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Serm. Abhorrence of their Guilt, he determined to VIII. admit no meaner Person for their Substitute
to suffer in their Place and Stead, than his only beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased. The infinite Value of whose Sufferings plainly discovers the Value of those, for whom he fuffered ; and in this was manifested the Love of God towards us, because that God sent bis only begotten Son into the World, that we might tive through him,he fent him to be the Propitiation for our Sins (a), and to be made Sin (i. l. a SinOffering) for us, that we might be made the Righteousness of God in him (b). To the Praise of the Glory of bis Grace, wherein be hath accepted us in the Beloved, in whom we bave Redemption throug:h- bis Blood, the Ford giveness of Sins, according to the Riches of bis Grace (c), and Christ being delivered by the determinate. Counsel and Fore-knowledge of God was by wicked Hands crucified and sain (d) for the Expiation of our Offences: Whereupon God was graciously pleased to receive his fallen Creatures again into his Favour, promifing to crown them with Rewards far beyond their Deserts, if they returned from their evil Ways, and put off concerning the
'(a) 1 St. John iv. 9, 10.
(c) Ephes, i. 6, 7.
(6) 2 Cor. v. 21. id) Acts ïi. 23.
former Conversation the old Man, which is Serm. corrupt according to the deceitful Lufts ; or VIII. otherwise, if they perfifted in their rebellious Impenitence, treafuring up Wrath against the Day of Wrath, to inflict on them the Punishments, they should juftly deserve. Agreeably to what he has revealed unto us by his Apostle (e), that he will render to them, who by patient Continuance in well doing seek for Glory, Honour, and Immortality, eternal Life ; but to them that are contentious and do not obey the Truth, but obey Unrightiousness, Indignation and Wrath, Tribulation and Anguish upon every Soul of Man, that doth Evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile.
. This is the Plan of that Deliverance, which for the Benefit of the Souls of Men the Divine Wisdom contrived before the Fall, and Mercy executed after it ; and by this the Father of Spirits most evidently expressed the great Regard he had for them.
Nor have we less remarkable Proof of the exceeding high Value, which God the Son our Saviour sat on them, if we may judge thereof by the Price he paid for them.
re) Rom. ii. 7, &c.
t ible Opinion of the Worth of Souls, in that
for their Sakes he willingly undertook to bear the chief Part in the Father's most stupendous Scheme, calculated not less for their Good, than his Glory.
To save Mens precious Souls, he thought it worth his while to be made lower than the Angels ---to come down from Heaven, from the Bosom of infinite Bliss, and to partake of Flesh and Blood, though he was in the Form of God, and in Nature and Effence equal with God; yet for their Improvement and Deliverance he condescended to make himself of no Reputation, and to take upon him the Form of a Servant (f), to live a poor miserable Life, and to die a painful, lingering and accursed Death. Thus Chrift hath once suffered for Sins, the Just for the Unjust, that he might bring us to God (8). He was free, as Isaiah had of old prophefied concerning him, to be despised and rejected of Men, to become a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with Grief, that we with bis Stripes might be healed (b),---and as it
(f) Phil. ii. 6,7.
(8) St. Pet. iii. 18.
has been since preached unto us in the SERM. Gospel, that we were not redeemed with cora. VIII. ruptible Things, as Silver and Gold, but with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a Lamb with. out Blemish and without Spot, who was fore ordained before the Foundation of the World, but was manifested in these last Times (i).
And can we think, that the Son of God would have paid down so vast a Price, as his very Life and Blood for mean and worthlels Things ? He could not have to low an Esteem of his own divine Glory, as to divest himself of it for Trifles : He could not have, so flight an Apprehension of Shame and Distress, Pain and Misery, as to thrust himself into a State of such Suffering for Beings of little Value. Nothing, but what is inestimable, could over-balance the Bliss, he parted with, and the Anguish he underwent. How then can we imagine those Souls to be of small Account, which the Son, one in Majesty and Divinity with the Father, thought worth the dying for? He, who is infinitely wise and knowing, cannot be mis. taken in the value of Things, nor by any Fallacy be induced to make less than the most considerable Purchase at To excessive a Rate.
WE (i) i S.. Pet. i. 18, 19, *.
SERM. · VIII. We may still further be convinced of the
high Importance of our Souls from the fingular Respect and Concern, which the Holy Ghost has also shewed for them.
It is for their Sakes, that he has fo industriously operated in the Kingdom of our Saviour,---that he has taken so much Pains to make the Subjects thereof happy. It is upon their Account, that he has made so many Revelations of God's Will to Mankind, and confirmed them by mighty Signs and Wonders ---that he has used such astonishing Methods to make the Kingdoms of the World become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, in order to extricate the bewildered Souls of Men out of those Mazes of Error, in which they had involved and lost themselves. And it is for their Benefit, that he still continues to shed forth his heavenly Influences upon them, ---that he still inspires them with pious Thoughts, and importunes them with urgent Motives, from a View of quickening them if possible, to a Sense of their Danger, of opening their Eyes, that they neep not in Death. So zealousy and affectionately is the blessed Spirit concerned for the Welfare of Men's Souls, that