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(John vi. 27.) “ Him bath God the Father sealed.” A metaphor taken from men, who give commission or authority to their agents or attornies appointed under their hand and seal. But the infinite wisdom and power of God appears in that, be took wicked inen and wicked spirits in their own craftiness, when they maliciously crucified Christ, and lifted him up on the cross ; for then they involuntarily subserved his great design: bis determinate counsel they accomplished, as he foreknew they would do by their wicked hands and wicked devices; so that the Old Serpent and his angels, who made use of the princes of this world, to set up the antitypical Brazen Serpent upon the cross, did so, to the destruction of their own power; and thereby they unwittingly accomplished the Divine counsel to their own eternal confusion. The devil and wicked men are witnesses against God ACTIVELY; and yet against their wills, they are PASSIVE witnesses for him, that he is God; for God gets glory upon them. The Lord is known by the judgment he executes on them, as it is said respecting Pharaoh; “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up (for by him kings reign), that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth." (Rom. ix. 17.)
How was this brazen serpent used ? It was lift up, saith the text; as Moses lift up the serpent in the wilderness. And herein again, behold, a lively type of Christ, who was also lifted up, and so lifted up, for so must the Son of nan be lift up.
For the opening of the phrase, How is Christ said to be lifted up? It may be stated, that Christ may be said to be lifted up divers ways.
i. In his passion, his death : lifted up on the cross.
2. In his resurrection ; lifted up from the grave, from which he rose the third day.
13. In his exaltation, bis ascension into heaven, and session at the right hand of God. Of these two latter, the aposile Peter speaks, Acts ii. 32, 33. This Jesus, God has raised up: Therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, lifted up.
4. And lastly, He may be said to be lified up in the preaching of the gospel. In this fourth and last sense, John Calvin understands the phrase here in the text; · The Son of Man must be lifted up;' And so he is, saith Calvin, in the preaching of the gospel ; for there is Christ held forth and lift up even as the brazen serpent was lift up in the wilderness : How was the brazen ser pent lift up? Why it was set up for a sign or an ensign, that all the people might take notice of it, and the bitten Israelites took it up for their bodily cure: and even so is Christ lifted up in the preaching of the gospel; for a sign or an ensign, so the prophet Isaiah hath it, (Isaiah xi. 10.) “ In that day there shall be a root of Jesse, wbich shall stand for an ensign of the people." Ver. 12," He shall set up an ensign for the nations. So again, Isai. xlix. 22.“ Behold, I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to that people, &c. This ensign, this standard is Christ, who is lift up wherever the gospel is preached. God's ministers, they are his standard-bearers, and their work is to lift up Christ; for indeed, what is the gospel but good news, a doctrine concerning Christ? Concerning his Person, his incarnation, offices, obedience, merits, and benefits. In all, holding forth Christ, that the people might behold, look up to him, and believe on him. Thus is Christ there lifted up. A truth, and a useful one; which I will not wholly exclude out of the text. But many expositors, both ancient and modern, carry the sense another way, understanding the phrase in the first sense, namely, of the death and passion of Christ ; for there was the Son of Man lift up, and that in a literal sense, lift up on the cross; and of this I conceive our Saviour here to speak. In this sense we find this phrase used by himself in two other places of the gospel, John viii. 28, and xii. 32. In the former place he tells the Jews, “ When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you shall know that I AM” Now, how did they lift him up? Why, by crucifying him, lifting him upon the cross. The latter text is express and full. “And I, saith our Saviour, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men after me, or unto me." Which lifting up is explained in the next verse ; namely, " This spake he, signifying what death he should die.” That the people so understood him is evident from the sacred record in the 34th verse ; and so we may understand him under the comparison of the lifting up of the brazen serpent, as notifying to Nicodemus both his own death, and the manner of it.
And here allow me to observe, that Dr. Hawker saith, “ Among the gracious acts of Christ, there were two, more immediately express and striking. The one, that he who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Cor. v. 21.) The other, that as the Church of God by transgressing God's Holy law came justly under the sentence of God's curse ; so Christ as the Husband and Surety of his people should be made a curse for them ; that they might be redeemed from the curse of the law. (Gal. iii. 13.) Both these, the Son of God un. dertook from all eternity to do, to bear, and to suffer in our nature; and he has done it most effectually and completely. But, before the accomplishment of it, that Old Testament saints might enjoy New Testament blessings, the Holy Ghost was pleased to appoint that these things should be shadowed out in type and figure. The scape-goat was appointed on the great day of atonement to set forth the former. And the brazen serpent set forth the latter : both directly pointing to the Lord Jesus Jesus Christ, and in him alone to their accomplishment.
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as notifying to Nin parison of the lifting and so we THB HORRID IMPIETY OF THE UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION SCHEME, The Arminians strive to deprive Jesus of his purchase, and give him the lie, by saying he redeemed the whole of the human race, and that “many souls are in hell, for whom Christ died and shed his precious blood,” but it is eviden: from scripture testimony, he redeemed only those the Father chose in him before the world be. gan ; Jesus calls them sheep, they are his property, both by gift and purchase. The apostle Paul well satisfied of the same truth, said to the Corinthian believers, chap. vi. 19, 20. What know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price ; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. Therefore, Jesus says, in John x. 11, lam the good shepherd, and the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. Jesus, the God-Man Mediator, iknew the goats froin the sheep as well when he tabernacled below on earth as he will do at the great day, when he will set the goats on his left hand, and the sheep on his right, therefore he told some, as in John X. 26. But ye be. lieve not, BECAUSB ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you, and which you may see it confirmed in John viii. 44, 45. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do, be was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it, and because I tell you the truth you believe me not. The Arminians, upon their universal scheme, taking passages of scripture in an unlimited sense are deceived and endeavour to deceive others, and would if possible deceive the very elect, but blessed be God, they cannot be deceived out of their souls? 'salvation, for it is secured in Christ their covenant head, as in Coloss. iii. 3, 4. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God, when Christ who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. They quote Heb.ii. latter part of ver. 9, where it is said, that he by the grace of God should (taste death for every man, but the apostle did not mean every individual of the human race, but every one that was given to Jesus by the Father which the following verse reveals to the enlightened mind very clearly, (verse 10) For it became him for whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. As Jesus said in Matt, 8x. 28. Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. So in Heb. ix. 28. Also in Isai. XXXV. 10. And the ransoned of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads : They shall obtain joy and gladness; and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
There are a many passages in the word God that appear to to be general, and the Arminian, the Quaker, and Papist believe in them as such being full of universal charity, as if they were the only people that have real love for their fellow creatures; also many Modern Calvinists in their missionary meetings have acted in the same manner, so that when a sound faithful labourer of Jesus Christ preaches a sermon among them in their monthly assenıblies in a doctrinal way, they dub him with the title of Antinomian, and say he has not a love for souls: but Paul the Apostle and Missionary sent out by Jesus, was not such a time-serving preacher ; for be declares in Acts x8. 26, 27. Wherefore I take you to record, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God; and all the persecutions and sufferings he went through, he tells us plainly what it was that encouraged him, well knowing the means that God had predestinated to bring about the end. 2 Tim. ii. 10. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sake, that they may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. If Paul was living in our day he would share the same stigma. Again, the words, all men, do not mean every individual, therefore in some part of scripture it must be taken in a limited sense, as in 1 Tim. ji. 4. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth ; that is, prayer and supplication to be made for all men, agreeable to the will of God, for kings and peasants, for Jews and Gentiles, as in the preceding verses, but the Arminian holds it, God wills the salvation and glorification of every man.
"How comes it that bis will is crost,
'Tis want of power in him no doubt.” Also, in 1 Tim. ij. 6. Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. This passage does not mean all that have, does now, or shall exist, but the whole of the ransomed sheep of Christ, as you see the apostle's meaning of the word of all, in Rom. viii. 32. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us ALL, how shall he not with him freely give us all things ? look to the preceding verses, 29 and 30, which in the clearest manner illustrate his meaning, so that the word all only extends to those whom God foreknew, predestinated, called, justified, and shall all be finally glorified. This word all signifies neither more nor less than the eternal salvation of all God's elect. Isa. xlv. 17. But Is. rael shall be saved in the Lord, with an everlasting salvation ; ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded, world without end. Also in 2 Pet. iii. 9. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness ; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any of us should perish, but that all should come to Vol. IV. -No. IV.
repentance. This passage is an answer to the scoffers and infidel part of mankind in the 4th verse, and, saying, where is the promise of his coming. But Jesus will appear at the appointed time of the Father, yet not before all the elect have an actual existence upon the earth, and all be born again of bis Spirit. Also the passage has a reference to those now upon the earth of Christ's sheep, that he laid down his LIFE FOR. God waits to be gracious, and is long. suffering towards them, the same as he was to Saul of Tarsus. I Tim. i. 16. Not willing that any of his chosen vessels of mercy should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance. Now the word all, to hold it universal, all mankind, as the Arminians do, must give God the lie ; seeing many die in their sins, and perish eternally in that lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, but Christ says, They shall never perish! Therefore the Arminian is refuted in this passage as in many others, that might be produced, and where they study to deceive the unwary by deluding their followers with an universal scheme of Christ shedding bis blood for all men, telling poor sinners the Father hath loved them all, Jesus hath redeemed them all, and the Spirit would regenerate them all, If they did not wilfully resist his operations ; such preaching as this can never be proved to be agreeable to the word of God. Christian experience is personal, and if professors of religion have no better evidence of their interest in Christ than that he redeemed all mankind, I would have such to know they are in an awful delusion, therefore the apostle Paul warned the Ephesians, iv. 14, 15. against such deceivers : but the comfort of every real believer is to know for himself, not from general redemption, but from particuJar, as in 1 Cor. ii. 11, 12, and in the 1 John v. 10. He that belie. veth in the Son of God hath the witness in himself, also Romans viii. 16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, though they backslide, they shall all be brought to repentance, manifested by David, Jonah, and Peter. The Arminians endeavour to support their general redemption scheme by the erroneous application of a passage from 1 John 11. 2. And he is a propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world ; but John knowing the Jews were impressed with a belief that none should be benefited by the Messiah but themselves; he told them that Jesus died not only for us Jews, but for Gentile sinners which were called the world, and as God's elect would be scattered in the four quarters of the globe; it is said they shall be called from the east, west, north, and south. Isaiah xliii. 5,6. I will say to the north, give up; and to the south keep not back ; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; as his redeemed ones. Rev. v.9. And they sung a new song, saying, thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred and tongue and people, and nation, plainly demonstrating, every individual cannot be in