« AnteriorContinuar »
2. Jesus is the Saviour of all men, by satisfying the S ERM. divine justice, and repairing God's honour in their behalf. The disloyal and ungrateful behaviour of man had so wronged, so endamaged, so dishonoured God, (had so abused the goodness, disparaged the wisdom, Nlighted the power, impeached and surred the authority of his Creator, had so prejudiced all the rights and interests of God,) that by the divine wifdom it was thought fit, that he should not be restored into a capacity of mercy and favour, without a fignal compensation made, and an exemplary punishment undergone, whereby the right of God should conspicuously be asserted, his love of goodness and dislike of wickedness should be remarkably demonstrated, and every creature in heaven and earth should be folemnly admonished of its duty; of the reverence and obedience it owes to the great Creator, of the heinous guilt and horrible mischief it incurs by offending him. Such a compensation man was no wife able to make, or fit to undergo such a punishment: our Saviour therefore, out of infinite pity and charity, did undertake both; by a voluntary con- Phil. ii. %. descenfion putting himself into the low and weak state of man; subjecting himself unto that law which man was obliged unto, and suffering the pains which man had deserved. This he was pleased to do in man's behalf, and in our stead; and God was pleased to accept it as so done d. His incarnation (or exinanition of himself, as St. Paul calleth it) was an act of that high duty and goodness, that it in virtue surpassed all the obedience, which all creatures
• Λοιπόν δε οι άνθρωποι έκέτι μετα τα ίδια πάθη μένεσιν, αμαρτωλοί nai νεκροί anna κατά την του λόγου δύναμιν αναπάντες αθάνατοι και άφ- . Sagtoi ari dsapérovos. Atban, in Arian. Orat. 4. 485.
* Τότε γαρ δε θάνατος, και κατάρα ελύετο, και δαίμονες κατησχύνοντο και εδειγματίζοντο θριαμβευόμενοι, και το χειρόγραφον των αμαρτιών το saupa apoondēto, &c. Cbryf. in Joban. I. 14.
“Η ενσαρκος παρουσία του σωτήρος θανάτε λύτρων και κτίσιως φάσης rutripla yeyons, Atban. ad Adelph. Ep.
SER M. were able to render ; that it yielded God more fatif
faction and more honour than the joint endeavours Vide Cyrill.
of all the world could confer. His with so intense in Eph. charity and cheerfulness fulfilling all righteousness
did far more please God, than all our most exact oberauson two dience could have done ; his enduring bitter pains no meu po- and disgraces (considering the infinite dignity of his
person, his near relation and dearness to God, his perfect innocence and rectitude, yea his immense charity, contentedness and patience) more than countervailed the punishment due to the sins of all men.
Such a payment was more than served to discharge Eph. V. 2. all our debts, (it served to purchase an overplus of
graces and blessings ;) so rich a price was more than Heb. x. 10. sufficient to ransom all the world from captivity; so
goodly, so pure, so sweet, so precious a sacrifice might 1 Pet. i. 19. worthily expiate and atone all the guilts of men.
Now if we enquire what our Saviour did redeem, Aug. in pr. the consideration of what he paid may (as St. Austin
tells) o help to inform us ; Quæritis quid emerit? Videte quid dederit, et invenite quid emerit. Do ye seek (faith he) what he bought ? See what he gave, and find what he bought. However, that as the value and sufficiency of our Lord's performances, so the design and effect thereof did reach so far in regard to man; that his charity was no less extensive than his performance
was complete, for our good, the holy Scripture teaches John i. 29. us. For, He is the Lamb of God that taketh away the John vi. 51. fins of the world, (faith the Baptift.) And, The bread
(faith he) which I gave is my flesh, which I will give for 1 John ii. 2. the life of the world. And, He is a propitiation (faith
St. John) for our fins; and not only for our fins, but for 1 Tim. ii. 5. the fins of the whole world. And, He is the mediator of
God and man, who gave himself (artiautpov urip evtwv)
a ransom, in the stead, and for all men, (faith St. Paul.) Heb. ii. 9. And, He tasted death for every one, (faith the Author to
• Μή θαυμάζης ει κόσμος όλος έλυτρώθη" ου γαρ ήν άνθρωπος ψιλός, αλλ' υιός Θεού μονογενής, ο υπεραποθνήσκων, &c. Cyrill. Cat. 13.
the Hebrews.) And, He was that one Man, who, as s E R M. it was expedient, did die for the whole nation of men. And, God was in him reconciling the world to himself, John xi. 50. not imputing their fins. And, He came into the world, xviii. 14. not to condemn the world, but that the world might by ii. 17. him be saved, (or freed from condemnation.) And, As Rom. v. 18. by the offence of one man judgment came upon all men to condemnation, so by the righteousness of one mercy came upon all to justification of life. The end we see of our Saviour's performances was, that he might wipe off the guilt of fin from all mankind, that he might reverse the condemnation passed thereupon, and that he might remove the punishment due thereto; or, that, absolving the first man's fin, he might take it away from the whole race, (as St. Athanasius speaks.)
All men have fnned, and come short (or are destitute) Rom. iii. of the glory of God; being justified freely by his graçe, by 23, 24. the redemption that is in Christ Jesus Christ hath re- Gal. ii. 13. deemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. He was born under the law, that he might redeem those which were under the law. He that knew no 2 Cor.v.21. fon, was made fin, (was punished and dealt with as a finner,) that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, (that we might be capable of being esteemed and dealt with as righteous by God upon this account.) So that the result is, divine justice being fully satisfied, and the honour of God fully repaired, (in regard to all fins past and future,) the mouth of vengeance being stopped, the claims of death and hell being evacuated, that general sentence of condemnation (passed upon all the sons of Adam) is sufpended, Death ceases to reign by any just power, or inevitable necessity; (it is, as St. Paul faith, abolished 2 Tim. i. or abrogated as to any lawful right, or neceffary force it hath;) the rigour and severity of that law, which upon pain of death exacteth most punctual obe
1 “Ινα εκείνα λύων την αμαρτίαν, από παντός αυτήν άρη του γένους" Atban. in pal VOL. I.
SER M. dience, (and which consequently doth expose all men
to unavoidable condemnation,) is tempered and abat
ed, a foundation is laid for the shewing mercy, and Gal. ii. 10, granting pardon. In respect whereto,
3. Our Lord is the Saviour of all men, as having in Rom. x. 5. the behalf of mankind transacted and ratified a new
covenant, very necessary for, and very conducible to, the salvation of mankind; whereby falvation is made attainable, and is really tendered unto all, upon feafible and equal conditions. According to the purport whereof upon any man (however stained or loaded with the guilt of most heinous transgressions) his embracing the overtures thereof, consenting to, and complying with the terms propounded therein, that is, fincerely believing, and seriously repenting ; returning to God with hearty desires and earnest resolutions to serve him; God is ready to dispense mercy and pardon, and immediately receiveth the person into grace and favour with him; yea, the man continuing to perform a faithful, though imperfect, obedience, an obedience suitable to man's natural infirmity and frailty, and proportionable to the affiftances afforded him; God farther promiseth to bestow inestimable blessings and rewards of joy and happiness. That covenant which the prophets im
plied of old, when (beside and beyond what the Ila. i. 16. Jewish law did import) they preached thus; Wash
you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings, cease to do evil-Though your fins be as scarlet, they shall
be as white as snow; though they be red as crimfon, they Isa. Iv. 7. fhall be as wool. And, Let the wicked man forsake his
way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him
return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, Ezek. xviii.and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. And, If
the wicked man will turn from all his fins, that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die, (so God in Isaiah and Ezekiel declareth his intention to proceed with men, avowing that way of his to be
moft equal and fair.) This is that covenant which our S ERM. Lord commanded his Apostles to declare and propound to all mankind; Ĝo ye (said he to them) into Mark xvi. the whole world, and preach the Gospel to every crea-15. ture; that Gospel, according to which, as it is expressed in St. Luke, repentance and remission ought to be Luke xxiv. preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusa- 47. lem ; in respect to which, St. Peter says, that God AAs v. 31. hath exalted our Lord to be a Prince and a Saviour, to grant repentance to Ifrael, and remision of fins; (to grant repentance, that is, (as the Apostle to the Hebrews and Clemens Romanus speak) Metavoías rótov, room for repentance, or capacity to receive pardon upon repentance;) concerning which covenant that Clemens, (the fellow-labourer of St. Paul, and whom Clemens Alexandrinus calleth an Apostle,) in that excellent, admirable, and almost canonical Epistle to the Co-Oavpasía. rinthians, which (as Eusebius and Jerome tell us) was anciently publickly read in most Churches, hath's, whicos these remarkably full and clear expressions 6; Let us, ixxanoiais
. faith he, look stedfastly upon the blood of Christ, and let us see how precious to God his blood is, which being Shed for our salvation, did bring the grace of repentance to the whole world. Let us attentively regard all ages,
and observe that in every generation the Lord granted place of repentance to them who would turn unto him. This is that new and better covenant,eftablished upon better promises, (cancelling all former, exceptionable, imperfect, and ineffectual compacts, referring to man's interest and duty,) about which the Apostle to the Hebrews Heb. viii. 6. discourseth, and whereof he calleth our Lord the Me-ix. 15. xii. diator and Sponsor; in regard to which St. Paul call- 2 Cor. ii. 6. eth him the Mediator between God and man ; plainly declaring all men to have a concernment and interest
* 'Ατινίσωμεν εις το αίμα του Χριστού, και ίδωμεν ώς έσι τίμιον το Θεό αίμα αυτού, ότι δια την ημετέραν σωτηρίαν έκχυθεν, παντί τω κόσμω μετανοίας χάριν υπήνεγκεν. 'Ατενίσωμεν τις γενεας σάσας, και καταμάθωμεν ότι έν γενεά και γενια μετανοίας τόπον έδωκεν ο δισπότης τους βελομένους irispapñras ir autós. Clem. ad Corintb.