Posted by Mark Herzer

The Glory of Heaven for the Dregs of Earth

These three sentences from Stephen Charnock represent only a small sample of the veritable riches of heart warming theological reflections and meditations found in his The Existence and Attributes of God. Though it is taking me an interminably long time to work through his classic work, I cannot complain because I have been relishing these opportunities to read it.

Technically, the second sentence cannot be a “run on sentence” but if it were, it would be a glorious run on sentence! He has been delineating the numerous ways in how our God is GOOD. The following passage comes from one of the sections detailing this statement: “In God’s giving Christ to be our Redeemer, he gave the highest gift that it was possible for divine goodness to bestow” (324). The Father’s Son was given to rescue us “by his death.” Meditate on the wonders of God’s goodness to us in all that our gracious Lord Jesus underwent for us!

He gave him to us, to suffer for us as a man, and redeem us as a God; to be a sacrifice to expiate our sin by translating the punishment upon himself, which was merited by us. Thus was he made low to exalt us, and debased to advance us, made poor to enrich us, 2 Cor. 8:9, and eclipsed to brighten our sullied natures, and wounded that he might be a physician for our languishments; he was ordered to taste the bitter cup of death, that we might drink of the rivers of immortal life and pleasures; to submit to the frailties of the human nature, that we might possess the glories of the divine; he was ordered to be a sufferer, that we might be no longer captives, and to pass through the fire of divine wrath, that he might purge our nature from the dross it had contracted. Thus was the righteous given for sin, the innocent for criminals, the glory of heaven for the dregs of earth, and the immense riches of a Deity expended to re-stock man.[1]

[1] Stephen Charnock, The Complete Works of Stephen Charnock (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1864–1866), 2:326.


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