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that, “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib, but my people know not me, saith the Lord; and they do not consider" their obligations to me.
Sin, robbed man of bis light and sight. You know what befell Samson when he was taken captive by his enemies; they put out his eyes : so when we fell into the enemies' hands, they put out our eyes, and all mankind have been born blind since that time. Again, sin has robbed us of our very, life, and laid us among the congregation of the dead.-All mankind are a dead and putretied company, “dead in frespasses and sins," Eph. ii. 1. And then, sin has robbed man of his liberty to any thing that is spiritually good; and ever since we have become captives to the devil, the world, and our lusts. Again, sin has robbed us of our wisdom, and brought us to prefer folly to the wisdom of God. Every man by naturę is playing the fool. Who but a fool would “spend his money upon that which is not bread, and his labour
that which profiteth not ?"-Sin robbed us of our righteousness, and rendered us a company of guilty criminals before God, and brought us under the sentence of the broken law, condemned already, John iii. 18.-Sin robbed us of our beauty, of the beautiful image of God, consisting in holiness and conformity to the great Creator, and it has brought the hue of hell upon all mankind, lying among the pots. —Again, sin has robbed us of our health. Man was a healthy creature both in soul and body before the entrance of sin; but sin has robbed us of that, so that, “ from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, there is no soundness in us.”Sin has robbed us of our peace, and set us at war with God, with ourselves, with one another, and at war with the whole creation.-Sin has robbed us of our beautiful ornaments that God put upon us at our creation, and stripped us naked, as it is said of Laodicea, Rev. iii. 18.-Sin has robbed us of our treasure, insomuch that we are become beggars, poor, and naked.-In short, sin has robbed us of our God, so that we are becomes without God in the world.” There is a robbery for
you that cannot be paralleled! You see what was taken away from God and man, by the sin of man.-I might like. wise tell you that sin robbed man of that paradise of pleasure in which God set him at his creation. No sooner had man sinned through the instigation of Satan, that old serpent, but he was turned out of the garden of Eden, Gen. iii. 24, and a flaming sword placed, that turned every way, to keep him from having access to the tree of life in the midst of the
garden.--Sin has robbed us of heaven, and made us heirs of hell and wrath.--In short, sin has disordered and disjointed the whole creation. Whenever man sinned, there came such a
load upon the earth, through the curse of God, that ever since the whole creation has been crying in pain, seeking deliverance from that dead weight that has been lying upon it. So that, I say, by the sin of man there is a robbery committed; there are goods stolen from God and man, and the good creatures of God.
III. The third thing proposed was, to make it appear that our glorious Immanuel, makes a restitution of what was taken away both from God und from mun.
He restores to God his due, and restores to man his loss.
And, 1. He makes restitution of glory to God, and that in the highest measure and degree, as was intimated by the angels, at the nativity of our Lord, Luke ii. 14. The first note of the
song of the angels is, “ Glory to God in the highest," It is just as if they had said, Glory hath been taken away from God, by the sin of the first Adam and his posterity ; but now there is a higher revenue of glory to be brought in to the crown of heaven, than the whole creation in innocence could afford. Accordingly, our blessed Lord declares, when his work was finished, after he had gone through his course of kumiliation, he comes to his Father, (John xvii. 4,) and he says, Now, Father, “I have glorified thee on the earth.” Observe the phraseology, for there is something remarkable in it: “ I have glorified thee on the earth :" the eurth was the theatre of rebellion where God was affronted, bis law violated, and his sovereignty contemned; but, says he, “ I have glorified thee on the earth," where thou wast dishonoured. I ought to go through all the perfections of God, that were [obscured] by the sin of man, and tell how Christ restores glory to every one of them.
He restores glory to the divine sovereignty, bowing his royal neck to take on the yoke of the law which we had broken.
“made of a woman, and made under the law,” that he might magnify it, and so maintain the honour of the great Lawgiver.
He restores glory likewise to the divine wisdom ; for Christ himself, in his person and mediation, is just "the wisdom of God in a mystery," even his "hidden wisdom, the manifold wisdom of God. Oh sirs ! never were the treasures of divine wisdom and knowledge so much expended as in the person and mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And then, he restores glory likewise to the divine power ; for Christ is " the power of God:" and when he went forth to the great work of man's redemption, he went forth armed with infinite power to manage it; therefore he is called "the arm of God, and the man of God's right hand, whom he hath made strong for” the purpose of his glory. How gloriously
was the power of God displayed, when he came from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength;” spoiling principalities and powers, who had spoiled God of his glory, and man of all that was valuable to him!
He restores glory to the holiness of God. This attribute was injured by the sin of man, but its glory is restored by Christ; and there is such a brightness of divine holiness shines in the person and mediation of Christ, that when the angels look upon him, Is. vi., they are dazzled, they are overwhelmed, not being able to behold it, they cover themselves, and cry, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
And then, he restores glory to the divine justice ; for in the work of man's redemption justice gets a complete, and full satisfaction, till it cries, It is enough. And the justice of God manifested in the execution of the penalty of the law upon the Surety, is laid as the very foundation of the throne of grace, that we are called to come to for grace and mercy to help in time of need, Psal. Ixxxix. 14: justice and judgment are the habitation,” or establişhment, “of thy throne;" namely, justice satisfied, and judgment executed upon
the glorious Surety
Again, he restores glory to the divine goodness. God was good to man, yet man trampled it under foot: but Christ makes a higher display of the divine goodness than ever was seen by men or angels: for in his person, and mediation, and sufferings, the goodness of God breaks out like an ocean, in amazing streams of love, grace, and mercy. The love of God, o how does it shine in the giving his only begotten Son, to the world! “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and gave his own Son to be a propitiation for our sins.” And then for grace, grace is made to “ reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.” And for mercy, it is “ built up for ever.” Thus, I say, there is a restitution of glory to the divine goodness.
And likewise there is a restitution of glory to the divine faithfulness. The faithfulness of God engaged in the penalty, was trodden upon by man and the devil; but the faithfulness of God is maintained in the execution of that penalty threatened against, man in the person of our glorious Immanuel: and not only so, but the faithfulness of God comes to be established in the new covenant" in the very heavens:" for all the promises come to be “yea and amen in Christ, to the glory of God.” Thus you see, that Christ restores what he took not away from his Father; he restores.“glory to God in the highest,” which he never took away."
2. Let us see next what restitution he makes to map; for
man was robbed of all that was valuable to him, either for time or eternity.
First, The human nature was debased by sin, and sunk below the beasts that perish. Well, but the Son of God comes and takes the human nature into a personal union with himself, and thereby exalts the human nature above the angelical nature: Heb. ii. 16: “Verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” And, chap. i. 5: "Unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?". And see what follows, “When he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." Thus the glory of the human nature is restored and advanced to a far higher pinnacle of glory and honour, than when it stood in the first Adam before his fall, adorned with all its embroideries, in a state of innocency. Osirs, look
up and see your nature exalted, taken out of the dunghill, and set on the throne of God. The throne of God is called “ the throne of the Lamb," because our nature is there in a personal union with the great God.
But this is not all: he not only restores the glory of the human nature; but, to all who believe in him, he restores to advantage all the losses we sustain, either by the sin of the first Adam, or our own personal transgression; as will appear by running over the particular losses mentioned upon the former head.
First, Then, Did sin-rob us of our sight and light, and leave us in darkness? Well, Christ makes a restitution of that; for he comes forth as the bright and morning star, to give light to the darkened world, which may make us all sing and say with Zacharias, Luke i. 78: “Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring from on high bath visited us." Psal. cxviii. 27–29: “God is the Lord which hath showed us light; bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee; thou art my God, I will exalt thee, O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."
Again, Has sin robbed us of life, and left us among the congregation of the dead? Christ makes restitution of that; for he is the resurrection and the lise:” and having recovered life by his own death, John 'xiv. 19, he keeps it in his hand and heart, and binds up our life with his: "Because I live, ye shall live also. Our life is hid with Christ in God.”
Again, Did sin rob us of our liberty ? Christ makes restitution of that; he buys our liberty at the hand of justice, and then takes the executioner and binds him, and spoils him of
his power over the poor captive; and having purchased liberty, he goes forth and “ proclaims liberty to the captives, and the opening the prison-doors to them that are bound."
Again, Did Satan and sin spoil us of our wisdom, insomuch that ever since we are infatuated, and, like fools, spend our money for that which is not bread, and our labour for that which profiteth not?" Well, Christ restores wisdom to fools and babes; he is “ made of God unto us wisdom ;" and when we are determined to come to him, he “makes us wiser than our teachers;" wise to know the mysteries of the kingdom that are hid from the wise and prudent of the world, and revealed unto babes :" “ Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven," &c.
And then, again, Did sin spoil and rob us of our original righteousness? Christ makes restitution of that; for he himself is "the Lord our righteousness," and, “ he was made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
Did sin spoil us of the beautiful image of God? Christ makes restitution of that; for the very moment that a poor sinner looks to him with the eye of faith, he gets the print of the second Adam drawn again upon his soul, and it is by
beholding his glory, that we are changed into the same image."
Did Satan and sin rob us of, and take away our health? Well, Christ comes to make restitution of that: for he is the Physician of value, and there is no disease so obstinate as is able to stand the virtue and healing power of this Physician; so that, if we perish with our diseases, we need not do it with that word in our mouth, “ Is there no balm in Gilead, and no physician there?"
Did Satan spoil us of our peace? Well, Christ makes restitution of that; for “he is our peace.” Peace on earth was one of the articles of the angels' praise, “ Peace on earth, and good will towards men.” Sin robbed us of our peace with God. Christ restores that ; for "God is in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” Did sin rob us of our peace of conscience ? Christ restores that; “ Peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you,” &c.
Did sin kindle a fire of war and of strife betwixt man and man ?
Well, when Christ comes with the sceptre of his power, he makes them “ beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks;" he makes the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the leopard lie down with the kid."
Did sin rob us of our ornaments ? Christ restores these; he makes the King's daughter all glorious within; he brings us a far better garment, even the garment of salvation, and a robe of righteousness to adorn us.