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2. The death, resurrection from the dead, and intercession of Christ, the elect's surety.
1. His death: this was the consummating act whereby he completed the payment of our debt, for which he became bound to God for the elect.
2. His resurrection from the dead; which is God's discharge from that obligation he lay under, as the surety of the elect.
3. His work of intercession at God's righthand; to which place and office he would never have been admitted, had not the passage thereto been cleared up and prepared by the satisfaction given. There can, then, be no reason shewn, why, or wherefore, the weakest believer should fear being damned or sent to hell for his sins, seeing his Redeemer and Surety is raised from the grave; and is actually ascended from the lower parts of God's earth, to sit at his right-hand, in the highest heavens; to enter on the glorious work of interceding with God his Father for him, a poor, shattered, tempted soul. Objection. But
my sins are so many and great, and my faith so very, very weak, that I am often assailed with fearful doubtings and questionings whether I be one of those elect in whose behalf Christ received that full and actual discharge from God the Father.
To this I answer in the particulars following:
1. Suppose thy sins do, for quantity and quality, not only equalize, but outdo, the crying abo
minations of any now in glory; nay, not only so, but, I will add, the abominations of any, nay, all the reprobates in hell, except the unpardonable sin, which many in that place have committed : I say, suppose thy sins were as many and as great as the sins of those now mentioned; yet, if thou seriously consider the inconceivable worth, and the infinitely incomprehensible value, of the price paid to God's offended justice for the sins of the elect, there will appear no real or solid ground to fear the greatness of thy sins. In case the numberless numbers of the elect's sins were thy own sins personally, and that there were a thousand millions of elect sinners more than there be stars in the firmament, yet the shoulders of that Almighty Saviour, who became surety for God's elect, would bear them all, and that without any danger of sinking under their weight. Remember that place, “ Wherefore, he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him," &c. Heb. vii. 25. To which let me, for thy comfort and future encouragement in believing, add the mercy of Jehovah, which, with the merit of Christ's satisfaction for sin, is every way so infinite and incomprehensible, that it swallows up and outdoeth all the power that can ? be in sin to damn or ruin any elect sinner for whom Christ, the Son of God, died and rose again. All the breaches of God's law are the acts or omissions of finite creatures; but the mercy of God in pardoning sinners, and the merit of Christ's obedience and sacrifice to deserve and obtain their
pardon, these are the mercy and the merits of an infinite God; and as soon might a little wren or sparrow dive into the deepest part of the sea, and ascend up again to give an account of its depth, as any created being can be capable of sounding or fathoming the uninvestigable and bottomless depth of God the Father's pardoning mercy, and of Christ the Son's merit to purchase the elect's pardon.
2. And what though thy faith be so weak, so very, very weak, as thou complainest it is; this need not hinder thy comfort in feeding on this best and sweetest of fruits : for thy faith, though it be never so weak, proves itself to be a divine faith, by its operation in thee.
'1. In that it empties thy heart of all conceited righteousness of thine own, whereby Satan and corrupt nature would have thee to look for life and salvation.
2. In that it carries thee out to rest under the shadow of Christ's mediatorial satisfaction, hoping and expecting life and salvation by his merits alone. Though all men's stomachs be not equally sharp, at table, yet he that hath the least stomach might eat to as great satisfaction and content as he who eats most. Let thy faith be never so weak, thou wilt find, by experience, that the oftener thou dost taste of this fruit of Christ's death and resurrection, with application thereof to thyself, crying out believingly, 'My dear Lord Jesus Christ, who died to discharge the debt of my sins,
and who rose again for my justification!' the sweeter and the more delightful will it be; and not only so, but thy poor weak faith will by this means gather strength day by day.
3. And, as touching those fearful doubtings and questionings, whether thou in particular be one of those elect for whom Christ died and rose again, I need say no more than to assure thee that this hath been the case of the most eminent saints now triumphing in glory, when in a militant state, as thou now art. That soul that was never trou. bled with doubtings and questionings about his state, was never yet blessed with a right saving faith. Not that these doubtings are of the essence of true faith, or as if thou wert not bound to be humbled for them before God, and obliged to strive against them; but an argument they are that thou art acted by a twofold principle, and that the devil is now discovered to be thine enemy: both which effectually prove thee to be one of those elect for whom Christ both died and rose again.
Fifthly, The resurrection of Christ is sweet to a true believer, as the same is, a sure and certain pledge of his own, and all other believers, being raised, not only from a state of mortality, but also from a state of imperfection. The resurrection' of Christ, the believer's surety, is the ground and foundation of a believer's both rising more and more to newness of life, and of his being raised again out of the dust of death, to partake of the
glory of the last resurrection. Rom. vi. 4, 5, 6. 1 Cor. xv. 49, 54. Phil. iii. 21. John vi. 40.
The resurrection of Christ is sweet to the believer, as it is an invincible argument to prove, that Christ, his surety, having once died, and by his glorious resurrection overcome death, he is never more to die. So witnesseth the Holy Ghost:
Knowing that Christ being raised up from the dead, dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him,” Rom. vi. 9. “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive for evermore,” &c. Rev. i. 18.
The ground hereof is the infinite satisfaction given to his Father's justice for the sins of the elect, by that one death which he underwent. If it were possible for Christ to die a thousand times over and over, his dying so many deaths could not be more satisfactory to the justice of God, for the sins of the elect, than was that one most shameful, bitter, and cursed death of the cross, which he suffered and underwent once for all: “ For in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God,” Rom. vi. 10.
God the Father hath now no more sin to charge on him than what he stood charged with on the cross when he said, on his giving up the ghost, “It is finished,” John xix. 30. “For by one of fering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified,” Heb. x. 14.
It is not, in this case, as it hath been with but too many of Adam's children, and is in this very