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Lord come. Oh sinners! you shall one day know the cost of this sin: you shall feel what it is to despise a Jesus that is able to compel love from the hardest heart. Oh that you would slight him no more! Oh that this day your hearts might fall in love with him! I tell you, if you would set your love to sale, none bids so fair for it as Christ.
If Christ lay eternally in this bosom of love, and yet was content to forsake and leave it for your sakes, then, christians, be you ready to forsake all the comforts you have on earth for Christ. Famous Galleacius left all for this enjoyment; Moses left all the glory of Egypt; Peter and the other apostles left all. Luke, 18:28. But what have we to leave for Christ in comparison with what he left for us? Surely Christ is the highest pattern of self-denial in the world. Let this confirm your faith in prayer. If he, that has such an interest in the heart of God, intercede with the Father for you, then never doubt of audience and acceptance with him; surely you shall be accepted through the Beloved. Christ was never denied any thing that he asked. The Father hears him always. John, 11: 42. Though you are not worthy, Christ is, and he ever lives to make intercession for you. Heb. 7:25. Let this encourage thy heart, Oh saint, in a dying hour; and not only make thee patient in death, but in a holy manner impatient till thou be gone for whither is thy soul now going, but to that bosom of love whence Christ came? Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, John, 17: 24; and where is he but in that bosom of glory and love where he lay before the world was? verse 5. Oh then let every believer encourage his soul; comfort ye one another with these words, "I am leaving the bosom of a creature; I am going to the bosom of God."
Sinners, embrace the bosom-Son of God. Poor fellow
mortals! whatever you are, or have been, under whatever guilt or discouragement you lie, embrace Christ, who is freely offered to you, and you shall be as dear to God as the holiest and most eminent believer in the world; but if you still continue to despise and neglect such a Saviour, sorer wrath is treasured up for you than other sinners. Heb. 10: 28, 29. Oh that these discoveries and overtures of Christ may never come to such a fatal issue with any of your souls, before whom his glory has been thus opened!
THE COVENANT OF REDEMPTION BETWEEN THE FATHER AND THE REDEEMER.
"Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors, and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”— Isa. 53: 12.
In the fifty-third of Isaiah, the Gospel seems to be epitomized: the subject is the death of Christ, and the glorious issue thereof. By reading it, the eunuch of old, and many Jews since, have been converted to Christ. Christ is here considered absolutely, and relatively. Absolutely, and thus his innocency is clearly vindicated, verse 9. Though he suffered grievous things, yet it was not for his own sins; for "he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth." But, he is considered relatively, in the capacity of a Surety for us: thus the justice of God is fully vindicated in his
sufferings, "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Verse 6. How he came to sustain this capacity and relation of a Surety for us, is in these verses plainly asserted to be by his compact and agreement with his Father, before the worlds were made. Verses 10-12.
In this verse we have, 1. His work, which was indeed a hard work, to pour out his soul unto death, aggravated by his being "numbered with the transgressors;" his "bearing the sins of many ;" and by the manner of his bearing it, namely, meekly and forgivingly: "he made intercession for the transgressors:" this was his work. 2. The reward or fruit which is promised him for this work, "Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;" wherein is a plain allusion to conquerors in war, for whom are reserved the richest garments, and most honorable captives to follow the conqueror, as an addition to his magnificence and triumph; these were wont to come after them in chains, Isa. 45: 14; see Judg. 5:30. 3. The relation between that work and this triumph. Some will have this work to hold no other relation to that glory, than a mere antecedent to a consequent; others give it the respect and relation of a meritorious cause to a reward. However, it is plain, that the Father here agrees and promises to give the elect to the Son, if he will undertake their redemption by pouring out his soul unto death; of all which this is the plain result: The business of man's salvation was transacted upon covenant terms, between the Father and the Son, from all eternity.
I. Consider the persons transacting and dealing with each other in this covenant. And indeed they are great persons, God the Father and God the Son; the former as a Creditor, and the latter as a Surety. The Father claims satisfaction, the Son engages to give it.
II. The business transacted between them; and that
was the redemption and recovery of all God's people: our eternal happiness lay now before them, our dearest and everlasting concerns were now in their hands. The elect (though not yet in being) are here considered as existent, yea, and as fallen, miserable, forlorn creatures: how these may again be restored to happiness without prejudice to the honor, justice, and truth of God: this, this is the business that lay before them.
HII. The manner, or quality of the transaction, was federal, or of the nature of a covenant; it was by mutual engagements and stipulations, each person undertaking to perform his part in order to our recovery.
IV. More particularly, we will next consider the articles to which they do both agree; or, what it is that each person doth for himself promise to the other. And, to let us see how much the Father's heart is engaged in the salvation of poor sinners, there are four things which he promiseth to do for Christ, if he will undertake that work.
1. He promiseth to invest him, and anoint him to a threefold office, answerable to the misery that lay upon the elect, as so many bars to all communion with and enjoyment of God; for, if ever man be restored to that happiness, the blindness of his mind must be cured, the guilt of sin expiated, and his captivity to sin led captive. Christ must, "of God, be made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." 1 Cor. 1:30. And he is made so to us as our Prophet, Priest, and King; but he could not put himself into either of these; for if so, he had acted without commission, and consequently all he did had been invalid ;
Christ glorified not himself to be made an High Priest, but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son." Heb. 5:5. A commission, therefore, to act authoritatively in these offices, being necessary to our recovery, the Father engages to him to seal him such a threefold commission.
He promiseth to invest him with an eternal and royal priesthood, "The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." Psa. 110: 4. This Melchisedec being king of righteousness, and king of Salem, that is, Peace, had a royal priesthood; and his descent not being reckoned, it had an adumbration of eternity in it, and so was more fit to typify and shadow forth the priesthood of Christ than Aaron was. Heb. 7: 17, 24, 25.
He promiseth moreover to make him a Prophet, and that an extraordinary one, even the Prince of prophets; the chief Shepherd, as much superior to all others as the sun is to the lesser stars; so it is said, "I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles, to open the blind eyes," &c. Isa. 42:6, 7.
And not only so, but to make him King also, and that of the whole empire of the world; "Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost ends of the earth for thy possession." Psa. 28. Thus the Father promises to qualify and furnish the Son completely for the work, by his investiture with this threefold office.
2. He promiseth to crown his work with success, and bring it to a happy issue: "He shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand." Isa. 53: 10. He shall not begin, and not finish; he shall not shed his invaluable blood upon hazardous terms; but shall see and reap the sweet fruits thereof; as the joyful mother forgets her sorrows when she delightfully embraces her living child.
3. The Father promiseth to accept him in his work: "Surely," saith the Son, "my work is with my God." Isa. 49:4. And, "I shall be glorious in the eyes of the Lord." Verse 5. His faith hath therein respect to this compact and promise. Accordingly, the Father mani