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uue of the il efects of
have the image of God to consist solely
usazad of Wherefore the loss of the image of God the loss of power and dominion, or a rig
* mirtues man was deprived of that right, on the which it was granted unto.
nature, the Eccles. vii. 29. Eph. iv. 24.
salled with Three things God designed in this en all engines image unto our nature, which were h
arned as fallen creation of all things here below. vine wisdom more eminently exert
- ue nature, from other works of this inferior creatin
present actings 1. The first was, that he mig!
ad unto the devil tation of his holiness and righter
adignity could be
than there was in This was not done in any othe had on them of his goodness,
cia we were created. things the heavens declare th
wiory might redound
creation here below. mament sheweth his handy!
signed to be the way Godhead are manifest in t!
of God implanted none of them, not the wh with all their glorious o
el valy draw off himself either fit or able to receiri
dle was made, but drew
wth himself into a useand righteousness, of an versal rectitude of his
spid che entrance of sin, be
de actually accomplished, and representation of t
brewed the creatures into two principally consist. and glorified as God.
uly bodies, and those here and representation of
wvé they worshipped as their this he will always
voi vrt they abused unto their by any of his creati.
very way dishonoured in and Adam it was rene:
met glory given him on their ac2. The second
- w tapseed to do of that nature, in a actual glory unto
med folly and a renewed dishoWithout this, wl
met jeclares, Rom. i. 18, 19. 21, 22. whole, the oth
i power and ability of attaining could not any
ue, namely, the eternal enjoyand objectiv
we de naster, and as much as in us lay, instrument,
We creation of all things here behand to mo
de malignity and poison of this sin, to see it? How gloi
Liaise was cast on the holiness of God, creation
we an all its express characters, were
mandat exacted therein. Herein then lay the
inment of the holiness or righteousness of God in this of our nature, which we are inquiring after. Unless 16' reparation be made for the indignity cast upon it in
rejection of the image and representation of it, unless ere be some way whereby it may be more eminently exsted in the nature of man, than it was debased and despised 111 the same nature; it was just, equal, righteous with God, that which becomes the rectitude and purity of his nature, that mankind should perish eternally in that condition whereinto it was cast by sin.
It was not, therefore, consistent with the glory of God, that mankind should be restored, that this nature of ours should be brought unto the enjoyment of him, unless his holiness be more exalted, be more conspicuously represented in the same nature, than ever it was depressed or despised thereby. The demonstration of its glory in any other nature, as in that of angels, would not serve unto this end, as we shall see afterward.
We must now a little return unto what we before laid down. Wisdom being the directive power of all divine operations, and the end of all those operations being the glory of God himself, or the demonstration of the excellencies of the holy properties of his nature, it was incumbent thereon to provide for the honour and glory of divine holiness in an exaltation answerable unto the attempt for its debasement. Without the consideration hereof, we can have no due prospect of the actings of infinite wisdom in this great work of our redemption and recovery by the incarnation of the Son of God.
(3.) Sin brought disorder and disturbance into the whole rule and government of God. It was necessary from the infinite wisdom of God, that all things should be made in perfect order and harmony, all in a direct subordination unto his glory. There could have been no original defect in the natural or moral order of things, but it must have proceeded from a defect in wisdom. For the disposal of all things into their proper order belonged unto the contrivance thereof. And the harmony of all things among themselves, with all their mutual relations and aspects, in a regular tendency unto their proper and utmost end, whereby though every individual subsistence or being hath a peculiar end of its own, yet all their actings and all their ends tend directly unto one utmost common end of them all, is the principal effect of wisdom. And thus was it at the beginning, when God himself beheld the universe, and . lo it was exceeding good.'
All things being thus created and stated, it belonged unto the nature of God to be the rector and disposer of them all.
It was not a mere free act of his will, whereby God chose to rule and govern the creation, according unto the law of the nature of all things, and their relation unto him; but it was necessary from his divine being and excellencies, that so he should do. Wherefore it concerned both the wisdom and righteousness of God to take care that either all things should be preserved in the state wherein they were created, and no disorder be suffered to enter into the kingdom and rule of God, or that in a way suited unto them, his glory should be retrieved and re-established. For God is not the God of confusion, neither the author nor approver of it, neither in his works nor in his rule. But sin actually brought disorder into the kingdom and rule of God. And this it did not in any one particular instance, but that which was universal as unto all things here below. For the original harmony and order of all things consisted in their subordination unto the glory of God. But this they all lost, as was before declared. Hence he who looked on them in their constitution, and to manifest his complacency in them, affirmed them to be exceeding good,' immediately on the entrance of sin, pronounced a curse on the whole earth, and all things contained therein.
To suffer this disorder to continue unrectified, was not consistent with the wisdom and righteousness of God. It would make the kingdom of God to be like that of Satan, full of darkness and confusion. Nothing is more necessary unto the good of the universe, and without which it were better it were annihilated, than the preservation of the honour of God in his government. And this could no otherwise be done, but by the infliction of a punishment proportionable in justice unto the demerit of sin. Some think this, might be done by a free dismission of sin, or a passing it over without any punishment at all. But what evidence
should we then have that good and evil were not alike, and almost equal unto God in his rule, that he doth not like sin as well as uprightness ? Nor would this supposition leave any grounds of exercising justice among men.
For if God in his rule of all things dismissed the greatest sin without any penalty inflicted, what reason have we to judge that evils among ourselves should at all be punished ? That therefore be far from God, that the righteous should be as the wicked; 'Shall not the Judge of all the world do right?'
Wherefore the order of God's rule being broken, as it consisted in the regular obedience of the creature, and disorder with confusion being brought thereby into the kingdom and government of God; his righteousness, as it is the rectoral virtue and power of the divine nature, required that his glory should be restored, by reducing the sinning creature again into order by punishment. Justice, therefore, must be answered and complied withal herein, according unto its eternal and unanswerable law, in a way suited unto the glory of God; or the sinning creature must perish eternally.
Herein the righteousness of God, as the rectoral virtue of the divine nature, was concerned in the sin and apostacy
The vindication and glory of it, to provide, that in nothing it were eclipsed or diminished, was incumbent on infinite wisdom according unto the rule before laid down. That must direct and dispose of all things anew unto the glory of the righteousness of God, or there is no recovery of mankind. And in our inquiry after the impressions of divine wisdom, on the great and glorious means of our restoration under consideration, this provision made thereby for the righteousness of God in his rule and government of all, is greatly to be attended to.
(4.) Man by sin put himself into the power of the devil, God's greatest adversary. The devil had newly by rebellion and apostacy from his first condition, cast himself under the eternal displeasure and wrath of God. God had righteously purposed in himself, not to spare him, nor contrive any way for his deliverance unto eternity. He on the other side was become obdurate in his malice and hatred of God, designing his dishonour and the impeachment of his glory with the utmost of his remaining abilities. In this state of things,
man voluntarily leaves the rule and conduct of God, with all his dependence upon him, and puts himself into the power of the devil. For he believed Satan above God, that is, placed his faith and confidence in him, as unto the way of attaining blessedness and true happiness. And in whom we place our trust and confidence, them do we obey, whatever we profess. Herein did God's adversary seem for a season to triumph against him, as if he had defeated the great design of his goodness, wisdom, and power. So he would have continued to do, if no way had been provided for his disappointment.
This, therefore, also belonged unto the care of divine wisdom, namely, that the glory of God in none of the holy properties of his nature did suffer any diminution hereby.
All this, and inconceivably more than we are able to express, being contained in the sin of our apostacy from God; it must needs follow that the condition of all mankind became thereby inexpressibly evil. As we had done all the moral evil which our nature was capable to act, so it was meet we should receive all the penal evil which our nature was capable to undergo. And it all issued in death temporal and eternal, inflicted from the wrath of God.
This is the first thing to be considered in our tracing the footsteps of divine wisdom, in our deliverance by the incarnation of the Son of God. Without due conceptions of the nature of this sin and apostacy, of the provocation given unto God thereby, of the injury attempted to be done unto the glory of all his properties, of his concernment in their reparation, with the unspeakable misery that mankind was fallen into, we cannot have the least view of the glorious actings of divine wisdom in our deliverance by Christ. And therefore, the most of those who are insensible of these things, do wholly reject the principal instances of infinite wisdom in our redemption, as we shall yet see farther afterward. And the great reason why the glory of God in Christ, doth so little irradiate the minds of many, that it is so much neglected and despised, is because they are not acquainted nor affected with the nature of our first sin and apostacy, neither in itself, nor its woful effects and consequents.
But on the supposition of these things, a double inquiry