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which be of faith, are blessed with faithful (or believing) Abraham. Both are blessed with the same blessing, and by the same Blesser, and in the same way of believing in Christ. These two scriptures (as Christ himself was) have been a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, and as signs to be spoke against. But can any say or think, that the inspired writer of them did not highly honour his Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, or that he did not wisely consult the edification of the church, in his using these words ? No; no mere man excelled him in both. Zeal for Christ's glory, and love to sinners salvation, did eat him up. If we rank these words amongst some of the things that are hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction, 2 Peter iii. 16.; yet surely they are most needful to be understood, are capable of a very good meaning, and are made very plain unto many. Sin against God, and the curse of God for sin, are the worst things in this and the other world. Sin, and the curse for it, are inseparable. If sin be committed, it is imputed, and the curse follows in course of law. If the curse fall on a man, sin did precede it, and deserve it. Yea, when our Saviour bore our sin by imputation, the curse must follow that charge. But observe the dialect of ihe Holy Ghost in these two scriptures, and see what provision is made for the honour of Christ in this way of speaking, as well as for our peace and salvation in what is spoken. 1. Christ is said to be made sin. This no sinner was, or can be. When angels fell, they were made sinners, but not made sin. So of Adam, when he sinned, he became a sinner, and a sin and death-conveying head to himself, and to all his natural posterity; but he did not become sin, though he came nearer it than ever any other sinner did
When we sin, (and, alas! when do we not sin ?) we were sinners by nature, before we commit actual sin; but by sinning we only become greater sinners, and are not made sin. Jeroboam did sin, and made Israel to sin, 1 Kings xiv. 16. The idols he set up, became a sin, 1 Kings xii. 30. But neither he, nor they were made sin. So Christ is said to
And this is not to be said properly of any, but Christ. A sinner unpardoned hath the curse lying on
be made a curse.
him, and he is under it, as Gal. iii. 10.; but he is not made
2. Christ is said to be made sin by God. All sinners are made such by Satan and themselves. God makes no sinners; but to save them, he makes his Son to be sin. So Christ was made a curse, and that by God too. He that laid sin on him, laid the curse also. 3. Christ is made sin and a curse for others. So it is in both places, for us. sinner hath both his own sin charged on him, and God's curse laid on him, for himself. He hath none to blame but himself; Hosea xiii. 9. The sin is committed by him. self, charged on himself, and punishment lights on himself, All quite contrary to God's way in dealing with his Son. All the charge on him was for others. 4. Christ's sinlessness and blessedness in himself is expressed in 2 Cor. v. 21. and hinted in Gal. iii. 13, 14. He knew no sin, yet is made sin. He was the great blessing of his church, yet is made a curse for it. Lastly, Observe the fruit, design, and effect of this marvellous way of God's making of Christ. He is made sin, that we might be made righteousness. That imputed righteousness in which believers stand before God, is the fruit of Christ's being made sin for them. Our blessing we have, springs out of Christ's being made a curse
saved Tepede Chris
So much for the grace of faith, and its acting for peace with God. Whenever you are in good earnest in dealing with God for his favour, and reconciliation with him, one or more of these names of God in Christ, God as love, God with his redeeming blood, God that justifies the ungodly, God making his Son to be sin and a curse for his people; I say, some of these names of God must either be your anchor-ground, or you will perish in the sea and storm of your sin, and of God's wrath and curse. I know, that while men are secure, (as the most are) and know not what God, nor sin, nor conscience are, they may either deride them, or wantonly talk pro and con of these sacred things of God: but I can assure you of this, that if ever (and woe to you, if you never felt) the terrors of God, and the power of his law, break in upon your awakened consciences; if you ever think in carnest of death and judgment, you must have your recourse unto God in Christ, or perish
eternally. No refuge but in him, Heb. vi. 18, 19.; no hope but from him, and on him.
2. There is an act and exercise of faith for supply. When a sinner is made by grace a believer, and hath peace with God, he is yet in a wanting condition. He may be poor and needy, not only in his own eyes, but really, on whom the Lord thinketh favourably, Psal. xl. 17. Every believer can tell something, none can tell all he wants. How are they supplied ? Phil. iv. 19. My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory, by Jesus Christ. It hath pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell, Col. i. 19. And how pleasing should it be to his people, that it is lodged in so sure a hand? And how pleasant ought it to be to them, to come, and ask, and receive, till their joy be full ? John xiv, 13, 14. and xvi. 23, 24. We all know, by natural light, that God is the fountain of all our supplies, from whom cometh every good gift, and every perfect gift, James i. 17. But gospel-light tells us by whom he giveth, and on what ground; even out of Christ's fulness, and according to his promises in Christ.
So much for the grace of faith.
2dly, Another grace that this representation of God in and by Christ directs us in the acting and exercise of, is, repentance unto life, as it is called in Acts xi. 18. There is a saving repentance, as well as there is a saving faith. Both are given to them whom God saveth. No impenitent person is saved, nor unbeliever. Two things only I would note about repentance. 1. Never man did truly repent, but a believer in Christ. 2. Never did a man truly repent, but for his sins against God in Christ. If you know nothing more of repentance but what you feel in the twinges of your conscience, by the light and heat of God's holy law, you are not yet come to gospel-repentance. Poor and confused are the notions that most sinners have. They think that all their sins are against God, and all their relief is in Jesus Christ; but they do not know, and lay to heart, that all their sins are against God in Christ, and that all their relief against sin is likewise in God in Christ. Men sin against Christ, 1 Cor. viii. 12.; they are forgiven by Christ, Col. iii. 13. He is exalted with the right
do think it no fault (but a great misery you will own it to be)
And thus I would conclude this truth, of the glory of
JOHN xvii. 24.
Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with
me where I am; that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me : for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the
world. You have heard at some length of the glory of Christ, as he is the representer of God unto his church; and the rather I inisted on it, because it is a point of divine truth of the main importance to be believed, and of the main influence and direction in the whole of Christianity. There are many poor souls that are ruined with irreligion; and not a few are ruined in and by their religion, such as it is. Some know not that there is a God, or live as if they thought there was none, or wished that there was none. And some say, they know and believe that there is a God, and they make some fashion of worshipping and serving him ; but they know not who he is, and what his right name is. It is only God in Christ who can be only known, and savingly known, by men. It is only a saving name of God that can be savingly known by men. And this name of God is only proclaimed in his everlasting gospel; and the knowing of this name can only be attained by Christ's declaring it, John xvii. 6, 26. 1 Cor. xii. 3. by the Holy Ghost. All contemplations of God out of Christ are but vain imaginations, and can never bring a man to the saving knowledge of God: and all worshipping of God out of Christ, is but will-worship, and provocation.
Secondly, It now follows to speak of another beam and branch of Christ's glory; and that is, in Christ's representing his church and people unto God. It is one part of his glory, that he doth so represent God unto his church, that all the saving knowledge of God is only in him and by him. Another paft of his glory (if the word part were proper in speaking of his infinite glory; but ye know what I mean, and none can mistake but the wilful) is, in his representing his church