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stance and circumstances of Christ's death and obe. dience. Christ's suffering, as to the substance of it, was no more than what the law required; for, neither the justice nor love of the Father would permit that Christ should suffer more than was necessary for him to bear, as our Surety ; but, as to the circumstances, the person of the sufferer, the efficacy of his sufferings, &c. it was much more than sufficient, a merit above and beyond what the law required; for, though the law required the death of the sinner, who is but a poor con. temptible creature, it did not require that one perfectly innocent should die ; it did not require that God should shed his blood; it did not require blood of such value and worth as Christ's. I say, the law did not require this, though God was pleased, for the advancement and manifestation of his justice and mercy in the highest, to allow and order this by way of commutation, admitting him to be our ransomer, by dying for us. And, in. deed, it was a most gracious relaxation of the law that admitted such a commutation; for hereby justice is fully satisfied, and yet we live and are saved; which, before, was a thing that could not be imagined. Yea, now we are not only redeemed fro wrath, by the adequate compensation made for our sins by Christ's blood and sufferings substantially considered; but entitled to a most glorious inheritance, purchased by his blood, considered as the blood of an innocent, as the blood of God, and therefore as most excellent and efficacious blood, above what the law demanded. By this you see how rich a treasure lies in Christ, to bestow in a purchase for us, above what he paid to redeem us; even as m as his soul and body were more worth than ours, for whom it was sacrificed; which is so great a sum, that all the angels in heaven, and men on earth, can never compute and show us the total of it. This was the inexhaustible treasure that Christ expended to pro
cure and purchase the fairest inheritance for believers. Having seen the treasure that purchased, let us next inquire into the inheritance purchased by it.
II. This inheritance is so large that it cannot be surveyed by creatures; nor can the boundaries and limits thereof be described, for it comprehends all things; "All is yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." i Cor. 3:22, 23. " He that overcometh shall inherit all things." Rev. 21:7. But to be more particular,
1. All temporal good things are purchased by Christ, "He hath given us all things richly to enjoy." 1 Tim. 6:17. Not that they have the possession, but the comfort and benefit of all things: others have the sting, gall, wormwood, baits and snares of the creature; saints only have the blessing and comfort of it. So that "the little that a righteous man hath, is (in this among other respects) better than the treasures of many wicked :" which is the true key to open that dark saying of the apostle, "As having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” 2 Cor. 6:10. They only possess, others are possessed by the world. The saints "use the world, and enjoy God” in the use of it. Others are deceived, defiled, and destroyed by the world; but these are refreshed and furthered by it.
2. All spiritual good things are purchased by the blood of Christ for them; as justification, which comprises remission of sins and acceptance of our persons by God: "Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ.” Rom. 3: 24. Sanctification is also purchased for them; for of God, he is made unto us, not only " wisdom and righteousness,' but " sanctification” also. 1 Cor. 1: 30. These two, our justification and sanctification, are among the most rich and shining robes in the wardrobe of free grace. How glorious and lovely do they render the soul that wears them! These are like the bracelets and jewels Isaac
sent to Rebecca. Adoption into the family of God is purchased for us by his blood; "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ.” Gal. 3 : 26. Christ, as he is the Son, is hæres natus, "the heir by nature;" as he is Mediator, he is hæres constitutus," the heir by appointment,” appointed heir of all things. Heb. 1:2. By the sonship of Christ, we, being united to him by faith, become sons; and if sons, then heirs. O "what manner of love is this, that we should be called the sons of God!” 1 John, 3:1: that a poor beggar should be made an heir, yea, an heir of God, and joint heir with Christ! Yea, that very faith, which is the bond of union, and consequently the ground of all our communion with Christ, is the purchase of his blood also : " To them that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Pet. 1:1. This most precious grace is the dear purchase of our Lord Jesus Christ; yea, all that peace, joy, and spiritual comfort, which are sweet fruits of faith, are with it purchased for us by this blood. So speaks the apostle in Rom. 5:1-3. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Moreover the Spirit himself, who is the author, fountain, and spring of all graces and comforts, is procured for us by his death and resurrection: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree : that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Gal. 3: 13, 14. That Spirit that first sanctified, and since hath so often sealed, comforted, directed, resolved, guided, and quickened your souls, had not come to perform any of these blessed offices apon your hearts, if Christ had not died.
3. All eternal good things are the purchase of his
blood. Heaven, and all the glory thereof, is purchased for believers with this price. Hence that glory is called "an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you;” to the lively hope whereof you are begotten again " by the resurrection of Christ from the dead.” 1 Pet. 1:3. Not only present mercies are purchased for us, but things to come also, as 1 Cor. 3:22.
III. All this is purchased for believers : hence it is called, "the inheritance of the saints in light." Col. 1: 12. "All is yours, for ye are Christ's;" that is the tenure, 1 Cor. 3:22, 23. So Rom. 8:30, "Whom he did predestinate, them he also called ; and whom he called, them he also justified ; and whom he justified, them he also .glorified.” Only those that are sons, are heirs. Rom. 8:17. The unrighteous shall not inherit. 1 Cor. 6:9. To the " little flock” "it is the Father's good pleasure to give the kingdom.” Luke, 12:32.
INFERENCE 1. Hath Christ not only redeemed you from wrath, but purchased such an eternal inheritance for you? Oh how content should believers be with the allotments of providence in this life, whatever they may be! Content did I say? I speak too low; they should be overcome, ravished, filled with praises and thanksgivings; how low, how poor, how afflicted soever for the present they are. Oh let not such a thing as grumbling, repining, fretting at providence, be found, or once named among the expectants of this inheritance ! Suppose you had taken a beggar from your door, and adopted him to be your son, and made him heir of a large inheritance, and after this he should contest and quarrel with you for a trifle; could you bear it? How to bring the spirit of a saint into contentment with a low condition here, I have laid down several rules in another discourse, (A Saint Indeed) to which, for the present, I refer the reader.
2. With what weaned affections should the people of God walk up and down this world, content to live, and willing to die ! For things present are theirs if they live, and things to come are theirs if they die. Paul expresses himself in a state of holy indifference; "What I shall choose I know not.” Phil. 1:22. Many of them that are now in fruition of their inheritance above, had "life in patience, and death in desire," while they tabernacled
And truly the wisdom of God is specially remarkable, in giving the new creature such an even temper as expressed 2 Thess. 3:5, " The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and patient waiting for Christ.” Love inflames with desire, patience allays that fervor. So that fervent desires (as one happily expresses it) are allayed with meek submission; mighty love with strong patience. And had not God united these two principles in the christian's constitution, he had framed a creature to be a torment to itself, to live upon the rack.
3. Hence we infer the impossibility of their salvation that know not Christ, nor have interest in his blood. There is but one way to glory for all the world, " No man cometh to the Father but by me.” John, 14:6. " The blessing of Abraham” comes on the gentiles " through faith.” Gal. 3: 14. Scripture asserts the impossibility of being or doing any thing that is evangelically good, out of Christ: "Without me ye can do nothing." John, 15:5. And, " without faith it is impossible to please God.” Heb. 11:6. Scripture every where connects salvation with vocation, Rom. 8:30; and vocation with the Gospel. Rom. 10:14. To those that plead for the salvation of heathen and profane christians, we may apply the keen rebuke of Bernard, that while some labored to make Plato a christian, he feared they therein proved themselves to be heathens.
4. How greatly are we all concerned that our title