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i. That when God made man, he made him a rich man he bestowed all manner of goods upon him, that were necef sary to make him live comfortably here, and to make him eternally happy hercatter.
2- You would consider, that Satan, by this time, having fallen, like a star, from heaven to earth, when he lighted upo: tiiis world, upon this earth, he presently saw man standing and acting in the capacity of God's victroy, bearing his image, and having die whole creation in subjection to him. This filled the enemy with envy, and therefore he enters into a resolution, if it were possible, to commit a robbery upon man, and to strike at God's sovereignty through man's side j and accordingly,
3. Sctai: prevailed upon pur first parents, and beguiled them into an eating of the tree of knowledge of good and Cti), •which God had discharged them to eat upon the pain of death; and thereby the paction' betwixt God and man (I mean the covenant of work;.) was broken.
4. The covenant of works Eyeing broken, and man having entered in:o ;; rebellion against God with the devil, he justly forfeited all the spiritual and temporal goods that God bestowed upon him, and likewise lost his title to a happy eternity, and became the enemy's vassal; and thus the enemy robbed him of all the poods that God bestowed upon him.
5. Lastly, The • ternal Son of God having a delight in the sons of men, and beholding them in this miserable plight, he enters upon a resolution that he will take on man's nature as a coat of mail, and that he will in man's nature be avenged upon that serpent that hath beguiled our first parents, and spoiled them of their patrimony. And accordingly-, in the fulness of time, he comes, and is manifested to destroy the works of the devil, and to recover all the stolen goods-, he spoiled principalities and powers, and triumphed over them in his cross, and then divides a portion widi the great, and the spoil with the strong; anil, with a view to this, it is said in this text, Then I restored that -which I took not away. And so I come to,
II. The second thing I proposed, and that was, to inquire a
little into the robbtry thai -was committed by fin and Satan, both upon God and upon man.
And,first, To begin with the robbery that was committed upon God. It was the dcv-LIs great drift, by tempting man to. sin a;; :n^ God, to rob God of his glory. God made all things for h;g .-i), ar.d for his pleasure they are and were created, she whole earth, before sin entered into it, was full of "* hi» \h glory; and whenever Adam opened his eyes, and looked abiwd through the creation, he saw the glory of God sparkling, as it were, in every creature he cast his eyes upon. Well, tfie enemy's design was to despoil and rob God of his glory. There is a question put, Mai. iii. 8. " Will a man rob God':" ■will a creature adventure to rob his Creator? And yet this wickedness is perpetrate. God is invaded, and his glory is in a great measure taken away, I mean his declarative glory, for it is impossible his essential glory can be invaded. *
I will tell you of several tilings relative to the glory of God, which were attempted to be taken away, and quite obscured Slid sullied by the sin of man.
1. There was an attempt made to rob God of the glory of his sovereignty, as the great Lord and Lawgiver of heaven and earth. Man, when he sinned against God, and brake the law in compliance with the motion of the enemy, what was the language of the deed? It was, " We ourselves are lords, and will come no more unto thee;" we will make our own will a lav: "Let.the Almighty depart from us: for we desire not: the knowledge of his way."
2. There was an attempt to rob him of the glory of his wisdom. The wisdom of God was impeached by the sin of man as a piece of folly, namely, in giving a law to man, that was not worthy to be observed. Sirs, depend upon if, every sin you are guilty of, charges God with folly, and exalts the will and wisdom of the creature, above the will and wisdom of God expressed in this holy law. And what a capital crime is it for poor men to charge God with foolishness!
3. By sin there is an attempt to rob him of the glory of his power, in regard the sinner gives a defiance to the Almighty, and, upon the matter, fays, he is not able to revenge his quarrel on us, the arm of his power is withered. That is the language of sin. And then,
4. There is a robbery upon God's holiness, which is one of the most orient and bright pearls of his crown. When the holy law is violated and transgressed, the language of that action is, God is like ourselves, he approves of our ways. Again,
j. There was an attack upon his justice, and a denying his rcctoral power and equity. God siys, " The foul that sinneth shall die* that he will by no means acquit the guilty." Well, but the language of sin is, " God will not require it," or he may be pleased or pacified with this or the other petty atommcnt.
Not to insist: there was a despising of God's goodness. God «ave man a great estate; he gave him the whole earth,
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and would have given him the heavens alfo, if he had coniinued in his integrity; but yet all that goodnefs of God was trampled under foot by the sin of man.
Alfo, there was a denial of the f-aithfulnefs of God in the threatening that was denounced against the sin of man, "It* the day that thou eatest of it, thou shalt furely die." But the language of sin is, God is not true to his word, he will not furely do it; faid Satan, " Thou fhalt not furely die." Thus you fee there was an attempt made to rob God of the glory of all his perfections at once.
Secondly, Let us inquire a little into the goods that were stolen from man by sin and Satan. Here we may fee a melancholy scene. The glory of the human nature was quite marred by sin. Man was made the top of the creation; but by sin he was brought below the very beasts thai perifh, fo that, "The ox knowrth his owner, and the afs his master's crib, but my people know not me, faith the Lord; and they do not confider" their obligations to me.
Sin, it robbed man of his light and sight. Youknoar what befel Samfon when he was taken captive by his enemies, they put out his eyes ; fo when we fell into the enemies hands, they put out our eyes, and all mankind have been born blind since that time. Again, sin hath robbed us of our very life, and laid us among the congregation of the dead.—All mankind are a dead and putrisied company, " dead in trefpasses and sins," Eph. ii. 1.—And then, sin hath robbed man of his Jiberty unto any thing that is fpiritually good; and ever fince we have become captives to the devil, the world, and our lusts. Again, sin hath robbed us of our wifdom, and brought us to prefer folly to the wifdom of God. Every man by nature is playing the fool. Who but a fool would fpend his money upon that which is not bread, and his lab&ur upon that which prositeth not ?—Sin robbed us of our righteoufnefs, and rtndered us a company of guilty criminals before God, and brought us under the sentence of the broken law, condemnsd already, John iii. 18.—Sin robbed, us of our beauty, of the beautiful image of God, consisting in holinefs and conformity to the great Creator, and it hath brought the hue of hell upon all mankind, lying among the pots.—Again, sin hath robbed us of ourahealth. Man was a healthy creature both in foul and body before the entry of sin; but sin hath robbed us of that, fo that, "from the crown of the bead to the fole of the foot, there is no found part about us."—Sin hath robbed us of our peace, and fet us at war with God, with ourselves, with one another, and at war with the whole creation.— Sin hath Kibb»d us of our beautiful ornaments that God put upon us
at flow creation, and strips us naked, as it is said of Laodicea, Her. iii. iS.—Sin hath robbed us of our treasure, insomuch tint we are become beggars, poor, and naked.—In short, sin luth robbed us of our God, lo that we are become *' without God in the world." There is a robbery for you that cannot ke paralleled! You fee what was taken away from God and man, by the sin of man.—I might likewise tell you that sin fobbed man of that paradise of pleasure in which God set him a bia creation. No sooner had man finned through the instigation of Satan, that old serpent, but he was turned out of the prden of Eden, Gen. iii. 24. and a flaming sword placed, that tamed every way, to keep him from haying access to the tree of life in the midst of the garden.—Sin hath robbed us of heara, and made us heirs of hell and wrath.—In short, sin hath bordered and disjointed the whole creation. Whenever man Caned, there came such a load upon the earth, through the crseofGod, that ever since the whole creation hath been CTying in pain, seeking deliverance fro.n that dead weight that tath been lying upon it. So that, I say, by the sin of man were is a robbery committed, there are goods stolen from God 'adman, and the good creatures of God.
'If. The third thing proposed was, to make it appear that our firms Immanuel, he makes a restitution os what was taken aiuay bib from God and from man. He restores unto God his due, »nd restores unto man his loss.
And, 1. He makes restitution of glory to God, and that in "K highest measure and degree, as was intimated by the an?c's, at the^ nativity of our Lord, Luke ii. 14. The first note *f the song of the angels is, " Glory to God in the highest," *«. It is just as if they had said, Glory hath been taken **»y from God, by the sin of the first Adam and his posterity; out now there is a highsr revenue of glory to be brought in 10 'be crown of heaven, than the whole creation in innocency wuld afford. Accordingly, our blessed Lord he declares, *hen his work was finished, after he had gone through his "urse of humiliation, he comes to his Father, John xvii. 4. and he fays, Now, Father, " I have glorified thee on the earth." Observe the phraseology, for there is something rewritable in it, " I have glorified thee on the earth:" the *mb was the theatre of rebellion where God was affronted, "is law violated, and his sovereignty contemned ; but, says he,
'have glorified thee on the earth," where thou wast dishonoured. I ought to go through all the perfections of God, *« were leafed by the sin of man, and tell how Christ re
wes glory to every oae of them.
He restores glory to the divine sovereignty, bowing his roy a neck to take on the yoke of the law which we had broken He was made of a woman, and made under the law, that lu might magnify it, and so maintain the honour of the grea Lawgiver.
He restores glory likewise to the divine wisdom; for Chris! himself, in his person and mediation, is just "the wisdom o: God in a mystery," even his " hidden wisdom, the manifok wisdom of God." O Sirs! never were the treasures of divine wisdom and knowledge so much expended as in the person and mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And then, he restores glory likewise to the divine power: for Christ is " the power of God:" and when he went forth to the great work of man's redemption, he went forth armed with infinite power to manage it; therefore he is called " the arm of God, and the man of God's right-hand, whom he hath made strong for" the purposes of his glory. How gloriously was the power of God displayed, when he came from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength; spoiling principalities and powers, who had spoiled God of his glory, and man of all that was valuable unto him!
He Testores glory to the holiness of God. This attribute was injured by the sin of man, but its glory is restored by Christ ; and there is such a brightness of divine holiness (hints in the person and mediation of Christ, that when the angels look upon him, If. vi. they are dazzled, they are overwhelmed, not being able to behold it, they cover themselves, and cry, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts ; the whole earth is full of his glory."
And then, lie restores glory to the divine justice; for in the work of man's redemption, justice gets a complete, and full satisfaction, till it cry, It is enough. And the justice of God manifested in the execution of the penalty of the law upon the Surety, is laid- as the very foundation of the throne of grace, that we are called to come to for grace and mercy to help in thfc time of need, l'sal. lx,xxix. 14. "Justice and judgement are the habitation, or establishment, of thy throne," viz. justice satisfied, and judgement executed upon the glorious Surety.
Again, he restores glory to the divine goodness. God was good to man, but man trampled it under foot: But Chrilt makes a higher display cf the divine goodness than ever was seen by men or angtls; for in his person, and mediation, and sufferings, the goodness of God breaks out like an ocean,, in amazing streams of love, grace, and mercy. The love of God,