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I say, in one person; for if he should be God and man in distinct persons, this would avail me no more than if he should be God only and not man, or man only and not God; because the merit and value both of his active and passive obedience is grounded merely upon the union of the two natures in one and the same person. He, therefore, by his life and death merited so much for us, because the same person that so lived and died was God as well as man; and every action that he did, and every passion that he suffered, was done and suffered by him that was God as well as man. And hence it is that Christ, of all the persons in the world, is so fit, yea, only fit, to be
my Redeemer, Mediator, and Surety, because he alone is both God and man in one person. If he was not man, he could not undertake that office; if he was not God, he could not perform it. If he was not man, he could not be capable of being bound for me; if he was not God, he would not be able to pay my debt. It was man by whom the covenant was broken, and therefore man must have suitable punishment laid upon him : it was God with whom it was broken, and therefore God must have sufficient satisfaction made unto him : and as for that satisfaction, it was man that had offended, and therefore man alone could make it suitable; it was God that was offended, and therefore God alove could make it sufficient.
The sum of all is this; man can suffer, but he cannot satisfy; God can satisfy, but he cannot suffer; but Christ, being both God and man, can both suffer and satisfy too; and so is perfectly fit both to suffer for man and to make satisfaction unto God, to reconcile God to man, and man to God. And thus, Christ having assumed my nature into his person and so satisfied divine justice for my sins, I am received into grace and favor again with the most high God.
Upon this principle, I believe that I, by nature the son of man, am made by grace the son of God, as really as Christ, by nature the Son of God, was made by office the son of man; and so, though in myself I may say to corruption, Thou art my mother; yet in Christ I may say to God, Abba, Father. Neither do I believe this to be a metaphorical expression, merely because lie doth that for me which a father doth for bis child, even provide for me wbilst
young, and give me my portion when come to age; but I believe, that in the same propriety of speech that my earthly father was called the father of my natural self, is God the Father of my spiritual self: for, why was my earthly father called my father, but because that I, as to my natural being, was born from bin? Why so, as to my spiritual being, am I born of what proceeds from God, his Spirit. And as I was not born of the very substance of my natural parents, but only from them, so neither is my spiritual self begotten again, quickened, and constituted of the very substance of my heavenly Father, God, but of the Spirit, and spiritual influences proceeding from him. Thus therefore it is that I believe that Christ, the Son of God, became the son of man; and thus it is that I believe myself, the son of man, to be made thereby the son of God. I believe, O my God and Father ; do thou help mine unbelief! and every day more and more increase my faith, till itself shail be done away, and turned into the most perfect vision and fruition of thine own most glorious Godhead!
ARTICLE VI. I believe, that Christ lived to God, and died for sin,
that I might die to sin and live with God. AND thus by faith I follow niy Saviour from the womb to the tomb, from his incarnation to bis death and passion, believing all that he did or suffered to be for my sake ; for Christ did not only take my nature upon him, but he suffered and obeyed, he underwent miseries and - undertook duties for me; so that not only his passive,
but likewise his active, obedience unto God, in that nature, was still for me. Not as if I believed his duty as man was not God's debt by the law of creation. Yes, I believe that he owed that obedience unto God, that if he had committed but one sin, and that of the lightest tincture, in all his life-time, he would have been so far from being able to satisfy for my sins, that he could not have satisfied for his own; for such an High-Priest became
us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens ; who needeth not daily, as those high-priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's, Heb. vii, 26, 27. So that if he had not had these qualifications in their absolute perfection, he could not have been our High-Priest, nor by consequence bave made atonement for nor expiated any sins whatsoever. But now, though both as man, and as God-man or Mediator too, it behoved bim to be thus faithful and spotless, yet, as being God, co-equal and co-essential with the Father, it was not out of duty, but merely upon our account, that he thus subjected his neck to the yoke of his own law; hinself as God being the legislator or lawgiver, and so no more under it than the Father himself.
And hereupon it is that I verily believe, that whatsoever Christ either did or suffered in the flesh was meritorious ; not that his life was righteous towards God, only that his death might be meritorious for us, (which, I believe, otherwise it could not have been, but that his life was equally meritorious as righteous. So that I believe my person is as really accepted, as perfectly righteous, by the righteousness of his life imputed to me, as my sins are pardoned by God for the bitterness of the death be suffered for them ; his righteousness being as really by faith imputed to me, as my sins were laid upon him: as these are set upon his, so is that set upon my score ; and so every thing he did in his life, as well as every thing he suffered in his death, is inine. By the latter, God looks upon me as perfectly innocent, and therefore not to be thrown down to hell; by the former, he looks upon me as perfectly righteous, and therefore to be brought up to heaven.
And as for his death, I believe it was not only as much, but infinitely more satisfactory to divine justice, than though I should have died to eternity; for by that means, justice is actually and perfectly satisfied already, wbich it could never have been by my suffering for my sins myself; for if justice by that means could ever be satisfied, if it could ever say, “ It is enougb,” it could pot stand with the same justice, now satisfied, still to intlict Div. No. I.
punishment, nor by consequence could the damned justly scorch in the flames of God's wrath for ever. Neither did the death of my Saviour reach only to the condemning, but likewise to the commanding power of sin. It did not only pluck out its sting, but likewise deprive it of its strength; so that he did not only merit by his death that I should never die for sin, but likewise that I should die to it. Neither did he only merit by his life that I should be accounted righteous in him before God, but likewise that I should be made righteous in myself by God. Yea, I believe that Christ, by his death, hath so fully discharged the debt I owe to God, that now, for the remission of my sins, and the accepting of my person, if I perform the conditions be requires in his covenant, I may not only appeal to the throne of grace, but likewise to the judgment-seat of God. I may not only cry, « Mercy, mercy, gracious Father," but, “ Justice, justice, my righteous God.” I may not only say, “ Lord, be gracious and merciful, but be just and faithful, to acquit me from that debt and cancel that bond which my Surety hath paid for me, and which thou hast promised to accept of; being not only gracious and merciful, but just and faithful, to forgive me my sins, and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness."
ARTICLE VII. I believe, that Christ rose from the grave that I might
rise from sin, and that he is ascended into heaven that I may come unto him.
As Christ came from heaven to earth, so I believe he went from earth to heaven, and all for the accomplishment of
my salvation; that after he had lived a most holy life, he died a most cruel death; that he was apprehended, arraigned, accused, and condemned, by such as could not pronounce the sentence against him, did not himself, at the same time, vouchsafe them breath to do it ; and, that he that came into the world to take away the sins of it, to bring sinners to the joys of life, was himself, by those very sinners, brought into the pangs of death. But yet, as it was not in the power of death long to delain the Lord of life, so, though worms had power to send him to the grave, yet I believe they had not power or time to feed upon him there ; for he rose again from the dead the third day. He lay three days, that I might believe he was not alive, but dead; he arose the third day, that I might believe he is not dead, but lives. He descended down to hell, that he might make full satisfaction to God's justice for my sins, but he is now ascended up into heaven, that he may make intercession to God's mercy for my soul. Thither I believe he is gone, and there I believe he is, not as a private person, but as the Head and Saviour of his church.
And under this capacity, as I believe that Christ is there for me, so I am there in him; for where the head is, there must the members be also ; that is, I am as really there in him, my representative, now, as I shall be in my own proper person hereafter; and he is as really preparing my mansion for me there, as I am preparing myself for that mansion here. Nay, I believe that he is not only preparing a mansion for me in heaven, but that himself is likewise preparing me for this mansion upon earth ; continually sending down and issuing forth from himself fresh supplies and influences of his grace and Spirit; and all to qualify me for his service, and make me meet to be partaker of his inheritance with the saints in light. Which inheritance, I believe, he doth not so much desire his Father to bestow upon me, as claims it for me; himself having purchased it with the price of his own blood. And as he hath purchased the inheritance itself, so likewise the way unto it for me; and therefore sues out for the pardon of those sins and subduing those corruptions, which would make me unworthy of it; and for the conveyance of those graces to me, whereby I may walk directly to it; not only saying to his father concerning me, as Paul said to Philemon concerning Onesimus, “ If this thy servant oweth thee any thing, set it upon my account, I will repay it ;" but, What this thy servant oweth thee, see, it is set upon my score already, and I have paid it; what punisbments he is indebted to thee for all the offences he hath committed