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kels, which is three pound fifteen in our money. A base estimation they had of Christ, as if he were a bondman; the same price that was given for a slave that was killed by an ox, for this same price was he sold. In the twelfth book of Josephus, chap. III. “When Ptolomæus Philadelphus would redeem all the Jews which were bondmen, it is set down what he paid for a slave. There is set down a great sum of money, and the number of the slavest: here stands the valuation ; divide the number of slaves, and you shall find the quotient for every man one hundred and twenty drachms; four drachms make a shekel, thirty shekels was the ordinary rate cried in the market for the price of a bondman.” Thus Christ took on him the form of a bondman, not only God's bondman, but in the estimation of men so despicable, that they valued him at no higher rate than thirty pieces of silver. This is but the beginning and entrance on Christ's humiliation, to be made in the similitude of sinful flesh, and in the verity of true flesh. Christ had all infirmities, as weariness, hunger, thirst, which follow a sinful man, which were not sinful : such a nature he took upon him, and then he became obedient both by active and passive obedience. That which remains of the pains of his life, to the passage of his doleful death, we will speak of the next time.
x Which were twelve thousand.
PHIL. CHAP. II. VER. 8.
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obe
dient unto death, even the death of the cross.
In these words and those that went before, you see there is delivered unto us the point of the humiliation of the Son of God. It stands in this.
1. That he took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man. God the Son, the second person in the blessed Trinity did assume our dust and ashes, unto the unity of his own sacred person.
2. This human nature being thus assumed, he was content to deprive himself a long time of that estate of glory, which he might have in our human nature always (after its assumption) enjoyed, and in that time was as obedient as the meanest and poorest servant of his father. Nor was he only actively, but passively obedient ; " He was obedient unto the death :" He was content to lay down his life for our redemption. And it was not every death that would serve the turn, but it must be death of the cross, the most accursed shameful and painful death, that which was most suitable, and best able to answer the wrath of God.
First, he humbled himself by taking our nature upon him: “He that thought it no robbery to be equal with God, took upon him the form of a man.” If it were an abasement for God to look upon heaven the most glorious of his works, how much more to take upon him a clod, or piece of this earth, and unite it to his own sacred person for ever. This was a descending indeed, he descended
first that he might ascend.
“ Now that he ascended, what is it, but that he descended first into the lower parts of the earth ?" That is, he descended into the womb of the virgin ; and it was a great abasement indeed for him thus to descend: wherefore the Psalmist, speaking of the wonderful framing of the babe in the womb, saith: “ Mys substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lower parts of the earth.” So that we see God descended into the lowermost parts of the earth, and there was he fashioned. A great humiliation it was for him to be thus enclosed. Thus did he humble himself in taking our nature. Had he taken the form of a king upon him, it had been a great humiliation ; how much more, when he took on him the form of a servant ? “ He came not in a state to be ministered unto, but to minister.” As we shewed the last day. Nor was he only his father's servant, but a servant of servants, and therein underwent Canaan's curse: “ A servant of servants shalt thou be." Our Saviour became such a servant. He was the author of freedom. “ Ife the Son make you free, then are you free indeed.” He, I say, who was the king's son and so the most free, the author of it to all that enjoy any spiritual freedom, became a servant, that we which were servants might be made free.
But besides, it is added here, that he humbled himself. Having taken on him the form of a servant, he humbled himself. Where we may observe what made the suffering of our Saviour so meritorious: it was because it was active, free and voluntary. Our passions are contrary to our will: we are drawn to it, as it is said of Peter: “When thou art old, they shall lead thee whither thou wouldst not." Peter died the same death our Saviour did, according to the external passion ; but they led him, whither he would not. Our Saviour was an actor in it; humbled himself. A bare suffering God regards not so much; but when it is done willingly, and in obedience to God. And as he was obedient in his death, so also in his other passions. In the Gospel according to St. Johns, whereas the text reads, “ he was troubled;" the marginal note hath it, according to the original Greek, łuvTÒV štápačev, he troubled himself: he was the “author of his own sufferings.” He was not humbled as a mere patient; but he humbled himself: and so it is said in Scripture oft, “He gave himself for us,” and in all his passive obedience he had an eye to do the will of God. The merit of his passive obedience ariseth from a mixture with his active. This was a great part of his priesthood, his humbling. And how doth he take his priesthood upon him? it was his father's call. “ He was called unto it as was Aaron. No man,' saith the apostle, “taketh this honour upon him, but he that is called.” Now Christ being called to it, he did it to follow his call. And thus he did it actively: it was not a bare suffering as those in hell suffer, but according to his father's call. Observe, that place taken out of the Psalm, “I am come to do thy will, O God.” What, was it only in its active obedience? No, it was thy will that he should suffer; as the words following in the tenth verse import: “ By the which will we are sanctified, and by the body of Jesus Christ once offered :” So that Christ offered up himself to do his father's will; so that his passive obedience was in his active. So, “therefore doth
a Eph. chap. 4. ver. 9.
b Psalm 139. ver. 15.
me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it up again; no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down." Our Saviour, when he laid down his life, put it off, as a man puts off his cloak, and lays it from him. They wondered that he was dead so soon, it was because himself laid down his life. His soul then was not dragged or forced out of his body. It was not passive but active obedience. man taketh it from me; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up. This had I from my Father.” They are grossly deceived then, that say Christ's active obedience was not free and voluntary, because he was com
& John, chap. 11. ver. 33. i Heb. chap. 5. ver. 4.
John, chap. 10. ver. 17.
h Ibid. chap. 10. ver. 17.
manded, which none can deny. Thus Christ's offering was a free-will offering, though it was a most bitter one; yet, this being a part of his Father's will, he went as voluntarily to the pains of the cross, as thou dost to thy dinner, when thou art throughly hungry. “Form his meat and his drink was to do his Father's will.” And this makes it of so much worth and efficacy, that he did it willingly: see it in the type that went before him, in Isaac; Isaac was grown up, he was no babe, he was able to carry wood enough to burn himself when he went to be sacrificed ; and therefore, sure he had strength : if Isaac had pleased, he might have ran away from the old man his father ; yet he suffers himself to be bound, and to be laid upon the wood. A true type of our Saviour : his also was a freewill offering, and so a sweet smelling sacrifice unto God. It being the highest active obedience, it presently pacifieth the wrath of his Father. “He humbled himself, and became obedient." This obedience of our Saviour is the matter and ground of our justification. “ Asby the offence of one, judgment came on all unto condemnation; so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came on all to justification of life." By the obedience of this blessed Saviour many are made righteous, so that now our Saviour's obedience followeth next.
Now this obedience is double. Active or passive.
1. Active ; and this was that whereby he did all the will of his Father. The reason why he came into the world, if we look to the place before alleged, will appear:“Wherefore', when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not have, but a body hast thou prepared me. In burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure; then said I, Lo I come, in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do thy will, O God.” When he cometh into the world, saith he, “Lo, I come:" For what? “to do thy will, O God." The reason why he came into the world, was,
* Rom. chap. 5. ver. 11.
m John, chap. 4. ver. 34. • Heb, chap. 10. ver. 5.