« PreviousContinue »
melious spitting, the mock habiliments, the piercing thorns, the lacerating nails, the bloody sweat, the attacks of devils, the desertion of his God, and at last to the dust of death. On such proofs of love let us muse, and let the fire burn. Contemplating what the Son has done for us, let us call upon our soul, and all that is within us to bless his holy name: and not to forget all his benefits. “ He loved us, and gave himself for us.” It remains that we love him, and give ourselves to him. “ The churches of Macedonia gave themselves to the Lord,” 2 Cor. viii. 5. viz. to the Lord Christ.
6thly. From what was said, we may see that we owe divine worship and obedience unto Christ. Both belong of right unto him, considering what he is, and what he has done. He is in the form of God, and thinks it no robbery to be equal with him. He is his Son, his image, his Fellow, sits on his throne, sits at his right hand, and existeth in him. And if so, he cannot but be entitled to divine worship. Deity is the foundation of adorability. Seeing he is God, he cannot but be adorable. To be adorable is as inseparable from the divine nature, as homage and subjection from a created. Christ being God equal with the Father, worship inust on that account be equally due unto unto him. Hence it is that all the angels are conmanded by the Father to worship him, Heb. i. 6. Hence it also is the Father's will “ that all men honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.” And it is expressly asserted, “ He that honoureth not the Son, ho. noureth thenot Father who hath sent him," John v. 23. As divine worhip belongs to him on account of what he is, so also on account of what he has done and suf. fered. If the person be infinitely worthy, so must his doings. To grant the one, and deny the other, would be a glaring absurdity. . If by suffering he satisfied divine justice, does he not on the same account merit our adoration? Nay, what is our faith in him, or our resting on him for salvation, but a worshipping him in effect? To fix our faith upon him, and yet to deny him our worship, would be a contradiction. What he has
done in the economy of redemption, is mentioned in Scripture as a motive, ground, or obligation to wor, ship him. Hence the ten thousand times ten thousand around the throne are introduced, as saying with a loud voice, “ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing, Rev. v. 12."
It cannot be denied, that in scripture, Christ is more frequently represented as the medium, than as the object of worship. But when so represented, regard is ever had to his mediatory character, wherein he stands between God and us. We worship him, not as Mediator, but as God. Though we worship him who is Mediator, yet not as Mediator. We worship the man Christ, yet not as man, but as God. As all worship, so all obedience is due unto the Lord Christ. And here also excellence of nature, and benefits bestowed found our obligations to obedience. Christ is the great, the mighty God, possessing all possible perfection, and therefore cannot but have an unalienable right to our obedience. All things were made by him, and therefore all ought to be subject to him. But he hath not only made us, he hath also redeemed us with his own blood: and thereby acquired a new right to us and our obedience. Being bought with a price, we are therefore bound to glorify him in our body and in our spirit, which are his, i Cor. vi. ult. He is our Redeemer, and therefore we are bound to keep his commandments. Of him the Father is saying now, as he did of old, “ Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not: For he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him," Exod. xxii. 21. « The Father hath highly exalted him, and given him a name, which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth; and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” This Lordship and dominion is given him in reward of his obedience and death. Hence it is obvious that he has a double right to our homage and subjection, viz. one by na. ture, and another by purchase. And therefore as our obedience is new in other respects, so in reference to the superadded obligation upon which it is founded.
7thly. From what was said, we may see the honours and the safety of such as are in a state of friendship with Christ. Their honours are high indeed, being so nearly related unto him who is in the form of God, and thinks it no robbery to be equal with him. By virtue of their intimate and ineffable union with him, they are made like unto him. Is he a Son? They are the younger children, Rom. viii. 29. Is he the essential image of God? They are adorned with his moral, Eph. iv. 24. And as they have borne the i. mage of the first Adam in their bodies, they shall al. so bear the image of the second, 1 Cor. xv. 49. Does he sit on the Father's throne? They shall sit down with him on his, Rev. iii. 21. Is he the Father's Fel. low? They are called his fellows, Heb. i. 9. Does he sit at his Father's right hand? In the final judgment they shall sit on his, Matt. xxv. 33. Does he exist in the father? They are in hini, r John v. 20. and he in them, Eph. iii. 19. Wondrous are his own words respecting this point, John xvii. 20, 21. « For them I pray that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they all may be one in us.” Is he the heir of all things? They are joint-heirs with him, Róm. vid. 17. Is he a prophet? So are they, Isa. liv. 13." Is he a priest and a king? They are a royal priesthood, even kings and priests unto God, 1 Pet. ii. 9. Rev. 1. 6. What celestial honours these! In what an honourable manner does Christ speak of his people! Of Abraliam he says, “ my friend," Isa. xli. 8. "Of Lazarus, '“ our friend,” John xi. 11. And speaking to his disciples, John xv. 15. He says, “ Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant kyoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto yon.".. How intimate the fellowship following this friendship! The sceret of the Lord is with
his friends, to shew unto them his covenant, Psal. xxv. 14. The Father and the Son come unto şuch, and make their abode with them, manifesting themselves unto them in another manner than to the world, John xiv. 23. The intimacies of this fellowship cannot be told, they are so many, and so great. God lifts up the light of his countenance upon his friends, and they, in the exercise of prayer, let him see their countenance, and hear their voice, Cant. ii. 14. He pours out his Spirit upon them; they, their hearts before him. They confess sin, and he pardons it. They walk in his fear, and he fills them with the comforts of the Holy Ghost: joys with which a stranger cannot intermeddle. And hence they can say, “ Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 'The Father and we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, cleanseth us from all sin," 1 John iii. 7.
But such as are in a state of friendship with Christ, are not more honourable than safe. Individuals and societies, from a sense of inherent weakness, enter into alliances with others, that they may be preserved from the common enemy. But O! what must be their safe. ty, who are the confederates of God's own Son! Though in themselves a feeble folk, their ally is the mighty, the Almighty God. In him they may make their boast, and loudly glory in his name Immanuel, “ God with us,” Matt. i. 23. God in our pature, God on our side. And if God be for , who shall be against us? Rom. viii. 31. who shall međi. tate mischief, and prosper in their attempts ? " Take counsel together, says the prophet, and it shall not stand, for God is with us, Isą, viii. 10, in which he evidently alludes to the name Immanuel, mention. ed, chap, viii
. 14. and viii. 8, “ Speaķ says he to the enemy, and it shall not stand, for ļMMANUEL, i. ę. with us there is a God." Many and mighty are the adversa
a ries of the saints, but greater is he who is for them, than all they in conjunction, who are against them, 2 Chron. xxxii. 7. There are only two ways in which
they can be supposed to perish, viz. either by the hands of their enemies, or through their own internal weak. ness. But against both of these they have all the security that the faithfulness and power of Immanuel can give them. Underneath them are the everlasting arms, Deut. xxxiii. 27. I will put my fear in their hearts, says he, that they shall not depart from me, Jer. xxxii. 40. The most formidable of their enemies, or rather those under whom all the rest take their station, are, Satan, the world, sin, death, and the grave. But all these Immanuel hath conquered in his person, and therefore over his friends they shall not triumph. As for the first, he spoiled principalities and powers, and made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in himself, Col. ii. 15. Respecting the second, he ex. pressly says, “ In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world,” John xvi. ult. Concerning the third, the scripture teaches
, that the strength of sin is the law, 1 Cor. xv. 56. but that sin shall not have dominion over the friends of Christ, they not being under the law, but under grace, Rom vi. 14. Touching the two last, Immanuel's promise stands recorded, Hos. xiii. 14." I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death: 0! death, I will be thy plagues; O! grave, I will be thy destruction; repentance shall be hid from mine eyes." In the faith of this, the friends of Christ may adopt the apostle's words, and sing, “ O! death, where is thy sting? and where thy victory, grave?" i Cor. xv. 55. Sure as he felt the sting of death, they never shall. Sure as he burst the bands of the grave, they also shall. He died, Rom. yiii. 34. they shall only sleep in him, 1 Thess. iv. 14. Because he liveth, they shall live also, John xiv. 19. Over the devil, the world, sin, death, and the grave, they shall' obtain a complete and an eternal yictory through Christ, 1 Cor. xv. 57. . They shall not only be conquerors, but more than conquerors through him that loved them, Rom. vii. 37. In conclusion of this particular, permit me to repeat his own emphatic words, John X. 28, 29, 30.