Imagini ale paginilor
[ocr errors]

in Mal. j. 1. The Lord, whom yo seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant." And now was the first instance of the fulfilment of these prophecies.

5. The last concomitant I shall mention is the sceptre's departing from Judah, in the death of Herod the Great. The sceptre had never totally departed from Judah till now. Judah's sceptre was greatly diminished in the revolt of the ten tribes in Jeroboam's time; and the sceptre departed from Israel or Ephraim at the time of the captivity of the ten tribes by Shalmaneser. But yet the sceptre remained in the tribe of Judah, under the kings of the house of David. And when the tribes Judah and Benjamin were carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar, the sceptre of Judah ceased for a little while, till the return from the captivity under Cyrus : And then, though they were not an independent government, as they had been before, but owed féalty to the kings of Persia ; yet their governor was of themselves, who had the power of life and death, and they were governed by their own láws; and so Judah had a lawgiver from bės tween his feet during the Persian and Grecian monarchies. Towards the latter part of the Grecian monarchy, the people were governed by kings of their own, of the race of the Maccabees, for the greater part of an hundred years; and after that they were subdued by the Romans. But yet the Romans suffered them to be governed by their own laws, and to have a king of their own, Herod the Great, who reigned about forty years, and governed with proper kingly authority, only paying homage to the Romans. But presently after Christ was born he died, as we have an account Matth. ii. 19, and Archelaus succeeded him; but was soon put down by the Roman Emperor; and then the sceptre departed from Judah. There were no more temporal kings of Judah after that, neither had that people their governors from the midst of themselves after that, but were ruled by a Roman governor sent among them; and they ceased any more to bave the power of life and death. among themselves. Hence the Jews say to Pilate, “ It is not

[ocr errors]


Jawful for us to put any man to death," John xviii. 31.
the sceptre departed from Judah when Shiloh came.

[ocr errors]


HAVING thus considered Christ's coming into the world, and his taking on him our nature, to put himself in a capacity for the purchase of redemption, I come now, SECONDLY, to speak of the purchase itself.......And in speaking of this I would,

1. Show what is intended by the purchase of redemption.

2. Observe some things in general concerning those things by which this purchase was made.

3. I would orderly consider those things which Christ did and suffered, by which that purchase was made.

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

I WOULD show what is here intended by Christ's purn chasing redemption. And there are two things that are in. tended by it, viz. his satisfaction, and his merit. All is done by the price that Christ lays down. But the price that Christ laid down does two things : It pays our debt, and so it satisfies : By its intrinsic value, and by the agreement between the Father and the Son, it procures a title to us for happiness, and so it merits. The satisfaction of Christ is to free us from misery, and the merit of Christ is to purchase happiness for us.

The word purchase, as it is used with respect to the purchase of Christ, is taken either more strictly, or more largely. It is oftentimes used more strictly, to signify only the merit of Christ ; and sometimes more largely, to signify both his satisfaction and merit. Indeed most of the words which are used in this affair have various significations. “Thus sometimes

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

divines use merit in this affair for the whole price that Christ
offered, both satisfactory, and also positively meritorious.
And so the word satisfaction is sometimes used, not only for
his propitiation, but also for his meritorious obedience. For
in some sense, not only suffering the penalty, but positively
obeying; is needful to satisfy the law. The reason of this va-
rious use of these terms seems to be, that satisfaction and
merit do not differ so much really as relatively. They both
.consist in paying a valuable price, a price of infinite value; but
only that price, as it respects a debt to be paid, is called satis-
faction ; and as it respects a positive good to be obtained, is
called merit. The difference between paying a debt and
making a positive purchase is more relative than it is essential.
He who lays down a price to pay a debt, does in some sense
make a purchase : He purchases liberty from the obligation.
And he wḥo lays down a price to purchase a good, does as it
were make satisfaction: He satisfies the conditional demands
of him to whom he pays it. This may suffice concerning
what is meant by the purchase of Christ.

[ocr errors][merged small]

I NOW proceed to some general observations concerning those things by which this purchase was made.......And here,

1. I would observe, that whatever in Christ had the nature of satisfaction, it was by virtue of the suffering or humiliation that was in it. But whatever had the nature of merit, it was by virtue of the obedience or righteousness there was in it. The satisfaction of Christ consists in his answering the demands of the law on man, which were consequent on the breach of the law. These were answered by suffering the penalty of the law. The merit of Christ consists in what he did to answer the demands of the law, which were prior to man's breach of the law, or to fulfil what the law demanded before man sinned, which was obedience.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

The satisfactioñi or propitiation of Christ consists either in his suffering evil, or his being subject to abasement. For Christ did not only make satisfaction by proper suffering, but by whatever had the nature of humiliationand abasement of circumstances. Thus Christ made satisfaction for sin, by tontinuing under the power of death, while he lay buried in the grave, though neither his body nor soul properly endured any suffering after he was dead. Whatever Christ was subject to that was the judicial fruit of sin, had the nature of satisfaction for sin. But not only proper suffering, but all abaśement and depression of the state and circumstances of mankind below its primitive honor and dignity, such as his body's remaining under death, and body and soul remaining separate, and other things that might be mentioned, are the judicial fruits of sin. And all that Christ did in his state of humiliation, that had the nature of obedience or moral virtue or goodness in it, in one respect or another had the nature of merit in it, and was part of the price with which he purchased happiness for the elect.

2. I would observe, that both Christ's satisfaction for sin, and also his meriting happiness by his righteousness, were carried on through the whole time of his humiliation. Christ's satisfaction for sin was not only by his last sufferings, though it was principally by them ; but all his sufferings, and all the humiliation that he was subject to, from the first moment of his incarnation to his resurrection, were propitiatory or satisfactory. Christ's satisfaction was chiefly by his death, because his sufferings and humiliation in that was greatest. But all his other sufferings, and all his other humiliation, all along had the nature of satisfaction. So had the mean circumstances in which he was born. His being born iti sück à low condition, was to make satisfaction for sin. His being born of a poor virgin, in a stable, and his being laid in a manger; his taking the human nature upon him in its low state, and under those infirmities brought upon it by the fall ; his being born in the form of sinful flesh, had the nature of satisfaction. And so all his sufferings in his infancy and childhood, and all that labor, and contempt, and reproach, and

[ocr errors]

temptation, and difficulty of any kind, or that he suffered through the whole course of his life, was of a propitiatory and satisfactory nature.

And so his purchase of happiness by his righteousness was also carried on through the whole time of his humiliation till his resurrection ; not only in that obedience he performed through the course of his life, but also in the obedience he performed in laying down his life.

3. It was by the same things, that Christ hath satisfied God's justice, and also purchased eternal happiness. This šatisfaction and purchase of Christ were not only both carried on through the whole time of Christ's humiliation, but they were both carried on by the same things.' He did not makë satisfaction by some things that he did, and then work out a righteousness by other different things; but in the same acts by which he wrought out righteousness, he also made satisa faction, but only taken in a different relation. One and the same act of Christ, considered with respect to the obedience there was in it, was part of his righteousness, and purchased heaven : But considered with respect to the self denial, and difficulty, and humiliation, with which he performed it, had the nature of satisfaction for sin, and procured our pardon. Thus his going about doing good, preaching the gospel, and teaching his disciples, was a part of his righteousness, and purchase of heaven, as it was done in obedience to the Father, and the same was a part of his satisfaction, as he did it with great labor, trouble, and weariness, and under great temptations, exposing himself hereby to reproach and contempt. So his laying down his life had the nature of satis« faction to God's offended justice, considered as his bearing our punishment in our stead : But considered as an act of obedience to God, who had given him this command, that he should lay down his life for sinners, it was a part of his righteousness, and purchase of heaven, and as much the principal part of his righteousness as it was the principal part of his satisfaction. And so to instance in his circumcision, what he suffered in that, had the nature of satisfaction: The blood that was shed in his circumcision was propitiatory blood ; but VOL. II.

2 A

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ÎnapoiContinuați »