Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

All that Christ does in this great affair as mediator, in any of his offices, either of prophet, priest, or king ; either when he was in this world, in his human nature, or before, or since ; and not ohly what Christ the mediator has done, but also what the Father, br the Holy Ghost, have done, as united or confederated in this design of redeeming sinful men ; or, in one word, all that is wrought in exécution of the eternal covenant of redemption ; this is what I call the work of redemption in the doctrine for it is all but one work, one design. The various dispensations or works that belong to it, are but the several parts of one scheme. It is but one design that is formed to which all the offices of Christ do directly tend, and in which all the persons of the Trinity do conspire, and all the various dispensations that belong to it are united ; and the several wheels are one machine, to answer one ends and produce one effect. #! ILY

SIT: Whet Tsay, this work is carried on from the fall of man to the end of the world in order to the full understanding of miy meaning in it; I would desire two or three things to bebbserved: 3154?: This That it is 'riøt meant, that nothing was done in order to it before the fall of man! There were many things done in order to this work of rédemption before that. Some things were dotie before the world was created, yea from all eternity. The persons of the Triniejiwere as it were, confederated in a desigh and à covenant of redemption; in which covenant the Father had appointed the Sony and the Son had undertaken the fork; and all things to be accomplished in the work were

stipulated and agreed -> And besides these, there were things dóne'at the creation of the world, in order to that work, before iñan felly, for the world itself seems to have been created in order to it. The work of creation was in order to God's works of providence : So that if it be inquired, which of these kinds of works is the greatest, the works of creation or the works of providence ? I answer, the works of providence ; because' God's works of providence are the end of his works of creation, as the building an house, or the forming an engine or machine, is for its use. But God's main work of providence

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

34.

is this great work of God that the doctrine speaks of, as may
more fully appear hereafter.

The creation of heaven was in order to the work of redemp-
tion : It was to be an habitation for the redeemed : Matth. xxy.

“ Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Even the angels were created to be employed in this work. And therefore the apostle calls them, “ ministering spirits, sent forth'to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation,” Heb. i. 14. As to this lower world, it was doubtless created to be a stage upon which this great and wonderful work of redemption should be trarisacted : And therefore, as might be shown, in many respects, this lower world is wisely fitted, in the formation, for such a state of man as he is in since the fall, under a possibility of redemption ; so that when it is said that the work of re- . demption is carried on from the fall of man, to the end of the world, it is not meant that all that: ever was done in order to redemption has been done since the fall. . Nor,

2. Is it meant that there will be no remaining fruits of this work after the end of the world. The greatest fruits of all will be after that. That glory and blessedness that will be the sum of all the fruits, will remain to all the saints after that.... The work of redemption is not an eternal work, i. e. it is not a work always a doing and never accomplised. But the fruits of this work are eternal fruits. The work has an issue. But in the issue the end will be obtained.;. which end will never have an end. A's' those things that were in order to this work before the beginning of the world, as God's electing love, and thë covenant of redemption, never had a beginning; so the fruits of this work, that shall bei after the end of the world, never will have an endi And therefore, ,

3. When it is said in the doctrine, that this is a work that God'is carrýing on from the fall of man to the end of the world, what I mean is, that those things that belong to this work itself, and are parts of this scheme, are all this while accomplishing. There are things that are in order to it that are before the beginning of it, and fruits of it that are after it is finished,

;

4

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

But the work itself is so long a doing, even from the fall of
man to the end of the world, it is all this while a carrying on.
It was begun immediately upon the fall, and will continue to
the end of the world, and then will be finished. The various
dispensations of God that are in this space, do belong to the
same work, and to the same design, and have all one issue
and therefore are all to be reckoned but as several parts of
one work, as it were several successive motions of one ma-
chinë, to bring about in the conclusion one great event.

And here also we must distinguish between the parts of re-
demption itself, and the parts of the work by which that re-
demption is wrought out. There is a difference between the
parts of the benefits procured and bestowed, and the parts of
the work of God by which those benefits were procured and
bestowed. As, for example, there is a difference between
the parts of the benefit that the children of Israel received .
consisting in their redemption out of Egypt, and the parts
of that work of God by which this was, wrought. The
redemption of the children of Israel out of Egypt, con-
şidered as the benefit which they enjoyed, consisted of
two parts, viz. their deliverance from their former Egyp-
tian bondage and misery, and their being brought into ą
more happy, state, as the servants of God; and heirs of Canaan.
But there are many more things which are parts of that work
of God which is called his work of redemption of Israel out of
Egypt. To this belong his calling of Moses, his sending.
him to Pharoah, and all the signs and wonders he wrought in
Egypt, and his bringing such terrible judgments on the
Egyptians, and many other things.

It is this work by which God effects redemption that we are speaking of: This work is carried on from the fall of man to the end of the world, and it is so in two respects.

(1) With respect to the effect wrought on the souls of the redeemed ; which is common to all ages from the fall of man to the end of the world. This effect that I here speak of, is. the application of redemption with respect to the souls of particular persons, in converting, justifying, sanctifying, and glorifying of them. By these things the souls of particular per

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

sons are actually redeemed, and do receive the benefit of the work of redemption in its effect in their souls. And in this sense the work of redemption is carried on in all ages of the world, from the fall of man to the end of the world. The work of God in converting souls, opening blind eyes, unstopping deaf ears, raising dead souls to life, and rescuing the miserablé captivated souls out of the hands of Satan, was begun soon after the fall of man, has been carried on in the world ever since to this day, and will be to the end of the world. God has always, ever since the first erecting of the church of the redeemed after the fall, had such a church in the world. Though oftentimes it has been reduced to a very narrow compass, and to low circumstances ; yet it has never wholly failed.

And as God carries on the work of converting the souls of fallen men through all these ages, so he goes on to justify them, to blot out all their sins, and to accept them as righteous in his sight, through the righteousness of Christ, and adopt and receive them from being the children of Satan, to be his own children ; so also he goes on to sanctify, or to carry on the work of his grace, which he has begún in them, and to comfort them with the consolations of his spirit, and to glorify them, to bestow upon them, when their bodies die; that eternal glory which is the fruit of the purchase of Christ. What is said, Rom. viii. 30. Whom he did predestinate, thèm he u also called ; and whom he called, them he also justified ;

and whom he justified, them he also glorified :". I say this is applicable to all ages, froin the fall, to the end of the world.

The way that the work of redemption, with respect to these effects of it on the souls of the redeemed, is carried on from the fall to the end of the world, is by repeating and continually working the same work over again, though in different persons, from age to’age: : But,

(2) The work of redemption with respect to the grand design in general, as it respects the universal subject and end, is carried on from the fall of man' tothe end of the world in a different manner, not merely by repeating or renewing the same effect in the different subjects of it but by many suc VoL, I.

C

[ocr errors]

.

Cessive works and dispensations of God, all tending to one great end and effect, all united as the several parts of a scheme; and all together making up one great work. Like an house or temple that is building ; first, the workmen are sent forth, then the materials are gathered, then the ground fitted, then the foundation is laid, then the superstructure is erected, one part after another, till at length the top stone is laid, and all is fiñished.. Now the work of redemption in that large sense that has been explained, may be compared to such a build-, ing; that is carrying on from the fall of man to the end of the... wprld. God went about it immediately after the fall of man. Some things were done towards it immediately, as may be shown hereafter; and so God has proceeded, as it were, getting materials and building, ever since ; and so will proceed to the end of'the world ; and then the time will come when the top stone shall be brought forth, and all will appear com plete and consummatė: The glorious structure will then stand forth in its proper perfection.

This work is cartied on in the former respect that has been mentioned viz. as to the effect on the souls of particular persons that are redeemed, by its being an effect that is common to all ages." The work is carried on in this latter respect, viz. as it respects the church of God; and the grand design in general, it is carried on, not only by that which is common to all agės, but by successive works wrought in different ages, all parts of one whole, or one great scheme, whereby one work is brought about by various steps, one step in one age, and another in another. It is this carrying on of the work of redemption that I shall chiefly insist upon, though not excluding the former ; for one necessarily supposes the other.

Having thus explained what I mean by the terms of the doctrine ; that you may thë more clearly see how the great design and work of redemption is carried on from the fall of man to the end of the world ; I say, in order to this, ,

I now proceed, in the second place, to show what is the design of this great work, or what things are designed to be done by it. In order to see how a design is carried on, we must first know what the design is. To know how a work

[ocr errors]
« ÎnapoiContinuați »