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SERM.VI Being in the Sea, may be one Being, becaufe undivided; but not, because indiftinct For certainly Being in Heaven is diftinct from being in Hell. The Unity then of the three Perfons, as to their Nature, refults from their Indivifibility. Indivifibility is no Bar to Diftinction.What is no Bar to Diftinction, can be none to distinct Actions or Offices. Confequently, Son and Father, though indivifible, and therefore one Being, might act diftinctly, in giving and receiving Satisfaction.
Still it may be urged; that this does not intirely remove the Difficulty: That, however diftinct, they are one and the fame Lawgiver And confequently, the fame Lawgiver fatisfied the fame Lawgiver: Which is an Abfurdity.
To take off the Force of this Objection, it is fufficient to obferve That to be fovereign Lawgiver is no effential Perfection of the Deity. If it were, he could never have been without it: He must have been Lawgiver ab æterno; i. e. He must have been Lawgiver, before there were any Beings to give Laws to. It is plain then, to be Lawgiver is only a relative Property. Our Saviour confequently might be truly God,
God, i. e. ennobled with all the essential SERM. VI.
There is a Point in Knowledge, where Usefulness ends, and unconcerning Speculatation begins. As far as any Thing is useful and important to our Happiness, fo far, by the Help of Revelation, all is generally clear and plain; beyond that, all is dark and inacceffible to us in a great Measure. The Reafon is, God has drawn a Veil over this Part of Knowledge, left by attending to Things remote from Ufe, and Matters of meres Curiofity, the Mind fhould be divert
SERM.VI.ed · from ufefiil and practical. Inquiries, The Circle of our Knowledge, as far as it conduces to Happiness, though not very large, is, by the Help of Scripture, exact and full. To exemplify this, in the Point of the Redemption, fome Perfons complain of a Darkness fpread over the Face of this Difpenfation. But as to what? As far as it is a Doctrine of Use and Importance, so far it is clearly and diftinctly revealed. We are expressly told, what our Saviour has purchased for us, and what we have to do, to qualify ourselves for. the Happi nefs which he has purchased. It is difcovered to us, that God, through his Merits, will confer upon every penitent Offender that exceeding and eternal Weight of Bliss, which even the Unoffending could have had no Title to. So far it is a Doctrine of folid Ufe and Importance.
But we want, perhaps, more fully to understand the internal Manner, and particular Efficacy of his Merits and Interceffion, and the Whole of the Tranfaction between the Father and the Son, in the ftupendous Work of our 'Salvation. Here mere Curiofity commences; and therefore no Wonder, our Knowledge fhould in a
great Measure end. These are the Things SERM. VI. : which Angels defire to look into; and we, till we are Angels, fhould not expect a full and comprehenfive Satisfaction about.
Let us compare Creation and Redemption. From the former we derive our Being, from the latter our eternal Well-being. Both Truths are involved in great Difficul I ties Both are either, for that Reason, to be rejected; or (which is the much better Conclufion,) both, notwithstanding that Reason, to be admitted.
I fhall now, in the laft Place, confider the Extent of the Redemption.
Our Saviour laid down his Life for the Sins of the whole World. He came, that as in Adam all dye, fo in Chrift should all be made alive. As by one Man's Difobedience many (the Many, or Mankind in general) were made Sinners, treated as fuch, and made fubject to Death, the Wages of Sin; fo, by the Obedience of one, shall many be made righteous. Clemens Romanus, an Apoftolical Father, exprefsly declares, that the Blood of Jesus was so precious in God's Sight, as to obtain the Privilege of Repentance for all the World, in all past
SERM. VI. Ages; and that the Ninevites repenting,
upon the Preaching of Jonas, were faved by it, though Aliens from God *.
From hence we may conclude, that, though those, who have performed the Conditions of the Gospel-Covenant, Faith and penitential Obedience, fhall shine out with distinguished Glory: yet the Benefits of his Paffion fhall be applied, in fome Measure, even to thofe, who never heard of his Name. The Sphere of his Beneficence extended backwards to the Foundation of the World, and reaches forward to the laft Conflagration; fo that Nothing, which is capable of being faved, is hid from the Heat thereof. He became the Saviour of all Ages, from the first Birth of Time to it's laft Period; the Father of Mankind, from the Rifing up of the Sun, to the Going down of the fame. The Bleffings of his Coming into the World, are as extenfive as the World, and as lafting as Eternity.
View leisurely the ftupendous Scheme a whole World redeemed from Miferya whole World made happy, if their own Impenitence doth not prevent it
Clemens Romanus, Epift. 1. cap. 7.