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blood and wounds, that oar salvation might be obtained without any detriment to divine justice, and to the highest glory of all the other divine persections.— When Christ approached to God as an absolute God, be came near, as it were, to the seat of his Majesty, to present himfelf in our room; when he approached to God as a commanding God, he came near, as it were, to the throne of his holiness, and there he was an obedient subject in our room; when he approached to God as a threatening God, then he came near, as it were, to his bench of judgment, and there he was a condemned pamiel at the bar in our room; and when he approached to God as an angry and offended God, then he came near, as i.t were, to the tribunal of justice, the siery tribunal of his indignation, and there the sentence was execute upon him, while he
gave himself to incensed justice in our room.- Now,
Christ having thus approached to God, according to his engagement, the God to whom he approaehed is so well-pleased with this approach of his,'that now, by an act passed at the same tribunal of justice, where he was solemnly condemned to death in our room and stead, he. is as solemnly justisied and absolved in our room; theresore he is said to be justisied by the' Spirit, j Tim- iii- x6.; and Christ himself says, "He is near that justisies me," Isaiah 1. 8. And theresore the Lord is well-pleased for his righteousness sake: and when the Spirit of G irist convinces of righteousness, he will demonstrate this from that argument, that Christ hath gone to his Father, John xvi. io. And now the approach that he makes to God, is to a God whom he hath pleased and pacisied in our behalf, whose Majesty he hath allayed, whose command he hath sulsilled, whose threatening he hath sustained, and whose wrath he hath endured, and for whose loving-kindness he Jiath made a vent; and accordingly it is vented by an audible voice from heaven, saying, " This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." Whatever approach now it is that Christ makes unto God, as an Advocate at the Father's right-hand, it is in the virtue and value of that engaged approach that I have mentioned; and
r so it is stow to a God whom he hath pleased and pacisied: and whatever approach we make to God in him, it is• to a God reconciled in him, Rom. v. 10.
-J- Thus you see under what considerations we are to
view the God to whom Christ did engage to approach, and, " Who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? faith the Lord."
4thly, In what station did he engage to approach unto God? Why, ,:
l. He engaged to approach unto God in the station of a Surety; theresore he is called, "The Surety of a better testament;" A Surety for God to us, that all that he hath promised in his word (hall be made good; for in him are all the promises Yea and Amen, and he is' engaged to see them accomplished: Also as a Surety for us to God, having given his hand to his Father, that all our debt should be paid: Christ says to his Fathevin aJ manner, as Paul said to Philemon concerning Onesimus,Phil. 18, ro. '« If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that to my account; I Paul have written ic with mine own hand, I will repay it."—So says Christ, Since these poor sinners have wronged thee, O Father, by their sin, and owe thee an insinite sum, a debt ot obedience and satissaction, Put it to mine account,' IJmus have written it with mine own hand, I will repay It: I give my bond for it, subscribed with my own hand: *> Lo I come to do it; in the volume of thy book it is written of me." And indeed he is a Surety that gets all the debt to pay, and all the duty to perform for the* debtor and bankrupt.
i. He engaged to approach to God in the station, of a Mediator, theresore called, The Mediator of the new covenant. He is sent of God to negotiate a peace betwixt God and man; and accordingly he is our peace, and travels betwixt the parties in order to their reconciliation. He is a repairer of breaches, and a restorer os that which he took not away, Psalm xlijt* 4. For, asMediator, he restores that glory to God which he took not away; that obedience to the law which he took not away; that holiness to man which he took not away ; that beauty and-order to the world which he took
Vol. II. f B b not not away; that agreement and concord betwixt heaven and earth, betwixt man and man, which he took not away.
3. He engaged himself to approach unto God in the station of an Ambassador, to serve him in that station; and hence he is so frequently called the Sent of Gcd. Christ magnisies his ossice as being the Sent of Gcd, John iv. 34. "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me; and to sinish his work. John v. 40. 1 seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath fent .me." Christ magnisies the saith that believes on him as the Sent of God; " This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." Yea, I have observed, that Christ is spoken of, as the Sent of God, betwixt forty and sifty times in that one gospel according to John. He is sent as the Father's Ambassador, with the Father's seal appended to his commission; " Him hath God the Father sealed."
4. He engaged to approach to God in the station of a mean Servant; for, " He made himself of no reputatiqn, and took upon him the form of a servant;" yet, a saithsul Servant, saithsul in all his house; a Servant according to God's heart; and as righteous as Gcd would have him to be; "By his knowledge shall my righteous Servant justify many." A Servant whom God glories in ; "Behold my Servant, whom I uphold; mine Elect, in whom my soul delighteth." I might here show you how he engaged to approach to God in the station of .a Prophet, Priest, and King; a Witness, Leader, and Commander, Isaiah lv. 4. But what I have said, is sussicient to give us some view of the nature of the work he engaged himself to, in approaching to God. Theresore I come, ., ,
III. To the third general head proposed, which was, To speak of the singularity of the sact, intimated in the expression, " Who is this that engaged his, heart to approach unto, me?" NoW,' that this was a singular engagement, will appear, both .from the matter and the manner.
1 ft, Consider the matter of this engagement, and we will see the singularity of it, especially is we notice the?
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mysteries that ly in the bosom of this engagement; particularly these six.
1. The sirst mystery in this engagement is, that herein we may see the glory of the eternal God vailed with' flesh, and dwelling in a tabernacle of clay; " Without controversy great Is the mystery of godliness, God manisested ii* the flesh." To see the sun in the sirmament converted to a clod of dust, or the highest seraph in heaven to a crawling worm, had been but a small matter, if compared with this; for here we have heaven and earth, time and eternity, sinite and insinite together in one person.—Here is the Ancient of days becoming a young child; "To us a Child is born."—Here is the everlasting Fountain of joy, becoming a man of sorrows and acquainted with gries.—Here is the greatest beauty of heaven and earth, with his visage marred more than any man, and his form than the sons of men.—Here is the Creator of the world, to whom the earth and its sulness belong, yet destitute of house c-nd hold; "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests, but the Son of man hath no where to lay his head.",
2. The second mystery wrapt up in this engagement, is, that here We may see the glorious Law-giver, whose will is a law to men and angels, subjecting himself to his own law, and that in the room of rebels, that had violated his law, and contemned his authority; for, " He was made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law."
3. The third mystery here to be seen, is, that which might make us saint away with wonder and amazement,
- that the blessed God, mould, in a manner, become a cursed sinner, that cursed sinners might be blessed in him: behold the ever-blessed God becoming a curse, Gal. iii. 15. And to be made a curse, is a stronger word yet, than
cursed. Behold the ever-holy God becoming sin,
2 Cor. v. 21.; and to be made sin, is a stronger word yet, than to be a sinner. He became a sinner by imputation, even he who knew no sin, that we might be the righteousness of God in him. He put his name in our bond, and wrote down himself the sinner, that our B b 2 'name name, might be put in his bond, and we might be righteous thro' his righteousness. But for the blessed God Co become a curse, and the holy God to become sin, is more than is all the angels in heaven should become devils. Is there not somewhat singular here?
4. The fourth mystery wrapt up in this eng»gement, is, that here we Tee the Creditor becoming Surety for the debtor, and paying the debt that was owing to himself. The eternal Son of God was as much injured by our sin as the Father was, and yet he engaged to come and satisfy his own justice.
5. The sifth mystery here involved, is, in this engigement we may see the Judge of all the earth brought under condemnation-; condemned by his own Father, whom he never offmded; condemned by the law, which he never broke; condemned by sinners, whom lie came to save from condemnation; condemned to death, though he be the Lord of lise, and hath the keys of hell and death in-his hand, and at his girdle.
6. The sixth mystery to be seen in this engagement, is, that here we may observe justice raging against the innocent, and absolving the guilty, and yet without any iniquity or injustice; a God of love, and a compassionate Father forgetting, as it were, his bawels towards his only Son, and taking pleasure in his death; "For it pleased the Lord to bruise him:" and yet receiving there into his arms and bosom, who .had violated his law, and contemned his authority, and grieved his Spirit.—And by this means, here we see the righteousness of the law, sulsilled in these that had broken the law, and never 0beyed one of its precepts.-—Here we may see the poor guilty sinner, that stands condemned by the law, condemned by justice, condemned by conscience, yet put in case to challenge the whole world to lay any tiling to his charge, Rom. viii. 33.—By this mean also we see the debt paid and yet pardoned, the guilt of the sinner punished and yet forgiven.—In a word, there was this singular in it, that he engaged to bring the greatest good out of the greatest evil. Sin is the greatest of all evils, and that whereby, of any thing in all'the world, God is most dishonoured; and yet there is nothing by