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Therapeutica Sacra: Chapter 4: Of the Covenant of Redemption

THERAPEUTICA    SACRA:
Shewing briefly
The method of healing the diseases of
the Conscience, concerning
R E G E N E R A T I O N:
Written first in Latin
BY
D A V I D   D I C K S O N,
(1583-1662)
Professor of DIVINITY in the
Colledge of Edinburgh,
And thereafter Translated by him.
E D I N B U R G H,
Printed by Evan Tyler, Printer to the King’s
most Excellent Majesty, 1664.

Matth. 9.12. "They that be whole need not a Physician, but they that are sick".

Because the healing of the sicknesses of the conscience cometh by a right application of divine Covenants about our salvation: therefore it is necessary, that some measure of the knowledge thereof be opened up.

1. A divine covenant we call, a contract or paction, wherein God is at least the one party contracter. Of this sort of covenants about the eternal salvation of men (which sort chiefly belong to our purpose) there are three. The first is, the covenant of redemption, past {23} between God, and Christ God appointed Mediatour, before the world was, in the council of the Trinity. The second is, the covenant of works, made between God and men, in Adam in his integrity, endued with all natural perfections, enabling him to keep it, so long as it pleased him to stand to the condition. The third is, the covenant of grace and reconciliation through Christ, made between God and believers (with their children) in Christ.

2. As to the covenant of redemption; for clearing the matter, we must distinguish the sundry acceptions of the word redemption: for, (1.) Sometime it is taken for the contract and agreement of selling and buying-back to eternal salvation, of lost man, looked upon as in the state of sin and misery. In which sense, we are said to be bought by Christ, both souls and bodies, 1 Cor. 6.19,20, Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. And this may be called redemption by paction and agreed bargain. (2.) Sometimes redemption is taken for the paying of the price agreed upon. In which sense, Christ is said to have redeemed us, by suffering of the punishment due to us, and ransoming of us, Gal 3.13, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. (3.) Sometime redemption is taken for the begun application of the benefits purchased in the covenant by the price paid, Eph. 1.7, In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace. (4.) Sometime redemption is taken for the perfect and full possession of all the benefits agreed upon between the Father and Christ His Son the Mediator. In which sense, we are said to be sealed with the holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, Ephes. 1.14. and Ephes. 4.30, it is said, Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption; which is the day of Judgment, when Christ shall put us in full possession of all the blessedness {24} which He purchased by bargain and payment for us.

In this place we take redemption in the first sense, for the covenant past between the Father and Christ His Son, designed Mediatour, about our redemption.

3. When we name the Father as the one party and His Son Christ as the other party in this covenant, we do not seclude the Son and holy Spirit from being the party offended; but do look upon the Father, Son, and Spirit, one God in three Persons, as offended by man's sin; and yet all three contented to take satisfaction to divine justice for man's sin in the Person of the Son, as designed Mediatour, to be incarnate. Whereby the Son is both the party offended as God, one essentially with the Father and holy Spirit; and the party contracter also, as God designed Mediatour personally for redeeming man, who with consent of the Father and holy Spirit, from all eternity willed and purposed in the fullness of time, to assume the human nature in personal union with Himself, and for the electís sake to become man, and to take the cause of the elect in hand, to bring them back to the friendship of God, and full enjoyment of felicity for evermore.

When therefore we make the Father the one party, and the Son designed mediatour the other party, speaking with the Scripture, for the more easy uptaking of the Covenant, let us look to one God in three Persons, having absolute right and sovereign power according to His own pleasure to dispose of men, looked upon as lying before God (to Whom all things are present) in sin and death, drawn on by man's own deserving, and yet for the glory of his grace resolving to save the elect, so as His justice shall be satisfied for them, in and by the second Person of the Trinity, the co-eternal and co-essential Son of the Father.

4. This covenant of redemption then may be thus described. It is a bargain, agreed upon between the Father and the Son designed Mediatour, concerning the elect (lying {25} with the rest of mankind in the state of sin and death, procured by their own merit) wisely and powerfully to be converted, sanctified and saved, for the Son of God's satisfaction and obedience (in our nature to be assumed by Him) to be given in due time to the Father, even unto the death of the cross.

In this bargain or agreement, the Scripture importeth clearly, a selling and a buying of the elect, Acts 20.28, Feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased by His own blood, 1 Cor. 6.20, ye are bought with a price, and 1 Pet. 1.18. The seller of the elect, is God; the buyer, is God incarnate; the persons bought, are the Church of the elect; the price, is the blood of God, to wit, the blood of Christ, who is God and man in one person.

This covenant of redemption, is in effect one with the eternal decree of redemption, wherein the salvation of the elect, and the way how it shall be brought about is fixed, in the purpose of God, who worketh all things according to the counsel of His own Will, as the Apostle sets it down, Eph. 1, unto the 15th verse.

And the decree of redemption is in effect a covenant, one God in three persons agreeing in the decree, that the second Person, God the Son, should be incarnate, and give obedience and satisfaction to divine justice for the elect: unto which piece of service the Son willingly submitting Himself, the decree becometh a real covenant indeed.

But for further satisfaction, that there is such a covenant between the Father and the Son, as we have said, for redeeming of the elect, Scripture giveth us evidence six ways.

The first way is by expressions, which import & presuppose a formal covenant between the parties, buying and selling; the second way is, by styles and titles given to Christ the Redeemer; the third is, by expressions relating to an eternal decree for execution and performance of the covenant of redemption; the fourth is, by representation of this covenant in the Levitical types; the fifth is, by Christ the Redeemer now incarnate, His {26} ratification of the covenant; and the sixth way is, by holding forth to us the heads and articles agreed upon, wherein the covenant consists.


The first proof.

AS to the expressions, importing a formal covenant, first, Eph. 1.7, it is called a redemption, or a buying of the elect out of sin and misery by blood, shewing that no remission of sin could be granted by Justice, without shedding of blood, and Christ undertook to pay the price, and hath paid it.

Again, the inheritance which the elect have promised unto them, is called a purchase, importing, that the disponer of the inheritance to the elect, must have a sufficient price for it, and that the Redeemer hath accepted the condition and laid down the price craved for it. Ephes. 1.14, and so brought back lost heaven and forfeited blessedness to so many sinners, who otherwise for sin, might justly have been excluded and debarred therefrom forever.

A third expression is holden forth, Acts 20.28, wherein God disponer and God Redeemer, are agreed, that the elect shall go free for God the Redeemer's obedience unto the death, who hath now bought them with His blood.

A fourth expression is in plain terms set down by Paul, 1 Cor. 6.20, Ye are bought with a price: God the disponer selleth, and God the Redeemer buyeth the elect to be His conquest, both body and spirit. And Peter more particularly expresseth the price of redemption agreed upon, to be not gold or silver, but the blood of the Mediatour Christ, the innocent Lamb of God, slain in typical prefigurations from the beginning of the World, and slain in real performance in the fullness of time, 1 Pet. 1.18-21.

A fifth expression is, that of our Lord Jesus in the institution of the Sacrament of His Supper, Matt. 26.28, This is my blood of the new Testament, which is shed for many, for remission of sins. Here an agreement between {27} the Redeemer and God disponer, that these many which are the elect, shall have remission of sins for the Redeemer's ransom of blood paid for them. The purchase of this ransom of blood, He maketh over in the Covenant of grace and reconciliation to believers in Him, and sealeth the bargain with them by the Sacrament of His Supper.


The second proof.

THE second evidence of this Covenant of Redemption past between God and God the Son Mediatour designed, is from such titles and styles as are given to Christ in relation to the procuring of a Covenant of grace and reconciliation between God and us. First, He is called a Mediatour of the Covenant of reconciliation, interceding for procuring of it, and that not by a simple entreaty, but by giving Himself over to the Father (calling for satisfaction to justice, that reconciliation might go on) for paying a compensatory price, sufficient to satisfy Justice for the elect, 1 Tim. 2.5,6, There is one God and one Mediatour between God and man (to wit, God incarnate) the man Christ Jesus who gave Himself a ransom for all (to wit, elect children) to be testified in due time.

Another title is given to Him by Job, Chap. 19.24, Where He is called a Redeemer, a near kinsman, who before His incarnation had obliged Himself to take on human nature, and to pay the price of Redemption (represented by slain sacrifices) for the elect His kinsmen.

A third title is held out, in that He is called a Surety of a better Covenant, Heb. 7.22. Whereby is imported, that God would not pass a Covenant of grace and reconciliation to men, except He had a good Surety who would answer for the debt of the party reconciled, and would undertake to make the reconciled stand to his Covenant. And Christ undertook the Suretyship, and so hath procured and established this Covenant of grace, {28} much better than the Covenant of works, and better than the old Covenant of grace with Israel, as they made use of it. This necessarily imports a Covenant between Him and the Father's Justice, to whom He becometh surety for us: for, what is suretiship, but a voluntary transferring of another's debt upon the Surety, obliging to pay the debt for which he engageth as Surety?

A fourth title given to Christ, is, that He is a reconciliation by way of permutation; the atonement, Rom. 5.11, We have by Christ received the atonement, that is, that which hath pacified the Father's Justice and reconciled Him to us, is made over in a gift unto us; for, by Christ's procurement we have God made ours, & Christ pacifying God, put, as it were, in our bosom: for, God having sold us to Christ, by taking Christ's satisfaction for ours, He hath come over to us as reconciled, and given us Christ the Reconciler and the atonement, to be ours. Here is an agreement made between God and Christ, and the condition of the agreement between the parties for our behoof, clearly imported and presupposed.

The fifth title given to Christ, is this, He is called the propitiation, 1 John 2.2, Whereby God is pacified, not only for the believing Jews, but also for the whole elect World, which should believe in Him. And if He be the pacifying propitiation, then God hath satisfaction in all that His Justice craved from Christ for the elect; and, Rom. 3.25. He is called a propitiatory sacrifice, wherewith God is so well pleased, that He makes offer of Him to us, and sets Him forth to us for pacifying our Conscience through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for remission of sins, without breach of Justice; wherein, what price God required and was paid by Christ, is insinuated and presupposed; for, satisfaction could not be, except the price agreed upon, had been promised and accepted before in Covenanting. {29}


The third proof.

THE third evidence, proving that there was a Covenant of Redemption past before the beginning of the World, is, because the eternal decree of God was fixed about the way of Redemption to be fulfilled in time: for, Known unto God were all His works from the beginning, Acts 15.18. And whatsoever God doth in time, He doth it according to the eternal counsel of His own Will, Eph. 1.9. Now, Christ the eternal Son of God, being made man, laid down His life for His sheep— The Son of man goeth, as it was determined, but woe unto that man by whom He is betrayed, Luke 22.22. And whatsoever Christ suffered, was by the determined counsel of God, Acts 2.23. And God the Son, before He was incarnate, declares the decree of the Kingdom promised unto Him by the Father, and of the victories which He should have over all His enemies, and of the felicity and multitude of the subjects of His Kingdom, that should believe in Him, Psalm 2.7, I will declare the decree, saith He; presupposing therefore the decree of God, of sending His eternal Son into the World, to become a man and to suffer, and thereafter to reign for ever, we must also necessarily presuppose the consent of the Son, making paction with the Father and the Spirit, fixing the decree and agreement about the whole way of Redemption, to be brought about in time: for, the same Person, Christ Jesus, who dwelt among men in the days of His humiliation, John 1.14, Was with the Father from eternity: and as by Him all things were made, which were made, John 1.2,3, So without Him nothing was decreed which was decreed, Prov. 8.22-32, which also is manifest in the Apostle's words, 2 Tim. 1.9, He saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the World began.

For, as before the beginning of the World, the elect were given to the Son designed Mediatour to be incarnate, and the price agreed upon; so also grace to be given in {30} time to the redeemed by compact, was given from eternity unto Christ, their designed Advocate. Also, Ephes. 1.3-5, we were elected in Christ, unto holiness and salvation and unto all spiritual blessings, and were predestinate to the adoption of sons by Jesus Christ. And 1 Pet. 1.18-20, we are redeemed, not with gold or silver, but by the precious blood of Christ, who was predestinate before the beginnings of the world. Whereby it is manifest, that the Covenant between the Father and the Son, was transacted concerning the incarnation of the Son, and His sufferings, death and resurrection, and all other things belonging to the salvation of the elect.


The fourth proof.

THE fourth evidence of the passing a Covenant between the Father and the Son, is holden forth in the typical priesthood of Levi, by the altar and sacrifices, and the rest of the levitical ceremonies which were prescribed by God: for, as these things were testimonies, preachings, declarations, and evidences of a Covenant, past of old between God the disponer, and the Son the Redeemer, about the way of justifying and saving such as believed in the Messiah by an expiatory sacrifice, to be offered in the fullness of time, for the redeemed; So also they were prefigurations, predictions, prophesies, and pledges of the Redeemerís paying of the promised price of Redemption. And this agreed-upon-price (because of the perfections of the parties contractors, the Father and the Son) was holden and esteemed as good and paid, from the beginning of the World; and the agreed-upon-benefits purchased thereby, to wit, grace and glory, were effectually bestowed on the faithful before Christís incarnation, as the Palmist testifies, Psalm 84.11, The Lord, saith he, is a sun and a shield, the Lord will give grace and glory, and no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly; and, Psalm 73.24, Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me into glory; and that because the promised price of Redemption was of no less worth, to give righteousness {31} and life eternal to believers in the Messiah to come, than the price now paid is now of worth to give for it, righteousness and life eternal to these that believe in the Messiah now come, Jesus Christ incarnate. And this donation of saving graces, as remission of sin, and carrying on to life eternal, was sealed unto believers in the Covenant of reconciliation, by the appointed Sacraments of circumcision and the paschal lamb.


The fifth proof.

THE fifth evidence of a Covenant past between the Father and the Son Mediatour to be incarnate, is this, Christ now incarnate, doth ratify all these things which the Father and Himself not yet incarnate, and the holy Spirit had spoken in the old Testament about the salvation of the elect, and the price of their redemption, and of the conditions to be performed on either hand; And, as it were of new, doth repeat and renew the covenant which before was past between the Father and Himself before He was incarnate: for, Luke 2.49, speaking to Joseph and His mother when He was about twelve years old, He saith, Wist ye not, that I must be about My Fatherís business? and, Matth. 3.13, He presents Himself pledge and surety for sinners before the Father, to be baptized for them with the baptism of affliction, and to fulfill all righteousness, as was agreed upon before, verse 15, whereupon the Father doth receive and admit the surety and His undertaking for payment, verse 17, and, Lo, a voice from heaven, saying, this is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; and John 5.39, He standeth to all things which were testified of Him in the Scriptures; Search the Scriptures: for in them ye think to have eternal life, and they are they that testify of Me. And verse 36, He professeth, that all that He doth, is with the Fatherís consent and concurrence, and that He came into the World, that He might finish what the Father had sent Him to do and suffer, which He calls His work that He was about. And more specially He shews the agreement past between the Father and Him before He came into the {32} world concerning his incarnation, and the discharge of his Mediatory office, and his power to give eternal life to those that believe in him: for, the Father sent him to be incarnate, verse 37, and that he with the Father, might give eternal life to whomsoever he will, and might quicken the dead, verse 21, and that he might exercise judgment, authority was given to him as the Son of man, verse 27. Yea, he sheweth, that it was agreed upon between the Father and him about all the doctrine which he should teach, John 8.26, I speak to the World these things which I have heard of him; and he sheweth that they were agreed about the price of redemption of the elect, and about his resurrection from the dead, and that his death did fully satisfy the Father, John 10.15, As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep; and verse 17, therefore doth the Father love Me, because I lay down My life that I might take it again; and, verse 18, this commandment have I received of the Father. And, Luke 24.25, he propones in short the sum of the covenant past between the Father and himself, speaking to the two disciples going to Emmaus; O fools and slow of heart, to believe all that the prophets have spoken, ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter in his own glory? But most briefly he sheweth the whole matter so oft as he calleth the Father his God, and that in respect of the covenant past between God and him to be incarnate, and now incarnate indeed.


The sixth proof.

THE sixth evidence of the Covenant of Redemption, past between the Father and the Son, standeth in the heads and articles of the Covenant wherein they were agreed.

Now there are as many articles of the Covenant, as there are injunctions, commands, and conditions required on the one hand, and promises to fulfill all on the other hand; as many predictions as there are of Christís sufferings, and promises made to the Church through and for Him. Of these many, we shall touch {33} only at four, whereby the faith of believers in Him may be confirmed about their Redemption by Him, and whereby the erroneous doctrine of them who evacuate the Covenant of redemption of the elect, may be refuted: wherein they teach, that Christ, by His obedience yielded unto the Father, even to the death of the cross, did purchase no more but a possibility of salvation, and no more grace for the elect than for the reprobate, as if He had not purchased a certainty of salvation to be given to any, but had suspended all the fruit of His suffering upon the frail, mutable, inconstant, and corrupt free-will of men; so that no man can by their doctrine have more certainty of their own salvation, than they have of the certainty and stability of their own fickle mind and will: and so no more certainty of their own salvation, than of their own perdition. The order we shall keep in speaking of the articles of the Covenant of Redemption, shall be this.

The first article, shall be of the persons redeemed.

The second article, shall be of the price of Redemption to be paid by Christ in the fullness of time.

The third article, shall be about the gifts and benefits purchased for, and to be given unto, the persons Redeemed.

The fourth article of this Covenant of redemption, past between the Father and the Son, shall be of the means and ways whereby the gifts and benefits purchased, may be wisely, orderly, and effectually applied to the Redeemed.

In ranking of these articles, we do not presuppose a priority of one of them before another in order of nature or time; But we choose to speak of them in order of doctrine, for our more easy understanding of the matter.

For, the Covenant of Redemption past between the Father and the Son, is by way of an eternal decree of the Trinity, comprehending all and whatsoever belongeth to Redemption. In the decerning of which {34} decree, there is not a first nor a last, but a joint purpose of God to bring about and accomplish all the heads and articles of the Covenant, each in their own due time, order, and way appointed.


The first article of the Covenant of Redemption
concerneth the persons redeemed.

THE redeemed in Scripture, are pointed forth under sundry expressions; sometime they are called the predestinate; sometime the elect; sometime these whom God foreknew; sometime they who are called according to His purpose; sometime they that were given to Christ of the Father; sometime Christís sheep; sometime the children of God, &c. But whatsoever name they have, the persons are the same, according to that of the Apostle, Rom 8.29,30, whom He did foreknow, them He did predestinate to be conform to the image of His Son—Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified. The number and the names of the persons here spoken of, are the same; and they are called the predestinate, in regard that God hath appointed them to a certain end, to wit, eternal life, to be brought thereunto effectually by certain means for the glory of Godís grace. They are called elect, verse 33, in regard God in the purpose of his good pleasure, hath severed them from among the rest of men, lying with them in the state of perdition by their own procurement, and hath designed them to be partakers of eternal salvation. They are called foreknown, and written in the book of life, in regard God hath comprehended them in his special love, no less distinctly and unchangeably, than if he had their names written in a catalogue, or book. And they are called given unto Christ, in regard the redeeming of them, and bringing them to life is committed to Christ. But by whatsoever name they are designed, the persons redeemed are still the same.

2. But whereas the elect, given to Christ, are called {35} the redeemed, it presupposeth, that they were considered and looked upon as now fallen by their own fault, and lying by their own merit in sin and misery, enemies to God, and altogether unable to help themselves. For, this much doth the notion of Redemption, or buying-back again import: and that it is so, is clear, because the mercy of God, the grace of God, the good-will of God, is put in Scripture for the only motive and impulsive cause of Redemption, Ephes. 1.7-9, In whom we have Redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace, wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known unto us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he had purposed in himself.

3. The Scripture sheweth us that there is an innumerable multitude of redeemed persons, and a sort of universality of them, extended unto all nations and ages and states of men; so that this huge multitude for whose redemption Christís blood was shed, Matth. 26.29, is justly called by the name of a world, an elect world, John 3.16, to be called out of that reprobate world, for which Christ refuseth to intercede, John 17.9, the truth of this matter, the redeemed do acknowledge in their worshipping Christ their Mediatour, Rev. 5.9, and they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof; for, thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation. These are the all men whom God will have saved and doth save, 1 Tim. 2.4, these are the all men of whom the Apostle speaks, 2 Pet. 3.9: God is patient toward us (to wit, his elect) not willing that any of us should perish, but that we all should come to repentance: And this the Apostle giveth for a reason of the Lordís deferring his coming, till all the elect should be brought in, of whom many were not yet converted in the Apostleís time and many were not yet born, and if Christ should not delay his coming, till they were born and brought into reconciliation {36} with God, the number of the elect should be cut short.

4. In no place of Scripture is it said, that all and every man are elect, or every man is given to Christ, or every man is predestinate unto life; in no place of Scripture is it said, that Christ hath made paction with the Father for all and every man without exception; But by the contrary, it is sure from Scripture, that Christ hath merited and procured salvation for all them for whom he entered himself Surety. Their sins only were laid on Christ, and in him condemned, satisfied for, and expiated, Isa. 53, for these, and in their place he offered himself to satisfy Justice, for them he prayed, them only he justifieth and glorifieth: for, the sentence of the Apostle, 2 Cor. 5.15, standeth firm; in Christ all are dead (to the law) for whom and in whose room Christ did die. And therefore for these his people the law is satisfied: from these the curse is taken away, to them heaven and all things necessary to salvation are purchased, and shall infallibly in due time, yea invincibly be applied.

Christ hath not sanctified, consecrated, and perfected all and every one, Heb. 10.14, only for his sheep predestinate, he laid down his life, John 10.15,16,26, he did not buy with his blood all and every one, but his Church called out, and severed from the world, Acts 20.28, he saveth not all and every man from their sins, but his own people only, to wit, whom he hath bought with his blood to be his own, Matth. 1.21, whom he hath purchased to be his own peculiar, whom he doth purify, and kindle with a fervent desire to bring forth good works, Titus 2.14.

Such as Christ hath redeemed, he loveth them infinitely, and counteth them dearer to him than his life. But many shall be found to whom Christ shall say I never knew you, to wit, with approbation and affection, Matth. 7.23.

They for whom Christ hath died, shall sometime glory against all condemnation; but so shall not every man be able to glory, Rom. 8.34,35. {37}

Christ never purposed to lay down his life for those, whom going to die he refuseth to pray for; only for those who are given to him out of the world will he pray and die, and rise, and will raise them to eternal life, John 17.9.

So far is it from Godís purpose and Christís to redeem all and every man, that he hath not decreed to give every nation so much as the external necessary means for conversion and salvation, Psalm 147.19,20, He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel; He hath not dealt so with any nation; and as for his judgments they have not known them.

And for this wise and holy course of hiding the mystery of salvation from many, even wise men in the world, Christ Jesus glorifieth and thanketh the Father, Matth. 11.25, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to babes, even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.


The second article.

AS to the second article of the Covenant of Redemption concerning the price of Redemption, and the fitting of the Redeemer for accomplishing the work of Redemption, God would not have silver, or gold, or any corruptible thing, 1 Pet. 1.18. He refuseth all ransom that can come from a mere man, Psalm 49.8. But He would have His own co-eternal and only begotten Son to become a man, to take on the yoke of the law, and to do all His will, that He alone might redeem the elect, who by nature are under the curse of the law. He would have Him the second Adam to be obedient even to the death of the cross, that by His obedience many might be justified, Rom. 5.19.

This is clearly confirmed by the Apostle, Heb. 10.5,6,7,10, commenting upon the 7th and 8th verses of Psalm 40, In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure, then said Christ coming into the world, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me) to do {38} thy will O God—by the which will we are sanctified, by the offering up of the blood of Jesus once for all.

2. By Christís obedience we understand not only that which some call his active obedience, nor that only which some call his passive obedience: for, his active and passive obedience, are but two notions of one thing; for, his incarnation, subjection to the law, and the whole course of his life was a continued course of suffering, and in all his suffering he was a free and voluntary agent, fulfilling all which he had undertaken unto the Father, for making out the promised price of Redemption, and accomplishing what the Father had given him command to do. His obedience, even to the death of the cross, did begin in his emptying himself to take on our nature, and the shape of a servant, and did run on till his resurrection and ascension. As for these his sufferings in the end of his life, which he suffered both in soul and body, they were the completing of his formerly begun and running obedience, but were not his only obedience for us, or his only suffering for us, for he had done and suffered much from his incarnation before his last passion and death, but the highest degree of his obedience, whereby he bought deliverance unto us from sin and misery, and whereby he bought unto us, immortality and eternal blessedness in heaven, was his death on the cross completing our ransom.

3. Whereas some have said, that one drop of His blood was sufficient to redeem more worlds than one, if there were any more, it is but an inconsiderate speech, and destitute of Scriptural authority; for when Christ had suffered all things before the time of His death, it behooved Him to be crucified also, Luke 24.26, but it behooved Him not to suffer more than justice required for a ransom, but only as much as was agreed upon, and no less could satisfy. Now this commandment He received of the Father, that He should lay down his life for His sheep, John 10.18. For, the wisdom of God thought good, to testify His own holiness and hatred {39} of sin, and to testify His love to the elect world, and riches of His grace toward them to whom He would be merciful, by inflicting no less punishment of sin on the Mediator His own dear Son (taking upon Himself full satisfaction to justice for all the sins of all the Elect given unto Him to redeem) than the death both of His body and soul for a season.

And indeed it was suitable to His holy and sovereign Majesty, that for the ransom of so many thousands and millions of damnable sinners, and saving of them from everlasting torment of body and soul, no less price should be paid by the Son of God, made man and surety for them, than His sufferings both in His body and soul for a season, as much as should be equivalent to the due deserved punishment of them whom he should redeem; and it became the justice of the infinite Majesty offended, to be reconciled with so many rebels, and to bestow upon them heaven and eternal blessedness, for no less price than the sufferings of the eternal Son made man, whose humiliation and voluntary obedience, even to the death of the cross, was of infinite worth and value; and therefore he yieldeth himself to the sufferings agreed upon in the covenant of Redemption, both in body and soul.


Of the sufferings of Christ in His soul.

OUR Lordís sufferings in His body did not fully satisfy divine justice; (1.) because as God put a sanction on the law and covenant of Works, made with us all in Adam, that he and his should be liable to death, both of body and soul, (which Covenant being broken by sin, all sinners became obnoxious to the death both of body and soul) So the redeemed behooved to be delivered from the death of both, by the Redeemerís tasting of death in both kinds, as much as should be sufficient for their redemption. (2.) As sin infected the whole man, soul and body, and the curse following on sin, left no part nor power to the manís soul free; So justice {40} required, that the Redeemer, coming in the room of the persons redeemed, should feel the force of the curse, both in body and soul.

Objection. But how can the soul die, seeing it is, by the Ordinance of God in creation, made immortal?

Answer. The death of the soul is not, in all things, like to the death of the body; for, albeit the spiritual substance of the soul be made immortal and not to be extinguished, yet it is subject to its own sort of death, which consists in the separation of it from communion with God, in such and such degrees, as justly may be called the death of the soul, from which sort of death, the immortality of the soul, not only doth not deliver, but also it doth augment it and perpetuate it, till this death be removed.

Objection. But, seeing the human soul of our Lord could never be separated from the permanent holiness wherewith it was endued in the first infusion of it in the body, and could never be separated from the indissolvable personal union with the second person of the God-head assuming it, how could His soul be subject to any degrees of death?

Answer. Albeit the con-natural holiness of the soul of Christ could not be removed, nor the personal union of it be dissolved, no not when the soul was separated from the body, yet it was subject, by Christís own consent, to be emptied of strength-natural, to be deprived for a time of the clearness of vision of its own blessedness, and of the quiet possession of the formerly felt peace, and of the fruition of joy for a time, and so suffer an eclipse of light and consolation, otherwise shining from His God-head; and so in this sort of spiritual death might undergo some degrees of spiritual death.


The degrees of the suffering of Christís holy soul.

AMONG the degrees of the death suffered by Christ in His soul, we may number, first, that habitual heaviness of spirit which haunted him all the days of His life, as was foretold by Isaiah 53.3, He was a man of {41} sorrows, and acquainted with grief. We hear He wept, but never that he laughed, and but very seldom that he rejoiced.

2. He suffered in special, sorrow and grief in the observation of the ingratitude of them, for whom he came to lay down his life, we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not, Isa. 53.3.

3. The hardness of menís hearts, and the malice of his own covenanted people, and the daily contumelies and despiteful usage he found from day to day, increased his daily grief, as by rivulets the flood is raised in the river; he was despised and rejected of men, Isa. 53.3.

4. He was tempted in all things like unto us, and albeit in them all never tainted with sin, Heb. 4.15, yet with what a vexation of his most holy soul, we may easily gather by comparing the holiness of our Lord with the holiness of his servants, to whom nothing is more bitter than the fiery darts of the devil, and his suggestions and solicitations to sin: especially, if we consider the variety of temptations, the heinousness of the sins, whereunto that impudent and unclean spirit boldly solicited his holiness, Matth. 4, and withal, the importunity and pertinacy of the devil, who never ceased, partly by himself, partly by those that were his slaves, and partly by the corruption which he found in Christís disciples, to pursue, press, and vex the God of glory all the time he lived on earth.

5. The guilt of all the sins, crimes, and vile deeds of the elect, committed from the beginning of the world, was imputed unto him, by accepting of which imputation, albeit he polluted not his Conscience, yet he burdened his soul, binding himself to bear their deserved punishment.

Now when we see that the vilest sinners, as liars, thieves, adulterers, cannot patiently hear themselves called liars, or thieves, nor bear the shame of the vileness, whereof they are really guilty, with what suffering of soul, with what clouding of the glory of his {42} holiness, think we that our Lord took upon his shoulders such a dunghill of all vileness, than which, nothing could more be unbeseeming his holy Majesty?

6. Unto all the former degrees of suffering of his soul, the perplexity of his thoughts fell on him, with the admiration and astonishment of soul, when the full cup of wrath was presented unto him, in such a terrible way, as made all the powers of his sense and reason for a time to be at a stand. Which suffering of his soul, while the Evangelist is about to express, he saith he began to be sore amazed, and also to be very heavy; and to express himself in these words, My Soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death, Mark 14.33,34.

Objection. But did not this astonishing amazement of Christís soul speak some imperfection of the human nature?

Answer. It did no ways argue any imperfection or inlack of sanctity in him, but only a sinless, and kindly infirmity in regard of natural strength, in the days of his flesh; for, the mind of a man, by any sudden and vehement commotion arising from a terrible object, may without sinning be so taken up, that the swift progress of his mind in discourse may for a while be stopped, and the act of reasoning suspended a while: all the cogitations of the mind fleeing together to consult, and not being able to extricate themselves in an instant, may stand amazed, and sit down a while like Jobís friends astonished. Now our Lord, taking on our nature and our common sinless infirmities, became like unto us in all things except sin. Danielís infirmity at the sight of an Angel, was not sin, Dan. 10.

Objection. But doth not this astonishing admiration, suddenly lighting upon Christís soul, prove that something unforeseen of him did befall him?

Answer. Not at all; for, he knew all things that should befall him, and told his disciples thereof, and was at a point and resolved in every thing, which was to come before it came. But this astonishing amazement did {43} only shew forth the natural difference between things preconceived in the mind, and these same things presented to sense: for, there is in the mind a different impression of the preconceived heat of a burning iron, before it do touch the skin, from that powerful impression which a hot iron thrust into the flesh doth put upon the sense. In regard of which natural difference between foresight and feeling, between resolution and experience, this astonishment befell our Lord, and in this regard, Christ is said to learn experimental obedience by these things which he suffered, Heb. 5.8.

7. Another degree of the suffering of our Lordís soul, is the interruption, for a time, of the sensible uptaking and feeling of that quiet and peaceable enjoyment of the felicity of the human nature, given (for the point of right) unto it in its personal union with his God-head, insofar, that in the midst of many disciples, Greeks and Jews looking on him, the vehemency of his trouble did not suffer him to hide his perturbation; for, (John 12.27,) our Lord cried out, Now is My Soul troubled, and what shall I say? and, Mark 14.34, made him declare his exceeding heaviness; My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death. In which words he insinuates, that to his sense, death was at hand; yea, that in no small measure, it had seized on him, and wrapped him up in the sorrows of death, for the time, as in a net of which he knew he could not be holden still.

Objection. But did not this huge heap of miseries take away from the human nature, the felicity of its union personally with his God-head?

Answer. It did indeed hide it for a time, and hinder the sensible feeling of it for a time, as it was necessary, in his deep suffering; but it did not take it away, nor yet eclipse it altogether: for, as a corporal inheritance hath a threefold connexion with the person owner thereof; so a spiritual inheritance hath a threefold connexion with the believerís soul. The first is, of lawful title and right; the next is, of possession of the inheritance {44} according to the lawful right; the third is, an actual fruition and present feeling of the use of the inheritance. The fruition and felt benefit and use, may be marred or suspended, & the possession stand: and the possession may be interrupted and suspended, and the lawful right remain firm. Christ had not only an undoubted right to this felicity standing unto him, by the personal union, but also a fast possession of it, in as far as the personal union was indissolvable. But the actual felt fruition in his human sense and uptaking, was so long interrupted as the human nature was diverted from this contemplation for its present exercise, and turned to look toward the sad spectacle of imminent and incumbent wrath: especially when, and how long it was, as it were, bound to the feeling of the present stroke which did fill the soul with sadness and grief, anxiety and vexation, without sin.

8. Neither did the vindictive justice of God, pursuing our sins in our Surety, stay here, but in the garden went on to shew unto Christ the cup of wrath, and also to hold it to his head, and to press him to drink it; yea, the very dregs of the agreed-upon curse of the law, was poured into his patient and submissive mouth, as it were, and bosom, and the most inward part of soul and body, which as a vehement flame, above all human apprehension, so filled both soul and body, that out of all his veins it drew and drove forth a bloody sweat (the like whereof was never heard) as when a pot of oil, boiling up and running over by a fire set under it, hath yet further the flame increased by the thrusting of a fiery mass of hot iron into it.

Hence came such a wasting and eating up of all his human strength, and emptying of his natural abilities, such a down-throwing of his mind, such a fainting and swooning of his joy, and so heavy a weight of sorrow on him, that not only he desired that small comfort of his weak disciples watching with him a little, and missed of it, but also stood in need of an Angel to comfort him, Luke 22.43. {45}

It is without ground, that some of the learned have denied the cause of this agony to be the drinking of the cup of wrath holden forth to him by the Father, saying, that the sight of it only and of the peril he saw we were into, was the cause of this heavy exercise: for, the cup was not only shown unto him, and the huge wrath due to our sin set before him that he should see it, and tremble at the apprehension of the danger we were in, but it was poured into him, and not only on him, that he for the sins of his redeemed should suffer it sensibly, and as it were drink it, that the bitterness thereof might affect all the powers of soul and body: for, the Scripture testifies, that not only upon the sight and apprehension of this wrath and curse coming on him, the holy human nature did holily abhor it, but also that he submitted to receive it, upon the consideration of the divine decree and agreement made, upon the price to be paid by him, and that upon the feeling of this wrath this agony in his soul, and bloody sweat of his body, was brought on.

Objection. But, how could the pouring forth of the Fatherís wrath upon his innocent and dear Son consist with his Fatherly love to him?

Answer. Even as the innocency and holiness of Christ could well consist with his taking upon him the punishment of our sins; for, even the wrath of a just man, inflicting capital punishment on a condemned person, put case [suppose] his own child, can well consist with fatherly affection toward the child suffering punishment; therefore it is not to be doubted, but these two can well consist in God, in whom affections do not war one with another, nor fight with reason, as it falleth forth among men; for, the affections ascribed unto God, are effects rather of his holy will toward us, than properly called affections in him; and these effects of Godís will about us, do always tend to our good and blessedness at last, however diverse one from another in themselves.

9. Among the degrees of the sufferings of Christís {46} soul, we may number not only the perturbation of his mind and thoughts, but also the perturbation of his affections, and especially his fear; for, his human nature was like unto ours in all things except sin, and was indeed feared when it saw and felt the wrath of God, lest it should have been swallowed up by it, and of this fear the Apostle (Heb. 5.7,) beareth witness, saying, who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications and strong cries and tears, unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared.

Now, albeit this seemeth the saddest passage of all his sufferings, that he was feared for being swallowed up, yet this his fear is not to be wondered at, nor is it inconsistent with his holiness; for when Christ assumed our nature (as hath been said) he assumed also all the common and sinless infirmities, passions, and perturbations of our nature: Now it is kindly that the creature, at the sight of an angry God should tremble; for, we read, that the rocks and mountains have trembled before God, when he did let forth his terrour; and it is natural to man, at the sight of a terrible object, at the sight of a peril and evil coming upon him, but much more already come upon him (especially if the evil and peril be above all his natural strength) to tremble and fear the worst; and this becometh holy nature very well to fear present death, off-cutting, perdition and swallowing up in the danger, when God appeared angry and was hasting to be avenged on sinners in the person of their Surety, what could the human soul of Christ gather from this terrible sight, but that which sense and reason did teach? In the meantime there was no place here for his doubting of the issue and his escaping from being swallowed up; for, natural fear of the manly nature, arising from the infirmity of the creature, differs very far from the fear arising from the infirmity of faith in Godís faithfulness and power; and natural fear of the worst can very well stand with the strength of faith to overcome the natural fear: for, as {47} the sensitive appetite may abhor a bitter cup of medicine, and cause all the body tremble for fear to take it, while in the mean time, the man by reason is resolved to drink that bitter cup of medicine, because he confidently hopeth to help his health thereby; so natural fear in Christ to taste of the cup of wrath, could very well consist with strong faith and assurance to be delivered therefrom: for, it is very suitable that faith should as far overcome the natural apprehension of sense and reason natural, as reason doth overcome sense in drinking a loathsome and bitter cup of medicine.

And to clear this yet further, that extreme fear to be swallowed up of wrath, could well consist in Christ with strong faith to overcome and bear out that terrible wrath, Let it be considered, that as it was needful Christ should be subject to the infirmity of natural strength, that he might suffer death; so it was needful, that he should have strong faith to enable him to bear out, in a holy way, that which he behoved to suffer: for, if on the one hand, Christ had not been weakened, and emptied of all human strength in his flesh, he could not have been humbled enough for us, he could not have suffered so much, as Justice did exact for satisfaction for us; and on the other hand, if he had not stood firm in faith and love toward Godís glory and our salvation, he could not have satisfied Justice, nor been still the innocent and spotless lamb of God, nor have perfected the expiatory sacrifice for us.

Objection. But was he not tempted to doubt by Satan?

Answer. We grant that he was indeed tempted by Satan to doubt, yea we shall not stand to grant that he was tempted to desperation; But we altogether deny that he was tainted with sin by temptation in the least degree: for, the Scripture saith, he was tempted in all things like unto us, but yet without sin in him or yielding in any sort to any temptation. And seeing by the Evangelist, Matt. 4, we understand, that he was tempted in the wilderness by the devil unto the most {48} horrible sins that Satan could devise, and yet was not stained or polluted in the least degree, with the least measure of yielding to the sinful temptations; we need not stand to grant, that he might be tempted, or that he was tempted unto doubting and desperation; for, this was among the most notable and prime temptations, whereby Satan, in his impudent boldness, solicited the Son of God, very God and man in one person, even to doubt of that what Satan knew he was: If thou be the Son of God, saith he. It is true indeed, that we who are sinners by nature and corrupted in all the powers of our soul, cannot be tempted, tossed, and troubled, but therein our sinful nature in some measure may appear, and be polluted: But the matter was not so with our holy Lord, the God of glory, who was separate from sinners; for our impure nature is like to water in a puddle, which being stirred, doth presently become muddy and foul; but the holy human nature of Christ, was altogether pure, like unto clear and pure fountain water in a glass, which howsoever it be troubled and tossed, remaineth most pure and free of all muddiness.

Objection. But at least, was there not a conflict in our Lord between his faith, and the temptation to doubting?

Answer. We grant not only a conflict of Christís human natural strength, with the burden of affliction, but also a conflict and wrestling of his faith against the temptation to doubting; for, wrestling doth not always argue the infirmity of the wrestler, for the Angel who is called God, Hos. 12, wrestles with Jacob, and in God was no infirmity. Again, wrestling doth not argue always infirmity, but doth only evidence the wrestlerís power and the importunate obstinacy of an adversary, who being repulsed and cast down, doth not at first leave the field, but riseth up again, insists and presseth on so long as it pleaseth the most powerful party to suffer the adversary to make opposition.

Objection. But you must grant, that in the conflict of Christís human natural strength, with the affliction {49} and burden of the punishment laid upon him by the Father, he was overcome, and succumbed and died.

Answer. Yes indeed: but we must put a difference between the conflict of natural strength with the burden of affliction, and the conflict between faith and a temptation unto sin; in the conflict of holy human nature in Christ with the punishment of our sins laid on Him, it was not a sin to have his natural strength overpowered, and to lie down under the burden and to lay down his life and die; but it was a main part of His obedience, it was the performance of His promise and undertaking to yield himself to Justice and to die for us, that we might be delivered from death eternal. But in the wrestling of His faith with the temptation unto doubting, it had been a sin to have yielded in the least degree, and that which could not consist with the perfect holiness of the Mediatour, Surety for sinners.

Objection. But, did not the perplexity of His thoughts and the anxiety of His mind, diminish something of the vigour and constancy of his faith?

Answer. It did diminish nothing of the vigour and constancy of His faith; for there is a great difference between the troubling of the thoughts, and the hesitation or weakening of faith, as there is also a great difference between the perturbations of the mind and the perturbation of the conscience. For, as the mind may be troubled, when in the consideration of some difficulty it cannot at first perceive an outgate, meantime the conscience remaining sound and quiet; so may the work of the mindís discoursing, be interrupted and at a stay for a time, faith (meantime) remaining untouched, wholly sound and quiet. For example, upon the sudden receiving of a wound, or upon an unexpected report of some great loss, such as befell Job, the wheels of the reasoning faculty may be at a stand for a time, and the conscience in the meantime be quiet; yea, and faith in the meantime, remain strong, as we see in Jobís first exercise. {50}

Now if this may be found in an holy imperfect man in any measure, why shall we not consider rightly of the exercise of the holy one of Israel suffering in His human nature the punishment of our sin?

Let us consider but one of the passages of our Lordís exercise, John 12.27,28, Now (saith He) My Soul is troubled: wherein behold the perplexity of His mind, smitten with the horrour of the curse due to us, coming upon Him; then cometh forth, what shall I say? wherein, behold! reason standing mute and altogether silent, only He lets forth the confession of His perplexity: presently after this, He subjoineth Father, save Me from this hour; wherein behold! Holy nature, trembling and shrinking to fall into the wrath of the Father, and according to the principles of holy nature, testifying the simple abhorrency of His soul from such an evil as is the wrath of God His Father, which had it not been for love to save our souls, He could not have yielded his human nature to endure, or bear it: therefore He, considering that we were but lost forever, if He should not suffer wrath for us, He repeats the sum of the Covenant of Redemption agreed upon, But for this cause came I unto this hour. And last of all, shuts up His speech and exercise in the triumphing voice of victorious and untainted faith, Father, glorify thy Name; and here He resteth: wherewith the Father is so well pleased, as that from heaven He speaketh to the hearing of the multitude standing by, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

10. Among the deepest degrees of the suffering of Christ in His soul, we reckon that desertion whereof Christ on the cross giveth an account, crying out, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? By which speech He doth not mean, that then the personal union of the natures was in him dissolved, nor yet that God had withdrawn His sustaining strength and help from the human nature, nor that the love of the Father was taken off him, nor that any point of the perfection of {51} holiness was taken from him; but his true intent is, to show, that God for a time had taken away sensible consolation, and felt joy from His human Soul, that so justice might in His sufferings be the more fully satisfied: And this is the forsaking of Him here given to us to understand. In which desertion Christ is not to be looked upon simply as He is in His own person, the Son of the Father, in whom He is always well pleased, but as He standeth in the room of sinners, Surety and Cautioner, paying their debt: In which respect He behoved to be dealt with as standing in our name, guilty and paying the debt of being forsaken of God, which we were bound to suffer fully and forever, if He had not interposed for us.

11. The last degree of Christís sufferings (wherein He may be said to have descended into hell so far as Scripture in the old Testament or the history of Christís passion in the new, will suffer us to expound that expression) is that curse wherein the full wrath of God, and the dregs of that horrible cup was poured forth upon His holy human nature, while heaven and earth and hell, seemed to conspire to take vengeance on Him, and fully to punish our sins in the person of Him our Surety by that cursed death of the cross, which was the evidence foretold of the malediction of God lying on Him, insofar as was necessary to complete the punishment of loss and feeling both in soul and body. And therefore not without ground have Orthodox divines taken in Christís suffering in His soul, and the detaining of His body in the grave (put in as the close and last part of Christís sufferings) as the true meaning of that expression He descended into hell: not only because these pains which Christ suffered both in body and soul, were due to us in full measure; but also because that which Christ suffered in the point of torment and vexation, was, in some respect, of the same kind with the torment of the damned: for, in the punishment of the damned, we must necessarily distinguish these three things, (1.) the {52} perverse disposition of the mind of the damned in their sufferings; (2.) the duration and perpetuity of their punishment; and, (3.) the punishment itself, tormenting soul and body. The first two are not of the essence of punishment, albeit by accident they are turned into a punishment, for the wickedness, vileness, and unworthiness of the damned, who neither will nor can submit themselves to the punishment (and put the case they should submit, are utterly unable to make satisfaction for ever) do make them in a desperate, doleful condition forever, though obstinate sinners do not apprehend nor believe this, but go on in treasuring up wrath against themselves, pleasing themselves in their own dreams, to their own endless perdition. Of these three, the first two could have no place in Christ: Not the first, because He willingly offered Himself a sacrifice for our sins; and upon agreement, paid the ransom fully: Not the second, because He could no longer be holden in the sorrows of death than He had satisfied Justice, and finished what was imposed on Him; and His infinite excellency made His short suffering to be of infinite worth, and equivalent to our everlasting suffering.

The third then remaineth, which is the real and sensible tormenting of soul and body in being made a curse for us, and to feel it so in His real experience. And what need we question hellish pain, where pain and torment, and the curse with felt wrath from God falleth on, and lieth still, till Justice be satisfied? Concerning which, it is as certain, that Christ was seized upon by the dolours of death, as it is certain in Scripture, that He could not be holden of the sorrows of death, Acts 2.24.

Question. But what interest had Christís God-head in His human sufferings, to make them both so short and so precious and satisfactory to Justice for so many sins of so many sinners, especially when we consider that God cannot suffer? {53}

Answer. Albeit this passion of the human nature, could not so far reach the God-head of Christ, that it should in a physical sense suffer (which indeed is impossible) yet these sufferings did so affect the person, that it may truly be said, that God suffered, and by His blood bought His people to Himself, Acts 20.28, for, albeit the proper and formal subject of physical suffering be only the human nature; yet, the principal subject of sufferings, both in a physical and moral sense, is Christís person, God and man, from the dignity whereof, the worth and excellency of all sort of sufferings, the merit and the satisfactory sufficiency of the price, did flow.

And let it be considered also, that albeit Christ, as God, in His God-head could not suffer in a physical sense; yet, in a moral sense He might suffer, and did suffer: for, in as much as He, being in the form of God, and without robbery equal to God, did demit His person to assume human nature, and empty Himself so far as to hide His glory and take on the shape of a servant, and expose Himself willingly to all the contradiction of sinners which He was to meet with, and to all railings, revilings, contempt, despisings and calumnies, shall it seem nothing, and not enter in the count of our Lordís payment for our debt?

Objection. But, how could so low a down-throwing of the Son of man, or of the human nature assumed by Christ, consist with the Majesty of the person of the Son of God?

Answer. We must distinguish in Christ these things which are proper to either of the two natures, from these things which are ascribed to His person, in respect of either of the natures or both the natures; for, infirmity, physical suffering, or mortality, are proper to the human nature. The glory of power and grace and mercy, and superexcellent Majesty and such like, are proper to the Deity; but the sufferings of the human nature, are so far from diminishing the glory of the divine nature, that they do manifest the same and make it {54} appear more clearly: for, by how much the human nature was weakened, depressed, and despised, for our sake, by so much the love of Christ, God and man in one person, toward man, and His mercy and power and grace to man, do shine in the eyes of those that judiciously look upon Him.

Objection. But seeing Christís satisfaction for sinners, doth not stand in any one part of His doings and sufferings, but in the whole and entire precious pearl, and complete price of His whole obedience from His incarnation even to the death of His cross, how cometh it to pass, that in Scripture the whole expiation of our sins, is ascribed so oft to His passion, and particularly to His blood?

Answer. This cometh to pass, (1.) Because the certainty and verity of His assumed human nature, and the certainty of His real suffering, and the fulfilling of all the levitical sacrifices, did most evidently appear unto sense in the effusion of His blood. (2.) Because the expression of His sufferings, both in soul and body, appeared in the effusion of His blood: for, in the garden, while His body was not as yet touched, or hurt by man, from the mere pains of His soul, drops of blood fell down out of all His body to the earth. (3.) Because His blood-shedding and death, was the last act of completing the payment of the ransom to the Father for us, which payment began in His humble incarnation and went on through all His life, and was completed in His blood-shed and death, whereof our Lord gave intimation on the cross, when He cried as triumphantly victorious, it is finished.


The use of this article of the covenant of Redemption.

WE have at some length spoken of the price of Redemption, and of Christís defraying the debt by His passion. (1.) That hereby the merit of our sins, may the more clearly be seen. (2.) That the sublimity and excellency of divine Majesty, offended by sin, may appear. {55}

(3.) That we may behold the severity of Godís justice, till He have satisfaction and reparation in some sort of the injuries done to Him. (4.) That the admirable largeness of Godís mercy may be acknowledged and wondered at.

For in the price of Redemption paid, as in a mirror we may see, how greatly the Lord hateth sin; how great His love is to the world in sending his Son Christ amongst us; how heavy the wrath of God shall lie upon them that flee not to Christís satisfaction for their delivery; how great the dignity and excellency of the Lord our Redeemer is, for whose cause reconciliation is granted to all that take hold of the offer of grace through him; how great the obligation of believers is to love God, and serve him; and how greatly the glory of all the attributes of God, doth shine in the work of Redemption.

2. By this doctrine, it appeareth how vain and wicked the devices of superstitious men are, who, for pacifying of Godís wrath, have appointed penances, and pilgrimages, and self-scourgings, and soul-masses, and purgatory, and such like other abominations, whereof the word of God hath not spoken, but forbidden all the inventions of men, as unworthy conceits, to bring about menís salvation: which inventions tend only to derogate from the dignity of the price of Christís ransom, and to cry down the fullness and perfection of the price paid by our blessed Redeemer Jesus Christ, and to set up other Saviours in his room.

3. Hence also it is manifest, how fit a high Priest is appointed over us, who is touched with our infirmities and temptations; by whom we may have so solid consolation in all the pangs of our tormented consciences, and in whom we have a solid foundation laid down to all that flee to him, for settling our faith and hope in the Son of God, who hath of set purpose, with the Fatherís consent, suffered so many and great evils that he might redeem us. {56}

4. And hereby we may perceive also how well divine Justice is satisfied, and with what warrant the consciences of the weak believers may be quieted, who so use to exaggerate the grievousness and the multitude of their sins, that they forget to put a right estimation upon the satisfaction made by Christ for all that come unto God through him.


The third article.

THE third article of the covenant of Redemption, past between the Father and the Son, concerneth the benefits, gifts, and graces to be given unto the redeemed: all which gifts and graces, are summarily comprehended in that one gift of God, spoken of, John 4.10, which gift is Christ, who is freely offered unto, and given to, the elect believer for righteousness and eternal life, according to what was said, Isa. 9.6, for, unto us a child is born, a Son is given, on whose shoulders the government is laid, whose Name is called Jehovah, the wonderful counselor, the strong God, the eternal Father and Prince of peace. And, 2 Peter 1.3, who according to his divine power, hath given unto us all things which pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who hath called us to virtue and glory.

2. The benefits which are appointed for the redeemed, are so conveyed and brought unto them, that first, they are Christís riches which he hath purchased unto the elect, and being resolved to die, that the purchase might be made fast to his people, he hath made his latter Will and Testament once and again, and left in legacy to all that believe in him, all things which belong to righteousness and salvation; and these benefits, in an acceptable time, he effectually applieth and puts them in possession thereof. Of which gifts, we shall name chiefly three: the first is regeneration, or turning of the man toward himself; the second is the gift of saving faith; the third is perseverance. In which three gifts, the patrons and magnifiers of the power of manís free-will, do what in them lieth to obscure the glory of Godís {57} free grace, by glorying that without the special grace of God they can convert themselves or not, as they please, so that when God intends their conversion, and useth all means for their conversion, they are able to resist all his gracious operation, and make void his purpose and endeavour. But this Covenant of Redemption, past between the Father and the Son, Mediatour and Redeemer, doth decide the question and give them the lie: for, only they whom God did foreknow, did he predestinate to be conform to the image of His Son—and whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified, Rom. 8.28.


Concerning these three gifts.

IT is agreed between God and Christ, that the elect shall be converted invincibly and infallibly, and that saving faith shall be bestowed on them, and that they shall persevere in the obedience of faith so, as they shall not totally and finally fall away from Godís grace.

It is promised to Christ, Psalm 110.3, that in the day of His power, His people shall be willing; for, albeit the native corruption of their will, opposeth itself and resisteth the holy Spirit, when he is using the means to convert them, yet in an acceptable time, the invincible power of Godís free grace toward them, so taketh away all actual resistance, that the man, unwilling of himself, is made most freely and heartily willing to be reconciled to God: for, God can both preserve the natural liberty of the will, and take from it that crookedness and forwardness that is in it; he can infuse and create in the man a right spirit, and new habits of grace, and can bring forth these habits unto exercise, making the redeemed man not only able to will, but also actually to will and to do what is pleasant to him, Philip. 2.13, and Ephes. 2.8, we are taught, that faith is not of our selves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. And this gift of saving faith, is bestowed only on the elect; and therefore it is called the faith of the {58} elect, Titus 1.1, and only they believe in Jesus Christ, that are ordained unto eternal life, Acts 13.48, yea, every one cometh to Christ, who is given to him of the Father, John 6.37, and no man cometh to Christ, save he whom the Father draweth, John 6.44, but they that are not redeemed, do not come to Christ for righteousness and life, John 10.26, ye believe not, saith Christ to some Jews, because ye are not of my sheep, My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me.

As for perseverance, the Father promiseth to the Son, that the work of grace shall be firm in all the redeemed ones, or in his elect seed, Isa. 59.21, as for Me (saith the Lord to Christ) this is my covenant with them, my spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seedís seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever. And, Jer. 32.40, I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good, but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

And a special command is given unto Christ, for preserving all unto eternal life who come unto him, John 6.39, this is the Fatherís will, which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day: which Christ undertakes, that he will faithfully perform, John 10.28, while he saith, I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand, &c. But, that we insist not too long in this argument (whereof the Orthodox divines have written abundantly in their disputations against the foresaid errour) because the adversaries take their pretended arguments from the instability of menís will, in the matter of perseverance, and from the freedom and power of manís changeable will in the matter of conversion and saving faith, and from the manner of Godís speaking to the mixed multitude of both called and not chosen, and to them that are both called and chosen, we shall content ourselves {59} for clearing this covenant betwixt the Father and the Son, Mediatour and Redeemer, to make the matter fast concerning the elect, founding their conversion, faith, repentance, perseverance, and salvation, upon the unchangeable covenant of Redemption, fixed upon the settled agreement between God, and God the Son Mediatour and Redeemer, as shall be proven from five places of Scripture.


The first proof, is
from verse 13 of Isa. 52, to the end of Chapter 53.

THE first place is Isa. 52, verse 13, and forward to the end of chapter 53, where we have, first, the two parties contracters, God the Father, and Christ; for, the Father brings forth his confederate Son to be incarnate by covenant, his servant, whom he employs in the whole work of Redemption, as the meritorious cause and accomplisher of it; behold My servant, saith God the Father by his Spirit, speaking by the Prophet, Chapter 52, verse 13. Next, both parties are sure of the event of the paction, and of the accomplishing of the whole work gloriously, behold, (saith he) My servant shall deal prudently and prosperously, He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high, verse 13. Thirdly, he tells the proper price, which Christ the Son shall pay for the Redemption of his people, agreed upon by paction, to wit, the exinanition and humbling of the Son incarnate unto the ignominious death of the cross, that His visage shall be marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men, verse 14, and more particularly, Chapter 53, verse 2, He hath no form nor comeliness, and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him, He is despised, and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, &c. verses 2,3. He was wounded for our transgressions, verse 5. He shall make his Soul an offering for sin, verse 10.

Fourthly, Christ the Son of God incarnate, is assured and confirmed of the sweet fruit of his passion in the {60} conversion of many nations, whom he should sprinkle with the blood of the covenant and sanctify by the water of His holy Spirit, Chapter 52, verse 15, He shall sprinkle many nations, &c.

Fifthly, God and Christ are agreed and well pleased in the conversion of so many as are elected, and given to Christ, to have in Him the right of adoption, Chapter 53, verse 10. He shall see his seed, that is, He shall regenerate the elect, and make them His children, and see them so, to His satisfaction.

Sixthly, no meritorious nor impulsive cause is found in the persons redeemed, for which the punishment due to them should be transferred upon the Mediatour Christ our Redeemer; for, they should be found in themselves but despisers of Christ, because of His sufferings, Chapter 53.4, Surely he hath born our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.

Seventhly, no sin nor meritorious cause of punishment is found in Christ the Redeemer, for which He should be smitten, Chapter 53, verses 5,9, He was wounded for our transgressions—he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Eighthly, peace and reconciliation and healing of our sinful and miserable sicknesses, and deliverance from wrath, are purchased by the price of His blood, Chapter 53, verse 5, the chastisement of our peace, was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.

Ninthly, these sufferings Christ did not endure unwittingly, or unwillingly, but by consent, by covenant deliberately, Chapter 53, verse 7, He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.

Tenthly, the cause of this covenant, whereby the price is called for and yielded unto, and paid, is the only free grace of God and His good pleasure, Chapter 53, verse 10, It pleased the Lord to bruise him, He hath put him to grief. {61}

Eleventhly, It is agreed between the Father and the Son, that our sins should be imputed unto Him, and His righteousness imputed unto us, and that the redeemed should believe in him and so be justified, Chapter 53, verse 11, he shall see of the travail of his Soul, and shall be satisfied, by his knowledge, or faith in Him, shall My righteous servant justify many: for he shall bear their iniquities.

Twelfthly, It is agreed between the parties, that for whom Christ should lay down His life, He should stand intercessour also, for bringing unto them all the purchased graces and blessings, Chapter 53, verse 11, he bare the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressours: the rest of the world beside the elect, He interceded not for, John 17.9,10.

Hence it followeth, that God and Christ did not bargain for the Redemption of all and every man; no not for the Redemption, conversion, and salvation of all and every man to whom the Gospel was to be preached: for, many were to be called, who were not chosen, to whom the gift of saving faith was not to be given, nor the power of God to salvation was never to be revealed; and this is the observation which the Evangelist makes upon the 1st of Isaiah 53; John 12.37. &c. But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him, that the saying of the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again, (Isa. 6.9,10) he hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts, &c.

Secondly, it followeth hence, that election and Redemption were not for the foreseen faith or works of the elect redeemed, but of the mere grace and goodwill of God, and all done for them and in them, contrair to their deservings; for, it is said, Isa. 53.6, all we, like sheep have gone astray, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Thirdly, it followeth hence, that it was agreed upon, {62} that saving grace and conversion and sanctification, should infallibly and invincibly come to pass and be given to the redeemed, Isa. 52.13, Behold, My servant shall deal prudently and prosperously; and, verse 15, he shall sprinkle many nations; and, Isa. 53.11, by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many.

Fourthly, hence it followeth, that the agreement is past for their final perseverance and full salvation: for, Isa. 53.5, with his stripes we are healed: now our healing, is our full salvation from our sin and misery, or our deadly sickness. And, Isa. 53.10, the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand: the pleasure of the Lord is partly our sanctification, 1 Thes. 4.3, partly, our salvation and glorification, John 6.39, this is the Fatherís will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing; but should raise it up again at the last day. And to this purpose powerfully doth his intercession serve, from which the Apostle concludes, that believers shall be perfectly saved, Heb. 7.25, wherefore he is able also to save to the uttermost, them that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.


The second proof is from Isa. 59.20,21.

THE second place is from Isa. 59.20,21, where, first, we have the parties agreeing pointed at: the Lord Jehovah saith and of the Redeemer He saith, that He shall come to Zion as Redeemer. Next, we have the kind of agreement between the parties, God on the one hand, and the Redeemer with the redeemed, for whom and in whose name he makes the agreement; this is my Covenant with them, but first with Christ, as the words following do shew. Thirdly, we have the party redeemed, Zion and Jacob that turn from transgression, which is the mark of true believers in Christ and of the elect, for whom this grace is appointed, as Romans 11.7, Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the election have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. And, Romans 11.26, all this Israel shall be saved, as it is written. {63}

Fourthly, we have the sort of their delivery, which shall be not only by price paying, but also by powerful and effectual working, as the original imports, Romans 11.26, and Isa. 59.20. Fifthly, the benefits bestowed upon the elect, are comprehended under the designation of the redeemed; they are to be turned from their iniquity by effectual conversion, by granting them faith in Christ, repentance and reconciliation. Sixthly, it is shewed how these graces shall be brought to pass, to wit, by application thereof by the word and Spirit of Christ; from which, sanctification, salvation, and the perpetuation of all graces unto salvation, do flow and follow on them; My Spirit that is in thee, saith the Lord to the Redeemer incarnate, and My word which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, &c.

These articles of the covenant of Redemption make expressly, first, against universal Redemption of all and every man: because Christ, as is shewed before, makes his bargain for the elect, and leaves the rest in blindness, and is a Redeemer of none but of these to whom He is a deliverer actually, from whom He turneth away iniquity and ungodliness; which benefits befall none, but the elect and the redeemed.

Next, they make against election for faith and foreseen works, because when Christ cometh to call-in the Jews, He finds nothing commendable in them but impiety and transgression and defection, and whatsoever might provoke Him to reject them; they are turned from transgression.

Thirdly, they make against a mere possible and contingent conversion: for, invincible grace is promised here; for, the word and the Spirit of Christ shall take up a dwelling in them, and not depart from them.

Fourthly, they make against the doctrine of the Apostasy of the saints, and uncertainty of their perseverance, because here it is promised to Christ, that from the heart and mouth of His seed, the word and Spirit of Christ shall never depart. {64}


The third proof is from John 6.37, &c.

THE third place is, John 6, from verse 37 to 45, where, first, is set down the party contractors in the Covenant of redemption; for, the Elect are given over into the hand of Christ by the Father; All that the Father giveth to me, cometh to me, verse 37.

Secondly, upon the Fatherís giving of the Elect unto Christ followeth, in due time, the conversion and saving faith of the redeemed; All that the Father giveth me, cometh to me, saith Christ.

Thirdly the redeemed are committed unto Christ, as to their leading on, preservation and perfecting of their salvation; This is the Fatherís will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

Fourthly, it is agreed by what means the faith of the redeemed shall be formed in them, which are, the revealed sight of Christ the Son of God in the Word; the powerful drawing of the illuminate soul unto Christ, which powerful draught overcometh all opposition and resistance, because it is omnipotent and invincible: for, no man cometh to Christ, but he whom the Father draweth, verse 44, and that by making them savingly, and in a lively manner see the Son and believe on him, verse 40.

Hence followeth,

First, that it is false Doctrine to teach, that there is an universal redemption unto life of all and every man; because not all, but only some are given, and made to come to Christ; the rest that are not given, come not.

Secondly, it followeth, that Election is of mere free grace; because men come not unto Christ that they may be given, but they are given unto Christ, that they may be brought and come unto him.

Thirdly, by this agreement, the powerful conversion of the redeemed and their powerful preservation unto eternal life, is as certain as the power, and constancy, and obedience of Christ unto the Father, is firm and {65} certain; This is the will of him that sent me, that of what he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but raise it up at the last day, verse 39.


The fourth proof is, John 10.14.

THE fourth place is, John 10, from verse 14 to verse 30, where we see, that the Lord Jesus, the true Pastor of Israel, before he was incarnate, Psalm 23, continueth in that same office now, being incarnate, and gives his people to understand this, when he saith, I am the good shepherd.

Secondly, the care and custody of all the redeemed, both converted and unconverted, was put upon Christ, verses 14,16, I know my sheep, and am known of mine; and other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, them also I must bring in, and they shall hear my voice.

Thirdly, the price of their redemption is clearly agreed upon, verse 15, As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep.

Fourthly, the Father accepts the price, and is satisfied and well-pleased with it, verses 17,18, Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it up again, &c.

Fifthly, all the redeemed are infallibly converted, but they that are not redeemed are not converted, verse 27, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me; and, verse 26, but ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep.

Sixthly, albeit the redeemed and converted shall not want enemies, who shall go about to mar their perseverance and salvation, yet shall they not prevail, verse 28, I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Hence followeth, first, that the doctrine of universal redemption of all and every man unto life is false; because only the redemption of the elect sheep is agreed upon, for whom he layeth down his life, verse 15, and the rest are not redeemed nor ordained to life, for these he {66} speaks to, verse 26, they were not of his sheep, but remained unbelievers.

Secondly, it followeth, that the election of men is not for faith or works foreseen, but on the contrary, faith is ordained to be given unto the redeemed, because they are elected and given over unto Christ to convert and save them, verse 16, other sheep I have, and them I must bring in, and they shall hear my voice.

Thirdly, it followeth, that the conversion of the Elect doth not depend on their will, but upon Christís undertaking to make them believe and upon His omnipotency, verse 16, other sheep I have, and them I must bring in and they shall hear my voice.

Fourthly, it followeth, that albeit the redeemed believers be in themselves witless as sheep, and weak, and ready to be destroyed, and compassed about with many enemies as sheep among wolves, yet because of the omnipotency of the Father and of the Son, that have taken the care and custody of them, they shall persevere, and it is impossible they should perish or not persevere, John 10.28,29, I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and none can take them out of My Fatherís hand.


The fifth proof.

THE fifth place is Psalm 40, explicate by the Apostle, Heb. 10.5-7, where, first, the Spirit of God expounds the covenant whereof we are speaking, and brings in the parties, God and Christ, as speaking one to another, and as it were, in our sight and audience, repeating the terms thereof. The price of Redemption is first spoken of, for expiation of sin, not to be forgiven without blood, without better blood than the blood of beasts, Heb. 10.4.

Secondly, all satisfactions by men, and whatsoever price can be paid by mere men, are rejected; sacrifice and oblation thou wouldest not, verse 5.

Thirdly, nothing except only the incarnation of the Son the Mediatour, His obedience and suffering to the {67} death, could satisfy divine Justice; But a body hast thou prepared Me, verse 5.

Fourthly, the Mediatour Christ, offers Himself pledge and Surety of His own accord, and takes the condition; then said I, lo, I come, to wit, as Surety to pay the ransom and to do thy will, Heb. 10.7.

Fifthly, Christ the Surety, not only condescends upon the price, but also upon the persons to be redeemed, and their sanctification; by which will we are sanctified, by the offering of the body of Christ once for all: and this price is now actually paid, Heb. 10.10.

Sixthly, the price being paid, the Mediatour goeth about the application of the purchased benefits, by His intercession, Heb. 10.12,13, this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sin for ever, sat down on the right hand of God from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

Hence followeth, first, that there is no universal Redemption of all and every man unto life, because by one offering he hath perfected for ever, them that are sanctified, Heb. 10.14, therefore they were never redeemed, who are never sanctified; and only they are perfected, who are redeemed.

Secondly, it followeth, that not for any thing in man, neither fore-seen faith or works, are men elected and redeemed, because all is rejected that mere man can do, that the mere grace of God may appear in Christís undertaking for men of His own accord; Sacrifice and oblation thou wouldest not, then said I, behold, I come, Heb. 10.5,7.

Thirdly, by Christís death, purchase is made of the infallible conversion and sanctification of the redeemed, and of their perseverance unto perfection. By one offering of Christ He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified, Heb. 10.14, and therefore the redeemed cannot but be converted, cannot but be sanctified, cannot but persevere unto perfection, and that for ever, Heb. 10.12-14. {68}

The use of this article is, first, that all these who hear the Gospel, and have in any sort embraced it, should in the acknowledgement of their natural corruption and perverse wickedness, humble themselves before God, and pray for, and expect grace according to the promises offered in the Gospel.

Secondly, that they who are already sensible of their sins and ill deservings, may not run away or be discouraged, but so much the rather, flee to Christ in whom relief from sin and misery is promised to such.

Thirdly, that they who have fixed their eye on the Son, resolving to cleave unto him, should acknowledge the powerful draught of Godís almighty hand, who hath caused them to come to Christ, and should upon the begun work of grace, conceive lively hope of salvation, and study to purify their souls in this hope.

Fourthly, that they who find the instability and inconstancy of their own free-will, and have experience of their own heart, deceiving them frequently, after they have engaged themselves by promises and vows to take better heed to their ways, should not cast away their confidence in Christ because of their own infirmity, but that they should lean less to their own strength, and lay hold on Christís power, fidelity, and constancy so much the more, for to help the weak at such a dead lift. The Apostle, looking to Christís engagement in the covenant, for those who in any measure of sincerity adhere unto him, hath said, 1 Cor. 1.8,9, Christ shall confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye are called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Fifthly, let us not take the guiding of our own free-will, but let so many as are fled to Christ, give him the glory of the inclining of our heart to his testimonies, and to his obedience in any measure, and know that every spiritual motion floweth from his purchase, and application of what is bestowed on us. And when we find his hand withdrawing, and our heart inclining {69} to what is not right, let us run to him to right it, in hope to be helped by his grace to fight against whatsoever adversary of our salvation.


The fourth article.

AS to the fourth article of the covenant of Redemption, it concerneth the means and manner how the elect shall be called forth from the perishing world, and be effectually called and turned unto God, so as the world among whom the elect do live, shall not have cause of stumbling justly: for, he hath taken a most wise course so to execute the decree of election and Redemption, as he shall be sure to bring in his own to himself, and not open up his counsel in particular to the discouraging of any, as is told by the father, Isa. 52.13, My servant shall deal prudently and prosper. The chief mean appointed, is the preaching of the Gospel to all nations, commanding all men, where the Gospel is by Godís providence preached, to repent and believe in the Name of Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he hath commanded them, Acts 17.30 and 1 John 3.23, and they who refuse to obey are without excuse.

Another mean is, the bringing of so many as profess their acceptation of the offer of grace by Christ Jesus, them and their children into the bond of an express solemn covenant, that they shall submit themselves to the doctrine and government of Christ, and teach their children so to do, as Abraham the father of believers did, Gen. 18.19; Matth. 28.19,20, make disciples of all nations, or, make all nations disciples to Me.

A third mean is, the sealing of the covenant by the Sacrament of baptism, Matth. 28.19,20, make all nations disciples to Me, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

A fourth mean is, the gathering them into all lawful and possible communion with others his disciples, that by their Church-fellowship one with another, they may be edified under their officers, appointed in Christís Testament {70} to feed, govern, and lead them on in the obedience of all the commands which Christ hath commanded his people in his Testament: by which means he goeth about his work, and doth call effectually, sanctify, and save, his own redeemed ones, leaving all others without excuse.

Concerning all these and other means and manner also of executing his decree, it is agreed upon between the Father and His Son Christ, as His holy Spirit hath revealed it to us in Scripture. All which may be taken up in two heads; the one is the agreement about the doctrine, and directions given to His Church; the other is about actions, operations, and all effects to be brought about for making his word good.

Concerning his doctrine, Christ saith, John 12.49,50, I have not spoken of myself, but the Father who hath sent me, he gave me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak, and I know, that his commandment is life everlasting, whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

Concerning actions and operations, and the execution of the decrees, it is agreed also between the Father and the Son, John 8.16, If I judge, my judgment is true: for, I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me; and, verse 29, He that sent me, is with me, the Father hath not left me alone: for, I do always those things that please him; and John 6.38, I came down from heaven, not to do my own will (without the consent of the Father) but the will of him that sent me.

In a word, the consent and agreement of the Father and the Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is such, that the Son doth nothing by his Spirit, but that which the Father doth work by the same Spirit from the beginning of the world, John 5.17, My Father worketh hitherto and I work; and Col. 1.16, for by Christ were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. He is Alpha {71} and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first efficient, and the last end of all things, Rev. 1.8, because for the glory of Christ, the creation, the covenant of works, and the covenant of grace, were made, and had, and shall have their full execution, all for the glory of God in Christ, by whom all things were made and do subsist.


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