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and Equity of that fupreme Being, under
rational Creature is a common Concern to all ; and it is for the Honour of God's Government to be vindicated in the Sight of every intelligent Being, that he
may be justified in his Saying, and overcome when be is judged.
If this be so, it must necessarily follow, That the Redemption by Christ, though it relates immediately to Men, must be agreeable to all the Reason and Relation of Things, known or discoverable by the highest intellectual Beings; and need I add, that there are many such not discoverable by us?
'Tis certain that we are but a small Part of the intellectual World: What Relation we bear to the other Parts, or to the Whole, we know not; and yet undoubtedly the common Governor of the Whole muft in his Dealings with every Part have regard to this common Relation, whether we under
stand it, or no. The Author of the Epiftle to the Hebrews tells us, That Christ took not on bim the Nature of Angels, but he took on bim the Seed of Abraham. Angels sinned, and Men sinned : Men only are redeemed. If God is juft, there must be a Reason for this, though not within our Reach at present ; and, when we come to know it, perhaps we may be no longer at a loss to know that the Sacrifice of Christ was necessary to the Salvation of Men.
That there are many Orders of Beings superior to Man, is a Proposition fo agreeable to Reason, that there is little room to doubt of it. All these Orders are in Scripture comprehended under the general Name of Angel. What Relation these Beings stand in to us in
many Respects, I will not now inquire : But that they are not unconcerned Spectators in the Work of our Redemption, is evident. Our Saviour tells us, There is you in the Presence of the Angels of God over one Sinner that repenteth. Luke xv. 10. Again ; He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white Raiment and I will not blot out his Name out of the Book of Life, but I will confels his Name before my Father, and before bis Angels. Rev. iii. 5. Here the Angels are
mentioned as Witnesses of the Justice of the Judgment, and not merely as Attendants to make up the Pomp and Ceremony of Judicature.
Since then the Justice and Equity of God in redeeming Men are Things which the Angels desire and are concerned to look into ; it is evident, That his Justice and Equity, and the Reasons of Providence in this great Affair, may be discernible to the highest Order of intellectual Beings, though not discoverable by us, the lowest.
That this is probably the Case, may be learnt from hence; That; when the Gospel has revealed to us any of these Relations, not discoverable by human Reasons so far we can see the Reason and Propriety of this great Work of our Redemption.
But let us confider how well these Prin ciples and Doctrines of the Gospel agree together, and how naturally the one flows from the other. When we view the fad Condition of Mankind, the Sin, Folly, and Misery, which are in the World; and then turn to contemplate the Perfections, the Wisdom, and the Goodness of Him who made us; Nature raises fome Hopes in us, that this Confusion will fome Day find a Remedy, and ourselves a Release, from the
Goodness and Wisdom of Him who formed
I blame not these Hopes; they are just, they are natural. But, if Nature had the Knowledge of the Son of God, and could discover that the World was made and is upheld by his Power, that we are his immediate Creatures and Subjects; would it not be altogether as natural to found some Hopes upon this Relation? Should we not be willing to believe, that this great Person, who made us, would have some Compassion upon
the Work of his own Hands ? Should we not hope to find in him at least an Interceffor on our behalf, an Advocate with the Father? Should we not be inclined to recommend to him all our Pleas, to put all our Interest into his Hands, trusting that he could not want Bowels of Affection towards the Creatures whom he formed after his own Image and Likeness? I think, this would be but natural; and what more does the Gospel require of us? It has discovered to us this Relation between Christ and the World, between Christ and the Church, and requires from us such Hope and Faith, and such Obedience, as naturally flow from this Relation; and could it possibly require less ? Would it not be absurd to tell us, that Christ is Lord of the World that is, and of that
which is to come, and not to require us to have Hope and Confidence in him? Would it not be absurd to tell us, that he is the Lord of Life and Glory, and to bid us expect Life and Glory through any other Hands than his? Would it not be absurd to tell us, that all Judgment is committed to the Son, and yet no Obedience due to him? or, that God has appointed him to be Head over all, and yet no Honour to be paid him?
From these and the like Considerations we may discern, how reasonable, how natural the Religion of the Gospel is. It has indeed opened to us a new Scene of Things, discovering to us the ever-blessed Son of God, the Creator and Governor of the World: What else it proposes to us results naturally from this Relation between Christ and the World. The mysterious Work of our Redemption itself seems to have arisen from the original Relation between the only Son of God, and Man the Creature of God; and our Christian Faith, in every Article and Branch of it, has a just Foundation and Support in the Power, Authority, and Pres eminence of the Son of God. We may well believe he has redeemed us, since we know he made us. And, though all Nature seems to frown on us, and to threaten Death