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saying of God to the serpent, “Thou shalt bruise bis heel.” If it had not been the will of God, that events should have taken place concerning the woman's Seed as they have, he could not have consistently said; ! will put enmity between thee and the woman; and between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel, Besides, all things concerning Christ were fixed in the covenant of redemption. There is therefore propriety in represent. ing the sufferings of Christ, as brought upon him by the active providence of God. Hence it pleased the Lord to bruise bim; he hath put him to grief."
Accordingly in the New Testament, Christ is frequently spoken of, as being delivered up by an act of divine government. “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, &c.—Against thy holy child Jesus-were the people of Israel gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy band and thy counsel determined before to be done.-God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all.”
. And all the sufferings laid upon Christ, from whatever quarter they came, were submitted to voluntarily. Hence the Son of man caine to give his life a ransom for many. Christ laid down his life freely. Therefore doth my Father iove me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again: no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." These passages of Scripture are directly to the purpose to obviate any such imagination that might arise from the manner of his dying, as if it were only according to the natural course of things from the malice of biş enemies.”
The sufferings and death of the Son of man were involved in the divine decree or covenant of redemption; still it is true, that the heel of the woman's sced was bruised by the serpent and his seed, and not by the immediate hand of God. Through divine permis. sion Satan had the power of death;" so that all the wounds and bruises of the Son of God, were immed: ately from the power of darkness. Christ was supported and comforted in all bis sufferings, for he knew that through a bruise upon his heel, he should effect a mortal one upon the head of the serpent. It is a divine decree, that Chri-t, by his death, should destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. Hence the prince of this world, who plotted the ruin of Christ, was completely defeuted and confounded, and put to flight.” Satan, through subtlety, craft and lying brought death upon the first man: but his subtlety and lying, and even his strength, failed him, when he undertook the destruction of the Second Man: For God disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise. He taketh the wise in their own craftiness; and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong."
In order to the redemption of man, not only the sufferings of Christ were necessary, but he must suffer by the power of darkness; and not only must his blood be shed, (for without the shedding of blood, there is no remission;) but his blood must be shed upon the cross. If therefore the blood of Christ had been shed before he reached the destined spot, so that it could not be sprinkled upon the symbolical horns of the altar; that is, although the blood of Christ was necessary in the work of atonement; nevertheless, it would have availed nothing, had it not been shed according to the divine prediction concerning him.
When Christ said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death,” it is thought by some, that his distress was primarily distress of body and not of mind. For say they, the term soul, tuxn, is in various places in the Scriptures, employed to designate the body, the animal part the human frame. It is evident that Curist meant to make a distinction between his soul,
fuxcn. and spirit, tveruz, for saith he, The spirit, indeed is willing, but the fl-sh is weak.
Nothing however could weaken the confidence of Christ in the promise of the Father. His religion did 4. not begin to fail hini. His mind was strong in the
Lurd. He had clear views of the end for wliich he caine into the world. The communion between him his heavenly Father was not interrupted. He did not need an angel to strengthen his confidence in God, by preaching religion to him, by calling upon him to trust in God. Neither did he need an angel to strengthen
him against the fire of divine wrath, which some say, -- was poured down upou him from the immediate hand
of God. But an angel was sent to strengthen him ?? against the strength of his strong enemy, and all the : fiery darts of the power of darkness.
The Son of God did not "spouse the cause of sin. ners in such a sense as to take the wrath and curse of his righteous Father upon himself, which was due to the wicked. Christ will however save his people from the wrath to come, "for he ever liveth to make intercession for them:” but not because he has borne, in
their room and stead, that wrath and curse of God : which they deserved to bear. Jesus will never cast
out any who come unto him. Salvation is near to those who obey the Gospel. Nothing can separate them from the love of God. It is not, however, be. cause the displeasure of God against sin, "has been exhibited to equal advantage as it would be in their eternal damnation:" but because, Christ having completed the work of redemption by obedience unto death, even the death of the cross, a door of mercy is opened to fallen man; and whosoever will, may come and receive the water of life freely: this renders the flesh of the Son of man meat indeed, and his blood drink indeed.
If the blood of Christ had not been shed upon the cross, that is if Christ had not been obedient unto the deat of the cross, it would not have opened a door of suivation; and, if his heel had not been bruised by
the serpent and his seed, according to the prediction, there would not have been a way consecrated for us through his flesh into the holy of holies. “Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us through the vail, that is, his flesh; and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."*
Heb. x, 19–22
CHRIST'S CONQUEST OVER SATAN, A DOOR OF
REVELATION xix, 16. And he hath on his resture, and on his thigh, a name
written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
IMPROVEMENT BY INFERENCES,
Ist INFERENCE. ALL Christian people are agreed, that atonement is the only foundation of hope: that is, if the Seed of the woman had not bruised the serpent's head, no man could be raised from the gulph into which he was plunged by the apostasy. Different authors, however, on the subject, express different sentiments. A certain respectable writer, having given a general view of his sentiments respecting the atonement of Christ, proceeds to illustrate his idea of it, by what he calls a story. The subject under consideration leads me to remark on this author's illustration:
Benvolus,” saith he, “sustained the best and most worthy character of any man in the kingdom. His wife was publicly guilty of a crime, for which the law of the state denounced a punishment, which she could not suffer and survive; but it must prove fatal to her, if inflicted on her. : The law was so good and important, that is the penalty were not inflicted, and the law were disregarded in favour of the criminal, the consequence would be most fatal to the kingdom, and sap the foundation of all authority, law and governinent; and introduce endless confusion and misery