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had lost ånd forfeited his. He lays by all the glory of a son, and is a servant under the law, that we, who were servants, might receive the glory and honour to become sons of God. Here, then, see how he loved us. He did not stoop to be an angel or wear the form of a seraphim, though that had been amazing bumility, but stooped yet far lower, and became man! Why this was necessary, and why God would vouchsafe so to abase himself, was, That as by man came sin, so by man might sin be taken away: " that as by one man's disobedience all became sinners, so by the obedience of one Man all might become righteous." Redemption was his divine aim through the whole; and therefore, when he saw sin enter into the world, and beheld the dreadful effects of it upon every creature, and knew how the curse, and death, and hell, would ruin justly all mankind, he pitied us, or, as it is expressed in Ezekiel, “ saw us in our blood, and had compassion on us." He knew lie had not made us to destroy us; nor could delight in the death of a sinner, or even bear to see us lost without help. No, far be such thoughts from our hearts; he loved us with everlasting love, and resolved to be our Saviour. His heart yearved over us, and was touched with our miseries and sad estate; and though he knew beforehand what it would cost him to save us with equity, and to bring us out of the hands of the enemy with righteousness, yet he determined, cost what it would, to save us. Не foresaw what he must endure in our stead, what itorror and distress he must sustain in making an atonement for us; considered how our punishment would make him sweat blood, and endure the pangs of hell and death, yet he was bent upon our delivery, and saw of the travail of his soul and was satisfied.
This was then the great end of our Lord Jehovah's incarnation, that he might be capable of
dying for his church and suffering in our stead, and so clear and absolve and justify us before his throne, and reconcile us to his Father and our Father, and make up our breach.
Here at once he makes all his angels See how be loved us; and to make a perfect and infinite amends and satisfaction, he decrees to offer bimself, and bear all our sins. in bis own body upon the tree. He knew no creature could undertake this work; nor indeed would be trust any one with the souls who were so precious in his sight, or hazard their perishing eternally through the default of him to whom he should trust the redemption. He only was worthy in heaven and earth, and under the earth, to be the Saviour ; and therefore when the appointed time came, the day of God's vengeance, he came down ready into the world to meet the storm, and drink up the curse in his own flesh and blood. Therefore he uses that similitude in the gospel, “I would have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings.” We know how the careful hen behaves when the sky lowers and threateus a storm ; she spreads out her wings over her chickens, and sits contented in the shower and tempest to shelter and screen them; and often it has been seen that a hen has really died and perished over her young, when the storm of heavy hail or rain has been great.
But now forget wbere you are, and let me lead you to mount Calvary, and I will show you the antetype of all this, and greater love: there Jesus, the God of all flesh and Shepherd of tlie sheep, when he saw the wrath like a black cloud lower; or, as he says in the Psalms, “ when the waterspouis of God threatened,” he made ready, put,
our nature, and stretched out his arms upon the cross (as the hen stretches out her wings),
and calls to all his guilty children, “ Come unto me: turn ye to the strong-hold, till the wrath be overpast;" and there does he die in the distressing stormy wind and tempest: the billows went over his head; the sword of the Lord awakened upon him, and the deep waters entered his soul; but there he hung amidst all, that he might be a hiding-place to his people, a refuge and a sanctuary to his guilty flock; and did not grudge to die, treading as it were the wine-press of the wrath of God, so he might thereby but spare the souls, and gather them to hiin as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings: and this is true, whoever flies to him, or escapes to that shelter, shall be safe; they shall find a rest for their souls. This was his aim in becoming a man, his design in tabernacling among us, that to him shall all Alesh come;
and that whosoever would come to him, should find everlasting life. thousand souls find true daily; and experience in their hearts assuredly that they are safe in him, and no
man shall pluck them out of his hands. O blessed Refuge! O happy refugees! Would to God that all who hear me this day had found him their strong hold, their place to flee to in time of trouble, and knew his everlasting arms were over them to shelter and bless them, and underneath to keep them lest they should fall! Would to God all that are here did hereby perceive the love of God, that he laid down his life for us! Would to God that all overseers, ministers, and shepherds, in the service of the chief Priest, would but hence learn how God loved the world, and would not spare any pains, or cares, or labour, night or day, to help and feed the church which God purchased with his own blood, but let all men see, by their diligence and con
cern for the salvation of men, that they believe in their hearts what they read and confess with their lips concerning the love of Christ and this his merciful and glorious redemption. Whoever have known him, have known him God Almighty ; and of this their inmost heart is persuaded by the Holy Ghost; and whoever have got his redemption, are out of doubt that their sins have been washed away, and their raiment made white in the blood of the Lamb. It is such who worship him as their true Lord and Saviour ; and such only can properly answer to this question, “ Whom do you say that I am ?" These, without hesitation, without much time to reflect, and without all doubt, know and can answer, “ Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God! Thou art the Lord! Thou art my Lord and my God!"
This brings me to the third thing proposed. Since this is the confession of a true christian man, to answer to that question of the Lord Christ, “ Whom do you say that I am ? Whom dost thou say that I the Son of man am ?” Here the believer is not at a loss; he believes Jesus Christ is his God and Maker, and has saved him by dying for him in his flesh, else he believes nothing at all, and is not worthy to be called by his name; and even his calling him Lord, Lord, is taking his name in vain. But as I said, a believer, a true christian, a child of God, a disciple or follower of Christ, is one who has not satisfied or contented bimself with the name of a christian, or with hearing the gospel of salvation, or with performing pious deeds or good works, &c. alone, but has obtained of the Holy Ghost - living faith in the godhead and blood of our Saviour, and knows and feels that all his sins and
offences are pardoned and done away, and he is justified justly by Christ's death, who gave himself in his stead, and suffered and underwent his curse to save and redeem him.
This he firmly depends upon and is comforted, and lives a happy and good life, to the honour of the holy name which is named upon him. Nor is such an one afraid or ashamed to acknowledge Jesus before men; nor will that God, in whom he believes, be ashamed of him before the angels, when he shall come, at the latter day, in the glory of his Father : but here, in an adulterous generation, where men do not love him nor live to please him : here, where Satan's seat is, and where many despise the foolisliness of the preaching of the cross, he continues a witness of the Lamb, and when asked, “ Whom do you say that Jesus is ? can make this happy answer, I believe he is the God of the whole earth, my Saviour and my Redeemer.
I believe that Jesus Christ, who was born in Bethlehem of the virgin Mary, who suffered under Pontius Pilate without the gates of Jerusalem, is verily, truly, and eternally God, the same person all the scriptures mention and treat of, and whom all true believers in all ages have known and worshipped as the holy One of Israel, the God of all mankind.
I believe God, the whole Godhead by him, made heaven and earth and all the worlds, things visible and invisible ; that he made me body and soul, and saw me from his throne in my sinful state, and loved and pitied me, and in due time
a man for my sake ; and by his obedience and meritorious life and death has now fully atoned for all my misdeeds and sins, and made me thereby just in the sight of God and the