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Of the covenant between the Father and the Son, the ground and foundation of this dispensation of Christ’s being punished for us and in our stead.
The fourth thing considerable is the ground of this dispensation of Christ’s being punished for us, which also hath influence into his 497whole mediation on our behalf. This is that compact, covenant, convention, or agreement, that was between the Father and the Son, for the accomplishment of the work of our redemption by the mediation of Christ, to the praise of the glorious grace of God.
The will of the Father appointing and designing the Son to be the head, husband, deliverer, and redeemer of his elect, his church, his people, whom he did foreknow, with the will of the Son voluntarily, freely undertaking that work and all that was required thereunto, is that compact (for in that form it is proposed in the Scripture) that we treat of.
It being so proposed, so we call it, though there be difficulty in its explication. Rabbi Ruben, in Galatinus, says of Isa. lxvi. 16, that if the Scripture had not said it, it had not been lawful to have said it, but being written, it may be spoken, “In fire, or by fire, is the Lord judged:” for it is not שׁוֹפַט, that is, “judging;” but נִשְׁפָּט, that is, “is judged;”490490 כִּי בָאֵשׁ יְהֹוָה נִשְׁפָּט.— which by some is applied to Christ and the fire he underwent in his suffering. However, the rule is safe, That which is written may be spoken, for for that end was it written, God in his word teaching us how we should speak of him. So it is in this matter.
It is true, the will of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is but one. It is a natural property, and where there is but one nature there is but one will: but in respect of their distinct personal actings, this will is appropriated to them respectively, so that the will of the Father and the will of the Son may be considered [distinctly] in this business; which though essentially one and the same, yet in their distinct personality it is distinctly considered, as the will of the Father and the will of the Son. Notwithstanding the unity of essence that is between the Father and the Son, yet is the work distinctly carried on by them; so that the same God judges and becomes surety, satisfieth and is satisfied, in these distinct persons.
Thus, though this covenant be eternal, and the object of it be that which might not have been, and so it hath the nature of the residue of God’s decrees in these regards, yet because of this distinct acting of the will of the Father and the will of the Son with regard to each other, it is more than a decree, and hath the proper nature of a covenant or compact. Hence, from the moment of it (I speak not of time), there is a new habitude of will in the Father and Son towards each other that is not in them essentially; I call it new, as being in God freely, not naturally. And hence was the salvation of men before the incarnation, by the undertaking, mediation, and death of Christ. That the saints under the old testament were saved by Christ at present I take for granted; that they were saved by virtue of a mere decree will not be said. From hence was Christ 498esteemed to be incarnate and to have suffered, or the fruits of his incarnation and suffering could not have been imputed to any; for the thing itself being denied, the effects of it are not.
The revelation of this covenant is in the Scripture; not that it was then constituted when it is first mentioned in the promises and prophecies of Christ, but [it was] then first declared or revealed. Christ was declared to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead, but he was so from eternity. As in other places, as shall be evinced, so in Isa. liii. is this covenant mentioned: in which chapter there is this prophetical scheme, — The covenant between Father and Son, which was past, is spoken of as to come; and the sufferings of Christ, which were to come, are spoken of as past; as appears to every one that but reads the chapter. It is also signally ascribed to Christ’s coming into the world; not constitutively, but declaratively. It is the greatest folly about such things as these, to suppose them then done when revealed, though revealed in expressions of doing them. These things being premised, I proceed to manifest how this covenant is in the Scripture declared.
Now, this convention or agreement, as elsewhere, so it is most clearly expressed Heb. x. 7, from Ps. xl. 7, 8, “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.” And what will? Verse 10, “The will by which we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” The will of God was that Jesus should be offered; and to this end, that we might be sanctified and saved. It is called “The offering of the body of Jesus Christ,” in answer to what was said before, “A body hast thou prepared me,” or a human nature, by a synecdoche. “My will,” says God the Father, “is, that thou have a body, and that that body be offered up; and that to this end, that the children, the elect, might be sanctified.” Says the Son to this, “Lo, I come to do thy will;” — “I accept of the condition, and give up myself to the performance of thy will.”
To make this more distinctly evident, the nature of such a compact, agreement, or convention, as depends on personal service, such as this, may be a little considered.
There are five things required to the complete establishing and accomplishing of such a compact or agreement:—
1. That there be sundry persons, two at least, namely, a promiser and undertaker, agreeing voluntarily together in counsel and design for the accomplishment and bringing about some common end acceptable to them both; so agreeing together.491491 “Nec dari quicquam necesse est, ut substantiam capiat obligatio; sed sufficit eos qui negotia gerunt consentire.” — Institut, lib. iii. de Oblig. ex Consensu. Being both to do somewhat that they are not otherwise obliged to do, there must be some common end agreed on by them wherein they are delighted; and if they do not both voluntarily agree to what is on each hand incumbent 499to do, it is no covenant or compact, but an imposition of one upon the other.
2. That the person promising, who is the principal engager in the covenant, do require something at the hand of the other, to be done or undergone, wherein he is concerned. He is to prescribe something to him, which is the condition whereon the accomplishment of the end aimed at is to depend.
3. That he make to him who doth undertake such promises as are necessary for his supportment and encouragement, and which may fully balance, in his judgment and esteem, all that is required of him or prescribed to him.
4. That upon the weighing and consideration of the condition and promise, the duty and reward prescribed and engaged for, as formerly mentioned, the undertaker do voluntarily address himself to the one, and expect the accomplishment of the other.
5. That, the accomplishment of the condition being pleaded by the undertaker and approved by the promiser,492492 Ὅπερ ὑπεσχέθην σοι ἔχεις προσδεκτόν ἔχω. — Formula Jur. Institut. lib. iii. c. Tollitur. § item per. “Numerius Nigidius interrogavit Aulum Augerium, Quicquid tibi hodierno die, per aquilianam stipulationem spopondi, id ne omne habes acceptum? Respondit Aulus Augerius, Habeo, acceptumque tuli.” — Ibid. the common end originally designed be brought about and established.
These five things are required to the entering into and complete accomplishment of such a covenant, convention, or agreement as is built on personal performances; and they are all eminently expressed in the Scripture, and to be found in the compact between the Father and the Son whereof we speak, as upon the consideration of the severals will appear.
On the account of these things, found at least virtually
and effectually in this agreement of the Father and Son, we call it a
covenant; not with respect to the Latin word “fœdus,” and the precise use of it, but to the Hebrew
בְרִית, and the Greek διαθήκη, whose signification and use alone
are to be attended to in the business of any covenant of God; and in what a
large sense they are used is known to all that understand them and have
made inquiry into their import. The rise of the word “fœdus” is properly paganish and superstitious; and
the legal use of it strict to a mutual engagement upon valuable
considerations, The form of its entrance, by the sacrifice and killing of a
hog, is related in Polybius, Livius, Virgil, and others.
The general words used in it were, “Ita
fœde me percutiat magnus Jupiter, ut fœde hunt porcum macto, ai pactum
fœderis non servavero;”493493 “Fecialis sumpto in manibus lapide, postquam de fœdere inter
partes convenerat, hæc verba dixit, Si recte ac sine dolo malo, hoc fœdus
atque hoc jusjurandum facio, dii mihi cuncta felicia præstent; sin aliter
aut ago, aut cogito, cæteris omnibus salvis, in propriis legibus, in
propriis laribus, in propriis templis, in propriis sepulchris, solus ego
peream, ut hic lapis de manibus meis decidet.” — Polyb. lib. iii. “ ‘Audi Jupiter; audi pater patrate; … ut ilia palam prima
postrema ex illis tabulis cerave recitata sunt sine dolo malo, utique ea
hic hodie rectissime intellecta sunt, illis legibus papulus Romanus prior
non deficiet. Si prior defexit publico consilio, dolo malo; tu illo
Diespiter, populum Romaaum sic ferito, ut ego hunc porcum hie hodie feriam:
tantoque magis ferito quanto magis potes pollesque.’ Id ubi dixit, porcum
saxo silice percussit.” — Livius, lib. i. cap. 24.
“Armati, Jovis ante aras, paterasque
Stabant: et cæsa jungebant fœdera
Virg. Æn. viii.
“Ad quem locum Servius: ‘Fœdera dicta sunt, a porca fœde et crudeliter occisa: nam cum ante gladiis configeretur, a fecialibus inventum ut silice feriretur, ea causa quod antiquum Jovis signum, lapidem silicem putaverunt esse.’ ” whence is that phrase of one in danger, “Sto inter sacrum 500et saxum,” the hog being killed with a stone. So “fœdus” is “a feriendo:” though sometimes even that word be used, in a very large sense, for any orderly-disposed government; as in the poet:—
― “Regemque dedit, qui fœdere certo
Et premere, et laxas sciret dare jussus habenas,” etc.
Virg. Æn. i. 66.
But unto the signification and laws hereof, in this business, we are not bound. It sufficeth for our present intendment that the things mentioned be found virtually in this compact, which they are.
1. There are the Father and the Son as distinct persons agreeing together in counsel for the accomplishment of the common end, — the glory of God and the salvation of the elect. The end is expressed, Heb. ii. 9, 10, xii. 2. Now, thus it was, Zech. vi. 13, “The counsel of peace shall be between them both,” — “Inter ambos ipsos.”494494 בֵּין שְׁנֵיהֶם. That is, the two persons spoken of, not the two offices there intimated, that shall meet in Christ. And who are these? The Lord Jehovah, who speaks, and the man whose name is עֶמַח, “The Branch,” verse 12, who is to do all the great things there mentioned: “He shall grow up,” etc. But the counsel of peace, the design of our peace, is between them both; they have agreed and consented to the bringing about of our peace. Hence is that name of the Son of God, Isa. ix. 6, “Wonderful Counsellor.” It is in reference to the business there spoken of that he is so called. This is expressed at the beginning of the verse, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” To what end that was is known, namely, that he might be a Saviour or a Redeemer, whence he is afterward called “The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace;” that is, a father to his church and people in everlasting mercy, the grand author of their peace, that procured it for them and established it unto them. Now, as to this work, that he who is אֵל גִּבּוֹר, “The mighty God,” might be בֵּן נִחַּן, “A son given, a child born,” and carry on a work of mercy and peace towards his church, is he called “The wonderful Counsellor,” as concurring in the counsel and design of his Father, and with him, to this end and purpose. Therefore, when he comes to suffer in the carrying on of this work, God calls him his “fellow,” עֲמִיחִי, “my neighbour” 501in counsel and advice, Zech. xiii. 7; as David describes his fellow or companion, Ps. lv. 14, “We took sweet counsel together.” He was the fellow of the Lord of hosts on this account, that they took counsel together about the work of our salvation, to the glory of God. Prov. viii. 22–31 makes this evident. That it is the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Word and Wisdom of the Father, who is here intended, was before evinced. What, then, is here said of him? “I was daily the delight of God, rejoicing always before him, rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.” When was this that the Wisdom of God the Father did so rejoice before him on the account of the sons of men? Verses 24–26, “When there were no depths, when there were no fountains abounding with water, before the mountains were settled,” etc., “while as yet he had not made the earth,” etc. But how could this be? namely, by the counsel of peace that was between them both, which is the delight of the soul of God, and wherein both Father and Son rejoice.
The first thing, then, is manifest, that there was a voluntary concurrence and distinct consent of the Father and Son for the accomplishment of the work of our peace, and for bringing us to God.
2. For the accomplishment of this work, the Father, who is principal in the covenant, the promiser, whose love “sets all on work,” as is frequently expressed in the Scripture, requires of the Lord Jesus Christ, his Son, that he shall do that which, upon consideration of his justice, glory, and honour, was necessary to be done for the bringing about the end proposed, prescribing to him a law for the performance thereof; which is called his “will” so often in Scripture.
What it was that was required is expressed both negatively and positively:—
(1.) Negatively, that he should not do or bring about this work by any of those sacrifices that had been appointed to make atonement “suo more,” and to typify out what was by him really to be performed. This the Lord Jesus professeth at the entrance of his work, when he addresses himself to the doing of that which was indeed required: “Sacrifice and offering,” etc., “thou wouldest not.” He was not to offer any of the sacrifices that had been offered before, as at large hath been recounted. It was the will of God that, by them, he and what he was to do should be shadowed out and represented; whereupon, at his coming to his work, they were all to be abrogated. Nor was he to bring silver and gold for our redemption, according to the contrivance of the poor convinced sinner, Mic. vi. 6, 7; but he was to tender God another manner of price, 1 Pet. i. 18.
He was to do that which the old sacrifices could not do, as hath been declared: “For it was not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins,” Heb. x. 4. Ἀφαιρεῖν ἁμαρτίας, quod 502supra ἀθετεῖν et ἀναφἑρειν, est extinguere peccata, sire facere ne ultra peccetur; id sanguis Christi facit, tum quia fidem in nobis parit, tum quia Christo jus dat nobis auxilia necesaria impetrandi,” Grot. in loc. Falsely and injuriously to the blood of Christ! Ἀφαιρεῖν ἁμαρτίας is nowhere in the Scripture to cause men to “cease to sin;” it never respects properly what is to come, but what is past. The apostle treats not of sanctification, but of justification. The taking away of sins he insists on is such as that the sinner should no more be troubled in conscience for the guilt of them, verse 2. The typical taking away of sins by sacrifices was by making atonement with God principally, not by turning men from sin, which yet was a consequent of them. The blood of Christ takes away sins as to their guilt by justification, and not only as to their filth by sanctification. This purification also by blood he expounds in his Annotations, chap. ix. 14: “Sanguini autem purgatio ista tribuitur, quia per sanguinem, id est, mortem Christi, secuta ejus excitatione et evectione, giguitur in nobis tides, Rom. iii. 25, quæ deinde fides corda purgat, Acts xv. 9.” The meaning of these words is evident to all that have their senses exercised in these things. The eversion of the expiation of our sins by the way of satisfaction and atonement is that which is aimed at. Now, because the annotator saw that the comparison insisted on with the sacrifices of old would not admit of this gloss, he adds, “Similitudo autem purgationis legalis, et evangelicæ, non est in modo purgandi sed in effectu;” than which nothing is more false, nor more directly contrary to the apostle’s discourse, Heb. ix. 10.
(2.) Positively. And here, to lay aside the manner how he was to do it, which relates to his office of priest, and prophet, and king, the conditions imposed upon him may be referred to three heads:—
[1.] That he should take on him the nature of those whom he was to bring to God. This is as it were prescribed to him, Heb. x. 5, “A body hast thou prepared me,” or “appointed that I should be made flesh, — take a body therein to do thy will.” And the apostle sets out the infinite love of the Son of God, in that he condescended to this inexpressible exinanition and eclipsing of his glory, Phil. ii. 6, 7, “Being in the form of God, and equal with God, he made himself of no reputation, but took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men,” or made a roam He did it upon his Father’s prescription, and in pursuit of what God required at his hands. Hence it is said, “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman,” Gal. iv. 4; and “God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,” Rom. viii. 3. And properly in answer to this of the Father’s appointing him a body is it that the Son answers, “Lo, I come to do thy will,” — “I will do it, I will undertake it, that the great desirable end may be brought about,” as we shall see afterward. So Heb. x. 9. And though I see no sufficient reason of relinquishing the usual 503interpretation of σπέρματος Ἀβραὰμ ἐπιλαμβάνεται, Heb. ii. 16, yet if it be “apprehendit,” and expressive of the effect, not “assumpsit,” relating to the way of his yielding us assistance and deliverance, the same thing is intimated.
[2.] That in this “body,” or human nature, he should be a “servant,” or yield obedience. Hence God calls him his servant, Isa. xlii. 1, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold.” And that this was also the condition prescribed to him our Saviour acknowledges, Isa. xlix. 5, “Now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant,” etc. And in pursuit hereof, Christ takes upon him “the form of a servant,” Phil. ii. 7: and this is his perpetual profession, “I came to do the will of him that sent me;” and, “This commandment I have received of my Father.” So, “though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience.” All along, in the carrying on of his work, he professes that this condition was by his Father prescribed him, that he should be his servant, and yield him obedience in the work he had in hand. Hence he says his Father is greater than he, John xiv. 28, not only in respect of his humiliation, but also in respect of the dispensation whereunto he, as the Son of God, submitted himself, to perform his Will and yield him obedience. And this God declares to be the condition whereon he will deliver man: Job xxxiii. 23, 24, “If there be a messenger (a servant), one of a thousand, to undertake for him, it shall be so, I will say, Deliver man; otherwise not.”495495 Vid. Cocceium in loc.
[3.] That he should suffer and undergo what in justice is due to him that he was to deliver; — a hard and great prescription, yet such as must be undergone, that there may be a consistence of the justice and truth of God with the salvation of man. This is plainly expressed, Isa. liii. 10, אִם־תָּשִׂים אָשָׁם נַפְשׁוֹ, “When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin,” or rather, “If his soul shall make an offering for sin, then he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” As if he should say, “If this work be brought about, and if the counsel of peace which we have consented in be carried on, if my pleasure therein be to prosper, thou must make thy soul an offering for sin.” And that this was required of our Saviour, himself fully expresses even in his agony, when, praying for the removal of the cup, he submits to the drinking of it in these words: “ ‘Thy will, O Father, be done;’ this is that which thou wilt have me do, which thou hast prescribed unto me, even that I drink of this cup;” wherein he “tasted of death,” and which comprised the whole of his sufferings. And this is the third thing in this convention and agreement.
3. Promises are made, upon the supposition of undertaking that which was required, and these of all sorts that might either concern 504the person that did undertake, or the accomplishment of the work that he did undertake.
(1.) For the person himself that was to undertake, or the Lord Jesus Christ, seeing there was much difficulty and great opposition to be passed through in what he was to do and undergo, promises of the assistance of his Father, by his presence with him, and carrying him through all perplexities and trials, are given to him in abundance. Some of these you have, Isa. xlii. 4, “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth;” and verse 6, “I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people;” — “Whatever opposition thou mayst meet withal, I will hold thee, and keep thee, and preserve thee.” “I will not leave thy soul in hell, nor suffer mine Holy One to see corruption,” Ps. xvi. 10. So Ps. lxxxix. 28, “My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.” And hence was our blessed Saviour’s confidence in his greatest trial, Isa. l. 5–9. Verses 5, 6, our Saviour expresses his undertaking, and what he suffered therein; verses 7–9, the assistance that he was promised of his Father in this great trial, on the account whereof he despises all his enemies, with full assurance of success, even upon the Father’s engaged promise of his presence with him. This is the first sort of promises made to Christ in this convention, which concern himself directly, that he should not be forsaken in his work, but carried through, supported and upheld, until he were come forth to full success, and had “sent forth judgment unto victory.” Hence, in his greatest trial, he makes his address to God himself, on the account of these promises, to be delivered from that which he feared: Heb. v. 7, “Who in the days,” etc. So Ps. lxxxix. 27, 28.
(2.) There were promises in this compact that concerned the work itself that Christ undertook, namely, that if he did what was required of him, not only he should be preserved in it, but also that the work itself should thrive and prosper in his hand. So Isa. liii. 10, 11, “When thou shalt make,” etc. Whatever he aimed at is here promised to be accomplished. “The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper;” — the design of Father and Son for the accomplishment of our salvation shall prosper. “He shall see his seed,” — a seed of believers shall be raised up, that shall “prolong their days;” that is, the seed shall prolong or continue whilst the sun and moon endure; all the elect shall be justified and saved. Satan shall be conquered, and the spoil delivered from him. And this our Saviour comforts himself withal in his greatest distress, Ps. xxii. 30, 31. And for this “joy that was set before him,” the joy of “bringing many sons unto glory” that was promised to him, “he endured the cross, and despised the shame,” Heb. xii. 2. So also Isa. xliii. 1–4.
505And this is the third thing in this compact, He who prescribes the hard conditions of incarnation, obedience, and death, doth also make the glorious promises of preservation, protection, and success. And to make these promises the more eminent, God confirms them solemnly by an oath. He is consecrated a high priest for evermore by the “word of the oath,” Heb. vii. 28. “The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever,” etc., verse 21.
4. The Lord Jesus Christ accepts of the condition, and the promise, and voluntarily undertakes the work: Ps. xl. 7, 8, “Then said I, Lo, I come: I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” He freely, willingly, cheerfully, undertakes to do and suffer whatever it was the will of his Father that he should do or suffer for the bringing about the common end aimed at. He undertakes to be the Father’s servant in this work, and says to the Lord, “Thou art my Lord,” Ps. xvi. 2; — “Thou art he to whom I am to yield obedience, to submit to in this work” “Mine ears hast thou bored, and I am thy servant;” — “I am not rebellious, I do not withdraw from it,” Isa. i. 5. Hence the apostle tells us that this mind was in him, that whereas he was “in the form of God, he humbled himself to the death of the cross,” Phil. ii. 6–8. And so, by his own voluntary consent, he came under the law of the mediator; which afterward, as he would not, so he could not decline. He made himself surety of the covenant, and so was to pay what he never took. He voluntarily engaged himself into this sponsion; but when he had so done, he was legally subject to all that attended it, — when he had put his name into the obligation, he became responsible for the whole debt. And all that he did or suffered comes to be called “obedience;” which relates to the law that he was subject to, having engaged himself to his Father, and said to the Lord, “Thou art my Lord; lo, I come to do thy will.”
5. The fifth and last thing is, that on the one side the promiser do approve and accept of the performance of the condition prescribed, and the undertaker demand and lay claim to the promises made, and thereupon the common end designed be accomplished and fulfilled. All this also is fully manifest in this compact or convention.
(1.) God the Father accepts of the performance of what was to the Son prescribed. This God fully declares, Isa. xlix. 5, 6, “And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength. And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” And eminently, verses 8, 9,” Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I 506heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; that thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves,” etc.; — “Now, I have been with thee, and helped thee in thy work, and thou hast performed it; now thou shalt do all that thy heart desires, according to my promise.” Hence that which was originally spoken of the eternal generation of the Son, Ps. ii. 7, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee,” is applied by the apostle to his resurrection from the dead: Acts xiii. 33, “God hath fulfilled his word unto us, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” That is, God by the resurrection from the dead gloriously manifested him to be his Son, whom he loved, in whom he was well pleased, and who did all his pleasure. So Rom. i. 4, “He was declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead.” Then was he declared to be the Son of God. God, approving and accepting the work he had done, loosed the pains of death, and raised him again, manifesting to all the world his approbation and acceptation of him and his work; whence he immediately says to him, Ps. ii. 8, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance;” — “Now ask what thou wilt, whatever I have promised, whatever thou didst or couldst expect upon thy undertaking this work; it shall be done, it shall be granted thee.” And, —
(2.) Christ, accordingly, makes his demand solemnly on earth and in heaven. On earth: John xvii., throughout the whole chapter is the demand of Christ for the accomplishment of the whole compact and all the promises that were made to him when he undertook to be a Saviour, which concerned both himself and his church; see verses 1, 4–6, 9, 12–16, etc. And in heaven also: he is gone into “the presence of God,” there “to appear for us,” Heb. ix. 24, and is “able to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them,” chap. vii. 25; not as in the days of his flesh, with strong cries and supplications, but by virtue of his oblation, laying claim to the promised inheritance in our behalf. And, —
(3.) The whole work is accomplished, and the end intended brought about: for in the death of Christ he “finished the transgression, and made an end of sins, and made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness,” Dan. ix. 24; and of sinful man God says, “Deliver him, for I have found a ransom,” Job xxxiii. 24. Hence our reconciliation, justification, yea, our salvation, are in the Scripture spoken of as things actually done and accomplished in the death and blood-shedding of Jesus Christ. Not 507as though we were all then actually justified and saved, but upon the account of the certainty of the performance and accomplishment of those things in their due time towards us and upon us are these things so delivered: for in reference to the undertaking of Christ in this covenant is he called “The second Adam,” becoming a common head to his people (with this difference, that Adam was a common head to all that came of him necessarily, and, as I may so say, naturally, and whether he would or no; Christ is so to his voluntarily, and by his own consent and undertaking, as hath been demonstrated); now, as we all die in Adam federally and meritoriously, yet the several individuals are not in their persons actually dead in sin and obnoxious to eternal death before they are by natural generation united to Adam, their first head; so, though all the elect be made alive and saved federally and meritoriously in the death of Christ, wherein also a certain foundation is laid of that efficacy which works all these things in us and for us, yet we are not viritim made partakers of the good things mentioned before we are united to Christ by the communication of his Spirit to us.
And this, I say, is the covenant and compact that was between Father and Son, which is the great foundation of what hath been said and shall farther be spoken about the merit and satisfaction of Christ. Here lies the ground of the righteousness of the dispensation treated of, that Christ should undergo the punishment due to us: It was done voluntarily, of himself, and he did nothing but what he had power to do, and command from his Father to do. “I have power,” saith he, “to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again; this commandment have I received of my Father;” whereby the glory both of the love and justice of God is exceedingly exalted. And, —
1. This stops the mouth of the Socinian clamour concerning the unrighteousness of one man’s suffering personally for another man’s sin. It is true, it is so if these men be not in such relation to one another that what one doth or suffereth, the other may be accounted to do or suffer; but it is no unrighteousness, if the hand offend, that the head be smitten. But Christ is our head; we are his members. It is true, if he that suffereth hath not power over that wherein he suffers; but Christ had power to lay down his life and take it again. It is true, if he that is to suffer and he that is to punish be not willing or agreed to the commutation; but here Father and Son, as hath been manifested, were fully agreed upon the whole matter. It may be true, if he who suffers cannot possibly be made partaker of any good afterward that shall balance and overweigh all his suffering; not where the cross is endured and the shame despised for the glory proposed or set before him that suffers, — not where he is made low for a season, that he may be crowned with dignity and honour. And, —
5082. This is the foundation of the merit of Christ. The apostle tells us, Rom. iv. 4, what merit is: it is such an adjunct of obedience as whereby “the reward is not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” God having proposed unto Christ a law for obedience, with promises of such and such rewards upon condition of fulfilling the obedience required, he performing that obedience, the reward is reckoned to him of debt, or he righteously merited whatever was so promised to him. Though the compact was of grace, yet the reward is of debt. Look, then, whatever God promised Christ upon his undertaking to be a Saviour, that, upon the fulfilling of his will, he merited. That himself should be exalted, that he should be the head of his church, that he should see his seed, that he should justify and save them, sanctify and glorify them, were all promised to him, all merited by him. But of this more afterward.
Having thus fully considered the threefold notion of the death of Christ, as it was a price, a sacrifice, and a punishment, and discovered the foundation of righteousness in all this, proceed we now to manifest what are the proper effects of the death of Christ under this threefold notion. Now these also, answerably, are three:— I. Redemption, as it is a price; II. Reconciliation, as it is a sacrifice; III. Satisfaction, as it is a punishment. Upon which foundation, union with Christ, vocation, justification, sanctification, and glory, are built.
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