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truction, which the execution of the violated law would have procured undertaking then to become the seed of the woman, and so to break the serpent's head; and revealing this grace by slow degrees, till the time of his coming.
(2.) And then when the fulness of time was come, he was made man, being conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary, and so the " Word was made flesh, and dwelt among men, who beheld his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth;" John i. 14. Thus God was manifested to men in the flesh; 1 Tim. iii. 16.
(3.) And as he was perfectly holy in his nature without any stain or guilt of original sin; so was he perfectly holy in his life, and never broke the least command of God in thought, word, or deed. Never could any convince him of sin; John viii. 46. He fulfilled the law of nature, which all the world was under, and the Mosaical law which the Jews were under, and the special law that was given to himself as Mediator, and was common to no other creature in the world.
And thus he performed these excellent works. (1.) By the fulfilling of all righteousness he pleased the Father, always accomplishing his will; and so did much of the work of a Saviour, in meriting for us; Matt.iii. 15. v. 17. John viii. 22. Matt. xii. 18. xvii. 5. Rom. v. 19. "For such an highpriest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners; Heb. vii. 26.
2. He hath conquered the tempter, that conquered us. And therefore did he purposely yield himself to such sore temptations; Matt. iv. that his victory might be glorious, and the second Adam might overcome him that had overcome the first. And thus he hath done much to the rescue of the captivated.
3. Hereby also he hath overcome the world, which overcame the first Adam and his posterity: he trampled upon its seeming glory; he neglected and despised its baits and allurements; he went through all its cruel persecutions and oppositions, so that the world now as well as the devil, are conquered things. By which he hath made way for the victory of his followers, and given them ground of great encouragement; John xvi. 33. "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Yea, I may say in a sort, he hath overcome the flesh also. For though Christ had no corrupted
flesh as we have to contend with, yet had he a natural and sensitive appetite, which the command of God did forbid him to fulfil. And therefore when innocent nature desired that the cup might pass from him, and abhor death by a simple averseness; yet perfect holiness permitted not this to proceed to a refusal by the comparing intellect, and choosing or refusing will; but saith, "Not my will, but thine be done." And when Christ was weary and hungry, the desire of food and rest by the sensitive appetite was no sin; but when the work of God forbade the fulfilling of such desires, he still denied them.
(4.) Hereby also he hath set us a perfect copy and pattern of obedience, and is become our example, whom we must endeavour to imitate. For he knew that it is the most ef fectual teaching, to do it by words and deeds together. It is a great help to us, when we do not only hear his voice, but see also which way he hath gone before us. When he saith," Learn of me," he directs us not only to his words, but to himself, who was "meek and lowly;" Mett.xi. 28.
(5.) Moreover Christ received of the Father fulness of the Spirit, and power, for the benefit of the redeemed: that he might be meet to be the Head and treasury of the church, and to shower down the streams of grace upon his members and when all power was given him in heaven and earth, he might be fitted to the following application of his benefits, and to rule, and support, and defend his people.
(6.) Moreover he was pleased himself to become a preacher of the Gospel of salvation, not to all the world, but principally as a minister of the circumcision, that is, the Jews; Rom. xv.8. He that purchaseth salvation, condescended also to proclaim it. The preaching of the Gospel is a work that Christ thought not himself too good for, sometimes to many, sometimes to one or two, as he had opportunity; often with tears, and always with earnestness and compassion, did he go about doing good, and seeking the lost, and healing the diseased, and calling men to faith and repentance, and offering them the grace and life which he purchased.
(7.) And he was pleased also to seal up his doctrine by his works, casting out devils, healing all diseases, raising the dead, and working divers other miracles, to assure them that he came from God, and did his work, and revealed his will, that so the world might have no excuse for their unbe
lief; but that they that would not believe upon any other account, might yet believe him for the sake of his works; John iii. 2. Acts ii. 22. Heb. ii. 4. John v. 36. x. 25.38. xiv. 11, 12. xv. 24.
(8.) Besides all this, he gave up himself to a life of suffering, being despised by his creatures whom he came to redeem, and destitute voluntarily of fleshly pleasures, and of that riches and worldly provision that might procure it. He was a man of sorrows, afflicted from his youth, persecuted from the cradle; he gave his cheeks to the smiters, and his person to be made the scorn of fools; he was crowned with thorns, spit upon and buffeted, and having sweat water and blood, in his agony in the garden, he was hanged on a cross where thieves were both his companions and revilers, where they gave him gall and vinegar to drink, pierced his blessed body with a spear, and put him to a shameful, cursed death. But he endured the cross, despising the shame, and gave up himself thus a sacrifice for sin, and bore our transgressions, that we might be healed by his stripes; and having ransomed us by his blood, he was buried as an offender, continuing for a time in the power of the grave; Isa. liii. throughout, Matt. xxvi. xxvii. Heb. xii. 2. All this he consented to undergo, (though he consented not to the sin of them that did inflict it,) for he laid down his life, it was not taken from him against his will; John x. 17, 18.
(9.) Having thus paid the price of our reconciliation to God, the third day he rose again from the dead, though soldiers watch his grave; because he had foretold them that he would rise on the third day, yet were they soon daunted by the glory of an angel, that came and rolled away the stone. And so Christ made known his Divine power and victory, and the finishing of his work and as by death he overcame him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, (Heb. iii. 14.) so by his resurrection he triumphed over death itself. For how should the grave detain the innocent, and death overcome the Lord of life? This was the glorious day of triumph; in remembrance of this he appointed the Lord's day to be observed by the church. The resurrection of Christ was the confusion of all the powers of darkness; the great argument to confirm the truth of his doctrine, and prove his Godhead to the unbelieving world.
(10.) Being risen, he more fully revealed his Gospel, and
sent forth his apostles and disciples, to proclaim the offers of life to the world, and settle the churches in a holy order, when they had gathered them, and to ordain such ministers to succeed them, as might carry on his work to the end of the world; Matt. xxviii. 19, 20. And thus he is the faithful Lawgiver to the church.
(11.) When he had abode thus forty days on earth, he ascended up into heaven, while his disciples stood by, and gazed after him; (Acts i. 9, 10.) and there hath taken possession in our nature, advancing it to the Father's right hand in glory, which was by sin depressed so low in misery. And so he is gone to prepare a place for us, leaving us a certain word of promise that he" will come again, and take us to himself, that where he is, there we may be also;" John xiv. 2,3. And as our life now is hid there with Christ in God, so when he shall appear, we shall appear with him in glory;" Col. iii. 3, 4.
(12.) Being ascended, he manifested his power and his truth in sending down the Holy Ghost upon his disciples, enabling them to do such works as he had done, and such as were necessary to convince the unbelieving world, and to conquer the opposing wisdom and power of the flesh; enabling them to speak in variety of languages, which they had never before learned; as also to understand and powerfully preach the mysteries of the Gospel, to confirm their doctrine by miracles, healing the lame, the blind, the sick, casting out devils, raising the dead, and conquering the resistance of principalities and powers, in seeming weakness, and in a contemptible garb. Not to speak now of the sanctifying work of the same Spirit, on them and on the rest of the church.
(13.) Lastly, In this glory Christ intercedeth for us, and is our High-priest in the heavens with God, living for ever, procuring and conveying to us the mercies which we need upon the account of his sacrifice; ruling his church, and preserving them; succeeding his cause and servants; restraining and subduing his enemies and ours; and will perfect his work at the day of his coming to judgment. So much of the works of Christ,
4. The fourth point to be understood concerning our redemption, is, The nature and worth of the benefits that are procured for us. Which though you may gather much from what is said, and the full handling of them would be a lar
ger work than is suitable to my present ends, yet such a brief recital I shall here give you, as my ends require.
In general, we have all from Jesus the Mediator that is worth the having; even all the blessings of this present life, and of the life to come. As we lost our right to all by sin, so we have our restored right by Christ alone, who came to destroy sin, and its effects. Had not he interposed, we might have had materially life, and natural faculties, and other things which now are mercies; but not as mercies, but as the requisites to our deserved punishment: even as the devils have their being and natural perfections to sustain them in their sufferings. Nature itself, so far as good, and all natural blessings are now of grace: and that not only of grace as they were to Adam, which was mercy without proper merit; but of Gospel grace procured by Christ, which is mercy contrary to merit. It is no sounder doctrine to say, that God doth without the merit of his Son bestow our common forfeited mercies, either on the elect or others, than that he giveth us his saving grace without it. As all things are delivered into the hands of Christ; (John xiii. 3.) so none can receive any good but from his hands. To give mercies to men that forfeit them, and deserve misery, is so far to pardon their sin; for to remit the sin, is to remit the punishment. But the Scripture is not acquainted with any pardon of sin, but what is on the account of the merits of Christ. They that deny this mercy of God, in giving even to the ungodly such a measure of forgiveness, do speak against the daily and hourly experience of all the world; and therefore need no other confutation.
More particularly, (1.) Christ having taken the human nature into union with the Divine, our nature is thereby inconceivably advanced, and brought nigh to God.
(2.) Having fulfilled the law and offered himself a sacrifice for sin, God's justice, and wisdom, and holiness, and goodness, are admirably demonstrated: and this sacrifice is both satisfactory and meritorious on our behalf; Heb.i.3. 2 Cor. v. 19. Heb. ix. 26. x. 12.
(3.) The world, and the devil, and death, and the grave, are conquered by him, in preparation to our conquest.
(4.) The Lord Jesus himself being risen, and justified, hath received all power in heaven and in earth; Matt. xxviii. 19. And is enabled to do all things that are necessary for