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of this he gave him such ground of assurance, that at all times he might safely trust that God would not leave him under his troubles, but stand by and assist him to the utmost of what had & consistency with the design itself, which he had undertaken to execute.
2. Promises were given unto him concerning his exaltation, his kingdom and power, with all that glory which was to ensue upon the accomplishment of his work. See Isa. liii. 12. Psal. cx. 1. 6. i. 8. 12. Zech. ix. 10. Psal. lxxii. 8. Dan. vii. 14. Rom. xiv. 11. Isa. xlv. 23. Phil. ii. 10. And these promises the Lord Christ had a constant eye unto in his whole work; and upon the accomplishment of it, made his request, and expected that they should be made good and fulfilled, as well he might, being made unto him and confirmed with the oath of God, Luke xxiv. 26. John xvii. 3. Heb. xii. 2. And these are an essential part of the covenant that he was engaged by.
The second sort of promises made unto him, are such as cona cern his work and the acceptance of it with God. By them was he assured that the children whom he undertook for, should be delivered and saved, should be made partakers of grace and glory ; see Heb. ii. 9–11. &c. and our exposition thereon: And this is that which gives the nature of merit to the obedience and suffering of Christ. Merit is such an adjunct of obea dience, as whereon a reward is reckoned of debt. Now there was in the nature of the things themselves, a proportion between the obedience of Christ the Mediator, and the salvation of believers. But this is not the next foundation of merit, though it be an indispensable condition thereof. For there must not only be a proportion, but a relation also between the things whereof the one is the merit of the other. And this relation in this case, is not natural or necessary, arising from the nature of the things themselves. This therefore arose from the compact or covenant that was between the Father and Son to this purpose; and the promises wherewith it was confirmed. Suppose then a proportion in distributive justice between the obedience of Christ and the salvation of believers, (and wherein this consists shall be declared afterwards), then add the respect and relation that they have one to another by virtue of this covenant, and in particular that our salvation is engaged by promise unto Christ, and it gives us the true nature of his merit. Such promises were given him, and do belong to this covenant, the accomplishment whereof he pleads on the discharge of his work, Isa. lii. 10, 11. Psal. xxii. 30, 31. John xvii. 1. 4, 5, 6. 9. 12-16. Heb. vii. 26. Isa. xlix. 5-9. Psal. i. 7. Acts xviii. 3.
§ 19. The conditions required of, or prescriptions made unto the undertaker in this covenant for the end mentioned, and under the promises directed unto, do complete it. And these may be reduced unto three heads.
1. That he should assume, or take on him, the nature of those whom, according to the terms of this covenant, he was to bring to God. This was prescribed unto him, Heb. ii. 9. x. 5. with which, by an act of infinite grace and condescension, he complied, Phil
. ii. 6-8. Heb. ii. 15. And therein, although he was God, and was with God, and made all things in the glory of the only begotten Son of God, yet he was made flesh, John i. 14. And this condescension, which was the foundation of all his obedience, gave the nature of merit and purchase unto what he did. This he did upon the prescription of the Father, who is therefore said " to send forth his Son made of a woman, " Gal. iv. 4. and to “ send forth his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,” Rom. viii. 3. In answer unto which act of the will of the Father, he saith, “ Lo! I come to do thy will." And this assumption of our nature was indispensably necessary unto the work which he had to do. He could no otherwise have exalted the glory of God in the salvation of sinners, nor been himself in our nature exalted into his mediatory kingdom, which are the principal ends of this covenant.
2. That in this nature, so assumed, he should be the servant of the Father, and yield universal obedience to him, both according to the general law of God obliging all mankind, and according unto the especial law of the church under which he was born and made ; and according to the singular law of that compact or agreement which we have described, Isa. xlii. 1. ch. xlix. 5. Phil. ii. 6. He came to do, to answer and fulfil the whole will of God; all that on any account was required of him. This he calls the commandment of his Father; the commands which he received of him, which extend themselves to all the prescriptions of this covenant.
3. Whereas God was highly incensed with, and provoked against all and every one of those whom he was to save and bring to glory, they having all by sin come short thereof, and rendered themselves obnoxious to the law and its curse; it was requisite for attaining the ends of this covenant, that he should, as the servant of the Father, make an atonement for sin in and by our nature assumed, and answer the justice of God by suffering and undergoing what was due unto them, without which it was not possible that they should be delivered or saved unto the glory of God, Isa. liii. 11, 12. And as all the other terms of the covenant, so this in particular he undertook to make good; namely, that he would interpose himself between the law and sinners, by undergoing the penalty thereof; and between divine justice itself and sinners, to make atonement for them.
And so are we come to the well-head, or the fountain of salvation. Here lieth the immediate sacred spring and foundation of the priesthood of Christ, and of the sacrifice of himself, which in the discharge of that office he offered unto God.
$ 20. Man having sinned, the justice of God, as the supreme Lord, Ruler and Governor over all, was violated thereby, and his law broken and disannulled. Every sin personally added to the first sin, which was the sin of our nature in Adam, doth so far partake of the nature thereof, as to have the same consequences with respect unto the justice and law of God. In one or both these ways, all men had sinned and come short of the glory of God, or had apostatized from the end of their creation, without power, hope or possibility in themselves, for the retrival thereof. Neither was there any way for our recovery, unless God were propitiated, his justice atoned, and his law repaired or fulfilled. Now it was this which in the eternal cove. nant, the Son of God as he was to be incarnate, did undertake to perform. And this could no otherwise be done, but by the obedience and suffering of the nature that had offended, whereby greater glory should redound to God, in the exaltation of the glorious properties of his nature, through their eminent and
peculiar exercise, than dishonour could be reflected on him or his government by sin committed in that nature. This was done by the death and blood-shedding of the Son of God, under the sentence and curse of the law. Hereunto, in this covenant, he voluntarily gave himself up to the will of God, to undergo the penalty due to sinners, according to the terms, and for the ends of the law. For in as much as the sufferings of Christ were absolutely from his own will, the obedience of his will therein giving them virtue and efficacy; and seeing he did in them, and by them, interpose himself between God and sinners to make atonement and reconciliation for them; and seeing that to this end he offered up himself to the will of God, to do and suffer whatever he required in justice and grace for the accomplishment of the ends of this compact and agreement; which having effected, he would persist to make effectual unto those for whom he so undertook all the benefits of his undertaking, by a conti. nual glorious interposition with God on their behalf; he so became the high-priest of his people, and offered himself a sacrifice for them.
For when God came to reveal this counsel of his will, this branch and part of the eternal compact between him and his Son, and to represent to the church what had been transacted within the veil, for their faith and edification, as also to give them some previous insight into the manner of the accomplishment of these his holy counsels; he did it by the institutions of a priesthood and sacrifices, or a sacred office and sacred kind of
worship, suited and adapted to be a resemblance of this heavenly transaction between the Father and the Son. For the priesthood and sacrifices of the law were not the original exemplar of these things, but a transcript and copy of what was done in heaven itself, in counsel, design and covenant, as they were a type of what should be afterwards accomplished in the earth. Now, although the names of priest and sacrifice, are first applied to the office mentioned under the law and to their work, from whence they are transferred under the New Testament to Jesus Christ, that we may learn thereby what God of old instructed his church in ; yet the things themselves intended and signified by these names, belong first and properly unto Jesus Christ, upon the account of this his undertaking. And the very names of priests and sacrifices, were but improperly ascribed to them who were so called, to be obscure representations of what was past, and types of what was to come.
$ 21. The sum is, the Son of God, in infinite love, grace and condescension, undertook freely in, and of his own will, to interpose himself between the wrath of God and sinners, that they might be delivered from sin, with all its consequences, and saved to the glory of God, according to the terms of the covenant explained. His offering, and the giving up of himself to the will of God in suffering and dying, in answer to his holi
righteousness and law, was, in the revelation of this counsel of God unto the church,
represented by his institution of a sacred office of men, to offer up by slaying the best of other creatures, and to minister by other rites of his own appointment. This office was called by him a priesthood, and these offerings were called sacrifices, these things in the first place belonging properly unto the accomplishment of the fore-mentioned holy undertaking, in and by the person of that Son of God. And if it be inquired wherefore things were thus ordered in the wisdom and counsel of God, we answer, that with respect unto the holiness, righteousness and veracity of God, it was absolutely and indispensably necessary, that they should be so disposed. For on the supposition of the sin of man, and the grace of God to save them who had sinned, the interposition of the Son of God on their behalf was indispensably necessary, as shall be proved in the ensuing Exercitation,
1. The necessity of the priesthood of Christ, of what nature, and on what grounds, asserted. § 2. The general nature of justice or righteousness. Ÿ 3. The nature of the righteousness of God, as declared in the Scripture. The universal rectitude of his nature. § 4. Right of rule in God, whence it proceeds. $5. The righteousness of God in particular exercise. 6. Justitia Regiminis, in God, the nature of it. § 7. Sundry things supposed to the necessary exercise of vindictive righteousness.
8. The necessity and special nature of the priesthood of Christ founded thereon. $ 9. Some attributes of God produce the objects about which they are exercised, some suppose them with their qualifications. Vindictive justice no free act of God's will. The righteousness of rule in the prescription of a law, penal. Punishment, as punishment, necessary; not the degrees of it. God not indifferent whether sin be punished or not, but free in punishing; yet is it necessary that sin should be punished. $ 10. Justice and mercy, not alike necessary as to their exer. cise. § 11. The opinion of the Socinians, in opposition to the justice of God, declared. § 12. Positions to be proved. § 13. First argument taken from the holiness of God, Hab. i. 12. Of God's jealousy, Josh. xxiv. 19. In what sense compared to a consuming fire, Heb. xii. 29. § 14. God the supreme Judge and Governor of the world, Gen. xviii, 25. $ 15. The sum of what hath been pleaded concerning the righteousness of God. s 16. Opposition made to this righteousness of God, by whom. § 17. The arguments of Socinus examined. Justice and mercy not opposite. 18. The twofold righteousness assigned unto God by Socinus, examined. § 19, 20. The righteousness of God in the punishment of sin farther vindicated against him. $ 21. And against the exceptions in the Racovian Catechism. §. 22. As also those of Crellius, who is farther re. futed.
It appears from the preceding Discourse, that the priesthood of Christ was founded in sundry free acts of the will of God. Into that therefore is it principally to be resolved. The actual appointment of him also to this office, was a free act of the sovereign will and pleasure of God, which might not have been. The redeeming of man was no more necessary on the part of God than his creation.
Howbeit on this supposition, that God in his infinite grace and love would save sinners by the interposition of his Son, there was something in the manner of it indispensable and necessary. And this was, that he should do it by undergoing the punishment that, because of sin, was due to them who should be saved; or that he should offer himself a sacrifice to make VOL. II.