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16. "And crowned with glory and honour." Heb. ii. 7, 9. Then did his ignominious and painful sufferings terminate, and his perfect blessedness commence.
As he did this in his mediatory character, his peo. ple have a special interest in it. He entered, as their head and fore-runner, into his glory; and, in their name, took possession of the mansions in his Father's house; from whence he will return in order to receive them unto himself. As members of his mystical body, they shall share in his glory, and his blessedness. Every thing here will be made instrumental in preparing them for entering with him upon that glory. All dispensations of Providence, all the ordinances of the gospel, shall, under the energy of the Spirit, co-ope rate to fit them for it. From this consideration Paul exhorted the Colossians to raise their affections to things above this world. "For," says he, " ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." Col. iii. 3, 4. Hence the faith of the Apostle and all believers. Rom. viii. 17. "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ: if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." This glory of Christ will never again be veiled, nor will it ever be diminished; and all his people shall, at last, "receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."
FROM this part of the subject I shall subjoin a few inferences.
1. Ir may be inferred, with the utmost propriety, that Christ is a Saviour admirably adapted to the condition of sinners. If we can believe that the " faithful and true Witness" has given a just delineation of their character and condition, we must consider them as in a state of
the most abject want of all things. "Thou knowest not," said he, to the Laodicean church," that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Rev. iii. 17. A more destitute and helpless condition, is not conceivable, in common life; and the figure is certainly employed to point out the wretched and perishing state of all sinners. The blind can see neither to labour nor travel; and if naked he is exposed to all the fury of the tempest and storm; but if, in addition to this, he is in poverty, he can procure nothing for his relief, and must indeed be wretched and miserable. To reveal or offer to such perishing sinners, a Saviour who could not afford them adequate relief, would be to offer them no Saviour at all. If he could relieve them only in part, they must still remain under part of their misery.
It is at least presumable that, since God will have sinners saved, he has provided one who is fully able to do it. Himself says, "I have laid help on one that is mighty." Psalm lxxxix. 19. He is "the mighty God, the Father of eternity, the Prince of peace." In him dwells all" the fulness of the God-head." Does not this obviate every objection about his ability to save? Is there any work so great, so extensive, so difficult, for which the fulness of Deity is not adequate? Here is a Saviour, O sinners, very different from the Saviour of Arians, Socinians, and Unitarians. According to them he is not the most high God, but either a "superangelic spirit, or a person of our own order,-a man like ourselves." Can you persuade yourselves that such a Saviour is able to accomplish your salvation? If he has not the fulness of the God-head, he can have no more than a created, a limited fulness, and if so, can he afford to sinners that ample supply which their wants demand? The first, the principal view, you are to take of him,
is, that he possesses the fulness of Deity. This made him adequate to the creation of all things at first, and by this he easily accomplishes the work of the new creation. Let it be the first article of your faith that your Saviour is the living and true God; as without such belief, you can never venture to trust in him for salvation.
To you, abject sinners, perishing in your iniquity, does the gospel reveal and offer this Saviour, possessing all fulness, and able to save. You are the very objects to whom he orders the invitation to be given. the master of the house said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither, the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind." Luke xiv. 21. Nay you have the same invitation from the lips of the Saviour himself, "I counsel thee to buy of me, gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see." Rev. iii. 18. Then, sinners, on the one hand contemplate the fulness of the Saviour, as inexhaustible, and as adapted to your indigent condition; and on the other hand, institute a close and serious enquiry into your own wants, and come unto the fulness of the Mediator, at his call, and you shall have them abundantly filled up. Are you dead in sin, and have no life? "Christ is come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.' Do you walk in the darkness of a natural state? "Jesus is come a light into the world; to give light to them that sit in darkness." Are you extensively guilty? "Through him is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins." Does the law reject your own righteousness, as filthy rags?" Christ is the end of the law for right
eousness." The fulness of Christ is now in your of fer, speedily apply to it, that your wants may be filled up. Beware of delay, and of raising obstructions in your own way, lest you lose the season of grace, and so exclude yourselves from this fulness. None ever were dismissed empty, who came for supply.
2. THE attention of believers should be much employed about the fulness of their Redeemer. It is peculiarly on their account that all fulness dwells in him,— that grace is poured into his lips,—and that he is ancinted with the oil of gladness above his fellows. It was not on account of any personal want in him, that it pleased the Father, that all fulness should dwell in him; but on account of the wants of his people. He presents to their contemplation, not only what is, in itself, most excellent, and calculated to afford much satisfaction to a contemplative mind; but what they may claim as their own, and freely enjoy for the consummation of their happiness. He is ready to afford them extensive discoveries of his fulness, and to make such communications to them, as they may desire. There is reason to suspect that many, even of believers, employ little of their time and attention in the contempla tion of this fulness, or in deriving ample supplies from it. Of such Christ may renew the old complaint, "Hitherto have ye asked me nothing."
To the prevailing inattention and indifference of believers in the improvement of the fulness of Christ, must be ascribed, that darkness which so often broods. over their minds, those fears and alarms which fill them with anxiety, that hardness and insensibility of heart, and lukewarmness in duty, of which they so frequently complain, and these compliances with temptation which sometimes appear in their lives. Did they con
sider the extent of holy duties which they owe to God, and the spiritual manner in which they must be performed; were they aware of the temptations and dangers to which they are always exposed; and did they duly appreciate their own happiness, they would certainly improve the fulness of Christ in a very different manner. There are in common life, some who possess affluence, yet live in great poverty, being unwilling to take the enjoyment of what they possess. How similar to these are many believers? All the fulness of Christ is their own, yet their souls labour under much spiritual want. He indeed lives in them, and preserves the life of their souls by his Spirit; but it is too little their exercise to live upon him by faith. Dɔ you think, believers, that this fulness is not sufficiently valuable to deserve your attention? Is it because you consider it of little importance to your interest, that you are so averse to improve it? Certainly you are ill acquainted with yourselves, have no just view of the important work of your salvation, and entertain very unworthy conceptions of your Redeemer, when you can indulge yourselves in so much indifference. By acting this part you undervalue the Saviour, reject his fulness, and injure your own souls. Arise, shake off this indif ference, draw supplies from the fulness of Christ, to invigorate the things that are languishing, that your souls may be filled with joy, and that you may prosecute your work with diligence.
3. ANOTHER inference to which the subject leads, is, that the whole work of salvation belongs to Christ, and no part of it to the sinner. On the part of the sinner, nothing is to be seen but universal want and inability: he is even "stout-hearted and far from righteousness," and therefore qualified for no work. On the part of Christ