Sermon 7 - Colossians 1:19 and 2:9Christ's Eternal Existence and the Dignity of His Person Asserted and Proved by Thomas Manton (1620-1677) (Volume 1)
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“One way to get comfort is to plead the promise of God in prayer, show Him His handwriting; God is tender of His Word.”
Sermon 7 – Colossians 1:19 and 2:9
“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” Col. 1. 19 and “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Chap. 2. 9.
These words are produced to prove that there is no defect in the evangelical doctrine, and therefore there needeth no addition to it from the rudiments of men. That there is no defect, he proveth from the author of it, Jesus Christ, who was not only man, but God; and beyond the will of God we need not look. If God will come from heaven to teach us the way thither, surely his teaching is sufficient, his doctrine containeth all things necessary to salvation. This is the argument of these words, ‘For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.’
In which words, observe three things
First, The house: in Him.
Secondly, The inhabitant: all the fulness of the Godhead.
Thirdly, The manner of dwelling: in the word bodily.
First, the house, or place of residence: ‘in Him.’ In the man Christ Jesus, or in that human nature in which he carried on the business of our salvation; as despicable and abject as it was in the eyes of men, yet it was the temple and seat of the Godhead.
Secondly, The inhabitant: ‘the fulness of the Godhead;’ not a portion of God only, or his gifts and graces (as we are made partakers of the divine nature, 1 Pet. i. 4.), but the whole Godhead.
Thirdly, The manner, swmatikwv ‘bodily.’ The word may relate –
1. To the shadows and figures of the law, and so it signifieth essentially, substantially. God dwelt in the tabernacle, temple, or ark of the covenant, sumbolikwv, because of the figures of his presence. In Christ, swmatikwv , bodily, as his human nature was the true tabernacle or temple in which he resideth. Christ calls his human nature a temple, John ii. 19. Or else,
2. With respect to the intimacy and closeness of the union. So swmatikwvmay be rendered personally; for body is often put for a person. The two natures were so united in him, that he is one Christ.
Doct. That Jesus Christ is true God and true man in one person.
I shall prove the point:-
1. By testimonies of scripture.
2. By types.
3. By reasons taken from Christ’s office.
1. By testimonies of scripture. I shall pass by those that speak of the reality of either nature apart, and only allege those that speak of both together. Now these do either belong to the Old Testament or the New.
I begin with the former, the testimonies of the Old Testament, because this union of the two natures in the person of Christ is indeed a mystery, but such as was foretold long before it came to pass; and many of the places wherein it was foretold were so understood by the ancient Jews. The controversy between them and Christians was not whether the Messiah were to be both God and man – they agreed in that – but whether this was fulfilled, or might be applied to Jesus of Nazareth. But the latter Jews, finding themselves not able to stand to the issue of that plea, say that we attribute many things to Jesus of Nazareth which were not foretold of the Messiah to come, as namely, that he should be God-man in one person; therefore it is necessary that this should be proved, that the Old Testament aboundeth with predictions of this kind. Let us begin with the first promise touching the Messiah, which was made to Adam after his fall, for the restoring of mankind: Gen. iii. 15, ‘The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head.’ That is to say, one of her seed, to be born in time, should conquer the devil, death, and sin. Now, when he is called the ‘seed of the woman’ it is apparent he must be man, and made of a woman. And when it is said that ‘he shall break the serpent’s head,’ who can do this but only God? It is a work of divine omnipotency, for Satan hath much more power than any bare man. Therefore it is said, Rom. xvi. 20, ‘The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.’ Come we next to the promise made to Abraham, Gen. xii. 3,’ In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ In thee, that is, in thy seed, as it is often explained: Gen. xxii. 18, ‘In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.’ This seed was Christ, the Messiah to come. Now he was to be God-man: he was to be man, for he is the seed of Abraham; God, because that blessedness is remission of sins, or justification. For it is said, Gal. iii. 8, ‘The scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed.’ Regeneration and the renovation of our natures is also included in it, as a part of this blessing: Acts iii. 25, 26, ‘Ye are children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers saying unto Abraham, In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Therefore unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.’ There is also redemption from the curse of the law, and the gift of eternal life included in it. Now all these are works proper to God alone. Let us come to the promise made to David: 2 Sam. vii. 12, 13, ‘I will set up thy seed after thee, and I will establish the throne of thy kingdom for ever.’ It is spoken in the type of Solomon, but in the mystery of Christ, who is true man as David’s seed, and true God, for his kingdom is everlasting. And so David interpreteth it: Ps. xlv. 6, ‘Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.’ The kingdom of the Messiah is never to have an end. And the apostle affirmeth expressly that those words are spoken to Christ the Son of God, Heb. i. 7. Let me next allege Job’s confession of faith, which was very ancient: Job xix. 25, 26, ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God.’ His Redeemer was true man, as appeareth by his title God; and because he shall stand on the earth, and be seen by his bodily eyes; true God, for he calleth him so: ‘I shall see God.’ Go we on in the scriptures: Isa. iv. 2, Christ is prophesied of: ‘In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful, and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely.’ When he is called ‘the branch of the Lord,’ his Godhead is signified; when he is called ‘the fruit of the earth,’ his manhood. So again, Isa. vii. 14, ‘A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Immanuel’ – that is to say, ‘God with us;’ which can agree to none but to him that is God and man. So that this mystery of God incarnate was not hid from the church of the Old Testament, for his very name did import God with us, or God in our nature reconciling us to himself. So Isa. ix. 6, ‘To us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called The Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.’ Who can interpret these speeches and attributes but of one who is God-man? How could he else be a child and yet the everlasting Father – born of a virgin, and yet the mighty God? So Isa. xi. 1, with the 4th verse, ‘A rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots:’ therefore man; and ver. 4, ‘He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked:’ therefore God. So Isa. liii. 8, ‘He shall be taken from prison and judgment:’ therefore man; yet ‘who shall declare his generation?’ therefore God. So Jer. xxiii. 5, 6, ‘A branch raised unto David from his dead stock:’ therefore man: yet ‘the Lord, or Jehovah our righteousness;’ therefore God. Shall I urge that speech whereby Jesus did silence divers of the learned pharisees? Ps. cx. 1, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool.’ He was born in the mean estate of human flesh and King David’s seed, and yet David’s Lord; which he could not be if he were not God himself, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Well, then, he was David’s son as man, but David’s Lord as he was God. And so do many of the ancient Jewish rabbins interpret this place. So again, Micah v. 2, ‘Thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting.’ He is born in Bethlehem, yet his goings forth are from everlasting. He came out of Bethlehem, and therefore man; his goings forth are from everlasting, and therefore God. So Zech. xii. 10, ‘I will pour out the spirit of grace and supplication, and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced.’ He is God, because he giveth the Spirit of grace; man, because he is pierced or crucified. So Zech. xiii. 7, ‘Against the man, my fellow.’ A man he was, but God’s companion, his only-begotten Son, and co-essential with himself, and so God.
Secondly, Come we now to the New Testament, in which this mystery is more plainly and fully demonstrated. There often the Son of Man is plainly asserted to be also the Son of God. Thomas calleth him his Lord, his God, John xx. 28. We are told that the Word was made flesh, John i. 14; that God purchased the church with his own blood, Acts xx. 28, which can be understood of no other but Christ, by whose blood we are redeemed, and who, being incarnate, hath blood to shed for us. But God, as a pure spirit, hath not flesh and blood and bones as we have: so Rom. i. 3, 4, ‘Jesus Christ was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh, but declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness’. In respect of his divine subsistence, he was begotten, not made; in regard of his human nature, made, not begotten. True man, as David was, and true God, as the Spirit and divine nature is. Again, Rom. ix. 5, ‘Whose are the Father’s, and of whom as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.’ Than which nothing can be said more express as to that nature which is most apt to be questioned; for surely he that is God over all cannot be said to be a mere creature. The Jews confessed him to be man, and one of their blood, and Paul asserteth him to be God over all; they accounted him to be accursed, and Paul asserteth him to be blessed for ever; they thought him inferior to the patriarchs of whom he descended; and Paul over all. So that no word is used in vain; and when he saith ‘according to the flesh,’ he insinuateth another nature in him to be considered by us. The next place is 1 Cor. ii. 8, ‘They crucified the Lord of glory.’ He was crucified – there his human nature is acknowledged; but in respect of the divine nature he is called ‘the Lord of glory: as in the 24th Psalm, the Lord or King of glory is Jehovah Sabaoth, ‘the Lord of hosts.’ Go we further: Phil. ii. 6, 7, ‘Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.’ By the form of God is meant not only the divine majesty and glory, but also the divine essence itself – for without it there can be no true divine majesty and glory. Now this he kept hidden under his human nature, letting only some small rays sometimes to shine forth in his miracles. But that which was most sensible and conspicuous in him was a true human nature in a low and contemptible estate. Again, 1 Tim. iii. 16, ‘Great is the mystery of godliness, God manifested in our flesh ‘that is, the eternal Son of God became man, and assumed the human nature into the unity of his person. Once more: 1 Pet. iii. 18, ‘He was put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the Spirit ‘ – that is, died according to his human nature, but by his divine nature raised from the dead. It is not meant of his soul. Quickened signifies not one remaining alive, -but made alive – that power belongeth to God.
2.By types. Those that come to hand are these
1. Melchisedec: Gen. xiv. 18, ‘Melchisedec, King of Salem, brought forth bread and wine to Abraham.’ Which type is interpreted by the apostle, Heb. vii. 2, 3, ‘First being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of peace; without father and without mother; having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually.’ What Melchisedec was is needless to dispute. The apostle considereth him only as he is represented in the story of Moses, who maketh no mention of his father or mother, birth or death. Certainly he was a very man; but as he standeth in scripture there is no mention of father or mother, beginning or end, what he was, or of whom he came. So is Christ as God without mother, as man without father; as God without beginning, as God-man without ending of life.
2. Another type of him was Jacob’s ladder, the top of which reached heaven, and the bottom reached earth, Gen. xxviii. 12; and the angels of God were ascending and descending upon it. This ladder represented Christ the Son of man, upon whom the angels of God ascend and descend, John i. 51. The bottom, which reached the earth, represented Christ’s human nature and conversing with men; the top, which reached heaven, his heavenly and divine nature; and in both his mediation with God for men. Ascende per hominem, et pervenies ad Deum. Christ reaches to heaven in his divine original; to earth in his manhood, and him the angels serve. By his dwelling in our nature, this commerce between earth and heaven is brought about.
The third type is the fiery cloudy pillar: Exod. xiii. 21, ‘And the Lord went before them in the day in a pillar of a cloud; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night’ This figured Christ’s guidance and protection of his church travelling through this world to his heavenly rest. The cloud signified his humanity, the fire his divinity. There were two different substances, the fire and the cloud, yet but one pillar. So there are two different natures in Christ, his divinity shining as fire, his humanity darkening as a cloud, yet but one person. That pillar departed not from them all the while they travelled in the wilderness; so, while the church’s pilgrimage lasteth, Christ will conduct us, and comfort and shelter us by his presence. His mediatory conduct ceaseth not.
The fourth type is the tabernacle, wherein God dwelt symbolically, as in Christ bodily. There God sat on the mercy-seat, which is called ilasterionHeb. ix. 5. So Christ: Rom. lii. 25; ‘A propitiation.’ He there dwelt between the cherubims, and did exhibit himself graciously to his people, as now he doth to us by Christ. The next shall be of the scape-goat on the day of expiation, Lev. xvi. 10. One goat was to be slain, the other kept alive. The slain goat signified thn sarka ta payhton, his flesh, or human nature suffering; the live goat, to anayev thv yeothtov, his immortal deity, or as the apostle expresseth it, 2 Cor. xiii. 4, That Christ was to be ‘crucified through weakness,’ yet to ‘live by the power of God;’ or as we heard before, 1 Pet. iii. 18, ‘Put to death in the flesh, and quickened by the Spirit.’ Because these two things could not be shadowed by any one beast, which the priest having killed, could not make alive again; and it was not fit that God should work miracles about types, therefore he appointed two, that in the slain beast his death might be represented, in the live beast his immortality. The like mystery was represented also in the two birds for the cleansing of the leper, Lev. xiv. 6, 7.
3. I prove it by reasons taken from his office, which may be considered in the general; and so it is expressed by one word, Mediator; or in particular, according to the several functions of it, expressed by the terms of King, Priest, and Prophet; or with respect to the persons that are to be considered and concerned in Christ’s mediation.
1. His office considered in the general: so he is called, ‘Jesus the mediator of the New Testament,’ Heb. xii. 24. It was agreeable that mesithv, a mediator, should be mesh, a middle person, of the same essence with both parties, and that his operative mediation should presuppose his substantial mediation; that, being God-man in the same person, he should make an atonement between God and man. Sin hath made such a breach and distance between us and God, that it raiseth our fears, and causeth backwardness to draw nigh unto him, and so hindereth our love and confidence in him. How can we depend upon one so far above us, and out of the reach of our commerce? Therefore a mediator is necessary, one that will pity us, and is more near and dear to God than we are. One in whom God doth condescend to man, and by whom man may be encouraged to ascend to God. Now, who is so fit for this as Jesus Christ, ‘God manifested in our flesh’? The two natures met together in his person, and so God is nearer to man than he was before in the pure deity; for he is come down to us in our flesh, and hath assumed it into the unity of his person; and man is nearer to God, for our nature dwelleth with him so closely united, that we may have more familiar thoughts of God, and a confidence that he will look after us, and concern himself in our affairs, and show us his grace and favour, for surely he will not hide himself from his own flesh, Isa. lviii. 7. This wonderfully reconcileth the heart of man to God, and maketh our thoughts of him more comfortable, and doth encourage us to free access to God.
2. Come we now to the particular offices by which he performeth the work of a mediator, and they all show the necessity of both natures:
these offices and functions are those of prophet, priest, and king.
[1.] Our mediator hath a prophetical office belonging to his administration, that he may be made wisdom to us, and therefore He must be both God and man. God, that he may not only teach us outwardly, as an ordinary messenger or minister, but inwardly, putting his law into our minds, and writing it upon our hearts: Heb. viii. 10, and 2 Cor. iii. 3, ‘Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the heart.’ Men may be the instruments, but Christ is the author of this grace, and therefore he must be God. To convince men’s understandings of their duty, and to incline their hearts to perform it, requireth no less than a divine power. If such an infinite virtue be necessary to cure the blindness of the body; how much more to cure the natural blindness and darkness of the mind! A man he must also be; for the great prophet of the church was to be raised up among his brethren like unto Moses, Dent. xviii. 15. Till such an one came into the world, they were to hear Moses; but then they were to hearken to him. He that was to come was to be a lawgiver as Moses was, but of a far more absolute and perfect law – a lawgiver that must match and overmatch Moses every way. He was to be a man as Moses was in respect of our infirmities, such an one as Moses was whom the Lord had known face to face; but of a far more divine nature, and approved to the world by miracles, signs, and wonders, as Moses was. Again, it was prophesied of him that, as the great prophet of the world, he should be anointed, that he might come and preach the gospel to the poor, Isa. lxii. 1; which could not be if he had spoken from heaven in thunder, and not as a man conversed with men. Again, he was to approve himself as one who had grace poured into his lips, Ps. xlv. 2; that all might wonder at the gracious speeches that came from his mouth, as they did at Christ’s. In short, that Wisdom of the Father, which was wont to assume some visible shape for a time, when he would instruct the patriarchs concerning his will, that he might hide his majesty and put a veil upon his glory, was now to assume our nature into the unity of his person, not a temporary and vanishing appearance; that ‘God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, might in these last days speak to us by his Son,’ Heb. i. 1,2. Then God delivered his will by parcels, now by him he would settle the whole frame of the gospel.
[2.] Jesus Christ, as he is the apostle of our profession, so also he is the high priest, Heb. iii. 1, and so must be both God and man. Man, that he might be made sin for us; God, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, 2 Cor. v. 21. Man, to undertake our redemption; God, to perform it. Man, that he might suffer; God, that he might satisfy by suffering and make our atonement full – we are purchased by the blood of God. Man, that he might have a sacrifice to offer; God, that the offering might be of an infinite price and value, Heb. ix. 14. Man, that he might have a life to lay down for us; God, that the power of laying it down and taking it up again might be in his own hands: John x. 17, 18, ‘I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.’ This was fit that his suffering should be a pure voluntary act, required, indeed, by God, but not enforced by man. He had a liberty, at his own pleasure, as to anything men could do, and thereby commendeth his love to sinners. What shall I say? He was man that he might die; he was God that by death he might destroy him that had the power of death. He was man, that by his death he might ratify the new covenant; God, that he might convey to the heirs of promise these precious legacies of pardon and life. Man, that he might be a merciful high priest, touched with the feeling of our infirmities; God, that we, coming boldly to the throne of grace, might find mercy and grace to help in every time of need, Heb. iv. 15, 16.
[3.] His kingly office. He that was to be King of kings and Lord of lords needed to be both God and man. God, that he might cast out the prince of this world, and having rescued his church from the power of darkness, might govern it by his word and Spirit, and finally present it to himself a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. Man he needed to be for his own glory, ‘that he might be the first-born among many brethren,’ – and head and members might suit, and be all of a piece, – and for our consolation, that we might be heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, Rom. viii. 17, – and for the greater terror and ignominy of Satan, that the seed of the woman might break the serpent’s head. In short, God, that he might govern and influence a people so scattered abroad upon the face of the earth, and raise them up at the last day; man, that our nature (the dignity of which was so envied by Satan) might be exalted at the right hand of Majesty, and placed so near God, far above the angelical.
Thirdly, With respect to the persons who are to be considered and concerned in Christ’s mediation: God, to whom we are redeemed; Satan, from whom we are redeemed; and we ourselves who are the redeemed of the Lord. And you shall see, with respect to God, with respect to Satan, with respect to ourselves, our Mediator ought to be both God and man.
1. God he need to be. With respect to God, that he may be appeased by a valuable compensation given to his justice. No mere man could satisfy the justice of God, appease his wrath, procure his favour; therefore our surety needed to be God to do this. And with respect to Satan, that he might be overcome. Now none can bind the strong one and take away his goods but he that is stronger than he, Luke xi. 21. Now no mere man is a match for Satan; the conqueror of the devil must be God, that by strong hand he may deliver us from his tyranny. And with respect to man, that he may be saved. Not only because of the two former respects must he be God, but also there is a special reason in the cause – the two former respects evince it; for unless God be appeased, man cannot be reconciled, and unless the devil be overcome, man cannot be delivered. If a God be needful for that, man cannot be saved unless our Redeemer be God; but there is a special reason, because of our own obstinacy and rebellion, which is only overcome by the divine power. It is necessary man should be converted and changed, as well as God satisfied and Satan overcome. Now who can convert himself or change his own heart? That work would cease for ever unless God did undertake it by his all-conquering Spirit. Therefore our Mediator must be God, to renew and cleanse our hearts, and by his divine power to give us a divine nature.
2. Man also he ought to be with respect to these three parties:-
With respect to God, that the satisfaction might be tendered in the nature which had sinned, that ‘as by man came death, by man also might come the resurrection from the dead,’ 1 Cor. xv. 21, 22; that ‘as in Adam all die, so by Christ shall all be made alive.’ So with respect to the devil, that he might be overcome in the nature that was foiled by his temptations. And with respect to us, that ‘he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified, might be of one,’ Heb. ii. 11. The priest that wrought the expiation, and the people for whom it was wrought, were of one stock; the right of redeeming belonged to the next kinsman. Christ is our Goel who redeemed us, not only jure proprietatis, as his creatures – to God as God – but jure propinquitatis, as his kinsmen. So as man we are of kin to him, as he came in our nature, and as he sanctifieth; doubly akin, not only by virtue of his incarnation but our regeneration, as he was made of a woman, and we born of God. These are the reasons.
Use. Let me press you to admire this mystery of godliness. The man Christ Jesus in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily. The life and strength of our faith depends upon it, for as he is true man, flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone, he will not be strange to us, and as he is God, he is able to help us.
Two things I will press you to: –
1. Consider what a fit object he is for your faith to close with.
2. Own him as your Lord and your God.
First, To raise your trust and confidence, consider what a fit object he is for your faith, how he is qualified for all his offices of prophet, priest, and king.
1. As your prophet, consider how necessary it was that God dwelling in man’s nature should set afoot the gospel. Partly because whenever you come seriously to consider this matter, this thought will arise in you, that this blessed gospel could not be without repealing the law of Moses, given with such solemnity by God himself, and it was not fit it should be abrogated by any but him who was far above Moses, to wit, by the Son of God himself, not any fellow-servant equal to Moses. The apostle telleth us that Moses was faithful in God’s house as a servant, but Christ as a Son over his own house, Heb. iii. 5, 6. The servant must give place when the Son and Lord himself cometh. But rather take it from what Moses foretold himself: Deut. xviii. 18, 19,’ I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren like unto thee, and I will put my words into his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I command him; and it shall come to pass, that he that will not hearken to my word which he shall speak in my name, I ‘will require it of him.’ Now these words cannot be verified in any other prophet after Moses until Christ, for that of these prophets there arose none in Israel like unto Moses, Dent. xxxiv. 10. They had no authority to be lawgivers as Moses had, but were all bound to the observation of his law till Christ should come, whom Moses calleth a prophet like unto himself, that is a law-maker, exhorting all men to hear and obey him. None of the prophets did take upon them that privilege; they must let that alone till the Messiah should come, whose office it is to change the law given upon Mount Sinai, and instead thereof to propagate or promulgate a new law to begin at Zion: Isa. ii. 3, ‘The law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.’ And in another place, ‘The isles shall wait for his law,’ Isa. xlii. 4. Well, now, this is a mighty confirmation of our religion, and bindeth both our faith and obedience to consider Christ’s authority, that a greater than Moses is here. Partly because it concerneth us to receive the gospel as an eternal doctrine that shall never be changed, for it is called an everlasting covenant; and nothing conduceth to that so much as to consider that it is promulgated by the eternal God himself, by him ‘in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth bodily.’ Partly because the gospel, if we would profit by it, is to be received by all believers, not only as an everlasting covenant, but as certain, perfect, and saving. Now if the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in him who gave this covenant, we cannot deny either the certainty or the perfection, or the savingness of it; for it we receive it from him who is truth itself, we cannot be deceived. It is certain if he taught us in person; surely all his works are perfect. Subordinate ministers may mingle their weaknesses with their doctrine; if we have it from a Saviour, surely it is a doctrine that bringeth salvation.
2. Consider what a fit object here is for your faith. As Christ is a priest, so his great business is to reconcile us to God in the body of his flesh through death, who once were strangers and enemies, Col. i. 21. Consider how fit he was for this; God and man were first united in his person, before they were united in one covenant. If you consider the fruits of his redemption and reconciliation; the evil from whence we were to be delivered, the good that was to be procured, Christ is every way a commodious Mediator for us as God-man. If you consider the evil from whence we are delivered, he was man, that the chastisement of our peace might be put upon his shoulders; God, that by his stripes we might be healed, Isa. liii. 5. Or, if you consider the good to he procured, he doth it as God-man. He was a man, that as by the disobedience of one many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one many might be made righteous; God, that as sin reigned unto death, so grace might reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom. v. 19, 21. As he is God, his merit is full; as he is man, we are partakers of the benefit of it.
3. Consider how fit an object he is for our faith as king. For as the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in him bodily, he is the greatest and most glorious person that ever was in the world, infinitely superior above all power that is named in this world, or in the world to come. The man who is our shepherd is fellow to the Lord of hosts. The thought of Immanuel maketh the prophet startle, and break out into a triumph when Sennacherib brake in with his forces like a deluge in the land of Judah: ‘They fill thy land, O Immanuel,’ Isa. viii. 8. Then ver. 9, 10, ‘Associate yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; take counsel together, it shall come to nought; speak the word, it shall not stand: for God is with us.’ Or because of Immanuel. Surely Christ is the foundation of the church’s happiness, and may afford us comfort in the most calamitous condition; we are in his hands, under his pastoral care and protection: John x. 28, ‘I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.’ Neither man nor devil can break off totally and finally their union with him. In short, he that assumed our nature to himself, will communicate himself to us. All union is in order to communion – here is a commodious and a blessed Saviour represented unto you.
Secondly, Own him as your Lord and your God. This was the profession of Thomas’s faith: John xx. 28, ‘My Lord and my God.’ I shall insist on that scripture. In the history there are these remarkables
1. Thomas, his absence from an assembly of the disciples, when Christ had manifested himself to them, ver. 24. Being absent he not only missed the good news which many brought, but also the comfortable sight of Christ, and was thereby left in doubts and snares.
2. When these things were told him he betrays his incredulity, ver. 25. When they told him, ‘he said unto them, Except I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.’ This unbelief was overruled by God’s providence for the honour of Christ. His incredulity was an occasion to manifest the certainty of Christ’s resurrection. If credulous men, or those hasty of belief, had only seen Christ, their report had been liable to suspicion. Solomon maketh it one of his proverbs, ‘The simple believeth every word.’ Here is one that had sturdy and pertinacious doubts, yet brought at last to yield. However, this is an instance of the proneness of our hearts to unbelief, especially if we have not the objects of faith under the view of the senses, and how apt we are to give laws to heaven, and require our terms of God.
3. Christ’s condescension in two things
[1.] In appearing again, ver. 26, on the first day of the next week. to show how ready he is to honour and bless his own day, and to give satisfaction to poor doubting souls by coming again to them; and it was well Thomas was there at this time.
[2.] In giving Thomas the satisfaction of sense: ver. 27,- ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands, and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side.’ With what mildness doth our Lord treat him, though under such a distemper. Unbelief is so hateful to Christ, that he is very careful to have it removed, and in condescension grants what was his fault to seek.
4. The next thing is Thomas his faith: ver 28, ‘And he answered and said, My Lord, and my God.’ He presumeth not to touch Christ, but contents himself only to see him, and having seen him, makes a good confession, o kuriov mou, o Yeov mou.
[1.] Observe the two titles given to Christ: God and Lord. He is God, the fountain of all our happiness, and Lord, as he hath a dominion over us, to guide and dispose of us at his own pleasure.
[2.] Observe the appropriation or personal application to himself, my God and my Lord.
Hence we may observe
1. That God leaveth some to themselves for a while, that themselves and others may be more confirmed afterwards. Thomas his faith was as it were dead and buried in his heart, and now, upon the sight of Christ, quickened and revived. We must not judge of men by a fit of temptation, but stay till they come to themselves again. Who would have thought that out of an obstinate incredulity so great a faith should spring up suddenly?
2. We may observe Thomas, that is with much ado awakened, makes a fairer confession than all the rest. They call him their Lord, but he his Lord and God.
3. We may observe, again, that true believing with the heart is joined with confession of the mouth: Ps. cxvi. 10, ‘I believed, therefore have I spoken.’
4. Hence you may take notice of the reality of the two natures in the unity of Christ’s person, for he is both Deus and Dominus. But how cometh he to acknowledge Christ’s Godhead? He did not feel the divinity of Christ in hands, or side, or feet. Videbat tangebatque hominem, et confitebatur Deum, quem non videbat neque tangebat, saith Austin. Herein his faith was beyond sense, he felt the manhood and acknowledgeth the deity.
5. Hence we may observe, that those that are rightly conversant about Christ and the mysteries of his death and resurrection, should take Christ for their Lord and their God. Thomas saith, ‘My Lord and my God,’ and his confession should be the common confession of all the faithful. I shall quit the three first, and insist only on the two last. I therefore begin with the fourth observation.
Fourthly, Hence you see the reality of the two natures in the unity of Christ’s person. The name of God is joined with the title of Lord; therefore the name of God belongeth to him no less than the title of Lord Thomas, when he saith my Lord, he seemeth not to have satisfied himself till he had added this other name and title, my God: now this importeth the reality of his divine nature, for these three reasons: –
1. Those things which are proper to God cannot, ought not, to be transferred to a mere creature; but this title of my God is a covenant title, and so often used in scripture, and therefore Christ was God.
2. To whom truly and properly the names and titles of things do belong, to him that which is signified by those names and titles doth belong also; for otherwise this would destroy all certainty of speech. You cannot speak or write, unless words signify what in vulgar use they are applied unto; there could be no reasoning a signo ad rem significatam, from the sign to the thing signified. If I should call a brute a man, or a creature God, how can we understand what is spoken or written? The argument is the more cogent, because a name is an implicit contracted definition, as a definition is a name explained and dilated. As when I say a man is a reasonable creature, so a God is one that hath power over all, blessed for ever.
3. The greater any person is, the more danger there is of giving him titles that do not belong to him; for that is to place him in an honour to which he hath greater pretensions than others, but no right; especially doth this hold good in religion – it is true in civils. To give one next the king, the title of king, would awaken the jealousy of princes, and breed much inconvenience. But especially doth this hold good in religion, where God is so jealous of giving his glory to another, Isa. xlii. 8. Therefore the greater the dignity of Christ was above all other creatures, the more caution was necessary that the name of God might not be ascribed to him, if he were only mere man, and it did not properly agree to him; for the more dangerous the error, the more cautiously should we abstain from it.
4. Consider the person by whom this title was given; by a godly man. No godly man would call an idol, or a magistrate, or a teacher, or a king, or an angel, or any created thing above an angel, his Lord and his God. But this was done by Thomas, one bred up in the religion taught by Moses and the prophets; and the chief point of that religion was, that God is but one: Deut. vi. 4, ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.’ This was one of the sentences written on the fringes of their garments, and it is quoted by Christ, whose disciple Thomas also was, Mark xii. 29, and explained by a learned scribe which came to him: Mark xii. 32, ‘Well, master, thou hast said the truth, for there is but one God, and there is none other but him.’ Now, Thomas knowing this, and the first commandment, ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me,’ if he were not persuaded of it, would he say to Christ, ‘My Lord and my God’?
5. The person to whom he spake it: ‘He said to him;’ not to the Father, but to Jesus of Nazareth: ‘My Lord and my God.’ Surely as the saints would not derogate from God, so Christ would not arrogate what was proper to his Father. Therefore as his disciples would have been tender of giving it to him, so he would have refused this honour, being so holy, if it had not been his due. But Christ reproved not, but rather approved this confession of faith; therefore it was right and sound. Christ had said to him, ‘Be not faithless, but believing,’ and then Thomas saith, ‘My Lord and my God.’ ‘And Jesus saith to him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.’ There is no rebuke for ascribing too much to him.
6. The conjunction of the divine and human nature is so necessary to all Christ’s functions and offices, that less would not have been sufficient than to say, ‘My Lord, my God.’
The functions and offices of Christ are three – to be a prophet, priest, and king.
[1.] To be a prophet, Mat. xxiii. 10, ‘One is your master, even Christ.’ Now to be our master and teacher, it is necessary that he should have the human nature and divine conjoined. The human nature, that he might teach men by word of mouth, familiarly and sweetly conversing with men; and also by his example, for he perfectly teacheth that teacheth both ways, by word and deed. And it is a mighty condescension, that God would come down, and submit to the same laws we are to live by. His divine nature was also necessary, that he might be the best of teachers; for who is such a teacher as God? and that he might teach us in the best way, and that is, when God, taking the nature of man, doth vouchsafe to men his familiar converse, eating and drinking and walking with them, offering himself to be seen and heard by them; as he of old taught Abraham, Gen. xviii., accepting his entertainment; nothing more profitable, or honourable to men can be thought of. In Christ’s prophetical office, four things are to be considered
(1.) What he taught.
(2.) How he taught.
(3.) By what arguments he confirmed his doctrine.
(4.) How he received it from the Father.
(1.) What he taught. Christ preached, but chiefly himself; he revealed and showed forth God, but by revealing and showing forth himself, John xiv. 9; he called men, but to himself; he commanded men to believe, but in himself, John xiv. 1; he promised eternal life, which he would give, but to men believing in himself; he offered salvation to miserable sinners, but to be had by himself; he wrought a fear of judgment to come, but to be exercised by himself; he offered remission of sins, but to those that believed in himself; he promised the resurrection of the dead, which he by his own power and authority would bring to pass. Now who could do all this but God? A mere man, if faithful and holy, would have turned off men from himself to God: 2 Cor. iv. 5, ‘For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.’ They designed no honour to themselves, but only to Christ; they were loth to transfer any part of this glory to themselves; so would Christ if he had not been God. Therefore what should his disciples say, but’ My Lord, my God’?
(2.) How he taught. There is a twofold way of teaching – one human, by the mouth, and sound of words striking the ear; the other divine, opening and affecting the heart. Christ used both ways. As the human nature was necessary to the one, so the divine to the other. As the organs of speaking cannot be without the human nature, so the other way of teaching cannot be without a divine power. When the disciples came to Christ, ‘Lord, increase our faith,’ Luke xvii. 5, he did not answer, as Jacob did to Rachel (when she said, ‘Give me children or I die’), ‘Am I in the place of God?’ Christ after his resurrection did not only open the scriptures, as was said before, but, Luke xxiv. 45, ‘He opened their understandings, that they might understand the scriptures.’ And he opened the heart of Lydia, Acts xvi. 14; and poured the Holy Spirit on the apostles on the day of Pentecost, Acts ii.; and by the same efficacy teacheth the church, wherever it is scattered.
(3.) If you consider by what arguments he confirmed his doctrine. By many, and the greatest miracles, not done by the power of another, but his own; and he required men to believe it: Mat. ix. 28, ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this?’ Whence had he the power to know the thoughts of men, to cure all sorts of diseases in a moment, to open the eyes of the blind, to raise the dead, to dispossess devils, but from that divine nature which was in him? Was it in his body and flesh? then it was finite, and in some sort material. Was it in his soul, understanding, will, or phantasy, or sensitive appetite? How could it work on other men’s bodies? Therefore it was from his divine nature: ‘My Lord, my God.’
(4.) How he received this doctrine from the Father. Did God ever speak to him, or appear to him? Is there any time, or manner, or speech noted by the evangelists when God made this revelation? None at all. If he were a mere creature, or nothing but a man, surely that should have been done. He revealed the most intimate counsels and decrees of God, as perfectly knowing them; but when or how they were revealed to him by his Father is not said, which, if he had been mere man, would have conduced to the authority of his message and revelation. But all this needed not, he being a divine person, of the same essence with his Father. Therefore, ‘My Lord, my God.’
[2.] His priestly office. The human nature was necessary for that, for the reasons alleged by the apostle, Heb. ii. 14, 17. And also the divine nature, that there might be a priest as well as a sacrifice. There had been no sacrifice if he had not been man, and no priest, if he had not been God, to offer up himself through the eternal Spirit, Heb. ix. 14. The sacrifice must suffer, the priest act; and besides, he could not enter into the heavenly sanctuary to present himself before God for us, Heb. ix. 24. Then the heavenly sanctuary and tabernacle need first to be made before he entered. For as the earthly priest made the earthly tabernacle before he ministered in it, so the true priest was to make the heavenly tabernacle, as the author to the Hebrews saith in many places. But to leave that; the priest was to expiate sins by the offering of a sacrifice instead of the sinner. So Christ was to satisfy the justice of God for sinners by his mediatory sacrifice. Now this he could not do unless he had been God as well as man. The dignity of his person did put a value upon his sufferings. Without this, how shall we pacify conscience, representing to us the evil of sin and the dreadfulness of God’s wrath, and the exact justice of the judge of all the world, Rom. iii. 25, 26; especially when these apprehensions are awakened in us by the curse of the law and the stinging sense of God’s threatenings, which are so absolute, universal, and every way true and evident, unless we know a sufficient satisfaction hath been made for us? If you think the promises of the gospel are enough, alas! when the threatenings of the law are so just, and built upon such evident reason, the soul is exposed to doubtfulness. And if the threatenings of the law seem altogether in vain, the promises of the gospel will seem less firm and valid. The truth and honour of God’s government must one way or other be kept up, and that will not be unless there be a fair passage from covenant to covenant, and that the former be not repealed or relaxed but upon valuable consideration, as it is when our mediator and surety beareth our sorrows and griefs, and satisfieth for us. But now, if he were mere man, it would not have that esteem and value as to be sufficient for so many men, and so many sins as are committed against an holy God. Therefore he needeth to be God also.
[3.] His kingly office. How can that be exercised without an infinite power? Because by our king and judge, all our enemies are to be overcome; the world, sin, death, and the devil. And what is necessary to do this every man may soon understand. And as an infinite power is necessary, so an infinite knowledge; that all things in heaven and earth may be naked and open to him, and that he search the heart, and try the reins: and then, that he may subject all things to himself, raise all the dead to life, govern and protect the faithful in all the parts of the world; that he may be present with them, in every age and place, to help and relieve them. In short, to do all things both in heaven and in earth, that fall within the compass of his office. Now what is a divine and infinite power, if this be not? What can the Father do which the Son cannot do also? yea, what doth the Father do which the Son doth not likewise? John v. 19. Is there any work which the one doth that the other cannot do? Besides, there needeth infinite authority and majesty, therefore the king of the church must be infinite. But how is he infinite, if he hath only a finite nature, such as a mere creature hath? Or how could his finite nature, without change and conversion into another nature, be made infinite? For without doubt that nature is infinite which hath an infinite power of understanding, willing, and acting. Well, then, Christ cannot be truly owned, unless he be owned as Lord and God.
Fifthly, Those that are rightly conversant about Christ, and the mysteries of his death and resurrection, should take Christ for their Lord and their God. Every one of them should say, My God, on whom I depend; my Lord, to whose use I resign myself. I shall –
1. Explain in what sense these words may and ought to be used.
2. Give you the reasons why it becomes Christians to be able to say, ‘My Lord, my God.’
1. In what sense these words may and ought to be used, ‘My Lord, and my God.’ There are two things considerable in those words: –
[1.] An appropriation or a claim, and challenge of interest in him.
[2.] A resignation or dedication of ourselves to his use and service.
Both are implied in these titles, ‘My Lord, my God.’ Christ was his God or benefactor, and also his Lord and Master. However that be in the mutual stipulation of the covenant, it is evident: Cant. ii. 16, ‘I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.’ There is the appropriation of faith, and the resignation of obedience: Ezek. xxxvi. 28, ‘Ye shall be my people, and I will be your God;’ Zech. xiii. 9, ‘I will say, It is my people, and they shall say, The Lord is my God.’
(1.) The one is the fruit and effect of the other. God saith, ‘I am thy God;’ and the soul answereth, ‘I am thy servant.’ As when Christ said, ‘Mary,’ she presently said, ‘Rabboni.’ God awakeneth us by the offer of himself and all his grace to do us good, and then we devote ourselves to his service, and profess subjection to him. If he will be our God, we may well allow him a dominion and lordship over us, to rule us at his pleasure. We choose him, because he chooseth us, for all God’s works leave their impression upon our hearts – he cometh with terms of peace, and we with profession of duty. God loveth first, -and most, and purest, and therefore his love is the cause of all.
(2.) The one is the evidence of the other. If God be yours, you are his. He is yours by gift of himself to you, and you are his by gift of yourselves to him. The covenant bindeth mutually. Many will be ready to apply, and call God their God, that do not dedicate and devote themselves to God. If you be not the Lord’s, the Lord is not yours. He refuseth their claim that say, Hosea viii. 2, ‘Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee. Israel hath cast off the thing that is good.’ In their distress they pleaded their interest in the covenant, but God would not allow the claim, because they denied obedience.
(3.) The one is more sensible and known to us than the other. A believer cannot always say God is mine, but he will always say, I am his: Ps. cxix. 94, ‘I am thine, save me.’ I am thine, and will be thine, only thine, wholly thine, and always thine. Appropriation hath more of a privilege in it, resignation is only a duty. We have leave and allowance to say God is my God, but we cannot always say it without doubt and hesitancy, because our interest is not always alike evident and clear. When you cannot say, My God, yet be sure to say, My Lord. We know God to be ours by giving up ourselves to be his. His choice and election of us is a secret till it be evidenced by our choice of Him for our God and portion – our act is more sensible to the conscience. Be more full and serious in the resignation of yourselves to him, and in time that will show you your interest in God.
(4.) God’s propriety in us by contract and resignation speaketh comfort, as well as our propriety and interest in God. You are his own, and therefore he will provide for you and care for you: 1 Tim. v. 8, ‘If any provide not for his own, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.’ Interest doth strangely endear things to us. ‘The world will love its own,’ John v. 19; and will not God love his own, and Christ love his own? John xiii. 1. You may trust him, and depend upon him, and serve him cheerfully, for you are his own. So that if we had no interest in God established by the covenant, if God had not said to us, I am yours, yet our becoming his would make it comfortable. For every one taketh himself to he bound to love his own, provide for his own, and to defend his own, and do good to his own. Indeed, God is ours, as well as we are his; but our being his draweth along with it much comfort and blessing. But to speak of these apart
(1st.) The appropriation or claim of interest is a sweet thing. If God be your God, why should you be troubled? Ps. xvi. 5, 6, ‘The Lord is the portion of my inheritance, and of my cup. Thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places, yea, I have a goodly heritage.’ You have a right to God himself and may lay claim to all that he hath for your comfort and use. His attributes yours, his providences yours, his promises yours, what may not you promise yourselves from him? Support under all troubles, relief in all necessities. You may take hold of his covenant, Isa. lvi. 4, and lay claim to all the privileges of it. It is all yours.
(2nd.) This dedication, this resignation of ourselves to God’s use, to be at his disposing without reservation or power of revocation, is often spoken of in scripture: Isa. xliv. 5, ‘One shall say, I am the Lord’s, another shall call himself by the name of Jacob, and another shall subscribe with his hand to the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.’ The meaning is, to give up their names to God, to be entered into his muster-roll, and to be listed in his service: Rom. vi. 13, ‘Yield up yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead.’ It is the immediate fruit of grace and new life infused in us. A natural man liveth to himself, to please himself, and give satisfaction to his own lusts. Grace is a new being and life, that inclines us to live and act for God. As soon as this life is begotten in us by the power of his Spirit, our hearts are inclined towards God, and you devote yourselves to serve and please him. As your work and business was before to serve the devil, the world, and the flesh, so now to please, serve, and glorify God.
Secondly, The reasons why it becometh Christians to be able to say, ‘My Lord, my God.’
1. Because our interest in him is the ground of our comfort and confidence. It is not comfortable to us that there is a God, and that there is a Lord, that may be terrible to us. The devils believe, and the damned spirits feel there is a God and there is a Lord; but their thoughts of God is a part of their misery and torment, James ii. 19. The more they think of God, the more their horror is increased; to own a God, and not to see him as ours, the remembrance of it will be troublesome to us: 1 Sam. xxx. 6, ‘David comforted himself in the Lord his God.’ There was the comfort, that he had a God to go to when all was lost, and that God was his God. So Hab. iii. 18, ‘I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.’ If God be our God, we have more in him than trouble can take from us. So Luke i. 47, ‘My spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.’ When you make particular application to yourselves, it breeds strong comfort.
2. Because nothing strikes upon the heart with such an efficacy, as what nearly concerns us affects us most. The love of Christ to sinners in general doth not affect us so much as when it is shed abroad in our own hearts by the Spirit: Gal. ii. 20, ‘He loved me, and gave himself for me;’ that draws out our hearts to God again, and is a quickening motive to stir us up to the life of love and faith. So Eph. i. 13, ‘In whom ye trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.’ It is not sufficient to know that the gospel is a doctrine of salvation to others only, but to find it a doctrine of salvation to themselves in particular, that they may apply the promises to their own heart. A Christian is affected most with things according as he is concerned in them himself. It bindeth our obedience the more firmly when we know that we are particularly engaged to God, and have chosen him for our God and our Lord.
3. Because without a real personal entering into covenant, the covenant doth us no good; unless every one of us do choose God for our God and Lord, and particularly own him. Every man must give his hand to the Lord, and personally engage for himself. It is not enough that Christ engage for us in being our surety, but we must take a bond upon ourselves. Something Christ did for us and in our name, he interposed as the surety of a better testament, Heb. vii. 22. Something must be done personally by us before we can have benefit by it. You must give up yourselves to the Lord. It is not enough that the church engage for us, but every man must engage his own heart to draw nigh to God: Jer. xxx. 21, ‘Who is he that engageth his heart to draw nigh to me?’ It is not enough that our parents did engage for us, Deut. xxix. 10 – 12. They did in the name of their little ones avouch God to be their God, as we devote, dedicate, and engage our children to God in baptism; but no man can savingly transact this work for another. We ratify the covenant in our own persons, 2 Cor. ix. 13, by a professed subjection to the gospel of Christ. This is a work cannot be done by a proxy, or assignees; unless we personally enter into covenant with God for ourselves, our dedication by our parents will not profit us, we shall be as children of the Aethiopians unto God, Amos ix. 7; though children of the covenant, all this will not serve – these are visible external privileges. But there is something required of our persons, every one must say for himself, ‘My Lord, and my God.’ And this must not only be done in words and by some visible external rites that may signify so much. As for instance, coming to the Lord’s Supper, that is the new testament in Christ’s blood, Luke xxii. 20. It is interpretative – a sealing the new covenant between Christ and us. God giveth, and you take the elements as a pledge and token that God and you are agreed. That he will give you himself, his Christ, and all his benefits; and you will walk before him in newness of life. Now to rest in the ceremony, and neglect the substance, is but a mockery of God. As many rend the bond yet prize the seal, care much for the sacrament, that never care for the duty it bindeth them unto. If your hearts be hearty and well with God, you come now personally to enter into covenant with him; but this business must not be done only externally, but internally also. It is a business done between God and our souls, though no outward witnesses be conscious to it. God cometh speaking to us by his Spirit in this transaction: Ps. xxxv. 3, ‘Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.’ And we speak to God, Lam. iii. 24, ‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul.’ There is verbum mentis, as well as verbum oris. This covenant is carried on in soul language: Ps. xvi. 21, ‘O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord.’ So Ps. xxvu. 8, ‘When thou saidst, Seek ye my face, my heart said, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.’ The Lord offereth or representeth himself as our Lord, and we profess ourselves to be the Lord’s. No eye seeth, or ear heareth what passeth between God and the soul. Now, without this personal inward covenanting, all the privileges of the covenant will do us no good. And this personal inward covenanting amounts to full as much as ‘My Lord, my God.’
Therefore it concerneth every one of us to see whether we have thus particularly owned Christ; if there have been any treaty between God and our souls; and whether it came to any conclusion, and particular soul engagement; that you could thus own Christ, not only as God and Lord, but as your God and your Lord.