« PreviousContinue »
brought in an everlasting righteousness. He appears both our peace-maker and our peace; as it is written-He is our peace, who bath made peace for us by the blood of his crofs. Col. i. 12. Thus we are reconciled to God by the death of his Son. This is another blessed effect of God's everlasting love.
Christ was also set up from everlasting to be a fecond Adam, or an everlasting Father ; as it is written-And his name hall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, ibe Prince of Peace. Ifa. ix. 6. And, as a Father of the elect family, he received the promise of eternal life, together with the promise of the Spirit of God, for all those who are called his feed agreeable to the following scripture—As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; nzy Spirit that is upon thee, and my words that I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy feed, nor out of the mouth of thy feed's seed, faith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever. Ifa. lix. 21. Thus God shewed his eternal love to the chosen feed in Christ before the world was. But in this covenant he made a parental reserve for himself; as you read — But if his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they breck my statutes, and keep not my commandments; iben will I visit their transgressions with a rod, and ibeir iniquily with stripes. Nevertheless -.92y loving KINDNESS I will not utterly take from Him, nor
Juffer my faithfulness to fail : my covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Psal. lxxxix. 30–34. Bebold then, saith the Savia our, 1, and the children whom the Lord bath given me, are for signs from the Lord of Hosts, which dwelleth in Mount Zion. Ifa. viii. 18.
And now the prophet puts forth a riddle to the world, when he says that Christ was taken from prison and from judgment; and who fall declare bis generation? for be was cut off out of the land of the living. Ifa. liii. 8. Yet he shall see bis feed, v. 10. And blessed be his name, he has got a glorious pffspring out of the spoils of death, as faith the Pfalmift-Unto God the Lord belong the issues from death. Pfal. Ixviii. 20. And this is the feed that shall serve Christ, and be counted to him for a generation. Psal. xxii. 30. And that seed shall all one day appear in the blessed image of the second Adam; as it is written-And as we have born the image of the earthy Adam, we hall also bear the image of the beavenly: for, as is the earthy Adam, so are his feed also that are earthy; and, as is the beavenly Adam, such are they also that are beavenly. I Cor. xv, 48, 49. And this is another blessed effect or result of God's eternal love.
Christ too in this eternal covenant is called the firstborn I will make bim, my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. And God promised to be to Christ, in human nature, his Father, bis God, and the rock of his
salvation. Psal. lxxxix, 26. God having promised to be the Father and God of Christ, this blessing was transferred to the elect when the Saviour had finished the work of redemption, and was risen again from the dead; as it is written-Go, tell my brethren that I am risen; and say unto them, I afcend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God. God therefore is become our God, and we are heirs of him, as our eternal portion; as it is written-And, if children, then heirs, beirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. Rom. viii. 17. In this covenant Christ and his elect brethren are said to be of one; as it is written-For both be that fanétifierb and they who are sanctified are all of one; for wbich cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren (Heb. ii. 11, 12.), saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, v. 12. The glorious result of all this is to bring many fons to glory. Heb. ii. 10. This therefore is another blessed effect of God's everlasting love. But I proceed.
As God's servant Christ was set up from everlasting to serve under the law, and to redeem them that were under the law; and then to gather together in himself all the elect sheep, as their chief shepherd ; as it is written-Bebold my fervant whom I uphold, mine ele£t in whom my foul delighteth, &c, As a shepherd' he was appointed to redeem and gather in the sheep that were given to him; as it is written-Tbine tkey were, and thou gavest them me, And I lay down my life for the sheep, And again
This is the will of my heavenly Father, that of all that he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. It appears plain in the word of God, that Christ received the sheep, their names, and the number of them before all worlds ; as it is said—In thy book were all my members written when as yet there was none of them. This appears very plain; for God calls them sheep before they were either redeemed, or called, or born.--He shall gather the lambs with his arms, and carry them in bis bojom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Isa. xl. II. And this fulfils the ancient prediction-And to bim pall the gathering of the people be. Gen xlix. 10. I will, says God, fet up one shepherd over them, and be shall feed them, even my servant David; be shall feed them, and be fall be their hepherd. Ezek. xxxiv. 23. This doctrine will be proclaimed on the judgment-feat; as it is written-He shall separate them, even as a hepherd divideth the sheep from the goats. Then fall the king say unto them on bis right band, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matth. XXV. 32-34. This also is another blessed effect of everlasting love.
Thus God has shewn his everlasting love to the elect in appointing them such a glorious head, set up from everlasting; in whom he has given them eternal life, and eternal union with him as an husband, an honourable discharge by him as a
furety, peace by him as a mediator, adopting grace in him as an everlasting father, and an eternal portion with him as an elder brother. So much for the eternal and unchangeable love of God the Father.
But my dear hearers may object and say, Your text treats only of the love of Christ. I answer, When we speak of the love of Christ we do not exclude the love of the Father, nor of the Spirit, for it is one love. The glorious Trinity loved the elect from everlasting. But of each of these in particular.
Of God the Father's love I have treated already; I next proceed to speak of the love of Christ.
The Saviour manifested his love to the elect, in undertaking their cause, accepting their names and
persons, and substituting himself in their room and · stead from everlasting; in vailing his infinite Deity
in flesh and blood, suffering shame, reproach, and ignominy, to procure our eternal salvation in time; and, lastly, in laying down his life to redeem us from all evil; as it is written-Greater love bath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for bis friends. John xv. 13.
The dear Saviour had much to suffer ; the floodgates of wrath were opened on him, the foods of death compassed him about, and also the foods of temptation. All these met together on the dear Redeemer's head; and our frail nature, and the infirmities of it, with which he was compassed about,