Page images

they shall see God,” Mat. v. 8. “And without holiness to

man thall fee God," Heb. xii. 14. No gifts, no duties, no natural endowments will evidence a right in heaven, but the least measure of true holiness will secure heaven to the foul.

Thirdly, As holiness is the foul's best evidence for heaven, fo it is a continual spring of comfort to it, in the way thither. The purest and fweetest pleasures in this world, are the relults of holiness. 'Till we come to live holily, we dever live comfortably. Heaven is epitomized in holiness.

Fourthly, And to fay no more; it is the peculiar mark, by which God hath visibly distinguished his own, from other men, Pfal. iv. 3." The Lord hath set apart him that is godly, for

himself," q. d. this is the man, and that the woman, to whom I intend to be good for ever.

This is a man for me. O holi ness, how lurpassingly glorious art thou ?

Inference 1. Did Christ die to fanctify his people, how deep then is the pollution of fin, that nothing but the blood of Chrilt can cleanse it ! All the tears of a penitent sinoer, should he shed as many as there have fallen drops of rain, since the creation, to this day, cannot walh away one sin. The everlasting burnings in hell, cannot purify the flaming conscience, from the least fin. O guess at the wound by the largeness and length of this tent that follows the mortal weapon, Sin.

Inference 2. Did Christ die to sanctify his people ? Behold then the love of a Saviour. “He loved us, and washed us from " our fios in his own blood.” He did not shed the blood of beasts, as the priests of old did, but his own blood, Heb. ix. 12. And that not common, but precious blood, 1 Pet. i. I, 19. The blood of God; one drop of which out-values the blood that runs in the veins of all Adam's posterity. And not fome of that blood, but all; to the last drop. He bled every vein dry for us; and what remained lodged about the heart of a dead Jefus, was let out by that bloody fpear which pierced the Pericardium : so that he bestowed the whole treasure of his blood

And thus liberal was he of his blood to us, when we were enemies. This then is that heavenly Pelican that feeds his young with his own blood. O what manner of love is this! But I must hasten.

End 4. As Christ died to sanctify his people ; so he died also to confirm the New Testament to all those fanctified ones. So it was in the type, Exod. xxiv. 8. and so it is in the text. “ This is “ the New Testament in my blood,” Matth. xxvi. 28. (i. e.) ratified and confirmed by my blood. For, where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator, Heb,

upon us.

ix. 16. So that now all the blessings and benefits bequeathed to believers in the last will and testament of Christ, are abundantly confirmed and secured to them by his death. Yea, he died on purpose to make that testament in force to them. : Men make their wills and teftaments, and Christ makes his. What they bequeath, and give in their wills, is a free and voJuntary act, they cannot be compelled to do it. And what is bequeathed to us in this testament of Christ, is altogether a free and voluntary donation *. Other teftators use to bequeath their estates to their wives and children, and near relations ; fo doch this teftator, all is settled upon his fpouse the church, up-on believers, his children. A Dranger intermeddles not with these mercies. They give all their goods and estates, that can that way be conveyed, to their friends that survive them. Christ giveth to his church, in this New Testament, three forts

of goods.

First, All temporal good things, 1 Tim. vi. 1. Mat. vi. 33. (i.e.) the comfort and blessing of all, though not the posseflion of much. “As having nothing, and yet possessing all things,” 2 Cor. vi. 16.

Secondly, All spiritual good things are bequeathed to them in this testament, as remission of sin, and acceptation with God, which are contained in their justification, Rom, iii. 24, 25, 20. Sanctification of their natures, both initial and progressive, 1 Cor. 1. 30. Adoption into the family of God, Gal. iii. 26. The ministry of angels, Heb. i. 14. Interest in all the promises, 2 Pet. i. 4. Thus all spiritual good things are in Christ's testament conveyed to them. And as all temporal, and spiritual, fo,

Thirdly, All eternal good things. Heaven, glory, and eterDal life, Rom. viii. 10, 11. No such bequells as these were ever found in the testaments of princes. That which kings and nobles settle by will upon their heirs, are but trifles to what Christ hath conferred in the New Testament upon his people. And all this is confirmed and ratified by the death of Christ, fo that the promise is sure, and the estate indefeasible to all the heirs of promise.

How the death of Christ confirmed the New Testament is worth our enquiry, The Socinians, as they allow no other end of Christ's death, but the confirmation of the New Testament, fo they affirın he did it only by way of testimony, or witness

* Nullo præfentis metu periculi. i. e. Without any fear of present danger. Coke's Inftit. 3. cap. 10

bearing in his death. But this is a vile derogation from the efficacy of Christ's blood, to bring it down into an equality with the blood of martyrs. As if there were no more in it than was in their blood.

But know, Reader, Christ died not only, or principally, to confirm the testament by his blood, as witness to the truth of those things, but his death ratified it as the death of a testator, which makes the New Testament irrevocable. And fo Chrift is called in this text. Look as when a man hath made his will, and is dead, that will is presently in force, and can never be recalled. Besides, the will of the dead is sacred with men. They dare not cross it. It is certain the last will and testament of Christ is most sacred, and God will never annul or make it void, Moreover, it is not with Christ as with other teftators, who die, and must trust the performance of their wills with their executors, but as he died to put it in force, so he lives again to be the executor of his own testament. And all power to fulfil his will is now in his own hands, Rev. i. 18.

Inference 1. Did Chrift die to confirm the New Testament, in which such legacies are bequeathed to believers. How are all believers concerned then to prove the will of a dead Jesus ! My meaning is, to clear their title to the mercies contained in this blessed testa The probate of Christ's ment. And this may be done two ways. last will and teftament. By clearing to ourselves our covenantrelations to Christ. And by discovering those special covenantimpressions upon our hearts, to which the promises therein contained, do belong.

First, Examine your relations to Christ. Are you his spouse? Have you forfaken all for him ? Psal. xlv. 10. Are you ready to take your lot with him, as it falls in prosperity or adversity ? Jer. ii. 2. And are you loyal to Christ? Thou shalt be for me,

and Dot for another,”. Hof. i. 3. Do you rield obedience to him as your head and husband? Eph. vi. 24. then you may be confident you are interested in the benefits and blessings of Christ's laft will and testament; for can you imagine Christ will make a testament and forget his spouse? It cannot be. If he so loved the church as to give himself for her, much more what he hath is settled on her. Again, are you his fpiritual seed, his children by regeneration ? Are you born of the Spirit ? John iii. Do you resemble Christ in holiness ? 1 Pet. i. 14, 15. Do you find a reverential fear of Christ carrying you to obey him in all things? Mal. i. 6. Are you led by the Spirit of Christ? “ As many as VOL. II.


“ are so led, they are the fons of God," Rom. viii. 14. To conclude, Have you the spirit of adoption, enabling you to cry, Abba Father? Gal. iv. 6. That is, helping you in a gracious manner, with reverence mixed with filial confidence, to open your hearts fpiritually to your Father on all occafions? If so, you are children; and if children, doubt not but you have a rich legacy in Christ's last will and teftament. He would not feal up his teNament, and forget his dear children.

Secondly, You may uitcern your interest in the new testa. ment or covenant (for they are fubstantially the faine thing) by the new covenant-impressions that are made on your hearts, which are so many clear evidences' of your right to the benefits' it contains. Such are fpiritual illuminations, Jer. xxxi. 34. gracious softness and tenderness of heart, Ezek. xi. 19. the awful dread and fear of God, Jer. xxxii. 40. the copy or transcript of his laws on your hearts in gracious correspondent principles, Jer. xxxi. 33. These things speak you the children of the covenant, the persons on whom all these great things are fettled.

Inference 2. To conclude, It is the indispenfible duty of all on whom Christ hath settled such mercies, to admire his love, and walk an/werably to it.

First, Admire the love of Christ. Ohow intense and ardent was the love of Jesus ! who designed for you such an inheritance, with such a fettlement of it upon you! These are the mercies with which his love had travailed big from eternity, aod now he fees the travail of his foul, and you also have seen fomewhat of it this day. Before this love, let all the saints fall down aftonilhed, humbly profeffing that they owe themselves, and all they are, or shall be worth, to eternity, to this love.

Secondly, And be sure you walk becoming perfons for whom Christ hath done fuch great things. Comfort yourselves under prefent abasures with your spiritual privileges, James ji. 5. and Jer all your rejoicing be in Christ, and what you have in him, whilst others are blessing themselves in vanity. Thus we have finished the state of Christ's humiliation, and thence proceed to the second state of his exaltation.

An Introduction to the State of Exaltation. H Aving finished what a designed to speak to, about the

work of redemption, so far as it was carried on by Christ in his humble State, we shall now view that blessed work as it is further advanced, and perfected in his state of exaltation.

The whole of that work was not to be finished on earth in

a state of suffering and abasure, therefore the apostle makes his exaltation, in order to the finishing of the remainder of his work, fo necessary a part of his priesthood, that without it he could not have been a priest, Heb. viii. 4. " If he were on earth he “ should not be a priest,” (i. e.) if he should have continued always here, and had not been raised again from the dead, and tak. en up into glory, he could not have been a compleat and perfect priest.

For look, as it was not enough for the sacrifice to be slain without, and his blood left there, but after it was shed without, it must be carried within the vail, into the most holy place before the Lord, Heb. ix.


so it was not sufficient that Christ thcd his own blood on earth, except he carry it before the Lord into hea. ven, and there perform his intercelian-work for us.

Moreover, God the Father stood engaged in a solemn covenant, to reward him for his deep humiliation, with a most glorious and illustrious advancement, Ila. xlix. 5, 6, 7. And how God (as it became him) made this good to Christ, the apostle very clearly expresses it, Phil. ii. 9.

Yea, justice required it should be fo. For how could our surety be detained in the prison of the grave, when the debt for which he was imprisoned was by him fully discharged, so that the law of God must acknowledge itself to be fully satisfied in all its claims and demands? His refurrection from the dead was, therefore, but his discharge or acquittance upon full payment. Which could not in justice be denied him,

And, indeed, God the Father loft nothing by it, for there never was a more glorious manifestation made of the name of God to the world, than was made in that work. Therefore it is said, Phil. ii. 11., speaking of one of the designs of Christ's exaltation, it was, (faith the apostle), “ That every tongue should confeis “ that Jelus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father," O how is the love of God to poor finners illustrioudy, yea, aftonishingly, displayed in Christ's exaltation. When, to shew the complacency and delight, which he took in our recovery, he hath openly declared to the world, that his exalting Christ to all that glory, such as no mere creature ever was, or can be exalted to, was bestowed upon him, as a reward for that work, that most grateful work, of our redemption, Phil. ii. 9: Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted him ; there is an “*emphatical pleonasm

C2 * Your boos, Pleonasmus emphaticus, Hieron. Multiplicavit fublimitatem ejus, Arab. Sublimitate fublimavit eum, Syr. In


« PreviousContinue »