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human nature for his person, or supposing it to be another person; and so making two persons in him, instead of one person with two natures. Indeed, I have been amazed to find both ministers and elders in the church so ignorant and uninformed in this matter, as never to have thought of it at all, and not to know the orthodox doctrine, nor the importance of it. And while this confusion of ignorance exists, there is no possibility of delivering them from vain and idle fears, not about this point of orthodox doctrine merely, but about any other point which you enunciate distinctly. Such persons as have not reflected upon this subject must bear in mind, that the only person in Christ is the person of the Son of God; whose identity doth not change by his becoming man, as our identity doth not change by becoming sons of God. He hath existed from eternity one of the subsistences in the ever-blessed and adorable Trinity; and in the fulness of time, for the end of manifesting the Godhead's love, grace, mercy, and power towards fallen and sinfulcreatures, he doth, by that power of self-contraction—which belongeth not to a finite, but to an Infinite Being ; not to a creature, that hath a law and bound of its being, but to the Creator, who is not restricted, but may take unto himself what form he pleaseth-in virtue of this self-contracting power, belonging only to a Divine Person, he doth condescend out of the Godhead into the bounds and condition of fallen manhood, to act unto the redemption of that form of creation and all creatures dependent upon it; to overcome the sin which oppresseth it, to destroy the potentate of death, and to bring in an eternal redemption of the creation of God. He, the Person who thus condescendeth, is the same as he was before, the Son of God. In parting with his glory, he doth not surely do an evil thing, but the best of all things; for shewing God's goodness, for working man's well-being. That he, then, who hath contracted no stain from this act, but covered himself with infinite grace and love, should be assailed with all the infirmities and temptations incident to the nature which he hath taken; this surely is not sin, unless they prevail against him: but if they do not prevail, but he prevaileth over them, surely that is righteousness, and not sin. If any one say, it is sin to be tempted as we are tempted; then I ask, what is the difference between the regenerate and the unregenerate man, for they are tempted alike? what is the difference between sanctification and wickedness; between the work of the Spirit and the work of the flesh; between the child of God and the child of the devil: between that which is born of God, and sinneth not, and that which is not born of God, and cannot cease from sin ? There must be a yielding to the temptation, in order to constitute sin; and there must be an overcoming of the temptation, in order to constitute righteousness. There cannot be righteousness without temptation, under our present estate: and Christ wrought out an everlasting and universal righteousness, by overcoming universal temptation, and for ever destroying the tempters:

This may be further illustrated by looking at it in relation to the regenerated man.

The condition of a regenerate man, is one whose soul is possessed with the Holy Ghost, but whose flesh is still under the law of the flesh; and in whom the power of the invisible God is shewn forth in enabling him to overcome the devil and the world and the flesh--that is all visible creation, under the dominion of all rebel spirits. This is the true glory of Christ in the regenerate; that, though absent and invisible, he doth prevail in their will, and in their word, and in their acting, over the flesh, the world, and the devil. It is Christ pitched against all creation : and Christ is proved more powerful than they all; inasmuch as the will of such a regenerate one overcometh the flesh, the world, and the devil. Now, if

any one ask me, Was the manner of Christ's being in the flesh thus? was His life the complete and unfailing accomplishment of this triumph? I answer, Yea, verily, I believe it was. The person of the Son of God took a reasonable soul and corruptible flesh joined together after the constitution of a man, as men are found to subsist : he, the person of the Son of God, for his condescension to take that soul, and therein to honour his Father, did receive the Holy Ghost; which ever receiving and ever using, he did sustain his human will against the law of the flesh, in its largest and most comprehensive activity; and presented fallen human nature subdued unto holiness, made obedient to the law of God; presented bis creature will, sustained against all visible, sensible oppositions, in perfect harmony with the will of God. And is this all ? This is all. He was a Holy One, in spite of unholy creation. God comes and joins himself to his own sunken, ruined creation, and redeems it. He sets his shoulder beneath the rushing ruin, and lifts it into its eternal rest. But, then, if Christ's body and mind were after the same manner of existence with a regenerate man, how can we pronounce him holy, when we cannot say the same of any regenerate man, whose flesh we declare to be sinful, whatever we may say of his mind or will? I answer, The resurrection of his flesh without seeing corruption proved it to have never sinned; the relief of his soul from hell (Hades) proved it to be without sin; and the exaltation of his whole man to the right hand of the Father on high, declared him to be both Christ and Lord. That it was corruptible, proved it to be fallen flesh to the last; that it did not see corruption, proved it to have been sinless. That his soul descended into hell (Hades), proved it to be a fallen soul; that it came forth thence, proved it to be holy. That the whole man should ascend to the right hand of God, and thence dispense

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the Holy Ghost, proved him to be God as well as man; the eternal Son of God, as well as the mortal Son of the Virgin. The only difference, therefore, between Christ's human nature and the human nature of a regenerated man standeth in these two things : first, that Christ was in the condition of a regenerated man from the very first of his existence as a man; and, secondly, his regeneration was always effectual unto the perfecting of his faith and holiness, and the complete subjection of the natural inclinanations of our fallen manhood. In his humiliation he was the perfect believer (Heb. xii. 1); he was the chosen one; he was the saved one (Ps. xxii. 20, 21; lxix. 18). After his ascension he became the Head of all believers, the Head of all the elect, the Saviour of the saved. He was first the thing in his humiliaation which afterwards in his exaltation he performeth.

But how, it may be said, is this an atonement for me? It seems to be no more than a bearing of the infirmities of his own human nature; it seems to be no more than a righteousness wrought in his own human nature, for it. I answer, There is but one human nature : it is not thine, it is not mine, it is not his; it is the common unity of our being. Bare he the sins of human nature ? he bare the sins of all men. Bare he the infirmities of human nature ? he bare the infirmities of all men. Overcame he the enemies of human nature, sin, death, and the devil ? he overcame the enemies of all men. Took he them captive? they are at large no more; they are impotent, they are as nothing, and ought so to be preached of. He hath abolished death; he hath taken away sin; “ he hath judged the prince of this world.” Whether this be new doctrine or not, I appeal to the Epistles of Paul; whether it be new in the Reformed church, I appeal to the writings of Martin Luther.

I know how far wide of the mark these views of Christ's work in the flesh will be viewed by those who are working with the stock-jobbing theology of the religious world, -that God wanted punishment, and an infinite amount of it; which Christ gave for so many; and so he is satisfied, and they escape from his

anger, which fames as hot as ever against all beyond this pale. And this you call preaching the grace of God, the justice of God, the work of Christ, the doctrine of election, atonement, &c. ! But I will not be tempted into this field at present. Yet one word with respect to suffering. The atonement, upon this popular scheme, is made to consist in suffering; and the amount of suffering is cried up to infinity. Now I utterly deny that any thing suffered but the human nature of Christ ; and that could only suffer according to the measure of a man: more, no doubt than unholy men like us suffer, because He was perfectly holy, and so his soul felt the smart of every pang manifold of what we do; but still it was only according to the measure of a holy

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man. If more, whence came it? from the Divine nature? But this is contrary to all sound doctrine, that the God-head should be capable of passions. Well, let these preachers—for I will not call them divines or theologians-broker-like, cry up their article, it will not do: it is but the sufferings of a perfectly holy man, treated by God and by men as if he were a transgressor. And, being hindered and hampered here, they have not another refuge to betake themselves to; for of atonement have they no other notion but stripe for stripe, suffering for suffering. There is indeed an infinite meritoriousness in every act of Christ, if you knew how to look at it; but it does not consist in the act itself, which hath the finite limitations of a man's act, but in the coming out of the infinite plenitude and blessedness of the Godhead to do that act. Here is the infinite meritoriousness of his actings, in taking to himself a body, and in that body for ever acting. And in whose sight is it meritorious ? In the sight of God. And how so ? Not to make him placable, as you say, for he is Love already and always ; not to drain off his rage, as you represent it, for he is merciful already. How then? In order to shew that love, that grace, that mercy; how far it can condescend, even to sinners like us.

But if Christ came not verily into the condition of the sinner, but only supposititiously and fictitiously, there is no love, there is no grace, there is no mercy shewn to our condition of sinners, but only to that condition he came into.

In what I say, think not that I undervalue the sufferings of Christ: on the other hand, I stand up for their true dimensions, when I insist that he was brought into the bounds of a fallen man's affections ; linked to the world in bonds as close and tender as those in which we are linked to it; open at every pore and drawn by every heart-string of our much beset and besieged nature; a worm, and no man;” so despised and mocked and trodden on, as never man was; reproached of men; heartbroken with their reproaches; craving for comforters, and finding none; feeling the wound of betrayed friendship and violated hospitality; and destined to be wounded to the quick in this and in every other point. His sufferings I do not under-estimate. I believe that “no sorrow was ever like to his sorrow;" that “he was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Yea, more, I believe that his perfect holiness did not prevent him one jot from being treated as the greatest sioner by his father : the Father hid his countenance from him; forsook him, stood afar off, and heard him not (Psal. xxii.); bruised him, and to grief. All that man could suffer in body and soul by natural occasions, he suffered : all that man can suffer by being deserted of God, he suffered. He knew not remorse, but what abjectness remorse brings he knew : he knew not sin; but what darkening sin brings on he knew. There is not a sinner, be he who he may, that ever was brought into deep waters, but Christ was brought into deeper: there never was a saint who hath known the sweetness of God's bosom, the light of his countenance, and afterwards, from whatever cause, been put afar off from God, but Christ was put away further. Wherefore ? for any sin he had done? Verily, verily, No. Because the Father loved to see his Son suffer, and was satisfied therewith ? Oh! verily No. Why then? Because the Father would prove how far down the grace of God can go : that there is not an abject, miserable wretch whose condition it will not reach down unto; whose very being it will not embrace; whom he loveth not; whom he doth not very greatly love; so very much, that Godhead in the person of the Son consented to prove the fellowship of it, and the Father to raise him thus abased unto the right hand of the Majesty on high. When Christ took human nature he took it fallen, with all its ills, with all its griefs, with all its darkness, with all its wretchedness, with all its punishments; the complete orb of its action and its passion took he, all-ininclusive, all-continent; of free-will, asking no favour, preferring the worst, that to the worst his Father's grace and love might be manifested: all this he did, and in all this consisteth his humiliation and his suffering.

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But a very poor wit have they, and a most barbarous idea of God, who will represent this sublime, stupendous action of Godhead as taking place in order to appease the wrath of Godhead, which verily takes place to manifest the love and grace and mercy

of Godhead. Why, what mean they? It is God who doth the thing. And why doth he it, but because it is godly so to do? Love and grace are in him; of his essence, of his ancient, eternal essence, which is unchangeable. If they are of him and in him now, they have been of him and in him for ever. And out of the fountain of his love cometh that stream, hiding its head in darkness for a while, that it may wash the very foundations of the base world, and appear in light and glory unpolluted, the life, the beauty of this redeemed world. But what a system of theology is that which representeth God as in himself implacable to the sinner, until his Son, by bearing the sinner's strokes, doth draw off the revenge of God? Then, God is changed in his being with respect to a few; but with respect to the many his implacable nature worketh on in its natural course. Such a God cannot be the object of love; and upon such a system the object of love he never is. And all this they represent as needful for the glory of his holiness and justice! I ask, whether, to illustrate the holiness and justice of a judge, it be necessary that he hate the culprit at the bar, and therefore punish him; or whether it is not more illustrated if it be known that he loves him, and yet punishes him; if it is not most of all illustrated when the culprit is his own son, whom



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