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destroy him who was sent into the world to save the world, there was an infernal confederacy. And if there had not been superior power and wisdom in the Most High, this confederacy of infernal spirits, aided by the wicked rulers of this world, would have overwhelmed the creation of God in eternal perdition.
But The counsel of God shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure.' It was in the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, how Satan and wicked men should act; and how all matters should be conducted so as to disappoint "the devices of the crafty, that their hands might not perform their enterprise."
In his Epistle to the Philippians, Paul observes of our Lord, that "He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
From what has been said in this discourse, we see how to understand the above passage of scripture.
And whom did Christ obey in suffering unto death, even the death of the cross? His Father. And what law of his Father, did he obey? Not the law given to Adam in the garden of Eden. And no particular reference is had to the law given to Moses on the Mount. Neither of these laws had any demands upon Christ to die the death of the cross, or any other death. It was a law made with particular reference to the Son of God; it was binding upon him, and upon no other person or being in the universe. The Seed of the woman was under obligation to die the death of the cross. This obligation was laid upon him, in consequence of the covenant of redemption, entered into between him and his Father. This was the will or law of his Father: and he came into the world to do the will of him, who sent him. And, therefore, though "in the form of God," and thinking "it no robbery to be equal with God," he "made himself of no reputation, but took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man
and, being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" Hence the law, which the Son of God obeyed in dying upon the cross, may be properly designated the LAW OF REDEMPTION. It was a law to which he voluntarily subjected himself. For this reason we hear him saying to his Father, "I delight to do thy will, O God, thy law is in my heart."
It is generally thought that every law, human or divine, supposes a penalty, threatening evil to the transgressor: but, to the law of redemption, the law, which Jesus Christ came into the world to fulfil, no penalty was annexed. The commandment which Christ received of his Father, was not one, or either of the commandments which was "received" by Mo. ses, by the disposition of angels." The law requiring obedience unto death, even the death of the cross, was peculiar to him, who was eminently styled the Seed of the woman; of whom it was said, very soon after the apostasy, that IT should bruise the serpent's head.
If Christ had been ever so obedient to all other laws, and had not obeyed the law requiring his death upon the cross, there would have been no atonement for sin, and therefore no salvation for man.
Noticing the imperfections of the Levitical priesthood, Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, remarks, that, "Jesus was made a Surety of a better covenant." This was the Covenant of Redemption: and, by Jesus' being made its Surety, we are taught the certainty of the salvation of all those who were given to him of the Father. This rendered it proper that he should pray for those who were given of the Father, in dis tinction from the world. Our Lord, accordingly, in prayer to his Father, announces, "I have manifested thy naine unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world. I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me: I pray for them: I pray not for the
world, but for them which thou hast given me." Again, "All that the Father giveth me shall come unto me; and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out."
Furthermore, what has now been said brings to our view a very important particular, in which the covenant of redemption differs from the covenant of grace.. The covenant of grace promises salvation to the penitent believer only: whereas the covenant of redemption "promises that salvation shall be put into the possession of millions of unbelievers." Hence the Good Shepherd exclaims: "As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of my self. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."
By the people of God we sometimes understand those who are already born of God: and sometimes the people of God mean those, who in future ages of the Christian church, shall be made willing in the day of His power. Were it not for the covenant of redemption, of which Jesus is the Surety, we should never have realized all the great and precious promises concerning the church, "in the last days, when the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it." Hence the commandment (the law of redemption) which our Lord received of his Father, must be obeyed. For if the Son of God had remained in the bosom of the Father, and this commandment had not been executed, then the head of the serpent would never have been
bruised; then the prince of the power of the air would have ranged the world unmolested; then John would not have seen in vision an angel descend from heaven with a great chain in his hand, to confine him for a thousand years in close prison; and spiritual death, the death of Adam and his posterity, would have brooded over the whole face of this lower intelligent creation, and settled down in one eternal gloom.
JESUS' HUMAN SOUL PERFECTLY PURE.
LUKE ii, 40.
And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him.
2. REDEMPTION by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, supposes that, though he was born of a woman, yet his human soul was perfectly pure.
Christ is that Seed of the woman of which God said to the serpent, "it shall bruise thy head." And when this Seed had bruised the head of the serpent, He had then completed the work of redemption; and through him a door was opened for the children of fallen Adam, to become the adopted children of the risen Redeemer. For, "when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."
"Christ" was "the Son of God," and he "became man, by taking to himself a true body and a reason. able soul; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, and yet without sin." If Christ the Son of God became man, then he had a human soul; and, it is evident, that the human soul of Christ was always perfectly pure. Had not this been his character as a man, his blood would not have been sufficiently precious, to redeem men from their vain conversation. Christ was not like other men shapen in iniquity; he was not conceived in sin. His mother