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hast given me, are for signs and wonders." 2^ech. iii. 8. M Thou and thy sellows, that sit before thee, are men wondered at." And indeed the mure of Christ that they have about them, the more they do become a world's wonder, as Christ himself was. What shall I fay ! Time would sail to speak of these things, and to mention his wondersul acts, his wonderful counlels, his wondersul way upon the earth, and in the hearts Of his people; his wondersul works towards the children o"f men, both in judgment and mercy; and his wonderful conduct towards his own children. Let it suffice that this is he, whose name is, and shall be called, Wo^RErFur.,
II. The Second thing proposed, was, To speak nf the nature of the work he engages himself in, while it is said, *' He engaged his heart to approach unto God." The priests under the law, their approaching unto God did but adumbrate and shadow forth our High priest his approach unto God, in our room and stead.—In order to clear this point then, in the general, I premise these two things:
ill, Ail mankind were barred out from the presence of God, so as they could not approach to him in their own persons; and that by a threesold bar, '1. The bar of a broken and violated law, or covenant of works. The covenant of works, you know, was, Do and Live, otherwise ye shall die: in which cove, i)ant the precept was Do, and the promise was Lite, and the penalty was Death, Man, by his sin, hath broken the precept of doing, forseited the promise of lise, and'incurred the penalty of death: Now, is we were to approach God in mercy, this broken precept must be repaired, this forseited lise must be redeemed, this incurred penalty must be executed, and endured;; Here is a bar that neither men nor angels can dravi and take out of the way, in order to our approach unto God,
2. The bar of God's injured persections, particularly God's insinite holiness, which stands up for the desence of the precept of the law; insomuch that none can approach to a holy God, unless his holiness be vindicate
b7 by a perfect obedience. Again, God's insinite justice, which Hands up for the penalty, or threatening of the law; insomuch that none can approach to a jud God, unless his justice be satissied by a complete sacrisice.— Now, as our natural want of conformity to the law makes the holiness of God, stand in the way of our approach to him; so our natural want of ability, to give satissaction-, makes the justice of God to be, a bar , against our approach. O! who will draw this bar ol God's injured persections! ,
3. The bar of natural enmity and sin on our part; Isa. lix. 2. " Your iniquities have separate betwixt you and your God," so as we cannot approach to him. We are enemies to God, by wicked works. This is a bar that cannot be broken, but by an almighty arm.— Thus, I say, all mankind was barred out from the presence of God; no approaching to him.
2dly, I premise, That the work of him who shall approach to God, in our room, and as our representative, must include the breaking of these bars. He that will engage to-approach unto God as our head, to bring us back to God, must engage to break these bars; And so,
1. To break the bar of a violated covenant of works. And accordingly, Christ comes; and, by his obedience to the death,- he magnisies the law, and makes it honourable: The precept of the law that we had broken, he must sulsil, by obeying persectly; the promise cf eternal lise, which we had forseited, he must recover, by redeeming the forseiture, bringing in everlasting righteousness; the threatening and penally of eternal death he must endure, or the equivalent, by coming under the curse of the law.
2. To break the bar of God's injured persections, by vindicating the holiness of God, and satisfying the justice of Gocl, that so these and the like injured attributes of the divine Majesty may not stand in the way; or, while they do, there is no approaching unto God.
3. To break the bar of man's natural enmity against God, otherways he that engages himself to approach unto God, cannot bring us to God with him.
.. - Aa4 These
These things being premised, we may the more easily see what is the work that the Lord Jesus engaged his heart untd, in approaching unto God: he comes to God in our fOerri, who could not approach in our own persons. It is below the majesty ot a great king, to treat and transact immediately with a guilty rebel and traitor: and so it is below the majesty of the great God, to transact immediately with wretched sinners: and who then will approach? Theresore he transacts immediately with Christ, a person of equal dignity with himselt', as to his divine nature; and a person able to break these bars, and so make an open door for himself as Redeemer, arid then, for all the redeemed at bis back, to approach unto God, as their eternal rest and happiness: and all this he does, by sulsilling the broken law; for, he came to sulsil all righteousness, by satissying God's injured persections; insomuch, that God is wellpleased for his righteousness-sake; and by destroying man's natural enmity; insomuch, that they are reconciled to God, by the death of his Son.
But, more particularly, I would shew here, 1. What engagements Christ came under. 2. What approach did he make to God, under these engagements, 3. Under what considerations are we to view God, to whom he engages to approach. 4. In what station did he engage to approach unto God.
1st, What engagements did Christ come under, when he engaged himself to approach unto this God? He came under engagements about the whole work of our redemptidn. Arid,
1. He engaged to put himself in the form of a servant, by taking on onr nature, and taking our place in law, that so the law might reach him in the room of the guilty sinner; otherways the law-curse due to us could never have reached him. itfbw, to this engagement belong several things, which I shall shortly deliver in so many spiritual expressions.—He engaged to be made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.'—He engaged, even he who knew no sin, to be made sin for us, that we might bd njade the righteousness of God in him. And thus,
2. He engaged to satisfy, not only the law, in all its commands and demands, but also all the injured attributes of the divine Majesty, by bringing in everlasting righteousness.—He engaged to give himself a sacrisice; and to give his foul an offering for sin; and to give his lise a ransom for many.—He engaged to make peace by the blood of his cross, and so to repair the breach betwixt God and man, making way by his blood, to the holy of holies, that we might have boldness to enter into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, consecrate to us through the vail, that is to say his flesh, that we might come again to God with sull assurance of saith. And in order to this,
3. He engaged to redeem by power as . well as by price, and to make a willing people in the day of his
- power; and that, having bruised the head of the serpent, and destroyed the works of the ckvil, he should bring forth his prisoners out of the pit wherein there was no water.—He engaged to lead captivity captive, to take the prey from the mighty, that the lawsul captive might be delivered, Isa. lxix. 24, 25.; and so to restore the lost image of God upon man, and to make them partakers of the divine nature. And thus,
4. He engaged not only to destroy siri, and to condemn it in the flesh, because it tended to destroy God's law, to darken his glory, arid to strike at his being, as well as to ruin the sinner; but also* to destroy death, and bring lise and immortality to light:—He engages to come, that We might have lise, and that we might have it more immediately.—And in all these Christ becomes engaged to the Father, for our debt, for our duty, and for our sasety. And as he became engaged to God fo» us, so he became engaged to us for God: that having engaged to God for our debt, we should be justisied; having engaged for our duty, we should be sanctisied j and that having egaged for our sasety, we should be glorisied* and sasely brought to heaVesl* to be for evetf with the Lord.
(1.) He engaged for our debt, that it should be paid every sarthing, to the uttermost that the insinite halw ness of God could command in Ihe precept of tha law, and to the uttermost that the insinite justice of God couli demand in the threatening of the law; and so he is able to lave to the uttermost, because he ever lives to m :ke intercession, upon the ground of that complete payment that he made by his obedience unto death. And here stands the ground of our justisication besore God; this ground he engaged to God for us to lay down, and upon this ground he engaged to us that he shall be juiiisied, saying, " I will be mercisul to their unrighteousness, their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."
(2.) He engaged not only for our debt, but for our duty: having engaged to God to make a purchase of all grace and holiness for us, he engages, in his promise to us, to give us the new heart and the new spirit, to make us know the Lord; and to put his Spirit within us, and cause us to walk in his statutes; to put his sear in our hearts, that we.shall not depart from him: and consequently that we shall not sin the sin unto death, ror Jive and die under the power of sin: and that sin shall not have a sinal dominion over us: but that the law of the Spirit of lise in Christ Jesus, shall free us from the law
of sin and death. And in consequence of these two
engagements for debt and for duty,
(,$.) He also engages for our sasety, saying to his Father, "I give them eternal lise and they mall never peristi, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand," John x. 28. He engages to the Father, " That of all that he hath given him, he shall lose nothing, but mall raise it up at the last day; and that they fliall all be with him, where he is, to behold his glory." And hence issue all the promises wherein also he engages to us for God, such as, that he will save us from salling, and present us saultless besore the presence of his glory with exceeding joy; and that though we may be sometimes carried captive of our enemies by constraint, yet that we shall overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and sit with him on his throne, even as he overcame, and is set down with his Father on his throne: And that no cross shall come, but what shall be for our advantage in the end, whatever for the present it seem to be to our sense; but that