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that through death he might destroy him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil."
As the commission of Christ appears to be not only very ample, but of a very important nature, let us enquire into the extent of the first grant or power contained in it, with respect to its limits. See Psalm ii. 7, 8. "I will declare the decree, the Lord hath said unto me, thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession."
In consequence of this grant, which is only limited by the bounds of the earth, we are told, 1 John iv. 14. "And we have seen, and do testify, that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." Does John mean that Christ is the Saviour of every individual human being? Yes, every one: and this does not depend upon the goodness, wisdom, or power of the creature, but on that of our infinitely merciful Creator: "Who will have all men to be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who
* Heb. ii. 14.
gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." "*And that this precious ransom was not given in vain, shall be testified in such a solemn and public manner, as to convince every rational being of its efficacy; when they shall hear and see every creature which is in Heaven, on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, saying, "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the lamb for ever."†, Calvinists say, we must observe that he does not mention those which are in hell. It is true, he does not, for this good reason: John knew that there would be no human beings there; because "God had been in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their sins." "And Jesus the lamb of God, who taketh or beareth away the sin of the world," will have compleated his work previous to the time of which John was speaking. "For we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world."** "And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole
* 1 Timothy ii. 4, 5, 6. v. 19. ||John i. 29.
† Rev. v. 13.
world."* "For the grace of God which bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a pe culiar people zealous of good works." Christ assumed the human nature that he might be as fully and compleatly the head and representative of every man, as Adam was, or had been, so that every man will be as fully and compleatly justified and made a partaker of the benefits resulting from the perfect righteousness of Christ, his present head, as he was brought into judg ment and condemnation by the offence of Adam.‡ "Therefore, as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so, by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."
Being justified by his grace, through the redemption of Christ Jesus. Whom God hath foreordained to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness [not ours] for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. I declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might
* 1 John ii, 1, 2.
|| Rom, v.
Titus ii. 11, 14.
be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.*
Christ has engaged to save us from both the curse and condemnation of the law, by submitting him to be made a curse for us.† Having forgiven all trespasses, blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, and he took it out of the way, nailing to his cross.‡ This sacrifice, and the salutary effects of it to all mankind, he predicted, saying, "and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said signifying what death he should die." For this important service "God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in Heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do his good pleasIt is evident both from scripture and reason, that the present, as well as the future happiness of every created being, depends entirely on the goodness, wisdom, and Almighty power
*Rom. iii. 24, 25, 26. † Gal. iii. 13. Colos. ii. 13, 14. John xii. 32, 33. ** Phil. ii. 9, 10, 13.
of God, our merciful Creator; for even Christ himself declares twice in the fifth chapter of the gospel of John, that he of himself could do nothing.* And Christ tells us, I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me, ye can do nothing. "Therefore, let no man glory in men, for all things are yours. Whether Paul or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's!"t
On this glorious chain, which reaches from feeble man to his omnipotent Creator, depends all our hopes of future happiness, and not on our own self-righteousness. For this reason we are told, "That no flesh should glory in his presence but of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption." "But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved ;) that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding
† 1 Cor. iii. 21, 22.
* John v. 19, and 30.