Page images

golten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that be loved us, and fent bis Son to be the propitiation for our sins. And we have seen, and do testify, that the Father fent the Son to be the saviour of ibe world. If then, we seriously consider that Jesus Christ is employed by God the Father, to make atonement for our fins, and to procure life and falvation for us, we can no more doubt of the love of the Father, than of the love of Jesus Christ, to us.

2. This will serve to assure us of the all jufficiency of Cbrift to save us. As we are apt to be suspicious of the good-will of God the Father, so we are lometimes ape to tuspect the ability of Christ to fave. Though he bears a good will to us, yet we may question whether he can fave such great sinners as we are. But now, if we se. riously consider, that Jesus Christ is a faviour of God's own providing and sending into the world, we shall be fully satisfied, that he is an all sufficient saviour, able to fave to the uttermost all that come to God by him. 'Tis an unworthy reflection upon the infinite wisdom and goodness of God, to suppose that he has pitched upon an incompetent and infufficient saviour. If he will give unto the world a faviour, he shall every way be answer. able to their necessities ; able to deliver them out of the greatest depths of fin and misery. Ifai. xix. 20. The Lord hall send ihem a saviour and a great one, and he shall deliver them. Pfal. Ixxxix. 19. I have laid belp upon one ibet is mighty. This is primarily intended of Jesus Chrift, who is a mighty one indeed, on whom our help and salvation is laid. Look then upon Jefus Christ, as given of God in his faving offices to the world, and we may be confident that there is an all fulnefs of faving power in him. And in truth, he that is given of God the Father, is no other than a divine person, even God the Son, the mighty God. Ifai. ix. 6. Unto us a Son is given,-the mighty God.

3. This will serve to assure us of the acceptableness of Fesus Chrift unto bis Farber, in the office of a saviour.

Though Though we may not question his sufficiency to save, yet we may be ready to doubt, whether he will be accepted of God in what he does for our falvation. But if we feriously consider, that he is given of God to be a faviour to us, there will be no room left for doubting in that case. Indeed, had he not been appointed of God to procure our salvation, all that he did, could avail us nothing; though in itself ever so sufficient. But the case is otherwise. In the work of our redemption, he was the servant of God the Father, doing his will; and therefore he is infinitely well-pleasing to God in what he did. Mattb. xi. 18. Bebold, my feruant whom I bave chosen, iny beloved in whom my soul is well pleafed. God is well-pleased with his person, and with his performances for us. And therefore it is said, that he gave himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling favour, Eph. v. 2. His fatisfactory sacrifice, was highly acceptable to God.



Let us then attentively consider, that Jesus Christ in his saving offices is the gift of God to us. Ò let

0 let us make this the subject matter of our frequent meditation. And let us see to it that we consider thereof after a due man

As, 1. With most humble admirations at the rich grace of God. The great design of God the Father in giving Jesus Christ to be a saviour to the world, was the advancing his sovereign grace, and rendring it moft illustrious. Eph. ii. 7. That in the ages to come he migbi hew the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness towards us through Jesus Chrift. We should therefore medita on this gift of God to us, with hearts ravished and transported into wonderment, at the glorious grace of God. To this end,

(1.) Let us consider the person giving Jesus Christ to us. And this was that God who was juftly displeased with us. He was the offended party, whose anger was Q_2


kindled against us. Nevertheless, he provided this favl. our for us, and gave this saviour to us.

What grace is here! Who could ever have expected a saviour, from a provoked God !--Again, it was that God who stood in no need of us. He did not give a saviour tous, from any necessity that he stood in either of us or our services. He could have done well enough without us, and it would have been no detriment to him, if he had left us to perish for ever. He is infinitely blessed in himself, without any possibility of having any addition made thereunto by any thing out of himself. Our salvation, is no ways any real advantage or benefit to him. Nothing then but his free and unobliged grace, moved him to give a saviour to us. --Again, it was that God who could have glorified bimself in our eternal destruction. He could have advanced his declarative glory in our suin, as he will in the eternal perdition of fallen angels. How then is the good will of God to be admired, in that, when he might have glorified his justice in our damnation, he has chosen rather to glorify his mercy in our eternal salvation !

(2.) Consider the perfon given to us by God the Father. This is no other than his own Son, his most dearly beloved, and only begotten Son, Isai. ix. 6. Unto us a Son is given. This is the greatest gift of God ; than which he had nothing better to give unto us. This Son of his, is as dear to him as himself. And therefore his love and yrace is inconceivably great, in giving him to us. Job. iii. 16. God so loved ihe world, as that he gave bis only begotten Son. God so loved the world ! so as cannot be parallel'd.

His love herein was matchless. Especially will it appear so, if we consider what he was given up unto, for us, even to the most bitter sorrows, fufferings and death. Rom. viii. 32. He spared not bis own Son, but delivered bim up for us all. God delivered him up into the hands of wicked men, into the hands of Satan, into the hands of his own vindictive justice, that fo he might undergo the punishment of our sins, and procure the par


don of them for us. This enhances the love of God in a wonderful manner. 1 Job. iv. 10. In this was love, not that we loved God, bui tbat be loved us, and sent bis. Son to be the propitiation for our fins, i. e. to make fatisfaction or aconement for them, by bearing the punishment due to them.

(3.) Consider the persons to whom Jesus Christ was given. And these were finners against God, enemies to God. Being such, they were unworthy of the least favour from God. Nevertheless, God bestows the greatest blesfing upon them. This is marvellous love.

For one friend to love and be kind to another, is no such greaf matter : But to love one's enemy, to reward him good for evil, to return the greatest good for the greatest evit, this is surprizing love indeed. Now such is the love of God to us. Rom. v. 8, 10. God commendeth his love towards us, in that while we were yet finners, Chrift died for us. Wben we were enemies, we were reconciled to God, by the death of bis Son. O what grace is this ! Again, we were helpless creatures, as well as finful.

We were utterly unable to save ourselves from destruction, Nor was there any hope or help for us in any other creature.

Now when there was none that was able to delia ver or save, then God raised up an horn of salvation for us, and sent us a mighty redeemer. Rom. v. 6. For wben we were without strength, in due time Chrif died for the ungodly. Herein is seen the love of God. The great trial of love and friendship, is in the time of adversity, when men are in a shiftless, helpless condition. Now, in such a time as this, when God looked and there was none to help, then his own arm brought salvation to us. O let us ponder upon these things, that fo the grace of God in giving Christ to save us, may be marvellous in our eyes. Thus for the first thing.

2. Ponder upon God's giving Christ, with a concern to make suitable returns to him for this gift of his. When David was medicating on the Lord. Redeemer, and the benefics enjoyed by him, the great enquiry of his soul



was, what be bould render to tbe Lord for all bis benefits, Psal. cxvi. 12. Such an infinite gift as that of Jesus Christ, should never be thought on, without a solicitous concern about making proper returns to God for it. And they are such as these

1. A return of thanksgiving and praise. If any thing calls for our offering the facrifice of thanksgiving to God, certainly it is this unspeakable gift of his Son to us. O how should our hearts be enlarged in thankfulness to God for this great faviour! No sooner was the mouth of Zacharias opened, and his congue loofed, but he spake, and praised God, saying, Blessed be ibe Lord God of Israel, for be bath visited and redeemed his people, and raised up for us an born of salvation in the bouse of his fervant David, Luk. i. 68, 69. To bless God, is to speak well of him and to him. So should we do, for his kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. With most grateful resentments, we should acknowledge to him this gift of gifts, viz. the gift of Christ.

2. A return of love. The favours of God to us, ought to endear God unto us. Indeed, God is chiefly to be loved on the account of those infinitely amiable excellencies that are in himself. However, he is to be loved also for his benefits towards us. And above all, for this most astonishing gift of his Son Jesus Christ to be our saviour. This is the leading gift of God, which has the train of all other blessings following of it. Rom. viii. 32. How hall be not also with bim freely give us all things? If Christ be given to us, grace, and glory, and every good thing, shall be assuredly given

Such a rich and precious gift of God then, as this of Jesus Christ to us, does loudly call upon us to give God our hearts and affections. It is said in Prov. xviii. 16. A man's gift maketh room for him. It usually makes room for him in the heart and favour of another, e/pecially if it be an exceeding great gift. Now fuch is God's gift of Christ to us. There is no gift fo great as this ; nay, all other gists are of no real advantage

to us.

« PreviousContinue »