« FöregåendeFortsätt »
faith ; but few, with their fails filled with a direct and freth wind of assurance.
Fifthly, There is enough in Christ to help thy unbelief : Lord, faid this poor man, help my unbelief. He is an excel. lent physician, and knows how to relieve and cure thee : Go to him, and groan out thy complaint ; tell him, thy heart is pained and troubled with this disease ; thou shalt find him a faithful, skilful, and merciful Saviour.
Sixthly, It is but a little while, before this, with all other diseases bred by it in thy foul, shall be perfectly healed; fanctification is a cure begun ; glorification is á cure performed and completed : The former hath destroyed the dominion, the latter will deftroy the existence of it in thy foul: When you come to heaven, and never till then, will you find yourselves well, and at eafe in every part.
And thus much of the second point.
There are fome general observations arising from both parts of my text considered together, viz. the thankful acknowledgment of his faith, and the sorrowful sense of his unbelief. It shall suffice, for a conclufion to this meditation, only to note them; and they are thefe:
First, That the deepest fenfe of fin must not exclude an humble and thankful acknowledgment of the grace of God in his people. It is the fault of moft, to hide their sins; and the fault of fome, to hide their graces.
Secondly, Acceptance of our persons and duties, is a pure act of grace: There is no duty performed in a perfect act of faith ; all is mixed with unbelief in fome degree, the honey and the comb are mixed together, Cant. ii. 8. No duty as it çomes from us is pụre..
Thirdly, Justly may we suspect that faith for a false faith, which boasts of its own strength, but never mourns in the sense of unbelief. Where there are no conflicts with fin, there can be no found evidence of fincerity.
Fourthly, Believers must not wonder to find strange vicillitudes and alterations in the state of their souls : Sometimes a clear, and sometimes a cloudy day: Sometimes they have their songs in the night, and sometimes their bitter lamentations. If you ask, why is it thus ? the answer is, there are within you contrary principles struggling in your souls; and it is no wonder at all to find peace and trouble, hope and fear, light
and darkness taking their turns, and sharing your time tc.. twixt chem.
law is within my heart.
n Asting my eye upon this precious text, I find it perplex
ed and darkned with variety, yea, contrariety of expositions. The Jews and Socinians generally refer all to David, de-' nying Christ to be the person here spoken of. Others refer the whole Psalm to Chrift; but the best expositors refer it partly to David, and partly to Christ, that this paragraph in which my text lies, refers to Christ, is plain from the apostle's allegation of it in Heb. X. 5, 6, 7. In this and the two former, verses there lie three great points of truth, which you may take up in this order.
First, The insufficiency and rejection of all legal facrifices, as things of no virtue in themselves to satisfy God, or save men, ver. 6. These thou would not ; i. e. thou never didst appoint them to be the means of salvation, farther than they signified and pointed at me, and now must vanish when I come in a body of flesh; according to that, Col. ii. 17.
Secondly, The introduction of a complete and sufficient means of redemption, ver. 7. Lo, I come.
Thirdly, The suitableness and agreeableness of this work of redemption to the heart and will of Jesus Christ, ver. 8. “I de-, “ light to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my “ heart;" or, as it is in the Hebrew, in the midst of my bowels. : ;
In the words we are to note two things ; viz. ist, The rise and spring of man’s redemption. 2dly, The acceptable... nefs and suitableness of it to the heart of Christ. . " · 11, The rise and first spring of man's redemption, the will and pleasure of God. So it pleased the Lord to appoint and or.. . der it, that a remnant of poor lost finners should be saved.. .
The execution and accomplishment of this good pleasure of God, was that part which by agreement and consent was committed to the Son, and is here called a law, or command laid upon him ; and, answerably, the death of Christ is represented as an act of obedience, Phil. ii. 8. and respected God's command for it; John X.,18. “This commandment have I receive
rife and bitha ve here the one I delight to
ced from my Father ;” referring to the covenant of redemp, tion which was betwixt them from everlasting: And this was the rise and first spring of our redemption by Chrift.
2dly, You have here the gratefulness and suitableness of this work to the heart of Christ I delight to do it ; it is in my heart : Lo, I come.
The Hebrew words note not simple consent or willingness, but the highest pleasure and complacency that can be; a work which ravishes his soul with the delights of it, I delight to do thy will; and that other expreslion, Thy law is within my heart, or bowels, hath as deep a fense and signification as the former; it notes the greatest care, sollicitude, and intention of mind, in keeping the most precious treasure that was committed to him ! for fo the phrase is used in Prov. iv. 21. and so did our Redeemer esteem and reckon this work, which was by the Father demandated and committed to him. Hence the note is, · Doct. That the will of God to redeem finners by the incar.
nation and death of Jesus Christ, was most grateful and
pleasing to the very heart of Christ. · It is faid, Prov. viii. 31. When he was folacing himself in the sweetest enjoyment of his father, whilst he lay in that bleffed bofom of delights, yet the very prospect of this work gave him pleasure, Then were his delights with the fons of men. And when he was come into the world, and had endured many abuses and injuries, and was even now come to the most difficult part of the work; yet, how am Iftraitned, or pained, (faith he) till it be accomplished, Luke xii. 50..
Two things call our thoughts to stay upon them in this point.
First, The decency of it, why it ought to be so.
Secondly, The reasons of it, whence it came to be so. · First, Why it ought to be a pleasant and grateful thing to Christ to take a body of fefh, and lay it down by death again for the redemption of finners.
1. It became Christ to go about this work with chearfulness and delight, that thereby he might give his death the nature ' and formality of a sacrifice.'
In all sacrifices you shall find that God had still a regard, a special respect, to the will of the offerer. · See Exod. xxxv. 5. 21. and Lev. i. 3. the voluntariness and chearfulness with which it is given, is of great regard with God.
2. It ought to be fo, in regard of the unity of Christ's will, with the Father's. The work of our redemption is called the pleasure of the Lord, Ifa. liii. 10. and what was the Father's pleasure, could not be disp.easing to him who is one with the Father. It is impossible their wills can clash, whose nature is one.
3. This was necessary to magnify and commend the love of Jesus Christ to us, for whom he gave himself. That he came into the world to die for us, is a mercy of the first magnitude, but that he came in love to our souls, and underwent all his sufferings with such willingness for our fakes, this heightens it above all apprehension. O, this is the most taking, the moft ravishing, the most astonishing confideration of all: “ He loved « me, and gave himself for me,” Gal, ii. 20, “He loved us, « and washed us from our fins in his own blood,” Rev. i. 5. Here love is in its highest exaltation.
4. It was necessary to be so, for the regulating of all our obes dience to God according to this pattern, that seeing and setting this great example of obedience before us, we might never grudge nor grumble at any duty or suffering that God should call us to ; “ You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Chrift; 6 how, that though he was rich, yet for our fakes he became " poor,” faith the apostle, when he would press the Corinthia ans to their duty, 2 Cor. viii. 9. And when he would effectually urge the Philippians to their duty, this is the arguments “ Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus," Phil. ji. 5. So that it became and behoved Christ thus to undertake this great service,
Secondly, Next let us consider and examine whence it came to be so pleasant and acceptable to Jesus Christ, to come into the world and die for poor finners. :
And we shall find although the sufferings of Christ were exo ceeding sharp, and the cup of God's wrath unspeakably bitter, yet that which made it pleasant and desirable to Jesus Christ, was the prospect he had of the sweet results and issues of his sufferings, Ifa. lii 10, 11, “ He shall see of the travail of his « soul and shall be satisfied,” (i, e) he shall have great content and pleasure from the issues and fruits of his sufferings, as Psal. cxxviii. 2. “Thou shalt eat the labour of thy hands," (i. e.) the fruit of thy labours. So here, “ He thall see the s6 travail of his soul," (i. e,) the fruit and effects of his tra. vail ; and to see this shall be tohiin the reward and recompence of all his sufferings. Now, among the sweet results of the fufferings of Christ there are especially these three, which he foresaw with fingular content and delectation,
First, That in his sufferings there would be made a glorious
@isplay àod manifestation of the divine attributes ; gea, such a glorious difplay of them, as was never made before to angels or to men, Dór ever shall be any more in this world. For though,
1. The wisdom of God had made itself vifible to men in the 'creation of the world, yet there it shone but in a faint and languishing beam, compared with this. Here dwine wisdom put itself as it were into a visible form, and represented itself to the life. See i Cor. i. 24. and Eph. iii. 16. Behold, in the death of Christ, the wisdom of God in its highest exaltation and glory: Othe manifold wisdom of God! the depth of his uoleárchable wisdom ! which I touched in some particulars before.
Behold here the wisdom of God, railing more glory to him self by Occasion of the breach of the law, than could ever have risen to him from the most punctual observation of its commands, or the most rigorous execution of its threateřings; from the occasion of the fall, which was our undoing, raising us to à far better estate, and with a much better security to enjoy it, than that from which we fell. Yea, bchold add wonder, God
by the death of Chrilt recovering his elect from all the danger - Qod mischief of fin, and yet måking the way and manoer of
their recovery the fáirest glass to represent the horror and evil of fin to them, that ever was thewo them in this world. Oh, the triumph of divine wisdom:
2. Though the love of God had appeared before in our credtion, protection, and provifion, yet nothing to what it doth jä our redemption by the death of Chrift. Lo, here is the love of God in its strength and glory, i John iv. 1o. “ Hereid is “ love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and lenti « his Sod to be the propitiation for our fins." Herein is love, . e. Here is the highest expression of God's love to the creature ; oot onlý that ever was, but ihát ever can be made ; for in love only God acted to the uttermoft whatever his power hath done, it can do more ; bur for his love, it can go to higher, he hath bo greater thing to give than his Christ. It is true,
in giving us a being, and that in the noblest rank and order of · creatures on earth, herein was love. fo feeding us all our life
fong by his affiduous tender providence, héréin is love. Io protecting us under his wings from inqumerable dangers and mif chiefs, herein is love : much lovo; and yet fer all, this by his re. deeming love in Christ, and it seems nothing. When we have
faid all, “ herein is the love of God, that he fept his Son," &c. ; Vol. VII. : P :..