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of God for our sins. And fo, reparation being made, the enmity ceases. Hence it is said, Ila. liii. 5. 6. The chastisement of our
peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.” That is, (as our English Annotators well explain it) he was chastised to procure our peace, by removal of our sins, that set God and us afunder, the guilt thereof being discharged with the price of his blood.
Now this reconciliation is made and continued betwixt God and us, three ways; namely, by the oblation of Christ, which was the price that procured it, and so we were virtually or meritoriously reconciled. By the application of Christ and his benefits to us through faith, and so we are actually reconciled, And by the virtual continuation of the sacrifice of Christ in hea. ven, by his potent and eternal intercession, and so our state of reconciliation is confirmed, and all future breaches prevented. But all depends, as you see, upon the death of Christ. For had not Chriß died, his death could never be applied to us, nor pleaded in heaven for us. How the death of Christ meritorioufly procures our reconciliation, is evident from that fore-cited I fcripture, Rom. v. 10,
" When we were enemies, we were re“conciled to God by the death of his Son," (i. e.) Christ's death did meritoriously or virtually reconcile us to God, who, as to our state, were enemies long after that reconciliation was made. That the application of Christ to us by faith, makes that virtual reconciliation to become actual, is plain enough from Eph. ii. 36, 17. “And that he might reconciłe both unto God in one
body by the cross, having lain the enmity thereby. And
came and preached peace to you that were afar off, and to “ them that were nigh. Now therefore (as it is' added, verse
19.) Ye are no more strangers and foreigoers, but fellow-ci" tizens with the saints," doc. And that this state of friendTip is still continued by Christ's interceffion within the vail, so that there can be no breaches made upon the state of our peace, notwithstanding all the daily provocations we give God by our fios, is the comfortable truth which the Apostle plainly afferts, after he had given a necessary caution to prevent the abuse of it, in 1 John ii. 1, 2. “My little children, these things I write unto you that ye sin not; and if
any man sin, we have an Ada vocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is “ the propitiation," &c. Thus Chrift reconciles us to God by his death.
Secondly, And if you enquire why this reconciliation was made by the death of Christ, rather than any other way,
fatisfaction is at hand in these two answers.
Firt, That we can imagine no other way by which it could be compassed. And,
Secondly, If God could have reconciled us as much by aoother way, yet he could not have obliged us so much by doing it in another way, as he hath by doing it this way. Surely, none but he that was God manifested in our flesh could offer a facrifice of sufficient value to make God amends for the wrong done him by one sin, much less for all the fins of the elect. And how God should (especially after a peremptory threatning of death for sin) re-admit us into favour without full satisfac. tion, cannot be imagined. He is indeed inclined to acts of mercy, but none must suppose him to exercise one attribute in prejudice to another. That his justice must be eclipsed, whilst his mercy shines. But allow the infinite wisdom could have found out another means of reconciling us as much, can you imagine, that in any other way he could oblige us as much, as he hath done by reconciling us to himself by the death of his own Son? It cannot be thought possible. This therefore was the most effectual, juft, honourable, and obliging way to make up the peace betwixt him and us.
Thirdly, This reconciliation, purchased by the blood of Christ, is offered ugto men by the Gospel, upon certain articles and conditions ; upon the performance whereof, it actually becomes theirs; and without which, notwithstanding all that Christ hath done and suffered, the breach Nill continues betwixt them and God. And let no man think this a derogation from the freeness and riches of grace, for these things ferve fingularly to illuftrate and commend the grace of God to finners.
As he consulted his own glory, in the terms on which he offers us our peace with him ; so it is his grace which brings up fouls to those terms of reconciliation. And surely he hath not fuSpended the mercy of our reconciliation upon unreasonable or impoflible conditions. He hath not faid, if you will do as much for me, as you have done against me, I will be at peace with
you: : But the two grand articles of peace with God, are repentance and faith. In the first, we lay down arms against God, and it is meet it should be fo, before he re-admits us in. to a state of peace and favour; in the other, we accept Chrift and pardon through him with a thankful heart, yielding up ourselves to his government. Which is equally reasonable.
These are the terms on which we are actually reconciled to God. “Let the wicked for fake his way, and the uprighteous man his thoughts; and let him turn to the Lord, and he will
“ have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly “ pardon." So Rom. v. 1. “Being justified by faith, we “ have peace with God.” And surely it would not become the holy God to own, as his friend and favourite, a man that goes on perversely and impenitently in the way of fin; not so much as acknowledging, or once bewailing the wrong he hath done him, purposing to do so no more ; or to receive into amily one that flights and rejects the Lord Jesus, whose precious blood was shed to procure, and purchase peace and pardon for finners
But if there be any poor soul, that faith in his heart, it Tepents me for linning again ft God, and is sincerely willing to come to Christ, upon golpel-terms, he shall have peace. And
Fourthly, Is no common peace. The reconciliation which the Lord Jesus died to procure for broken-hearted believers, it is,
First, A firm well-bottomed reconciliation, putting the reconciled soul beyond all possibility of coming under God's wrath any more. Ifa. liv. 10."“ Mountains may depart, and hills be “ removed, but the covenant of this peace cannot be removed." Christ is a furety, by way of caution, to prevent the new breaches, 2 John i. 2.
Secondly, This reconciliation with God, is the fountain out of which all our other comforts flow to us'; this is plainly included in those words of Eliphaz to Job, chap. xxii 21. “Ac“ quaint now thyself with him, and be at peace, thereby good " thall come upon thee.” As trade flourishes, and riches come in when peace is made betwixt states and kingdoms ; So all spiritual and temporal mercies flow into our bosoms, when once we are reconciled to God. What the comfort of such a peace will be in a day of straits and dangers, and what it will be valued at in a dying day, who but he that feels it can declare ? And yet such an one cannot fully declare it, for it passes all understanding, Phil. iv. 7.
We shall now make some improvement of this, and pass on to the third end of the death of Christ.
Inf. 1. If Christ died to reconcile God and man; how horrid an evil then is fin! And how terrible was that breach made betwixt God and the creatüre by it, which could no other way be made up but by the death of the Son of God! I remember I have read, that when a great charm or breach was made in the earth by an earthquake, and the oracle was consulted how it might be closed ; this answer was returned, That breach can never be closed, except something of great worth be thrown into it. Such a breach was that which con ngade, it could never be reconciled but by
os hate me.
the death of Jelus Christ, the most excellent thing in all the creation.
Infer. 2. How fad is the fate of all such as are not comprised in the articles of peace with God! The impepitent unbeliever is excepted. God is not reconciled to him: And if God be his enemy, how little avails it, who is his friend? For, if God be a man's enemy, he hath an Almighty enemy in him, whose very frown is destruction, Deut. xxxii. 40, 41, 42. “ I lift up my s hand to heaven and say, I live for ever. if I whet my glit. “ tering sword, and my hand take hold on judgment, I will “ render vengeance to my enemies, and I will reward them that
I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, (and my (word fhall devour Acíh) and chat with the blood of the « fain and the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon 6. the enemy.”
Yea, he is an unavoidable enemy. Fly to the utmost parts of the earth, there shall his hand reach thee, as it is Plal, cxxxix. 1o. The wings of the morning cannot carry thee out of his reach. If God be your enemy, you have an immortal enemy, who lives for ever to avenge himself upon his adversaries. And what wilt thou do when thou art in Saul's case, : 1 Şam. xxviii. 15, 16. Alas, whicher wilt thou turn? To whom wilt thou complain? But what wilt thou do, when thou fhalt stand at the bar, and see that God, who is thine enemy, upon the throne? Sad is their cafe indeed, who are not comprehended in the articles of peace with God.
Infer. 3. If Christ died to reconcile us to God, give diligence to clear up to your own fouls, your interest in this reconciliation. If Christ thought it worth his blood to purchas: it, it is worth your care and pains to clear it. And what can better evidence it, than your conscientious tenderness of fin, left you make new breaches. Ah, if reconciled, you will say, as Ezra ix. 14. “ And now our God, seeing thou haft given us such a delive
rance as this ; should we again break thy commandments ?” If reconciled to God, his friends will be your friends, and his enemies your enemies. If God be your friend, you will be diligent to please him, John xv. 10, 14. He that makes not peace with God, is an enemy to his own soul. And he that is at peace, but takes no paias to clear it, is an enemy to his own comfort. But I must pass from this to the third end of Christ's death.
End 3. You have feen two of those beautiful births of Christ's travail, and lo, a third cometh, namely, The sanctification of his people. Typical blood was shed, as you heard, to purify them that were unclean; and so was the blood of Christ shed to purge away the sins of his people; so speaks the apostle expressly, Eph. v. 25, 26. “Christ gave himself for the church, that he
might fanctify and cleanse it.” And fo he tells us himself, John xvii. 29. " And for their fakes I fanctify myself,” (i.e) consecrate or devote myself to death, " That they also might “ be sanctified through the truth.". Upon the account of this benefit received by the blood of Christ, is that Doxology, which, in a lower Itrain, is now founded in the churches, but will be matter of the Lamb's song in heaven, Rev. i. 5, 6. “ To him “ that loved us, and washed us from our sins, in his own “ blood, ---be glory and honour for ever." Now, there is a two-fold evil in fin, the guilt of it, and the pollution of it. Justification properly cures the former, fanctification the latter ; but both justification, and fanctification, flow unto fingers out of the death of Christ. And though it is proper to say the Spisit fanctifies, yet, it is certain, it was the blood of Christ that procured for us the Spirit of fanctification. Had not Chrift died, the Spirit had never come down from heaven upon any fuch defign.
The pouring forth of Christ's blood for us, obtained the pouring forth of the spirit of holiness upon us. Therefore, the Spirit is said to come in his name, and to take of his, and fbew it unto us. Hence it is said, 1 John v. 6.“ He came both by “ blood and by water :" By blood, washing away the guilt ; by water, purifying from the filth of fin. Now this fruit of Chrilt's death, even our fanctification, is a most incomparable mercy. For, do but consider a few particular excellencies of holioess.
First, Holiness is the image and glory of God. His image, Col. ïïi. 10. and his glory, Exod. xv. 11. " Who is like unto
thee, O Lord, glorious in holiness:" Now, when the guilt and filth of fin.is washed off, and the beåuty of God put upon the foul in fanctification, O what a beautiful creature is the fool now! So lovely in the eyes of Christ, even in its imperfect holiness, that he faith, Cant. vi. 5. " Turn away thine eyes from
me, for they have overcome me.” we render it, but the * Hebrew word fignifies, “ they have made me proud, or put• fed me up." It is a beam of divine glory upon the creature, enamouring the very heart of Christ.
Secondly, As it is the soul's highest beauty, fo it is the soul's belt evidence for heaven. “Blefed are the pure in heart, for