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I beseech the reader to compare my reasonings with his; and if he thinks that mine are solidly confuted, I am not against his differing in every respect from me as I differ from him; and the simple explication of the words which I maintain, with the generality of expositors, began the more to please me, the more I saw my reprover stand in need for the de fence of his opinion of such a compass of words, and so farfetched and intricate subtleties: I have no inclination minutely to consider the rest. Each one has his own temper, his own way of writing: which if I cannot commend, I endeavour to bear with. But I return from this unwilling digression.

XVI. As the doctrine of the covenant between the Father and the Son is so expressly delivered in Scripture, it is unjustly traduced as a new and a late invention. Though I find few among the more ancient who have professedly handled this subject, yet some of the greatest divines have sometimes made mention of this covenant. I say nothing now of Arminius, who does not carelessly discourse on this covenant, in his oration for the degree of doctor; from which the very accurate Amesius produces and commends some things in Rescriptione ad Grevinchovium, c. i. Amesius himself, in Anti-Synodalibus, de morte Christi, c. 1. § 5..charges a certain distinction of the Remonstrants with this absurdity, that "it denies that the covenant entered into with Christ (he shall see his seed, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand,) had been ratified." Gomarus, treating of the Baptism of Christ, on Matt. iii. 13. says that it was the

sign and seal of the covenant between God and Christ; namely, that God would be his God, and the bestower of salvation; but he himself was bound to perform obedience from a principle of perpetual gratitude." In like manner, on Luke ii. 21. of the circumcision of Christ, he says, that it was a sign and seal of the covenant with God: which covenant consisted in this; partly that God was the God of Christ, according to the general promise, made also to him, Gen. xvii. 7. as to the seed of Abraham, Gal. iii. 16. and according to the singular character given of him, Psal. xlv. 7. Heb. i. 9. partly, that Christ was bound to obey the will of God," John vi. 38. Matt. v. 17. See his disput. de merito Christi, 1. The very learned Cloppenburgius, disput. 3. de fœdere Dei, not only slightly mentions this subject, but fully and accurately handles it. The very famous Voetius, disput. T. 2. p. 266. says, "He (Christ) was subject for us to a special law of paying our debt by a condign punishment, as

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our Mediator and surety, according to the tenor of the covenant entered into with the Father. Essenius, formerly his scholar, and afterwards his Colleague, de subjectione Christi ad legem, c. 10. § 2. says, "the federal sealing of the divine promise did also really take place in Christ," according to Isa. liii. 10. 11. Dr Owen handles this very subject at large, on Heb. T. 1. Exercit. 4. p. 49. Nor was this doctrine unknown to the popish doctors. Tirinus on Isa. liii. 11. thus comments, that the Prophet there explains "the compact a greed on between God the Father, and Christ," by which, on account of the sufferings and death of Christ, redemption, justification, and glorification, were appointed to be the rewards of all those who faithfully adhere to Christ. Thus it appears, that these sentiments concerning the covenant be tween the Father and Son, are not to be treated with contcmpt.


The nature of the Covenant between the Father and the Son more fully explained.

I. S the covenant between the Father and the Son is the As foundation of the whole of our salvation, it will not be improper to stop here a little, and, in our further meditation, enquire, Ist, From whence the beginning of this covenant ought to be taken, and in what periods of time it was compleated. 2dly, What the law of the covenant contains, how far, and to what it binds the Son. 3dly, Whether the Son might not have engaged in this covenant, or have withdrawn himself from it, and had no more to do with it. 4thly, What and how great a reward was promised to the Son, and which he was to obtain in virtue of the covenant.

II. I consider three periods, as it were, of this covenant. Its .commencement was in the eternal counsel of the adorable Trinity in which the Son of God was constituted by the Father, with the approbation of the Holy Spirit, the Saviour of mankind; on this condition, that in the fulness of time he should be made of a woman, and made under the law; which the Son undertook to perform. Peter has a view to this when he says, 'I Pet. i. 20. that Christ "was foreordained before the foundation of the world." To this purpose is also what the supreme wisdom testifies concerning itself, Prov. viii. 23. I was set up (anointed) from everlasting, that is, by my own VOL. I.



and the will of my Father, which is one and the same, I was appointed to the perfor.nance of the mediatorial office in time. Paul likewise declares, that "we were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world," Eph. i. 4. And consequently, Christ himself was constituted from everlasting the bead of those that were to be saved, and they were given unto him, John xvii. 6. for whom he was to merit salvation, and in whom he was to be glorified and admired. From this constitution the Son, from everlasting, bore a peculiar rela tion to those that were to be saved. Hence the book of life is especially appropriated to the lamb, Rev. xiii. 8. as containing a description of the peculiar people assigned to the lamb from all eternity. Hence also it was that God, by his amazing wisdom, so ordered many things in man's state of innocence, that the attentive remembrance of them after the fall, and the comparing them with those things which were afterwards revealed, might have reminded him of this divine counsel; as we have shewn, chap. vi. sect. 3.

III. The second period of this covenant I place in that intercession of Christ, by which immediately upon the fall of man, he offered himself to God, now o fended, in order actually to perform those things, to which he had engaged himself from eternity; saying thou hast given them to me, and I will make satisfaction for them; and so he made way for the word of grace to be declared to, and the covenant of grace to be made with them. Thus Christ was actually constituted Mediator, and revealed as such immediately upon the fall; and having undertaken the suretiship, he began to act many things belonging to the offices of a Mediator. As a prophet, and the interpreter of the divine will, he even then, by his Spirit, revealed those things relating to the salvation of the elect, and by his ministers published them, Isa. xlviii. 15. 1 Pet. i. 11. and iii. 19. Nay, he himself sometimes appeared in the character of an Angel, instructing his people in the counsel of God. As a King he gathered his church, and formed to himself a people, in whom he might reign by his word and spirit. For it was the Son of God who said to Israel, Exod. xix. 6. "and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests," and who with more than royal pomp, published his law on mount Sinai, Acts vii. 38. and whom Isaiah saw sitting as king upon a throne chap. vi. compared with John xii. 41. As a priest, he took upon himself the sins of the elect, that he might expiate them by the sacrifice of his body, which was to be prepared for him in the fulness of time. In virtue of this, as a faithful surety,


he likewise interceeded for the elect, by declaring his will, that they might be taken into favour, saying, " deliver them from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom," Job xxxiii. 24. But what angel could speak thus, but the angel of the covenant? Who even then was called an angel, before his coming in the flesh, because he was accomplishing what de pended upon that future mission. He is one of a thousand, the captain of the host of angels, that guards each believer, the chiefest of (the standard-bearer above) ten thousands, Cant. v. 10. In like manner, the archangel Michael, (and who is this but the Lord Jesus Christ?) Dan. x. 3. is called, one of the chief princes, that is, the unparalleled among the chiefs, because he is the great prince, Dan. xii. 1. It is he who declares to man his righteousness, both the righteousness of God and of man. It is he ho is the propitiation, whom God hath set fo th as a propitiation, Rom. iii. 25; see also Zech. i. 12, 13.


IV. The third period of this covenant is that, when on his assuming buman nature, he suffered bis ears to be bored compare Psal. xl.,. with Heb. x. 5. that is, engaged himself as a voluntary servant to God, from love to his Lord the Fa ther, and to his spouse the church, and his spiritual children, (for the ears of such voluntary servants were bored, Exod. xxi. 5, 6.) “was made under the law," Gal. iv. 4. by sub jecting himself to the law: which he solemnly testified by his circumcision, on the eighth day after his birth, whereby he made himself " a debtor to do the whole law," Gal. v. 3.

V. The law, proposed to the Mediator, may be considered in a twofold view: Ist, As the directory of his nature and of fice. 2dly, As the condition of the covenant. The Mediator himself may be considered these three ways. Ist, As God. 2dly, As Man. 3dly, As Mediator God-man. We are distinctly to compare these things together.

VI. The Son, as precisely God, neither was, nor could be subject to any law, to any superior; that being contrary to the nature of God-head, which we now suppose the Son to have in common with the Father. "He thought it no robbery to be equal with God." No subjection, nothing but the highest super-eminence can be conceived of the Deity. In this respect he is King of kings, and Lord of lords. 1 Tim. vi. 15. The emperors Gratian, Valentine and Theodosius, said long ago, that "he is a true Christian, who believes that the Deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is one in equal power;

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that under the same majesty, there is one Deity, and he, who teaches the contrary, is a heretic; Cod. lib. i. Tit. 1.

VII. Nor is it any objection against this, that the Son, from eternity, undertook for men, and thereby came under a certain peculiar relation to those that were to be saved. For, as that engagement was nothing but the most glorious act of the divine will of the Son, doing what none but God could do, it implies therefore no manner of subjection: it only imports, that there should be a time, when that divine person, on assuming flesh, would appear in the form of a servant. And by undertaking to perform this obedience, in the human nature, in its proper time, the Son, as God, did no more subject himself to the Father, than the Father with respect to the Son, to the owing that reward of debt, which he promised him a right to claim. All these things are to be conceived of in a manner becoming God.

VIII. Nor ought it to be urged, that the Son, even before his incarnation, was called the Angel, Gen. xlviii. 16. Exod. xxiii. 20. For that signifies no inferiority of the Son, before the time appointed for his incarnation; but only a form resembling the appearances of angels, and prefiguring his future mission into the world.

IX. As man, he was doubtless subject to the moral law, as it is the rule, both of the nature and actions of man. For, it is a contradiction, as we proved before, to suppose a rational creature, such as is the human nature of Christ, to be without law; and in this manner he was really bound by the law: 1st, To preserve the holiness implanted into his nature from his first conception, unspotted and pure. 2dly, To express it in the most perfect manner in his life and actions, from all his heart, all his soul, and all his strength. 3dly, Constantly to persevere therein, without yielding to any temptations, to the end of his course.

X. And as Christ was not only a man, and a common inhabitant of the world, but also an Israelite; that is, a member of the church of the Old Testament, and a citizen of the commonwealth of Israel; he was also subject to the ceremonial and political laws, which were then still in force, according to the divine institution. By virtue of these laws, Christ made use of the Sacraments of the Old Testament, observed the festivals, repaired to the temple, and behaved as an obedient subject under a lawful magistracy. He initiated himself by circumcision to the obedience of the ceremonial law: declared his obedience to the political laws by paying tribute, Mat. xvii. 24, 25.

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