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therein and so far superior unto him, or greater than he, who observes his prescriptions, and trusts unto his promises. Of this nature is that divine transaction that was between the Father and Son, about the redemption of mankind. There was in it a prescription of personal services, with a promise of reward. And all the other conditions also of a complete covenant before laid down, are all observed therein. And this we must inquire into, as that wherein doth lie the foundation and original of the priesthood of Christ.
§ 9. First, Unto a proper covenant, it is required that it be made between distinct persons. Such I have elsewhere proved the Father and Son to be; and in this discourse do take that fundamental principle of our profession as granted. That there were eternal transactions in general between those distinct perwith respect unto the salvation of mankind, hath been evinced in the foregoing Exercitation. That these were federal, or had in them the nature of a covenant, is now farther to be manifested. And in general this is that which the Scripture intends, where God, that is the Father, is called by the Son, his God; and where he says that he will be unto him a God and a Father. For this expression of being a God unto any one is declarative of a covenant, and is the word whereby God constantly declares his relation unto any, in a way of covenant, Jer. xxxi. 33. xxxii. 38. Hos. ii. 23.
For when God declares that he will be a God unto any, he engageth to exercise the holy properties which belong to him as God, in their behalf and for their good. And this is not without an engagement of obedience from them. Now this declaration the Scripture abounds in, Psal. xvi. 2. « Thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord;" these are the words of the Son unto the Father, as is evident from ver. 9-11. Psal. xxii. 1. “My God, my God." Psal. xl. 8. "I delight to do thy will, O my God." Ps. xlv. 7. "God thy God hath anointed thee." Micah v. 4. "He shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God." John xx. 17. " I áscend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." Rev. iii. 12. "I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God." All which expressions argue both a covenant, and a subordination therein.
And on this account it is that our Saviour says his Father is greater than he, John xiv. 28. This place I confess the ancients expound unanimously of the human nature only, to obviate the Arians who ascribed unto him a divine nature, but made, and absolutely in itself inferior to the nature of God. But the inferiority of the human nature to God or the Father, is a thing so
unquestionable, as to need no declaration or solemn attestation; and the mention of it is no way suited unto the design of the place. But our Saviour speaks with respect unto the covenant engagement that was between the Father and himself, as to the work which he had to do. For therein, as we shall farther manifest, the Father was the prescriber, the promiser and lawgiver; and the Son was the undertaker upon his prescription, Jaw and promises. He is indeed, in respect of his divine personality, said to be God of God. No more is intended hereby, but that the person of the Son, as to his personality, was of the person of the Father, who communicated his nature and life unto him by eternal generation. But the Father on that account is not said to be his God, or to be a God unto him, which includes the acting of divine properties on his behalf; and a dependance on the other side on him who is so a God unto him. And this hath its sole foundation on that covenant, and the execution of it, which we are in the consideration of.
§ 10. Again, the transactions before insisted on and declared, are proposed to have been by the way of counsel, for the accomplishment of the end designed in a covenant, Zech. vi. 13.
the counsel about peace-making * :ועצת שלום תהיה בין שניהם
between God and man, "was between them both;" that is the two persons spoken of, namely the Lord Jehovah, and he who was to be the branch. And this was not spoken of him absolutely as he was a man, or was to be a man; for so there was not properly or counsel between God and him. For who "hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his counsellor ?" Rom. xi. 34. And besides, the Son in his human nature was merely the servant of the Father to do his will, Isa. xlii. 1. But God takes this counsel with him, as he was his eternal Wisdom; only with respect unto his future incarnation. For therein he was to be both the branch of the Lord, and the fruit of the earth, Isa. iv. 2. Hereunto regard also is had in his name, Isa. ix. 6. " He shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor;" for these titles, with those that follow, do not absolutely denote properties of the divine nature, though they are such divine titles and attributes as cannot be ascribed unto any but to him who is God. Yet there is in them a respect unto the work which he had to do, as he was to be a child born and given unAnd on the same account is he called the everlasting Father ; a name not proper unto the person of the Son, merely with respect to his personality. There is therefore a regard in it to the work which he had to do, which was to be a father unto all the elect of God. And therein also was he the Prince of Peace-He who is the procurer and establisher of peace between God and mankind. On the same account, God speaking of him, says, that he is 37, "My companion, and ",
the man my fellow," Zech. xiii. 7. such a one as with whom he had sweetened and rejoiced in secret counsel, as Psal. lv. 14. according unto what was before declared on Prov. viii. 31, 32.
§ 11. Particularly the will of the Father and Son concurred. in this matter, which was necessary that the covenant might be voluntary and of choice. And the origin of the whole is referred to the will of the Father constantly. Hence our Lord Jesus Christ on all occasions declares solemnly, that he came to do the will of the Father: "Lo I come to do thy will, O God," Psal. xl. 5. Heb. x. 5-10. For in this agreement, the part of the enjoiner, prescriber and promiser, whose will in all things is to be attended to, is on the Father. And his will was naturally at a perfect liberty, from engaging in that way of salvation, which he accomplished by Christ. He was at liberty to have left all mankind under sin and the curse, as he did all the angels that fell. He was at liberty utterly to have destroyed the race of mankind that sprang from Adam in his fallen estate; either in the root of them, or in the branches when multiplied, as he almost did in the flood, and to have created another stock or race of them unto his glory. And hence the acting of his will herein, is expressed by grace; which is free, or it is not grace; and is said to proceed from love acting by choice, all arguing the highest liberty in the will of the Father, John iii. 16. Eph.
And the same is farther evidenced by the exercise of his authority, both in the commission and commands that he gave to the Son as incarnate, for the discharge of the work that he had undertaken. For none puts forth his authority but voluntarily, or by and according unto his own will. Now he both sent the Son, and sealed him, and gave him commands, which are all acts of choice, and liberty, proceeding from sovereignty. Let none then once imagine, that this work of entering into covenant about the salvation of mankind, was any way necessary unto God, or that it was required by virtue of any of the essential properties of his nature, so that he must have done against them in doing otherwise. God was herein absolutely free, as he was also in his making of all things out of nothing. He could have left it undone without the least disadvantage unto his essential glory, or contrariety unto his holy nature. Whatever therefore we may afterwards assert, concerning the necessity of satisfaction to be given unto his justice, upon the supposition of this covenant, yet the entering into this covenant, and consequently all that ensued thereon, is absolutely resolved into the mere will and grace of God.
§ 12. The will of the Son herein, was also distinct. In his divine nature and will, he undertook voluntarily for the work of his person, when the human nature, which he determined to
assume, should be united therein. For what is spoken of the second Person, is spoken with respect unto his purpose to assume our nature; for the obedience whereof, in all that was to be done upon it or by it, he undertook. This the Scripture fully declares, and that for a double end. First, to demonstrate that the things which he underwent in his human nature were just and equal, in as much as he whose it was, voluntarily consented thereto. Secondly, To manifest that those very acts which he - had in command from his Father, were no less the acts of his own will. Wherefore, as it is said that the Father loved us, and gave his Son to die for us, so also is it said, that the Son loved us, and gave himself for us, and washed us in his own blood. These things proceeded from, and were founded in the will of the Son of God; and it was an act of perfect liberty in him, to engage in his peculiar concernments in this covenant. What he did, he did by choice, in a way of condescension and love. And this his voluntary susception of the discharge of what he was, according to the nature and terms of this covenant, to perform, was the ground of the authoritative mission, sealing and commanding of the Father towards him; see Psal. xl. 7, 8. Heb. x. 5. John x. 11, 12. And whatever is expressed in the Scripture, concerning the will of the human nature of Christ, as it was engaged in and bent upon its work, it is but a representation of the will of the Son of God, when he engaged in this work from eternity. So then he freely undertook to do and suffer whatever on his part was required, and therein owns himself the servant of the Father, because he would obey his will, and serve his purposes in the nature which he would assume for that end, Isa. xlii. 1. 6. ch. xlix. 9. Zech. xiii. 7. and therein acknowledgeth him to be his Lord, Psal. xvi. 2. unto whom he owed all homage and obedience. For this mind was in him, that whereas he was in the form of God, he humbled himself unto this work, Phil. ii. 8. and by his own voluntary consent was engaged therein. Whereas therefore he had a sovereign and absolute power over his own human nature when assumed, whatever he submitted to, it was no injury to him, nor injustice in God to lay it on him.
13. But this sacred truth must be cleared from an objection to which it seems obnoxious, before we do proceed. The will is a natural property, and therefore in the divine essence it is but one. The Father, Son and Spirit, have not distinct wills. They are one God, and God's will is one, as being an essential property of his nature. And therefore are there two wills in the one person of Christ, whereas there is but one will in the three Persons of the Trinity. How then can it be said, that the will of the Father and the will of the Son did concur distinctly in the making of this covenant?
This difficulty may be solved from what hath been already declared. For such is the distinction of the persons in the uni ty of the divine essence, as that they act in natural and essential acts, reciprocally one towards another, namely, in understanding, love, and the like: they know and mutually love each other. And as they subsist distinctly, so they also act distinctly in those works which are of external operation. And whereas all these acts and operations, whether reciprocal or external, are either with a will, or from a freedom of will and choice, the will of God in each person, as to the peculiar acts ascribed unto him, is his will therein peculiarly and eminently, though not exclusively to the other persons by reason of their mutual inbeing. The will of God, as to the peculiar actings of the Father in this matter, is the will of the Father; and the will of God, with regard to the peculiar actings of the Son, is the will of the Son; not by a distinction of sundry wills, but by the distinct application of the same will unto its distinct acts, in the Persons of the Father and the Son. And in this respect, the covenant whereof we treat differeth from a pure decree. For from these distinct actings of the will of God in the Father and the Son, there doth arise a new habitude or relation, which is not natural or necessary unto them, but freely taken on them, And by virtue hereof were all believers saved from the foundation of the world, upon the account of the interposition of the Son of God, antecedently to his exhibition in the flesh. For hence was he esteemed to have done and suffered what he had undertaken so to do, and which through faith was imputed to them that did believe.
§ 14. Moreover, a covenant must be about the disposal of things in the power of them that enter into it, otherwise it is null or fraudulent. And thus things may be two ways: first, absolutely; secondly, By virtue of some condition, or something in the nature of the covenant itself. 1. Things are absolutely in the power of persons, when they are completely at their disposal, antecedently to the consideration of any covenant or agreement about them. As in the covenant of marriage, where the several persons engaging are sui juris, they have an absolute power in themselves to dispose of their own persons with respect unto the ends of marriage. So it is in all covenants, when the things to be disposed of according to the limitations of the covenant are lawful and good, antecedently to any agreement made about them, and because they are in the power of the covenanters, they may be disposed of according to the terms of the compact.
So was it in this covenant. To do good unto mankind, to bring them unto the enjoyment of himself, was absolutely in the power of the Father. And it was in the power of the Son