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interested in the facrifice of our Redeemer. We are exprefsly told, that as " by him were "all things created that are in heaven and "that are in earth, visible and invisible; and "by him all things confift: fo by him also "was God pleafed (having made peace through "the blood of his crofs) to reconcile all things "unto himself, whether they be things in earth, "or things in heaven: that in the difpenfation "of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which "are in heaven, and which are on earth, even " in him *."

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From intimations fuch as thefe, it is highly probable, that in the great work of Redemption, as well as of Creation, there is a vast stupendous plan of wisdom, of which we cannot at present so much as conceive the whole compass and extent. And if we could affift and improve the mental as we can the corporeal fight; if we could magnify and bring nearer to us, by the help of inftruments, the great component parts of the spiritual, as we do the vast bodies of the natural, world; there can be no doubt, that the refemblance and analogy would hold between them in this as Col. i. 16. 20. Eph. i. 10.

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it does in many other well-known inftances; and that a scene of wonders would burst in upon us from the one, at leaft equal, if not fuperior, to thofe, which the united powers of aftronomy and of optics difclofe to us in the other.

If this train of reasoning be juft, (and who is there that will undertake to fay, much more to prove, that it is not fo?) if the Redemption wrought by Chrift extends to other worlds, perhaps many others befides our own; if its virtues penetrate even into Heaven itfelf; if it gather together all things in Chrift; who will then fay, that the dignity of the agent was difproportioned to the magnitude of the work; and that it was not a fcene fufficiently fplendid for the Son of God himself to appear upon, and to display the riches of his love, not only to the race of man, but to many other orders of intelligent beings?

Upon the whole, it is certainly unpardonable in fuch a creature as man, to judge of the fyftem of our Redemption, from that very finall part of it which he now fees; to reafon as if we ourselves were the only perfors concerned in it, and on that ground to raise cavils, and difficulties, and objections, and reprefent

the cross of Chrift as foolishness, when, alas, it is we only that are foolish!

There may undoubtedly be many other ways in which the Redemption of man might have been effected. But this we are fure of, that the way in which it is effected, is the wifeft and the beft, for this plain reafon, because the wifeft and the beft of Beings has chofen it. It has been shown, that even with our fhortfighted faculties, and with our very imperfect knowledge of the fubject, we can discover fome reasons which might render this way of redeeming us preferable to any other; and we have seen alfo, that it may have a relation to other beings, whofe fituation and circumstances, if fully and clearly made known to us, would probably furnish us with still stronger reafons to admire and adore the wifdom of Ged's proceedings towards his creatures. But even admitting, that the benefits of this moft extraordinary difpenfation were defigned to reach no further than this world, and that Christ' died folely " for us men, and for our “falvation," what other rational conclufion can be drawn from this fuppofition, than that we ought to be impreffed with a deeper and F 4 a live

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a livelier sense of his unbounded goodness to

the children of men?

That the Son of God fhould feel fuch compaffion for the human race, as voluntarily to undertake the great, and arduous, and painful tafk, of refcuing them from death, and fin, and mifery; that for this purpose he should condefcend to quit the bofom of his Father, and the joys of heaven; fhould divest himself of the glory that he had before the world began; should not only take upon himself the nature of man, but the form of a fervant; should submit to a low and indigent condition, to indignities, to injuries and infults, and at length to a difgraceful and excruciating death, is indeed a mystery. But it is a mystery of kindness and of mercy; it is, as the apoftle truly calls it, "a love that paffeth knowledge *;" a degree of tendernefs, pity, and condefcenfion, to which we have neither words nor conceptions in any degree equal. It is impoffible for us, whenever we reflect upon it, not to cry out with the Pfalmift, "Lord, what "is man that thou art mindful of him, and "the son of man that thou visitesft him †."


Eph. iii. 19.

+ Pfalm viii. 4.


And what effect should this reflection have upon our hearts? Should it difpofe us to join with the difputer of this world, in doubting and denying the wifdom of the Almighty in the plan of our Redemption, and in quarrelling with the means he has made ufe of to fave us, because they appear to our weak understandings strange and unaccountable? Shall the man who is finking under a mortal disease, refufe the medicine which will infallibly reftore him, because he is ignorant of the ingredients of which it is compofed? Shall the criminal who is condemned to death, reject the pardon that is unexpectedly offered him, because he cannot conceive in what manner and by what means it was obtained for him? Shall wE, who are all criminals in the fight of God, and are all actually (till redeemed by Christ) under the sentence of death; shall we ftrike back the arm that is graciously stretched out to fave us, merely because the mercy offered to us is fo great, that we are unable to grafp with our understanding the whole extent of it? Shall the very magnitude, in short, of the favour conferred upon us, be converted into an argument against receiving it; and


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