Page images

foul in its fallen and disordered state, immersed in fin, and expoled to wrath; an alien from the common-wealth of Israel, a stranger to the covenant of promise, having no lively, well-grounded hope, without Christ, and without God' in the world it leaves it devoid of the true grace of Christ, thie real love of God, and enobling and comforting communion of the Holy Ghost. Such, not having received the Spirit of Christ

, are none of his, and not belonging to Christ, not having the Son, they have not the Father, and not having the Father, have neither the true God nor eternal life. He that hath the Son, indeed, hath life, but he that hath not the Spirit, as we have just seen, hath not the Son, and therefore hạih not life, but abideth in death, and is in the high road to death eternal. Nor will his pretended regard to the Father save him : for he ihat honoureth not the Son, especially, in his mediatorial character, and in the offices he bears for a loft world; he that believeth not on him with a living faith, as made of God unto him wisdom, righteoufness, fančtification and redemption, honoureth not the Father, who hath appointe i him to sustain those oífices and characters for our salvation.

10. I faid with a living faith, for it is not a cold, languid, lifeless affent to the truths of the gospel, that will save us ; nor such a dependence on Christ, and on the promises of God through him, as being neither preceded by repentance, nor accompanied with love, leaves ihe foul as a withered branch upon a tree, or a dead member in a body. But the faith that must save us, is a lively, vigorous, active, and powerful principle, which, coming to Jesus, and confiding in him for salvation, unites ihe soul to him, so ihat it derives out of his ful. ness grace upon grace, and becomes fruitful in every holy iemper, word, and work,

11. By 11. By this faith we receive Christ in all his offices and characters. Viewing him as a teacher come from God, the Prophet like unto Mofes, whom on pain of eternal destruction we are commanded to hear, whose every word is veracity and truth, whose doctrine is as infallible as it is extraordinary ; with the simplicity and teachableness of little children, we fit at his feet, and with humble reverence and dutiful submission, we hear and re. ceive the gracious words that proceed out of his mouth, defiring above all things to be doers of the word, as well as hearers. Considering him as the High-Priest of our profeffon, a great HighPriest passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God; a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek, who by one offering of himself, once made, hath perfeited for ever them that are fanctified, and who, when he had by himself purged our sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, expecting till his enemies he made his footstool : considering him (I say) in his priestly office, delivered for our offences, raised for our justification, and appearing in the presence of God,

our advocate and interceffor, we come with boldness to a throne of grace, and thus obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. By the help of this grace, he who is thus made of God unto us, wisdom and righteousness, is also made of God unto us, functification and redemption: he who is heard with submissive reverence as a Prophet, and relied on with loving confidence as a Priest

, is also received with obedient loyalty as a King. His kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy, is set up in our hearts, and his holy, juft, and good laws, are made the rule of our lives from day to day. He reigns in us, and reigns over us; his love is the principle, his will the rule, and his glory the end of our words and actions



[ocr errors]

and we live no longer to ourselves, but to Him that died for us, and rose again. 12. Thus, being in Chrift

, we are new creatures, old things are pased away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to his Apofles and servants the ministry of reconciliation, to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespases unto them: for he hath made him to be fin, (viz. a sin-offering for us who knew no fin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, might be juftified, and made righteous through him. Though, therefore, in time past, we might be foolish, disobedient, deceived, jerving divers, lufts

, and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another, yet the kind. ness and love of God our Saviour toward man appearing, not by works of righteousness which we had done, but according to his mercy, he saved us-by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that being justified by his grace we might be made heirs, according to the hope of eternal life. Thus the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are acknowledged in their several offices and characters, and each performs his proper work in saving our lost souls. We worship one God in and through one Mediator, by the inspiration and aid of one Spirit, without perplexing ourselves with curious enquiries after, and vain reasonings about, what we can no more know in this world, than a child in its infancy can under. stand how the severa! offices, powers, and prero. gatives of the King, Lords, and Commons, con. Ritute one fupreme and legislative authority in Great Britain. And with the fimplicity of a child, and the loyalty of a good subject of the King of heaven, who commands our hearts, and governs our lives in and through his Son, and by his Spirit, we confess with our lips, what we believe in our hearts, that though in the Church and in the world there are diversities of gifts, it is the same Spirit from whom they all proceed; and though there are differences of administrations, or offices to be sustained, by the servanis of Christ, it is the fume Lord that appoints them all; and though there are diversities of operations, or effects produced, it is the same God, who worketh all in all, through that Lord, and by that Spirit.

13. It is true, some acquaintance with the per fons, as well as offices of the sacred Three, into whose name we have been baptized, is very

defirable, and indeed absolutely needful, to lay a · foundation for that Chriftian experience and

practice, those devout and benevolent affections and holy and righteous actions, fo 'necellary in order to our pleasing God here, or enjoying him hereafter. And, in particular, it seenis impossible we should apply to Christ, even in his Mediatorial character, in which character he is most frequently held forth to us in Scripture, without considering him as God manifest in the flesh, a person in whom dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. For what is a Mediator, at lealt, an in. visible Mediator, a Mediator in heaven, that is, a mere man, or a mere creature, circumscribed in his being, and confined in his presence and operations ? Who can have no access to us, nor we to him ? Can neither see, nor hear, nor he,p us; and to whom, as being unseen, and at a distance, we can neither signify our wants, nor with any confidence look up for a supply of them? A Mediator, who cannot be present with us at all times, and in all places, in private and in public,


at home and abroad, by sea and by land, niglit and day, in England and in China, throughout the habitable globe ?-Surely Omnipresence, and Omniscience, at least, yea, and Omnipotence too, are necessary to the character of a compleat Mediator-a Mediator between God and all man. kind. And such is the Mediator in whom we trust : Where two or three (says he) are met in my name, I am there in the midst of them: Lo! I am with you, always, even unto the end of the world : Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and

open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me : All the churches shall know that I am he that searcheth the reins and the heart.

14. Not that his human nature (for he is perfe&t man, of a reasonable soul, and human flesh subsising”) can be thus present in all places, and acquainted with all things. This is not supposed, I believe, by any. No; these manifefly divine perfections are ascribed to the eternál word of the Father, the indwelling · Deity, to which his humanity is joined by a close and indissoluble union, and by which alone he is every where present, acquainted with every ihing, has all power in heaven and earth, and will judge men and angels at the last day.

15. Accordingly, thofe that deny this perfeirl, everlasting union of Deity with manhood, do, in general, also deny his Mediation, and consider him merely in the character of a teacher fent from God, who, by his doctrine and example, direčts us in the will of God, and in the way to his kingdom, but who neither made any atonement for our Gins, nor intercedes for our fouls. Nay, and if they follow Dr. Priestley, they will not put any great confidence in him, even in the character of a Prophet, persuaded he was liable to err, even in B.


« PreviousContinue »