Page images
PDF
EPUB

it. And how elfe could the law have juftly proceeded against Christ? How could our punishment have been, in justice, inflicted on him, if he had not had fuch a relation to our fin? If the law could not charge our fin on him, in virtue of his own voluntary undertaking, it could have no ground in juftice to inflict our punishment on him.

2. He became furety for their debt of duty or obedience; the which alfo is a debt according to the style of the holy fcripture, Gal. v. 3. A debtor to do the whole law. The law as a covenant of works, tho' it was broken by them, and they had incurred the penalty thereof, yet had neither loft its right, nor ceafed to exact of them the obedience which at first it required of man, as the condition of life. They were still bound to perfect obedience, and on no lower terms could have eternal life, as our Lord taught the lawyer for his humiliation, Luke x. 28. Thou haft anfwered right: this do, and thou shalt live. The paying of the debt of punishment might fatisfy as to the penalty of the bond; but there is yet more behind, for him who will meddle in the affairs of the broken company. How fhall the principal fum therein contained, be paid; namely the debt of obedience to the law, for life and falvation? The honour of God would not allow the quitting of it: and they were abfolutely unable to pay que mite of it, that would have been current in heaven; forafmuch as they were without strength, Rom. v. 6. and dead in trefpaffes and fins, Eph. ii. 1. quite as unfit for the doing part, as for the fuffering part. But Chrift became furety for this debt of theirs too, namely, the debt of obedience to the law as a covenant, which was, and is the only obedience to it for life; obliging himfelf to clear it by obeying in their room and stead, and fulfilling what the law could demand of them in this kind: Pfalm. 7, 8. Then faid I, Lo, I come--I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is

within my heart. Matth. iii. 15. Thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteoufnefs. Chap. v. 17. Think not that I am come to destroy the law.---I am not come to deftroy, but to fulfil.

And here alfo there was an exchange of perfons in law, Chrift fubftituting himself in their room, and taking their obligation on himfelf: in virtue of which he became the law's debtor for that obedience owing by them; and this he himself folemnly owned, by his being circumcised, Luke ii. 21. according to that of the Apofile, Gal. v. 3. I testify again to every man that is circumcifed, that he is a debitor to do the whole law. For becoming Surety for them in this' point alfo, he transferred on himself their ftate of fervitude, whereby the law had a right to exact that debt of him, which they, upon the breach of the covenant of works, were liable in payment of.

:

For clearing of this, it is to be confidered, that all mankind was by the first covenant, the covenant of works, constitute God's hired fervants; and actually entered to that their fervice, in their head the first Adam. And, in token hereof, we are all naturally inclined in that character to deal with God; though by the fall we are rendered incapable to perform the duty of it, Luke xv. 19. Make me as one of thy hired fervants. The work they were to work, was perfect obedience to the holy law the hire they were to have for their work, was life, Rom. x. 5. The man that doth thefe things, fhall live by them. The penalty of breaking away from their mafter, was bondage under the curfe, Gal. iii. 10. Curfed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But violating that covenant of hired service, they brake away from their Lord and Mafter; fo they not only lost all plea for the hire, but they became bond-men under the curfe; ftill obliged to make out their fervice, and that, Surthermore, in the misery of a state of E 3 fervitude

fervitude or bondage, Gal. iv. 24. These are the two covenants: the one from mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage. Their falling under the curfe, inferred the lofs of their liberty, and conftituted them bond-men: as appears from the nature of the thing, and inftances of the curfe in other cafes, as Gen. ix. 25. Curfed be Canaan; a fervant of fervants shall he be. Joshua ix. 23. Now therefore ye, (namely, the Gibeonites) are curfed, and there fhall none of you be freed from being bond-men. The very ground being curfed, (Gen. iii. 17.), falls under bondage, according to the fcripture, Rom. viii. 21.

Now, Chrift faw all his fpiritual feed in this flate of fervitude; but unable to bear the mifery of it, or to fulfil the fervice; and he put himself in their room, as they were bond-men; transferring their ftate of fervitude on himfelf, and fo fifting himself a bond-fervant for them.

[ocr errors]

The holy fcripture fets this matter in a clear light. That is a plain teftimony unto it, Philip. ii. 6, 7, 8. Who being in the form of God-took upon him the form of a fervant--and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. The form of a fervant which he took upon him, was the form of a bond-fervant. For fo the word in the original properly fignifies; being the fame word that is constantly used in that New Teftament phrafe, which we read bond or free, or bond and free, 1 Cor. xii. 13. Gal. iii. 28. Eph. vi. 8. Col. iii. 11. Rev. xiii. 16. and xix, 18. And the Apoftle leads us to understand it fo here, telling us that this great furety-fervant became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. The which kind of death was a Roman punishment, called by them, the fervile punishment, or punishment of bond-fervants; because it was the death that bond-men malefactors were ordinarily doomed unto; free men feldom, if ever, according to law. And forafmuch as his being in the form of God, denotes his-being very

God,

God, having the very nature and effence of God; for the form is that which effentially diftinguifheth things, and makes a thing to be precisely what it is: and this form is, according to the Apostle, the foundation of his equality with God his Father, which nothing really different from the divine effence, can be: Therefore his taking upon him the form of a bondfervant, muft neceffarily denote his becoming really a bond-fervant, as really as ever man did, who was brought into bondage, or a state of fervitude.

The Father folemnly declares the transferring of our ftate of fervitude on Chrift, fpeaking to him. under the name of Ifrael, as was cleared before, Ifa. xlix. 3. Thou art my fervant, O Ifrael, in whom I will be glorified. As if the Father had faid to him, "Son, be it known, it is agreed that I take thee in "the room and place of Ifrael, the fpiritual feed, to "perform the fervice due in virtue of the broken "original contract: Thou in their ftead art my fer"vant; my bond-fervant (as the word is rendered, "Lev. xxv. 39. and elsewhere); it is from thy hand "I will look for that fervice." Agreeable hereunto is the account we have of our redemption from the curfe, Gal. iii. 13. namely, that it was by Jefus Christ being made a curfe for us; for it is written, Curfed is every one that hangeth on a tree; the which Christ did, dying on a cross, the capital punishment of bond-men.

Behold the folemnity of the translation, Pfalm xl. 6. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not defire, mine ears haft thou opened. The word here rendered opened, properly fignifies digged, as may be seen in the margin of our Bibles; and fo the words are, Mine ears thou diggeft through; that is, boredft, as it is expreffed in our paraphrafe of the Pfalms in metre, Mine ears thou bor'd. This has a manifeft view to that law concerning the bond-fervant, Exod. xxi. 6. Then his mafter fhall bring him unto the judges; he E 4

Shall

Shall alfo bring him to the door, or unto the door post: and his master fhall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall ferve him for ever; that is, in the language of the law, till death. This is confirmed from Hofea iii. 2. So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of filver; which was the half of the ftated price of a bond woman, Exod. xxi. 32. In the original it is, So I digged her thro' to me; the fame word being here-ufed by the holy Ghoft, as Pfalm xl. 6. It is a pregnant word, which is virtually two in fignification: and the fenfe is, I bought her, and bored her ear to my door-poft, to be my bond woman; according to the law, Deut. xv. 17. Thou shalt take an aul, and thruft it through his ear unto the door, and he fhall be thy fervant for ever: and alfo unto thy maid-fervant thou shalt do likewife. That the boring of her ear as a bond-woman, was no wife inconfiftent with the prophet's betrothing of her to himfelf, Hofea iii. 3. appears from Exod. xxi. 8.

"

Jofeph was an eminent type of Christ as the Father's fervant. And it is obfervable, that he was firft a bond fervant, and then an honourary fervant. In the former ftate, being fold for a fervant, Pfalm cv. 17. he was a type of Chrift, a bond-fervant in his ftate of humiliation; whofe moft precious life was accordingly fold by Judas for thirty pieces of filver, the ftated price of the life of a bond-fervant: Exod. xxi. 32. If the ox shall push a man-fervant, or maid-fervant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekles of filver, and the ox shall be ftoned. In the latter ftate, being made ruler over all the land of Egypt, Pfalm cv. 21, 22. Gen. xli. 40. he was a type of Chrift, in that most honourable and glorious fervice or miniftry, which was conferred on him in his state of exaltation, wherein he was conftituted a fervant, for whofe law the ifles shall wait, Ifa. xlii. 1, 4.; God having given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jefus every knee

should

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »