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And the particulars concerning his sufferings and death will be brought into view in another place.
That Christ might fulfil the law of redemption, it was necessary that he leave the bosom of the Father, and come down into this world. It was the will of God that Christ should come into this world and do a particular work according to appointment; that he should exercise all the power and authority delegated in a commission from the Court of heaven. This was the law of God in his heart; it was the same with respect to Christ, as the particular law with respect to Aaron, which was given him in Paradise. This law was binding only on the first man; and the law of redemption was binding only on the Second Man. It was never required of us to abstain from any tree in the garden of Eden. And it is not required of man to do the work which Christ came into the world to do. Wben Christ said to his father, I have glorified thee on earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do, he had done more than barely to fulfil the moral law. And because he had finished the work of redemption, he said, "Now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine ownself, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." Hence the work which God gave Christ to do, was distinct from any work required in the moral law. For angels and men may please and glorify God in the exercise of perfect holiness, and yet be exeinpted from all the peculiarity of circumstances, under which Christ did the will of him who sent him.
"And see, the blest Redeemer comes,
Th' eternal Son appears,
The body Cod prepares.
Much hc reveal'd his Father's grace,
And much his truth he shew'd,
Where great assemblics stood!,
His Father's honour touch'd his hearts
He pitied sinner's cries, And to fulfil a Saviour's part
Was made a sacrifice.
Then was the great salvation spread,
And Satan's kingdom shook; Thus by the woman's promis'd seed,
The serpent's head was broke."
THE HEEL OF THE WOMAN'S SEED BRUISED BY
THE SERPENT AND HIS SEED.
GENESIS iii, 14, 15. And the Lord God said unto the serpent I will put
enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: It shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel.
7. REDEMPTION by the precious blood of Christ supposes that all his sufferings from his birth in the manger, till he expired upon the Roman cross at Jerusalem, were immediately from Satan and wicked men.
That the work of redemption might be accomplished, Christ had a very important part assigned him; and, that he might enter upon and finish the work, it was necessary that he should leave the bosom of the Father, becoine man, and perform his part of the covenant of redemption in this world: he found the stage, therefore, on which he must act his part, full of mortal enemies. Satan was always an enemy to Christ; and such, so great, and so deep rooted was his enmity, that he ever meant, if possible, lo destroy him. And the enmity of man coalesced with the enmity of Satan. Although the Messiah care into this world, on an errand the most kind and benevolent, even to save men from eternal perdition; yet the very men whom Christ came to save, joined with Satan, if possible, to effect bis destruction. Though man joined with Satan in opposition to Christ, yet it was in the heart of "that wicked one” to rain inan as well as the Lord's Anointed. Men have enlisted themselves into the service of Satan, to destroy their only Saviour. Christ amc into the world not to condemn the world, but to deliver men from the power of Satan and the dominion of sin; and yet, however astonishing the thought, men, and even the rulers among men, bow their necks to the service of that evil spirit, who is the prince of the power of the air, and, that worketh in the children of disobedience. This strong enemy walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour; nevertheless, the persons whom he wishes to devour are as voluntary in his service, as if he were their rightful Lord and Sovereign.
When we were without strength, and totally unable to save ourselves from sin and Satan, Christ, the great Redeemer, came for our salvation. That is, "when we were yet without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly.” When Christ died for the ungodly, he received a bruise upon his heel; but he effected a deadly wound upon the very bead of the serpent.
Satan sottight the ruin of man at first, and continues to seek his ruin, principally out of enmity to Christ. The serpent knew what God designed to do. He knew what was the purpose of God, the counsel of heaven concerning him: but to submit to his government, or to fulfil the divine decree, was never in the heart of Satan.
God informed the serpent in the garden of Eden, what the decree was respecting him. The serpent beguiled our first parents and they did eat_“And the Lord God said unto the serpent, because thou hast done this thou art cursed-And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: It shall bruise iny head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Hence, it is evident, that Satan knew what the divine purpose was respecting him; and what was the divine purpose respecting the Seed of the woman; "It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."?
If the serpent knew that the Lord God was stronger than he, and had more wisdom and understanding than he, then he knew that in some future period, one would arise, from whom he would receive a bruise which would prove his everlasting overthrow. Satan knew from the declaration now cited, that he should bruise the heel of Christ. Or this he was as certain, as that in the contest, he should receive a mortal wound upon his head. God said to the serpent, Thou shalt bruise his heel. The decree went forth from the Lord of hosts: and as soon as the Word was made flesh, Satan was ready to enter upon the work, which, by the decree was marked out for him. Though he had his work marked out and bounded by an eternal decree, saying, “Hitherto shalt thou come and no further, here shall thy proud waves be stayed;" yet it was in the heart of Satan not to bring to pass, but to frustrate the divine decree. He used all his stsength, all the powers and faculties of his mind to reverse the decree; and therefore to bruise the head of Christ, and save his own; yea, it was in his heart, no doubt, to escape the slightest bruise.
The sufferings of Christ from the beginning to the end of his days while in the flesh, are expressed in God's declaration to the serpent, by a bruise on his heel. And as God told the serpent that he should be the agent, by whom this bruise should be effected, we clearly see, yea, we are certain, what would be the immediate origin of all his sufferings.
When Christ came into the world, being born of a woman, he was possessed of a nature capable of be. ing bruised. Satan could not reach Christ so as to bruise bim, until he was possessed of human nature; and this human nature is expressed by "his heel." Hence, when Christ came into the world, and was inanisested to Israel, by his introduction into his friestly office, by the baptism of John at the banks of Jordan, Satan knew him. Although four thousand years bad rolled away since God said to the serpent, 'ilhou