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diers upon executing him. But our Lord outfhot him in his own bow, and fnared and took him in the work of his own hands. Thus the devil, by plotting and pushing on the death of the Son of God, to prevent his own ruin, procured and promoted it.
4. To finish tranfgreffion, and put an end to fin, yea to take away fin with all its direful effects, Rom. viii. 3. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God fending his own Son, in the likeness of finful flesh, and for fin, condemned fin in the fief. For when an elect world lay funk under the guilt of fin, captives under the power of it, vile under the pollution of it, undone under the weight of it, and moft miferable under the baneful effects of it, Jefus humbled himfelf to the death on purpose to refcue and deliver them from all this. We have redemption through his blood, fays Paul, even the forgi veness of our fins, according to the riches of his grace. And, fays another apoftle, The blood of Jefus Chrift cleanfeth us from all fin.
5. To deliver his people from the curfe of a broken law, and the wrath of God. Chrift hath redeemed us from the curfe of the law, being made a curfe for us, Gal. iii. 13. Jefus which delivered us from the wrath to come, i Theff. i. 10. When all the curfes of the law were marching forth, as it were in battle-array, against the children of Adam, and the dreadful wrath of an almighty God was ready to pour in upon them, then did our Lord step in, and, by his deeply debased birth, life, and death, divert the furious ftorm from his chofen, fo that not one curse or the least drop of wrath fhall ever fall to their share.
6. Lafily, That in duc time he might bring all his people to the complete poffeffion of immortal glory. When he faw them wallowing and finking in the depths of in and iniquity; when he faw them exposed to eternal death and damnation by reafon of fin, and when he took a view of them as abfolutely unable to do any thing towards their own relief and deliverance,
his foul pitied them, and his bowels of compaffion yearned upon them; fo that in their ftead he fatisfied divine juftice, fubdued their enemies, abolished sin and death, refcued them from hell and wrath, and prepared for them eternal life and glory.
I fhall conclude with a few inferences.
1. Here fee the love of Chrift in its moft diftinguifhing glory. For the deeper he debafed and the lower he humbled himself, the higher did he raife, and the more clearly did he manifeft his love. What heart can conceive, what tongue can exprefs the greatnels of this love? It is love without a precedent or parallel. It paffeth knowledge.
2. Here fee the awful and tremendous feverity of divine juftice, which no less could fatisfy than the Son of God's humbling himfelf, and becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the crofs. Its refentment against fin fwelled fo high, that nothing could appease it, or move it to let go the criminal offenders, till the Son of God fell an expiatory facrifice to it, And when the time of its acting this bloody tragedy upon our Redeemer came on, it would not forego nor abate one tittle of its demands. It would not fpare him in one article of fuffering which it could exact of him.
3. See here the prodigious evil of fin. Though the generality of men look upon it with a very light and eafy eye; though they account it a very finall matter to break in upon the divine law, and to tranfgrefs the bounds which the great God has fixed therein; yet whoever duly reflects upon the deep humiliation and forrowful fufferings of Chrift, will entertain quite other thoughts about it. Of all evils fin is infinitely the worft. Though a holy and juft God has given many fevere and terrible teftimonies of his difpleafure againft fin, yet none of them appear with fuch an amazin awe as that which appears in the humiliation, death, and fufferings of his dear Son.
4. Let this look the pride of our hearts out of countenance; and let us think nothing too mean or low for us, whereby the glory of God and the good of others may be advanced. For Chrift humbled himself deeper and lower than any ever did or can do, to procure the favour of God to finners, to magnify the divine law and make it honourable; and therein hath left us an example, that we fhould follow his fteps.
5. Let this teach you highly to prize the falvation purchafed by Chrift, and offered to finners in the gofpel. Say not of the fufferings of Chrift, by your flighting the redemption thereby procured, What needs all this wafte? Surely fin muft be of a more malignant nature, the juftice of God more exact and rigorous, fouls more precious, and falvation and mercy more difficult to obtain, than is ordinarily imagined. Take a view of Chrift in his amazing humiliation and heavy fufferings, and fee if ye can entertain those thoughts.
6. Let impenitent finners and rejecters of Chrift tremble. Was this done in the green tree, what fhall be done to the dry? If Chrift, when he became a finner only by imputation, was expofed to fuch heavy fufferings as would have funk millions of men and angels; what fhall be the fate of those who spurn at his love, reject the offers of his grace and mercy, and refufe to accept of his falvation? What can they expect, but that the wrath of God fhall come upon them to the uttermoft, and they fhall undergo the forest punishment that incenfed and infulted juftice can inflict?
7. Accept of Jefus Chrift as he offers himself in the gofpel. He is willing to receive finners, nay the very worst and most abandoned of them, or he had not fwinmed through a fea of blood to catch them. O, be not defpifers, but chearful and willing receivers of him, who has written his love and good will to you in characters of blood.
8. Revenge the death of Chrift on your lufts and idols. Give no quarter to, nor fuffer them to live,
that were the cause of his moft humiliating and ignominious death. To cherish any fin or luft, is a high indignity done to the Son of God, and as it were a crucifying him afresh. O then fly from every fin, account it your enemy, and Chrift's enemy; and fhew your love to the Redeemer, who humbled himself fo deeply for you, by doing whatfoever he commands you, and avoiding all appearance of evil.
9. Laftly, Grudge not to part with any thing for Chrift. He left the bofom of his Father, laid afide the robes of his glory, and expofed himself to the fevereft hardships and moft intolerable fufferings, that you might not perish for ever; and will ye refufc any thing for his fake? Ye have no reason to shift his crofs, or decline to take on his yoke, when he suffered on the accurfed crofs to procure your deliverance from everlasting wrath and burnings.
Of Chrift's Exaltation.
PHILIPPIANS ii. 9. 10. 11.
Wherefore God alfo hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jefus every knee fhould bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue fhould confefs, that Jefus Chrift is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,
AVING spoke to the feveral parts of our bleffed Redeemer's ftate of humiliation, I come now to treat of the feveral branches of his exaltation, or that high dignity aud glory to which he is exalted, as the reward of his fuffering even unto death. This bright Sun fet as it were in a cloud, but he rofe again furrounded with the brighteft rays of the most exalted glory and spendor. This exaltation is held forth very exprefsly in the text, which, as it is oppofed to his
death, includes his refurrection, or releasement from the grave. God has not only exalted him, but fuperexalted him above the earth in his afcenfion. The name above every name which is given him, is the fame in effect with his fitting at the right hand of God. The bounty of the knee is that acknowledgement of this power, dignity, and authority of Chrift, by angels, men, and devils; the great evidence of which thall be at the laft day, Rom. xiv. 10. 11. We shall all Stand before the judgement feat of Chrift. For it is written, As I live, faith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue fhall confefs to God.
In difcourfing further from this fubject, I fhall confider the feveral fteps of our Lord's exaltation, as they are laid down from the fcriptures in our catechism, viz."his rifing from the dead on the third day, his
afcending up into heaven, his fitting at the right "hand of God the Father, and his coming to judge
the world at the last day."
I. The firft ftep of his exaltation was his refurrection, his riling out of the grave. Concerning this confider the following things.
1. The nature of it. His refurrection was not the reuniting of his divine to his human nature, for death had not feparated that union, as I have formerly fhewn; but his reuniting his foul to his body, taking that life again which he had before laid down, John x. 17. And it was the very fame body for fubftance which was crucified; it was the very fame body that fell under death that rofe again. It had been laid in the grave mangled and macerated with blows, ftripes, and wounds; but in his refurrection the deformity thereby occafioned was removed, and nothing but the prints of the nails remained; as appears from John xx. 25. 27.
2. The truth of his refurrection. Chrift truly rote again. This truth was attefted by the foldiers who guarded the fepulchre, as ye will find Matth. xxviii. 11.
15. though the elders took care to fmother the effect thereof. His friends bore the most ample teftimony