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CHRISTIANITY MYSTERIOUS, AND THE WISDOM OF GOD IN
MAKING IT SO.
1 Cor. ii. 17. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery. P. 378.
The apostle's design here is to set forth the transcendent worth of the gospel by two qualifications eminently belonging to it, 378. viz.
I. That it is the wisdom of God, 379. a wisdom respecting speculation, and here principally relating to practice, 379. a wisdom as irresistibly powerful as it is infallible, 380.
II. That this wisdom is in a mystery, 381.
1. In the nature of the things treated of in the Christian religion, 381. which are of difficult apprehension for their greatness, 382. spirituality, 384. strangeness, 385. as may be exemplified in two principal articles of it, regeneration, 387. and the resurrection, 387.
2. In the ends of it, 388. It is as much the design of religion to oblige men to believe the credenda as to practise the agenda ; and there is as clear a reason for the belief of the one, as for the practice of the other, 389. But their mysteriousness, 1. Makes a greater impression of awe, 391. 2. Humbles the pride of men's reason, 394. 3. Engages us in a more diligent search, 396. 4. Will, when fully revealed, make part of our happiness hereafter, 399.
Thence we may learn in such important points of religion,
1. To submit to the judgment of the whole church in general, and of our spiritual guides in particular, 401.
2. Not to conclude every thing impossible, which to our reason is unintelligible, 404.
3. Nor by a vain presumption to pretend to clear up all mysteries in religion, 405.
THE LINEAL DESCENT OF JESUS OF NAZARETH FROM DA
VID BY HIS BLESSED MOTHER THE VIRGIN MARY.
REV. xxii. 16.
and morning star. P. 410.
I. In his divinity, the root of David, having a being before him, 411. a being which had no beginning, equal to his Father: though his divinity is denied by the Arians: and his preexistence to his humanity by the Socinians, 411.
II. In his humanity, the offspring of David, 417. being in St. Matthew's genealogy, naturally the son of David; and in that of St. Luke, legally the king of the Jews, 418.
III. The bright and morning star, 428. with relation,
1. To the nature of its substance; he was pure, without the least imperfection, 428.
2. To the manner of its appearance; he appeared small in his humanity, though he was the great almighty God. 430.
3. To the quality of its operation, 431. open and visible by his light, chasing away the heathenish false worship, the imperfect one of the Jews, and all pretended Messiahs, 431. secret and invisible by his influence, illuminating our judgment, bending our will, and at last changing the whole
JESUS OF NAZARETH PROVED THE TRUE AND ONLY PRO
JOHN i. 11.
No scripture has so directly and immoveably stood in the way of the several opposers of the divinity of our Saviour,
as this chapter, 438. whereof this text is a part: in which we have,
I. Christ's coming into the world, 439. who,
1. Was the second Person in the glorious Trinity, the ever blessed and eternal Son of God, 440.
2. Came from the bosom of his Father, and the incomprehensible glories of the Godhead, 444.
3. Came to the Jews, who were his own by right of consanguinity, 445.
4. When they were in their lowest estate, 448. national, 448. and ecclesiastical, 449. In which we may consider the invincible strength and the immoveable veracity of God's promise, 450.
II. Christ rejected by his own, 452. For the Jews'
1. Exceptions were, 1. That he came not as a temporal prince, 453. 2. That he set himself against Moses's law, 454.
2. The unreasonableness of which exceptions appears from this: 1. That the Messiah's blessings were not to be temporal, 455. and he himself, according to all the prophecies of scripture, was to be of a low, despised estate, 457. 2. That Christ came not to destroy, but to fulfil and abrogate Moses's law, 459.
3. The Jews had great reasons to induce them to receive him. For, 1. All the marks of the Messiah did most eminently appear in him, 460. 2. His whole behaviour among them was a continued act of mercy and charity, 462.
Lastly, the Jews are not the only persons concerned in this guilt, but also all vitious Christians, 463.
THE MESSIAH'S SUFFERINGS FOR THE SINS OF THE PEOPLE.
ISAIAH liii. 8.
For the transgression of my people was he stricken. P.468.
There are several opinions concerning the person here spoken of by the prophet, 469. But setting aside those of later interpreters, who differ even among themselves, 470. we may safely with all the ancients affirm him to be the Messiah, 474. and this Messiah to be no other than Jesus of Nazareth, 474. In these words we may consider,
I. That he was stricken ; his suffering, 474. in its latitude and extent, 475. in its intenseness and sharpness, 479. and in its author, which was God, 481.
II. That he was stricken for transgression; the quality of his suffering was penal and expiatory; he was punished for sins past, not to prevent sins for the future, 484. He bore our sins, his soul was made an offering for sin, 486. He was qualified to pay an equivalent compensation to the divine justice, by the infinite dignity and the perfect innocence of his
487. III. That he was stricken for God's people; the cause of his suffering, 488. Man's redemption proceeds upon a twofold covenant; one of suretyship, the other of grace, 489. and, without any violation of the divine justice, Christ suffered for men ; upon the account of his voluntary consent; and because of his relation to them, as he was their king and head, and their surety, 491.
Thence we should learn also to suffer for Christ, 1. By self-denial and mortification, 492.
2. By cheerfully undergoing troubles and afflictions in this world, 493.
Acts üi. 24.
because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. P. 496. The necessary
belief of a future state has been confirmed by revelation and exemplification, 497. chiefly in that of the resurrection of Christ, 499. whom
I. God hath raised up; such an action proclaiming an omnipotent cause, 500. And,
II. The manner of his being raised was by having loosed the pains of death, 501. with an explication of the word pains, 501. And,
III. The ground of his resurrection was the impossibility of his being holden of it, 505. which impossibility was founded upon,
1. The hypostatical union of Christ's human nature to his divine, 505.
2. The immutability of God, in respect of his eternal decree, 507. and of his promise, 509.
3. The justice of God, 511.
4. The necessity of Christ's being believed in as a Saviour, 512.
5. The nature of Christ's priesthood, 514.
THE CHRISTIAN PENTECOST, OR THE SOLEMN EFFUSION OF THE HOLY GHOST, IN THE SEVERAL MIRACULOUS
GIFTS CONFERRED BY HIM UPON THE APOSTLES
AND FIRST CHRISTIANS.
1 Cor. xii. 4. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. P.518.
The Holy Ghost, the design of whose mission was to confirm Christianity, did it by an effusion of miraculous gifts upon the first messengers of it, 518. In which we consider,
I. What those gifts were, 520. either,
1. Ordinary, conveyed to us by the mediation of our own endeavours, 520. or,
2. Extraordinary, immediately from God alone, 521. such as the gift of tongues, of healing the sick and raising the dead, of prophecy, 522. the continuation of which miraculous gifts in the church was but for a time, 523.
II. The diversity of those gifts, 528. which consisted,
III. The consequences of their emanation from one and the same Spirit, 537, which are,