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afraid of him, to be dispossessed and turned out by nim who is stronger, the mighty Redeemer that came out of Zion. O that many amongst you were crying to him, and waiting for him, to come unto you
your rescue! Made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. To supply and help all, he is our magazine whither to have recourse to: for this end, he is replenished with all the fulness of God, the very fulness of the Godhead dwelling in him, the Spirit being not given to him by measure. He is fit to be made our wisdom, who is the wisdom of the Father; as here in this place the apostle lately called bim, the wisdon of God. In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. They that find him and come unto him, find it so; but the most look but on the surface; they hear his name, and know not what is under it.
Made unto us righteousness, by fulfilling the whole law and all righteousness, and yet, suffering the rigot of it, as if he had transgressed it. No guile, no spot was found on him : he was holy, harmless, undefled, separate from sinners, and yet, the greatest sinner by imputation ; The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all. And so in psalm xl, 12., which is prophesied of him; Mine iniquities have taken hold on me. He owns them as his, though not his. He endured all that justice could require, entered and paid the debt, and is acquitted and set free again, and exalted at the right hand of God. So it is evident that he is righteous, even in that represelftative and sponsional person he put on.
Sanctification. Christ is a living spring of that ; anointed above his fellows. In him is no mixture of any iniquity. The Holy Ghost descended on the apostles in the shape of fire; there was somewhat to be purged in them; they were to be quickened and enabled by it for their calling. But on him, it descended as a dove: there was no need of cleansing or purging out any thing. That was a symbol of the spotless purity of his pature, apd of the fulness of the Spirit dwelling in him.
And redemption. Christ is mighty to save, and having a right to save ; a kinsman, a brother. And as he hath bought freedom for siuners, so he will put them in possession of it, will effect and complete it. All that are in him, are really delivered from the power of sin and death, and shall ere long be perfectly and fully so: they shall be lifted up above them, no longer to be molested with any remainders of either, or with the fear of them, or so much as any grief for them. And that day is called the day of redemption, to which we are before-hand made sure and sealed by the Spirit,
We cannot then doubt of his fitness and fulness to bé these, and these for us; but withal, we must know that he is designed so to be made unto us, and that he came, and did, and suffered all for this purpose, and having done, returned, and now lives, to be these to us. It is his place and office, and so his delight; he loves to be put upon the performance of this, to be their wisdom and righteousness. Made of God to us. It is agreed betwixt the Father and him, that he should be so. He is the wisdom of God, and made of God our wisdom. Wonderful, that the same which is his own wisdom, and no less, he would make ours! And now under a sense of all our ignorances and follies, it becomes us to go to him, to apply ourselves to him, and apply him to us. He is called our Head, and called so most fitly, for it is the place of all our wisdom; that lies in our head. And so, as to all the rest, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. If he be righteousness in himself, and boly, and victor over his enemies, and set free from wrath and death, then are we so too in him; for he is ours, and so ours that we become what he is, are inrighted to all he hath, and endowed with all his goods; though poor and base in ourselves, yet married to him : that is the title. We are inade rich, and noble, and free, we are righteous and holy, because he is. “ The wife shines with the rays of her husband.” Al debts and pleas are taken off, he stands betwixt us and all hazard, and in him we stand acquitted and justified before God.
That which makes up the match, and ties the knot of this union, is faith. He is made of God unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. He is tendered and held out as all these, in the promise of the gospel ; not only declared to be really furnished and fit so to be, but offered to be so, and we warranted, yea, vited and entreated, to receive bim as such. But he is effectually made to be this to us, by believing, the promise being brought home and applied of God, and faith wrought in the heart to entertain and unite to him. Faith closes the bargain, and makes him ours. Now, in that, he is made unto us, not of ourselves, but of God, for that is his gift and work. We cannot believe, any more than we can fulfil the whole law. And though men think it a coinmon and easy thing to accept of so sweet an offer at so cheap a rate, nothing being required but to receive him, yet tbis is a thing that naturally all refuse. No man cometh unto me, says he, except the Father draw him. Though men be besought to come, yet the most will not come unto him, that they may have life. To as many as received him, he gave the privilege to become the sons of God, and yet, for all that, many did not receive him; yea, as there it is expressed, He came unto his own, but his own received him not. They who were nearest to him in natural relation and interest, yet refused him, for the most part, and attained not this blessed spiritual interest in him unto life.
It should be considered, my brethren, Christ is daily held out, and none are excluded or excepted, all are invited, be they what they will, who have need of him and use for him ; and yet who is persuaded ? O who hath believed our report? One hath his farm, another bis oxen, each some engagement or another. Men are not at leisure for Christ. Why? You think, may be, you have received him. If it be so, you are happy. Be not deluded. Have you received him? Do you find him then living and ruling within you? Are your eyes upon him ? Do you wait on him early and late; to see what his will is? Is your soul glad in him? Can you in distress, sickness, or poverty, cleave to him, and tind him sweet, and allay all with this thought, However things go with me, yet Christ is in me? Doth your heart cleave to him? Certainly if he be in you, it will be thus ; or, at least, your most earnest desire will be, that it may be thus.
Men will not believe how hard a matter it is to believe the fulness, and sufficiency of Jesus Christ, till they be put to it in earnest to make use of him, and then they find it. When sin and death are set before their view and discovered in their native colors unto the soul, when a man is driven to that, What shall I do to be sared ? then, then is the time to know what notion he hath of Christ. And as the difficulty lies in this in the first awakening of the conscience from sin, so in after-times of temptation and apprehension of wrath, when, upon some new-added guiltiness or a new sight of the old, in a frightful manner, sin revives and the soul dies, it is struck dead with the terrors of the law-then to keep thy hold, and find another life in Christ, the law and justice satisfied, and so the conscience quieted in hini, this is indeed to believe,
It is a thing of huge difficulty to bring men to a sense of their natural misery, to see that they have need of a saviour, and to look out for one: but then, being brought to that, it is po less, if not more difficult, to persuade them that Christ is he; that, as they have need of him, so, they need no more, he being able and sufficient for them. All the waverings and fears of misbelieving minds, do spring from dark and narrow apprehensions of Jesus Christ. All the doubt is, not of their interest, as they imagine: they who say go, and think it is so, do not perceive the bottom and root of their owo malady. They say, they do no whit doubt but that he is able enough, and his righteousness large enough, but that all the doubt is, If he belong to me. Now, I say, this doubt arises from a defect and doubt of the former, wherein you suspect it not. Why doubtest thou that he belongs to thee? Dost thou flee to bim, as lost and undone in thyself? Dost thou renounce all that can be called thine, and seek thy life in him ? Then he is thine. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. O but I find so much, not only former, but still daily renewed and increasing guiltiness. Why, is he a sufficient Saviour, or is he not? If thou dost say, he is not, then it is mavifest that here lies the defect and mistake.
If thou sayest, he is, then bast thou answered all thy objections of that kind : much guiltiness, much or little, old or new, neither helps nor hinders, as to thy interest in hii aud salvation
by hini. And for dispelling of these mișts, nothing can be more effectual than the letting in of those gospel beams, ibe clear expressions of his riches and fulness in the scriptures, and eminently this, Made of God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption,
Wisdom, both objectively and effectively objectively, I mean, our wisdom, as all our wisdom lies in the right knowledge and apprehension of him. And this suits to the apostle's present discourse. The Jews would have a sign, and the Gentiles, wisdom; but We, says he, preach Christ. I determined to know nothing, save Christ crucified. He was learnedly bred, and knew many things besides, much of nature, and much of the law; but all this was to him obsolete, useless stuff: it was as if he never bad heard of or known any thing else but Jesus Christ. We may know other things, but this and this only is our wisdom, to know him and him crucified. Para ticularly we may bave knowledge of the law, and by it the knowledge of sin; but in relation to our standing before God, and so our happiness, which is the greatest point of wisdom, Jesus Christ is alone apd is all. And the more firmly a soul eyes Christ, and loses all other knowledge and itself in contemplating hins, the more truly wise and beavenly it is.
And effectively he is our wisdom. All our right know, ledge of him and belief in him, flow from himself, are derived from him, and sent into our souls... His Spirit is conveyed into ours ; a beam of bimself, as of the sun. This Sun of righteousness is not seen but by his own light; so that every soul that is made wise, unto salvation, that is brought to apprehend Christ, to cleave to him and repose on him, it is by an emission of divine light from bimself that shows him and leads unto him. ,,And so we know God in him. There is no right knowledge of the Father but in the Son. God dwelling in the man, Christ, will be found or known no where else ; and they that consider and worship God out of Christ, do not know, or worship the true God, but a false notion, and faucy of their own.
The Shęchinah, the habitation of the Majesty, is Jesus Christ: there he dwells as between the cherubim over