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have known surely, that I have come out from thee; and they have believed that thou didst send me.' By this faith, as you well know, we are abundantly declared in the Scriptures to be justified. The declaration of Paul to Peter, when, at Antioch,' he separated himself from the Gentiles, through fear of them that were of the circumcision, and was therefore to be blamed,' may stand in the place of all other passages, on this point, We, who are Jews, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even We have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the Law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. The faith of the Gospel is, therefore, the knowledge by which, it is said in the text, Christ ó shall justify many.' The reason why it is called knowledge here and elsewhere is, that it involves views so just, extensive, and firmly established concerning this glorious Person; whereas, in the same mind no such views existed, antecedently to the exercise of this faith. For Christ, like every other spiritual object, can only be · spiritually discerned.'
All these things, also, are exhibited to us in the form of a covenant. To this covenant, as to every other, there are two parties : God, who promises ; and his Servant, who was to justify many.
A condition is specified, to which is annexed a promise of reward. The condition is, that Christ should make his soul an offering for sin, and make intercession for the transgressors ;' or, in other words, execute the whole office of a Priest for mankind. The reward is, that he should receive the many for his portion,' and that they should prolong their days,' or endure for ever. It is remarkable, that this covenant on the part of God the Father, like that made with Noah, and that made with Abraham, and various others recorded in the Scriptures, is in Psalm Lxxxix. exhibited as a promissory oath. • Once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie unto David : His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as long as the sun.'
I have dwelt minutely on the explanation of this passage of Scripture, because I have not seen it discussed in this manner, or with a reference to what is the main subject of it; and because I believed that a minute examination was necessary to a distinct and satisfactory knowledge of what is contained in it.
If this explanation be admitted, the text contains the following
That GOD THE FATHER ENTERED INTO A COVENANT WITH CHRIST, IN WHICH HE PROMISED HIM, ON CONDITION THAT HE SHOULD BECOME A PROPITIATION AND INTERCESSOR FOR SINNERS, AS A REWARD OF HIS LABOURS AND SUFFERINGS, THE FUTURE POSSESSION OF A CHURCH, WHICH UNDER HIS GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE GLORIOUS AND HAPPY FOR BYER.
Concerning this covenant, usually called the covenant of redemption, I make the following observations :
1. This covenant was made from eternity.
In the first chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians, St. Paul, speaking of himself and his fellow-Christians, says, • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in (or through) Christ, according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love ; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. In this passage St. Paul teaches us, that God blesses his church, or Christians, with all spiritual blessings; or, as in the Original, with every spiritual blessing; through Christ, according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world :' and that he has predestinated us, particularly, unto the adoption of children unto himself,' through Christ also.
This choice of his church, then, this predestination of it to the adoption of children through Christ,' existed before the foundation of the world.' But this choice, this predestination of the church to the adoption of children, unto himself through Christ,' is the very same thing which, in another form, is declared in the text. The covenant mentioned in the text was therefore a transaction existing before the foundation of the world; or, as this phraseology uniformly means in the Scriptures, from eternity.
The text itself was written seven hundred years before Christ. It will not be supposed, that the transaction recorded in it was then first admitted into the counsels of God; or that
he, ' with whom is no variableness, nor shadow of turning,' changed his mind in the days of Isaiah concerning this mighty object. If any person should be at a loss concerning this fact, let him remember that this covenant contains the very same promises which were made to David, Abraham, and our first parents ; to all of whom the same wonderful transaction was, in terms less explicit, disclosed. The transaction itself, and the objects which it involved, were unquestionably the most important parts of the providence of God towards this world. It cannot, therefore, be believed, that it was left unprovided for when the system was originally formed. Undoubtedly it was the object which was chiefly in view in the providence of God, and was an original part of the system. Accordingly, St. Peter says concerning Christ, that he was foreordained before the foundation of the world ;' St. John calls him the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world ;' and Christ himself, at the day of judgment, styles the state of glory and happiness, destined for the righteous, the kingdom pre
· pared from the foundation of the world.' Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. But this kingdom, and the church which inherits it, is the very subject of the covenant contained in the text.
2. This covenant was the basis, on which was founded the whole system of providential dispensations towards the Church. hi Out of this covenant arose the mediation of Christ; his incarnation, life, preaching, miracles, humiliation, sufferings, and glorification. Out of this covenant arose the mission of the Spirit of Grace, who came into the world to execute the purposes of Christ's redemption. Out of this covenant arose the Gospel, or the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, which that Spirit taught to the Prophets and Apostles, and which communicates to us all the knowledge which we possess of the will of God concerning the salvation of mankind. Out of this covenant arise the renovation and purification of the human soul; the light, comfort, peace, hope, and joy which it receives in the present world, and in the end, its admission into the heavens. Finally, out of this covenant will arise the glory, peace, and happiness which will be found in that pure and exalted world by the whole assembly of the first born.'
All these, and all things pertaining to them, result obviously from the wonderful transaction recorded in the text.
3. The Church, thus promised to Christ as the reward of his mediation, is formed of a great multitude of mankind.
It will not be necessary for me to inquire at the present time, either in what manner this multitude will be gathered, or of whom it will be composed. It is sufficient for the present purpose that the assertion which I have made is expressly contained in the text. * By the knowledge of him shall my Servant justify many.' I will distribute the Many to him for his portion, and the mighty people, that is, a great multitude, shall be share for his spoil. Accordingly, St. John informs as, that he saw in the heavens a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, standing before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; crying with a loud voice, and saying, Salvation to our God, who sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb.'
4. In this covenant a reward was promised to Christ, sufficiently great to induce him to undergo all the humiliation and sufferings of his Mediatorial character.
This we know by the fact. In accordance with this covenant he actually assumed this character, and voluntarily underwent all its sufferings. But, were we at a loss concerning this subject otherwise, we are directly assured by St. Paul, that Christ' for the joy set before him, endured the cross, and despised the shame. What the joy of Christ was, he himself has, I apprehend, expressly declared to us in the 8th chapter of Proverbs. His words are, · When he appointed the foundations of the earth, then was I by him, as one brought up with him; I was daily his delight, rejoicing alway before him ; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights were with the sons of men :' that is, with his church, the glorious reward, which was promised to him from the beginning
From these summary observations, concerning the Covenant of Redemption, I derive, by way of inference, the following
1. The salvation of the church of God, that is, of all righ
teous men, was an original part of the system of God's providence towards the inhabitants of this world.
If the observations made in the progress of this Discourse are just, then it follows, by itresistible consequence, that the salvation of the righteous, or of all who will be ultimately saved, was contemplated and resolved on by God from the beginning, or from everlasting. It was, also, made the subject of a solemn covenant between the Father and the Son. It was not, therefore, in any sense, a thing which grew out of a contingency, according to the scheme of Dr. Price and others ; a remedy provided for evils unforeseen ; a thing grafted upon the fall of man, which they consider as an accident, springing out of that liberty of contingency which they suppose indispensable to the free volitions of a moral being. St. Paul teaches us, that God the Father created all things by Jesus Christ; to the intent, that now unto principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God: according to the eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.' Here it is declared to be a part of the eternal purpose of God in Jesus Christ, to create all things by him, to the intent that principalities and powers might know, by means of the church, that is, by means of his dispensations to the church, the manifold
• wisdom of God. Of course, the existence of the church was an essential part of this eternal purpose. Of course, also, the existence of the church was foreknown and resolved on, as a part of this purpose. Its existence, therefore, was in no sense contingent, in no sense accidental, in no sense dependent on any thing by which it could be prevented. In accordance with this declaration, St. Paul says, 2 Tim. i. 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 before the world began.' In this passage Christians are said to be saved according to the purpose and grace of God, given to them,' in the strong figurative language of the apostle, before the world began ;' that is, in simpler language, resolved on, established for them, given in the counsels of God, so as to be indefeasible by any subsequent event. Thus in this passage, explained in the corresponding one of Titus i. 2, In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. Here th