« AnteriorContinuar »
CHRIST is there faid to receive a Commandment, and be subject to the Law. Both which Expreffions imply Obligation and Duty..
Afp. In order to accomplish our Redemption, the SON of GOD fubmitted Himself to the Commandment. But this was his own fpontaneous Act. The Matter of his free Choice. To which He lay under no Obligation, till He engaged to become our Surety.
Being in the Form of GOD, He was Lord of the -Law; and no more fubject to its Commands, than obnoxious to its Curfe. Nevertheless, He took upon Him the Form of a Servant; and was made under the Law. Wherefore? Because it was his bounden Duty, to put his Neck under the Yoke * ? Imposfible to imagine!—Or, that He might obtain everlafting Life and Glory for Himfelf? No fuch Thing. But that He might redeem those who were under the Law t. From which it appears, that both his Engagement and his Obedience were, not for Himself, but for his People.-Therefore the Prophet cries out, with holy Exultation; To Us a Child is born; To Us a Son is given ! His incarnate State and human Nature, together with all that He did and fuffered in both, were for Us: thofe affumed on our Account, thefe referred to our Advantage.
Let Us confider this, and be amazed! and be charmed!-The great univerfal LORD vouchfafes to pay univerfal Obedience! What Condefcenfion
* A&ts xv. 10.
+ Gal. iv. 5.
Ifai. ix. 6. Eft præterea Emphafis fingularis in Voce nobis. Significat id, quod omnes Jentiunt, noftro Bono & Commodo natum effe hunc Puerum Imperatorem. VITRING. The Original is, not for Himself, but for Us, and our Good: for Us Men, and our Salvation.
fion was Here!-He vouchfafes to pay it, for Us Men, and for our Redemption! What Goodness
Ther. Before We indulge the devotional Strain, We should take care that our Devotion is founded on rational Principles. Otherwise it may prove, not like the Fire on the Altar, which was always burning, and never went out; but like the Flash of a Sky-rocket, which glitters one Moment, and is extinguished the next.-Suppose I should say; All this Obedience was neceffary in CHRIST, as a qualifying Condition for the Prieftly Office; and in order to confer Merit, on the Sacrifice of his Death.
Afp. This You are welcome to fay. But I hope, You will not, like à certain Acquaintance of ours, be determined never to unfay or retract, what You have once affirmed.-You will please to remember, That there was no need of any fuch qualifying Condition: the Dignity of our LORD's Person, being, of itself, fufficient to render his Sacrifice infinitely fatisfactory, and infinitely meritorious.
Hence it will appear, that, for every Thing advanced upon this Subject, We have a folid Foundation, in Reason, as well as in Scripture.-Scripture teaches Us, that the Man CHRIST JESUS, was united to the second Perfon of the eternal TRINITY.-Reason affures Us, that, by Virtue of this Union, He must have an unquestionable Right to everlasting Life and Glory. If fo, He could be under no Neceffity of obeying, in order to procure either Honour or Happiness for Himself. -Therefore, all that He performed, in Conformity to the preceptive Part of the Law, He performed
under the Character of a public Perfon: in the Place, and for the Benefit of his fpiritual Seed. That they might be interested in it, and justified by it.
Ther. Be it fo: the Believer is interested in CHRIST's Righteoufnefs.-Pray, is He interested in all, or only in Part?-If in all, then every Believer is equally righteous, and equally to be rewarded. Which is contrary to an allowed Maxim, That there will be different Allotments of Happinefs in the heavenly World.—If in Part only, how will You ascertain the Degree? What Proportion belongs to this Perfon, and what to the other?Either Way, your Scheme is inextricably embarraffed.
Afp. The Reply to my Theron's Enquiry, is easy; and the Embarraflment He mentions, is but imaginary. Every true Believer is interefted in all CHRIST's Righteoufnefs; in the whole Merit of his fpotlefs Nature, of his perfect Obedience, and expiatory Death. "Is CHRIST divided? Said
ર a holy Perfon in his last Moments. No; I have "the whole of his Righteouínefs. All that He did, "all that He fuffered for the Redemption of Sin66 ners, is mine."
You are a great Admirer of Anatomy, Theron, and must undoubtedly remember the very peculiar Structure of the Ear. Other Parts of the Body are progreffive in their Growth. Their Bulk is proportioned to the infantile, or manly Age. But the Organs of Hearing, I have been informed, are precifely of the fame Size, in the feeble Infant, and the confirmed Adult.-Juftification likewife, being abfolutely neceflary to a State of Acceptance with GOD, is, in every Stage of the Chriftian Course, and
and even in the firft Dawn of fincere Faith, complete. With regard to the Existence of the Privilege, there is no Difference in the Babes, the young Men, the Fathers in CHRIST. The Perception, the Afurance, the comfortable Enjoyment of the Benefit, may increase. But the Benefit itself is incapable of Augmentation.
The various Advances in Sanctification, account for the various Degrees of future Glory. Not account for them only, but render them entirely reafonable; and, according to our Apprehenfion of Things, unavoidable. Even as they feem perfectly agreeable, to the Representations of the Gospel +. As to fettling the Proportion, We may fafely leave that to the Supreme ARBITRATOR. He, who meteth out the Heavens with a Span, and fetteth a Compass upon the Face of the Deep, cannot be at a lofs to adjust this Particular.
Ther. The Organs of Hearing, though not precifely, are very nearly, of the fame Bulk, in the Babe and the Man. They acquire, from advancing Years,
*To the fame Purpofe fpeaks one of our most celebrated Divines; as great an Adept in facred Literature, as Ages have produced." All are juftified alike: the "Truth of Faith justifying, not the Meafure. Juftifica"tion therefore is the fame in All that believe: though "their Belief be in different Degrees. So, once in the "Wilderness, all gathered not Manna in the fame Mea
fure; yet, when all came to measure, they had all 66- alike; none above an Omer, none under."
LIGHTFOOT, Vol. II. p. 1052.
+ See Dan. xii. 3. 1 Cor. iii. 8. 2 Cor. ix. 6. Luke xix. 12, 13, &c. Where the Servant, that gained five Pounds, is made Ruler over five Cities; while another, who acquired double the Sam, is promoted to double Honour.
Years, fcarce any Thing more than an Increafe of Solidity. So that I make no Objection to your IlJuftration, but only to your Doctrine.
If CHRIST has done all, and we are entitled to his whole Merits only by believing; to be faved, must be the easiest Thing in the World. Whereas, the Bible reprefents Christianity, as a Race and a Warfare, a State of Conflict and a Courfe of Striveing. In good Truth, Afpafia, You prophefy pleasing Things. Divinity is not your Profeffion; or else, I fhould number You among "the fmooth, emollient, "downy Doctors." For, according to the Articles of your Creed, there is no more Difficulty in acquiring Heaven and Salvation, than in rifing from our Seat.
Afp. If We confider the Enjoyment of Heaven, in a legal View; if We regard it, as an Acquifition to be made by Ourfelves; it will then be, I say not extremely difficult, but abfolutely impoffible, Whereas, if We confider it in the Evangelical Light; if We regard it, as the Gift of GOD; it is then attended with no other Difficulty, than that which confifts in believing the Report, and receiving the Grace of the Gofpel.-To believe, is certainly a moft eafy Thing in itself; and would be equally cafy to Us, were not our Minds darkened and enfeebled by the Corruption of Nature, affaulted and embarraffed by the Temptations of Satan *. On Account of these Impediments, We often find the Duty of Believing accompanied with Difficulties; with many and great Difficulties; fuch as will abundantly justify the Language of the Apostle,
* See Marhall's Gofpel-Mystery of Sanctification. Edit. 6. pag. 203, &c.