« FöregåendeFortsätt »
How then ought all the redeemed to celebrate the praises of the Redeemer ! who, rather than they who had basely rabelled against God, and forfeited their title to eternal happiness, should bear the infinite wrath of Almighty God, justly due to them on account of their sins, bare it himself; himself who was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God; nay, who was God, and one with the Father, Philip. ii. 0. John i. 1. X. 30.; for those that were his avowed enemies, to the astonishment of all in heaven and all in earth ; nor will this astonishment end throughout all eternity, but more and more increase.
Say, O my soul, was ever love like this? O the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of the love of God, it passeth knowledge, Eph. iii. 18, 19. Jonathan's love to David was wonderful, passing the love of women, 2 Sam. i. 26.; but Christ's love to his people passeth not only the love, but the comprehension of the highest seraph in heaven: it is an ocean without brim or bottom, end, or shore, in which the saints will swim through all eternity, crying, “ Unto him
6s that loved us, and washed us from our “ sins in his own blood, and hath made us “ kings and priests unto God and his Father ; “ to him be glory and dominion for ever and * ever. Amen." Rev. i. 5, 6.
· As the ocean of redeeming love is infinitely great; so no less boundless is that of the wrath of Almighty God, which raged and was tempestuous against all the sons of Adam, and was ready to swallow them down into its bottomless gulf; but for ever blessed be our Lord and Saviour, who Jonah-like said unto his Father, “ Take me “ up and cast me into this ocean, so shall it “ be calm to all my elect." This infinitely wonderful substitute the Father willingly accepted of; so he was cast into the sea of infinite wrath, and like his type was in the belly of hell for his elect, and forsaken of God, Jon. i. 12. ii. 2. Matt. xxvii. 46. Jon. ii. 4., and, as it were, cast out of his sight for a time, that his people might enjoy the favour and light of God's countenance for ever in heaven.
Thus he dried up this sea, and drank off that brook, and so made a safe way for all his ransomed ones to come to Zion, Isaiah 1. 10, 11. But as the Red Sea was dried up for Israel only, and none but they who had an interest in Moses as their leader could venture safely therein ; so the Egyptians, who presumptuously went in after Israel, were all totally overwhelmed in it: In like manner, the sea of infinite wrath is only dried up for the spiritual Israel; but all those who have not an interest in Christ Jesus as their Savi. our and atonement, who venture on the general mercy of God, will find themselves, overwhelmed in this ocean of infinite wrath; for God to the sinner who is oụt of Christ is a consuming fire, Deut. iv. 24. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, Acts iv.
12. And how shall we escape if we neglect • so great salvation ? Heb. ii. 4. Gręạt in
deed beyond the conception of men or an
Justice and mercy are both attributes of God; and mercy will never be shewn at the expence of justice. Man hath sinned, and justice must be satisfied either in his own person, or by another in his room.
If man would attempt to do this himself, he should eternally perish, in satisfying that, which through eternity he shall never be able to do; “ (pay that thouowest”, wouldstill be the unalterable claim of law and justice), Yes, for it is a task infinitely too hard for men or angels: none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him, Psal. xlix. 7.
What then must be done? Shall all the sons of Adam everlastingly perish? No: blessed, and for ever blessed, be the Lord our God, who in his infinitely wonderful, astonishing, and unspeakable love and free mercy, hath provided a surety every way sufficient to answer the demands of law and justice, even no less a person than his own eternal, only-begotten,' and well-beloved Son, one in essence with himself; for all such, and only for such, who should believe in him; “ for God so loved the world that he “ gave his only-begotten Son, that whoso“ ever believeth in him should not perish, “ but have everlasting life,” John iii. 16.
Doth it then follow, that God will not shew mercy to any of the sons of Adam, unless in and through an atonement ? And if so, as certainly it doth, how cometh it then that the wicked, who have no interest in Christ as their Saviour, receive mercies, and many comforts in this life? for that they do is evident both from scripture and daily observation, Psal. cxlv. g. lxxiii. 3.---13.
Although the wickéd have no special interest in him as their Mediator, yet they have as their Creator, and in the sufficiency of his merits to save them, if they would believe; for God is called the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe, 1 Tim. iv. 10. hence the wicked, for a time, are suspended out of the pit of misery, that their rejection of a Saviour, and of the offers of mercy, may be clearly seen to be of themselves, and God may be justified in their own consciences when he judgeth them, Psal. li. 4. Ye will not come unto me that ye may have life, saith our ever blessed Lord, John v. 40. And again, “ How often would I have gathered “ thy children together, even as a hen ga“ thereth her chickens under her wings, and
ye would not?” Matth, xxiii 37.