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salvation, will not succeed. There is one special, and the only right way; and that is with God in Christ. Can you deal with God as the Creator of the world, and as a Lawgiver? Unless God had revealed himself in Christ, no sinner durst lift up his face before God's throne, to beg eternal life, or to expect it.
3. Improve this representation of God in Christ, in all your worshipping of God. The word is the word of Christ, Col. iii. 16. We pray; but how? We must pray in Christ's name, and ask, whatever we ask of the Father, in Christ's name, John xiv. 13, 14. and xvi. 23, 24. The God that the apostle prayed to, is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, Eph. iii. 14, 15.; and to him he gives glory by Christ Jesus, ver. 20, 21. O that men did know, that to worship God out of Christ, is to worship they know not what! as Christ saith in John iv. 22. But we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. Out of them the Messias cometh, and salvation by him; and in him God is savingly known, and knowingly wore shipped.
4. Let all Christians improve this doctrine in their spiritual exercise, and in the actings of the graces of the Spirit
. All those graces are from God in Christ, and dispensed and enlivened by the Spirit of grace. And they are (if you take the expression rightly) as so many distinct members and pow. ers of the new man, whereby it acts on its original. I would name several of them, and shew of what use this representation of God in Christ is in their acting.
1st, Faith. We by Christ believe in God, who raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory, 1 Pet. i. 21.' Faith is justly called the fundamental, radical grace in the new creature ; because it is that grace whereby he is built on Christ the foundation, and taketh root in Christ, in whom is all the Christian's life, sap, and fatness. There are two acts of faith I would speak of; an act of faith for peace, and an act of faith for supply
(1.) Faith acts for peace. There is a sad quarrel betwixt God and us by sin, which must be taken away, or no peace can be. God hath provided the way; Christ hath made the
way, yea, is become the way; the gospel reveals it, and faith
speak against you.” And never had a sinner been sai cd,
Christ, is, he is a God that justifies the ungodly, Rom. iv. 5* Papists, and others, in their pretended zeal for holiness and good works, do either desire that this name of God were not in the Bible, or the true sense of it were taken out of the church. It is this plainly: That as no man needs the blessing of justification, but a sinner and an ungodly man; so whenever God gives this blessing, he gives it freely to a man that is ungodly till he get it. And when a sinner pleads for it, he doth plead as guilty and ungodly. He begs it of God as an alms of free grace; the Lord gives it as such; and he that gets it, holds it, and praiseth for it, as such an alms of mere grace. God be merciful to me the sinner, said the justified publican: Let the unjustified Pharisee boast of his fastings, prayers, and good works, Luke xviï. 9--14. 4. The way by which peace with God is brought about in and by Jesus Christ, is a name of God in Christ that faith hath much to do with. When God proclaimed his name to Moses, Exod. xxxiv. 5,6, 7. (Moses had earnestly desired to see the Lord's glory, God promiseth it graciously, chap. xxxiii
. 18, 19.): Let us read this glorious proclamation : And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands of generations, as Exod. xx. 6. and Psalm cv. 8.) forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the childrens children, unto the third and to the fourth generation : Here was much of the glory of God's grace discovered; and Moses made good use of it, ver. 8, 9. But yet how dark and dreadful was this name! how hard to understand it! Here is both grace in pardoning sin, and justice in visiting for sin. By this name we cannot tell when, and whom God will pardon; and when, and whom he will not clear; for all are guilty. By this name we cannot tell how God can do both; how he can pardon, and yet not clear the guilty; how he can pardon without reflecting on his justice; or how he can punish iniquity, and not reflect on his grace and mercy. In chap. xxxiii. 19. the Lord saith, I will make all my goodness (or beauty and glory) pass before thee. Yet was it short of
New Testament light: for the bright gospel-name of God in Christ resolves sweetly this riddle, Rom. iii. 24, 25, 26. In Christ only mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other, as Psalm lxxxv. 10. And by this meeting and kiss, we are saved; and when we see it by faith, we are comforted. By these, God's glorious names of justice and mercy kiss one another, and do kiss and save the believer; and the believer by faith kisseth the Son of God, as Psalm ii. 12.; and then the Father, as a reconciled God, in him. I would speak somewhat of this from two scriptures, both deep in themselves, and yet full of light and comfort to believers. One in 2 Cor, v. 19, 20, 21. In this place, the apostles tells us what his gospel was, as committed to him, and preached by him. It was this good news, That God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, (But the world lieth in wickedness, 1 John v. 19. and God is holy, and a hater of wickedness; how then can such a God as he is, be reconciled to such a world as this is ?), not imputing their trespasses unto them. God out of Christ judgeth and condemneth the sinful world for their trespasses; and this is the glory of his justice. But God in Christ does not impute their trespasses unto them; and this is the glory of his grace. But how can this be? The world is guilty; trespasses they have committed; sin is not a transient act, no more to be heard after it is committed ; but as it is in us, it flows from a depraved sinful nature, and contracts a permanent guilt, binding us over unto eternal vengeance, and is only removeable and dissolved by pardoning grace. The nature of God, and his law, requireth that this high crime of sin be either avenged on us, or satisfied for by us, or by another for us. The just revenge of sin, is the eternal ruin of the sinner; and satisfaction to justice for sin, is eternally beyond the power of the sinner, or of any creature whatsoever. How then can God be just, and not impute sin to the sinner? It is answered in ver. 21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. The sinless Son of God in man's nature, is by God made sin for us, that the sinful sons and daughters of men may be made the righteousness of God in him. How can
this be ; that one that is sinless is made sin, and that such as are true and real sinners are made righteous, yea, made the righteousness of God in him that was made sin; and they are made thus righteous, by his being thus made sin? Is not this to depress Christ too low, and to exalt believers too high? No; it depresseth Christ no lower than his Father did lay him for our salvation, and exalteth believers no higher than saving grace designed them. How is he made sin ? By the bearing of, and being a propitiation for sin. Sin was imputed to him : not his own; for he had none, and could not have been our Saviour if he had had any: Heb. vii. 26. For suck an High-priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens. But the iniquity of all his flock was laid on him, Isa. liii. 6.; for this was he bruised by law and justice, and by these stripes are we healed, Isa. liii. 5. Christ was sinless in himself, and only rnade sin for us. We are sinners in ourselves, and far from, and void of all righteousness in ourselves, yet by grace are made the righteousness of God in him; not, nor never in ourselves. The sanctified believer is made truly holy in himself, by Christ's holiness imparted to him by the Spirit of Christ. The glorified are made perfectly holy. But neither of them are made sanctification or righteousness for themselves, or for others. The glory of this is Christ's crown and property, 1 Cor. i. 30. and the blessing of it is the glory and salvation of his people. Another scripture, among many to this purpose, is in Gal. iii. 13, 14. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, (a great mercy; but how?), being made a curse for us; (How proves he it?): for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree; (taken from Deut. xxi. 28.) For he that is hanged, (i. e. on a tree, as ver. 22.), is accursed of God, or the curse of God: Hanging to death on a tree, was named in the law an accursed death, (though it probably be one of the easiest ways of putting malefactors to death, as it is generally used in Christian kingdoms), on the account of one Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who was to die this way: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. What is the blessing of Abraham? It is that that comes to men by faith in Christ: Gal. iii. 9. So then they