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if the law given unto man should never be complied withal in perfect obedience by any one whatever, it might be thought that the law itself was unsuited unto our nature, and impossible to be complied withal. Nor did it become infinite wisdom to give a law, whose equity, righteousness, and holiness, should never be exemplified in obedience ; should never be made to appear, but in the punishment inflicted on its transgressors. Wherefore the original law of personal righteousness was not given solely nor primarily that men might suffer justly for its transgression, but that God might be glorified in its accomplishment. If this be not done, it is impossible that men should be restored unto the glory of God. If the law be not fulfilled by obedience, man must suffer evermore for his disobedience, or God must lose the manifestation of his holiness therein. Besides, God had represented his holiness in that image of it which was implanted on our nature, and which was the principle enabling us unto obedience. This also was rejected by sin, and therein the holiness of God despised. If this be not restored in our nature, and that with advantages above what it had in its first communication, we cannot be recovered unto the glory of God.
2. It was necessary that the disorder brought into the rule and government of God by sin and rebellion should be rectified. This could no otherwise be done but by the inAliction of that punishment, which in the unalterable rule and standard of divine justice was due thereunto. The dismission of sin on any other terms, would leave the rule of God under unspeakable dishonour and confusion. For where is the righteousness of government, if the highest sin and provocation that our nature was capable of, and which brought confusion on the whole creation below, should for ever go unpunished? The first express intimation that God gave of his righteousness in the government of mankind, was his threatening a punishment equal unto the demerit of disobedience, if man should fall into it. In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt die.' If he revoke and disannul this sentence, how shall the glory of his righteousness in the rule of all be made known? But how this punishment should be undergone, which consisted in man's eternal ruin, and yet man be eternally saved, was a work for divine wisdom to contrive. This therefore was necessary unto the honour of God's righteousuess, as he is the supreme Governor and Judge of all the earth.
3. It was necessary that Satan should be justly despoiled of his advantage and power over mankind unto the glory of God. For he was not to be left to triumph in his success. And inasmuch as man was on his part rightfully given up unto him, his deliverance was not to be wrought by an act of absolute dominion and power, but in a way of justice and lawful judgment; which things shall be afterward spoken unto.
Without these things the recovery of mankind into the favour and unto the enjoyment of God was utterly impos.sible, on the account of the concernment of the glory of his divine perfections in our sin and apostacy.
How all this might be effected; how the glory of the holiness and righteousness of God in his law and rule, and in the primitive constitution of our nature might be repaired ; how his goodness, love, grace, and mercy might be manifested and exalted in this work of the reparation of mankind, was left unto the care and contrivance of infinite wisdom. From the eternal springs thereof must this work arise, or cease for ever.
To trace some of the footsteps of divine wisdom herein, in and from the revelation of it by its effects, is that which lieth before us. And sundry things appear to have been necessary hereunto. As
1. That all things required unto our restoration, the whole work wherein they consist, must be wrought in our own nature, in the nature that had sinned, and which was to be restored and brought unto glory. On supposition, I say, of the salvation of our nature, no satisfaction can be made unto the glory of God for the sin of that nature, but in the nature itself that sinned and is to be saved. For whereas God
gave the law unto man as an effect of his wisdom and holiness, which he transgressed in his disobedience; wherein could the glory of them or either of them be exalted, if the same law were complied withal and fulfilled in and by a nature of another kind, suppose that of angels ? For notwithstanding any such obedience, yet the law might be unsuited unto the nature of man whereunto it was originally pre
scribed. Wherefore there would be a veil drawn over the glory of God, in giving the law unto man, if it were not fulfilled by obedience in the same nature. Nor can there be any such relation between the obedience and sufferings of one nature, in the stead and for the disobedience of another, as that glory might ensue unto the wisdom, holiness, and justice of God, in the deliverance of that other nature thereon.
The Scripture abounds in the declaration of the necessity hereof, with its condecency unto divine wisdom. Speaking of the way of our relief and recovery; 'Verily,' saith the apostle, he took not on him the nature of angels;' Heb. ii. 16. Had it been the recovery of angels which he designed, he would have taken their nature on him. But this would have been no relief at all unto us, no more than the assuming of our nature is of advantage unto the fallen angels; the obedience and sufferings of Christ therein, extended not at all unto them, nor was it just or equal that they should be relieved thereby. What then was required unto our deliverance? why, saith he, 'forasmuch as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same;' ver. 14. It was human nature (here expressed by flesh and blood) that was to be delivered, and therefore it was human nature wherein this deliverance was to be wrought. This the same apostle disputes at large, Rom. v. 12—19. The sum is, that as ' by one man's disobedience many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one' (of one man Christ Jesus, ver. 15.) ʻare many made righteous.' The same nature that sinned must work out the reparation and recovery from sin. So he affirms again, 1 Cor. xv. 21. • For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection from the dead.' No otherwise could our ruin be retrieved, nor our deliverance from sin with all the consequents of it be effected which came by man, which were committed and deserved in and by our nature, but by man, by one of the same nature with us. This therefore in the first place became the wisdom of God, that the work of deliverance should be wrought in our own nature, in the nature that had sinned.
2: That part of human nature, wherein or whereby this work was to be effected, as unto the essence or substance of it, was to be derived from the common root or stock of the same nature, in our first parents. It would not suffice hereunto, that God should create a man out of the dust of the earth, or out of nothing of the same nature in general with ourselves. For there would be no cognation or alliance between him and us, so that we should be any way concerned in what he did or suffered. For this alliance depends solely hereon, 'that God hath of one blood made all nations of men;' Acts xvii. 26. Hence it is that the genealogy of Christ is given us in the gospel, not only from Abraham, to declare the faithfulness of God in the promise that he should be of his seed, but from Adam also, to manifest his relation unto the common stock of our nature, and unto all mankind therein.
The first discovery of the wisdom of God herein, was in that primitive revelation, that the deliverer should be of the seed of the woman;' Gen. iii. 15. No other but he who was so could break the serpent's head,' or ' destroy the work of the devil,' so as that we might be delivered and restored. He was not only to be partaker of our nature, but he was so to be, by being the seed of the woman ;' Gal. iv. 4. He was not to be created out of nothing, nor to be made of the dust of the earth, but so'made of a woman,' as that thereby he might receive our nature from the common root and spring of it. Thus he who sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one,' Heb. ii. 11. Ę évòs, that is, pupájaros, of the same mass, of one nature and blood; whence he is not ashamed to call them brethren. This also was to be brought forth from the treasures of infinite wisdom.
3. This nature of ours, wherein the work of our recovery and salvation is to be wrought and performed, was not to be so derived from the original stock of our kind or race, as to bring along with it the same taint of sin, and the same liableness unto guilt, upon its own account, as accompany every other individual person in the world. For, as the apostle speaks, ‘such a high-priest became us' (and as a highpriest was he to accomplish this work), ' as was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.' For, if this nature in him, were so defiled as it is in us; if it were under a deprivation of the image of God, as it is in our persons before our renovation, it could do nothing that should be ac
ceptable unto him. And if it were subject unto guilt on its own account, it could make no satisfaction for the sin of others. Here, therefore, again occurs nodus vindice dignus, a difficulty which nothing but divine wisdom could expedite.
To take a little farther view hereof, we must consider on what grounds these things (spiritual defilement and guilt) do adhere unto our nature as they are in all our individual persons. And the first of these is, that our entire nature, as unto our participation of it, was in Adam, as our head and representative. Hence his sin became the sin of us all, is justly imputed unto us, and charged on us. • In him we all sinned ;' all did so who were in him as their common representative when he sinned. Hereby we became the naturalchildren of wrath,' or liable unto the wrath of God for the common sin of our nature, in the natural and legal head or spring of it. And the other is, that we derive our nature from Adam by the way of natural generation. By that means alone is the nature of our first parents as defiled communicated unto us. For by this means do we become to appertain unto the stock, as it was degenerate and corrupt. Wherefore that part of our nature, wherein and whereby this great work was to be wrought, must, as unto its essence and substance, be derived from our first parents, yet so as never to have been in Adam as a common representative; nor be derived from him by natural generation.
The bringing forth of our nature in such an instance, wherein it should relate no less really and truly unto the first Adam than we do ourselves, whereby there is the strictest alliance of nature between him so partaker of it, and us, yet so, as not in the least to participate of the guilt of the first sin, nor of the defilement of our nature thereby, must be an effect of infinite wisdom, beyond the conceptions of any created understanding. And this, as we know, was done in the person of Christ; for his human nature was never in Adam as his representative, nor was he comprised in the covenant wherein he stood. For he derived it legally, only from and after the first promise, when Adam ceased to be a common person. Nor did it proceed from him by natural generation, the only means of the derivation of its depravation and pollution. For it was a' holy thing,' created in the womb of the Virgin by the