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and people. The blessings that flow to us from such covenant engagement, can make no difference in his essence; he possesses, independently of any such covenant, infinite wisdom, justice, purity, love, and truth; his love for his church is exactly like his father's love ; it dwelt in him from all eternity; he is the Alpha and Omega : he is described at the same time, Son and Lord, Root and Offspring. All this proclaims that all the perfections of God unite in humanity; God incarnate, everywhere present, and wholly present, every moment. In the light of the truth contained in the text, we shall perceive that this fulness of Christ is a mediatorial fulness—a fulness for God and for man. God derives from the obedience and sufferings of Christ an eternity of glory; all his perfections unite together and harmonize in Jesus. “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other."1 In Jesus, God is fully and eternally satisfied, “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” It was absolutely necessary that God should first be glorified. His holiness and justice are inseparable from his other perfections. Here we see the “wine, which cheereth God and man,”
i Psalm lxxxv. 10.
the blood of Christ that satisfies God and man. Now, if God be satisfied, why should not we be satisfied ? Apply this truth to your heart, my sorrowing brother, and you, my sorrowing sister, when a deep sense of your sinfulness oppresses you. There is a rebellion that sometimes assumes the garb of humility, it savours of pride, and is unwilling to surrender every plea of self-righteousness; but true humility involves an entire abasement of self, and an exaltation of Jesus. This truth of the mediatorial fulness of Christ, for God as well as for man, is taught throughout the whole of the Jewish Economy ; in which we always find a sacrifice is first made to God, and a blessing follows to man. This truth is plainly declared in Rom. iii. 25, 26, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness; that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” God was just in punishing his Son, and only just; if it is possible to conceive any suffering or penalty inflicted beyond what was strictly just, it must be cruelty, and this from God is absolutely impossible. Justice is equally shewn in satisfying God, and justifying the sinner. Some, in a desponding state, ask, “And is it possible God will visit such a sinner as I am?' Oh see what he has done to his Son! here is enough to satisfy the most guilty conscience ; here we see every fulness that man can want a fulness for the church of God—a fulness of righteousness to justify-a righteousness that satisfies God, that comprises in it all the perfections of the Deity--the glory of infinity and eternity-a righteousness far more exalted than if our nature had been preserved in its original purity.
Again-in Christ there is provided a fulness of rest, to support and comfort the most weak, imperfect, and disconsolate :--how richly has God provided for us all we want! and this, in a covenant sense, infinite ages before we came into a state of being :- look into scripture, and you will throughout see what Christ is both to God and man. In one respect, Christ is to his Church, what he is to the Father-that is, as a mediator, he gives himself as fully to his Church, as he gives himself to God :—the same justice that condemned Jesus, descends into the bosom of the believer, and directs him to the great atonement made for sin. By him, all things consist ;—by him, the believer is protected from every enemy within and without; by receiving of his mediatorial fulness he gives us eyes to perceive, and strength to fight against our enemies. “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” The winter is approaching, and every thing in the face of nature will appear as if it were perishing; but after a short time, if we live to see it, the sun will resume its power, and we shall again behold the earth re-appearing covered with beauty :—the sun does this by only shewing himself,—and so it is with the Sun of Righteousness : and oh, my brethren, what power must he have, by merely shewing himself, to transform the wilderness of Satan into the Eden of God! May we live in intimacy with that God incarnate, who alone transacts with his Heavenly Father the business of the souls of his people. God gives us many blessings, but Christ Jesus bestows upon us the blessing of blessings. He is the great blessing through whom every other blessing flows.
Again-whatever we may possess—however many, or dear, or valuable our friends, a time is coming when the best friend can do but little. Yes, when we come to die, may we find our fulness in him ; a fulness which it will be the delight and glory of heaven to behold and participate for ever.
"John i. 16.
Again—" It pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell.” Why? Because we are all emptiness: there is a vast void, caused by sin, in the natural soul;—God is banished thence; who, and who alone, can fill it?--Jesus. What we want we must come to him for; he filleth the hungry with good things, the rich he sends empty away. If you are disposed to shrink from him, remember, it is all your own doing: it is the sinful waywardness of a corrupt heart; it has no connexion with any purpose on God's part; it is quite irrespective of any decree.
Again- let it be observed, we are perpetually dependent upon him for every thing: the grace he has called into existence he must perpetually preserve: it is at once our duty and our privilege to be ever looking up to his fulness.
Again-He who thus partakes of the fulness of Christ will be very liberal to others :- freely he hath received-freely he must give.