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may be found, but yet. I will not forget thee, faith God.
Though human corrupt nature may be fo vitiated, yet from . the divine nature, compassion and mercy are inseparable ; it flows as waters flow from their fountain, only here it restrained
itself, and let not out one drop to Jesus Christ, in the day of ' his sufferings • God, the God of mercy, spared not. . Secondly, God spared not, faith the text ; i. e. he abated not any thing which justice could inflict ; Chrift was not spared one stroke, one tear, one groan, one drop, one ligh, one ' shame, one circumstance, no, not the least which justice could : demand as satisfaction for man's fin..
There be divers kinds of mercy in God; there is in him' preventing mercy, delivering mercy, and sparing mercy. Now Iparing mercy (as Mr. Caryl on Job well observes) is the lowest mercy of all the three ; it is less mercy to be fpared or abated fome degree or circumstance of misery, than to have mifery preverited by mercy's stepping in betwixt us and it'; it is i lefs also than to be wholly delivered out of the hand of mifery:' Either of these are greater acts of mercy, than to abate a degree, or shorten an hour of our trouble; the least abatement of any one circumstance of misery had been sparing mercy, though it had been but the least and lowest act of mercy, and yet even this was denied to Christ; he was not abated one minute of time, or the least degree of sorrow. God spared not.
Thirdly, He spared not his own Son, Tvior idsov, So stiled higHanter, his own or his proper Son, in a special and peculiar manner nearer and dearer to him than the angels, who are his fons by creation, Job i. 6. or any of the saints, who are his fons by grace, in the way of regeneration and adoption, John i. 12, 13. This was his own Son by nature, a son of an higher. rank and order, Psal. ii. 7. begotten in an ineffable manner, from all eternity, in his own divine efence; and fo is his Soni by nature, having the same essence and nature with the Father, being co-equal, co-effential, and co-eternal with the ': Father.
No relation in nature is so intimate, ftri&t and dear as this; our children are not so much our own children, our bodies are: not fo much our own bodies, as Christ was God's own Son; and yet, though he were so dear to him, his other self, his ex-' press image, his own dear Son, He spared him not : God spared not his own son.
Foririhly, And that which makes a farther discovery of die vine severity towards Jesus Chrift, is this, that God fpared not
ating great droong under the hea 35, 36. He behelse
his own Son in the day of his greatest distress, when he is cried to his Father in an agony, that if it were possible the cup .! might pass from him : For of that day, this scripture is mainly to be understood, the day when he fell to the ground and prayed, “ That if it were poflible the hour might pass from hin.
And he said, Abba, Father, all things are poffible unto thee, .66 take away this cup from me," Mark xiv. 35, 36. He beheld his own dear Son sweltering under the heaviest pressure of his
wrath, sweating great drops of blood, crying, “ If it llible, . let this hour, let this cup pass ;” and yet it could not be
granted. O the severity of God! be heard the cry of Ahab,
There was a concession or permission to those wicked inftruments that shed his blood, a loosing of the chain to those ban
dogs that compassed him about ; such a concession as never - was given them before ; for till then they were tied up from
perpetrating their wickedness ; but now the restraints of Pro vidence are taken away, and he is delivered unto their will ; his own Father delivers him into the hands of cruelty. - And . thus you see wherein the severity of divine justice to Christ was manifest.
In the last place, let us see the ground and reason of this rigour and severity to Christ. Now, there are, among others, three special reasons why Christ could not be spared. no
The honour of divine justice required, that he should suffer .. the utmost degree of punishment. It was meet that the rights.
of heaven should be vindicated to the full, and that the justice ; of God should have the last mite it could demand for satisfaction. And this was the special design and aim of God in the suffering of Christ, as the apostle speaks, Rom. iii. 25, 26, It was 6 to declare his righteousness ;” and left we should lose the emphatical word, it is doubled and repeated, “ to declare,
« I say, at this time his righteousness.” And indeed herein God fully obtained his design; for never was justice fo honoured before, to have such a person as the Son of God stand at its bar, and such a sum as his blood paid down at once for our difcharge: fo that justice triumphs as well as mercy, and one attribute is not robbed to pay another. I
As it was necessary to God's satisfaction, so it was neceffarg to ours also. If the Lord Jesus had not made full payment to the utmost mite, we could never have had full satisfaction in our consciences, about that deep and dear concernment of our fouls, the remission of fin. Man is a guilty and a suspicious creature, and hard to be brought to an entire confidence in the pardoning mercy of God. Yea, it is impossible to perfuade à convinced conscience, of the possibility of remiffion, except you can also prove the fulness of divine satisfaction; for conscience requires as much to satisfy it, as God doth to l'atisfy him. If God be satisfied, then conscience can be fatisfied too, and fecurely reft upon that ground; but if there be any doubt of that, there is no appeasing of an anxious and jealous confcience : greatly therefore hath God consulted our peace in the severity of his justice to Jesus Christ. « Now the God of peace, w who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great « Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting * covenant,” Heb. xiii. 20. Let the words be weighed; he is stiled the God of peace, when he brought back Christ from the dead ; it was incensed justice that put him to death, and appeased justice that brought him back from the dead; and that which pacified God, is the only thing in the world that is able to satisfy the conscience of a sinner.
-3. Therefore did God proceed with such rigour and severity with Jesus Christ, that thereby the demerit and evil of fin might be fully discovered to the world, and an everlasting caution left upon all hearts to beware of contracting new guilt. If justice had descended in a visible form, and hanged up mil. lions of finners in chains, it had not been such a warning as this against fin. Nay, let me say, the grievous and eternal torment that the damned fuffer in hell, is not such a demonstration of the evil of sin as this is ; for those torments are much unknown to men till they feel them; and when they begin to feel them, it is too late to be convinced or cautioned againft fin then. But to see such a person as Chrift exposed to the utmost severity of God's wrath for our fin, to see such things done in the green tree, may well make us cry out, “ Lord, * what will be done to the dry tree?” Q the infinite evil of
mirablet now befolitpatch," the profeof mer
fin ! Ö the inflexible severity of divine justice! It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!
4. In a word; hereby Jesus Christ is endeared the more to his people, by suffering such great and hard things in their place and for their fakes. The extremity of his sufferings for ús, commands the strength of his affection to us.
And thus you see the reasons of all this severity to Jesus Christ. God intended the sweetest mereies for you; and therefore prepared the bitterest sufferings for Christ: from his deep fufferings you may confidently conclude the best of mercies are designed for you; as you will hear in the prosecuting of the second doctrine, which, for dispatch, I purpose to handle as one use of this point now before me
o the admirable and astonishing love of God to us poor worms of the earthi, to deliver up his own Son into the hands of his enemies, that thirsted for his blood ! Lonig had they been restrained from satisfying their wickedness, and executing their malice, till now ; avid this was the hour which he often spake of, « My hour is not yet come.” But, oh! what á dismal hour was it when it did comes when Providence let loose both devils and men upon Christ, delivered him over to the will of his enemies ! And this was not all ; Christ was not only deli#ered up into the hands of the worst of men, but, which was much more terrible, into the severe hands of divine justice, to grapple with the pure; unmixed, and unallayed wrath of the great and terrible God.. .
Lastly; We will improve this point by a double use, by way of information, and exhortation. .
i Ufe 1. Of information. First, The severity of God's justice to Jesus Christ informs us what a dreadful evil fin is, which fo incenses the wrath of God even against his own Son, when he bare our fins; anid, food before the bat of God as our surety
Come hither, hard hearts (hard indeed if this cannot break them ;) you complain, you cannot see the evil of fin, fo as to be deeply humbled for it : fix your eyes a while here; and intently consider the point ini hand : suppose you faw a tender and pitiful father come into open court with fury in his facea to charge his own, his only, and his most beloved Son, and to profecute him to death, and nothing able to fatisfỳ him but his blood, and be well pleased when he fees it shed; would you not fay, Oh! what horrid evil hath he done! It must be some deep wrong, fome heinous crime that he is gulty of, elfe · VOL. VIII.
Nol, Dands of thearn hence the guici bez
could never be that his own father could forget his bowel of pity and mercy. Yet thus did the wrath of God break forth against his dear Son, when he stood before the bar, as our surety, charged with the guilt of our lins. . Secondly, Learn hence what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Well might Luther cry out, Nola Deum absolutum, Let me have nothing to do with an abSolute God. Wo to them that stand before God in their own persons, without Christ, how will justice handle them! “ For “ if these things were done in the green tree, what shall be done « in the dry tree ?” Luke xxiii. 31. Did the Son of God fear, tremble, sweat clots of blood ? Did he stand amazed, and fall into such an agony of foul when he drank that cup, which he knew in a few hours he should drink up, and then never taste the bitterness of it more? How fad is their case that must drink of that cup for ever, a cup that hath eternity to the bottom!
Thirdly, How incomprehenGble and ravishing is the love of God to men, that would rather be so severe to Jesus Christ, the darling of his soul, than make us the objects of wrath for ever? Which of you (though there be infinitely less tenderness in your hearts than God's) would lay your hands upon a child, the worst child you have, and put him to death for the sake of the best friend you have in the world ? But God with his own hand delivered his Son, his only Son, that from ever. Jasting was the delight of his soul, who never: offended him, to death, the most cursed and cruel death, and all this for enemies : how unspeakable is this love, and past finding out! # Fourthly, Did not God spare his own Son? then let none of us spare our own fins. Sin was that sword which pierced Chrift: O let forrow for sin pierce your hearts! if you spare fin, God will not spare you, Deut. xxix. 20. We spare fin when we faintly oppose it, when we excuse, cover and defend it, when we are impatient under juft rebukes and reproofs for it; but all kindness to fin is cruelty to our own souls.
Fifthly, and lastly, If God did not spare Christ, certainly he intends to spare believers for his fake.
The surety could not be spared, that the principal might be spared for ever. If God had spared him, he could not have fpared us; if he affliéts his people, it is not for satisfaction to himself, but profit to us, Heb. xii. 10. Should God spare the rod of affliction, it would not be for our advangtage; so many
Tunétified aflictions as are spared or abated, so many mercies and - fpiritual advantages are withheld from us. But as for those
strokes of justice that are the effects of God's vindi&tive wrath,