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good in itself, nor have had any tendency to the glory of God. For what excellency of the nature of God could have been demonstrated in the penal sufferings of one absolutely, and in all respects, innocent? Nay, it was utterly impossible, that an innocent person, considered absolutely as such, should suffer pænally, under the sentence and curse of the law; for the law denounceth punishment to no such person. Guilt and punishment are related, and where the one is not (real, or supposed, or imputed)the other cannot be. But now, in the terms of this covenant, leading to the limitations and use of these sufferings, they are made good, and tend to the glory of God. So the pardoning and saving of sinners, absolutely could have had no tendency to the glory of God; for what evidence of righteousness would there have been herein, that the great Ruler of all the world should pass by the offences of men without animadverting upon them? What justice would have appeared, or what demonstration of the holiness of the nature of God would there have been therein? Besides, it was impossible, seeing “it “is the judgment of God, that they who commit sin “are worthy of death.” But, through the terms and conditions of this covenant, this is rendered righteous, holy, and good, and eminently conducing to the glory of God.
$28. The matter of this covenant in general is the saving of sinners, by ways and means suited to the manifestation of the Divine glory. To declare this design of God, is the principal design of the whole scripture.
$29. The end, both of the covenant, and the disposal of all things thereby, was the special glory both of the one and the other. God doth all things for himself. He can have no ultimate end in any thing but himself alone, unless there should be any thing better than himself, or above himself. But yet, in himself, he is not capable of any accession of glory, by any thing he doth, or intendeth; his end thereof must be, not the obtaining of glory to himself, but the manifestation of the glory that is in himself. And those properties of the Divine nature, which are peculiarly engaged in it, are wisdom, justice, and grace. That the covenant sprang from these properties of the Divine nature, that the execution of it is the work and effect of them all, and that it is designed to manifest and glorify God by them to eternity, the scripture fully declares.
The peculiar honor of the Son was two-fold, viz. what he had conjunct with the Father, as he is of the same nature with him, over all, God blessed for ever; and likewise, as the Mediator of the covenant of grace, that peculiar glorious exaltation, which, in his human nature, he received upon the accomplishment of the terms and conditions of this covenant.
$30. This covenant had also its conditions and limitations, as it had a respect to a prescription of personal obedience and promises of reward. The promises made to the Son were various; such as all necessary assistance in his arduous work, as the incarnate Mediator, and the glory which was to ensue upon the accomplishment of it; and particularly the acceptance of his work with God. There was, indeed, in the nature of the things themselves, a proportion between the obedience of Christ the mediator, and the salvation of believers; but this is not the next foundation of merit, though an indispensable condition; for there must not only be a proportion, but a relation also between the things, whereof the one is the merit of the other. And the relation in this case is not natural, or
necessary, arising from the nature of the things themselves, but arose from a compact between the Father and the Son to this purpose, and the promises wherewith it was confirmed. Suppose, then, a proportion in distributive justice, between the obedience of Christ, and the salvation of believers; then add the respect and relation that they have one to another, by virtue of this covenant, and in particular, that our salvation is engaged by promise to Christ, and it gives us the true nature of his merit.
The conditions required, or prescriptions made to the undertaker, in this covenant, were, that he should assume the nature of those whom he was to bring to God; that in his nature assumed, he should be the servant of the Father, and yield universal obedience to him, both according to the general law of God obliging all mankind, and according to the special law of the church under which he was, and, moreover, according to the singular law of that compact, Isa. xlii, 1; chap. xlix, 5; Phil. ii, 6–11; and, that he should make atonement for sin, by means of our nature assumed. And thus we are come to the well-head of salvation. Here lieth the immediate sacred foundation of the priesthood of Christ, and of the sacrifice of himself, which, in the discharge of that office, he offered to God.
$31. And when God came to reveal and represent to his church this counsel of his will, he did it by the institution of priesthood and sacrifices; for the priesthood and sacrifices of the law were not the original exemplar of these things, but a transcript of what was done in heaven itself, in counsel and covenant, as well as a type of what should be afterwards accomplished on the earth. And the very names of priests and
sacrifices were but improperly ascribed to them who were so called, being only obscure representations of what was past, and types of what was to come.
THE NECESSITY OF THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST.
$1. The subject proposed. 52. The righteousness of God,
what; as resident in the Divine nature. 93. As to its exer. cise. 94. What this pre-supposeth. $5. That the righteousness of God necessarily requires the punishment of sin. $6. The objection that mercy prevents the exercise of justice, answered. 87. That sin cannot be pardoned without satisfaction, argued from the holiness of God. 98. The foregoing branches of the argument recapitulated. $9, 10. That justice and mercy are properties of the Divine nature, and not mere external acts. fil, 12. The objection, That Christ could not endure the penalty due to us, answered. $13—15. Other objections answered. $16, 17. Additional arguments, in confirmation of the general thesis.
şi. On this supposition, that God in his infinite grace and love would save sinners by the interposition of his Son, there was something in the manner of it indispensable and necessary, viz. that he should do it by undergoing the punishment that was due to them, who should be saved, or offer himself a sacrifice, to make atonement and reconciliation for them.
This being a matter of great importance, and strenuously opposed by the Socinians, and the defence of it deserted by some otherwise adhering to sound doctrine in the main of our cause, I shall the more particularly insist upon
82. Whereas we assert the necessity of the priesthood of Christ to depend on the righteousness of God, it is requisite, that something be premised concerning it. The righteousness of God is taken two ways, viz. absolutely in itself, as it is resident in the Divine nature; and, with respect to its exercise, or the actings of God, in a manner suitable to that holy property of his nature. In the first acceptation, it is nothing but the universal rectitude of the Divine nature, whereby it is necessary to God, to do all things rightly, justly, equally, answerably to his own wisdom, goodness, holiness, and right of dominion, Zeph. iii, 5; “The just “Lord in the midst thereof; he will do no iniquity, “morning by morning doth he bring his judgment to “light.” I say, it is the essential, natural readiness and disposition of the holy nature of God, to do all things justly and decently, according to the rules of his wisdom, and the nature of things, with their relation one to another. And this virtue of the Divine nature considered absolutely, doth not consist in a habitude of mind (agos elegow) with respect to another, as all justice in men doth, but is the infinite essential rectitude of God in his being. Hence it so presides over all the works of God that there is none of them, though proceeding immediately from mercy and goodness on the one hand, or from severity or faithfulness on the other, but that God is said to be righteous therein, and they are all represented as acts of righteousness in him. And this, not only because they are his acts and works, who can do no evil, but also because they proceed from, and are suited to that holy, absolute, universal rectitude of his nature, wherein true righteousness doth consist.
For between the consideration of this righteousness of God, and the actual exercise of it towards his creatures, there must be interposed a consideration of