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man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let bim be Anathema Maran-atha. Yea, if we despise the Gos. pel, and neglect the great salvation, the blood of Christ will, indeed, aggravate our condemnation. Whosoever shall fall upon this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."*
On the other hand, Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance."
* Matt. xxi, 44.
* Psalm lxxxix, 15.
THE VICTORY OF CHRIST OVER HIS ENEMIES, A GROUND FOR THE REDEEMED TO PRAISE HIM.
Isaiah Ixiii, 2, 3, 4. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy
garments like him that treadeth in the wine-fat? I have trodden the wine press alone; and of the peo
ple there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my ruiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart; and the year of my redeemed is come.
4th INFERENČE. WE learn the reason why the gift of salvation is through Jesus Christ.
Salvation, it is evident from the Scriptures, is a gift of God through Christ: and the honour of our salvas tion belongs to him; because, he, being the predicted Seed of the woman, has fulfilled his part of the covenant of redemption by bruising the serpent's head.
God the Father sent his Son Jesus into the world with a commission to accomplish a certain work: And, before he left the world, he said to his Father': “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me
do." The work which was given Christ to do, was to destroy the works of tho devil, or, which is the same thing, to bruise the serpent's head. It was for this end that the
Son of God left the bosom of his Father, and came down into this dark and rebellious world; for, in this world, Satan had raised a rebellion against the God of heaven. Being beguiled by the subtlety of the serpent, man also, though created at first in the image of God, became a rebel. “He that sinneth is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.” And, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
Messiah has answered the purpose for which he came into the world: for he has destroyed the works of the devil. The rebellion is suppressed; Satan is confounded; his head has received a deadly wound; and his kingdom of darkness trembles to its lowest foundation, and will finally fall and sink forever beneath the indignation of the mighty Conqueror; who “hath on his vesture, and on his thigh, a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." The blood of the enemies of Christ, is represented as being sprinkled upon his garments; “and I,” says Christ, "will stain all my raiment.” Hence, he, whose "name is called The Word of God, was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood.” Let "every creature,” then, “who is in heaven, and on the earth,” ascribe “Blessing, and hon. our, and glory, and power, unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever."
The end, for which the glorious Redeemer came into the world, is accomplished “The prince of this world is judged.” And in a view of the death which he should die, “Now,” said Christ, “is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Through the bruise of the heel of Christ, Satan is destroyed; and his kingdom of darkness will finally sink into everlasting perdition.
Christ's having suppressed the rebellion, by his victory over Satan and all the powers of darkness, and having laid a foundation for reconciliation, peace, and happiness among men, renders it suitable, that all the
good which they might receive, should be through him. Christ's having laid a foundation for "peace through the blood of the cross” makes it proper, not only, that, in all things, he should have the pre-eminence, but that all good things which might be granted to men, should come ta them, through his name, and for his sake.
It is just as impossible for us to do any thing, as a ground, or meritorious cause of our salvation, as it would be for us to bruise the head of the serpent. But in no sense can we conquer Satan, only through “him, who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood."
Atonement consists in Christ's destroying the works of the devil, or in crushing the rebellion which he had raised among men. He did not crush the rebellion, by suffering the evil which rebels deserve. Atonement, therefore, consists not in suffering in the place of rebels, but in subduing the rebel army, by conquering the leader of it. Consequently, there could be no salvation for sinners, let Christ suffer ever so much for them, unless the leader of the rebellion be destroyed.
To suppose that atonement consists in suffering what rebels deserve to suffer, aside from destroying the leader of the rebellion, is to make it consist, in buying the rebels out of the hands of Satan.
Sinners of mankind are Satan's captives; and unless he be subdued and brought under the feet of some mighty conqueror, he will not let his captives without infinite suffering. Now if Christ have no way to redeem those captives only by suffering in their room and stead, then, he must be a captive to Satan. But for Christ to redeem sinners from the captivity of Satan, it is not necessary that he himself should go into captivity. The head of the serpent being bruised, Christ the Conqueror can now lead captivity captive, without a treaty with the prince of darkness. Now, out of regard to him, who has de
stroyed the prince of this world, God can be just, and have mercy on whom he will have mercy.
Christ having answered the purpose of his mission, having crushed the head of the serpent, and made an. atonement for sin, all the praise and all the glory be. long to him. And all those who shall have deserted the service of Satan, and submitted to Christ and his government, will eternally be delighted in the employment of praising their glorious Deliverer. The redeemed of the Lord will delight in celebrating Christ, because he has delivered them from the power and dominion of sin, and from the captivity “of that wicked one.
In heaven the saints will have a clear understanding of the reason why Christ is to be praised, and to have all the glory of their salvation. It will not be because he had suffered the wrath and curse of God which was their just due; but because he had answered the purpose of his mission into the world, by destroying the works of the devil. This glorious mission Christ accomplished in human nature. Being "made in the likeness of man, and found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should coniess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”*
Having accomplished the work which the Father gave him to do, 'Christ has rendered his name infinitely precious in the eyes of God, and of all the heavenly hosts. Hence, the propriety, that when we ask any favour of God, we should present the petition in the name of Jesus Christ. The door of salvation being opened by the blood of Jesus, to him, indeed,
* Phil. ii, 7.