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fear into our hearts : and Christ being a surety of this testament, is to look to both parts of it, that both what concerns God's part, and what concerns ours, may be made good.

Here it is to be considered, that,

(1.) Christ had a charge from the Father to this purpose.

He had a charge concerning what he was to do for them. He had a charge to redeem them, and a charge to govern them; he hath a charge to relieve them, and a charge to perfect them.

[1.] He had a charge to redeem them. The copy of it you may see : That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth : to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves,” Isa. xlix. 9: he was to call them out of their prisons, knock off their fetters, bring them out of darkness into a marvellous light.

[2.] To be their governor, was as much in his commission, as to be their Redeemer; for, “ They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor sun smite them : for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of waters shall he guide them,” ver. 10. So also in Isa. iv. 6, where by heat, &c. is meant all troubles and inconveniences in a christian life. They should not be wasted by fiery temptations, nor left in a forlorn condition. And the reason is, because Christ, that Holy One, to whom God speaks, ver. 7. that Redeemer who called them out of a state of darkness and captivity, was to lead them in his hand, and have his eye upon them, and guide them by the springs of water, that they might have a fulness of the Spirit, and all refreshings and supplies of grace necessary for their present condition. By water alluding to the river out of the rock, which

followed the Israelites in the wilderness; and by the heat and sun, to the fiery serpents, and the plague at that time. Christ here had the conduct of those redeemed captives committed to him, and was not to rest satisfied with conferring the first grace in the conversion of them, but to provide all things for their future security as well as their present freedom. And Isa. xlii. 1-3. when God proclaimed him his Servant, this was in his commission, to have a special care of the bruised as well as the standing reed; of the smoking as well as the flaming flax; of the infant grace as well as the adult; and indeed the charge is chiefly for them.

[3.] He hath a charge to receive them: “All that the Father gives me, shall come to me; and him that comes to me, I will in no wise cast out,” John vi. 37. “For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him that sent me,” ver. 38. He was in no wise to cast them, out; that is, he was affectionately to entertain and welcome them. And that he might make it as firm as possibly could be, he tells us it was not only his will, but his office, and that he was under a necessary as well as voluntary obedience to his Father in this case. It was a part of God's will and charge to him upon the sending him into the world, to receive very kindly any that come to him, though the most feeble and crippled believers, that came upon crutches. As he was to receive kindly those that came, so it implies, th he should receive them as often as they came; and that in any exercises of faith they should find fresh wel

Though their faith were very feeble, it should not be denied entertainment, but be highly caressed. So that Christ was ordered here to

comes.

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entertain every comer, as well as to die for them and charged upon his obedience not to discountenance any that come, come when they will, and as often as they will.

[4.] He hath a charge also to perfect them; not to lose one of those God hath given him : τοτο εστι το θέλημα το πεμψαντός με πατρός ; « that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day,” John vi. 39. This is my Father's absolute and immutable will, and he hath sent me to perform this will, that of every person he hath given, μη απολέσω εξ αυτώ, lose nothing of it, not the meanest, weakest person, not one mite or grain of grace should be lost, but I should raise it up all at the last day. It was not the bare raising up, that was the charge God gave unto Christ, but the raising up to eternal life, ver. 40. With that perfection of holiness and grace which God expects as the end of all his dispensations; otherwise it cannot be a raising up to eternal life in such a completeness as God intended in his charge. This charge not to lose any, but to raise them up fit to be presented unto God, without blemish, doth include all means and methods in subserviency to this end. And in this charge they are all implied to be looked after by Christ. Christ would be no friend to his father, should he slight his Father's orders. If he should fail of being a perfect Saviour, where would be his love and obedience to God? It is as impossible for an elect person to perish, as it is for Christ, who is one with the Father, to act contrary to his Father's will. For since they are given to him, and that on purpose to receive eternal life by him, they must be preserved; and all that which prepares them to be

vessels of glory, must be secured from a total and final miscarriage, or else Christ breaks his trust, disobeys his Father, and frustrates his expectations of a rest and satisfaction in him.

This charge Christ must give an account of. Officers are to give an account of the management of the trust reposed in them ; so is Christ of every believer's soul. Our Saviour is in several places called God's Servant; servants are to give an account to those that employ them; and it is part of the faithfulness of a servant so to do ; and Christ's faithfulness is to be glorified. He is a merciful and faithful High Priest, Heb. ii. 17. faithful to God, as well as merciful to us, and faithful to God in being merciful to us; and by giving account of his mercy to us, he gives an account of his faithfulness to God. God expects all to be returned to him in that perfection and conformity to Christ, which he designed, when he first made the deed of gift of them to Christ. He will see whether a man be lost, by comparing the number of his sanctified ones with the names written in the book of life. Some model of this account we have : “Behold I, and the children which thou hast given me,” Heb. ii. 13. When he shall deliver up his charge, and all be numbered, he will tell his Father of the faith of his people, as he did John xvii. 6–8: Thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. They have received the words which thou gavest me, and they have believed that thou didst send

This is the confession he will make of men before God and his angels, when he delivers up the kingdom to his Father. Will Christ be found tardy in his accounts ? What could he answer, if any onc, given to him, should be missing? How could

me.

he say, he hath kept them in his Father's name, and lost none, if any should miscarry ? as he did John xvii. 12, which is a copy of what will be said at the last.

(2.) As he hath a charge, so there is a power conferred on him to perform that charge.

He hath a power of authority. He hath a power over death and hell to this end :

“ Fear not, I am he that liveth, and was dead ; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death,” Rev. i. 17, 18. The giving the key is a mark of authority, and is a ceremony used in investitures into office. Christ hath the keys of death and hell delivered to him by God, and he hath them to prevent the fears and unbelief of his people ; for such a use he makes of them here:

Fear not.” By “hell” and “ death” are meant all kinds of evils which were the bitter consequents of sin. Sin opened the mouth of death, and the gates of hell; they are the only things which can possibly prevail against a believer to hurt him. Will not Christ keep those fast locked up, never to send them out upon a believer for his destruction ? And if Christ hath the keys of hell and death, he hath also power to keep his people from that state which will necessarily run them into hell and death. All the power Christ hath given him over all flesh, is in subserviency to the performing this charge : As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him, étroiav,” John xvii. 2. Not only a power over those given to him, to give them eternal life, but a power over all flesh, all the corruptions of men and devils, in order to this end of giving eternal life to every believer, to as many

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