Page images

Moreover! God is not at all delighted with, nor desirous of the blood, the tears, the cries, the inexpressible torments and sufferings of the Son of his love, for he delights not in the anguish of any; he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men, Lam. ii. 35. much less the Son of his bofom, only he required that his law be fulfilled, his justice fatisfied, his wrath atoned for lin, and nothing less than all this, would bring it about. If the debt of sin might have been compounded for, at a cheaper rate, it had never been held up at the price of the blood of Christ. Here then foul, take a view of the desert of fin; behold it far more evia dent, than in all the threatnings and curfes of the law. I thought indeed, mayest thou fay from thence, that fin, being found on such a poor worm as I am, was worthy of death, but that it should have this effect, if charged on the Son of God, that I never once imagined.

2. Consider also further, what he luffered. - For though he was so excellent an one, yet perhaps it was but a light affliction, and trial that he underwent, especially considering the strength he had to bear it. Why what ever it were, it made this fellow of the Lord of hosts, this Lion of the tribe of Judah, this mighty one, the wisdom and power of God, to tremble, fweat, cry, pray, wrestle, and that with strong fupplications. Some of the popish devotionists tell us that one drop, the least, of the blood of Christ, was abundantly enough to redeem all the world: but they err not knowing the desert of fin, nor the severity of the justice of God. If one drop, less than was fhed, one pang, lefs than was laid on, would have done it; those other drops had not been lhed, nor those other pangs laid on, God did not cruciate the dearly beloved of his soul for nought. But there is more than all this.

It pieased God to bruise him, to put him to grief to inake his soul an offering for fin, and to pour out his life unto death. He hid himself from him, was far from the voice of his cry, until he cried out, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? He made him sin, and a curfe for us, executed on him the fentence of the law, brought him into an agony, whereih he sweat thick drops of blood, was grievously troubled, and his soul was heavy unto death; he that was the power of God, and the wisdom of God went stooping under the burden, until the whole frame of nature seemed astonished at it. Now this, as I said before, as it discovered the indignation of God against sin, fo it clearly holds out the defert of it. Would you then fee the true deinerit of fin, take the measure of it, from the mediation of Christ, especially his cross. It brought him who was the Son of God, equal unto God, God blessed for ever, into the form of a fervant, who had not where to lay his head; it pursued him all his life, with afflictions and perfecutions, and lastly brought him under the rod of God, there bruised him, and brake him, flew the Lord of life. Hence is a deep humiliation for it upon the account of him whom we have pierced. And this is the first fpiritual view of fin we have in Chrift.

2. The wisdom of understanding our impotency by reason of fin, is wrapped up in him. By our impotency I understand two things.

1. Oar disability to make any atonement with God for sin.

2. Our disability to answer his mind and will, in

all or any of the obedience, that he requireth by reason of sin.

1. For the first, that alone is discovered in Christ. Many enquiries have the sons of men made after an atonement, many ways have they entered into), to accomplish it. After this they enquire, Micah vi. 6, 7. will any manner of facrifices, though appointed of God, as burnt offerings and calves of a year -old; though very costly, thousands of rams, and ten thoufand rivers of oil; though dreadful and tremendous, offering violence to nature, as to give my children to the fire; will any of these things make an atonement? David doth positively indeed determine this businefs, Pfal. xlix, 7, 8. none of the best or richest of men, can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransomr for him, for the redemption of their souls is precious, and it ceaseth for ever. It cannot be done, no atonement can be made. Yet men would still be doing, still attempting; hence did they heap up facrifices, some costly, some bloody and inhuman. The Jews to this day, think that God was atoned for sin, by the sacrifices of bulls and goats, and the like; and the Socinians acknowlege no atonement, but what consists in mens repentance and new obedience. In the cross of Christ, are the mouths of all stopped as to this thing. For,

1. God hath there discovered that no facrifices for fin, though of his own appointment, could en ver make them perfect that offered them, Heb. x. 11. Those facrifices could never take away sin; those facrifices could never make them perfect that performed them, as to the conscience, Heb, ix. 9. as the apostle proves, Chap. x. 1. and thence the Lord rejects all sacrifices and offerings whatever,


as to any such end and purpose, ver. 6, 7, 8. Chrift in their stead saying, Lo I come, and by him we are justified, from all

, from which we could not be justified by the law, Acts. xiii. 34. God, I say, in Chrift, hath condemned all facrifices, as wholly insufficient in the least to make an atonement for fin. And how grear a thing it was, to instruct the fons of men in this wisdom, the event hath manifested.

2. He hath also written vanity on all other endeavours whatever that have been undertaken for that purpose, Rom. iii. 24, 25, 26. by setting forth his only Son to be a propitiation, he leaves no doubt upoil the spirits of men, that in themselves they could make no atonement. For if righteousness were by the law, then were Christ dead in vain? To what purpose should he be made a propitiation were not we ourselves weak and without strength to any such purpose? fo the apostle argues, Rom. vi. 6. when we had no power, then did he by death make an atonement, as ver. 8, 9.

This wisdom then is also hid in Christ: men may see by other helps perhaps far enough to fill them with dread and astonishinent, as those in Isa. xxxiii. 14. But such a sight and view of it, as may lead a foul to any comfortable settlement about it; that only is discovered in this treasury of heaven, the Lord Jefus.

2. Our difability to answer the mind and will of God, in all or any of the obedience that he require eth, is in him only to be discovered. This indeed is a thing that many will not be acquainted with to this day. To teach a man that he cannot do, what he ought to do; and for which he condemns himself, if he do it not, is no easy task. Man rises

up with all his power, to plead against a conviction of

impotency, impotency. Not to mention the proud conceits and expressions of the philosophers, how many that would be called Christians, do yet creep by several degrees, in the persuasion of a power of fulfilling the law; and from whence indeed should men have this knowlege that we have not? Nature will not teach it, that is proud and conceited, and it is one part of its pride, weakness, and corruption, not to know it at all. The law will not teach it; for though that will shew us, what we have done amiss, yet it will not discover to us, that we could nor do better; yea by requiring exact obedience of us, it takes for granted, that such power is in us for that purpose; it takes no notice, that we have loft it, nor doth it concern it so to do; this then also lyes hid in the Lord Jesus, Rom. viii. 2, 3, 4. The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jefus, hath made me free from the law of fin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us: The law can bring forth no righteousness, no obedience, it is weak to any such purpose, by reason of the flesh, and that corruption that is come on us: these two things ar? done in Christ, and by him. First sin is condemned as to its guilt, and we set free from that, the righteous. ness of the law by his obedience, is fulfilled in us, who could never do it ourselves: and secondly, that obedience which is required of us, his Spirit works it in us; so that that perfection of obedience which we have in him, is imputed to us, and the sincerity that we have in obedience, is from his Spirit bestowed on us. And this is the most excellent glass where

« PreviousContinue »