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and knowledge; and being all this in unity of perfon, he could ftand between God and man-he would alfo be at full liberty to benefit whom foever he chofe, by his work, inafmuch as he is the independent God, and as fuch not bound in obedience to any. And of course, all that he did or fpoke muft be filled with infinite dignity and virtue.
Having feen that Chrift is the only perfon in earth or heaven, worthy to open the divine purpose, and accomplish the fame, let us fee wherein fovereign grace appears in the manifeftation of God our Saviour.-God fo loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, and this unfpeakable 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 expreffion of it could not have been declared, but by a gift of infinite worth, fo that unless Jefus were an infinite perfon, the gift would not have been expreffive of the abundant grace; but the gift of Chrift is equal to the father's fuperlative love: yet how great the grace and the expreffion of it are, no finite being can tell: we can only fay God fo loved the world! &c. and herein is love! yet fince it is fo manifefted, as that we may, in part, perceive it, let us take a view thereof, in the mirror of truth. Jehovah gave his fon, his only fon, his well-beloved fon-gave him for a covenant to a people deferving his wrath-gave him up to the fword of juftice in their place and, what is most aftonishing, himself commanded that fword to delay no longer, but awake and strike the awful blow! it even yea, pleased the Lord to bruise him and put him to grief! whether the divine fovereignty, juftice, or grace, fhone moft glorious in this awful tranfaction, who can tell? Confider further, that the perfons on whom this infinite bleffing was beftowed, were cnemies to God by wicked works,-rebels against the divine Majefty,-perfons who had wickedly trampled upon his authority-at awful enmity in their hearts
against his government-univerfally defiled with fin, and of confequence infinitely odious to divine purity-a mass of uncleannefs. What shall we fay to these things? Was God under any obligation to manifest fuch abundant kindness? Far otherwife: his law which man broke was holy, fo that the wisdom, holinefs, faithfulness, and honor of God, yea, all his adorable perfections, ftood engaged to punish the tranfgreffor with deftruction. Nothing therefore but pure fovereignty and free grace could be the moving caufe of fuch compaffion. This Paul had an eye to when he faid, But God who is rich in mercy, for his 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 pleafure rife !-Again, as the riches of grace appear in the father's unfpeakable gift, and confidering the objects upon whom its favors are conferred, to alfo in the aftonishing humiliation of the Son of God. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jefus Chrift, that though he was rich, yet for your fakes he became poor, that je through his poverty might be rich. Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a fervant, and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in fafhion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Unparallelled condefcenfion this! That he who inhabited the praises of eternity-be who fpake, and the univerfe rofe into being-be who fills the fun with light, preferves the courfe of nature, Atretches out his hand and fills all living with food-be who appeared in tremendous glory at Sinai, and shall shortly afcend his great white throne to judgment-that he fhould become an infant of days-be brought forth in a ftable, and laid in a manger, where oxen fedfhould take the form of a fervant,-fuffer hunger, thirst, and fatigue,-be without a place to lay his
head, and fubject himself to cruel mockings, buf. fetings, and fhameful spitting, and to complete the ftrange fcene, voluntarily yield up himself to his enemies-deny himself of his father's fmiles, which he valued more than life-make his foul a facrifice for fin, and expire under the wrath of a fin-avenging God!-What things are thefe !-Does any thing but mere good pleasure, grace altogether liberal and unmerited appear throughout the whole?
Let us now confider the character that Jefus fuftained in his ftate of humiliation, and the benefits refulting to his people from his work. The important office which the Son of God fuftained was that of a SURETY, Heb. vii. 22. In order to this he was made under the law, and fet 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 tranfgreffions, that God might be juft, and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jefus. The prophet Daniel very accurately ftates the Surety's work in the following words, Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon the holy city, to finish the tranfgreffion, and to make an end of fins, and to make reconciliation for_iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness. That our fins were imputed to the surety; that Jefus was fubftituted to be the fin-bearing and fin atoning lamb, appears from fuch declarations as follow: The Lord bath laid ON HIM the iniquity of US ALL. HE was made fin FOR US Himfelf bare OUR SINS in bis own body on the tree. Through the eternal fpirit he offered himself without spot unto God, and thereby put away fm by the facrifice of himself. Thus He poured out his foul unto death: and he was numbered with the tranfgreffors, and he bare the fins of MANY, and made interceffion FOR the tranfgreffors. But though our divine Subftitute placed himself in the loweft ftate 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 rofe again according to the fcriptures; whereby it was fully demonftrated, that the work which he had declared finished, when he gave up the Ghost, was acceptable and well pleafing to God, was all-fufficient to deliver his people from death and the curse,—that he, as our furety, was freed from thofe fins which had been charged upon him, having made full atonement for them, being juftified in the fight of the holy law,-declared to be the fon of God with power, and as the reward of his obedience and fuf ferings, crowned with glory, as it is written, Thou baft made him moft bleffed for ever: thou haft made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.
It is generally allowed that Chrift magnified the law and made it honorable, and fo 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 fcripture, 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 paffage of holy writ, but is intermingled with the whole of revelation. Paul, in defcribing The Righteoufness of faith, fhows, that it is imputed for righteoufnefs to every one that believeth. Chrift is the end of the law for righteoufness to every one that believeth, Kom. x. 4. He was made fin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, II. Cor. v. 21, fee alfo Rom. iii. 2126, 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 claim would be void, who in the triumphs of faith, fay, IN THE LORD HAVE I RIGHTEOUSNESS and strength. If this facred truth was built upon
no better foundation, than the higheft witness of men, we might fear the wrath of men against it; but it refts upon a bafis infinitely more fecure, than even earth's foundations; for, Their righteousness is of me SAITH THE Lord.
Thus we have feen that the incarnation, obedience, fufferings, death and refurrection of Chrift, 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 manifeft 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 fuffering 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 Chrift the brightest exhibition is made, of every divine perfection; the fovereignty and riches of divine mercy and grace-the glory of the divine Juftice, or the infinite oppofition of the Deity to fin; in a word, infinite wifdom, veracity, and power, with every other glorious attribute, unite in honoring the holy law, fetting forth the evil of fin, deftroying the works of Satan and completely faving the chofen of God.
The WORD of GRACE; or GRACE in its publication.
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 hofts of them by the fpirit of his mouth ;