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very shortly after his creation lost, and the church, as well as the world, at once sunk in sin and misery. And this gave occasion for the display of the riches of grace, when by his own Almighty arm, and by his own incommunicable work, the Lord Jesus Christ wrought out the salvation of his people, and did that which he had before declared by his servant the prophet he would do, when he said, " And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day."
I beseech you to pause one moment, before we prosecute the subject farther, and contemplate the church under both those bearings of character. Look at her as she was first, when beheld by all the persons in the GODHEAD, standing up in her glorious Head, completely holy, completely blessed, and completely beautiful and lovely; an object for the unceasing beholding of Jehovah in his complacency and delight for ever. Then turn your observation through the inverted order of the perspective, and look at her as she stood in Adam at the fall; and you behold her completely unholy, completely wretched, completely ugly and deformed; and until recovered by sovereign grace from this horrid delinquency, an object only of disgust and horror to all the angels of God. And hence therefore this will serve to shew, in some faint manner, the infinite goodness of God in the church's deliverance. Redemption, taken in all its bearings, is bigger than that great mill-stone which John saw the mighty angel cast into the sea; (Rev. xviii. 21.) yea, of greater magnitude than the world. And what tends. to heighten the representation, and to endear the divine sovereignty the more, to all who are made partakers of this great salvation is, that it is all of grace, rich, free, unmerited, unlooked for grace. The whole work is Christ's, the glory is Christ's: and the happy partakers of this unspeakable gift, from beginning to end, are simply receivers only, as it is in Christ. It
is Christ who is the Almighty Speaker in the text; the Lord of Hosts, who hath said, "I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.”
If you will open your bibles at the prophecy of Scripture from whence my text is taken, you will perceive how the words are introduced. The prophet is directed to call on Joshua the high priest (who was a type of Christ) and his fellows with him, for Christ and his people are considered as one, and to attend to what the Lord was about to promise, and would fulfil. "Hear now, O Joshua, the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee, for they are men wondered at.” Yes! the Lord Jesus Christ is himself wonderful, and well may his people; they are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. And the greatest of all wonders is, what they are to themselves; that God should have set his love upon them, and made them objects of his electing, redeeming, and regenerating love.. Then follows the leading design of this proclamation:
for behold I will bring forth my servant the Branch;", a well known name for Christ, (Isaiah iv. 2. and xi. 1. Zech. vi. 13. &c.) "For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon the stone shall be. seven eyes; behold I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of Hosts; and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day."
All these are so many beautiful similitudes to depicture our most glorious Christ; for he is indeed in his human nature "a branch out of the root of Jesse," (Isaiah xi. 1.) and in his divine nature he is David's Lord. (Rev. xxii. 16.) And he is the stone "which God hath laid in Zion, a foundation stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded." (Isaiah xxviii. 16. 1 Pet. ii. 6.) And upon him are fixed seven eyes; yes! the eyes of all the persons in the
GODHEAD, the eyes of angels, and the believers in all ages; the eyes of the faithful longing for his second coming, and the eyes of them that tremble at his approach for "every eye shall see him; and they also that pierced him, and all nations shall wail because of him; even so, amen." (Rev. i. 7.) And then comes in the vast and comprehensive promise in the text, "For, saith the Lord of Hosts, I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.” Observe what is said to be removed, namely, the iniquity of that land, meaning Immanuel's land, that is, the iniquity of the people. (Isaiah viii. S.) And what day was this? that blessed, that memorable, that never to be forgotten day, when the Lord Jesus "by the offering of himself once offered, perfected for ever them that are sanctified." (Heb. x. 14.): And by whom is all this accomplished? even by the Lord of hosts! When the Lord of hosts puts his Almighty name and authority to the promise, every -doubt vanisheth. The promise being so great would rather tend to excite unbelief, as a thing too great to be true; but when we see that the Almighty Promiser is the Lord of hosts, fear and distrust die away.
In the farther prosecution of this subject, what I propose under the hope of divine direction is, in the first place, to call your attention to the infinite greatness of his person, and to the infinite suitability of his almighty work who thus undertook, and in the time appointed as fully accomplished it, that " in one day he removed the iniquity of that land." And the next point I shall have to regard will be, to shew you that in this removal, the church of God is wholly and for ever delivered from the wrath to come, in being freed from sin, and made partaker in his righteousness; for if he was made sin for us who knew no sin," it was that we, who knew no righteous
ness in ourselves, "should be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Cor. v. 21.)
I cannot, however, enter upon the subject until that I have first looked up to the Lord, that our God may give both to you and to me, the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. For though the doctrine itself, that our glorious Christ hath removed the iniquity of his people in one day, by being himself the substituted Sponsor and Surety of his church; and in all he did, and wrought, and suffered, he acted as their head; and although this is the very marrow of the gospel, yet I cannot but fear that there are too many, even of the Lord's chosen ones, that do not live in the enjoyment of it: there is great leanness of soul on this account among the people of God. It will be matter of joy unspeakable to my heart, if the Lord at this time. should make it a season of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and give to us grace to enter into the spiritual apprehension of the divine truth. For this alone will lift us out of self and above all that belongs to self, and to see ourselves complete in Christ. And this is what every truly regenerated child of God must find, as the only thing effectual to plead against all the accusations of sin and conscience, the terrors of the law, and the alarms of justice; for herein we behold the whole satisfied, sin done away, hell vanquished, and the kingdom of God open to all believers. The Lord the Spirit give his divine unction to the word now to be delivered, "that it may not return void, but accomplish that which shall please the the Lord, and prosper in the thing to which the Lord shall send it."
I am first, agreeably to my promise, to call your attention to the infinite greatness of his person, and to the infinite suitability of his almighty work, who in the language of my text said "I will remove the iniquity of that
land in one day." And without this scriptural apprehension of his person, we can have no adequate ideas of the suitableness and completeness of his salvation. That he had in himself an inherent, underived, and self-existent being; possessing in common with the Father and the Holy Ghost all divine attributes and perfections; this is at the bottom of all the energies manifested in redemption, and the very foundation of our holy faith. And that he had an holiness and purity of manhood unconnected with our Adam-fall nature, is also an express article in the creed of God's chosen. And hence by the junction of both in one person, he, and he only, became competent to do what my text expresseth, namely, "remove the iniquity of the land, (or, from the persons of his people) in one day." And herein lay the mystery of godliness, in counteracting the mystery of iniquity. For the indwelling GODHEAD in the manhood of Christ gave an infinite efficacy, value, and dignity, to all the Lord wrought in the accomplishment of salvation. As God, every act was the act of God: and as man, all was wrought by the GODHEAD in human nature : and as both God and man in one person, he became the suited Mediator for the redemption of his people. For hereby it was manifested, that the same nature which by transgression had sinned, should atone; and the same nature which had brought in death by sin, should abolish death. And as the holiness, obedience, and blood-shedding of human nature simply in itself could not do away an infinite evil; by the infinity of his own GODHEAD he hereby gave an infinite value and efficacy to all that was offered in the man Christ Jesus. Hence we see how it was those mighty acts were wrought by our Emmanuel; and how in the doing of them he was shewn to be the suited Saviour for all his people. And hence the prophet, looking into gospel times, spoke of him