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priety in Christ as a Saviour. He took not their nature on him; he was never designed by God, who sent him into the world, as a Saviour for any but Abraham's seed; and this enrages them. So will all the wicked reprobates of the world swell with spite and madness against the Son of God, and all the elect whom he came to redeem. They are herein acted by the spirit of their father: “ Ye are of your father the devil; and the lusts of your father ye will do,” &c. John viii. 44.
2. That firm and lasting union which, by Christ's incarnation, is effected between the ever blessed God and true believers.
As by Adam's apostacy, both himself, and all his posterity in, him, were ejected or cast out of God's favour and communion; which was evidently seen in Adam's ejection, or his being cast out of the earthly paradise, the type of heaven, Gen. iii. 24; so, by Christ's uniting the assumed nature of Abraham's seed to God, an unshaken and immoveable foundation is laid for an everlasting union between the elect, Abraham's seed, and God,
As the union between Christ's godhead and his humanity is for ever inseparable, so the union and bond of friendship between God and believers shall never be nulled or made void, let devil, world, corrupt nature, death and hell, do what they can. ·
The names of the two pillars in Solomon's temple intimated, and typically shadowed forth to the faith of the believers under the Old Testament dispensation, that the spiritual temple, which
is the church of God's elect, being built and resting upon the pillar of God's omnipotency, shall never be prevailed against by the powers of darkness, 1 Kings vii. 21. To these two pillars, Jachin and Boaz, the Spirit of God in John alludes, Rev. iii. 12; “Him that overcometh I will make a pillar in the temple of my God,” &c.
3. The fruit and effect of that union, viz. sweet communion and everlasting fellowship with Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. As is the union, such will be the communion: “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also might have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ,” i John i. 3. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another,” &c. ver. 7.
Secondly, The work of his humiliation and self-abasement.
Christ's incarnation, and his humbling himself in the assumed nature, are two distinct things. The incarnation, in the order of nature, must precede or go before his humiliation : the former was in order to the latter. To make it obvious and plain, consider the two natures of Christ, which constitute him fit for the great work of mediation between God and sinful men.
1. His Godhead. As Christ is God, he is no way capable of being humbled.
2. His humanity, the nature in which he was humbled. Reason teaches that, before he could
humble himself in the assumed nature, that nature must first be actually in being.
As touching God's assuming the human nature, . it cannot properly be called or thought an act of humiliation; and that, because, as already hinted, the Godhead is not capable of being humbled. To which I add, that the Godhead's assuming the human nature is no way a humbling, but rather an advancement, and that the highest and greatest that ever was, or ever will be, granted and vouchsafed to any created being, to the human nature. This act of God, in uniting to himself the human nature, was a high act of matchless and unparalleled condescension to Abraham's seed, his elect, and chosen in Christ. :
It will, then, be demanded, wherein Christ's humiliation consisted ? '
To which I answer in two particulars.
1. In his laying aside and not pleading the perfection of his sinless nature, and the perfect conformity of his life to the law of God. If the Lord Jesus had not stood as a surety for the elect, the curse of the law could no way have reached or taken hold of him; and the reason is, because he was never guilty of transgressing the law.
Christ was made, not born, under the law; so saith the Spirit of truth, Gal. iv. 4. It is one thing to be born under the law, and it is another thing to be made under the law.
To be born under the law, presupposes that party pariaker of a sinful polluted nature, which
lays him open to the sentence and curse of the law.
To be made under the law presupposes Christ's voluntary act of subjecting himself to the law of God: not only to the preceptive commanding part of it, that he might keep the law for the elect of God, for whom he became a surety; but to the minatory and cursing part of it too, to the end he might be made a curse for them; and that by bearing, in his own body and soul, the law's curse which was due to God's elect for their breach of the law. “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross,” Phil. ii. 7. All'avrov ekevwok. Sed exinainivit semet ipsum.' He emptied himself. The word properly signifies, He robbed, or, he utterly emptied himself; he debased, or made himself vile. And this he did himself; it was neither his Father's, nor any of his enemies act. This is to be taken in no other sense than, as was said already, his laying aside, and not pleading, his own spotless innocency; whereon if he had stood, no accusation brought in against him would have held water to cast him at the law's bar.
! 2. His voluntarily subjecting himself to a liableness to stand charged with all the sins of God's elect, as truly as if they had been personally committed by himself; together with the shame and curse due for them.
Christ, standing bound for the elect, could object nothing against God's just proceedings against him, seeing it was his own voluntary act to become their surety: neither God, angels, nor men, could force him to it. On this account it was that he stood speechless at the law's bar: “All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and, as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth,” Isai. liii. 6, 7. What was the reason of this profound silence, when not only his reputation but his liberty, and his dear life too, lay at stake? No other reason can be given by men or angels for it but this, viz, his voluntary act in striking hands with his Father, as a sponsor or surety in the behalf of the elect, in whose room, as their representative, he promised to see all their debts fully discharged; and that by a most exact keeping the law for them; and by bearing to the uttermost the shame, curse, and death, to which the law sentenced the elect for sin. The blessed Redeemer having thus laid himself under a legal tie or obligation to God his Father, when justice called him to hold up the hand at the bar, in order to his coming to a full and legal trial, he had not one word to object against the severity of the law's proceeding against him. Though he had not the least spot of sin of his own to be charged with, yet having undertaken, as a surety for the elect, their