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    THE OFFICE OF PRIESTHOOD. 1. Excellence and usefulness of this Epistle — Doctrine of the priesthood of Christ fully revealed and taught therein alone. 2. This doctrine abstruse and mysterious. 3. The manner of the handling of it by the apostle; that now proposed. 4. Doctrine of the priesthood of Christ variously opposed and prayed, by Papists, Socinians, and others. 5. Other reasons of handling it in these Exercitations — Prefigurations of it. 6, 7. ˆheKo, a priest — Signification of the word, <19B001>Psalm 110. 4. 8. ˆhk, to divine — Divination and prognostication by priests. 9. Of the priests of Egypt. 10. Rulers called cohanim, and why — Cohen properly & sacrificer. 11. Melchizedek the first priest, a sacrificer; corruption of the Targum — Of his bringing forth bread and wine — The tenth of the spoils offered to God. 12. Institution of a priesthood under the law to offer sacrifice — A priest and a sacrificer the same. 1. AMONGST the many excellencies of this Epistle unto the Hebrews, which render it as useful to the church as the sun in the firmament is unto the world, the revelation that is made therein concerning the nature, singular pre-eminence, and use of thePRIESTHOOD of our Lord Jesus Christ, may well be esteemed to deserve the first and principal place; for whereas the whole matter of the sacrifice that he offered, and the atonement that he made thereby, with the inestimable benefits which thence redound unto them that do believe, depend solely hereon, the excellency of the doctrine hereof must needs be acknowledged by all who have any interest in these things. It is indeed, in the substance of it, delivered in some other passages of the books of the New Testament, but yet more sparingly and obscurely than any other truth of the same or a like importance. The Holy Ghost reserved it unto this as its proper place, where, upon the consideration of the institutions of the old testament and their removal out of the church, it might be duly represented, as that which gave an end unto them in their accomplishment, and life unto those ordinances of evangelical worship which were to succeed in their room.

    When our Lord Jesus says that he came to “give his life a ransom for many,” Matthew 20:28, he had respect unto the sacrifice that he had to offer as a priest. The same also is intimated where he is called “The Lamb of God,” John 1:29; for he was himself both priest and sacrifice. Our apostle also mentioneth his sacrifice and his offering of himself unto God, Ephesians 5:2; on the account whereof he calleth him “a propitiation,” Romans 3:25; and mentioneth also his “intercession,” with the benefits thereof, chap. 8:34. The dearest testimony to this purpose is that of the apostle John, who puts together both the general acts of his sacerdotal office, and intimates withal their mutual relation, 1 John 2:1,2; for his intercession as our “advocate” with his Father respects his oblation as he was a “propitiation for our sins.” So the same apostle tells us to the same purpose, that he “washed us in his own blood,” Revelation 1:5, when he expiated our sins by the sacrifice of himself. These are, if not all, yet the principal places in the New Testament wherein immediate respect is had to the priesthood or sacrifice of Christ. But in none of them is he called “a priest,” or “an high priest,” nor is he said in any of them to have taken any such office upon him; neither is the nature of his oblation or intercession explained in them, nor the benefits rehearsed which accrue unto us from his discharge of this office in a peculiar manner. Of what concernment these things are unto our faith, obedience, and consolation, — of what use unto us in the whole course of our profession, in all our duties and temptations, sins and sufferings, — we shall, God assisting, declare in the ensuing Exposition. Now, for all the acquaintance we have with these and sundry other evangelical mysteries belonging unto them or depending on them, with all the light we have into the nature and use of Mosaical institutions, and the types of the old testament, which make so great a part of the Scripture given and continued for our instruction, we are entirely obliged unto the revelation made in and by this Epistle. 2. And this doctrine, concerning the priesthood of Christ and the sacrifice that he offered, is on many accounts deep and mysterious. This our apostle plainly intimates in sundry passages of this Epistle. With respect hereunto he saith, the discourse he intended was dusermh>neutov , “hard to be uttered,” — or rather, hard to be understood when uttered, chap. 5:11; as also another apostle, that there are in this Epistle dusno>nta> tina , 2 Peter 3:16, “some things hard to be understood,” which relate hereunto. Hence he requires that those who attend unto this doctrine should be past the condition of living on “milk” only, or being contented with the first rudiments and principles of religion; and that they be able to digest “strong meat,” by having “their senses exercised to discern both good and evil,” Hebrews 5:12-14. And when he resolves to proceed in the explication of it, he declares that he is leading them “on unto perfection,” chap. 6:1, or to the highest and most perfect doctrines in the mystery of Christian religion. And several other ways he manifests his judgment, as of the importance of this truth, and how needful it is to be known, so of the difficulty there is in coming to a right and full understanding of it. And all these things do justify an especial and peculiar inquiry into it. 3. Now, although our apostle, in his excellent order and method, hath delivered unto us all the material concernments of this sacred office of Christ, yet he hath not done it in an entire discourse, but in such a way as his subject-matter and principal design would admit of, and indeed did necessitate. He doth not in any one place, nor upon any one occasion, express and teach the whole of the doctrine concerning it, but, as himself speaks in another case, polumerw~v kai< polutro>pwv , “by various parts,” or degrees, and “in sundry ways,” he declares and makes known the several concernments of it: for this he did partly as the Hebrews could bear it; partly as the series of his discourse led him to the mention of it, having another general end in design; and partly as the explanation of the old Aaronical institutions and ordinances, which, for the benefit of them that still adhered unto them, he aimed at, required it of him. For me to have undertaken the discourse of the whole upon any particular occasion, would have lengthened out a digression too much, diverting the reader in his perusal of the Exposition; and had I insisted on the several parks and concernments of it as they do occur, I should have been necessitated unto a frequent repetition of the same things. Neither way could I have given an entire representation of it, whereby the beauty and the symmetry of the whole might be made evident. This, therefore, inclined my thoughts, in the first place, to comprise a summary of the entire doctrine concerning it in these previous Exercitations. From hence, as the reader may take a prospect of it singly by itself, so he may, if he please, carry along much insight with him from it into the most abstruse passages in the whole Epistle. And this, added unto what we have discoursed on chap. 1:2, concerning the kingly right and power of Christ, will give a more full and complete account of these his two offices than, it may be, hath as yet been attempted by any. 4. Moreover, the doctrine concerning the priesthood and sacrifice of the Lord Christ hath in all ages, by the craft and malice of Satan, been either directly opposed or variously corrupted; for it contains the principal foundation of the faith and consolation of the church, which are by him chiefly maligned. It is known in how many things and by how many ways it hath been obscured and depraved in the Papacy. Sundry of them we have occasion to deal about in our exposition of many passages of the Epistle; for they have not so much directly opposed the truth of the doctrine, as, disbelieving the use and benefit of the thing itself unto the church, they have substituted various false and superstitious observances to effect the end whereunto this priesthood of Christ and his holy discharge thereof are alone of God designed. These, therefore, I shall no otherwise consider but as their opinions and practices occur occasionally unto us, either in these Exercitations or in the Exposition ensuing. But there is a generation of men, whom the craft of Satan hath stirred up in this and the foregoing age, who have made it a great part of their preposterous and pernicious endeavors in and about religion to overthrow this whole office of the Lord Christ, and the efficacy of the sacrifice of himself depending thereon. This they have attempted with much subtilty and diligence, introducing a metaphorical or imaginary priesthood and sacrifice in their room; so, robbing the church of its principal treasure, they pretend to supply the end of it with their own fancies. They are the Socinians whom I intend. And there are more reasons than one why I could not omit a strict examination of their reasonings and objections against this great part of the mystery of the gospel. The reputation of parts, industry, and learning, which the bold curiosity of some hath given unto them, makes it necessary, at least upon unavoidable occasions, to obviate the insinuation of their poison, which that opens a way for. Besides, even among ourselves, they are not a few who embrace and do endeavor to propagate their opinions. And the same course, with their faces seeming to look another way, is steered by the Quakers, who have at last openly espoused almost all their pernicious tenets, although in some things as yet they obscure their sentiments in cloudy expressions, as wanting will or skill to make a more perspicuous declaration of them. And there are others also, pretending unto more sobriety than those before mentioned, who do yet think that these doctrines concerning the offices and mediation of Christ are, if not unintelligible by us, yet not of any great necessity to be insisted on; for of that esteem are the mysteries of the gospel grown to be with some, with many among us. With respect unto all these, added unto the consideration of the edification of those that are sober and godly, I esteemed it necessary to handle this whole doctrine of the priesthood of Christ distinctly, and previously unto our exposition of the uses of it as they occur in the Epistle. 5. There are also sundry things which may contribute much light unto this doctrine, and be useful in the explication of the terms, notions, and expressions, which are applied unto the declaration of it, that cannot directly and orderly be reduced under any singular text or passage in the Epistle. Many dawnings there were in the world unto the rising of this Sun of Righteousness, — many preparations for the actual exhibition of this High Priest unto the discharge of his office. And some of these were greatly instructive in the nature of this priesthood, as being appointed of God for that purpose. Such was the use of sacrifices, ordained from the foundation of the world, or the first entrance of sin; and the designation of persons in the church unto the office of a figurative priesthood, for the performance of that service. By these God intended to instruct the church in the nature and benefit of what he would after accomplish, in and by his Son Jesus Christ. These things, therefore, – that is, what belonged unto the rite of sacrificing and the Mosaical priesthood, – must be taken into consideration, as retaining yet that light in them which God had designed them to be communicative of. And, indeed, our apostle himself reduceth many of the instructions which he gives us in the nature of the priesthood and sacrifice of Christ unto those institutions which were designed of old to typify and represent them. Besides all these, there may be observed sundry things in the common usages of mankind about this office, and the discharge of it in general, that deserve our consideration; for although all mankind, left out of the church’s enclosure, through their own blindness and the craft of him who originally seduced them into an apostasy from God, had, as to their own interest and practice, miserably depraved all sacred things, every thing that belonged to the worship or service of the Divine Being, yet they still carried along with them something that had its first fountain and spring in divine revelation, and a congruity unto the inbred principles of nature. In these also, — where we can separate the wheat from the chaff, what was from divine revelation or the light of nature from what was of diabolical delusion or vain superstition, — we may discover what is useful and helpful unto us in our design. By these means may we be enabled to reduce all sacred truth in this matter unto its proper principles, and direct it unto its proper end. And these are the reasons why, although we shall have frequent occasion to insist on this office of Christ, with the proper acts and effects of it, in our ensuing Exposition, both in that part of it which accompanies these Exercitations and those also which, in the goodness and patience of God, may follow, yet I thought meet to handle the whole doctrine of it apart in preliminary discourses. And let not the reader suppose that he shall be imposed on with the same things handled in several ways twice over: for as the design of the Exposition is to open the words of the text, to give their sense, with the purpose and arguings of the apostle, applying all unto the improvement of our faith and obedience, whereof nothing will here fall under our consideration; so what may be here discoursed, historically, philologically, dogmatically, or eristically, will admit of no repetition or rehearsal in the expository part of our endeavors. These things being premised, as was necessary, we apply ourselves unto the work lying before us. 6. Our Lord Jesus Christ is in the Old Testament, as prophesied of, called ˆheKo , “cohen:” <19B004> Psalm 110:4, µl;wO[l] ˆhekoAhT;aæ ; — “Thou art cohen for ever.” And Zechariah 6:13, wOas]KiAl[æ ˆheko hy;h;w] ; — “And he shall be cohen upon his throne.” We render it in both places “a priest ;” that is, iJereu>v , “sacerdos.” In the New Testament, — that is, in this Epistle, — he is frequently said to be iJereu>v and ajrciereu>v ; which we likewise express by “priest” and “high priest,” — “ pontifex,” “pontifex maximus.”

    And the meaning of these words must be first inquired into. 7. ˆhæK; , the verb, is used only in Piel, “cihen;” and it signifies “sacerdotio fungi,” or “munus sacerdotale exercere,” — “to be a priest,” or “to exercise the office of the priesthood;” iJerourge>w . The LXX mostly render it by iJerateu>w , which is “sacerdotio fungor,” — “ to exercise the priestly office;” although it be also used in the inauguration or consecration of a person to the priesthood. Once they translate it by leitourge>w , Chronicles 11:14, “in sacris operari,” — “to serve (or minister) in (or about) sacred things.” JIerourge>w is used by our apostle in this sense, and applied unto the preaching of the gospel: Eijv to< ei+nai> me letourgolion tou~ Qou~ , Romans 15:16; — “Employed in the sacred ministration of the gospel.” He useth both leitourgo>v and iJerourge>w metaphorically, with respect unto the prosfora> or sacrifice which he made of the Gentiles, which was also metaphorical. And iJerateu>w is used by Luke with respect unto the Jewish service in the temple, chap. 1:8; for originally both the words have respect unto proper sacrifices.

    Some would have the word ˆheKe to be ambiguous, and to signify “officio fungi, aut ministrare in sacris aut politicis,” — “to discharge an office, or to minister in things sacred or political.” But no instance can be produced of its use to this purpose. Once it seems to be applied unto things not sacred. Isaiah 61:10, ˆt;j;K, ; — “As a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments;” or, “adorneth himself with beauty;” that is, beautiful garments. If the word did originally and properly signify “to adorn,” it might be thence translated unto the exercise of the office of the priesthood, seeing the priests therein were, by especial institution, to be clothed with garments tr,a;p]til]W dwbk;l] , Exodus 28:40, “for glory and for beauty.”

    So the priests of Moloch were called “chemarims,” from the color of their garments, or their countenances made black with the soot of their fire and sacrifices. But this is not the proper signification of the word; only, denoting the priesthood to be exercised in beautiful garments and sundry ornaments, it was thence traduced to express adorning. The LXX render it by periti>qhmi , but withal acknowledge somewhat sacerdotal in the expression: JWv numfi>w| perie>qnke> moi mi>tran? — “He hath put on me” (restraining the action unto God) “a mitre as on a bridegroom;” which was a sacerdotal ornament. And Aquila, “as a bridegroom, iJerateume>nov stefa>nw|? .” — “ bearing the crown of the priesthood,” or discharging the priest’s office in a crown. And the Targum, observing the peculiar application of the word in this place, adds, akd anhkkw , — “And as an high priest is adorned.” All agree that an allusion is made to the garments and ornaments of the high priest. The place may be tendered, “As a bridegroom, he” (that is God, the bridegroom of the church) “doth consecrate me with glory,” — “ gloriously set me .apart for himself.” The word therefore is sacred; and though ˆheKo be traduced to signify other persons, as we shall see afterwards, yet ˆheKo [properly] is only used in a sacred sense. 8. The Arabic ˆhk , “cahan,” is “to divine, to prognosticate, to be a soothsayer, to foretell;” and ˆhak , “caahan,” is “a diviner, a prophet, an astrologer, a figure-caster.” This use of it came up after the priests had generally taken themselves unto such arts, partly curious, partly diabolical, by the instigation of the false gods whom they ministered unto.

    Homer puts them together, as they came afterwards mostly to be the same, Iliad. A. 62: — jAll j a]ge dh> tina ma>ntin ejrei>omen , h] iJerh~a ]H kai< ojneiropo>lon? — “A prophet, or a priest, or an interpreter of dreams.”

    Ma>gouv kai< ajstrono>mouv te kaitav metepe>mpeto , Herod., lib. iv.; — “He sent for magicians, astronomers, and priests,” for qu>thv is a priest; for the priests first gave out oracles and divinations in the temples of their gods. From them proceeded a generation of impostors, who exceedingly infatuated the world with a pretense of foretelling things to come, of interpreting dreams, and doing things uncouth and strange, unto the amazement of the beholders. And as they all pretended to derive their skill and power from their gods, whose priests they were, so they invented, or had suggested unto them by Satan, various ways and means of divination, or of attaining the knowledge of particular future events.

    According unto those ways which in especial any of them attended unto were they severally denominate. Generally they were called µymik;j\ , “wise men ;” as those of Egypt, Genesis 41:8, and of Babylon, Daniel 2:12,13. Hence we render ma>goi , the followers of their arts, “wise men,” Matthew 2:1. Among the Egyptians they were divided into two sorts, µyMifur]jæ and µypiV]kæm] , Exodus 7:11; the head of one sort in the days of Moses being probably Jannes, and of the other Jambres, 2 Timothy 3:8. We call them “magicians and sorcerers.” Among the Babylonians there is mention of these, and two sorts more are added unto them, namely, µypiV;aæ and µyDic]Kæ , Daniel 2:2. Of the difference and distinction among these we shall treat afterwards. From this practice of the generality of priests did ˆhæK; come to signify “to soothsay” or “divine.” 9. ˆheKo is then a priest; and he who was first called so in the Scripture, probably in the world, was Melchizedek, Genesis 14:18. On what account he was so called shall be afterwards declared. Sometimes, though rarely, it is applied to express a priest of false gods; as of Dagon, Samuel 5:5; of Egypt, Genesis 41:45, “Joseph married the daughter of Poti-pherah, ˆao ãheKo ,” — “priest of On,” that is, of Heliopolis, the chief seat of the Egyptian religious worship. Nor is there any color why the word should here be rendered “prince,” as it is, abr , by the Targum, — the Latin is “sacerdos,” and the LXX. iJereu>v , — for the dignity of priests, especially of those who were eminent among them, was no less at that time in Egypt, and other parts also of the world, than was that of princes of the second sort; yea, we shall consider instances afterwards wherein the kingly and priestly orifices were conjoined in the same person, although none ever had the one by virtue of the other but upon special reason. It was therefore, as by Pharaoh intended, an honor to Joseph to be married unto the daughter of the priest of On; for the man, according unto their esteem, was wise, pious, and honorable, seeing the wisdom of the Egyptians at that time consisted principally in the knowledge of the mysteries of their religion, and from their excellency therein were they exalted and esteemed honorable. Nor can it be pleaded, in bar to this exposition, that Joseph would not marry the daughter of an idolatrous priest, for all the Egyptians were no less idolatrous than their priests, and he might as soon convert one of their daughters to the true God as one of any other; which no doubt he did, whereon she became a matriarch in Israel. In other places, where, by ˆheKo , an idolatrous priest is intended, the Targum renders it by armwk ; “comara,” whence are chemarims. Yet the Syriac translator of the Epistle to the Hebrews calls a priest and an high priest, even when applied unto Christ, ar;m;WK and arem;WK bræ , though elsewhere in the New Testament he useth an;h\K; , “chahana,” constantly.

    The reason hereof I have declared elsewhere. 10. It is confessed that this name is sometimes used to signify secondary princes, those of a second rank or degree, but is never once applied unto a chief, supreme prince, or a king, though he that is so was sometimes, by virtue of some special warrant, cohen also. The Jews, therefore, after the Targum, offer violence to the text, <19B004> Psalm 110:4, where they would have Melchizedek to be called a cohen because he was a prince. But it is said expressly he was a king, of which rank none is, on the account of his office, ever called cohen; but unto those of a second rank it is sometimes accommodated: 2 Samuel 20:26, “Ira the Jairite was dwid;l] ˆheKo ,” — “a chief ruler,” say we, “about David.” A priest he was not, nor could be; for, as Kimchi on the place observes, he is called the “cohen of David,” but a priest was not a priest unto one man, but unto all Israel. So David’s sons are said to be cohanim: 2 Samuel 8:18, Wyh; µynih\Ko dwid; yneb]W, — “And the sons of David were cohanim;” that is, “princes,” though the Vulgate renders it “sacerdotes.” So also Job 12:19, we translate it “princes.”

    And in those places the Targum useth abr , “rabba;” the LXX sometimes aujla>rchv , “a principal courtier,” and sometimes suneto>v , “a counsellor.”

    It is, then, granted that princes were called µynih\Ko , but not properly, but by way of allusion, with respect unto their dignity; for the most ancient dignity was that of the priesthood. And the same name is therefore used metaphorically to express especial dignity: Exodus 19:6, µynih\Ko tk,l,m]mæ yliAWyh]ti ; — “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests,” speaking of the whole people. This Peter renders basi>leion iJera>teuma , 1 Peter 2:9, — “ A kingly” (or “royal”) “priesthood.” The name of the office is hN;huK] , Exodus 40:15, ijera>teuma , “pontificatus, sacerdotium,” “the priesthood.” Allowing, therefore, this application of the word, we may inquire what is the first proper signification of it. I say, therefore, that ˆheKo , “cohen,” is properly qu>thv , “a sacrificer;” nor is it otherwise to be understood or expounded, unless the abuse of the word be obvious, and a metaphorical sense necessary. 11. He who is first mentioned as vested with this office is Melchizedek: Genesis 14:18, ˆwOyl][, lael] ˆheko aWhw] ; — “And he was a priest unto the most high God.” The Targumists make a great difference in rendering the word ˆheKo . Where it intends a priest of God properly, they retain it, ˆhk and anhk ; where it is applied unto a prince or ruler, they render it by abr , “rabba;” and where an idolatrous priest, by armwk . But in this matter of Melchizedek they are peculiar. In this place they use çmçm , “meshamesh:” hal[ la µdq çmçm awhw , — “And he was a minister before the high God.” And by this word they express the ministry of the priests: Exodus 19:22, ˆybyrqd aynhk yyy µdq açmçl , — The priests who draw nigh to minister before the Lord;” whereby it is evident that they understood him to be a sacred officer, or a priest unto God. But in <19B004> Psalm 110:4, where the same word occurs again to the same purpose, they render it by abr , “a prince,” or great ruler: “Thou art a great ruler like Melchizedek:” which is a part of their open corruption of that psalm, out of a design to apply it unto David; for the author of that Targum lived after they knew full well how the prophecy in that psalm was in our books and by Christians applied unto the Messiah, and how the ceasing of their law and worship was from thence invincibly proved in this Epistle.

    This made them maliciously pervert the words in their paraphrase, although they durst not violate the sacred text itself. But the text is plain, “Melchizedek was cohen to the high God,” — “a priest,” or one that was called to the office of solemn sacrificing to God; for he that offereth not sacrifices to God is not a priest to him, for this is the principal duty of his office, from which the whole receives denomination. That he offered sacrifices, those of the church of Rome would prove from these words, Genesis 14:18, ˆyiy;w; µj,l, ayxiwOh ; — “He brought forth bread and wine.” But neither the context nor the words will give them countenance herein; nor if they could prove what they intend would it serve their purpose. Coming forth to meet Abraham (as our apostle expounds this passage, Hebrews 7), he brought forth bread and wine, as a supply for the relief and refreshment of himself and his servants, supposing them weary of their travel. So dealt Barzillai the Gileadite with David and his men in the wilderness, 2 Samuel 17:27-29. They brought out necessary provision for them, for they said, “The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.” And Gideon punished them of Succoth and Penuel for not doing the like, Judges 8:5-8, 13-17. But the aim of these men is to reflect some countenance on their pretended sacrifice of the mass; which yet is not of bread and wine, for before the offering they suppose them to be quite changed into the substance of flesh and blood.

    The weakness of this pretense shall be elsewhere more fully declared. At present it may suffice that ayxiwOh is no sacred word, or is never used to express the offering of any thing unto God. Besides, if it were an offering he brought forth, it was a hj’n]mi , or “meat-offering,” with a Ës,ne , or “drink-offering,” being of bread and wine. Now, this was only an acknowledgment of God the Creator as such, and was not an immediate type of the sacrifice of Christ; which was represented by them alone which, being made by blood, included a propitiation in them. But that Melchizedek was by office a sacrificer appears from Abraham delivering up unto him lKomi rce[\mæ , Genesis 14:20, “the tenth of all;” that is, as our apostle interprets the place, tw~n ajkroqini>wn , “of the spoils” he had taken. rce[\mæ is a sacred word, and denotes God’s portion according to the law. So also those who had only the light of nature, and it may be some little fame of what was done in the world of old, whilst God’s institutions were of force among men, did devote and sacrifice the tenth of the spoils they took in war. So Camillus framed his vow unto Apollo when he went to destroy the city of Veil: “Tuo ductu Pythice Apollo, tuoque numine instinctus, pergo ad delendam urbem Veios, tibique hinc decumam partem praedae voveo,” Liv., lib. v. cap. xxi.

    The like instances occur in other authors. jAkroqi>nia is not used for the spoils themselves anywhere but in this place. In other authors, according to the derivation of the word, as it signifies the top or uppermost part of an heap, it is used only for that part or portion of spoils taken in war which was devoted and made sacred: Herod. lib. i. cap. lxxxvi., Ei]te dh< ajkroqi>nia tau~ta katagiei~n qew~n oJtew|dh> . And again, lib. viii. cap. cxxi., Prw~ta me>n nun toi~si qeoi~si ejxei~lon ajkroqi>nia? , — “They took out the dedicated spoils for the gods.” And the reason why our apostle useth the word for the whole spoils, whence a tenth was given to Melchizedek, is, because the whole spoil was sacred and devoted unto God, whence an honorary tenth was taken for Melchizedek, as the priests had afterwards out of the portion of the Levites; for all Levi was now to be tithed in Abraham. Among those spoils there is no question but there were many clean beasts meet for sacrifice; for in their herds of cattle consisted the principal parts of the riches of those days, and these were the principal spoils of war. See Numbers 31:32,33. And because Saul knew that part of the spoils taken in lawful war was to be given for sacrifices unto God, he made that his pretense of saving the fat cattle of the Amalekites, contrary to the express command of God, 1 Samuel 15:15. Abraham therefore delivered these spoils unto Melchizedek, as the priest of the most high God, to offer in sacrifice for him. And it may be there was somewhat more in it than the mere pre-eminence of Melchizedek, which was the principal consideration hereof, and his being the first and only priest in office, by virtue of especial call from God, — namely, that Abraham himself, coming immediately from the slaughter of many kings and their numerous army, was not yet ready or prepared for this sacred service; for even among the heathens they would abstain from their sacred offices after the shedding of blood, until they were, one way or other, purified to their own satisfaction. So in the poet, Virg. Aeneid. 2:717: — “Tu, genitor, cape sacra manu patriosque penates; Me, bello e tanto digressum et caede recenti, Attrectare nefas, donec me flumine vivo Abluero.” 12. The matter is yet made more evident by the solemn election of a priesthood of old among the people of God, or the church in the wilderness. Sacrificing from the foundation of the world had been hitherto left at liberty. Every one who was called to perform any part of solemn religious worship was allowed to discharge that duty also. But it pleased God, in the reducing of his church into an especial peculiar order, – to represent in and by it more conspicuously what he would afterwards really effect in Jesus Christ, – to erect among them a peculiar office of priesthood. And although this respected in general ta< pron , all things that were to be done with God on the behalf of the people, yet the especial work and duty belonging unto it was sacrificing. The institution of this office we have Exodus 28, whereof afterwards. And herein an enclosure was made of sacrificing unto the office of the priests; that is, so soon as such an office there was by virtue of especial institution. And these two things belonged to them: — (1.) That they were sacrificers ; and, (2.) That they only were so: which answers all that I intend to evince from this discourse, namely, that a priest is a sacrificer. Whereas, therefore, it is in prophecy foretold that the Messiah should be a priest, and he is said so to be, the principal meaning of it is, that he should be a sacrificer, one that had right and was called to offer sacrifice unto God. This was that for which he was principally and properly called a priest, and by his undertaking so to be, an enclosure of sacrificing is made unto himself alone.

    This is the general notion of a priest amongst all men throughout the world; and a due consideration hereof is of itself sufficient to discharge all the vain imaginations of the Socinians about this office of Christ, whereof we shall treat afterwards.


    OF THE ORIGIN OF THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST. 1. Of the origin of the priesthood of Christ — The eternal counsels of God; how to be inquired into. 2. No priest or sacrifices in the state of innocence. 3. Priesthood and sacrifices related. 4. The nature of the office of the priesthood, <580501>Hebrews 5:1, explained. 5. In the state of innocence some [might act] for God towards men, none for other men towards God. 6. No sacrifices in that state — To sacrifice is properly to slay. 7. Killing essential to sacrifices. 8. No revelation concerning sacrifices before the fall. 9. Opinion of some, that the Son of God should have been incarnate though man had not sinned — Of the necessity of sacrifices in all religious worship. 10. Pretences of reasons for the incarnation of Christ, without respect to sin or grace. 11. The whole unwritten; 12. Contrary to what is written; 13. And destitute of countenance from spiritual reason. 14. Pleas of the Pelagians and ancient schoolmen for the incarnation of the Son of God in the state of innocence — Their first argument, from the glory of God and good of the universe, proposed and answered. 15. The second argument, from the capacity of the human nature for the grace of union in the state of innocence, answered. 16. [The third argument], the mystery of the incarnation revealed to Adam in the state of innocence — The meaning of these words, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” 17. The order of God’s decrees concerning his glory in the salvation of mankind considered — No order of them to be conceived that is consistent with the pre-ordination of the incarnation without respect to sin and redemption. 18. The arguments of Osiander — The Son, how the image of the Father — The order of subsistence and operation in the Trinity — Christ, how the head of angels and men. 19. The image of God in man, wherein it consisted. 20. How Adam was made in the image of Christ, and Christ made in the image of Adam. 21. The incarnation, how occasioned by the fall — The Son of God the head of angels and men even had not sin entered into the world. 22. [In a state of innocence, men would not have died naturally.] 23. No sacrifices in the state of innocence — Bellarmine’s arguments for the necessity of a proper sacrifice in all religion. 24. The mass not proved a sacrifice thereby — The use and efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ in our religion. 25. An answer to Bellarmine’s arguments — His general assertion overthrown by his own instances. 26. The conclusion. 1. We have seen that Jesus Christ is a priest, that as such he was prophesied of under the old testament, and declared so to be in the new.

    The original of this office is in the next place to be inquired after. This, in the general, all will acknowledge to lie in the eternal counsels of God; for “known unto him are all his works from the beginning of the world,” Acts 15:18.

    But these counsels, absolutely considered, are hid in God, in the eternal treasures of his own wisdom and will. What we learn of them is by external revelation and effects: “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law,” Deuteronomy 29:29.

    God frequently gives bounds to the curiosity of men, like the limits fixed to the people in the station at Sinai, that they should not gaze after his unrevealed glory, nor pry into the things which they have not seen. It was well said, that “scrutator majestatis absorbetur a gloria” Our work is, to inquire wherein, how, and whereby, God hath revealed his eternal counsels, to the end that we may know his mind, and fear him for our good. And so even the angels desire to bow down and to look into these things, 1 Peter 1:12 ; — not in a way of condescension, as into things in their nature beneath them; but in a way of humble diligence, as into things in their holy contrivance above them. Our present design, therefore, is to trace those discoveries which God hath made of his eternal counsels in this matter, and that through the several degrees of divine revelation whereby he advanced the knowledge of them, until he brought them to their complement in the external exhibition of his Son, clothed in human nature with the glory of this office, and discharging the duties thereof. 2. The counsels of God concerning us, with our relation unto him and his worship, are suited unto the state and condition wherein we are, for they also are effects of those counsels. Our first condition, under the law of creation, was a condition of innocency and natural righteousness. In reference unto this estate, God had not ordained an establishment in it of either priest or sacrifice; for as they would have been of no use therein, so there was nothing supposed in that condition which might be prefigured or represented by them. Wherefore God did not pre-ordain the priesthood of Christ with respect unto the obedience of man under the law of creation; nor did he appoint either priesthood or sacrifice, properly so called, in that state of things whilst it did continue; nor should any such have been, upon a supposition of its continuance. And this we must confirm against the opposition of some. 3. We have declared in our preceding discourse that a priest, properly so called, is a sacrificer. There is, therefore, an indissoluble relation between these two, — namely, priesthood and sacrifice, — and they do mutually assert or deny each other; and where the one is proper, the other is so also; and where the one is metaphorical, so is the other. Thus, under the old testament, the priests who were properly so by office had proper carnal sacrifices to offer; and under the new testament, believers being made priests unto God, that is, spiritually and metaphorically, such also are their sacrifices, spiritual and metaphorical. Wherefore arguments against either of these conclude equally against both. Where there are no priests, there are no sacrifices; and where there are no sacrifices, there are no priests. I intend only those who exercise the office of the priesthood for themselves and others. I shall therefore, first, manifest that there was no priesthood to be in the state of innocency; whence it will follow that therein there could be no sacrifice: and, secondly, that there was to be no sacrifice, properly so called; whence it will equally follow, that there was no priesthood therein. That which ensues on both is, that there was no counsel of God concerning either priesthood or sacrifice in that state or condition. 4. Pa~v gapwn lamqano>menov uJpepwn kaqi>statai ta< prorh| dw~ra> te kai< qusi>av uJpeHebrews 5:1. What is here affirmed of the high priest ( lwOdN;hæ ˆheKohæ ) is true in like manner concerning every priest; only, the high priest is here mentioned by way of eminence, because by him our Lord Christ, as unto this office and the discharge of it, was principally represented. Every priest, therefore, is one ejx ajnqrw>pwn lamqano>menov , — “ taken from amongst men.” He is “naturae humanae particeps,” — in common with other men partaker of human nature; and antecedently unto his assumption of his office, he is one of the same rank with other men, and he is taken or separated unto this office from among them. He is vested with his office by the authority, and according to the will of God. This office, therefore, is not a thing which is common unto all, nor can it take place in any state or condition wherein the whole performance of divine service is equally incumbent on all individually; for none can be “taken from among others” to perform that which those others are every one obliged personally to attend unto.

    But every priest, properly so called, kaqi>statai uJpepwn , — “is ordained and appointed to act for other men.” He is set over a work in the behalf of those other men from among whom he is taken; and this is, that he may take care of and perform ta< promen are to be done with God; µyhiloa’h; lWm , — that is, to pacify, to make atonement and reconciliation, Exodus 18:19. And this he was to do by offering dw~ra> te kai< qusi>av , various sorts of “gifts and sacrifices,” according unto God’s appointment. Now, all slain sacrifices, as we shall manifest afterwards, were for sin. This office, therefore, could have no place in the state of innocency; for it will not hear an accommodation, of any part of this description of one vested therewithal. 5. I do acknowledge, that in the state of uncorrupted nature there should have been some ujpefor and in the name of God; for some would have been warranted and designed to instruct others in the knowledge of God and his will. This the state and condition of mankind did require; for both the first relation of man and wife, and that which was to ensue thereon of parents and children, include subordination and dependence. “The head of the woman is the man,” 1 Corinthians 11:3, — that is, “the husband,” Ephesians 5:23; and the duty of the man it had been to instruct the woman in the things of God. For a pure nescience of many things that might be known to the glory of God and their own advantage was not inconsistent with that estate, and their knowledge was capable of objective enlargements; and the design of God was, gradually to instruct them in the things that might orderly carry them on unto the end for which they were created. Herein would he have made use of the man for the instruction of the woman, as the order of nature required: for man was originally “the head of the woman;” only, upon the curse, natural dependence was turned into troublesome subjection, Genesis 3:16. But the entrance of sin, as it contained in it the seeds of all disorder, so it plainly began in the destruction of this order; for the woman, undertaking to learn the mind of God from herself and the serpent, was deceived, and first in the transgression: 1 Timothy 2:13,14, “Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

    From Adam being first formed, and the woman out of him and for him, she should have learned her dependence on him for instruction by divine institution. But going to learn the mind of God of the serpent, she was deceived. She might have learned more than yet she knew, but this she should have done of him who was her head by the law of creation. The case is the same as to the other relation, that would have been between parents and children. Yea, in this the dependence was far greater and more absolute; for although the woman was made out of the man, which argues subordination and dependence, yet she was made by the immediate power of God, man contributing no more to her being than the dust did to his.

    This gave them in general an equality. But children are so of their parents as to be wholly from them and by them. This makes their dependence and subjection absolute and universal. And whereas parents were in all things to seek their good, — which was one of the prime dictates of the law of nature, — they were, in the name and stead of God, to rule, govern, and instruct them, and that in the knowledge of God and their duty towards him. They were uJpeGod,” or in his stead unto them, to instruct them in their duty, suitably to the law of their creation and the end thereof. But every one thus instructed was in his own name and person to attend unto the things of God, or what was to be performed on the behalf of men; for in reference unto God, there would have been no common root or principle for men to stand upon. Whilst we were all in the loins of Adam we stood all in him, and we also fell all in him ejf j w=| pa>ntev h[marton , Romans 5:12. But so soon as any one had been born into this world, and so should have had a personal subsistence of his own, he was to stand by himself, and to be no more, as to his covenant interest, concerned in the obedience of his progenitors; for the covenant with mankind would have been distinct with each individual, as it was with angels. There might have been, there would have been, order, subordination, and subjection, among men, in respect of things from God unto them, — so probably there is among the angels, although the investigation thereof be neither our duty nor in our power, — but, as was said, every one, according to the tenor of the covenant then in force, was in his own person to discharge all duties of worship towards God. Neither could any one be taken out from the residue of men to discharge the works of religion towards God for them, in the way of an office, but it would be to the prejudice of their right and the hinderance of their duty. It follows, therefore, that the office of a priest was impossible in that condition, — that is, of one who should be ordained uJpepwn ta< pron , — and had any such office been possible, there would not have been in it any prefiguration of the priesthood of Christ, as will afterwards appear. 6. The same is the state of things with reference unto sacrifices. There is, as was said before, a relation between them and the priesthood. Hence is that saying in Bereshith Rabba: ˆk jbzmk wynhk ; — “ As is the altar for sacrifice, so are the priests that belong unto it.” And by sacrifices in this inquiry, we understand those that are properly so: for that which is proper in every kind is first; nor is there any place for that which is improper or metaphorical, unless something proper from whence the denomination is taken have preceded, for in allusion thereunto doth the metaphor consist. Now, the first possible instance in this matter being in the state about which we inquire, there must be proper sacrifices therein, or none at all; for nothing went before with respect whereunto any thing might be so called, as now our spiritual worship and service are, with allusion unto them under the old testament.

    And concerning those sacrifices, we may consider their nature and their end. A sacrifice is jbæz, ; that is, qusi>a , “victima, sacrificium mactatum,” — “ a slain or killed offering;” yea, the first proper signification of jbæz; is “mactavit, jugulavit, decollavit, occidit,” — “to kill, to slay by the effusion of blood,” and the like. Neither is this signification cast upon it from its affinity unto jbæf; , “to kill or slay” (the change of f and z being frequent, as in the Chaldee almost perpetual), but it is its own native signification: Genesis 31:54, jbæz, bqo[\yæ jBæz]Yiwæ . Say we, “Jacob offered sacrifices.”

    Junius, “Mactavit animalia,” — “He slew beasts;” which we allow in the margin, “He killed beasts.” Targum, atskn bq[y sknw skn is “to kill or slay,” and is constantly so used; and atskn is no more but “mactatio,” “a slaughter;” but because all sacrifices were offered by slaying, it is applied to signify a sacrifice also. So Isaiah 34:6. It is true, there was a covenant made between Jacob and Laban, and covenants were sometimes confirmed by sacrifices, with a feast of the covenanters ensuing thereon; but it is not likely that Jacob and Laban would agree in the same sacrifice, who scarcely owned the same God. It is, therefore, only the provision and entertainment that Jacob made for Laban and his company, for which he slew the cattle, that is intended; otherwise the sacrifice would have been mentioned distinctly from the feast. So are these things expressed Exodus 18:12. And so jbæz, is rendered by us “to kill or slay” absolutely, 1 Samuel 28:24; Deuteronomy 12:15,16; 1 Kings 19:21, 1:9; and so also ought it to be translated Numbers 22:40, where it is “offered” in our books. jbæz] , the substantive, is also “mactatio, jugulatio, occisio:” so Isaiah 34:6; Zephaniah 1:7; which James expresseth by sfagh> , chap. 5:5. And µyjib;z] are absolutely no more than sfa>gia , as from the slaughter of the sacrifices the altar is called jæBez]mi .

    Qu>w , also, and qusi>a , do no otherwise signify but “to sacrifice,” or sacrifice by mactation or killing. 7. It is therefore evident that there neither is nor can be any sacrifice, properly so called, but what is made by killing or slaying of the thing sacrificed; and the offerings of inanimate things under the law, as of flour or wine, or the fruits of the earth, were improperly so called, in allusion unto or by virtue of their conjunction with them that were properly so.

    They might be twOlwO[ , “offerings” or “ascensions,” but µyjib;z] , “sacrifices,” they were not. And the act of sacrificing doth principally consist in the mactation or slaying of the sacrifices, as shall afterwards be manifested. And whereas the oblation, as it is used to express the general nature of a sacrifice, is commonly apprehended to consist in the actings of the sacrificer after the killing of the sacrifice or victim, it is so far otherwise that it principally consists in brining of it to be slain, and in the slaying itself, all that follows belonging unto the religious manner of testifying faith and obedience thereby. This also discovers the proper and peculiar end of sacrifices, firstly and properly so called, especially such as might prefigure the sacrifice of Christ, unto which our present discourse is confined. All such sacrifices must respect sin, and an atonement to be made for it. There never was, nor ever can be, any other end of the effusion of blood in the service of God. This the nature of the action (“quod in ejus caput sit”) and the whole series of divine institutions in this matter do manifest; for to what end should a man take another creature into his power and possession, which also he might use to his advantage, and, slaying it, offer it up unto God, if nat to confess a guilt of his own, or somewhat for which he deserved to die, and to represent a commutation of the punishment due unto him, by the substitution of another in his room and place, according to the will of God? And this casteth all such sacrifices as might be any way prefigurative of the sacrifice of Christ out of the verge of paradise, or state of innocency; for as therein there should have been no bloody mactation of our fellow-creatures, so a supposition of sin therein implies an express contradiction. 8. Again, sacrifices require faith in the offerer of them: Hebrews 11:4, “By faith Abel offered a sacrifice.” And faith in the subject respects its proper object, which is divine revelation. Men can believe no more with divine faith than is revealed, and all our actings in faith must answer the doctrines of faith. Now, not to insist upon this particular, that sacrifices were not revealed before the fall (which that they were cannot be proved), I say that there was no doctrine in or belonging unto the covenant of creation that should directly or analogically require or intimate an acceptance of any such religious worship as sacrifices. This might be manifested by a just consideration of the principles of that revelation which God made of himself unto man under the first covenant, and what was necessary for him to know that he might live unto God; but this I have done at large elsewhere, nor have I any thing of moment to add unto former discourses to this purpose. And this also renders it impossible that there should be any sacrifices properly so called, and prefigurative of the sacrifice of Christ, in the state of innocency. 9. But these things are opposed, and must be vindicated. And this opposition is made unto both the positions laid down, the one concerning a priest, the other concerning sacrifices: for some have been and are of a mind, that “though man had not sinned, yet the Son of God should have taken our nature on him,” both for the manifestation of the glory of God and the cherishing of the creation; and if so, he should have been in some sense the priest of the world.

    And those of this persuasion are of two sorts : — First, Such as knowledge a pre-existence of the Lord Christ in a divine nature. These affirm that [even] had not sin entered into the world, he should have been so made flesh by the uniting of our nature unto himself in his own person, as now it is come to pass. This some of the ancient schoolmen inclined unto, as Alexander ab Ales., Albertus Magnus, Scotus, Rupertus; as it is opposed by Aquinas, p. 3, q. 3; Bonaventure in Sentent., lib. iii. dist. i. ar. 2, q. 1, and others. Immediately on the Reformation this opinion was revived by Osiander, who maintained that Adam was said to be made in the image of God, because he was made in that nature and shape whereunto the Son of God was designed and destinated. And he also was herein opposed by Calvin, Instit. lib. ii. cap. xii., lib. iii. cap. xi.; by Wigandus de Osiandrismo, p. 23; and Schlusselburgius, lib. vi. Yet some are still of this judgment, or seem so to be.

    The other sort are the Socinians, who contend that God would have given such a head unto the creation as they fancy Christ to be; for as they lay no great weight on the first sin, so they hope to evince by this means that the Lord Christ may discharge his whole office without making any atonement for sin by sacrifice. And this, with most of their other opinions, they have traduced from the ancient Pelagians, as an account is given in this particular by Cassianus de Incarnatione, lib. i. p. 1241. “Quo factum est,” saith he of the Pelagians, “ut in majorem quoque ac monstruosiorem insaniam prorumpentes, dicerent Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, hunc in mundum, non ad praestandum humano generi redemptionem, sed ad praebenda bonorum actuum exempla venisse; videlicet, ut disciplinam ejus sequentes, homines, dum per eandem virtutis viam incederent, ad eadem virtutum praemia pervenirent.”

    Those who assert sacrifices to have been necessary in the state of innocency are the Romanists. Bellarmine, Gregory de Valentia, and others, do expressly contend for it. And these also have their peculiar design in this their peculiar opinion; for they endeavor to establish a general maxim, “That proper sacrifices are indispensably necessary unto all religious worship,” thereby to make way for their missatical oblation. I shall consider the pretences of both sorts, and so proceed with our design. 10. As to the first opinion, concerning the incarnation of the Son of God without respect unto sin and redemption, there are many pretences given unto it, which shall be afterwards particularly considered. They say that “the manifestation of the glory of God required that he should effect this most perfect way of it, that so he might give a complete expression of his image and likeness. His love and goodness also were so perfectly to be represented, in the union of a created nature with his own. And herein, also, God would satisfy himself in the contemplation of this full communication of himself unto our nature. Besides, it was necessary that there should be a head appointed unto the whole creation, to conduct and guide it, man especially, unto its utmost end.” And sundry other things they allege out of the Bible of their own imaginations. It is granted that even in that state all immediate transactions with the creatures should have been by the Son; for by him, as the power and wisdom of God, were they made, John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2; Colossians 1:16,17. He, therefore, should have immediately guided and conducted man unto his happiness, and that both by confirming him in his obedience and by giving him his reward; an express document whereof we have in the angels that sinned not. But for the opinion of his being incarnate without respect unto redemption and a recovery from sin and misery, the whole of it is a]grafon , or unwritten, and therefore uncertain and curious; yea, ajnti>grafon , or contrary to what is written, and therefore false; and a]logon , or destitute of any solid spiritual reason for the confirmation of it. 11. First, It is unwritten , — nowhere revealed, nowhere mentioned in the Scripture; nor can an instance be given of the faith of any one of the saints of God, either under the old testament or the new, in this matter. The first promise, and consequently first revelation, of the incarnation of the Son of God, was after the entrance of sin, and with respect unto the recovery of the sinner, unto the glory of God. Hereby are all other promises, declarations, and revelations concerning it, as to their end, to be regulated; for that which is the first in any kind, as to an end aimed at, is the rule of all that follows in the same kind. And therefore that which men ground themselves upon in this opinion is indeed neither argument nor testimony, but conjecture and curiosity. They frame to themselves a notional state of things, which they suppose beautiful and comely, (as who are not enamored of the fruits of their own imaginations?) and then assert that it was meet and according unto divine wisdom that God should so order things unto his own glory as they have fancied! Thus they suppose, that, without respect unto sin or grace, God would take unto himself the glory of uniting our nature unto him. Why so? Because they find how greatly and gloriously he is exalted in his so doing. But is this so absolutely from the thing itself, or is it with respect unto the causes, ends, effects, and circumstances of it, as they are stated since the entrance of sin, and revealed in the Scripture? Setting aside the consideration of sin, grace, and redemption, with what attends them, a man may say, in a better compliance with the harmony and testimony of Scripture, that the assumption of human nature into union with the divine, in the person of the Son of God, is no way suited unto the exaltation of divine glory, but rather to beget false notions and apprehensions in men of the nature of the Godhead, and to disturb them in their worship thereof; for the assumption of human nature absolutely is expressed as a great condescension, as it was indeed, Philippians 2:5-8, and that which served for a season to obscure the glory of the Deity in him that assumed it, John 17:5. But the glory of it lies in that which caused it, and that which ensued thereon; for in them lay the highest effects and manifestations of divine love, goodness, wisdom, power, and holiness, Romans 3:24-26. And this is plainly revealed in the gospel, if any thing be so. I fear, therefore, that this curious speculation, that is thus destitute of any scriptural testimony, is but a pretense of being wise above what is written, and a prying into things which men have not seen, nor are they revealed unto them. 12. Secondly, This opinion is contradictory to the Scripture, and that in places innumerable. Nothing is more fully and perspicuously revealed in the Scripture than are the causes and ends of the incarnation of Christ; for whereas it is the great theater of the glory of God, the foundation of all that obedience which we yield unto him, and of all our expectation of blessedness with him, and being a thing in itself deep and mysterious, it was necessary that it should be so revealed and declared. It were endless to call over all the testimonies which might be produced to this purpose; some few only shall be instanced in. First, therefore, On the part of the Father, the sending of the Son to be incarnate is constantly ascribed unto his love to mankind, that they might be saved from sin and misery, with a supposition of the ultimate end, or his own glory thereby: John 3:16, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Romans 3:25, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation.” Chap. 5:8, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ, died for us.” Chap. 8:3, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” 1 John 4:9; Galatians 4:4,5. Secondly, On the part of the Son himself, the same causes, the same ends of his taking flesh, are constantly assigned: Luke 19:10, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” 1 Tim. 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Hebrews 2:14, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Galatians 2:20; John 18:37, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth,” — namely, of the promises of God made unto the fathers concerning his coming; Romans 15:8. See Philippians 2:6-11. And all this is said in pursuit and explication of the first promise concerning him, the sum whereof was, that he should be manifested in the flesh to “destroy the works of the devil,” as it is expounded 1 John 3:8. This the whole Scripture constantly and uniformly giveth testimony unto, this is the design and scope of it, the main of what it intends to instruct us in; the contrary whereunto, like the fancying of other worlds, or living wights in the moon or stars, dissolves the whole harmony of it, and frustrates its principal design, and therefore is more carefully to be avoided than what riseth up in contradiction unto some few testimonies of it. I say, that to ascribe unto God a will or purpose of sending his Son to be incarnate, without respect unto the redemption and salvation of sinners, is to contradict and enervate the whole design of the revelation of God in the Scripture; as also, it riseth up in direct opposition unto particular testimonies without number. Origen observed this, Hom. xxiv. in Numer.: “Si non fuisset peccatum, non necesse fuerat Filium Dei agnum fieri; sod mansisset hoc quod in principio erat, Deus Verbum.

    Verum quoniam introiit peccatum in hunc mundum, peccati autem necessitas propitiationem requirit, propitiatio vero non sit nisi per hostiam, necessarium fuit provideri hostiam pro peccato;” — “ If sin had not been, there would have been no necessity that the Son of God should be made a lamb; but he had remained what he was in the beginning, God the Word. But seeing that sin entered into the world, and stood in need of a propitiation, which could not be but by a sacrifice, it was necessary that a sacrifice for sin should be provided.” So Austin, Serm. 8 de Verbis Apostoli, tom. x., “Quare venit in mundum peccatores salvos facere. Alia causa non fuit quare veniret in mundum.” 13. Thirdly, This opinion is destitute of spiritual reason, yea, is contrary unto it. The design of God to glorify himself in the creation and the law or covenant of it, and his design of the same end in a way of grace, are distinct; yea, they are so distinct as, with reference unto the same persons and times, to be inconsistent. This our apostle manifests in the instance of justification and salvation by works and grace: “If it be by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work,” Romans 11:6.

    It is impossible that the same man should be justified by works and grace too. Wherefore God, in infinite wisdom, brought the first design, and all the effects of it, into a subordination unto the later; and so he decreed to do from eternity. There being, by the entrance of sin, an aberration in the whole creation from that proper end whereunto it was suited at first, it pleased God to reduce the whole into a subserviency unto the design of his wisdom and holiness in a way of grace; for his purpose was to reconcile and gather all things into a new head in his Son, Jesus Christ, Ephesians 1:10; Hebrews 1:3, 2:7, 8. Now, according to this opinion, the incarnation of the Son of God belonged originally unto the law of creation, and the design of the glory of God therein. And if this were so, it must, with the whole old creation and all that belonged thereunto, be brought into a subordination and subserviency unto the succedaneous design of the wisdom of God to glorify himself in a way of grace. But this is not so, seeing itself is the fundamental and principal part of that design. “Known,” indeed, “unto God are all his works from the beginning.”

    Therefore, this great projection of the incarnation of his Son lying in the counsel of his will from eternity, he did, in wisdom infinite and holy, order all the concernments of the creation so as they might be disposed into an orderly subjection unto his Son incarnate. So that although I deny that any thing was then instituted as a type to represent him, — because his coming into the world in our flesh belonged not unto that estate, — yet I grant things to have been so ordered as that, in the retrieval of all into a new frame by Jesus Christ, there were many things in the works of God in the old creation that were natural types, or things meet to represent much of this unto us. So Christ himself is called the “second Adam,” and compared to the “tree of life,” whereof we have discoursed in our exposition on the first chapter. 14. Let us, therefore, now consider the arguments or reasons in particular which they plead who maintain this assertion. The principal of them were invented and made use of by some of the ancient schoolmen; and others have since given some improvement unto their conceptions, and added some of their own. Those of the first sort are collected by Thomas,3 p. q. l, a. 3, as traduced from the Pelagians. I shall examine them as by him proposed, omitting his answers, which I judge insufficient in many instances.

    His first argument, the substance whereof I have lately heard pleaded with some vehemency, is as follows: — “ It belonged unto omnipotent power and infinite wisdom to make all his works perfect, and to manifest himself by an infinite effect. But no mere creature can be said to be such infinite effect, because its essence is finite and limited. But in the work of the incarnation of the Son of God alone, an infinite effect of divine power seems to be manifested, as thereby things infinitely distant are conjoined, God being made man. And herein the universality of things seems to receive its perfection, inasmuch as the last creature, or man, is immediately conjoined unto the First Principle, or God.”

    Answer. This argument hath little more in it than curiosity and sophistry; for, — (1.) That God made all his works “good,” that is, perfect in their kind, before the incarnation, we have his own testimony. He saw and pronounced of the whole that it was daom\ bwOf , “valde bonum,” — every way good and complete. It was so in itself, without the addition of that work which is fancied necessary unto its perfection. (2.) It is merely supposed that it was necessary that divine omnipotency should be expressed unto the utmost of its perfection. It was enough that it was manifested and declared in the creation of all things out of nothing. (3.) It is not possible that any effect in itself infinite should be produced by the power of God: for then would there be two infinites, — the producing and the produced; and consequently two Gods, — the making God and the made: for that which is in itself absolutely infinite is God, and what is produced is not infinite. Wherefore the work of the incarnation was not of itself an infinite effect, although it was an effect of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; and so also was the work of the first creation. And although they are all in themselves finite and limited, yet are they the effects of, and do abundantly declare, the infinite power and wisdom whence they were educed, Romans 1:19,20. (4.) The perfection of the universe, or universality of beings, is to be regulated by their state, condition, and end. And this they had in their first creation, without any respect unto the incarnation of the Son of God; for the perfection of all things consisted in their relation unto God, according to the law and order of their creation, and their mutual regard unto one another, with respect unto the utmost end, or the manifestation of his glory. And also, their perfection consisted in their subserviency unto the bringing of that creature to the enjoyment of God in blessedness for ever which was capable of it. And herein consisted the conjunction of the last creature unto the First Principle, when, by the documents and helps of them that were made before, he was brought unto the enjoyment of God; for, — (5.) That the conjunction of the last creature unto the First Principle, by way of personal union, was necessary unto the good of the universe, is a fancy that every one may embrace and every one reject at pleasure. But it may be justly conceived that it was more suitable unto order that the conjunction mentioned should have been between God and the first creature, namely, the angels; and reasons would have been pleaded for that order had it so come to pass. But the Son of God took not on him their nature, because he designed not to deliver them from sin, Hebrews 2:16,17. 15. Secondly, It is further pleaded, “That human nature is not become more capacious of grace by sin than it was before; but now, after the entrance of sin, it is capable of the grace of union, which is the greatest grace. Wherefore, if man had not sinned human nature had been capable of this grace, neither would God have withheld any good from human nature whereof it was capable: therefore if man had not sinned God had been incarnate.” Ans. (1.) Place angelical nature in the argument, as to that part of it which pleads that it must have all the grace which it is capable of, instead of human nature, and the event will show what force there is in this ratiocination; for angelical nature was capable of the grace of union, and God would not, it is said, withhold any thing from it whereof it was capable. But why, then, is it otherwise come to pass? (2.) It must be granted (though, indeed, this argument is not much concerned therein one way or other) that human nature is both capable of more grace, and actually made partaker of more, after the fall, than it was capable of, or did receive before; for it is capable of mercy, pardon, reconciliation with God, sanctification by the Holy Ghost, all which are graces, or gracious effects of the love and goodness of God; and these things in the state of innocency man was not capable of. Besides, there is no difference in this matter; for the individual nature actually assumed into union was and was considered as pure as in its first original and creation. (3.) The ground of this reason lies in a pretense, that whatever any creature was capable of, not in, by, or from itself, but by the power of God, that God was obliged to do in it and for it. And this is plainly to say that God did not communicate of his goodness and of his power unto the creatures according to the counsel of his will, but, producing them by the unavoidable destiny of some eternal state, he acted naturally and necessarily, “ad ultimum virium,” in their production. But this is contrary to the nature and being of God, with all the properties thereof. Wherefore, the creation is capable, in every state, of what God pleaseth, and no more.

    Its capacity is to be regulated by the will of God; and no more belonged unto its capacity in the state of nature than God had assigned unto it by the law of creation. (4.) It is a presumptuous imagination, to talk of the grace of union being due unto our nature in any condition. Why is it not so unto the nature of angels? or did our nature originally excel theirs? Besides, the Scripture everywhere expressly assigns it as an effect of free love, grace, and bounty, John 3:16; 1 John 4:9,10. (5.) That there should be an advance made both of the glory of God and the good of the creature itself by the entrance of sin, is an effect of infinite wisdom and grace. Nor did God permit the entrance of sin but with a design to bring about a glory greater and more excellent than the antecedent order of things was capable of. The state of grace exceeded the state of nature. In brief, God permitted that greatest evil, the fall of man, to make way for the introduction of the greatest good, in our restoration by the incarnation and mediation of his Son. 16. Thirdly, It is also pleaded, “That the mystery of the incarnation was revealed unto Adam in the state of innocency; for upon the bringing of Eve unto him, he said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.’

    But ‘this,’ saith the apostle, ‘is a great mystery;’ but he speaks it ‘concerning Christ and the church,’ Ephesians 5:32. But man could not foresee or foreknow his own fall; no more than the angels could theirs; it follows, therefore, that he considered the incarnation as it should have been had the state of innocency continued.” Ans. (1.) It seems to be supposed in this argument that there was indeed a revelation made unto Adam, Genesis 2:23, of the incarnation of Christ; so that nothing remains to be proved but that he did not foreknow his fall, whence it would ensue that the pretended revelation belonged unto the state of innocency. But, indeed, there is no intimation of any such revelation; for, — (2.) I have manifested elsewhere how God, in his infinite wisdom, ordered the things of the first creation so as they might be laid in a subserviency, in a way of representation, unto the new creation, or the renovation of all things by Jesus Christ; that is, he so made them as that they might be natural types of what he would do afterwards. This doth not prove that they were designed to make any revelation of Christ and his grace, or prefigure them, but only were meet to be brought into an useful subordination unto them, so that from them instructive allusions might be taken. Thus was it in the first marriage in the law of creation. It had no other nature, use, nor end, but to be the bond of individual society of two persons, male and female, for the procreation and education of children, with all mutual assistances unto human life and conversation. And the making of woman out of the man, “bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh,” was intended only for the laying that society, whose intimacy was to be unparalleled, in a singular foundation. But both these things were so ordered, in the wisdom of God, as that they might represent another union, in a state that God would bring in afterwards, namely, of Christ and his church. What Adam spake concerning the natural condition and relation of himself and Eve, that our apostle speaks concerning the spiritual and supernatural condition and relation of Christ and the church, because of some resemblance between them. Aquinas himself determines this whole matter, with an assertion which would have been to his own advantage to have attended unto upon other occasions. Saith he, “Ea quae ex sola Dei voluntate proveniunt supra omne debitum creaturae, nobis innotescere non possunt, nisi quatenus in sacra Scriptura traduntur, per quam divina voluntas innotescit. Unde cum in sacra Scriptura ubique incarnationis ratio ex peccato primi hominis assignetur, convenientius dicitur incarnationis opus ordinatum esse a Deo in commodum contra peccatum, quod peccato non existente incarnatio non fuisset.” 17. There is yet another argument mentioned by Aquinas, and much improved by the modem Scotists, insisted on also by some divines of our own, which deserves a somewhat fuller consideration; and this is taken from the predestination of the man Christ Jesus. This the schoolmen consider on that of our apostle, Romans 1:4, “Concerning Jesus Christ, oJrisqe>ntov UiJou~ Qeou~ ejn duna>mei :” which the Vulgate renders, “Qui praedestinatus est Filius Dei in virtute;” — “ Predestinate the Son of God with power,” as our Rhemists. But oJrisqe>ntov there is no more than ajpodedeicqe>ntov , “manifested, declared,” as it is well rendered by ours.

    Nor can expositors fix any tolerable sense to their “predestinate” in this place. But the thing itself is true. The Lord Christ was predestinated or preordained before the world was. We were “redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, proegnwsme>nou pro< katazolh~v ko>smou ,” 1 Peter 1:20, — “foreordained” (“predestinated’’) “before the foundation of the world.” Now, it is pleaded that “this predestination of Christ unto the grace of union and glory was the first of God’s purposes and decrees in order of nature, and antecedent unto the predestination of the elect, at least as it should comprise in it a purpose of deliverance from the fall. For God first designed to glorify himself in the assumption of human nature, before he decreed to save the elect by that nature so assumed; for we are said to be ‘chosen it him,’ that is, as our head, Ephesians 1:4, whence it necessarily ensues that he was chosen before us, and so without respect unto us. So in all things was he to have the preeminence, Colossians 1:19; and thence it is that we are ‘predestinated to be conformed to his image,’ Romans 8:29. This preordination, therefore, of the Lord Christ, which was unto grace, and glory, was antecedent unto the permission of the fall of man; so that he should have been incarnate had that never fallen out.”

    These things are by some at large deduced and explained, but this is the sum of what is pleaded in the pursuit of this argument, which shall be as briefly examined as the nature of the matter itself will permit.

    The order of the divine eternal decrees, as to their priority one unto another in order of nature and reason, so as not the decrees themselves, which are all absolutely free and irrespective, but the things decreed, should be one for another, hath been at large discoursed of and discussed by many. But there are yet not a few who suppose those very discourses on all hands to have more of nicety and curious subtilty than of solid truth unto edification. And because this is a matter wherein the Scripture is utterly silent, though one opinion may be more agreeable to sound reason than another, yet none is built upon such certain foundations as to become a matter of faith, or the principle of any thing that is so. That which explains this order most conveniently and suitably unto divine wisdom, will, and sovereignty, and which best answers the common apprehensions of rational natures and the rules of their actings, is to be preferred before any opinion that includes what is opposite unto or alien from any of these things, which that order hath respect unto. From any such order in the decrees of God no advantage can be drawn unto the opinion under consideration; but if men may be allowed to suppose what they will, they may easily infer thereon what they please. Let us, therefore, take a view of the several series of divine decrees, which have been confirmed with a considerable suffrage of learned men, setting aside particular conjectures, which never received entertainment beyond the minds of their authors.

    And these may be reduced unto three: – All agree that the glory of God is the utmost and supreme end that he intendeth in all his decrees. Although they are free acts of his will and wisdom, yet, on the supposition of them, it is absolutely necessary, from the perfection of his being, that he himself or his glory be their utmost end.

    His absolute all-sufficiency will not allow that he can in them have any other end. Accordingly, in pursuit of them he makes all for himself, Proverbs 16:4; and they serve to declare and make known the perfection of his nature, Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:19,20. And it is his glory, in the way of justice and mercy, which he ultimately intends in his decrees concerning the salvation of man by Jesus Christ. Whereas many things are ordered by him in a subserviency hereunto, the decrees of God concerning them are conceived by some in that order which answers the order of their accomplishment; — as, first, they say, God decreed to make the world, and man therein upright in his image; secondly, to permit the fall and the consequents thereof, man being to that end left unto the liberty of his will; thirdly, he designed to send his Son to be incarnate, for the work of their redemption; fourthly, he decreed to give eternal life unto as many as should believe on him and obey him; and, lastly, he determined to bestow effectual grace on some persons in particular, to work faith and obedience in them infallibly, and thereby to bring them unto glory, unto the praise of his grace and mercy. According unto this order of God’s decrees, it is plain that in the order of nature the predestination of Christ is antecedent unto the election of other particular or individual persons, but withal that it is consequential unto the decree concerning the permission of the fall of Adam; and, accordingly, his incarnation doth suppose it; which is inconsistent with the opinion under examination.

    Others take a contrary course, and, by a misapplication of a common rule, that what is first in intention must be last in execution, they suppose the order of God’s decrees, being his intentions or purposes, to be best conceived in a direct retrogradation unto the order of their execution.

    Supposing, therefore, the decree of glorifying himself in the way before mentioned, they judge God’s first decree in order of nature to be for the eternal salvation and glory of some certain persons, who axe actually at last brought thereunto; for this being the last thing executed must be first intended. Secondly, In subserviency hereunto, he purposeth to give them grace, and faith, and obedience thereby, as the way to bring them unto the possession of glory. Thirdly, Unto these purposes of God they make the decrees concerning the creation and permission of the fall of man, with the incarnation and mediation of Christ, to be subservient, some in one method, some in another. But that all their conceptions must have an inconsistency with the predestination of Christ unto his incarnation antecedent unto a respect unto sin and grace, is plain and evident.

    But whereas both these ways are exposed unto insuperable objections and difficulties, some have fixed on another method for the right conception of the order of God’s eternal decrees in these things, which hath a consistency in itself, and may be fairly brought off from all opposition, — which is the utmost that with sobriety can be aimed at in these things, — namely, that nothing be ascribed unto God in the least unsuited unto the infinite perfections of his nature, nor any thing proposed unto the minds of men inconsistent with the general principles and rules of reason. And those lay down the general rule before mentioned, namely, that what is first in intention is last in execution. But, secondly, they say withal, that this rule concerns only such things as in their own nature, and in the will of him that designs them, have the relation of end and means unto one another; for it hath no place among such things as are not capable of that relation. And, moreover, it is required that this end be ultimate and supreme, and not subordinate, which hath also the nature of the means.

    The meaning of it, therefore, is no more but that in all rational purposes there are two things considered, — first, the end aimed at, and then the means of its effecting or accomplishment; and that in order of nature, the end, which is the last thing effected, is the first designed, and then the means for it; which things are true, and obvious unto the understanding of all men. According unto this rule, they ascribe unto God but two decrees that have any order of priority between them. The first is concerning his end, which is first intended and last executed; the other concerning all those means which, being in the second place intended for the production of the end, are first accomplished and wrought. The first of these, which is the supreme end of all the dispensations of God towards the things that outwardly are of him, is his own glory, or the declaration of himself in a way of justice and mercy, mixed with infinite wisdom and goodness, as he is the first Being, sovereign Lord and Ruler over all. The second decree, of things subordinate and subservient hereunto, consisteth in an intention concerning all intermediate acts of divine wisdom, power, and goodness, which tend unto the production of this ultimate end. Such are the creation, the permission of the fall, the pre-ordination of Christ, and others in him, unto grace and glory, by the way and means thereunto appointed. Now, although these things are evidently subordinate and subservient unto one another, and although there may be apprehended singular decrees concerning them, yet because none of them do lie in the order of the means and ultimate end, there is no priority of one decree before another to be allowed therein; only a decree is supposed of disposing them in their execution, or the things executed, into that order, both in nature and time, as may constitute them all one suitable means of attaining the supreme end intended. Now, it is evident that, according unto this order, there cannot be a priority in the pre-ordination of Christ unto the decree of the permission of the fall and entrance of sin.

    It is true, indeed, Christ was pre-ordained, or [rather] the Son of God was so, to be incarnate before the foundation of the world, 1 Peter 1:20. But how? Even as he was “manifested in these last times.” As he was preordained to be incarnate, so he was to be so of the blessed Virgin: and this neither was nor could be but with respect unto the redemption of mankind; for he took flesh of her in answer to the first promise concerning the seed of the woman, which respected our recovery from sin. As he was born or made of her, he was the Lamb of God that was to take away the sin of the world. Besides, he was not ordained unto the grace of union before and without the consideration of glory and exaltation. But this included a supposition of his suffering for sin; for he was first to “suffer,” and then to “enter into his glory,” Luke 24:26. Accordingly, he ordered his own prayer, John 17:4,5, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self.”

    To fancy a pre-ordination of the Son of God unto incarnation not of the blessed Virgin after the entrance of sin, not as the Lamb of God, not as one to be exalted after suffering, is that which neither Scripture nor reason will admit of. It is said, indeed, that we are “predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ,” Romans 8:29, which seems to imply an antecedency in his predestination unto ours; but “the image of Christ” there intended includes his suffering, holiness, and exaltation unto glory on his obedience, all which have respect unto sin and redemption. And, moreover, the predestination here intended is subordinate unto our election unto glory, being our designation unto the assured and infallible means thereof, Ephesians 1:4,5. It is true, it was the design of God that he “in all things should have the pre-eminence,” Colossians 1:18; which, as it denotes excellency, worth, use, dignity, supremacy, nearness unto God for the receiving, and unto us for the communicating, of all good, so no respect therein is had unto such a pre-ordination as should imply his incarnation without an intention of glorifying God in the redemption of sinners thereby, which alone we have undertaken to disprove. 18. The arguments of Osiander in this case have been discussed by others, Calvin. Institut. lib. ii. cap. xii. sect. 4, etc.; Wigandus de Osiandrismo, p. 23; Tarnovius, in cap. iii. in Evang. S. Johan. I shall only touch so far upon them as is necessary unto our present design, and that in such instances wherein they have no coincidence with what hath been already discussed.

    And some few things may be premised, which will take away the suppositions on which all his reasonings were founded; as, – (1.) The Son was the essential and eternal image of the Father antecedent unto all consideration of his incarnation. He is in his divine person “the image of the invisible God,” Colossians 1:15; “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,” Hebrews 1:3: for having his essence and subsistence from the Father by eternal generation, or the communication of the whole divine nature and all its infinite perfections, he is the perfect and essential representation of him. (2.) The order of operation in the blessed Trinity, as unto outward works, answereth unto and followeth the order of their subsistence. Hence the Son is considered as the next and immediate operator of them. Thus, as he is said to have made all things, John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, so the Father is said to make all things by him, Ephesians 3:9; not as an inferior, subordinate, instrumental cause, but as acting his wisdom and power in him, to whom they were communicated by eternal generation.

    Hence, the immediate relation of all things so made is unto him; and by and in his person is God even the Father immediately represented unto them, as he is his image, and as the brightness of his glory shines forth in him.

    Hereon follows his rejoicing in the creation, and his delights in the sons of men, Proverbs 8:30,31, because of their immediate relation unto him. (3.) Therefore should he have been the immediate head and ruler of angels and men, had they all persisted in their original integrity and innocency, Colossians 1:16; for the representation of God unto them, as the cause and end of their being, the object and end of their worship and service, should have been in and by his person, as the image of the Father, and by and through him they should have received all the communications of God unto them. He should have been their immediate head, lord, and king, or the divine nature in his person; for this the order of subsistence in the blessed Trinity, and the order of operation thereon depending, did require.

    These things being premised, it will not be difficult to remove out of our way the reasons of Osiander for the incarnation of Christ without a supposition of sin and grace; which we would not engage in, after they have been so long ago put into oblivion, but that they axe by some revived, and the consideration of them will give occasion unto the clearing of some truths not of small importance. 19. First, His principal plea was taken from the “image of God” wherein man was created: “For this,” he saith, “was that human nature, consisting of soul and body, in the outward shape, lineaments, and proportion, which it hath in our persons, which the Son of God was to take upon him. God having ordained that his Son should take human nature, he created Adam in a conformity unto the idea or image thereof.”

    Ans. This, doubtless, is a better course for the unfolding of our creation in the image of God than that of the old Anthropomorphites, who, in the exposition of this expression, made God in the image of man; but yet is it not therefore according unto the truth. The image of God in man was in general those excellencies of his nature wherein he excelled all other creatures here below. In especial, it was that uprightness and rectitude of his soul and all its faculties, as one common principle of moral operations, whereby he was enabled to live unto God as his chiefest good and utmost end, Ecclesiastes 7:29. This by our apostle is termed “righteousness and true holiness,” where he treats of the renovation of it in us by Jesus Christ, Ephesians 4:24; whereunto he adds that which is the principle of them both, in the renovation of our minds, Colossians 3:10. Nor doth this image of God consist, as some fancy, in moral duties, in distinction from and opposition unto any other effect of the grace of Christ in the hearts of men, which acts itself in any duty according to the will of God. “To pray, to hear the word, to celebrate religious worship,” they say, “is no part of the image of God; because God doth none of these things, and an image must always correspond unto the thing it represents.” But our likeness unto God doth not consist in doing what God doth, neither is his image in us in any thing more express than in our universal dependence on him and resignation of ourselves unto him, which is a thing the divine nature is incapable of; and when we are commanded to be holy as he is holy, it is not a specificative similitude, but analogical only, that is intended. Wherefore, as the image of God consists in no outward actions of any kind whatever, so the internal grace that is acted in prayer, hearing, and other acts of sacred worship, according to the will of God, doth no less belong unto the image of God than any other grace, or duty, or virtue whatever. In like manner faith doth so also, and that not only as it is an intellectual perfection, but with respect unto all its operations and effects, as the Lord Christ himself and the promises of the gospel are in their several considerations the objects of it: for as in our first creation the image of God consisted in the concreated rectitude of our nature, whereby we were disposed and enabled to live unto God according to the law of our creation, — wherein there was a great representation of His righteousness, or universal, absolute rectitude of his nature, by whom we were made, – so whatever is communicated unto us by the grace of Jesus Christ, whereby our nature is repaired, disposed, and enabled to live unto God, with all acts and duties suitable thereunto, according to the present law of our obedience, belongs to the restoration of the image of God in us; but yet with special respect unto that spiritual light, understanding, or knowledge, which is the directive principle of the whole, for “the new man is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him,” Colossians 3:10.

    This, therefore, being the image of God, it is evident that in the creation of man therein there was no respect unto the human nature of Christ, which, as the Son of God, he afterwards assumed. Only, it is granted that we are both formed and re-formed immediately in his image; for as he was and is, in his divine person, the express image of the Father, the divine qualifications wherein the image of God originally consisted in us were immediately wrought in us by him, as those wherein he would represent his own perfection. And in the restoration of this image unto us, as God implanted in him incarnate all fullness of that grace wherein it doth consist, who therein absolutely represents the invisible God unto us, so we are transformed immediately into his likeness and image, and unto that of God by him, 2 Corinthians 3:18. 20. It is further pleaded, “That if the Son of God should not have been incarnate if Adam had not sinned, then Adam was not made in the image of Christ, but Christ was made in the image of Adam.”

    Ans. How Adam was made in the image of the Son of God hath been declared, — namely, as to the principles of his nature, and their rectitude with respect unto the condition wherein and the end for which he was made; in which there was a representation of his righteousness and holiness. And in some sense Christ may be said to be made in the image of Adam, inasmuch as he was “made flesh,” or partaker of the same nature with him: “Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same,” Hebrews 2:14. “He took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men,” Philippians 2:7.

    And this he was of God designed unto, even to take on himself that nature wherein Adam was created, and wherein he sinned. He was to be made like unto us in all things, sin only excepted, Hebrews 4:15. Whence, in his genealogy after the flesh, he is reduced by Luke unto the first Adam, chap. 3:38; and he is called not the first, or the exemplar of the creation of men, but the second Adam, 1 Corinthians 15:47, being to recover and restore what was lost by the first. Wherefore, in respect of the substance and essence of human nature, Christ was made in the image of Adam; but in respect of the endowments and holy perfections of that nature, he was made in the image of God. 21. Moreover, it is objected, “That the incarnation of Christ was a thing decreed for itself, and as to its futurition depended only on the immutable counsel of God; but this supposition, that it had respect unto the fall of man and his recovery, makes it to depend on an external accident, which, as to the nature of the thing itself, might not have been.”

    Ans. The resolution hereof depends much on what hath been before discoursed concerning the order of the divine decrees, which need not to be here repeated. Only, we may remember that the foresight of the fall, and the decree of the permission of it, cannot with any reason be supposed to be consequential to the decree concerning the incarnation of the Son of God: for the reparation of man is everywhere in the Scripture declared to be the end of Christ’s taking flesh; for “when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them who were under the law,” Galatians 4:4,5.

    Neither can his incarnation be properly said either to be “for itself” on the one side, or by “accident” on the other; for it was decreed and foreordained for the glory of God. And the way whereby God intended to glorify himself therein was in our redemption, which, in his infinite love to mankind, was the moving cause thereof, John 3:16. Of the same importance is it, “That if the Son of God had not been incarnate, neither angels nor men could have had their proper head and king;” for, as we have premised, the Son of God should have been the immediate head of the whole creation, ruling every thing in its subordination unto God, suitably unto its own nature, state, and condition. For as he was “the image of the invisible God,” so he was “the first-born of every creature,” Colossians 1:15; that is, the Lord, ruler, and inheritor of them, as we have at large elsewhere declared. 22. It is pleaded in the last place, “That had men continued in their integrity, there should have been a season when they were to be changed and translated into heaven. Now, this being to be done by the Son of God, it was necessary that he should be incarnate for that purpose.” And so far is this consideration urged by Osiander. But this is carried on by the Socinians, and improved on another supposition of their own. Vid. Smal.

    Refut. Thes. Franzii Disput. xii. p. 429.

    Man, they tell us, was created absolutely mortal, and should have actually died, although he had never sinned. That he might be raised again from the dead, God would have sent a Messiah, or one that should have been the means, example, and instrumental cause of our resurrection.

    Ans . All persons of sobriety will acknowledge that there is nothing in these reasonings but groundless curiosities and vain speculations, countenanced with false suppositions; for as God alone knows what would have been the eternal condition of Adam had he persisted in the covenant of his nature, so whatever change was to be wrought concerning him as the reward of his obedience, God could have effected it by his infinite wisdom and power, without any such instrumental cause as these men imagine. “Secret things belong unto the LORD our God ;” nor are we to be “wise above what is written.” The Socinians’ superfetation, that man should have died naturally, though not penally, is a figment of their own, that hath been elsewhere discussed, and is very unmeet to be laid as the foundation of new assertions that cannot otherwise be proved.

    From what hath been discoursed it appears that there was no revelation of the incarnation of the Son of God in the state of innocency; neither did it belong unto that state, but was designed in order unto his priesthood, which could therein have no place nor use. 23. Our next inquiry is concerning sacrifices, and whether they were to have had either place or use in the state of innocency. This being determined, way will be made for the fixing of the original of the priesthood of Christ, whereof we are in the investigation, upon its right foundation. And this inquiry is made necessary unto us by some of the Roman church, particularly Bellarmine and Gregory de Valentia, They have not, indeed, fixed any special controversy in this inquiry, whether there should have been any sacrifices in the state of innocency; but, in an attempt to serve a principal concern of their own, they assert and contend for that which determines the necessity of sacrifices in that state and condition of things between God and men; for they plead in general, “That there neither is, nor ever was in the world, nor can be, any religion without a true and real sacrifice.” Their design herein is only to hedge in the necessity of their sacrifice of the mass; for on this supposition it must be esteemed to be of the very essence of Christian religion, which some, on the contrary, judge to be overthrown thereby. Now, it is certain that there was and should have been religion in the state of innocency, continued if that state had continued; yea, therein all religion and religious worship were founded, being inlaid in our nature, and requisite unto our condition in this world, with respect unto the end for which we were made. Herein, therefore, on this supposition, sacrifices were necessary, which Bellarmine includes in that “syllogism,” as he calls it, whereby he attempts the proof of the necessity of his missatical sacrifice in the church of Christ, De Missa, lib. i. cap. 20: “Tanta,” saith he, “conjunctio est inter legem seu religionem et sacrificium, externum ac proprie dictum, ut omnino necesse est aut legem et religionem vere et proprie in Christi ecclesia non reperiri, aut sacrificium quoque externum et proprie dictum in Christi ecclesia reperiri. Nullum autem est si missam tollas. Est igitur missa sacrificium externum proprie dictum ;” — “There is such a conjunction between the law or religion and a sacrifice, external and properly so called, that it is altogether necessary either that there is no law or religion truly and properly to be found in the church of Christ, or there is a sacrifice, external and properly so called, to be found therein; but take away the mass, and there is none: wherefore the mass is an external sacrifice, properly so called.” 24. The invalidity of this argument unto his especial purpose may easily be laid open; for setting aside all consideration of his mass, Christian religion hath not only in it a proper sacrifice, but that alone and single sacrifice with respect whereunto any services of men in the worship of the church formerly were so called, and whereby they were animated and rendered useful. For all the sacrifices of the law were but obscure representations of, nor had any other end or use but to prefigure, that sacrifice which we enjoy in Christian religion, and to exhibit the benefits thereof unto the worshippers. This is the sacrifice of Christ himself, which was external, visible, proper, yea, the only true, real, substantial sacrifice, and that offered once for all. And it is merely ejx ajmetri>av ajnqolkh>v, or an immeasurable concern in a corrupt imagination, which carried Bellarmine to put in his frivolous and captious exception unto the sufficiency of this sacrifice in and unto Christian religion; — for he pretends and pleads that “this sacrifice did not belong to the Christian church, which was founded in the resurrection of Christ, before which Christ had offered himself;” as also, that “this sacrifice was but once offered,” and now ceaseth so to be, so that if we have no other sacrifice but this, we have none at all: for notwithstanding these bold and sophistical exceptions, our apostle sufficiently instructs us that we have yet an high priest, and an altar , and a sacrifice and the blood of sprinkling , all in heavenly things and places. And, on purpose to prevent this cavil about the ceasing of this sacrifice as to be offered again, he tells us that it is always zw~sa kai< pro>sfatov , — “living and new-slain.” And, beyond all contradiction, he determined either this one sacrifice of Christ to be insufficient, or that of the mass to be useless; for he shows that where any sacrifices will make perfect them that come to God by them, there no more will be offered. And it is an undoubted evidence that no sacrifice hath obtained its end perfectly, so as to making reconciliation for sin, where any other sacrifice, properly so called, doth come after it. Nor doth he prove the insufficiency of the Aaronical sacrifices unto this purpose by any other argument but that they were often offered from year to year, and that another was to succeed in their room when they were over, Hebrews 10:1-5; and this, upon the supposition of the Romanists, and the necessity of their missatical sacrifice, falls as heavily on the sacrifice of Christ as on those of the law. It is apparent, therefore, that they must either let go the sacrifice of Christ as insufficient, or that of their mass as useless, for they can have no consistency in the same religion. Wherefore they leave out the sacrifice of Christ, as that which was offered before the church was founded. But the truth is, the church was founded therein. And I desire to know of these men whether it be the outward act of sacrificing or the efficacy of a sacrifice that is so necessary unto all religion? If it be the outward act that is of such use and necessity, how great was the privilege of the church of the Jews above that of the Romanists! for whereas these pretend but unto one sacrifice, and that one so dark, obscure, and unintelligible, that the principal mu>stai and ejpo>ptai of their “sacra” cannot possibly agree amongst themselves what it is, nor wherein it doth consist, they had many plain, express, visible sacrifices, which the whole church looked on and consented in. But this whole pretense is vain.

    Nor is any thing of the least account or worth in religion but upon the account of its efficacy unto its end. And that we have with us the continual efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ in all our religious worship and approaches unto God, the Scripture is full and express. But these things are not of our present concernment; the consideration of them will elsewhere occur. 25. As unto our present purpose, I deny the major proposition of Bellarmine’s syllogism, if taken absolutely and universally, as it must be if any way serviceable unto his end. This, therefore, he proves. “Propositio,” saith he, “prima probatur primo ex eo quod fere omnis religio, seu vera seu falsa, omni loco et tempore, semper ad cultum Dei sacrificia adhibuerit; hinc enim colligitur, id prodire ex lumine et instinctu naturae, et esse primum quoddam principium a Deo nobis ingenitum;” — “It is proved from hence, that almost all religion, whether true or false, in all places and times, hath made use of sacrifices in the worship of God; for hence it is gathered that this proceeds from the light and instinct of nature, being a certain principle inbred in us from God himself.” And hereon he proceeds to confute Chemnitius, who assigned the original of sacrificing among the heathen unto an instinct of corrupt nature, which is the root of all superstition. I shall not now inquire expressly into the original of all sacrifices; it must be done elsewhere. We here only discourse concerning those that are properly so called, and not only so, but propitiatory also; for such he contendeth his mass to be. It is, indeed, suitable to the light of nature that of what we have left in our possession we should offer unto the service of God, when he hath appointed a way for us so to do; but it is denied that in the state of innocency he had appointed that to be by the way of sacrificing sensible things. All eucharistical offerings should then have been moral and spiritual, in pure acts of the mind and its devotion in them. Sacrifices of or for atonement were first instituted, and other offerings had their name from thence, by reason of some kind of analogy. And so far as thank-offerings were materially the same with them that were propitiatory, in the death and blood of any creature, they had in them the nature of a propitiation also.

    That these were instituted after the fall I have elsewhere sufficiently proved. Being therefore at first enjoined unto all mankind in general, as tokens of the recovery promised, they were retained and perpetuated amongst all sorts of men, even when they had lost all notion and remembrance of the promise whereunto they were originally annexed; for they had a double advantage for the perpetuating themselves: — First, A suitableness unto the general principle of giving an acknowledgment unto God, in a returnal of a portion of that all which comes from him. Secondly, They had a compliance with the accusation of conscience for sin, by an endeavor to transfer the guilt of it unto another. But their first original was pure divine and supernatural revelation, and not the light or conduct of nature, nor any such innate principle as Bellarmine imagineth. No such inseparable conjunction as is pretended between sacrifices and religion can hence be proved, seeing they were originally an arbitrary institution, and that after there had been religion in the world. He proceeds, therefore, further to confirm his first proposition: “Sacrificium cum ipsa religione natum est, et cum illa extinguitur; est igitur inter ea conjunctio plane necessaria;” — “Sacrificing was born with religion, and dies with it; there is, therefore, between them a plain necessary conjunction.” So he. This is only a repetition of the proposition in other words; for to say that there is such a conjunction between sacrifices and religion that the one cannot be without the other, and to say they are born and die together, is to say the same thing twice over. He adds, therefore, his proof of the whole: “Nam primi homines qui Deum coluisse leguntur filii Adami fuerunt, Cain et Abel, illi autem sacrificia obtulisse dicuntur,” Genesis 4; whereon he proceeds unto other instances under the Old Testament. Now, it is plain that by this instance he hath overthrown his general assertion; for he excludes from proof the state of innocency, wherein there was unquestionably religion in the world, and that without sacrifices, if Cain and Abel were the first that offered them. He doth, therefore, by his instances neither prove what himself intends, nor touch upon our cause, that there were no sacrifices in the state of innocency, though that state is necessarily included in his general assertion. 26. From what hath been spoken it appears that there was no decree, no counsel of God, concerning either priest or sacrifice, with respect unto the law of creation and the state of innocency. A supposition of the entrance of sin, and what ensued thereon in the curse of the law, lie at the foundation of the designation of the priesthood and sacrifice of Christ. Now, concerning the fall of man, the nature of that sin whereby he fell, the propagation of it unto all mankind, the distress, misery, and ruin of the world thereby, I have at large discoursed in our former Exercitations, prefixed unto the exposition of the first two chapters of this Epistle. I have also in them evinced in general, that it was not the will, purpose, or counsel of God, that all mankind should utterly perish in that condition, as he had determined concerning the angels that sinned, but from the very beginning he gave not only sundry intimations but express testimonies of a contrary design. That, therefore, he would provide a relief for fallen man, that this relief was by the Messiah, whose coming and work he declared in a promise immediately upon the entrance of sin, hath been also demonstrated in those Exercitations. Building on these foundations, and having now removed some objections out of our way, it remains that we proceed to declare the especial original of the priesthood of Christ in the counsel of God, with respect unto the especial manner of deliverance from sin and wrath designed therein.


    THE ORIGINAL OF THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST IN THE COUNSEL OF GOD. 1. The design. 2. The end of God in his works in general; in the creation of man — Personal transactions in the holy Trinity concerning him. 3. Genesis 1:26. 4. Plurality of persons in the holy Deity here first revealed. 5. God speaks not “more regio.” 6. Sentiments of the Jews on the words of this text inquired into and rejected. 7. Objections of Enjedinus unto this testimony examined at large. 8. Personal internal transactions in the holy Trinity with respect to mankind proved. 9. Proverbs 8:22-31 — Corrupt translation of the LXX. — Arian pretences rejected. 10. The Jewish interpretation of this place discussed and rejected — Objections of the Socinians. 11. A divine person intended; proved from the text and context in sundry instances. 12. The application of this scripture to the Son of God vindicated at large from the objections of Enjedinus. 13. Christ, with respect to God the Father, said to be ˆwOma; wOlx]a,; in what sense. 14. The mutual delight and satisfaction of God and Wisdom in each other; what they were, and with respect whereunto, Psalm 40:7,8. 15. The joy and delight of Wisdom with the sons of men had respect to their redemption and salvation. 16. Objections of the Jews and Mohammedans to the testimony given to Christ as the Son of God, Psalm 2:7. 17. The opposition of Enjedinus to the same purpose removed. 18. Eternal transactions between the Father and Son about the redemption of mankind hence confirmed. 1. FROM what hath been discoursed, it is manifest that the counsel of God concerning the priesthood and sacrifice of his Son, to be incarnate for that purpose, had respect unto sin, and the deliverance of the elect from it, with all the consequents thereof; and the same truth hath also been particularly discussed and confirmed in our exposition of the second chapter of this Epistle. That which now lies before us is to inquire more expressly into the nature of the counsels of God in this matter, and their progress in execution. And as in this endeavor we shall carefully avoid all curiosity, or vain attempts to be wise above what is written, so, on the other hand, we shall study with sober diligence to declare and give light unto what is revealed herein, to the end that we should so increase in knowledge as to be established in faith and obedience. To this end are our ensuing discourses designed. 2. God, in the creation of all things, intended to manifest his nature, in its being, existence, and essential properties; and therein to satisfy his wisdom and goodness. Accordingly, we find his expressions of and concerning himself in the work of creation suited to declare these things.

    See Isaiah 40:12-17. Also, that the things themselves that were made had in their nature and order such an impress of divine wisdom, goodness, and power upon them, as made manifest the original cause from whence they did proceed. To this purpose discourseth our apostle, Romans 1:19-21, To< gnwstoPsalm 19:1,2; as do sundry other divine writers also.

    Wherefore the visible works of God, man only excepted, were designed for no other end but to declare in general the nature, being, and existence of God. But in this nature there are three persons distinctly subsisting; and herein consists the most incomprehensible and sublime perfection of the divine being. This, therefore, was designed unto manifestation and glory in the creation of man; for therein God would glorify himself as subsisting in three distinct persons, and himself in each of those persons distinctly.

    This was not designed immediately in other parts of the visible creation, but in this, which was the complement and perfection of them. And therefore the first express mention of a plurality of persons in the divine nature is in the creation of man; and therein also are personal transactions intimated concerning his present and future condition. This, therefore, is that which in the first place we shall evince, namely, “That there were from all eternity personal transactions in the holy Trinity concerning mankind in their temporal and eternal condition, which first manifested themselves in our creation.” 3. The first revelation of the counsels of God concerning the glorifying of himself in the making and disposal of man is declared Genesis 1:26: µY;hæ tgæd]bi WDr]yiw] WnteWmd]Ki Wnmel]xæB] µd;a; hc,[\næ µyhiloa’ rm,aoYwæ “And God said, Let us make man in our image, according unto our likeness, and let them have dominion.” This was the counsel of God concerning the making of µd;a; ; that is, not of that particular individual person who was first created and so called, but of the species or kind of creature which in him he now proceeded to create. For the word Adam is used in this and the next chapter in a threefold sense: — First, For the name of the individual man who was first created. He was called Adam from adamah, “the ground,” from whence he was taken, chap. 2:19-21; a]nqrwpov ejk gh~v , coi`ko>v , 1 Corinthians 15:47, “of the earth, earthy.” Secondly, It is taken indefinitely for the man spoken of, chap. 2:7, µd;a;h;Ata, µyhiloa’ hwO;hy] rx,yYwæ hm;d;a\h;Aˆmi rp;[; ; — “ And the Lord God created man;” not him whose name was Adam, for “He hajediah” [He emphatic] is never prefixed unto any proper name, but the man indefinitely of whom he speaks.

    Thirdly, It denotes the species of mankind. So is it used in this place, for the reddition is in the plural number, “And let them have dominion,” the multitude of individuals being included in the expression of the species.

    Hence it is added, chap. 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them;” which is not spoken with respect unto Eve, who was not then made, but unto the kind or race, wherein both sexes were included. 4. Concerning them God saith, hc,[\næ , “Let US make,” in the plural number; and so are the following expressions of God in the same work:

    Wnmel]xæB] , “In OUR image;” WnteWmd]Ki , “According to OUR likeness.”

    This. is the first time that God so expresseth himself, and the only occasion whereon he doth so in the story of the creation. As unto all other things, we hear no more but µyhila’ rm,aYOwæ , “And God said;” in which word also I will not deny but respect may be had unto the plurality of persons in the divine essence, as the Spirit is expressly mentioned, chap. 1:2. But here the mystery of it is clearly revealed. The Jews constantly affirm that the elders, who translated the Law on the request of Ptolemy king of Egypt, changed or corrupted the text in thirteen places, whereof this was the first; for hc,[\næ , “Let us make,” they rendered by Poih>sw , “I will make,” and not Poih>swmen , in the plural number. And this, they say, they did lest they should give occasion unto the king or others to imagine that their law allowed of any more Gods than one, or on any account departed from the singularity of the divine nature. Whether this were so or no I know not, and have sufficient reason not to be too forward in giving credit unto their testimony, if nothing else be given in evidence of what they affirm; for no footsteps or impressions of any such corruptions remain in any copies or memorials of the translation intended by them which are come down unto us. But this is sufficiently evident, that the reporter of this story apprehended an unanswerable appearance of a plurality of subsistences in the Deity, which they by whom the Trinity is denied, as we shall see immediately, know not what to make of or how to solve. 5. It is an easy way which some have taken, in the exposition this place, to solve the difficulty which appears in it. God, they say, in it speaks “more regio,” “in a kingly manner,” by the plural number. “Mos est,” saith Grotius, “Hebraeorum de Deo, ut de rege loqui; reges res magnas agunt de consilio primorum, I Reg. 12:6, 2 Paral. 10:9; sic et Dens,1 Reg. 22:20;” — “ It is the manner of the Hebrews to speak of God as of a king; and kings do great things on the counsel of the chief about them.” But the question is not about the manner of speaking among the Hebrews (whereof yet no instance can be given unto this purpose of their speaking in the first person, as here), but of the words of God himself concerning himself, and of the reason of the change of the expression constantly used before. God is king of all the world, of the whole creation; and if he had spoken “more regio” therein, he would have done it with respect unto the whole equally, and not signally with respect unto man. Besides, this “mos regius” is a custom of a much later date, and that which then was not, was not alluded unto. And the reason added why this form of speech is used, namely, “because kings do great things on the counsel of their principal attendants,” requires, in the application, that God should consult with some created princes about the creation of man; which is an antiscriptural figment, and shall be immediately disproved. Least of all is any countenance given unto this interpretation from the place alleged, 1 Kings 22:20, — the application whereof unto this purpose is borrowed from Aben Ezra on this place, in his attempt to avoid this testimony given unto the Trinity, — “Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead ?” for as there is nothing spoken in the plural number to parallel this expression, so if that allegorical declaration of God’s providential rule be literally pressed, Satan or a lying spirit must be esteemed to be one of the chiefs with whom he consulted. But “who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being the man of his counsel hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who made him understand ?” Isaiah 40:13,14.

    The ancients unanimously agree that a plurality of persons in the Deity is here revealed and asserted; yea, the council of Sirmium, though dubious, yea, Arianising in their confession of faith, yet denounceth anathema unto any that shall deny these words, “Let us make man,” to be the words of the Father to the Son, Socrat. lib. ii. cap. 26. Chrysostom lays the weight of his argument for it upon the change in the manner of expression before used; as he may do justly and solidly. “Apparet,” saith Ambrose, “concilio Trinitatis creatum esse hominem.” Neither have any of those who of late have espoused this evasion answered any of the arguments of the ancients for the sense we plead for, nor replied with any likelihood of reason unto their exceptions against that interpretation, which they took notice of as invented long ago. Theodoret, in his in Gen., quaest. 20, urgeth, “That if God used this manner of speech concerning himself merely to declare his mind ‘more regio,’ he would have done it always, at least he would have done it often.” However, it would unavoidably have been the form of speech used in that kingly act of giving the law at Sinai, for that, if any thing, required the kingly style pretended; but the absolute contrary is observed. God, in that whole transaction with his peculiar people and subjects, speaks of himself constantly in the singular number. 6. But there are two sorts of persons who, with all their strength and artifices, oppose our exposition of this place, — namely, the Jews and the Socinians, with whom we have to do perpetually in whatever concerns the person and offices of Christ the Messiah, and in what any way relates thereunto. We shall, therefore, first consider what they offer to secure themselves from this testimony against their infidelity, and then further improve the words unto the end peculiarly designed. And although there is a great coincidence in their pretensions, yet I shall handle them distinctly, that it may the better appear wherein the one receiveth aid and assistance from the other.

    The Jews are at no small loss as to the intention of the Holy Ghost in this expression, and, if we may believe some of them, have been so from of old; for, as we observed before, they all affirm that these words were changed in the translation of the LXX., because they could not understand how they might be properly expressed without giving countenance unto polytheism. Philo, de Opificio Mundi, knows not on what to fix, but after a pretense of some reason for satisfaction, adds, Ththn aijti>an Qeogkh mo>non eijde>nai? — “The true reason hereof is known unto God alone.” The reason which he esteems most probable is taken out of Plato in his Timaeus. “For whereas,” he saith, “there was to be in the nature of man a principle of vice and evil, it was necessary that it should be from another author, and not from the most high God.” But as the misadventure of such woful mistakes may be passed over in Plato, who had no infallible rule to guide him in his disquisition after truth, so in him, who had the advantage of the scriptures of the Old Testament, it cannot be excused, seeing this figment riseth up in opposition to the whole design of them. Some seek an evasion in the word hc,[]næ , which they would have to be the first person singular in Niphal, and not the first person plural in Kal. Having, therefore, a passive signification, the meaning is, that “homo factus est;” man, or Adam, was made in our image and likeness, — that is, of Moses and other men. Of this exposition of the words Aben Ezra says plainly, bl rsj çwryp hz , — “ It is an interpretation for a fool;” and well refutes it from these words of God himself, Genesis 9:6, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made he man,” with other considerations of the text. R. Saadias would have it that God spake these words ˆyklm ghnm l[ , “secundum consuetudinem regum;” or ˆwçl µyklmh ghnm ˆkç ybr , as Aben Ezra, “the plural number, which is the custom of kings.” This we have already rejected, and must yet further call it into examination as it is managed by the Socinians.

    But plainly the introduction of this style is comparatively modern, and which nothing but usage or custom hath given reverence or majesty unto.

    Joseph Kimchi would have it that God speaks unto himself, or the earth, or the four elements; for as the soul of man was to be immediately created by God, so his body was to be from the earth, by a contemperation of the principles and qualities of it. And this man falls on the rock which he principally aims to avoid, — namely, an appearance of polytheism; for he makes the earth itself to be a god, that hath a principle of operation in itself, with a will and understanding whereby to exert it. Some of them affirm that in these words God consulted hl[m lç aylmpb , “with his family above,” — that is, the angels; which Aben Ezra on the place principally inclines unto. This must afterwards be distinctly examined.

    Others say it is God and wnyd tyb , “his house of judgment.” ktk µaw wmx[ µ [ ala wnyd tyb µ[ rbdm ayhç wndml al µda hç[a , says Kishi on the place; “If it had been written, ‘Let me,’ or ‘I will make man,’ he had not taught us that he spake unto his house of judgment, but unto himself;” whereof he shows the danger, from the expressions in the plural number. Hence some learned men have supposed that of old by “God and his house of judgment,” they intended the persons of the holy Trinity, the Father, Word, and Spirit; but the explication which they frequently give of their minds herein will not allow us so to judge, at least as unto any of their post-Talmudical masters.

    Other vain and foolish conjectures of theirs in this matter I shall not repeat. These instances are sufficient as to my present intention; for hence it is evident into what uncertainties they cast themselves who are resolved upon an opposition unto the truth. They know not what to fix upon, nor wherewith to relieve themselves. Although they all aim at the same end, yet what one embraceth another condemns, and those that are wisest reckon up all the conjectures they can think of together, but fix on no one as true or as deserving to be preferred before others; for error is nowhere stable or certain, but fluctuates like the isle of Delos, beyond the skill of men or devils to give it a fixation. And thus much also of their sense was necessary to be expressed, that it might appear whence and from whom the Socinians and those who syncretize with them in an opposition unto these testimonies given unto the Trinity do borrow their exceptions. Little or nothing have they to offer for the supportment of their cause but what they have borrowed from those avowed enemies of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7. I shall not in this instance collect the sentiments of the Socinians out of several of their writers, but take up with him who was one of the first that made it his professed design to elude all the testimonies of the Scriptures which are usually pleaded in the defence of the doctrine of the Trinity.

    This is Georgius Enjedinus, whose writings, indeed, gave the first countenance unto the Anti-trinitarian cause. And I shall the rather deal with him, because his perverse discourses, which were almost worn out of the world, are lately revived by a new edition, and are become common in the hands of many. Besides, indeed, there is little or nothing material added in this cause by his followers unto his sophistical evasions and exceptions, though what he came short of in the New Testament, being prevented by death, is pursued in his method by Felbinger. The title of his book is, “Explicationes locorum Veteris et Novi Testamenti, ex quibus Trinitatis dogma stabiliri solet;” whereof this under consideration is the second. To the argument from hence for a plurality of persons in the same divine essence, he gives sundry exceptions, mostly borrowed from the Jews, invented by them out of their hatred to the Christian faith. And both sorts of these men do always think it sufficient unto their cause to give in cavilling exceptions unto the clearest evidence of any divine testimony, not regarding to give any sense of their own which they will abide by as the true exposition of them.

    He therefore first pleads: “Si ex hoc loquendi formula numerus et natura Dei venanda et colligenda est, dicimus primo, Non plus esse Trinitariis in hoc dicto ad tres Deitatis personas stabiliendas praesidii, quam gentibus et omnibus idololatris, ad sua multiplicia et numero carentia numina confirmandum. Illud enim ‘Faciamus ad nostram,’ etc., tam potest ad decem, centum, mille, quam ad tria referri, neque quidquam est futilius et ineptius quam sic argumentari. Hic dicuntur esse multi; ergo sunt tres, nam possunt esse viginti, triginta, quinquaginta, etc.

    Ergo siquid roboris in hoc argumento est, hoc tantum concludit Deos esse multos. Absit autem a nobis, certe abest a Mose ista prophanitas, ut multitudinem deorum, sacrarum literarum testimonio introducamus aut stabiliamus.”

    But these things are sophistical and vain. The vanity of the divine nature is always supposed in our disquisitions concerning the persons subsisting therein. And this is so clearly and positively asserted in the Scripture, particularly by Moses, Deuteronomy 6:4, besides that any apprehensions to the contrary are directly repugnant unto the light of nature, that no expressions can be observed to give the least countenance unto any other notion without ascribing direct contradictions unto it; which, if certain and evident, were a sufficient ground to reject the whole.

    No pretense, therefore, unto any imagination of a plurality of Gods can be made use of from these words. And the whole remaining sophistry of this exception lies in a supposition that we plead for three distinct persons in the Trinity from this place; which is false. That there is a plurality of subsistences in the divine nature we plead from hence; that these are three, neither more nor less, we prove from other places of Scripture without number. Many of these I have elsewhere vindicated from the exceptions of these men. Without a supposition of this plurality of persons, we say no tolerable account can be given of the reason of this assertion by them who acknowledge the unity of the divine nature; and we design no more but that therein there is mutual counsel , — which without a distinction of persons cannot be fancied. This whole pretense, therefore, founded on a vain and false supposition, that this testimony is used to prove a certain number of persons in the Deity, is altogether vain and frivolous.

    He adds, “Secundo illud quodque hic perpendendum est, quod ex his Mosis verbis, non sequitur hoc, Deum, qui dixit ‘Faciamus,’ fuisse multiplicem, sive non unum fuisse locutum, sed hoc tantum, haec verba prolata coram pluribus. Unus ergo erat qui loquebatur, sed loquebatur praesentibus aliis. Hinc autem non immediate sequitur creatores hominis fuisse multos. Nam ad hanc conclusionem pluribus adhuc consequentiis opus est. Nimirum quaerendum statim est, quinam illi fuerint, quos Deus allocutus est. Deinde creaturae, an increati? Tum an illi quoque aequaliter cum Deo operati sint in formatione hominis.”

    Although he only here proposeth in general what he intendeth afterwards to pursue in particular, yet something must be observed thereon, to keep upright the state of our inquiry, which he endeavors perpetually to wrest unto his advantage. And, — (1.) The invidious expressions which he makes use of, as “Deum multiplicem,” and the like, are devoid of ingenuity and charity, nothing that answers them being owned by those whom he opposeth. (2.) It follows not from our exposition of these words, nor is it by us asserted, that man had many creators; which he need not pretend that there is need of many consequences to prove, seeing none was ever so fond as to attempt the proof of it. I confess that expression in Job, yc;[O HæwOla’ hYeaæ , chap. 35:10, “Where is God my creators?” doth prove that he is in some sense many who made us. But whereas creation is a work proceeding from and an effect of the infinite properties of the one divine nature, our Creator is but one, although that one be equally Father, Son, and Spirit. (3.) It is granted that one speaks these words, not more together; but he so speaks them that he takes those unto whom he speaks into the society of the same work with himself; neither is the speaker more or otherwise concerned in “Let US make,” and “in OUR image,” than are those unto whom he speaks. Neither, indeed, is it the speaking of these words before many concerned that Moses expresseth, but it is the concurrence of many unto the same work, with the same interest and concernment in it. And whosoever is concerned, speaking or spoken unto, in the first words, “Let us make,” is no less respected in the following words, “in our image and likeness.” They must, therefore, be of one and the same nature; which was to be represented in the creature to be made in their image. These things being premised, we may take a view of the pursuit and management of his particular exceptions: — “Atque quod ad primum attinet; quinam scilicet illi fuerint, quos sit Deus allocutus; primo dicere possumus non necessarium esse, propter hujusmodi locutionum formas, multa individua constituere.

    Saepe enim scriptores aliquem secum deliberantem et disceptantem introducunt. Ex quo non statim sequitur ei plures in consultatione adesse, sed tantum hoc, illum diligenter et solicite omnia considerare et expendere. Ita ergo Deus animal omnium praestantissimum creaturus, introducitur a Mose consultabundus ajnqrwpopaqw~v more Scripturae. Unde tamen non sequitur, Deum in istud consilium alios adhibuisse.”

    Herein this author exceeds the confidence of the Jews, for they constantly grant that somewhat more than one individual person must be intended in these words, or no proper sense can be elicited from them. But the whole of this discourse, and what he would insinuate by it, is merely petitio principii accompanied with a neglect of the argument which he pretends to answer: for he only says that “one may be introduced, as it were, deliberating and consulting with himself,” whereof yet he gives no instance, either from the Scripture or other sober writer, nor can give any parallel unto this discourse here used; but he takes no notice that the words directly introduce more than one consulting and deliberating among themselves about the creating of man in their image. And of a form of speech answering hereunto, where one only and absolutely is concerned, no instance can be given in any approved author.

    Again, what he concludes from his arbitrary supposition, — namely, that hence “it doth not follow that God took counsel with others besides himself,” — is nothing to the argument in hand; for we prove not hence that God consulted with others besides himself, nor would it be unto our purpose so to do. But this the words evince, that he who thus consulted with himself is in some respect more than one. But will this author abide by it, that this is the sense of the place, and that thus the words are to be interpreted? This he hath not the least thought of, nor will maintain that it is according unto truth: for so they can invent exceptions against our interpretation of any testimony of Scripture, they never care to give one of their own which they will adhere unto and defend; which way of dealing in sacred things of so great importance is very perverse and froward. Thus our author, here relinquishing this conjecture, proceeds : — “Sed demus esto, Deum hic aliquos compellasse, quaeramus quinam isti fuerint. Aiunt adversarii hos omnino debuisse esse sermonis et rationis capaces. Quomodo enim Deus alloqueretur eos, qui nec loqui nec intelligere possint; sed hoc non satis firmum est. Nam scimus Deum saepe etiam cum sensu et ratione carentibus colloquium instituere; ut in Esa. i., ‘Audite, coeli.’” Rather than this man would omit any cavil, he will make use of such as are sapless and ridiculous. God doth not here speak unto others that are not himself, but by speaking as he doth, he declares himself to exist in a plurality of persons, capable of mutual consultation and joint operation.

    But here he must be supposed, as some of the Jews fancied before him, to speak unto the inanimate parts of the creation, as he speaks in the first of Isaiah, “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth.” But in such rhetorical apostrophes they are in truth men that are spoken unto, and that scheme of speech is used merely to make an impression on them of the things that are spoken. Apply this unto the words of God in the circumstance of the creation of man, and it will appear shamefully ridiculous. Wherefore he trusteth not unto this subterfuge, but proceeds to another: – “Sed demus etiam hoc, istos Deo praesentes fuisse rationales, quid postea? Addunt hos non fuisse creaturas, quia Deus non soleat in suum consilium adhibere creaturas; oportet ergo ut fuerint creatores, Filius cum Spiritu. Verum isti meminisse debebant, Scripturam sacrum nusquam Deum solitarium statuere, sed semper illi apparitores et agmina angelorum attribuere, ut ex visionibus prophetarum patet. Quod autem in consultationem non adhibeat creaturas Deus, hoc quoque ex eisdem visionibus refellitur. Nam etsi verum est Deum proprie cum nullo consulere, neque ullius egere consilio, tamen prophetae illum consultantem cum spiritibus representant, 3 Reg. xxii.; Esa, vi.; Job. i. Jam vero cure Adamus formabatur, extitisse angelos sequens historia Mosis docet. Ergo potuerunt illi Deo de condendo homine consultanti assistere, et coram illis potuit Deus haec protulisse.”

    This man seems willing to grant any thing but the truth. That which this whole discourse amounts unto is, that “God spake these words unto the angels,” as the Jews pretend. So Jarchi says that God spake unto them lçm °rdb , “by way of condescension,” that they should not be troubled to see a creature made little less excellent than themselves. Others of them say that God spake unto them as he is attended with them, or as they wait upon his throne, which they call his “house of judgment;” and this sense Enjedinus and those that follow him fence withal. But this we have disproved already, so that it need not here be much insisted on. The Scripture expressly denies that God took counsel with any besides himself in the whole work of the creation, Isaiah 40:12-14. Creation is a pure act of infinite monarchical sovereignty, wherein there was no use of any intermediate, instrumental causes, as there is in the government of the world. Wherefore, in the course of providence, God may be introduced as speaking with or unto the creatures whom he will employ in the execution thereof, and who attend his throne to receive his commands; but in the work of creation, wherein none were to be employed, this can have no place, nor can God be represented as consulting with any creatures in the creation without a disturbance of the true notion and apprehension of it.

    Besides, nothing of this nature can be proved, no not even with respect unto providential dispensations, from the places alleged. For Isaiah 6, it is the prophet only whom God in vision speaks unto, calling out his faith and obedience, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” verse 8; but whereas he speaks both in the singular and plural number, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us ?” there is also a plurality of persons in the same individual essence expressed; and unto the other persons besides the Father is this place applied by the Holy Ghost, John 12:41; Acts 28:26. In the other two places, 1 Kings 22, Job1, God is introduced speaking to the devil; which it is some marvel to find cited unto this purpose by persons of more sobriety and modesty than Enjedinus.

    Again, man was made in the image and likeness of him that speaks and all that are as it were conferred with: “Let us make man in our image.” But man was not made in the image and likeness of angels, but in the image and likeness of God, — that is, of God alone, as it is expressed in the next verse. And the image here mentioned doth not denote that which is made to answer another thing, but that which another is to answer unto: “Let us make man in our image,” — that is, conformable unto our nature. Now, God and angels have not one common nature, that should be the exemplar and prototype in the creation of man. Their natures and properties are infinitely distant. And that likeness which is between angels and men doth no way prove that man was made in the image of angels, although angels should be supposed to be made before them; for more is required hereunto than a mere similitude and likeness, as one egg is like another, but not the image of another. A design of conforming one to another, with its dependence on that other, is required hereunto; so was man made in the image of God alone. But he further excepts: – “Sed quid tum, si omnia demus, Deum non creaturis praesentibus, neque illis esse allocutum his verbis? Sequitur ne eum qui locutus est cum illis quos allocutus est ejusdem esse naturae et essentiae?

    Hoc enim isti moliuntur. Certe fatuum est ita colligere. Ille qui loquitur et illi quos alloquitur sunt ejusdem essentiae. Sic enim serpens erit Eva, et homo diabelus et quid non?”

    At whose door the censure of folly will rest, a little examination of this sophism will discover. For, whatever this man may imagine, it will certainly follow, that if God spake unto any, and they were not creatures, those to whom he spake were of the same nature and essence with him that spake; for God and creatures divide the whole nature of beings, and therefore if any be spoken unto that is not a creature, he is God, — unless he can discover a middle sort of being, that is not God nor a creature, neither the Maker nor made. Again, it is a wondrous vain supposition, that our argument from hence is taken from such a general proposition, “He that speaks and he that is spoken unto are of the same nature;” the absurdity whereof is obvious unto children. But here is such a speaking of one as declares him in some respect to be more than one; and they are all assumed into the same society in the forming of man in the likeness of that one nature whereof they are equally partakers. All these pretences, therefore, are at last deserted by our author, who betakes himself unto that which is inconsistent with them: — “Sed excipient fortasse, Mosem non tantum hoc significare, Deum esse allocutum praesentes illos, sed eos in societatem operis vocasse, et creationis participes fecisse? ‘Faciamus,’ inquit. At qui Creator est hominis, est etiam universi; qui universi, est solus et verus Deus. Hoc igitur jam diligentius excutiendum est; an Deus in hoc verbo ‘Faciamus,’ secum alios incluserit, atque creationem hominis aliis quoque communicavit? Nos enim dicimus, illud ‘Faciamus,’ etiamsi forma et voce sit plurale, tamen significatione et vi esse singulare; neque de ullo alio nisi de solo loquente, hoc est de Deo esse intelligendum.”

    As he here at once overthrows all his former pretences, with some others also that he adds from the Jews in the dose of his discourse, sufficiently manifesting that it is not truth, or the true sense of the words, which he inquires after, but merely how he may multiply captious exceptions unto the sense by us pleaded for, so now, when he comes to own a direct opposition unto it, his discourse, wherein he states the matter in difference, is composed of sophistical expressions; for whereas he pretends that our judgment is, that “God by these words calls in others besides himself unto himself into the society of this work,” whereby it is proved that both he that speaks and they that are spoken unto are of the same nature, he doth but attempt to deceive the unwary reader. For we say not that God speaks unto others besides himself, nor calls in others to the work of creation; but God alone speaks in himself and to himself, because as he is one in essence, so as to personal subsistence there are three in one, as many other places of the Scripture do testify. And these three are each of them intelligent operators, though all working by that nature, which is one, and common to or in them all. Therefore are they expressed as speaking thus in the plural number, which could not be, in any congruity of speech, were he that speaks but one person as well as one in nature. And were not the doctrine of the Trinity clearly revealed in other places of Scripture, there could be no proper interpretation given of these words, so as to give no countenance unto polytheism; but that being so revealed and taught elsewhere, the interpretation of this place is facile and plain, according to the analogy thereof. But that one person alone is intended in these words, he proceeds to prove: — “Primo enim hoc omnibus linguis usitatum est, ut numero plurali, cum de se cum de aliis etiam singularibus passim sine discrimine utantur, sic Christus cum de se solo loqueretur. Job. 3:11, ait, ‘Quod scimus loquimur, et quod videmus testamur;’ in quibus verbis Christum de se pluraliter loqui sequentia ostendunt; ‘si,’ inquit, ‘terrena dixi vobis.’ Sic Deus de seipso solo, Esa 41:22, ‘Accedant, et nuntient nobis quaecunque ventura sunt: et ponemus cor nostrum et sciemus novissima eorum, et quae ventura sunt indicate nobis.’ Quin etiam illud observari potest, de eodem et unico singulari permixtim, nunc singularem nunc pluralem usurpari numerum. Et Esa 6:8, dicit Deus, ‘Quem mittam, ant quis ibit pro nobis?’ Ex quibus et similibus locis et loquendi usu vulgari apparet, posse verbum plurale de uno solo, recte intelligi et dici. Ergo etiamsi Deus hic dicat ‘Faciamus,’ tamen tantundem est, ac dicerat ‘Faciam.’“ What he saith is so usual in all languages , that one speaking of himself should speak in the plural number, having respect unto no more than himself, nor letting any others into a concernment with himself in the things spoken, he can give no instance of in any language, out of any ancient approved author. (1.) That phrase of speech is a novice in the use of speaking. Particularly it is a stranger unto the Scripture. As this author could not, no more can any of his successors, produce any one instance out of the Old Testament of any one, unless it were God alone, were he never so great or powerful, that spake of himself in the first person in the plural number. Aben Ezra himself on this place grants that no such instance can be given. He is therefore at once deprived of the Hebrew language, wherein yet alone his instances ought to be given, if he will argue from the use of speaking. (2.) The places he cites relieve him not. John 3:11, our Savior’s words respect not himself only, but his disciples also, who taught and baptized in his name, whose doctrine he would vindicate as his own. And as for what he adds afterwards, “If I have told you earthly things,” it relates directly unto that discourse which in his own person he had with Nicodemus, with respect whereunto he changeth his phrase of speech unto the singular number; which overthrows his pretensions. The words of the prophet, Isaiah 41:22, are either spoken of God alone, or of God and the church, whom he called and joined with himself in bearing witness against idols and idolaters; and he may take his choice in whether sense he will admit of them. If they are spoken of God alone, we have another testimony to confirm our doctrine, that there must be, and is, a plurality of persons in the one singular, undivided nature of God; if of the church also, there is no exception in them unto our rule, that one person speaks of himself in the Scripture only in the singular number. (3.) His other instance out of the same prophet, Isaiah 6:8, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” is home to his purpose of proving that the singular and plural numbers are used mixedly or promiscuously of one and the same. But who is that one? It is God alone. No such instance can be given in any other. And why are things so expressed by him and concerning him? Who can give any tolerable reason but this alone, namely, because his nature is one and singular, but subsisting in more persons than one? And indeed this place, considered with its circumstances, and the allegations of it in the New Testament, doth infallibly confirm the truth we contend for. He hath not yet, therefore, attained to a proof that the word may be so used as he pretends; which, with these men, is enough to secure them from the force of any Scripture testimony. He adds, therefore:- “Secundo, Non solum posse, sed omnino necessarium esse, ut hic ‘Faciamus,’ singulare denotet individuum, inde probatur, quia si illa vox multitudinem in se includeret, nunquam ausi fuissent sacri scriptores eam immutare et in singularem numerum vertere. At prophetae, ipse Christus, et apostoli, ubicunque de hac creatione loquuntur eam uni et quidem in singulari usurpata voce attribuunt.

    Nam statim ipse Moses subjicit, ‘Et creavit Deus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem suam.’ Quod proxime dixerat ‘Faciamus,’ hic exprimit per ‘Deus creavit;’ quod ibi ‘in imaginem nostram,’ hic in singulari, ‘ad imaginem suam.’ Sic cap. 6:7, ‘Delebo hominem quem creavi.’ Et Christus, Matthew 19:4, ‘Qui fecit hominem ab initio, masculum et foeminam fecit eos.’

    Marc. 10:6, ‘Masculum et foeminam fecit eos Deus.’ Paulus, Act, 17:26, ‘Deus fecit ex uno omne genus humanum.’ Act Colossians 3:10, ‘Induentes novum hominem, eum qui renovatur ad agnitionem secundum imaginem illius qui creavit illum.’ Cum ergo omnes testantur unicum esse illum, qui hominem creavit, sequitur etiam hoc loco per verbum ‘Faciamus,’ non nisi unum significari. Posse enim unum per plurale significari jam monstravimus.”

    Nothing can be more effectually pleaded in the behalf of the cause opposed by this man than what is here alleged by him in opposition thereunto; for it is certain that the holy writers would never have ascribed the creation of all unto one, and expressed it in the singular number, as they do most frequently, had it not been one God, one Creator, by whom all things were made. This is the position which he lays down as the foundation of his exception; and he was not so brutish as once to imagine that we believed there were more Creators, and so consequently more Gods, than one. But take this assertion also on the other side, namely, that the holy writers would never have ascribed the creation unto more than one, unless that one in some sense or other had been more than so.

    Wherefore, they do not change, as is pretended, the plural expression into a singular; but the Holy Ghost, expressing the same thing, of making man in the image of God, sometimes expresseth it in the singular number, by reason of the singularity of the nature of God, which is the original of all divine operations, for God works by his nature; and sometimes in the plural, because of the plurality of persons in that nature: on which supposition these different expressions are reconciled, without which they cannot so be.

    And all these exceptions or cavils are managed merely against the necessary use and signification of the word “Faciamus,” “Let us make,” in the plural number. What is alleged by the ancients and others, to clear the intention of the expression in this place particularly, he takes no notice of; for he makes no inquiry why, seeing, in the whole antecedent account of the work of creation, God is introduced speaking constantly in the singular number, here the phrase of speech is changed, and God speaks as consulting or deliberating, in the plural number. And he says not only, “Let US make,” but adds, “In OUR image, and after OUR likeness.” To imagine this to be done without some peculiar reason, is to dream rather than to inquire into the sense of Scripture. And other reason besides what we have assigned, with any tolerable congruity unto the common use of speaking, cannot be given. But supposing that he hath sufficiently evinced his intention, he proceeds to give a reason of the use of this kind of speech, where one is spoken of in the plural number: – “Quae sit autem causa cur liceat per pluralem numerum significare unum, et quando hoc soleat fieri, variae afferri solent causae.

    Quidam censent fieri honoris gratia, ut de eminentibus et excellentibus personis pluraliter loquamur. Id usitatum esse linguae Hebraeae annotant docti; inter quos Cevallerius in sua syntaxi hunc tradit canonem. Quae dignitatem significant pluraliter usurpantur ad ampliorem honorem. Ut Joshua 24:19, ‘Dii sancti ipse;’ Exodus 21:29, ‘Domini ejus,’ pro dominus; Isaiah 19:4, ‘In manu dominorum duri,’ pro domini; Genesis 42:30, ‘Domini terrae,’ pro dominus. Imo hoc non tantum in Hebrea, sed in aliis quoque linguis esse usitatum, patet ex scol . Sophoclis, qui in OEdipo Coloneo [v. 1490] annotavit poetam dixisse, dou~nai> , pro dou~nai , et addit scriptum esse kata< timh We also grant that it is one who is here intended, only we say, he is not spoken of under that consideration, of being one. Nor is it enough to prove that the word may in the plural number be used in a singular sense, but that it is so in this place, seeing the proper importance of it is otherwise.

    Neither can that expression concerning God, Joshua 24:19, aWh µyvidq] µyhiloa’ , “Dii sancti ipse,” be used honoris gratia, seeing it is no honor to God to be spoken of as many Gods, for his glory is that he is one only. It hath, therefore, another respect, namely, unto the persons in the unity of the same nature. I could easily give the reasons of all his other instances in particular, wherein men are spoken of, and manifest that they will yield him no relief; but this may suffice in general, that they are all speeches concerning others in the third person, and all our inquiry is concerning any one thus speaking of himself in the first person, whereof no one can be given. Wherefore our author, not confiding unto this his last refuge, betakes himself unto foolish imaginations of “God’s speaking to the superior parts of the world, whence the soul of man was to be taken, and the inferior, whence his body was to be made;” to “a design for the instruction of men, how to use counsel and deliberation in great undertakings; to “a double knowledge in God, universal and particular;” — which are all of them rabbinical fopperies, evidently manifesting that he knew not what to confide in or rest upon as to the true cause of this expression, after he had resolved to reject that alone which is so. 8. The foundation of our intention from this place being thus cleared, we may safely build upon it. And that which hence we intend to prove is, that in the framing and producing the things which concern mankind, there were peculiar, internal, personal transactions between the Father, Son, and Spirit. The scheme of speech here used is in genere deliberativo, — by way of consultation. But whereas this cannot directly and properly be ascribed unto God, an anthropopathy must be allowed in the words. The mutual distinct actings and concurrence of the several persons in the Trinity are expressed by way of deliberation, and that because we can no otherwise determine or act. And this was peculiar in the work of the creation of man, because of an especial designation of him to the glory of God as three in one. Neither could he have been created in the accidental image of God but with immediate respect unto the Son, as he was the essential image of the Father. The distinct personal actings of the Trinity, wherein the priesthood of Christ is founded, are not, I confess, contained herein; for these things preceded the consideration of the fall, whereby the image now proposed and resolved to be communicated unto man in his creation was lost, which Christ was designed to recover. But there is enough to confirm our general assertion, that such distinct actings there were with respect unto mankind; and the application hereof unto our present purpose will be directed in the ensuing testimonies. This, therefore, I have only laid down and proved, as the general principle which we proceed upon. Man was peculiarly created unto the glory of the Trinity, or of God as three in one. Hence in all things concerning him there is not only an intimation of those distinct subsistences, but also of their distinct actings with respect unto him. So it was eminently in his creation; his making was the effect of special counsel. Much more shall we find this fully expressed with respect unto his restoration by the Son of God. 9. The same truth is further revealed and confirmed, Proverbs 8:22-31, “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then was I 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 with the sons of men.”

    We must first secure this testimony against those who have attempted to deprive the church of God of its use and advantage, and then improve it unto our present purpose. In the ancient church none questioned but that the Wisdom which here discourseth is the Son of God; only the Arians greatly endeavored to corrupt the sense of one passage in it, and thereby to wrest the whole to give countenance unto their heresy. Those of late who agree with them in an opposition unto the same truth, upon other principles, observing how they failed in their attempt, do leave the sense of particular passages unquestioned, and call into question the whole subject of the discourse; wherein, if they prevail, the sense of particular places must be accommodated unto what they substitute in the room thereof.

    It is Wisdom that speaks and is spoken of. This we believe to be him who is the Wisdom of God, even his eternal Son. This they will not grant, although they are not agreed what it is that is intended. A property, say some, of the divine nature; the exercise of divine wisdom in making the world, say others; the wisdom that is in the law, say the Jews; or, as some of them, the wisdom that was given unto Solomon, — and of their mind have been some of late. With the Arians I shall not much contend, because their heresy seems to be much buried in the world, although some of late have endeavored to give countenance unto their opinions, or unto them who maintained them, Sand. Hist. Ecclesiastes Enucl. lib. 3. It was the 22d verse which they principally insisted on; for whereas it was granted between them and the Homoousians that it is the Son of God which is here spoken of, they hence pleaded for his creation before the world, or his production ejx oujk o]ntwn , and that there was [a time] when he was not.

    This they did from these words, wOKr]Dæ tyviare ynin;q; jwO;jy] ; which words were rendered by the LXX., or the Greek translation then in common use, JO Ku>riov e]ktise> me , ajrchLatin reads, “Possedit,” “Possessed me.”

    On this corrupt translation the Arians bare themselves so high as to provoke their adversaries unto a decision of the whole controversy between them by the sentence of this one testimony. But the corruption of the common translation is long since confessed. Aquila and Theodotion both render the word by ejkth>sato , “he possessed.” Nor doth hn;q; in any place, or on any occasion, signify to make or create, or any thing of the like importance. Its constant use is either to acquire and obtain, or to possess and enjoy. That which any one hath, which is with him, which belongs unto him and is his own, he is hneqo , the possessor of. So is the Father said to possess Wisdom, because it was his, with him, even his eternal Word or Son. No more is intended hereby but what the apostle more clearly declares, John 1:1,2, jEn ajrch~| oJ Lo>gov h+n pron? — “In the beginning the Word was with God.” But with these I shall not contend. 10. The Jews, and those who in the things concerning the person of Christ derive from them, and who borrow their weapons to combat his deity, we must not pass by; for an examination of their pretences and sophisms in this cause, at least occasionally as they occur unto us, I do not guess, but know to be necessary.

    Grotius on this place tells us, “Haec de ea sapientia quae in lege apparet, exponunt Hebraei ;” — “The Hebrews expound these things of that wisdom which is seen in the law.” And as to many of them this information is true. Whereunto he adds of his own, “Et sane ei si non soli, at praecipue, haec attributa conveniunt ;” — “And thereunto, indeed, the things here attributed unto wisdom do agree, if not only, yet principally;” which whether it be so or no, the ensuing examination will evince.

    The Jews, then, affirm that the wisdom here intended is the wisdom of the law, as in the law, or the wisdom that God used in giving the law; but how the things here ascribed unto Wisdom can belong unto the law given on Sinai is hard to conceive. To take off this difficulty, they tell us that the law was one of the seven things which God made before the creation of the world; which they prove from this place, verse 22, “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way,” yea, and that, as they say, two thousand years before creation, signified by the two alephs in that sentence; Midrash Bamidmar, in cap. 8. But Aben Ezra, in his preface unto his Annotations on the Bible, tells us that they are mystical allegories, and not true in their literal sense; as doth also the author of Nizachon, Sec. Beresh. sect. 3, who likewise informs us that these things are said to be made before the world, twbwfw twlwdg ypl , “because of their excellency and worth,” whence they were first thought upon. But these figments we need not trouble ourselves about. Their apprehension that the wisdom intended is that of the law, which Grotius gives countenance unto, shall be examined. The Socinians are not solicitous what the things mentioned are ascribed unto, so they can satisfy themselves in their exceptions unto our ascription of them unto the Son of God. I shall, therefore, first confirm our exposition of the place, and then remove their exceptions out of our way. 11. First, It is an intelligent person that is here intended; for all sorts of personal properties are ascribed unto it. It cannot, therefore, be a mere essential property of the divine nature, nor can the things spoken concerning it with respect unto God be any way verified in his essential attributes. Much less is it wisdom in general, or wisdom in man, as by some it is expounded, no one thing here mentioned being in any tolerable sense applicable thereunto. For, — (1.) In the whole discourse Wisdom speaks as an intelligent person, whereof almost every verse in the whole chapter is an instance. (2.) Personal authority and power are assumed by it: Verses 15, 16, “By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.” (3.) Personal promises upon duties to be performed towards it, due unto God himself: Verse 17, “I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me;” which is our respect unto God, Psalm 63:1, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee,” and which is elsewhere often expressed. (4.) Personal divine actions: Verses 20, 21, “I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.”

    Verses 30, 31, “I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; ..... and my delights were with the sons of men.” (5.) Personal properties; as eternity, verses 23-25, “I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was;” wisdom, verse 14, “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding; I have strength.”

    Secondly, The name of Wisdom is the name of the Son, who is the wisdom of God. For the Wisdom mentioned, chap. 9:1, the Jews themselves confess that it is one of the twdm , or distinct properties that are in the divine twçy , that is, substance or essence; whereby the Son of God alone can be intended.

    Thirdly, The things here spoken of Wisdom are all of them, or at least the principal, expressly elsewhere attributed unto the Son, verse 11, Philippians 3:8; verse 15, Revelation 19:16; verse 22, John 1:1-3; verses 23, 24, Colossians 1:15-17; verse 30, John 1:14; verse 32, Revelation 22:14.

    Fourthly, The relation of the Wisdom that speaks unto God declares it to be his eternal Word or Son: “I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;” as he did in whom his soul is always well pleased.

    And, lastly, as we shall further see, they are the eternal transactions of the Father and Son that are here described, which are capable of no other interpretation. 12. It is not my design to plead here the eternal existence of the Son of God antecedent unto his incarnation. I have done it also at large elsewhere.

    But because the faith thereof is the foundation of what I shall further offer concerning the original of his priesthood, the testimonies produced unto that purpose must be vindicated from the exceptions of the professed adversaries of that fundamental truth; and these, as to this place, are summed up and put together by Enjedinus. And his manner is, as was before observed (wherein also he is followed by all those of his way and persuasion), to multiply sophistical exceptions, that so by any means they may distract the mind of the reader and render him uncertain; and therefore they consider not whether what they offer be true or no, but commonly their evasions contradict and overthrow one another. But so the truth may be rejected, they regard not what is received. First, therefore, he lays his exception to the whole matter, and affirms that it is not wisdom, but prudence, that speaks these words, and is the subject of the whole discourse: — “Quod ad primum attinet, ne illud quidem indubitatum est, verba praescripta a sapientia dici. Si enim versio Pagnini, Merceri, et textus Hebraicus consulatur, apparebit verba illa proferri ab intelligentia vel prudentia, quae in hoc capite tum conjuncte, tum separatim, cum sapientia ponitur, ut apparet ex ver. 1 et 14, in cujus posteriori parte incipit intelligentia de se loqui, Nam, ver. 14, secundum Pagninum haec est interpretatio, ‘Penes me est consilium et sapientia;’ et hucusque loquitur de se sapientia. Postea sequitur, ‘Ego sum intelligentia, mea est fortitudo,’ etc. Ita ut sequentia omnia ad finem capitis ab intelligentia proferantur. Cum ergo Paulus Christum non intelligentiam sed sapientiam vocet, et verba praescripta ab intelligentia proferantur, sequitur locum hunc ad Christum non pertinere.”

    What those names of Pagnin, Mercer, and the Hebrew text, are produced for, I cannot well conjecture. Both in the original and in the versions of those learned men the context is as clear unto our purpose as in any other translation whatever. And the view of the text will ease us of this forlorn exception. The comparing of the first verse with the fourteenth gives no countenance unto it; for, — (1.) In verse 1, the mention of hn;WbT] is not the introduction of a new person or thing, but another name of the same person or thing, as all expositors agree, whatever they apply the words unto. (2.) The words hn;WbT] , verse 1, and hn;ybi , verse 14, both rendered “understanding,” and both from the same root, are yet not absolutely the same, so that several things may be intended by them. (3.) The whole context makes it plain that it is Wisdom which speaks those words, verse 14, hr;Wbg] yli hn;ybi ynia\ hY;viWtw] hx;[eAylio . The preceding words are, “I wisdom dwell with prudence, ..... and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate,” verses 12, 13; whereon it follows, “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom” (or “substance”): “I am understanding; I have strength” As in the beginning Wisdom says, hx;[eAyli , so in the close, by a continuation of the same form of speech, hr;Wbg] yli hn;ybi ynia\ is a defective expression, and there is no verb following to be regulated by hn;ybi . Wherefore, according to the perpetual use of that language, the verb substantive is to be supplied, as it is in our translation, “I am understanding.” Understanding, therefore, cannot be the person speaking, but a descriptive adjunct of him that speaks. There is the same expression concerning Wisdom, verse 12, hm;k]j; ynia\ “I wisdom;” but it is not defective because of the verb following, yTin]kæv; , “have dwelt,” or “do dwell.” Supply the verb substantive here, where there is no defect, and the whole sense will be corrupted; but in this place, if it be omitted, there will be no sense remaining. Neither is hn;ybi ynia\ of any other signification than hr;Wbg] yli , “I have” (or “am”) “understanding,” and “I have strength.” This plea, therefore, evinceth nothing but the boldness of them that use it. He proceeds to another:- “Deinde hic sapientiam pro substantiva et persona esse accipiendam, non aliunde probari potest aut solet, quam quod hic loqui et clamare dicitur, atque actiones quaedam ei attribuuntur. At id usitatissimum in sacris est, ut etiam accidentibus actiones adscribantur per prosopopoeiam. Sic misericordia et pax de coelo prospicere, se mutuo osculari dicuntur. Et ne longe abeamus; hic prudentia seu intelligentia vociferare, stare in semitis, clamare ad portas urbium dicitur. Neque tamen quisquam ita stolidus est ut non intelligat, misericordiam, pacem, et prudentiam esse accidentia et in his loquendi formulis prosopopoeiam non agnoscat.”

    How we prove a person to be here intended, that is, the eternal Word of God, hath been declared. There are other considerations which evince it besides that here mentioned. But this prosopopoeia, or fiction of a person, is of great use to the Antitrinitarians. By this one engine they presume they can despoil the Holy Ghost of his deity and personality. Whatever is spoken of him in the Scripture, they say it is by a prosopopoeia, or the fiction of a person, those things being assigned unto a quality or an accident which really belong unto a person only. But as to what concerns the Holy Spirit, I have elsewhere taken this engine out of their hands, and cast it to the ground, so that none of them alive will erect it again. Here they make use of it against the deity of Christ, as they do also on other occasions. I do acknowledge there is such a scheme of speech used by rhetoricians and orators, whereof some examples occur in the Scripture.

    Unto a thing which is not a person, that is sometimes ascribed which is indeed proper only to a person; or a person who is dead or absent may be introduced as present and speaking. But yet Quintilian, the great master of the art of oratory, denies that by this figure speech can be ascribed unto that which never had it. “Nam certe,” saith he, “sermo fingi non potest, ut non personae sermo fingatur.” If you feign speech, you must feign it to be the speech of a person, or one endowed with a power of speaking. And it is hard to find an instance of such an attribution of speech unto things inanimate in good authors, unless it be where, by another figure, they introduce countries or cities speaking or pleading for themselves; wherein, by a metonymy, the inhabitants of them are intended. But such an ascription is not to be found in the Scripture at all; for a prosopopoeia, or fiction of a person, is a figure quite distinct from all sorts of allegories, pure or mixed, apologues, fables, parables; wherein, when the scheme is evident, any thing may be introduced speaking, — like the trees in the discourse of Jotham, Judges 9. The instance of mercy and peace looking down from heaven and kissing each other, is mixedly figurative. The foundation is a metonymy of the cause for the effect, or rather of the adjunct for the cause, and the prosopopoeia is evident. But that a person should be introduced speaking in a continued discourse, ascribing to himself all personal properties, absolute and relative, all sorts of personal actions, and those the very same which in sundry other places are ascribed unto one certain person, as all the things here mentioned are unto the Son of God, who yet is no person, never was a person, nor representeth any person, without the least intimation of any figure therein, or any thing inconsistent with the nature of things and persons treated of, and that in a discourse didactical and prophetical, is such an enormous, monstrous fiction, as nothing in any author, much less in the Old or New Testament, will give the least countenance unto.

    There are in the Scripture, allegories, apologues, parables, but all of them so plainly, evidently, and professedly such, and so unavoidably requiring a figurative exposition from the nature of the things themselves (as where stones are said to hear, and trees to speak), that there is no danger of any mistake about them, nor difference concerning their figurative acceptation.

    And the only safe rule of ascribing a figurative sense unto any thing or expression in the Scripture, is when the nature of things will not bear that which is proper; as where the Lord Christ calls himself a door and a vine, and says that bread is his body. But to make allegories of such discourses as this, founded in the fiction of persons, is a ready way to turn the whole Bible into an allegory, — which may be done with as much ease and probability of truth. He further excepts: — ‘‘Quod secundo loco contendunt, hic nihil figurate, sed omnia proprie dici, nimis absurdum est. Nam etiamsi daremus hic sapientiam esse personam quandam, quam ipsi lo>gon appellant; tamen certum esset illum tempore Solomonis in plateis non clamasse, nec cum hominibus hilariter conversatum esse, nec domum aedificasse, excidisse septem columnas, victimas obtulisse, miscuisse vinum, et caetera quae hic recitantur proprie fecisse.

    Alias debuerunt fateri, Christum ab aeterno fuisse incarnatum, quando quidem hae actiones proprie non possunt nisi homini jam nato competere. Itaque et impudentis et indocti est negare hanc orationem Solomonis esse figuratam.”

    He names not who they are who say no expressions in this discourse are figurative. Neither doth this follow upon a denial that the whole is founded in the fiction of a person; for a true and real person may speak things figuratively, and sometimes it is necessary that so he should do. These men will not deny God to be a person, nor yet that he often speaketh of himself and his works figuratively. The same doth Wisdom also here, in the declaration of some of his works. But that which animates this exception is a false supposition, that the eternal Word cannot be said to do or act any thing but what he doth immediately in his own person, and that as incarnate. What God doth by the ministry of others, that he also doth himself. When he gave the law by the ministry of angels, he gave the law himself; and when he speaks by the prophets, he is everywhere said to speak himself. That, therefore, which was done in the days of Solomon by the command, appointment, authority, and assistance of Wisdom, was done then by Wisdom itself. And so all things here ascribed unto it, some properly, some figuratively, were done by the Word in the means by him appointed. In the ministry of the priests, Levites, prophets, teachers of the law, inviting all sorts of persons unto the fear of the Lord, he performed the most of them; and the remainder of the things intended he effected in his ordinances and institutions of divine worship. Besides, there is a prophetical scheme in these words. It is here declared not only what Wisdom then did, but especially what it should do, namely, in the days of the gospel; for the manner of the prophets is to express things future as present or past, because of the certainty of their accomplishment. And these things they spake of the coming of Christ in the flesh. See 1 Peter 1:11,12, 3:19.

    But utterly to remove this pretense of prosopopoeias and figures, it need only to be observed, which none will deny, that the Wisdom that speaks here, chap. 8, is the same that speaks, chap. 1, from verse 20 unto the end.

    And if Wisdom there be not a person, and that a divine person, there is none in heaven; for to whom or what else can those words be ascribed which Wisdom speaks, verses 23-26, 28: “Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me.”

    If these things express not a person, and that a divine person, the Scripture gives us no due-apprehension of any thing whatever. Who is it that pours out the Holy Spirit? Whom is it that men sin against in refusing to be obedient? Whom is it that in their distress they call upon, and seek early in their trouble? The whole Scripture declares unto whom, and unto whom alone, these things belong and may be ascribed.

    After an interposition of some things nothing unto the purpose, he yet puts in three more exceptions unto this testimony to the eternal personal existence of this Wisdom; as, — “Praeterea haec sapientia de qua agit Solomon, loquitur, docet, instituit homines. At Jesus Christus postremis tantum diebus, teste apostolo ad Hebrews 1, locutus est hominibus; ergo non aetate Solomonis.”

    The apostle says not that Jesus Christ spake only in the latter days, Hebrews 1, but that God in the last days spake unto us in his Son. And the immediate speaking unto us by the Son in the last days, as he was incarnate, hinders not but that he spake before by his Spirit in the prophets, as the apostle Peter affirms him to have done, 1 Epist. 1:11.

    And by this Spirit did he speak, — that is, teach and instruct men, — in the days of Solomon, and from the foundation of the world, 1 Peter 3:18-20. “Denique prophetia ilia, Esa. 42:1, 2, ‘Ecce servus meus quem elegi, non clamabit, neque audiet aliquis in plateis vocem ejus,’ applicatur Christo, Matthew 12:18,19. At haec sapientia dicitur clamasse in plateis. Itaque falsum est hanc sapientiam Solomonis fuisse Jesum Christum.”

    A man of gravity and learning ought to have been ashamed of such a puerile cavil. The prophet Isaiah, setting out the meekness and peaceableness of the Lord Christ in the discharge of his office, with his tenderness and condescension towards the poorest and meanest that come unto him, expresseth it, among others, by these words, “He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street;” intending no more but that he should do nothing by way of strife, contention, or violence, in private or public places. And this prophecy is applied unto him by Matthew at that very season when “great multitudes followed him” in the streets and fields, whom he taught and healed, Matthew 12:15-17.

    Hence this man would conclude, that because Wisdom is said to cry in the streets, — that is, to instruct men in public places, which he did formerly by his Spirit, and in the days of his flesh in his own person, — the Son of God cannot be intended. Yet he further adds: — “Postremo de sapientia ista, non dicitur quod sit ab aeterno genita; sed tantum ut in Hebraeo habetur a seculo formata; quod longe aliud significat, quam ab aeterno gigni. Et potest aliquid a seculo, hoc est a mundi creatione vel etiam ante illam extitisse; inde tamen non sequitur esse aeternum.”

    He tells us not where in the Hebrew text wisdom is said to be “formata a seculo;” nor is there any such passage in the context. It says, indeed, verse 23, yTik]Sæni µl;wO[me ; which words of themselves do not absolutely and necessarily declare eternity, though no other expression or antecedent eternity be commonly made use of; but as this µl;wO[me is here particularly explained to denote the existence of Wisdom before the whole creation or any part of it, as it is at large in the whole ensuing discourse, especially verses 25, 26, it doth necessarily denote eternity, nor can it be otherwise expressed. And although we do not particularly prove the relation of the Son to the Father by eternal generation from this place, yet as Wisdom is not said here to be formed or created, so the word used verse 25, yTil]l;wOj , which we have rendered, “I was brought forth,” doth more than intimate that generation.

    This being the whole of what the enemies of the sacred Trinity have to object unto our application of this discourse to the eternal Word or Son of God, we may upon its removal proceed unto the improvement of this testimony unto our present design. 13. A personal transaction, before the creation of the world, between the Father and the Son, acting mutually by their one Spirit, concerning the state and condition of mankind, with respect unto divine love and favor, is that which we inquire after, and which is here fully expressed; for the Wisdom or Word of God having declared his eternal existence with the Father and distinction from him, manifests withal his joint creation of all things, especially his presence with God when he made lbeTe twOrp][æ varo , verse 26, “the highest part of the dusts of the habitable world ;” that is, µda ˆwçayrh , “The first Adam,” as Jarchi interprets it, and that not improbably. Then he declares that he was wOlx]a, ,”by him,” with him, before him, verse 30; that is, pron , John 1:1,2. And he was with him, ˆwOma; , “Nutricius,” “One brought up with him.” The word seems to be of a passive signification, or the participle Pahul, and is of the masculine gender, though referring unto hm;k]j; , Wisdom, which speaks of itself and is of the feminine, and that because it is a person which is intended; such constructions being not infrequent in the Hebrew, where the adjunct agrees with and respects the nature of the subject, rather than the name or some other name of the same thing. See Genesis 4:7. The word may have various significations, and is accordingly variously rendered by interpreters. The Chaldee render it ˆmyhm , that is, “faithful,” “I was faithful with him;” and the LXX., ajrmo>zousa , “framing, forming,” that is, all things with him. So also Ralbag on the place expounds it actively, “One nourishing all things,” as Jarchi doth passively, hldg wm[ , brought up with him;” which sense of the words our translation follows.

    And it is used unto that purpose, Lamentations 4:5, µygimua’h; [l;wOt yle[\ , “brought up in scarlet.” And although it may be not undecently taken in an active sense, yet I rather judge it to be used passively, “nutricius, alumnus,” one that is in the care and love of another, and to be disposed by him.

    And we may inquire in what sense this is spoken of the Son with respect unto the Father. The foundation of the allusion lies in the eternal mutual love that is between the Father and the Son. Thereunto is added the consideration of the natural dependence of the Son on the Father, — compared unto the love of a father unto a son, and the dependence of a son on his father. Therefore most translations, with respect unto this allusion, supply “as” to the words, “As one brought up.” Again, ˆwOma; , “alumnus,” “one brought up,” is always so with and unto some especial end or purpose, or to some work and service. And this is principally here intended. It is with respect unto the work that he had to accomplish that he is called “Alumnus Patris,” “One brought up of the Father.” And this was no other but the work of the redemption and salvation of mankind, the counsel whereof was then between the Father and the Son. In the carrying on of that work the Lord Christ everywhere commits himself and his undertaking unto the care, love, assistance, and faithfulness of the Father, whose especial grace was the original thereof, Psalm 22:9-11,19,20; Isaiah 50:7-9. And in answer hereunto, the Father promiseth him, as we shall see afterwards, to stand by him, and to carry him through the whole of it; and that because it was to be accomplished in such a nature as stood in need of help and assistance. Wherefore, with respect unto this work, he is said to be ˆwOma; wOlx]a, , “before him,” as one whom he would take care of, and stand by with love and faithfulness, in the prosecution of the work which was in their mutual counsel, when he should be clothed with that nature which stood in need of it. 14. With respect hereunto he adds, µwOy µwOy µy[iWv[\væ hy,h]a,w; ; — “And was delights every day.” There are ineffable mutual delights and joys in and between the persons of the sacred Trinity, arising from that infinite satisfaction and complacency which they have in each other from their respective in-being, by the participation of the same nature; wherein no small part of the blessedness of God doth consist. And by this word that peculiar delight which a father hath in a son is expressed: Jeremiah 31:20, µy[iWv[\væ dl,y, ; — “A pleasant child, a child of delights.” But the delights here intended have respect unto the works of God ad extra, as a fruit of that eternal satisfaction which ariseth from the counsels of God concerning the sons of men. This the next verse makes manifest, “Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights with the sons of men;” for after he had declared the presence of Wisdom with God before the first creation (which is a notation of eternity), and its cooperation with him therein, he descends to manifest the especial design of God and Wisdom with respect unto the children of men. And here such an undertaking on the part of the Son is intimated, as that the Father undertakes the care of him and his protection when he was to be humbled into the form of a servant; in the prospect whereof he delighted in him continually.

    So he expresseth it, Isaiah 42:1-7, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth.” ( yvip]næ ht;x]r; , the same with µwOy µwOy wOl µy[iWv[\væ . See Matthew 12:18, 17:5; Ephesians 1:6.) “I have put my Spirit upon him: 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. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: 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 blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prisonhouse.”

    This is the delight of the Father, and [such is] his presence with the Son in his work, whereof an eternal prospect is here presented. In answer whereunto the Son delights in him, whose delight he was, t[e lk;B] wyn;p;l] tq,j,c;m] , “rejoicing with exultation,” with all manner of expressions of joy; for the word properly signifies an outward expression of an inward delight,— the natural overflowings of an abounding joy. And what is this delight of the Son in answering the delight of the Father in him, with respect unto the work he had to do, the psalmist declares, Psalm 40:7,8, “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.”

    This rp,seAtLægim] , this “volume of the book,” which our apostle calls kefali>da bibli>ou , “the beginning” (or “head”) “of the book,” Hebrews 10:7, is no other but the counsel of God concerning the salvation of the elect by Jesus Christ, enrolled as it were in the book of life, and thence transcribed into the beginning of the book of truth, in the first promise given unto Adam after the fall. This counsel being established between Father and Son, the Son with respect thereunto rejoiceth continually before God, on the account of that delight which he had to do and accomplish his will, and in our nature assumed to answer the law of mediation which was prescribed unto him. 15. For, this being declared to be the mutual frame of God and his Wisdom towards one another, Wisdom proceeds to manifest with what respect towards outward things it was that they were so mutually affected: Verse 31, “Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights were with the sons of men.” That the things here spoken of were transacted in eternity, or before the creation, is evident in the context. The eternal counsels, therefore, and purposes of God and Wisdom, with respect unto the sons of men, are here expressed. The Word was now “foreordained,” even “before the foundation of the world,” unto the work of mediation and redemption, 1 Peter 1:20; and many of the sons of men were “chosen in him” unto grace and glory, Ephesians 1:4; and the bringing of them unto that glory whereunto they were chosen was committed unto him, as the captain of their salvation. This work, and the contemplation of it, he now delights in, because of that eternity of divine glory which was to ensue thereon. And because he was designed of the Father hereunto, and the work which he had to accomplish was principally the work of the Father, or the fulfilling of his will and the making effectual of his grace, wherein he sought his glory and not his own primarily, John 7:18, he speaketh of him as a distinct person, and the sovereign Lord of the whole. He did it wOxr]aæ lbeteB] , “in the world of his earth.” And the same word which he used to express his frame towards God, tq,j,c;m] , verse 30, “rejoicing, exulting,” he useth here in reference unto his work, to intimate that it was on the same account that he is said to rejoice before the Father and in the habitable part of his earth; that is, on account of the work he had undertaken. So also he expresseth his delight in the children of men, because of the concernment of the glory of God therein, by µy[Owv[\væ , the same word whereby he declares the Father’s delight in himself with respect unto his work.

    And these things cannot refer unto the first creation, seeing they regard µd;ak yneB] , “the children of men,” the sons or posterity of him who was at first singly created. And these things are revealed for our consolation and the strengthening of our faith, whereunto they may be improved; for if there were such mutual delights between the Father and the Son in the counsel and contrivance of the work of our redemption and salvation, and if the Son so rejoiced in the prospect of his own undertaking unto that end, we need not doubt but that he will powerfully and effectually accomplish it. For all the difficulties of it lay open and naked under his eye, yet he rejoiced in the thoughts of his engagement for their removal and conquest.

    He now saw the law of God established and fulfilled, the justice of God satisfied, his glory repaired, Satan under his feet, his works destroyed, sin put an end unto, with all the confusion and misery which it brought into the world, — all matters of everlasting joy. Here we place the first spring of the priesthood of Christ, the first actings of God towards man for his reparation. And it is expressed by the mutual delight of the Father and Son in the work and effect of it, whereunto the Son was designed; and this was intimate love, grace, complacency, and infinite wisdom. God foreseeing how the designed effect of love and grace in the recovery of mankind by the interposition of his Son would issue in his own eternal glory, was pleased therewith and rejoiced therein; and the Son, considering the object of his love and the peculiar glory set before him, delighted in the counsel of the Father. Wherefore the foundation of Christ’s priesthood, herein designed, was in love, grace, and wisdom, though in its exercise it respect holiness and justice also. 16. And this also seems to be expressed by the psalmist, Psalm 2:7, “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”

    The direct sense and importance of these words hath been declared in our Exposition on Hebrews 1:5,6; and the testimony that is given in them unto the divine nature of Jesus Christ I have also formerly vindicated, Vindiciae Evangelicae; and I have in like manner elsewhere declared the perverse iniquity of some of the later Jewish masters, who would apply this psalm singly to David, without any respect unto the Messiah. This Rashi confesseth that they do on purpose to oppose the “heretics” or Christians. But this is contrary to the conceptions and expositions of all their ancient doctors, and the express faith of their church whilst it continued; for from this place they constantly acknowledged that the Messiah was to be the Son of God, — or rather, that the Son of God was to be the Messiah. Hence was that inquiry of the high priest, Matthew 26:63, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.”

    According to the faith of their church, he takes it for granted that “the Christ” and “the Son of God” were the same. The same confession on the same principle made Nathanael, John 1:49, “Thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” And Peter’s confession, Matthew 16:16, John 6:69, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” was nothing but a due application of the faith of the Judaical church unto the person of our Savior; which was all that he then called for. “Unless,” saith he, “ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” And this faith of the church was principally built on this testimony, where God expressly calls the Messiah his Son, and that on the account of his eternal generation.

    So Maimonides, Jarchi himself, and Kimchi, do all confess that their ancients interpreted this psalm of the Messiah. The words of Jarchi are plain: tbwçtlw w[mçm yplw jyçmh °lm l[ ˆyn[h ta wçrd wnytwbr wmx[ dwd l[ wrtwpl wrtwpl ˆwkn µynymh ; — “Our masters expounded this psalm” (or, “the construction of it”) “concerning the King Messiah; but as the words sound, and that an answer may be returned unto the heretics, it is expedient to interpret it of David himself.”

    His confession is plain, that their ancient doctors looked on this psalm as a prophecy of the Messiah, as is also expressly acknowledged by Maimonides and Kimchi in their expositions. But as to these words, µynymh tbwçtlw , “and for an answer unto the heretics,” the reader will not find them either in the edition of Basil or of Venice, — that is, of the Bible with their Masoretical criticisms and rabbinical annotations, — being expunged by such as had the oversight of those editions, or before razed out of the copies they made use of.

    A great number of instances of this sort, unto excellent advantage, are collected by the learned Dr. Pococke, Notae Miscellan., cap. 8. And in the same place, that we go no farther for it, the same learned author gives us an account of the evasions invented by some of the Mohammedans against the force of this testimony, which yet they allow to respect Jesus Christ, whom they will by no means grant to be the Son of God. A prophet, if we please, he shall be; but that none may believe him to be the Son of God, the impostor himself laid in provision in the close of his Koran, in that summary of his Mussulman confession, “He is one God, God eternal, who neither begetteth nor is begotten, and to whom none is equal.” The reasons of their infidelity are putid and ridiculous, as is commonly known, and their evasion of this testimony a violent escape: for they tell us the text is corrupted, and instead of “My Son,” it should be “My prophet;” and instead of “I have begotten thee,” it should be “I have cherished thee;” the former words in the Arabic language consisting of the same letters transposed, and the latter differing in one letter only; and the fancied allusion between or change of the words is not much more distant in the Hebrew. But it is ridiculous to suppose that the Jews have corrupted their own text, to the ruinous disadvantage of their own infidelity. 17. There is, therefore, an illustrious testimony in these words given unto the eternal pre-existence of the Lord Christ in his divine nature before his incarnation; and this causeth the adversaries of that sacred truth to turn themselves into all shapes to avoid the force of it. He with whom we have before concerned ourselves raiseth himself unto that confidence as to deny that the things mentioned in this psalm had any direct accomplishment in Jesus Christ; and his next attempt is to prove that these words, Psalm 22:16, “They pierced my hands and my feet,” had no respect unto him.

    To this purpose doth he here discourse:— “Ea quae hic dicuntur si litera urgeatur, nunquam in Jesu Christo completa sunt. Nam ejus divinitati haec non competere; clarum est.

    Jam veto, ne cum natus quidem ex Maria est, historice haec illi evenerunt. Qui enim sunt isti, quaeso, populi, quae gentes, qui reges, qui contra Jesum jam regem constitutum consurrexerunt?

    Certe nec Pilatus, qui tamen rex non erat, nec Herodes ei hoc nomine ut illum solio et dignitate regia deturbarent illi, molesti fuerunt; neque consilia adversus ejus regnum contulerunt, nec copias collegerunt. Imo Pilatus quamvis illum regem dici audiret, tamen liberare et dimittere paratus erat. Et Herodes adversus eum non fremuit, sed bominem contempsit, et illaesum cum in potestate sua haberet dimisit. Pilatus Johan. 18:35, fatetur, ‘Gens tua et pontifices tradiderunt te mihi;’ soli ergo Judaei fuerunt hostes Jesu, et eorum consilia adversus eum non fuerunt inita; sed optatum finem consecuta; cujus contrarium hic narratur. In summa, taurus concursus, tanta consectatio, tantus armorum strepitus, et apparatus bellicus, quantum haec verba psalmi significant, nunquam contra Jesum extitit; praeterea isti reges et populi dicunt, ‘Dirumpamus vincula eorum,’ etc. At Jesus nec Judaeis nec gentibus imperitavit, nec vincula injecit, nulla tributa imposuit, non leges praescripsit, quibus illos constrictos tenuisset, et a quibus illi liberari concupivissent. Nam siquis haec ad doctrinam Jesu accommodet, spiritualem et mysticum introducet sensum,” etc.

    Having elsewhere handled, expounded, and vindicated this testimony, I should not here have diverted to the consideration of this discourse, had it not been to give an instance of that extreme confidence which this sort of men betake themselves unto when they are pressed with plain Scripture testimonies; for not any of the Jews themselves, who despise the application of this prophecy to Christ in the New Testament, do more perversely argue against his concernment therein than this man doth. He tells us, in the entrance of his discourse on this psalm, that all the Hebrews, whose authority in the interpretation of the Scripture no sober man will despise, are against the application of this psalm unto Christ. But as he is deceived if he thought that they all agree in denying this psalm to be a prophecy of the Messiah (for, as we have showed, the elder masters were of that mind), so he that shall be moved with the authority of the later doctors in the interpretation of those places of Scripture which concern the promised Messiah, that is, Jesus Christ, and yet pretend himself to be a Christian, will scarce retain the reputation of a sober person among such as are not stark mad. However, no Jew of them all can more perversely oppose the gospel than this man here doth, as will appear in the examination of what he says.

    First, That the things spoken in this psalm regard the Lord Christ with respect unto his divine nature alone, or as absolutely considered, none ever affirmed or taught; for they all regard him as incarnate, or as he was to be incarnate, and as exalted, or as he was to be exalted unto his kingly rule and throne. But yet some things here spoken are distinctly verified in his divine nature, some in his human, as I have elsewhere declared. In general, they all regard his person with respect unto his kingly office. But what ensues in this author, namely, that these things belong none of them properly unto Jesus Christ, is above the rate of ordinary confidence. All the apostles do not only jointly and with one accord apply the things here spoken unto the Lord Jesus, but also give a clear exposition of the words, as a ground of that application, — a thing seldom done by the sacred writers: Acts 4:24-28, “They lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage and the people imagine vain things?

    The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.”

    In their judgment, Herod and Pontius Pilate, with their adherents, — as exercising supreme rule and power in and over that people, with respect unto them on whom they depended, and whose authority they exerted, namely, the Romans, the great rulers over the world, — were the “kings” and “rulers” intended in this psalm. And so also the µyiwOg , or “heathen,” they took to be the “Gentiles,” who adhered unto Pilate in the execution of his Gentile power, and the µyMiaul] mentioned to be “the people of Israel.”

    Let us, therefore, consider what this man excepts against the exposition and application of these words made by the apostles, and which they expressed as the solemn profession of their faith, and we shall quickly find that all his exceptions are miserably weak and sophistical. “Pilate,” he says, “was not a king.” But he acted regal power, the power of a supreme magistrate among them, and such are everywhere called kings in the Scripture. Besides, he acted the power of the great rulers of the world, who made use of kings as instruments of their rule; so that in and by him the power of the Gentile world was acted against Christ. Herod he grants to have been a king, who yet was inferior in power and jurisdiction unto Pilate, and received what authority he had by delegation from the same monarch with Pilate himself.

    Secondly, He denies that these or either of them opposed Christ as to his kingdom; for “Pilate moved once for his delivery, and Herod rather scorned him than raged against his kingdom.” But this unbridled confidence would much better become a Jew than one professing himself to be a Christian. Did they not oppose the Lord Christ? Did they not rage against him? Who persecuted him? Who reviled him? Who apprehended him as a thief or murderer? Who mocked him, spit upon him, scourged him, crucified him, if not with their hands, yet with their power? Did they not oppose him as to his kingdom, who by all ways possible endeavored to hinder all the ways and means whatsoever whereby it was erected and established? Certainly never had prophecy a more sensible accomplishment.

    Thirdly, And for what he adds in reference unto the Jews, that “their counsels were not in vain against Christ, as those were that are here mentioned, but obtained their wished end,” I cannot see how it can be excused from a great outrage and excess of blasphemy. They did, indeed, whatever the hand and counsel of God determined before to be done; but that their own counsels were not vain, that they accomplished what they designed and aimed at, is the highest blasphemy to imagine. They took counsel against him as a seducer and a blasphemer; they designed to put an end to his work, that none ever should esteem him or believe in him as the Messiah, the Savior of the world, the Son of God; — was this counsel of theirs not in vain? Did they accomplish what they aimed at? Then say there is not a word of truth in the gospel or Christian religion.

    Fourthly, For that “concourse of people, consultations, and noise and preparation for war,” which though, as he says, “mentioned in the text, he cannot find in the actings of men against the Lord Christ,” it is all an imagination of the same folly; for there is no mention of any such preparation for war in the text as he dreameth of. Rage and consultation, with a resolution to oppose the spiritual rule of the Son of God, are indeed described, and were all actually made use of, originally against the person of Christ immediately, and afterwards against him in his gospel, with the professors and publishers of it.

    Fifthly, He adds hereunto that: “Christ ruled neither Jews nor Gentiles; that he made no laws, nor put any bonds upon them, that they might be said to break.” So answers Kimchi the testimony from Micah 5:2, where Christ is called the ruler of Israel. “Answer them,” saith he, wb wlçm µh lba larçyb lçm al , — “that Jesus ruled not over Israel, but they ruled over him, and crucified him.” But notwithstanding all this petulancy, his enemies shall all of them one day know that God hath made him both Lord and Christ; that he is a king and a lawgiver for ever; that he came to put the holy bands and chains of his laws on the world, which they in vain strive to reject and cast out of the earth, for he must reign until all his enemies are made his footstool. It is granted that in some of these words spiritual things are figuratively expressed, but their literal sense is that which the figure intends; so that no mystic or allegorical sense is here to be inquired after, it being the Lord Christ the Son of God, with respect unto his kingly office, who is here treated of primarily and directly, however any of the concernments of his kingdom might be typed out in David; and he it is who says, “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” 18. The foundation of this expression is laid in the divine and eternal filiation of the Son of God, as I have elsewhere evinced; but the thing directly expressed is spoken in reference unto the manifestation thereof in and after his incarnation. He that speaks the words is the Son himself; and he is the person spoken unto, as <19B001> Psalm 110:1, “The LORD said unto my Lord,” wherein the same eternal transaction between the Father and Son is declared. So here, “The LORD,” that is the Father, “hath said unto me.” How? By the way of an eternal statute, law, or decree. As he was the Son of God, so God declares unto him that in the work he had to do he should be his Son, and he would be his Father, and make him his firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. And therefore are these words applied several ways unto the manifestation of his divine filiation. For instance, he was “declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead,” Romans 1:4. And this very decree, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee,” is used by our apostle to prove the priesthood of Christ, which was confirmed unto him therein, Hebrews 5:5; and this could no otherwise be but that God declared therein unto him, that in the discharge of that office, as also of his kingdom and rule, he would manifest and declare him so to be. It appears, therefore, that there were eternal transactions between the Father and Son concerning the redemption of mankind by his interposition or mediation.

    EXERCITATION FEDERAL TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN THE FATHER AND THE SON. 1. Personal transactions between the Father and Son about the redemption of mankind, federal. 2. The covenants between God and man explained. 3. “Foedus,” a covenant, whence so called. 4. Sunqh>kh, why not used by the LXX. 5. The various use of tyriB] in the Scriptures — The tables of stone, how called the covenant; and the ark — The same use of sunqh>kh — The certain nature of a covenant not precisely signified by this word. 6. Covenants how ratified of old. 7. Things required to a complete and proper covenant. 8. Of covenants with respect unto personal services. 9. The covenant between Father and Son express — How therein the Father is a God unto him, and the Son less than the Father. 10. Joint counsel of the Father and Son in this covenant, as the foundation of it. 11. The will of the Father in this covenant absolutely free. 12. The will of the Son engaged in this covenant — The Son of God undertakes for himself when clothed with our nature. 13. The will of God how the same in Father and Son, yet acting distinctly in their distinct persons. 14. Things disposed of in a covenant to be in the power of them that make it — This they may be two ways: first, absolutely; secondly, by virtue of the compact itself. 15. The salvation of sinners the matter of this covenant, or the thing disposed of, to the mutual complacency of Father and Son. 16. The general end of this covenant the manifestation of the glory of God — Wherein that consists — What divine properties are peculiarly glorified thereby. 17. The especial glory of the Son the end of this covenant; what it is. 18. Means and way of entering into this covenant — Promises made to the Son, as incarnate, of assistance, acceptance and glory — The true nature of the merit of Christ. 19. Things prescribed to the Lord Christ in this covenant reduced to three heads — The sacred spring of his priesthood discovered. 20. The original reason and nature of the priesthood of Christ — Occasion and use of priesthood and sacrifices under the law. 21. The sum of the whole — Necessity of Christ’s priesthood. 1. Our next inquiry is after the nature of those eternal transactions which, in general, we have declared from the Scripture in our foregoing Exercitation. And these were carried on “per modum foederis,” “by way of covenant,” compact, and mutual agreement, between the Father and the Son; for although it should seem that because they are single acts of the same divine understanding and will, they cannot be properly federal, yet because those properties of the divine nature are acted distinctly in the distinct persons, they have in them the nature of a covenant. Besides, there is in them a supposition of the susception of our human nature into personal union with the Son. On the consideration hereof he comes to have an absolute distinct interest, and to undertake for that which is his own work peculiarly. And therefore are those counsels of the will of God, wherein lies the foundation of the priesthood of Christ, expressly declared as a covenant in the Scripture; for there is in them a respect unto various objects and various effects, disposed into a federal relation one to another.

    I shall therefore, in the first place, manifest that such a covenant there was between the Father and the Son, in order to the work of his mediation, called therefore the covenant of the Mediator or Redeemer; and afterwards I shall insist on that in it in particular which is the original of his priesthood. 2. First, we must distinguish between the covenant that God made with men concerning Christ, and the covenant that he made with his Son concerning men. That God created man in and under the terms and law of a covenant, with a prescription of duties and promise of reward, is by all acknowledged. After the fall he entered into another covenant with mankind, which, from the principle, nature, and end of it, is commonly called the covenant of grace. This, under several forms of external administration, hath continued ever since in force, and shall do so to the consummation of all things. And the nature of this covenant, as being among the principal concernments of religion, hath been abundantly declared and explained by many. The consideration of it is not our present business. That the Lord-Jesus Christ was the principal subject-matter of this covenant, the undertaker in it and surety of it, the Scriptures expressly declare: for the great promise of it was concerning him and his mediation, with the benefits that should redound unto mankind thereby in grace and glory; and the preceptive part of it required obedience in and unto him new and distinct from that which was exacted by the law of creation, although enwrapping all the commands thereof also. And he was the surety of it, in that he undertook unto God whatever by the terms of the covenant was to be done for man, to accomplish it in his own person, and whatever was to be done in and by man, to effect it by his own Spirit and grace; that so the covenant on every side might be firm and stable, and the ends of it fulfilled. This is not that which at present we inquire into; but it is the personal compact that was between the Father and the Son before the world was, as it is revealed in the Scripture, that is to be declared. 3. To clear things in our way, we must treat somewhat of the name and nature of a covenant in general. The Hebrews call a covenant tyriB] , the Greeks sunqh>kh , and the Latins “foedus;” the consideration of which words may be of some use, because of the original and most famous translations of the Scripture. “Foedus” some deduce “a feriendo,” from “striking.” And this was from the manner of making covenants, by the striking of the beast to be sacrificed in their confirmation; for all solemn covenants were always confirmed by sacrifice, especially between God and his people. Hence are they said to “make a covenant with him by sacrifice,” Psalm 50:5, offering sacrifice in the solemn confirmation of it.

    And when God solemnly confirmed his covenant with Abraham, he did it by causing a token of his presence to pass between the pieces of the beasts provided for sacrifice, Genesis 15:17,18. So when he made a covenant with Noah, it was ratified by sacrifice, Genesis 8:20-22, 9:9, 10. And to look backwards, it is not improbable but that, upon the giving of the first promise, and laying the foundation of the new covenant therein, Adam offered the beasts in sacrifice with whose skins he was clothed. And how the old covenant at Horeb was dedicated with the blood of sacrifices, our apostle declares, Hebrews 9:18-20, from Exodus 24:5-8. And all this was to let us know that no covenant could ever be made between God and man, after the entrance of sin, but upon the account of that great sacrifice of our High Priest which by those others was represented. Hence is the phrase, “foedera ferire,” “to strike a covenant:” Cicero pro Coelio, [cap. 14,] “Ideone ego pacem Pyrrhi diremi, ut tu amorum turpissimorum quotidie foedera ferires?” “Foedera,” “ferire,” and “percutere,” have the same rise and occasion. And the Hebrews also express the making of a covenant by striking hands, though with respect unto another ceremony. Some derive the word “a porcâ foede caesâ;” for a hog was clean in the devil’s sacrifices: — “Caesâ jungebant foedera porcâ.” — Virg. AEn., 8:641.

    And hence was the ancient formula of ratifying covenants by the striking and therewith killing of a hog, mentioned by the Roman historian, Liv. 1:24, “Qui prior defexit publico consilio dolo malo, tu illum Jupiter sic ferito, ut ego hunc porcum hodie feriam; tantoque magis ferito quanto magis potes pollesque;” upon the pronouncing of which words he killed the hog with a stone. And there was the same intention among them who, in making a covenant, cut a beast in pieces, laying one equal part against another, and so passing between them; for they imprecated as it were upon themselves that they might be so destroyed and cut into pieces if they stood not unto the terms of the covenant. See Jeremiah 34:18-20, where respect is had to the covenant made with the king of Babylon. But in the use and signification of this word we are not much concerned. 4. The Greek word is sunqh>kh , and so it is constantly used in all good authors for a solemn covenant between nations and persons. Only the translation of the LXX. takes no notice of it; for observing that tyriB] , “berith,” in the Hebrew was of a larger signification, applied unto things of another nature than sunqh>kh (denoting a precise compact or convention) could be extended unto, they rendered it constantly by diaqh>kh , whereof we must treat elsewhere. Genesis 14:13, they render tyrib] yle[\Bæ , “covenanters,” by sunwmo>tai , “confederati,” or “conjurati,’ “confederates sworn together.” Wherefore of the word sunqh>kh there is no use in this matter; and the nature of the thing intended must be inquired into. 5. tyriB] is largely and variously used in the Old Testament, nor are learned men agreed from what original it is derived. ar;B; , and hr;B; , and rræB; , are considered to this purpose.

    Sometimes it intends no more but peace and agreement, although there were no compact or convention unto that purpose: for this is the end of all covenants, which are of three sorts, as the Macedonian ambassador declared to the Romans; for either they are between the conqueror and the conquered, or between enemies in equal power, or between those who were never engaged in enmity. The end of all these sorts of covenants is mutual peace and security. Hence they are expressed by tyriB] , “a covenant.” So Job 5:23, Út,yrib] hd,V;hæ yneb]aæAµ[i ; — “Thy covenant shall be with the stones of the field.” Say we, “Thy league shall be;” that is, ‘Thou shalt have no hurt from them.’ And, Hosea 2:18, a covenant is said to be made with the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and the creeping things of the earth. Security from damage by them, and their quiet use, is called a covenant metonymically and metaphorically, because peace and agreement are the end of covenants.

    Secondly, Synecdochically, the law written on the two tables of stone was called the covenant: Exodus 34:28, “He wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.” Now, this law was purely preceptive, and an effect of sovereign authority, yet is it called a covenant.

    But this it is not absolutely in its own nature, seeing no mere precept, nor system of precepts as such, nor any mere promise, can be a covenant properly so called; but it was a principal part of God’s covenant with the people, when accepted by them as the rule of their obedience, with respect unto the promises wherewith it was accompanied. Hence the tables of stone whereon this law was written are called “The tables of the covenant:” Deuteronomy 9:11, tyriB]hæ twOjlu µynib;a\h; tjolu ynæv]Ata, ; — “The two tables of stone, the tables of the covenant.” These tables were first made by God himself, Exodus 31:18, and given into the hands of Moses; and when they were broken, he was commanded lsoP; , to effigiate them, or cut stones after their image, into their likeness, for the first were seen only by himself, Deuteronomy 10:11; Exodus 34:1.

    And when they were broken, whereby their use and signification ceased, they were not kept as relics, though cut and written by the finger or divine power of God, — which doubtless the superstition of succeeding ages would have attempted; but the true measure of the sacredness of any thing external is use by divine appointment. And also the ark was hence called “the ark of the covenant,” and sometimes “the covenant” itself, because the two tables of stone, the tables of the covenant, were in it, 1 Kings 8:9.

    So among the Grecians, the tables or rolls wherein covenants were written, engraven, or enrolled, were called sunqh~kai . So Demosthenes, Kata< jOlmpiod . kef . ib j : Suggwrw~ aJnoicqh~nai takav ejntauqoi~ eJpi< tou~ dikasthri>ou? — “I require that the covenants may be opened here in the court,” or “before the judgment-seat;” that is, the rolls wherein the agreement was written. And Aristot. Rhetor. lib. i.: j JOpoi~oi ganoi , h[ fula>ttontev , tou>toiv aiJ sunzh~kai pistai> eijsi? — “Covenants are of the same credit with those that wrote and keep them;” that is, the writings wherein such conventions are contained. For covenants that were solemnly entered into between nations were engraven in brass, as the league and covenant made between the Romans and Jews in the days of Judas Maccabeus, 1 Mac. 8:22; or in marble, as that of the Magnesians and Smyrnians, illustrated by the learned Selden; and other covenants were enrolled in parchment by public notaries.

    Thirdly, An absolute promise is also called tyriB] , “a covenant,” the covenant of God: Isaiah 59:21, “As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth.”

    And God also calls his decree constitutive of the law of nature and its continuance his covenant: Jeremiah 33:20, “Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, that there should not be day and night in their season.”

    It is therefore certain that where God speaks of his covenant, we cannot conclude that whatever belongs unto a perfect, complete covenant is therein intended. And they do but deceive themselves who, from the name of a covenant between God and man, do conclude always unto the nature and conditions of it; for the word is used in great variety, and what is intended by it must be learned from the subject-matter treated of, seeing there is no precept or promise of God but may be so called. 6. In the making of covenants between men, yea, in the covenant of God with men, besides that they were always conceived “verbis expressis,” there was some sign and token added, for their confirmation. This was generally the slaying of some creature, and the dividing of it into parts, before mentioned. Hence “sancire foedus” and “sanctio foederis” are “a sanguine,” from the blood shed in their confirmation. Of the slaying of a beast there is mention in all who have spoken of ancient covenants. So was it in that between the Romans and Albans, whose form is reported by Livy, as that whose tradition was of greatest antiquity among them. And there are likewise instances of the division of the slain beasts into two parts, like what we observed before concerning Abraham, and the princes of Judah in Jeremiah: Oij Molottoi< ejn toi~v oJrkwmosi>aiv katako>ptontev eijv mikra< tou~v Bou~v takav ejpoiou>nte , Herod.; — “The Molossians in their confederations cut oxen into small pieces, and so entered into covenants.” And how these pieces or parts were disposed Livy declares, lib. 39: “Prior pars ad dextram cum extis, posterior ad laevam viae ponitur; inter hanc divisam hostiam copiae armatae traducuntur.” And hence it is that troK] , which signifies “to cut” or “divide,” is used in the Scripture absolutely for the making of a covenant, without any addition of tyriB] , 1 Samuel 20:16, 1 Kings 8:9. And although such outward things did never belong unto the essence of a covenant, yet were they useful significations of fidelity, intended and accepted in the performance of what was engaged in it; and therefore God himself never made a covenant with men but he always gave them a token and visible pledge thereof. And whosoever is interested in the covenant itself hath thereby a right unto and is obliged to the use of the sign or token, according to God’s appointment. 7. An absolutely complete covenant is a voluntary convention, pact, or agreement, between distinct persons, about the ordering and disposal of things in their power, unto their mutual concern and advantage: — (1.) Distinct persons are required unto a covenant, for it is a mutual compact. As “a mediator is not of one,” — that is, there must be several parties, and those at variance, or there is no room for the interposition of a mediator, Galatians 3:20, — so a covenant, properly so called, is not of one. In the large sense wherein tyriB] is taken, a man’s resolution in himself with respect unto any especial end or purpose may be called his covenant, as Job 31:1, “I made a covenant with mine eyes.” And so God calleth his purpose or decree concerning the orderly course of nature in the instance before given. But a covenant, properly so called, is the convention or agreement of two persons or more. (2.) This agreement must be voluntary and of choice upon the election of the terms convented about. Hence tyriB] is by some derived from ar;B; , which signifies “to choose” or “elect;” for such choice is the foundation of all solemn covenants. What is properly so is founded on a free election of the terms of it, upon due consideration and a right judgment made of them.

    Hence, when one people is broken in war or subdued by another, who prescribe terms unto them, which they are forced as it were to accept for the present necessity, it is but an imperfect covenant, and, as things are in the world, not like to be firm or stable. So some legates answered in the senate of Rome when their people were subdued, “Pacem habebitis qualem dederitis; si bonam, firmam et stabilem, sin haud diuturnam.” (3.) The matter of every righteous and complete covenant must be of things in the power of them who convent and agree about them; otherwise any, yea the most solemn compact, is vain and ineffectual. A son or daughter in their father’s house, and under his care, making a vow or covenant for the disposal of themselves, can give no force unto it, because they are not in their own power. Hence, when God invites and takes men into the covenant of grace, whereunto belongs a restipulation of faith and obedience, which are not absolutely in their own power, that the covenant may be firm and stable he takes upon himself to enable them thereunto; and the efficacy of his grace unto that purpose is of the nature of the covenant. Hence, when men enter into any compact wherein one party takes on itself the performance of that which the other thinks to be, but is not, really in its power, there is dolus malus in it, which enervates and disannuls the covenant itself. And many such compacts were rescinded by the senate and people of Rome, which were made by their generals without their consent; as those with the Gauls who besieged the Capitol, and with the Samnites, at the Furcae Caudinae.

    Lastly, The end of a covenant is the disposal of the things about which the covenant is made to the mutual content and satisfaction of all persons concerned. Hence was the ancient form, “Quod felix faustumque sit huic et illi populo.” If either party be absolutely and finally detrimented by it, it is no absolute, free, or voluntary covenant, but an agreement of a mixed nature, where the consent of one party is given only for the avoiding of a greater inconvenience. And these things we shall find of use in our progress. 8. As all these things concur in every equal compact, so there is an especial kind of covenant, depending solely on the personal undertakings and services of one party in order unto the common ends of the covenant, or the mutual satisfaction of the covenanters. So it is in all agreements where any thing is distinctly and peculiarly required of one party. And such covenants have three things in them: — (1.) A proposal of service; (2.) A promise of reward; (3.) An acceptance of the proposal, with a restipulation of obedience out of respect unto the reward.

    And this indispensably introduceth an inequality and subordination in the covenanters as to the common ends of the covenant, however on other accounts they may be equal; for he who prescribes the duties which are required in the covenant, and giveth the promises of either assistance in them or a reward upon them, is therein and so far superior unto him, or greater than he who observeth his prescriptions and trusteth unto his promises. Of this nature is that divine transaction that was between the Father and Son about the redemption of mankind. There was in it a prescription of personal services, with a promise of reward; and all the other conditions, also, of a complete covenant before laid down are observed therein. And this we must inquire into, as that wherein doth lie the foundation and original of the priesthood of Christ. 9. First, Unto a proper covenant it is required that it be made between distinct persons. Such have I elsewhere proved the Father and Son to be, and in this discourse I do take that fundamental principle of our profession as granted. That there were eternal transactions in general between those distinct persons, with respect unto the salvation of mankind, hath been evinced in the foregoing Exercitation. That these were federal, or had in them the nature of a covenant, is now further to be manifested. And in general this is that which the Scripture intends, where God, that is the Father, is called by the Son his God, and where he says that he will be unto him a God and a Father; for this expression of being a God unto any one is declarative of a covenant, and is the word whereby God constantly declares his relation unto any in a way of covenant, Jeremiah 31:33, 32:38; Hosea 2:23.

    For God, declaring that he will be a God unto any, engageth himself unto the exercise of his holy properties, which belong unto him as God, in their behalf and for their good; and this is not without an engagement of obedience from them. Now, this declaration the Scripture abounds in: Psalm 16:2, “Thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord.”

    These are the words of the Son unto the Father, as is evident from verses 9-11. Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God.” Psalm 40:8, “I delight to do thy will, O my God.” Psalm 45:7, “God, thy God, hath anointed thee.” Micah 5:4, “He shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.” John 20:17, “I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.” Revelation 3:12, “I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; ….. and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God.” All which expressions argue both a covenant and a subordination therein.

    And on this account it is that our Savior says his Father is greater than he, John 14:28. This place, I confess, the ancients expound unanimously of the human nature only, to obviate the Arians, who ascribed unto him a divine nature, but made, and absolutely in itself inferior to the nature of God. But the inferiority of the human nature unto God or the Father is a thing so unquestionable as needed no declaration or solemn attestation, and the mention of it is no way suited unto the design of the place. But our Savior speaks with respect unto the covenant engagement that was between the Father and himself as to the work which he had to do: for therein, as we shall further manifest, the Father was the prescriber, the promiser, and lawgiver; and the Son was the undertaker upon his prescription, law, and promises. He is, indeed, in respect of his divine personality, said to be “God of God.” No more is intended hereby but that the person of the Son, as to his personality, was of the person of the Father, who communicated his nature and life unto him by eternal generation. But the Father on that account is not said to be his God, or to be a God unto him, which includes the acting of divine properties on his behalf, and a dependence on the other side on him who is so a God unto him. And this hath its sole foundation on that covenant and the execution of it which we are in the consideration of. 10. Again; the transactions before insisted on and declared are proposed to have been by the way of “counsel,” for the accomplishment of the end designed in a-covenant: Zechariah 6:13, µwOlv; txæ[\wæ µh,ynev] ˆyB, hy,h]Ti . The counsel about peace-making between God and man was “between them both;” that is, the two persons spoken of, — namely, the Lord Jehovah, and he who was to be jmæx, , “The Branch.” And this was not spoken of him absolutely as he was a man, or was to be a man, for so there was not properly hx;[e , or “counsel,” between God and him; “for who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?” Romans 11:34. And, besides, the Son in his human nature was merely the servant of the Father to do his will, Isaiah 42:1. But God takes this counsel with him as he was his eternal Wisdom, only with respect unto his future incarnation; for therein he was to be both the “Branch of the LORD and “the fruit of the earth,” Isaiah 4:2. Hereunto regard also is had in his name: Isaiah 9:6, “He shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor;” for these titles, with those that follow, do not absolutely denote properties of the divine nature, though they are such divine titles and attributes as cannot be ascribed unto any but to him who is God; but there is in them a respect unto the work which he had to do as he was to be a “child born” and “a son given” unto us. And on the same account is he called “The everlasting Father,” a name not proper unto the person of the Son with mere respect unto his personality. There is, therefore, a regard in it unto the work he had to do, which was to be a father unto all the elect of God. And therein also was he “The Prince of Peace,” — he who is the procurer and establisher of peace between God and mankind. On the same account God speaking of him, says that he is ytiymi[\ rb,G, y[iro , — “My shepherd, and the man my fellow,” Zechariah 13:7; such an one as with whom he had sweetened and rejoiced in secret counsel, as Psalm 55:14, according unto what was before declared on Proverbs 8:30,31. 11. Particularly, the will of the Father and Son concurred in this matter; which was necessary, that the covenant might be voluntary and of choice.

    And the original of the whole is referred to the will of the Father constantly. Hence our Lord Jesus Christ on all occasions declares solemnly that he came to do the will of the Father: “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God,” Psalm 40:6-8; Hebrews 10:5-10; for in this agreement the part of the enjoiner, prescriber, and promiser, whose will in all things is to be attended unto, is on the Father. And his will was naturally at a perfect liberty from engaging in that way of salvation which he accomplished by Christ. He was at liberty to have left all mankind under sin and the curse, as he did all the angels that fell; he was at liberty utterly to have destroyed the race of mankind that sprang from Adam in his fallen estate, either in the root of them, or in the branches when multiplied, as he almost did in the flood, and have created another stock or race of them unto his glory. And hence the acting of his will herein is expressed by grace , — which is free, or it is not grace, — and is said to proceed from love acting by choice; all arguing the highest liberty in the will of the Father, John 3:16; Ephesians 1:6.

    And the same is further evidenced by the exercise of his authority, both in the commission and commands that he gave unto the Son, as incarnate, for the discharge of the work that he had undertaken; for none puts forth his authority but voluntarily, or by and according unto his own will. Now, he both sent the Son, and sealed him, and gave him commands; which are all acts of choice and liberty, proceeding from sovereignty. Let none, then, once imagine that this work of entering into covenant about the salvation of mankind was any way necessary unto God, or that it was required by virtue of any of the essential properties of his nature, so that he must have done against them in doing otherwise. God was herein absolutely free, as he was also in his making of all things out of nothing. He could have left it undone without the least disadvantage unto his essential glory or contrariety unto his holy nature. Whatever, therefore, we may afterwards assert concerning the necessity of satisfaction to be given unto his justice, upon the supposition of this covenant, yet the entering into this covenant, and consequently all that ensued thereon, is absolutely resolved into the mere will and grace of God. 12. The will of the Son also was distinct herein. In his divine nature and will he undertook voluntarily for the work of his person when the human nature should be united thereunto, which he determined to assume; for what is spoken of the second person is spoken with respect unto his purpose to assume our nature, for the obedience whereof, in all that was to be done upon it or by it, he undertook. This the Scripture fully declares, and that for a double end: — First, To demonstrate that the things which he underwent in his human nature were just and equal, inasmuch as himself whose it was voluntarily consented thereunto. Secondly, To manifest that those very acts which he had in command from his Father were no less the acts of his own will. Wherefore, as it is said that the Father loved us, and gave his Son to die for us; so also it is said that the Son loved us, and gave himself for us, and washed us in his own blood. These things proceeded from and were founded in the will of the Son of God; and it was an act of perfect liberty in him to engage into his peculiar concernments in this covenant. What he did, he did by choice, in a way of condescension and love. And this his voluntary susception of the discharge of what he was to perform, according to the nature and terms of this covenant, was the ground of the authoritative mission, sealing, and commanding, of the Father towards him. See Psalm 60:7,8; Hebrews 10:5; John 10:17,18. And whatever is expressed in the Scripture concerning the will of the human nature of Christ, as it was engaged in and bent upon its work, it is but a representation of the will of the Son of God when he engaged into this work from eternity. So then he freely undertook to do and suffer whatever on his part was required; and therein owns himself the servant of the Father, because he would obey his will and serve his purposes in the nature which he would assume for that end, Isaiah 42:1,6, 49:8, 9; Zechariah 13:7; and therein acknowledgeth him to be his Lord, Psalm 16:2, unto whom he owed all homage and obedience: for this mind was in him, that whereas he was in the form of God, he humbled himself unto this work, Philippians 2:5-8, and by his own voluntary consent was engaged therein. Whereas, therefore, he had a sovereign and absolute power over his own human nature when assumed, whatever he submitted unto, it was no injury unto him, nor injustice in God to lay it on him. 13. But this sacred truth must be cleared from an objection whereunto it seems obnoxious, before we do proceed. “The will is a natural property, and therefore in the divine essence it is but one. The Father, Son, and Spirit, have not distinct wills. They are one God, and God’s will is one, as being an essential property of his nature; and therefore are there two wills in the one person of Christ, whereas there is but one will in the three persons of the Trinity. How, then, can it be said that the will of the Father and the will of the Son did concur distinctly in the making of this covenant?”

    This difficulty may be solved from what hath been already declared; for such is the distinction of the persons in the unity of the divine essence, as that they act in natural and essential acts reciprocally one towards another, — namely, in understanding, love, and the like; they know and mutually love each other. And as they subsist distinctly, so they also act distinctly in those works which are of external operation. And whereas all these acts and operations, whether reciprocal or external, are either with a will or from a freedom of will and choice, the will of God in each person, as to the peculiar acts ascribed unto him, is his will therein peculiarly and eminently, though not exclusively to the other persons, by reason of their mutual in-being. The will of God as to the peculiar actings of the Father in this matter is the will of the Father, and the will of God with regard unto the peculiar actings of the Son is the will of the Son; not by a distinction of sundry wills, but by the distinct application of the same will unto its distinct acts in the persons of the Father and the Son. And in this respect the covenant whereof we treat differeth from a pure decree; for from these distinct actings of the will of God in the Father and the Son there doth arise a new habitude or relation, which is not natural or necessary unto them, but freely taken on them. And by virtue hereof were all believers saved from the foundation of the world, upon the account of the interposition of the Son of God antecedently unto his exhibition in the flesh; for hence was he esteemed to have done and suffered what he had undertaken so to do, and which, through faith, was imputed unto them that did believe. 14. Moreover, a covenant must be about the disposal of things in the power of them that enter into it, otherwise it is null or fraudulent. And thus things may be two ways; — first, Absolutely; secondly, By virtue of some condition or something in the nature of the covenant itself. (1.) Things are absolutely in the power of persons, when they are completely at their disposal antecedently unto the consideration of any covenant or agreement about them; as in the covenant of marriage, where the several persons engaging are sui juris, — they have an absolute power in themselves to dispose of their own persons with respect unto the ends of marriage. So it is in all covenants. When the things to be disposed of according to the limitations of the covenant are lawful and good antecedently unto any agreement made about them, and because they are in the power of the covenanters, they may be disposed of according to the terms of the compact. So was it in this covenant. To do good unto mankind, to bring them unto the enjoyment of himself, was absolutely in the power of the Father. And it was in the power of the Son to assume human nature, which becoming thereby peculiarly his own, he might dispose of it unto what end he pleased, saving the union which ensued on its assumption, for this was indissoluble. (2.) Again, some things are made lawful or good, or suited unto the glory, honor, or satisfaction and complacency, of them that make the covenant, by virtue of somewhat arising in or from the covenant itself. And of this sort are most of the things that are disposed in the covenant between the Father and the Son under consideration. They become good and desirable, and suited unto their glory and honor, not as considered absolutely and in themselves, but with respect unto that order, dependence, and mutual relation, that they are cast into by and in the covenant.

    Such was the penal suffering of the human nature of Christ under the sentence and curse of the law. This in itself absolutely considered, without respect unto the ends of the covenant, would neither have been good in itself, nor have had any tendency unto 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 penally under the sentence and curse of the law; for the law denounceth punishment unto 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 unto the limitations and use of these sufferings, they are made good, and tend unto the glory of God, as we shall see. So the pardoning and saving of sinners absolutely could have had no tendency unto the glory of God; for what evidence of righteousness would there have been therein, that the great Ruler of all the world should pass by the offenses 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, as we shall see, through the terms and conditions of this covenant, this is rendered righteous, holy, and good, and eminently conducing to the glory of God. 15. The matter of this covenant, or the things and ends about which and for which it was entered into, are nextly to be considered. These are the things which, as we observed before, are to be disposed of unto the honor, and as it were mutual advantage, of them that make the covenant. And the matter of this covenant in general is the saving of sinners, in and by ways and means suited unto the manifestation of the glory of God. So it is compendiously expressed where the execution of it is declared, John 3:16, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    And upon the coming of the Son into the world he was called Jesus, because he was to “save his people from their sins,” Matthew 1:21; even Jesus the deliverer, who saves us from the wrath to come, Thessalonians, 1:10. To declare this design of God, or his will and purpose in and by Jesus Christ to save his elect from sin and death, to bring his many sons unto glory, or the full enjoyment of himself unto eternity, is the principal design of the whole Scripture, and whereunto the whole revelation of God unto men may be reduced. This was that on the prospect whereof the Son or Wisdom of God rejoiced before him, and had his delights with the children of men before the foundation of the world, Proverbs 8:30,31. Man having utterly lost himself by sin, coming short thereby of the glory of God, and being made obnoxious unto everlasting destruction, the prevision whereof was in order of nature antecedent unto this covenant, as hath been declared, the Father and Son do enter into a holy mutual agreement concerning the recovery and salvation of the elect in a way of grace. This we place as the matter of this covenant, the thing contracted and agreed about. The distinction of the parts of it into persons and things, the order and respect in it of one thing unto another, are not of our present consideration; the explanation of them belongs unto the covenant of grace which God is pleased to enter into with believers by Jesus Christ. But this was that in general that was to be disposed of unto the mutual complacency and satisfaction of Father and Son. 16. The end of these things, both of the covenant and the disposition of all things made thereby, was the especial 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 that he intendeth or doth. He is absolutely, infinitely, eternally perfect, in himself and all his glorious properties, so that nothing can be added unto him. His end therefore must be, not the obtaining of glory unto himself, but the manifestation of the glory that is in himself.

    When the holy properties of his nature are exercised in external works, and are thereby expressed, declared, and made known, then is God glorified.

    The end therefore in general of this covenant, which regulated the disposal of the whole matter of it, was the exercise, exaltation, and manifestation, of the glorious properties of the divine nature; other supreme end and ultimate it could have none, as hath been declared. Now, such is the mutual respect of all the holy properties of God in their exercise, and such their oneness in the same divine being, that if any one of them be exerted, manifested, and thereby glorified, the residue of them must be therein and thereby glorified also, because that nature is glorified in which they are, and whereunto they do belong. But yet, in several particular works of God, his design is firstly, immediately, and directly, to exercise in a peculiarly eminent manner, and therein to advance and glorify, one or more of his glorious properties, and the rest consequentially in and by them. So in some of his works he doth peculiarly glorify justice, in some mercy, in some his power. We may therefore, as to the end of this holy, eternal compact, consider what are those properties of the divine nature which were peculiarly engaged in it, and are peculiarly exerted in its execution, and were therefore designed to be exalted in a peculiar manner. Now these are three: — (1.) Wisdom, attended with sovereignty. (2.) Justice, springing from holiness. (3.) Grace, mercy, goodness, love, which are various denominations of the same divine excellency.

    That this 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 them, or God in and by them, unto eternity, the Scripture doth fully declare. (1.) The infinite, sovereign wisdom of God, even the Father, exerted itself, — [1.] In passing by the angels in their fallen condition, and fixing on the recovery of man, Hebrews 2:16; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6. [2.] In the projection or provision of the way in general to bring about the salvation of man, by the interposition of his Son, with what he did and suffered in the pursuit hereof, Acts 2:23, 4:28. [3.] In the disposal of all things in that way in such a holy and glorious order, as that marks and footsteps of infinite divine wisdom should be imprinted on every part and passage of it, 1 Corinthians 1:23-31; Romans 11:33-36; Ephesians 3:10,11. (2.) His justice, accompanied with or springing from holiness, gave as it were the especial determination unto the way to be insisted on for the accomplishment of the end aimed at, and it was effectually exerted in the execution of it; for upon a supposition that God would pardon and save sinners, it was his eternal justice which required that it should be brought about by the sufferings of the Son, and it was itself expressed and exercised in those sufferings, as we shall afterwards more fully declare, Romans 3:25,26, 8:3; Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21. (3.) Grace, love, goodness, or mercy, chiefly induced unto the whole. And these the Scriptures most commonly cast the work upon, or resolve it into. See John 3:16,17; Romans 5:8, 11:6; 1 Corinthians 1:29-31; Ephesians 1:5-7, 3:7, 8.

    In these things, in the exercise, manifestation, and exaltation, of these glorious excellencies of the divine nature, with their effects in and upon the obedience of angels and men, doth consist that peculiar glory which God, even the Father, aims at in this covenant, and which supplies the place of that security or advantage which amongst men is intended in such compacts. 17. There must also, moreover, be an especial and peculiar honor of the Son, the other party covenanting, intended therein; and was so accordingly, and is in like manner accomplished. And this was twofold: — First, what he had conjunctly with the Father, as he is of the same nature with him, “over all, God blessed for ever;” for on this account the divine excellencies before mentioned belong unto him, or are his, and in their exaltation is he exalted. But as his undertaking herein was peculiar, so he was to have a peculiar honor and glory thereby, not as God, but as the Mediator of the covenant of grace, which sprang from hence. For the accomplishment of the ends of this covenant, as we shall see, he parted for a season with the glory of his interest in those divine perfections, emptying himself, or making himself of no reputation, Philippians 2:5-9. And he was to have an illustrious recovery of the glory of his interest in them, when he was “declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead,” Romans 1:4, when he was again glorified with the Father, with that glory which he had with him before the world was, John 17:5, — namely, that peculiar glory which he had and assumed upon his undertaking to be a Savior and Redeemer unto mankind, then when his delights were with the sons of men, and he rejoiced before the Father, and was his delight on that account. And this, secondly, was attended with that peculiar glorious exaltation which in his human nature he received upon the accomplishment of the terms and conditions of this covenant. What this glory was, and wherein it doth consist, I have manifested at large in the Exposition on Hebrews 1:3. See Isaiah 53:12; <19B001> Psalm 110:1,6, 2:8, 9; Zechariah 9:10; Psalm 72:8; Romans 14:11; Isaiah 45:23; Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2:10; Hebrews 12:2, etc. 18. The manner how these things were to be accomplished, — that is, the condition and limitation of this covenant, as it had respect unto a prescription of personal obedience and promises of reward, — is lastly to be considered; for herein lies the occasion and spring of the priesthood of Christ, which we are inquiring after. And this sort of covenants hath most affinity unto those relations which are constituted by the law of nature; for every natural relation, such as that of father and children, of man and wife, contains in it a covenant with respect unto personal services and rewards. Now, things were so disposed in this covenant, that on the account of bringing sinners unto obedience and glory, to the honor of God the Father, and of the peculiar and especial honor or glory that was proposed unto himself, he, the Son, should do and undergo in his own person all and every thing which, in the wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and grace of God, was requisite or necessary unto that end, provided that the presence and assistance of the Father were with him, and that he accepted of him and his works.

    I shall a little invert the order of these things, that I may not have occasion to return again unto them after we are engaged in our more peculiar design.

    We may therefore, in the first place, consider the promises that in this compact or covenant were made unto the Son upon his undertaking this work, although they more naturally depend on the prescription of duty and work made unto him. But we may consider them as encouragements unto the susception of the work. And these promises were of two sorts: — (1.) Such as concerned his person; (2.) Such as concerned the prosperity of the work which he undertook.

    Those also which concerned his person immediately were of two sorts: — [1.] Such as concerned his assistance in his work; [2.] Such as concerned his acceptance and glory after his work. (1.) The person of the Son of God, not absolutely considered, but with respect unto his future incarnation, is a proper object of divine promises; and so was he now considered, even as an undertaker for the execution and establishment of this covenant, or as he became the minister of God to confirm the truth of the promises made afterwards to the fathers, Romans 15:8. And herein he had promises, — [1.] As to his assistance. The work he undertook to accomplish, as it was great and glorious, so also it was difficult and arduous. It is known from the gospel what he did and what he suffered, — what straits, perplexities, and agonies of soul, he was reduced unto in his work. All this he foresaw in his first engagement, and thereon by his Spirit foretold what should befall him, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53; 1 Peter 1:11. Whatever opposition hell and the world, — which were to prevail unto the bruising of his heel, — could make against the Son of God acting in the frail nature of man, he was to encounter withal; whatever the law and the curse of it could bring on offenders, he was to undergo it. Hence in that nature he stood in need of the presence of God with him and of his divine assistance. This, therefore, was promised unto him; in respect whereunto he placed his trust and confidence in God, even the Father, and called upon him in all his distresses. See Isaiah 42:4,6; Psalm 16:10,11, 22:1-31, 89:28; Isaiah 50:5-9. This God promised him, and gave him that assurance of, which at all times he might safely trust unto, — namely, that he would not leave him under his troubles, but stand by and assist him to the utmost of what had a consistency with the design itself whose execution he had undertaken. [2.] Promises were given unto him concerning his exaltation, his kingdom, and power, with all that glory which was to ensue upon the accomplishment of his work. See Isaiah 53:12; <19B001> Psalm 110:1,6, 2:8, 9; Zechariah 9:10; Psalm 72:8; Daniel 7:14; Romans 14:11; Isaiah 45:23; Philippians 2:10. And these promises the Lord Christ had a constant eye unto in his whole work; and upon the accomplishment of it, made his request, and expected that they should be made good and fulfilled, — as well he might, being made unto him and confirmed with the “oath of God,” Luke 24:26; John 17:5; Hebrews 12:2. And these are an essential part of the covenant that he was engaged by. (2.) The second sort of promises made unto him are such as concern his work, and the acceptance of it with God. By them was he assured that the children whom he undertook for should be delivered and saved, should be made partakers of grace and glory. See Hebrews 2:9-11, etc., and our Exposition thereon. And this is that which gives the nature of merit unto the obedience and suffering of Christ. Merit is such an adjunct of obedience as whereon a reward is reckoned of debt. Now, there was 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 it be an indispensable condition thereof; 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. This, therefore; arose from the compact or covenant that was between the Father and 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 (which wherein it doth consist shall be declared afterwards); 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 unto Christ; and it gives us the true nature of his merit. Such promises were given him, and do belong unto this covenant, the accomplishment whereof he pleads on the discharge of his work, Isaiah 53:10,11; Psalm 22:30,31; John 17:1, 4-6, 9, 12-17; Hebrews 7:26; Isaiah 49:5-9; Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33. 19. The conditions required of, or prescriptions made unto, the undertaker in this covenant, for the end mentioned, and under the promises directed unto, do complete it. And these may be reduced unto three heads: — (1.) That he should assume or take on him the nature of those whom, according unto the terms of this covenant, he was to bring unto God. This was prescribed unto him, Hebrews 2:9, 10:5; which, by an act of infinite grace and condescension, he complied withal, Philippians 2:6-8, Hebrews 2:14. And therein, although he was with God, and was God, and made all things in the glory of the only-begotten Son of God, yet he was “made flesh,” John 1:14. And this condescension, which was the foundation of all his obedience, gave the nature of merit and purchase unto what he did. This he did upon the prescription of the Father; who is therefore said to “send forth his Son, made of a woman,” Galatians 4:4; and to “send forth his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,” Romans 8:3: in answer unto which act of the will of the Father he saith, “Lo, I come to do thy will,” Hebrews 10:7. And this assumption of our nature was indispensably necessary unto the work which he had to do. He could no otherwise have exalted the glory of God in the salvation of sinners, nor been himself in our nature exalted unto his mediatory kingdom, which are the principal ends of this covenant, (2.) That in this nature so assumed he should be the servant of the Father, and yield universal obedience unto him, both according to the general law of God obliging all mankind, and according unto the especial law of the church under which he was born and made, and according unto the singular law of that compact or agreement which we have described, Isaiah 42:1, 49:5; Philippians 2:7. He came to do, to answer and fulfill, the whole will of God, all that on any account was required of him.

    This he calls the “commandment” of his Father, the commands which he received of him, which extend themselves to all the prescriptions of this covenant. (3.) That whereas God was highly incensed with and provoked against all and every one of those whom he was to save and bring unto glory, they having all by sin come short thereof, and rendered themselves obnoxious to the law and its curse, he should, as the servant of the Father unto the ends of this covenant, make an atonement for sin in and by our nature assumed, and answer the justice of God by suffering and undergoing what was due unto them; without which it was not possible they should be delivered or saved, unto the glory of God, Isaiah 53:11,12.

    And as all the other terms of the covenant, so this in particular he undertook to make good, namely, that he would interpose himself between the law and sinners, by undergoing the penalty thereof, and between divine justice itself and sinners, to make atonement for them. And so are we come to the well-head or the fountain of salvation. Here lieth the immediate sacred spring and fountain of the priesthood of Christ, and of the sacrifice of himself, which in the discharge of that office he offered unto God. 20. Man having sinned, the justice of God, as the supreme Lord, Ruler, and Governor over all, was violated thereby, and his law broken and disannulled. Every sin personally added to the first sin, which was the sin of our nature in Adam, doth so far partake of the nature thereof as to have the same consequents with respect unto the justice and law of God. In one or both these ways all men had sinned and come short of the glory of God, or were apostatized from the end of their creation, without power, hope, or possibility in themselves for the retrieval thereof. Neither was there any way for our recovery, unless God were propitiated, his justice atoned, and his law repaired or fulfilled. This now was that which in this eternal covenant the Son of God, as he was to be incarnate, did undertake to perform. And this could no otherwise be done but by the obedience and suffering of the nature that had offended; whereby greater glory should redound unto God, in the exaltation of the glorious properties of his nature, through their eminent and peculiar exercise, than dishonor could be reflected on him or his rule by sin committed in that nature. This was done by the death and blood-shedding of the Son of God under the sentence and curse of the law. Hereunto, in this covenant, he voluntarily and of choice gave himself up unto the will of God, to undergo the penalty due to sinners, according to the terms and for the ends of the law: for inasmuch as the sufferings of Christ were absolutely from his own will, the obedience of his will therein giving them virtue and efficacy; and seeing he did in them and by them interpose himself between God and sinners, to make atonement and reconciliation for them; and seeing that to this end he offered up himself unto the will of God, to do and suffer whatever he required in justice and grace for the accomplishment of the ends of this compact and agreement; which having effected, he would persist to make effectual unto those for whom he so undertook all the benefits of his undertaking, by a continual glorious interposition with God on their behalf; he so became the high priest of his people, and offered himself a sacrifice for them.

    For when God came to reveal this counsel of his will, this branch and part of the eternal compact between him and his Son, and to represent unto the church what had been transacted within the veil, for their faith and edification, as also to give them some previous insight into the manner of the accomplishment of these his holy counsels, he did it by the institution of a priesthood and sacrifices, or a sacred office and sacred kind of worship, suited and adapted to be a resemblance of this heavenly transaction between the Father and the Son; for the priesthood and sacrifices of the law were not the original exemplar of these things, but a transcript and copy of what was done in heaven itself, in counsel, design, and covenant, as they were a type of what should be afterwards accomplished in the earth. Now, although the names of priests and sacrifices are first applied unto the office mentioned under the law and their work, from whence they are traduced under the new testament and transferred unto Jesus Christ, that we may learn thereby what God of old instructed his church in, yet the things themselves intended and signified by these names belong properly and firstly unto Jesus Christ, upon the account of this his undertaking; and the very names of priests and sacrifices were but improperly ascribed unto them who were so called, to be obscure representations of what was past, and types of what was to come. 21. The sum is, The Son of God, in infinite love, grace, and condescension, undertaking freely, in and of his own will, to interpose himself between the wrath of God and sinners, that they might be delivered from sin with all its consequents, and saved, unto the glory of God, according to the terms of the covenant explained, his offering and giving up of himself unto the will of God in suffering and dying, in answer unto his holiness, righteousness, and law, was, in the revelation of this counsel of God unto the church, represented by his institution of a sacred office of men, to offer up, by slaying and other rites of his own appointment, the best of other creatures, called by him a priesthood and sacrifices; these things in the first place belonging properly unto the accomplishment of the forementioned holy undertaking in and by the person of that Son of God. And if it be inquired wherefore things were thus ordered in the wisdom and counsel of God, we answer, that, with respect unto the holiness, righteousness, and veracity of God, it was absolutely and indispensably necessary that they should be so disposed; for on the supposition of the sin of man, and the grace of God to save them who had sinned, the interposition of the Son of God described on their behalf was indispensably necessary, as shall be proved in the ensuing Exercitation.


    THE NECESSITY OF THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST ON THE SUPPOSITION OF SIN AND GRACE. 1. The necessity of the priesthood of Christ, of what nature and on what grounds asserted. 2. The general nature of justice or righteousness. 3. The nature of the righteousness of God, as declared in the Scripture — The universal rectitude of his nature. 4. Right of rule in God, whence it proceeds. 5. The righteousness of God in particular exercise. 6. “Justitia regiminis” in God, the nature of it. 7. Sundry things supposed to the necessary exercise of vindictive righteousness. 8. The necessity and special nature of the priesthood of Christ founded thereon. 9. Some attributes of God produce the objects about which they are exercised, some suppose them with their qualifications — Vindictive justice no free act of God’s will — The righteousness of rule exerted in the prescription of a penal law — Punishment, as punishment, necessary; not the degrees of it — God not indifferent whether sin be punished or not, but free in punishing; yet is it necessary that sin should be punished. 10. Justice and mercy not alike necessary as to their exercise. 11. The opinion of the Socinians, in opposition to the justice of God, declared. 12. Positions to be proved. 13. First argument taken from the holiness of God, Habakkuk 1:13 — Of God’s jealousy, Joshua 24:19 — In what sense compared to a consuming fire, Hebrews 12:29. 14. God the supreme judge and governor of the world, Genesis 18:25. 15. The sum of what hath been pleaded concerning the righteousness of God. 16. Opposition made to this righteousness of God, by whom. 17. The arguments of Socinus examined — Justice and mercy not opposite. 18. The twofold righteousness assigned unto God by Socinus examined. 19, 20. The righteousness of God in the punishment of sin further vindicated against him; 21. And against the exceptions in the Racovian Catechism; 22. As also those of Crellius, who is further refuted. 1. It appears from the precedent discourse that the priesthood of Christ was founded in sundry free acts of the will of God. Into that, therefore, is it principally to be resolved. The actual appointing of him also unto this office was a free act of the sovereign will and pleasure of God, which might not have been. The redeeming of man was no more necessary on the part of God than his creation. Howbeit 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; and this was, that he should do it by undergoing the punishment that was due unto them or their sins who should be saved, or offer himself a sacrifice to make atonement and reconciliation for them. This God did require; nor could it have been ordered otherwise, but that an inconsistency with the glory of his holiness, righteousness, and veracity, would have ensued thereon. The priesthood of the Son of God was necessary, not absolutely and in itself, but on the supposition of the law and entrance of sin, with the grace of God to save sinners.

    This being a matter of great importance, and without a due stating whereof the doctrine concerning the priesthood of Christ, or the nature and use of this office of his, cannot be rightly conceived or apprehended, I must somewhat largely insist upon it. And I shall do it the rather because the truth in this matter is strenuously opposed by the Socinians, and the defense of it deserted by some otherwise adhering unto sound doctrine in the main of our cause: for I shall not mention them who in these things are not wise beyond the writings of two or three whom they admire; nor those who, being utter strangers to the true reasons and grounds of truth herein, do boldly and confidently vent their own imaginations, and that with the contempt of all who are not satisfied to be as ignorant as themselves. 2. Whereas we assert the necessity of the priesthood of Christ to depend on the righteousness of God, it is requisite that some things should be premised concerning the nature of righteousness in general, and in particular of the righteousness of God. Aristotle divides justice into that which is universal and that which is particular; and he makes the former to be the same with virtue in general; only it hath, as he supposeth, a respect unto others, and is not merely for itself, Ethic. lib. 5 cap. 1:2. Particular justice is either distributive or commutative; and in its exercise it consists in words or deeds. That justice which consists in words, respects either commands, and it is called equity; or promises and assertions, and is veracity or truth. And both these, even equity in his commands, and truth or faithfulness in his promises, are frequently in the Scripture called the “righteousness of God.” See Ezra 9:15; Nehemiah 9:8; Psalm 31:l; Romans 1:17, 3:21; 2 Timothy 4:8. And this is the righteousness of God which David and other holy men so often plead and appeal unto, whilst in the meantime they plainly acknowledge that in the strictness of God’s justice they could neither stand before him nor find acceptance with him, <19D003> Psalm 130:3, 143:1, 2. The righteousness which consisteth or is exercised in works or actions is either the righteousness of rule in general, or of judgment in particular. And this latter is either remunerative or corrective; and this also is either chastening or avenging. And all these are subordinate unto distributive justice; for commutative hath no place between God and man. “Who hath given first unto him, that it should be recompensed unto him again?” 3. And these distinctions are of use in the declaration of the various acceptations of the “righteousness of God” in the Scripture. But their explication and further illustration is not at present necessary unto us; for I shall take up with a more general consideration of the righteousness of God and distribution of it, whereunto whatever is ascribed unto it in the Scripture may be reduced. Wherefore, the righteousness of God is taken two ways: — first, Absolutely in itself, as it is resident in the divine nature; secondly, With respect unto its exercise, or the actings of God suitably unto that holy property of his nature.

    In the first sense or 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 unto his own wisdom, goodness, holiness, and right of dominion: Zephaniah 3:5, “The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do 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 rule of his wisdom and the nature of things, with their relation one to another. And this virtue of the divine nature, considered absolutely, is not promen doth, but is the infinite, essential rectitude of God in his being. Hence it doth so preside in and 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 God; and this not only because they are his acts and works who will do no evil, who can do none, but also because they proceed from and are suited unto that holy, absolute, universal rectitude of his nature, wherein true righteousness doth consist. So are we said to obtain faith “through the righteousness of God,” 2 Peter 1:1, — the same with “abundant mercy,” 1 Peter 1:3; Isaiah 51:6, “My salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished;” that is, “my faithfulness.” See the description of it in general, Job 34:10-15.

    The absolute rectitude of the nature of God, acted in and by his sovereignty, is his righteousness, Romans 9:8,14,15. 4. For between the consideration of this righteousness of God and the actual exercise of it, which must respect somewhat without him, to be made by him, somewhat in his creatures, there must be interposed a consideration of the right of God, or that which we call “jus dominii,” a right, power, and liberty of rule or government; for it is not enough that any one be righteous to enable him to act righteously in all that he doth or may do with respect unto others, but, moreover, he must have a right to act in such and those cases wherein he doth so. And this right, which justice supposeth, is or may be twofold: — (1.) Supreme and absolute; (2.) Subordinate.

    For we speak of justice and right only with respect unto public actings, or actings of rule, which belong unto righteousness as it is distributive; for that which is commutative, and may have place in private transactions among private persons, we have here no consideration of. Now, for that which is subordinate, it is a right to distribute justice or things equal unto others, according to the direction and by the authority of a superior: and this superior may be either real only, as is a law, — in which sense the law of nature is a superior unto all rulers on the earth, and the respective laws of nations to most; or personal also, which is that which is denied, where any one is acknowledged as a supreme governor. That this right hath no place in God is evident. He hath no greater whereby he may swear, and therefore swears by himself, Hebrews 6:13.

    The right, therefore, which God hath to act his righteousness, or to act righteously towards others, is supreme and sovereign, arising naturally and necessarily from the relation of all things unto himself; for hereby, — namely, by their relation unto him as his creatures, — they are all placed in an universal, indispensable, and absolutely unchangeable dependence on him, according to their natures and capacities. The right of God unto rule over us is wholly of another kind and nature than any thing is or can be among the sons of men, that which is paternal having the nearest resemblance of it, but it is not of the same kind; for it doth not arise from the benefits we receive from him, nor hath any respect unto our consent, for he rules over the most against their wills, but depends merely on our relation unto him as his creatures, with the nature, order, and condition of our existence, wherein we are placed by his sovereignty. This in him is unavoidably accompanied with a right to act towards us according to the counsel of his will and the rectitude of his nature. The state and condition, I say, of our being and end, with the relation which we have unto him and to his other works, or the order wherein we are set and placed in the universe, being the product or effect of his power, wisdom, will, and goodness, he hath an unchangeable, sovereign right to deal with us and act towards us according to the infinite, eternal rectitude of his nature. And as he hath a right so to do, so he cannot do otherwise. Supposing the state and condition wherein we are made and placed, with the nature of our relation unto and dependence on God, and God can act no otherwise towards us but according to what the essential rectitude of his nature doth direct and require; which is the foundation of what we plead in the case before us concerning the necessity of the priesthood of Christ. 5. Secondly, The righteousness of God may be considered with respect unto its exercise, which is so frequently expressed in the Scripture, and whereon depends the rule and government of the world. This supposeth the right of God before declared, as that right itself is no absolute but a relative property of God, supposing the creation of all things, in their nature, order, and mutual respects, according unto his wisdom and by his power. On this supposition it followeth naturally and necessarily, not as a new thing in God, but as a natural and necessary respect which his nature and being hath unto all creatures upon their production; for suppose the creation of all things, and it is as natural and essential unto God to be the ruler of them and over them as it is to be God. Now, the exercise of the righteousness of God, in pursuit of his right of rule, is either absolute and antecedent, or respective and consequential. As it is absolute and acted antecedently unto the consideration of our obedience or disobedience, so it is put forth and exercised in his laws and promises; for they are acts or effects of righteousness disposing things equally, according to their nature and the will of God. God’s ways are equal. His justice in legislation is universal equity; for all things being created in order by divine wisdom, there arose from thence a to< pre>pon , a meetness and condecency, whereunto respect was had in God’s legislation, whereby his law or the commandment became equal, holy, meet, just, and good. And whereas it was necessary that the law of God should be accompanied with promises and threatenings, the eternal rectitude of God’s nature acting righteously in their execution or accomplishment is his truth. Hence truth and righteousness are in the Scripture frequently used to express the same thing. 6. Again, there is a respective righteousness in actions, which also is either of rule or of judgment. First, there is “justitia regiminis,” or the particular righteousness of actual rule. I do not place this [next] as though it were absolutely consequential unto that of legislation before mentioned; for take the righteousness of rule or government in its whole latitude, and it comprehends in it the righteousness of legislation also as a part thereof.

    For so it is the virtue or power of the nature of God, whereby he guideth all his actions or works in disposing and governing of the things created by him, in their several kinds and orders, according to the rule of his own eternal rectitude and wisdom; for righteousness of government must consist in an attendance unto and observation of some rule. Now, this in God is the absolute righteousness of his nature, with his natural right unto rule over all, in conjunction with his infinitely wise and holy will, which is that unto him which equity or law is unto supreme rulers among men. And therefore God, in the exercise of this righteousness, sometimes resolves the faith and obedience of men into his sovereign right over all, Job 41:11, 33:12, 13, 34:12-15; Jeremiah 19:1-6; Isaiah 45:9; Romans 9:20, 11:32, 33; — sometimes into the holiness of his nature, Zephaniah 3:5; Psalm 47:8; — sometimes into the equity and equality of his ways and works themselves, Ezekiel 18:25. But there is a particular exercise of this righteousness of rule which hath respect unto the law, any law given unto men immediately by God, as confirmed with promises and threatenings. The ruling and disposing of the temporal and eternal states or conditions of men, according to the tenor and sentence of the law given unto them, belongeth hereunto. And as this is actually executed, it is called “justitia judicialis,” or the righteousness of God whereby he distributes rewards and punishments unto his creatures according to their works.

    Hereof one part consisteth in the punishing of sin as it is a transgression of his law; and this is that wherein at present we are concerned, for we say that the righteousness of God, as he is the supreme ruler of the world, doth require necessarily that sin be punished, or the transgression of that law which is the instrument of his rule be avenged. 7. The exercise of this righteousness in God presupposeth sundry things; as, — (1.) The creation of all things, in their kind, order, state, and condition, by a free act of the will and power of God, regulated by his goodness and infinite wisdom: for Our God doth whatever he pleaseth; he worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will. (2.) In particular, the creation of intelligent, rational creatures in a moral dependence on himself, capable of being ruled by a law, in order unto his glory and their own blessedness. The being and nature of mankind, their rational constitution, their ability for obedience, their capacity of eternal blessedness or misery, depend all on a sovereign free act of the will of God. (3.) The nature of the law given unto these creatures, as the means and instrument of their moral, orderly dependence on God; whereof the breach of that law would be a disturbance. (4.) The eternal, natural, unchangeable right that God hath to govern these creatures according to the tenor of that law which he hath so appointed for the instrument of his rule. This is no less necessary unto God than his being. (5.) The sin of those creatures, which was destructive of all that order of things, which ensued on the creation and giving of the law. For it was so, — [1.] Of the principal end of the creation, which could be no other but the glory of God from the obedience of his creatures, preserving all things in the order and state wherein he had made and placed them; [2.] Of the dependence of the creature on God, which consisted in his moral obedience unto him according to the law; and, [3.] It was introductory of a state of things utterly opposite unto the universal rectitude of the nature of God. Only the right of God to rule the sinning creature unto his own glory abode with him, because it belongs unto him as God. And this represents the state of things between God and the sinning creature; wherein we say, that upon a supposition of all these antecedaneous free acts, and of the necessary continuance of God’s righteousness of rule and judgment, it was necessary that the sinning creature should be punished according to the sentence of the law. Only observe, that I say not that this righteousness of judgment, as to the punitive part or quality of it, is a peculiar righteousness in God, or an especial virtue in the divine nature, or an especial distinct righteousness, which the schoolmen generally incline unto; for it is only the universal rectitude of the nature of God, sometimes called his righteousness, sometimes his holiness, sometimes his purity, exercising itself not absolutely, but on the suppositions before laid down. 8. On this state of things, on the necessary exercise of this righteousness of God upon the supposition mentioned, depend both the necessity and especial nature of the priesthood of Christ. Designed it was in grace, as we have before proved, on supposition that God would save sinners. But it was this justice that made it necessary, and determined its especial nature; for this was that which indispensably required the punishment of sin, and therefore was it necessary that he who would save sinners should undergo for them the punishment that was due unto them. This was therefore to be done by the Son of God, in the interposition that he made with God on the behalf of sinners. He was to answer the justice of God for their sin. But because this could not be done by mere suffering or enduring punishment, which is a thing in its own nature indifferent, the will and obedience of Christ in the manner of undergoing it was also required. This made his priesthood necessary, whereby whilst he underwent the punishment due unto our sins, he offered himself an acceptable sacrifice for their expiation.

    This is that, therefore, which is now distinctly proposed unto confirmation, namely, that the justice or righteousness of God, as exercised in the rule and government of his rational creatures, did indispensably and necessarily require that sin committed should be punished, whence ariseth the especial nature of the priesthood of Christ. And this I shall do, — First, By premising some observations making way unto the true stating and explication of the truth; Secondly, By relating the judgment or opinion of the Socinians, our professed adversaries in and about these things; Thirdly, By producing the arguments and testimonies whereby the truth contended for is established, wherewithal the exceptions of the adversaries unto them shall be removed out of the way. 9. First, There are some attributes of God which, as to their first exercise ad extra, require no object antecedently existing unto their acting of themselves, much less objects qualified with any sort of conditions. Such are the wisdom and power of God, which do not find but produce the objects of their first actings ad extra. These, therefore, in their actings must needs be absolutely and every way free, being limited and directed only by the sovereign will and pleasure of God; for it was absolutely free to God whether he would act any thing outwardly or no, whether he would make a world or no, or of what kind. But on the supposition of the determination of his will so to act in producing things without himself, it could not be but he must of necessity, by the necessity of his own nature, act according to those properties, that is, infinitely powerfully and infinitely wisely. But herein were they no way limited by their first objects, for they were produced and had being given unto them by themselves. But there are properties of the divine nature which cannot act according unto their nature without a supposition of an antecedent object, and that qualified in such or such a manner. Such are his vindictive justice and his pardoning mercy; for if there be no sinners, none can be punished or pardoned. Yet are they not therefore to be esteemed only as free acts of the will of God; for not their existence in him, but their outward exercise only, depends on and is limited by the qualification of their objects. So then, — Secondly, The rule of God’s acting from or by his vindictive justice is not a mere free act of his will, but the natural dominion and rule which he hath over sinning creatures, in answer unto the rectitude and holiness of his own nature; that is, he doth not punish sin because he will do so merely, as he made the world because he would, and for his pleasure, but because he is just and righteous and holy in his rule, and can be no otherwise, because of the holiness and rectitude of his nature. Neither doth he punish sin as he can, that is, to the utmost of his power, but as the rule of his government and the order of things in the universe, disposed unto his glory, do require.

    Thirdly, This justice exerted itself in one signal act antecedent unto the sin of man, namely, in the prescription of a penal law; that is, in the annexing of the penalty of death unto the transgression of the law. This God did not merely because he would do so, nor because he could do so, but because the order of all things, with respect unto their dependence on himself as the supreme ruler of all, did so require. For had God only given men a law of the rule of their dependence on him and subjection unto him, and not inseparably annexed a penalty unto its transgression, it was possible that man by sin might have cast off all his moral dependence on God, and set himself at liberty from his rule, as it was some such thing that was aimed at in the first sin, whereby man foolishly hoped that he should make himself like unto God; for having broke and disannulled the sole law of his dependence on God, what should he have had more to do with him? But this case was obviated by the justice of God, in predisposing the order of punishment to succeed in the room of the order of obedience, if that were broken. And that this provision should be made, the nature of God did require.

    Fourthly, The justice of God required a punishment of sin as a punishment. Hereunto do belong the way and degree, the time, season, and manner of it; but these things are not necessarily stated in the justice of God. The assignation and determination of them belong unto his sovereign will and-wisdom. So would things have been ordered in the execution of the sentence of the law on Adam, had it not been taken off by the interposition of the Mediator. Whatever, therefore, God doth in this kind, when he hasteneth or deferreth deserved punishments, in the aggravation or diminution of penalties, it is all in the disposal of his holy will.

    Fifthly, Whereas, upon the suppositions mentioned, I do affirm that it is necessary, on the consideration of the nature of God and his natural right to govern his creatures, that sin should be punished, yet I say not that God punisheth sin necessarily; which would express the manner of his operation, and not the reason of it. He doth not punish sin as the sun gives out light and heat, or as the fire burns, or as heavy things tend downwards, by a necessity of nature. He doth it freely, exerting his power by a free act of his will. For the necessity asserted doth only exclude an antecedent indifferency, upon all the suppositions laid down. It denies that, on these respects, it is absolutely indifferent with God whether sin be punished or no. Such an indifferency, I say, is opposite unto the nature, law, truth, and rule of God, and therefore such a necessity as excludes it must herein be asserted. It is not, then, indifferent with God whether sin, or the transgression of his law, be punished or no, and that because his justice requireth that it should be punished; so far, therefore, it is necessary that so it should be. But herein is God a free agent, and acts freely in what he doth, which is a necessary mode of all divine actings ad extra; for God doth all things according to the counsel of his own will, and his will is the original of all freedom. But suppose the determination of his will, and the divine nature necessarily requireth an acting suitable unto itself. It is altogether free to God whether he will speak unto any of his creatures or no: but supposing the determination of his will that he will so speak, it is absolutely necessary that he speak truly; for truth is an essential property of his nature, whence he is “God that cannot lie.” It was absolutely free to God whether he would create this world or no: but on supposition that so he would do, he could not but create it omnipotently and infinitely wisely; for so his nature doth require, because he is essentially omnipotent and infinitely wise. So there was no necessity absolute in the nature of God that he should punish sin: but on supposition that he would create man, and would permit him to sin, it was necessary that his “sin should be avenged;” for this his righteousness and dominion over his creatures did require. 10. It is objected, “That on the same suppositions it will be no less necessary that God should pardon sin than that he should punish it. For mercy is no less an essential property of his nature than justice; and if, on supposition of the proper object of justice and its qualification, it is necessary that it should be exercised, — that is, that where sin is there also should be punishment, — why then, on the supposition of the proper object of mercy and its qualification, is it not necessary that it also should be exercised, — that is, that where there is sin and misery there should be pity and pardon? And whereas one of these must give place unto the other, or else God can act nothing at all towards sinners, why may we not rather think that justice should yield as it were to mercy, and so all be pardoned, than that mercy should so far give place to justice as that all should be punished?” Ans. (1.) We shall make it fully appear that God hath, in infinite wisdom and grace, so ordered all things in this matter that no disadvantage doth redound either to his justice or his mercy, but that both of them are gloriously exercised, manifested, and exerted. That this was done by the substitution of the Son of God in their stead, to answer divine justice, who were to be pardoned by mercy, and that it could be done no otherwise, is that which we are in the confirmation of. And those by whom this is denied can give no tolerable account why all are not condemned, seeing God is infinitely righteous, or all are not pardoned, seeing he is infinitely merciful. For what they fancy concerning impenitency will not relieve them; for if God can forgive sin without any satisfaction unto his justice, he may forgive every sin, and will do so, because he is infinitely merciful; for what should hinder or stand in the way, if justice do not? But, — (2.) There is not the same reason of the actual exercise of justice and mercy; for upon the entrance of sin, as it respects the rule of God, the first thing that respects it is justice, whose part it is to preserve all things in their dependence on God; which without the punishment of sin cannot be done. But God is not obliged unto the exercise of mercy, nor doth the forbearance of such an exercise any way intrench upon the holiness of his nature or the glory of his rule. It is true, mercy is no less an essential property of God than justice; but neither the law, nor the state and order of things wherein they were created, nor their dependence on God as the supreme governor of the whole creation, raises any natural respect or obligation between mercy and its object. God, therefore, can execute the punishment which his justice requireth without the least impeachment of his mercy; for no act of justice is contrary unto mercy. But absolutely to pardon where the interest of justice is to punish, is contrary to the nature of God. 11. (3.) It is denied that sin and misery do constitute the proper object of mercy. It is required that every thing contrary to the nature of God in sin and the sinner be taken out of the way, or there is no proper object for mercy. Such is the guilt of sin unsatisfied for. And moreover, faith and repentance are required to the same purpose. Socinus himself acknowledgeth that it is contrary to the nature of God to pardon impenitent sinners. These [faith and repentance] none can have but on the account of an antecedent reconciliation, as is evident in the fallen angels.

    And on these suppositions even mercy itself will be justly exercised, nor can it be otherwise.

    These things are premised to give a right understanding of the truth which we assert and contend for. It remains that we briefly represent what is the opinion which the Socinians advance in opposition unto this foundation of the priesthood and sacrifice of Christ; for they are awake unto their concernments herein, and there is none of them but in one place or other attempts an opposition unto this justice of God, and the necessity of its exercise upon the supposition of sin, though the defense of it hath been unhappily and causelessly by some deserted. The judgment of these men is expressed by Socinus, Praelec. Theol. cap. 16 lib. 1, de Jesu Christo Servator., lib. 3 cap. 1; Catech. Racov., cap. 8 quest. 19; Ostorod. Institut. cap. 31; Volk. de Ver. Relig. lib. 5 cap 21; Crellius, Lib. de Deo, cap. 28; Vindic. Socin. ad Grot. cap. 1; de Causis Mortis Christi, cap. 16; Smalcius adv. Franzium, Disputat. Quarta; Gitichius ad Lucium. Woolzogen.; Compend. Relig. Christianae, sect,48. The sum of what they all plead is, that there is no such thing as justice in God, requiring that sin be punished; that the cause and fountain of punishment in God is anger, wrath, or fury; that these denote free acts of the will of God, which he may exercise or omit at his pleasure. If he punish sin, he doth nothing against justice, nor if he omit so to do. In all these things he is absolutely free. Such a governor of his creatures do they fancy him to be! Hence it follows that there was no necessity, no just or cogent reason, why the punishment of our sin or the chastisement of our peace should be laid on Christ; for there was neither need nor possibility that any satisfaction should be made to the justice of God. Only he hath freely determined to punish impenitent sinners, and as freely determined to pardon them that repent and believe the gospel. For this hath he sent the Lord Christ to testify and declare unto us; with respect whereunto he is called and to be esteemed our Savior. The words of Socinus are express to this purpose, De Christo Servatore, lib. 1 cap. 2, “Quaerente aliquo, qui fiat, ut mortem aeternam meriti, nihilominus ad vitam aeternam perveniamus, non est germanum responsum, quia Christum Servatorem habemus: sed quia supplicium morris aeternae a Deo, cujus libera voluntate atque decreto id meriti fueramus, nobis pro ineffabili ipsius bonitate condonatum fuit; atque ejus loco datum vitae internae praemium; dummodo resipiscamus, et abnegata omni impietate vitae innocentiae ac sanctimoniae deinceps studeamus. Quod si, qua ratione istud nobis innotuerit, quaeratur, cure neque Deum videamus unquam, neque audiamus loquentem, quisve nobis tantae divinae liberalitatis non dubiam fidem fecerit, respondendum est, Jesum Christum id nobis enarrasse, et multis modis confirmasse.”

    This is the substance of the persuasion of these men in this matter; which how contradictory it is unto the whole mystery and design of the gospel, and contains a complete renunciation of the mediation of Christ, will in our ensuing discourse be made to appear. 12. That, therefore, which we are engaged in the confirmation of may be reduced unto two heads: — First, That the justice of God, whereby he governeth the world and ruleth over all, is an essential property of the divine nature, whence God is denominated “just” or “righteous;” and that on the account hereof it is necessary that sin should be punished, or not be absolutely pardoned without respect unto satisfaction given unto that justice of God. Secondly, That hence it became necessary, that in the designation of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto his office of priesthood, he should make his soul an offering for sin, to make an atonement thereby for it; without which there could have been no remission, because without it there could be no satisfaction given or reconciliation made. 13. Our first argument is taken from the consideration of the nature of God and his holiness. Whatever is spoken of the purity and holiness of God, with his hatred of and aversation from sin and sinners on the account thereof, confirmeth our assertion; for we intend no more thereby but that God, the great ruler of the world, is of so holy a nature as that he cannot but hate and punish sin, and that so to do belongs unto his absolute perfection; for the purity and holiness of God is nothing but the universal perfection of his nature, which is accompanied with a displicency in and a hatred of sin, whence he will punish it according to its desert. So is it expressed, Habakkuk 1:13, “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.” Not to be able to look on or behold iniquity, expresseth the most inconceivable detestation of it. God is µyinæy[e rwOhf] ; which expresseth the infinite holiness of his nature, with what respect therein he hath, and cannot but have, towards that which is perverse and evil. So when the prophet had made his inference from hence, namely, that he was holy, [r; twOar]me , that any look or aspect unsuitable thereunto towards sin or evil is not to be expected from him, he adds expressly, alo lm;[;Ala, fyBihæw] lk;Wt ; and he cannot (that is, because of the holiness of his nature, which such an action would be contrary unto) “look on,” that is, pass by, spare, or connive at, “iniquity.” For that is the rule of what God can do or cannot do. He can do every thing that is not contrary to himself; that is, to the essential properties of his nature. He can do nothing that is contrary unto or inconsistent with his truth, holiness, or righteousness. Wherefore, whereas not to look on sin, not to behold it, do include in them, and by the negation of contrary acts express, the punishing of sin, — that is, all sin, or sin as sin, — and these are resolved into the nature of God, or his essential holiness, this testimony declares that the punishment of sin is thence necessary unto God, as he is the holy, supreme governor of the world.

    Hence this holiness of God is sometimes expressed by jealousy, or hath jealousy joined with it, or accompanying it: Joshua 24:19, “He is an holy God; he is a jealous God: he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.” And God makes mention of this his jealousy, when he would instruct men in his severity in the punishing of sin, Exodus 20:5: for the nature of jealousy is not to spare, Proverbs 6:34; nothing but the executing of vengeance will satisfy it. And this is that which God intended in the revelation of himself which he made by the proclamation of his name before Moses, Exodus 34:7, “That will by no means clear” (or “acquit”) “the guilty,” — namely, for whom no atonement is made.

    And it is to instruct us herein that this holiness of God is expressed by fire, Hebrews 12:29, “Our God is a consuming fire,” — “devouring fire” and “everlasting burnings,” Isaiah 33:14; and that “a fiery stream” is said to proceed from him, and that his throne is like “a fiery flame,” Daniel 7:9,10. Now it is certain that God acteth not in any external work by a mere and absolute necessity of nature, as fire burneth. This, therefore, we are not taught by this representation of the holiness of God.

    But if we may not learn thence, that as eventually fire will burn any combustible thing that is put into it, so the holiness of God requires that all sin be assuredly punished, we know not what to learn from it; and it is certainly not made use of merely for our amazement.

    An account of the nature and holiness of God is given us to the same purpose, Psalm 5:4-6, “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak lies: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.”

    All the actings of God in the hatred and punishing of sin proceed from his nature; and what is natural to God is necessary. The negative expression; “Thou art not a God that hath pleasure,” etc., verse 4, includes strongly the affirmative, expressed verse 5, “Thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

    And this he doth because he is such a God as he is, — that is, infinitely holy and righteous. And that hatred which is here ascribed unto God contains two things in it: — (1.) A natural displicency; he cannot like it, he cannot approve it, he cannot but have an aversation from it, (2.) A will of punishing it proceeding therefrom, and which is therefore necessary, because required by the nature of God. Expressions are here multiplied, to manifest that sin is contrary to the nature of God, and that it is inconsistent therewith to pass it by unpunished. But if the punishing of sin depend upon a mere free act of the will of God, which might or might not be without any disadvantage unto his nature, there is no reason why his holiness or righteousness should be made mention of, as those which induce him thereunto and indispensably require it. This is that which from this consideration is confirmed unto us, — namely, that such is the holiness of the nature of God, that he cannot pass by sin absolutely unpunished: for it is contrary unto his holiness, and therefore he cannot do it; for he cannot deny himself. 14. Again, God in the Scripture is proposed unto us as the supreme judge of all, acting in rewards and punishments according unto his own righteousness, or what the rectitude and holy properties of his own nature do require and make just, good, and holy. Although his kingdom, dominion, government, and rule, be supreme and absolute, yet he ruleth not as it were arbitrarily, without respect unto any rule or law. That God should have any external rule or law in his government of the world, is absolutely and infinitely impossible; but his law and rule is the holiness and righteousness of his own nature, with respect unto that order of all things which, in his will and wisdom, he hath given and assigned unto the whole creation. In respect hereunto he is said to do right as a ruler and a judge: Genesis 18:25, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” fpevoh\ År,a;j;AlK; expresseth that sce>siv of the divine nature, and that office as it were of God, which in this matter he represents himself by unto us as vested withal. He is that supreme rector or governor of all the world, who useth and is to use righteousness in his government, or to govern righteously. Before such a one the just and the unjust cannot, ought not to be treated or dealt withal in the same manner; for although none be absolutely righteous in his sight, yet some may be so comparatively, with respect unto some kind of guilt and guilty persons. According as the distance is between persons, so the righteousness of God requires that they be differently dealt withal.

    But it is pleaded, “That the intention of the expression here used is to plead for mercy, that the just should not be utterly destroyed with the unjust; and that we improve the testimony unto a contrary end, namely, to prove that God must punish all sin.” But all that is hence aimed at is no more but that God is denominated just and righteous from that righteousness whereby he punisheth sin; which therefore can be no free act of his will, but is an essential property of his nature. And if so, then doth that righteousness of his require that sin be punished; for God doth right as a judge, and a judge cannot acquit the guilty without injustice. And what an external law is to a subordinate judge, that God’s righteousness and holiness is unto him, as he is the judge of all the earth. And this appeal of Abraham unto the righteousness of God as he is a judge is founded in a principle of the light of nature, and as such is repeated by our apostle, Romans 3:5,6. And unto this end is God, as the ruler of the world, represented as on a throne, executing justice and judgment; the introduction of which solemnity is of no use unless it instruct us that God governeth the world as a righteous judge, and that justice requireth that he inflict punishment on sinners: Psalm 9:7,16, 97:2, 3, 89:14, “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne;” that is, they always dwell and reside there, because God on his throne acts according to the justice and righteousness of his nature. And hence he is both denominated righteous, and declared so to be, in and by the punishment of sin, Revelation 16:5,6. See Romans 1:32; 2 Thessalonians 1:6; Exodus 9:27; which places I have to the same purpose pleaded and vindicated elsewhere. 15. The whole of what hath been thus far pleaded may be reduced unto the ensuing heads: — (1.) God is naturally and necessarily the supreme governor of his rational creatures with respect unto their utmost end, which is his own glory.

    Upon the supposition of his being and theirs, an imagination to the contrary would imply all sorts of contradictions. (2.) The law of obedience in and unto such creatures ariseth naturally and necessarily from the nature of God and their own; for this original law is nothing but that respect which a finite, limited, dependent creature hath unto an absolute, infinitely wise, holy, and good Creator, suited unto the principles of the nature which it is endued withal. Therefore it is indispensably necessary. (3.) The annexing of a penalty unto the transgression of this law was nothing but what the righteousness of God, as the supreme ruler of his creatures, did make necessary, as that without which the glory and holiness of his rule could not be preserved upon the entrance of sin. (4.) The institution of punishment, answerable unto the sanction of the law, is an act of justice in God, and necessary unto him as the supreme governor of the universe. 16. And this is the first ground whereon the necessity of the satisfaction of Christ, and of the atonement he was to make as our high priest, is founded; for on supposition that God, in infinite grace and mercy, would eternally save sinners, the punishment due unto their sins was to be undergone by him who interposed himself between them and the justice of God which required it, Now, as there are some who believe the satisfaction of Christ, on the abundant testimonies given unto it in the Scripture, and yet resolve the reason of it into the infinite wisdom and sovereign pleasure of God only, — with whom I do not now expressly deal, because although we differ about the way, we agree in the end, — so the Socinians employ the chief of their strength in opposition unto this righteousness of God, as knowing that if it be maintained, they are cast in their whole cause. I shall therefore remove all those objections which they principally fortify themselves with against the evidence of the truth asserted, and their exceptions also which they put in to the testimonies and arguments wherewith it is confirmed, and thereby put an end unto this Exercitation. 17. He whom I shall first begin withal is Socinus himself, who in all these things laid that foundation which his followers have built upon. And as in almost all his other works he casually reflects on this righteousness of God, so in that, De Jesu Christo Servatore, he directly opposeth it in two chapters at large, lib. 1 cap. 1, lib. 3 cap. 1. In the first place he designeth to answer the arguments produced by his adversary for it, and in the latter he levieth his objections against it. And in the first place, he proceedeth solely on the supposition that the righteousness which we here plead for, and that mercy whereby God forgiveth sins, are contrary and opposite unto one another, so that they cannot be properties of his nature, but only external acts of his will and power.

    This is the foundation of his whole discourse in that place, which he asserts as a thing evident, but undertakes not at all to prove. But this supposition is openly false; for the justice and mercy of God may be considered either in themselves or with respect unto their effects. In neither sense are they contrary or opposite to each other. For in themselves, being essential properties of the nature of God, as they must be, in that they are perfections of an intelligent Being, they differ not from the universal rectitude of his holy nature, but only add a various respect unto external things; so that in themselves they are so far from being opposite, as that God is denominated just from the exercising the perfections of his nature in a way of justice, and merciful from a like exercise in a way of mercy. Absolutely, therefore, and essentially they are the same. Neither are their effects contrary or opposite to each other, only they are diverse, or not of the same kind; nor are the effects of the one contrary unto the other. To punish, where punishment is deserved, is not contrary to mercy; but where punishment is not deserved there it is so, for then it is cruelty. And yet also in that case, the part of wrong, namely, in punishing without desert, is more opposite to justice itself than the cruel part is to mercy. And so is it where punishment exceeds guilt, or where proceedings are not according unto an equal measure or standard. Nor is to spare through or by mercy contrary to justice; for if to spare and pardon be not for the good of the whole, for the preservation of order and the end of rule, it is not mercy to pardon or spare, but facility, remissness in government, or foolish pity. Secure those things in rule and government which justice takes care of and provides for, and then to spare in mercy is no way contrary unto it. If these things be not provided for, to spare is not an act of mercy, but a defect in justice. And if these things were not so, it would be impossible that any one could be just and merciful also, yea, or do any act either of justice or mercy: for if he punish he is unmerciful, that is, wicked, if punishment be contrary to mercy; and if he spare he is not just, if sparing be opposite to justice. There is therefore nothing solid or sound, nothing but an outward appearance of reason, really contrary to the highest evidence of right reason indeed, in this sophism, which is laid as the foundation of the opposition made to the righteousness of God pleaded for. 18. On this false supposition Socinus grants a twofold righteousness in God with respect unto sin and the punishment thereof; — one which he perpetually useth whilst he destroys obstinate, impenitent, and contumacious sinners; the other whereby sometimes he punisheth sinners according unto his law, which yet are not obstinate, without any expectation of their repentance. And these several sorts of justice in God he confirms by sundry instances in the place before alleged. But it is plain that these things belong not unto the question under debate; for they respect only the external manner and acts of punishing, and nothing is more fond than thence to feign various righteousnesses in God, or to conclude that therefore every transgression of the law doth not require a just recompense of reward. Nor is it supposed that the justice of God doth so exact the punishment of sin as that all sin must be immediately punished, in the same manner, especially as unto temporal punishments, which respect this life. It belongs unto the sovereign authority and infinite wisdom of God, as the governor of the world, so to dispose of the time, season, manner, and measure of the punishment due unto sin, as may most conduce to the end aimed at in the whole. Thus he cuts off some in their entrance into a course of sin; others he “endureth with much longsuffering,” though “vessels of wrath fitted to destruction,” Romans 9:22. And this he doth because he is willing so to do, or so it pleaseth him.

    But hence it follows not that finally he pardoneth or spareth some, or punisheth others, merely because he will.

    That, therefore, whereby he deceives himself and others in this matter, is the exclusion of the satisfaction of Christ from having the place of any cause, or from being of any consideration, in the matter of pardoning sin; for this he expressly pleads and contends for in this place, as is evident from the words before cited, wherein he allows no more to Christ and his mediation but only that he came to declare that God would forgive us our sins. His whole proof, therefore, is but a begging of the thing in question.

    For the reason why God constantly punisheth them who are obstinate in their sins and impenitent, is really because their sins deserve, in his justice and according to his law, so to be punished; and they are not spared, because they obstinately refuse the remedy or relief provided for them, in that they fulfill not the condition whereby they might be interested in the sufferings of Christ for sin. “He that believeth not shall be damned;” that is, shall personally be left unto the justice of God and sentence of the law. [As to] those whom God spareth and punisheth not, it is not because their sins do not deserve punishment, or because the justice of God doth not require that their sins should be punished, but because they are interested by faith in the satisfaction made by Christ when he underwent the punishment due to their sins by the will of God. And this is the rule of punishment and sparing, as they are final and decretory, according unto a sentence never to be repealed nor altered. As for temporary punishments, whether they are corrective only or vindictive, their dispensation depends absolutely on the will and pleasure of God, who will so order and dispose them as that they may be subordinate unto his final determination of the eternal condition of sinners. But this exclusion of the consideration of the interposition of Christ, in a way of suffering punishment for the procuring of the pardon of sin, is that which disturbs the whole harmony of what is taught us concerning the justice and mercy of God in the Scripture.

    And the venom hereof hath so infected the minds of many, in these latter days, that they have even rejected the whole mystery of the gospel, and taken up with a religion which hath more of Judaism, Mohammedanism, and Gentilism in it, than of Christianity. And indeed if it be so, that in the remission of sins there is no respect unto the Lord Christ, but only that he hath declared it, and showed the way whereby we may attain it, it must be acknowledged that there is no righteousness in God requiring the punishment of sin; as also, that it was merely from an act of the will and pleasure of God that by any sins we deserve everlasting punishment. For neither, then, was the sanction of the law, or the constitution of the penalty of its transgression, any act of justice in God, but of his will absolutely, which might not have been; and so, notwithstanding the state and condition wherein we were created, and our moral dependence on God, and God’s government over us, man might have sinned, and sinned a thousand times, and broken the whole law, and yet have been no way liable unto punishment, — namely, if God had so pleased; and it was as free unto him to reward sin as to punish it. For if you allow any reason to the contrary from the nature and order of things themselves, and our relation unto God as rational creatures, made meet to be subject unto him in a way of moral obedience, you introduce a necessity of punishment from the righteousness of God, which is denied. And on this supposition, upon an alike act of the will of God, sin might have been made to be virtue, and obedience sin, and so it might have been the duty of man to have hated God, and to have opposed him to the uttermost of his power; for all the merely free acts of God’s will might have been otherwise, and contrary to what they are. And if you say it could not be so in this case, because the nature of God and his righteousness required it should be otherwise, you grant all that is contended for. This false supposition made way for the twofold righteousness which Socinus feigns in God; and the instances which he gives in the confirmation of it respect only God’s actual punishing of sin and sinners in this world, some sooner, and some after more forbearance, which none deny to proceed from his sovereign will and pleasure. 19. The same author in the same place betakes himself to another plea, and will not allow that God doth at all punish sin because he is just, or that his so doing is an act of justice in him; for so he speaks, lib. 1 cap. 1 p. 1: “Ea res quae ad Deum relata, misericordiae opponitur, non justitia appellatur, sed vel severitas, vel ira, vel indignatio, vel furor, vel vindicta, vel simili alio quopiam nomine nuncupatur.” Ans. There are no things in God that are opposite or contrary one unto another; and this sophism was before discovered. Nay, anger and fury, though they denote not any thing in God, but outward effects from that which is in him, are not opposed to mercy; for mercy being a virtue and a divine perfection, whatever is contrary unto it is evil. Only, as they denote effects of justice, they are diverse from the outward effects of mercy. This therefore proves not that that, from whence it is that God punisheth sin, is not justice; which must be proved, or this man’s cause is lost. I do acknowledge that both qd,x, and dikaiosu>nh are variously used in the Scripture when applied unto God, or do signify things of a distinct consideration; for upon the supposition of the rectitude of the divine nature in all things, righteousness may be variously exercised, yea, it is so in all that God doth. Hence Socinus gives sundry instances where God is said to be righteous in acts of mercy and goodness, as very many may be given; for besides that the rectitude, equality, and holiness, which are in all his ways, are known from his righteousness in the declaration that he makes of himself and his dealings with men, in a way of goodness, kindness, benignity, and mercy, there is universally a supposition of his promise of grace in Jesus Christ, the accomplishment whereof depends on his righteousness; which therefore may be pleaded, even when we pray for mercy, as it is often by David.

    For the faithfulness of God in fulfilling his promises, whether in the pardon of our sins or the rewarding of our obedience, is his righteousness in his word. Thence is he “justified in his sayings,” Romans 3:4; that is, he is declared righteous in the fulfilling his promises and threatenings. Yet this hinders not but that God is just when he “taketh vengeance;” that is, when he doth so and in his so doing, Romans 3:5.

    That anger and fury are not properly in God all do acknowledge. The outward effects of the righteousness of God in the punishing of sin are so expressed, to declare the certainty and severity of his judgments. To say that God prescribes a penalty unto the transgression of his law, and executeth accordingly, merely in anger, wrath, or fury, is to ascribe that unto him which ought not to be done unto any wise law-maker or governor among men. Nor will it follow that because God is said to punish sin in anger and wrath, therefore he punisheth sin only because he will, and not because he is just, or that his justice doth not require that sin be punished.

    Yea, it thence follows that the justice of God is the cause of the punishment of sin; for to act in anger and fury any otherwise than as they are effects of justice is vicious and evil. God doth not, therefore, punish sin because he is angry; but to show the severity of his justice, he maketh an appearance of anger and wrath in punishing. These things belong to the outward manner, and not the inward principle of inflicting punishment. 20. In the first chapter of his third book he again attempts an opposition unto this righteousness of God. “Justitia ista,” saith he, “cui vos satisfaciendum esse omnino contenditis, in Deo non residet, sed effectus est voluntatis ipsius. Cum enim Deus peccatores punit, ut digno aliquo nomine hoc opus ejus appellemus, justitia tunc eum uti dicimus.”

    Therefore it seems do we deal benignly with God; and what he doth only in anger and fury we give it a worthy name, and say he doth it in righteousness! But what shall we say when God himself ascribeth his punishing of sin to his justice and judgment in governing the world? This he doth plainly Psalm 9:7,8, 50:6, 98:9; Romans 1:32, 3:5. Shall he also be said to find out a worthy name for what he doth, though he do it on such accounts as wherein the thing signified by that name is not concerned? It is a hard task, doubtless, to prove that God doth not “judge the world in righteousness.” But he hath reason, as he supposeth, for his assertion; for he adds, “Quod antem justitia ista in Deo non resideat ex eo maxime apparere potest, quod si ea in Deo resideret nunquam is ne minimum quidem delictum cuiquam condonaret; nihil enim unquam facit cut facere potest Deus quod qualitatibus quae in ipso resident adversatur. Exempli cause, cum in Deo sapientia et aequitas resideat, nihil unquam insipienter, nihil inique facit aut facere potest;” — “That there is no such justice in God appears from hence, that if there were, he could never forgive the least sin unto any; for God doth nothing, nor can do any thing, that is contrary to the qualities which reside in him.

    For instance, whereas there is wisdom and equity in God, he can do nothing unwisely, nothing unjustly.” So he. But he seems not to observe that herein he pleads our cause more forcibly than his own: for we say, that because this justice is a natural property of God, he can do nothing against it, and so cannot forgive any sin absolutely without respect unto satisfaction made unto that righteousness; and when this is done, to pardon and forgive sin is no way adverse or contrary unto it. This whole difficulty is reconciled in the cross of Christ, and can be so no otherwise; for God set him forth to be a propitiation, eijv e]ndeixin th~v dikaiosu>nhv , Romans 3:25; which when it is done, as pardon is a fruit or effect of mercy, so it is consistent with the severity of justice. See Corinthians 5:21; Romans 8:3; Galatians 3:13,14; Hebrews 9:13-15. And the whole ensuing discourse of Socinus in that chapter may be reduced unto these two heads: — First, A supposition that Christ did not nor could undergo the punishment due to our sins; which is to beg the matter in question, contrary to Scripture testimonies innumerable, many whereof I have elsewhere vindicated from the exceptions of himself and his followers. For let this be granted, and all his discourse about the impossibility of pardoning any sin, upon the supposition of such a righteousness in God, falls to the ground. And if he will not grant it, yet may he not be allowed to make a supposition on the contrary to be the ground of his argument whereby he endeavors to overthrow it. Secondly, He confounds the habits of justice and mercy with the acts of them. Hence would he prove an inequality betwixt justice and mercy, because there is so between punishing and pardoning. And so also God declares that he delights in mercy, but is slow to anger. But actually to pardon is no way opposite to justice, where satisfaction is made; nor to punish [opposite] unto mercy, where the law of obtaining an interest in that satisfaction is not observed. And all that God declares in the Scripture concerning his justice and mercy, with the exercise of them towards sinners, is grounded on the supposition of the interposition and satisfaction of Christ. Where that is not, as in the case of the angels which sinned, no mention is made of mercy, more or less, but only of judgment according to their desert. 21. The author of the Racovian Catechism manageth the same plea against the vindictive justice of God, and gathers the objections unto a head, which Socinus more largely debated on, cap. 8. De Morte Christi. And although little be added therein unto what I have already cited, yet it containing the substance of what they are able to plead in this cause, I shall take a view of it in the words of these catechists: “Eam misericordiam et justitiam qualem hic adversarii inseri volunt, negamus Deo inesse naturaliter. Nam, quod attinet ad misericordiam, eam Deo non ita natura inesse ut isti sentiunt hinc patet; quod si natura Deo inesset non potest Deus ullum peccatum prorsus punire; atque vicissim si ea justitia natura Deo inesset ut illi opinantur, nullum peccatum Deus remitteret. Adversus enim ea, quae Deo insunt natura, nunquam potest quidquam facere Deus.

    Exempli causa, cum Sapientia Deo insit natura nunquam contra eam quidquam Deus facit, verum quaecunque facit, omnia facit sapienter. Verum cum Deum constet remittere peccata et punire, quando velit, apparet Deo ejusmodi misericordiam et justitiam, qualem illi opinantur, non inesse natura, sed esse effectus ipsius voluntatis. Praeterea eam justitiam quam adversarii misericordiae opponunt; qua Deus peccata punit, nusquam literae sacrae hoc nomine justitiae insigniunt, verum iram et furorem Dei appellant; imo justitiae Dei in scripturis hoc attribuitur cum Deus peccata condonat, 1 John 1:9; Romans 3:25,26.”

    And hereon they conclude that there was no need, nor can there be any use, of the satisfaction of Christ. Ans. First, The design of this discourse is to prove that justice and mercy are not properties of the divine nature; for if they be, it cannot be denied but that the sufferings of Christ were necessary that sin might be pardoned. Now, herein we have against our adversaries the light of nature, and that not only as teaching us, by the conduct of right reason, that there is a singular perfection in these things, which must therefore be found in Him who is so the author of all goodness and limited perfections unto others as to contain essentially and eminently all goodness and perfection in himself, but also it is not difficult to evince the actual consent of all mankind who acknowledge a Deity unto this principle, that God is just and merciful, with that justice and mercy which have respect unto the sins and offenses of men. There is, indeed, this difference betwixt them, that justice is ascribed unto God properly, as a habit or a habitual perfection; mercy analogically and reductively, as an affection. And therefore mercy in God is not accompanied with that sympathy and condolency which are mixed with it in our human nature.

    But that natural goodness and benignity whence God is ready to relieve, whereof his sparing and pardoning are proper effects, are that mercy of God which he represents unto us under the highest expressions of tenderness and compassion. See <19A308> Psalm 103:8-14. And in such declarations of himself he instructs us in what apprehensions we ought to have of his nature; which if it be not gracious and merciful, we are taught by him to err and mistake. So when God showed unto Moses his glory, and made a declaration of himself by his name, he did it not by calling over the free acts of his will, or showing what he would or could do, if so be he pleased, but he described his nature unto him by the essential properties of it, that the people might know who and what he was with whom they had to do, Exodus 34:6,7. And yet among them is that mercy reckoned which is exerted in the pardoning of iniquity, transgression, and sin. The same is to be said concerning the justice of God; for this vindictive justice is nothing but the absolute rectitude of the nature of God with respect unto some outward objects, namely, sin and sinners. Had there, indeed, never been any sin or sinners, God could not in any outward acts have exercised either vindictive justice or sparing mercy; but yet he had been notwithstanding eternally just and merciful And there is this difference between the justice and mercy of God on the one hand, and his power and wisdom on the other, that these latter, being absolute properties of the divine nature, without respect unto any other thing, do constitute their own objects; so that in all the works of God he doth not only not act against them, but he cannot act without them, for all that he doth must necessarily be done with infinite power and wisdom.

    But for the other, they cannot outwardly exert or act themselves but towards objects antecedently qualified; whence it is enough that God neither doth nor can do any thing against them. And this he cannot do; for, secondly, it is weakly pleaded that if God be merciful, he cannot punish any sin. For to punish sin absolutely is no way contrary to mercy. If it were, then every one who correcteth or punisheth any for sin must needs be unmerciful. Nor is it contrary unto justice to pardon sin when satisfaction is made for it; without which God neither doth nor can pardon any sin, and that for this reason, namely, that it is contrary to his justice so to do. Thirdly, Whence God is said to pardon sin in his righteousness, or because he is righteous, hath been declared before. His faithfulness in his promises with respect unto the mediation of Jesus Christ is so called, which our adversaries cannot deny. 22. Crellius in almost all his writings opposeth this justice of God, ofttimes repeating the same things; which it were tedious to pursue, — besides, I have long since answered all his principal arguments and objections, in my Diatriba de Justitia Divina. I shall therefore here only call one of his reasons unto an account, whereby he would prove that there was no necessity for making any satisfaction unto God for sin, because I find it to prevail among many who are less skilled in disputations of this nature. And this is that which he insists on, Lib. de Deo, cap. 3 de Potestate Dei. He lays down this as a principle: “Deus potestatem habet infligendi poenam, et non infligendi; justitiae autem divinae nequaquam repugnat peccatori, quem punire jure possit, ignoscere.” He is treating in that place about the supreme dominion and free power of God. And hereunto he saith it belongeth to inflict punishment, or to spare and pardon. But he is herein evidently mistaken: for although he who is absolutely supreme over all may punish and spare, yet it belongs not to him as such so to do: for punishing and sparing are the acts of a governor or judge as such; and unto God as such are they constantly ascribed in the Scripture, James 4:12; Psalm 9:8,9; Genesis 18:25; Psalm 50:6, 94:2; Hebrews 12:23. Now, it is one thing what may be done by virtue of absolute sovereignty and dominion, setting aside the consideration of rule and government, and another what ought to be done by a righteous ruler or judge. And whereas he says it is not contrary to justice to spare one who might de jure be punished, if he means by “a ruler may punish him by right,” no more but that he may do so and do him no wrong, were there no more in the case it might be true. But it is not thus at any time with sinners; for not only may God punish them and do them no wrong, but his own holiness and righteousness requires that they should be punished. And therefore the assertion, if accommodated to the cause in hand, must be this, “It is no wrong to justice to spare them who ought to be punished;” which is manifestly false. And Crellius himself grants that there are sins and sinners which not only God may punish de jure, but that he ought so to do, and that it would be contrary to his justice not to punish them: Adv. Grot. ad cap. 1 p. 98, “Deinde nec illud negamus rectitudinem ac justitiam Dei nonnunquam eum ad peccata punienda movere; eorum nempe quibus veniam non concedere, non modo aequitati per se est admodum consentaneum, verum etiam divinis decretis ut ita loquar debitum, quales sunt homines non resipiscentes, atque in peccatis contumaciter perseverantes; maxime si illud peccati genus in quo persistunt, insignem animi malitiam, aut apertum divinae majestatis contemptum spiret, si enim hujusmodi hominibus venia concederetur, facile supremi rectoris majestas, et legum ab ipso latarum evilesceret, et gloria ipsius, quae praecipuus operum ejus omnium finis est, minueretur.”

    What here he grants concerning some sins, we contend to be true concerning all. Neither do that justice, equity, and rule which require these sins of contumacy and impenitency to be punished, depend on a free decree or act of the will of God only, for then no sin of itself or in its own nature deserves punishment. And it implies a contradiction to say that it doth so, and yet that it depends merely on the will of God. And in that book De Deo he hath other conceptions to this purpose: Cap. 23 p. 180, “Est ratio aliqua honestatis, circa quam Deus juste dispensare non potest;” and p. 186, “Deo indignum est contumacium scelera impunita demittere;” and cap. 28, “Nec sanctitas nec majestas Dei usquequaque fert ut impune mandata ejus violentur.”

    If it be thus with respect unto some sins, it must not be because of sin, but only of some degrees of sin, if it be not so with all sin whatever. And who can believe that the nature of sin is not contrary unto the holiness and majesty of God, but that some certain degrees only of it are so? and who shall give in that degree of sin when it becomes so inconsistent with God’s holiness and majesty? It is said that this is stubbornness and impenitency.

    But whoever sins once against God will be impenitent therein, unless relieved by the grace of Jesus Christ, which supposeth his satisfaction.

    And this is evident in the instance of the angels that sinned. 23. The defense which he makes of his former assertion, containing the substance of what remains of their plea against the necessity of the satisfaction of Christ, I shall particularly examine, and put an end unto this Exercitation. He therefore pleads, “Nemini sive puniat sire non puniat facit injuriam; siquidem de jure ipsius tantum agitur; neque enim nocenti debetur poena, sed is eam debet; et debet quidem illi, cui injuria omnis ultimo redundat, qui in nostro negotio Dens est; jus autem suum si rem spectes ut persequi cuique licet, ita et non persequi, ac de eo quantumlibet remittere: haec enim juris proprii, ac dominici natura est.”

    Ans. “Jus Dei,” dikai>wma tou~ Qeou~ , “the right of God,” in this matter, is neither “jus proprium,” which answers the right of every private person, nor “jus dominicum,” or the right of absolute dominion, but the right of a ruler or supreme judge, whereunto the things here ascribed unto the right of God in this matter do not belong, as we shall see. For whereas he saith, first, “That whether he punish or do not punish, he doth wrong to none,” it is granted that no wrong is done to men; for, by reason of his sovereignty, he can do them none. But where punishment is due unto any sin, it cannot be absolutely spared, without the wrong or impeachment of that justice in whose nature it is to require its punishment. It is not, then, properly said that if God should not punish sin he should wrong any, for that he cannot do, do he what he will; but not to punish sin is contrary to his own holiness and righteousness. And for what he adds, secondly, “That punishment is not due to the offender , but that he owes his punishment unto him against whom the injury is done, who in this case is God;” I say, certainly no man ever imagined that punishment is so due to the offender, or is so far his right, as that he should be injured if he were not punished, or that he might claim it as his right. Few offenders will pursue such a right. And whereas it is said that the injury in sin is done to God, it must be rightly understood; for the injury that is done unto him hath no analogy with that which is done by one private man unto another.

    Neither doth our goodness add any thing to him, nor our sin take any thing from him: Job 35:6-8, “If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him? If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand? Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.”

    But that which is here called “injury,” is the transgression of the law of the righteous Judge of all the world; and shall he not do right? shall he not recompense unto men according to their ways? And therefore that falls to the ground which he adds as the proof of the whole: “For as it is lawful for every one to prosecute his own right, so every one may forego it, remit of it, or not prosecute it, at his pleasure.” And this is that which is principally insisted on by them in this cause, namely, that the right of punishing being in God only, he may forego it if he please, seeing every one may recede from or not pursue his own right at his pleasure. But a person may have a double right. First, that which ariseth from a debt, or a personal injury. This every man may pursue, so as that hereby he wrongs not any unconcerned therein, nor transgresses any rule of duty prescribed unto himself; and every one may at his pleasure remit, so as no prejudice redound thereby unto others. But our sins in respect of God have neither the nature of debts properly, nor of personal injuries, though they are metaphorically so called. And there is a right of rule or government, which is either positive or natural. Of the first sort is that which magistrates have over their subjects. Hereunto belongs the fight of exacting punishment according to the law. Now, this is such a right as hath duty inseparably annexed unto it. This, therefore, a righteous magistrate cannot forego without destroying the end of magistracy in the public good. For a magistrate to say, ‘I have, indeed, a right to punish offenders in the commonwealth, but I will forego it, seeing all its exercise depends upon my will,’ is a rejection of his duty, and an abrenunciation of his authority.

    But, lastly, the right of God to rule over all is natural and necessary unto him: so therefore is our obligation unto obedience, or obnoxiousness unto punishment. To say that God may forego this right, or remit of it, is to say that he may at his pleasure cease to be our Lord and God; for the same nature of God which necessarily requireth our obedience doth indispensably require the punishment of our disobedience. And so have we closed our first argument in this cause, with our vindication of it.

    A DIGRESSION Concerning the sufferings of Christ, whether they were of the same kind with what sinners should have suffered, or whether he suffered the same that we should have done.

    Unto what we have argued in the foregoing Exercitation it is generally objected, “That if the justice of God did thus indispensably require the punishment of sin, which was the ground of the satisfaction made by Christ, then it was necessary that Christ should undergo the same punishment that the sinners themselves should have done, namely, that which the justice of God did require. But this was impossible,” as is pretended. And to overthrow this apprehension, that the Lord Christ underwent the same punishment in kind which we should have done, or as was due unto us, they have thus stated the opinion of them whom they do oppose. “Some,” they say, “do maintain that our sins are to be looked on as our debts, or under the notion of debts, and God as the creditor, requiring the payment of them. Wherefore our Lord Jesus Christ, by his death and sufferings, paid this debt; so that his death was ‘solutio ejusdem,’ or the payment of what was due in the same kind. This, say some learned men, gave great advantage unto Socinus; who easily proved that there was no necessity for a mere creditor to exact his debt, but that he might at his pleasure ‘cedere jure suo,’ or forego his own right.. And this must needs be supposed of God in this matter, whose love, and grace, and pardoning mercy, are so celebrated therein.” And to confirm this argument it is usually added, — which is the main thing pleaded by Socinus and Crellius themselves, — “ That the Lord Christ neither did nor could undergo the penalty due unto us, because that was eternal death.

    And to plead that either Christ should have undergone it, if he could not have delivered himself from it, or that what was wanting unto his sufferings as to their duration was compensated by the dignity of his person, is to acknowledge that indeed he did not undergo the same punishment that we are obnoxious unto.”

    Learned men, and those sound in the substance of the doctrine of the satisfaction of Christ, being differently minded, either in the thing itself or about the sense of the terms whereby it is expressed, I shall endeavor to state right conceptions about it, or at least express my own, without a design to contradict those of any others. And, — First, For the consideration of our sins under the notion of debts, and God as a creditor, it is generally known that before the rising of any heresy, the most learned men had expressed themselves with such a liberty as advantage hath been thence taken by such adversaries of the truth as afterwards arose. Thus the Scripture having called our sins our debts, and made mention of the payment made by Christ, and compared God to a creditor, before Socinus called the whole matter of the satisfaction of Christ into question, it is no wonder if the truth were commonly expressed under these notions, without such distinctions as were necessary to secure them from unforeseen exceptions. He with whom Socinus first disputed on this subject was Covetus; and he doth indeed make use of this argument to prove the satisfaction of Christ, namely, “That our sins being our debts, justice required that there should be payment made of them, or for them.”

    But the truth is, he doth not take his argument from the nature of debts in general, but from the especial nature of these debts, as the Scripture calls them: for he made it appear that these debts are such as are crimes, or transgressions of the law of God; on the account whereof the persons that had contracted these debts, or were guilty of these crimes, became liable and obnoxious unto punishment in the judgment of God, who is the sovereign ruler over all. There is, therefore, a distinction to be put between such debts as are civil or pecuniary only, and those which are criminal also. And when the Scripture sets out our sins as debts, with such circumstances as allude unto pecuniary debts and their payment, it is to make the thing treated of obvious unto our understandings by a similitude exposed unto the acquaintance of all men; but as our sins are really intended, the expression is metaphorical. And Socinus, in his disputation about the nature of debts, creditors, and payments, had no advantage but what he took by a supposition that the terms which were used by his adversary metaphorically (his argument being taken from the thing intended) were urged by him in their proper sense; which indeed they were not. And so, whereas all his dispute respects civil or pecuniary debts only, he was far enough from triumphing over his adversary, who intended such as were criminal. Wherefore, as this notion, of debts, creditors, and payments, need not yet be forborne in a popular way of teaching, because it is made use of in the Scripture to give us a sense of our condition upon the account of our sins, especially a declaration being made that these debts will be exacted of us; so in a disputation about the truth, it is necessary to declare of what nature these debts are, as all generally do, asserting them to be criminal.

    Secondly, There is much ambiguity in that expression, of “Christ’s paying the same which was due from us.” For that term, “the same ,” may be variously modified, from divers respects. Consider the punishment suffered, it may be it was the same; consider the person suffering, and it was not the same. And therefore it may be said, as far as it was a penalty it was the same; as it was a payment it was not the same; or it was not the same as it was a satisfaction. For it was only what the law required, and the law required no satisfaction as formally such. Punishment and satisfaction differ formally, though materially they may be the same. I judge, therefore, that Christ was to undergo, and did undergo, that very punishment, in the kind of it, which those for whom he suffered should have undergone, and that, among others, for the reasons ensuing: — 1. Christ underwent the punishment which, in the justice or judgment of God, was due unto sin. That the justice of God did require that sin should be punished with a meet and due recompense of reward, we have proved already, and shall afterwards further confirm. To answer and satisfy this justice it was that Christ suffered; and therefore he suffered what that justice required. And this is what is pleaded for, and all. We should have undergone no more but what in the justice of God was due to sin. This Christ underwent, — namely, what in the justice of God was due to sin, and therefore what we should have undergone. Nor can it be supposed that, in the justice of God, there might be two sorts of penalties due to sin, one of one kind, and another of another. If it be said that because it was undergone by another it was not the same, I grant it was payment, which our suffering could never have been; it was satisfaction, which we by undergoing any penalty could not make; but he yet suffered the same penalty which we should have done. No more is intended but that the Lord Christ underwent that punishment which was due to our sins; which I cannot see how it can well be denied by those who grant that he underwent any punishment at all, seeing the justice of God required no other. 2. That which was due to sin was all of it, whatever it was, contained and comprehended in the curse of the law; for in the curse God threatened the breach of the law with that punishment which in his justice was due unto it, and all that was so. I suppose this will not be denied. For the curse of the law is nothing but an expression of that punishment which is due unto the breach of it, delivered in a way of threatening. But now Jesus Christ underwent the curse of the law; by which I know not what to understand but that very punishment which the transgressors of the law should have undergone. Hence our apostle says that he was “made a curse for us,” Galatians 3:13; because he underwent the penal sentence of the law.

    And there were not two kinds of punishment contained in the curse of the law, one that the sinner himself should undergo, another that should fall on the Mediator; for neither the law nor its curse had any respect unto a mediator. Only every transgressor was cursed thereby. The interposition of a mediator depends on other principles and reasons than any the law was acquainted withal. It was therefore the same punishment, in the kind of it, which was due to us, that the Lord Christ was to undergo, or it was that which neither the justice nor the law of God required. 3. It is said expressly that God caused all our iniquities to meet on him , Isaiah 53:6, or “hath laid on him the iniquity of us all;” that he bare our sins, verse 11, or “bare our sins in his own body on the tree,” 1 Peter 2:24; whereby he who knew no sin was made sin for us, 2 Corinthians 5:21; — the sense of all which places I have elsewhere pleaded and vindicated. Now, unless we will betake ourselves unto the metaphorical sense of our adversaries, and grant that all these, and the like expressions in the Scripture innumerable, signify no more but that Christ took away our sins, by declaring and confirming unto us the way of faith and obedience, whereby we may obtain the pardon of them, and have them so taken away, we can assign no sense unto them but that the Lord Christ underwent the punishment due unto our sins in the judgment of God, and according to the sentence of the law; for how did God make our sins to meet on him, how did he bear them, if he did not suffer the penalty due to them, or if he underwent some other inconvenience, but not the exact demerit of sin? And there is no other sense given of these places by them who plead for the satisfaction of Christ but this, that he bare the punishment due to our sins; which is all that is contended for. 4. Christ suffered in our stead. He was our jAnti>yucov. And it is usual with all learned men to illustrate his being so by the instances of such as have been renowned in the world on that account; which they have clear warranty for from our apostle, Romans 5:7. When one would substitute himself in the room of another who was obnoxious unto punishment, he that was so substituted was always to undergo that very penalty, whether by loss of limb, liberty, or life, that the other should have undergone. And in like manner, if the Lord Christ suffered in our stead, as our jAnti>yucov , he suffered what we should have done. And to conclude, if a certain punishment of sin be required indispensably, on the account of the holiness and essential righteousness of God, I know not on what ground we can suppose that several sorts or kinds of punishment might be inflicted for it at pleasure.

    It remains that we consider the principal objections that are usually leveled against the truth asserted, and either answer them, or show how that which we maintain is not concerned in them nor opposed by them.

    First, therefore, it is objected, “That the punishment which we should have undergone was death eternal, but this Christ did not, nor could undergo; so that he underwent not the same punishment that we should have done.” Ans. Death as eternal was in the punishment due unto our sin, not directly, but consequentially; and that “a natura subjecti,” not “a natura causae.” For, that the punishment of sin should be eternal arose not from the nature and order of all things, namely, of God, the law, and the sinner, but from the nature and condition of the sinner only. This was such as that it could no otherwise undergo a punishment proportionable unto the demerit of sin but by an eternal continuance under it. This, therefore, was not a necessary consequent of guilt absolutely, but of guilt in or upon such a subject as a sinner is, who is no more but a finite limited creature.

    But when, by God’s appointment, the same punishment fell on Him whose person, upon another consideration, was infinitely distanced from those of the sinners themselves, eternity was not of the nature of it. But then it may be said, “That the admission of one to pay or suffer for another, who could discharge the debt in much less time than the other or offender could, is not the same that the law required; for the law takes no notice of any other than the person who had offended. And if a mediator could have paid the same, the original law must have been distinctive, — that either the offender must suffer or another for him.” Ans. These things are for the most part true, but not contrary to our assertion, as is pretended, through a misapprehension of it. For the law requires no such thing as one to suffer for another, nor, absolutely considered, doth admit of it. This was from God’s gracious dispensation of or with the law, as the supreme Lord and ruler over all. The law itself takes notice only of offenders , nor hath any such supposition included in it as that the offenders must suffer or a mediator in their stead. But this the law hath in it, and inseparable from it, namely, that this kind of punishment is due to the transgressor of it. And by God’s gracious substitution of Christ in the room of sinners, there was no relaxation made of the law as to the punishment it required; nor is there any word in the Scripture giving countenance unto such an apprehension. That there was a dispensation with the law so far as that one person should undergo the punishment (namely, the Son of God) which others did deserve, he becoming a mediator for them, the Scripture everywhere declares. Upon the supposition of his substitution in the place and stead of sinners, could there be any word of Scripture produced intimating such a relaxation of the law as that it should not require of him the whole punishment due to sin, but only some part of it, or not the punishment which was due to sinners, but somewhat else of another kind that was not in the original sanction and curse of it, there would be an end of this difference. But this appears not, nor is there any thing of sound reason in it, that one should suffer for another, in the stead of another, and thereby answer the law whereby that other was bound over unto punishment, and yet not suffer what he should have done. Nor is it pleaded, in this case, that the dignity of the person makes up what was wanting in the kind or degree of punishment; whence it is supposed that it would follow that then he who so suffered, suffered not what others should have done who were not so worthy. It is only said, that from the dignity of the person undergoing the same kind of punishment that others should have done, that respect of it which consisted in its duration, and arose from the disability of the persons liable unto it otherwise to undergo it, could have here no place.

    It is yet further pleaded, “That if the same be paid in a strict sense, then deliverance would have followed ipso facto, for the release immediately follows the payment of the same; and it had been injustice to have required any thing further of the offenders when strict and full payment had been made of what was in the obligation.” Ans . To discuss these things at large would require a larger discourse than I shall now divert unto. But, — 1. It hath been showed already, howsoever we allow of that expression of “paying the same,” it is only suffering the same for which we contend.

    Christ underwent the same punishment that the law required, but that his so doing should be a payment for us depended on God’s sovereign dispensation, yet so that, when it was paid, it was the same which was due from us. 2. This payment, therefore, as such, and the deliverance that ensued thereon, depended on a previous compact and agreement, as must all satisfaction of one for another. This compact, as it concerned the person requiring satisfaction and the person making it, we have before described and explained; and as it concerns them who are to be partakers of the benefit of it, it is declared in the covenant of grace. Deliverance, therefore, doth not naturally follow on this satisfaction, but jure foederis; and therefore was not to ensue ipso facto, but in the way and order disposed in that covenant. 3. The actual deliverance of all the persons for whom Christ suffered, to ensue ipso facto upon his suffering, was absolutely impossible; for they were not [in being], the most of them, when he suffered. And that the whole of the time, way, and manner of this deliverance dependeth on compact, is evident from them who were delivered actually from the penalty long before the actual sufferings of Christ, merely upon the account of his sufferings which should afterwards ensue. 4. Deliverance is no end of punishment, considered merely as such; none is punished properly that he may be delivered; however, the cessation of punishment may be called a deliverance. 5. Mere deliverance was not the whole end of Christ’s sufferings for us, but such a deliverance as is attended with a state and condition of superadded blessedness. And the duties of faith, repentance, and obedience, which are prescribed unto us, are not enjoined only or principally with respect unto deliverance from punishment, but with respect unto the attaining of those other ends of the mediation of Christ, in a new spiritual life here and eternal life hereafter. And with respect unto them may they justly be required of us, though Christ suffered and paid the same which we ought. 6. No deliverance ipso facto, upon a supposition of suffering or paying of the same, was necessary, but only the actual discharge of him who made the payment, and that under the notion and capacity of an undertaker for others: which in this case did ensue; for the Lord Christ immediately on his sufferings was discharged, and that as our surety and representative.

    But it may be further objected, “That it is impossible to reconcile the freeness of remission with the full payment of the very same that was in the obligation; for it is impossible that the same debt should be fully paid and freely forgiven.” Ans. It is well if those who make use of this objection, because they suppose it of force and weight, are satisfied with their own answers unto the Socinians when it is much urged and insisted on by them. For it seems at first view that if the freedom of pardon unto us exclude any kind of satisfaction to be made by another for us, that it excludes all; for as to the freedom of pardon, wherein soever that freedom doth consist, it is asserted in the Scripture to be absolute, without any respects or restrictions. It is not said that God will so freely pardon us that he will not require all that was due, the same that was due, but somewhat he may and will. It is not said that he will not have a suffering of this kind of punishment, but the suffering of another kind of punishment he will. And so to suppose is a thing unworthy of the grace and righteousness of God. To say that God freely remitted our sins, abrogating the law and the curse of it, requiring no punishment, no satisfaction for them, neither from ourselves nor from the Mediator, hath, at first view, an appearance of royal grace and clemency, until, being examined, it is found inconsistent with the truth and holiness of God. To say that God required the execution of the sentence and curse of the law, in the undergoing of the punishment due unto sin, but yet, out of his love and infinite grace, sent his Son to undergo it for us, so to comply with his holiness, to satisfy his justice, and fulfill his truth and law, that he might freely pardon sinners,— this the Scripture everywhere declares, and the so doing is consistent with all the perfections of the divine nature. But to say that he would neither absolutely pardon us without any satisfaction, nor yet have the same penalty undergone by Christ which his justice and law required as due unto sin, but somewhat else, seems to be unworthy of the holiness of God on the one side, which is but partially complied withal, and of his grace on the other, which is not exalted by it, and is a conceit that hath no countenance given unto it in the Scripture. Wherefore, the absolute freedom of pardon unto us is absolutely consistent with Christ suffering the same penalty which was due unto our sins.

    And whereas it is pleaded, “That satisfaction and remission must respect the same person, for Christ did not pay for himself, but for us, neither could the remission be unto him; so that what was exactly paid by him, it is all one as if it had been paid by us;” unless it be cautiously explained, it hath a disadvantageous aspect towards the whole truth pleaded for. The Scripture is clear that God pardoneth us for Christ’s sake; and no less clear that he spared not him for our sakes. And if what Christ did be so accounted as done by ourselves as that payment and remission respect immediately the same person, then be it what it will, more or less, that was so paid or so satisfied for, we are not freely pardoned, but are esteemed to have suffered or paid so much, though not the whole. This is not that which we do believe. But satisfaction was made by Christ, and remission is made unto us. He suffered, the just for the unjust, that we may go free. In brief, Christ’s undergoing the punishment due unto our sins, the same that we should have undergone,—or, to speak with respect unto that improper notion, his paying the same debts which we owed,— doth not in the least take off from the freedom of our pardon; yet it much consists therein, or at least depends thereon. I say not that pardon itself doth so, but the freedom of it in God, and with respect unto us, doth so.

    For God is said to do that freely for us which he doth of grace; and whatever he doth of grace is done for us freely. Thus the love and grace of God in sending Jesus Christ to die for us were free; and therein lay the foundation of free remission unto us. His constitution of his suffering of the same punishment which was due unto our sins, as the surety and mediator of the new covenant, was free and of mere grace, depending on the compact or covenant between the Father and Son, before explained.

    The imputation of our sin to him, or the making him to be sin for us, by his own voluntary choice and consent, was in like manner free. The constitution of the new covenant, and therein of the way and law of the participation of the benefits of the sufferings of Christ, was also free and of grace. The communication of the Holy Spirit unto us, enabling us to believe and to fulfill the condition of the covenant, is absolutely free. And other instances of the freedom of God’s grace, with respect unto the remission of sin, might be given Unto us it is every way free. In our own persons we make no satisfaction, nor pay one farthing of our debt; we did nothing toward the procurement of another to do it; we bring neither money nor price to obtain a pardon; but are absolved by the mere free grace of God by Jesus Christ. And there is nothing here inconsistent with Christ suffering the same that we should have done, or his paying the same debt which we owed, in the sense before explained.


    THE NECESSITY OF THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST ON THE SUPPOSITION OF SIN AND GRACE. 1. The vindictive justice of God confirmed by other arguments. 2. The common suffrage of mankind herein; 3. Expressed in sacrifices. 4. The anger of God, wherein it consists. 5. Arguments proving it necessary that sin should be punished. 6. Sum of the reasons for the necessity of the priesthood of Christ. 7. No necessity nor use of his death on any other supposition. 8. Conclusion. 1. That which is proposed unto confirmation in these Exercitations is, that the justice or righteousness from whence it is that God punisheth sin, and which he exerciseth in so doing, is an essential property of his nature.

    There yet remain some other arguments whereby the truth hereof is confirmed, which I shall only briefly represent, that we be not too long detained on this particular head of our design. Besides, I have both urged and vindicated these arguments already in another way. 2. In the next place, therefore, unto what hath been insisted on, we may plead the common suffrage of mankind in this matter: for what all men have a presumption of is not free, but necessary, nor can be otherwise; for it is from a principle which knows only what is, and not what may be or may not be. Of such things there can be no common or innate persuasion among men. Such are all the free acts of the will of God. They are of things that might be or might not be; otherwise were they not free acts. If, therefore, God’s punishing of sin were merely an effect of a free act of his will, without respect unto any essential property of his nature, there could never have been any general presumption or apprehension of it in the minds of men. But this there is, namely, that God is righteous with that kind of righteousness which requires that sin be punished; and he therefore doth punish it accordingly. Hence our apostle, speaking of the generality of the heathen, affirms that they knew that it was “the judgment of God that they who committed sin were worthy of death,” Romans 1:32.

    They are enormous sins indeed, mostly, which he instanceth in; but his inference is from the nature, and not the degree of any sin. “They who commit sin are worthy or death;” that is, obnoxious unto it on the account of their guilt, and which shall therefore be inflicted on them. And death is the punishment due to sin. And this is “the judgment of God,” — that which his justice requireth, which, because he is just, he judgeth meet to be done; or, this is that right which God exerciseth in the government of all.

    And this was known to the Gentiles by the light and instinct of nature, for other instruction herein they had not. And this natural conception of their minds they variously expressed, as hath been elsewhere declared. Thus, when the barbarians saw Paul bound with a chain, whence they supposed him to be a malefactor, they presently concluded, upon the viper’s leaping on his hand, that vengeance from God was fallen on him, which he should not escape notwithstanding the deliverance which he had had at sea; for this di>kh , or “vengeance,’’ they thought to be peculiarly designed to find out sinners that had seemed to have made an escape from punishment justly deserved, Acts 28:4. That such punishment is due to sin they were sufficiently convinced of by the testimony of their own consciences, Romans 2:14,15; and whereas conscience is nothing but the judgment which a man maketh concerning himself and his actions, with respect unto the superior judgment of God, a sense of the eternal righteousness of God was therein included. 3. And this sense of avenging justice they expressed in all their sacrifices, wherein they attempted to make some atonement for the guilt of sin. And this in an especial manner evidenced itself, partly in that horrid custom of sacrificing of other men, and partly in the occasional devoting of themselves unto destruction unto the same end; as also in their more solemn and public lustrations and expiations of cities and countries, in the time of public calamities and judgments. For, what was the voice of nature in those actings, wherein it offered violence to its own inbred principles and inclinations? It was this alone: ‘The Governor over all is just and righteous; we are guilty. He will not suffer us to live, vengeance will overtake us, if some way or other some course be not found out to appease him, to satisfy his justice, and to divert his judgments,’ Micah 6:6,7. This they thought to be the most probable way to bring about this end, namely, to take another of the same nature with themselves, and it may be dear unto them, and to bring him unto death, the worst that could be feared or suffered, in their own stead, with an imprecation “quod in ejus caput sit” upon him. 4. Again; what is affirmed in the Scripture concerning the anger, wrath, and fury of God against sin, and in the punishment of sinners, confirms what we affirm. See Romans 1:18; Numbers 25:4; Deuteronomy 13:17; Joshua 7:26; Psalm 78:49; Isaiah 13:9; Habakkuk 3:8.

    Now, this anger and wrath, especially in the signification of the original words, do denote such commotions and alterations as the divine nature is no way subject unto; for with God there is neither variableness nor shadow of change, James 1:17. Yet our apostle says that this anger is “revealed from heaven,” — namely, in the acts of divine providence in the world. Nothing, therefore, can be intended hereby but the effects of anger; that is, punishment. And so it is declared, Romans 3:5; Ephesians 5:6; Romans 2:5: for the anger or wrath of God is said to come upon men when they are punished by him for their sins. Yet something in God is declared hereby; and this can be nothing but a constant and unchangeable will of rendering unto sin a meet recompense of reward, Romans 9:22.

    And this is justice, the justice pleaded for, which is inseparable from the nature of God. Hence God is said to judge and punish in his anger, Psalm 56:7. And if any thing but this vindictive justice be therein intended, that is assigned unto him which ought not to be assigned unto a man that is honest and wise. And this doth God no less manifest in the works of his providence than he doth his goodness and patience; though the instances of it neither are nor ought to be continual, because of the future general judgment, whereunto all things and persons are reserved. 5. It will be granted by some that there is such a natural property in God as that which we contend for; “But it doth not thence follow,” they say, “that it is necessary that God should punish all sin; but he doth it, and may do it, by an absolute free act of his will. There is, therefore, no cogent argument to be taken from the consideration hereof for the necessity of the sufferings of Christ.” The heads of some few arguments to the contrary shall put a close to this whole discourse:— First, God hateth sin, he hateth every sin; he cannot otherwise do. Let any man assert the contrary, — namely, that God doth not hate sin, or that it is not necessary unto him, on the account of his own nature, that he should hate sin, — and the consequence thereof will quickly be discerned.

    For to say that God may not hate sin, is at once to take away all natural and necessary difference between moral good and evil; for if he may not hate it, he may love it. The mere acts of God’s will which are not regulated by any thing in his nature but only wisdom and liberty, are not determined unto this or that object, but he may so will any thing, or the contrary. And then if God may love sin, he may approve it; and if he approve sin, it is not sin, which is a plain contradiction. That God hateth sin, see Psalm 5:4,5, 11:5, 14:1, 53:1; Leviticus 26:30; Deuteronomy 16:22; Kings 21:26; Proverbs 15:9; Habakkuk 1:13. And this hatred of sin in God can be nothing but the displicency in or contrariety of his nature unto it, with an immutable will of punishing it thence arising; for, to have a natural displicency against sin, and not an immutable will of punishing it, is unworthy of God, for it must arise from impotency. To punish sin, therefore, according to its demerit is necessary unto him.

    Secondly, God with respect unto sin and sinners is called “a consuming fire,” Hebrews 12:29; Deuteronomy 4:24; Isaiah 33:14, 5:24, 66:15, 16. Something we are taught by the allusion in this expression. This is not the manner of God’s operation. God worketh freely; the fire burns necessarily. God, I say, always worketh freely, with a freedom accompanying his operation; though in some cases, on some suppositions, it is necessary that he should work as he doth. It is free to him to speak unto us or not; but on the supposition that he will do so, it is necessary that he speak truly, for God cannot lie. Fire, therefore, acts by brute inclination, according to its form and principle. God acts by his understanding and will, with a freedom accompanying all his operations.

    This, therefore, we are not taught by this allusion. The comparison, therefore, must hold with respect unto the event, or we are deceived, not instructed by it. As, therefore, the fire necessarily burneth and consumeth all combustible things whereunto it is applied, in its way of operation, which is natural; so doth God necessarily punish sin when it lies before him in judgment, in his way of operation, which is free and intellectual.

    Thirdly, It is necessary that God should do every thing that is requisite unto his own glory. This the perfection of his nature and existence doth require. So he doth all things for himself. It is necessary, therefore, that nothing fall out in the universe which should absolutely impeach the glory of God, or contradict his design of its manifestation. Now, suppose that God would and should let sin go unpunished, where would be the glory of his righteousness as he is the supreme ruler over all? For, to omit what justice requireth is no less a disparagement unto it than to do what it forbids, Proverbs 17:15. And where would be the glory of his holiness, supposing the description given of it, Habakkuk 1:13, — where would be that fear and reverence which is due unto him, where that sense of his terror, where that secret awe of him which ought to be in the hearts and thoughts of men, — if once he were looked on as such a God, as such a Governor, as unto whom it is a matter of mere freedom, choice, and liberty, whether he will punish sin or no, as being not concerned in point of righteousness or holiness so to do? Nothing can tend more than such a persuasion to ingenerate an apprehension in men that God is such an one as themselves, and that he is so little concerned in their sins that they need not themselves be much concerned in them. Such thoughts they are apt to conceive, if he do but hold his peace for a season, and not reprove them for their sins, Psalm 50:21. And if their hearts are fully set in them to do evil, because in some signal instances judgment is not speedily executed, Ecclesiastes 8:11, how much more will such pernicious consequents ensue, if they are persuaded that it may be God will never punish them for their sins, seeing it is absolutely at his pleasure whether he will do so or no! — that neither his righteousness, nor his holiness, nor his glory, requires any such thing at his hands! This is not the language of the law; no, nor yet of the consciences of men, unless they are debauched. Is it not, with most Christians, certain that eventually God lets no sinners go unpunished? Do they not believe that all who are not interested by faith in the sufferings of Christ, or at least that are not saved on the account of his undergoing the punishment due to sin, must perish eternally? And if this be the absolute rule of God’s proceeding towards sinners, if he never went out of the way of it in any one instance, whence should it proceed but from what his nature doth require?

    Lastly, God is, as we have showed, the righteous judge of all the world.

    What law is unto another judge, who is to proceed by it, that is the infinite rectitude of his own nature unto him. And it is necessary to a judge to punish where the law requires him so to do; and if he do not, he is not just.

    And because God is righteous by an essential righteousness, it is necessary for him to punish sin as it is contrary thereunto, and not to acquit the guilty. And what is sin cannot but be sin, neither can God order it otherwise; for what is contrary to his nature cannot by any act of his will be rendered otherwise. And if sin be sin necessarily, because of its contrariety to the nature of God, on the supposition of the order of all things by himself created, the punishment of it is on the same ground necessary also. 6. On the grounds insisted on, argued and proved it is, that on the supposition before also laid down and explained, — namely, that God would glorify himself and his grace in the recovery and salvation of sinners, which proceeded alone from the free counsel of his will, — it was, with respect unto the holiness and righteousness of God, absolutely necessary that the Son of God, in his interposition for them, should be a priest, and offer himself for a sacrifice; seeing therein and thereby he could and did undergo the punishment which, in the judgment of God, was due unto the sins of them that were to be saved by him. 7. Hereon we lay the necessity of the death and suffering of Jesus Christ; as also our apostle doth declare, Hebrews 2:10,11. And they who are otherwise minded are not able to assign so much as a sufficient cause or just and peculiar reason for it; which yet to think it had not is highly injurious to the wisdom and grace of God. The reason assigned by the Socinians is, that by his death he might confirm the doctrine that he taught, and our faith in himself, as also to set us an example of patient suffering.

    But these things were not highly necessary if considered alone, nor peculiar, and such there must be, or no man can satisfy himself why the Son of God should suffer and die; for God sent many before to reveal his will, — Moses, for instance, whose declarations thereof all men were bound to believe, — and yet caused them not to die violent, bloody, and cursed deaths, in the confirmation of them. So the death of Moses was concealed from all the world, only it was known that he died; his doctrine was not confirmed by his death. Besides, our Lord had such a power of working miracles as to give an uncontrollable evidence unto his being sent of God, and of God’s approbation of what he taught. Nor can it be pretended that. it was necessary that he should die that he might rise again, and so confirm his doctrine by his resurrection; for he might have died for this end any other way, and not by a shameful and cursed death, — not by a death in the view whereof he cried out that he was forsaken of God.

    Besides, on the supposition that Christ died only to confirm his doctrine, his resurrection was not of any more virtue to ingenerate, strengthen, or increase faith in us, than any other miracle that he wrought; for himself tells us that the rising of any one from the dead absolutely is not accompanied with such a peculiar efficacy to that purpose, Luke 16:31.

    But on supposition that he died for our sins, or underwent the punishment due to them, his resurrection from the dead is the principal foundation of our faith and hope. Neither was his being an example unto us indispensably necessary; for God hath given us other examples to the same purpose, which he obligeth us to conform ourselves unto, James 5:10,11. Whereas, therefore, all acknowledge that Christ was the Son of God, and there must be some peculiar reason why the Son of God should die a shameful and painful death, this cannot be assigned by them by whom the indispensable necessity of punishing is denied.

    Others say it was needful the Lord Christ should suffer, for the declaration of the righteousness of God, with his hatred of and severity against sin. So indeed the Scripture says, but it says so on the suppositions before laid down and proved. How they can say so, with any congruity unto or consistency with reason, by whom these are denied, I cannot understand; for if there be no such justice in God as necessarily requires that sin be punished, how can it be exalted or manifested in the punishment of it? If the punishment of sin be a mere free act of the will of God, which he may exert or the contrary, the pleasure of his will is manifested indeed therein, but how his justice is made known I see not.

    Suppose, as the men of this persuasion do, that it was easy with God to pardon the sins of men freely, without any satisfaction or compensation; that there was nothing in his nature which required of him to do otherwise; that had he done so, he had done it without the least disadvantage unto his own glory, — that is, he had acted therein as became his holiness and righteousness, as he is the supreme governor over all;—on these suppositions, I say, who can give a reasonable account why he should cast all our sins on his Son, and punish them all in his person, according as if justice had required him so to do? To say that all this was done for the satisfaction of that justice which required no such thing to be done, is not satisfactory. 8. From what hath been discoursed, both the original and necessity of the priesthood of Christ are evidently demonstrated. There was no respect in the designation of it unto the state of innocency. Upon the supposition and consideration of the fall, the entrance of sin, and the ruin of mankind thereby, there were personal transactions in the holy Trinity with respect unto their recovery, as there had been before in their creation. Herein the Son undertook to be our deliverer, in and by the assumption of our nature, wherein alone it could be wrought, into personal union with himself; because, for this end, the justice and holiness of God required that the penalty due and threatened unto sin should be undergone and suffered.

    This the Son willingly undertook to do in that nature which he assumed to himself. And because the things themselves to be suffered were not only or so much indeed considered as his will and obedience in suffering, — being an instance of obedience, in compliance with the will and law of God, outbalancing the disobedience of the first, and all our sins in opposition thereunto, — therefore was he, in all his sufferings to offer himself up freely to the will of God; which offering up of himself was his sacrifice: to which end he was called, anointed, ordained of God a high priest; for this office consisteth in a power, right, and faculty, given him of God to offer up himself in sacrifice, in, by, and under his suffering of the penalty due to sin, so as thereby to make expiation of sin and reconciliation for sinners, as we shall prove in our next discourse.


    THE NATURE OF THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST. 1. The nature of the priesthood of Christ, why proposed to consideration — The opinions of the Socinians concerning the priesthood of Christ; consequents thereof. 2. Christ an high priest properly so called — Arguments in the confirmation thereof proposed and vindicated—<580501>Hebrews 5:1, 7:11-16, explained to that purpose. 3. God the immediate object of the sacerdotal actings of Christ, proved from the typical priesthood and the use of sacrifices. 4. Further confirmed from the nature of all the offices of Christ; 5. From the nature of sacerdotal duties and acts. 6. Some particular testimonies pleaded to the same purpose — The conclusion. 7. The call of Christ unto his priestly office. 8. His inauguration and actual susception of it. 9. Things considerable in the priest’s offering sacrifices of old. 10. Their accomplishment in the Lord Christ discharging his priestly office. 11. The truth thereof further explained and confirmed. 12. Testimonies of the Scripture to that purpose urged, explained, vindicated — Ephesians 5:2; 13. Hebrews 5:6,7; 14. Hebrews 1:3, vindicated. 15. Hebrews 9:12, vindicated. 16. Christ once offered, and that when he bare our sins. 17. The necessity of suffering unto sacrifice, Hebrews 9:25,26, 7:27, 10:11, 12. 1. That our Lord Jesus Christ is the true and only high priest of the church hath been before declared, and it is in words acknowledged by all in some sense or other. The general nature also of that office hath been fully manifested, from what we have discoursed concerning its original, with the ends thereof, and his designation thereunto. Without the utter overthrow of those foundations in the first place, all the attempts of men against the true and proper nature of this office as vested in him are weak and impotent. The sacrifice that he offered as a priest, the nature, use, and end thereof, must be considered apart afterwards, in its proper place. The qualifications of his person, with the love, care, and grace, which he exerciseth in the discharge of this office, must all be distinctly spoken unto, as they are represented unto us by the apostle in the Epistle itself.

    Wherefore there would be no necessity of handling the nature of this office here apart, were it not for the opposition that is made unto it, and that depravation of the doctrine of the gospel concerning it which some have attempted; for whereas the principal design of the Socinians in these things is to overthrow the sacrifice that he offered as a priest, they lay the foundation of their attempt in an opposition to the office itself. It is therefore principally with respect unto them that I have here proposed the nature of that office unto consideration; and I shall be more conversant in its vindication than in its declaration; which most Christians are acquainted withal. And I shall proceed in this method herein: — First, I shall declare what are in general their conceptions about this office; in opposition whereunto the truth declared in the Scripture shall be taught and vindicated. Secondly, I shall more particularly declare their opinions as to the several concernments of it, and consider as well their explanation of their own sense, with their confirmation of it, as their opposition and exceptions unto the faith of the church of God.

    In the first place, they grant that the Lord Christ is our high priest, — that is, that he is so called in the Scripture; but that he is so really they deny.

    For this name, they say, is ascribed unto him not properly or directly, to denote what he is or doth, but by reason of some kind of allusion that there is between what he doth for us and what was done by the priests of old amongst the Jews, or under the old testament. He is therefore, in their judgment, improperly and metaphorically called a priest, as believers are said to be kings and priests, though after somewhat a more excellent manner; for he is so termed because of the good offices that he doth for the church, and not that he is or ever was a priest indeed. Hereon they say,— Secondly, That he then entered on this office, or then began to do that work with reference whereunto, — because of its allusion to the work of the priests under the law, — he is called a priest, when, upon his ascension into heaven and appearance in the holy place, he received power from God to help, and relieve, and assist the church, in all its occasions.

    What he did and suffered before in the world, in his death and bloodshedding, was, by virtue of God’s decree, a necessary preparation unto his discharge of this office, but belonged not thereunto, nor did he there offer any sacrifice to God. Wherefore they also affirm, — Thirdly, That this priesthood of Christ is indeed of the same nature with his kingly office, both of them consisting in a power, ability, authority, and readiness, to do good unto the church. Only herein there seems some difference between them, that as a king he is able to help and save us, but as a priest he is willing and ready so to do.

    Fourthly, That the object of the acts of the priesthood of Christ is firstly and principally man, yea, it is only so, none of them having God for their object, no more than the acts of his kingly power have; for it is his care of the church, his love towards it, with the supply of his grace and mercy which from God he bestows upon it, on the account whereof he is said to be a priest, and his so doing is called the exercise of his priesthood.

    This in general is the substance of what they affirm and teach concerning this office of Christ, as we shall more particularly manifest and evince in the ensuing Exercitation. Now, if these things are so, I confess all our exposition of this Epistle, at least the principal parts of it, must fall to the ground, as being built on the sandy foundation of many false suppositions.

    And not only so, but the faith of the whole church of God in this thing is overthrown; and so are also all the common notions of mankind about the office of the priesthood and its exercise that ever prevailed in the world.

    And, to lay the whole fabric of truth in all instances level with the earth, the instructive relation or analogy that is between the types of the old testament and the substance of things declared in the new is taken away and destroyed. Wherefore it is necessary that we should diligently assert and confirm the truth in this matter in opposition to all their bold assertions, and vindicate it from their exceptions, whereby we shall fully declare the nature of this blessed office of Christ. 2. Our first difference is about the name and title, as to the signification of it when applied unto Jesus Christ. And we affirm that he is properly the high priest of the church, and not metaphorically only. When I say he is properly the high priest of the church, my meaning is, that he is so the high priest as he is the king and prophet of the church. And look, by what means or arguments it may be proved that Christ is the true, real king and prophet of the church, and not metaphorically called so only, by the same may it be proved that he is in like manner the high priest of the church also; for both the name is in a like manner assigned unto him, and the office, and the acts of it, yea, they are so more fully and expressly than the other. And he may as well be said to be metaphorical in his person as in his offices. But I shall distinctly manage these arguments, which I challenge all the Socinians in the world to return a direct answer unto, and not by long digressions and tergiversations; a precedent for which is given them by Crellius in this case, whose sophistical evasions shall be called to a particular account afterwards.

    First, He unto whom all things whatever properly belonging unto a priest are ascribed, and to whom belongs the description of a priest in all things essential unto him, such ascription and accommodation being made by the Holy Ghost himself, or persons divinely inspired by him, he is a high priest properly so called. And that things are so with reference unto the priesthood of Christ will appear in the ensuing instances: — (1.) As to the name itself, this is so ascribed unto him. No man durst have so called him had he not been first called so by the Holy Ghost. And this he is both in the Old Testament and in the New. He is expressly said to be the ˆheKo , iJepeu>v , ajrciereu>v , “a priest,” “an high priest,” without the least intimation on any occasion of impropriety or a metaphor in the expression. And as he is thus called frequently, so constantly with respect unto those acts and duties which are proper unto the office of the priesthood. Now, whatever color may be given unto the metaphorical use of a word or a name where it is but once or rarely used, and that with respect unto such things as answer not unto the proper signification, there can be none where it is used frequently, and in the same case invariably, and constantly with respect unto things that suit its proper signification. (2.) The description of a high priest properly so called is given by our apostle, Hebrews 5:1: Pa~v gapwn lamzano>menov , uJpepwn kaqi>statai ta< prorh| dw~ra> te kai< zusi>av uJpehigh priest is one who is taken from among other men by the call and appointment of God, and is appointed in the stead, or on the behalf of other men, in things pertaining to God; that is, to offer unto him gifts and sacrifices for sins.

    See this description explained in our exposition of the place. Now this is the description of a priest properly so called; for it is the priesthood of Aaron which the apostle intends to express in the first place, as is evident in verse 4. But Aaron was a priest properly so called, — that is, within his own sphere of typicalness; at least he was not so only metaphorically. To say he was, is to destroy the thing itself of the priesthood, and thereby to destroy the metaphor also; for a metaphor cannot be of nothing. But now whatever is contained in this description, and whatever in answer unto it was found in Aaron, as belonging to his office, and not adhering unto him individually from the infirmity of his person, is all ascribed by the apostle unto Jesus Christ; as is undeniably evinced in our exposition of the place, whereunto I refer the reader. In brief, he was taken by the call and appointment of God from amongst men, Deuteronomy 18:18, Hebrews 7:13,14. He was appointed for men, or to act in their behalf, 1 John 2:1,2; and that ta< pron , “in things pertaining to God,” Hebrews 7:25,26, 9:14, 15, particularly “to offer gifts and sacrifices” for sin, chap. 8:3. If this were all that was required to constitute Aaron a priest properly so called, then the ascription of these things unto Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost is sufficient to declare him a priest properly so called. And there is strength added unto this argument from what the apostle discourseth concerning the necessity of a call from God unto this office; for he tells us that “no man taketh this honor to himself,” — that is, to be a priest, — “but he that is called of God, as was Aaron,” chap. 5:4. And thence he shows and proves that Christ did not take this honor unto himself, but in like manner was called of God, verse 5. Now, if not the honor of a real and proper priesthood with respect unto Christ be intended, but somewhat else, metaphorically so called, then is the apostle’s way of arguing utterly impertinent, as from an instance of one kind arguing the necessity of a thing of another. And it may be replied unto him, that although a man must be called of God unto a priesthood that is real and proper, such as was that of Aaron, yet it doth not thence follow that such a call is necessary unto that which is so metaphorically only; for so all believers are made priests unto God, but yet none of them have any especial call from God thereunto. (3.) The discourse of our apostle, chap. 7:11-16, gives further evidence unto the same truth: “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning the priesthood.

    And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,” etc. For we may observe, — [1.] That as Aaron was a priest, so there was a necessity, from the prophecy of <19B004> Psalm 110:4, that there should be another priest. Now, if this other priest were not a priest properly so called, as Aaron was, there is no consequence in the apostle’s discourse, it proceeding on terms equivocal. [2.] The priesthood, according to this prophecy and our apostle’s interpretation of it, was only to be changed. But if, after the removal of the law, there was no other proper priesthood to succeed, it was not changed, but abolished. And it is more true that there was none than that there was any; for properly there was none, though metaphorically there was. [3.] On this supposition all the circumstances insisted on by our apostle as exceedingly observable to his purpose, — namely, that our Lord was of the tribe of Judah, and not of Levi; that he was constituted a priest in an especial way, and not like unto that of old,— are of no use: for there is nothing peculiar in these things, if he intend not a priest properly so called. [4.] It utterly enervates that invincible argument whereby the apostle proves the necessary cessation of the law and legal or Mosaical institutions; for he builds on this supposition, that the priesthood being changed, the law of divine worship or service must be so also. And this unavoidably follows because of the inseparable relation that was between the Aaronical priesthood and all the worship of the tabernacle. But if this other priest whom he intends was not properly, but only metaphorically so, there might be a thousand of them, and yet no necessity for the change of the law of worship ensue. For two priests, one whereof is proper and the other metaphorically so only, are consistent at the same time, but two that are properly so are not; whence our apostle says that the Lord Christ could not be a proper priest of the same nature with those of the order of Aaron whilst they continued, Hebrews 8:4. [5.] He is expressly said to be a priest “after the order of Melchisedec.”

    But this Melchizedek was a priest properly so called. He therefore must be so who is a priest according to the same order; for priests of several sorts and kinds, as real and nominal only, or proper and metaphorical, cannot be said to be after the same order, for no orders can be more different than those whereof one is proper, the other metaphorical. This difference is not in some property and adjunct, but in the whole kind; as real and painted fire differ, or a man and his image. Besides, he is said to be a priest “after the order of Melchisedec,” so as that withal he is denied to be a priest “after the order of Aaron.” But if he were not properly so called, but only metaphorically, by reason of some allusion unto a proper priesthood in what he did, the direct contrary might much rather be asserted; for there was more allusion between Aaron in his priesthood and him, and our apostle gives more instances of it, than between him and Melchizedek. And if it be false that Christ was a high priest according to the order of Aaron, notwithstanding the great allusion between what he did and what was done by Aaron in that office, and the great representation made of him and his actings thereby, then is it not true that Christ was called a priest “after the order of Melchisedec,” by reason of some allusion unto the office of the priesthood. [6.] This conception would utterly enervate the sense of the general argument that the apostle manageth towards these Hebrews, as well as that especial one about the cessation of the law. For he is pressing them to stability and constancy in the profession of the gospel, that they fall not back unto their old Judaism which they had deserted. To enforce his exhortation to this purpose, the principal argument he insists on is taken from the excellency and glory of the priesthood under the new testament, — incomparably exalted above that of the old, which yet was the most glorious and useful part of their worship. But that which is metaphorical in any kind is evidently less than that which is properly so. It is replied by Crellius, “That what is only metaphorically so may yet be more excellent than that which is properly;” whereof he gives some instances.

    And it is true it may be so. But it cannot be so in that instance wherein the metaphor consists. Suppose the Lord Christ to be only metaphorically a priest, yet he may, on many other accounts, be far more excellent and glorious than Aaron. But yet the priesthood of Aaron being properly so, and his only metaphorically so, the priesthood of Aaron was more excellent than his; which is directly contrary to the scope of the apostle.

    Suppose the Lord Christ were only metaphorically a prophet or a king, he may yet on many other considerations be more excellent than either Moses or David, yet they must, on this supposition, be granted to have had the offices of prophet and king more eminently than he. So also must it be with his priesthood, on this supposition, with respect unto that of Aaron. [7.] Add unto all these particular instances unto the contrary, that this Socinian fiction of the Lord Christ being not a priest, but only called so, by reason of some similitude between what he doth for the church and what was done by the priests of the law, — which indeed, as by them explained, is none at all, — is directly opposite to the whole design and discourse of the apostle in this Epistle. For, treating of the priesthood of Christ, he constantly calls him a priest in the sense which they had of that expression to whom he wrote, or he spake not to their understandings; he assigns all sorts of sacerdotal actions unto him, in all instances of duties belonging unto a priest as such, and that in competition with, and by way of preference above, the priests of the order of Aaron; nor doth he in any place, either directly or indirectly, give the least intimation that all these expressions of his were only tropical or metaphorical, not indeed signifying those things which those to whom he wrote understood by them. This had not been to instruct the Hebrews, but to deceive them, nor will be granted by those who have a greater reverence for the sacred writings than to wrest them at their pleasure into a compliance with their own preconceived opinions.

    And this is the first thing which we are to consider in the investigation and vindication of the true nature of the priesthood of Christ. It was such as that on the account thereof he was a priest properly so called; which as it gives a rule unto the interpretation of the nature of the sacrifice which as a priest he offered, so is the truth of it confirmed by all other things which are ascribed unto him under that qualification, as we shall see afterwards.

    And what remains for the further confirmation hereof will be added in our ensuing consideration of the attempt of our adversaries to establish the contrary assertion. 3. “Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle,” his actings in that office do in the first place respect God himself,— ta< pron . He did the things that were to be performed with God on the behalf of the people. And this further manifests the nature of his office. He came as a priest eijv to< iJla>skesqai taav tou~ laou~ , Hebrews 2:17; that is, iJla>skesqai toGod for the sins of the people.” For sins cannot be the immediate object of reconciliation, but he alone is so who was displeased with them, and by whom, on that reconciliation, they are pardoned and the sinner acquitted. But yet neither can we carry this without control. This also is denied by our adversaries in this cause, although therein they offer violence not only unto all that we are taught in the Scripture about these things, but also unto all the common sentiments of mankind, putting such senses on these expressions as are absolutely contrary unto them and inconsistent with them. What are those senses we shall afterwards examine. For the present, it sufficeth to our purpose to take notice of their denial that the sacerdotal actings of Christ, — that is, his oblation and intercession, — do respect God in the first place; the contrary whereunto we shall now teach and confirm.

    The Scripture instructs us, as we have proved, that the Lord Christ was and is our high priest; and, moreover, that as such he offered himself unto God once for all, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people, as a propitiatory, expiatory sacrifice, Isaiah 53:10; Hebrews 1:3, 2:17, 5:5, 7:27, 10:10; Ephesians 5:2; 1 John 2:2. What the Holy Ghost intends hereby, and what is the meaning of these expressions, he had before instructed the church in, by those institutions under the old testament whereby he foresignified and represented what was intended in them and by them. To suppose these expressions to have one signification under the old testament, and another quite of a different nature under the new, whereas the things signified by the one were appointed only to teach and instruct us in the nature of the other, is to take away all certainty from what we are taught in the Scripture. We may therefore positively conclude, that if the actings of the priests under the old testament did respect God in the first place, then those of Christ did so also, or there is no similitude or analogy between these things; which to affirm is to overthrow both the old testament and the new. This, therefore, we must in the first place confirm.

    The principal duty and work of the priests under the law was to offer sacrifices. As the whole law speaks thus, so our apostle expressly confirms it, making that work the great end of the priesthood. Sacrifices had respect unto sin. Priests were appointed to offer qusi>av peri< aJmartiw~n , “sacrifices for sin.” And when God called them to the work, he said it was yliAwOnh\kæl] , that they should exercise the priesthood towards him, Exodus 28:1. Had there been no sin, there had been no sacrifices properly so called, as we have proved before. There might have been a dedication of any thing in our power unto God, as an acknowledgment of his sovereignty and bounty. But sacrifices by blood had all respect unto sin, as the nature of them doth declare. Wherefore, God appointing priests to offer sacrifices for sin, and therein to minister unto him, he must be the first object of their actings as such.

    Sacrifices by blood, to be offered by these priests, and by them only, God appointed of various kinds, with respect unto various occasions, of bulls, goats, sheep, fowls; whose nature and differences I have explained in our former Exercitations, Exerc. 24. The principal end of all these sacrifices, was to make atonement for sin. This is so express in their institution as that it is all one to deny that there were any sacrifices appointed of God as to deny that they were appointed to make atonement. See Leviticus 1:4, 5:5, 6, 6:7, 16:6, 34, etc. Now, the nature, use, and end of atonement, was to avert the anger of God due to sin, and so to pacify him that the sinner might be pardoned. This is the importance of the word, and this was the end of those sacrifices whereby atonement was made. The word is sometimes used where no sacrifice was implied, but is never used in any other sense than that declared. So Moses spake unto the people upon their making of the calf: “Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin,” Exodus 32:30.

    He hoped that he should by his interposition turn away the wrath of God, and obtain pardon for them; which he calls making an atonement, because of its respect unto the great future sacrifice, by virtue whereof alone we may prevail with God on such occasions. In Leviticus 5:5,6, as in many other places, this is appropriated unto sacrifices: “When a man shall be guilty in one of these things, he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing: and he shall bring his trespassoffering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned; ..... and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.”

    So also verses 17, 18, chap. 6:6, 7, etc. The sin committed was against the Lord; the guilt contracted was confessed to the Lord; the sacrifice or offering was brought unto the Lord; the atonement was made by the priest before the Lord; — all which give it the nature before described, and admit of no other. In some instances the sins committed were to be confessed over the head of the sacrifice wherewith the atonement was to be made; which rendered the whole action more pregnant with representation. A person guilty of sin, convicted in his own conscience, condemned by the sentence of the law, by God’s allowance and appointment brought a clean beast, assigned in general for that use, and, bringing it to the altar, confessed over it his sin and guilt, laying them legally upon it, so delivering it up into the hands of the priest, by whom it was slain, and the blood poured out, as suffering under the guilt laid upon it; wherein, with some other ensuing acts, it was offered to God to make atonement for the sin committed and confessed. Thus was blood given unto the people to make atonement for their souls, because the life of the beast was in the blood, which was destroyed in the shedding thereof, Leviticus 17:11.

    Certainly no man can ever arrive unto so much confidence as to question whether the actings of the priests in those sacrifices whereby atonement was made, did not in the first place respect God himself; nor, indeed, do I know that it is by any positively and directly denied: for the sense we plead for depends not on the use of any one single word, or the signification of it in these or other places, but upon the whole nature and express ends of those institutions. And herein all mankind are agreed, namely, that the divine Power was the immediate object of sacerdotal actings, — that they were done with God on the behalf of men, and not actings towards men on the behalf of God.

    By all these terms and expressions doth our apostle describe the sacerdotal actings of Christ. For having declared him to be a high priest, he affirms that he offered a sacrifice to God, — a sacrifice to make reconciliation for sin: as also, that therein God made all our sins to meet upon him; which “he bare in his own body on the tree.” The question now is, What is intended thereby? Our adversaries say it is the merciful and powerful actings of Christ towards us, giving out help, assistance, grace, and mercy, from God unto us; so delivering us from all evil, the whole punishment due to sin, and eternal death. But why are these things called his offering of himself unto God a sacrifice to make reconciliation for sin?

    They say it is because of an allusion and similitude that is between what he so doth for us, and what was done by the priests of old in their sacrifices. But it is plain, from what hath been declared concerning the sacerdotal actings of the priests of old in their sacrifices, that there is no allusion nor similitude between these things, nor can they assign wherein it should consist. Their actings were immediately towards God on our behalf, his, it is said, are towards us on God’s behalf; theirs were to make atonement for sin, his to testify love and mercy to sinners; theirs by shedding of blood, wherein was life, his in power and glory. Wherefore I say, if we have any instruction given us in these things, — if the office of the priesthood, or any duties of it, any sacrifices offered by the priests, were instituted to typify, prefigure, and represent Jesus Christ as the great high priest of the church, — it cannot be but that his sacerdotal actings do justly and immediately respect God himself; which shall now be further confirmed. 4. There are (as is out of controversy) three offices which the Lord Christ, as the mediator and surety of the new covenant, beareth and exerciseth towards the church, namely, those of king, prophet, and priest. And these, as they are distinctly assigned unto him, so they are distinct among themselves, and are names of diverse things, as really, so in the common notions and sense of mankind. And in these offices, where there is an affinity between them, or any seeming coincidence, in their powers, duties, and acts, the kingly and prophetical do make a nearer pass unto each other than either of them do unto the sacerdotal, as shall afterwards be more fully evinced; for the nature of these two offices requireth that the object of their exercise be men. As in general it doth so, so in particular in those of Christ. He acts in them in the name of God, and for God, towards men.

    For although a king be the name of one who is invested with power absolute and supreme, yet is it so only with respect unto them towards and over whom he is a king. As denoting an infinite, absolute, independent power, of necessity it belongs to God alone essentially considered. This office in Christ is considered as delegated by the Father, and exercised in his name: “The head of every man is Christ;” but “the head of Christ is God.” He anoints him king on his holy hill of Zion, Psalm 2:6; and he rules in the name and majesty of his God, Micah 5:4. Wherefore the whole exercise of the power and duty of this office is from God, and for God towards men. In his name he rules his subjects and subdueth his enemies. None can fancy God to be the object of any of the acts of this office.

    It is so in like manner with his prophetical office. God raised him up from among his brethren to be the prophet of his church, to reveal his will; and by him he spake to us. See Exposition on Hebrews 1:1,2. His whole work as a prophet is to reveal the will of God, and therein to teach and instruct us. Men, therefore, are the immediate object of the powers, duties, and acts of this office.

    And that which we further observe from hence is this, that there is no one thing that the Lord Christ acts immediately towards the church, but that it belongs unto and proceeds from one or the other of these powers or offices. If any one be otherwise minded, let him prove the contrary by instances, if he be able. The Scripture affordeth none to that purpose. It followeth hence, therefore, that God is the object of the actings of Christ in his priestly office. For if he be not so, then, — (1.) There is no room nor place in his whole mediation for any such office, seeing all he performs towards us belongs unto the other. And therefore those by whom this is denied do upon the matter at length contend that indeed he hath no such office. And if this be so, — (2.) It doth not belong unto Christ as mediator to deal with God in any of the concerns of his people; for he must do so as a priest, or not at all. And then we have no advocate with the Father; which is utterly abhorrent from the common faith of Christianity. And this absurd supposition shall be afterwards removed by express testimonies to the contrary. Take away this fundamental principle, that Christ as mediator deals with God for us, and you overthrow the faith of all Christians. (3.) This would render the whole instruction intended for the church in the Aaronical priesthood and sacrifices useless and impertinent, nothing of the like nature being signified thereby; for that, as we have proved, openly respected God in the first place. And on this supposition the accommodation of it unto the priesthood of Christ by our apostle would be altogether vain. (4.) It is contrary to the common notion of the nature of the priesthood amongst mankind; for none yet ever owned such an office in things religious, but apprehended the use of it to be in doing the things with God that were to be done on the behalf of men. And hereby, as was observed, would the faith and consolation of all believers, which are resolved into what the Lord Christ hath done and doth for them with God, be utterly overthrown. 5. Again; the same truth is undeniably evinced from the nature of sacerdotal acts and duties. These are, as it is stated by common consent, those two of oblation and intercession. And both these are expressly ascribed unto the Lord Jesus Christ as he is a high priest, and nothing else immediately as he is so. The actual help and aid which he gives us is the fruit and effect of these sacerdotal actings. The sole inquiry, therefore, in this matter is, What or who is the immediate object of oblation and intercession? Is this God, or man? Did Christ offer himself as a sacrifice unto God, or unto us? Doth he intercede with God for us, or with us only?

    A man would suppose that the absurdity of these imaginations, so expressly contrary to the Scripture and the common sense of mankind, should even shame our adversaries from the defense of them. But they are not so obtuse or so barren in their invention as to want evasions at any time. “Quid si manifesto tenentur? anguilla sicut elabentur.” They therefore tell us, “It is true, if you take oblation and intercession in their proper sense, then God, and none other, must be their immediate object; but as they are ascribed unto Christ they are used only metaphorically, and do indeed denote such actions of his towards the church as have some allusion unto oblation and intercession properly so called.” But I say, — (1.) There was never such a metaphor heard of before, as that one thing should be called by the name of another, between which there is no peculiar similitude, as there is none between offering unto God and giving grace unto men. (2.) Who hath given them this authority to turn what they please into metaphors; by which means they may, when they have a mind to it, make an allegory, and consequently a fable, of the whole Scripture? It is expressly affirmed that the Lord Christ is a high priest. Nothing is in the notion of that office, taken properly, that is unworthy of him, no more than in those of king and prophet. No intimation is given us, directly or indirectly, that this office is ascribed unto him metaphorically. As such he is said to make oblation and intercession to God, — the things wherein the exercise of the priestly office doth consist. What confidence is it, now, to deny that he doth these things properly and immediately with God as a high priest, by an arbitrary introduction of a metaphor which the Scripture giveth not the least countenance unto! 6. We might, moreover, plead the use and end of the sacrifice which he offered as a high priest, which was to make expiation of sin and atonement for it. But because we differ with our adversaries about the sense of these expressions also, I shall not make use of them as the medium of an argument until the precise signification of them be evinced and determined; which shall be done, God willing, in our consideration of the nature of the sacrifice itself. Wherefore I shall close this head of our disputation with some express testimonies confirming the truth in hand.

    To this purpose speaks our apostle, Hebrews 8:3, “For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.”

    The things which the high priests had of old to offer as gifts and sacrifices, they offered unto God. This I presume is unquestionable; for God commanded them that all their gifts and sacrifices should be offered unto him upon his altar, consecrated for that purpose. To have done otherwise had been the highest idolatry. But Christ, if he be a high priest, must, saith the apostle, of necessity have somewhat to offer, as they did, and after the same manner; that is, unto God. If this he did not, there is nothing of reason or sense in the apostle’s inference; for what necessity can there be, because the high priests of old did offer sacrifices to God, that then if Jesus Christ be a high priest he must do something of another kind? They have nothing to say upon these instances, but to confess the words and deny the thing, and then tell us that they agree to the words, but differ about their interpretation, — the interpretation they suggest being a direct denial of the thing itself; whereof more afterwards.

    To the same purpose speaks our apostle, chap. <580501> 5:1; which place hath been before vindicated, and is so fully in the ensuing Exposition, whereunto the reader is referred. And this consideration discovereth much of the general nature, use, and end, of the priesthood of Christ, which we inquire after; for it is hence evident that it is the power, office, and duty, whereby he makes an interposition between God and us, — that is, with God on our behalf. And there are two general ends of this interposition, as the Scripture testifies, and which the common faith of Christians relies upon. And these are, — (1.) “Averruncatio mali,” the removal of all sorts of evil from us, every thing that did or might befall us in a way of evil, hurt, damage, or punishment, on the account of our sins and apostasy from God. (2.) “Acquisitio boni,” the procuring and obtaining for us every thing that is good, with respect unto our reconciliation to God, peace with him, and the enjoyment of him. And these are intended in the general acts of his office; for, — first, his oblation principally and firstly respects the making atonement for sin, and the turning away of the wrath that was due unto us as sinners; wherein he was Jesus, the deliverer, who saves us from the wrath to come. And this is all that is included in the nature of oblation as absolutely considered: But as the oblation of Christ was founded on the covenant before described, it had a further prospect. For with respect unto the obedience which therein he yielded unto God, according to the terms of that covenant, it was not only satisfactory, but meritorious; that is, by the sacrifice of himself he did not only turn away the wrath which was due unto us, but also obtained for us “eternal redemption,” with all the grace and glory thereunto belonging. There remains nothing to be done on our behalf, after the once offering of himself, whereby he “perfected for ever them that are sanctified,” but only the actual application of these good things unto us, or our actual instating in the possession of them. Hereunto is his intercession, the second duty of his priestly office, designed; the especial nature whereof must be elsewhere declared and vindicated. 7. For the further clearing of the whole subject of our inquiry, we must yet consider both the call of Christ unto this office, his actual inauguration, and his discharge of it, both when and where; for all these belong unto its nature.

    The call of the Lord Christ unto this office is expressly asserted by our apostle, chap. 5:4-6, “And no man taketh this honor 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 for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”

    If the reader desire to see the particulars wherein the call of Christ consisted, its comparison with the call of Aaron, preference before it, or exaltation above it, he may consult our Exposition on that place, from whence I shall repeat nothing here. In general I say, that the call of Christ unto the office of the priesthood consisted in that eternal covenant which was between the Father and him concerning his undertaking the work of our recovery and salvation, which I have at large before described. He was not made a priest by virtue of any vocal command, as Aaron was called by a command given unto Moses unto that purpose, Exodus 28:1; nor by virtue of any established law, which gave the posterity of Aaron their succession to that office; but he was called by an immediate transaction between him and the Father before the world was. This call of his, therefore, may be considered either with respect unto designation or manifestation. As it intends the designation of Christ unto his office, so it is expressed in these words of God the Father to him, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee;” which what they import in the covenant transactions between the Father and the Son hath been before declared.

    The manifestation of this call consisted originally in the first promise given concerning his incarnation and undertaking of the work of our redemption, Genesis 3:15. With respect hereunto he says, Psalm 40:8,9, yhloa’ Ún]wOxr]AtwOc[\læ yl;[æ bWtK; rp,seAtLægim]Bi ytiab;AhNehi yTir]mæa; za; ; — “Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book,” — that is, varoB] tLægim] , “in the beginning of the sacred volume,” as our apostle renders it, ejn kefali>di , “in the head” of it, Hebrews 10:7; that is, in that first promise, recorded in the beginning of the Scripture, wherein his own consent was tacitly included, and the virtue of his office and sacrifice established, whence he became the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” And more need not be added in this place concerning this call of Christ unto the office of the priesthood. 8. His actual inauguration into it, and susception of it, is next to be considered. And he was vested with all his offices from his conception and nativity. There was no time wherein he was, as to his human nature, and was not the king, priest, and prophet of his church; for he received all his offices by the unction of the Spirit, when God “anointed him with the oil of gladness above his fellows.” And this was done fundamentally in his incarnation, when he was conceived and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, communicated unto him not by measure. And so he was born “Christ the Lord,” Luke 2:11. He was born one anointed by the Holy Ghost, Lord, and consequently priest and prophet, — all which offices were communicated by unction. Together with those graces, gifts, and abilities, which were necessary to their discharge, right, title, and authority for their exercise in their proper seasons were conveyed unto him thereby. And in these two doth all office and power consist.

    The actual exercise of all the offices of Christ was regulated by the will of the Father, his own wisdom and compliance therewithal, with the order and nature of the things themselves about which he was to be conversant therein. He was anointed to be the great prophet of the church from the womb; yet he entered not upon the public discharge of that office until after his baptism, when his commission and call thereunto were proclaimed from heaven, Matthew 3:17. So also was he “Christ the Lord,” — that is, the king of the church; yet began he not visibly to exercise that office in his own person until the mission of his apostles with authority from him to preach the gospel, Matthew 10. So had God disposed of things, and so did the nature of the work which he had to do require. And as to his priestly office, he neither did nor could enter upon the exercise and discharge of it until the end of his prophetical ministry; for he could not do it but by his death, which was to put an end unto that ministry here on the earth, excepting only the instructions which he gave to his apostles after his resurrection, Acts 1:3.

    But to propose the whole matter somewhat more distinctly, there are three things that concurred unto the inauguration of the Lord Christ unto this office, or there were degrees of it: — (1.) His real unction by the Holy Ghost with an all-fullness of gifts and graces, at his incarnation. This whole work of the Spirit, with its effects, I have elsewhere at large discussed, and shall not further insist upon it. (2.) His declarative unction at his baptism, when the Spirit descended upon him, and filled him with power for the exercise of all the gifts and graces he had received for the discharge of his whole office. (3.) Unto both these there succeeded an especial dedication to the actual performance of the duties of this office. And this was his own act, which he had power for from God. This himself expresseth, John 17:19, JUpezw ejmauto>n? — “I sanctify,” that is, I consecrate or dedicate, “myself.” For of real sanctification, by purification and further infusion of grace, he was not capable: and the communication of real grace to the human nature was the work of the Holy Ghost; he did not so sanctify himself. But he did dedicate, separate, and consecrate himself unto God, in the discharge of this office. It doth also respect the sacrifice which he was to offer: ‘I consecrate and give up myself to be a sacrifice.’

    But he who was to be the sacrifice was also to be the sacrificer. This consecration, therefore, respected his person, and what he was to do as the sacrificer, no less than what he was to suffer as a sacrifice; for this also was necessary, and every high priest was so consecrated.

    In that prayer, therefore, of our Savior, John 17, do I place the beginning and entrance of the exercise of his priestly office. Whatever he did after this unto the moment of his death belonged principally thereunto. Sundry things, I confess, fell in occasionally afterwards, wherein he acted his prophetical office in bearing witness unto the truth; but the scope of all his ensuing actions and passions respect his priestly office only: for although his sacrifice, precisely considered, consisted in his actual offering of himself on the cross, yet his sacerdotal actings with reference unto it are not to be confined thereunto. And what these actings were, without an inquiry into the nature of his sacrifice, which I have designed for the subject of another discourse, I shall briefly recount.

    Sundry things were considerable in the sacrifices of old, which, although they did not all belong unto the essence of them, yet they did unto their completeness and perfection, being all types and resemblances of what was afterwards to be done by Christ himself. Some of these we shall call over, to give an illustration thereunto:— 9. First, There was required thereunto the adduction of the sacrifice, or of the beast to be sacrificed, unto the priest, or the priest’s provision of it, which was incumbent on him with respect to the dymiT; , or daily sacrifice in the temple. This belonged unto the sacrifice, and is expressed by a sacred word, Leviticus 1:2, byriQ]yæAyKi µd;a; ˆB;miq; . The bringing or adduction of it made it a “corban,” a gift brought, sacred, dedicated to God.

    For there was in it, — (1.) “Animus offerentis,” the mind and intention of the offerer to devote it unto God; which was the foundation, and gave life to the sacrifice. Hence it was a principle even among the heathen that no sacrifice was accepted that proceeded not “a libenti animo,” “from a willing mind.” And this the apostle seems to allude unto, 2 Corinthians 8:12, Eij gaa pro>keitai , “If there be a free determination or purpose of mind,” namely, in offering any thing to God, kaqo< ejasdektov , ouj kaqo< oujk e]cei , “it is accepted according to what a man hath, and not according to what he hath not.” It is the mind, and not the matter; that gives measure and acceptance unto an offering. (2.) There was in it loss and damage in the charge of it. The offerer parted with it “e peculio suo.” He gave it up to make expiation for his sin. (3.) The care of providing it according to the law belonged also hereunto.

    The offerer was to take care that it was of clean beasts, a male or female, as the law required, without blemish. It is true, the priest was also to make judgment hereof after its bringing unto him; but he that brought it was to use his utmost skill and diligence in the choice of a meat-offering out of his flock, or he fell under the curse of the deceiver, Malachi 1:13,14. (4.) The act of adduction itself belonged unto the holy service, with a testification of a desire, in a way of faith and obedience, to have it offered unto God. These things, indeed, were no essential parts of the sacrifice, but they were necessarily antecedent unto it and preparatory for it. And all these things, in some cases, were left unto the people, although they signified what was to be done by Christ in his sacrifice, to manifest the imperfection of the Levitical priesthood, which could not comprise nor answer all that was to be prefigured by sacrifices.

    Secondly, There was mactation, or the killing of the beast by the priests at the altar. And herein consisted the essence, all that followed being instituted in testification of its direction and dedication unto God. Hence to slay and to sacrifice in this matter are the same. “Et nigram mactabis ovem, lucumque revises.” — Virg. Georg. 4.546.

    See our second Exercitation for the confirmation hereof. And the substance of the sacrifice is to be thought principally to consist herein, though the offering of it was also necessary to its completeness and perfection; for, — (1.) Herein the intention of the sacrificer and sacrificed, in that solemn formula which was understood in all expiatory sacrifices, “Quod in ejus caput sit,” was effected or accomplished. And as the common sense of all nations agreed in a commutation in such sacrifices, as I have proved elsewhere, so we are plainly taught it in the Scripture; for besides that this is the open sense and meaning of all institutions about them, so the especial rite of confessing sin over the head of the scape-goat, thereby laying it on him, yea, and the command that he who brought his sin or trespass-offering should therewithal confess his own guilt, do make it evident. Now this, as is manifest, was accomplished only in the mactation and death of the sacrifice. (2.) It was the blood whereby atonement was made, and that as it was the life of the creature; and the reason why it was given to make atonement was, because the life was in it, Wherefore that act whereby the blood of the creature was so taken away as that thereby the life of it was destroyed, was the principal thing in the sacrifice itself. It is true, atonement on the altar was to be made with the blood after the effusion of it; but it was with it whilst it was yet warm, before the animal spirits were utterly departed from it, and that because its virtue for expiation depended on its being poured out in death. And no blood could have been offered but that which was taken away in the mactation or total destruction of the life of the sacrifice. And the pouring of the blood at the altar, with the sprinkling of it variously, belonged unto the appropriation of the sacrifice to God, unto whose sanctified altar it was brought.

    Thirdly, There was the burning of the sacrifice, or in some cases the principal parts of it, on the altar. This finished or completed the sacrifice.

    For whereas, in the great anniversary of expiation, some part of the blood of the sacrifice was carried into the most holy place, it was no part of the sacrifice itself, but a consequent of it, in a holy improvement of what was finished before, as to the duty itself. And this was appointed for no other end but because it was the only way whereby the perpetual efficacy of the blood of Christ in heaven, which was shed on the earth, might be represented.

    In these things did the discharge of the priestly office in those of the order of Aaron principally consist. And all these things were exactly answered and fulfilled, in a spiritual and glorious manner, by our Lord Jesus Christ, the great high priest of the church, who was himself to be all and to do all after he had solemnly dedicated and consecrated himself unto this work, as we shall see by a review and application of the particulars recounted. 10. First, There was the adduction, or his bringing himself to be an offering or sacrifice to God. And this consisted in all those sacred actions of his which were previously preparatory unto his death; as, — (1.) His going up to Jerusalem unto the passover. He went on purpose to offer himself unto God. And in his way he acquainted his disciples with what would befall him therein, Luke 18:31-33; Matthew 20:17-19; which when one of them would have dissuaded him from, he gave him that vehement and severe reproof, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God,” Matthew 16:23. Peter, considering only the outward part of his sufferings, with the shame and scandal wherewith it was attended, would have prevailed with him to have avoided it; which he knew was in his power to do. But withal, which he knew not, he dissuaded him from going to offer himself unto God, for which cause principally he came into the world, and so fell under this sacred rebuke; for this great and weighty work of obedience was so fully implanted in the heart of Christ, that he could not bear with any thing that had the appearance of a diversion from it.

    With such intention, freedom, willingness, and readiness of mind, did he go to offer himself, according to the will of God; which gave life, virtue, and merit, unto his oblation. (2.) His going into the garden the night before his suffering. What was it but as it were the bringing of himself to the door of the tabernacle to offer himself unto God, or to make his soul an offering for sin, according to the will of God? (3.) He offered up unto God prayers and supplications; which, because they had respect unto his sacrifice, are reckoned by our apostle as sacerdotal acts, Hebrews 5:7. Principally his prayers in the garden are intended; for his supplications there, with the manner of them, the apostle expresses and declares; see our exposition of the place. For all sacrifices were accompanied with supplications for grace and pardon. And herein did our Savior actually give up himself unto God to be a sacrifice; which was to be done by expressions of his obedience, and supplications for that issue thereof which was promised unto him. (4.) His propassion or foresuffering in the garden, in the anguish of his soul, the agony of his mind, and bloody sweat, belongs hereunto. Hereon, indeed, succeeded an external shame, which was necessary for the leading and bringing of him “as a lamb to the slaughter,” Isaiah 53:7, but his own mind and will it was that brought him to be a sacrifice to God. The offering himself was his own act, from first to last, and is constantly ascribed unto him.

    Secondly, There was mactation or slaying of the sacrifice, which was in his death as it was bloody. Herein consisted the essence and substance of the sacrifice; herein he offered himself unto God. For although the other acts, of sprinkling the blood and burning the carcass of the sacrifice, or its oblation, were in the typical sacrifices distinct from the slaying of it, yet this was by reason of the imperfection of all persons and things that were made use of in that sacred service. Hence many distinct acts succeeding one unto another among them were necessary. In the Lord Christ, by reason of the perfection of his person, and that he himself was both priest and sacrifice, things were done at once which were separately by them represented. Wherefore in the very death of Christ, in and by his bloodshedding, he offered himself unto God.

    It is fondly excepted, “That if his death was a sacrifice, the Jews and the soldiers who crucified him were the priests.” The violence which was offered unto him by all sorts of persons was necessary on other accounts; so also were the assaults which he then conflicted with from the prince and power of darkness: for they belonged to the curse of the law, which was now upon him. But his being a sacrifice depended only on his own will, he offering himself in obedience to the will of God, according to the compact before described. The soldiers were no more but as the cords that bound the sacrifice to the horns of the altar; nor did they so take away his life but that he laid it down of his own mere will, in compliance with the commandment of the Father, John 10:18.

    In the pouring out of his blood, the heavenly altar of his body was sprinkled, and all heavenly things purified, even with this “better sacrifice,” Hebrews 9:23. Thus is he said to “pour out his soul unto death,” Isaiah 53:12. That expression contains the whole nature of a sacrifice: for his soul is said to be poured out unto death with respect unto the pouring out of the blood; for in it was the life poured out, the blood being given to make atonement because the life was in it.

    Thirdly, There was the oblation itself. This in those sacrifices, the sacred performance whereof was accomplished polumerw~v , by many parts and degrees, by reason of the imperfection of the sacrificer and sacrificed, followed after the mactation, with the shedding and sprinkling of blood. In this absolutely perfect sacrifice of Christ it was not so. His oblation was at the same time and in the same action with his blood-shedding; for it was his holy, obediential giving up himself unto the will of God, in undergoing what was due unto our sins, making atonement for them thereby. He “offered himself unto God through the eternal Spirit,” Hebrews 9:14.

    The holy and eternal Spirit of God dwelling in him in all fullness, supporting his faith, confirming his obedience, kindled in him that fire of zeal unto the glory of God and the reparation of his honor, from the reflection cast upon it by the sin, apostasy, disobedience, and rebellion of mankind, with that flame of love unto their salvation, which as it were consumed this sacrifice in its oblation to God. Thus in and by his “giving himself for us,” — that is, in and by his death, which is constantly intended by that expression, — he made himself “an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor,” Ephesians 5:2.

    Fourthly, Hereon ensued the representation of the whole, in answer to the high priest’s entering into the most holy place with a token, part, representation, and remembrance of the blood that was offered on the altar. This was done by Christ when he entered into the holy place not made with hands, as it were sprinkled with his own blood, or accompanied with the efficacy and merit of his sacerdotal offering, “to appear in the presence of God for us.” This was consequential to that offering of himself whereby he made atonement for us; for “he entered into the holy place, aijwvi>an lu>trwsin euJra>menov ,” Hebrews 9:12, — “having obtained eternal redemption.” His obtaining eternal redemption was by the sacrifice of himself in his death; for redemption was by price and exchange, and the Lord Christ paid no other price for sin and sinners but his own blood, Peter 1:18, 19. And this was antecedent unto his entering into the holy place; for he did so “having obtained eternal redemption.” And it is in vain to except that sometimes things present are expressed by verbs and participles of a preterit signification, or in those tenses which denote things past, seeing they are not to be construed so unless the matter spoken of do enforce such a construction, whereof here there is no pretense; nor can any one instance be given of the use of euJri>skw in that way in the whole New Testament. See Hebrews 9:24. 11. This brief account of the analogy that was between the sacerdotal actings in sacrificing under the law and those of the Lord Christ in offering himself as our high priest unto God, doth fully evince the time, place, and manner of his discharge of this office; whereby the nature of it is also manifested. The sacrifice of Christ, indeed, was not carried on by those distinct, separate steps and degrees which the sacrifices of old were, by reason of the imperfection of the offerer and what was offered, and the necessity of many circumstances in those things which were carnal in themselves and appointed to be carnally visible; yet on the whole, in the transactions that were invisibly carried on between Christ the high priest and God, unto whom he offered himself, every thing that belonged unto the nature of a true and real sacrifice, or which as such was represented by them of old, was, in its proper place, order, and manner, actually accomplished. And I must needs say, that I look upon it as one of the boldest attempts on religion that ever was made by men pretending unto any sobriety, namely, to deny that the Lord Christ was a priest whilst he was on the earth, or that he offered himself a sacrifice unto God in his death; and those who have the confidence to stand and persist in that opinion, against all that light which the nature of the thing itself and the testimonies of Scripture do give unto the truth in this matter, need not fear that on any occasion they shall be wanting unto themselves therein. But of these things I must treat more fully in our ensuing Exercitation. 12. I have only in this place taught the doctrine concerning the nature of the priesthood of Christ, and his discharge of that office, as my design did necessarily require I should do. The testimonies whereby the truth of it is confirmed I have long since urged and vindicated from the exceptions of our adversaries in another treatise. Here, therefore, I shall only briefly represent some of them, Ephesians 5:2: J JO Cristophsen hJma~v , kai< pare>dwken eJautoan , tw~| Qew~| eijv ojsmhav . It is unavoidable that those expressions, he “loved us and gave himself for us,” should signify nothing but what he did in his death; for they are never used in any other sense. So are they repeated, verse 25 of this chapter, jHga>thse than , kai< eJautodwken uJpeJohn 10:15; Philippians 2:6-8. So also speaks our apostle expressly, Galatians 2:20, “Christ loved me, and gave himself for me;” the same with that of John, “Who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” Revelation 1:5, which he did when he was “delivered for our offenses,” Romans 4:25. Paredo>qh dia< to< paraptw>mata hJmw~n is the expression of what was done when paredw>ken eJauto kai< zusi>a , “an offering and a sacrifice;” or that in giving himself for us he offered himself to God an offering and a sacrifice. By these two words our apostle expresseth all sorts of sacrifices under the law, Hebrews 10:5, from Psalm 40:7, where they are expressed by hj;n]miW jbæz, ; for although “mincha” be usually applied unto a peculiar thank-offering of meat and drink, yet where these two are joined together, “zebach and mincha,” they denote all sorts of expiatory sacrifices: 1 Samuel 3:14, “The iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged hj;n]mib]W jbæz,B] ,” — by any sort of expiatory sacrifices. And qusi>a , or jbæz, , is such a sacrifice as consisted in mactation or killing, as we have proved before. This Christ offered in his death or when out of his love unto us, in obedience unto the will of God, he gave up himself unto death for us. This love and obedience, the Socinians say, is the sacrifice intended in this place, which is therefore metaphorical; but that Christ offered himself a sacrifice in his death they deny that the apostle here asserts. But, — (1.) In all other places where there is any mention of the offering of Christ, it is expressly said that he offered “himself,” or his “soul,” or his “body,” Isaiah 53:l0; Hebrews 9:14, 10:10; yea, as here he is said to offer sacrifice in his death, so his suffering therein is affirmed to be necessary to his sacrifice of himself, chap. 9:25, 26. He “gave himself for us a sacrifice,’’ is no more but that he suffered when he offered himself, as the apostle expressly affirms. (2.) Although prosfora> may be used for a metaphorical sacrifice, and so possibly may qusi>a also, yet whenever they are conjoined in the Scripture, they denote all sorts of proper sacrifices, as is evident from the place before cited; and therefore they can intend here nothing but that sacrifice which all those proper sacrifices prefigured. Besides, qusi>a , unless the metaphor be evident and cogent, doth signify nothing but a sacrifice by immolation or killing. Qu>ein , as we have showed, is but sfa>ttein , “to kill,” only it is to slay in sacred services; with respect whereunto also the other word is used in good authors. So Plutarch affirms of the Gauls, that they believed zeourontav ajnqrw>pwn sfattwme>nwn ai[mati , kai< tau>thn teleiota>tnh zusi>an , “ that the gods delighted in the blood of slain men, and that this was the most perfect sacrifice.” j jAnqrwposfagi>a , if it respect things sacred, is the same with ajnqrwpozusi>a . So, whereas the Lord Christ was ajmni>on ejsfagisme>non , “a Lamb slain,” Revelation 5:12, 13:8, — being called “a Lamb,” and “the Lamb of God,” as all acknowledge, with respect unto the paschal lamb, — it is said pa>sca hJmw~n ejqu>qh Cristoa , therefore, being used to express the nature of the death of Christ with respect unto God, nothing can be intended thereby but a proper and bloody sacrifice. (3.) Our adversaries acknowledge that the Lord Christ did offer himself as a complete expiatory sacrifice to God. I ask, then, when he is positively and directly affirmed to offer himself an offering and sacrifice unto God, why is not that the expiatory sacrifice which he offered? They have not any thing to reply, but only that he offered not that sacrifice in his death, but upon his entrance into heaven; which is only in favor of their own hypothesis, to contradict the apostle to his face. (4.) Prosforaan are regulated by the same verb with eJauto>n , Prosforaan : so that there can be no other sense of the words but “Christ offered himself a sacrifice,” or “gave himself a sacrifice.” And whereas it is objected that paradi>dwmi is not used for sacrificing, or offering sacrifice, besides that it is false, as may be seen in Micah 6:7, where ˆtæn; in the original is rendered by paradi>dwmi , so here was a peculiar reason for the use of this word, because the apostle included in the same expression both his giving himself for us and the manner of it, namely, by giving himself a sacrifice unto God for us. (5.) Whereas it is said that this sacrifice was “a sweet-smelling savor unto God,” it doth not advantage our adversaries, as I shall elsewhere manifest, from the rise, nature, and first use of that expression. At present it may suffice that it is used expressly concerning expiatory sacrifices, Leviticus 4:31, and whole burnt-offerings, which were of the same nature, chap. 1:9. And whereas this is the first kind of sacrifice appointed under the law, and is said expressly to “make atonement,” verse 4, and therein, to be “an offering of a sweet savor unto the LORD,” it plainly declares that all other sacrifices which made atonement were in like manner a sweet savor unto the Lord; on the account whereof that of Christ, wherein God rested and was well pleased, is so called. But of these things we must treat elsewhere more at large. 13. Hebrews 5:6,7, “As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death,” etc. The reader may consult the exposition of this place, wherein the difficulties of it are removed, and the intention of the Holy Ghost in it is truly explained. At present I shall only observe some few passages in confirmation of the truth under consideration; as, — (1.) The works, acts, or duties, here assigned unto Christ, are assigned unto him expressly as he was a high priest, as is undeniably manifest in the context; wherefore they are sacerdotal acts, or acts of Christ as a priest. (2.) He performed them “in the days of his flesh,” and that when he was in great distress, standing in need of aid and assistance from God; that is, at the time of his death. (3.) It is therefore here plainly affirmed, that our Lord Jesus Christ, as a high priest, did, in his dying for us, offer unto God. If we inquire in other places what he offered, it is expressly said that it was “himself,” his “soul,” his “body,” as we have proved. And that Christ, as a high priest, in the days of his flesh offered himself unto God, is all that we need for the confirmation of what we assert concerning the time, place, and nature, of the exercise of his priesthood. It will be excepted that Christ is not said in this place to offer himself, but only to offer up “prayers and supplications;” which are a metaphorical and not a real sacrifice. But the apostle did not solemnly introduce him as called to the office of a high priest, and acting the powers of that office, merely with respect unto prayers and supplications considered by themselves, and to instance in those only at his death, when he might have mentioned those [which he presented] when, in the course of his life, he continued mighty [nightly?] by himself. What he offered he intended afterwards to declare, and doth so expressly; here he designed only to assert, that, being called to be a high priest, he offered unto God; and that as to the manner of that offering, it was with prayers and supplications, cries and tears, wherein he describes his offering of himself by those adjuncts of it which were also sacerdotal. 14. Hebrews 1:3, Di j eJautou~ kaqarismomenov tw~n aJmartiw~n hJmw~n ejka>qisen ejn dexia~| tou~ qro>nou th~v megalwsu>nhv ejn uJyhloi~v? — “When he had by himself purged our sins, he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” It is agreed between us and our adversaries that this purging of our sins was the effect of that expiatory sacrifice which the Lord Christ offered unto God as our high priest. The whole question that can remain is when he offered it. And the apostle here expressly declares that this was done before he sat down at the right hand of God; and this is so plain in the words as that no exception can be invented against it. That alone which they have invented for an evasion is, that Christ indeed offered himself at his first entrance into heaven, and on his appearance in the presence of God for us, before he sat down at the right hand of God. This Crellius insists upon, cap. 10. part. 31 p. 537, 538. But this will yield them no relief, neither according to the truth nor according to their own principles; for, — (1.) Although we may have distinct apprehensions of Christ’s entering into heaven and his sitting at the right hand of God, yet it is but one state of Christ that is intended in both, his entrance into heaven being only the means of his sitting down at the right hand of God; and therefore they are never mentioned together, but sometimes the one, sometimes the other, is made use of to express the same state. So his sitting down at the right hand of God is expressed as immediately ensuing his suffering, it being that state whereunto his resurrection, ascension, and entrance into heaven, were subservient: “He endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the fight hand of the throne of God,” Hebrews 12:2.

    The whole is, that he “passed through the heavens,” chap. 4:14, and was thereon “made higher than the heavens,” chap. 7:26; that is, he “suffered,” and so “entered into his glory,” Luke 24:26. Nor doth the Scripture anywhere give the least intimation of any mediatorial act of Christ interposing between his entrance into heaven and sitting down at the right hand of God. (2.) This answer hath no consistency with their own principles in this matter: for they contend that the expiation of our sins consists in the taking of them away, by freeing us from the punishment which is due unto them. And this must be done by virtue of the power which Christ received of God after his obedience; but this his receiving of power belongs unto his sitting at the right hand of God, so as he can in no sense be said to have purged or expiated our sins before it. And if they will allow that Christ expiated our sins anywhere in heaven or earth antecedently unto our actual freedom in present pardon or future complete deliverance, then doth not the expiation of sins consist in our actual deliverance from them, as they contend that it doth. 15. To the same purpose speaks the apostle, Hebrews 9:12, Dia< tou~ ijdi>ou ai[matov eijsh~lqen ejfa>pax eijv to< a[gia , aijwni>an lu>trwsin euJra>menov? — “By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.” This entrance of Christ “into the holy place” was his entrance into heaven. Antecedently hereunto he is said to have “obtained eternal redemption.” This “redemption we have through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins,” Ephesians 1:7; and this forgiveness, or the putting away of sin, was “by the sacrifice of himself,” Hebrews 9:26. Wherefore, the sacrifice of Christ, whereby he obtained redemption, or put away sin, was by his blood-shedding. And this was, as it is here expressed, antecedent unto his entrance into the holy place.

    Crellius, in answer to this testimony, p. 536, engageth into a long discourse to prove that things present, or not perfectly past, are sometimes expressed by the aorist, or sign of the time past; as if our argument from hence were built merely on that form of the word, on supposition of a general maxim that all words in that tense do necessarily signify the time past. But we proceed on no such supposition. We say, indeed, and contend, that there must be, some cogent reason to interpret that of the time present or to come which is expressed as past and done.

    For this we say there is none in this place, nor is any pretended but the false hypothesis of our adversaries, that Christ offered not himself until his entrance into heaven, which they judge sufficient to oppose unto the clearest testimonies to the contrary. For whereas the words of the apostle signify directly that the Lord Christ first obtained eternal redemption, and then entered into heaven, or the holy place not made with hands, they will have his intention to be the direct contrary, — that he first entered into heaven, and then obtained eternal redemption; for that offering of himself which they suppose was consequential unto his entrance into the holy place. But we argue from the scope of the words. It is said that “Christ by his own blood entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.” I desire to know how or by what means he did so obtain, or find, or acquire it. Is it not plain that it was “by his own blood,” and that which he shed before he entered into the sanctuary? 16. Moreover, Christ is said to “offer himself once,” Hebrews 7:27, 9:28, 10:10, 12, 14. His offering was one, and once offered. An action once performed, and then ceasing to be performed, however it continues in its virtue and efficacy, is so expressed. The high priest entered into the most holy place once in the year; that is, his so doing was an act that was at once performed, and after that was not for that year. Hence the apostle proves the excellency of this sacrifice of Christ above those of the Aaronical priests, because they, by reason of their weakness and imperfection, were often offered; this of Christ, being every way complete, and of infinite efficacy, was offered but once, and at once, Hebrews 10:1-4, etc. What sacrifice, therefore, can this be, that was then but once offered? Doth this seem to express the continual appearance of Christ in heaven? which, if a sacrifice, is always offering, and not once offered, and so would be inferior unto them which were offered only once a year. For that which effecteth its design by being performed once a year, is more efficacious than that which must be always effecting. Besides, our apostle says expressly that the Lord Christ was “once offered to bear the sins of many,” chap. 9:28. But this he did then, and only then, when he “bare our sins in his own body on the tree,” 1 Peter 2:24; which irrefragably proves that then he was offered to God. 17. Add yet hereunto that the offering of Christ, which the apostle insists upon as his great sacerdotal act and duty, was necessarily accompanied with suffering, and therefore was on the earth and not in heaven: Hebrews 9:25,26, “Nor yet that he should offer himself often; ..... for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world.” The argument of the apostle is built upon a general principle, that all sacrifice was in and by suffering. The sacrificed beast was slain, and had his blood poured out. Without this there could be no sacrifice. Therefore if Christ himself had been to be often offered, he must have often suffered. It is excepted, “That although his offering did not consist in his sufferings, nor did they both concur at the same time, yet his suffering was previously necessary, as an antecedent condition unto his offering of himself in heaven; and on that account the apostle might well conclude that if he were often to be offered, he must have often suffered.” But, — (1.) There can be no reason given, on the opinion of our adversaries, why the suffering of Christ was antecedently necessary unto that offering of himself which they imagine. At best they refer it unto an absolute free act of the will of God, which might have been otherwise, and Christ might have often offered and yet not often suffered. (2.) Christ is said not only to “offer himself,” but to be “offered:” “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many,” verse 28. Now, though the offering of himself may be accommodated unto that presentation which he made of himself in heaven, yet his being offered to bear sins plainly includes a suffering in what he did. (3.) There were many typical sacrifices, which nothing belonging unto went beyond their suffering. Such were all the expiatory sacrifices, or sacrifices to make atonement, whose blood was not carried into the sanctuary. For their slaying, the pouring out of their blood, the consumption on the altar, were all destructive unto their beings. And these sacrifices were types of the sacrifice of Christ, as our apostle testifies, chap. 7:27, “Who needeth not daily” (kaq j hJme>ran ) “to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” Had he intended only the sacrifice of the high priest, he could not have said that he was to offer it kaq j hJme>ran , “daily,” when he was to do so only kat j ejniauto>n , “yearly,” chap. <581001> 10:1. It is therefore dymiT; , or “daily sacrifice,” that he intends, and this was not carried on beyond suffering.

    And this is yet more plainly expressed, chap. 10:11, 12, “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God.”

    Comparing the sacrifice of Christ with these sacrifices, he declares that they were types and representations thereof, or there would be no foundation for such a comparison, nor for the exaltation of his above them, as to its efficacy and its consequents. But there was nothing of these sacrifices carried into the holy place, nor any representation made of them therein, but in their suffering and destruction they were consummated; for they were the sacrifices which every priest who ministered at the altar did offer either daily or on all occasions. Wherefore, if the sacrifice of. Christ answered unto them, as the apostle teacheth us that it did, he offered it in his suffering, his death, and blood-shedding only. After this he entered as our high priest into the holy place not made with hands, to appear in the presence of God for us. And as this was signified by the high priest’s entering into the most holy place with the blood of the bullock and goat that were offered for a sin-offering, so it was necessary in itself unto the application of the value and efficacy of his sacrifice unto the church, according to the covenant between Father and Son before described.

    What hath been pleaded is sufficient unto our present purpose, as to the declaration of the nature of the priesthood of Christ, his entrance upon it, and discharge of it. But there being another opinion concerning it, universally opposite in all particulars unto the truth declared and vindicated, we must, for the security of the faith of the church, call it, with the ways, means, and artifices wherewith it is endeavored to be supported, unto an account; which shall be done in the ensuing Exercitation.


    THE NATURE OF THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST. 1. The opinion of the Socinians about the priesthood of Christ distinctly stated in eight particulars; 2. Expressed by themselves. 3. The faith of the church of God in opposition thereunto. 4. Vindication of the whole doctrine of the priesthood of Christ from the perversion of it and opposition made unto it by Crellius — Its agreement and disagreement with his kingly office and power. 5. How the priestly office of Christ is mentioned by other writers of the New Testament, and why principally handled in this Epistle to the Hebrews. 6. Intercession no act of Christ’s kingly powerRomans 8:34 vindicated — The mutual respect between the offices of Christ with regard unto the same general end. 7. 1 John 2:2 vindicated — Testimonies of the Old and New Testament omitted — Confidence of the Socinians in pretending to own the priesthood and sacrifice of Christ. 8. The priesthood of Christ is not comprehended by the holy writers in his kingly office — Attempts to prove it vain — The nature of the expiation of sins vindicated — Hebrews 4:16 explained. 9. The words of the Psalmist, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee,” how and in what sense applied by the apostles with respect unto the offices of Christ. 10. Vanity of Crellius in assigning differences between the kingly and priestly offices of Christ. 11. The differences assigned by him examined. 12. Real difference and distinction between these offices proved. 13. The dignity and honor of Christ exposed by denying his real priesthood. 14. The boldness of Smalcius in censuring the divine writers — His reason why they ascribed the priestly office to Christ. 1. THE opinion of the Socinians concerning the priesthood of Christ was expressed in general in our preceding discourse; but for the clearer apprehension and confutation of it, it is necessary that it be more particularly declared in the most important parts of it, as also that its contrariety unto the faith of the church may be the more plainly demonstrated. And the sum of what they pretend to apprehend and believe herein may be reduced unto the ensuing heads: — (1.) “That the Lord Christ was not, nor is, a high priest properly so called, but only metaphorically, by reason of some allusion between what he doth for the church and what was done by the high priests under the law for the Jews.” And here, if they please, they may rest, as having in design utterly overthrown or rejected this office of Christ. But further to manifest their intentions, they add, — (2.) “That he was not at all, in any sense, a high priest whilst he was on the earth, or before his ascension into heaven.” And this because he did not any of those things on the earth on the account whereof he is called a high priest; but he is called so in an allusion to the high priests under the law.

    Hence it follows that in his death he offered no sacrifice unto God, nor made any expiation of our sins thereby; which also that he did not they expressly contend. (3.) “That therefore he became a high priest when he entered into heaven, and presented himself alive unto God.” Not that then he received any new office which he had not before, but only that then he had power to do those things from the doing whereof he is metaphorically denominated a priest. Wherefore they say, — (4.) “That it is in heaven where he makes atonement and doth expiate our sins, which is called his offering himself unto God an expiatory oblation or sacrifice; which as it consisted not in his sufferings, death, and bloodshedding, so had it no virtue or efficacy from thence, but only as it was a condition pre-required thereunto.” (5.) “This expiation of our sins consists principally in two things, — [1.] Our deliverance from the punishment due unto them, initially in this world by pardon, and completely at the last day, when we shall be saved from the wrath to come. [2.] In our deliverance from the power of sin, by faith in the doctrine he taught and confortuity unto his example, that we should not serve it in this world.” And, — (6.) “Hence it follows that believers are the first proper objects of the discharge of the duties of this office, or of all the sacerdotal actings of Christ;” for they consist in the help, aid, relief, and deliverance from our spiritual enemies which we have by him, his gracious and merciful will of relieving us being that on the account whereof he is called a high priest, and wherein that office doth consist. Wherefore, — (7.) “This priestly office of Christ is upon the matter the same with his kingly office;” or it is the exerting and exercise of his kingly power with love, care, and compassion; so called in the Epistle to the Hebrews, out of an allusion unto what was done by the high priests of old. (8.) “Whereas his intercession doth belong unto this office of his, and is expressly assigned unto him as a high priest, it is nothing but a note, evidence, or expression, to teach us that the power which the Lord Christ exerciseth and putteth forth mercifully for our relief, he received originally from God, as if he had prayed to him for it.” 2. I have so included and expressed the apprehensions of these men concerning the priesthood of Christ in these positions, as that I am persuaded that there is no one who is ingenuous amongst them will except against any particular in the account. But that none may reflect in their thoughts about it, I shall repeat it in the words of one of their principal writers. To this purpose speaks Volkelius, de Vera Relig. lib. 3. cap. 37, p. 144, “Jam ut de pontificio Christi munere explicemus; primo loco animadvertendum nobis est, illud ab ejusdem officio regio, si in rem ipsam mentem intendas, non multum differre. Cum divinus Spiritus figurato hoc analogicoque dicendi genere, quo pacto Christus regni sui functionem administret, ante oculos nostros constituere potissimum voluerit, nobisque ostendere illum non solum salutem nostram procurare posse, sed etiam nosjuvare velle, et porro id omnino facere inque eo totum esse ut peccata nostra penitus expiet; hoc est, tum ab ipsis peccatis, rum vero praecipue ab eorum reatu ac poena nos liberet.”

    Again, p. 146, “Ut huic sacerdotis officio rite praeponeretur Christus, non satis erat eum in homines esse misericordem, nisi insuper tanta illius esset potestas, quanta ad homines miseriis oppressos divinissima ope sublevandos, pestemque aeternam ab illorum capitibus propulsandum opus est; cumque omnis ad hanc rem in coelo terraque potestas requiratur, consequens est Christum antequam in coelum ascenderet tantumque rerum omnium dominatum consequeretur summum sacerdotem nostrum nondum perfectum fuisse.”

    So he, and much more to the same purpose.

    In like manner, Cat. Rac. de Munere Christi Sacerdotali: Quaest. 1, “Munus sacerdotale in eo situm est, quod quemadmodum pro regio munere potest nobis in omnibus nostris necessitatibus subvenire; ira pro munere sacerdotali vult ac porro subvenit. Atque haec illius subveniendi seu opis afferendae ratio, sacrificium ejus appellatur.” “Quare haec ejus afferendae ratio sacrificium vocatur; vocatur ita figurato loquendi modo,” etc. “Quid porro est peccatorum expiatio? Est a poenis quae peccata turn temporariae, tum aeternae comitantur, et ab ipsis etiam peccatis ne eis serviamus, liberatio.” “Cur id sacrificium Christi in coelis peragitur? Ideo quod tale tabernaculum requireret,” etc. “Quid? Annon erat sacerdos antequam in coelos ascenderet et praesertim cruci affixus penderet? Non erat.”

    To the same purpose the reader may see Socin. de Christo Servat. p. 2, cap. 15; Ostorod. Institut. Relig. Christian. cap. 37; Smalcius de Divinitate Jesu Christi, cap. 23; Woolzogen. Compend. Relig. Christian. sect. 51, p. 11; Brenius in Hebrews 4:16, et cap. 8:4. 3. But the faith of the church of God stands up in direct opposition unto all these imaginations; for it asserteth, — (1.) That our Lord Jesus Christ was and is truly and properly the high priest of the church, and that of him all others vested with that office under the law were only types and representatives. And the description which the apostle gives of a high priest properly so called is accommodated and appropriated by himself unto him, Hebrews 5:1-3; as also all the acts, duties, or offices of the priesthood are accordingly ascribed unto him, chap. 7:26,27, 10:6,7, 9:24; 1 John 2:1,2. (2.) That he was perfectly and completely a high priest whilst he was on the earth, although he did not perfectly and completely discharge all the duties of that office in this world, seeing he lives for ever to make intercession for us. (3.) That he offered himself an expiatory sacrifice unto God in his death and bloodshedding, and was not made a priest upon his entrance into heaven, there to offer himself unto God, where only the nature of his bloody sacrifice was represented. (4.) That the expiation of our sins consisteth principally in the charging of the punishment due unto them upon the Lord Christ, who took them on himself, and was made a sin-offering for them, that we may be freed from them and all the evil which follows them by the sentence of the law. And therefore, (5.) God is the first proper object of all the sacerdotal actings of Christ; for to him he offered himself, and with him he made atonement for sin. And thereon, (6.) This office of Christ is distinct from his kingly office, and not in any of its proper acts or adjuncts coincident therewithal. All which assertions have been before declared and proved, and shall now be further vindicated. 4. He who is supposed, and that not unjustly, to have amongst our adversaries handled these things with most diligence and subtilty is Crellius. I shall therefore examine what be on set purpose disputes on this subject, and that not by referring the substance of his discourses unto the distinct heads before mentioned, but taking the whole of it as disposed in his own method and words; and that with a design to give a specimen of those artifices, diversions, ambiguous expressions, and equivocations, which he perpetually maketh use of in this cause and controversy. And where he seems to be defective I shall call in Smalcius, and it may be some others of them, unto his assistance. And I shall only transcribe his words in Latin, without adding any translation of them, as supposing that those who are competently able to judge of these things are not wholly ignorant of that language, and others may find enough for their satisfaction in our discourses so far as they are concerned.

    In this controversy he expressly engageth, in Respon. ad Grotium, cap. part. 56, p. 543: “(1.) Pontificiam Christi dignitatem a prophetica et regis distinctam agnoscimus, quanquam non pari modo distinctam. (2.) Arctius enim cum regia dignitate cohaeret quam cum prophetica. (3.) Unde duo ista munera, regium nempe et pontificium, in sacris literis aperte a se invicem disjuncta, et ut in scholis loquuntur contradistincta, nuspiam cernas sed potius alterum in altero (4.) quodammedo cemprehensum videas. Nam (5.) D. Auctor Hebrews 3 initio Christi dignitatem quam ratione muneris sibi a Deo mandati habeat, nobis ante oculos ponere volens, et ad ejus considerationem nos cohortans, duo tantum illius officia commemorat propheticum et sacerdotale, quorum illud in terris olim absolvit, hoc in coelis perpetuo administrat, dum inquit, ‘Unde, fratres sancti, vocationis coelestis participes, considerate-apostolum’ (seu ‘legatum’) ‘et pontificem confessionis nostrae, Christum Jesum.’

    Apostolum sire legatum confessionis, hoc est, religionis ac fidei nostrae quam profiteri debemus, vocat Christum, quia ad eam nobis annunciandam olim a Deo missus fuit quod est prophetae. Pontificem autem ejusdem confessionis sen religionis appellat. (6.) Quia ad eam perpetuo tuendam et curam ejus gerendam, hoc est, ad omnia ea quae ad illam spectant administranda et ad exitum in nabis perducenda a Dee constitutus est; quasi summum religionis nostrae ac sacrorum praesidem aut administratorem dices, quod infra, cap. 12:2.

    Illis verbis expressit dum eum ducem et consummatorem fidei appellat; quia non tantum voce et exemplo nobis ad eam praeivit, verum etiam eandem ad Dei dextram nunc collocatus perficit, atque ad optatum finem perducit.”

    That the Lord Christ is called a priest on some account or other, and is so, these men cannot deny, and therefore on all occasions they do in words expressly confess it. But their endeavor is, to persuade us that little or nothing is signified by that appellation as ascribed unto him. At least, they will by no means allow that any such thing is intended in that expression as it signifies in all other authors, sacred and profane, when not applied unto the Lord Christ. They will not have a distinct office to be intended in it. Wherefore Crellius, although he acknowledges, in the entrance of this discourse, (1.) that the priestly dignity of Christ is distinct from his kingly and prophetical dignities, yet his whole ensuing endeavor is to prove that the priesthood is not a distinct office in him. And he sophistically makes use of the word “dignity,” the “priestly dignity,” to make an appearance of a distinct office from the kingly, which here he expresseth by “dignity” also.

    But he nowhere allows that he hath a distinct sacerdotal office. And when he mentions” officium pontificale” as distinct from the “officium propheticum,” he expressly intendeth his kingly office. And they do constantly in their other writings call the one “officium regium,” the other “munus sacerdotale,” supposing the first word to denote an habitual power, and the latter only actual exercise, wherein yet they are mistaken.

    The priestly dignity, therefore, here intended, and by which word he would impose on the less wary reader, is nothing but the honor that is due unto Christ for and in the discharge of his kingly office and power in a merciful, gracious manner, as the priests did of old. Wherefore he adds, (2.) that notwithstanding this distinction, yet the sacerdotal dignity comes nearer or closer to the kingly dignity than the prophetical. But this assertion is not built on any general principle taken from the nature of these offices themselves, as though there were a greater agreement between the kingly and priestly offices than between the priestly and prophetical; for the prophetical and sacerdotal offices seem on many accounts to be of a nearer alliance than the sacerdotal and kingly, as we shall see afterwards.

    But this is only a step towards the main design of a total subverting of the sacerdotal office of Christ. For on this assertion it is added immediately, (3.) that in the Scripture these two offices, the kingly and priestly, are never disjoined openly, or as contradistinct one to another. But yet his words are ambiguous. If he intend that they are not plainly, and so openly, distinguished in the Scripture one from the other, there is nothing more openly false. They are so in names and things, in the powers, acts, duties, and effects. If by “A se invicem disjuncta et contradistincta,” he intend such a divulsion and separation as that they should agree in nothing, not in their subject., not in their original, nor in their general ends and effects, so no offices of Him are divided who in them all is the Mediator between God and men. But they are nowhere so conjoined as that one of them should be contained and comprehended in the other (4.) “quodammodo,” “after a sort,” as he speaks; for this word also is of a large and ambiguous signification, used on purpose to obscure the matter treated of or the sense of the author about it. Is one so comprehended in the other as to be the same with it, to be a part of it, or to be only the exercise of the power of the other in an especial manner? If this be the mind of this author, it can be expressed by “quodammodo” for no other end but because he dares not openly avow his sense and mind. But we deny that one is thus contained in the other, or any way so as to hinder it from being a distinct office of itself, accompanied with its distinct powers, rights, acts, and duties.

    The argument from Hebrews 3:1-3, whereby he attempts to prove that one of these offices is contained in the other “quodammodo,” whatever that be, (5.) is infirm and weak; yea, he himself knew well enough the weakness of it. It consists in this only, that the apostle in that place makes mention of the prophetical and priestly offices of Christ, and not of the kingly; for which Crellius himself gives this reason in his commentary on the place, namely, because, as he supposeth, he had treated fully of the kingly office in the first chapter. In the third, the place here produced by him, as himself observes, he is entering on his comparing Christ with Moses, who was the prophet, apostle, ambassador, or legate of God to the people, and Aaron who was their priest; and with respect hereunto he calls the Hebrews unto a due consideration of him, especially considering that they had a deep and fixed apprehension concerning the kingly power of the Messiah, but of his being the great prophet and high priest of the church they had heard little in their Judaism. It doth not therefore follow hence that the kingly and priestly offices of Christ are comprehended one in another “quodammodo,” but only that the apostle, having distinctly handled the kingly office of Christ before, as he had done both in the first and second chapters, now proceeding to the consideration of his priestly and prophetical offices, makes no mention thereof, nor indeed would it have been to his purpose so to have done; yea, it was expressly contrary to his design. For what is nextly proposed, concerning the nature of these offices, it is agreed that the Lord Christ is called our “apostle” as he was the prophet of the church, sent of God to reveal and declare his mind and love unto us. But it is not so that he is called (6.) a “high priest,” — that is, principally, firstly, and properly, — because of the care he takes of our religion, and his administration of the affairs of it. Yea, there is nothing more opposite than their notion of the priesthood of Christ, not only to the general nature of that office, with the common sense of mankind concerning it, but also to the whole discourse of the apostle on this subject; for he not only asserts, but proves by sundry arguments, that the Lord Christ was made a priest to offer sacrifice unto God, to make reconciliation for sin and intercession for sinners. It is his being constituted a high priest for ever, and having offered the one sacrifice of himself, whereby all that come unto God are sanctified, — he doth as such a high priest preside over the spiritual worship of the house of God; so that in and by him alone we have access unto the throne of grace, and do enter into the holy place through the blood of his sacrifice, wherein he consecrated for us a new and living way of access to God. Wherefore our author utterly fails in his first attempt for a proof of what he had asserted. 5. His next endeavor towards the same purpose is from the silence of the other writers of the New Testament concerning this office of Christ. This he supposeth would not have been, considering the excellency and usefulness of it, had it not been included in his kingly office, for so he expresseth himself, p. 544: — “Caeteri scriptores N. Testamenti (1.) regium potius et propheticum munus commemorant, nec ullus ex iis Christum (2.) diserte sacerdotem aut pontificem vocat; facturi id proculdubio creberrime, si id in caeteris ipsius muneribus atque imprimis in regio, consideratis certis eorum munerum circumstantiis in quibus sacerdoti legali similis est Christus, intelligi ac facile comprehendi non posset, cum ex eo munere, (3.) salus nostra aeterna pendeat, Hebrews 5:9,10, 7:24,25.

    Quandoquidem inde peccatorum nostrorum proficiscitur remissio et justificatio in qua beatitas nostra consistit.”

    Ans. The intelligent reader may easily observe what is the judgment of this man concerning the priesthood of Christ, which is this, that in the exercise of his other offices he is so called, because of some similitude unto the legal priests of old; which is plainly to deny and overthrow the office itself, and to leave no such thing in him, substituting a bare metaphorical, allusive denomination in the room of it. And it is but a noise of words which is added concerning the dependence of our salvation on the sacerdotal duty of Christ, because indeed it is denied that he is a priest at all; and all that is intended thereby is but the exercise of his other offices in some kind of likeness unto the high priest under the law. To affirm on this supposition that forgiveness of sin, justification, salvation, blessedness, depend on this office, — that is, on a name given from this allusion, — is only to serve a present occasion, without respect to truth or sobriety. But in particular, I say (1.) there is more express mention [by the writers of the New Testament] of the distinct office of the priesthood of Christ, both as to its nature and its acts, than of his prophetical. Why (2.) they do not directly and expressly call him a priest, they are not bound to give an account unto these men. It is enough for the faith of the church that they do really and expressly ascribe unto him the acts and duties of that office, such as could be performed by none but a priest properly so called, and particularly such as in no sense belong either to the prophetical or kingly office, — namely, to offer himself a sacrifice, to be a propitiation, to wash us in his blood, to make intercession for us, yea, to be made sin for us, and the like. But this Epistle also belongeth unto the New Testament, nor is it as yet denied by the Socinians so to do; and herein this office of Christ is so plainly, fully, distinctly treated of and proposed, in its causes, nature, use, and effects, with its necessity and the benefits we receive thereby, as that no other office of his is in any part of the Scripture, nor in the whole of it, so graphically described.

    The reason also why the full revelation of the nature of this office of Christ was, in the wisdom of the Holy Ghost, reserved for this Epistle to the Hebrews is so evident that our author need not think so strange of it. It was among them that God of old had instituted the solemn representation of it, in their typical priesthood. The nature of all those institutions they were now to be peculiarly instructed in, both that they might see the faithfulness of God in accomplishing what he designed by them, and the end that he put thereby unto their administration. Now, though these things were of use unto the whole church of God, that all might learn his truth, wisdom, and faithfulness, in the harmony of the Old Testament and the New, yet were the Hebrews peculiarly concerned herein, and therefore the Holy Ghost reserved the full communication of those things unto his treating with them in an especial manner. But (3.) all those acts of the sacerdotal office of Christ whereon the pardon of sin, justification, and salvation, do depend, are expressly mentioned by other writers of the New Testament; as 1 John 2:2; Ephesians 5:2; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 8:3,4,34; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5; 1 Peter 1:19, with sundry other places.

    Let it now be judged whether any thing of the least moment hath as yet been offered in proof of the assertion laid down, — namely, that the priestly office of Christ is contained in the kingly “quodammodo.” 6. But he yet further enlargeth on this consideration: “Quando autem caeteri scriptores sacri id commemorant quod ad sacerdotium Christi magis proprie pertinet, (1.) munus hoc ipsum muneri regio, aut functionem functioni revera non opponunt. Interpellationem Christi pro nobis, (2.) semel nominavit Paulus, Romans 8:34, sed in ea (3.) tacite actum etiam regime ipsius potestatis ad nos a poena liberandos pertinentem, tanquam interpellationis effectum quendam proprium complexus est; ejne>rgeia enim sen operatioa regia Christi potestate manans, atque ad nos a poena liberandos pertinens curae illius pro nobis susceptae quidam veluti effectus est et consequens. (4.) Regiam quidem potestatem apostolus ibi commemoravit in verbis, ‘qui etiam est in dextra Dei,’ et interpellationem ab ea distinxit; sed potestatis illius actum expresse non commemoravit, contentus interpellationem nominasse.”

    Ans. (1.) This condition is imposed on us without warrant, that we should produce testimonies out of the other writers of the New Testament where the priestly office of Christ is opposed unto his kingly; nor do we pretend that any such thing is done in this Epistle. Nor are the offices of Christ anywhere opposed one unto another, nor ought they so to be; nor can any man show wherein there is an opposition made between his kingly and prophetical offices, which these men acknowledge to be distinct. And it sufficeth unto our purpose that the kingly and priestly offices are, in their names, powers, acts, and duties, distinctly proposed and declared. And this author ought to have considered all the testimonies before mentioned, and not to have taken out only one or two of them, which he thought he could best wrest unto his purpose; which is all that he hath attempted, and yet hath failed of his end. It is here said (2.) that Paul in his other epistles doth but once expressly mention the intercession of Christ in heaven. But he mentioneth his oblation on earth more frequently, as may be seen in the places quoted. And the mentioning of it in one place in words plain, and capable of no other sense, is as effectual as if it had been expressed in a hundred other places. (3.) It is both false and frivolous, to say that in speaking of Christ’s intercession he doth tacitly include any act of his kingly power whereby he frees us from punishment. First, It is false, because as intercession is certainly no act of kingly power, nor formally hath any respect thereunto, — it denoting the impetration of something from another, whereas all the acts of kingly authority are the exerting of that power which one hath in himself, — so there is nothing in the text or context to give countenance unto any such imagination. For what relates unto the kingly power of Christ, namely, his sitting at the right hand of God, is expressed as a distinct act or adjunct of his mediatorial office, even as his dying and rising again are. And that his intercession is completely distinguished and separated from it is plain from the expression whereby it is introduced: \Ov kai< e]stin ejn dexia~| tou~ Qeou~ , o[v kai< ejntugca>nei uJpe— “Who also is on the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” If therefore his being at the right hand of God is distinguished from his dying and rising again, so as not to be included in them nor they in it, then are his intercession and sitting at the right hand of God so distinguished also. And the truth is, the apostle, for our consolation, here proposeth distinctly all the offices of Christ in their most effectual acts, or the most eminent notations of them, and that in the proper order of their discharge and exercise. And whereas the acts of his sacerdotal office are so distinct as that between them the interposition of the actings of his other offices was necessary, he begins and ends with them, as the order of their exercise did require; for, — [1.] He died for us as a priest; then [2.] He rose, giving testimony to the truth as the prophet of the church; [3.] He possessed actually his kingly power, sitting at the right hand of God; and [4.] There carrieth on the perpetual exercise of his priesthood by intercession.

    Wherefore there is nothing in these words that should tacitly intimate an inclusion of any act of the kingly office, but it is expressed in a clear distinction from it, as an act quite of another nature. And it will, if I mistake not, be a very difficult task for these persons to manifest, in any tolerable, rational manner, how the intercession of Christ doth include in it an act of his kingly, power. Secondly, It is frivolous, if by this “tacitly comprehended” he intend that the intercession of Christ, which is an act of his priestly office, hath its effects towards us by virtue of the interposition of some act or acts of his kingly office; for such a mutual respect there is between the acts of all the offices of Christ and their effects. The oblation of Christ, which is an act of the priestly office, is made effectual towards us by the interposition of the exercise of his prophetical office, 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, Ephesians 2:14-17; and his teaching us as the prophet of the church is made effectual by those supplies of his Spirit and grace which are effects of his kingly power.

    Suppose, therefore, that the energy and operation of Christ’s kingly power is put forth to make his intercession effectual towards us in the way mentioned by Crellius, — which yet in his sense is false, — this proves not in the least that his kingly power, or any act of it, is included in his intercession, which is so distinctly expressed. Wherefore, (4.) that the apostle should here mention the kingly power of Christ, and name his in, tercession as the act thereof, seeing he nameth no other, is a fond imagination; for both doth intercession in its proper nature long to another office, and also it is peculiarly ascribed unto the Lord Christ by our apostle as a high priest, and not as a king, Hebrews 7:25-27. The intercession of Christ as a priest is ordained of God as a means of making his sacrifice and oblation effectual, by the application of its virtue and efficacy unto us; and the actual communication of the truth of it is committed unto him as our Lord, Head, and King. For whereas all his offices are vested in the same person, belong all unto the same general work of mediation, and have all the same general end, it is impossible but that the acts of them must have mutual respect and relation one to another; but yet the offices themselves are formally distinct. 7. He yet proceeds .on the same argument unto another instance: “Johannes dum Christum advocatum quem apud Patrem habeamus, nominat, et eum simul expiationem pro peccatis nostris vocat, (1.) conseri potest munus sacerdotale nobis descripsisse: ubi (2.) tamen regium munus non opponit. At cure ad (3.) consolationem illam, quam eo loce peccantibus proponit Johannes, plurimum pertinent scire Christum plenissimam habere poenas peccatorum a nobis auferendi potestatem (4.) tacite id in suis verbis inclusisse censendus est, 1 Job. 2:2.”

    Ans. Seeing he designed not to consider all the testimonies that are usually pleaded for the priestly office of Christ in the New Testament, I cannot but admire how he came to fix on this instance, which he can give no better countenance to his evasion from; for, — (1.) The apostle may not only be thought to describe the priestly office of Christ, but he doth it so expressly as that the contrary cannot be insinuated with any respect to modesty. For the whole of the priestly office consists in oblation and intercession, both which are here distinctly ascribed unto him; and to describe an office by proper power and its duties is more significant than to do it only by its name. (2.) It is acknowledged that here is no mention made of Christ’s kingly power; and it must also be acknowledged that the things here ascribed unto Christ do no way belong unto his kingly office. Hence it follows undeniably that the writers of the New Testament distinguish these offices, and do not include one of them in the other. Yea, but saith Crellius, (3.) “The apostle is to be thought tacitly to include the kingly power of Christ;” that is, although he mentions it not, yet he ought to have done so, and therefore is to be thought to have intended what he did not express.

    That case is very desperate, indeed, which is only capable of such defense as this. But there is good reason to think why the apostle ought so to do, — that is, to do what indeed he did not, — Crellius being judge. For saith he, (4.) “The full power that Christ hath to deliver us from the punishment due to sin belongs unto that consolation which the apostle intended to give unto sinners.” Ans. (1.) I deny that the consideration of the power intended did at all belong unto the consolation that the apostle designs for sinners, and that because neither directly nor indirectly is it mentioned by him. And he knew what belonged unto the consolation which he intended better than Crellius did. This, therefore, is but a direction given the apostle (though coming too late) what he ought to have written, and not an interpretation of what he wrote. (2.) Proposing the expiatory oblation and intercession of Christ as the ground of our consolation, because they are the reasons, causes, and means of the forgiveness of our sins, the apostle had no occasion to mention the certain consequents thereof, such as is our deliverance from the punishment due to sire (3.) The power of Christ to take away sins, or to deliver us from the punishment due to sin, fancied by Crellius, is indeed no principle of evangelical consolation, nor doth belong to the kingly office of Christ, nor is consistent with the apostle’s present discourse, which lays our consolation on the real propitiation and intercession of Christ, both which are excluded by this imaginary power of taking away the penalty due to sin absolutely, without respect to price, atonement, or satisfaction.

    And these are all the places which he thought meet to consider in pursuance of his assertion, “That all the writers of the New Testament, excepting the author of this Epistle, did in a sort include the kingly and priestly offices of Christ the one in the other;” wherein how he hath acquitted himself is left unto the judgment of the indifferent reader. It was not, I confess, improvidently done of him, to confine himself unto the New Testament, considering that in the Old He is expressly called a priest, <19B004> Psalm 110:4, and that in conjunction with, and yet distinction from, his regal power, Zechariah 12,13; he is also said to have his soul made a sinoffering, and that when, in and under his suffering, he bare our iniquities, Isaiah 53:10,11; whereby, when he was cut off, he made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness, Daniel 9:24,25.

    Sundry testimonies also of the New Testament, before quoted, are utterly omitted by him, as those which will not by any means be compelled unto the least appearance of a compliance with his design. But these artifices are wanted to the cause. Only I must add, that I cannot but admire with what confidence our adversaries talk of the priesthood of Christ, of his offering himself an expiatory sacrifice, of his intercession, when all these things, in the proper and only signification of the words, are expressly denied by them. 8. Our author proceeds, in the next place, to give a reason of that which neither is nor ever was, namely, why the holy writers do in some manner comprehend these offices one in the other; for they propose them unto us distinctly, as their nature doth require: — “Neque vero immerito sacri scriptores alterum officium in altero (1.) quodammodo comprehendunt. Nam quicquid a Christo ut sacerdote (2,3) expectamus, id ab eo ut rege reipsa proficisci dici potest. Sacerdotis est (4.) peccata expiate et expurgare. Hoc fit dum (5.) hostes Christi et nostri, Peccatum nempe ipsum, mors et qui mortis habet imperium Satanas, destruuntur. At Christus hostes suos ac nostros debellat ac destruit ut rex, 1 Corinthians 15:24-26, Philippians 3, ult. (6.) Sacerdotis est auxilium iis qui ad thronum gratie accedunt opportunum praestare, et affiictis prompte succurrere, Hebrews 2:17,18, 4:15,16. (7.) Annon etiam Christi regis est populo suo ad thronum ipsius confugienti succurrere, et afflictis opera ferre?”

    Ans. (1.) We observed before the looseness and ambiguity of that expression, “quodammodo,” or “after a sort;” for if it signify any thing in this case, it is the application of the distinct energies and operations of these distinct offices unto the same end, wherein we own their agreement and concurrence. That which he should prove is, that they are one of them so contained in the other as that they are not two distinct offices, (2.) If whatever we expect from Christ as a priest do really proceed from him as a king, as here it is affirmed, then is his priesthood oujdeoffice and duty of a priest, yea, that part which is expressly founded in what is done already; for Christ, our high priest, hath already expiated and purged our sins, and we have no expectation that he should do it again. He did “by himself,” — that is, by the sacrifice of himself, — “purge our sins,” and that before he sat down at the right hand of God, Hebrews 1:3; and this he did once only, by his own sacrifice once offered, as we have proved. Wherefore (4.) it is true that it belongeth unto a priest to expiate our sins and take them away. This we believe that Christ hath done for us, as our high priest; but we do not expect that he should do it any more, any otherwise but by the application unto us of the virtue and efficacy of what he hath already done. (5.) The description here given us of the expiation of sin, — namely, that it “consists in the actual subduing of Christ’s enemies and ours, sin, death, and the devil,” — is absurd, dissonant from the common sense of mankind in these things, destructive to the whole nature of the types of the old testament, and contrary to the plain doctrine of the Scripture. This is a blessed consequent and fruit, indeed, of the expiation of our sins, when he bare our sins in his own body on the tree, when his soul was made an offering for sin, when he offered himself a sacrifice, a propitiation, price, and ransom, to make atonement and reconciliation for sin; but expiation itself consisteth not therein. These, therefore, we acknowledge that Christ effecteth by various actings of his kingly power; but all on a supposition of the atonement made by him as a priest with respect unto the guilt and demerit of sin. Hereby he obtained for us eternal redemption, and we have redemption in his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. The things intended are therefore so distinct that they prove the offices or powers from whence they proceed to be so also: for neither did Christ as a king expiate and purge our sins, which could be done only by a bloody sacrifice; nor doth he as a priest subdue his enemies and ours, which is the work, and whereunto the power of a king is required.

    Nor hath he any better success in the next instance, as to encouragements of coming unto the throne of grace. For (6,7.) “the throne of grace” mentioned in Hebrews 4:16, is not the throne of Christ as a king, “his own throne,” as it is here rendered by Crellius, but the throne of God, where Christ as a high priest maketh intercession for us. So that when he says that it is the office of a priest to “succor them who come to the throne of grace,” and the part of Christ to relieve them who come for help unto his throne, it is evident that he sophistically confounds the things that are to be distinguished. We go to the throne of God through the interposition of Christ as our high priest, our propitiation, and advocate; and we go to the throne of Christ as king of the church, on the account of the glorious power committed unto him for our help and relief. Wherefore (2.) the encouragements we have to approach unto the throne of grace, whereunto is our ultimate address, for help and relief, from the priestly office and actings of Christ, are different and distinct from them which we have from his kingly office, as the actings of Christ with respect unto the one and the other of these offices are different and distinct. We go “with boldness unto the throne of grace,” on the account of Christ’s being our high priest; as he who, by the oblation of himself, hath procured admittance for us, and consecrated a new and living way for our access thereunto; as he who, by his intercession, procures us favorable audience and speeds our requests with God. See our Exposition on the place. Our expectation of relief and aid from the Lord Christ as the king of grace and glory on his throne, ariseth from that all-power in heaven and earth which is given unto him for that end. In brief, as a priest he interposeth with God for us; as a king he acts from God towards us. 9. His last attempt to the same purpose is in the ensuing discourse: — “Idem ex eo quoque apparet quod auctor divinus Epist. ad Hebrews (1.) locum illum psalmi, ‘Filius meus es tu, ego hodie genui re’ (4.) ad (5.) sacerdotium Christi aperte refert, cap. 5:5,6, et pontificiam ei dignitatem hac ratione a Deo concessam docet. At ea (6.) de regno aperte loquuntur. Nam (2,3.) David qui Christi typus fuit explicat in iis verbis decretum Dei, quo rex, post diuturnum exilium reipsa fuit constitutus, et in solio regio collacatus, quemadmodum psalmus inspectus quemvis docebit unde ea Paulus Christo e mortuis resuscitato demure ait impleta, Act. 13:32,33. (7.) Nam tum demum Deus secundum promissa sua regem dedit populo suo et Jesum constituit Dominum et Christum; seu quod idem est, Filium Dei in potentia, Act. 2:36, Romans 1:4. Et idem hic D. scriptor ad Hebraeos, cap. 1:5. (8.) Ex istis verbis demonstrat praestantiam Christi supra angelos quam, ad dextram Majestatis in excelsis collocatus, est adeptus. Quod si sacerdotium Christi a regia dignitate prorsus est distinctum, et Christus reipsa sacerdos fuit cum in cruce pateretur, imo tunc proprie sacerdotii munere functus est, in coelo improprie, quomodo haec verba quae de regia supremaque dignitate Christi loquuntur, ad sacerdotium Christi accommodantur, quod tum revera fuerit peractum, cure Christus se maxime humiliavit, et minor apparuit angelis, Philippians 2:8, Hebrews 2:8 Ans. If it were determinately certain what he intends to prove, we might the better judge of the validity of his proofs and arguments. But his limitation of “quodammodo,” “videtur,” and “aliqua ex pare,” leave it altogether uncertain what it is that he designeth to evince. It is enough to our cause and purpose if we manifest that nothing by him produced or insisted on doth prove the kingly and priestly offices of Christ to be the same, or that one of them is so comprehended in the other as that they are not distinct in their powers, energies, and duties. And this is not done; for, — (1.) The words of the testimony out of the second psalm, which is so variously applied by the apostles, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee,” do not formally express any one office of Christ, nor are used to that purpose. They only declare the relation and love of the Father unto his person; which were the foundation and reason of committing all that authority unto him which he exercises in all his offices; whereunto, therefore, they are applied. And therefore on several occasions doth God express the same thing in words very little varied, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” Matthew 3:17, 17:5; 2 Peter 1:17; for the declaration of Christ to be the eternal Son of God is all that is intended in these words. (2.) That these words were firstly used of David and his exaltation to the throne of Israel after his banishment, is easily said, but not so easily proved. Let our reader consult our Exposition on Hebrews 1:5. (3.) The call of Christ unto his offices of king, priest, and prophet, as it respects the authority and love of the Father, was but one and the same.

    He had not a distinct call unto each office, but was at once called unto them all, as he was the Son of God sent and anointed to be the Mediator between God and men. The offices themselves, the gifts and graces to be exercised in them, their powers, acts, and duties, were distinct, but his call unto them all was the same. (4.) The writer of this Epistle doth not accommodate these words to the priestly office of Christ, any otherwise but to evince that he was called of God unto that office on the ground of his relation to God and his love of him; for he produceth those words to declare who it was that called him, and why he did so, the call itself being expressed, as respecting the priesthood, in the other testimony, “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” Wherefore there is not in these words any expression of the priesthood of Christ. See the exposition of the place. (5.) These words are most eminently applied unto the resurrection of Christ, Acts 13:32,33. Now, this principally belonged unto his prophetical office, as that whereby the truth of the doctrine he had taught was invincibly confirmed. And you may by this means as well overthrow the distinction between his kingly and prophetical offices as between his kingly and sacerdotal. But the reassert why it is accommodated unto the Lord Christ with respect unto either of his offices, is because his relation unto God, therein expressed, was the ground of them all. (6.) What if Crellius cannot prove that these words of the psalmist have any respect unto the kingly office of Christ? I deny at present that he can do so, and refer the reader for his satisfaction herein unto the exposition of them as quoted by the apostle, Hebrews 1:5. (7.) Those words whereby he enlargeth herein, “That then, when Christ was raised from the dead, God gave unto his people a king according unto his promises, and appointed Jesus to be both Lord and Christ, or, which is the same, the Son of God in power,” for which Acts 2:36, Romans 1:4, are urged, are partly ambiguous and sophistical, and partly false. For, — [1.] The things mentioned in those places are not the same. In the one it is said that God made him “both Lord and Christ;” in the other, that he was “declared to be the Son of God with power.” And he doth wofully prevaricate when he so repeats the words, as if it were said that he was made or appointed to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection, when he was only publicly determined or declared so to be. [2.] He insinuates that Jesus was not made Lord and Christ, or the Son of God, until after his resurrection. But this is openly false: for, — 1st. He was born both Lord and Christ, Luke 2:11; 2dly. When he came into the world the angels worshipped him as Lord and Christ, Hebrews 1:6; 3dly. Peter confessed him before to be “Christ, the Son of the living God,” Matthew 16:16; 4thly. He often affirmed before that all things were given into his hands, Matthew 11:27; 5thly. If it were so, the Jews only crucified Jesus, and not Christ the Lord, or only him that was so to be afterwards; which is false and blasphemous. It is true, upon his ascension, not immediately on his resurrection, he was gloriously exalted unto the illustrious exercise of his kingly power; but he was our Lord and King before his death. And therein also, — (8.) From what hath been spoken, it is easy to know what is to be returned unto the conclusion that he makes of this argument; for the words produced in testimony are not spoken immediately concerning any office of Christ whatever, as expressive of it, much less concerning his regal dignity in a peculiar manner. And God was no less the father of Christ, he was no less begotten of him, when he was humbled to death in the sacrifice of himself that he offered as a priest, than when he was exalted in glory at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 10. From this attempt to prove that the sacerdotal office of Christ is comprehended in the regal by the divine writers, Crellius proceeds to show what “differences there are indeed between them;” and hereof he giveth sundry instances. But he might have spared that labor. This one would have sufficed, namely, that the Lord Christ is a “king really and properly,” — he is a “priest only metaphorically;” that is, he is not so indeed, but is called so improperly, because of some allusion between what he did and what was done by the priests of old, as believers are called kings and priests. A man would think this were difference enough, as amounting to no less but that Christ is a king indeed, but not a priest. There was therefore no need that he should take the pains to find out, indeed to coin, differences between two such offices, whereof one is, and the other is not.

    And all the differences he fixeth on, the first only excepted, whereunto some pretense may be given, are merely feigned, or drained out of some other false hypotheses of the same author. However, it may not be amiss, seeing we have designed the vindication of this office of Christ from the whole opposition that is made unto it by this sort of men, to examine a little those differences he assigns between the real and supposed office of Christ, which he makes use of to no other end but to annihilate the latter of them: — 11. “Distinctio autem inter regium et sacerdotale munus primum in eo cernitur quod regium munus latins se porrigit quam sacerdotium; unde illius etiam crebrior fit mentio. Regis enim est etiam punire; sacerdotis vero tantum peccata populi expiare.”

    Ans. This may be granted as one difference in the exercise of the power of these offices; for the kingly power of Christ is extended unto his enemies, the stubbornest of them and those who are finally so, but Christ is a priest offered and intended only for the elect. But he might also have instanced in sundry other acts the kinky power of Christ, as, namely, his law-giving, his universal protection of his people, his rule and government of the church by his Spirit and word, which belong not at all unto his priestly office. But this was not to his purpose, nor doth he design to evince any real difference between these two offices. For it is true that he opposeth punishing and expiating sin the one to the other, assigning the former unto the kingly, the latter unto the sacerdotal office; but if to expiate sin be only to remove and take away the punishment of sin, or that which is contrary to punishing, then Crellius maintains that Christ doth this by virtue of his kingly power and office. The sum, therefore, of this difference amounts to no more but this, that the Lord Christ as a king, and by virtue of his regal power, doth both punish sin and take away the punishment of it; only he doth the latter as a priest, — that is, there is an allusion in what he doth unto what was done for the people by the priests of old.

    He adds another difference: — “(1.) Deinde cum Christum regem appellamus, eo ipso nisi quid addamus aliud, nec (2.) exprimimus eum hanc potestatem aliunde accepisse, et, quicquid beneficii ab ipso ut rege nostro proficiscitur, (3.) id totum Deo qui hanc ei potestatem largitus fuerit, ascribendum esse. (4.) Regium enim munus et nomen per se nil tale indicat cure Deus etiam rex sit et dicatur, Matthew 5:85, 1 Timothy 6:15. At cum Christum sacerdotem vocamus, ei, (5.) oblationem et interpellationem tribuimus, eo ipso indicamus peccatorum nostrorum remissionem non ab ipso ut prima causa sed a Deo proficisci, et eum potestatem Peccata nostra remittendi a seipso non habere, (6.) nec esse supremum omnium rerum rectorem. Quomodo enim offerret et interpellaret apud alium et sacerdotis munere fungeretur ad remissionem nobis parandam? Quare dum sacerdotis nomine insignitur a Deo altissimo, (7.) cui alias potestate aequalis est, aperte distinguitur, et Dei prae ipso praerogativa atque eminentia indicatur, quae facile ob tantam Christi praestantiam ac gloriam qua ipsum Dens auxit, obscurari posset, et sic Deo gloria ilia quam in Christo exaltando quaesivit eripi, Ans. (1.) There is neither difference nor pretense of any difference between these offices of Christ assigned in these words, nor doth this discourse seem to be introduced for any other end but only to make way for that sophistical objection against the deity of Christ wherewith it is closed. For whatever notion the first sound of these words, “king” and “priest,” may present unto the minds of any prejudiced persons, in reality Christ doth no less depend on God with respect unto his kingly office than with respect unto his priestly; which Crellius also doth acknowledge. (2.) When we call Christ Lord and King, we consider both who and what he is, and thereby do conceive and express his being appointed unto that office by God the Father. And of all men the Socinians have least cause to fear that on the naming of Christ as king they should conceive him to be independent of God; for believing him to be a man, and no more, there cannot possibly an imagination thereof befall their minds. (3.) It is not what we express when we call Christ a king, but what the Scripture declareth concerning that office of his, which we are to consider; and therein it is constantly affirmed and expressed that God made him “both Lord and Christ,” that all his power was given him of God, that he sets him his king on the holy hill of Zion, and gives him to be head over all unto the church. Wherefore, to call and name Christ our king, and not at the same time to apprehend him as appointed of God so to be, is to renounce that only notion of his being so which is revealed unto us, and is a folly which never any Christian fell into. Wherefore, when we call Christ king, we do acknowledge that he is made so of God, who consequently is the author and principal cause of all the good and blessed effects which we are made partakers of through the administration of the kingly office and power of Christ; nor did ever any sober person fail into an imagination to the contrary, seeing none can do so without an express renunciation of the Scripture. (4.) When God, absolutely considered, is said to be king, the subject of the proposition limits and determines the sense; for the nature of him which is presented unto us under that name, “God,” will not allow that he should be so any otherwise but on the account of his infinite, essentially divine power; which the notion of Christ as mediator doth not present unto us. (5.) The reasons taken from what is ascribed unto the Lord Christ as a priest to prove that, in our notion and conception of that office, we look on him as delegated by God, and acting power for us on that account, are, although true in themselves, yet frivolous as unto his purpose; because all the acts, duties, and powers of his kingly office, do affirm and prove the same. Christ hath all his power, both as king and priest, equally from God the Father, and was equally called of God to act in both these offices; — in his name, majesty, and authority towards us, in one of them; and with or before him on our behalf, in the other. (6.) Whereas he adds, and enlargeth thereon, that by the oblation and intercession of Christ, which are ascribed unto him as a priest, it is evident that he hath not power of or from himself to pardon our sins, as also that he is not the supreme rector, but is distinguished from the most high God, to whom otherwise he is equal in authority, I ask, — [1.] Whether Christ as a king hath power, of himself and from himself, to take away sin, as the supreme rector of all, and that power not delegated unto him of God? I know he will not say so, nor any of his party, and therefore the difference between these two offices on that account is merely pretended. [2.] To make the Lord Christ, whom they will have to be a man only, to be equal in power on any account with God, is a bold assertion. How shall any creature be equal, in any respect, unto God? To whom shall we equal him? How can he who receiveth power from another for a certain end be equal in power unto that other from whom he doth receive it? How shall he who acts in the name of another be equal unto him? But these great expressions are used concerning things which are false, only to cover the sacrilege of taking that from him wherein he was truly equal to God, and counted it no robbery so to be. [3.] It is confessed that the Lord Christ, as the high priest of the church, was inferior to God, that his Father was greater than he, that he offered himself unto God, and intercedeth with him; but that he is not equal with God, of the same nature with him, under another consideration, this proveth not. And, (7.) on the other side, there is not the least danger that the prerogative of God, absolutely considered, with respect unto Christ as mediator, should be obscured by the glory of the kingly office of Christ, among them who acknowledge that all the glory and power of it are freely given unto him of God.

    He yet proceeds: — “(1.) Accedit quod cure Christus sacerdos dicitur et quidem talks qui seipsum obtulerit, et mors ipsius, sine qua offerre se non potuit, aportius includitur, quam regni mentio hullo pacto complectitur; (2.) et cura ipsius admodum tenera et solicita quam pro nobis gerit, et qua expiationem peccatorum nostrorum perficit, magis quam regii muneris mentione indicatur. Unde non parum consolationis ex divina Christi potestate nobis accedit (3.) quae alias magnitudine et sublimitate sua vilitatem nostram absterrere potuisset, quo minus tanta cum animi fiducia ad ipsum confugere, et opem ab ipso expectare auderemus.” Ans. (1.) How, according unto the judgment of these men, “the death of Christ is more openly and plainly included in his being called a priest,” than in his being a king, I know not; for he was not, if we may believe them, “a priest in his death,” nor did his death belong unto his discharge of that office, only they say it was “necessarily antecedent” thereunto. But so also was it unto the discharge of his kingly office; for he “ought first to suffer, and then to enter into his glory,” Luke 24:26. And his exaltation unto his glorious rule was not only consequent unto his humiliation and suffering, or unto his death, but did also depend thereon, Romans 14:9; Philippians 2:7-11. Wherefore, with respect unto the antecedent necessity of the death of Christ, there is no difference between these offices, it being equal with regard unto them both. Had he placed the difference between these two offices with respect unto the death of Christ herein, that Christ as a priest died and offered himself therein unto God, which no way belonged unto his kingly office, he had spoken the truth, but that which was destructive unto all his pretensions. For what is here asserted, it constitutes no difference at all between them. (2.) It is acknowledged that the consideration of the priesthood of Christ bespeaks much care and tenderness towards the church, which is a matter of great consolation unto us. But, — [1.] It is so when this care and tenderness are looked on as the effects and fruits of that love which he manifested and exercised when in his death he offered himself a sacrifice for the expiation of our sins, and continueth to intercede for us, thereby rendering his oblation effectual. Herein doth the Scripture constantly place the love of Christ, and thence instructs us in his tender care and compassion thence arising, Ephesians 5:25-27; Galatians 2:20; Revelation 1:5. Remove this consideration of the priesthood of Christ, which is done by these men, and you take away the foundation and spring of that care and tenderness in him towards us as a priest whereby we should be relieved and refreshed. Wherefore, — [2.] This consolation is nowhere proposed unto us as that which axiseth absolutely from the office itself, but from what, out of his unspeakable love, he underwent and suffered in the discharge of that office; for being therein exercised with all sorts of temptations, and undergoing all sorts of sufferings, he is merciful and tender in the discharge of the remaining duties of this office. See Hebrews 2:17, 4:15,16, and 5:7,8, with our Exposition on those places. I do not, therefore, see how they who deny that Christ suffered any thing in being our high priest, can, from the consideration of the priesthood, draw any other arguments for his care and tenderness than what may be taken from his other offices. [3.] Christ as a king, absolutely considered, without respect unto his sufferings, is no less tender to, no less careful of his church, than he is as he is a priest, his love and other qualifications for all his offices being the same; only his preparation for the exercise of his care and tenderness, by what he suffered as a priest, makes the difference in this matter; the consideration whereof being removed, there remains none at all. To conceive of Christ as the king of his church, and not to conceive withal that every thing in him as such is suited unto the consolation and encouragement of them that do believe, is highly to dishonor him. He is, as a king, the shepherd of his flock, his pastoral care belonging unto his kingly office, as kings of old were called the shepherds of their people. But in his rule and feeding of the church as a shepherd, he is proposed as acting all manner of care and tenderness, as the nature of the office doth require, Isaiah 40:10,11. (3.) It is aloud imagination, that believers should be frighted or deterred from going unto Christ as a king because of their own vileness and his glorious dignity, seeing that glorious dignity was conferred on him on purpose to relieve us from our vileness. There is no office of Christ but containeth its encouragements in it for believers to make use of it and improve it unto their consolation; and that because the ground of all their hopes and comforts is in his person, and that love and care which he acts in them all. But that we should consider any one of them as a means of encouraging us with respect unto another, the Scripture teacheth us not, any otherwise than as the effects of his priestly office, in his oblation and intercession, are the fundamental reasons of the communication of the blessed effects of his kingly power unto us. For all the benefits we are made partakers of by him flow from hence, that he loved us, and gave himself for us, washing us in his own blood. Even the glorious greatness of God himself, — which, absolutely considered, is enough to deter us, as we are sinners, from approaching to him, — as he is in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, is a firm foundation of trust, confidence, and consolation; and therefore the glory of Christ in his kingly power must needs be so also.

    He closeth his discourse in these words: — “Quare haec quoque fuit causa hujus (1.) appellationis Christo tribuendae; ut (2.) omittam multas similitudines quae Christo cure sacerdote legali et Melchisedeco, qui itidem fuit sacerdos Dei altissimi intercedunt; quae huic appellationi causam dederunt; quibus etiam addenda est similitudo multiplex cum victimis legalibus.’

    Ans. Here (1.) the whole design is plainly expressed. There is the name of a priest, for some certain reasons, attributed unto Christ, whereas truly and really he never had any such office from whence he might be so denominated. And this is that which, in this whole discourse, I principally designed to evince. (2.) To say that Christ was “called a priest from that likeness which was in sundry things” (not in the office of the priesthood and execution thereof) “unto the legal high priest, and Melchizedek,” and the sacrifices of the law, is only to beg or suppose the thing in question. They were all instituted and made priests, and all their sacrifices were offered, principally to this end, that they might prefigure and represent him as the only true high priest of the church, with that sacrifice of himself which he offered for it; and without this consideration there would never have been any priest in the world of God’s appointment. And this is the whole of what this man pleads, either directly or by sophistical diversions, to confound these two offices of Christ, and thereby utterly to evacuate his sacerdotal office. Wherefore, before I proceed to remove his remaining exceptions unto the truth and reality of this office, I shall confirm the real difference that is between it and the kingly office, in a confounding it wherewithal the strength of their whole endeavor against it doth consist. 12. The offices of king and priest may be considered either absolutely, or as they respect our Lord Jesus Christ. In the first way it will not be denied but that they are distinct. The one of them is founded in nature, the other in grace. The one belongs unto men as creatures capable of political society, the other with respect unto their supernatural end only. It is true that the same person was sometimes vested with both these offices, as was Melchizedek; and the same usage prevailed among the heathens, as we shall see afterwards more at large. “Rex Anius, rex idem hominum Phoebique sacerdos.” — AEn, 3:80.

    But this hinders not but that the offices were then distinct in their powers and duties, as the regal and prophetical were when David was both king and prophet. But at present our inquiry is concerning these offices in Christ only, whether they were both proper and distinct, or one of them comprised in the other, being but a metaphorical expression of the manner of the exercise of its powers and duties. And concerning this we may consider, — (1.) He is absolutely, and that frequently, called a priest or a high priest, in the Old Testament and the New. This was demonstrated in the entrance of these Exercitations. Now, the notion or nature of a priest, and the office of the priesthood, or what is signified by them, are plainly declared in the Scripture, and that in compliance with the unanimous apprehension of mankind concerning them; for, that the office of the priesthood is that faculty or power whereby some persons do officiate with God in the name and on the behalf of others, by offering sacrifice, all men in general are agreed. And thereon it is consented also that it is, in its entire nature, distinct from the kingly power and office, whose first conception speaks a thing of another kind. Now, whereas the Scripture doth absolutely and frequently declare unto us that Christ is a priest, it doth nowhere intimate that his priesthood was of another kind than what it had in general declared it to be in all others, and what all men generally apprehended of it.

    If any other thing were intended thereby, men must unavoidably be drawn into errors and mistakes. Nor doth it serve to undeceive us, that some come now and tell us that the Scripture by that name intends no such distinct office, but only the especial qualifications of Christ for the discharge of his kingly power, and the manner of his acting or exercising thereof; for the Scripture itself says no such things, but, as we shall see immediately, gives plain testimony unto the contrary. (2.) His first solemn type was both a king and a priest, and he was so as to both of these offices properly. He was not a king properly, and a high priest only metaphorically, or so called because of his careful and merciful administration of the kingly power committed unto him; but he had the office of the priesthood properly and distinctly vested in him, as both Moses and our apostle do declare, Genesis 14:18, Hebrews 7:1. And he was more peculiarly a type of Christ as he was a priest than as he was a king; for he is said to be “a priest,” and not a king, “after the order of Melchisedec.” Therefore that consideration of him is reassumed by the psalmist and by our apostle, and not the other. And is it not uncouth, that God, designing to prefigure one that should be a priest metaphorically only, and properly a king, should do it in and by a person who was a priest no less properly than he was a king, and in his so being was peculiarly and principally designed to prefigure him? Who can learn any thing of the mind of God determinately if his declarations thereof may be thus interpreted? (3.) In the giving of the law God did renew and multiply the instructive types and representations of these offices of Christ. And herein, in the first place, he takes care to teach the church that he (whom all those things which he then did institute did signify) was to be a priest; for of any prefiguration of his kingly power there is very little spoken in the law. I shall at present take it for granted, as having sufficiently proved it elsewhere, and which is not only positively affirmed but proved with many arguments by our apostle, namely, that the principal end of Mosaical institutions was to prefigure, represent, and instruct the church, though darkly, in the nature of the offices, work, and duties, of the promised Messiah. This being so, if the Lord Christ were to be a priest only metaphorically and improperly, and a king properly, his priesthood being included in his kingly office, and signifying no more but the manner of his administration thereof, how comes it to pass that his being a priest should be taught and represented so fully and distinctly in so many ordinances, by so many types and figures, as it is, and his kingly power be scarce intimated at all? for there is no mention of any typical kings in the law, but only in the allowance which God gave the people to choose such a ruler in future times, wherein he made provision for what he purposed to do afterwards, Deuteronomy 17:14,15. Moreover, when God would establish a more illustrious typical representation of his kingly office in the family of David, to manifest that these two offices should be absolutely distinct in him, he so ordained in the law that it should be ever afterwards impossible that the same person should be both king and priest, until He came who was typified by both; for the kingly office and power were confined, by divine institution, to the house and family of David, as that of the priesthood was unto the family of Aaron. If these offices had been to be one and the same in Christ, these institutions had not instructed the church in what was to come. (4.) A distinct office has a “distinct power or faculty” for the performance of its acts in a due manner with respect unto a certain end. And those things whereby it is constituted are distinct in the kingly and priestly offices of Christ; for, — [1.] Moral powers and acts are distinguished by their objects. But the object of all the actings of the sacerdotal power of Christ is God; of the regal, men. For every priest, as we have showed, acts in the name and on the behalf of men with God; but a king, in the name and on the behalf of God with and towards men, as to the ends of that rule which God hath ordained. The priest represents men to God, pleading their cause; the king represents God to men, acting his power. Wherefore, these being distinct powers or faculties duties and acts, they prove the offices whereunto they do belong, or from which they proceed, to be distinct also, And this consideration demonstrates a greater difference between these two offices than between the kingly and prophetical, seeing by virtue of them both some men equally act in the name of God towards others. But that the priesthood of Christ is exercised towards God on the behalf of men, and that therein the formal nature of any priesthood doth consist, whereby it is effectually distinguished from all other offices and powers that any men are capable of, we have the common consent of mankind to prove, the institution of God under the old testament, with express testimonies in the new confirming the same. [2.] As the acts of these offices are distinguished by their objects, so also are they and their ajpotele>smata between themselves, or in their own nature. The acts of the sacerdotal office operate morally only, by way of procurement or acquisition; those of the regal office are physical, and really operative of their effects: for all the acts of the priestly office belong unto oblation or intercession. And their effects consist either in, (1.) “averruncatione mali,” or (2.) “procuratione boni.” These they effect morally only, by procuring and obtaining of them. The acts of the kingly office are legislation, communication of the Spirit, helps, aids, assistances of grace, destruction of enemies, and the like. But these are all physically operative of their effects. Wherefore the offices whence they proceed must be distinct in their natures, as also they are. And what hath been spoken may suffice at present to evince the difference between these two offices of Christ, which those men are the first that ever called into doubt or controversy. 13. I shall close this discourse with the consideration of an tempt of Crellius to vindicate his doctrine concerning the priesthood of Christ from an objection of Grotius against it, namely, that it “diminishes the glory of Christ, in ascribing unto him only a figurative priesthood.” For hereunto he answers, by way of concession, (1.) “That indeed they allow Christ to be a priest metaphorically only, as believers are said to be kings and priests, and to offer sacrifices.” Now, this is plainly to deny any such real office, which sometimes they would not seem to do, and to substitute an external denomination in the room thereof. What are the consequents hereof, and what a pernicious aspect this hath upon the faith and consolation of all believers, is left unto the judgment of all who concern themselves in these things. He answers, (2.) “That although they deny the Lord Christ to be a priest properly so called, yet the dignity which they ascribe unto him under that name and title is not metaphorical, but real, and a greater dignity than their adversaries will allow.” For the latter clause, or who they are that ascribe most glory and honor to Jesus Christ, according as that duty is prescribed unto us in the Scripture, both with respect unto his person, his mediation, and all his offices, with the benefits redounding unto the church thereby, — they or we, — is left unto every impartial or unprejudiced judgment in the world. For the former, the question is not about what dignity they assign to Christ, nor about what names or titles they think meet to give him, but about the real honor of the priesthood.. That this is an honor in itself, that it was so to Aaron, that it is so to Christ, our apostle expressly declares, Hebrews 5:4,5. If Christ had it not, then had Aaron a real honor which he had not, and therein was preferred above him. But, saith he, “Although he is compared with Aaron, and his priesthood opposed unto his, and preferred above it, yet it is not in things of the same kind, though expressed under the same name, whereby things more perfect and heavenly are compared with things earthly and imperfect.” But, — (1.) This leaves the objection in its full force; for whatever dignity Christ may have in other things above Aaron, yet in the honor of the priesthood Aaron was preferred before him; for it is a real priesthood which the apostle asserts to be so honorable. And although a person who hath it not may have a dignity of another kind, which may be more honorable than that of the priesthood, yet if he have not that also, he therein comes behind him that hath it. (2.) It is true, where things fall under the same appellations, some properly, and some metaphorically only, those of the latter sort, though they have not so good a title as the other to the common name whereby they are called, yet may they in their own nature be more excellent than they; but this is only when the things properly so called have notable defects and imperfections accompanying of them. But this consideration hath here no place; for the real office of the priesthood includes nothing in it that is weak or impotent, nor are the acts of it in any thing inferior unto what may be fancied as metaphorical. And whereas the dignities of all the mediatory actings of Christ are to be taken from the efficacy of them, and their tendency unto the glory of God and the salvation of the church, it is evident that those which are assigned unto him as the acts of a real priesthood are far more worthy and honorable than what they ascribe unto him under the metaphorical notion of that office. (3.) If the priesthood of Christ is not opposed, as such, unto the priesthood of Aaron, on what grounds or from what principles doth our apostle argue unto the abolishing of the priesthood of Aaron from the introduction of that of Christ, plainly asserting an inconsistency between them in the church at the same time? for there is no such opposition nor inconsistency, where the offices intended are not both of them properly so, but one of them is’ only metaphorically so called. So there is no inconsistency in the continuance of the kingly office of Christ, which is real, and all believers being made kings in a sense only metaphorically. 14. But Valentinus Smalcius will inform us of the original and occasion of all our mistakes about the priesthood of Christ: De Regn. Christ. cap. 23; “Quo porto figurate loquendi nimio studio factum est ut etiam de Christo dicatur eum apud Deum pro nobis interpellare,” etc.; — “It was out of an excessive desire” (in the Holy Ghost or the apostles) “to speak figuratively, that Christ is said to intercede for us, and consequently to be a priest.” But he afterwards makes an apology for the Holy Spirit of God, why he spake in so low and abject a manner concerning Christ; and this was, the care he took that none should believe him to be God. We have had some among ourselves who have traduced and reproached other men for the use of “fulsome metaphors,” as they call them, in the expression of sacred things, though evidently taken out of the Scripture; but this man alone hath discovered the true fountain of that miscarriage, which was the “excessive desire of the holy writers to speak figuratively,” lest any one should believe Jesus Christ to be God from the things that really belong unto him.


    OF THE ACTS OF THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST, THEIR OBJECT, WITH THE TIME AND PLACE OF ITS EXERCISE. 1. The acts and adjuncts of the priesthood of Christ proposed to consideration — The acts of it two in general, oblation and intercession — Vanity of confessions in general, ambiguous words, whilst their sense is undetermined. 2. The true nature of the oblation of Christ — Opinion of the Socinians concerning it. 3. The nature of his intercession, with their conceptions about it. 4. Things proposed unto a further discussion. 5. The time and place of Christ’s susception and discharge of the office of the priesthood. 6. The first argument for the time of the exercise of this office, taken from the concession of the adversaries. 7. The second, from the effect of his sacrifice in making atonement, and the prefiguration thereof in the sacrifices of the law. 8. Thirdly, From his entrance into heaven as a high priest with respect to the sacrifice he had offered. 9. Fourthly, Other priests, who entered not into the sanctuary, types of Christ in their office and sacrificing, vindicated from the exception of Crellius. 10. The account given of the priesthood of Christ by Valentinus Smalcius examined, 11. The arguings of Woolzogenius to the same purpose. 12. The boldness and impiety of Smalcius reproved. 13. God the immediate object of all the sacerdotal actings of Christ. 14-19. This proved and vindicated from the exceptions of Crellius. 20. Reasons for so doing. 1. HAVING declared and vindicated the nature of the sacerdotal office of our Lord Jesus Christ, it remaineth that we consider the acts of it distinctly, with some of the most important adjuncts of its exercise. And it is not so much the dogmatical declaration of these things that I design, which also hath already been sufficiently discharged, as the vindication of them from the perverse senses put upon them by the Socinians.

    The general acts of the Lord Christ as the high priest of the church are two, — namely, oblation and intercession. These the nature of the office in general doth require, and these are constantly assigned unto him in the Scripture. But concerning these, their nature, efficacy, season, use or end, there is no agreement between us and the Socinians. And I know not that there is any thing of the like nature fallen out among those who profess themselves to be Christians, wherein persons fully agreeing in the same words and expressions, as they and we do in this matter, should yet really disagree, and that unto the greatest extremity of difference, about every thing signified by them, as we do herein. And this sufficiently discovers the vanity of all attempts to reconcile the differing parties among Christians by a confession of faith, composed in such general words and terms as that each party may safely subscribe and declare its assent unto.

    Neither is the insufficiency of this design relieved by the additional advice that this confession be composed wholly out of the Scriptures and of expressions therein used; for it is not an agreement in words and the outward sound of them, but the belief and profession of the same truths or things, that is alone to be valued, all that is beyond such an agreement being left at peace in the province of mutual forbearance. An agreement in words only parrots may learn; and it will be better amongst them than that which is only so amongst men, because they have no mind to act dissenting and contradicting principles. But for men to declare their assent unto a certain form of words, and in the meantime in their minds and understandings expressly to judge and condemn the faith and apprehensions of one another about these very things, is a matter that no way tends to the union, peace, or edification of the church. For instance, suppose a form of words expressing in general that Christ was a high priest; that, the acts of the priesthood being oblation and intercession, Christ in like manner offered himself to God and maketh intercession for us; that hereby he purgeth, expiateth, and doth away our sins, with many more expressions to the same purpose, should be drawn up and subscribed by the Socinians and their adversaries, as they can safely do on all hands; will this in the least further any agreement or unity between us, whilst we not only disagree about the sense of all these terms and expressions, but believe that things absolutely distinct and inconsistent with one another, yea, destructive of one another, are intended in them? For so really it is between us herein, as the further consideration of particulars will manifest. 2. First, The oblation of Christ is that act or duty of his sacerdotal office whereby he offered himself, his soul and body, or his whole human nature, an expiatory sacrifice to God in his death and blood-shedding, to make atonement for the sins of mankind, and to purchase for them eternal redemption. So that, — (1.) The nature of the oblation of Christ consisted in a bloody expiatory sacrifice, making atonement for sin, by bearing the punishment due thereunto. And, (2.) As to the efficacy of it, it hath procured for us pardon of sin, freedom from the curse, and eternal redemption. (3.) The time and place when and wherein Christ, as our high priest, thus offered himself a sacrifice unto God, was in the days of his flesh, whilst he was yet in this world, by his suffering in the garden, but especially on the cross.

    For the application of the effects of this oblation of Christ unto the church, and the completing of all that was foresignified as belonging thereunto, it was necessary that, as our high priest, he should enter into the holy place, or the presence of God in the heavens, there to represent himself as having done the will of God, and finished the work committed to him; whereon the actual efficacy of his oblation or the communication of the fruits of it unto the church, according to the covenant between the Father and Son before described, doth depend.

    In all these things the Socinians wholly dissent from us. What they conceive about the nature of the office itself hath been already called unto an account. As for this act or duty of it, they apprehend, — (1.) That the expiatory oblation or sacrifice ascribed unto the Lord Christ, as a high priest, is nothing but his presenting of himself alive in the presence of God. (2.) This, therefore, they say he did after his resurrection, upon his ascension into heaven, when he had revealed the will of God, and testified to the truth of his ministry with his death, which was necessary unto his ensuing oblation. (3.) That his expiation of our sins consists in the exercise of that power which he is intrusted withal, upon this offering of himself, to free us from the punishment due unto them. (4.) That this presentation of himself in heaven might be called his offering of himself, or an expiatory sacrifice, it was necessary that, antecedently thereunto, he should die for the ends mentioned; for if he had not so done there would have been no allusion between his care and power in heaven which he exerciseth towards the church, and the actings of the high priests of old in their oblations and sacrifices, and so no ground or reason why what he did and doth should be called the offering of himself. Wherefore this is the substance of what they affirm in this matter: — “The place of Christ’s offering himself was in heaven, in the glorious presence of God; the time of it, after his ascension; the nature of it, a presenting himself in the presence of God, as one who, having declared his name and done his will, was gloriously exalted by him; — the whole efficacy hereof being an effect of that power which Christ hath received as exalted to deliver us from sin.”

    In this imaginary oblation the death of Christ hath no part nor interest.

    They say, indeed, it was previously necessary thereunto; but this seems but a mere pretense, seeing it is not intelligible, on their principles, how it should so be: for they affirm that Christ did not offer in heaven that very body wherein he suffered on the tree, but a new, spiritual body that was prepared for him unto that end. And what necessity is there that one body should suffer and die that another might be presented in heaven? The principal issues whereunto these differences between them and us may be reduced shall De declared and insisted on. 3. The second duty of the priestly office is intercession. How frequently this also is ascribed unto the Lord Christ as a high priest hath been declared before. Now, intercession is of two sorts: — (1.) Formal and oral; (2.) Virtual and real. (1.) There is a formal, oral intercession, when any one, by words, arguments, supplications, with humble earnestness in their use, prevails with another for any good thing that is in his power to be bestowed on himself or others. Of this nature was the intercession of Christ whilst he was on the earth. He dealt with God, by prayers, and supplications, sometimes with cries and tears, with respect unto himself in the work he had undertaken, but principally for the church of his elect, Hebrews 5:7; John 17. This was his intercession as a priest whilst he was on the earth, namely, his interposition with God, by prayers and supplications, suited unto the state wherein he was, for the application of the benefits of his mediation unto the church, or the accomplishment of the promises made unto him upon his undertaking the work of redemption. (2.) Virtual or real intercession differs not in the substance or nature of it from that which is oral and formal, but only in the outward manner of its performance, with respect unto the reasons of it as now accomplished.

    When Christ was upon the earth, his state and condition rendered it necessary that his intercession should be by way of formal supplications; and that, as to the argument of it, it should respect that which was for to come, his oblation, — which is both the procuring cause of all good things interceded for and the argument to be pleaded for their actual communication, — being not yet completed. But now, in heaven, the state and condition of Christ admitting of no oral or formal supplications, and. the ground, reason, or argument of his intercession, being finished and past, his intercession, as the means of the actual impetration of grace and glory, consists in the real presentation of his offering and sacrifice for the procuring of the actual communication of the fruits thereof unto them for whom he so offered himself. The whole matter of words, prayers, and supplications, yea, of internal conceptions of the mind formed into prayers, is but accidental unto intercession, attending the state and condition of him that intercedes. The real entire nature of it consists in the presentation of such things as may prevail in the way of motive or procuring cause with respect unto the things interceded for. And such do we affirm the intercession of Christ as our high priest in heaven to be.

    It is no easy matter to apprehend aright what our adversaries judge concerning this duty of the priesthood of Christ. They all say the expression is figurative, and they will not allow any real intercession of Christ, although the Scriptures so expressly lay the weight of our consolation, preservation, and salvation thereon, Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25-27; 1 John 2:1. Neither are they agreed what is signified by it. That which mostly they agree on is, that it is a “word used to declare that the power which Christ exerciseth in heaven was not originally his own, but was granted to him of God; and therefore the good that by virtue thereof he doth to and for the church is so expressed as if he obtained it of God by intercession.” But it is, I confess, strange to me, that what the Holy Ghost left the weight of our consolation and salvation on should be no more but a word signifying that the power which Christ exerciseth in heaven for the good of his church was “not originally his own,” but was conferred on him by God after his ascension into heaven. 4. From what hath been discoursed it is evident how great and wide the difference is between us about these things, which yet are the things wherein the life of our faith is concerned. And so resolved are they in their own sentiments, that they will not admit such terms of reconciliation as may be tendered unto them, if in any thing they intrench thereon; for whereas Grotius premised unto his discourse on this subject, “Constat nobis ac Socino de voce Christi mortem fuisse sacrificium expiatorium, id ipsum clare testante divina ad Hebraeos Epistola,” — “We are agreed with Socinus as to the name, that the death of Christ was an expiatory sacrifice, as is clearly testified in the Epistle to the Hebrews,” — Crellius renounceth any such concession in Socinus, and tells Grotius how greatly he is mistaken in that supposition, seeing both he and they do perfectly deny that the death of Christ was the expiatory sacrifice mentioned in that Epistle, cap. 10 part. 1, p. 472. Now, it is evident that these things cannot be handled unto full satisfaction without a complete discussion of the true nature of the sacrifice of Christ. But this is not my present design, nor shall I engage into it in these Exercitations. The proper seat of the doctrine thereof is in the 9th and 10th chapters of this Epistle. If God will, and we live to arrive thereunto, all things concerning them shall be handled at large.

    Only, there are some things which belong peculiarly to the office itself under consideration. These we shall separate from what concerns the nature of the sacrifice, and vindicate from the exceptions of our adversaries. And they are referred unto the ensuing heads: — First, The time and place when and where the Lord Christ entered on and principally discharged the office of his priesthood. Secondly, The immediate proper object of all his sacerdotal actings, which having been stated before must now be vindicated and further confirmed. Thirdly, The especial nature of his sacerdotal intercession, which consists in the moral efficacy of his mediation in procuring mercy and grace, and not in a power of conferring them on us. 5. The FIRST thing we are to inquire into is, the time and place of the exercise of the priesthood of Christ; and the state of the controversy about them needs only to be touched on in this place, as having been before laid down. Wherefore with reference hereunto we affirm — (1.) That the Lord Christ was a high priest in the days of his flesh, whilst he was in this world, even as he was also the king and prophet of the church. (2.) That he exercised or discharged this office, as unto the principal acts and duties of it, especially as to the oblation of his great expiatory sacrifice, upon the earth, in his death, and the effusion of his blood thereon. (3.) We say not that the priesthood of Christ was limited or confined unto this world, or the time before his resurrection, but grant that it hath a duration in heaven, and shall have so unto the end of his mediation. He abideth, therefore, a priest for ever, as he doth the king of his church. And the continuance of this office is a matter of singular use and consolation to believers, and as such is frequently mentioned. Wherefore, although he ascended not into heaven to be made a priest, but as a priest, yet his ascension, exaltation, and glorious immortality, or the “power of an endless life,” were antecedently necessary to the actual discharge of some duties belonging unto that office, as his intercession and the continual application of the fruits and benefits of his oblation.

    The Socinians, as hath been declared, comply with us in none of these assertions; for whereas they judge that Christ is then and therein only a priest, when and wherein he offereth himself unto God, this they say he did not until his entrance into heaven upon his ascension, and that there he continueth still so to do. Whilst he was in this world, if we may believe them, he was no priest, nor were any of his duties or actings sacerdotal.

    But yet, to mollify the harshness of this conceit, they grant that, by the appointment of God, his temptations, sufferings, and death, were antecedently necessary unto his heavenly oblation, and so belong unto his priestly office metonymically. These being the things in difference, how they may be established or invalidated is our next consideration. 6. Our first argument for the time and place of the exercise of the priesthood of Christ shall be taken from the judgment and opinion of our adversaries themselves; for if the Lord Christ whilst he was upon the earth had power to perform, and did actually perform, all those things wherein they affirm that his sacerdotal office doth consist, then was he a priest at that time and in that place; for the denomination of the office is taken from the power and its exercise. And themselves judge that the priesthood of Christ consisteth solely in a right, power, and readiness, to do the things which they ascribe unto him. Neither can any difference be feigned from a distinct manner of the performance of the things so ascribed unto him. In heaven, indeed, he doth them conspicuously and illustriously; in the earth he did them under sundry concealments. But this altereth not the nature of the things themselves. Sacerdotal actions will be so whatever various accidents may attend them in the manner of their performance. Now, that Christ did all things on the earth which they assign as acts of his sacerdotal office will appear in the ensuing instances: — (1.) On the earth he presented himself unto God as one that was ready to do his will, and as one that had done it unto the uttermost, in the last finishing of his work. This presentation they call his offering himself unto God. And this he doth, Hebrews 10:7, “Lo, come to do thy will, O God.” That this was with respect unto the obedience which he performed on the earth is manifest from the place of the psalmist whence the words are taken; for he so presents himself in them unto God as one acting a principle of obedience unto him in suffering and preaching the gospel: “I come to do thy will; thy law is written in my heart,” Psalm 40:8-10.

    Again, he solemnly offered himself unto God on the earth upon the consideration of the accomplishment of the whole work which was committed unto him, when he was in the close and finishing of it. And herewithal he made his request to God that those who believed on him, or should so do to the end of the world, might have all the benefits which God had decreed and purposed to bestow on them through his obedience unto him; — which is the full description of the oblation of Christ, according to these men. See John 17:1-6, etc. (2.) He had and exercised on the earth a most tender love and care for his whole church, both his present disciples and all that should believe on him through their word. This they make to be the principal property of this office of Christ, or rather, from hence it is, — namely, his tender care, love, and readiness to relieve, which we cannot apprehend in him under the notion of his kingly power alone, — that he is called a high priest, and is so to be looked on. Now, whereas two things may be considered in the love and care of Christ towards his church; first, The evidencing fruits of it; and, secondly, Its effects; — the former were more conspicuous in what did in this life than in what he doth in heaven, and the latter every way equal thereunto. For, [1.] The great evidencing fruit of the love of Christ and his care of his church was in this, that he died for it. This both himself and all the divine writers express and testify to be the greatest fruit and evidence of love, expressly affirming that greater love there cannot be than what is so expressed. See John 10:14, 15:13; Romans 5:6; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:25; 1 John 3:16; Revelation 1. If, therefore, Christ be denominated a high priest because of his love and care towards his church, as he had them in the highest degree, so he gave the greatest evidence of them possible, whilst he was in this world. This he did in dying for it, in giving his life for it; which, in what sense soever it be affirmed, is the highest fruit of love, and so the highest act of his sacerdotal office. [2.] The effects of this priestly love and care, they say, consists in the help and aid which he gives unto those that believe on him, whereby they may be preserved from evil. But that he did this also on the earth, besides those other instances which may be given thereof, himself also expressly affirms, John 17:12, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name; those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost.” (3.) There belongs nothing more unto the priesthood of Christ, according unto these men, but only a power to act what his love and care do incline and dispose him unto. And this consists in the actual collation of grace, mercy, pardon of sin, and spiritual privileges, on believers. But all these things were effected by him whilst he was in this world. For, — [1.] He had power on the earth to forgive or take away the sins of men; which he put forth and acted accordingly, Matthew 9:2; Mark 2:5; Luke 5:20, 7:48. And the taking away of sin effectually is the great sacerdotal act which they ascribe unto him. [2.] He conferred spiritual privileges upon them who believed on him; for the greatest thing of this kind, and the fountain of all others, is adoption, and unto “as many as received him gave he power to become the sons of God,” John 1:11,12. [3.] Whatever also Christ doth for us of this kind may be referred either unto his quickening of us with life spiritual, with the preservation of it, or the giving of us right and title to eternal life. But for these things he had power whilst he was on the earth, as he himself expressly declares, John 4:10, 5:21, 11:40, 10:28, 11:25, 14:6, 15:5, 17:22. And with respect unto all these things doth he require that we should believe in him and rely upon him.

    Besides these three things, in general, with what belongs unto them, I do not know what the Socinians ascribe more to the sacerdotal dignity or power of Christ or the exercise of it, nor what they require more, but that the name and title of the high priest of the church may be ascribed unto him in their way, — that is, metaphorically; for although they set these things off with the specious titles of expiating or purging our sins, of the offering of himself unto God, of intercession, and the like names, as real sacerdotal acts, yet it is evident that no more is intended by them than we have expressed under these heads. And if they shall say otherwise, let them give an instance of any one thing which they ascribe unto him as a priest, and if we prove not that it is reducible unto one of these heads, we will forego this argument. Wherefore, upon their own principles, they cannot deny but that the Lord Christ was as really and truly a priest whilst he was on the earth as he is now in heaven. 7. Secondly, Let it be further remembered, that we plead only Christ to have been a priest and to have offered sacrifice on the earth quoad iJlasmo>n , as to propitiation, or the expiation of sin, granting on the other side that he is still so in heaven quoad ejmfanismo>n , as to appearance and representation. Wherefore, whatever our adversaries do or can ascribe unto the Lord Christ as a priest, which in any sense, or by virtue of any allusion, can be looked on as a sacerdotal act, is by us acknowledged and ascribed unto him. That which is in controversy ariseth from their denial of what he did on the earth, or of his being a high priest before his ascension into heaven; which is now further to be confirmed.

    When and where he made reconciliation and atonement for us, or for our sins, then and there he was a priest. I do not know that it is needful to confirm this proposition; for we intend no more by acting of the priest’s office but the making atonement for sin by sacrifice. He that hath power and right so to do is a priest by the call and appointment of God. And that herein principally consists the acting of the sacerdotal power, we have the consent of the common sense of mankind. Nor is this expressly denied by the Socinians themselves. For it was the principal if not the sole end why such an office was ordained in the world, Hebrews 5:1. But this was done by the Lord Christ whilst he was on the earth; for’ he made atonement for us by his death. Among other testimonies to this purpose, that of our apostle is irrefragable, Romans 5:10, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

    He distributes the mediatory actings of Christ on our behalf into his death and his life. And the life which he intends is that which ensued after his death. So it is said, “He died, and rose, and revived,” Romans 14:9. He was dead and is alive, Revelation 1:18. For he leads in heaven a mediatory life, to make intercession for us, whereby we are saved, Hebrews 7:25. Upon this distribution of the mediatorial actings of Christ, our reconciliation unto God is peculiarly assigned unto his death: “When we were enemies we were reconciled unto God by the death of his Son.” Reconciliation is sometimes the same with atonement, Hebrews 2:17; sometimes it is put for the immediate effect of it. And in this place [Romans 5.] the apostle declares that our being reconciled and receiving the atonement are the same: Katallage>ntev , . . . thzomen , verses 10,11. But to make atonement and reconciliation is the work of a priest. Unless this be acknowledged, the whole instructive part of the Old Testament must be rejected; for the end of the priest’s office, as we observed, was to make atonement or reconciliation. And that this was done by the death of Christ, the apostle doth here expressly affirm. He slew the enmity, made peace, reconciled Jews and Gentiles unto God in one body, by the cross, Ephesians 2:15,16. Our adversaries would have the reconciliation intended to be only on our part, or the reconciling us unto God; not on the part of God, or his reconciliation unto us. But as this is false, so it is also, as to our present argument, impertinent; for we dispute not about the nature of reconciliation, but the cause and time of its making. Whatever be the especial nature of it, it is an effect of a sacerdotal act. Nor is this denied by our adversaries, who plead that our conversion to God depends on Christ’s offering himself to God in heaven, as the effect on the cause. And this reconciliation, whatever its especial nature be, is directly ascribed to the death of Christ` Therein, therefore, was he a priest and offered sacrifice. Besides, the especial nature of the reconciliation made by the death of Christ is sufficiently declared; for we are so reconciled by Christ as that our sins are not imputed unto us, Corinthians 5:19, 21; and that because they were imputed unto him when he was made a curse for us, Galatians 3:13, — when he hung on the tree, and bare our sins in his own body thereon, 1 Peter 2:24. And then he gave himself lu>tron , “a ransom,” Matthew 20:28, and ajnti>lutron , 1 Timothy 2:6, a price of redemption for us; and his soul was made a sin-offering, Isaiah 53:10, — that is, “sacrificium pro reatu nostro,” “a sacrifice for the expiation of our guilt,” And this he did as the sponsor or surety, or “the mediator of the new covenant,” Hebrews 9:15; and therefore he must do it either as the king, or as the prophet, or as the priest of the church, for within these offices and their actings is his mediation circumscribed. But it is manifest that these things belong unto neither of the former; for in what sense can he be said to pay a price of redemption for us in the shedding his blood, or to make his soul an offering for sin, to make reconciliation by being made sin and a curse for us, as he was a king or a prophet? In like manner and to the same purpose we are said to have “redemption in” (or “by”) “his blood, even the forgiveness of sins,” Ephesians 1:7; to be “justified by his blood,” Romans 5:9; Colossians 1:14; 1 Peter 1:18,19. Now, redemption, forgiveness and justification, consisting, according to our adversaries, in our delivery from the punishment due unto sin, it is an effect, as they also acknowledge, of the sacerdotal actings of Christ. But they are all said to be by his blood, which was shed on the earth. Besides, it is in like manner acknowledged that the Lord Christ was both priest and sacrifice; for, as it is constantly affirmed, he “offered himself,” Hebrews 9:14, Ephesians 5:2. And he was a sacrifice when and wherein he was a propitiation; for propitiation is the end and effect of a sacrifice. So the apostle distributes his sacerdotal acts into propitiation and intercession,1 John 5:1,2. His making oblation and being a propitiation are the same. And wherein God made him a propitiation, therein he was our propitiation. But this was in his death; for God set him forth “To be a propitiation through faith in his blood,” Romans 3:25. Our faith, therefore, respecting Christ as proposed of God to be a propitiation, — that is, making atonement for us by sacrifice, — considers him as shedding his blood unto that end and purpose. 8. Thirdly, The Lord Christ entered into the holy place, that is, heaven itself, as a high priest, and that with respect unto what as a high priest he had done before; for when the apostle teacheth the entrance of Christ into heaven by the entrance of the high priest into the sanctuary, as that which was a prefiguration thereof, he instructs us in the manner of it. Now, the high priest was already in office, completely a high priest, before his entrance into the most holy place, and was not admitted into his office thereby, as they pretend the Lord Christ to have been by his entrance into heaven. Yea, had he not been a high priest before that entrance, he would have perished for it; for the law was, that none should so enter but the high priest. And not only so, but he was not, on pain of death, at any time to go into the sanctuary, but with immediate respect unto the preceding solemn discharge of his office; for he was not to enter into it but only after he had, as a priest, slain and offered the expiatory sacrifice, some of the blood whereof he carried into the most holy place, to complete and perfect the atonement. Now, if the Lord Christ was not a priest before his entrance into heaven, if he did not enter thereinto with respect unto, and on the account of, the sacrifice which he had offered before without the holy place, in his death and blood-shedding, all the analogy that is between the type and the antitype, all that is instructive in those old institutions, is utterly destroyed, and the apostle, illustrating these things one by another, doth lead us unavoidably into misapprehension of them. [For whosoever shall read that, as the high priest entered into the most holy place with the blood of bulls and goats, which he had sacrificed without, to appear in the presence of God, in like manner Jesus Christ, the high priest of the church, called of God unto that office, by the one sacrifice of himself, or by his own blood, entered into the holy place in heaven, to appear in the presence of God for us, will understand that he was a high priest and offered his sacrifice before he so entered into the heavenly sanctuary, or he must offer violence unto the plain, open sense of the instruction given unto him. 9. Fourthly, Other priests, who never entered into the sanctuary, were types of Christ in their office and the execution of it; which if he was not a priest on earth, nor thereon offered his sacrifice or executed his office, they could not be; for nothing they did represented the appearance of Christ in heaven. And this is evident in his principal type, Melchizedek; for he did so eminently represent him above Aaron and his successors as that he is peculiarly called a priest after his order. Now, Melchizedek discharged his office entirely, and an end was put unto his priesthood, before there was any sanctuary erected, to be a resemblance of the holy place whereinto Christ, our high priest, was to enter. And whereas our adversaries say that he is called a high priest because of an allusion that was between what he doth for the church and what was done by them, if his priesthood and sacrifice consisted in his entrance into heaven and presenting or offering himself there in glory unto God, there was no allusion at all between it and what was done by him whom the Scripture expresseth as his principal type, namely, this Melchizedek, who had no sanctuary to enter into, whereby there might be any allusion between what he did and what was done by Jesus Christ. Moreover, all the priests according to the law, in all their sacrifices, especially those that were solemn and stated for the whole people, were types of Christ; for whereas the original institution of all expiatory sacrifices, or sacrifices to make atonement for sin, was merely with respect unto, and to prefigure, the sacrifice which Christ was to. offer, without which they would have been of no use nor signification, nor had ever been instituted, as being a kind of worship no way suiting the divine nature without this relation; and whereas the Lord Christ, with respect unto them, is called the “Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world,” and a “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” as I have proved elsewhere; the priests that offered these sacrifices must of necessity be types of him in his.

    Crellius replies hereunto: “Vult Socinus (1.) publica et stata sacrificia, atque imprimis anniversarium, figuram fuisse sacrificii Christi; caetera veto sacrificiorum nostrorum spiritualium. (2.) Nam et nos istiusmodi sacrificia, quibus intervenientibus peccata expiantur, seu remissio peccatorum ex Dei benignitate obtinetur, offerimus: (3.) saccrdotem etiam summum esse verum Christi summi sacerdotis typum, (4.) caeteros vulgares sacerdotes nobis qui etiam sacerdotes sumus, censet respondere; qua de re mirum est si quisquam dubitet, cap. 10 ad Grot. part. 21, p. 413.” (1.) It is acknowledged that other stated and solemn sacrifices besides the anniversary expiation were types of the sacrifice of Christ. But these were offered by the ordinary priests, as Numbers 28:15,22,30, 29:5,11,16,19,22, and were completed without the most holy place, no entrance into it ensuing thereon; for they consisted entirely in the death and blood-shedding of the sacrifices themselves, with their oblation on the altar. How, then, could they typify Christ and his sacrifice, if that consisted not at all in his death and blood-shedding, which they did represent, but in his entrance into heaven, and presenting himself there unto God, which they did not represent at all? This concession, therefore, that the sacrifice of Christ was typified by any sacrifices whereof no part nor remembrance was carried into the sanctuary, destroys the whole hypothesis of our adversaries. (2.) Nothing that we do is, in any sense, such a sacrifice as whereby sin is expiated. And although our faith is the means whereby we are interested in the one sacrifice of Christ by which our sins are expiated once and for ever, and we thereby, according unto God’s appointment, obtain the forgiveness of our sins, yet no duties of ours are anywhere called sacrifices, but such as are fruits of gratitude for the pardon of sin, received by virtue of that one sacrifice of Christ. (3.) The high priest was a true, real type of Christ, but not his only type; Melchizedek was so also, and so were all the ordinary priests of the house of Aaron, who served at the altar. (4.) He is greatly mistaken in his last assertion, whereof he gives no other proof but only “Qua de re mirum eat si quisquam dubitet;” and this is, that the priests under the law were types of all Christians, and their sacrifices of ours, and that “this belongeth unto the economy of the new covenant.”

    For I do not only doubt of it, but also expressly deny it, and that on such grounds as will leave none for admiration in any sober person; for, — [1.] All the priests of the house of Aaron were of the very same office with the high priest. Aaron and his sons were at the same time called to the same office, and set apart in the same manner, Exodus 28:1 and 29:9.

    If, therefore, the high priest was in his office the type of Christ, the other priests in their office could not be types of us, unless we have the same office with Christ himself, and are made mediators with him. [2.] The sacrifices offered by the other priests were of the same nature with that or those which were offered by the high priest himself; for although the entrance once a year into the most holy place was peculiar unto him, yet he had no sacrifice of any especial kind, as burnt-offering, sin-offering, or trespass-offering, peculiar unto him, but the other priests offered the same. If, therefore, the sacrifice of the high priest was a type of the sacrifice of Christ, the sacrifices of the other priests could not be types of ours, unless they are of the same kind with that of Christ, which is not yet affirmed. [3.] The truth is, the whole people under the law were types of believers under the gospel in the highest of their privileges, and therefore the priests were not so. We are now “kings and priests;” and the apostle Peter expressing this privilege, 1 Peter 2:5, doth it in the words spoken of the body of the people or church of old, Exodus 19:6. Nothing, therefore, is more vain than this supposition.

    Fifthly, The principal argument whereby we prove that Christ was a priest on the earth, is taken from the nature of the sacrifice which he offered as a priest. But whereas this cannot be duly managed without a full consideration and debate of all the properties, ends, and concernments of that sacrifice, which is not our present subject nor design, it must, as it was intimated before, be transmitted unto its proper place. 10. It remaineth that we consider the pretences and pleas of our adversaries in the defense of their opinion. It is that, I confess, which they have no concernment in for its own sake, being only a necessary consequent of their judgment concerning the office of the priesthood itself.

    Wherefore, for that the most part they content themselves with a bare denial that he was a priest on the earth, the proof of their negation they mix with the description of the office and its discharge. Wherefore, to show how little they are able to prove what they pretend unto, I shall represent their plea in the words of one of the chief masters of that sect, that the reader may see what is the true state of the controversy between them and us in this matter, which they industriously endeavor to conceal, and then consider their proofs in particular. This is Valentinus Smalcius, in his book De Regno Christ. cap. 23, which is, De Christi Sacerdotio, whose words ensue: — “Deinde considerandum etiam est (1.) totam hanc rem, quae per sacerdotii vocabulum in Christo describitur, esse figuratam, qua scilicet explicantur ea qum sub veteri foedere olim extabant. Quemadmodum enim sub veteri fcedere Deus pontifices esse voluit (2.) qui causam populi apud Deum agerent: sic etiam quia Jesus Christus causam populi divini in coelo agit ideo ipse sacerdos, et hoc opus illius, sacerdotium, appellantur. (3.) Potest hoc totum ex eo apparere si consideretur in sola, quodammodo, Epistola ad Hebraeos, Christi, quatenus sacerdos est, et sacerdotii ejus mentionem fieri; et tamen impossibile est alios apostolos in suis scriptis rei tam insignis, sine qua Christi dignitas consistere nequit, nullam mentionem facere.” Ans. (1.) It is not much that I shall observe on these words, and I shall therein principally respect the perpetual sophistry of these men. It is somewhat plain, indeed, that all things spoken about the priesthood of Christ are figurative, and nothing real or proper; and therefore he speaks of it as a thing utterly of another nature that is intended, only in Christ it is described “per sacerdotii vocabulum,” — “by this word, the priesthood.”

    But the sober Christian reader will judge whether there be nothing but a mere occasional abuse of that word intended by the Holy Ghost in that frill and large description which he hath given us of this office of Christ, its duties, acts, adjuncts, and exercise, with the importance of these things unto our faith and consolation. (2.) Who would not think these expressions, first concerning the high priest, “Qui causam populi apud Deum ageret,” “Who should deal with God on the behalf of the people,” and then concerning Christ, “Qui causam populi divini in coelo agit,” “Who pleads the holy people’s cause in heaven,” were so far equivalent, especially the one being produced in the illustration of the other, as that the things signified should, though they be not of the same kind, yet at least some way or other agree? But no such matter is intended; for in the first proposition God is expressly asserted as the immediate object of the sacerdotal actings of the high priest under the law, according to the Scripture; but in the latter, “causam populi in coelo agit,” which is ascribed unto Christ, nothing is intended but the exercise of his love and power in heaven towards his people for their relief, — which is a thing quite of another nature. By these contrary senses of seeming equivalent expressions, all analogy between the old priesthood and that of Christ is utterly destroyed. (3.) It is falsely pretended that this office of Christ is not formally mentioned by other divine writers besides the apostle in this Epistle unto the Hebrews. He is expressly called a priest in the Old Testament by the way of prophecy, and all acts of this office are expressly mentioned and declared in sundry other places of the New Testament, which have been before produced. And although it becomes not us to call the Spirit of God to an account, or to expect an express reason to be assigned why he teacheth and revealeth any truth more directly and expressly in one place of the Scripture than in another, — it being an article of our faith that what he doth he doth wisely, and on the most rational motives, — yet we are not altogether in the dark unto the reason why the doctrine of the priesthood of Christ was more openly and plainly taught in this Epistle than in any other place of Scripture. It was the prefiguration of it and preparation for it which the church of the Hebrews had received in their Mosaical institutions which was the occasion hereof; and whereas the whole economy of their priesthood and sacrifices had no other end or use but to prefigure and represent those of the Lord Christ, upon his coming and the accomplishment of what was typified by them they were to cease and to be removed out of the church. But those Hebrews, by the long use of them, had contracted an inveterate persuasion that they had an excellency, use, and efficacy in the worship of God, upon their own account, and were therefore still to be continued and observed. On this occasion the declaration of the nature and use of the priesthood of Christ in the church was not only opportune and seasonable, but necessary and unavoidable. It was so, that those Hebrews who did sincerely believe the gospel, and yet supposed that the old legal institutions were in force and obligatory, might be delivered from so pernicious an error. And in like manner it was so with respect unto them who, being satisfied in their cessation and removal, were to be instructed in what was the design of God in their institution, and what was their use; whereby they might at once discern that they were not a mere burden of chargeable and unuseful outward observances, and yet how great and excellent a glory was exhibited in their stead now under the gospel. Besides, whereas God was now giving up the whole Scripture unto the use of the church, what better season or occasion could be taken to declare the harmony and relation that is between the old testament and the new, the analogy between the institutions of the one and the other, the preparations that were made in the shadows of the one for the introduction of the substance of the other, and so at once to present a scheme of divine wisdom and grace in both, than this of the instruction of the church of the Hebrews in their translation out of the one state into the other, which was peculiar to them, and wherein the Gentiles had no share? These things, I say (with holy submission to the sovereign will and wisdom of the Holy Ghost), rendered this time and place most convenient for the fixing and stating the doctrine of the priesthood of Christ in a peculiar manner.

    But our author adds: “Quod igitur ipse Christus, cure adhuc mortalis esset, promisit, ‘se futurum cum suis singulis diebus usque ad consummationem seculi;’ ‘se eos non relicturum orphanos,’ sed ‘eis daturum os et sapientiam, cui nemo possit resistere ‘idem ex mortuis resuscitatus dixit Johanni, ‘Ne metuas, ecco vivo in secula seculorum;’ et dive Paulo, ‘Ne metuas, sed loquere et non tace, quia ego tecum sum;’ quod denique apud apostolos est, Jesum Christum caput esse ecclesiae, et ecclesiam esse ejus corpus, ecclesiam ab eo foveri, Christum nos liberate a futura ira, hoc est auctori Epistolae ad Hebraeos Jesum Christum pontificem nostrum esse.” Add hereunto what he instructs us in a litt