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by embrace, but by conception. (For such a compassing is meant, as is the work of God alone, and not the voluntary operation of man.) A male, denoting the more excellent sex, as Rev. xii. 5. " and she brought forth a male child.". . This then is a new thing, and a creation altogether divine: On this depend the blessing of the earth, and the satiating the weary soul, which are promised in the following verses.

XI. It may here be enquired, whether the miracalous' nativity from a virgin does of itself, and from the nature of the thing, secure to the human nature of Christ immunity from sin: or whether indeed it was only appointed by God as a symbol ? I shall here present the reader, for his more accurate meditation, with the words of two great men who conceive differently of this matter. One of them speaks thus: “ That miraculous nativity from the virgin, really bears no other relation to the holiness of the conception and nativity of Christ, but that of a symbol appointed by God, whereby he was separated from sinners : nor could that miracle of itself alone, namely, the impregnation of the virgin's womb, secure in the least an exemption to the flesh of Christ from the inheritance of sio: for the origin of sin is not derived from the male sex alone, or male seed ; nor did the apostle, Rom. v. so understand one man Adam, as to exclude Evè: which is here the leading error of some.” The other of these learned men reasons in this manner : “ He could be born of the virgin without any pollution : because what is in the body of a sioner, as it is God's creature, is no wise under curse and pollution, but in so far as it is a part of the sinner when is to be punished, or is the instrument of sin, or the means of the ordinary propagation of nature, as that something should be born resembling what generates. There might

* therefore be something in the virgin's body that was not under a curse; as the sweats, and other evacuations from the human body are not under curse or guilt, nor a means of transferring guilt, but are parts of matter created by! God, and are no longer any part of man." Perhaps the same learned person has elsewhere expressed himself more clearly, as follows: # He who was buin not of father and mother, but of a virgin, was not under gailt and condemnation. For he only received from his mother what was prepared by God: that thence the Son of God might take to himself the materials for building a temple For though" what belongs to the singer is, on account of the sinner to whom it belongs, under the same condemnation with the sina ner himself; yet that which is so contained in the substance


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of the sinner, as that it cannot be a part of his substance, but

A: prepared by God for an extraordinary generation, is not under candemnation solely because she redeemer and redeemed par. take of flesh in common. And therefore it is rightly said to be sanctified, that is, preserved from the.common.condemnation of the sons of Adom. For the iword sanctified cannot, in that case, signify purified, or delivered from impurity; as it signifies when applied to the ether sons of Adam." Which of these two opinions is the more simple and more solid, we leave to the judgment of the prudent reader to determine. The words of both seemed however to us worthy of being serted bere.

XII. Thirdly. It is further required in our Surety, that he be muie and eternal God. * I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the holy One of Israel," Isa. xli. 14.. “1, even I am Lord, and there is no Saviour besides me," Isa. :xlüi. 11. Salvation is not such work, that it cannot be said, " and the Lord hath not idone all this," Deut. xxxii. 27. It is pe culiar to the true Saviour to say of himself, what Isaiab prophesied, chap. xlv. 44. surely in the Lord the said to me, or concerning me, namely, the Father, who beureth witness of Christ, John vjü. 18.) are righteousness and strength ; cuen to him shall men come: and the reasons are evidenta

XIII. None but God can restore us to true liberty. If Apy creature could redeem and deliver us, we should become the peculiar property of that creature. For he who sets us free, makes a purebase of us for bis property and possession.

Cor. vi. 19, 20. But it is a manifest contradiction to be freed and to be free, and yet at the same time to be the pro perty and servant of any creature. True liberty consists ios subjection to God alone; so that all things are ours, and we belong to God, and Christ himself, 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23. Adana before the fall was subject to none but God. If, by our de liverance from the fall, we were put under the dominion of any creature, that would rather be a change of servitude than a de liverance. Therefore our Lord says, “ if the Son shall make

16 you free, ye shall be free indeed," Joha vij. 86.

XIV. None but God can give vs eternal life; which consists in the most intimate union with God; nay in having God for our inheritance, possession, and treasure, and even our portion for ever, Psal. lxxii. 26. But what creature can possibly bestow God upon any? Nope-but God can give God. He gives himself. Hence, these two are joined, “ the true God and eternal life," 1 John v. 20.

XV. None but God can give us išsciav power or right to be

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come the sons of God; and even this belongs to the office of Surety, Joha i 2. For, who but God can bestow the Spirit, by whom we become the sons of God by regeneration ; BO that of him the whole carpin family in heaven and earth may be named, Epl. iii. 15. Who but God could give us these great and precious promises, by which we might be partakers of the divine nature pm. 2 Pet. i. 4. Who else but God, who alone is Lord of heaven, can bequeath by testament the hea venly inheritance ? And who but God can give us that Spirit, who is so the Spirit of the Father, as to be also the Spirit of the Son: “ by whom we may cry Abba Father," Gal. iv. 6. and who beareth witness with our spirit concerning the fai ture inheritance ? Rom. viii. 16, 17.

XVI. In fine, for man to glory in any one, as his Saviour, and give him the honour of the new creation, to resign himself to his pleasure, and become his property, and say to him, thou art lord of my soul; is an honour to which no mere create ture can have the least claim. " In Jehovah shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory," Isa. xlv. 25. “My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour," Luke i. 47. Whom we acknowledge to be our Saviour, we must likewise acknowledge to be our judge, our lawgiver, and our king, Isa. xxxm. 22. A holy soul can only thus rejoice in God; the Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice, let the multitude of isles be glad," Psal. xcvii. 1.

XVII. It appears then, that none but he who is true God, could possibly be Surety; but the question is, was it abso lutely necessary, that he should be Son of God, and the second person in the Trinity ? And here we cannot commend the rashness of the schoolmen, who tov boldly measure the things of God by the standard of their own understanding. Na bet ter reason can be assigned for the Son's undertaking the sure tiship than the holy good pleasure of the adorable Trinity; But when it is revealed to us, it is our duty to observe, and proclaim, the wisdom and goodness of God in this constitution.

XVIII. Did not God most wisely order, that he who created man should restore, and as it were, create him &-new ? That he who is the personal Word of God, who commanded light to shine out of darkness, and by wbom all things were made, John i. 8. should be that great publisher of the word of the gospel, wbereby God shines in the hearts of the elect, and new creatures, not yet existing, are effectually called, and by that call brought, as it were, into being : further, as the second person alone is the Son, and our salvation consists in

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adoption, was it not proper, that the Son of God should be
come the son of man, that having obtained a right of adoption
by him, we might be made bis brethren and co-beirs ? More
over, let it be observed, that the Son alone is called "the
image of the Father," Col. i. 15. Heb. i. 3. and by way of
eminence, the beloved of the Father," Mat. iii. 17. Col. i. 18.
Seeing man therefore had, by sin, shamefully defaced the image
of God, which he received in the first creation; and thereby
most justly exposed bimself to the hatred of God: was it net
worthy of God to restore that image by his own essential
image, in the human nature he had assumed; in order by that
means, to open a way for our return to the favour and love of
the Father In fine, could the philanthropy and love of the
Father, be more illustriously displayed to us, than in giving
his only begotten Son to us and for us, that in him we might
behold the Father's glory? Christ hiinself lays this before us,
Jobo iii. 16.
Ị XIX. The last condition requisite in the Surety is, that he
should be God-man ; “ God and man, at the same time, in
unity of person : 'one mediator between God and man," 1 Tim.
ji. 5. For as it was necessary he should be man, and also
God, and one Surety; it was necessary he should be both these
in unity of person, God manifested in the flesh," 1 Tim. ii.

“ üi 16. "The Word made flesh," John i. 14. 66 Of the seed of David according to the flesh,” in such a manner, as at the same time to be “the Son of God with power," Rom. i. 8, 4. Which may be further made appear.

XX. Had he been God only he could neither have been subject, nor have obeyed, nor suffered : if were man, his obedience, subjection, and suffering, would not have been of sufficient value for the redemption of the elect. Nay, a mere creature is so bound to fulfil all righteousness for itself, that its righteousness cannot be imputed and imparted to others : and should we suppose a man truly and perfectly holy, but yet a mère man, who, according to the law of love, offered himself even to die for his brother, he himself would doubtless obtain a reward by his righteousness; but could merit nothing for a guilty person, unless perhaps exemption from punishment at most. And therefore it behoved our Surety to be man, that he might be capable to submit, obey, and suffer; and at the same time God, that the subjection, obedience, and suffering, of this person God-man, might on account of his infinite dignity, be imputed to others, and be sufficient for saving all, to whom it is imputed.

XXI. Moreover, å mere creature could not support under


the load of divine wrath, so as to remove it, and rise again, when he had done; ' " who knoweth the power of thine anger; even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath," Psal. xc. 11. see Nah, i. 6. It was therefore necessary for our Surety to be inore than man, that by the infinite power of his Godhead, 'he might support the assumed human nature, and so be able to bear the fierceness of divine wrath, and conquer every kind of death. - XXII. I shall not conceal what is objected to this argument; namely, that God could have so supported the human nature, though not personally united to himself, by his divine power, as to have rendered it capable to endure and conquer

all manner of sorrows.. I dare not refuse this. But yet that would not be sufficient in the present case. Because; by that hypothesis, it would be God himself, by the Surety, who would have vanquished his enemies. But it is necessary, that our Surety should do this by his own power, that “ his own arın should bring salvation unto him," Isa. Ixiii

. 5. and therefore be “ the mighty one of Jacob,” Isa. Ix. 16. “ the mighty God,". Isa. ix. Jimself “stronger than the strong man," Luke xi. 21, 22. “ having life in himself," John v. 26. and “ having power to take his life again," John x. 18. To which is required “the exceeding greatness of his power," Eph. i. 19. and so should“ be declared to be the Son of God with power," Rom. i. 4.

XXIII. These are the tremendous mysteries of our religion, “ which were kept secret since the world began, but are now made manifest, and by the scriptures of the Prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith," Rom. xvi. 25, 26. From hence, the divinity of the Christian religion appears with evidence. What penetration of men or angels was capable of devising things so mysterious, so sublime, and so far surpassing the capacity of all created beings? How adorable do the wisdom and justice, the holiness, the truth, the goodness, and the philanthropy of God, display themselves in contriving, giving, and perfecting this means of our salvation? How calmly does conscience, overwhelmed with the burden of its sins, acquiesce in such a Surety, and in such a suretiship; when here at length, apprised of a method of reconciliation, both worthy of God, and safe for man? Whe, on contemplating these things in the light of the Spirit, would not break out into the praises of the most holy, the most righteous, the most true, the most gracious, and the most high God? O! the depth of the wisdom and knowledge of

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