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faith; but few, with their fails filled with a direct and fresh wind of affurance.
Fifthly, There is enough in Chrift to help thy unbelief: Lord, faid this poor man, help my unbelief. He is an excellent physician, and knows how to relieve and cure thee: Go to him, and groan out thy complaint; tell him, thy heart is pained and troubled with this disease; thou shalt find him a faithful, fkilful, and merciful Saviour.
Sixthly, It is but a little while, before this, with all other diseases bred by it in thy foul, fhall be perfectly healed; fanctification is a cure begun; glorification is a cure performed and completed: The former hath deftroyed the dominion, the latter will deftroy the existence of it in thy foul: When you come to heaven, and never till then, will you find yourselves well, and at eafe in every part.
And thus much of the fecond point.
There are fome general obfervations arifing from both parts of my text confidered together, viz. the thankful acknowledgment of his faith, and the forrowful fenfe of his unbelief. It fhall fuffice, for a conclufion to this meditation, only to note them; and they are thefe ;
First, That the deepest fenfe of fin must not exclude an humble and thankful acknowledgment of the grace of God in his people. It is the fault of moft, to hide their fins; and the fault of fome, to hide their graces.
Secondly, Acceptance of our persons and duties, is a pure act of grace: There is no duty performed in a perfect act of faith; all is mixed with unbelief in fome degree, the honey and the comb are mixed together, Cant. ii. 8. No duty as it comes from us is pure.
Thirdly, Juftly may we fufpect that faith for a false faith, which boasts of its own ftrength, but never mourns in the fense of unbelief. Where there are no conflicts with fin, there can be no found evidence of fincerity.
Fourthly, Believers must not wonder to find ftrange viciffitudes and alterations in the ftate of their fouls: Sometimes a clear, and fometimes a cloudy day: Sometimes they have their fongs in the night, and fometimes their bitter lamentations. If you afk, why is it thus? the answer is, there are within you contrary principles ftruggling in your fouls; and it is no wonder at all to find peace and trouble, hope and fear, light and darknefs taking their turns, and fharing your time betwixt them.
PSAL. xl. 8. I delight to do thy will O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart.
Afting my eye upon this precious text, I find it perplexed and darkned with variety, yea, contrariety of expofitions. The Jews and Socinians generally refer all to David, denying Chrift to be the perfon here spoken of. Others refer the whole Pfalm to Chrift; but the best expofitors refer it partly to David, and partly to Chrift, that this paragraph in which my text lies, refers to Chrift, is plain from the apoftle's allegation of it in Heb. x. 5, 6, 7. In this and the two former verfes there lie three great points of truth, which you may take up in this order.
First, The infufficiency and rejection of all legal facrifices, as things of no virtue in themselves to fatisfy God, or save men, ver. 6. These thou wouldst not; i. e. thou never didft appoint them to be the means of falvation, farther than they fignified and pointed at me, and now muft vanish when I come in a body of flesh; according to that, Col. ii. 17.
Secondly, The introduction of a complete and fufficient means of redemption, ver. 7. Lo, I come.
Thirdly, The fuitablenefs and agreeableness of this work of redemption to the heart and will of Jesus Christ, ver. 8. “I de-, "light to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my "heart;" or, as it is in the Hebrew, in the midst of my bowels.
In the words we are to note two things; viz. 1st, The rife and spring of man's redemption. 2dly, The acceptablenefs and fuitablenefs of it to the heart of Chrift.
1st, The rife and first spring of man's redemption, the will and pleasure of God. So it pleafed the Lord to appoint and or-. der it, that a remnant of poor loft finners fhould be faved.
The execution and accomplishment of this good pleasure of God, was that part which by agreement and consent was com mitted to the Son, and is here called a law, or command laid upon him; and, answerably, the death of Chrift is represented as an act of obedience, Phil. ii. 8. and respected God's com-.. mand for it; John x..18. "This commandment have I receiv
ed from my Father;" referring to the covenant of redemption which was betwixt them from everlasting: And this was the rife and firft fpring of our redemption by Chrift.
2dly, You have here the gratefulness and fuitableness of this work to the heart of Chrift I delight to do it; it is in my heart: Lo, I come.
The Hebrew words note not fimple confent or willingness, but the highest pleasure and complacency that can be; a work which ravishes his foul with the delights of it, I delight to do thy will; and that other expreffion, Thy law is within my heart, or bowels, hath as deep a sense and fignification as the former; it notes the greatest care, follicitude, and intention of mind, in keeping the most precious treasure that was committed to him! for fo the phrafe is used in Prov. iv. 21. and fo did our Redeemer efteem and reckon this work, which was by the Father demandated and committed to him. Hence the note is,
Doct. That the will of God to redeem finners by the incar nation and death of Jefus Chrift, was most grateful and pleafing to the very heart of Christ.
It is faid, Prov. viii. 31. When he was folacing himself in the sweetest enjoyment of his Father, whilft he lay in that bleffed bofom of delights, yet the very profpect of this work gave him pleasure, Then were his delights with the fons of men. And when he was come into the world, and had endured many abuses and injuries, and was even now come to the most difficult part of the work; yet, how am Iftraitned, or pained, (faith he) till it be accomplished, Luke xii. 50.
Two things call our thoughts to stay upon them in this point.
First, The decency of it, why it ought to be fo.
Secondly, The reasons of it, whence it came to be fo. First, Why it ought to be a pleasant and grateful thing to Christ to take a body of flefh, and lay it down by death again for the redemption of finners.
1. It became Christ to go about this work with chearfulness and delight, that thereby he might give his death the nature and formality of a facrifice.
In all facrifices you fhall find that God had ftill a regard, a fpecial refpect, to the will of the offerer. See Exod. xxxv. 5. 21. and Lev. i. 3. the voluntarinefs and chearfulness with which it is given, is of great regard with God.
2. It ought to be fo, in regard of the unity of Chrift's will, with the Father's. The work of our redemption is called the
pleasure of the Lord, Ifa. liii. 1o. and what was the Father's pleasure, could not be difpleafing to him who is one with the Father. It is impoffible their wills can clafh, whofe nature is
3. This was neceffary to magnify and commend the love of Jefus Chrift to us, for whom he gave himself. That he came into the world to die for us, is a mercy of the first magnitude, but that he came in love to our fouls, and underwent all his fufferings with fuch willingness for our fakes, this heightens it above all apprehenfion. O, this is the moft taking, the most ravishing, the most astonishing confideration of all: "He loved 66 me, and gave himself for me," Gal, ii. 20, "He loved us, "and washed us from our fins in his own blood," Rev. i. 5. Here love is in its highest exaltation.
4. It was neceffary to be fo, for the regulating of all our obe dience to God according to this pattern, that feeing and setting this great example of obedience before us, we might never grudge nor grumble at any duty or suffering that God should call us to; "You know the grace of our Lord Jefus Chrift; "how, that though he was rich, yet for our fakes he became "poor," faith the apoftle, when he would prefs the Corinthians to their duty, 2 Cor. viii. 9. And when he would effectually urge the Philippians to their duty, this is the argument, "Let this mind be in you, which also was in Chrift Jefus," Phil. ii. 5. So that it became and behoved Christ thus to undertake this great service.
Secondly, Next let us confider and examine whence it came to be so pleasant and acceptable to Jefus Chrift, to come into the world and die for poor finners.
And we shall find although the sufferings of Chrift were exceeding sharp, and the cup of God's wrath unspeakably bitter, yet that which made it pleasant and desirable to Jefus Christ, was the profpect he had of the fweet refults and iffues of his fufferings, Ifa. liii 10, 11. "He fhall fee of the travail of his. "foul and fhall be fatisfied," (i, e.) he fhall have great content and pleasure from the iffues and fruits of his fufferings, as Pfal. cxxviii. 2. "Thou fhalt ̧eat the labour of thy hands,” (i. e.) the fruit of thy labours. So here, "He fhall fee the "travail of his foul," (i. e,) the fruit and effects of his travail; and to fee this fhall be to him the reward and recompence of all his fufferings. Now, among the fweet refults of the fufferings of Chrift there are especially these three, which he forefaw with fingular content and delectation.
First, That in his fufferings there would be made a glorious
difplay and manifeftation of the divine attributes; yea, fuch a glorious difplay of them, as was never made before to angels or to men, nor ever shall be any more in this world. For though,
1. The wildom of God had made itself vifible to men in the creation of the world, yet there it shone but in a faint and languishing beam, compared with this. Here divine wisdom put itfelf as it were into a vifible form, and represented itself to the life. See I Cor. i. 24. and Eph. iii. 16. Behold, in the death of Chrift, the wifdom of God in its highest exaltation and glory: O the manifold wifdom of God! O the depth of his unfearchable wifdom! which I touched in fome particulars before.
Behold here the wifdom of God, railing more glory to himfelf by occafion of the breach of the law, than could ever have rifen to him from the molt punctual obfervation of its commands, or the most rigorous execution of its threatenings; from the occafion of the fall, which was our undoing, raising us to à far better eftate, and with a much better fecurity to enjoy it, than that from which we fell. Yea, behold and wonder, God by the death of Chrift recovering his elect from all the danger and mifchief of fin, and yet making the way and manner of their recovery the faireft glass to reprefent the horror and evil of fin to them, that ever was fhewn them in this world. Ob, the triumph of divine wisdom:
2. Though the love of God had appeared before in our creation, protection, and provifion, yet nothing to what it doth in our redemption by the death of Chrift. Lo, here is the love of God in its ftrength and glory, 1 John iv. 10. "Herein is "love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and fent *his Son to be the propitiation for our fins." Herein is love, i. e. Here is the highest expreffion of God's love to the creature; not only that ever was, but that ever can be made; for in love only God acted to the uttermoft; whatever his power hath done, it can do more; but for his love, it can go no higher, he hath no greater thing to give than his Chrift. It is true, in giving us a being, and that in the nobleft rank and order of creatures on earth, herein was love. In feeding us all our life long by his affiduous tender providence, herein is love. In protecting us under his wings from innumerable dangers and mifchiefs, herein is love: much love; and yet fet all this by his redeeming love in Chrift, and it feems nothing. When we have faid all," herein is the love of God, that he fent his Son," &c. VOL. VII.