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Pontius Pilate, with their adherents, as exercising supreme rule and power over that people, with respect to them on whom they depended, and whose authority they exerted, namely the Romans, the great rulers over the world, were the kings and rulers intended in this Psalm. And so also the or heathen, they took to be the Gentiles, who adhered unto Pilate in the execution of his Gentile power; and the mentioned, to be the people of Israel. Let us therefore consider what the objections of this man are, against the exposition and application of these words made by the apostles, and which they expressed as the solemn profession of their faith; and we shall quickly find that all his objections are miserably weak and sophistical. Pilate, he says, was not a king; but he exerted regal power, or the power of a supreme magistrate among them; and such are every where called kings in the Scripture. Besides he exerted the power of the great rulers of the world, who made use of kings as instruments of their rule, so that in and by him the power of the Gentile world was used against Christ. Herod he grants to have been a king; who yet was inferior in power and jurisdiction to Pilate, and who received what authority he had by delegation from the same monarch with Pilate himself.
Secondly, He denies that these or either of them opposed Christ as to his kingdom. For Pilate moved once for his deliverance, and Herod rather scorned him, than raged against his kingdom. But this unbridled confidence would much better become a Jew, than one professing himself to be a Christian. Did not they oppose the Lord Christ? Did they not rage against him, who persecuted him, who reviled him, who apprehended him as a thief or murderer, who mocked him, spit upon him, scourged him, crucified him, if not with their hands, yet with their power? Did they not oppose him as to his kingdom, who by all possible efforts, endeavoured to hinder all the ways and means whatsoever, whereby it was erected and established? Certainly never had prophecy a more sensible accomplishment.
And, thirdly, As to what he adds in reference to the Jews, that their counsels were not in vain against Christ, as those were that are here mentioned, but obtained their wished end; I cannot see how this can be viewed in any other light, than as a great outrage and excess of blasphemy. They did indeed whatever the hand and counsel of God determined before to be done, but that their own counsels were not vain, that they accomplished what they designed and aimed at, is the highest blasphemy to imagine. They took counsel against him as a seducer and a blasphemer, they designed to put an end to his work, that none might ever esteem him or believe in him as the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, the Son of God; was this counsel of their's not in vain? did they accomplish what they aimed at?
Then say there is not a word of truth in the gospel or Christian religion.
Fourthly, For that concourse of people, consultations, that noise and preparation for war, which being as he says mentioned in the text, he cannot find in the actings of men against the Lord Christ, it is all an imagination of the same folly. For there is no mention of any such preparation for war in the text, as he dreameth of. Rage and consultation, with a resolution to oppose the spiritual rule of the Son of God, are indeed described, and were all actually made use of, originally against the person of Christ immediately, and afterwards against him in his gospel, with the professors and publishers of it.
Fifthly, He adds hereunto, that Christ ruled neither Jews nor Gentiles, that he made no laws, nor put any bonds upon them, that they might be said to break. So answers Kimchi, the testimony from Mic. v. 2. where Christ is called the ruler of Israel; answer them, saith he, on a banwa bwa n' ,"that Jesus ruled not over Israel, but they ruled over him, and crucified him." But notwithstanding all this petulancy, his enemies shall all of them one day know, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ. That he is a king for ever, and a lawgiver, that he came to put the holy bands and chains of his laws on the world, which they in vain strive to reject and cast out of the earth; for he must reign until all his enemies are made his footstool. It is granted, that (in some of these words, spiritual things are figuratively expressed; and their literal sense is that which the figure intends. So that no mystic nor allegorical sense is here to be inquired after; it being the Lord Christ the Son of God with respect unto his kingly office, who is here treated of, primarily and directly, however any of the concerns of his kingdom might be typified in David; and he it is who says, "I will declare the decree, the Lord hath said unto me, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."
18. The foundation of this expression is laid in the divine and eternal filiation of the Son of God, as I have elsewhere evinced. But the thing directly expressed, is spoken in reference unto the manifestation thereof, in and after his incarnation. He that speaks the words is the Son himself; and he is the per→ son spoken unto, as Psal. cx. 1. "The Lord said unto my Lord;" wherein the same eternal transaction between the Father and Son is declared. So here, He, (that is the Father) said unto me; how, by the way of an eternal statute, law, or decree, as he was the Son of God, so God declares unto him that in the work he had to do, he should be his Son, and he would be his Father, and make him as his first-born, higher than the kings of the earth. And therefore are these words
applied several ways to the manifestation of his divine filiation, when he was declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead, Rom. i. 4. And the words of this very decree, "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee," are used by our apostle to prove the priesthood of Christ, which was confirmed to him therein, Heb. v. 5. And this could no otherwise be, but that God declared therein unto him, that in the discharge of that office, as also of his kingdom and rule, he would manifest and declare him so to be. It appears therefore that there were eternal transactions between the Father and Son, concerning the redemption of mankind by his interposition or mediation.
§ 1. Personal transactions between the Father and Son, about the redemp tion of mankind, Federal. § 2. The covenants between God and man explained. § 3. Fædus a covenant, whence so called. § 4. Zuv‡n«n why not used by the LXX. § 5. The various use of 72 in the Scriptures. The tables of stone, how called the covenant; and the ark. The same use of Σunan; The certain nature of a covenant not precisely signified by this word. § 6. Covenants how ratified of old. § 7. Things requir ed to a complete and proper covenant. §8. Of covenants with respect unto personal services. 9. The covenant between Father and Son express. How therein the Father is a God unto him; and the Son less than the Father. § 10. Joint counsel of the Father and Son in this covenant, as the foundation of it. § 11. The will of the Father in this covenant, absolutely free. § 12. The will of the Son engaged in this covenant. The Son of God undertakes for himself when clothed with our nature. § 13. The will of God how the same in Father and Son; yet acting distinctly in their distinct persons. § 14. Things disposed of in a covenant to be in the power of them that make it. This they may be two ways: first, absolutely; secondly, by virtue of the compact itself. 15. The salvation of sinners the matter of this covenant; or the thing disposed of to the mutual complacency of Father and Son. § 16. The general end of this covenant; the manifestation of the glory of God. Wherein that consists. What divine properties are peculiarly glorified thereby. 17. The especial glory of the Son, the end of this covenant; what it is. § 18. Means and way of entering into this covenant. Promises made to the Son as incarnate. Of assistance, acceptance, glory. The true nature of the merit of Christ. § 19. Things prescribed to the Lord Christ in this covenant reduced to three heads. The sacred spring of his priesthood discovered. § 20. The original reason and nature of the priesthood of Christ. Occasion and use of priesthood and sacrifices under the law. § 21. The sum of the whole. Necessity of Christ's priesthood.
§ 1. Our next inquiry is after the nature of those eternal trans
actions, the existence of which in general we have declared from the Scripture, in our foregoing exercitation. And these were carried on per modum fœderis, by way of covenant, compact, and mutual agreement between the Father and the Son. For although it should seem that because they are single acts of the same divine understanding and will, they cannot be properly federal, yet because those properties of the divine nature are acted distinctly in the distinct persons, they have in them the nature of a covenant. Besides, there is in them a sup
position of the susception of our human nature into personal union with the Son. On the consideration hereof he comes to have an absolute distinct interest, and to undertake for that which is his own peculiar work. And therefore these counsels of the will of God, wherein lies the foundation of the priesthood of Christ, are expressly declared as a covenant in the Scripture. For there is in them a respect to various objects and various effects, disposed into a federal relation one to another. I shall therefore in the first place manifest that there was such a covenant between the Father and the Son, in order to the work of his mediation, called therefore the covenant of the Mediator or Redeemer. And afterwards shall insist on that in it in particular, which is the original of his priesthood.
§ 2. First, We must distinguish between the covenant that God made with men concerning Christ, and the covenant that he made with his Son concerning men. That God created man in and under the terms and law of a covenant, with a prescription of duties, and promise of rewards, is by all acknowledged. After the fall he entered into another covenant with mankind; which from the principal nature and end of it, is commonly called the covenant of grace. This, under several forms of external administration, hath continued ever since in force, and shall continue till the consummation of all things. And the nature of this covenant, as being among the principal concerns of religion, hath been abundantly declared and explained by many. 'The consideration of it not our present business. That the Lord Jesus Christ was the principal subject-matter of this covenant, the undertaker in it,, and surety of it, the Scriptures expressly declare. For the great promise of it was concerning him, and his mediation, with the benefits that should redound. to mankind thereby in grace and glory. And the preceptive part of it required obedience in and unto him, new and distinct from that which was exacted by the law of creation, although it also contained all the commands of this law. And he was the surety of it, in that he undertook unto God to accomplish in his own person, whatever by the terms of the covenant was to be done for man; and he engaged to effect by his own Spirit and grace, whatever was to be done in and by man, that so the covenant on every side might be firm and stable, and the ends of it fulfilled. This is not that which at present we inquire into. But it is the personal compact that was between the Father and the Son, before the world was, as it is revealed in the Scripture, that is to be declared.
§ 3. To clear things in our way, we must treat somewhat of the name and nature of a covenant in general. The Hebrews call a covenant 2, and the Greeks Zuvenen, the Latins Fadus; the consideration of which words may be of some use, be