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Ipoking unto which the Israelites were cured of the sting of the fiery serpents. John iii. 14. 15. says Christ there, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” .7. He is set up sacramentally, in the facraments of baptism and of the supper, particularly in the last of these, which we are about this day to celebrate. In these symbols and fam cramental acts of his own institution, he is evidently set forth crucified before you; and therein we may, as in a glass, discern the Lord's body, which was broken for us, and his blood of the New Testament, which was shed for us. There he is present, though not in a corporal and carnal manner, yet in a symbolical and spiritual manner, saying to his people, “ Eat, О friends ; drink, yea, drink abundantly, o beloved.”
8. He is set up in an efficacious way and manner, in a day of conversion, and in the renewed manifestations of himself to the souls of his people, by the power of his word and Spirit. When he draws by the vail, and makes the light of the knowledge of his glory to shine into the heart, then, O then, Christ is set up in the heart of the finer; he gets the throne of the heart, and every thought is brought into captivity unto his obedience. What a pleasant upsetting of Christ and his kingdom would it be, to see him going forth, with his bow and sword, in the gospel, travelling in the greatness of his strength, making all the inhabitants of the land to fall under him, every one crying, The Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our King, the Lord is our Lawgiver ! O then covenanting work would go on apace, and every one would say to another, “ Come, and let us join ourselves unto the Lord, in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten," Jer. 1. 5.
9. Christ will be set up in a glorious and remarkable way and manner, at his second coming, without fin, unto the salvation of his people ; for then he will descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God, when he shall come with clouds, and every eye shall see him. Then shall he be glorified in his faints, and adıni. red in all them that believe, while all the wicked unbelieving world, and kindreds of the earth), shall wail because of him, crying to the rocks and mountains to fall on them, and hide them from the face of him that fits upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; and the heavens palling away with a mighty noise, the elements melting with fervent heat.
So much for the second thing proposed; for all these were in view, when Christ was set up from everlasting.
III. The third thing proposed in the method was, to shew for what ends and purposes Christ was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. I answer in thele particulars. · Ilt, He was set up from everlasting, as a Sun to give light unto this lower world, which through the fin of man) was become like a dungeon of darkness. No sooner had man fin. ned, 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 ye darkness," says 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 carth. 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 finners 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 sat in darkness see great light, and to them that sat in the region and shadow of death light doth spring up.” .
2dly, He is set up as a second Adam, the Head of a new cove. nant 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 ciernity, if God had not raised up for us “ a Horn of salvation, in the house of his servant David.” Sirs, God had a purpose of love and grace, from all eterni. ty, toward a select company of Adam's family, he pitches upe on his own beloved Son, as a new covenant Head, and enters into a covenant of grace with him, to deliver thein out of a state of fin and miiery, and bring thein unto a state of salvation through him, Pril. Ixxxix. 3. “ I have made a covenant with my chofen, I have sworn unto David my fervant,” &c. Accordingly Christ, as the second Adam, steps in the room of the firft 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 second Adam, and he becomes the righteous heir of everlasting life, not only by birth, but also by purchase ; and all the promises of the covenant, and all the falvation of the covenant, stands in him. And that moment a fin. ner quits his holding of the first 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, I say, he is brought into the bonds of the covenant of grace and promise, according to that which you have, Il. lv. 3. “ Hear, and your souls shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David,”' &c.
zılly, He was set up from everlasting, as a repairer of breaches between God and man. Whenever man finned, and joined himself 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 faithfulnels of God was engaged, that “ without the shedding of blood there could be no remission of sins.” And though all the angels of heaven, and men upon earth, had been facrificed, and their blood shed, in order to satisfy justice, it would have been reje ted; the offence was infinite, with respect to the object of it, and therefore a satisfaction of infinite value behoved to be offered, Psal. xl. 6. Heb. x. Sacrifices and offer
ings thou wouldest not, viz. of man's providing. Well, then, *. How shall the breach be repaired? How shall the different
claims of mercy and justice be reconciled, with respect to the guilty criminal? Lo, I come, says Christ, I will allume 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 cross. I will be wounded for their transgressions, and bruised for their iniquities; the chastisement of their peace shall be upon me, and by my fripes they shall be heal. ed; and fo justice Ihall be satisfied, and mercy shall be for ever magnified. 1 Pet. iii. 18. “Christ also hath once suffered for fins, the just for the unjust, (that he might bring us to God.”) Thus he is set 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 Jesus.
4thly, He is set up as the true temple where God sets his name, and in which alone God is to be worshipped in an acceptable way and manner. The Old Testament tabernacle and temple was but a shadow of Christ, in whom the fulnefs of the Godhead dwells bodily. And as all the worship of Israel was to be performed in the temple ; so all our sacrifices and services are to be offered up in the name of Christ, for he hath made us accepted in the Beloved. In him, as our New Testament: Temple, is to be seen the true Shechina, the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person. Here is the true oracle whereby the mind of God is conveyed unto us, “ For no man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he haih declared him.” Here is the true ark where the tables of the law are kept, and in whom the law is magnified and made honourable. In him we have the true mercy-seat and throne uf grace, unto which we are called to come with boldness, that we may obtain grace, and find mercy to help in every time of need. Here we have the Priest of our profession ministering in the holy of holies, and appearing in the presence of God for us.
Sthly, 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 diftarce 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 fatisfaction he removed the moral distance, by taking away the sin of the world; for this end was he manifested, to take away our lin. Now, these two infinite gulfs being removed, God and man meet together in a blessed ainity and friendship; and we have “ boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.” Hence is that of Christ's, John xiv. 16. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life ; no man 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 afcending and descending thereupon ; fignifying that, through Christ (in whom all the rounds and steps of the ladder are finished) the angels are ministering spic for rits unto the heirs of salvation, upon the footing of Christ's mediation; and that we have access to God through him.
Through him we ascend unto God's holy hill, and abide in his tabernacle.
6thly, He is set up as the great gospel city of refuge, typified by the cities of refuge under the law, unto which the manNlayer was to fly for safety from the avenger of blood, Heb. vi. 18. Believers are faid 10 fly for refuge, to lay bold lipo the hope set be.ore them : justice cries for vengeance : God's
broken law cries for vengeance : 'conscience cries for ven. geance : the devil, as God's executioner, cries for vengeance. O the deplorable case and condition of the poor guilty criminal before the revelation of Christ! All refuges fail him : for the hail sweeps away all his refuges of lies, and in this case his hope and strength perishes from the Lord, until God make a discovery of Christ as the city of refuge that he has set open, with a cry from heaven, “ Turn ye to your strong holds, ye prisoners of hope :" Then, O then, the soul Aics for refuge as a dove to its windows, and gets in to the clefts of the rock, and abides in the secret place and shadow of the Almighty, saying, O this is my relt, and here will I dwell at ease; “ for there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ.” Here the poor soul can turn about to law, to justice, to conscience, to the devil, and the world, and say, “ Who can lay any thing to my charge? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth?”
7thly, He is set up as a mystical brasen serpent in the camp of Israel, in the camp of the visible church, that the poor finner, finding himself itung by the fiery serpents, fin and Satan, may, by looking unto him, be healed. Hence is that of Christ, John ii. 14. 15. “ As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wila derness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,” &c. The gospel is the pole upon which he is lifted up, in the view of all mankind : for by his commission we preach the gospel unto every creature; and the cry goes forth to the ends of the earth, “ Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.” Sirs, tlie venom of the old serpent has diffused itlelf through all the powers and faculties of the soul and body ; and it is worming out your life ; and die you must, unless you cast the eye of faith upon Chrift, as the only ordinance of God for your salvation. As the stung Israelite had infallibly died, unless he had looked unto the brasen serpent; so the finner that does not look by faith unto Christ, the true brasen serpent, shall infallibly die, not the first death only, but also the second : for there is no name, under heaven, given among men, whereby a poor hnner can be saved, but by the name of Jesus : but whosoever believes (in the name of Jesus) shall not perish, but shall have everlast ng life.”
Sthly, He is set up as a foundation of hope and help to the lost family of Adam, to build upon for their eternal falva. tion: 11. xxvii. 16. “ Behold, I lay in Zion, for a founda.. tion, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation : He that believeth shall not make halte, thall not VOL. III.