all that was necessarily previous thereto; and which were appointed and intended, as means for the obtaining of it. Must the sinner be convinced of sin, in order to lead him to Jesus? This is a blessing resulting from the death and resurrection of the Son of God; “ It is expedient for you that I go a56 way, for if I go not away the comforter will o not come, but if I go I will send him unto 66 you, and when he is come, he fhall reprove “ the world of fin,” &c. Hence faith our blersed Lord, “Every man that hath heard and learnç ed of the Father cometh unto me." John vi, 45. The whole need not a physician, but they that are fick; nor will any be persuaded to come to Christ, 'till quickened by his gracious spirit, and « made willing in the day of his power.” Grace in all its various operations on the soul, is included, and becomes a constituent part in this falvation.

All the difpenfations of providence, adversity, prosperity, honour, dishonour, contempt, applause, with all the believer's crosses, bodily affictions, spiritual defertions, rides of divine and religious joys ; ebbs of comfort, damps, distrusts, and darkest days of clouded experience, are comprehended in this great salvation; and

through

through the unsearchable wisdom, and superabun. dant goodness of God, conspire to carry it on and compleat it. This comfortable truth is taught, in those words, “ We know that all things work " together for good, to them that love God, to " them that are the called according to his purpose.” Rom. viii, 28. This is the salvation our” apostle has an eye to in the text, saying, “ If when we “ were enemies, we were reconciled to God by " the death of his Son, much more being recon. “ ciled we shall be Javed by his life.” And nothing short of a salvation thus compleat in all it's parts, begun, carried on, and finished, we may juftly expect and look for, in consequence of the Redeemer's life; rejoicing in this, that if by his death we are saved from hell, much more by his life we shall assuredly be brought by him, and through him to heaven,

ist, By his life, below, from which we derive a twofold blefling, ift, By his patience and submission under the most provoking insults, and the heaviest sufferings," he hath left us an example, " that we should follow his steps.” 2d, By the exact and uniform obedience which he paid to the law of God, he hath “ brought in an ever“ lasting righteousness.” It is the latter of these blessings, we at present are to consider. The apostle tells us, “ Christ was made under the law," and therefore became subject to all legal injun.. ctions, moral and ceremonial ; at eight days old, he submitted to the painful rite of circumcision, a bloody ordinance, and was to him a presage of his bloody death. When about to enter on his miniftry, he applies to John for baptism, and signifies the reasons of his procedure in those words,

o suffer

" suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us " to fullfil all righteousness.” Jesus ever went up to Jerusalem, according to the custom of the Jews, at all the appointed feasts, and might be said, (perhaps more eminently than St. Paul,) as touching the righteousness of the ceremonial law to be blameless. Nor did the obedience of our blessed Lord terminate in the observance of shadowy rites, and temporary institutions ; but with much greater propriety might those words be applied unto the king of saints, than the king of Israel, “I " will have respect unto all thy commandments.”

That scripture was justly verified in the character and conduct of our Jesus, “ the law of God “ is in his heart, none of his steps shall slide." The blood of bullocks, goats and lambs, the Lord had no pleasure or delight in; but the sacrifice of a willing and obedient heart, the Lord requires, and is well pleased with, “ my fon give « me thy heart,” this the Lord Jesus does, and therefore faith, “ I delight to do thy will, O my God, for thy law is within my heart." Christ's obedience was all perfect and compleat, adequate to the requirements of the perfect law, and well pleasing to the Lord ; hence he is called by the prophet by way of special emminency, the Lord's righteousness, If. xlvi. 13, “ hearken unto me « ye stout-hearted, that are far from righteous« ness, I bring near my righteousness.” The law of God receives it's due honour in the consummate obedience of our Lord, and is hereby " mag“ nified and made honourable,” in the eyes of all that look unto it.

Our glorious redeemer was in himself far superior to all law; being himself the eternal and most

holy

« ZurückWeiter »