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4thly. From what has been said, we may learn what it was that gave weight and worth to the obedience and sufferings of Christ. It was the dignity of his per
Because he was God, both it and they were infinitely valuable. Had he been a man only, neither of them could have been of infinite worth. It is not more certain that there is a gradation in the worth of matter, than in that of moral agents. “ As gold is more precious than brass, and silver than iron, so man is preferable to the beasts that perish,” Job xxxv. 11. And of consequence human blood must of necessity be much more precious than brutal. In answer to that important question, “ Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God?” Calves and rams are mentioned first; and if these are found insufficient, the man's first-born is proposed to atone for his transgression, and the fruit of his body to burn for the sin of his soul, Mic. vi. 6, 7. But if the blood of man be more precious than that of calves and of goats, surely the blood of God must excel the former, far more than that does the latter. As far as God is superior to man, so must his obedience and sufferings be to all that man can do or suffer. How is it that the blood of bulls and of goats could not possibly take away sin, Heb. x. 4. and yet that the blood of Christ perfectly did? Heb. ix. 26. Why, this arose not merely from the appointment of Heaven, but from the infinite difference betwixt the two in point of intrinsic value. It was not possible that the one should take away sin. Omnipotence itself could not give it that value, no more than it can work contradictions. And it was as impossible that the other should not take away sin, since it was the blood of God. So it was in truth, and so it is styled in holy scripture. " God hath purchased his church with his own blood,” says the a. postle, Acts xx. 28. As the body of Jesus might be called the body of God, i Cor. xi. 27. and his soul, the soul of God, so his blood might justly be called the blood of God. For though body and blood belonged immediately to the human nature, yet that nature subsisting in the person of the Son, that body was his, and that blood was his. They were not the body and blood of one who was a man and no more, but of one who was God. Hence it is written, that God laid down his life for us, i John iii. 16. Though the life was human, yet the person who laid it down was di. vine. Hence the act receives its denomination, not from the nature, but from the person. It is certain that both his obedience and sufferings terminated in the human nature, and could not possibly extend to the divine. Yet . still they were the obedience and sufferings of him who was a divine person, and there. fore of infinite value. It was the person who 0beyed and suffered, though in his human nature only. But though his obedience and sufferings were finite both in duration and degree, being accomplished in a limited time, and in a finite nature, yet they were of infinite weight and worth, being the obedience and sufferings of an infinite person. Had Christ been a man only, his sufferings could not have been satisfactory to divine justice; there being in that case no proportion between the offence and the punishment. And observable it is, that they who impugn the Deity of the Son, do also deny the necessity of the satisfaction.
5thly. From what was said, we may see what gratitude we owe to the Son of God in condescending to be our Saviour. We owe him disinterested love for what he is in himself, being in the form of God, and thinking it no robbery to be altogether equal with him. But we owe him infinite thanks on account of what he hath done for us. What he is in himself, and what he hath done, are two very different things. The one was necessary, the other not. He could not but be what he is, viz. in the form of God, and altogether equal with him. But had he so pleased, he might never have done what he has done. He could not but be God, but he might never have been a man. He could not but be in the form of God, but he was under no necessity to take upon him the form of a servant.
What he is, he is by nature; but what he has done for us, is purely of grace, or voluntary condescension. I should think it an impropriety of speech to say that we thank him for what he is; but I am certain it would be the basest ingratitude not to thank him for what he has done. While we rejoice in what he is by nature,let our hearts burn with gratitude, at thought of what he has done in the riches of his grace.
" Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich, 2 Cor. viii. 9. that though the heir of all things, yet he had not where to lay his head, Matt. viii. 20. Though in the form of God, yet he took upon him the form of a servant. Though possessed of all the fulness of the Godhead, yet he emptied himself, making himself of no reputation. Though a Son, he became a servant. Though God, yet he was made in the likeness of men. being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” What astonishing love was this! Its like creation never saw, nor never shall. That Jehovah's Fellow should be made like unto us; that the high and lofty One, who lay in his Father's bosom, should be made of a woman; that he who ruleth all the armies of heaven, should be made under the curse of the broken law; that the Lord of angels should become obedient; that the Prince of Life should submit to death, and that not in its common form, but even to the death of the cross, are all so many miracles of love. And each of these constraineth us to love him who first loved us, 2 Cor. v. 14. 1 John iv. 19. What amazing things his love has wrought! On his uncreated throne, he with his Father night have ever sat, ineffably happy in the enjoyment of his own perfections. But such his love to us, that he assumed our nature, and therein suffered unutterable things, that he might expiate our guilt and reconcile us unto God. Love made him submit to the lowly manger, the circumcising knife, the dreary wilderness, the scourge of tongues, the contu
melious spitting, the mock habiliments, the piercing thorns, the lacerating nails, the bloody sweat, the attacks of devils, the desertion of his God, and at last to the dust of death. On such proofs of love let us muse, and let the fire burn. Contemplating what the Son has done for us, let us call upon our soul, and all that is within us to bless his holy name: and not to forget all his benefits. “ He loved us, and gave himself for
It remains that we love him, and give ourselves to him. “ The churches of Macedonia gave themselves to the Lord,” 2 Cor. viii. 5. viz. to the Lord Christ.
6thly. From what was said, we may see that we owe divine worship and obedience unto Christ. Both belong of right unto him, considering what he is, and what he has done. He is in the form of God, and thinks it no robbery to be equal with him. He is his Son, his image, his Fellow, sits on his throne, sits at his right hand, and existeth in him. And if so, he cannot but be entitled to divine worship. Deity is the foundation of adorability. Seeing he is God, he cannot but be adorable. To be adorable is as inseparable from the divine nature, as homage and subjection from a created. Christ being God equal with the Father, worship must on that account be equally due unto unto him. Hence it is that all the angels are commanded by the Father to worship him, Heb. i. 6. Hence it also is the Father's will that all men honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.” And it is expressly asserted, “ He that honoureth not the Son, ho. noureth thenot Father who hath sent him," John v. 23. As divine worhip belongs to him on account of what he is, so also on account of what he has done and suffered. If the person be infinitely worthy, so must his doings. To grant the one, and deny the other, would be a glaring absurdity. If by suffering he satisfied divine justice, does he not on the same account merit our adoration? Nay, what is our faith in him, or our resting on him for salvation, but a worshipping him in effect? To fix our faith upon him, and yet to deny him our worship, would be a contradiction. What he has
done in the economy of redemption, is mentioned in scripture as a motive, ground, or obligation to wor, ship him. Hence the ten thousand times ten thousand around the throne are introduced, as saying with a loud voice, “ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing, Rev. v. 12."
It cannot be denied, that in scripture, Christ is more frequently represented as the medium, than as the ob ject of worship. But when so represented, regard is ever had to his mediatory character, wherein he stands between God and us. We worship him, not as Mediator, but as God. Though we worship him who is Mediator, yet not as Mediator. We worship the man Christ, yet not as man, but as God. As all worship, so all obedience is due unto the Lord Christ. And here also excellence of nature, and benefits bestowed found our obligations to obedience. Christ is the great, the mighty God, possessing all possible perfection, and therefore cannot but have an unalienable right to our obedience. All things were made by him, and therefore all ought to be subject to him. But he hath not only made us, he hath also redeemed us with his own blood: and thereby acquired a new right to us and our obedience. Being bought with a price, we are therefore bound to glorify him in our body and in our spirit, which are his, i Cor. vi. ult. He is our Redeemer, and therefore we are bound to keep his commandments. Of him the Father is saying now, as he did of old, “ Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not: For he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him," Exod. xxii. 21. “ The Father 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 confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” This Lordship and dominion is given him in reward of his obedience and death. Hence it is obvious that he has a double