Flavel, Fountain of Life, File 38.
( ...continued from File 37)
Sermon 38. Wherein four weighty Ends of Christ's Humiliation are 
opened, and particularly applied. 
Isa. 53:11 
He shall see the travail of his soul, and be satisfied. 
    We are now arrived at the last particular place which we 
designed to speak to in Christ's state of humiliation, namely, the 
designs and blessed ends for which he was so deeply abased. It is 
inconsistent with the prudence of a common agent, to be at vast 
expenses of time, pains, and cost, and not to propound to himself a 
design worthy of all those expenses. And it is much less imaginable, 
that Christ should so stupendously abase himself, by stooping from 
the bosom of his Father to the state of the dead, where our last 
discourse left him, it there had not been some excellent and 
glorious thing in his eye, the attainment whereof might give him a 
content and satisfaction, equivalent to all the sorrows and 
abasements he endured for it. 
    And so much is plainly held forth in this scripture, "He shall 
see the travail of his soul, and be satisfied." In which words three 
things fall under our consideration. 
    First, The travailing pangs of Christ. So the agonies of his 
soul and torments of his body are fitly called, not only because of 
the sharpness and acuteness of them, being in that respect like the 
sharpness and acuteness of them, being in that respect like birth- 
pangs of a travailing women, for so this word signifies, but also 
because they fore-run, and make way for the birth, which abundantly 
recompenses all those labours. I shall not here insist upon the 
pangs and agonies endured by Christ in the garden, or upon the 
cross, which the prophet stiles "the travail of his soul," having, 
in the former sermons, opened it largely in its particulars, but 
pass to the 
    Second Thing considerable in these words, and that is the 
assured fruits and effects of this his travail; he shall see the 
travail of his soul. By seeing, understand the fruition, obtainment, 
or enjoyment of the end of his sufferings. He shall not shed his 
blood upon an hazard; his design shall not miscarry; but he shall 
certainly see the ends he aimed at, accomplished. 
    And Thirdly, This shall yield him great satisfaction: as a 
"woman forgets her sorrow, for joy that a man is born into the 
world," John 16: 21. he shall see it and be satisfied. As God, when 
he had finished the work of creation, viewed that his work with 
pleasure and satisfaction; so does our exalted Redeemer, with great 
contentment, behold the happy issues of his hard sufferings. It 
affords pleasure to a man to see great affairs, by orderly conduct, 
brought to happy issues. Much more does it yield de light to Jesus 
Christ to see the results of the most profound wisdom and love 
wherein he carried on redemption work. All runs into this doctrine, 
    Doct. That all the blessed designs and ends for which the Lord 
    Jesus Christ humbles himself to the death of the cross, shall 
    certainly be attained, to his full content and satisfaction. 
    My present business is not to prove, that Christ shall 
certainly obtain what he died for; nor to open the great 
satisfaction and pleasure which will arise to him out of those 
issues of his death, but to point at the principal ends of his 
death: making some brief improvement as we pass along. 
    First, Then let us enquire into the designs and ends of 
Christ's humiliation, at least the main and principal ones; and we 
shall find, that as the sprinkling of the typical blood in the Old 
Testament was done for four weighty ends or uses, answerable, the 
precious and invaluable blood of the Testator and surety of the New 
Testament is shed for four weighty ends also. 
    First, That blood was shed and applied to deliver from danger; 
Exod. 12: 13. "And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the 
houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over 
you: and the plague shall not be upon you, to destroy you, when I 
smite the land of Egypt." 
    Secondly, The blood that was shed to make an atonement betwixt 
God and the people; Lev. 4: 20. "And he shall do with the bullock as 
he did with the bullock for a sin-offering; so shall he do with 
this, and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall 
be forgiven them." 
    Thirdly, That blood was shed to purify persons from their 
ceremonial pollutions, Lev. 14: 6, 7. "He shall dip the cedar wood, 
and scarlet, and hyssop, with the living bird, in the blood of the 
bird that was killed over the running water, and he shall sprinkle 
upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times; and 
shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in 
the open field." 
    Fourthly, That blood was shed to ratify and confirm the 
testament or covenant of God with the people, Exod. 24: 8. "And 
Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, 
"Behold the blood of the covenant, which the God has made with you 
concerning all these words." These were the four main ends for 
shedding and sprinkling, that typical blood. Suitably, there are 
four principal ends for shedding and applying Christ's blood. As 
that typical blood was shed to deliver from danger, so this was shed 
to deliver from wrath, even the wrath to come. That was shed to make 
an atonement, so was this. That was shed to purify persons from 
uncleanness, so was this. That was shed to confirm the Testament, so 
was this. As will appear in the following particulars more at large. 
    First, One principal design and end of shedding the blood of 
Christ was to deliver his people from danger, the danger of that 
wrath which burns down to the lowest hell. So you find, 1 Thess. 
1:10, "Even Jesus who delivered us from wrath to come." Here our 
misery is both specified and aggravated. Specified, in calling it 
wrath, a word of deep and dreadful signification. The damned best 
understand the importance of that word. And aggravated, in calling 
it wrath to come, or coming wrath. Wrath to come implies both the 
futurity and perpetuity of this wrath. It is wrath that shall 
certainly and inevitably come upon sinners. As sure as the night 
follows the day, as sure as the winter follows the summer, so shall 
wrath follow sin, and the pleasures thereof. Yea, it is not only 
certainly future, but when it comes it will be abiding wrath, or 
wrath still coming. When millions of years and ages are past and 
gone, this will still be wrath to come. Ever coming as a river ever 
    Now from this wrath to come, has Jesus delivered his people by 
his death. For that was the price laid down for their redemption 
from the wrath of the great and terrible God, Rom. 5: 9. "Much more 
then, being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath 
through him." The blood of Jesus was the price that ransomed man 
from this wrath. And it was shed not only to deliver them from wrath 
to come, but to deliver them freely, fully, distinguishingly, and 
wonderfully from it. 
    First, Freely, by his own voluntary interposition and 
susception oft the mediatorial office, moved thereunto by his own 
bowels of compassion, which yearned over his elect in their misery. 
The saints were once a lost generation, that had sold themselves, 
and their inheritance also; and had not wherewithal to redeem 
either: but they had a near kinsman (even their elder brother by the 
mother's side) to whom the right of redemption did belong who being 
a mighty man of wealth, the heir of all things, undertook to be 
their God; and out of his own proper substance to redeem both them 
and their inheritance. Them, to be his own inheritance, Eph. 1: 10. 
and heaven, to be theirs, 1 Pet. 1: 4. All this he did most freely, 
when none made supplication to him. No sighing of the prisoners came 
before him. He designed it for us before we had a being. And when 
the purposes of his grace were come to their parturient fulness, 
then did he freely lay out the infinite treasures of his blood to 
purchase our deliverance from wrath. 
    Secondly, Christ by death has delivered his people fully. A 
full deliverance it is, both in respect of time and degrees. A full 
deliverance in respect of time. It was not a reprieve, but a 
deliverance. He thought it not worth the shedding of his blood to 
respite the execution for a while. Nay, in the procurement of their 
eternal deliverance from wrath, and in the purchase of their eternal 
inheritance, he has but an even bargain, not a jot more than his 
blood was worth. Therefore is he become "the author of eternal 
salvation to them that obey him," Heb. 5: 9. And as it is full in 
respect of time, so likewise in respect of degrees. He died not to 
procure a mitigation or abatement of the rigour or severity of the 
sentence, but to rescue his people fully from all degrees of wrath. 
So that there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ, Rom. 8: 
1. All the wrath of God to the last drop, was squeezed out into that 
bitter cup which Christ drank off, and wrung out the very dregs 
    Thirdly, This deliverance obtained for us by the death of 
Christ is a special and distinguishing deliverance. Not common to 
all, but peculiar to some; and they by nature no better than those 
that are left under wrath. Yea, as to natural disposition, moral 
qualifications, and external endowments, oftentimes far inferior to 
them that perish. How often do we find a moral righteousness, an 
harmless innocence, a pretty ingenuity, a readiness to all offices 
of love, in them that sue notwithstanding left under the dominion of 
other lusts, and under the damning sentence of the law; whilst on 
the other side, proud, peevish, sensual, morose, and unpolished 
natures, are chosen to be the subjects of this salvation? "You see 
your calling, brethren," 1 Cor. 1: 26. 
    Fourthly and lastly, It is a wonderful salvation. It would 
weary the arm of an angel to write down all the wonders that are in 
this salvation. That ever such a design should be laid, such a 
project of grace contrived in the heart of God, who might have 
suffered the whole species to perish. That it should only concern 
man, and not the angels, by nature more excellent than us; that 
Christ should be pitched upon to go forth upon this glorious design. 
That he should effect it in such a way, by taking our nature and 
suffering the penalty of the law therein. That our deliverance 
should be wrought out and finished when the Redeemer and his design 
seemed both to be lost and perished. These with many more are such 
wonders as will take up eternity itself to search, admire, and adore 
    Before I part from this first end of the death of Christ, give 
me leave to deduce two useful corollaries from it, and then proceed 
to a second. 
    Coroll. 1. Hath Christ by death delivered his people from the 
wrath to come? How ungrateful and disingenuous a thing must it be 
then for those that have obtained such a deliverance as this, to 
repine and grudge at those light afflictions they suffer for a 
moment upon Christ's account in this world! 
    Alas! what are these sufferings, that we should grudge at them? 
Are they like those which the Redeemer suffered for our deliverance? 
Did ever any of us endure for him what he endured for us? Or is 
there any thing you can suffer for Christ in this world, comparable 
to this wrath to come, which you must have endured, had he not, by 
the price of his own blood, rescued you from it. 
    Readers wilt thou but make the comparison in thine own 
thoughts, in the following particulars, and then pronounce when thou 
best duly compared. 
    First, What is the wrath of man to the wrath of God? What is 
the arm of a creature to the anger of a Deity? Can man thunder with 
an arm like God? 
    Secondly, What are the sufferings of the vile body here, to the 
tortures of a soul and body in hell? The torments of the soul, are 
the very soul of torments 
    Thirdly, What are the troubles of a moment to that wrath, 
which, after millions of years are gone, will still be called wrath 
to come? O what comparison betwixt a point of hasty time, and the 
interminable duration of vast eternity! 
    Fourthly, What comparison is there betwixt the intermitting 
sorrows and sufferings of this life, and the continued uninterrupted 
wrath to come? Our troubles here are not constant, there are 
gracious relaxations, lucid intervals here; but the wrath to come 
allows not a moment's case or mitigation. 
    Fifthly, What light and easy troubles are those, which, being 
put into the rank and order of adjuvant causes, work under the 
influence and blessing of the first cause, to the everlasting good 
of them that love God, compared with that wrath to come, out of 
which no good effects or issues are possible to proceed to the souls 
on which it lies? 
    Sixthly, and lastly, How much more comfortable is it, to suffer 
in fellowship with Christ and his saints for righteousness sake, 
than to suffer with devils and reprobates for wickedness sake? 
Grudge not then, O ye that are delivered by Jesus from wrath to 
come, at any thing ye do suffer, or shall suffer from Christ, or for 
Christ in this world. 
    Corol. 2. If Jesus Christ has delivered his people from the 
wrath to come, how little comfort can any man take in this present 
enjoyments and accommodations in the world, whilst it remains a 
question with him, whether he be delivered from the wrath to come? 
It is well for the present, but will it be so still? Man is a 
prospecting creature, and it will not satisfy him that his present 
condition is comfortable, except he have some hopes it shall be so 
hereafter. It can afford a man little content that all is easy and 
pleasant about him now, whilst such passages and terrible hints of 
wrath to cone are given him by his own conscience daily. O, methinks 
such a thought as this, what if I am reserved for the wrath to come? 
should be to him, as the fingers appearing upon the plaster of the 
wall were to Belteshazzar in the height of a frolic. It is a custom 
with some of the Indians, when they have taken a prisoner (whom they 
intend not presently to eat) to bring him with great triumph into 
the village, where he dwelleth that has taken him; and placing him 
in the house of one that was slain in the wars, as it were to re- 
celebrate his funeral, they give him his wives or sisters to attend 
on him, and use at his pleasure: they apparel him gorgeously, and 
feed him with all the dainty meats that may be had; affording him 
all the pleasure that can be devised; when he has passed certain 
months in all these pleasures, and (like a capon) is made fat with 
delicate fare, they assemble themselves upon some festival day, and 
in great pomp bring him to the place of execution, where they kill 
and eat him. 
    Such are all the pleasures and enjoyments of the wicked, which 
feed them for the day of slaughter. How little stomach can a man 
have to those dainties that understands the end and meaning of them! 
Give not sleep therefore to thine eyes, reader, till thou hast got 
good evidence, that thou art of that number whom Jesus has delivered 
from the wrath to come. Till thou canst say, he is a Jesus to thee. 
This may be made out to thy satisfaction three ways. 
    First, If Jesus have delivered thee from sin, the cause of 
wrath, thou mayest conclude he has delivered thee from wrath, the 
effect and fruit of sin. Upon this account the sweet name of Jesus, 
was imposed upon him, Mat. 1: 21. "Thou shalt call his name Jesus, 
for he shall save his people from their sins." Whilst a man lies 
under the dominion and guilt of sin, he lies exposed to wrath to 
come; and when he is delivered from the guilt and power of sin, he 
is certainly delivered from the danger of this coming wrath. Where 
sin is not imputed, wrath is not threatened. 
    Secondly, If thy soul do set an inestimable value on Jesus 
Christ, and be endeared to him upon the account of that 
inexpressible grace manifested in this deliverance, it is a good 
sign thy soul has a share in it. Mark what an epithet the saints 
give Christ upon this account, Col. 1: 12, 13. "Giving thanks to the 
Father, who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and 
translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." Christ is therefore 
dear and dear beyond all compare to his saved ones. I remember it is 
storied of the poor enthralled Grecians, that when Titus Flaminius 
had restored their ancient liberties, and proclamation was to be 
made in the marketplace by an herald; they so pressed to hear it, 
that the herald was in great danger of being stifled and pressed to 
death among the people; but when the proclamation was ended, there 
were heard such shouts and joyful acclamations, that the very birds 
of the air fell down astonished with the noise, while they continued 
to cry, "Soter, Sorter", a Saviour, a Saviour; and all the following 
night they continued dancing and singing about his pavilion. 
    If such a deliverance so endeared them to Titus, how should the 
great deliverance from wrath to come, endear all the redeemed to 
love their dear Jesus? This is the native effect of mercy upon the 
soul that has felt it. 
    Thirdly. To conclude, A disposition and readiness of mind to 
do, or endure any thing for Christ's sake, upon the account of his 
deliverance from the wrath to come; is a good evidence you are so 
delivered, Col. 1: 10, 11. "That we may walk worthy of the Lord to 
all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work." There is readiness 
to do for Christ. "Strengthened with all might, according to his 
glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with 
joyfulness." There is a cheerful readiness to endure any thing for 
Christ. And how both these flow from the sense of this great 
deliverance from wrath, the 12th verse will inform you, which was 
but now cited. O then, be serious and assiduous in the resolution of 
this grand case. Till this be resolved, nothing can be pleasant to 
thy soul. 
    End 2. As the typical blood was shed and sprinkled to deliver 
from danger, so it was shed to make atonement, Lev. 4: 20. "He shall 
expiate (we translate atone) the sin." The word imports both. And 
the true meaning is, that by the blood of the bullock, all whose 
efficacy stood in its relation to the blood of Christ, signified and 
shadowed by it, the people, for whom it was shed, should be 
reconciled to God, by the expiation and remission of their sins. And 
what was shadowed in this typical blood, was really designed and 
accomplished by Jesus Christ, in the shedding of his blood. 
    Reconciliation of the elect to God, is therefore another of 
those beautiful births which Christ travailed for. So you find it 
expressly, Rom. 5: 10. "If when we were enemies, we were reconciled 
to God by the death of his Son." This [if] is not a word of 
doubting, but argumentation. The apostle supposes it is a known 
truth, or principle yielded by all Christians, that the death of 
Christ was to reconcile the elect to God. And again he affirms it 
with like clearness, Col. 1: 20. "And having made peace by the blood 
of his cross, by him to reconcile all things." And that this was a 
main and principal end designed both by the Father and Son in the 
humiliation of Christ, is plain from 2 Cor. 5: 18, 19. "God was in 
Christ reconciling the world to himself." God filled the humanity 
with grace and authority. The Spirit of God was in him to qualify 
him. The authority of God was in him by commission, to make all he 
did valid. The grace and love of God to mankind was in him, and one 
of the principal effects in which it was manifested, was this design 
upon which he came, viz. to reconcile the world to God. Upon which 
ground Christ is called the "propitiation for our sins," 1 John 2: 
2. "Now reconciliation or atonement is nothing else but the making 
up of the ancient friendship betwixt God and men which sin had 
dissolved, and so to reduce these enemies into a state of concord, 
and sweet agreement." And the means by which this blessed design was 
effectually compassed, was by the death of Christ, which made 
complete satisfaction to God, for the wrong he had done him. There 
was a breach made by sin betwixt God and angels, but that breach is 
never to be repaired or made up; since, as Christ took not on him 
their nature, so he never intended to he a mediator of 
reconciliation betwixt God and them. That will be an eternal breach. 
But that which Christ designed, as the end of his death, was to 
reconcile God and man. Not the whole species, but a certain number, 
whose names were given to Christ. Here I must briefly open, 1. How 
Christ's death reconciles. 2. Why this reconciliation is brought 
about by his death, rather than any other way. 3. What are the 
articles according to which it is made. And 4. What manner of 
reconciliation this is. 
    First, How Christ reconciles God and man by his death. And it 
must needs be by the satisfaction his death made to the justice of 
God for our sins. And so, reparation being made, the enmity ceases. 
Hence it is said, Isa. 53: 5. "the chastisement of our peace was 
upon him, and by his stripes we are healed." That is (as our English 
Annotators well explain it) he was chastised to procure our peace, 
by removal of our sins, that set God and us asunder, the guilt 
thereof being discharged with the price of his blood. 
    Now this reconciliation is made and continued betwixt God and 
us, three ways; namely, by the oblation of Christ, which was the 
price that procured it, and so we were virtually meritoriously 
reconciled. By the application of Christ and his benefits to us 
through faith, and so we are actually reconciled. And by the virtual 
continuation of the sacrifice of Christ in heaven, by his potent and 
eternal intercession, and so our state of reconciliation is 
confirmed, and all future breaches prevented. But all depends, as 
you see, upon the death of Christ. For had not Christ died, his 
death could never be applied to us, nor pleaded in heaven for us. 
How the death of Christ meritoriously procures our reconciliation, 
is evident from that fore-cited scripture, Rom. 5: 10. "When we were 
enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son," i.e. 
Christ's death did meritoriously or virtually reconcile us to God, 
who, as to our state, were enemies long after that reconciliation 
was made. That the application of Christ to us by faith, makes that 
virtual reconciliation to become actual, is plain enough from Eph. 
2: 16, 17. "And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by 
the cross, having slain the enmity thereby. And came and preached 
peace to you that were afar off, and to them that were nigh." Now 
therefore (as it is added, verse 19.) "Ye are no more strangers and 
foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints," &c. And that this 
state of friendship is still continued by Christ's intercession 
within the vail, so that there can be no breaches made upon the 
state of our peace, notwithstanding all the daily provocations we 
give God by our sins, is the comfortable truth which the apostle 
plainly asserts, after he had given a necessary caution to prevent 
the abuse of it, in 1 John 2: 1, 2. "My little children, these 
things I write unto you that ye sin not; and if any man sin, we have 
an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is 
the propitiation," &c. Thus Christ reconciles us to God by his 
    Secondly, And if you enquire why this reconciliation was made 
by the death of Christ, rather than any other way, satisfaction is 
at hand, in these two answers. 
    First, That we can imagine no other way by which it could be 
compassed. And, 
    Secondly, If God could have reconciled us as much by another 
way, yet he could not have obliged us so much by doing it in another 
way, as he has by doing it this way. Surely, none but he that was 
God manifested in our flesh could offer a sacrifice of sufficient 
value to make God amends for the wrong done him by one sin, much 
less for all the sins of the elect. And how God should (especially 
after a peremptory threatening of death for sin) readmit us into 
favour without full satisfaction, cannot be imagined. He is indeed 
inclined to acts of mercy, but none must suppose him to exercise one 
attribute in prejudice to another. That his justice must be 
eclipsed, whilst his mercy shines. But allow that Infinite Wisdom 
could have found out another means of reconciling us as much, can 
you imagine, that in any other way he could have obliged us as much, 
as he has done by reconciling us to himself by the death of his own 
Son? It cannot be thought possible. This therefore was the most 
effectual, just, honourable, and obliging way to make up the peace 
betwixt him and us. 
    Thirdly, This reconciliation, purchased by the blood of Christ, 
is offered unto men by the gospel, upon certain articles and 
conditions; upon the performance whereof it actually becomes theirs; 
and without which, notwithstanding all that Christ has done and 
suffered, the breach still continues betwixt them and God. And let 
no man think this a derogation from the freeness and riches of 
grace, for these things serve singularly to illustrate and commend 
the grace of God to sinners. 
    As he consulted his own glory, in the terms on which he offers 
us our peace with him: so it is his grace which brings up souls to 
those terms of reconciliation. And surely he has not suspended the 
mercy of our reconciliation upon unreasonable or impossible 
conditions. He has not said, if you will do as much for me, as you 
have done against me, I will be at peace with you; but the two grand 
articles of peace with God, are repentance and faith. In the first, 
we lay down arms against God, and it is meet it should be so, before 
he readmits us into a state of peace and favour; in the other, we 
accept Christ and pardon through him with a thankful heart, Yielding 
up ourselves to his government, which is equally reasonable. 
    These are the terms on which we are actually reconciled to God. 
"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his 
thoughts; and let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on 
him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." So Rom. 5: 1. 
"Being justified by faith, we have peace with God." And surely it 
would not become the holy God to own, as his friend and favourite, a 
man that goes on perversely and impenitently in the way of sin; not 
so much as acknowledging, or once bewailing the wrong he has done 
him, purposing to do so no more; or to receive into amity one that 
slights and rejects the Lord Jesus, whose precious blood was shed to 
procure and purchase peace and pardon for sinners. 
    But if there be any poor soul, that saith in his heart, it 
repents me for sinning against God, and is sincerely willing to come 
to Christ, upon gospel-terms, he shall have peace. And that peace, 
    Fourthly, Is no common peace. The reconciliation which the Lord 
Jesus died to procure for broken-hearted believers, it is, 
    First, A firm well-bottomed reconciliation, putting the 
reconciled soul beyond all possibility of coming under God's wrath 
any more, Isa. 54: 10. "Mountains may depart, and hills be removed, 
but the covenant of this peace cannot be removed." Christ is a 
surety, by way of caution, to prevent the new breaches, 2 John 1: 2. 
    Secondly, This reconciliation with God is the fountain out of 
which all our other comforts flow to us; this is plainly included in 
those words of Eliphaz to Job, chap. 22: 21. "Acquiant now thyself 
with him, and be at peace, thereby good shall come upon thee." As 
trade flourishes, and riches come in when peace is made betwixt 
states and kingdoms; so all spiritual and temporal mercies flow into 
our bosoms, when once we are reconciled to God. What the comfort of 
such a peace will be in a day of straits and dangers, and what it 
will be valued at in a dying day, who but he that feels it can 
declare? And yet such an one cannot fully declare it, for it passes 
all understanding, Phil. 4: 7. We shall now make some improvements 
of this, and pass on to the third end of the death of Christ. 
    Inference 1. If Christ died to reconcile God and man, how 
horrid an evil then is sin! And how terrible was that breach made 
betwixt God and the creature by it, which could no other way be made 
up by the death of the Son of God! I remember I have read, that when 
a great chasm or breach was made in the earth by an earthquake, and 
the oracle was consulted how it might be closed; this answer was 
returned, That breach can never be closed, except something of great 
worth be thrown into it. Such a breach was that which sin made, it 
could never be reconciled but by the death of Jesus Christ, the most 
excellent thing in all the creation. 
    Inf. 2. How sad is the state of all such as are not comprised 
in the articles of peace with God! The impenitent unbeliever is 
excepted. God is not reconciled to him; and if God be his enemy, how 
little avails it, who is his friend? For, if God be a man's enemy, 
he has an Almighty enemy in him, whose very frown is destruction, 
Deut. 32: 40, 41, 42, "I lift up my hand to heaven and say, I live 
for ever. If I whet my glittering sword, and my hand take hold on 
judgement, I will render vengeance to my enemies, and I will reward 
them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, (and my 
sword shall devour flesh) and that with the blood of the slain and 
the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy." 
    Yea, he is an unavoidable enemy. Fly to the utmost parts of the 
earth, there shall his hand reach thee, as it is Psal. 139: 10. The 
wings of the morning cannot carry thee out of his reach. If God be 
your enemy, you have an immortal enemy, who lives for ever to avenge 
himself upon his adversaries. And what wilt thou do when thou art in 
Saul's case? 1 Sam. 28: 15, 16. Alas, whither wilt thou turn? To 
whom wilt thou complain? But what wilt thou do, when thou shalt 
stand at the bar, and see that God, who is thine enemy, upon the 
throne? Sad is their case indeed, who are not comprehended in the 
articles of peace with God. 
    Inf. 3. If Christ died to reconcile us to God, give diligence 
to clear up to your own souls, your interest in this reconciliation. 
It Christ thought it worth his blood to purchase it, it is worth 
your care and pains to clear it. And what can better evidence it, 
than your conscientious tenderness of sin, lest you make new 
breaches. Ah, if reconciled, you will say, as Ezra 9: 14. "And now 
our God, seeing thou hast given us such a deliverance as this; 
should we again break thy commandments?" If reconciled to God, his 
friends will be your friends, and his enemies your enemies. If God 
be your friend, you will be diligent to please him, John 15: 10, 14. 
He that makes not peace with God is an enemy to his own soul. And he 
that is at peace, but takes no pains to clear it, is an enemy to his 
own comfort. But I must pass from this to the third end of Christ's 
    End 3. You have seen two of those beautiful births of Christ's 
travail, and lo, a third comes, namely, The sanctification of his 
people. Typical blood was shed, as you heard, to purify them that 
were unclean; and so was the blood of Christ shed to purge away the 
sins of his people: so speaks the apostle expressly, Eph. 5: 25, 26. 
"Christ gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify and 
cleanse it." And so he tells us himself, John 17: 29. "And for their 
sakes I sanctify myself," i.e. consecrate or devote myself to death, 
"That they also might be sanctified through the truth." Upon the 
account of this benefit received by the blood of Christ, is that 
Doxology, which, in a lower strain, is now sounded in the churches, 
but will be matter of the Lamb's song in heaven, Rev. 1: 5, 6. "To 
him that loved us, and washed us from our sins, in his own blood, - 
be glory and honour for ever." Now, there is a twofold evil in sin, 
the guilt of it, and the pollution of it. Justification properly 
cures the former, sanctification the latter; but both justification 
and sanctification flow unto sinners out of the death of Christ. And 
though it is proper to say the Spirit sanctifies, yet, it is 
certain, it was the blood of Christ that procured for us the Spirit 
of sanctification. Had not Christ died, the Spirit had never come 
down from heaven upon any such design. 
    The pouring forth of Christ's blood for us, obtained the 
pouring forth of the spirit of holiness upon us. Therefore the 
Spirit is said to come in his name, and to take of his, and shew it 
unto us. Hence it is said, 1 John 5: 6. "He came both by blood and 
by water;" by blood, washing away the guilt; by water, purifying 
from the filth of sin. Now this fruit of Christ's death, even our 
sanctification, is a most incomparable mercy. For, do but consider a 
few particular excellencies of holiness. 
    First, Holiness is the image and glory of God. His image, Col. 
3: 10. and his glory, Exod. 15: 11. "Who is like unto thee, O Lord, 
glorious in holiness." Now, when the guilt and filth of sin are 
washed off, and the beauty of God put upon the soul in 
sanctification, O what a beautiful creature is the soul now! So 
lovely in the eyes of Christ, even in its imperfect holiness, that 
he saith, Cant. 6: 5. "Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have 
overcome me." So we render it, but the Hebrew word signifies, "they 
have made me proud, or puffed me up. It is beam of divine glory upon 
the creature, enamouring the very heart of Christ. 
    Secondly, As it is the soul's highest beauty, so it is the 
soul's best evidence for heaven. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for 
they shall see God," Matt. 5: 8. "And without holiness no man shall 
see God," Heb. 12: 14. No gifts, no duties, no natural endowments 
will evidence a right in heaven, but the least measure of true 
holiness will secure heaven to the soul. 
    Thirdly, As holiness is the soul's best evidence for heaven, so 
it is a continual spring of comfort to it in the way thither. The 
poorest and sweetest pleasures in this world are the results of 
holiness, "till we come to live holy, we never live comfortably. 
Heaven is epitomised in holiness. 
    Fourthly, And to say no more; it is the peculiar mark by which 
God has visibly distinguished his own from other men, Psal. 4: 3 
"The Lord has set apart him that is godly for himself," q. d. this 
is the man, and that the woman, to sham I intend to do good for 
ever. This is a man for me. O holiness, how surpassingly glorious 
art thou! 
    Inference 1. Did Christ die to sanctify his people, how deep 
then is the pollution of sin, that nothing but the blood of Christ 
can cleanse it! All the tears of a penitent simmer, should he shed 
as many as there have fallen drops of rain since the creation to 
this day, cannot wash away one sin. The everlasting burnings in hell 
cannot purify the flaming conscience from the least sin. O guess at 
the wound by the largeness and length of this tent that follows the 
mortal weapons, Sin. 
    Inf. 2. Did Christ die to sanctity his people? Behold then the 
love of a Saviour. "He loved us, and washed us from our sins in his 
own blood." He did not shed the blood of beasts, as the priests of 
old did, but his own blood, Heb. 9: 12. And that not common, but 
precious blood, 1 Pet. 1: 1, 19. The blood at God; one drop of which 
out-values the blood that runs in the veins of all Adam's posterity. 
And not some of that blood, but all, to the last drop. He bled every 
vein dry for us: and what remained lodged about the heart of a dead 
Jesus, was let out by that bloody spear which pierced the 
Pericardium: so that he bestowed the whole treasure of his blood 
upon us. And thus liberal was he of his blood to us when we were 
enemies. This then is that heavenly Pelican that feeds his young 
with his own blood. O what manner of love is this! But I must 
    End 4. As Christ died to sanctify his people; so he died also 
to confirm the New Testament to all those sanctified ones. So it was 
in the type, Exod. 24: 8. and so it is in the text. "This is the New 
Testament in my blood," Mat. 26: 28. i.e. ratified and confirmed by 
my blood. For, where a testament is, there must also of necessity be 
the death of the testator, Heb. 9: 16. So that now all the blessings 
and benefits bequeathed to believers in the last will and testament 
of Christ, are abundantly confirmed and secured to them by his 
death. Yea, he died on purpose to make that testament of force to 
them. Men make their wills and testaments, and Christ makes his. 
What they bequeath, and give in their wills, is a free and voluntary 
act, they cannot be compelled to do it. And what is bequeathed to us 
in this testament of Christ, is altogether a free and voluntary 
donation. Other testators use to bequeath their estates to their 
wives and children, and near relations; so does this testator; all 
is settled upon his spouse, the church, upon believers, his 
children. A stranger intermeddles not with these mercies. They give 
all their goods and estates, that can that way be conveyed, to their 
friends that survive them. Christ giveth to his church, in the New 
Testament, three sorts of goods. 
    First, All temporal good things, 1 Tim. 6: 1. Matt. 6: 33. i.e. 
the comfort and blessing of all, though not the possession of much. 
"As having nothing, and yet possessing all things," 2 Cor. 6: 10. 
    Secondly, All spiritual good things are bequeathed to them in 
this testament, as remission of sin, and acceptation with God, which 
are contained in their justification, Rom. 3: 24, 25, 26. 
Sanctification of their natures, both initial and progressive, 1 
Cor. 1: 30. Adoption into the family of God, Gal. 3: 26. The 
ministry of angels, Heb. 1: 14. Interest in all the promises, 2 Pet. 
1: 4. Thus all spiritual good things are in Christ's testament 
conveyed to them. And as all temporal and spiritual, so, 
    Thirdly, All eternal good things. Heaven, glory, and eternal 
life, Rom. 8: 10, 11. No such bequests as these were ever found in 
the testaments of princes. That which kings and nobles settle by 
will upon their heirs, are but trifles to what Christ has conferred 
in the New Testament upon his people. And all this is confirmed and 
ratified by the death of Christ, so that the promise is sure, and 
the estate indefeasible to all the heirs of promise. 
    How the death of Christ confirmed the New Testament is worth 
our enquiry. The Socinians, as they allow no other end of Christ's 
death, but the confirmation of the New Testament, so they affirm he 
did it only by way of testimony, or witness-bearing in his death. 
But this is a vile derogation from the efficacy of Christ's blood, 
to bring it down into an equality with the blood of martyrs. As if 
there were no more in it than was in their blood. 
    But know, reader, Christ died not only, or principally, to 
confirm the Testament by his blood, as witness to the truth of those 
things, but his death rectified it as the death of a testator, which 
makes the New Testament irrevocable. And so Christ is called in this 
text. Look as when a man has made his will, and is dead, that will 
is presently in force, and can never be recalled. Besides, the will 
of the dead, is sacred with men. They dare not cross it. It is 
certain the last will and testament of Christ is most sacred, and 
God will never annul or make it void. Moreover, it is not with 
Christ as with other testators, who die, and must trust the 
performance of their wills with their executors, but as he died to 
put it in force, so he lives again to be the executor of his own 
testament. And all power to fulfil his will is now in his own hands, 
Rev. 1: 18. 
    Inference 1. Did Christ die to confirm the New Testament, in 
which such legacies are bequeathed to believers. How are all 
believers concerned then to prove the will of a dead Jesus! My 
meaning is, to clear their title to the mercies contained in this 
blessed testament. And this may be done two ways. By clearing to 
ourselves our covenant-relations to Christ. And by discovering those 
special covenant-impressions upon our hearts, to which the promises 
therein contained, do belong. 
    First, Examine your relations to Christ. Are you his spouse? 
Have you forsaken all for him? Psal. 45: 10. Are you ready to take 
your lot with him, as it falls in prosperity or adversity? Jer. 2: 
2. And are you loyal to Christ! "Thou shalt be for me, and not for 
another," Hos. 3: 3. Do you yield obedience to him as your Head and 
Husband? Eph. 6: 24. then you may be confident you are interested in 
the benefits and blessings of Christ's last will and testament; for 
can you imagine Christ will make a testament and forget his spouse? 
It cannot be. If he so loved the church as to give himself for her, 
much more what he has is settled on her. Again, are you his 
spiritual seed, his children by regeneration? Are you born of the 
Spirit? John 3. Do you resemble Christ in holiness? 1 Pet. 1: 14, 
15. Do you find a reverential fear of Christ carrying you to obey 
him in all things? Mal. 1: 6. Are you led by the Spirit of Christ? 
"As many as are so led, they are the sons of God," Rom. 8: 14. To 
conclude, Have you the spirit of adoption, enabling you to cry, 
Abba, Father? Gal. 4: 6. that is, helping you in a gracious manner, 
with reverence mixed with filial confidence, to open your hearts 
spiritually to your Father on all occasions? If so, you are 
children; and if children, doubt not but you have a rich legacy in 
Christ's last will and testament. He would not seal up his 
testament, and forget his dear children. 
    Secondly, You may discern your interest in the new testament or 
covenant (for they are substantially the same thing) by the new 
covenant impressions that are made on your hearts, which are so many 
clear evidences of your right to the benefits it contains. Such are 
spiritual illuminations, Jer. 31: 34. gracious softness and 
tenderness of heart, Ezek. 11: 19. the awful dread and fear of God, 
Jer. 32: 43. the copy or transcript of his laws on your hearts in 
gracious correspondent principles, Jer. 31: 33. These things speak 
you the children of the covenant, the persons on whom all these 
great things are settled. 
    Inf. 2. To conclude, it is the indispensable duty of all on 
whom Christ has settled such mercies, to admire his love, and walk 
answerably to it. 
    First, Admire the love of Christ. O how intense and ardent was 
the love of Jesus! who designed for you such an inheritance, with 
such a settlement of it upon you! These are the mercies with which 
his love had travailed big from eternity, and now he sees the 
travail of his soul, and you also have seen somewhat of it this day. 
Before this love let all the saints fall down astonished, humbly 
professing that they owe themselves, and all they are, or shall be 
worth, to eternity, to this love. 
    Secondly, And be sure you walk becoming persons for whom Christ 
has done such great things. Comfort yourselves under present 
abasures with your spiritual privileges, James 2: 5. and let all 
your rejoicing be in Christ, and what you have in him, whilst others 
are blessing themselves in vanity. Thus we have finished the state 
of Christ's humiliation, and thence proceed to the second state of 
his exaltation. 
             An Introduction to the State of Exaltation. 
    Having finished what I designed to speak to, about the work of 
redemption, so far as it was carried on by Christ in his humble 
state, we shall now view that blessed work as it is further advanced 
and perfected in his state of exaltation. 
    The whole of that world was not to be finished on earth in a 
state of suffering, and abasure, therefore the apostle makes his 
exaltation, in order to the finishing of the remainder of his work 
so necessary a part of his priesthood, that without it he could not 
have been a priest, Heb. 8: 4. "If he were on earth he should not be 
a priest," i.e. if he should have continued always here, and had not 
been raised again from the dead, and taken up into glory, he could 
not have been a complete and perfect priest. 
    For look, as it was not enough for the sacrifice to be slain 
without, and his blood left there; but after it was shed without, it 
must be carried within the vail, into the most holy place before the 
Lord, Heb. 9: 7, so it was not sufficient that Christ shed his own 
blood on earth, except he carry it before the Lord into heaven, and 
there perform his intercession-work for us. 
    Moreover, God the Father stood engaged in a solemn covenant to 
reward him for his deep humiliation, with a most glorious and 
illustrious advancement, Isa. 49: 5, 6, 7. And how God (as it became 
him) made this good to Christ, the apostle very clearly expresses, 
Phil. 2: 9. 
    Yea, justice required it should be so. For how could our surety 
be detained in the prison of the grave, when the debt for which he 
was imprisoned was by him fully discharged, so that the law of God 
must acknowledge itself to be fully satisfied in all its claims and 
demands? His resurrection from the dead was, therefore, but his 
discharge or acquittance upon full payment. Which could not in 
justice be denied him. 
    And, indeed, God the Father lost nothing by it, for there never 
was a more glorious manifestation made of the name of God to the 
world, than was made in that work. Therefore it is said, Phil. 2: 
11. speaking of one of the designs of Christ's exaltation, it was, 
(saith the apostle), "That every tongue should confess that Jesus 
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." O how is the love 
of God to poor sinners illustriously, yea, astonishingly, displayed 
in Christ's exaltation. When, to show the complacency and delight, 
which he took in our recovery, he has openly declared to the world, 
that his exalting Christ to all that glory, such as no mere creature 
ever was, or can be exalted to, was bestowed upon him as a reward 
for that work, that most grateful work at our redemption, Phil. 2: 
9. Wherefore God also has highly exalted him; there is an 
"emphatical pleonasm in that word," our English is too flat to 
deliver out the elegance of the original, it is super-exaltation. 
The Syriac renders it, "he has multiplied his sublimity." The 
Arabic, "he has heightened him with an height." Justin, "he has 
famously exalted him." Higher he cannot raise him, a greater 
argument of his high satisfaction and content in the recovery of 
poor sinners cannot be given. For this, therefore, God the Father 
shall have glory and honour ascribed to him in heaven to all 
    Now this singular exaltation of Jesus Christ, as it properly 
respects his human nature, which alone is capable of advancement; 
for, in respect of his divine nature, he never ceased to be the Most 
High. So it was done to him as a common person, and as the Head of 
all believers, their Representative in this as well as in his other 
works. God therein shewing what, in due time, he intends to do the 
persons of his elect, after they, in conformity to Christ, have 
suffered a while. Whatever God the Father intendeth to do in us, or 
for us, he has first done it to the person of our Representative, 
Jesus Christ. And this, if you observe, the scriptures carry in very 
clear and plain expressions, through all the degrees and steps of 
Christ's exaltation, viz. his resurrection, ascension, session at 
the right-hand of God, and returning to judge the world; of which I 
purpose to speak distinctly in the following sermons. 
    He arose from the dead as a public person, Col. 3: 1. "If ye 
then be risen with Christ," saith the apostle, so that the saints 
have communion and fellowship with him in his resurrection. 
    He ascended into heaven, as a public person, for so it is said 
in Eph. 2: 6. "He has raised us up," or exalted us together with 
Christ. He sits at God's right-hand, as a common person, for so it 
follows in the next clause, "and has made us sit together in 
heavenly places in Christ Jesus." We sit there in our 
Representative. And when he shall come again to judge the world, the 
saints shall come with him. So it is prophesied, Zech. 14: 5. "The 
Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee." And as they 
come with Christ from heaven, so they shall sit on thrones with him, 
judging by way of suffrage. They shall be assessors with the Judge, 
1 Cor. 6: 2. This deserves a special remark, that all this honour is 
given to Christ, as our Head and representative, for thence results 
abundance of comfort to the people of God. Carry it therefore along 
with you in your thoughts, throughout the whole of Christ's 
advancement. Think when you shall hear that Christ is risen from the 
dead, and is in all that glory and authority in heaven, how sure the 
salvation of his redeemed is. "For if when we were enemies, we were 
reconciled to God, by the death of his Son; much more, being 
reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." Surely, it cannot be 
supposed, but "he is able to save to the uttermost, all them that 
come to God by him; seeing he ever lives to make intercession," Heb. 
7: 25. Think how safe the people of God in this world are, whose 
Head is in heaven. It was a comfortable expression of one of the 
fathers, encouraging himself and others with this truth in a dark 
day, "Come, (said he) why do we tremble thus, Do we not see our head 
above water?" If he live, believers cannot die, John 14: 19. 
"Because I live, ye shall live also." 
    And let no man's heart suggest a suspicious thought to him, 
that this wonderful advancement of Christ may cause him to forget 
his poor people, groaning here below under sin and misery. For the 
temper and disposition of his faithful and tender heart, is not 
changed with his condition. He bears the same respect to us as when 
he dwelt among us. For indeed he there lives and acts upon our 
account, Heb. 7: 25. 1 John 2: 1, 2. 
    And how seasonable and comfortable will the meditations of 
Christ's exaltation be to thee, O believer, when sickness has wasted 
thy body, withered its beauty, and God is bringing thee to the dust 
of death! Ah! think then, that that "vile body shall be conformed to 
the glorious body of Christ," Phil. 3: 21. As God has glorified, and 
highly exalted his Son, "whose form was marred more than any man's;" 
so will he exalt thee also. I do not say, to a parity, or equality, 
in glory with Christ, for, in heaven he will be discerned and 
distinguished, by his peculiar glory, from all the angels and 
saints; as the sun is known by its excellent glory from the lesser 
stars. But we shall be conformed to this glorious Head, according to 
the proportion of members. O whither will love mount the believer in 
that day! 
    Having spoken thus much of Christ's exalted state, to cast some 
general light upon it, and engage your attentions to it, I shall now 
according to the degrees of this his wonderful exaltation, briefly 
open it, under the fore-mentioned heads, viz. his resurrection, 
ascension, session at the Father's right hand, and his return to 
judge the world. 

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