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Of the covenant between the Father and the Son, the ground and foundation of this dispensation of Christ's being punished for us, and in our stead.
THE fourth thing considerable, is the ground of this dispensation of Christ's being punished for us, which also hath influence into his whole mediation on our behalf. This is that compact, covenant, convention, and agreement, that was between the Father and the Son, for the accomplishment of the work of our redemption by the mediation of Christ, to the praise of the glorious grace of God.
The will of the Father, appointing and designing the Son to be the head, husband, deliverer, and redeemer of his elect, his church, his people, whom he did foreknow, with the will of the Son voluntarily, freely undertaking that work, and all that was required thereunto, is that compact (for in that form it is proposed in the Scripture), that we treat of.
It being so proposed, so we call it; though there be difficulty in its explication. Rabbi Ruben, in Galatinus, says of Isa. lxvi. 15. that if the Scripture had not said it, it had not been lawful to have said it, but being written, it may be spoken, "in fire, or by fire is the Lord judged;' for it is not Sophet, that is, 'judging,' but Misphet, that is, is judged :' which by some is applied to Christ, and the fire he underwent in his suffering. However the rule is safe, that which is written may be spoken; for, for that end was it written: God in his word teaching us how we should speak of him; so it is in this matter.
It is true, the will of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is but one. It is a natural property, and where there is but one nature, there is but one will: but in respect of their distinct personal actings, this will is appropriated to them respectively; so that the will of the Father, and the will of the Son, may be considered in this business. Which though essentially one and the same, yet in their distinct personality it is distinctly considered, as the will of the Fa
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ther, and the will of the Son; notwithstanding the unity of essence, that is between the Father and the Son, yet is the work distinctly carried on by them, so that the same God judges and becomes surety, satisfieth and is satisfied, in these distinct persons.
Thus though this covenant be eternal, and the object of it be that which might not have been, and so it hath the nature of the residue of God's decrees in those regards; yet, because of this distinct acting of the will of the Father, and the will of the Son, with regard to each other, it is more than a decree, and hath the proper nature of a covenant, or compact. Hence from the moment of it, I speak not of time, there is a new habitude of will in the Father and Son towards each other, that is not in them essentially; I call it new, as being in God freely, not naturally. And hence was the salvation of men before the incarnation, by the undertaking, mediation, and death of Christ. That the saints under the Old Testament were saved by Christ, at present I take for granted. That they were saved by virtue of a mere decree, will not be said. From hence was Christ esteemed to be incarnate, and to have suffered; or the fruits of his incarnation and suffering could not have been imputed to any; for the thing itself being denied, the effects of it are not.
The revelation of this covenant is in the Scripture, not that it was then constituted, when it is first mentioned in the promises and prophecies of Christ, but then first declared or revealed. Christ was declared to be the Son of God, by the resurrection from the dead; but he was so from eternity. As in other places as shall be evinced, so in Isa. liii. is this covenant mentioned; in which chapter there is this prophetical scheme; the covenant between Father and Son, which was past, is spoken of as to come; and the sufferings of Christ, which were to come, are spoken of as past, as appears to every one that but reads the chapter. It is also signally ascribed to Christ's coming into the world: not constitutively, but declaratively. It is the greatest folly about such things as these, to suppose them then done, when revealed, though revealed in expressions of doing them. These things being premised, I proceed to manifest how this covenant is in the Scripture declared.
Now this convention or agreement, as elsewhere, so it is most clearly expressed, Heb. x. from Psal. xl. 'Lo, I come to do thy will O God.' And what will? ver. 10. The will by which we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all.' The will of God was, that Jesus should be offered; and to this end, that we might be sanctified and saved: it is called the offering of the body of Jesus,' in answer to what was said before, a body hast thou prepared me;' or a human nature, by a synecdoche. My will, says God the Father, is, that thou have a body, and that that body be offered up, and that to this end, that the children, the elect might be sanctified: says the Son to this, 'Lo, I am come to do thy will.' I accept of the condition, and give up myself to the performance of thy will.
To make this more distinctly evident, the nature of such a compact, agreement, or convention, as depends on personal service, such as this, may be a little considered.
There are five things required to the complete establishing and accomplishing of such a compact and agreement: 1. That there be sundry persons, two at least, namely, a promiser and undertaker, agreeing voluntarily together in counsel and design, for the accomplishment, and bringing about some common end, acceptable to them both, so agreeing together; being both to do somewhat, that they are not otherwise obliged to do, there must be some common end agreed on by them, wherein they are delighted; and if they do not both voluntarily agree to what is on each hand incumbent to do, it is no covenant or compact, but an imposition of one upon the other.
2. That the person promising, who is the principal engager in the covenant, do require something at the hand of the other, to be done or undergone, wherein he is concerned. He is to prescribe something to him, which is the condition, whereon the accomplishment of the end aimed at, is to depend.
3. That he make to him who doth undertake such promises as are necessary for his supportment and encouragement, and which may fully balance in his judgment and esteem, all that is required of him, or prescribed to him.
4. That upon the weighing, and consideration of the
b Nec dari quicquam necesse est, ut substantiam capiat obligatio; sed sufficit eos qui negotia gerunt consentire. Institut. 1. 3. de oblig. ex consensu.
condition and promise, the duty and reward prescribed and engaged for, as formerly mentioned, the undertaker do voluntarily address himself to the one, and expect the accomplishment of the other.
5. That the accomplishment of the condition, being pleaded by the undertaker, and approved by the promiser, the common end originally designed, be brought about and established.
These five things are required, to the entering into, and complete accomplishment of such a covenant, convention, or agreement, as is built on personal performances; and they are all eminently expressed in the Scripture, to be found in the compact between the Father and the Son, whereof we speak, as upon the consideration of the severals will appear.
On the account of these things, found at least virtually and effectually, in this agreement of the Father and Son, we call it a covenant; not with respect to the Latin word 'fædus,' and the precise use of it, but to the Hebrew, and the Greek dianen, whose signification and use alone is to be attended to, in the business of any covenant of God; and in what a large sense they are used, is known to all that understand them, and have made inquiry into their import: The rise of the word foedus,' is properly paganish and superstitious; and the legal use of it, strict to a mutual engagement, upon valuable considerations; the form of its entrance, by -the sacrifice and killing of a hog, is related in Polybius, Livius, Virgil, and others. The general words used in it were; Ita fœde me percutiat magnus Jupiter, ut fœde hunc
ς Ὅπερ ὑπροσχέσθην σοι, ἔχεις προσδεκτον; ἔχω· Formula Jur. institut. lib. 3. c. Tollitur. §. item per. Numerius Nigidius interrogavit Aulum Augerium: Quicquid tibi hodierno die, per aquilianam stipulationem spopondi, id ne omne habes acceptum. Respondit Aulus Augerius, habeo, acceptumque tuli. ibid.
d Fæcialis sumpto in manibus lapide, postquam de fœdere inter partes convenerat, hæc verba dixit, Si recte ac sine dolo malo, hoc fœdus atque hoc jusjurandum facio, dii mihi cuncta felicia præstent; sin aliter aut ago, aut cogito, cæteris omnibus salvis, in propriis legibus, in propriis laribus, in propriis templis, in propriis sepulchris, solus ego peream, ut hic lapis de manibus meis decidet. Polyb. lib. 3. Audi Jupiter, audi pater patrate, ut illa palam prima postrema, ex illis tabulis recitata sunt sine dolo malo, utque ea his hodie rectissime intellecta sunt; illis legibus populus Romanus prior non deficiet; si prior defecerit publico consilio, dolo malo, tu ille diespiter, populum Romanum sic ferito, ut ego hunc porcum hodie feriam; tantoque magis ferito quanto magis potes, pollesque id ubi dixit, porcum saxo silice percussit. Livius.
Armati, Jovis ante aras, paterasque tenentes
Stabant: et cæsa jungebant fœdera porca.-Virg. Æn. viii. 640. Ad quem locum Servius: fœdera dicta sunt, a porca fœde et crudeliter occisa : nam cum ante gladiis configeretur, a fecialibus inventum, ut silice feriretur, ea causa quod antiquum Jovis signum, lapidis silicem putaverunt esse.
porcum macto, si pactum fœderis non servavero,' whence is that phrase of one in danger; 'sto inter sacrum et saxum.' The hog being killed with a stone; so 'fœdus' is 'a feriendo.' Though sometimes even that word be used in a very large sense, for any orderly disposed government; as in the poet :
-Regemque dedit, qui fœdere certo
Et premere, et laxas sciret dare jussus habenas, &c.—Virg. Æn. 1. 62.
But unto the signification and laws hereof, in this business, we are not bound: it sufficeth for our present intendment, that the things mentioned be found virtually in this compact, which they are.
1. There are the Father and the Son, as distinct persons agreeing together in counsel, for the accomplishment of the common end; the glory of God, and the salvation of the elect. The end is expressed, Heb. ii. 9, 10. xii. 1. Now thus it was, Zech. vi. 13. and the counsel of peace shall be between them both,' " inter ambos ipsos.' That is the two persons spoken of, not the two offices there intimated, that shall meet in Christ; and who are these? The Lord Jehovah, who speaks, and the man whose name is ny the 'branch,' ver. 12. who is to do all the great things' there mentioned. 'He shall grow up,' &c. But the counsel of peace, the design of our peace, is between them both; they have agreed and consented to the bringing about of our peace. Hence is that name of the Son of God, Isa. ix. 6. 'Wonderful Counsellor.' It is in reference to the business there spoken of, that he is so called. This is expressed at the beginning of the verse; to us a child is born, to us a Son is given;' to what end that was is known; namely, that he might be a Saviour or a Redeemer; whence he is afterward called the 'everlasting Father, the Prince of peace;' that is, a Father to his church and people, in everlasting mercy; the grand Author of their peace, that procured it for them, and es tablished it unto them. Now as to this work, that he who is the mighty God,' might be a Son given, a Child born;' and carry on a work of mercy and peace towards his church, is he called the wonderful Counsellor, as concurring in the counsel and design of his Father, and with him, to this end and purpose. Therefore, when he comes to
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