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-be thou in Adam's room
Milion, HAVING sent you in my last, a few remarks
on some of the objections raised against the perfection and extensive demands of the moral law, the righteousness and atonement of Christ ; I shall now proceed to state more fully how the astonishing work of man’s redemption was effected.
What I have already said concerning the apostacy of man, the corruption of his nature, his aversion from God, and his utter inability to rescue himself from deserved ruin, will, I trust, evince the absolute need in which we stand of a Mediator, or as Job expresses it, Of a days-man who can lay bis hands on both parties—the offender and the offended-And it is our happiness that the Son of God viewed us in this helpless condition ; that, in order to snatch us from a situation which involved destruction, be graciously took on him
Not the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham; and was made in all things like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful bigh-priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.'
The doctrine of redemption, though generally neglected, is of the last importance to man. This is the salvation of which the prophets inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied
of the grace that should come unto us : searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow. This is the mystery into which angels are represented as having been anxiously desirous to look, but which, fully to comprehend, they must descend from celestial regions to learn on earth, by the church, the manifold wisdom of God. And indeed who so fit to announce the incarnation of the Son of God, as those inquisitive spirits who had long witnessed his glory in heaven ; who owed to him the confirmation of their blessedness; who, from the beginning, had been employed as ministering spirits to those whom he left his Father's bosom to redeem, and who always felt themselves. deeply interested in the promotion of his glory and in the happiness of man.
When the birth of Christ was first proclaimed, Tbere were shepherds, it is said, abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. It may be thought, perhaps, that the shepherds of Judea need an apology for manifesting any trepidation on such a joyful occasion : but who could have seen such a messenger and beheld such splendour without astonishment and without dread! The benevolent herald, however, neither expressed surprise nor waited for excuse ; but kindly hastened to remove the tremour that his presence had produced. “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the
Lord. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Who can for a moment contemplate this won. derful intelligence, and not exclaim with the devout Psalmist, Lord, what is man, that thou takest kpowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him? Herein is love, şays an apostle, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. • He was given for a covenant of the people, for a light to the Gentiles; to open, the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.'
To accomplish the work of man's redemption, the Son of God left the bosom of his Father, and, though 'equal with God, made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled, himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Should it be asked why the Lord Jesus condescended to take our nature into union with his divine person, the answer is It beboved him to be mado like unto his brethren: or, in other words, it was to qualify himself for the arduous work he had graciously undertaken to perform that the divine law might be magn nified in the same nature by which it was first dishonoured that he might by the grace of God taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one : for which cause
he is not ashamed to call them brethren-Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their life-time subject to bondage. * For these beneficent purposes the Son of God became incarnate. He was made of a woman, made under the law to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.' He voluntarily became subject to its precepts and obnoxious to its penalty; and, as the head of his body the church, was obedient, suffered, and died. He is therefore emphatically styled, The second man—the Lord from heaven. The first Adam was the natural and federal bead of his posterity: he did not act simply as an ins dividual, but as the representative of mankind ; consequently what he did in his own person was, in one view, considered as done by them. • By one man's obedience many were made sinners By the offence of one, judgment came upon alt men to condemnation. Now had our first father retained his primitive integrity, his offspring would undoubtedly have participated of his happiness : but as he apostatized from God, they were of course involved in the same guilt, the effects of which are daily experienced in a thousand forms, and which, together with actual transgression, remain on all his natural descendants.
Now, by the assumption of human nature, the Lord Jesus Christ became our near kinsmanwhose right it was to redeem. •The word was made flesh, and dwelt among us-We are membere of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones He is the head of the church : and he is the sa
viour of the body.' But prior to this astonishing act of condescension, the church was viewed as having a representative being in Christ. mediator and head of the church, he was set up from ever lasting he was the Father's elect, in whom his soul delighted. The saints are said to be given to him before the foundation of the world: to be chosen in him—to be blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; and to have grace given them in him before the world began.' Christ and his church were considered as one mystical person.
For this church he gave himself; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, and present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.' He became the repairer of breaches ;' or, in other words, he undertook to do all that the elect ought to have done in their own persons, and to suffer all that they might have eternally suffered as the just demerit of their sins. To speak in the astonishing emphatical language of Scripture- All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all--He came to give his life a ransom for many-to suffer the just for the unjust to bear our sins in his own body on the tree-to be made sin and a curse for us--to pour out his soul unto death--that he might finish .transgression, make an end of sin, and bring in an everlasting righteousness. Well therefore might the divine Jesus say, when instituting the ordinance in which his followers were to commemorate this wonderful transaction till his second coming This is my blood of the New Testament, which is sbed for many for the remission