« EelmineJätka »
He restores glory to the divine fovereignty, bowing his roya neck to take on the yoke of the law which we had broken He was made of a woman, and made under the law, that he might magnify it, and so maintain the honour of the grea Lawgiver.
He restores glory likewise to the divine wisdom ; for Chrift himself, in his person and mediation, is just “ the wisdom o God in a mystery," even his " hidden wisdom, the manifold wisdom of God." O Sirs ! never were the treasures of divine wisdom and knowledge so much expended as in the person and mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ. ..
And then, he restores glory likewise to the divine power, for Christ is “ the power of God:” and when he went forth to the great work of man's redemption, he went forth armed with intinite power to manage it; therefore he is called “ the arm of God, and the man of God's right-hand, whom he hath made strong for” the purposes of his glory. How gloriously was the power of God displayed, when he came from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength; spoiling principalities and powers, who had spoiled God of his glory, and man of all that was valuable unto him!
He restores glory to the holiness of God. This attribute was injured by the sin of man, but its glory is restored by Christ; and there is such a brightness of divine holiness shines in the person and mediation of Christ, that when the angels look upon him, II. vi. they are dazzled, they are overwhelmed, not being able to behold it, they cover themselves, and cry, “ Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
And then, he restores glory to the divine juftice; for in the work of man's redemption, justice gets a complete, and full satisfaction, till it cry, It is enough. And the justice of God manifested in the execution of the penalty of the law upon the Surety, is laid- as the very foundation of the thirone of grace, that we are called to come to for grace and mercy to help in the time of need, Pfal. lxxxix. 14. ^ Justice and judgemert are the habitation, or establithiment, of thy throne," viz. justice fatisfied, and judgement executed upon the glorious Surety,
Again, he restores glory to the divine goodness. God was good to man, but man trampled it under foot : But Christ makes a higher display of the divine goodness than ever was seen by men or angels; for in his person, and mediation, and sufferings, the goodness of God breaks out like an ocean, in amazing streams of love, grace, and mercy. The love of God,
O how does it shine in the giving his only begotten Son into the world! “ Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and gave his own Son to be a propitiation for our fins." And then for grace, grace is made to “reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.” And for mercy, it is “built up for ever.” Thus, I say, there is a restitution of glory to the divine goodness.
And likewise there is a reftitution of glory to the divine faithfulness. The faithfulness of God engaged in the penaliy, was trode upon by man and the devil; but the faithfulness of God is maintained in the execution of that penalty threatened againit man in the person of our glorious Immanuel: and nor only to, but the faithfulness of God comes to be established in the new covenant " in the very heavens :" for all the promises come to be " yea and amen in Christ, to the glory of God." Thus you see, that Christ reitores what he took not away from his Father; he restores “glory to God in the highest,” which he never took away."
2. Let us see next what restitution he makes to man; for man was robbed of all that was valuable to him, either for time or eternity.
Firfi, The human nature was debased by sm, and funk be. low the beasts that perish. Well, bat the Son of God comes and takes the human nature into a personal union with himself, and thereby exalts the human nature above the angelical nature : Heb. ii. 16. “ Verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” And, chap. i. 5. “Unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?" And fee what follows, “ When he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he faith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” Thus the glory of the human nature is restored and advanced to a far higher pinnacle of glory and honour, than when it stood in the first Adam before his fall, adorned with all its embroideries, in a state of innocency. O Sirs, look up and see your nature exalted, taken out of the dunghill, and Iut on the the throne of God. The throne of God is called "the throne of the Lamb,” because our nature is there in a personal union. with the great God.
But this is not all: he not only restores the glory of the hu. man nature; but, to all who believe in him, he rellores to advantage all the loiles we suitain, either by the fin of the fin Adam, or our own personal transgretlion; as will appear by running over the particular loili's nentioned upon the former head. First, then, Did sin robe us of our fight and light, and leave
us in darkness? Well, Chrilt makes a reftitution of thàc : for he comes forth as the bright and morning star, to give light to the darkened world, which may make us all Ging and say with Zacharias, Luke i. 78. “ Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day spring from on high hath viếtect us.” Psal. cxviii. 27.-29. “ God is the Lord, which hath Thewed us light; bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.' Thou art my God, and I wil praise thee; thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good : for his mercy endureth for cver.”
Again, Hath sin robbed us of life, and left us among the congregation of the dead ? Christ makes restitution of that ; for he is “ the resurrection and the life :" and having recovered life by his own death, John xiv. 19. he keeps it in his hand and heart, and binds up our life with his “ Because I live, ye shall live allo. Our life is hid with Christ in God.”
Again, Did fin rob us of our liberty ? Christ makes refti. tution of that; he buys our liberty at the hand of justice, and then takes the excecutioner and binds him, and spoils him of his power over the poor captive; and having purchased liberty, he goes forth and “proclaims liberty to the captives, and the opening the prison-doors to them that are bound.”
Again, Did Satan and fin spoil us of our wisdom, insomuch that ever since we are infatuate, and like fools, spend our money for that which is not bread, and our labour for that which cannot profit us? Well, Christ reftores wisdom unto fools and babes ; he is “ made of God unto us wisdom ;' and when we are determined to come to him, he makes us wiser than our teachers; wise to know the mysteries of the kingdom that are hid from the wife and prudent of the world, and re. vealed unto babes: “Unto you it is given to know the myste. ries of the kingdom of heaven,” &c.
And then again, Did fin spoil and robe us of our original righteousness ? Christ makes reflitution of that ; for he him. self is "the Lord our righteousness, and he was made Gin for us, he who knew no lin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
Did (in spoil us of the beautiful image of God? Christ makes reftitution of that; for that very moment that a poor finner looks unto him with the eye of faith, he gets the print of the second Adam drawn again upon his foul, and it is by beholding his glory that we are changed into the same image.
Did Satan and an rob us of, and take away our health ? Well, Christ, he comes to make restitution of that: for he is
the Physician of value, and there is no disease so obftinate as is able to stand the virtue and healing power of this Phylician; so that, if we perish with our diseases, we need not do it with that word in our mouth," Is there no balm in Gilead, and no physician there ?"
Did Satan spoil us of our peace? Well, Christ makes reftitution of that; for “ he is our peace.” Peace on earth was one of the articles of the angels praise, “ Peace on earth, and good will towards men.” Sin robbed us of our peace with God. Christ restores that ; for “ God is in Chrift, recongiling the world unto himself.” Did fin rob us of our peace of conscience ? Christ restores that; “ Peace I give unto you : not as the world giveth, give I unto you," &c.
Did sin kindle a fire of war and of strife betwixt man and man? Well, when Christ comes with the sceptre of his power, he makes them beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; he makes the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the leopard lie down with the kid. ,
Did fin rob us of our ornaments ? Christ restores these, he makes the King's daughter all glorious within ; he brings us a far better garment, even the garment of salvation, and a robe of righteousness to adorn us.
Did în take away our riches and treasures ? Christ opens up a far better treasure, even unsearchable riches; and he tells us, that “ riches are with him, yea, durable riches and righteousness.”
Did sin rob us of our God, and leave us without God in the world? Christ makes restitution of that; for what is Christ? He is Immanue!. And what is that? He is God with us. That may make our hearts rejoice indeed ; our God is come back to us, and is saying, “I am the Lord thy God; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” It is a God in Christ that speaks in such a dialect to poor finners. Thus you see, that Christ restores to man, what he took not away from him. I might enlarge much on this subject.
Sin robbed us of our title and charter to eternal life ; whenever the covenant of works was broken, our charter was gone. But Christ restores a better charter, even the covenant of grace; he himself is " given for a covenant to the people," and is the Alpha and Omega of the covenant; all the promises and bleilings of it are “in him yea and amen.” The covenant of works was a frail covenant, a Dippery fecurity; but the covenant of grace, and the charter granted unto us in Chrilt, it is a lasting charter : Il. liv. 10. * The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord, that hath mercy on thee.”
In short, Christ restores beauty and order again to the whole creation. Whenever man sinned, there fell such a dead weight upon the creation, that the whole creation was like to crumble to its original chaos; but the thing that prevented it was, the Son of God bought this earth as a theatre, on which his love to finners might be displayed ; therefore he will uphold the theatre till the scene be acted ; and when it is acted, he will commit it to the flames : there is a word to that purpose, If. xlix. 8. “ I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.” The theatre of this earth was giving way under the weight of the wrath of God; but Christ being given as a covenant of the people, he upholds the earth and all things by the word of his power, as it is, Heb. i. 3.
Thus much for the third thing, which was, to let you see how Chrilt makes reftitution of these good things which he never took away from God or from man.
IV. The fourth thing proposed was, to inquire into the time when Christ did all this: when did he restore that which he took not away?
I shall not stay upon this; I pointed at it in the explica. tion. I told you that it was in a state of humiliation that he made this restitution. I cannot stand to tell you of the several steps of his humiliation whereby he restored what he took not away. We have a summary description thereof, in that question of the Catechism, Wherein did Christ's humiliation confist? The answer is, ' In his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross; in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time. By these steps of his humiliation, he brought about the blefied project of redemption. Then was it that he restored what he took not away : Gal. iv. 4. 5.“ In the fulnels of time, God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of fons." But I do not stay npon this; I haften forward.
V. The fifth thing proposed was, to inquire a little into the reasons of the doctrine. Why vas ii ihat our Lord restored what he took 1100 away? Hby did be rifiore these goods that hn and Sae 2