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IV. The fourth thing in the method, which was to speak a little of the door of access unto the New. Testament Ark.
Noah's ark stood open until all the creatures that could not subsist in the waters had entered in, and until the deluge broke out, Gen. vii. 7—9.; for, if it had been shut, nocresture could have entered into it, or been saved.
Just so, if there were not a way or door of access unto Christ, no flcfli could be saved. But we bring you good tidings of great joy, Luke ii. 10. Christ is a common Ark, a common Saviour, to sinners of mankind: And to encourage poor perishing sinners to come to him, I will tell you of several doors by which entrance by faith is to be had into the New Testament Ark, that you may not perish in the deluge.
ift, The door of the revelation of Christ, as a Saviour come into the world. What is the design of the whole scriptures of truth, from the beginning to the ending, but to make Christ known to the sons of men, in order to their believing in him, that they may be saved frpm the wrath to conic, John xx. last, "These things are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son ot" God, and that believing, ye might have life through his name. John v. 39. "Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me. Sirs, Christ is evidently set forth before your in the word read and preached, his whole righteousness and salvation Is set before you, and brought near to you; and, pray, for what end? but that you may improve him to all the ends of his saving offices. They that want the Bibie and a preached gospel will have far more to say for themselves, than you unto whom the word of God and the gospel of salvation Is sent, John xv. 22. compared with Matth. x. 15. Rom. x. M* for "how (hall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" *°* this is not the cafe with you; for Christ is nigh to you>.'f your mouths and hearts, even in this word of faith whip'1 we preach, Rom. x. 8. So that the very revelation of Chnlt is a door of'faith, especially when we declare to you, ff°m Christ's own mouth, "that he came not into the world to condemn the World, but that the world through him rflight be saved," John iii. 17.
idly, The incarnation of the Son os God, or his »ua"
ming our nature into a personal union with his divine nature
is a bless-d door of faith for any poor perishing sinner 0
Adam's family. This we find is set forth for a ground of h>"f
through the whole scriptures of truth: It was the first thing proposed to Adam and Eve immediately after the fall, when they were under awful apprehensions of present death, Gen. iiL 14. i 5. (viz. the seed of the woman) shall bruise thy head, (viz. of the serpent). They were to believe, that the Son of God, who was speaking to them, would, in the fulness of time, become the feed of the woman, or be incarnate, and avenge their quarrel; and the faith of this eased and quieted their spirits, because in this they saw that God was upon their side. So in the promise made to Abraham, the incarnation of the Son of God was presented unto him and his posterity, Gl-ii. xxii. io. " In thy feed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." Upon which the apoitle, Gal. iii. 16. gives the following commentary, " He doth not speak of seeds as of many, but as of one, and to thy feed, which is Christ." In the relt of the scriptures, where these two promises are more fully opened, we find the incarnation of the Son of God presented as a ground of faith and hope to the church of God. DaviV, in the Psalms, frequently speaks of him as man, l'l'.il. viii. 4. compared with Heb. ii. 6. the Son of man, and the Man of God's right hand, I'LL lxxx. 17. Isaiah speaks of him as a Child born unto us, although at the fame time his name is I He Mighty God, chap. ix. 6. and Liii. as a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Jeremiah, as a Branch of righteousness, chap, xxxiii. 15. that was to spring out of the root of Jesse, Is. xi. 1. And every where almost in the New Testament, he is presented as the Word made flesh, John '• 14-; made of a woman, Gal. iv. 4.; the Seed of the woman, Gen. iii. 16. -, born of a virgin, Matth. i. 16. j Who "took not on him the nature of angels, but the feed of Abraham," Heb. ii. 16. And commonly, when he speaks of himself through the evangelists, he denominates himself bythe human nature, rather than by the divine, 'she Son of man. One special reason of which is, as I think, because the faith of sinners could not terminate or fix upon his divine nature, but by virtue of his human nature. The hand of faith lays hold upon the skirt of the human nature, that it may thereby draw, as it were, the divine nature alongst with it, knowing that the personal union between these two natures cannot be dissolved. Now, that there is here a general ground of faith hid for all mankind that hears tell ot this great mystery of godliness, God manifested in the flesh, appears, if we consider, that it was not the person, but the nature of man that Christ assumed. And the nature of man is equally related to every man and woman, that possesses a true body, and a reasonable soul. Insomuch that every one that hears of him is warranted
to to say, This is my brother, " bone of my bone, and flesti of my flesh," Gen. ii. 23. as Adam said of Eve when presented unto him, and therefore a help meet for me, ver. 20. 0 Sirs, consider this, and dwell upon it. Christ, by virtue of his in» carnation, is our Goel or Kinsman, he is our blood-relation, and he took part of your flesh, that so he might be capable to act a part for you, which none else of the human race was capable to do, even to redeem you by his blood, and by death to bruise the head of the serpent. And is not this a noble ground of faith, trust, and confidence in him? O Sirs! enter in and take possession of the New Testament Ark, by this door of his incarnation, and claim him as yours, by an appropriating faith, faying with the church, If. ix. 6. To us (or to me) is this child born, &c. This doctrine was delivered by the angels at the birth of Christ, as good tidings of great joy unto all people, Luke ii. 10. 11. where they fay to the shepherds, (not to us, but) "To you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
yi>yi Another- passage by which faith may enter into the New Testament Ark, is Christ's obedience to the law, which was violate, broken, and dishonoured, by the fin of the first Adam, and of all his posterity. For understanding of this you would know, that the condition upon which life was promised to Adam, and to all mankind in him, was perfect obedience unto the command of the law, " He that doth these things shall live in them," Lev. xviii. 5. compared with Gal. iii. 12. And if Adam had continued in his obedience, he and his posterity might have claimed temporal, spiritual, and eternal life, as a debt due to them (though not upon the account of the intrinsic merit of his obedience, yet) by virtue of the paction in the covenant of works. Well, man being in honour, continued not*, Psal. xlix. 12. compared with Gen. iii. 6. He brake the covenant by eating the forbidden fruit; and all hi3 children s teeth ever since have been set on edge against God, their carnal mindsbeing enmity against God, are not subject to the law of God,
Rom. viii. 7. by which means they have loft their title to that life promised in the first covenant, and are fallen under the sentence of death; and without the honour of the law be repaired by a perfect obedience yielded unto it by man, or one in man's nature, it stands as an eternal bar in the way of j>'e jnd salvation unto all mankind. Well, Christ, the eternal Son of God, as man'b Kinsman and Surety, undertakes to repair the broken law, faying to his Father, " Lo, I come, in the ro' lume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy *'' • O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart," Psal. xl. 7'""
compared with Heb. x. 7. as if he had said, ' Let my ear b<;
r bored bored unto thy service in this, matter, for it is the firm purpose of my heart to fulfil all righteousness that the law requires of mankind sinners.' And accordingly, in the fulness of time, he is not only made of a woman, but made under the law, Gat. iv. 4. and in our stead and room magnifies the law and makes it honourable, If. xlii.21.: By which means, 'all legal bars and impediments lying in the way of salvation and life, from the part of the command of the law is made up again, and the law as fully satisfied as though it had never been broken, and the title to the life promised in the covenant of works comes to stand in the person of our common Kinsman and bloodrelation ;' upon which account, his righteousness and salvation is published and brought near unto all; yea even unto them that are stout hearted and far from righteousness, If. xrvi. at the close. And you fee in the fortieth psalm, after he had said to his Father, in the council of peace, •' I delight to do thy will, 0 my God, yea, thy law is within my heart," immediately he adds, ver. 9. 10. "I have preached righteousness in the great congregation, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest, 1 have not hid thy righteousness within my heart," &c. Thus you fee, that all who have the gospel preached unto them have a right of access to his righteousness or perfect obedience to the law; and whoever they be that believe in him as the Lord our righteousness, Jer. xxiii. 6. they enter into the New Testament Ark, and are saved from the deluge of God's wrath; "For there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus," because the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in them, Rom. viii. 1. 3. 4. and x. 4. Christ becomes the end cf the law for righteousness to them. Hence is that of the apostle, 2 Cor. v. at the close, " God was in Christ, not imputing their trespasses to them ; for he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
Heb. x*. 7.—By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen at yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house.
THE THIRD SERMON ON THIS TEXT.
AFTER resuming of what is above, I go on to tell you,
qikly, The death of Christ, or his atoning blood, is another door by which poor sinners do enter into the New Testament Ark, and are saved from the deluge of divine wrath. We are said to come by faith unto the blood of sprinkling, Heb. xii. 24"and to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus," chap. x. 19. Christ as crucified is evidently set forth, Gal. iii. !■ before all, in the dispensation of the gospel; hence the apostle Paul tells the Corinthians, "That he determined not to know any thing among them, five Jesus Christ, and him crucified," 1 Cor. ii. t. Christ fays, speaking of his death, " And I; if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me," J ohn xii. 32And accordingly, when the apostles went through the nations preaching the gospel, what was the great theme they continually harped [insisted or dwelt] upon?" We (fays he) preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness, but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God,' 1 Cor. i. 23. 24.
For clearing this matter of the death of Christ as a ground of faith, you would know that there is a threefold sufficiency in the death of Christ.
1. An intrinsic sufficiency arising from the infinite dignity of his person who suffered, being the infinite God in the person of the Son, clothed with a vail of flesh ; and in this respect, there was such a value in his death and blood, that it was sufficient, not only to redeem all mankind,but ten thousand worlds, supposing their existence and fall too, if it had been so ordained. But,
2. There is an ordinate sufficiency, whereby the death and satisfaction of Christ is limited unto the ekct, and in this respect Christ declares that he laid down his life for the sheep, John x. 1 j.
3. There is a legal sufficiency, by which the law and its penalty is fully answered; insomuch that neither law nor julttce is any obstruction or bar in the way of a sinner's salvation, that