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One end of his illustrious coming unto the judgment of the last day, is, that he may be 'admired in all them that believe; 2 Thess. i. 11. Even believers themselves shall be filled with an overwhelming admiration upon his glorious appearance. Or if the meaning be, not that he shall be admired by them, but admired in them, because of the mighty works of his grace and power in their redemption, sanctification, resurrection, and glory, it is to the same purpose, he ' comes to be admired.' And according to the prospect which we have of that glory, ought our admiration to be.
And this admiration will issue in adoration and thanksgiving; whereof we have an eminent instance and example in the whole church of the redeemed, Rev. v. 9-14. " 9-14. They sang a new song, saying, Worthy art thou to receive the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast bought us unto God by thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign upon the earth. And I saw and heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and of the living creatures, and of the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature that is in heaven, and in the earth, and under the earth, and that are in the sea, and all things in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and power, and glory, be unto him that sits on the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.'
The design of this discourse is no more, but that when by faith we have attained a view of the glory of Christ, in our contemplations on his person, we should not pass it over as a notion of truth which we assent unto, namely, that he is thus glorious in himself; but endeavour to affect our hearts with it, as that wherein our own principal interest doth lie; wherein it will be effectual unto the transformation of our souls into his image.
But some, it may be, will say, at least I fear some may truly say, that these things do not belong unto them, they do not find that ever they had any benefit by them; they hope to be saved as well as others by the mediation of
Christ; but as unto this beholding of his glory by constant meditation and actings of faith therein, they know nothing of it, nor are concerned in it. The doctrine which they are taught out of the Scripture concerning the person of Christ, they give their assent unto; but his glory they hope they shall see in another world, here they never yet inquired after it.
So it will be. It is well if these things be not only neglected, because the minds of men are carnal, and cannot discern spiritual things; but also despised, because they have an enmity unto them. It is not for all to walk in these retired paths. Not for them who are negligent and slothful, whose minds are earthly and carnal. Nor can they herein sit at the feet of Christ with Mary, when she chose the better part, who, like Martha, are cumbered about many things here in this world. Those whose principal design is to add unto their present enjoyments (in the midst of the prosecution whereof, they are commonly taken from them, so as that their thoughts do perish, because not accomplished), will never understand these things. Much less will they do so, whose work it is to make provision for the flesh to fulfil it in the lusts thereof.
They must make it their design to be heavenly-minded, who will find a relish in these things. Those who are strangers unto holy meditation in general, will be strangers unto this mystery in a peculiar manner.
Some men can think of the world, of their relations, and the manifold occasions of life; but as unto the things that are above and within the veil, they are not concerned in them.
With some it is otherwise. They profess their desire to behold the glory of Christ by faith; but they find it, as they complain, too high and difficult for them. They are at a loss in their minds, and even overwhelmed, when they begin to view his glory. They are like the disciples, who saw him in his transfiguration; they were filled with amazement, and knew not what to say, or said they knew not what. And I do acknowledge, that the weakness of our minds in the comprehension of this eternal glory of Christ, and their instability in meditations thereon, whence we cannot steadfastly look on it, or behold it, gives us an afflicting,
abasing consideration of our present state and condition. And I shall say no more unto this case but this alone: when faith can no longer hold open the eyes of our understandings unto the beholding the sun of righteousness shining in his beauty, nor exercise orderly thoughts about this incomprehensible object, it will betake itself unto that holy admiration which we have spoken unto; and therein it will put itself forth in pure acts of love and complacency.
The glory of Christ in his susception of the office of a mediator. First in his condescension.
THE things whereof we have thus far discoursed, relating immediately unto the person of Christ in itself, may seem to have somewhat of difficulty in them, unto such whose minds are not duly exercised in the contemplation of heavenly things. Unto others they are evident in their own experience, and instructive unto them that are willing to learn. That which remains will be yet more plain unto the understanding and capacity of the meanest believer. And this is the glory of Christ in his office of mediator, and the discharge thereof.
In our beholding of the glory of Christ herein, doth the exercise of faith in this life principally consist; so the apostle declares it, Phil. iii. 8-12. Yea, doubtless and I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.-To know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, and to be made conformable unto his death.' This, therefore, we must treat of somewhat more at large.
There is one God,' saith the apostle, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus;' 1 Tim. ii. 5. In that great difference between God and man occasioned by our sin and apostacy from him, which of itself could issue in nothing but the utter ruin of the whole race of mankind, there was none in heaven or earth in their original nature
what. And minds in the c and their instal
not steadfastly lo
the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took on himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.'
It was the mind that was in Jesus Christ, which is proposed unto our consideration and imitation. What he was inclined and disposed unto from himself and his own mind alone. And that in general which is ascribed unto him is EKέvwo, exinanition or self-emptying; he emptied himself. This the ancient church called his σvykaráßarıç, as we do his condescension, an act of which kind in God is called the 'humbling of himself;' Psal. cxiii. 6.
Wherefore, the susception of our nature for the discharge of the office of mediation therein, was an infinite condescension in the Son of God, wherein he is exceedingly glorious in the eyes of believers.
And I shall do these three things: 1. Shew in general the greatness of his condescension. 2. Declare the especial nature of it. And, 3. Take what view we are able of the glory of Christ therein.
1. Such is the transcendent excellency of the divine nature, that it is said of God, that he dwelleth on high, and humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth;' Psal. cxiii. 5, 6. He condescends from the prerogative of his excellency to behold, to look upon, to take notice of, the most glorious things in heaven above, and the greatest things in the earth below. All his respect unto the creatures, the most glorious of them, is an act of infinite condescension. And it is so on two accounts.
1. Because of the infinite distance that is between his essence, nature, or being, and that of the creatures. Hence 'all nations before him, are as the drop of a bucket, and are .counted as the small dust of the balance; yea, that they are as nothing, that they are accounted unto him less than nothing and vanity.' All being is essentially in him, and in comparison thereunto, all other things are as nothing. And there are no measures, there is no proportion between infinite being and nothing; nothing that should induce a regard from the one unto the other. Wherefore the infinite, essen