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On Delighting in the gracious Methods of our Redemption by Jefus Chrift.

DISCOURSE VII.

ROMANS V. II.

We joy in God through our Lord Jesus

Chrift.

IN

N our former Difcourfes on this Subject it was fhewn, that our Lord Jefus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, at the Time appointed by the Divine Wisdom and Goodness, actually affumed human Flesh That he brought the cleareft and fulleft Revelation of the Divine Will which was ever given to Mankind: That he alfo exhibited the most perfect Example of univerfal Holinefs, Goodnefs, and Purity for our Imitation: That he perK 2 formed

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formed the moft illuftrious Miracles, Ac&s of Godlike Power and beneficent Goodnefs; and that he at length fubmitted, for our Sakes and in Obedience to his heavenly Father's Will, to the most grievous Sufferings and to Death itself, that be might make Atonement for our Sins, and might obtain eternal Redemption for us. All thefe Things lay a juft Foundation for our Rejoicing in God through our Lord Jefus Chrift.

The next Thing to be confidered openeth to us a ftill more glorious and delightful Scene, viz. Chrift's Refurrection from the Dead, and Afcenfion into Heaven, and the Glories of his exalted State. It was neceffary for wife and valuable Purposes that he fhould fuffer and die; but he did not continue under the Power of Death: God hath raifed him up, faith St. Peter, having loofed the Bonds of Death, because it was not poffible that he fhould be bolden of it. Acts. ii. 24. The Refurrection of our Lord Jefus Christ is an Article of great Importance in the Chriftian Scheme. It was what he himfelf had foretold, and appealed to as a most illuftrious Confirmation of his Divine Miffion, and of the Truth of that Character under which he appeared as the Son of God,. the Saviour

Saviour of the World: He was declared, or demonftrated, as St. Paul speaks, to be the Son of God with Power by his Refurrection from the Dead. Rom. i. 4. It was alfo an open Declaration of God's Acceptance of his Oblation and Sacrifice, and that he was infinitely well pleafed with what Chrift had done and suffered for the Redemption of the human Race. And, finally, it was a fenfible Proof and Pledge of our Refurrection to immortal Life. Chrift had promifed concerning thofe that believe and obey him, that he would raise them up at the laft Day. Joh. vi. 39, 40. And his Rifing himself from the Dead, according to his own Prediction, shewed that he is able to accomplish this glorious Promife, and that it may be fafely depended upon: Now is Chrift risen from the Dead, faith the Apostle, and become the First fruits of them that slept. 1 Cor. XV. 20. His Refurrection is the Pledge of theirs, as the Firft-fruits were of the following Harvest. And again, if we believe that Jefus died, and rofe again, even fo them alfo which fleep in Jefus will God bring with him, VIZ. at his fecond Coming. The. iv. 14.

Chrift, having fhewed himself alive after his Paffion by many infallible Proofs, K 3 afcended

afcended into Heaven, and was received up into Glory; he was taken up in his human Nature, in which he had defcended to fuch amazing Depths of Suffering and Abafement, to Joy and Glory inexpreffible. This is a ravishing Contemplation! How should it gladden our Hearts to confider the Glories which Chrift's exalted Humanity is now invefted with, as the Reward of his Obedience and Sufferings? For we are told, that, because he became obedient unto Death, even the Death of the Cross; therefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a Name which is above every Name. Phil. ii. 8, 9. Thus, in this admirable Saviour, we have both the most hining Example of holy unreserved Obedience, and alfo the moft eminent Proof and Specimen of the glorious Reward which fhall attend it.

But we are not to regard Christ's Exaltation and Glory merely as a Reward of his Obedience and Sufferings, but as neceffary to his farther Difcharge of his mediatorial Office. We must not imagine, that, upon his Entrance into Heaven, he left off interefting himself for us of the human Race. He ftill purfueth his glorious Defign which he had undertaken for our Salvation; and there are two Things to

be

be obferved concerning the Exercise of his mediatorial Office in Heaven. The one is his Appearing in our Behalf as our great High Priest, and making perpetual Interceffion for us: The other is his being invested with an univerfal Authority and Dominion as the great King and Head over all Things to his Church.

With Regard to the former it is obferved by the facred Writer to the Hebrews, that we have a great High Priest that is paffed into the Heavens, Jefus the Son of God. Heb. iv. 14. It was neceffary to the Fulfilling of his Prieftly Office, that, as he had offered himself a Sacrifice for us upon the Crofs, fo he should make Interceffion for us in the heavenly Sanctuary. And this Interceffion is founded on his Atonement, and on the Merit of his Obedience and Sufferings. To this Purpose it is declared, that Chrift, being an High Prieft of good Things to come, not by the Blood of Goats and Calves, but by his own Blood, entered in once into the holy Place, having obtained eternal Redemption for us. He is entered, not into the holy Places made with Hands, which are the Figures of the true, but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the Prefence of God for us. Heb. ix. 11, 12, 24. And we are affured, that he is K 4 able

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