« PreviousContinue »
ten, Curfed is every one that continueth nat in all things written in the law. Since God had annexed the threatning of death to his first covenant, saying, In the day thou eatest thereof, thou /balt surely die : the truth of God secured the curse its taking place, as soon as sin thould enter. Now, they were not able to bear it, without being ruined thereby. But that it might be born, and they withal faved, 'it was provided, that he should be laid under it, in their room and stead; that as he was made sin for them, so he should also, in consequence thereof, bc made a curse, for them, Gal. iii. 13.
The curse is the sentence of the broken law passed upon a perfon, binding him over to the revenging wrath of God, to the full satisfaction of justice. So that awful and tremenduous myftery lies here, Christ muft (tand before the tribunal of the holy law, as a finner; answerable for all the sins of all the elect, by virtue of his bond of suretiship registrate in the records of heaven; and fentence must pass upon him, adjudging and binding him over to suffer all that revenging wrath which these fins deserved. The Lambe of God faith, Lo, I come: so it was done, he was made a curse for us. In token hereof, being conveened before the Jewish Sanhedrim, he was judged a blafphemer, and worthy of death : and compearing before Pilate the Roman governor, e was by him sentenced to die, and that upon the cross.
Behold the ftupenduous result of this awful tranfnction, the transferring of the curse on Christ the fecond Adam: 1. Hereby he was made the separated one of the elect fociety, separated unto evil, as the immediate effect of the curse is described, Deut. xxix. 21. He was made the devoted head, devoted to pay for all the rest. He was set up as the mark against which all the arrows of avenging wrath should be aimed. He was appointed to be the common re. ceptacle of all the foods of vengeance, issuing from
incensed justice towards the whole body of the elect, to swallow them up : here the current of all these was turned, that they should together flow in upod: him. Hence he cries, Psalm lxix. 2. I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. 2. Hereby he became the resting place of revenging justice where it was to prey, till it should be satisfied to the full : Ifa. liii. 10. Thou shalt make his soul an offer. ing for fin. In token hereof, when the officers came to apprehend him, he faith, If ye feek me, let these go their way. Justice leaves the chace of the rebelmultitude, seeks him and him only; since he was made a curse for them. Thus was he designed to be the sacrifice for all his feed, which the fire of revenging wrath should burn up, till it fent forth a sweetsmelling favour, a favour of rest to the incensed juftice of an offended God.
2. Another grand point established here, was “ That the curse transferred on him, fhould be « infinitely execute upon him as the second Adam,
our representative; whereby he should die really < for his feed, to the full compensation of all the
injuries done to the honour of an infinite God, " by all their fins.” Vain is that curse which takes not effect : but as the curse of the holy law was not caufeless, so it could not miss of coming on, in its infinite weight, for the fatisfaction of justice. Now, had it come fo on them, they would have been eter, nally satisfying, but could never have ended their fatisfaction. But, coming on him, the church of God was purchased with his own blood, Acts xx. 28. and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all fin, 1 John i. 7. the infinite dignity of the person dying, making the execution of the curse on him unto death to be infinite in value, fully compensating the infinite wrong, according to the estimate made of it by law and justice. And here it was settled and agreed, “That the
“ curse * curse should be execute on the whole man,” that being their due: and therefore that he should become poor, and not have where to lay his head: that he should suffer hunger, for want of meat ; thirst, for want of drink : that his name and reputation should be funk, loaded with vile reproaches and Nan : ders; his very friends going about to lay hands on hiin as a mad man: that he should be accounted a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people : his whole lot in the world afflicted, persecuted, and exceeding low: and that in end, being stripped of bis garments, he should be hung up naked before the fun, between two malefactors, as if the worst of the three.
More particularly, here it was stipulated and agreed to.
if. “That the curse should be execute on his bles“ sed body;" forasmuch as their bodies were liable to it, as being instruments of sin and dishonour to God; that it should be hanged on a tree, that all the world might therein read the anger of God against the breaking of the first covenant, by eating of the forbidden tree; and his being made a curse for us, since it is written, Gurfed is every one that hango eth on a tree; that the curse Tould go over, and death pass thro' every part of that blessed body: that his head should be disgracefully wounded with a crown of thorns put upon it; his visage marred more than any man; his back given to the smitters ; his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; his face nat bid from Mame and spitting; his tongue made to cleave to his jaws; his hands and feet pierced; nailed to a cross; all his bones drawn out of joint, his heart like wax melted in the midst of his bowels; his blood shed; his strength dried up: and that in end it should expire and die, be separate from his foul, pierced with a fpear, and laid in the dust of death.
2dly,“ That it should be execute on his holy soul,
" in a special manner;" forasmuch as their souls were the principal actors in fin: that he should undergo the wrath of God in it, being all along his life a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief : and that towards the latter end, there should be an hour and power of darkness, wherein the malice of men, the power and rage of devils, should be jointly engaged against him, making their utmost efforts on him ; and then the full floods of Heaven's revenging wrath should come rolling in upon his soul : that they should so overflow it, as to strike him with sore a. mazement, fill him with trouble, load him with hea.
viness, and overwhelm him with exceeding forrow: • that there should be such a pressure of divine wrath
on his holy soul, as should put him into an agony e. ven to his sweating great drops of blood: and
should bring over it a total eclipse of comfort, and as it were melt it within him; that so, while he was dya ing a bodily death on the cross, he might die also a spiritual death, such as a most pure and holy soul was capable of.
Here was the death determined in the covenant, for the second Adam our representative ; a death in virtue of the curse transferred on him, long lasting and exquisite, for the full satisfaction of revenging justice. (1.) It was long lasting death. He was adying, in the style of the covenant of works, not only upon the cross, but all along the time of his life ; the death that was the penalty of that covenant, working in him from the womb, till it laid him in the grave. Wherefore he behoved to be conceived of a woman of low estate; and born in the stable of an inn, no room for him in the inn itself; laid in a manger, no cradle to receive him; his infant blood shed in his circumcision, as if he had been a finner; yea, his infant-life fought by a cruel perfecutor, and his mother obliged to run her country with him, and go to Egypt. Returning, he behoved to live an obscure
life, in an obfcure place, from which nothing great por good was expected, John i. 46. ; and, coming
out of his obfcurity, to be set up as the object of ---the world's ill-will and spite, obloquy and mal-treat
ment, till by the hands of Jew and Gentile he was put to death on the cross. (2.) It was an exquisite death. No pity, no fparing in it: but the curse carried to the highest pitch. No sparing from an angry God, Rom. vii. 32. No sparing from wicked men Jet loose on him, pushing him like bulls, roaring on him and devouring him like lions, and renting him like dogs, when once their hour and power of dark. ness was come, Pfalm xii. 12, 13, 16. Not a good word fpoken to him in the midst of his torments, by those that stood by ; but he cruelly mocked and insulted in them : Much less a good deed done him. Not a drink of water allowed him, but vinegar offered him, in his thirst caused through the fire of divine wrath drinking up his fpirits and moisture. Nay, the very face of the heavens was louring on him ; the fun must not give him its light, but wrap up itself from him in darkness; because light is sweet, and it is a pleasant thing to be held the fun.
Lastly, In this article it was established, “That “ he should suffer all this voluntarily, fubmissively, " and resignedly, out of regard to the wronged ho
nour of God." Accordingly, speaking of his life, he faith, No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself, John X. 18. compare Psalm xl. 6, 7, 8. This the law demanded of them whom he suffered for, condemning all murmuring and impatience, and binding them to obedience and suffering conjunctly. But how could they have so born the load of re• venging wrath, who cannot bear a sharp fit of the gout or gravel, without some degree of impatience in the eye of the holy law? Wherefore it was provided, That Christ as their representative, should bear their punishment voluntarily, and with perfect pati