« AnteriorContinuar »
the heart of every christian; he hath grace for grace, he hath stamp for stamp.
II. And again, The Lord Jesus Christ is our second Adam, a common person between God and us. Now look as it was concerning our forefather Adam, being a common person ; look what nature he had, we have : he was made
up of soul and body, and so are we: his body had legs and arms and other members, and we have member for member; we have head for head, and arms for arms, and legs for legs; and so, he sinning, we have sin for his sin, pride for his pride, and unbelief for his unbelief, because he was a common person. So I say, Jesus Christ, being our second Adam, look what grace he had, the saints have; they have grace for his grace, they have holiness for his holiness. The apostle says, in the vth of the Romans, “ That as by one man's offence death came, so through the gift of grace, grace hath abounded: but not as the offence (says he at the 15th verse) so also is the free gift; for if through the offence of one man, many be dead; much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many, Now, if we should not have grace for grace from Christ, as we had sin for sin from the first Adam; how should grace superabound ? Our Lord and Saviour Christ says himself, I have life in myself; “the Son hath life in himself,” John v. 26; which laid to that expression which you have in the ist of Genesis, speaks to our purpose, the 11th and 12th verses : “ God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruittree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself;" and so again at the 12th verse, “ Whose seed was in itself.” That is, these creatures had a power in themselves to bring forth their like. And so says Jesus Christ, as other creatures had seed in themselves to bring forth their like; so have I life in myself, and am able to bring forth my like; and so he does, for he is our second Adam, and therefore, as we had sin for sin from the first Adam, we must have grace for grace from the second Adam also.
III. There is an incomparable, and glorious, blessed love between Christ and a Christian. Love, loves to make a thing loved to be like itself. Love in an inferior is of an įmitating nature, and love in a superior is of an assimilating
nature. Now therefore if there be love between Christ and a Christian, they must needs be very like, and love there is; Christ loves the saints above all the world, and the saints love Christ above all the world. Only Christ's love exceeds; for when the spouse speaks of Christ in the Canticles, she calls him “My Beloved," in the concrete; but when he speaks of her, he calls her “ My Love, my Dove,” in the abstract. Jesus Christ had loving thoughts towards the saints before the world was; as ye read in the viiith of the Proverbs and the 29th verse. Says Wisdom, and so Christ, there, “ When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment; when he appointed the foundations of the earth; then I was by him, as one brought up with him: I was daily his delight (verse the 31st), rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights were with the sons of men.” Jesus Christ was then in the bosom of his Father; he had enough to take up his heart with full delight: and yet notwithstanding, before the saints were, his love was towards them, and his delight was in them. Surely, if he loved them so much before they had a being, when they have a being, he will exercise and put forth that old and ancient love of his in more abundance towards them. When a man loves a maid or a virgin, while she is in her father's house, she is set apart for him; but now afterward, when she leaves her father's house and all her kindred, that she may only cleave unto him, then his heart is drawn out more. How am I engaged, says he, to love this woman, that hath left all the world to come unto me. So there was love in Christ towards the saints, while they were but set apart for him in God's decree; but now when they shall leave their father's house for him, will he not then delight in them? See what is said in the xlvth Psalm : “ Hearken, O daughter, (at the 10th verse) and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house : so shall the King greatly desire (or delight in) thy beauty." But delight in them and love them he cannot, unless they be like unto him ; for the lover loves to make a thing loved to be like himself, or himself to be like to it. The lover would, if he could, melt himself into a oneness with the thing loved. Indeed our love is scant, and we cannot do it. Moses, of whom the law is signified, might chip and pare his
wife's nails, but he could not change her countenance. A man may love his wife, and bestow much upon her; but he is not able to change her countenance, to make her to be like himself. But Jesus Christ hath this happiness above all the world ; his love hath this happiness above all other love, that he is able to melt the person loved, the soul loved into his own likeness: and therefore, wherever Jesus Christ sets his heart upon any soul, to delight in any, he draws his image upon them,'makes the soul to be like unto him; what grace he hath himself, he does communicate it unto that soul, that there is an answerableness of grace, even grace
grace. IV. Again, There is the same Spirit in a Christian, that is in Christ. “ I will send (says he) the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, and he shall come unto you,” John xv. 26. The Spirit does not only come to them, but is said to dwell in them, and to be shed abroad upon their hearts. Now if a beast had the spirit and the soul of a man, he would work like a man, he would speak like a man; and if a plant, if a tree, if an herb had the life of a beast, it would taste like a beast; and if a stone, if that had the life of a plant, it would grow like a plant: so now, if a Christian have the Spirit of Christ, he must work like Christ, he must needs be like Christ. Now the same Spirit he hath ; a Christian hath the same Spirit with Christ, and therefore needs must be like unto him, and have grace for his grace. Somewhat in a Christian answerable to every grace of Christ.
You will say unto me, How can this be? Indeed it holds forth abundance of comfort unto the saints, and an encouragement to all to be so; but how can this be? There are some incommunicable properties, personal excellencies of Christ: Are all men Saviours ? are all men Mediators ? are all men Christs?
I answer, No; we must therefore so understand it, in things that man is capable of. We have member for member with Adam, every man, head for his head, and legs for his legs; but every man is not the first Adam, that, every man is not capable of. So Jesus Christ, he is made like to us, but he is not a sinner, that, he was not capable of. And so we have grace for grace, answerable grace, it is to be understood in things that we are capable of; we are not Saviours, we are not Mediators, we are not Christs. In some
of those things that we are not capable of, yet there is somewhat in a Christian that in some other kind is answerable thereunto. As now for example, when our Lord and Saviour Christ was baptized, the heavens opened, and the Holy Ghost fell down upon him in the shape of a dove: the Holy Ghust does not so fall down upon men now, but yet it is shed abroad in the hearts of all that are godly. He is the great King, and the Priest, and the Prophet of his church : all the saints are kings and priests and prophets, but not to that height as he was. To open this a little, that I may clear the point:
Is our Lord and Saviour Christ a Prophet, and as a Prophet does he teach his people, the saints? In that of the Revelation, xi. 3, the two witnesses are said to prophesy in sackcloth. They are said to prophesy too.
Is our Lord and Saviour Christ a King, and as a King does he overcome and subdue Satan, and our lusts, and the world ? So do the saints too. “This is your victory whereby ye overcome the world, even your faith," 1 John v. 4. As a King, does he overcome, and sit down in his throne ? So do they too. In the iiird of the Revelation and the 21st verse, “ To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne; even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Mark I pray, Christ hath a throne on earth : says he “ As I overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne in heaven;" so those that overcome shall sit down, that is, have communion. “Many shall come from the east and from the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac," Matt. viii. 11; that is, have communion with them. So here, “ To him that overcomes, will I grant to sit down with me in my throne.” They shall have communion with Jesus Christ in his throne. As a King does the Lord Jesus Christ “ rule the nations, and break them in pieces with a rod of iron ? " Psalm ii. 9. So shall the saints do in their generation and in their way : look I pray into the iind of the Revelation, the 26th verse, “ And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron." Mark, “ And he thall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessel of a potter shall they be broken to shivers, even as I received of my Father.” He
does not say, Even as I received this doctrine of my Father, but, As I (which you read of in the iind Psalm) received this power from my Father: they shall communicate with me in this power : even as I received of my Father, so shall they receive it; they shall have communion with him in this.
Is Jesus Christ a Priest? and as a Priest, does he sacrifice? So do the saints too. The apostle exhorts the Romans, “ that they offer up themselves a reasonable sacrifice.” Rom. xii. 1. As a Priest, does he make intercession? So it is said concerning the saints in the viiith of the Romans: “ The Spirit of God that is upon them, makes intercession with groans that cannot be expressed.” As a Priest, does Jesus Christ, as our great High Priest, “ enter into the holy of holiest ?” that you will say belonged unto the priest alone, and none might enter into the holiest, and the holy of holiest but the priest. So do the saints too: see I pray, what communion and fellowship the saints have with Jesus Christ: says he, in the xth of the Hebrews and the 19th verse, “ Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus ; by a new and living way," &c. Is our High Priest entered into the holy of holiest as a High Priest? You shall have communion in his priestly office too: and as he entered into the holy of holiest: so shall you too. Thus you see there is an answerableness in the saints, with what is in Christ. And indeed, herein does our spiritual regeneration, go beyond our generation : for, though a child be like unto the father in this, that he is a man like the father, and he hath a head like the father, and arms, and legs like the father : yet his feature may not be like the father's lineaments, not alike: but now, in our spiritual regeneration, there is such a likeness; as whatsoever grace, or holiness is in Jesus Christ, there is somewhat in all the saints that is answerable thereunto.
I. By way of application then : if this be so; that the saints do receive from Christ's fulness, grace for grace; grace answerable to the grace of Christ: that whatsoever grace or holiness there is in Christ, there is somewhat in all the saints that is answerable thereunto. Then what abundance of men and women are there, even living under the gospel ; that have no present share or saving interest in Jesus Christ. Methinks I hear this doctrine crying aloud, and saying ;