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perfect integrity of his human nature, whereby a foundation was laid for uniting the elect world to God in a bond of an everlasting union. Had not the humanity of Christ been spotless, and free from all stain of sin, it could not possibly have been capable of union with the Divine Being, Psal. v. 4; 2 Cor. v. 21. It is on this account that Christ is styled the Lamb of God, John i. 36. John speaks with allusion to the paschal lamb under the law, which was to be a lamb without spot or blemish, Exod. xii. 5. To this alludes the apostle Peter : “ But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot,” i Pet. i. 19.
The sinless purity of his human nature, and the exact conformity of all his human actions to the demand of God's law, are here intended.
Secondly, On the account of the extraordinary anointing of the Spirit, poured out on the humanity of Christ, to fit and meeten him for the great work of mediation between God and elect sinners. Of this Christ himself gives an account by the evangelical prophet: “ The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach glad tidings to the meek,” &c. Isa. lxi. 1.
This was excellently held forth in the Aaron the high-priest, under the dark dispensation of the ceremonial administration; an eminent and glorious type and shadow of Christ, the elect's high-priest.
“ It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard; that went down to the skirts of his garments." Psal. cxxxiii. 2. The material oil wherewith Aaron, Christ's type, was anointed, did prefigure and type out the effusion of the Spirit's gifts and
graces on the human nature of Christ, to fit and qualify him for the work the Father hath sent him about. This, anointing was poured out on Christ without measure, as witnesseth the scripture:
For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God; for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him," John iii. 34. This is farther backed and confirmed by Coloss. i. 19; “ For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell." And, Coloss. ïi. 9; “ For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”
Besides the personal anointing of Christ's human nature, wherewith the Father anointed him above his fellows, Psal. xlv. 7; there was a soulenriching stock of grace put into his hands, as Mediator, in time to be communicated to all the elect who are to be the members of his mystical body. Hence it is that believers are said to receive of Christ's fulness. “ And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace,” John i. 16. “But unto every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ," Ephes. iv. 7.
Christ, as God, is the source and fountain of all the graces of believers; as God-Man, he is the
-meriter and purchaser of all grace for them; and Christ, as mediator, hath the dispensing power committed to him by the Father to communicate to, and bestow upon, every member of his body, i what measure of grace he pleaseth.
Secondly, Christ far excels all Adam's children on the account of the work to which the Father designed him in eternity, and whereto he, in time, called him.
This great work is to reconcile God and elect sinners together by the interposition of his mediatorial righteousness; to make up that breach' which the sin and apostacy of Adam had effected between God and the elect; and to keep and continue them in an everlasting covenant of love and peace, so as that there should never be any possibility of their being at enmity any more for ever: " To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them,” 2 Cor. v. 19. By world in this, as in other places, is intended the elect world, for whom Christ was made sin and a curse; and between whom and God, his offended Father, he stept in as a mediator, to make peace, by offering up himself in sacrifice to God's justice. “ For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,” 1 Tim. ii. 5, 6. Compare with this John X. 15. and John xvii. 9. and it will plainly appear that
Christ became a mediator of redemption and in tercession for God's elect, and none else.
If what hath been said concerning what Christ is in himself, and the great work to which the Father hath designed and called him, be rightly considered, it will appear, beyond all contradiction, that he infinitely excels and transcends all the children of Adam. None of Adam's posterity were ever qualified like him; neither were any of them ever called to so great and glorious a work as he was. This in the general.
But, more particularly, to come to the allegory or metaphor by which his transcendent excellency is allegorically set forth; there are three things in the apple tree which bespeak the Lord Jesus a nonsuch to the elect.
First, The lowness and comeliness of the apple tree above other trees: it grows lower, and nearer the ground than other trees usually do.
The matchless lowliness and humility of Christ are hereby set forth. None could ever compare with him herein, “ Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly,” Matt.
This is anciently predicted of him; as appears from Zech, ix. 9. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, Odaughter of Jerusalem. Behold thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass; and upon a colt, the foal of an ass," Matt. xxi.
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4; 5. There are six things wherein this will appear.
First, His condescending to become his Father's inferior.
First, As a son ; a relation which imports superiority and inferiority, “ I will declare the decree: The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee,” &c. Psal. ii. 7. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son,” &c. John iii. 16. Father is greater than I,” John xiv. 28.
Secondly, As a servant, to do his work. have found David, my servant ; with my holy oil have I anointed him," Psal. lxxxix. 20. hold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom
my soul delighteth,” Isa. 'xlii. 1. This inferiority of Christ to God is to be understood in respect of the office he voluntarily took on him for the elect's sake; not in respect of nature or essence, as appears from Zech. xiii. 7. “Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow.” “I and my Father are one,” John X. 30. “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,” &c. Heb. i. 3.
Thirdly, His condescending to assume the human nature. “ Forasmuch as the children did partake of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the same.
For verily he took not upon him the nature of angels, but he took upon him the seed of Abraham,” Heb. ii. 14, 16.