WHEN the beloved Son of God hung on the accursed tree, when his soul was poured out unto death, when frighted rocks were burst asunder, the heavens in sackcloth were veiled, when the rugged bars of death were loosed, and tombs of marble resigned their sleeping tenants, when by the rending of the veil of the temple the ark, and cherubims, and mercy seat were all disclosed, while, nerved with malice, Jews and Bomans mocked, while racking pains and most tormenting smarts were inflicted on that blessed Lamb who bore our sins, when justice drew its flaming sword, and vengeance struck the dreadful blow, when hell exulting in her hour of darkness, amidst the awful grandeur of that dreadful scene, the voice of triumph, from the expiring Saviors lips shook the creation to its very centre; stern death, in dreadful terror clad, affrighted, paused and felt the thunder of that voice which in all the power and majesty of the eternal God-head shouted, "It is finished."
With due humility and that reverence which becomes the ransomed of the Lord, let us inquire what was finished. From the sacred record of eternal truth we learn that all was finished that the glorious Mediator had began; love was not finished, for the love of God had no beginning. Election and predestination, with all the perfection's of Jehovah which shine forth in the economy of salvation were not finished, for these were without beginning, and can never, never end.
But something was certainly finished by the Savior when he in triumph gave the victorious shout; nor has our Lord left this important subject in the clark. "He who runs may read." "He finished transgression, made an end of sin," &c. He himself has declared that ho has finished the work that his Father gave him to do. We eagerly inquire, what then was the work that his Father gave him to do? The Son of God responds, I come to do thy will, O God. I am come to do the will of my Father who sent me, and to finish the work. And this is the will of him that sent me, that of all that he has given me I should lose nothing; but should raise them up at the last day. And the Father has given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as the Father has given him. A shining messenger from the world of glory came down from heaven to earth, to announce the work that Jesus was to perform, viz: "His name shall be called Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins." He finished the redemption of his people agreeably to the prediction of the Psalmist: "The redemption of the soul is precious, and it ceaseth forever."
First. He has finished the redemption of his people, and it ceaseth forever.
Second. He has finished, or made an end of sin, as far as it relates to those he represented.
Third. He finished the law as far as relates to its demands in reference to the election of grace, and the fulfillment of its divine requisitions. "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but one jot or tittle of the law shall not pass until all is fulfilled. He is the end of the law for righteousness unto every one that believes.
Fourth. He has finished transgressions; for his blood cleanseth from all sin. He has given himself for his church, that he might redeem it from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.
Fifth. He has finished the curse, having borne our sins in his own body on the tree; and being made a curse for us, as it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
Sixth. He has finished the covenant of works, having blotted out the handwriting of ordinances which were against us, nailing them to the cross.
Seventh. He has finished the work of making sacrifices for Sin. "There remaineth no more sacrifice for sin."
Eighth. He has given a finishing stroke to the perfection of his people, for by one offering he has perfected forever them that are sanctified.
Ninth. He has finished death, having destroyed death and him that had the power of death, which is the devil.
Tenth. He finished the work of his sufferings, being now baptized with that baptism for which he was straitened until it was accomplished. When deep called unto deep, and the billows of divine wrath went over him; deep waters came into his soul.
Eleventh. He finished the complete pattern which he set for his children to walk in. Let no presumptuous wretch dare attempt to change the pattern of the things in heaven.
Finally, he has completely finished all that was written of him in the law, in the prophets, and in the psalms; and all that was necessary to secure the eternal salvation and justification of his people, and left them to challenge wicked men and devils, to declare, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth; It is Christ that died. He was wounded for their transgression; he was bruised for their iniquities, and the chastisement of their peace was upon him; then with his stripes they are healed. He sees of the travail of his soul, and is satisfied.
Reflection. Is it finished? Or, is something remaining to be done by the redeemed, in order to secure the blessed objects of the death of Christ? If something remains to be done, whether it be using means, or giving our hearts to God, or our money to modern institutions, or sitting on anxious benches, or anything else, much or little, then is tile work not finished, and the words of the expiring Lamb of God are contradicted. But be assured, dying reader, whatever relative duties are enjoined on the disciples of Christ, there is among them nothing to be added to the finished work of the Redeemer – nothing to render his redemption efficient, or effectual, or to extend its benefits to any for whom God did not eternally intend it; so far indeed from it, all the good works of the people of God are the immediate result of the blood and righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing can be added to or taken from the work which Christ finished when he yielded up the ghost and bowed his head unto death. "It ceaseth forever."
Here then the Old School Baptists find a sure foundation to build upon, and hence we preach Christ crucified, and proclaim a finished salvation in his worthy name – a salvation completely suited to the case of the poor, the needy, the halt, the lame and the blind; a salvation suited to the condition of every hungry, starving soul, who by grace is made to feel his wretchedness, and mourn his sins; but by no means suited to the ease of the whole, who need no physician. The pharisees of eighteen hundred years ago, rejected this finished work, and from that day to the present it stands rejected, despised, opposed and slandered by all the work-mongers who have flourished in our sinful world. But tell us, reader, how do you view the perfect work and finished salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ, for be assured if you despise this doctrine you are yet in your sins; but if you love the doctrine and can feed on it, you are not far from the kingdom.
Alexandria, D. C.,
February 10, 1837.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials of Gilbert Beebe
Volume 1 Pgs 350-353