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man he is adapted to his work, and fitted with a body both for active and passive obedience; so that there is nothing required of man's nature, but Christ, being in our stead, did effectually perform it, for the apostle saith, Col. ii. 9, “ that in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, owarikūs, that is, naturally, personally, in such a way as he is in no other, “ in him we live, move, and have our being,” as creatures. God is said to dwell in the saints in a superior manner, as his children; but the Godhead is not said to dwell in any man except Jesus Christ, God and man. God dwells in the saints by his Spirit as in a temple effectively, and operatively; in Christ essentially, and substantially :* “ the word was made flesh,” and sometimes there were sparklings forth of his glory and majesty, so that the disciples “ beheld his glory as that of the only begotten of the Father.”—John i. 14. Well then, since this is an undeniable mystery, that God was manifested in the flesh, and hath undertaken to manage the work of our redemption in both natures, certainly he will make sure work in what concerns him, for so saith the prophet, Isa. xlii. 4, “ he shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth ;" he hath the powerful hand of an infinite God, therefore, he is mighty“ to save,” and he hath the innocent nature of a finite man, therefore he was fit “to suffer.”
2. Consider the complete and abundant unction of Jesus Christ, whereby he hath both sufficiency and efficiency to go through his work, and authority for it also; the Scripture tells us that “ Jesus Christ was anointed with oil, and that above his fellows."—Heb. i. 9.
Christ was not only qualified with gifts fit for office, but also to furnish the souls of all be
* In aliis sanctis habitat Deus ut in templo et organo, effectivè, operativè, in Christo substantialiter..Aret. in loc.
lievers with supplies both for sanctification and edification. Jesus Christ hath the Spirit but not as others have it, for the saints have only a scantling and small measure thereof, but God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him, John iii. 34. To
every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ ;" * but Christ hath it above all measure, for he hath the whole Spirit substantially, he is and hath the treasury of grace, a storehouse of riches to supply indigent creatures, “ in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Col. ii. 3, “ therefore of his fulness do we receive grace for grace,” John i. 16; "it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell,” Col. i. 19, and this is laid up on purpose for the supply of his members, that from the head may be conveyed influences through the whole body, Ephes. iv. 13—16 ; besides, he is invested with authority for granting these supplies, Ephes. i. 22, 23, “ He hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Hence, he tells his disciples, “ that all power is given to him in heaven and earth,” Matt. xxviii. 18; add to all this, his fidelity, that as Moses was faithful as a steward, much more is Christ as a Son faithful to him that appointed him, Heb. iii. 26. Well now, lay all these together, and surely we need not question the certainty of covenant mercies. Since Christ hath sufficiency, authority and fidelity, and is thus abundantly qualified for carrying on this gospel design, he both can and will make good the mercies of the covenant to the heirs of promise ; especially considering,
3. The covenant of redemption, which is an admirable, insuring act of free grace, engaging all the per
• Eph iv. 7.
sons of the sacred Trinity to carry on this work, especially God the Son of whom we are now speaking. This covenant of redemption is that mutual compact betwixt God the Father and the Son concerning the saving of lost man, wherein each did undertake to act his part in this great affair, as thus : God the Father, hath chosen sinners, and given the objects of his choice into the hands of Christ to redeem, John xvii. 9, he was to part with his beloved Son out of his bosom whilst he came to the earth to do this great work, he was to uphold him, encourage him, put his Spirit upon him, call him in righteousness, hold his hand, keep him, and give him for a covenant of the people, and give him to see his seed ;* and though they be but few in comparison of the world, yet he will make him glorious, † and in time he will satisfy him by giving him “ the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession.” I This is the engagement on the Father's part, and then the Lord Jesus, the Son of God promised the Father that he would assume the human nature, and so become man, putting himself into the sinner's stead and becoming his surety, fulfil all righteousness by obeying the moral law and suffering for our breach of it, be betrayed, accused, condemned, crucified, and buried; that he should rise from the dead, ascend into heaven, sit at God's right hand, intercede for the saints, &c. This part which Christ performed is fully laid down in Isa. liii. throughout. This was the great transaction betwixt the Father and the Son from all eternity. That there was such a mutual agreement, see Titus i. 2, “ in hope of eternal life which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” To whom did God promise any thing before man was created ? Certainly, he promised something to Jesus Christ concerning man's redemption as beforementioned ; such a gracious plan was laid, and compact made betwixt the Father and the Son, and he cannot lie nor deny himself. * So 2 Tim. i. 9, “ who hath saved us according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus, before the world began,” that is, as Christ was a public person, as head, instead of the elect, so we were given to him by this covenant, and that from all eternity, but how come we to know this, that are but of yesterday, and so dim sighted that we cannot see afar off? Why, verse 10, we read “it is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” for Christ revealeth all the secrets that were locked up in the bosom of the Father. Well then, if this was the mutual stipulation betwixt the Father and the Son, there is no question but they will be faithful to each other. In the Old Testament God the Father trusted God the Son upon his promise to lay down his life, and so brought thousands of souls to heaven before ever Christ was incarnate or suffered; and now when Christ hath gone through the greatest part of his task, he trusteth God the Father to make good his part, that “ he may fully see his seed, prolong his days, and that the pleasure of the Lord may prosper in his hand;" and, certainly there cannot be any failing on either part. Now this covenant of redemption is the platform and foundation of the covenant of grace betwixt God and believers; there are the same persons, and the like
* Isaiah xlii. 1, 4, 6. Isaiah liii. 10, 11. + Isaiah xlix. 5. # Psalm ii. 8.
* That this is no singular doctrine, but opened before, see Vir. Bulkly's Gospel Covenant, part 1, chap. 4, page 31-46, where it is fully opened. Also, Mr. David Dickson in his Therapeutica sac, book 4, chap. 4, page 23–71. VOL. II.
terms, proportionably, in both; hence, it is, that although a believer find an unfaithful, treacherous, and unbelieving heart in himself, daily departing from the living God, yet this covenant is built upon a higher and firmer covenant betwixt God the Father and God the Son, which cannot be broken and disannulled; the Father and Son cannot deceive or be unfaithful to each other ; hence, then, it cometh to pass that the covenant and the mercies thereof, are so sure. I shall conclude this head with that notable passage of Christ's to his Father upon this very account, John xvii. 4, “ I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do,” that is, I have hitherto made good and performed the conditions of the agreement on my part, verse 5, " and now, O Father, glorify me with thine own self,” that is, make good thy engagement, in my exaltation. So much with reference to Christ's person; then for his seed and members, he tells the Father that he had performed his part with respect to them, in manifesting his name to them, praying for them, preserving of them, and now when he was to leave them, he desires the Father to do his part of the work “ in keeping those whom he had given him,” verse 11 ; " in sanctifying and saving them,” verse 24; and can we imagine but that God will be faithful to his Son on the behalf of his saints ? Certainly he will, for as they were redeemed by the Son, so they were chosen by the Father, and as God the Father gave them to Jesus Christ, verse 6, and Jesus Christ died for them, and thus redeemed them, so God the Son resigns them up again to the Father, who will certainly keep them by his power through faith unto salvation.
IV. Another thing of importance concerning the ensuring of covenant mercies by and through Jesus Christ is, that these are most fully made sure to us by