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Dead Jha/l hear the Voice of the Son of God r and they that hear JJmll live. In the next Verse the Reason follows: For, asthe Father hath Life in himself so hath he given to the Son to have Life in himself John v. 25, 26. If the Son has Life in himself, even as the Father has Life in himself; if he is really endued with Power to which all Nature submits and obeys, a Power sufficient for the Creation of the World at first, and for the Preservation ever since j we have Rear son to conclude, that he is now as able to restore Life, as he was at first to give it; to call Men from the Grave into Being, as: well as to call them out of nothing at the. first Creation.
The Relation of Christ to Mankind as Creator and Governor considered, the Work of Redemption could not properly have been undertaken by any other Hand: For, if Christ was the immediate Creator and Governor of the World, what Reason can you imagine why God should resume this Authority out of the Hands of his Son, or set up another to have Dominion and Authority over any Part of the Creation, which by natural Right belonged to Him, who made, all Things? Were we to consider one Person as our Creator, and another as out
Redeemer, it would be extremely to the Diminution of the Honour and Regard due to the Creator, inasmuch as the Blessing of Redemption would greatly outweigh the Benefit of Creation; and it would be natural to us to prefer the Love that delivered us from the Evils and Miseries of the World, to that which placed us in them. In the daily Service of our Church we praise God for creating and preserving us, but above all for his inestimable Love in the Redemption; which is very consistent with Respect to one great Benefactor, who both made us and redeemed us: But, had any other Hand redeemed us, such Expression of Gratitude to him would have reflected Dishonour upon the Creator.
St. Paul tells us expresly, That Christ is Head of the Church; a Title founded in the Right of Redemption, that in all 'Things he might have the Preeminence; that, as he was the Head of all Creatures in virtue of havings created them, so he might be the Head of the Church, the elect People of God, in virtue of having redeemed them: For it -pleased the Father, that in him should all Fullness dwell; that is, that Christ should be all in all, the Head of the second as well as of the first Creation; Colqf. i. 19.
According According to St. Paul's Reasoning here, if any other Person had redeemed the World, or if the World had been redeemed without Christ, he would not have had the Preeminence in all 'Things; which yet he had before Sin came into the World; and, consequently, the Sin of the World would have been the Diminution of the Headship and Power of Christ. Upon these Principles of the Gospel Revelation we may discern some Propriety in Christ's coming to redeem the World: The Work was such, that no Person of less Power could undertake it; and his Relation to the World was such, as made it fit and proper to commit the Work to him.
The Redemption of Mankind is a Work which in the Event seems to concern Men only: But, considered as a Vindication of the Justice and Goodness of God towards his Creatures, it is a Work exposed to the Consideration of every intelligent Being in the Universe. Whether they may be supposed to inquire into God's Dealings with the Children of Men, we may judge by ourselves. 'Tis little we know of the Fall of Angels; yet how has that employed human Curiosity! For every Man considers himself as having an Interest in the Justice
and Equity of that supreme Being, under whose Government he lives, and by whose Judgment he must finally stand or fall. If we doubt whether the superior Orders of Beings have the like Inclination, St. Peter will tell us, 'That the Sufferings of Christ, and the Glory that Jhouldfollow,—are Things the Angels desire to look into, i Pet. i. 11—iz. And indeed the Method of God's dealing with any rational Creature is a common Con-, eern 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 he 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 must in his Dealings with every Part have regard to this common Relation, whether we understandstand it, or no. The Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews tells us, That Chrijl took not on him the Nature of Angels, but he took on him the Seed of Abraham. Angels sinned, and Men sinned: Men only are redeemed. If God is just, 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 so 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 soy in the Presence of the Angels of God over one Sinner that repenteth, Luke xv. 10. Again; He that overcometh, the fame Jhall be clothed in white Raiment; and I will not blot out his Name out of the Book of Life; but I will confess his Name before my Father, and before his Angels, Rev. ill- 5. Here the Angels are