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and knowledge ; and being all this in unity of person, he could stand between God and man-he would also be at full liberty to benefit whomsoever he chose, by his work, inasmuch as he is the independent God, and as such not bound in obedience to any. And of course, all that he did or spoke must be filled with infinite dignity and virtue.
Having seen that Christ is the only person in earth or heaven, worthy to open the divine purpose, and accomplish the same, let us fee wherein fovereign grace appears in the manifestation of God our Saviour.God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, and this unspeakable gift is the proper expreffion of that love, with which God loved his people before the world began, for that love being infinite, the full expression of it could not have been declared, but by a gift of infinite worth, so that unless Jesus were an infinite person, the gift would not have been expressive of the abundant grace; but the gift of Christ is equal to the father's superlative love : yet how great the grace and the expression of it are, no finite being can tell : we can only say God so loved the world ! &c. and herein is love! yet since it is so manifested, as that we may, in part, perceive it, let us take a view thereof, in the mirror of truth. Jehovah gave his son, his only son, his well-beloved fon- gave him for a covenant to a people deserving his wrath-gave him up to the sword of juftice in their place—and, what is most astonishing, himself commanded that sword to delay no longer, but awake and strike the awful blow !
it even pleased the Lord to bruise him and put him to grief! whether the divine sovereignty, justice, or grace, Thone most glorious in this awful transaction, who can tell ? Consider further, that the persons on whom this infinite blessing was bestowed, were enemies to God by wicked works-rebels against the divine Majesty,--persons who had wickedly trampled upon his authority-at awful enmity in their hearts
against his government-universally defiled with fin, and of confequence infinitely odious to divine purity-a mass of uncleanness. What shall we say to these things? 'Was God under any obligation to manifest such abundant kindness? Far otherwise : his law which man broke was holy, so that the wisdom, holiness, faithfulness, and honor of God, yea, ali his adorable perfections, stood engaged to punish the tranfgreffor with destruction. Nothing therefore but pure sovereignty and free grace could be the moving cause of such compassion. This Paul had an eye to when he said, But God who is rich in mercy,
for great love wherewith he loved us even while we were dead in fins, &c. How infinitely above the utmost extent of what is called mercy among men, does the divine good pleasure rise ! - Again, as the riches of grace appear in the father's unspeakable gift, and considering the objects upon whom its favors are conferred, to also in the astonishing humiliation of the Son of God. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your fakes he became poor, that ge through his poverty might be rich. Who being in the form of God, thougkt it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Unparallelled condeseenlion this! That he who inhabited the praises of eternity-he who spake, and the universe rose into being--he who fills the fun with light, preferves the course of nature, Aretches out his hand and fills all living with food-- he who appeared in tremendous glory at Sinai, and shall inortly ascend his great white throne to judgment that he should become an infant of days- be brought forth in a ftable, and laid in a manger, where oxen fed should take the form of a fervant,--suffer hunger, thirst, and fatigue,--be without a place to lay his
head, -and subject himself to cruel mockings, bufe fetings, and thameful spitting, and to complete the strange scene, voluntarily yield up himself to his enemies—deny himself of his father's smiles, which he valued more than life-make his soul a sacrifice for fin, and expire under the wrath of a sin-avenging God !-IVhat things are these! —Does any thing but mere good pleasure, grace altogether liberal and unmerited appear throughout the whole ?
Let us now consider the character that Jesus fuftained in his state of humiliation, and the benefits resulting to his people from his work.-The important office which the Son of God sustained was that of a SURETY, Heb. vii. 22. In order to this he was made under the law, and set by the Sovereign of heaven in the law room and place of his people; to fulfil all righteousness in their behalf, and to fatisfy justice in its utmost demands for their transgrelfions, that God might be juft, and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. The prophet Daniel very accurately states the Surety's work in the following words, Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon the holy city, to finijh the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness. That our fins were imputed to the surety; that Jesus was substituted to be the fin-bearin and fin.atoning lamb, appears from such declarations as follow : The Lord bath laid ON HIM the iniquity of US ALL. He was made fin FOR US Himself bare our sins in his own body on the tree. Through the eternal spirit he offered himjelf without spot unto God, and there by put away som by the sacrifice of himself. Thus He poured out his soul unto death : and he was numbered with the tranfgreffors, and he bare the fans of MANY, and made intercefion For the transgresors. But though our divine Substitute placed himself in the lowest state of human wretchedness, and expired under the wrath of God; though he made his grave with the wicked, and
with the rich in his death; yet the third day he rose again according to the scriptures; whereby it was fully demonstrated, that the work which he had declared finished, when he gave up the Ghost, was acceptable and well pleasing to God, was all-lufficient to deliver his people from death and the curse, -that hé, as our furety, was freed from those fins which had been charged upon him, having made full atonement for them, ---being justified in the fight of the holy law,--declared to be the fon of God with power, and as the reward of his obedience and suti. ferings, crowned with glory, as it is written, Thou baft made him most blessed for eter: thou haft made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.
It is generally allowed that Christ magnified th: law and made it honorable, and so fulfilled all righteousness; and it is as plain that his obedience to the law, was done in his people's room, or as their Surety. If this be not true, it will be hard to find a tolerable glofs to put upon that scripture, which informs us, that By the obedience of one many are made righteous. But this momentous truth does not go a begging for its evidence, nor does it reft fimply upon one passage of holy writ, but is intermingled with the whole of revelation. Paul, in describing The Righteousness of faith, shows, that it is imputed for righteousness to every one that believeth. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth, Rom. x. 4. He was made fin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, II. Cor. v. 21, see also Rom. iii. 21– 26, Chap. iv, 3-6, 22-25. Unless this be admitted, there can appear no propriety, beauty, nor glory in that admirable name which the Surety bears, and which is the glory of his church, viz. THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, Jer. xxiii. 6. And their clain would be void, who in the triumphs of faith, say, IN THE LORD HAVE I RIGHTEOUSNESS and strength. If this sacred truth was built upon no better foundation, than the highest witness of men, we might fear the wrath of men against it; but it rests upon a basis infinitely more secure, than even earth's foundations; for, Their righteousness is of me SAITH THE LORD.
Thus we have seen that the incarnation, obedience, sufferings, death and resurrection of Christ, and the glory that followed, together with the declared end thereof, is the eternal purpose of grace unfolded, even the mystery which hath been hid from ages, and from generations, but now is made manifest to his faints. Many of the works of men are beautiful; all the divine works are glorious ; but the Saviour's works of obedience and suffering exceed in glory. Here the ETERNAL ceases, as it were, to be invisible: the veil is rent, and the most holy place thrown wide open; for in the cross of Christ the brightest exhibition is made, of every divine perfection; the fovereignty and riches of divine mercy and grace--the glory of the divine Justice, or the infinite opposition of the Deity to fin; in a word, infinite wisdom, veracity, and power, with every other glorious attribute, unite in honoring the holy law, setting forth the evil of fin, destroying the works of Satan and completely laving the chosen of God.
The Word of GRACE ; or Grace in its publication. TOTHING can be more grand, and becoming
the fovereign of heaven, than that awful view of eternal power given us in the following words, LET THERE BE LIGHT AND THERE WAS LIGHT! Thus by the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the hosts of them by the spirit of his