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great importance is the point. Of which I shall SERM. only now further briefly propose some practical ap
1. We may hence learn whence the performances and the sufferings of Christ become of so high worth and so great efficacy. Wonder not, saith St. Cyril Ma lavathe Catechist, if the whole world was redeemed ; Sos idvrgófor it was not a bare man, but the only Son of God in every one that died for it. It is not so strange, that God's times, ana ? only Son's mediation should be so acceptable and so moroysus, effectual with God; that the blood of God's dearest xwv, &c.
Cyrill. Son should be so precious in God's sight, that the in
Catech. 13 tercession of one so near him should be so prevalent with him. What could God refuse to the Son of his love earnestly soliciting and suing in our behalf! what debts might not so rich a price discharge! what anger
could not so noble a sacrifice appease! what justice could not so full a dispensation satisfy! We 1 Pet. i. 18, were not, St. Peter telleth us, redeemed with cor-PS: xlix. 7. ruptible things, with silver or gold, (no; whole Indies of such stuff would not have been sufficient to ransom one soul;) but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. It was not, as the Apostle to the Hebrews remarketh, by the blood of goats and heifers, that Heb.ix. 12, our sins were expiated, (no ; whole hecatombs would 48, 10. have nothing availed to that purpose ;) but by the blood of Christ, who by the eternal Spirit offered up himself spotless unto God, (who as the eternal Son of God did offer himself a sacrifice not to be blamed or refused.) It is, as St. John saith, the blood 1 John i. 7. of Christ, the Son of God, which purgeth us from all sin. And well indeed might a Person so infinitely noble, worthy, and excellent, be a sufficient ransom
SERM. for whole worlds of miserable offenders and captives.
Well might his voluntary undergoing such inconveniences and infirmities of life, his suffering so disgraceful and painful a death, countervail the deseryed punishment of all mankind; well might his so humble, so free, so perfect submission to God's will
infinitely please God, and render him propitious to 'Hivapros us. Well might, as St. Athanasius speaks, the very owingos te- appearing of such a Saviour in the flesh be a gezal xrimin neral ransom of sin, and become salvation to every
creature: the which St. Paul thus expresseth ; God ρία γέγονεν. Athan. ad sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, Rom.viii. 3. and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: for if our
displeasing, injuring, and dishonouring him, who is so great and so good, doth aggravate our offence; the equal excellency and dignity of the Person, submitting in our behalf to the performance of all due obedience and all proper satisfaction, may proportionably advance the reparation offered, and compensate the wrong done to God.
Well therefore may we believe, and say with comfort, after the apostle ; Rom, vii. Τίς εγκαλέσει κατά των εκλεκτών ; Who shall criminate
against the elect of God ? it is God that justifieth, (it is the Son of God, it is God himself, who satisfies divine justice for us ;) who is there that condemns ? it is Christ that died.
2. We may hence be informed, what reverence
and adoration is due from us to our Saviour, and John v. 23. why we must honour the Son, even as we honour Phil. ii. 10. the Father ; why even all the angels must worship
him ; why every thing in heaven, and earth, and beneath the earth must bend the knee (that is, must yield veneration and observance) to him ; why by all creatures whatever the same preeminence is to be
ascribed, and the same adoration paid jointly and SERM. equally to God the Father Almighty, who sits upon
XXI. the throne, and to the Lamb, his blessed Son, who Rev.v. 13. standeth at his right hand. Such divine glory and worship we are obliged to yield him, because he is the Son of God, one in essence, and therefore equal in majesty, with his Father : were it not so, it would be injury to God, and sacrilege to do it; God would not impart his glory, we should not attribute it unto another. So this consideration grounds our duty and justifies our practice of worshipping our Lord; it also encourages us to perform it with faith and hope; for thence we may be assured, that he, being the Son of God omniscient, doth hear and mind us: being the Son of God omnipotent, he can thoroughly help and save us; being also, as such, absolutely and immensely good, he will be always disposed to afford what is good and convenient for us in our need. 3. We hence may perceive the infinite goodness Tit. iii. 4.
Eph. ii. 4. of God toward us, and our correspondent obligation to love and thankfulness toward him. In this, saith 1 John iv. St. John, was manifested the love of God toward), 10. us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. In this, adds he, is love, (love indeed, love admirable and inconceivable,) not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his only begotten Son to be a propitiation for our sins. Can there be imagined any equal, any like expression of kindness, of
mercy, of condescension, as for a prince, himself glorious and happy, most freely to deliver up, out from his own bosom, his own only most dearly beloved Son, to the suffering most base contumelies and most grievous
1 John iv. 9.
SERM. pains for the welfare of his enemies, of rebels and XXI.
traitors to him ? even such hath been God's goodness to us : the Son of God, the heir of eternal majesty, was by his Father sent down from heaven, (from the bosom of his glory and bliss,) to put on the form of a servant, to endure the inconveniences of
this mortal state, to undergo the greatest indignities Col. i. 21. and sorrows; that we, who were alienated, and
enemies in our mind by wicked works, might be reconciled to God; might be freed from wrath and misery; might be capable of everlasting life and salvation : suitable to such unexpressible goodness ought our gratitude to be toward God: what affectionate sense in our hearts, what thankful acknowledgments with our mouths, what dutiful observance in all our actions, doth so wonderful an instance of mercy and goodness deserve and require from us?
4. This consideration may fitly serve to beget in us hope and confidence in God upon any occasions of
need or distress; to support and comfort us in all John iii. 6. our afflictions; for, He that so loved us, that he
gave his only begotten Son for our salvation and happiness, how can we ever suspect him as unwilling to bestow on us whatever else shall to his wisdom appear needful or convenient for us? He that out of pure charity and pity toward us did part with a jewel so inestimable, how can any thing
seem much for him to give us ? it is the consolatory Rom. viii. discourse of St. Paul; He, saith the apostle, that
did not spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things ? all things that we truly need, all things that we can reasonably desire, all things which are good and fit for us.
5. St. John applieth this consideration to the be- SERM. getting charity in us toward our brethren. Beloved, XXI. saith he, if God so loved us, (as to send his only be- 1 John iv. gotten Son into the world, that we might live by him,) we ought also to love one another. If God so lovingly gave up his only Son for our sakes, what, (in grateful regard to him, in observant imitation of him,) what expressions, I say, of charity and goodwill ought we to yield toward our brethren ? what endeavours, what goods, what life of ours should seem too dear unto us for to expend or impart for their good ? shall we be unwilling to take any pains or suffer any loss for them, for whom (together with ourselves) the Son of God hath undergone so much trouble, so much disgrace, so much hardship? shall we, I say, be uncharitable, when the Son of God hath laid upon us such an obligation, hath set before us such an example ?
6. This consideration also may inform us, and should mind us, concerning the dignity of our nature and of our condition ; and consequently how in respect to them we should behave ourselves. If God did so much consider and value man, as for his benefit to debase his only Son; if the Son of God himself hath deigned to assume our nature, and to advance it into a conjunction with the divine nature, then is man surely no inconsiderable or contemptible thing; then should we despise no man, whom God hath só regarded and so honoured ; then ought we not to neglect or slight ourselves : if we were worthy of God's so great care, we ought not to seem unworthy of our own. We ought to value ourselves, not so indeed as to be proud of so undeserved honour, but so as to be sensible thereof, and to suit our
BARROW, vol. V.