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upon the full revelation of Christ by the Gospel, they saw that which did more fully inform, and illuminate them. No doubt but the very work of the creation, yea, of this inferior world, that are made for the habitation and use of man, are far better known to angels than to man: for we know but little of what we daily see and use; and consequently it is by angels more than men, that God is beheld, admired, and glorified in them. . And if it be so in these works of creation, we may well say it is so in the works of redemption.
3. But when we are perfected in glory, then we ourselves shall clearly see the glory of this mystery, and of God therein. As it is not till we come to heaven that we shall have the fullest benefits of redemption, so is it not till then, that we shall have the fullest understanding of it, and God have his fullest praises for it. As we are here but sowing the seed of our own glory, which we must reap in the everlasting fruition of God; so God is here but sowing those seeds of his praise and glory, which he will eternally reap by his blessed work. Do not therefore judge of the ends and fruits of Christ's undertakings, by what you see him attain on earth, but by what he shall attain in heaven, when he hath fully seen the travail of his soul to his satisfaction, and hath presented the whole church without spot unto God; and when the glorious marriage of the Lamb, with the heavenly Jerusalem is solemnized, and the kingdom delivered up to the Father; Isa. liii. 11. Eph. v. 27. Rev. xix. 7. 1 Cor. xv. 24. It will be another manner of conceiving which we shall have in heaven of this blessed work; when we see the face of our glorified Lord, and fully possess the fruits of his redemption, than this is that we have now by our weak believing. We shall then have another manner of sight of the wisdom, and power, and love, and justice that appear to man, in the face of Christ, than now we have.
4. Yea, the tormenting discoveries of the glory of redemption to the condemned rejectors of it, shall also contribute to the glory of God.
You see then that this work hath most glorious ends; which I have mentioned the more largely, both to remove their temptations that are apt to think that it was an unnecessary thing, and the less regardable, and to teach men the true value of it, by shewing them the true ends.
For the former, I say, there was no necessity that God
should make the world, and reveal his power, and wisdom, and goodness, in this excellent frame, but what did suppose the freewill of God the original cause. therefore say, that the creation is vain ; and undervalue God's admirable works, in which he thus revealeth himself to the intellectual creatures? So here; we confess that there could be no necessity of redemption, but what was originally derived from the will of God; (though a necessity' ad finem' there was for the constitution of things, upon supposition of what went before the undertaking.) But yet shall we undervalue so glorious a work, in which the Divine perfections do so fully reveal themselves to the world?
And I say the more of this, because I do observe that it is the not apprehending the high and excellent ends of redemption, that makes it so much slighted, and consequently tempteth many to infidelity. For the ends and uses do set the value on the means. That is of little worth, that is to little purpose, and doth but little good. If men understood more the ends of redemption, and how much God doth shine forth in the world, in the person, and life, and laws, and works of the Son of God, they would then live in the admiration of it, and be always searching and prying into it, and desire to know nothing but God in Christ crucified, and account all things else but as loss and dung for this excellent knowledge. But, alas! the most do scarce discern any higher ends of Christ, or other use of him, than to save themselves from hell; and for want of faith, and through humiliation, they have but little sense of that: and therefore no wonder if the Redeemer be neglected, and God denied the honour of the work.
So much of this second point, the reasons and ends of Christ's undertaking. I shall purposely be shorter on the rest.
3. The third point to be understood concerning our Redeemer, is, What he hath done and suffered for mankind, and wherein his redeeming work consisted, both as to the general and special part. Should I stand on these at large, I must needs be voluminous; and therefore I shall but briefly recite them for your remembrance.
(1.) The first thing that Christ did for the saving of the world, was his interposing between offending man, and the wrath of God; and so preserving the world from that des
truction, which the execution of the violated law would have procured : undertaking then to become the seed of the woman, and so to break the serpent's head; and revealing this
grace by slow degrees, till the time of his coming.
(2.) And then when the fulness of time was come, he was made man, being conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary, and so the “ Word was made flesh, and dwelt among men, who beheld his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth;" John i. 14. Thus God was manifested to men in the flesh; 1 Tim. iii. 16.
(3.) And as he was perfectly holy in hís nature without any stain or guilt of original sin ; so was he perfectly holy in his life, and never broke the least command of God in thought, word, or deed. Never could any convince him of sin ; John viii. 46. He fulfilled the law of nature, which all the world was under, and the Mosaical law which the Jews were under, and the special law that was given to himself as Mediator, and was common to no other creature in the world.
And thus he performed these excellent works. (1.) By the fulfilling of all righteousness he pleased the Father, always accomplishing his will; and so did much of the work of a Saviour, in meriting for us ; Matt. iii. 15. v. 17. John viii. 22. Matt. xii. 18. xvii. 5. Rom. v. 19. “ For such an highpriest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners; Heb. vii. 26.
2. He hath conquered the tempter, that conquered us. And therefore did he purposely yield himself to such sore temptations ; Matt. iv. that his victory might be glorious, and the second Adam might overcome him that had overcome the first. And thus he hath done much to the rescue of the captivated.
3. Hereby also he hath overcome the world, which overcame the first Adam and his posterity: he trampled upon its seeming glory; he neglected and despised its baits and allurements; he went through all its cruel persecutions and oppositions, so that the world now as well as the devil, are conquered things. By which he hath made way for the victory of his followers, and given them ground of great encouragement; John xvi. 33. “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Yea, I may say in a sort, he hath overcome the flesh also. For though Christ had no corrupted flesh as we have to contend with, yet had he a natural and sensitive appetite, which the command of God did forbid him to fulfil. And therefore when innocent nature desired that the cup might pass from him, and abhor death by a simple averseness; yet perfect holiness permitted not this to proceed to a refusal by the comparing intellect, and choosing or refusing will; but saith, "Not my will, but thine be done." And when Christ was weary and hungry, the desire of food and rest by the sensitive appetite was no sin; but when the work of God forbade the fulfilling of such desires, he still denied them.
(4.) Hereby also he hath set us a perfect copy and pattern of obedience, and is become our example, whom we must endeavour to imitate. For he knew that it is the most effectual teaching, to do it by words and deeds together. It is a great help to us, when we do not only hear his voice, but see also which way he hath gone before us. When he saith, “ Learn of me,” he directs us not only to his words, but to himself, who was “meek and lowly;" Mett. xi. 28.
(5.) Moreover Christ received of the Father fulness of the Spirit, and power, for the benefit of the redeemed: that he might be meet to be the Head and treasury of the church, and to shower down the streams of grace upon his members and when all power was given him in heaven and earth, he might be fitted to the following application of his benefits, and to rule, and support, and defend his people.
(6.) Moreover he was pleased himself to become a preacher of the Gospel oft salvation, not to all the world, but principally as a minister of the circumcision, that is, the Jews ; Rom. xv. 8. He that purchaseth salvation, condescended also to proclaim it. The preaching of the Gospel is a work that Christ thought not himself too good for, sometimes to many, sometimes to one or two, as he had opportunity ; often with tears, and always with earnestness and compassion, did he
go about doing good, and seeking the lost, and healing the diseased, and calling men to faith and repentance, and offering them the grace and life which he purchased.
(7.) And he was pleased also to seal up his doctrine by his works, casting out devils, healing all diseases, raising the dead, and working divers other miracles, to assure them that he came from God, and did his work, and revealed his will, that so the world might have no excuse for their unbe
lief; but that they that would not believe upon any other account, might yet believe him for the sake of his works.; John iii. 2. Acts ii. 22. Heb. ii. 4. John v. 36. x. 25. 38. xiv. 11, 12. xv.24.
(8.) Besides all this, he gave up himself to a life of suffering, being despised by his creatures whom he came to redeem, and destitute voluntarily of fleshly pleasures, and of that riches and worldly provision that might procure it. He was a man of sorrows, afflicted from his youth, persecuted from the cradle; he gave his cheeks to the smiters, and his person to be made the scorn of fools; he was crowned with thorns, spit upon and buffeted, and having sweat water and blood, in his agony in the garden, he was hanged on a cross where thieves were both his companions and revilers, where they gave him gall and vinegar to drink, pierced his blessed body with a spear, and put him to a shameful, cursed death. But he endured the cross, despising the shame, and gave up himself thus a sacrifice for sin, and bore our transgressions, that we might be healed by his stripes; and having ransomed us by his blood, he was buried as an offender, continuing for a time in the power of the grave; Isa. liii. throughout, Matt. xxvi. xxvii. Heb. xii. 2. All this he consented to undergo, (though he consented not to the sin of them that did inflict it,) for he laid down his life, it was not taken from him against his will; John x. 17, 18.
(9.) Having thus paid the price of our reconciliation to God, the third day he rose again from the dead, though soldiers watch his grave; because he had foretold them that he would rise on the third day, yet were they soon daunted by the glory of an angel, that came and rolled away the stoné. And so Christ made known his Divine power and victory, and the finishing of his work : and as by death he overoame him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, (Heb. iii. 14.) so by his resurrection he triumphed over death itself. For how should the grave detain the innocent, and death overcome the Lord of life? This was the glorious day of triumph; in remembrance of this he appointed the Lord's day to be observed by the church. The resurrection of Christ was the confusion of all the powers of darkness; the great argument to confirm the truth of his doctrine, and prove his Godhead to the unbelieving world.
(10.) Being risen, he more fully revealed his Gospel, and