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to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”—This was typified by the facrifices under the law, on the head of which the offerer laid his hand, typically transferring the sin upon the beast; which was really accomplished in that true sacrifice of Christ, who gave himself for us," an offering and a facrifice to God for a sweet smelling favour," Eph. v. 2. (3.) His sufferings and death were most exquisite: “God spared not his own Son.” In the death of Christ there was a complication of deaths; they murdered his reputation, execrating him as a blafphemer against God, and a traitor against the government; placing him between two malefactors, as if he had been the greateft of the three. They murdered his body, and that in a most cruel manner: The wrath of God fell upon his soul, the first drops of which made him cry out, “ My soul is exceeding forrowful." His enemies shewed no pity, but gave him vinegar to drink : He got judgement without mercy from God: Even the sun was darkened, that he might not have the light of it, because it is pleasant to the eyes. (4.) His sufferings and death were fatisfactory, and that fully. By his one facrifice, he hath for ever perfected them that are sanctified. He was Lord of his own life: He voluntarily laid it down, and that upon a compact betwixt the Father and him. Being God, the fulness of the Goda head dwelling in him, the fulness of merit cannot. be doubted; for fo his sufferings were of infinite value, to which nothing can be added. He was God, and purchased the church with his own blood, Acts xx. 28. There was a proportion between the sins of the elect and the fufferings of Chrift: Sin is an infinite evil, his sufferings were of infinite value. His deity stamped an infinite value on his sufferings; and in this respect they
do more than equal all the possible sufferings of ALL CREATURES together; for what would they all be to GOD DYING?
2. As to his resurrection, and the life to which he was restored. The text fays, Behold, I am alive. Had he lain still in the grave as dead, all the hopes of believers had died with him ; but behold, we have David's comfort: his soul was not left in hell, neither did he fee corruption, Psal. xvi. 10. Here consider, (1.) That God raised up Chrift, Acts ii. 24. « Him God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death ; because it was not possible that he should be holden of it." There was the weight of all the elect's fins lying on him as a grave-stone. This, was rolled away, and he was raised up by the exceeding greatness of God's power, Eph. i. 19. By this power, also, the Father declared him to be his Son indeed, Rom. i. 4. ; and that he was fully fatisfied for the debt Christ undertook to pay.. Therefore, though Christ himself.could have rolled away the stone, yet an angel, God's officer, is fent to do it, to open the prison-door; thereby declaring, that the Judge had no more to exact of him, that the debt was completely paid. (2.) Where he now: lives. It is in heaven, the better country, which we had forfeited by fin, but where we still would fain be. Forty days after his resurrection, he afcended into heaven. As a public person he died, and
fuch he ascended. There the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an High-Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec. He is set down on the Father's throne, and is at his right hand. Having offered his bloody facrifice, he is now gone into the holiest of all, and there will continue till the restitution of all things. (3.) For what he lives. The apostle tells us, that it is to make intercession for us; and he himself fays, it is to prepare a place for us in his Father's house, where there are many mansions. He went there to take infeftment of heaven for us, and he lives to keep poffeffion. He lives there as the Advocate of the faints, who have continual business at the court of Heaven, yet have no skill to manage it ; « but,” fays Paul, “ Christ is entered there to appear in the presence of God for us.” This is said in allufion to a custom among confederated states and princes, who have their agents, who, upon all occafions, appear in the presence of the prince in behalf of those they represent, and for whom they negotiate, to take up any emergent differences, or manage whatever business may be put into their hands. -We now go on,
3. To the eternity of this life: The man Christ lives for evermore. Amen. Says Paul, “ He ever liveth," and that as God-man. The saints cannot outlive their Advocate; nay, through eternity they shall behold his glorious face. He will never lay aside our nature. He is now for ever out of the reach of death. He dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him. Joseph's brethren, when they saw their father was dead, were in a great fear, left Joseph should avenge the wrong they had done him. No such fear needs the believer have. Jesus lives for ever, to be the eternal bond of the saints eternal communion with God. For, seeing we can neither come to God by ourselves, nor by ourselves abide in communion with him, it is neces fary, that as we come to God by Christ, so by him also must we abide with God for ever. The members must receive influences and glory from their Head, to whom they shall remain for ever united. He lives for ever, to be their prophet, for the Lamb is the light of the New Jerusalem, Rev. xxi. 23.; and he will be their Priest for ever; he conti
nueth -Let us,
nueth for ever, having an unchangeable priesthood, Heb. vii. 24. He will eternally represent his own sacrifice as the foundation of our eternal glory ; and as for his kingdom, it is an everlasting kingdom, that shall not be destroyed, Dan. vii. 14.
4. Attend to his Mediatorial sovereignty. He hath the keys of hell and death. He hath all power over the present and future worlds. Hell and death are terrible to the believer ; but Christ. holds the keys of both. He went down to the grave, opened the door, and brought the keys away with him. None go to hell but whom he fends there, and consequently the keys of heaven are in his hand; which is here also understood, He has « all power in heaven and earth," Matth. xxviii. 18. Of this, Joseph's exaltation in Egypt was a type, Gen. xli. 40. And these keys are the purchase of his blood, Phil. ii. 8. 9. “ Because he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name,” &c.
Now, these things, the death, resurrection, life, and power of Jesus, may be considered three ways, in order to improve them for confolation to the saints. (1.) As patterns and examples. It is the ordinary way of distressed persons, to conclude there is no sorrow like their forrow; and if ye can satisfyingly answer that ordinary question of theirs, Was there ever any in my case that got fafely out of it? you will do much to allay their grief, and raise their hopes. Thus we find the apostle im. proving the sufferings and glory of Christ, Heb. xii. 3. « For confider him," says he, “ that endured such contradiction of finners against himself, left ye be wearied, and faint in your minds." Yea,
Jesus himself fays, Rev. iii. 21. “To him that overcometh will I grant to fit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father on his throne.” (2.) As pledges, afsuring the saints of what they wish for. Thus the apostle improves the resurrection of Christ, to affure believers they shall not lie ever consuming in a grave, but shall be raised up to glory. Christ says he is risen from the dead, the first-fruits of those that flept, i Cor. xv. 20.; and Jesus tells us, that his life is a pledge of ours : “ Because I live, ye shall live alfo,” John xiv. 19. (3.) As containing in them fufficient salves for all their fores. Thus are these the magazine of the saint's consolation, his wounds are the clefts of the rock, wherein the poor creature may safely hide itself. Only bruise the fpices, pour out the ointment, consider them in their nature and effects, and assuredly they will send forth a pleasant fmell, sufficient to revive and comfort a fainting soul. We are now,
II. To point out the nature of that confolation which faints may derive from these. For this
purpose, let us take a view of the fountains of their fears and distrust.
1. There is the fupereminent glory and infinite majesty of the great God. This, when seen and considered by poor worm man, whose habitation is in the dust, is a great source of fear. This made John fall down at his feet as dead. Who can behold the glorious majesty upon this earth, and not be ready to dwindle into nothing ? How do some tremble at the view of their fellow-creatures exalted above them in power and dignity! But what a vaft disproportion betwixt God and the greatest monarch! This challenges our fear indeed, but the faints ought not to let it degenerate into flavish