« السابقةمتابعة »
of his sufferings. He shall not shed his blood at hazard; his design shall not fail; but he shall certainly see the ends at which he aimed.
3. This shall yield him great satisfaction; as a "woman forgets her sorrow, for joy that a man is born into the world," John, 16:21; he shall see it and be satisfied. As God, when he had finished the work of creation, viewed his work with pleasure and satisfaction; so doth our exalted Redeemer behold the happy issue of his sufferings. It affords pleasure to a man to see great enterprises brought to a happy issue. Much more doth it yield delight to Jesus Christ to see the results of the most profound wisdom and love shown in the work of redemption. Hence,
All the blessed designs and ends for which the Lord Jesus Christ humbled himself to the death of the cross, shall certainly be attained.
My present design is not to prove this proposition, nor to show the joy Christ will derive from the results of his death; but to inquire into some of the main and principal designs and ends of his humiliation. And we shall find, that as the sprinkling of the typical blood in the old testament was for four weighty ends or uses, so also the precious and invaluable blood of the testator and surety of the new testament is shed for four weighty ends.
I. That typical blood was shed and applied to deliver from danger: "And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you, to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt." Exod. 12: 13.
II. That blood was shed to make an atonement betwixt God and the people : "And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin-offering, so shall he do with this; and the priest shall make an
atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them." Lev. 4:20.
III. That blood was shed to purify persons from their ceremonial pollutions: "He shall dip the cedar-wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, with the living bird, in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water and he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in the open field." Lev. 14:6, 7.
IV. That blood was shed to ratify and confirm the testament or covenant of God with the people: "And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words." Exod. 24: 8.
These were the four main ends for shedding and sprinkling that typical blood; and in like manner there are four principal ends for shedding and applying Christ's blood. As that typical blood was shed to deliver from danger, so this was shed to deliver from wrath, even the wrath to come. That was shed to make an atonement, so was this. That was shed to purify persons from uncleanness, so was this. That was shed to confirm the testament, so was this. As will appear more fully in the following particulars:
I. One principal design and end of shedding the blood of Christ was to deliver his people from danger, the danger of that wrath which burns to the lowest hell. So you find, 1 Thess. 1: 10, "Even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come." Here our misery is speci fied by the term wrath, a word of deep and dreadful signification. The damned best understand the import of that word. But more, it is called wrath to come, implying both its futurity and perpetuity. It is wrath that shall certainly and inevitably come upon sinners. As
surely as the night follows day, as surely as the winter follows summer, so shall wrath follow sin and its pleasures. Yea, it is not only to come, but when it comes it will be abiding wrath, or wrath still coming. When millions of years and ages are gone, this will still be wrath to come; ever coming, as a river ever flowing. From this wrath to come Jesus hath delivered his people by his death, which was the price of their redemption from the wrath of the great and terrible God: "Much more then, being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." Rom. 5:9. The blood of Jesus was the price that ransomed man from this wrath. And,
1. He delivered his people freely, by his own voluntary interposition and undertaking of the mediatorial office, moved thereunto by his own pity and compassion, which yearned over them in their misery. The saints were once a lost generation, that had sold themselves, and their inheritance also; and had not wherewithal to redeem either: but there was One who became their near kinsman, to whom the right of redemption belonged; who being the Heir of all things, undertook to be their God; and out of his own proper substance to redeem both them and their inheritance: them, to be his own inheritance, Eph. 1: 11; and heaven, to be theirs. 1 Pet. 1:4. All this he did most freely, when none made supplication to him. No sighing of the prisoners came before him. He designed it for us before we had a being. And in the fulness of time freely expended the infinite treasures of his blood to purchase our deliverance from wrath.
2. Christ by death hath also delivered his people fully. A full deliverance it is, both in respect to time and degree. It was not a reprieve, but a deliverance. Therefore is he become "the Author of eternal salvation to them that obey him." Heb. 5:9. And he died, not to
procure a mitigation or abatement of the rigor or severity of the sentence, but to rescue his people fully from all degrees of wrath. So that there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ. Rom. 8:1.
3. This deliverance obtained for us by the death of Christ, is a special and distinguishing deliverance. Not common to all, but peculiar to some; and they by nature no better than those that are left under wrath. Yea, as to natural disposition, moral qualifications, and external endowments, oftentimes far inferior to them that perish. "You see your calling, brethren." 1 Cor. 1: 26.
4. It is a wonderful salvation. It would weary the arm of an angel to write all the wonders of this salvation. That ever such a design should be laid, such a project of grace contrived in the heart of God, who might have suffered the whole race to perish—that it should be for man, and not the angels, by nature more excellent than we-that Christ himself should go forth upon this glorious design-that he should effect it in such a way, by taking our nature and suffering the penalty of the law therein-that our deliverance should be wrought out and finished when both the Redeemer and his design seemed to be lost and to have perished— these, with many more, are such wonders that it will employ eternity itself to search, admire, and render praise for them.
Before I part from this first end of the death of Christ, give me leave to deduce two useful inferences from it, and then proceed to a second.
INFERENCE 1. Hath Christ by his death delivered his people from the wrath to come? How ungrateful and disingenuous must it be for those that have obtained such a deliverance to repine at the light afflictions they suffer for Christ in this world. Alas! what are these sufferings, that we should complain of them? Are they like those which the Redeemer suffered for our deli
verance? Did ever any of us endure for him what he endured for us? Or is there any thing you can suffer for Christ in this world, comparable to the wrath to come, which you must have endured, had he not, by the price of his own blood, rescued you from it?
Reader, wilt thou but make the comparison in thine own thoughts, and then pronounce when thou hast duly compared. What is the wrath of man to the wrath of God? What is the arm of a creature to the anger of Deity? Can man thunder with an arm like God? What are the sufferings of the vile body here to the tortures of a soul and body in hell? What are the troubles of a moment to that wrath which, after millions of years are gone, will still be called "wrath to come?" Oh, what comparison between a point of time and the interminable duration of vast eternity? What comparison between the transient sorrows and sufferings of this life, and the continued, uninterrupted wrath to come? Our troubles here are not constant; there are gracious relaxations, lucid intervals; but the wrath to come allows not a moment's mitigation. What light troubles are those which work, under the blessing of God, to the everlasting good of them that love him, compared with that wrath to come, out of which no good is possible to the souls on which it lies! And how much more comfortable is it to suffer in fellowship with Christ and his saints for righteousness' sake, than with devils and reprobates as the penalty of sin! Complain not then, O ye that are delivered by Jesus from wrath to come, of any thing ye suffer, or shall suffer from Christ, or for Christ, in this world.
2. If Jesus Christ have thus delivered his people, how little comfort can any man take in his present enjoyments whilst it remains a question whether he be delivered from the wrath to come? It is well for the present, but will it be so always! Man regards the future, and