Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

the mediator between these must be Here we see a suitable mediator; himself God and man, otherwise he for as God, he knows all that the cannot lay his hands upon both. No glories of God could demand in the one but God can know what the glory way of satisfaction; as man, he could of God demands in the way of satis- suffer the penalty of the law, and die faction; and if our Lord had not been -and as man he experimentally knew man-if the mediator were not man, what our infirmities were. there was no equity, there was no

"He knows what sore temptations mean, legal right why he should be con

For he has felt the same." sidered as a substitute-a suretyan undertaker, on his people's be- And throwing all the glory, and all half. It must be the very nature the lustre, and all the majesty of his that sinned, the very nature that Godhead, into the work that he transgressed that must undertake; achieved as man, see how gloriously and, unless the mediator be man as he stands forth, as the day's-man of well as God, he must be totally his people—see God in their natureunfit for the office of mediation. If God with us—God above all, blessed he were merely man, as he could for ever,--and yet, bone of our bone, not know, so he could not satisfy the and flesh of our flesh-Immanuel, God demands of God's glory; and if he in the flesh. Thus does he remove were merely God, he could neither every hindrance, every stumbling suffer nor obey; therefore, he could block out of the way of his people; in no sense make satisfaction. It because, as man he endured the cross seems indispensible, therefore, that and the penalty of the law in their the mediator must partake of the na- stead; as man, he paid the debt to ture of both the parties between whom the uttermost farthing; throwing all he mediates, in order to be a perfect the glory, all the merit, all the majesty mediator.

of his own Godhead, into the work In the case of Moses, he was, in a of his own hands. sense, a mediator, but he was only My brethren, the Lord alone knows partially so; he was an intercessor, what we are in the sight of his hearta channel of communication, but in searching majesty; and yet, although no other way was he a mediator. He you and I are what we are, in this could not undertake to do ought on perfect righteousness, there is not a their behalf; and for this reason, weak believer that hears me—there because, as he was a mere man, all is not one called of God-there is not that he had was required for himself; one who has been brought to Christ and besides, he could only put his as a poor weak sinner, to be saved by hand on one of the parties; he could him, that is not made the righteousmake no satisfaction for their sins ; ness of God in him. My poor fellow he could make no satisfaction for his sinner, not one stumbling block is in own. And hence he was not, in the thy way between thy soul and Godfull sense of the word, a mediator, there is not one rock of offence that but only in an imperfect sense, and is not completely taken out from betypically. But when we look at our fore thy feet. He appeareth before dear Lord, we see the infinite suit- the Eternal, as one with his people, ableness there was in him for the and his merit goeth up, with all its office of mediator-true God and true much incense, to present thee in its man-God and man in one Christ, fragrancy, as before a heart-searching truly our nature, and truly the Father's Jehovah. nature-truly a man and truly God, But this is only one part of our

Lord's mediation, as the great head sense. But I shall not go at length of spiritual influence. He subdueth into any proof of this sort, because, I men's enmity, he worketh faith, and do not suppose I am addressing a repentance, and love, and holiness, congregation that desires it, I will and obedience in him, and winneth the take that foundation truth for granted. poor rebel back to God. He removeth But with regard to the other point, men's enmity, by disclosures of Je- the purity of his human nature on hovah's love, makes known, as it that I would desire to lay some conwere, the very heart of God, in for- siderable stress. And I would begin giving sin, and then withdraws the by remarking, that if there was the spirit out of its alienation, out of its least flaw, the least defect, the least hardness, out of its impenitence, out obliquity in thought, word or deed, in of its coldness, and its death, and the human nature of Christ, the law winneth it back to God. This is the that demands all the heart, all the mediator between God and man; he, mind, all the soul, every faculty, who, partaking of the nature of God, every principle, every feeling for as well as man, can bring man nigh God, will pronounce its curse upon unto God.

it. Just bear with me, whilst I remind But now observe, there is one re- / you that every nature must act acquisite more, and that is, that as our cording to its own constitution, if I Lord had two natures, so must he be may so speak. If our Lord had a perfect in each of those natures, other- fleshly nature or corrupt nature-if wise he can be no mediator at all. he had our fallen nature in the true Observe my third head, and may God sense of the word, allowing for arguwrite it out in your hearts ; you will ment sake--for fairness sake-for find it will stand by you when all the candour sake,-and therefore for cobwebs of human sophistry are swept love's sake, and for truth's sake,away for ever,-that as our Lord had allowing that by the indwelling of the natures of those believers whom he the Spirit-by the indwelling of the mediates, so he must be perfect in each Godhead it may never come out into of those natures, or he can be no me- any act of disobedience, yet there was diator between God and man. That the sinful propensity. Although I reImmanuel is God in the highest sense, peat it never came out into any act of I shall not take much time to prove ; sin, yet there was the sinfulinclination, that he is God in no inserior sense ; the sinful propensity, and as long as but that he is in the highest sense, every nature acteth according to its God over all, in no one particular as own essential properties, which it God inferior to the Father, yet dis- must ever do, for if it does not, it is tinct from the Father. The same in annihilated, not merely restrained his majesty-in his dignity-in his and subdued-it no longer eristeth. eternity-in his independence—in his It is not enough to say that it is self-existence; deriving nothing from checked, that it is kept down, that it the Father ; but one with the Father, is prevented from rising up and preessential God. An inferior God is vailing, it must be annihilated, if it no God. Allow there is any infe- does not act according to its own riority in the Son, and that is an in- nature. The apostle describing the finite inferiority, and tremendously same saith,

“flesh lusteth against awful as the denial of this Godhead the spirit.”—Why does it so?-Beis, it is less inconsistent to assert that cause it acteth according to its own he is not God at all, than to acknow-nature, even where it does not rule, ledge that he is God in an inferior | nor prevail--for every nature acteth

[ocr errors]

eccording to its own constitution. If | our Lord was holy and harmless, and our Lord had therefore a fleshly cor- undefiled and separate from sinners, rupt nature, it must act according to and there was no act of sin done by its own essential properties: and him, or chargeable to him. I am though there might be no act of sin quite aware they dread the consedone-though there might be no ac- quence, and deny it;-nor do I wontual transgression committed and al- der that they dread it. It is a dreadlowed, yet there was the sinful pro- ful one. But yet, I contend, they are pensity And for that sinful pro-driven to it as a consequence which pensity the law denounces its awful is inevitable, and they cannot escape condemnatory curse. “ The soul that it. If our Lord had two natures, the sinneth it shall die”—and ever“ the Divine, Infinitely Perfect, the human, thought of foolishness is sin.”—If our fallen and depraved- however, the Lord had really our fleshly corrupt superior perfect nature may check, nature, it was as much his own, as his control, and subdue the inferior, Divine nature. He assumed it, on fallen, and depraved nature, still the that supposition, into a real union with fleshly nature is the same intrinsihimself, namely with His own essen-cally; really, it is still flesh, and as tial nature as God—not an imaginary flesh it acteth agreeably to its conunion.—It was a component part of stitution--and consequently it lusteth himself, it was himself,—it was as against the spirit. Deny this, and much himself, as his Godhead was the flesh is annihilated, it ceaseth to himself, for there were two natures be flesh. in one person, God and Man, one Yes,—but it is maintained, if our Christ. It is not something distinct | Lord had not our fleshly nature, how from Christ, as some have seemed to was He in all points tempted like as imagine, it is not something which we are? Heb. iv. 15. What is to be belonged not to Christ; but if our made of this, unless our Lord had a Lord did assume a fleshly corrupt fleshly nature, a corrupt nature, a and depraved nature, such fleshly defiled nature, such a nature corrupt and depraved nature our own ? To this we may rehimself. And then it follows that he ply—and how could our Lord be had a nature, a component part of tempted precisely, altogether, and in himself, lusting against that which is all points even as we are ?-how spiritual ; and though it be checked could he be in all respects, and in and subdued,—though it be kept every particular tempted as we ourdown and restrained, yet still acting selves are tempted, unless he had that according to its own nature, it lusted same inclination to propensity toagainst the spirit-bowever checked wards, and liking of evil, which our by a superior controlling power. If fleshly nature has ?

This argument it does not act according to its own by proving too much, proves nothing nature, it no longer is fleshly, it no to the point. You that may have longer exists as flesh, it is turned in- embraced this fearful opinion, you to something else, but as long as the would not dare to assert that our flesh is flesh, it lusteth against that Lord was a transgressor, you would which is spiritual.

not dare to assert it, as long as conMy dear friends, I am quite aware science has its influence on your souls. this is just'the consequence to which I do not charge you with it; you some do not like to be driven. They almost tremble to see the assertor, evade it, they turn from it, they say, yet if ye want a mediator tempted

as

was

precisely in all points with your- | the garden of Gethsemane, drinking selves; if ye want our Lord to suffer the bitter cup of trial, and forsaken just as you yourselves suffer, being by his God, do I not see great, yea, tempted, he can only suffer as you unutterable trials ; but do I conclude suffer, by having the same inclina- from this, there was any inward solitions to evil, as you yourselves have. citation to evil? Not for one single And do you think that of the Holy moment. No temptation has in itself one of Israel? Do you think that the nature of sin; it takes its sinfultrue of the Holy child Jesus ? Is ness from ourselves. No outward that your

idea of holiness !---God for- thing that passes before my mind, bid !—Oh, if that one that reads thus, does of necessity bear, in itself, any should thus think, may God give you thing of the nature of sin to my soul; repentance, and lead you to abhor it becomes sinful only as I yield to it. such a conclusion in dust and ashes? My dear friends, the losing sight of Such argument, if argument it can be this plain and obvious distinction, has called, by proving too much, proves driven some to suppose that our Lord, just nothing at all.

in order to be tempted, just as we are, But let us consider the word must have had inward solicitations to “tempted.” In what consists tempta- evil, just as we have. But if so, he tion? The Scriptures understand, by must have been a sinner, even as we. being tempted, the being tried. An If I hold up carrion to a dove, she outward trial is quite distinct from an finds no solicitation to partake of it, inward solicitation. When I turn to because she has no propensity to such the twenty-second of Genesis, for food; but if I place that carrion beinstance, and read that the Lord fore a vulture, he has a strong temptatempted Abraham, do I mean that he tion, a strong desire after it; and gave him an inward solicitation to though he may fear, from my being evil? When I turn to James i. 13,- present, to touch it, still, as he bas “ Count it all joy when ye fall into the nature and propensity of the vuldivers temptations,” were they called ture, he has still a longing after the upon to rejoice when they fell into carrion, and would touch it if he divers inward solicitations to sin? | dared. It is this argument, as to the Surely not; vast is the difference, my sympathy of our dear Lord, my dear dear hearers, between an outward friends, which, far more than all trial of faith and principle, and an counter statements, denials, and coninward solicitation to evil. That our tradictions, convince me to the conLord was a tried man, is most abun- trary, leads my mind to the certain dantly proved, I look at his whole conclusion, that, notwithstanding conlife,-it is a life of trial. He was a science and the dread of so dreadful poor man, a despised man, a rejected a conclusion, may assert that our man, a scorned man, a maligned man, Lord, notwithstanding he had this he lost his character, was called a fleshly, corrupt nature, yet was holy, wine bibber, a gluttonous man, a harmless, undefiled: yet, that that friend of sinners and publicans; his creed does, after all, assert neither very friends left him, his enemies more nor less than that our Lord had derided him. When I see him tempt- that in him that loved sin ; and if this ed by Satan—when I see him endur- be not fearful and terrible, then what ing the infirmities of our nature-- assertion can be so ? Is it said, then, when I behold him hanging on the that the mere temptation to sin is not accursed tree-when I behold him in sin? I reply-no, if the temptation bear outward solicitation, and not an See how gloriously the true docioward propensity ; but if there be trine of the mediation of Christ stands any inward propensity, then it be- before us! The Lord Jesus Christ percomes sin.

fect God and perfect man. God in the But now remark the awful effects Father's nature-man, in our nature. which this fearful heresy produces “Because his brethren were partakers upon every point of Divine truth, — of flesh and blood, he also himself it irralidates the mediation of Christ likewise took part of the same."eltogether,-because, if our Lord had Heb. ii. 14. But while he took their a fleshly, corrupt nature, truly he nature, it was not their sinful nature. wanted a mediator for himself, and My dear hearers, there is a forgetfulhaving none, he must be under the ness on this point—that sin is not wrath of God to all eternity. Away essential to man's nature—it is an acciis swept the atonement ; because the dent. The first Adam was certainly lamb must be a perfect lamb, must be in our nature, otherwise how are we a lamb without blemish and without involved in his fall? and the spirits spot.-And how that lamb of God can of the just made perfect,

-are they of have no spot nor blemish that has an the same nature that they had when evil and fleshly nature, that, acting they were on earth? If not, then according to its own constitution, they are different individuals. luste th against the Spirit, remains to See how the Holy Ghost has debe proved. Away is swept the right- fended this truth in every part of the conmess of Christ, because the law word of God; Do I, for instance, demands holiness of nature, as well turn to the fifth of the second of as holiness of conduct; it is not satis- Corinthians, I read, “ He hath made fied with mere uprightness of life ; it him to be sin for us who knew no requireth every thought, every word, sin.” Now, if it were only meant, every desire, of a man for God. No that he did no sin, how comes it to wonder, then, we find the doctrine of pass that the inspired writer says, impated righteousness is frittering knew no sin? It would have been more fast away, and nothing is left but the clear to have said, did no sin, than atonement-and that, as I have just knew no sin, if he meant the knowing shewn, is not left. And as to the no sin was merely doing no sin. But head of holy influence,-how can our implies the absence of all sinful proLord be the head of holy influence to pensity. So, in that passage, Heb. others, when he is himself the subject iv. 15, wherein our Lord is said to of a nature of sinsul influence. have been tempted as we are, yet

My dear friends, I would say, you without sin, how can he be said to be that are inclining to these opinions, without sin, if his was a sinful nature, you are tottering on the brink of an which, of its own essential tendency, awful precipice. And you that are lusteth against the spirit. In John led to favour these opinions of men, xiv. 30, our Lord says, “ the prince of not of God, through a certain respect this world hath nothing in me:" how ye may have for individuals that have can he be said to have nothing in them, I pray God that He may lead him, when, according to this, our Lord you to your closets, that you may had a nature that was sinful? if the mourn over this declension from the one be true, the other must be false. word of God, and may begin to sus- In that third of Genesis, which I read peet there may have been something to you this morning, see how carefully else that led you to this state of mind the Holy Ghost has defended this besides the love of truth.

truth! It is not the seed of Adam, it

« ZurückWeiter »