The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures

By Thomas Brooks, 1675

Let me make a few applications and inferences from what has been said about the Divinity and Humanity of Christ.

1. First, Is it so, that Christ is God-man, that he is God and man? Then let this raise our faith, and strengthen our faith, in our Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is built on God, 1 Pet. 1:21. Now, Jesus Christ is truly God, and therefore the fittest foundation in the world for us to build our faith upon. "God manifest in the flesh" is a firm basis for faith and comfort. "He is able to save to the uttermost," Heb. 7:25. Christ is a thorough Savior, he saves perfectly, and he saves perpetually; he never carries on redemption work by halves. Christ being God as well as man, is able, by the power of his godhead, to vanquish death, devils, hell—and all the enemies of our salvation! And by the power of his godhead is able to merit pardon of sin, the favor of God, the heavenly inheritance, and all the glory of the heavenly world; for this dignity of his person adds virtue and efficacy to his death and sufferings, in that he who suffered and died was fully God; therefore God is said to have "purchased the church with his own blood," Acts 20:28. Christ having suffered in our nature, which he took upon him, that is, in his human soul and body the wrath of God, the curse, and all the punishments which were due to our sins, has—paid the price of our redemption, pacified divine wrath, and satisfied divine justice, in the very same nature in which we have sinned and provoked the Holy One of Israel; so that now all believers may triumphingly say, "There is no condemnation to us who are in Christ Jesus!" Romans 8:1.

Christ having, in our nature, suffered the whole curse and punishment due to our sins, God cannot in justice, but accept of his sufferings as a full and complete satisfaction for all our sins, 1 John 1:7, 9; so that now there remains no more curse or punishment for us to suffer, either in our souls or bodies, either in this life or in the life to come—but we are certainly and fully delivered from all; not only from the eternal curse, and all the punishments and torments of hell—but also from the curse and sting of bodily death, and from all afflictions as they are curses and punishments of sin, 1 Cor. 15:55-56. That Jesus, who is God-man, has changed the nature of them to us, so that of bitter curses and heavy punishments have become fatherly chastisements, the fruits of divine love, and the promoters of the internal and eternal good of our souls, Heb. 12:5-7, and Rev. 3:19.

Oh, how should these things strengthen our faith in dear Jesus, and work us to lean and stay our weary souls wholly and only upon him who is God-man, "and who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption," 1 Cor. 1:30. Among the evangelists we find that Christ had a threefold entertainment among men: some received him into house, not into heart, as Simon the Pharisee, who gave him no kiss nor water to his feet, Luke 7:44. Some received him neither into heart nor house, as the graceless, swinish Gergesites, Mat. 8:34, who had neither civility nor honesty. Some received him both into house and heart, as Lazarus, Mary, Martha, etc., John 11:16. Certainly that Jesus who is God-man deserves the best room in all our souls, and the uppermost seat in all our hearts. But,

2. Secondly, If Jesus Christ be God-man, very God and very man, then what high cause have we to observe, admire, wonder, and even stand amazed at the transcendent love of Christ in becoming man! Oh! the firstness, the freeness, the unchangeableness, the greatness, the matchlessness of Christ's love to fallen man—in becoming man! Men many times show their love to one another, by hanging up one another's pictures in their homes—but, ah, what love did Christ show when he took our nature upon him Heb. 2:16, "For truly he took not on him the nature of angels—but he took on him the seed of Abraham;" he assumed, apprehended, caught, laid hold on the seed of Abraham, as the angel did on Lot, Gen. 19:16, as Christ did on Peter, Mat. 14:31, or as men do upon a thing they are glad they have gotten, and are loath to let go again. O sirs! it is a main ground and pillar of our comfort and confidence, that Jesus Christ took our flesh; for if he had not took our flesh upon him, we could never have been saved by him.

Christ took not a part—but the whole nature of man, that is, a true human soul and body, together with all the essential properties and faculties of both; that in man's nature he might die, and suffer the wrath of God, and whole curse due to our sins, which otherwise, being God only, he could never have done; and that he might satisfy divine justice for sin, in the same nature that had sinned, and indeed it was most fit, that the mediator, who was to reconcile God and man, should partake in the natures of both parties to be reconciled, Heb. 2:14.

Oh, what matchless love was this, that made our dear Lord Jesus to lay by for a time all that "glory that he had with the Father before the world was," John 17:5, and to assume our nature, and to be "found in fashion as a man," Phil. 2:8. To see the great God in the form of a servant, or hanging upon the cross, how amazing and astonishing was it to all that believed him to be God-man! "God manifested in our flesh" is an amazing mystery, 1 Tim. 3:16, a mystery fit for the speculation of angels, 1 Pet. 1:11, that the eternal God—should become the man Christ Jesus, 1 Tim. 2:5; that a most glorious creator—should become a poor creature; that the ancient of days, Dan. 7:9, 13, 22—should become an infant of days, Mat. 2:11; that the most high should stoop so low as to dwell in a body of flesh—is a glorious mystery, which transcends all human understanding. It would have seemed a high blasphemy for us to have thought of such a thing, or to have desired such a thing, or to have spoken of such a thing, if God, in his everlasting gospel, had not revealed such a thing to us! Oh, what a demonstration of Christ's love is it! and what a mighty honor has Jesus Christ put upon mankind, in that he took our nature upon him, in that he lived in our nature and died in our nature, and rose in our nature, and ascended in our nature, and now sits at his Father's right hand in our nature! Acts 1:10-11.

Though Jacob's love to Rachel, and Jonathan's love to David, and David's love to Absalom, and the primitive Christians' love to one another was strong, very strong—yet Christ's love in taking our human nature upon him does infinitely transcend all their loves. "I think," says one speaking of Christ, "he cannot despise me, who is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; for if he neglects me as a brother—yet he will love me as a husband; that is my comfort." "O my Savior," says Jerome, "did you die for love for me? a love more dolorous than death—but to me a death more lovely than love itself; I cannot live, love, and be longer from you!" I read in Josephus, that when Herod Antipater was accused to Julius Caesar as no good friend of his, he made no other apology—but stripping himself stark naked, showed Caesar his wounds and said, let me hold my tongue, these wounds will speak for me how I have loved Caesar.

Ah, my friends, Christ's wounds in our nature speak out the admirable love of Jesus Christ to us; and oh, how should this love of his draw out our love to Christ, and inflame our love to that Jesus who is God-man blessed forever! Mr. Welch, a Suffolkshire minister, weeping at table, being asked the reason, said, "it was because he could love Christ no more!" Ah, what reason have we to weep, and weep again and again, that we can love that Jesus no more, who has showed such unparalleled love to us in assuming of the human nature! "I must hate my very soul, if it should not love my Jesus!" says Bernard. Ah, what cause have we even to hate ourselves, because we love that dear Jesus no more, who is very God and very man. But,

3. Thirdly, Is Jesus Christ God-man? is he very God and very man? Then we may very safely and roundly assert that the work of redemption was a very great work. [Consult these scriptures, Isaiah 61:1; Dan. 9:24; 1 John 3:8; Luke 1:74-75; Tit. 2:14; 1 Pet. 1:4.] The redemption of souls is a mighty work, a costly work. To redeem poor souls from sin, from wrath, from the power of Satan, from the curse, from hell, from the condemnation, was a mighty work. Why was Christ born? Why did he live, sweat, groan, bleed, die, rise, ascend? Was it not to bring "deliverance to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound"? Was it not to "make an end of sin, to finish transgression, and to bring in everlasting righteousness," and "to destroy the works of the devil," and to "abolish death," and to "bring life and immortality to light," and to "redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify us to himself, and to make us a peculiar people, zealous of good works"?

Certainly the work of redemption was no ordinary or common thing; God-man must engage in it, or poor fallen man is undone forever. The greater the person is, who is engaged in any work, the greater is that work. The great monarchs of the world do not engage their sons in poor, low, mean, and petty services—but in such services as are high and honorable, noble and weighty; and will you imagine that ever the great and glorious God would have sent his Son, his own Son, his only-begotten Son, his bosom Son, his Son in whom his soul delighted before the foundations of the earth was laid—to redeem poor sinners' souls, if this had not been a great work, a high work, and a most glorious work in his eye? John 1:18, and Proverbs 8:22-33.

The creation of the world did but cost God a word of his mouth, "Let there be light, and there was light," Gen. 1:3—but the redemption of souls cost him his dearest Son. There is a divine greatness stamped upon the works of providence—but what are the works of providence, compared to the work of redemption? What are all providential works, compared to Christ's coming from heaven, to his being incarnate, to his doings, sufferings, and dying; and all this to ransom poor souls from the curse, hell, wrath, and eternal death? Souls are dear and costly things, and of great price in the sight of God. Among the Romans, those goods and estates which men had gotten in the wars with hazard of their lives, were called Peculium Castrense—a special purchase. Oh, how much more may the precious and immortal souls of men be called Christ's Peculium Castrense—his special purchase, gotten, not only by the jeopardy of his life—but with the loss of his life and blood! "You know," says the apostle, "that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God!" 1 Pet. 1:18-19.

Christ, who alone paid the price of souls, has told us that one soul is more worth than all the world, Mat. 16:26. Christ left his Father's bosom, and all the glory of heaven—for the good of souls; he assumed the nature of man—for the happiness of the soul of man; he trod the wine-press of his Father's wrath for souls; he wept for souls, he sweat for souls, he prayed for souls, he paid for souls, and he bled out his heart blood for the redemption of souls!

The soul is the breath of God, the beauty of man, the wonder of angels, and the envy of devils. It is of an angelical nature, it is a heavenly spark, a celestial plant, and of a divine offspring. It is capable of the knowledge of God, of union with God, of communion with God, and of an eternal fruition of God, John 14:8, and Psalm 17:15. There is nothing that can suit the soul below God, there is nothing that can satisfy the soul without God. The soul is so high and so noble a piece, that it scorns all the world. What are all the riches of the East or West Indies, what are heaps of diamonds, or mountains of gold, compared to the price that Christ laid down for souls? It is only the blood of him who is God-man, which is an equivalent price for the redemption of souls. Silver and gold has redeemed many thousands out of Turkish bondage—but all the silver and gold in the world could never redeem one poor soul from hellish bondage, from hellish torments.

Souls are a dear commodity. He who bought them found them so—and yet at how cheap a rate do some sinners sell their immortal souls! Callenuceus tells us of a nobleman of Naples who was accustomed profanely to say that he had two souls in his body, one for God, and another for whoever would buy it—but if he has one soul in hell, I believe he will never find another for heaven. A person of quality, who is still alive, told me a few years since, that in discourse with one of his servants he asked him what he thought would become of his soul if he lived and died in his ignorance and enmity against God, etc. He most profanely and atheistically answered that when he died, he would hang his soul on a hedge, and say, Run God, run devil, and he who can run fastest let him take my soul. I have read of a most blasphemous wretch that, on a time being with his companions in an inn, carousing and making merry, asked them if they thought a man had a soul or no; whereunto when they replied that the souls of men are immortal, and that some of them after death lived in hell and others in heaven—for so the writings of the prophets and apostles instructed them—he answered and swore that he thought it nothing so—but rather that there was no soul in man to survive the body—but that heaven and hell were mere fables and inventions of priests to get gain; and for himself, he was ready to sell his soul to any who would buy it. Then one of his companions took up a cup of wine, and said, sell me your soul for this cup of wine; which he receiving, bade him take his soul, and drank up the wine. Now Satan himself being there in man's shape, bought it again of the other at the same price, and by and by bade him give him his soul, the whole company affirming it was fit he should have it, since he had bought it, not perceiving the devil. But presently, he laying hold of this soul-seller, carried him into the air before them all, to the great astonishment and amazement of the beholders; and from that day to this he was never heard of—but has now found by experience that men have souls, and that hell is no fable! "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:26 [We laugh at little children to see them part with rich jewels for silly trifles, and yet daily experience tells us that multitudes are so childish as to part with such rich and precious jewels as their immortal souls for a lust, or for base and unworthy trifles; of whom it may be truly said, that they are like a man who fishes with a golden hook; the gain can never recompense the loss that may be sustained.]

Ah, for what a trifle do many thousands sell their souls to Satan every day! How many thousands are there who swear, curse, lie, cheat, deceive, etc. for a little gain every day! I have read that there was a time when the Romans did wear jewels on their shoes. Oh, that in these days men did not worse! Oh, that they did not trample under feet that matchless jewel, their precious and immortal souls! O sirs, there is nothing below heaven so precious and noble as your souls, and therefore do not play the courtiers with your poor souls. Now the courtier does all things late. He rises late, and dines late, and sups late, and goes to bed late, and repents late. Christ made himself an offering for sin, that souls might not be undone by sin; the Lord died that slaves might live; the Son dies that servants might live; the natural Son dies that adopted sons may live; the only-begotten Son dies that bastards might live; yes, the judge dies that malefactors may live. Ah, friends, as there was never sorrow like Christ's, so there was never love like Christ's love; and of all his love, none to that of soul love. Christ, who is God-man, did take upon him your nature, and bare your sins, and suffered death, and encountered the cross, and was made a sacrifice and a curse, and all to bring about your redemption; and therefore you may safely conclude that the work of redemption is a great work. But,

4. Fourthly, Is Jesus Christ God-man? is he very God and very man? Then let this encourage poor sinners to come to Christ, to close with Christ, to accept of Christ, to match with Christ, and to enter into a marriage union and communion with Christ. The great work of gospel ministers is like that of Eliezer, Abraham's servant, to seek a match for our Master's Son. Now our way to win you to him, is not only to tell you what he has—but what he is. Now he is "God-man in one person." He is man, that you may not be afraid of him; and he is God, that he may be able to save you to the uttermost; he is "the Prince of the kings of the earth;" he is "Lord of lords and King of kings;" he is the "Heir of all things;" he is "fairer than the children of men;" he is "the chief of ten thousand;" he is "altogether lovely." [Heb. 7:25; Rev. 1:5, and 17:14; Heb. 1:3; Psalm 45:1; Cant. 5:10, 16.]

There is everything in Jesus, who is God-man, to encourage you to come to him. If you look upon his names, if you look upon his natures, if you look upon his offices, if you look upon his dignities, if you look upon his personal excellencies, if you look upon his mighty conquests, if you look upon his royal attendance —all these things call aloud upon you to come to Christ, to close with Christ. If you look upon the great things that he has done for sinners, and the hard things that he has suffered for sinners, and the glorious things that he has prepared and laid up for sinners, how can you but readily accept of him, and sweetly embrace him? Though you have no loveliness, nor beauty, nor glory, Ezek. 16:4-5, and Isaiah 55:1-2; though you have not one penny in your purse, nor a rag to hang on your back—yet if you are but really and heartily willing to be divorced from all your sinful lovers, and accept of Christ for your sovereign Lord, he is willing that the match should be made up between you and him, Hos. 3:3, and Rev. 22:17.

Now shall Christ himself woo you, shall he declare his willingness to take you who have nothing, shall he engage himself to protect you, to maintain you, and at last, as a dowry, to bestow heaven upon you—and will you refuse him, will you turn your backs upon him? O sirs! what could Christ have done, that he has not done, to do you good, and to make you happy forever? Lo! he has laid aside his glorious robes, and he has put on your rags; he has clothed himself with your flesh; he came off from his royal throne, he humbled himself to the death of the cross, and has brought life, immortality, and glory to your very doors; and will you yet stand out against him? Oh, "how shall such escape, who neglect so great salvation," Heb. 2:3; who say, "This man shall not rule over us," Luke 19:14; who "tread under foot the Son of God"? Heb. 10:28. Oh, what wrath, what great wrath, what pure wrath, what infinite wrath, what everlasting wrath—is reserved for such people! John 3:36. Doubtless, Turks, Jews, and Pagans will have a cooler and a lighter hell than the despisers and rejecters of Christ, John 5:40, and Mat. 23:13-14. The great damnation is for those who might have Christ—but would not. And no wonder! for the sin of rejecting Christ is not chargeable upon the devils.

Ah sinners, sinners! that you would labor to understand more, and dwell more upon, the preeminent excellencies of Christ! for until the soul can discern a better, a greater excellency in Christ than in any other thing—it will never yield to match with Christ. Oh, labor every day more and more to understand the height and depth and breadth of the excellency of Christ. He is the chief and the choicest of all, both in that upper and in this lower world. The godhead dwells bodily in him; he is full of grace; he is the heir of glory; the holy one of God; the brightness of his Father's image; the fountain of life, the well of salvation, and the wonder of heaven. Oh, when will you so understand the superlative excellency of Christ as to fall in love with him, as to cry out with the martyr, "Oh, none but Christ! Oh, none to Christ!" It is your wisdom, it is your duty, it is your safety, it is your glory, it is your salvation, it is your all—to accept of Christ, to close with Christ, and to bestow yourselves, your souls, your all on Christ. If you embrace him, you are made forever—but if you reject him, you perish forever. Bernard calls Christ, the Bridegroom of Bloods, because he espoused his church to himself upon the bed of his cross, his head begirt with a pillow of thorns, his body drenched in a bath of his own blood. To turn your backs upon this bridegroom of bloods will certainly cost you the blood of your souls; and therefore look to it. But,

5. Fifthly, Is Jesus Christ God-man? is he very God and very man? Oh, then, honor him above all. Oh, let him have the preeminence, exalt him as high as God the Father has exalted him. It is the absolute will of the Father that "all should honor his Son, even as they honor himself," for he having the same nature and essence with the Father, the Father will have him have the same honor which he himself has; which whoever denies to him reflects dishonor upon the Father, who will not bear anything derogatory to the glory of his Son. [Col. 1:18; Phil. 2:6-10; John 5:23. This text looks sourly on Jews, Turks, Papists, Socinians, and others.] Certainly there is due to Christ, as he is God-man, the highest respect, reverence, and veneration, which angels and men can possibly give unto him. Oh, look upon the Lord Jesus as God; and according to that honor that is due to him as God, so must you honor him.

The apostle speaks of some who, "when they knew God, they did not glorify him as God," Romans 1:21; so several pretend to give some glory to Christ—but they do not glorify him as God. O sirs, this is that which you must come up to, namely, to honor Christ in such a manner as may be suitable to his natures; and as he is the infinite, blessed, and eternal God; and ah! what honor can be high enough for such a person? Christ's honor was very dear to Bernard, who said, "Lord, use me for your shield to keep off those wounds of dishonor, which else would fall on you." Luther, in an letter to Spalatinus, says, "They call me a devil—but be it so, so long as Christ is magnified, I am well a-payed."

The inanimate creatures are so compliant with his pleasure, that they will thwart their own nature to serve his honor; fire will descend, as on Sodom and Gomorrah, Gen. 19; and water, though a fluid body, stand up like a solid wall, as in the Red Sea, Exod. 14:22; if he does but speak the word. Oh, let not the inanimate creatures one day rise in judgment against us, for not giving Christ his due honor. If we honor Christ we shall have honor, that is a bargain of Christ's own making—but if we dishonor him, he will put dishonor upon us, as Scripture and history in all ages do sufficiently evidence, 1 Sam. 2:30.

In history we read of an impostor who said that he was that star which Balaam prophesied of, which was a prophecy of Christ, Num. 24:17; this fellow called himself Ben-chomar, the son of a star. This man professed himself to be Christ—but he was slain with thunder and lightning from heaven, and then the Jews called him Ben-cosmar, which signifies the son of a lie. Buxtorf tells us that the Jews call Christ Bar-chozabb, the son of a lie, a bastard; and his gospel Aven-gelaion, the volume of lies, or the volume of iniquity; and has not God been a-revenging this upon them for above this sixteen hundred years? Rabbi Samuel, who long since has written a tract, wherein he does excellently discuss the cause of their long captivity and extreme misery, and after that he had proved it was inflicted for some grievous sin, he shows that sin to be the same which Amos speaks of. "For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes," Amos 2:6. The selling of Joseph he makes the first sin, the worshiping the calf in Horeb the second sin, the abusing and killing God's prophets the third sin, and the selling of Jesus Christ the fourth sin. For the first they served four hundred years in Egypt, for the second they wandered forty years in the wilderness, for the third they were captives seventy years in Babylon, and for the fourth they are held in pitiful captivity, even to this very day. Oh, how severely has God revenged the wrongs and indignities done to Christ the Lord, by this miserable people, to this very hour and yet, oh, the several ways, wherein this poor people do every day express their malice and hatred against the Lord Jesus! Oh, pray, pray hard, that the veil may be taken away, which has been so long before their eyes.

Herod imprisons Peter, and kills James with the sword, Acts 12:1-4; this God puts up with—but when he comes to usurp the honor due to Christ, he must die for it, verse 23. Herod might more safely take away the liberty of one, and the life of another, than the glory due to Christ. Thus you see how dearly they have paid for it, who have not given Christ his due glory; and let these instances of his wrath alarm all your hearts so, that we may make more conscience than ever, of setting the crown of honor only upon Christ's head, "for he alone is worthy of all honor, glory, and praise," Rev. 14:10-11. But,

6. Sixthly, Is Jesus Christ God-man? is he very God and very man? Then from hence as in a mirror, you may see the true reasons why the death and sufferings of Christ, though short, very short—yet have a sufficient power and virtue in them to satisfy God's justice, to pacify his wrath, to procure our pardon, and to save our immortal souls—namely, because of the dignity of his person who died and suffered for us, the Son of God, yes, God himself. There was an infinite virtue and value in all his sufferings; hence his blood is called "precious blood," yes, "the blood of God." [Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:19; Acts 9:28; Gal. 4:4-6.] Did man transgress the royal law of God? behold God himself is become a man to make up that breach, and to satisfy divine justice to the uttermost farthing, Romans 8:2-4. For the man Christ Jesus to stand before the bar of the law, and to make full and complete reparation to it, was the highest honor that ever was done to the law of God. This is infinitely more pleasing and delightful to divine justice than if all the curses of the law had been poured out upon fallen man; and than if the law had built up its honor upon the destruction of the whole creation. To see one sun clouded is much more than to see the moon and all the stars in heaven overcast. Christ considered as God-man was great, very great; and the greater his person was—the greater were his sorrows, his sufferings, his humiliation, his compassion, his satisfaction to divine justice. Had not Christ been God-man, he could never have been an able surety, Heb. 7:25—he could never have paid our debts, he could never have satisfied divine justice, he could never have brought in an everlasting righteousness, Dan. 9:24, he could never have "spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them on the cross," Col. 2:15—a plain allusion to the Roman triumphs, where the victor ascending up to the capitol in a chariot of state, all the prisoners following him on foot with their hands bound behind them, and the victor commonly threw coins abroad to be picked up by the common people. Just so, Christ, in the day of his solemn inauguration into his heavenly kingdom, triumphed over sin, death, devils, and hell, "and gave gifts to men." And had he not been God-man, he could never have merited for us a glorious reward.

If we consider Christ himself as a mere man, setting aside his godhead, Eph. 4:8, he could not merit by his sufferings; for, 1. Christ as he was man only, was a creature. Now a mere creature can merit nothing from the Creator. 2. Christ's sufferings, as he was man only, were finite, and therefore could not merit infinite glory. Indeed, as he was God, his sufferings were meritorious—but, consider him purely as man, they were not. This is wisely to be observed against the papists, who make so great a noise of men's merits; for if Christ's sufferings, as he was mere man, could not merit the least favor from God, then what mortal man is able to merit, at the hand of God, the least of mercies by his greatest sufferings? But,

7. Seventhly, Is Jesus Christ God-man? is he very God and very man? Then from hence we may see the greatest pattern of humility and self-denial that ever was or will be in this world. That he who was the Lord of glory, that he who was equal with God, that he should leave the bosom of his Father, Phil. 2:6; John 1:18, which was a bosom of the sweetest loves and the most ineffable delights, that he should put off all that glory that he had with the Father before the foundation of the world was laid, John 17:5, that he should so far abase himself as to become man, by taking on him our base, vile nature, so that in this our nature he might die, suffer, satisfy, and bring many sons to glory, Heb. 10,—oh, here is the greatest humility and abasement that ever was! And oh, that all sincere Christians would endeavor to imitate this matchless example of humility and self-denial! Oh the admirable condescensions of dear Jesus, that he should take our nature, and make us partakers of his divine nature! 2 Pet. 1:4, that he should put on our rags—and put upon us his royal robes! Rev. 19:7-8, that he should make himself poor—that we might be rich! 2 Cor. 8:9, that he should make himself low—that we might be high! accursed that we might be blessed! Gal. 3:10, 13. Oh wonderful love! oh grace unsearchable!

Ah, Christians, did Christ stoop low—and will you be stout, proud, and high? Was he content to be accounted a worm, a drunkard, an enemy to Caesar, a friend of publicans and sinners, a devil—and must you be all in a flame when vain men make little account of you? Was he willing to be a curse, a reproach for you—and will you shrug, and shrink, and faint, and fret when you are reproached for his name? Did Jesus Christ stoop so low as to wash his disciples' feet, John 13:14, and are you so stout and proud that you cannot hear together, nor pray together, nor sit at the table of the Lord together, though you all hope at last to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven? Mat. 8:11. Shall one heaven hold you at last; and shall not one table, one church, hold you here? Oh, that ever worms should swell with such intolerable pride and stoutness! He who was God-man, was lowly, meek, self-denying, and of a most condescending spirit; and oh, that all you, who hope for salvation by him, would labor to write after so fair a copy.

Bernard calls humility a self-annihilation. "You will save the humble," says Job, chapter 22:29; in the Hebrew it is, "him who is of low eyes." A humble Christian has lower thoughts of himself than others can have of him. Abraham is "dust and ashes" in his own eyes, Gen. 18, Jacob is "less than the least of all mercies," Gen. 32:10. David, though a great king—yet looks upon himself as a worm; "I am a worm, and no man," Psalm 22:6. The word in the original signifies a very little worm—a worm that is so little, that a man can hardly see it or perceive it. Oh, how little, how very little was David in his own eyes. Paul, who was the greatest among the apostles—yet, in his own eyes, he was "less than the least of all saints." Says Ignatius, "I am not worthy to be called the least." "Lord! I am hell—but you are heaven," said blessed Cooper. "I am a most hypocritical wretch, not worthy that the earth should bear me," said holy Bradford. Luther, in humility, speaks thus of himself; "I have no other name than sinner; sinner is my name, sinner is my surname; this is the name by which I shall be always known. I have sinned, I do sin, I shall sin, in infinitum." Ah, how can proud, stout spirits read these instances and not blush! Certainly the sincere humble Christian is like the violet, which grows low, hangs the head down, and hides itself with its own leaves; and were it not that the frequent smell of his many virtues manifests him to the world, he would choose to live and die in his self-contenting secrecy. But,

8. Eighthly, Is Jesus Christ God-man? is he very God and very man? Then hence we may see how to have access to God; namely, by means of Christ's human nature, which he has taken upon him, to that very end, that he might in it die and suffer for our sins, and so reconcile us to God, and give us access to him, Romans 5:1-2; Eph. 3:12, and 2:18. "By him we have access to the Father." The word signifies "a leading by the hand," an introduction. "It is an allusion," says Estius, "to the customs of princes, to whom there is no passage, unless we are brought in by one of their favorites." Esther 1. Though the Persian kings held it a piece of their silly glory to hold off their best friends, who might not come near them—but upon special license. Yet the great King of heaven and earth counts it his glory to give us free access at all times, in all places, and upon all occasions, by the man Christ Jesus.

1 Tim. 2:5, "There is one mediator between God and us, even the man Christ Jesus." Christ was made true man, that in our nature he might reconcile us to God, and give us access to God, which he could never have done, had he not been true God and true man. Without the human nature of Christ, we could never have had access to God, or fellowship with God; being by nature enemies to God, and estranged from God, and dead in trespasses and sins, Romans 5:10, it is only by the mediation of Christ incarnate, that we come to be reconciled to God, Eph. 2:1, 12-14, to have access to him, and acceptance with him. In Christ's human nature God and we meet together, and have fellowship together, 1 John 1:1-3. It could never stand with the unspotted holiness and justice of God, who is "a consuming fire," Heb. 12:29, to honor us with one cast of his countenance, or one hour's communion with himself, were it not upon the account of the man Christ Jesus. The least serious thought of God out of Christ, will breed nothing in the soul but horror and amazement; which made Luther say, "Let me have nothing to do with an absolute God."

Believers have free and blessed access to God—but still it is upon the credit of the man Christ Jesus, Heb. 4:15-16. "Let us come boldly to the throne of grace," says the apostle, speaking of Christ, "that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." The apostle's phrase signifies liberty of speech, and boldness of face; as when a man with a bold and undaunted spirit, utters his mind before the great ones of the world without blushing, without weakness of heart, without shaking of his voice, without imperfection and faltering in speech, when neither majesty nor authority can take off his courage, so as to stop his mouth, and make him afraid to speak. With such heroic and undaunted spirits would the apostle have us to come to the throne of grace; and all upon the credit of Christ our high priest, who is God-man. But,

9. Ninthly, Is Jesus Christ God-man? is he very God and very man? Then you may be very confident of his sympathizing with you in all your afflictions, Ezek. 35:10-13; Isaiah 37:23, 24; then this may serve as a foundation to support you under all your troubles, and as a cordial to comfort you under all your afflictions, in that Christ partaking of the same nature, and having had experience of the infirmities of it, he is the more able and willing to help and support us.

"For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." Hebrews 2:16-18. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin." Hebrews 4:15

If one comes to visit a man who is sick of a grievous disease, who has himself been formerly troubled with the same disease, he will sympathize more, and show more compassion than twenty others, who have not felt the same disease. So here, from Christ's sufferings in his human nature, we may safely gather that he will show himself a merciful high priest to us in our sufferings, and one who will be ready to help and support us in all our afflictions and miseries, which we suffer in this life, inasmuch as he himself had experience of suffering the like in our nature; "for in that he himself has suffered, being tempted, he is able to support those who are tempted." And this should be a staff to support us, and a cordial to comfort us in all our sorrows and miseries. It is between Christ and his church as it is between two lute strings which are tuned one to another; no sooner is one struck but the other trembles.

Isaiah 63:9, "In all their afflictions, he was afflicted." These words may be read thus: was he in all their afflictions afflicted? Christ took to heart the afflictions of his church, he was himself grieved for them and with them. The Lord, the better to allure and draw his people to himself, speaks after the manner of men, attributing to himself affection, love, and compassion to men in misery. Christ did so sympathize with his people in all their afflictions and sufferings, as if he himself had felt the weight, the smart, the pain of them all. "He was in all things made like unto his brethren," not only in nature—but also in infirmities and sufferings, and by all manner of temptations, "that thereby he might be able," experimentally, "to support those who are tempted." He who touches them touches not only his eye, but the pupil of his eye—which is the tenderest piece of the tenderest part—to express the inexpressible tenderness of Christ's compassion towards them. Let persecutors take heed how they meddle with God's eyes, for he will retaliate eye for eye, Exod. 21:24. He is wise in heart and mighty in strength, and sinners shall one day pay dear for touching the apple of his eye.

Christ counts himself persecuted, when his church is persecuted; "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" Acts 9:4. And he looks upon himself as hungry, thirsty, naked, and in prison, when his members are so, Mat. 25:35-36; so greatly does he sympathize with them. Hence the afflictions of Christians are called "the remainders of the afflictions of Christ," Col. 1:24: such as Christ, by his fellow-feeling, suffers in his members, and as they by correspondency are to fill up, as exercises and trials of their faith and patience.

Christ gave many evidences of his sympathy and compassion to our infirmities when he was on earth, as he groaned in his spirit, and was troubled, John 11:33; when he saw those who wept for Lazarus, he wept also, verse 35; as he did over Jerusalem also, Luke 19:41. It is often observed in the Gospel that Christ was moved with compassion; and that he frequently put forth acts of pity, mercy, and support to those who were in any distress, either in body or soul. Christ retains this sympathy and fellow-feeling with us, now that he is in heaven; and does so far commiserate our distresses, as may stand with his glorified condition. Jesus Christ grieves for the afflictions of his people; "the angel of the Lord answered and said, O Almighty, how long will you not have mercy on Jerusalem," Zech. 1:12. The angel here is that Jesus, who is our advocate with the Father, 1 John 2:1-2. He speaks as one intimately affected with the state and condition of poor Jerusalem. Christ plays the advocate for his suffering people, and feelingly pleads for them; he being afflicted in all their afflictions, it moved him to observe that God's enemies were in a better case than his people; and this put him upon that passionate expostulation, "O Lord Almighty, how long will you not have mercy on Jerusalem!"

Oh, what an honor is it to such poor worms as we are, that Jesus Christ, who is God-man, who is the Prince of the kings of the earth, that he should have a fellow-feeling of all our miseries, and sympathize with us in all our troubles Rev. 1:5. But,

10. Tenthly, Is Jesus Christ God-man? is he very God and very man? Then from hence you may see the excellency of Christ above man, above all other men, yes, above Adam in innocency. Christ, as man, was perfect in all graces: Isaiah 11:1-2, "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots; and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord." God gave the Spirit of wisdom to him not by measure; and therefore, at twelve years of age, you find him in the Sanhedrim disputing with the doctors, and asking them questions, John 3:34; Luke 2:46-47; John 1:16, "And of his fullness have all we received grace for grace;" Col. 1:19, "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;" 2:3, "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."

The state of innocency was an excellent state, it was a state of perfect holiness and righteousness, Gen. 1:27. By his holiness, Adam was carried out to know the Lord, to love the Lord, to delight in the Lord, to fear the Lord, and to take him as his chief good, Eph. 4:22-24. A legal holiness consists in an exact, perfect, and complete conformity in heart end life to the whole revealed will of God; and this was the holiness that Adam had in his innocency, and this holiness was immediately derived from God, and was perfect. Adam's holiness was as co-natural to him as unholiness is now to us. Adam's holiness was as natural, and as pleasing, and as delightful to him as any way of unholiness can be natural, pleasing, and delightful to us. The state of innocency was a state of perfect wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Witness the names that Adam gave to all the creatures, suitable and apposite to their natures, Gen. 2:20. The state of innocency was a state of great honor and dignity. David brings in Adam in his innocent estate with a crown upon his head, and that crown was a crown of glory and honor: "You have crowned him with glory and honor," his place was "a little lower than the angels," but far above all other creatures, Psalm 8:5. The state of innocency was a state of great dominion and authority, man being made the sovereign Lord of the whole creation, Psalm 8:6-8. We need not stand to enlarge upon that one parcel of his domain, namely, that which they call paradise, since the whole both of sea and land, and all the creatures in both, were his possession, his paradise.

Certainly man's first state was a state of perfect and complete happiness, there being nothing within him but what was desirable, nothing without him but what was amiable, and nothing around him but what was serviceable and comfortable—and yet Jesus Christ, who is God-man, is infinitely more glorious and excellent than ever Adam was; for Adam was set in a mutable condition—but Christ is the Rock of ages. He is steadfast and abiding forever; he is "yesterday, and today, and forever the same," Heb. 13:8. He is the same before time, in time, and after time; he is the same, that is unchangeable, in his essence, promises, and doctrine. Christ is the same in respect of virtue, and even his manhood, before it was in being, was clothed with perfection of grace, and so continues forever.

And again, Adam was a mere man, and alone by himself—but in Christ the human nature was hypostatically united unto the divine; and hence it comes to pass that Christ, even as man, had a greater measure of knowledge and revelation of grace and heavenly gifts than ever Adam had. The apostle tells us that in "Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead," bodily, that is, essentially; that is, not by a naked and bare communicating of virtue, as God is said to dwell in his saints—but by a substantial union of the two natures, divine and human, the eternal Word and the man, consisting of soul and body, whereby they become one—one person, one subsistence. Now from this admirable and wonderful union of the two natures in Christ, there flows to the manhood of Christ a plenitude and fullness of all spiritual wisdom and grace, such as was never found in any mere man, no, not in Adam while he stood in his integrity and uprightness. But,

11. Eleventhly, Is Jesus Christ God-man? is he very God and very man? Then this truth looks very sourly and frowningly upon all such as deny the godhead of Christ; as Arians, Turks, Jews. How many are there in this city, in this nation, who stiffly deny the divinity of Christ, and dispute against it, and write against it, and blaspheme that great truth, without which, I think, a man may safely say, there is no possibility of salvation. In ancient times, near unto the period of the apostles, this doctrine of Christ's godhead, and eternal generation from the Father, was greatly opposed by sundry wicked and blasphemous heretics, as Ebion, Cerinthus, Arius, etc., who stirred up great troubles, and bloody persecutions against the church, for maintaining this great truth of Christ's godhead. They asserted that Christ had no true flesh; it was only the likeness of flesh which he appeared in, and that his body was only an imaginary body. But had the body of Christ been only such a body, then his conception, nativity, death, resurrection, are all too but imaginary things; and then his sufferings and crucifixion are but mere fancies too; and if so, then what would become of us, what would become of our salvation? then our faith would be in vain, and our hope would be in vain, and our hearing, preaching, praying, and receiving, would all be in vain; yes, then all our religion would vanish into a mere fancy also!

When a man's conscience is awakened to see his sin and misery, and he shall find guilt to lay like a load upon his soul, and when he shall see that divine justice is to be satisfied, and divine wrath to be pacified, and the curse to be borne, and the law to be fulfilled, and his nature to be renewed, his heart to be changed, and his sins to be pardoned—or else his soul can never be saved; how can such a person venture his soul, his all, upon one who is but a mere creature? Certainly, a mere man is no rock, no city of refuge, and no sure foundation for a man to build his faith and hope upon. Woe to that man, that ever he was born, that has no Jesus—but a Socinian's Jesus to rest upon! Oh, it is sad trusting to one, who is man—but not God; flesh—but not spirit. As you love the eternal safety of your precious souls, and would be happy forever; as you would escape hell, and get to heaven, lean on none, rest on none—but that Jesus who is God-man, who is very God and very man.

Apollinaris held that Christ took not the whole nature of man—but a human body only, without a soul, and that the Godhead was instead of a soul to the manhood. Also Eutyches, who confounded the two natures of Christ, and their properties, etc. Also Apelles and the Manichees, who denied the true human body, and held him to have an aerial or imaginary body. Just so, may it be said of Jesus Christ our Savior, though myriads of angels and saints acclaim he is a God, consequently, immortal; and a crew of heretics disclaim him to be a true man, as the Marcionites averred that he had an imaginary body, and Apelles who conceived that he had an ethereal substance—yet the streams of blood which flowed from him, makes it sure that he was perfect man; consisting of a reasonable soul and human flesh.

And as this truth looks sourly upon the above-mentioned people, so it looks sourly upon the papists, who, by their doctrine of the real presence of Christ's body in the sacrament, do overthrow one of the properties of his human nature, which is to be but in one place present at once. This truth also looks sourly upon the Lutherans or Ubiquitaries, who teach that Christ's human nature is in all places by virtue of their personal union, etc. I wonder that of all the old errors, swept down into this latter age, as into a sink of time, this of the Socinians and Arians should be held forth among the rest. O sirs, beware of their doctrines, shun their meetings and those who come to you with the denial of the divinity of Christ in their mouths.

This was John's doctrine and practice. Irenaeus says, that after he was returned from his banishment, and came to Ephesus, he came to bathe himself, and in the bath he found Cerinthus, who taught that Christ had no being until he received it from the Virgin Mary; upon the sight of whom, John skipped out of the bath, and called his companions from thence; saying, let us go from this place, lest the bath should fall down upon us, because Cerinthus is in it, who is so great an enemy to God. You see his reaction, see his doctrine too: "Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work." 2 John 1:9-11

What that doctrine was, if you cast your eye upon the scripture, you shall find it to be the doctrine of the divinity of Christ. Show no love where you owe nothing but hatred: "I hate every false way," says David, Psalm 119:118. "I shall look upon Auxentius as upon a devil, so long as he is an Arian," said Hilarius. We must show no countenance, nor give no encouragement to such as deny either the divinity or humanity of Christ.

I have been the longer upon the divinity and humanity of Christ,

1. Because the times we live in require it.

2. That poor, weak, staggering Christians may be strengthened, established, and settled in the truth, as it is in Jesus.

3. That I may give in my testimony and witness against all those who are poisoned and corrupted with Socinian and Arian principles, which destroy the souls of men.

4. That those in whose hands this book may fall may be the better furnished to make head against men of corrupt minds; who, "by sleight-of-hand and cunning craftiness, lie in wait to deceive," Eph. 4:14.

[6.] Sixthly, As he who did feel and suffer the very torments of hell, though not after a hellish manner, was God-man; so the punishments that Christ did sustain for us, must be referred only to the substance, and not unto the circumstances of punishment. The punishment which Christ endured, if it is considered in its substance, kind, or nature—so it was the same with what the sinner himself should have undergone. Now the punishment due to the sinner was death, the curse of the law, etc. Now this Christ underwent, for "he was made a curse for us," Gal. 3:13. But if you consider the punishment which Christ endured, with respect to certain circumstances, adjuncts, and accidents—as the eternity of it, desperation going along with it, etc., then, I say, it was not the same—but equivalent. And the reason is, because, though the enduring of the punishments, as to the substance of them, could, and did agree with him as a surety—yet the circumstances of those punishments could not have befallen him unless he had been a sinner; and therefore every inordination in suffering was far from Christ, and a perpetual duration of suffering could not befall him, for the first of these had been contrary to the holiness and dignity of his person, and the other had made void the end of his suretyship and mediatorship, which was so to suffer, as yet to conquer and to deliver, and therefore, though he did suffer death for us in the substance of it. Yet he neither did nor could suffer death in the circumstances of it, so as forever to be held by death; for then, in suffering death, he would not have conquered death, nor delivered us from death. Neither was it necessary to Christ's substitution that he should undergo in every respect the same punishment which the offender himself was liable unto—but if he underwent so much punishment as did satisfy the law, and vindicate the lawgiver in his holiness, truth, justice, and righteousness, that was enough. Now that was unquestionably done by Christ, as the Scriptures do abundantly testify. [Whether the work of man's redemption could have been wrought without the sufferings and humiliation of Christ is not determinable by men—but that it was the most admirable way which wisdom, justice, and mercy could require, cannot be denied.]

It must be readily granted that Christ was to suffer the whole punishment due unto sin, so far as it became the dignity of his person and the necessity of the work—but if he had suffered eternally, the work of redemption could never have been accomplished; and besides, he should have suffered that which would not befit him. And therefore the apostle says, Heb. 2:10, "It became him to be consecrated through sufferings." Christ was only to pass through such sufferings as became him, who was ordained to be the prince and captain of our salvation. It became him to be man, and it became him in our human nature to suffer death, and it became him to sustain for us the substance of those punishments, which we should have undergone; and accordingly he did. What our sins deserved, and what justice might lay upon us for those sins—all that did Christ certainly suffered. Jesus Christ did so suffer for our sins, as that his sufferings were fully answerable to the demerit of our sins. And I think I may safely say that God, in justice, could not require any more, or lay on any one more punishment than Jesus Christ did suffer for our sins; and my reason is this, because Christ bore all our sins, and all our sorrows, and was obedient unto the death, and made a curse for us, Isaiah 53, and Gal. 3:13; and more than this the law of God could not require. And if Christ did suffer all that the law of God required, then certainly he suffered so much as did satisfy the justice of God, namely, as much punishment as was commensurate with sin. But,

[7.] Seventhly and lastly, The meritorious cause, the main end, and the special occasion of all the sufferings of Christ—were the sins of his people. Isaiah 53:4, 5. There were other subordinate ends of his sufferings; as,

(1.) To sanctify sufferings to us.

(2.) To sweeten sufferings to us.

(3.) To support us experimentally under all our sufferings, Heb. 2:17-18.

(4.) That he might be prepared to enter into his glory, Luke 24:26.

(5.) That he might be a conqueror over sufferings, which was one piece of his greatest glory, etc.

Christ was our surety, and he could not satisfy for our sins, nor reconcile us to God without suffering: Isaiah 53:5, "But he was wounded for our transgressions." The Hebrew word for wounded has a double emphasis: either it may signify that he was pierced through as with a dart, or that he was tormented or pained, as women are accustomed to do, who have pain at the time of their travail; for the word in the text last cited comes regularly from a root that signifies to be in pain, as women are when they bring forth. It was our transgressions which gave Christ his deadly wounds; it was our sins which smote him, and bruised him!

Look, as Zipporah said to Moses, Exod. 4:25, "Surely a bloody husband are you to me," so may Christ say to his church, Surely a bloody spouse have you been to me. Christ's spouse may look upon him and say, "I was that Judas who betrayed you! I was that soldier who murdered you! It was my sins which brought all sorrows and sufferings, all mischiefs and evils upon you! I have sinned—and you have suffered! I have sinned—and you have died! I have wounded you—and you have healed me! It is the wisdom, and oh, that it might be more and more the work of every believer to look upon a humble Christ with a humble heart, a broken Christ with a broken heart, a bleeding Christ with a bleeding heart, a wounded Christ with a wounded heart; according to that, Zech. 12:10, Christ was wounded, bruised, and cut off for sinners' sins.

When Christ was taken by the soldiers, he said, "If you seek me, let these go their way," Christ was willing that the hurt which sinners had done to God, and the debt which they owed to him, should be set upon his score, and put upon his account; and the apostle mentions it as a remarkable thing, that "Christ died for the ungodly," Romans 5:8; "the just for the unjust," 1 Pet. 3:18. Our sins were the meritorious cause of Christ's sufferings, Heb. 4:15, and 7:26. Christ did not suffer for himself, "for he was without sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth." The grand design, errand, and business about which Christ came into the world, was to save sinners, 1 Tim. 1:15. He had his name Jesus, because he was to save his people from their sins, Mat. 1:21. He died for our sins; not only for our good, as the final cause—but for our sins, as the procuring cause of his death. "He was delivered for our offences," "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures," Romans 4:25, and 1 Cor. 15:3; that is, according to what was typified, prophesied, and promised in the blessed Scriptures.

Gal. 1:4, "He gave himself for our sins." "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree; by His wounds you have been healed." 1 Pet. 2:24. Here you see that the physician's blood became the sick man's salve! Here is the gospel mystery--that the wounding of one, should be the cure of another!

Oh, what an odious thing is sin to God, that He will pardon none without blood, yes, without the precious blood of His dearest Son! Oh, what a hell of wickedness must there be in sin--that nothing can expiate it but the best, the purest, the noblest blood that ever ran in veins! Oh, what a transcendent evil must sin be--that nothing can purge it away but death--the accursed death of the cross! Oh, what a leprosy is sin, that it must have blood, yes, the blood of God, to take it away!

Now thus you have seen:

(1.) That the sufferings of Christ have been free and voluntary, and not constrained or forced.

(2.) That they have been very great and heinous.

(3.) That the punishments which Christ suffered for our sin, were, in their parts, and kinds, and degrees, and proportion—all those punishments which were due unto us by reason of our sins; and which we ourselves would otherwise have suffered.

(4.) That Jesus Christ did feel and suffer the very torments of hell, though not after a hellish manner.

(5.) That he who did feel and suffer the torments of hell, though not after a hellish manner, was God-man.

(6.) That the punishments that Christ did sustain for us, must be referred only to the substance, and not to the circumstances of punishment.

(7.) That the meritorious cause of all the sufferings of Christ, were the sins of his people.