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So much for the second thing proposed; for all these were in view, when Christ was set up from everlasting.
Us. The third thing proposed in the method was^ to shew for what ends and purposes Christ was^f up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. I answer in these particulars.
1st, He was set up from everlasting, as a Sun to give light unto this lower world, which (through the sin of man) was become like a dungeon of darkness. No sooner had man finned, but his mind (which before was like a lamp of light, as to the knowledge of God, and of his mind and will), became dark, yea, darkness itself. "Once were je darkness," fkys the apostle, speaking of man in his natural state. There is the face of a covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations; and, upon this account, this world is called a dark place; and again, these parts of the earth, where Christ is not known, are called the dark places of the earth. But now Christ is and was set up, as a glorious Sun, to enlighten the world in the knowledge of God, and of the way of salvation, hence called the Sun of righteousness, the Light of the world, because he spreads the light of the knowledge of the glory of God among lost sinners of Adam's family, by his Word and Spirit. Hence, when the gospel of Christ, which is the lamp of God's anointed, comes unto a people, they "that fat in darkness fee great light, and to them that fat ia the region and madow of death light doth spring up."
idly, He is set up as a second Adam, the Head of a new covenant of grace and promise. All mankind were lost and ruined in the first Adam, and by the breach of the covenant of works that was made with him as their federal head and representative; so that the curse of that covenant was the only legacy he could bequeath unto his posterity; and under this curse we had lien through all eternity, if God had not raised up for us "a Horn of salvation, in the house of his servant David." Sirs, God Ind a purpose of love and grace, from all eternity, toward aseket company of Adam's family, he pitches upon his own beloved Son, as a new covenant Head, and enters into a covenant of grace with him, to deliver them out of a state of sin and misery, and bring them unto a state of salvation through him, Ps.1. Ixxxix. 3. "I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant," &c. Accordingly Christ, as the second Adam, steps in the room of the first Adam, and fulfils the covenant of works, both as to its precept and penalty; whereby the promise of eternal life
made to him, upon condition of perfect obedience, devolves upon him as a fecond Adam, and lie becomes the righteous heir of everlasting life, not only by birth, but alfo by purchafe ; and all the promifes of the covenant, and all the falvation of the covenant, stands in him. And that moment a sinner quits his holding of the sirst Adam, and of the law as a covenant, and, by a faith of God's operation, is determined to take hold of Christ, and the covenant whereof he is Head, that moment, 1 fay, he is brought into the bonds of the covenant of grace and promife, according to that which you have, If. lv. 3. "Hear, and your fouls shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the fure mercies of David," &c.
idly, He was fet up from everlasting, as a repairer of breaches between God and man. Whenever man siuned, and joined himfelf in a confederacy with Satan, the god of this world, the breach between God and man became wide like the fea; death and hell was the penalty of the law; the faithfulnefs of God was engaged, that "without the shedding of blood there could be no remifsion of sins.'' And though all the angels of heaven, and men upon earth, had been facrisiced, and their blood fhed, in order to fatisfy justice, it would have been rejected; the ossence was insinite, with refpect to the object of it, and therefore a fatisfaction of insinite value behoved to be ossered, Pfal. xl. 6. Heb. x. Sacrisices and osserings thou wouldest not, viz.. of man's providing. Well, then, How shall the breach be repaired? How fhall the disserent claims of mercy and justice be reconciled, with refpect to the guilty criminal? Lo, 1 come, fays Christ, 1 will asfume the human nature, and in that nature I will die in the room of the criminal; and in this way I will make peace through the blood of my crofs. 1 will be wounded for their tranfgressions, and bruifed for their iniquities; the chastifement of their peace fliall be upon me, and by my stripes they mall be healed; and fo justice fhall be fatissied, and mercy lhall be for ever magnisied. I Pet. iii. 18. "Christ alfo hath once fuffered for sins, the just for the unjust, (that he might bring us to God.") Thus he is fet up as the Repairer of breaches;hence called the Mediator between God and man: and there is no Mediator between God and men, but the man Christ Jefus.
fifthly, He is fet up as the true temple where God fets his name, and in which alone God is to be worshipped in an acceptable way and manner. The Old Testament tabernacle andtemple was but a shadow of Christ, in whom the fulnefi of the Godhead dwells bodily. And as all the worship of Isi was to be performed in the temple; so all our sacrifices services are to be offered up in the name of Christ, for hath made us accepted in the Beloved. In him, as ourNi Testament' Temple, is to be seen the true Shechina, tb brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image his person. Here is the true oracle whereby the mind God is conveyed unto us, "For no man hath seen God any time; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom the Father, he hath declared him." Here is the true ark Where the tables of the law are kept, and in whom th law is magnified and made honourable. In him we has the true mercy-feat and throne of grace, unto which *# are called to come with boldness, that we may obtain grace, and find mercy to help in every time of need. Here w have the Priest of our profession ministering in the holy holies, and appearing in the presence of God for us.
$tbly, He is set up as a bridge of communication between God and man, between heaven and earth, by which God comes down to us, and we come up unto him, notwithstanding of the two infinite gulfs of natural and moral distarce between him and us. These gulfs were impassable, until Christ, by his incarnation, took away the natural distance; for in him, as Immanuel, God and Man meet together in one person: and by his death and satisfaction he removed the moral distance, by taking away the sin of the world; for this end wu he manifested, to take away our sin. Now, these two infinite gulfs being removed, God and man meet together in a bleuw amity and friendship; and we have " boldness to enter into the 'holiest by the blood of Jesus." Hence is that of Christ's, JoJ>fl xiv. 16. "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no nu& cometh to the Father but by me." This was shadowed by Ja' cob's dream of the ladder, reaching from heaven unto earth, and the angels of God ascending and descending thereupon, signifying that, through Christ (in whom all the rounds ai» steps of the ladder are finished) the angels" are ministering >PJ" rits unto the heirs of salvation, upon the footing of ChflK3 mediation; and that we have access to God through hirnThrough him we ascend unto God's holy hill, and abiife « his tabernacle.
6thly, He is set up as the great gospel city of refuge, t/P'* fied by the cities of refuge under the law, unto which the ma* flnyer was to fly for safety from the avenger of blood. Hct)' vi. 18. Believers are said to sty for refuge, to lay hold "P01 the hope set before them: justice cries for vengeance: ^ j broken law cries for vengeance: confcience cries for vengeance: the devil, as God's executioner, cries for vengeance. 0 the deplorable cafe and condition of the poor guilty criminal before the revelation of Christ! All refuges fail him: for the hail fweeps away all his refuges of lies, and in this cafe his hope and strength perifhes from the Lord, until God make a difcovery of Christ as the city of refuge that he has fet open, with a cry from heaven, "Turn ye to your strong holds, ye prifoners of hope:" Then, O then, the foul flics for refuge as a dove to its windows, and gets in to the clefts of the rock, and abides in the fecret place and fhadow of the Almighty, faying, O this is my relt, and here will I dwell at rafe; " for there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ." Here the poor foul can turn about to law, to justice, to confcience, to the devil, and the world, and fay, " Who can lay any thing to my charge? Ic is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth?"
"ltbly, He is fet up as a mystical brafen ferpent in the camp of Ifrael, in the camp of the vifible church, that the poor sinner, sinding himfelf stung by the siery ferpents, sin and Satan, may, by looking unto him, be healed. Hence is that of Christ, John iii. 14. 15. "As Mofes lifted up the ferpent in the wildernefs, even fo must the Son of Man be lifted up," &c. The gofpel is the pole upon which he is lifted up, in the view of all mankind: for by his commifsion we preach the gofpel unto every creature; and the cry goes forth to the ends of the earth, " Look unto me, and be faved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none elfe." Sirs, the venom of the old ferpent has dissufed itfelf through all the powers and faculties of the foul and body; and It is worming out your life; and die you must, unlefs you cast the eye of faith upon Christ, as the only ordinance of God for your falvation. As the stung Ifraelite had infallibly died, unlefs he had looked unto the brafen serpent; fo the sinner that does not look by faith unto Christ, the true brafen ferpent, fhall infallibly die, not the sirst death only, but alfo the fecond: for there is no name, under heaven, given among men, whereby a poor sinner can be faved, but by the name of Jefus: but whofoever believes (in the name of Jefus) fhall not perish, but fhall hare everlast-ng life."
%thly, He is set up as a foundation of hope and help to the lost family of Adam, to build upon for their eternal falvation: If. xxviii. 16. " Behold, I lay in Zion, for a founda-. lion, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a fure foundation: He that believeth shall not make haste, lhall not
Vol. III. 3£ be be nlhamed or confounded." All other foundations are but foundations of fand, and the houfe built upon the fand will fall, and great will the fall thereof be ; " for other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jefus Christ." Adam, in innocency, did indeed stand upon another foundation; and, if he had continued there, he would have had obtained life and happinefs, by way of pactional debt; but there is no other foundation for a lost sinner to build upon, but the founcVition Christ.
qtbly, He is fet up as the end of the law for righteoufnefs to every sinner that believes in him. He has, by his obedience unto death, and the perfect holinefs of his nature, brought in an everlasting righteoufnefs, for the justisication of the ungodly sinner that believes in him: This is his name, whereby he is called, The Loid our Righteoufnefs, Jer. xsiii. 6.: and M what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, fending his own Son, in the likenefs of sinful flesh, forsin condemned sin in the flelh, that the righteoufnefs of the law might be fulsilled in us." This is that white raiment Christ counfels us to buy of him, that the s'name of our nakednefs may not appear. And fee how he fets up, or fets out, this righteoufnefs, even to the stout-hearted, and far frdm righteoufnefs, If. slvi. at the clofe, " I bring near my righteoufnefs; it mail not be far oss, and my falvation shall not tarry," &c. And the language of the foul, when it puts on that robe, is that which you sind, If. xlv. at the clofe, " Surely, shall one fay, in the Lord have I righteoufnefs and strength: In the Lord shall all the feed of Ifrael be justisied, and fhall glory."
\otlIy, He is fet up as a storehoufe, out of which the bankrupted and beggared sinners of Adam's family may be fupplied with every thing they need: "For it hath pleafed the Father, that in him should all fulnefs dwell; and thar, out of his fulnefs, all we may receive grace for grace." We, who are his ministers and ambassadors, are authorifed to call open the gates of this storehoufe, and give full liberty unto all wretched, miferable, blind, poor, and naked sinners, to come and take what they want, without money and without price, If.lv I. Rev. xxii. 17.
'i ithly, To shut up this head at prefent, he is fet up as the falvation of God to all lost sinners. Christ, in fcripture, is frequently called " The Salvation of God." Jacob, Gen. xlis. 19. wlten he is blessing his children, makes a paufe, tasting his eves upon the Shilcli that was to fpring out ot the cribeot" Judah, and tries, " 1 have waited for thy falvation, OLord."