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clear up, and confirm the safety of the way of salvation through his blood.... Heb. i. To clear up and confirin the safety of the way of salvation, through the blood of Christ, is evidently the scope and design of that epistle, as is manifest from the ten first Chapters ;-particularly see Chapter x. ver. 19-22. And in order to show the safety of this way, he insists upon the excellency of his person, and the nature of his office....his being call. ed, appointed, and authorized, and his actually going through the work of our redemption—which, together with some occasional exhortations, digressions, &c. is the substance of his discourse, from Chap. i. ver. 1, to Chap. x. ver. 23.
Thus, as God, he was of infinite dignity and worth—as God, he was at liberty to undertake. He had an estate (if I may so speak) of his own, and could pay the debt of another with what was his own, and purchase for us an inheritance : And I may add, that, as he was the Son of God, the second person in the trinity, there was a suitableness that he, rather than either of the other persons, should be appointed to this work. The Father sustains the character of supreme Lord and Governor.... asserts the rights of the God-head....maintains the honor of his law and government: The Son becomes mediator between God and man, to open a door for God to show mercy to man consistently with his honor, and for man to return to God with safety : The Holy Spirit is the sanctifier, to work in sinners to will and to do, and recover and bring them to repent and return to God, through Jesus Christ : Thus the gospel teaches us to believe.... Eph. ii. 18.
He also was made flesh and dwelt among us, and, for our sakes, was made under the law, to the end that, in our nature, he might fulfil all righteousness, and bear the curse : As he was one with the Father, he was fit to be betrusted with his Father's honor : As he was Immanuel, God with us, he was fit to be betrusted with our salvation : As he was God-man, he was fit to be a mio diator between God and man. His humanity rendered him capable to appear in the form of a servant, and to become obediente unto death : and his divinity rendered his obedience and suffer
ings sufficient to answer the ends designed. This is he of whom the text speaks, God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son : He gave him....he appointed him to the work.... he put
him into the office...he anointed him, and then he laid on him the iniquities of us all, and set him forth to be a propitiation : Which brings me to consider,
(2.) That he was sufficiently authorized to be a mediator between God and man....to take the place of sinners, and to obey and die in the room of a guilty world. God, the supreme Gov. ernor of the world, had sufficient power and authority to appoint the first Adam to be a representative for his posterity, to Act in their room ; and, by the same authority, he has appointed his Son, the second Adam, to be a second public head..... Rom. v. 12-19. By divine constitution, the first Adam was made a public person ; and, by divine constitution, the second Adam is made such too : both receive all their authority to act in that capacity from the constitution of God. The calling, appointment, and authority of Christ, to take upon him this office and work of a mediator and high priest, is particularly treated of in the fifth Chapter to the Hebrews : He was called of God, as was Aaron, (ver. 4) : He took not this high office upon himself, but was invested with it by his Father, (ver. 5): He was called of God an high priest, after the order of Melchisedec, (ver. 10): His Father proposed the office and the work, and he wil. lingly undertook. Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.... Heb. x. 7. God so loved the world, that he GAVE his only begotten Son..... John iii. 16 : And hence Christ says, He did not come of himself, but was sent of his Father.... John vii, 28, 29: And that he did not come to do his own will, but the will of him that sent him.... John vi. 38. And his Father acknowledges him as such by a voice from heaven : Mat. xvii. 5.... This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
Without such a divine constitution, the death of Christ could have been of no benefit to mankind : As, if an innocent man should offer to die in the room of a condemned criminal, and should actually lay down his life, yet it could be of no benefit to
the poor criminal, unless the civil government had authorized him so to do, i. e. unless, by some act, they had declared that his life should be accepted, in the eye of the law, instead of the criminal's. The application is easy : Thus Christ was called and
put into his mediatorial office, and authorized to the work by God, the supreme Governor of the world : And hence, in allusion to the Jewish custom of anointing men, when advanced to some high office and important trust-(so Aaron was anointed priest, and David was anointed king,)—in allusion, I say, to this, he is called Christ, which is, by interpretation, the ANOINTED : Thus, as to his personal dignity, he was sufficient to undertake—and thus was he authorized to do so. And,
(3.) What he has done is perfectly suited, in its own nature, to answer all the ends proposed : That is, to secure the honor of God....the honor of his holiness, justice, and truth....his law, government, and sacred authority—and so open a door for the free and honorable exercise of his
towards a sinful, guilty world, and a way in which sinners might return to God with divine acceptance. God, the supreme Governor of the world, knew upon what grounds there was need of a mediator.... What ends he had to answer, and how they might be answered in the best manner. According to the counsel of his own will, in his infinite wisdom, he laid the very plan which is now revealed to us in the gospel : He appointed one to be a mediator whom he judged fit....put him into the office, and appointed him his work ;-all this work Jesus Christ has done : He has finished the work which the Father gave him to do..... John xvii. 4, and xix. 30—And so has been faithful to him that appointed him....Heb. iii. 2: So that here from we might be assured, that what he has done is most perfectly suited, in its own nature, to answer all the ends proposed, although it were quite beyond us to understand how: But, by the help of the word and spirit of God, we may be able to enter a little way into this wonderful and glorious mystery.
It was fit the first Adam, as the representative and public head of mankind, should, as a condition of the everlasting love
and favor of God, have continued in a most willing and perfect subjection to God, the Governor of the world, valuing his honor and glory above all things; this was God's due: This would have satisfied God's holiness ; for holiness is satisfied when the thing which is right and fit is done :-holiness wants no more, but is then content and well-pleased ; and, upon this condition, mankind might have been considered as subjects fit for the divine favor, and might have received the promised reward, to the honor of the divine holiness and goodness. Now Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has, by his Father's appointment and approbation, assumed our nature....taken Adam's place....done that which was Adam's duty in our room and stead, as another public head.... obeyed the law God gave his creature—a law which he was not under, but in consequence of his undertaking to stand in our room and stead. The creature fails of paying that honor to the Governor of the world which is his due from the creature: A God lays aside his glory...appears in the form of a servant, and becomes obedient; and so, in the creature's stead and behalf, pays that honor to the Governor of the world which was the creature's duty : and thus the Governor of the world is considered, respected, treated, and honored, as being what he is, by man-i.e. by their representative Christ Jesus, God-man-mediator. And now, hereby, God's right to the obedience of his creatures, and their unworthiness of his favor upon any other condition, are publicly owned and acknowledged: the debt is owned, and the debt is paid by the Son of God—and so holiness is satisfied; for holiness is satisfied, when the thing that is right and fit is done : And now, this door being opened, mankind may, through Christ, be considered as subjects to whom God may show favor consistently with his honor: yea, the divine holiness may be honored by granting all favors as a reward to Christ's virtue and obedience.
Again, it was fit, is any intelligent creature should, at any time, swerve at all from the perfect will of God, that he should forever lose his favor, and fall under his everlasting displeasure, for a thing so infinitely wrong: And, in such a case, it was fit
the Governor of the world should be infinitely displeased, and publicly testify his infinite displeasure, by a punishment adequate thereto, inflicted on the sinning creature. This would satisfy justice ; for justice is satisfied, when the thing which is wrong is punished according to its desert. Hence, it was fit, when, by a constitution holy, just, and good, Adam was made a public head, to represent his race, and act not only for himself, but for all his posterity ;-it was fit, I say, that he and all his race, for his first transgression, should lose the favor, and fall under the everlasting displeasure, of the Almighty. It was fit that God should be infinitely displeased at so abominable a thing—and that, as Governor of the world, he should publicly bear testimony against it, as an infinite evil, by inflicting the infinite punishment the law threatened, i. e. by damning the whole world. This wouid have satisfied justice : for jus. tice is satisfied when justice takes place—when the guilty are treated with that severity they ought to be—when sin is punished as being what it is. Now, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has, by his Father's appointment and approbation, assumed our nature....taken the place of a guilty world—and had not only Adam's first transgression, but the iniquities of us all laid upon him-and, in our room and stead, has suffered the wrath of God, the curse of the law, offering up himself a sacrifice to God for the sins of men : And hereby the infinite evil of sin, and the righteousness of the law, are publicly owned and acknowledged, and the deserved punishment voluntarily submitted unto by man, i. e. by their representative : And thus justice is satisfied; for justice is satisfied when justice takes place : And sin is now treated as being what it is, as much as if God had damned the whole world ; and God, as Governor, appears as severe against it. And thus the righteousness of God is declared and manifested, by Christ's being set forth to be a pro. pitiation for sin ; and he may now be just, and yet justify him that believes in Jesus.
By all this the law is magnified and made honorable. On the one hand, Were any in all God's dominions tempted to think