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it. We should perhaps have wondered to applies it to him, and is filled with wonder at find so much said upon such a subject, in a the accomplishment. The legs of those who book which we profess to believe was writ- were crucified at the same time were purten by divine inspiration; we should proba- posely broken, (John xix.) but our Lord was bly have presumed to arraign the divine wis- passed by; and that it should be so, was intidom, in descending to particulars, in which, mated near fifteen hundred years before, in according to our views of the fitness of things, this charge concerning the lamb. Again, we we could discern nothing either interesting find, that in several places where a bullock or instructive. To guard us from these rash was commanded to be slain for a sin-offering, mistakes, to explain the true meaning of this it was enjoined, that the flesh and the skin particular transaction, and at the same time should be burnt without the camp; and from to furnish us with a key for understanding the epistle to the Hebrews, (chap. x111.) we many passages of the like nature, in which learn, that this was not a slight or arbitrary human wisdom can discover neither beauty circumstance. We have there this explicanor benefit,-it has pleased God to favour us tion: "For the bodies of those beasts whose with an infallible exposition of the whole blood is brought into the sanctuary, by the matter. Not for the sake of Abraham, or high-priest, for sin, were burnt without the Isaac, or Ishmael, or Hagar, was this record- camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he inight ed; much less merely to gratify our curi- sanctify the people with his own blood, suf: osity. No: “ These things,” saith the apos- fered without the gate. Let us go forth, tle Paul, “are an allegory: for these are the therefore, without the camp, bearing his retwo covenants; the one from the mount Sina, proach." I must not enlarge any further, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. or it were easy, by the clue the apostles in For this Agar is mount Sina in Arabia, and their writings have given us, to trace the answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and important meaning of many of those instituis in bondage with her children. But Jeru- tions, which scoffers, who are wise in their salem which is above is free, which is the own conceits, though neither acquainted with mother of us all.—Now we, brethren, as Isaac themselves nor the subject, presume to cenwas, are the children of promise. But as sure as frivolous. The sense of the sacred then he that was born after the flesh perse- writings lies too deep for a captious, superticuted him that was born atter the Spirit, even cial, volatile survey; it must be a search, a so it is now. Nevertheless, what saith the scrutiny; a humble, diligent, sincere, and scripture? Cast out the bond-woman and persevering inquiry, or no satisfaction can be her son: for the son of the bond-woman shall expected. not be heir with the son of the free-woman. The import of the scripture-testimony conSo then, brethren, we are not the children cerning Christ, which was the third thing I of the bond-woman, but of the free,” Gal. iv. proposed to speak of, must be deferred to I must not detain you by showing at large another opportunity. I hope what has been how the apostle teaches us to discover the already said, may, through the divine blessspirit and privileges of the gospel, together ing, engage you to search the scriptures with what all who truly receive it must ex- Remember, it is the command of our Lord pect to encounter, in a passage which we Jesus Christ: it is the only appointed way to might otherwise have thought superfluous, if the knowledge of him, whom to know, so as not impertinent. Keep this in your mind to love, serve, and obey him, is both the founwhen you read the scriptures. Assure your-dation and the sum of our happiness, here and selves, that there is nothing vain or useless hereafter. We, as well as the Jews, think in the word of God. Compare one place we have eternal life in the scriptures, and with another, the law with the gospel, the shall, like them, be inexcusable and selfprophets with the evangelists; pray unto God condemned if we neglect it. Let us not be that he would open your understandings to like fools, with a prize, an inestimable prize, understand the scriptures, as he did for the in our hands, but without heart or skill to disciples; (Luke xxiv.) and in a little time use it. Better would it have been for us to you will find, that Christ is not only spoken have lived and died in the wilds of America, of in a few verses, here and there, but that, without either means of grace or hopes of as I said before, he is the main scope and glory, than to slight this record which God subject of every book, and almost of every has been pleased to give us of his Son. But chapter.
happy the man whose delight is in the law I would add an instance or two of the of his God! He has sure direction in every meaning of the ceremonies, to what I have difficulty, certain comfort in every distress observed of Hagar in reference to the types. The beauty of the precepts is preferable in In the law of the Passover, it was especially his eye to “thousands of gold and silver," enjoined, (Exod. xii.) that not a bone of the Psalm cxix. The comforts of the promises paschal lamb should be broken. Now, who are sweeter to his taste, “than honey or the would have thought that this referred to honey-comb,” Psalm xix. He is happy in Christ! yet we see the evangelist expressly | life; for the word of God is to him as a foun
tain of living water.” He shall be happy in immense variety of topics that offer. For this death; the promises of his God shall support being the great end and design of the scriphim through that dark valley; and he shall tures, to proclaim the excellency of Christ be happy for ever in the presence and love Jesus our Lord, “ that we, through him, may of him for whose sake he now searches the have strong consolation,” (Heb. xii.) it is inscriptures; “Whom, having not seen,” yet, culcated in so many places, set in such a from the testimony there given of him, “ he diversity of views, and couched under such loves; in whom, though now he sees him not, deep and comprehensive expressions, that not yet believing, he rejoices with joy unspeak- only our present opportunity but my whole able and full of glory," 1 Pet. i.
future life, would be too short, if I would
collect, state, and explain all that properly Pleraque autem (si detur libere loquendi belongs to this single article. For order's venia) que etiam in Theologicis scholis trac- sake, I shall reduce the little I must say at tantur, et magno cum apparatu et strepitu this time to three or four distinct particulars, docentur, et disputantur, spinosum forte acu- —what the scriptures testify of Christ, as to men habent, sed simul certe spinosum sterili- his person, his offices, his power, and his love. tatem: lacerare et pungere possunt, animos When we hear of some great undertaking pascere non possunt: “Nemo enim ex spinis to be performed, we inquire of course about uvas colligit unquam, aut ex tribulis ficus.” the person who is chietly concerned in it; so, " Quorsum alta (inquit quidam) de Trinitate when we are told of the mighty works Jesus disputare, si careas humilitate, et sic Trinitati Christ engaged to perform, to redeem a lost displiceas?" Et apte S. Augustinus ad illud world, to satisfy divine justice, to make an Esaip, “ Ero Deus tuus docens te utilia ;" end of sin, to abolish death, and to bring life * utilia (inquit) docens, non subtilia.” Et hoc and immortality to light; the first question est quod opto et oro; ut nobis pro modulo that occurs is, Who is he? Search the scripnostro subducentibus, ille efficaciter vos per- tures, and you will have a clear and decisive doceat, qui cathedram in cælo habens, corda answer. The prophet Isaiah, “rapt into fudocet in terris.
ture times,” describes him thus: - Unto us ARCHIEP. LEIGHTox, Prælect. Theol. a child is born, uuto us a son is given, and p. 4. edit. 4to. Lond. 1693. the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and he shall be called Wondertul, Counsel, lor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father,
the Prince of Peace," Isaiah ix. 6. The SERMON VI.
union of the divine and human natures in the Messiah is so strongly asserted, the names and attributes of God are so clearly ascribed,
in this passage to one who should be born Search the scriptures, for in them ye think into the world, that he who runs may read;
ye have eternal life, and they are they the wav-faring man, though a fool, must unwhich testify of me.- John v. 39. derstand it; and it requires a considerable
share of unhappy ingenuity, to wrest the In a forines discourse on these words, I words to any other than their obvious meanmentioned four things as highly requisite, if ing. This text, though it stood alone in the we would acquire an useful knowledge of Bible (supposing the scriptures to be a revethe scriptures, -sincerity with respect to the lation from God,) would be a full warrant, end, diligence in the use of means, a humble and a firm foundation, for that great point of sense of our own weakness, and earnest christian faith and doctrine, That Jesus prayer to God for the assistance of his grace Christ is very God, and very man; or, as the and Spirit. To engage us to this practice, apostle better expresses it, "God manifest in and perseverance therein, I next considered the flesh.” But it is not alone: on the conhow the scriptures, when properly searched trary, the Messiah is seldom mentioned, but into and compared, do clearly, and in every something is either said of him, or referred to part testify of Christ, that he is the end of him, which teaches us the same important the law, the sum of the prophets, the com- truth. “ Behold the days come, saith the pletion of the promises, the scope of the types Lord, (by Jeremiah, chap. xxi11.) that I will and ceremonies, and the great object of the raise unto David a righteous Branch, an whole Old Testament dispensation. I am King shall reign and prosper, and shall exenow to say something to the third point I cute judgment and justice in the earth. In proposed.
his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel III. Concerning the import of the testi- shall dwell safely: and this is his name mony which the scriptures bear to Christ. whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR
The principal difficulties on this head are, RIGHTEOUSNESS." Isaiah in general styles where to begin on a subject absolutely bound him, " A child to be born;" Jeremiah more less, and what to select that may be most particularly, a “Branch of David:" Isaiah assuitable and useful to this assembly, from the cribes to him the name of “The Mighty God;"
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
Jeremiah says, he shall be called “ The Lord ( upon the earth. It is the duty of every being. our righteousness.” You have the word LORD great and small, to be entirely devoted, acin capital letters here, as in other places, cording to the extent of its capacity, to the where it is in the original JEHOVAH. Some service and glory of its great Creator; there of the names of God are occasionally applied fore an angel is no more capable than a man to inferior subjects, to angels, to magistrates, of performing the smallest work of superero and sometimes to idols. But Jehovah is al- gation. The highest archangel could not lowed by all to signify the essential and in- magnify the law of God, and make it honourcommunicable name of the Most High God. able on the behalf of man, being already bound Yet this is not the only place where it is ex- thereto for himself: much less can we
we suppose pressly and directly applied to the Messiah. such a being capable of expiating the sins of David himself speaks to the same purpose : mankind by suffering. If divine justice in“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at sisted on a propitiation, it must follow, that my right hand,” Psalm cx. That the Mes- nothing less than an equivalent could be acsiah was to be David's son, was known and cepted. But what would be the temporary acknowledged by the Jews in our Saviour's sufferings of a creature, or of all creatures, time; but how he could be the son of David, in this view? A finite satisfaction, however and yet his Lord, was a difficulty that utterly heightened and exaggerated, would at last be posed and silenced the most learned Rabbis infinitely short of the demand. As to the and Scribes among them; because, being des- other branch of redemption, the restoration titute of that sincerity and humility we have of the image of God in the soul, I need only before spoken of, they could not understand mention it; for it appears, at first glance, the scriptures, which were read in their sy- that this must be the prerogative of divine nagogues every day.
power alone to effect. It remains, therefore, Now, although this important doctrine was that the deliverance of mankind could only not to be discovered by the light of nature, be attempted by him, who, we are assured or the powers of human reason, yet, since it by the apostle, agreeable to the passages alhas pleased God to make it known to us, our ready cited, is over all, God blessed for ever. reason, humbly tracing the steps of divine That the Son of God should take upon him revelation, can easily prove the expediency, the nature and circumstances of our humanand even the necessity that it should be so. ity, sin excepted, in order to atone for our When we are informed from scripture, that transgressions, is indeed such an instance of all mankind being sunk into a state of sin and condescension and love, as must for ever dazmisery, God had in great mercy appointed a zle and astonish the brightest understandings. person to atone for the one, and deliver them It is true, some persons in these refined times from the other; we may safely, from these affect to speak of this point with admirable principles, infer, by our own reason, Ist, That coolness and precision. But in the beginning this person cannot be mere man: for as the it was not so. Either the apostle Paul was whole human race, and consequently every less master of his temper, or more unequal to individual, is supposed to be previously in- sublime speculations, than these gentlemen, volved in the same circumstances of guilt and or else we must allow he had a very different condemnation, it is impossible that any one view of the subject: for he cannot mention it of these should be able either to answer or without appearing to be transported, and (if satisfy for himself, much less be qualified to I may use the expression) swallowed up by interpose in behalf of another. From hence the thought; his ideas seem too great for reason may ascend a step higher, and con- words; and it is well if his best attempts to clude, 2d, That no mere creature, however explain himself have not exposed him, in the great and excellent, can undertake this part; judgment of some of his readers, to the charge for the two great points necessary in order to of solecism. However, though this doctrine, our redemption, to satisfy the justice of God, above any other, is a proof that God “is able and to restore the divine image in man, are to do for us exceeding abundantly beyond all either of them beyond the sphere of finite we could ask or think,” it is not, upon the power. We read in the scriptures of angels, premises I before mentioned, in the least rearchangels, thrones, principalities, and pow- pugnant to right reason ; rather it is exactly ers; and from several texts we may collect, calculated to remove all those surmises which that their number and excellencies are be- would rise in the mind of a reasonable sinner yond any conceptions we can form. Could upon the first intimation of possible forgivewe suppose that the virtues and endowments ness. In our nature Christ fulfilled the law of all these various and exalted beings were which we had broken: he sustained the peunited and centred in one of them; however nalty we had incurred: he vanquished the glorious this being would be in other respects, enemies we had to encounter; be trod the when we consider him as a creature of the path which he has marked out for us; he is divine power, he will be found to be as unfit, entered in our name into that heaven he has and as unable, to interfere in the behalf of promised us; and retains a sympathy with sinful man, as the meanest worm that crawls us in all our sufferings and temptations, “ in
as much as he himself has suffered, being ! to make life useful and comfortable, and to tempted,” Heb. ii.
gild the gloom of death with the bright prosI am next to consider the testimony of pect of a glorious immortality, is there conscripture, concerning the offices of Christ. tained: so that, instructed by these writings These are, in general, included in the cha- alone, a poor illiterate mechanic has been racter of Mediator. “There is one God, and often enabled to converse upon a dying-bed one mediator between God and man, the man with more dignity, certainty, and influence, Christ Jesus," 1 Tim. ii. In this word is than any, or all the philosophers, ancient or summed up all that Christ has already done, modern, could attain. now does, or will hereafter do, either on the But, besides the natural ignorance of fallen part of God or on that of man. But for our man, he was chargeable with aggravated better apprehension, it is proposed to us under guilt. Guilt and ignorance are reciprocally three distinct and principal views, answerable causes and consequences of each other. Every to the three particulars in which the misery additional guilt tends to increase the stupidof fallen man does principally consist. ity of the human soul, and every increase of
And, first, man, having departed from God, this increases in the same proportion the na" became vain in his imaginations, and his tural indisposition for the practice or the love foolish heart was darkened,” (Rom. i.) so that of virtue, makes the soul more blind to conhe totally lost the knowledge of his Creator, sequences, more base in its pursuits, and thus and how entirely his bappiness depended to become a more willing and assiduous serthereon. He forgot God and himself, and vant of iniquity. No wonder, therefore, that sunk so low as to worship the work of his when the understanding was totally darkenown hands. His life became vain and mise- ed as to the knowledge of God, the will and rable: in prosperity, without security or sa- affections became wholly disobedient to his tisfaction; in adversity, without support or law. But when a divine light has in some resource : his death dark and hopeless; no measure discovered the heart to itself, and at pleasing reflection on the past, no ray of light the same time set an offended God in view, on the future. Such was the unhappy case every such sensible sinner would undoubtedly when Christ undertook the office of a Pro- imitate our first parents, and flee (were it phet: in which character, under various dis possible) from the presence of his Maker and pensations, first by his servants inspired of his Judge. “I heard thy voice," says Adam, old, and afterwards more clearly in his own "and I hid myself, for I was afraid,” Gen. iii. person, and by his apostles, he has instructed Vain attempt! and, if it were practicable, a us in the things pertaining to our peace; not dreadful alternative ! since absence from God only renewing in us the knowledge of the imports the utmost misery to a creature who true God, which, where revelation prevailed can be happy only in his favour. But here not, was universally lost out of the world, the scriptures bring us unspeakable comfort, but disclosing to us the counsels of divine love testifying of Christ as our great High-Priest. and wisdom in our favour, those great things To point out and illustrate this part of his chawhich eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, and racter is the chief end and design of the whole which never could have entered into the Levitical law, the main points of which are heart of man to conceive, had not he who explained, and applied to our blessed Lord, dwelt in the bosom of the Father declared throughout the epistle to the Hebrews. The them to us. We can now give a sufficient principal parts of the priests' office were, to answer to that question, which must have for sacrifice in behalf of the people, to make ever overwhelmed every serious awakened atonement, to pray for them, and to bless mind, "Wherewithal shall I appear before them in the name of the Lord. No sacrifices the Most High God ?” Mic. vi. We have could be offered or accepted, no blessings exnow learned how God can declare and illus- pected, but through the hands of the priests trate his righteousness and truth, by that very whom God had appointed. Thus Christ, the act which, without respect to satisfaction High-Priest of our profession, offered himself given, would seem the highest impeachment a sacrifice without either spot or blemish: he of both, I mean his justifying the ungodly. entered with his own blood within the vail, We have now a glass by which we can dis- to the immediate presence of our offended cover the presence of the Creator in every God, and through him peace and good-will is part of his creation, and a clue to lead us proclaimed to sinful men. He continues still through the mysterious mazes of divine pro to exercise the other part of his appointment: vidence. But who can enumerate the va- he makes continual intercession for his peorious, the important, the interesting lessons ple; he presents their prayers and imperfect we receive from this heavenly Teacher, services acceptable before the throne; he when, by the influence of his Holy Spirit he gives them confidence and access to draw powerfully applies his written word to the nigh to God; and he bestows upon them hearts of his real disciples, who search the those gifts and blessings which are the fruits scriptures with a sincere desire to be made of his sufferings and obedience. The Levitiwise unto salvation! Whatever is necessary | cal priests were, like their people, sinners,
and were therefore constrained first to make for altogether, employed to ruin us; behold atonement for themselves; they were mortal, greater is he that is in us, than he that is therefore their service passed from hand to in the world;" (1 John iv.) “Christ has overhand; their sacrifices were imperfect, there come the world for us,” (John xvi.) and has fore needed continual repetition, and had at promised to make us conquerors, yea, more last only a typical and ceremonial efficacy; than conquerors, in our turn. What though for it was not possible that the blood of bulls" the devil goes about like a roaring lion, and goats (Ileb. ix. and x.) could remove either seeking whom he may devour;” (1 Pet. vi.) the guilt or pollution of sin. “The law made it is an argument of the strongest kind for nothing perfect." But Jesus, " the Media- watchfulness and prayer. But we need not tor of the new covenant," is " such a High- fear him: The “beloved of the Lord shall Priest as became us; holy, harmless, unde- dwell in safety:" (Deut. xxxiii.) The “ Lord filed, separate from sinners; who needeth not shall cover him all the day long; he shall (as those of old) to offer sacrifice, first for his deliver him from the spare of the fowler;"> own sins and then for the people; for this he (Psalm xci.) “his truth shall be a shield and did once, when he offered up himself,” Heb. buckler” to all who enlist under his banner; vii. The great inference from this doctrine, and at length, yea, shortly, “the God of several times repeated by the apostle in a va- peace shall bruise Satan under our feet," riety of phrase, is, that we may now have bold. Rom. xvi. ness to appear before God, that our prayers It is thus the scriptures, to help the weak. and services are pleasing in his sight, and all ness of our apprehensions, testify of Christ, the blessings of grace and glory ready to be under the threefold view of Prophet, Priest, bestowed on us, if we faithfully apply for and King of his people. These are his printhem, through the merits of his Son. cipal and leading characters, which include
Once more, man is not only ignorant of and imply the rest; for the time would fail God and himself, and too full of guilt to plead to speak of him, as he is declared to be their in his own name, but he is likewise weak and head, husband, root, foundation, sun, shield, defenceless; unable to make his way through shepherd, lawgiver, exemplar, and forerunthe opposition that withstands his progress to ner. In brief, there is hardly any comforteternal life, or to secure him from the many able relation or useful office amongst men, enemies “ that rise up against him,” Psalm hardly any object in the visible creation, iii. We read, that when the Gibed es made which either displays beauty or produces bea league with Joshua, (Jos. ix.) which was the nefit, but what is applied in the word of God, only step that could save them from utter to illustrate the excellence and sufficiency of ruin, the neighbouring states and cities all the Lord Jesus Christ. The intent of all is, united to destroy them: so the soul that is that we may learn to trust him, and delight desirous to submit to Jesus Christ, imme- to serve him; for these must go together. diately finds itself in the midst of war; the Whoever would be benefited by his media. world, the flesh, and the devil, unite their tion as a Priest, must submit to his instrucforces, either to recall such a one to the prac- tions as a Prophet, and yield him universal tice and service of sin, or to distress him to obedience as a King. Fatal are the mistakes the uttermost for forsaking it. And none in this matter now in the world. Some talk could support this conflict, if not themselves highly of the death and sufferings of Christ, supported by a higher hand. But Jesus, the who are little solicitous to keep his commandantitype of Joshua, the true Captain of the ments; others labour in the very fire to ob Lord's hosts, reveals himself in his word as serve his law; but “ being ignorant of God's the King of his church. He can inspire the righteousness, and going about to establish fainting soul with unseen supplies : he, when their own,” (Rom. x.) they labour to no purthe enemy comes in like a flood, (Isa. lix.) pose. Dependence on the merits of Christ, can, by his Spirit, lift up a standard against and obedience to his commands, are insepahim; he can take the prey even out of the rably united; and only the man who aims at hand of the mighty. He has said it of his both, can attain to either. church in general, and he will make it good I should now lay before you some scripto every individual that trusts in him, that ture testimonies of the power and love of the gates of hell shall never prevail against Christ; but I have anticipated this part of them. What though a sense of the guilt my subject in what I have already said. His and remaining power of sin often fills the divine nature proclaims his power, his offices humble soul with inexpressible distress! He display his love. We have seen, that he that stills the raging of the sea, and the vio- emptied himself of his eternal glories; that lence of the winds, with a word, can with he bowed the heavens, and came down in the equal ease calm all the unruly motions of the form of a servant; that he submitted to all mind. What though the world opposes in imaginable sufferings; all that the malice of every quarter, and presents snares and ter- men, all that the avenging justice of God rors all around! What though rage or con- could inflict; and having by this means opentempt, threats or allurements, are by turns, ed the kingdom of heaven, and taken posses