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been revealed, and the redemption of man had not taken place.
III. We are led by this subject, with wonder, gratifude and joy, to contemplate the ability and sufficiency of Jesus Christ to redeem finners; and see that he is just
fuch a Saviour as we need. • Were he not a person of infinite greatness, dignity
and worthiness, were he not God, his sufferings and obedience would have been of no avail to make atonement for the fins of men ; to procure pardon, and merit eternal life for us. And were he not man, he could neither suffer nor obey. But being both these, he was equal to this. “ Such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separated from finners, and made higher than the heavens." And were he not almighty, infinitely wise and good, he would not be able and wil. ling to rescue Ginners from the power of fin and satan, and completely fanctify them, and make them meet for the inheritance in heaven. But being all this, he is a complete Redeemer : “ For it hath pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell. Who is made of God, unto his people, wisdom, and righteousness, and fan&ification, and complete redemption.”+ And all the redeemed must know and say, “Surely in the Lord have I righteousnels and strength : In the Lord Jesus Chrift shall the feed of Israel be justified and shall glory."
They who know their own state and characte ners, being wholly lost in sin, infinitely guilty and milerable ; and believe in Christ, see all this, in some degree. To such Christ is allsufficient, molt honourable and precious. But to them who are ignorant of themselves; the nature and ill desert of sin, and their own guilt and misery, who are unbelieving and disobedient, Jesus Chrilt, considered in his true character, is “ a stope of lumba ling, and rock of offence."
His . Heb. vii. 26. t 1 Cor. i. 30. Col. ii 19. t Ilai. xlv. 24, 25. ģ: Pet.l.7;.
His sufficiency also includes his inexhaustible, un. bounded fulness, as the glorious object of knowledge, contemplation and love, and of enjoyment and happiness. The redeemed will attend forever to their Redeemer, who is infinite, and whose person and character are full of wonders, with ever fresh and increasing delight. They will spring forward, in the full employ and strongeft exertion of all their powers, and make swift progress in the knowledge of their Saviour, and in holiness and happiness, without ever coming to an end. Whatever wonders and glories they may have seen, and however high their love and happiness may be at any supposed future period, the Redeemer may with truth say to them as he did to Nathaniel, “ Ye fhall see greater things than these.” St. Paul entered upon this endless, progresfive and happifying knowledge of Christ, when he commenced a christian, and was admitted into the school of his Lord and master ; which he expresses in the following words. “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowlege of Christ Jesus, my Lord : That I may know him," &c. '
IV. The view we have now had of the person and character of the Redeemer is suited to enlarge our ideas, and excite a sense of the infinite, wonderful condescention and love exercised and manifested in the work of redemption. The love of the Father is expressed in giving his only begotten, dear Son, to descend to such a low state of humiliation, of poverty, disgrace, and sufferings ; even unto a most cruel death, to redeem man. And as this his own Son was equal to himself, and infinitely dear to him, the degree of love and goodness expressed in giving him up to redeem man, by suffering the curse under which he had fallen, must be infinite, and the greatest poffible instance apd exercise of disinterested benevolence,
The Person and Chara&ter PART II. that can be conceived, or that ever did or can take place. And the more the greatness and dignity of the Son of Gud is known, and how dear he is to the Father, the greater will his sufferings appear to be, and the higher and more affecting will be the view and sense of the goodness of the Father, in giving up his Son to such sufferings. “ God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” Herein is love!
And the condescension and love of Christ in his humiliation and sufferings for the redemption of men, appear in the most affecting and striking light, when we take into view his greatness and dignity, and the infinite height from which he descended, to such an amalang scene of debasement, ignominy and sufferings : And the more our ideas are enlarged in the view of the former, the greater sense shall we have of the latter. Hence it follows, that as his greatness, dignity and excellence are infinite, there is a foundation for increasing, endless views and admiration of, “ The love of Christ, which passeth knowledge."
V. By considering the person of the Redeemer we are led to infer the height to which the redeemed are raised, the great honour which is conferred upon them, by their union to him. In the personal union of the human nature to the Son of God, the greatest honour is put upon it ; and they who are united to this person as the redeemed are, rise to a degree of honour and exaliation, far above the angels, and unspeakably beyond all our present conceptions. They are the bride, the Lamb's wife, and share in all his honours and riches. They are “Raised up together with him, and made to sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus."* In his exaltation, they are exalted, as members of his body, of which he is the head; and shall fit with him, on his high throne,
and * Epli.ii. 6.
and reign with him forever. This honour have all the saints.
VI. We may hence see the warrant we have to wor. fhip and pray to Jesus Christ, and call upon his name. We have seen that he is worshipped by all the inhabi. tants of heaven ; that the Apostles and primitive christians prayed to him, and called on his name ; And there is the same reason why his people should do so in all ages, and at all times. He is God manifest in the flelh, Immanuel, God in our nature. He has all power in heaven and on earth ; and is head over all things to the church. He can do all things for us that we want; why should we not ask him for what we want, and conItantly pray to him, acknowledging our absolute dependence on him, and his sufficiency and ability to do all for us ? And is not a neglect to do this putting a flight upon him ?
It will be asked, perhaps, whether this be not expressly forbidden by Christ, when he says, “In that day ye Ihall ask me nothing : Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.”+
Ans. When he says, “ In that day ye shall ask me nothing," the word in the original is commonly used for asking questions. And not to make a petition. The disciples had been asking him a number of questions for their information about things which they did not understand. Christ tells them in these words, that after his ascension they should have no opportunity or occa. fion to ask him any questions; for they should then have sufficient knowledge by the holy spirit teaching them all things they should have need to know. When he lays, “ Whatsoever ye ihall ask the father,” he uses another word for asking, which always Sgnifies to make a petition.
But 9 John xvi. 28,
II. But from these last words there arifes another question, Here Christ directs to ask the Father in his name. Is not this an implicit prohibition to ask any thing of him directly ?
Ans. This cannot be understood as a prohibition to pray to Jesus Christ, and call on his name because the Apostles and primitive christians did this, as has been shown. And perhaps, if the matter be properly consid. ered, it will appear that praying dire&ly to Jesus Chrift, and asking him, is asking in his name, and asking the father, as really, though not expressly, as when we ask the father directly, in the name of Christ. Jesus Chrift says, “ I and my father are One. What things soever the father doth, these also doth the Son likewisc."* He hath, and exerciseth all the power that is in heaven and earth. It hath pleased the father that all fulness should dwell in him. And the father says to wretched man, “ This is my beloved Son, hear ye him.” Whatever you want, go to him for relief and a supply; as Pharoah said to the starving people, “ Go to Joseph.” He then, who goes to Christ and asks the things which he wants of him, does really and in truth go to the father, and asks of him, as he is the appointed governor and steward, and has all things in his hands. “ The father loverb the son, and hath delivered all things into his hand. All things that the father hath, are mine."* As the people by applying to Joseph, with whom all the authority and supplies were lodged, did really apply to Pharaoh ; lo they who apply to Christ and ask him, do really apply to the father through him, and afk of the father as really as if they expressly applied to himn : For he and the father are one, and what he does, the father doth, and what the father doth, the same doth the son likewise. Therefore what our Saviour says in one passage the fath. er will do, in another he says, he himself will do the same.
. In ohn v. 19. X. 30. John iï. 35. xvi. 15.