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SERM. to be extremely surred by disaster, to be blasted by san.
XXXI. der, to be supplanted by envy or malice; but will bring Pl. xxxvii. forth his righteousness as the light, and his judgment as the
3. God will thus exalt the bountiful man's horn even here in this world, and to an infinitely higher pitch he will advance it in the future state : he shall there be fet at the right hand, in a most honourable place and rank, among the chief friends and favourites of the heavenly King, in happy consortship with the holy angels and blessed saints ; where, in recompence of his pious bounty, he shall, from the bountiful hands of his most gracious Lord, receive an incorruptible crown of righteousness, and an unfading crown of glory. The which God of his infinite mercy grant unto us all, through Jesus Christ our
Lord; to whom for ever be all praise. Amen. Heb. xiii. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the 20, 21.
dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make us perfect in every good work to do his will, working in us that which is well-pleaħng in his fight, through Jesus Chrift: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
UPON THE PASSION OF OUR BLESSED
When poor manna had got dominion over el fpirits, and lien. iii. 6.
Phil. ï. 8.
and became obedient unto death, even the death of the
crofs. WHEN, in consequence of the original apostasy from SERM. God, which did banish us from paradise, and by conti- XXXII. nued rebellions against him, inevitable to our corrupt and Cyril. c. impotent nature, mankind had forfeited the amity of Sol. viii. P: God, (the chief of all goods, the fountain of all happi- 303. ness,) and had incurred his displeasure; (the greatest of Col. i. 6.
of John iii. 38. all evils, the foundation of all misery :)
When poor man having deserted his natural Lord and Iren. iii. 33, Protector, other lords had got dominion over him, so that Ifa. xxvi. he was captivated by the foul, malicious, cruel spirits, and 13. enslaved to his own vain mind, to vile lusts, to wild parfions :
When, according to an eternal rule of justice, that sin Gen. iv. 7. deserveth punishment, and by an express law, wherein "* " death was enacted to the transgressors of God's command, the root of our stock, and confequently all its branches, Iren. v. 16. stood adjudged to utter destruction :
When, according to St. Paul's expressions, all the world Rom. iii. was become guilty before God, (or, subjected to God's judg- úzódım og ramme ment:) all men (Jews and Gentiles) were under fin, under Rom. lii. 9. condemnation, under the curse; all men were concluded in- v. 16, 18. to disobedience, and shut up together (as close prisoners) Rom. xi.
32. tis årrituar. Gal. iii. 23.
Gal. iii. 10.
SERM. under fin; all men had finned, and come short of the glory XXXII. of God: death had passed over all, because all had hnned :. Rom. vii. When for us, being plunged into so wretched a condi23. V. 12. tion, no visible remedy did appear, no possible redress
could be obtained here below: (for what means could we have of recovering God's favour, who were apt perpetually to contract new debts and guilts, but not able to discharge any old scores ? What capacity of mind or will had we to entertain mercy, who were no less stubbornly perverse and obdurate in our crimes, than ignorant or infirm ? How could we be reconciled unto Hea.
ven, who had an innate antipathy to God and good. Rom. vi. ness? (Sin, according to our natural state, and secluding 12, 14, 20. evangelical grace, reigning in our mortal bodies, no good Rom. vii. 18, 5. thing dwelling in us; there being a predominant law in
.. our members, warring against the law of our mind, and 23.
bringing us into captivity to the law of fin; a main ingre. Rom. vi. 6. dient of our old man being a carnal mind, which is enmily Coloff. iii. to God, and cannot submit to his law; we being alienated Ephes. iv. from the life of God by the blindness of our hearts, and Rom. viii. enemies in our minds by wicked works :] How could we 7:. revive to any good hope, who were dead in trespasses and ουκ υποτάσ. o automat fins, God having withdrawn his quickening Spirit? How Ephes. iv. at least could we for one moment stand upright in God's Colof.i. fight, upon the natural terms, excluding all sin, and Bom, v. 10, exacting perfect obedience?) Ephes. ii. 5. When this, I say, was our forlorn and desperate case,
" then Almighty God, out of his infinite goodness, was Psal. cxliii. pleased to look upon us (as he sometime did upon Jeru
salem, lying polluted in her blood) with an eye of pity and xxxiv. 7. mercy, so as graciously to design a redemption for us out Ezek. xvi.
of all that woful distress : and no sooner by his incomprehensible wisdom did he foresee we should lose ourselves, than by his immense grace he did conclude to
restore us. Eph. i. 4, But how could this happy design well be compassed?
mil. How, in consistence with the glory, with the justice, with 2 Tim. i. 9. the truth of God, could such enemies be reconciled, such
1 Pet. i. 20. - Rev.xiii. S. offenders be pardoned, such wretches be saved? Would
the omnipotent Majesty, so affronted, design to treat with SERM. his rebels immediately, without an intercessor or advo- XX. cate? Would the sovereign Governor of the world suffer Rom. xvi. thus notoriously his right to be violated, his authority to 26 be llighted, his honour to be trampled on, without some notable vindication or satisfaction? Would the great Patron of justice relax the terms of it, or ever permit a gross breach thereof to pass with impunity? Would the im. Athan. de
Incarn. mutable God of truth expose his veracity or his constancy Gen. ii. 17. to suspicion, by so reversing that peremptory sentence of death upon finners, hat it should not in a fort eminently be accomplished? Would the most righteous and most holy God let slip an opportunity fo advantageous for demonstrating his perfect love of innocence, and abhorrence of iniquity? Could we therefore well be cleared from our guilt without an expiation, or reinstated in freedom without a ransom, or exempted froin condensnation without some punishment?
No: God was so pleased to prosecute his designs of goodness and mercy, as thereby nowise to impair or obscure, but rather to advance and illustrate the glories of his sovereign dignity, of his severe justice, of his immaculate holiness, of his unchangeable steadiness in word and purpose. He accordingly would be sued to for peace and mercy: nor would he grant them absolutely, without due compensations for the wrongs he had sustained ; yet fo, that his goodness did find us a Mediator, and furnish us with means to satisfy him. He would not condescend to a simple remission of our debts; yet so, that, saving his right and honour, he did stoop lower for an effectual abolition of them. He would make good his word, not to let our trespasses go unpunished; yet so, that by our punishment we might receive advantage. He would manifelt his detestation of wickedness in a way more illustrious than if he had persecuted it down to hell, and irreversibly doomed it to endless torment..
But how might these things be effected? Where was there a Mediator proper and worthy to intercede for us? Who could presume to folicit and plead in our behalf ?
EERM. Who should dare to put himself between God and us, XXXIl. or offer to screen mankind from the divine wrath and ven
geance? Who had so great an interest in the court of heaven, as to ingratiate such a brood of apostate enemies thereto? Who could assume the confidence to propose terms of reconciliation, or to agitate a new covenant, wherewith God might be satisfied, and whereby we might be saved? Where, in heaven or earth, could there be found a priest fit to atone for fins so vastly numerous, so extremely heinous ? And whence should a sacrifice be taken, of value sufficient to expiate for so manifold enor
mities, committed against the infinite Majesty of Heaven? Ainvíay 2.- Who could find out the everlasting redemption of innume. opowoon supé- rable for
em rable souls, or lay down a competent ransom for them pesvos. Heb.
all? Not to say, could also purchase for them eternal life and bliss ?
These are questions which would puzzle all the wit of man, yea, would gravel all the wisdom of angels to resolve : for plain it is, that no creature on earth, none in heaven, could well undertake or perform this work.
Where on earth, among the degenerate sons of Adam, Heb. vii. could be found such an high priest as became us, holy,
harmless, undefiled, separate from hinners and how could a man, however innocent and pure as a seraphim, so perform his duty, as to do more than merit or satisfy for himself? How many lives could the life of one man serve to rausom ; seeing that it is asserted of the greatest and richert
among men, that none of them can by any means redeem 7.
his brother, or give to God a ransom for him.
And how could available help in this case be expected from any of the angelical host; seeing (beside their being in nature different from us, and thence improper to merit or satisfy for us ; beside their comparative meanness, and infinite distance from the majesty of God) they are but our fellow-servants, and have obligations to discharge for themselves, and cannot be solvent for more than for their own debts of gratitude and service to their infinitelybountiful Creator ; they also themselves needing a Saviour, to preserve them by his grace in their happy ftate?