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off; and they would have been snatched as brands out of the fire, in which, for want of this, they must burn for ever. Suppose what estate you will short of hell, we are by Christ recoverable out of it.
I shall instance in two particulars, wherein the very depth and bottom of our misery doth consist.
We are, by our sins, forfeited to the Justice and Vengeance of God: and he, that can imagine a greater misery than this, never knew what it was to fall into the hands of the Living God. We are in the possession of the Devil: and he is that strong man, that rules with rigour; and, unto him, we are all naturally become slaves and vassals. Now. when we are thus liable and obnoxious to the Wrath of God as our judge, and fallen into the hands of the Devil as our jailor, will it not be acknowledged, that Christ saves from the uttermost misery, if he can rescue us? Is there any, that can deliver us, when both God and the Devil and all the powers both of heaven and hell set themselves against us? Yes, the Lord Christ bath done it already.
(1) In respect of God, and of Divine Justice to which we •tood obnoxious, he hath fully satisfied and paid down an alU mfficient price for our deliverance. r
Therefore saith the Apostle, I Cor. vi. 20. We are all bought with a price, Sic. 1 Pet. i. 19. The precious blood of Christ* And this is such a price, as hath discharged for us the very utmost farthing of all that we owe to divine justice. And, therefore saith God, in Job xxxiii. 24. Deliver htm from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom: I have discharged him from the guilt of his sins, and obligation to punishment: I am fully satisfied.
(2) But, though the judge be thus satisfied, yet the Devil, the jailor, would fain retain the prisoner, and is resolved not to part with him upon these terms: he hath possession of him, and he rules in him and over him, and therefore rescue him who can. Therefore Christ saves us by conquest and plain force, in respect of the Devil. After he hath satisfied God, he subdues Satan, and completes the work of our redemption.
And, therefore, in Scripture, we read of the sufferings of Christ, by which our salvation is achieved, under both these notions. As Christ paid the price to Gods justice: Mat. xx. 29. He gave his life a ransom for many. 1 Tim. ii. 6. He gave himself a ransom for all. And as a victory gained over the Devil: Through death, Christ destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the Devil: Heb. ii. 14. Col. ii. 14, 15. Blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances, that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. And, having spoiled principalities and powers, he mode a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. He hath exposed the Devil and all the black host of hell to shame and Infamy, in having their prey so strangely plucked from them: and he triumphed over them in his cross; v. 15.
And thus he saves us, by ransom in respect of God, and by conquest in respect of the Devil: he saves us from the greatest misery imaginable, from the dungeon of the lowest hell. So long as your case is not so desperate as to be in hell, be your misery more or less, this makes no difference in respect of Christ, though it calls for greater love and thankfulness from you to him for your deliverance.
Seeing, therefore, that Christ is thus able to save us from the utmost and greatest misery, it appears that be is an All-sufficient Saviour.
2. As he is able to save us from the greatest misery, so he is able to relieve us in our greatest and most pressing Wants, be they inward or outward, be they corporal or spiritual.
My God can abundantly supply all your need, according to the riches of his glory by Christ Jesus: Phil. iv.. 19. Is it pardon you need? in Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace: Eph. i. 7. Is it peace with God? we have it with him, through Christ: Rom. v. 1. We have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Is it peace of conscience? The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus: Phil. iv. 7. Indeed Christ is such an overflowing fountain of all good, that he fills the empty and satisfies the thirsty: and all that rely upon him, He is able to save to the uttermost, yea all that come unto God by him.
iv. Another Demonstration of Christ's.all-sufficiency to save appears in this, in that He Is Able To Save, When None Else
He appears to save those, that come to God by him, when neither men nor angels dare stand up in their behalf; and, if they'did, they could not relieve or help them: then Christ interposeth.
And, as Christ alone procures salvation for us, so he alone can apply that salvation to us. And this he doth, more especially, at Two Seasons; when all others are but miserable helpers or comforters to us. As,
1. When the dreadful Terrors of the Almighty surround us. When God brandishes his sword over our heads; when he
makes deep wounds, and, instead of balm, pours into our consciences fire and brimstone; oh, what Saviour can then deliver us f then, when those insolent hopes and vain confidences of salvation, with which we formerly supported ourselves, forsake us? then, when our own righteousness, in which we formerly trusted, is as filthy garments; or, like a searcloth, encreaseth our torments? then, when all the pleasures and debaucheries of the world, that men have formerly delighted in, are only to them as if a person stung with wasps should apply honey to assuage the smart? So, truly, when their waspish consciences stung them with the guilt of sin, they sunk to the honey, to the sweet delights and pleasures of the world: but, now, this honey is turned into gall and wormwood: God and they are enemies: he hath dipped his arrows in the lake which burns for ever, and hath shot them all flaming into their souls; so that they are all of them but one wound: and what relief is there for them? A wounded spirit who can bear? Yet Christ bare it upon the cross, when he cried, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And he, that cured himself, can also cure another: this blood, poured into these wounds, is present remedy, and gives present ease and relief. And, therefore, as he designs to make peace between God and us, so likewise between man and himself; giving him that peace of conscience, which quiets and appeases: Isa. lxi. 1. It is no less work to reconcile man and conscience together upon good and warrantable grounds, than to reconcile God and man together: and it is only Christ's allsufficiency, that can do either.
2. Another season is, when we shall appear before the Tribunal of God, at the Last and Terrible Day. T
What a dreadful sight will it be, to behold and see heaven and earth all wallowing in flames; and angels flying through the air, and driving whole shoals of men before them to judgment; the Judge being set, the books opened; God, Conscience, and the Devil accusing; and all the world crying out, " Guilty, Guilty;" and the sentence passing on them accordingly, and! millions of them dragging to execution from the bar where they were condemned! You cannot then cry to your honours and dignities to save you; for you must all stand upon the same equal level. It is not your righteousness, that can then save you: no; the defects of it shall then be found part of your charge. What then is there to save you ? your guilt is manifest; your judge impartial: and, if once sentence is passed, the execution is speedy. And, certainly, now it is time for an Allsufficient Saviour to appear, when the whole world is burning about them, and hell under them; God frowning in their very faces, and the Devil attending them at their backs ready to hurry them away to torments. And, now, when there is no pity to be expected from angels or men, then Christ appears to be an Advocate, to answer for his, and to silence all the accusations produced against them: and, by his satisfaction and perfect righteousness, he brings them off with shouts, and the applause of glorious angels and saints.
And thus it appears he is able to save them, when none else can.
v. Christ is able to save to the uttermost, in that HE is Able
TO SAVE THOSE, THAT CONDEMN THEMSELVES, AND THINK THEIR OWN SALVATION A THING IMPOSSIBLE.
There is a twofold judging and condemning of one's self: one, in point of merit and desert; the other, in point of issue! and event: the one judgeth himself, as one now deserving condemnation; the other, that he must suffer it: the one, as due; the other, as unavoidable. Now Christ saves from both these; and that gloriously.
1. He saves those, that judge tkemselver worthy of eternal death.
Yea, indeed, he saves no other: 1 Cor. xi. 31. If we...judge ourselves, we shall not be judged. And why is this self-judging so necessary, in order to our being acquitted by God; but only because it is Christ's design in saving sinners, to glorify his exceeding great and all-sufficient power? and, therefore, we must acknowledge ourselves to be lost in ourselves, that so God's power may be owned to be exceeding great and glorious in Saving us.
2. Christ can save those, who do not only judge themselves worthy of eternal death, but those who judge themselves appointed t«it.
He can save those, who think it impossible that they should be saved. And, questionless, there is now many a soul in heaven, who on earth cried out, there was no hope, no mercy for them; that hell and wrath was their only portion. And this shews what an All-sufficient Saviour Christ is, who can save beyond our hopes, and contrary to our expectations.
And thus I have arrived at the end of the Demonstrations of Christ's All-sufficiency, to save from the greatest Misery, and to relieve us in our greatest and most pressing Wants. He is able to save us, when none else can; and jhe is able to save those, that condemn themselves, and think their own salvation a thing impossible: he is able, both to save fchose, that think themselves worthy of eternal death; and,vtho.se, tthat think .themselves appointed to it.
III. Having thus displayed, though weakly, the all-sufficiency of Christ to save, we will proceed to close up the subject, with some brief APPLICATION'of this doctrine.'
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This should teach us, TO Have Most High And Honourable
THOUGHTS OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHO IS THUS ALL-SUFFICIENT TQ SAVE. . . ,
Omnipotency, though it were but to destroy us, were justly the object of our dread and reverence; but omnipotency,-.to save, deserves our most affectionate esteem. It should ra^se wonder in us, when we consider God's power and goodness in the works of creation; but, when we contemplate the work cf redemption it should raise our wonder to an ecstasy. Chrjstjs alraigfity power was not so glorious, then, when he spake the world out of nothing; then, when he.lifted up the sun into the firmament, and kindled the stars as so many shining torches that dart forth light, upon the world and extend their influences tq^the whole universe; as when he appeared in flesh, despised and of no account, in the form of a servant, to accomplish the wonderful work of our redemption. What he did in the former, wes^jbjpr [the. association and joint-workmanship of the other persons of the Blessed Trinity ; but, in this, the whole work lay upon hjm: he trod the wine-press of his Father's wrath (alone. In the former, though he shewed his power to be great, yet he did not put it
VOL. ill. fi