Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.—Habakkuk 2.4.

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The Ark of the Covenant Opened:

Or, A

TREATISE

Of the

COVENANT

Of

Redemption

BETWEEN

God and Chriſt, as the Foundation of the

Covenant of Grace.


Written by a Miniſter of the New-Teſtament: Patrick Gillespie.


LONDON,

Printed for Tho. Parkhurst at the Bible and three Crowns in Cheapſide,

near Mercers Chappel, 1677.

CHAPTER I.

Of the Foundation of the Covenant of Grace, or of the Covenant of Redemption. Where, (1.) ’Tis proved that there is such a Covenant with Christ. (2.) That this is the foundation of the Covenant made with us.

AS the Covenant of Grace hath its rise from God only, and from Grace; so 'tis founded and bottomed upon nothing in us, but upon God's Covenant with Christ, whom he gave for a Covenant of the people, Isa. 49.8; whom he layed in Zion for a foundation, a sure foundation, Isa. 28.16. The Covenant made with us, did spring out of the Covenant made with Christ; and as 'tis commonly distinguished, the Covenant of reconciliation, whereby we are actually recovered and reconciled unto God, is bottomed upon the Covenant of Redemption; or as others speak, the Covenant of suretiship, whereby the recovery, redemption and restitution of fallen man, was transacted betwixt God and Christ. I shall therefore speak a little of the Covenant of Redemption, to make way for the better understanding of the whole Treatise of the Covenant of Grace; and particularly what relates to Christ the Mediator.

And, 1. That there is a Covenant betwixt God and Christ; though the name of this mysterious transaction, which we call the Covenant of Redemption and Suretiship, be not found in the Scripture, in so many words (which may be among the reasons why most Writers have been silent about the thing); yet the thing itself being so evidently held forth in the Scripture, that the Socinians[1] who enervate and study to make void the Suretiship of Christ, yet do not deny a Covenant wherein he is Surety {2} or Mediator, as they understand his Suretiship. And the Antinomians,[2] who upon the matter do own no Covenant of Grace properly so called, made with us; yet they do acknowledge a Covenant betwixt God and Christ. The Arminians[3] also acknowledge the same, though in a sense different from ours. The Scriptures (I say) being so very pregnant in this proof, I shall the more briefly dispatch it, and refer the Reader to what is written of it by others, every way more fit to open this mystery, than I am.[4]

The first proof I take from Isa. 59.20,21, And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord: As for me, this is my Covenant with them, saith the Lord, &c.[5] Where we read of a Covenant betwixt the Lord and the Redeemer, that was to come unto Zion, which can be no other but the Covenant of Redemption. For clearing of this, Consider (1.) That he to whom the Lord speaks there, must be Christ and no other; For [1.] 'Tis he only, whose seed have the Spirit and Word ensured unto them; for the seed of no Church-Society upon earth hath the Spirit and the Ordinances appropriated and ensured unto them, only Christ's seed have the promise of the Spirit and of the Word appropriated and ensured unto them for ever, Gal. 3.29, And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. And the Church's seed have this Promise and Covenant only insofar as they are Christ's seed, Isa. 44.3, I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thy off-spring. [2.] Because 'tis Christ only, who hath in store the Spirit which is given to all his seed; though all Christ's seed receive of the same Spirit of the Lord, yet it cannot be said of any of them, nor of the Church in general, that their seed receive the Spirit that is upon them, or in them; to wit, by communication of any part of the measure and proportion given to them; but of Christ's only, who received not the spirit by measure, John 3.34. Nor can it be said, My spirit that is upon thee—shall not depart from thy seed, Gal. 4.6, And because ye are Sons, God hath {3} sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, father.

(2.) Let it be considered, that this is not only a Covenant made with Christ; but it must needs be the Covenant of Redemption: For although, [1.] There be mention here made of his seed, which are not Parties in the Covenant of Redemption; yet nothing is spoken to them, but only to Christ, and of them, as a party not treated with, but about whom there was treaty and Covenant 'twixt God and Christ; for still the speech is to Christ in the second person, upon thee, thy seed, and thy mouth, &c. [2.] Although there be here mention of a Covenant with them that turn from ungodliness in Jacob, and of Promises concerning the seed of Christ; yet that amounts to no more, than that they are the subject matter of the Covenant transacted betwixt God and Christ; and that the Covenant with them springs out of the Covenant with him, as is the result and execution thereof. So that I take the meaning of the words, this is my Covenant with them, my spirit that is upon thee, &c. to be, This is my Covenant that I have made with thee upon their account, and for their behoof; or the Covenant that I have made with them, to wit, virtually, when I covenanted with thee, and made promises to thee for their behoof; the result whereof, should amount unto a Covenant with them actually. And I say, it can be no other upon the matter but the Covenant of Redemption: [1.] Because 'tis made with the Redeemer that should come out of Zion, or with Christ as designed Mediator and Redeemer in the counsel of God, long before he came in the Flesh. [2.] Because 'tis a Covenant about the Redemption and recovery of the Elect people of God, who are the only subject matter treated about in this Covenant; as appears from the Text, verses 20, 21.

2. Proof, I take from Psalm 89, where the Covenant made with Christ is held forth as the Original, Foundation and Establishment of the Covenant made with his seed; and Christ is spoke of under the name of David, with whom he changes Names in the Scripture, and who was a type of Christ in many things, but eminently in the Covenant that God made with him, and that he was a publick person, and a King by Covenant, verse 3, I have made a Covenant with my chosen. God having chose Christ, for performing the work of Redemption, {4} did make a Covenant with him. Two things being cleared in that Psalm, it will amount to a full proof of the point in hand: (1.) That the Covenant spoken of there, is made with Christ. (2.) That it is the Covenant of Redemption that is here intended. (1.) For the first, that the person spoken of under the name of David, and with whom the Covenant was made, is Christ and no other, is evident from several expressions which are peculiar to Christ's Person and Kingdom, and cannot be applied to David, further than he was a type of Christ: This David is the mighty one upon whom God laid the help of his people, verse 19. 'Tis he upon whom the enemy shall not exact, verse 22. ’Tis he who is higher than the Kings of the earth, verse 27, whose seed endures for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven, and to all generations, verses 4, 29, 36, 37. 'Tis he who is distinguished from his seed by this difference, that they may sin and be chastised, verse 30; which case is not put of himself, but only of his seed; 'tis he, by the force and virtue of whose Covenant, his sinful seed are not cast out from Covenant-kindness, verses 33-35, and this could be no other but Christ: And to put the matter out of question, the Covenant and Promises made here, verse 27, and in the parallel-Scripture, 2 Sam. 7.14, are applied unto Christ, Heb. 1.5.

(2.) That this was the Covenant of Redemption, which God saith he made with his chosen David, i.e. Christ, may be gathered also from the Text. [1.] It is the Covenant by which Christ is constituted a Servant, and engaged in the Service of the Lord about our Redemption, verse 4, I have made a Covenant with my chosen,—David my servant. [2.] 'Tis the Covenant by which the help of the People of God is laid on Christ, as a mighty, potent, responsal person, able for the work, verse 19, I have laid help upon one that is mighty. [3.] 'Tis the Covenant by which Christ is a King and a Priest, and is designed and destinated, called and separated unto Office for the work of Redemption, verses 19,20,26,27, I have exalted one chosen out of the people, with my oil have I anointed him, &c. [4.] 'Tis the Covenant by which Christ received commands to fulfill his offices, and to depend upon God in the doing of the work, verse 26, He shall cry unto me, my Father, and my God, thou art the rock of my Salvation. [5.] 'Tis the Covenant by which Christ had peculiar promises made {5} unto him, of assistance for the work of Redemption, and help to the people of God, verse 21, Mine arm also shall strengthen him, &c. of glorious victory, verse 23, I will beat down his foes, &c. and exaltation, verse 27, I will make him my first born, higher than the Kings of the earth. Of a seed and off-spring to endure for ever, verse 29, His seed also will I make to endure, &c. Now this could be no other but the Covenant of Redemption; for by no Covenant is Christ engaged in this Service, called unto these Offices, undertaker of the People's help, receiver of such commands and promises, &c. but by this Covenant of Suretiship.

Objection. If it be said, That here are many things spoken which relate to Christ's seed, and which do belong to the Covenant of reconciliation; such as the keeping Covenant-kindness and mercy with Christ's seed, &c.

Answer. We are not to conceive of the Covenant of Redemption in such an abstracted consideration and notion, as if the things transacted in that Covenant made with Christ, had no relation to, nor connexion with the Covenant made with us; but upon the contrary, we are still to keep in mind the great affinity and connexion that is between these two Covenants, and as the Apostle reasons from the one to the other, 2 Cor. 6.2, For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee. Where he looks upon what God said to Christ concerning us, and the hearing of him for us, as spoken for our encouragement, to apply to him in the improvement of the day of Grace. Yet I say of this Scripture; (1.) Here is nothing spoken of Christ's seed and people, as parties with whom God deals in this Covenant, and upon whom he layeth any commands, nor to whom directly he maketh any promises, (except what may be gathered consequenter & in obliquo) which things must needs be in the Covenant of reconciliation. (2.) Whatsoever is spoken here concerning Christ's seed and people, 'tis only of the force of the Covenant made and sworn with Christ, having influence towards the establishment of friendship with them, and toward their perseverance in a Covenant-state; because of God's transactions with Christ; wherein they were comprehended, and by which they and their interests were disposed of.

The third Proof, I take from these Scriptures which hold forth all the essentials and requisites for making up a formal {6} Covenant, to be betwixt God and Christ; which Texts though they speak not explicitly of the name of a Covenant; yet they do explicitly hold forth the thing.

The Argument in form is this: Where all things necessarily required unto the essence and being of a Covenant for matter and form, are to be found; there must needs be a Covenant. But betwixt God and Christ in the matter of our Redemption, all things necessary unto the essence of a Covenant are to be found: Therefore there must needs be a Covenant betwixt God and Christ about the work of Redemption, which we call the Covenant of Suretiship or Redemption. The major [proposition] is manifest and undeniable: I come therefore to confirm the minor. Concerning which, I shall first tell you what are the necessary requisites unto the essence of a Covenant, and then give plain Scripture-proof that these were betwixt God and Christ.

1. It is generally acknowledged by the Doctors of the Law,[6] that the agreement or consent of two or more Parties upon the same thing, maketh a Paction; and that Proposals upon the one part, and a consent upon the other, makes a formal Covenant, though there were no condition or restipulation.

But more particularly and above all question, where there are Proposals, Commands, or Promises upon the one part, with conditions required upon the other, and a consent unto, or acceptation of these Proposals, with the conditions required upon the other part, or where there is a restipulation of conditions upon the other part, there must needs be a Contract or Covenant, not only materially and virtually, because there is all the essentials of a Covenant; but formally and explicitly, because there are all the formalities of explicit Covenanting.

2. It is manifest, that all these things are to be found betwixt Jehovah and Christ, concerning the work of Redemption.

1. There is a consent and agreement betwixt God and Christ about this very thing, which amounteth to a Paction, Zech. 6.13, The Lord speaking of that ineffable mysterious Economy and dispensation of the business of man’s Redemption and Salvation, {7} as the same is transacted in the counsel of God’s Will; biddeth him tell us, that the counsel of peace shall be between them both; to wit, between the Lord of Hosts, and the man whose name is the Branch, verse 12; betwixt them was the business plotted, consulted and concluded; to the same purpose are these Scriptures that tell us of the agreement of the Lord’s Will, and Christ’s Will in this affair; it was his Father’s Will to send him, John 6.40, And this is the will of him that sent me. And Acts 3.26, Unto you first, God having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him, &c. and it was Christ’s Will to be sent, Heb. 10.9, Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will. John 6.38, For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me; it was his Father’s will that he should lay down his life, and it was his will also, Romans 8.32, He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all. John 10.18, No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This Commandment have I received of my father; it pleased the Lord to bruise him, Isa. 53.10, and it pleased him to be bruised, Isa. 50.6, I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. Still there was an agreement.

2. We find clear vestiges in the Scripture of Proposals made by Jehovah unto Christ, concerning his Will about the work of our Redemption; and of a consent and agreement upon Christ’s part unto these Proposals; whereby he declares his will to be consenting to his Father’s Will. The first, to wit, Proposals made by God to Christ, we read, Psalm 110.1, The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool; and Psalm 2.7,8, I will declare the decree, the Lord hath said unto me, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. That these Scriptures contain Proposals, is manifest; and that they are Proposals made by Jehovah to Christ, appears by the Holy Ghost’s asserting it, Acts 13.33, God hath confirmed the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou {8} art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Heb. 1.5, For unto which of the Angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. But all the difficulty is, to make it appear, that these Proposals belong to the eternal transaction and Covenant of Redemption. To this end 'tis to be observed, (1.) That whatsoever is revealed in these Scriptures concerning the thing that were between God and Christ, God said and propounded it unto Christ long before his coming in the flesh, and therefore it must needs relate to such transactions as were betwixt God and Christ in the counsel of his Will from all eternity. (2.) Though the accomplishment of these things be applied by the Holy Ghost, unto the resurrection of Christ, Acts 13.33, and to the exaltation of him in his human nature, Heb. 1.5, that doth not make against the transacting of them by an eternal Covenant, where first these Proposals were made; but on the contrary, it doth strengthen what is here asserted; because the accomplishment of these things is declared to be that which God had revealed in the old Testament to have been said long before by him to Christ. Therefore also the same Scripture is brought as an evidence of Christ's being consecrated by his Father, unto the offices which he did bear for the work of our Redemption, Heb. 5.5, So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high Priest: but he that said unto him, thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee, &c. So that the declaration of the Sonship of Christ, this day I have begotten thee, is not to be understood of an hodie æternitatis, a day of eternity, and of the eternal generation of the Son of God (as many of the Ancients, and of the Schoolmen understood it) and indeed, if it should be yielded to be spoken of an eternal Sonship, I should understand it of that eternal adoption and designation of Christ by his own consent in the counsel of God's Will; to a new Sonship for the work of Redemption, whereby he voluntarily became the first born of many brethren, and an obedient Son even unto death, Phil. 2.8; and whereby he consented to take a new Covenant-right unto God, as his Father, and his God by Covenant, Heb. 1.5,—I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. And we know it is not unusual in Scripture, to style adoption unto a succession in office, by a Sonship and a {9} begetting; therefore Salathiel is said to be begotten by Jechoniah, Matt. 1.12; because he succeeded him in the Kingdom. But since the Holy Ghost applies it distinctly to Christ's resurrection, Acts 13.33, and to the exaltation of him in his human Nature, when he had humbled himself as an obedient Son unto the death of the Cross, and having by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, Heb. 1.3-5, 'tis safest for us to hold close to that meaning of the words, This day have I begotten thee; which was the accomplishment of that which God had said to Christ long before, in the transaction of the Covenant of Redemption, when Christ was set up from everlasting, before his works of old, &c. Prov. 8.22,23, and when the Decree was passed which was not declared till long after, Psalm 2.7. Now this day of Christ’s exaltation in his human Nature at his resurrection, which was the fulfilling of what God said to him, when he was by eternal destination and decree, called and set apart unto the work of Redemption, and unto the offices, which as Lord Mediator, he did bear, is fitly called the day wherein he was begotten; upon several accounts: 1. Because in this day he was declared to be the Son of God, Rom. 1.4, And declared to be the Son of God, with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, του ορισθεντος υιου θεου. The Syriack reads it, Qui cognitus est; the word signifies, demonstrated, manifested, or defined to be the Son of God; as most Learned men render it.[7] Though Bellarmine’s rendering of the word with the vulgar Latin, for which he contends, would also fit our purpose, who was predestinated to be the Son of God; which must be meant, of such a Sonship as he took upon him in time, or rather of the execution of God’s Decree, containing his being manifested in the flesh by the terms of the Covenant of Suretiship (if we read it predestinated) and not of his eternal generation; because as Esthius says upon the place, Predestination does not relate unto that which was from eternity, but to future things only. 2. Because on this day of his resurrection, there was in respect of Christ’s human nature, a second entrance into life, the Grave being a second womb,[8] from which he came forth unto life (as his Mother’s womb was the first, from which he came forth unto life, in respect of his {10} human nature) so he was begotten, or brought forth in this day, by a birth out of the womb of the grave; hence the resurrection is called παλιγγενεσια, renascentia, a new or second birth, Matth. 19.28.[9] 3. Because the day of Christ’s resurrection, was the day of vesting, inaugurating and installing him in his Regal Office and Authority in our nature; this is the day whereof it’s said, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee; because this was a Coronation-day, a day of exaltation of him in his human nature, and of constituting him, and settling him in his offices in a most glorious manner, against all opposition; as the context of that Psalm bears, verse 6,7, Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Sion. I will declare the decree. And Heb. 1.3,4,5,—When he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Being made so much better than the Angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they: For unto which of the Angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. It was a custom among the Romans, that the Emperors had two Natales, or birth-days, kept; the one was Natalis Imperatoris, the birth-day of the Emperor, to commemorate his coming into the world. The other was Natalis Imperii, the birth-day of the Empire, to commemorate his advancement to the Imperial Dignity. The feast of commemorating the building of Rome, was called Palilia; and this title was by decree given of Caius the Emperor, his advancement to the Empire,[10] Decretum est ut dies quo cepisset imperium Palilia vocaretur. There is also mention made of anothers,[11] Natalis adoptionis, the day of his adoption, i.e. his civil birth-day, V. id. Aug. and then of Natalis Imperii, the birth-day of his Empire, III. id. Aug. And of Vespasian ’tis recorded, that Primus principatus dies in posterum celebratus, the first day of his Empire was celebrated afterwards.[12]

3. ’Tis to be observed concerning the Proposals before-mentioned, which I said are made by Jehovah to Christ, that the Scriptures cited, do distinguish betwixt the propounding of these things which God said to Christ, and the publishing or promulgation thereof, Psalm 2.7, I will declare the decree; or as a late learned Annotator reads it,[13] I will tell of a decree or Covenant; that is, I will publish and manifest that {11} which was sometime a great secret, kept betwixt God and Christ; but now is declared and opened up, Psalm 25.14, The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will shew them his Covenant. Col. 1.26, Even the mystery which hath been hidden from ages and generations, but now is made manifest to his Saints. And what is the secret that is now declared plainly? Even that which follows: The Lord said unto me, thou art my Sonask of me, &c. i.e. God said to Christ, or made the Proposal to him, thou art the only fit person for undertaking this work of Man’s Redemption, and I destinate and appoint thee for it: Now therefore ask, and have the noblest rewards that can be devised, only do the work. I say then, here is but a declaration of that which was said and done, concluded and transacted by Proposals ’twixt God and Christ in his Decrees, and the Counsel of his Will.

4. ’Tis observable[14] that the Hebrew word here used and translated Decree, חק Chok, cometh from a root that signifies originally, scribere, describere, statuere, to write, engrave, ordain, appoint, &c. and so proportionably is the Noun signifying many things; not only a Law, Statute, and Ordinance; but also a Pact or Covenant; a writing subscribed with the parties hands, &c. And in this place it’s rendered[15] a Covenant by the Chaldee Paraphrast. Recitabo Pactum, the LXX here render it προσταγμα, an Order and Agreement; and so most of the ancient Interpreters following the Targum, render it God’s Statute, his Pact or Covenant; and ’tis observed by a great Hebrean,[16] that this word among the Talmudists is often put for the quality, condition, or nature of any thing; and if so, here ’tis the nature, quality, and condition of God’s decretal Covenant with Christ. But further, besides the affinity that is among these notions of Statute, Decree, Agreement, Pact, Covenant, &c. the word חק that is here used, is in the Scripture sometimes promiscuously or synonymously used with the word ברית—that is usually rendered Covenant. Compare Jer. 31.35,36, with Jer. 33.20, &c. In both which places God’s Ordinance and Covenant with the day and night is spoken of, to illustrate the stability of his Covenant with his people in Christ, and there you will find the words חק and ברית Statute or Ordinance and Covenant, promiscuously used; and the same thing which is called God’s Ordinance of the day and {12} night, or of the Sun and Moon, Jer. 31.35,36, is called his Covenant with the day, and his Covenant with the night, Jer. 33.20; the meaning of both we are to gather from Gen. 1.16, & 8.22, & 9.11,12,13. the Chaldee Paraph. In both these places renders the different Hebrew words Pactum & Pacta, Paction or Covenant; and the Syriack renders both the words administrationes, a word comprehensive of both these notions of God’s Oeconomy and dispensations.

Besides the Scriptures before-mentioned, we read also of God’s Proposals to Christ, concerning the work of man’s Redemption, Isa. 42.6,7, I the Lord have called thee in Righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a Covenant of the people for a light of the Gentiles. To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house. And 49.5,6, And now saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him; though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength. And he said, it is a light thing that thou shouldst be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel. I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayst be my salvation to the ends of the earth, &c. which things no man can reasonably doubt to be spoken by Jehovah to Christ, and to contain Proposals concerning the Redemption and Salvation of his elect people.

2. Let us in the next place consider, where we find Scripture proof for Christ’s consent unto these Proposals, made by Jehovah to him, which amounteth to a Covenant? We find Christ’s consent and agreement, and that before the beginning of the world, unto the Proposals made to him by Jehovah concerning this work of Redemption, and the office which he was called unto for that effect, clearly insinuated, Prov. 8.22-24, The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting from the beginning, before ever the earth was. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water.—30,31, Then I was by him as one brought up with him, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him. Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights were {13} with the Sons of men. Where we find the substantial, eternal wisdom of God, Jesus Christ declaring such a plenary voluntary cheerful consent to undertake the work of our Redemption, that when he was in the Counsel of God set up and designed unto the office and glory of the Lord Mediator and Redeemer; he took pleasure and satisfaction before-hand, not only in his people not yet created, above all the works of his hand, who were to be the satisfying sight that should be given him for the travail of his Soul (as the Lord saith, Isa. 53.11); but he took pleasure also in these parts which they were to inhabit, in every bit of ground that was to be the bounds of their habitation in the times appointed, Acts 17.26.

But yet more explicitly, read his consent to the Proposals made by Jehovah to his Son Christ, Psalm 40.6,7,8, Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire, mine ears hast thou opened; burnt offering and sin offering has thou not required. Then said I, lo I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart. With Heb. 10.5,6,7, Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body hast thou prepared me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin, thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, lo I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do thy will, O God. Concerning these Scriptures, let us observe some things for clearing the point in hand; to wit, Christ’s consent and agreement unto Proposals made to him by Jehovah. And 1. It is manifest that the words are Christ’s words; for the Apostle makes Christ, not David, to be the speaker here, Heb. 10.5, Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, i.e. Christ saith; for it is of Christ’s sacrifice, and his offering himself that the Apostle hath been speaking. 2. ’Tis as manifest that Christ speaketh these words to God, to Jehovah; therefore he saith, Psalm 40.8, and Heb. 10.7,9, O God, and O my God. 3. The words presuppose something spoken and propounded by God to Christ, unto which these words are an answer: there are four words in the Text which carry this plainly, that there was something that he, i.e. Jehovah desired and required as a pleasing satisfaction to him, above all typical Sacrifices, something which Christ calls his father’s will and his command, thy will, O God; thy law, O God, to which he gave an answer, then I said, &c. 4. That the {14} thing concerning which he makes answer to God here, was upon the matter, 1. Some Proposal, for the performance whereof, God had prepared and fitted him, by his Incarnation and assuming our nature; A body thou hast prepared me or fitted me; and by his taking on a will that might bow to the will of God, Mine ears thou hast opened. 2. ’Tis an answer to the Proposal of a business unto which Christ was called, which was the father’s will and command to him, to do thy will and thy law, O God. 3. ’Tis an answer and return to God concerning something that was concluded and agreed betwixt God and Christ before-hand; and therefore is said to be written in the volume of thy book. 4. ’Tis something, which however it was contracted and recorded before; yet was not to be fulfilled until the due time, when he cometh into the world, not till the time of his Incarnation. 5. ’Tis something that divine Justice required for a satisfaction, and which no Sacrifices could amount unto; which is held forth in the opposition of this command to the negation of all satisfaction by other Sacrifices. Sacrifice thou hast not required, but, &c. and this was no other but the obedience of his own Son, and the giving his Soul an offering and Sacrifice for sin to satisfy the Justice of God, Isa. 53.10, Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him, he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands.

5. Consider the answer that Christ gives here, how it amounts unto a plenary consent and agreement unto the will and proposal of his father unto him, which is a Covenant of Redemption or Suretiship, i.e. that he will undertake and do the work of our Redemption, according to his father’s will.

1. I say Christ’s answer bears a consent, a willing consent, Lo I come; Christ sists [presents] himself before God in readiness to do his Father’s will, to be our Surety and Saviour, ’tis an expression not unlike these of Isaiah and Samuel, whereby they expressed their free consent and readiness to obey the call of God, Isa. 6.8, Then said I, here am I, send me; in the Original it is behold me, or lo me; which is equivalent to Lo I come; or I sist my self ready to obey thy command, to do thy will, to run thy errand, 1 Sam. 3.10, Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth, i.e. Doth sist himself ready to obey. {15}

2. Christ’s answer bears a submissive humble consent, Mine ear hast thou opened, or bored: there seems to be an allusion to a Ceremony that was used toward the Servant that would not have his liberty, but loved his Master so, that he would not go out free from his Service, when he might according to Law, in the seventh year: whereof see Deut. 15.12-17, & Exod. 21.6. So the opening or boring of the ear is, not only a sign of hearkening and obedience, as the Phrase is used concerning Christ, Isa. 50.5, The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. But it notes also his taking on the form of a Servant, such as had their ears bored, in token of their submission to serve when they might have been free. In place of this Phrase, the Apostle says, A body thou hast prepared me: giving a perspicuous interpretation of the opening of the ear, that it related to Christ’s Incarnation, and the principal end thereof, which was that he might be found in the form of a Servant, to obey and do the will of his father, as one who by his own consent was nailed and pinned to his Service in the work of Redemption, Phil. 2.7,8, But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.

3. Christ’s answer bears a consent given in contemplation of a satisfaction to divine Justice; and therefore he mentions the Law of God, and the things that God required, and offers himself to undergo these; for this he did propose to himself, that offended divine Justice might have an honourable satisfaction, and that the Law might have obedience in him, Gal. 4.4,5, But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law: To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the Adoption of sons. Zech. 13.7, Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts, smite the shepherd. Gal. 3.13, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us.

4. Christ’s answer bears a complete and plenary consent, which is every way apted [suited] unto the Proposals made to him: for he offers himself to fulfill the Law (to which he voluntarily subjected himself) in the exact rigour thereof, in every thing {16} that is written in the book of the law, Gal. 3.10. He offers himself to perform the utmost degree of obedience to the Will of God, to do thy will, O God; yea, to do not only according to what is written in the book of the Law, but according to the indenture and contract betwixt God and him, to which I understand the volume of the book here mentioned, chiefly to relate; supposing the agreement betwixt God and Christ about the work of man’s Redemption, and all his undertaking to be written as it were in a Book or Roll, in that sense that the Scripture speaks of a book of life, and the Lamb’s book of life, and the writings therein, Rev. 13.8, & 15.8, & 21.27.

5. Christ’s answer bears a cheerful consent to the Proposals made by God to him, I delight to do thy will, O God, and thy law is within my heart; because his heart was to the business, and a design of love acted him all along his undertaking and performing the work of our Redemption, John 13.1, having loved his own; therefore he took pleasure in the work; therefore it was his delight, Prov. 8.31, Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights were with the sons of men. Luke 22.15, And he said unto them, with desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer. I conclude then, that this consent upon Christ’s part to his Father’s Proposals, makes a Covenant betwixt Jehovah and Christ.

3. Beside the former two, which according to the opinion of Jurists amount to a Paction, and a Contract, or virtual Covenant, and I think also to a formal explicit Covenant: there is also vestiges to be found betwixt God and Christ of all things required unto explicit formal Covenanting.

Let us therefore enquire a little, 1. What are the requisites of formal explicit Covenanting. 2. What vestiges of these are to be found betwixt Jehovah and Christ.

1. The peculiar propriety of formal explicit Covenanting, stands in stipulation and restipulation, in Conditional Proposals, commands, tenders, or promises upon the one part; and the accepting, consenting, or performing of conditions required, upon the other part: When the Proposals of whatsoever quality and kind they be, are expressly conditional, and the conditions propounded and required, are expressly accepted and agreed unto, there is a formal explicit Covenant, even in the most strict and rigorous acceptation of the word Covenant. {17} Hence the Jurists confine mutual contracts and explicit Covenants, within the compass of these few words, Do ut des, facio ut facias, do ut facias, facio ut des.[17]

2. That there be clear footsteps of such dealing and Transactions betwixt Jehovah and Christ, may appear from these instances; all which evince stipulation and restipulation; Conditions upon the one part and upon the other; Conditions given and taken.

1. Betwixt Jehovah and Christ there are Commands with Promises, holding forth what was the Will of God to Christ, in the matter of man’s Redemption; and what he should expect from his Father for doing that work, and obeying his will, John 6.39,40, This is the father’s will,—and this is the will of him that sent me. Zech. 6.12,13,—Behold the man whose name is the Branch, and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord—and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. Micah 5.4,5, And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God, and they shall abide, for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace when the Assyrian shall come into our land. Isa. 42.1-4,—He shall bring forth Judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench; he shall bring forth Judgment unto truth. And if a command with a threatening annexed, which had a promise in it implicitly, did amount to a Covenant in God’s dealing with man in his integrity, by a Covenant of works (as is acknowledged by all Divines); Gen. 2.17, But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die: Sure, commands with explicit promises, such as are betwixt God and Christ, do amount to a Covenant.

2. Betwixt Jehovah and Christ, there are Promises with Conditions; I say Promises with Conditions (not absolute promises) read Isa. 53.10-12,—When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand: He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied. By his knowledge {18} shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out his soul unto death, and he was numbered with the transgressors, and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Now Promises with Conditions, are promises with re-promissions, or conditions upon the one part, and upon the other; this is a declaration of what God will do, and what he doth require, which is a formal Covenant, and is plainly reducible to that which the Jurists call Do ut facias, facio ut des, &c.

3. There is betwixt Jehovah and Christ, not only Commands with Promises annexed, and Promises with Conditions annexed; but which is yet more, Conditions with consent, a formal consent and voluntary yielding unto the Proposals which were made unto him by Jehovah; and this is without question, a formal explicit Covenant, consisting of stipulation and restipulation, propounding and answering, or accepting, demanding, and yielding or consenting: he receives a command from his Father to lay down his life, and he willingly consents, John 10.18, No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my father. His Father propounds his Will to him, and makes offer of fair conditions, and he accepts, Isa. 53.10.—When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Heb. 10.5,7, Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me. Then said I, Lo I come, in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do thy will, O God. Here is a formal explicit Covenant.

4. There is betwixt Jehovah and Christ, Consenting with Performing; not only a mutual agreement upon the things to be done by Christ, and to be done to Christ; but a real performance of the mutual conditions agreed upon betwixt them: and this is more than a consummate Covenant, this is the fulfilling of an explicit Covenant, and the acknowledgment of both parties, that it was mutually covenanted, and that the conditions were observed, and were performed on both sides: {19} John 17.4, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do, saith Christ: and his Father saith, Isa. 42.1, Behold, my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth, I have put my spirit upon him, and he shall bring forth Judgment to the Gentiles. Phil. 2.8,9, And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. There is a reciprocation of Covenant-performances.

5. There is betwixt Jehovah and Christ, asking and giving: the Father asketh a satisfaction to his Justice for the sins of all the Elect, Isa. 53.10, It pleased the Lord to bruise him, he hath put him to grief: and the satisfaction which his Father asked, was, that he should make his soul an offering for sin: and Christ yieldeth and giveth the satisfaction which was asked, Psalm 40.6, Lo I come, saith he, to do thy will. Isa. 53.5, But he was wounded for our transgressions, and he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.

Again, Christ asketh of his Father a reward and satisfaction for the travail of his Soul in that great work of our Redemption and Salvation: And his Father gives it him according to the encouraging Proposals, whereby he had invited him to the undertaking so great a work, Psalm 2.8, Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Isa. 53.11, He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied. John 17.4,5, I have glorified thee on earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do: And now, O father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. This kind of asking and giving on both sides amounteth to a formal explicit Covenant: here is emptio & venditio, which is a Covenant strictly so called.

6. There is betwixt Jehovah and Christ, work and wages: there is working propounded upon the one part, and undertaken upon the other; and a reward promised upon the one part, and expected upon the other; craved upon the one part, and paid upon the other; and this is a formal Covenant strictly so taken, Ad similitudinem contractus inter operarium & locatorem operis—inter herum & servum, not unlike the manner of {20} Covenants betwixt the work-man and work-master, betwixt the Servant and the Lord. Here is indeed, do ut faoias, facio ut des, I give this upon condition you do that, and I do this upon condition you give that.

I say, there was working and rewarding ’twixt God and Christ, and that by no necessity of nature, but by a voluntary compact; his work and reward are both propounded to him, Isa. 53.11,12, He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquity. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out his soul unto death, and he was numbered with the transgressors, and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. And 49.3,6, And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. And he said, it is a light thing that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. And agreed unto by him, John 10.17, Therefore doth my father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. Heb. 10.7, Then said I, lo, I come, in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do thy will, O God. Therefore we find upon the one part and the other, God promising a reward, and Christ expecting it: Isa. 53.12, Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, with Isa. 49.4, Surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God. Again, we find God proposing the reward for Christ’s encouragement in so hard a work, and Christ eying the reward under all discouragements, Psalm 110.7, He shall drink of the brook in the way, therefore shall he lift up the head; with Heb. 12.2, Looking unto Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. We find also Christ craving his reward, and challenging it as due to him, John 17.4, I have glorified thee on earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And his Father paying the promised reward, Phil. 2.8,9, Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, &c.

The fourth Proof of a Covenant betwixt Jehovah and Christ, {21} I take from the Offices, Employments, Trusts, Powers, Authorities, and Relations, which Christ did bear, and wherewith he was vested for doing the work of his people’s Redemption: All and every of these prove strongly an eternal Covenant and Compact betwixt Jehovah and Christ: I put these together, that the proofs may be more ponderous than numerous; I shall therefore, 1. Reckon up some particulars that fall under this head, each whereof might afford a particular proof, and then draw an argument from them.

1. His Offices and Employments; Christ is Lord Mediator of the New Covenant, Heb. 8.6, & 9.15. He is Lord Ambassador and Messenger of the Covenant, Mal. 3.1. He is the Lord’s Shepherd and his Servant in the work of Redemption, Zech. 13.7. Isa. 42.1. Not by nature, but by condescension and agreement, to be in these employments. Christ Mediator is a King, not by nature but by Covenant and Agreement, he receives a dispensatory Kingdom, Psalm 2.6, Yet have I set my king upon my holy Hill Zion. Acts 2.36, God hath made the same Jesus both Lord and Christ. Heb. 1.2,—whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. Psalm 89.27, Also I will make him my first born, higher than the kings of the earth. Christ is a Prophet and a Teacher of his people, not by nature but by appointment, Acts 3.22, For Moses truly said unto the Fathers, a Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren like unto me, him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. Isa. 55.4, Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people. Christ is a Priest not by nature, but by divine appointment, and that in the way of agreement and consent, Heb. 5.4,5,6, And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. And 7.21,—The Lord sware and will not repent, thou art a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec.

2. The like I say of the Trusts, Powers, and Authorities, that Christ Mediator had, concerning the work of his people’s Redemption; how came his name to be in our bond, and he to take upon him to perform the condition of the Covenant of {22} works? how came he to be under the Law, and to fulfil the Law? Sure it was not by nature, nor by any necessity of nature; but by divine appointment, and by his own voluntary yielding to it, which is Compact; so Jesus was made surety, Heb. 7.22, and made under the law, Gal. 4.4; how came he to have the disposing of the eternal interests of all men? Sure he had this trust and authority by agreement with his Father, who laid it upon him, and he freely received it, John 5.22, for the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son: & 17.2, As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. How came the keys of the house of David, to lie upon his shoulder? the great trust and management of all affairs relating to his Church and People? undoubtedly this was by Compact with Jehovah, who laid this trust upon him, Isa. 22.22-24, And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder, so he shall open and none shall shut, and he shall shut and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place, and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. Rev. 3.7,—He that hath the key of David, he that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth.

3. I affirm the same also of Christ’s Covenant-relations to God and to his people: Though God the Father was the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ by eternal generation, and he is the natural Son of God; yet who can declare how God is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, but by Covenant? 1 Pet. 1.3. God foretold this Covenant-Interest of Christ’s, Psalm 89.26, He shall cry unto me, thou art my Father, my God, and the rock of my Salvation; with Heb. 1.5, For unto which of the Angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son. And Christ frequently owns that Covenant-compellation, Matt. 27.46, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me. Rev. 3.12, Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out, and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the City of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and I will write upon him my new name. {23} John 20.17, Jesus saith unto her, touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.

From all which I draw but this one Argument; Christ who did bear all these offices, employments, trusts, and relations, for the work of our Redemption, he had all these things (I say) either by some necessity that could not stand with his own free consent; or else he did bear these offices, employments, trusts, and relations by his own willing consent, and they were of his own voluntary taking up. Now ’tis sure he was not Mediator, nor Surety, nor Messenger of the Covenant, nor a servant in that affair, by any necessity that was repugnant to his own free consent. I say no necessity that was repugnant to his own free consent; because there was, 1. Some kind of necessity that Christ should travail in this work, in regard of the Decree of God, and Divine Predetermination, that a satisfaction should be made unto his Justice, and that man should not be saved without this satisfaction intervening; which decree is in order of nature, and in that kind of priority, that is in our way of conceiving of God’s eternal decrees, antecedaneous to God’s Covenant with Christ: Therefore the Scripture giveth us ground to say, that God first chose Christ to this work of Redemption, and then made a Covenant with him, Psalm 89.3, I have made a Covenant with my chosen. 2. We find that Christ having taken upon him these offices, trusts, employments, &c. before-mentioned, was under a blessed, holy necessity, to fulfil the things belonging to his offices and trusts; and therefore the Scripture saith, it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, Heb. 2.17; and it behoved Christ to suffer, Luke 24.46; and he must needs go through Samaria, John 4.4; I must work the works of him that sent me, John 9.4. But neither of these necessities was any ways repugnant to his own free consent and willingness to bear these offices and trusts: For the first necessity in regard of the decree of God, that decree being the counsel of his own will, as well as his Father’s; there was not thereby any necessity upon him, repugnant to his own free consent. And the second necessity of doing the works of him that sent him, being a necessity which he voluntarily took upon him by his willing undertaking the truth of being Lord Mediator, there was not thereby {24} by any imposing upon his free consent, John 10.17,18, Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of my self. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. Phil. 2.8, And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself unto death, even the death of the Cross.

Yet I say, there was not upon Christ any necessity repugnant to his free and willing acting, in the taking upon him these offices, trusts, relations, &c. 1. Because there was no compelling-necessity, such as is upon a man bound hand and foot; there was no such necessity upon the Lord to send Christ, to lay these offices upon him; for he is a most free sovereign Agent, above counsel, and much more above compulsion, Isa. 40.13, Who hath directed the spirit of the Lord, or being his Counsellor hath taught him? Psalm 135.6, Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. And he was not bound to change the Law-dispensation into a new one of Grace; Therefore is the thing that was laid upon Christ, so often called the will of him that sent him, John 6.39,40. Neither was there any such necessity upon Christ to take these offices and employments; he could not be compelled to lay down his life, John 10.18, No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of my self: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this Commandment received I of my Father. Phil. 2.6,8, Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.

2. There was no natural necessity, such as that of the Sun to give light, and the fire heat; sure there was no such necessity of God’s sending of Christ; God did not by any natural necessity send forth Christ; nor was the Son of God under any natural necessity to undertake the work of our Redemption, for God might have done otherwise, he might in Justice have prosecuted the Covenant of works; yea, there was no kind of necessity upon God to send, or upon Christ to go this errand, abstracting from his own Decrees, and the purpose of his Will, Eph. 1.5,6, Having predestinated us unto the adoption of Children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will: to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Rom. 9.20,21, Nay, but O man, who {25} art thou, that thou repliest against God? shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast thou formed me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 3. There was no moral necessity, not so much as any command, motive, or inducement without himself, either upon God to lay this employment upon Christ, or upon Christ to take it upon him, and to undergo the work; for God might have sent his Son or not sent him, as pleased him; there was not so much as a moral cause inducing him to it, John 3.16, For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Rom. 5.6,8, For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. And Christ might have refused to undertake the work, or he might have agreed as pleased him; for who could have laid a command upon him, if the design of love that was in his heart had not acted him to a consent? Phil. 2.6,8, Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself unto death, even the death of the Cross. It rests therefore that all these offices, employments, trusts, authorities, and Covenant-relations, that Christ did bear, were undertaken and undergone by his own free consent; and if they were by his free consent, this consent was either his own motion without the consent and agreement of Jehovah concurring in council with him, for the carrying on the work of our Redemption; or this was transacted and done in the counsel of God, by the knowledge, will, consent, and agreement of God with Christ. Now the Scripture is plain and express, that all the offices, trusts, authorities, employments, and Covenant-relations which Christ did bear, were not usurped, were not taken upon him without divine ordination and appointment, without his Father’s consent and command; but that he was designed, chosen, and called thereunto. See Prov. 8.23, I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. John 5.22, For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. Isa. 42.1,6, Behold my servant whom I uphold; I the Lord have called thee in righteousness. And 49.1,3,—The Lord hath called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother hath {26} he made mention of my name.—Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. Heb. 5.5,6, So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec. Acts 3.26, Unto you first, God having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one from his iniquities. Psalm 40.6, Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire, mine ears hast thou opened; burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required, &c. I conclude therefore, that all these offices, trusts, powers, and Covenant-relations which Christ did bear, being upon him by mutual agreement and consent betwixt Jehovah and Christ, all and every one of them doth prove a Compact and Covenant betwixt Jehovah and Christ.

He who desireth more proofs of this Covenant, and to have further light therein; let him read Jo. Cocc. Summa doctrinæ de fœdere, chapter 5, and Mr. Rutherford’s Treatise of the Covenant, Part 2, chapter 6. And Fr. Robert’s God’s Covenants with Man, Book 2, chapter 2, section 3.

Now that this Covenant betwixt Jehovah and Christ, was the foundation of the Covenant made with us, may be evinced by these particulars: 1. If this Covenant of Suretiship had not been concluded betwixt Jehovah and Christ, there could never have been any Covenant-dealing with us upon terms of Grace; for suppose this Covenant had not been, the Lord should then have prosecuted the Covenant of works, and followed a course of Justice against all Mankind, the door should have been shut for ever against all condescensions, and all Gospel ways of Grace. Therefore we find the Apostle reckons the change of Law-dispensation, and life by the tenor of the Covenant of works, into a new way of Grace, to have its foundation, original, and rise from God’s gracious eternal transaction with Christ: 2 Tim. 1.9, Who hath 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.

2. God’s Covenant-dealing with us upon the terms of Grace, is nothing else but the execution of that which was from eternity decreed, transacted, and concluded by God’s Compact with Christ; and therefore the Covenant of Suretiship must needs be the foundation of the Covenant with us, even as all Decrees {27} and Laws are the foundation of the execution following thereupon: this will appear more fully and clearly when we come to speak of the tenor of the Covenant of Redemption, and the things therein transacted: at present this may suffice, 1. That whatsoever Covenant-favour and Grace is tendered to us by the Gospel-Covenant, and effectually applied unto us by the Spirit of the Lord, that was promised to Christ, and to us in him; yea, and plighted in him for our account by the Covenant made betwixt Jehovah and him; as appears from the Scripture before-mentioned, 2 Tim. 1.9,—According to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ before the world began; with Titus 1.2, In hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began. 2. Whatsoever Covenant-Conditions of one kind or another; whether Faith, the eminent Gospel-condition, or other Gospel-obedience required of us, or to be performed upon our part; all these were undertaken by Christ’s act of Suretiship in the Covenant betwixt God and him, and were ensured to him by Jehovah, to be successfully performed. See Eph. 2.10, For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 2 Thess. 2.13, But we are bound to give thanks always to God, for you brethren, beloved of the Lord; because God hath from the beginning chosen you to Salvation, through sanctification of the spirit, and belief of the truth. Isa. 53.11,—And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities.

3. In personal Covenanting with God, and the engaging of particular Souls to him, in the way of the Covenant of Grace; Christ’s Suretiship is the ground of all proceeding: till this be eyed, and in some measure believed, there is no possibility of advancing one step toward a new Covenant-state: for how can fallen broken man (who understands his condition to be such) think of dealing with God, unless he bring a Cautioner with him; or how shall he bring to God Christ, a surety of the better testament, [Heb. 7.22,] who hath not heard of and believed his eternal act of Suretiship, Rom. 10.14, How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? {28} This Covenant of Suretiship therefore must needs be the foundation of the Covenant of Grace and reconciliation; hence ’tis that David and Hezekiah flee to this act of Suretiship, and lay the weight of their dealing with God on it, Psalm 119.122, Be surety for thy servant for good. Isa. 38.14,—O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me.

4. The Covenant made with us, hath its stability from the Covenant of Suretiship made with Christ, and therefore this must be the foundation of that; I say, upon the stability of the Covenant made with Christ, doth depend the stability of the Covenant with us; because that stands firm and sure, therefore doth this stand fast also; therefore the mercies of the Covenant with us, are sure mercies, and the promises of the Covenant are yea, and amen; because they are the sure mercies of David, which were first promised to Christ, Isa. 55.3, and because the promises were made to us in him, 2 Cor. 1.20, For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him are amen. Therefore the Covenant made with us is an everlasting Covenant, because of the Covenant by which he was given to his people, Isa. 53.3,4, I make with you an everlasting Covenant, even the sure mercies of David. Behold I have given him for a witness of the people, a leader and commander of the people: therefore our faith, and perseverance, and salvation are sure, as sure as Heaven and Earth can make them, because of the act of Christ’s Suretiship, and his undertaking for them; because they hang upon Christ’s fulfilling his Covenant of Suretiship with God, and upon condition of his doing the work that his Father gave him to do, John 17. 4, 8, 15, 24, I have glorified thee on earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do:—For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me, and they have received them. —I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world; but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil—Father I will, that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am. Matt. 16.18,—And upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

5. The Holy Ghost’s leading us so frequently in the Scriptures, from the Covenant made with us, in all the force, efficacy, stability, eternity, standing, and perseverance thereof, to look up to the Covenant of Suretiship made with Christ; is a clear demonstration that this Covenant made with us {29} depends upon the Covenant made with him; and that the Covenant made with Christ, is the foundation and ground of the Covenant made with us. Read Ezek. 16.60,61, Nevertheless I will remember my Covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting Covenant. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy Sisters, thine elder, and thy younger, and I will give them unto thee for daughters; but not by thy Covenant. Where the efficacy of the Covenant made with us, is hanged, not upon the same Covenant, but another; to wit, that made with Christ: And Isa. 22.22,23, And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; for he shall open, and none shall shut, and he shall shut and none shall open; and I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place, and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house, &c. Where under a type of Eliakim’s trust, the fixing of Christ in the Covenant is stated, as the ground of all the gracious efficiency thereof; and Psalm 89.33,34,35, Nevertheless my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My Covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David. The establishment of the Covenant with Christ’s sinful seed (there spoke of by the name of David and his seed), is reduced to the Covenant, the sworn Covenant with Christ, as the ground and foundation thereof, whom God laid in Zion for a sure foundation, to the intent that he who believeth may not make haste, nor be suddenly removed from his Faith and steadfastness, Isa. 28.16.



Footnotes:

1. F. Socinus de Servat. l. 2. cap. 16.

2. Saltmarsh of free-Grace. Chap. 6 Obs. 6. & 38; D. Crisp. Tom. 1. Serm. 6.

3. Ja. Arm. Orat. de Sacerd. Christi p. 16,17.

4. Mr. Rutherf. Treat. Of the Covenant. p. 2. c. 6.; P. Bulkley Gosp. Covenant, p. 29.

5. Jo. Cocc. Summa doctrine de fœdere. c. 5.

6. Ulpian de Pollicit. L. Pactum & L. I. F. de Pact.

Cic. 2. de invent. Panormit. 2a parte super. Primo tit. de Pact. Cap. Antigonus.

Panormit ubi supra Azor. instit. Moral. p. 3. l. ii. de Pollicit. c. 1. & l. 6. c. 3.

7. Chrysost. Hom. In Rom. Esthi in locum. Eras. Beza. &c.

8. See Dr. Hammond Annot. On Ps. 2.

9. See Gerhard Harm. In locum.

10. Suetonius in Calig. C. 26.

11. Spartianus in Adriano.

12. Tacitus Hist. lib. 2.

13. Dr. Hammond in locum.

14. Vid. Paquia Thessarum in Rad. חקק Chakak Conrad. Kircher. Concord. In voce חק Chok.

15. Vid. Bibl. Polyglot. in locum.

16. Buxtorf. Lexic. Rab. Talmud. p. 818.

17. Solo de justitia & Jure lib. 6. Quest. 2. Art. 1. Jo. Cal. lex Jurad. in voce pactum.