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that many hands were employed, and persons of great note
How great a person then must he be, for whose coming iņ,
We read, Matth. xxi. 8, 9, 10, that when Christ was com, ing into Jerusalem, and the multitudes ran before him and cut down branches of palm trees, and strewed them in the
way, and others spread their garments in the way, and cried, “Ho. sannah to the son of David,” that the whole city was moved, saying, Who is this? They'wondered who that extraordinary person should be, that there should be such an ado made on occasion of his coming into the city, and to prepare the way before him. But if we consider what has been said on this subject, what great things were done in all ages to pre: pare the way for Christ's coming into the world, and how the world was often overturned to make way for it, much more may we cry out, Who is this? What great person is this ? And say, as in Psal. xxiv. 8. 10. “ Who is this King of glory," that God should show such respect, and put such vast honor upon him ? Surely this person is honorable indeed in God's eyes, and greatly beloved of him ; and surely it is a great errand upon which he is sent into the world,
HAVING shown how the work of redemption was carried on through the first period, from the fall of man to the incarnation of Christ, I come now to the second period, viz. the time of Christ's humiliation, or the space from the incarnation of Christ to his resurrection. And this is the most remarkable article of time that ever was or ever will be.... Though it was but between thirty and forty years, yet more was done in it than had been done from the beginning of the world to that time. We have observed, that all that had been done from the fall to the incarnation of Christ, was only preparatory for what was done now. And it may also be obseryed, that all that was done before the beginning of time, in the eternal counsels of God, and that 'eternal transaction there was between the persons of the Trinity, chiefly respected this period. We therefore now proceed to conšider the second proposition, viz.
That during the time of Christ's humiliation, from his incarnation to his resurrection, the pur: chase of redemption was made.
Though there were many things done in the affair of re.
purchase was made, no part of the price was offered till now.
tion, to purchase redemption for men. Nor will there cver
But for the more orderly and regular consideration of the great things done by our Redeemer to purchase redemption
1. I would speak of Christ's becoming incarnate to capac. itate himself for this purchase ;-and,
2. I would speak of the purchase itself,
FIRST, I would consider Christ's coming into the world, or his taking upon him our nature to put himself in a capacity to purchase redemption for us. Christ became incarnate, or, which is the same thing, became man, to put himself in a capacity for working out our redemption : For though Christ, as God, was infinitely sufficient for the work, yet to his being in an immediate capacity for it, it was needful that he should not only be God, but man. If Christ had remained only in the divine nature, he would not have been in a capacity to have purchased our salvation ; not from any imperfection of the divine nature, but by reason of its absolute and infinite perfection : For Christ, merely as God, was not capable either of that obedience or suffering that was needful. The divine nature is not capable of suffering ; for it is infinitely above all suffering. Neither is it capable of obedience to that law that was given to man. It is as impossible that one who is only God, should obey the law that was given to man, as it is that he should suffer man's punishment.
And it was necessary not only that Christ should take upon him a created nature, but that he should take upon him our pature. It would not have sufficed for us for Christ to have
become an angel, and to have obeyed and suffered in the ani. gelic nature. But it was necessary that he should become a . man, and that upon three accounts.
1. It was needful to answer the law, that that nature should obey the law, to which the law was given. Man's law could not be answered, but by being obeyed by man. . God insisted up on it, that the law which he had given to man should be hon, ored and submitted to, and fulfilled by the nature of man, cth, erwise the law could not be answered for men. The words
, that were spoken, Thou shalt not eat thereof, Thou shalt, or Thou shalt not do thus or thus, were spoken to the race of mankind, to the human nature ; and therefore the human na, ture must fulfil them.
2. It was needful to answer the law, that the nature that sine ned should die. These words, “ Thou shalt surely die," re. spect the human nature. The same nature to which the command was given, was the nature to which the threatening was directed.
3. God saw meet, that the same world which was the stage of pian's falt and ruin, should also be the stage of his redemptioną We read often of his coming into the world to save sinners! and of God's sending him into the world for this purpose. It was needful that he should come into this sinful, miserable, undone world, to restore and save it. In order to man's re: covery, it was needful that he should come down to man, ta the world that was man's proper habitation, and that he should tabernacle with us : John i. 14. ^ The Ward was made flesh, and dwelt among us.''
CONCERNING the incarnation of Christ, I would observo these following things.
I. The incarnation itself; in which especially two things are to be considered, viz.
1. His conception, which was in the womb of one of the race of mankind, whereby he became truly the Son of man, as he was often called. He was one of the posterity of Adam, and a child of Abraham, and a son of David, according to God's promise. But his conception was pot in the way of ory
dinary generation, but by the power of the Holy Ghost. Christ was formed in the womb of the Virgin, of the substance of her body, by the power of the Spirit of God. So that he was the immediate son of the woman, but not the immediate son of any male whatsoever; and so was the seed of the woman and the son of a virgin, one that had never known man:
2. His birth.......... Though the conception of Christ was sum pernatural, yet after he was conceived, and so the incarnation of Christ begun, his human nature was gradually perfected in the womb of the virgin, in a way of natural progress ; and so his birth was in the way of nature. But his conception being supernatural, by the power of the Holy Ghost, he was both conceived and born without sin:
II. The second thing I would observe concerning the incar nation of Christ, is the fullness of the time in which it was accomplished. It was after things had been preparing for it from the very first fall of mankind, and when all things were teady. It came to pass at a time, which in infinite wisdom was the most fit and proper : Gal. iv. 4. « But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son; made of woman, made under the law."
It was now the most proper time on every account. Any time before the flood would not have been so fit a time. For then the mischief and ruin that the fall brought ón mankind, was not so fully seen. The curse did not so fully come on the earth before the flood, as it did afterwards : For though the ground was cursed in a great measure before, yet it pleased God that the curse should once, before the restoration by Christ, be executed in an universal destruction, as it were, of the very form of the earth, that the dire effects of the fall might once in such a way be seen before the recovery by Christ. Though mankind' were mortal before the flood, yet their lives were the greater part of a thousand years in length, a kind of immortality in comparison with what the life of man is now. It pleased God, that that curse, “ Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return," should have its full accomplishment, and be executed in its greatest degree on mankind, before the Redeemer came to purchase a ney. er ending life for man.