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Full text of "The complete works of Stephen Charnock"

OCT i 1 1988 j 

BX 9315 .CA27 186A v. 5 
Charnock, Stephen, 1628- 

The complete works of 

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VOL. V. 


W. LINDSAY ALEXANDER, D.D., Professor of Theology, Cangregational 
Union, Edinburgh, 

JAMES BEGG, D.D., Minister of Newington Free Church, Edinburgh. 

THOMAS J. CRAWFORD, D.D., S.T.P., Professor of Divinity, University, 

D. T. K. DRUMMOND, M.A., Minister of St Thomas's Episcopal Church, 

WILLIAM H. GOOLD, D.D., Professor of Biblical Literature and Church 
History, Reformed Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh. 

ANDREW THOMSON, D.D., Minister of Broughton Place United Presby- 
terian Church, Edinburgh. 

©eneral ©Dttor. 
REV. THOMAS SMITH. M.A., Edinburgh. 




Wiit\f |nlr0budioii 



VOL. V. 












Death. ..... 

A Discourse of the Necessity of Christ'". 

Exaltation. .... 

A Discourse of Christ's Intercession. 
A Discourse of the Object of Faith. 
A Discourse of Afflictions. 
A Discourse of the Removal of the Gospel. 
A Discourse of Mercy Received. 
A Discourse of Mortification. 
A Discourse pROAaNO weak Grace Victorious. 
A Discourse of the Sinfulness and Cure of 

Thoughts. .... 

A Discourse of the Church's Stability. 
A Discourse upoj^ the Fifth of November. 
A Discourse of Delight in Prayer. . 
A Discourse of Mourning for other Men's 

Sins. ..... 

A Discourse for the Comfort of Child-Bear- 

iNG Women. .... 


Luke XXTV. 26. 


Luke XXIV. 26. 


1 John II. 1. . 


John XIV. 1. . 


Heb. Xn. 5-11. 


Rev. II. 5. 


Ps. LVI. 12, 13. 


Rom. VIII. 18. . 


Mat. XII. 20. . 


Gen. VI. 5. .. 288 

Ps. LXXXVII. 5. 817 

ExoD XV. 9, 10. 850 

Ps. XXXVII. 4. 870 

Ezek. IX. 4. 

1 Tim. IL 15. 



A Discourse of the Sins of the Uegenerate. 1 John III. 9. . 414 

A Discourse of the Pardon of Sin. . . Ps. XXXII. 1, 2. 434 

Man's Enmity to God. . . . Rom. YIII. 7. . 459 

The Chief Sinners objects of the Choicest 

Mercy. . . . . .1 Tim. I. 15. . 526 

INDEX .567 

INDEX OF TEXTS. ... . .587 



OiujJit not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory f 
—Luke XXIV. 26. 

The words are an answer of our Saviour's to the discourse of two of the 
disciples who were going to Emmaus, ver. 13. He came incognito to them 
while they were discoursing together of the great news of that time, viz., the 
death of their master, whom they acknowledge ' a prophet mighty in deed 
and word before God and all the people,' ver. 19 ; confirmed by God to be 
so by miracles, and confessed to be so by the people. Yet they questioned 
whether he were the Messiah that should redeem Israel, and erect the kingdom 
so much promised and predicted in the Scripture. They could not tell how 
to reconcile the ignominy of his death with the grandeur of his office, and 
glory of a king. And though they had heard by the women of ' a vision of 
angels' that assured them ' he was alive,' yet they do not seem in their dis- 
course to give any credit to the report, but relate it as they heard it; though 
both by what they said before, ver. 21, that they had ' trusted that it was 
he that should have redeemed Israel,' and also by the sharp reproof Christ 
gives them, ver. 25, ' fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the pro- 
phets have spoken !' we may conclude that they thought it a mere illusion, 
or a groundless imagination of the women. Christ, to rectify their minds, 
begins with a reproof, and follows it with an instruction, that what they 
thought a ground to question the truth of his office, and the reality of his 
being the Messiah, was rather an argument to confirm and establish it, since 
that person characterised in the Old Testament to be the Messiah was to wade 
to his glory through a sea of blood, and such sufierings in every kind as 
cruel and shameful as that person in whom they thought they had been 
deceived, had sufi"ered three days before ; and afterwards discourseth from 
the Scripture that his death, and such a kind of death, did well agree with 
the predictions of the prophets ; and therefore, ' beginning at Moses and all 
the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things con- 
cerning himself.' He might well sum up in two or three hours' time 
(wherein we may suppose he was with them) most of those testimonies which 
did foretell his suflferings for the expiation of sin. The proposition which he 
maintains from Moses and the prophets, is in the text, ' Ought not Christ 

4 charnock's wokks. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

to have suffered those things ?' which is laid down by way of interrogation, 
bat equivalent to an affirmation ; and he backed, without question, his dis- 
course with many reasonings for the confirmation of it, to reduce them from 
the distrust they had to a full assent to the necessity of his death, in order 
to his own glory, and consequently theirs ; the foundation of his own exalta- 
tion, and the redemption of mankind, being laid in his being a sacrifice. 
OiKjht not ? 

1. It is not said, it is convenient or becoming. As it was said of his 
baptism, Matt. iii. 15, ' It becomes us to fulfil all righteousness.' His bap- 
tism had more of a convenience than necessity.* He might have been the 
Messiah without subjecting himself to the ceremonial law, or passing under 
the baptism of John. But it was impossible he should be a redeeming Christ 
without undergoing an accursed death. No sin was expiated merely by his 
submission to the yoke of legal rites, or the baptismal water of John ; all 
expiation of sin was founded only in his bloody baptism. 

2. It is said, he imght. Not an absolute, but a conditional ought ; not 
his original duty as the Son of God, but a voluntary duty as the redeemer 
of man. He voluntarily engaged at first in it, and voluntarily proceeded to 
the utmost execution, yet necessarily after his first engagement. Necessity 
there was, but not compulsion. All necessity doth not imply constraint, and 
exclude will. Paul must necessarily die by the law appointed to all men, 
but willingly he ' desires to be dissolved, and to be with Christ.' God is 
necessarily holy and true, yet not unwillingly so. Angels and glorified souls 
are necessarily holy by their confirmation in a gracious and glorious state, 
yet voluntarily so by a full and free inclination ; necessary by the decree 
and counsel of God, necessary by the engagement and promise of Christ, 
necessary by the predictions and prophecies of Scripture. f All which causes 
of necessity are linked together, because the restoration of man required such 
a suftering ; therefore it was from eternity decreed by God, embraced by 
Christ, published in Scripture. It was ordained in heaven, and set out in 
the manifesto of the Old Testament ; so that if this death had not been suf- 
fered, the counsel of God concerning redemption had been defeated, the 
word and promises of Christ violated, and the truth of God in the predic- 
tions of the prophets had fallen to the ground. The decree of God was de- 
clared in many prophecies before the execution ; and this will of God is an 
evidence of the necessity of it. + Why did he ordain it, if it were not neces- 
sary to so great an end ? Though the end, the redemption of man, was not 
necessary, yet, when the end was resolved on, this, as the means, was found 
necessary in the counsel of God. The natural inclination and will of Christ, 
as man, did startle at it, when he desired that this cup might pass from him. 
It was contrary to the reason and common sense of men. How, then, should 
that infinite \Yisdom, that wills nothing but what is unquestionably reasonable, 
have determined such a means, if it had not been necessary for his own 
glory and man's recovery ? But both the Father and the Son were moved 
to it by the height of that good will they bore to the fallen creature. 

These things, raZra. Every one of those severe and sharp circumstances. 
The whole system of those sufferings, not a dart that pierced him, not a 
reproach that grated upon him, but was ordained ; every step he took in blood 
and suffering was marked out to him. Since Christ was to die for the repar- 
ation of man, for the expiation of sin, it was necessary that his death should 
be attended with those particular sharpnesses that might render his love more 
admirable, the justice of God more dreadful, the evil of sin more abominable, 

* Daille, Serm. de Eesurrect. de Christ, p. 226. f Gerhard in loo. 

X Daille, Serm. de Eesurrect. de Christ, p. 226, 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's death. 5 

and the satisfaction itself more valuable. The intenseness of his love had 
not been set off so amiably in a light and easy death, as in a painful and 
shameful suffering ; and though the greatness of his merit and the fulness 
of his satisfaction did principally arise from the dignity of the sufferiug 
person, yet some consideration might be also had of the greatness of his 
suffering. Not only his death, as he was considered equal with God, but his 
shameful death in the circumstance of the cross, is a mark of his obedience 
and a cause of his exaltation, Philip, ii. 8. Both were regarded in the crown 
of glory, and that high dignity wherein he was instated, so that the sum of 
Christ's speech amounts to this much : be not doubtful whether the person 
so lately suffering, whom you account so great a prophet, were the Messiah. 
You clearly may see in the prophets that nothing hath been inflicted on him 
but what was predicted of him ; so that it is not mei-ely the malice of man 
that hath caused those sufferings ; that was only a means God in his infinite 
wisdom used to bring about his own counsel. He was not forced to what 
he suffered, but willingly delivered up himself to perform the charge and 
office of a Redeemer, which could not else have been accomplished by him ; 
and that glory which you expected, was not by the order of God to be con- 
ferred upon him till he abased himself to such a passion. He will have a 
glory to your comfort, though not answering your carnal expectations. Be 
not dejected, but recover your hopes of redemption which you seem to have 
lost, and let them be rectified in the expectation, not of an earthly, but an 
heavenly, glory. 

1. The nature of Christ's sufferings, these things. 

2. The necessity. Ought not Christ to suffer ? 

3. The consequence, and to enter into his glory. 

There are two doctrines to be insisted on from these words : 

1. There was a necessity of Christ's death. 

2. Christ's exaltation was as necessary as his passion. 

For the first, there was a necessity of the death of Christ. It was neces- 
sary by the counsel of God, Acts ii. 23 ; ' Him being delivered by the deter- 
minate counsel and foreknowledge of God, Acts iv. 28. It was not a fruit 
of second causes, which God only suffered by a bare permission, but it was 
a decree of his will fixed and determined, and that before the world began, 
an irrevocable decree God made to deliver his Son to death for the sins of 
men, and according to this counsel he was in time delivered, and by the 
merit of his death hath reconciled to God all those that believe in him. 

In handling this doctrine, I shall shew, 

(1.) What kind of necessity this was. 

(2.) That it was necessary. 

(3.) The use. 

1. What kind of necessity this was. 

Prop. 1. His death was not absolutely necessary, but conditionally. 

(1.) It supposeth, first, the entrance of sin. There was no necessity 
that sin should enter into the world. There was no necessity on man's 
part to sin. Though he was created with a possibility of sinning, yet 
not with a necessity; he was created mutable, but not corruptible: 'God 
made man upright,' Eccles. vii. 29. His faculties, as bestowed upon him, 
stood right to God. He had an understanding to know what of God was fit 
for him to know, a will without any wrong bias to embrace him, and afiec- 
tions to love him. God permitted him to fall, the devil allured him to sin, 
but neither the one nor the other did immediately influence his will to the 
commission of his crime. There was no necessity on God's part that sin 

6 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

should enter ; though his wisdom thought good to permit it, yet there was 
DO absolute necessity that it should step up in the world. He might have 
fixed man, as well as the holy angels, in an eternal purity ; he might have 
enlightened the mind of man by a particular act of grace at the first proposal 
of the temptation by the devil, to discern his deceit and stratagem, and so 
might have prevented man's sin as well as permitted it. Had not sin entered, 
there had been no occasion for the death of the creature, much less for the 
death of Christ. The honour of God had not been invaded ; there had been 
no provoked justice to satisfy, nor any violated law to vindicate. Some in- 
deed there are* that think the incarnation of Christ had been necessary with- 
out the entrance of sin, because they consider God of so holy a nature that 
it had been impossible for him to be pleased with any creature, though the 
work of his own hands, so that neither angels nor men could have stood one 
moment in his sight without beholding him in the face of a mediator. Seve- 
ral had anciently imaginedf that if man had continued in obedience till the 
time appointed for his confirmation, then Christ would have been incarnate, 
and man have become one mystical person with him for his confirmation, as 
the angels were confirmed by him ; but none assert the death of Christ but 
upon supposition of sin. All sacrifices for sin imply the guilt of sin antece- 
dent to them ; but after man had transgressed the rule by his disobedience, 
and thereby made himself incapable of answering the terms of that righteous 
law which God had set him, the death of Christ became as necessary as his 
incarnation, for the righting the injured law and satisfying offended justice, 
and the conveyance of mercy to the creature, with the honour of God and 
preservation of his rights. As Christ's rejoicing from eternity, 'in the habit- 
able parts of the earth,' supposeth the creation of the world in the order of 
God's decree, Prov. viii. 31, so the eternal counsel of God, for the making 
his Son a sacrifice, supposeth the rise of sin and iniquity in the world. Had 
not man run cross to the preceptive will of God, he had enjoyed the presence 
of God without a sacrificed mediator, and would have had an everlasting 
communion with him in happiness ; but after sin entered upon the world, 
there was need of a propitiation for sin. An infinitely pure God could not 
have communion with an impure creature. It was not fit a sovereign ma- 
jesty should make himself savingly known to his creature without a propitia- 

(2.) It supposeth death to be settled by God as the punishment of sin. 
Some question whether it were absolutely necessary that death should have 
been threatened upon the breach of the law. It is true, as the law depends 
upon the will of the lawgiver, so doth the punishment. And it is in his 
liberty, if you consider him as an absolute sovereign, to annex what penalty 
he pleaseth ; yet, as all laws are to spring from righteousness, so all punish- 
ments are to be regulated by righteousness and equity, that a punishment 
deserved by the greatest crime should not be ordered as the recompense of 
ofi'ences of a lighter nature. But in the case of transgressions against God, 
no penalty less than death, and eternal death, could, according to the rules 
of justice, have been appointed. It is certain sin doth naturally oblige to 
punishment : it is senseless to imagine that a law should be transgressed 
without some penalty incurred. A law is utterly insignificant without it, 
and it is inconsistent with the wisdom of a lawgiver to enact a precept 
without adding a penalty. If, therefore, a punishment be due to sin, it 
is requisite, according to the rules of justice and wisdom, to proportion 
the punishment to the greatness of the offence. I say this is the rule that 

* Bacon's Confession of Faith, at the end of his Eemains, pp. 117, 118- 
t Jackson, vol. ii. quart, p. 191. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's death. 7 

righteousness requires. And it is as natural that a crime should be punished 
suitably to its demerit as that it should be punished at all. Why doth any 
fault deserve punishment, but because there is an unreasonableness in it, 
something against the nature of man, against the nature of a subject, against 
the authority of the lawgiver, against the order and good of a community ? 
The punishment therefore ought to be as great as the damage to authority 
by the crime. To order a punishment greater than the crime is tyranny ; 
to order it less than the crime is folly in the government : unrighteousness 
in both, because there is an inequality between the sin and the penalty. 
Now, such is the excellency of God's nature, and so inviolable with his crea- 
ture ought his authority to be, that the least offence against him deserves the 
highest punishment, because it is against the best and most sovereign being. 
It seems therefore to us that God had not acted like a righteous governor if 
he had not denounced death for the sins against him ; the oflfence being the 
highest, the punishment in the order of justice ought to be the highest. 
What could be supposed more just and reasonable than for God to deprive 
man of that life which he had given him, that life which man had received 
from the goodness of his Creator, and had employed against his authority 
and glory ? As his sin was against the supreme good, so the punishment 
ought to be the depriving man of his highest good. The vileness of the 
person offending, and the dignity of the person offended, always communi- 
cate an aggravation to the crime. The sin of man, being infinite, did, in the 
justice of God, merit an infinite punishment. And this is not only written 
upon the hearts of men by nature, that it is so, but that it is deservedly so, 
Rom. i. 32, ' that they are worthy of death.' The justice of God in in- 
flicting death for sin is as well known as his power and Godhead, and the 
justice of it is universally owned in the consciences of men when they are 
awakened. Adam, when he sinned, did not think the offence of so great 
a' weight, but his roused conscience presented him with those natural no- 
tions of the justice of God, and sunk him under the sense of it, till God 
had revived him by a promise. 

(3.) It supposeth that, after man's transgression, and thereby the demerit 
of death, God would recover and redeem man. There was no necessity 
incumbent upon God to restore man after his defection from him and rebellion 
against him. As God was not obliged to prevent man's fall, so he was not 
obliged to recover man fallen. When he did permit him to offend, he might 
have let him sink under the weight of his own crimes, and left him buried 
in the ruins of his fall. He might for ever have reserved him in those chains 
he had merited, and have let him feed upon the fruit of his own doings, 
without one thought of his delivery, or employing one finger of that power 
for his restoration, whereby he had brought him into being ; for the res- 
toration of man was no more necessary in itself than the first creation of 
him was. As God might have left him in his nothing without producing 
him into being, so he might have left him in his contracted misery without 
restoring him to happiness. Nor was it any ways more necessary than the 
reducing the fallen angels to their primitive obedience and felicity. The 
blessedness and happiness of God had no more been infringed by the eternal 
destruction of man, than it was by the everlasting ruin of devils. Upon the 
supposition that God would save sinners after his justice was so fully engaged 
to punish them, no way in the understanding of man can be thought of, but 
the sufferings of the creature, or some one for him, to preserve the justice of 
God from being injured. Though the thoughts of some differ in other things, 
yet not in this. All say it was not simply necessary that man should be 
freed from his fallen state. But since God would not hurl all men into the 

8 charnock's works, [Luke XXIV, 26. 

damnation they had deserved, and treat them as he did the devils in the 
rigours of his justice, this way of the death of his Son was the most con- 
venient way ; * and indeed necessary, not necessary by an antecedent 
necessity (for there is no such necessity in God respecting created things), 
but a consequent necessity upon a decree of his will, which being settled, 
something else must necessarily follow as a means for the execution of that 
decree ; as supposing God would create man to be Lord of the creature, and 
return him the glory of his works, it were then consequently necessary that 
he should create him with rational faculties, and fit for those ends for which 
he created him ; but the creation of man in such a frame is not of absolute 
necessity, but depends upon the antecedent decree of his will, of creating 
such a creature as should render him the tribute of his works. So it is not 
necessary that God should free man from the spot of sin, and the misery 
contracted thereby, and reduce him from damnation to felicity ; but since 
he determined the redemption of him after the violation of the law, which he 
had contii-med by the penalty of death, God could not without wrong to his 
justice and truth freely pardon man, because he is immutably righteous and 
true, and cannot lie ; and since he is so righteous a judge that he can no 
more absolve the guilty than he can condemn the innocent, Exod, xxxiv, 7, 
his justice was an invincible obstacle to the pardon of sin, though men had 
implored his mercy with the greatest ardency and affection, unless this justice 
had been satisfied with a satisfaction suitable to it, i. e. infinite as the divine 
justice is infinite ; and since neither man nor any other creature, being all 
of a finite nature, were able to give a full content to the justice of God, a 
necessity is then introduced of some infinite person to put himself in the 
place of the fallen creatures, clothe himself with their nature, and suffer in 
it the penalty they had merited, that they might be exempted from that 
which, by the transgression of the law, they had incurred. 

(4.) It supposeth Christ's voluntary engagement and undertaking of this 
affair first. There could be no necessity upon God to redeem, nor any 
necessity upon Christ to be the Redeemer ; but after his consent, which was 
wholly free, his promise engaged him to performance. He was free from all 
bonds till he entered into bond ; he was at liberty whether he would be our 
surety ; no compulsion could be used to him : John x. 18, he had ' power to 
lay down his life.' It impHes a liberty either of laying down his life or not ; 
a liberty of choice whether he would die for man or no. He had power if 
he pleased to avoid the cross, but he undertook it, * despising the shame,' 
Heb. xii. 2. And after having once undertaken this charge, it was necessary 
for him to suffer. As it is in the liberty of a man's choice whether he will 
engage himself in bonds for an insolvent debtor, yet when he is entered into 
suretyship, both his own honesty and the equity of the law necessitates him 
to stand to his engagements, and pay the money he is bound for, if the 
debtor be still insolvent;! so after Christ hath promised payment for bankrupt 
man, he could not retract both in regard of his truth, and in regard of the 
tenderness which first moved him to it. He could not violate his promise, nor 
deny his contract ; both the order of his Father and his own righteousness 
did not permit him to cast off this resolution. Though it was naturally 
voluntary, yet it was morally necessary ; and therefore often when he speaks 
of his sufferings to his disciples, he puts aw?(.s« to them : Mat. xvi. 21, John 
iii. 14 ' must suffer many things,' • must be lifted up.' And his prayer from 
a natural inclination of the human nature, that this cup might pass from 
him, if it icere possible, not being granted, shews it to be morally impossible, 

^ Petav. Theol. torn. iv. lib. ii. cap. 13, sect. 10. 

t Daille, Serm. de Resurrect, de Christ, p. 226. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of cheist's death. 9 

after it was determined, that we could be saved any other way. God's not 
answering his own Son, manifests an impossibility to divert bis death without 
our eternal loss. Had not that promise been past, if Christ had been incar- 
nate, he might have lived in the world with glory and honour ; he might have 
come, not as a surety, but as a lawgiver and judge ; but after that promise 
made by him to his Father, and that the Father had by the covenant of 
redemption 'laid upon him the iniquities of us all,' and Christ on his part 
had covenanted to ' take upon him the form of a servant,' Philip, ii. 7, and to 
be ' made under the law,' Gal. iv. 4, he did owe to God an obedience as our 
surety according to the law of redemption, as well as an obedience to the 
moral law as a creature, by virtue of his incarnation. Had he been incarnate 
without such a promise of suffering, he had not been bound to suffer unless 
he had sinned ; for, having no spot, neither original nor actual, he had stood 
firm upon the basis of the first covenant. But the obligation to the obedience 
of sufiering was incumbent upon him by virtue of the compact between the 
Father and himself. Had he been incarnate without that precedent compact, 
he had owed an obedience to God in his humanity as a creature ; but as he 
was incarnate for such an end, and was, pursuant to the law of redemption, 
made under the moral law, he owed an obedience to both those laws, an 
obedience as a creature, an obedience as mediator, as a son owes obedience 
to a father by virtue of his relation of a son ; but if this son be bound 
apprentice to his father, he owes another obedience to him as a servant by 
virtue of the covenant between them ; the duty of obedience as a servant is 
superadded to that of a son ; so the necessity of obedience as a surety was 
added to the necessity of obedience as a creature in regard of Christ's 
humanity, so that this necessity is only consequent, and supposeth at first 
the voluntary engagement of Christ. For indeed his sufferings could not be 
of infinite merit for us except they had been voluntarily undertaken by him.* 
If his sufferings took their worth and value from his person, they must like- 
wise have their freedom and election from his person. Whatsoever punish- 
ment, reproach, and trouble the fury of wicked men brought upon him, 
was not sufi'ered by an absolute necessity, but conditional, after the engage- 
ment of his will. 

Prop. 2. All things preceding his death, and all circumstances in his death, 
did not fall under a necessity of the same kind. Upon the former sup- 
position, his death was necessary, and could not be avoided. Death was 
threatened by God as a sovereign ; it was merited by man as a malefactor, 
and was necessary to be inflicted by God as a judge and governor. And by 
virtue of this threatening, and his engagement in suretyship, it was necessary 
that he should suffer, not as an innocent person, but under the imputation of 
a sinner ; a reputed sinner, though he were perfectly innocent in his own 
nature : 1 Cor. v. 21, he was ' made sin for us.' Yet Christ, in his humilia- 
tion, did undergo some things which were not immediately necessary to our 
redemption. We might have been redeemed by him without his being 
hungry and weary. But this was mediately necessary to our redemption, in 
manifesting the truth and reality of his human nature. We might have been 
redeemed without the piercing of his side, and the letting out the water in 
the pericardium. But this was convenient to shew the truth of his death. 
These were necessary by virtue of God's decree, manifested in the prediction 
of the prophets, to be done unto him. But his incarnation and passion to 
death were immediately necessary to our recovery and the atonement of sin. 
We could not have been redeemed unless he had satisfied justice ; justice 
could not be satisfied but by sufiering ; suffering could not have been under- 
* Bilson on Christ's sufferings, p. 286. 

10 chaenock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

gone unless he had been incarnate. A body he must have prepared for 
suflfering ; nor could he have suffered for us unless he had been incarnate in 
our nature. 

2, Thing. To demonstrate this necessity. Having declared what kind of 
necessity this is, we may now demonstrate this necessity. 

1. To suffer death was the immediate end of the interposition of Christ. 
The principal end of his undertaking was to right the honour of God, and 
glorify his attributes in the recovery of the creature ; but the immediate end 
was to suffer, because this was the only way to bring about that end which 
was principally aimed at in Christ's interposition, and God's determination 
concerning him. Death being denounced as the punishment of sin, Christ 
interposeth himself for our security, with a jDromise to bear that punish- 
ment in our stead for the procuring our exemption from it ; therefore, what 
punishment was of right to be inflicted on man for the breach of the law, was, 
by a gracious act of God, the governor of the world and guardian of his laws, 
transferred upon Christ, as putting himself in our stead. His first inter- 
position was for the same end with his death, but his death was evidently 
for our sins. It was for them ' he gave himself,' Gal. i. 4 ; they were our 
sins which ' he bare in his own body on the tree,' 1 Peter ii. 24 ; ' for our 
iniquities he was wounded, and for our transgressions he was bruised,' 
Isa. liii. 5 ; our health was procured by his stripes, and therefore intended 
by him in his first engagement. He offered his person in our stead, which 
was able to bear our sin, and afford us a righteousness which was able to 
justify our persons ; he offered himself to endure the curse of the law in his 
own body, and fulfil the righteousness of the law in his own person ; he 
would be united with us in our nature, that he might make the sins of our 
nature his own in suffering for them, and give to us what was his, by taking 
to himself what was ours ; he took our stripes that we might receive his 
medicine. This, therefore, being the end of his first undertaking, was ne- 
cessary to be performed; for Christ is not yea and nay, 2 Cor. i. 19, one 
time of one mind, and another time of another, but firm and uniform in all his 
proceedings, without any contradiction between his promise and performance. 

That this was the end of his first interposition is evident, 

(!•) -By the terms of the covenant of redemption incumbent on his part. 
What God demanded was complied with on the part of Christ. The demand 
of God was the offering of the soul, because upon that condition depends the 
promise of his exaltation and seeing his seed : Isa. liii. 10, ' When thou shalt 
make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed;' or as others, 
• When his soul is put an offering for sin.' The word DC'N is properly a sin- 
offering, and his soul is the matter of this offering, as well as the spring and 
principle of the offering himself to God. It was upon this condition only he 
was to see his seed ; he had had no seed, i. e. none had been saved by him 
according to this covenant, unless his soul had made itself an offering for 
sin. This death of Christ was the main article to be performed by him ; 
this was the eye of Christ fixed upon in the offering himself in the first 
transaction to do the will of God : Ps. xl. 6-8, ' Burnt-offering and sin- 
offering hast thou not required. Lo, I come ; I delight to do thy will,' 
Heb. x. 7, 8. The will of God for a satisfaction by sacrifice. The will of 
God was the demand of something above all legal sacrifices ; for he had no 
pleasure in those which were offered by the law, wherein Christ complies 
with God ; and it was something which was not to fall short of, but sur- 
mount those legal offerings. The denial of any pleasure or content in them 
implies a demand of a higher pleasure and content than all or any of them 
could afford. To this Christ gives his full consent, and offers himself, 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's death. 11 

according to the will of God, to be a sacrifice, and puts himself in the place 
of those sin-ofFerings wherein God had no pleasure ; as if he should have 
said, A sin-offering. Lord, thou wilt have, and one proportionable to the 
greatness of the offence ; since none else can be suitable to an infinite 
majesty, I will be the sin-offering, and answer thy will in this ; and therefore 
the apostle infers, Heb. x. 10, that the offering the body of Christ for our 
sanctification, our restoration, was the particular will of God in this affair, 
which will Christ particularly promises in that eternal transaction to perform : 
Gal. i. 4, ' Who hath given himself for our sins, according to the will of 
God.' And, indeed, God could not have been said to enter into his rest at 
the foundation of the world without this transaction, as he is said to do, 
Heb. iv, ; for foreseeing that an universal stain and disorder would overspread 
the world by sin, that the glory which would naturally issue to him from the 
creatures would meet with an obstacle from it, and no way be left for the 
glorifying of any other attributes after sin but his power and justice in the 
due and righteous punishment of the creature, he could not take any plea- 
sure in the works of his hands, had not the second person stood up as a 
sacrifice of atonement to purify the bespotted world, rectify the disorder, and 
render a content to the justice of God, that all the other attributes of God in 
the creation might have their due glory perpetuated and elevated. It was in 
this one person, and that by his blood, that God found the best way and 
method to gather together those things which sin had scattered, Eph. i. 7, 10. 
And the first promise in paradise after the fall, of the bruising the ser- 
pent's head, in having the seed of the woman's heel bruised by the serpent, 
intending thereby his death (as is cleared up by considering the revelations 
of God afterwards), shews that this was fixed in him, since it is most likely 
it was the second person appeared to Adam and made that promise. This 
was the first promise to man, founded upon this covenant of redemption. 

(2.) The command that Christ received to die, manifests his interposition 
for this end. He was made under the law, and his death is called ' obedi- 
ence,' Philip, ii. 8."* Obedience implies a command as the rule of it. Obe- 
dience to the moral law engaged him not to die for us ; it had bound him 
over to death, had he been a transgressor of it ; but considered in itself, 
it obliged him not, being innocent, to suffer death for those that were 
delinquents. Obedience, therefore, in regard of his death, must answer to 
a particular command of God, flowing from some other act of his will than 
what was formally expressed in the moral law. Such a command he re- 
ceived from his Father, to lay down his life, John x. 18 ; which supposeth 
the free proffer of himself to a state of humiliation for such an end as dying. 
Had it not been obedience to a command, God had not been bound to accept 
his offering. Though in itself, and its own nature, upon the trial of God 
it would have been found sufficient, yet it had been a just exception, ' Who 
hath required this at your hands ?' If he had not offered himself to this 
purpose, he had not been God's voluntary servant ; and if he had not 
received a law in order to the performance of what he offered, he had not 
been God's ' righteous servant,' as he is called, Isa. liii. 11, there being no 
rule whereby to measure his righteousness in this act. The concurrence of 
both these made his death necessary and acceptable. Though, as I said 
before, this command of dying for us was not formally any command of the 
moral law, yet after once he had received this order, and obliged himself to 
the performance of it, the moral law obliged him to the highest manner of 
performing this, i. e. with the highest love to God and his neighbour, whose 
nature he had taken, and thereby became our kinsman. Since God was 
* Coco, de Feed. cap. v. p. 117. 

12 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

dishonoured and man damaged by sin, his love to the glory of God and the 
salvation of man were to be with the greatest intenseness ; and this the 
moral law enjoins in all acts we undertake for God. 

(3.) If he had not interposed himself for this end, he could not have 
suffered. Since God passed such a judgment on him, and laid upon him 
the iniquities of us all, there must be some precedent act of Christ for this 
end ; for it was nut just with God to force any to bear the punishment of 
another's sin. The justice of God, in his dealings with man, is regulated by 
his own law ; he inflicts nothing but what his law hath enjoined. To pun- 
ish without law, and a transgression of it, is injustice. No law of God ever 
threatened punishment to one in every respect innocent. Christ, by a free 
act of his own, put himself into the state of a reputed nocent, and by his 
interposition for us, as a surety, was counted by God as one person with us ; 
as a surety and a debtor are, in a legal and juridical account, as one person, 
and what the debtor is liable to in regard of that debt for which the surety 
is bound, whether it be a pecuniary or a criminal debt, the surety being con- 
sidered as one person with him, is to undergo. Christ's substituting him- 
self in our stead was to this end, that the sins of those that God had given 
him might be imputed to him ; for he proffered himself to make his soul an 
offering for sin. It could be no sin of his own ; sin he did not, sin he could 
not. It must be another's sin, transferred ^upon him in a juridical manner; 
transferred, I say, upon him, not by any transfusion of our sins into Christ 
by way of inherency, but by imputation, without which he could not be a 
sufferer. For what reason, what justice had there been to expose one to 
suffering, that was wholly innocent, and had no sin, neither by inherency 
nor imputation ? How could any be liable to punishment, that could not in 
any manner be regarded as guilty ? To be under judgment, supposeth a 
man's own crime, or the crimes of others. Since God, therefore, ' made 
him to be sin for us,' 2 Cor. v. 21, and could not in justice make him so 
without his own consent; his consent, then, in the first offer of his media- 
tion, was to be made sin for us, i. e. to bear our sins. He offered himself 
for the same end for which God accepted him, and for which God used him. 
Pursuant to this offer of himself, he was made under the law, and put into 
such a state and condition, by his investing himself with the human nature, 
as that the law might make its demands of him, and receive the penalties 
which were due by it for the offence. 

Add to this, the giving of some to Christ to save, John xvii. 18, vi. 39, 
which presupposeth the obligation of Christ to death ; for after sin, the law 
being to be vindicated, and justice glorified, God's committing some to him 
to save, presupposeth his engagement to satisfy the law and justice on their 
behalf.* It was for this end also he came to the hour of his death, John 
xii. 27 ; and his prayer to his Father, to ' save him from this hour,' had 
been groundless, if he had not passed his word to his Father to enter upon 
that hour. "What need he have prayed to his Father to save him, who 
might have saved himself, if there had been no antecedent obligation to 
undertake this task ? 

He thus interposing himself for this end, it was necessary he should die. 

[1.] Else none could have been saved from the foundation of the world. 
Some were saved before his actual death upon the cross. God was the God 
of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ; but ' God is the God of the living, not of 
the dead,' Mat. xxii. 32. They therefore lived in his sight before the actual 
oblation of Christ upon the cross ; but they could no more have been saved 
* Coco, de FcBd. cap. v. pp. 118. 119. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of cheist's death. 13 

■without the credit of this death of Christ in our nature, than the fallen 
angels could have beeD saved. The reason they are not saved, is rendered 
by the apostle, Heb. ii. 16, because Christ took not their nature ; his taking 
our nature therefore, and dying in it, is the cause of any man's salvation 
that lived after his coming ; his promise of taking our nature, and dying in 
it, is the cause of the salvation of any that lived before. The apostle's rea- 
soning would not else stand good ; had Christ assumed the angels' nature, 
they would have been saved ; had not Christ then assumed our nature, we 
could not have been saved ; and had he not promised to assume our nature, 
none could have been saved. He could not have been called the Captain of 
the salvation of all the sons that are brought to glory, whereof many were 
before his coming, Eeb. ii. 10. They must have been saved upon the ac- 
count of that future death, or else there must be some other name besides 
that of Christ whereby they were saved ; but that there is not, Acts iv. 12. 
Faith had not always been the way of salvation. Christ had begun to be a 
mediator and redeemer at the time of his death, and not before; and so had 
not been in that relation ' the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.' Had 
he not died, he could not have been set out with any good ground before his 
coming as an object of faith. The promises of him had wanted their due 
foundation, the predictions of him had been groundlesss; and, consequently, 
the faith and hope of the ancient believers had been in vain. It is certain, 
all that were saved, were saved upon the account of his death ; for the 
merit of his death might have an influence before it was suffered, it being a 
moral, not a natural, cause of salvation ; as many times a prisoner is de- 
Uvered upon the promise of a ransom before the actual payment of it. 

[2.] Since some were saved before upon the account of his future death, 
had he not died, God had been highly dishonoured. Had not Christ per- 
formed his promise of suffering, and thereby satisfying the justice of God, 
God, having saved many before his incarnation upon the credit of this pro- 
mise, had received a manifest wrong. It would have argued a weakness in 
him to lay such stress upon that which would not be full and secure, which 
would never have been accomplished. God had not been omniscient, but 
had been deceived in his foreknowledge, had his expectations been frustrated. 
For what was the reason God saved any before, but upon the credit of this 
ransom, which was promised to be paid in time, and his foreknowledge, that 
when the term came, the surety would not be wanting to discharge himself 
of his promise ? Had not, then, Christ really suffered, and accomphshed 
what he had promised, God had suffered in his honour, and all things could 
not have been said to be present to him ; he would have been deceived. As 
if a prisoner be delivered upon the promise of a ransom, and the ransom be 
not paid according to agreement, the person that hath delivered the prisoner 
suffers in point of wisdom in trusting a person that hath not been as good as 
his word, and is defeated of that which is in justice due to him. Again, 
since God had admitted some to happiness before the actual suffering of 
Christ, had not Christ performed what he had actually undertaken, God 
must have renounced either his justice or his mercy ; his justice, had he let 
sinners go unpunished, and then he had denied in part his own name, which 
is ' by no means to clear the guilty,' Exodus xxxiv. 7 ; or else he must have 
punished sin in the persons of those whom he had already brought to happi- 
ness ; and had he done so, how had the honour of his mercy suffered, in 
turning them out of that feUcity wherein he had always* placed them ! Some, 
therefore, make the remission of the sins past before the coming of Christ 
not to be properly a full pardon, bnt a passing by, the full remission not 
* Qu. ' already ' '?— Ed. 

14 charnock's woeks. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

being to be given till the actual payment was made ; and indeed the word 
the apostle useth in that place, Rom. iii. 25, is different, 'Trdesaig, a passing 
by, a word not used for pardon in all the New Testament, but aipsffig. Had 
not Christ suffered, there had been nothing of the righteousness of God 
manifested in the remission of sins which were past ; the end of God had 
been frustrated, it being his end, in the death of Christ, ' to declare his 
righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, to declare at this time 
his righteousness,' i.e. what his righteousness was in passing by sins before 
committed, to declare that he pardoned no sins before, without an eye to 
this satisfactory death of his Son ; but that in all his former proceedings he 
kept close to the rules of his infinite justice. Now, had not Christ died 
according to his engagement, God had highly suffered in his honour, his 
omniscience had been defeated ; God had been deceived in the credit he 
gave, his righteousness had not been manifested, his justice had suffered, or 
his mercy to his poor creatures had been dammed up for ever from flowing 
out upon them. 

2. The veracity of God, in settling the penalty of death upon transgres- 
sion, made it necessary for redemption. God passed his word that death 
should be the punishment of sin. Gen. ii. 17 ; the veracity of God stood 
engaged to make this word good upon the conditions expressed. The sen- 
tence was immutable, and the word that went out of God's mouth must 
stand ; had it been revoked without inflicting the punishment, the faithful- 
ness and righteousness of God, in regard of his word, could not have been 
justified : ' God cannot lie, or deny himself,' Titus i. 2, 2 Tim. ii. 13 ; his 
truth is not a quality in him, but himself, his essence. Had he, then, after 
so solemnly pronouncing, without any reverse, that the wages of sin should 
be no less than death, been careless of his own word, and left sin unpunished, 
God had made a breach upon his own nature, and had infringed his own 
happiness ; for a lie or falsity is the fountain and original of all evil and 
misery. Supposing God had other ways to deal with man (though it is 
beyond the capacity of man to imagine any other way of God's government 
of him, or any intellectual and rational creatures, than by a law, and a 
penalty annexed to that law, which otherwise would have proved insignificant), 
yet after his Vt'isdom had settled this law, and the threatening had passed his 
royal and immutable word, it was no longer arbitrary, but necessary by the 
sovereign authority, that either the sinner himself, or some surety in his 
stead, should suffer the death the sinner had incurred by the violation of the 
precept ; we must either pay ourselves, or some other pay for us, what we 
stand bound in to the justice of God. Impunity had been an invasion of 
God's veracity, which is as immutable as his nature ; since, therefore, the 
inflicting of death upon transgression was the real intent of God, upon the 
commission of sin death must enter upon man, otherwise God would be a 
disregarder of himself, and his threatenings a mere scarecrow. 

(1.) Had God violated his word, he had rendered himself an unfit object 
of trust. He had exposed all the promises or threatenings he should have 
made after man's impunity to the mockery and contempt of the offender, and 
excluded his word from any credit with man. Had God set man right again 
by a mere act of mercy, without any regard to his word past, and inflicting 
any punishment upon the offender, though he had made man more glorious 
promises than at the fin-st, he would have had httle reason to trust God. If 
he had found God unfaithful to himself in the word of his threatening, he 
could not have concluded that he would have been true to the word of his 
promise, but might reasonably have suspected that he would falsify in that 
as he had done him in the other. Had his truth failed in the concerns of his 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's death, 15 

justice, it had been of little value in those of his mercy. He might be as 
careless of the honour of the one as of that of the other. If a man fail of 
his word in one thing, there is little reason to believe him in another. The 
righteousness of God would as little have engaged him to fulfil his promise, 
as it did engage him to fulfil his threatening. God would have declared 
himself by such an act, not willing to be believed, not worthy to be trusted, 
feared, loved, because regardless of his truth and righteousness. And by the 
same reason that he denied himself fit to be trusted, he would deny himself 
to be a God, because he would thereby have acknowledged a weakness in- 
compatible to the nature of the Deity. How could any trust him who had 
denied himself, by restoring a life to him, without righteousness and truth 
on his part ? It had rather been an encouragement to them to disown him 
to be any fit object for their confidence, since the great ground of trust among 
men is their faithfulness to their word. Upon the supposition of God's 
restoring the creature, the doing it by the intervention of a satisfaction was 
veiy necessary to fix the creature's confidence in God ; for when he sees God 
so righteous and true that he will not do anything against the rules of his 
truth and justice, he hath the more ground to believe God after a satisfac- 
tion made, that he will preserve the honour of his wisdom in approving and 
accepting that satisfaction, and his truth in promising, declared upon it. 

(2.) Had God violated his word, he had justified the devil in his argument 
for man's rebellion. The devil's argument is a plain contradiction to God's 
threatening. God afiirms the certainty of death, the devil affirms the cer- 
tainty of life : Gen. iii. 4, * Ye shall not surely die.' Had no punishment 
been inflicted, the devil had not been a liar from the beginning. God would 
have honoured the tempter, and justified the charge he brought against him, 
and owned the envy the devil accused him of, and thereby have rendered the 
devil the fittest object for love and trust. As the devil charged God with a 
lie, so, had no punishment been inflicted, God would have condemned him- 
self, and declared Satan, instead of a lying tempter, to be the truest coun- 
seller. He had exposed himself to contempt, and advanced the credit of his 
enemy, and so set up the devil as a God instead of himself. It concerned 
God, therefore, to manifest himself true, and the devil a liar ; and acquaint 
the world that not himself, but the evil spirit, was their deceiver, and that 
he meant as he spake. 

(3.) Suppose God might have altered' his word, yet would it consist with 
his wisdom to do it at that time ? It was the first word of threatening that 
ever went out of his lips to man ; and had he wholly dispensed with it, after 
he had fenced his precept with such a penalty, and seen such a contradiction 
in his new created subject to his truth, authority, and righteousness, such a 
daring contempt of his rich and manifested goodness, he had emboldened the 
apostate creature in his sin, and encouraged him to a fresh rebellion as soon 
as ever he had been set right again by an infinite mercy, without any mark 
of his justice. Men would have thought God had either been mistaken in 
the reason of his threatening, and had settled a penalty too great for the 
ofi'ence, or had wanted power to maintain his authority in inflicting the due 
punishment, had he indulged man in this sin. What influence could any of 
his precepts have had upon the souls of men, if he had so lightly passed by 
the transgression of his law ? Would he not have been less secured in the 
rights of his authority for the future, than he had been for the time past ? 
Would not man have been encouraged to have run the same risk of disobedi- 
ence, in hopes of an easy pardon, and continued the attempt which he had 
begun in his first apostasy, to have freed himself from all the orders of the 
divine law, to have been his own rule ? How could a just sense and awe of 

16 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

God have been preserved in the minds of men, when they should have thought 
God like one of themselves, and as false to his own righteousness as they 
had been to his authority? Ps. 1. 21. This certainly would have been the 
issue, had man been set up in his former state without inflicting that punish- 
ment upon the human nature, which had been so righteously denounced, and 
so highly merited, by the disingenuity of man. Man had been more tempted 
by this to sin than he could have been by the devil, and when he had been 
brought to an account for his second transgression, he would have excused 
himself by God's indulgence to him for the first ; and, indeed, God's denial 
of his truth in this, would seem to be a sufficient apology for after oflences. 
(4.) Therefore God, for the preservation of his truth and righteousness, 
accepts of a surety to bear the just punishment for man. Since God had 
enacted, that if man sinned he should die, upon man's apostasy God must 
either eternally punish him to preserve his truth and justice, or neglect his 
own law, and change it to discover his mercy. These things were impossible 
to the nature of God ; he must be true. to his nature, and true to his word. 
If justice should destroy, what way was there to discover his mercy ? If 
mercy should absolutely pardon, without the due punishment, what way was 
there to preserve the honour of his truth ? The wisdom of God finds out a 
means to preserve the honour of his truth in the punishment, and discover 
the glory of his mercy in a pardon, not by changing the sentence against sin, 
but the person ; and laying that upon his Son, as a surety, which we in our 
own persons must have endured, had the rigour of the law been executed 
upon us, whereby his righteousness and veracity are preserved by the punish- 
ment due to the sinner, and the honour of mercy established by the merit of 
our Saviour. Death was threatened by the law, but there was no exclusion 
of a person by that law, that should offer himself to stand in man's stead 
under the punishment. Man had been for ever irrecoverably miserable, had 
such a clause been inserted, and would have been without hope as much as 
the devils. And therefore, saith a learned author of our own,^-' this accept- 
ance of a surety for us was not an abrogation of the law, for then there could 
be no execution of the sentence upon wicked men and unbelievers for their 
sins against it (where no law is, there is no transgression ; and where no 
transgression, no just execution) ; but it was a merciful relaxation or con- 
descension of the sovereign lawgiver, by his infinite goodness and wisdom, to 
find out an expedient for the good of the fallen creature, with the preserva- 
tion of the rights of those divine perfections engaged in the threatening. 
God was not prejudiced, or his immutabiUty impaired, by a change of the 
person suffering, as long as the penalty threatened was inflicted. Though 
there was a translation of the penalty, yet there was not a nulling of the 
penalty; the person was changed, not the punishment; death was threatened, 
death was inflicted. Death was threatened, not so much to the person of 
Adam, as the human nature, whereof he was the head, and regarded the 
descendants from him ; death was suffered by the human nature, though in 
another person ; death was threatened to Adam as the root of all in him ; 
death was suffered by Christ, as the mystical head of all in him by faith, so 
that, as in Adam sinning, all sinned that were in his loins as in their root, 
Kom. V. 12, 14, 18, so it may be said, that in Christ suffering all believers 
suffered, his sufferings being imputed to them by virtue of that union they 
have with him. Besides, God having created the world for the displaying 
his divine perfections in Christ, ' for whom all things were created,' Col. 
i. 16, had in his eternal counsel decreed the death of Christ as a surety for 
man ; and this threatening, as well as the creation, being pursuant to this 
* Burges of Justificat. part ii. p. 84. 

Luke XXIV. 26. j the necessity of Christ's death. 17 

eternal counsel, did not exclude, but rather include, the surety, though it be 
not expressed. 

3. The justice of God made the death of Christ necessary for our redemp- 
tion. Christ, in his coming, respected the glory of God's righteousness, for 
he substituted himself as a sin-otfering, instead of those insufficient ones 
under the law : Heb. x. 8, ' Sin-ofiering thou wouldst not ; lo, I come to do 
thy will,' /. e. the will of the divine justice as well as divine mercy, for in the 
legal sacrifices both were expressed; justice in the death of the beast, where- 
by man was taught what he had merited, and mercy in substituting the beast 
in his room. Christ came to do that in the room of a sin-offering, which 
the legal sin-offerings were not able to effect. The command of the Father 
did chiefly respect this satisfaction of justice. It principally required of him 
the laying down his life, and making his soul an offering for sin, John x. 18. 
And this it was which his obedience did principally respect, whence it is 
called an ' obedience to death,' Philip, ii. 8. Death is an act of justice. 
After the command was given, with the sanction of it, the authority of God 
in enacting it, and the justice of God in adding the penalty to it, were con- 
temned, and man could not well be reduced to his order without a reparation 
of the damage done to the authority and justice of God. How could God be 
the judge of all the earth, doing right. Gen. xviii. 25, had he suftered such a 
manifest wrong to himself to go unpunished ? Justice had as loud a cry 
for condemnation, as mercy could have for any stream of compassion. 
The sanction of the law was irrevocable, unless God had ceased to be im- 
mutable in his justice as well as his truth. God can do whatsoever he will, 
but he can will nothing against his goodness and righteousness.* God had 
derogated from his own righteousness, if he had not recompensed the sin of 
man. For as justice requires punishment, so it requires the greatest punish- 
ment for the greatest offence. Satisfaction must then be given in such a 
manner as the justice of God in the law required. It must be then by suf- 
fering that death it exacted as due to the crime, which must be done by the 
person sinning, or some other capable to do it in his stead, and answer the 
terms of the law, between whom and the sinner there might be such a strait 
union, as that there might be a mutual imputation of our sins to him, and 
his sufferings to us. That he might suffer, justice was to impute our sins to 
him ; that his sufferings might be advantageous, mercy and justice were to 
impute his sufferings to us. 

I shall lay down under this three propositions. 

(1.) It seems to be impossible but that justice should flame out against 
sin. There is the same reason of all God's attributes. It is impossible that 
the goodness of God should not embrace and kindly entertain an innocent 
creature, for then he would not be good. It is impossible his mercy in Christ 
should refuse a penitent believer ; then he would not be compassionate. It 
is impossible he should look upon sin with a pleasingf countenance ; then he 
would not be holy. It is impossible that he can be false to his word ; then 
he could not be true. It is impossible that he should not act wisely in what 
he doth ; then he would be foolish. Shall we deny the same rights to his 
justice, that we acknowledge to belong to the other perfections of his nature '? 
Why should not his justice be as unchangeable and inflexible as his good- 
ness, mercy, truth, and wisdom ? Shall we acknowledge him fii*m in the 
rest, and wavering in this ? Justice is as necessary a perfection pertaining 
to him as the governor of the world, as his wisdom, or any other glory of 
his nature. Had God acted the part of a just governor, if he had suffered 
* Dr Jackson. t Qu. ' pleased' ?— Ed. 

VOL. V. B 

18 chaenock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

those laws to be broken with impunity, whereof he was the guardian as well 
as the enactor ? Is there not a double reason of punishment accruing to 
him, both as he is the ofl'ended party and the rector of the world ? And 
what is justice, but a giving to every one his due, reward to whom reward 
belongs, and punishment to whom punishment is due ? If God had pardoned 
where punishment was due, it had been an act of mercy, but what had become 
of his justice ? If God be not just in everything he doth, he is unjust in 
something, and then doth iniquity, which is utterly impossible for the divine 
nature ; he neither will nor can do iniquity, Zeph. iii. 5. This is an insepa- 
rable property of the divine nature. What should his creatures judge of 
him, if he were utterly careless of vindicating his law, and did totally abstain 
from evidencing his holiness to his rational creatures ? Is his holiness only 
to be manifested in precepts, and not demonstrated in punishments ? If 
his love to righteousness be essential to him, the exercise of that righteous- 
ness upon suitable objects is necessary. His love of righteousness flows 
fi-om his nature as righteous : Ps. xi. 7, ' The righteous Lord loveth right- 
eousness.' It is not only an act of his will, but of his nature ; it is not so 
natural to him as heat is to the fire, that doth necessarily scorch and burn, 
without any influence of a free and rational principle. There is a liberty of 
the divine will to order those acts of his justice in convenient seasons. God 
acts in all things according to his own nature, and cannot act below himself 
and the rectitude of it. The first foundation of all his actings towards his 
creatures is in his will. As upon the supposition that God would create 
man (which it was fi-ee for him to do or not to do, and so depended only 
upon his will), he could not, according to the rectitude of his own nature, 
but create him upright, otherwise he had denied his own holiness ; so, upon 
the supposition of man's sinning (the prevention or permission of which de- 
pended upon his will), he cannot but punish him, because otherwise he had 
denied his justice, and seemed to have approved of the disorder man had 
introduced into the world ; and if he had not punished it in the degree it 
merited, there had seemed to be some abatement of that hatred which was 
due to the umighteousness of it ; for so much as a punishment is lessened, 
so much less doth the detestation of the crime appear. The power of God 
is not limited hereby ; his own holiness and trath, and the righteousness of 
his nature, bound him.*' Doth any man deny the power of God, in saj'ing he 
cannot forget his creature ? Would it not be a weakness in him to be ca- 
pable of lying? Is it not an imperfection to be capable of doing any thing 
unjust ? And what would it be but injustice in the Judge of all the earth to 
let sin go unrevenged ? It is rather an argument of strength and virtue, 
whereby he cannot renounce the rectitude of his nature. f 

[1.] This seems to be a general and a natural notion in the minds of men. 
God hath settled it as an immutable and eternal law, and engraven it upon 
the hearts of men, that sin is to be punished with death. What other sen- 
timent could be expressed by the universal practice of sacrificing beasts, and, 
in some places, men, for the expiation of their sins, implying thereby a ne- 
cessity of vindictive justice, that God would not leave sin unpunished, without 
a compensation from the sinner himself, or some other in his stead ? And 
therefore they thought the blood of man, the best of the creatures, a means 
to avert the stroke they had merited from him themselves. What other 
foundation could there be of all those saciifices than a conscience of sin, and 
a settled notion of the vengeance of God ? For that which they principally, 
or only, respected in those sacrifices, was the justice of God. Upon this 
account it was probably that the apostle so positively asserts, Rom. i. 82, 
* Daille, de la Resurrect, de Christ, p. 358. t Turretin, de Satisfac. p- 300. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of cheist's death. 19 

that they ' knew that they were worthy of death.' They sufficiently expressed 
it in subjecting other creatures to the stroke of death in their stead, to pacify 
the offended deity, acknowledging thereby, that he could not pardon sin 
without a satisfaction. This was learned by them in the school of nature, 
not by the revealed will of God ; or if it were handed to them by tradition 
from Adam, it had so near an alliance with an universal principle in their 
own consciences, that it met with no opposition or dispute, the practice of 
it being almost as universally spread, as the notion of the being of a God, 
since we scarce find a nation without the sacrificing animals for the appeas- 
ing the divinity they adored. 

[2.] The holiness of God seems necessarily to infer it. Since justice is 
nothing else but the testimony or expression of God's hatred of sin, it must 
be by consequence unavoidable, unless the sin committed can be wholly 
undone, which is impossible ; or his justice be appeased some way or other. 
If God did not punish sin, how could his hatred of it be manifest ? His 
creature could not discern any aversion in him from it, without the interpo- 
sition of vindictive justice ; for that perfection of God's nature, which requires 
that he should have an implacable detestation of sin, requires also that the 
sinner, remaining under guilt, should be perpetually punished. If God can- 
not but hate all the workers of iniquity (Ps. v. 5, ' Thou hatest all the workers 
of iniquity'), he cannot but punish them. The holiness of God is not only 
voluntary, but by necessity of nature ; were it only an act of his will, he 
might love iniquity if he pleased, as w'ell as hate it. How could it be said 
of him by the prophet, Hab. i. 13, that he is ' of purer eyes than to behold 
evil, and cannot look upon iniquity,' if his purity had been only from choice, 
and a determination of the indifferency of his will, and not from his nature? 
It is not said, He ivill not look on iniquity, i. e. with affection, but he cannot. 
God cannot but be holy, and therefore cannot but be just ; because injustice 
is a part of unholiness. And upon the holiness of God, Joshua asserts the 
Israelites' sins in themselves unpardonable: Josh. xxiv. 19, 'He is a holy 
God, he is a jealous God, he will not forgive your transgressions, nor your 
sins.' He is jealous of the honour of his perfections ; his holiness and 
jealousy stand as bars against forgiveness, without some means for preserving 
the honour of them ; his holiness and jealousj^ whereby his justice and wrath 
are sometimes expressed, are hnked together, and are nothing else but the 
contrariety in the nature of God, which is infinitely good and righteous, to 
the nature of sin, which is evil and unrighteous, whereby he is inclined to 
detest it.* All hatred is a desire of revenge ; and the stronger the hatred, the 
more vehement the inclination to revenge. The loathing of sin being infinite 
in God, as he is the rector of the world, and so necessary a perfection of his 
nature, that without it he would not be God ; the inclination to punish it, 
and thereby highly manifest his hatred of it, necessarily follows that perfec- 
tion, A will to punish sin is always included in an hatred of it. Now, if 
the hatred of sin be as essential to God as his love to his glory, punishment 
must follow it. There is a certain connection between the one and the other. 
This hatred must necessarily be evidenced by some acts, according to the 
greatness of the evil. How shall it be testified, but by punishment ? If he 
doth not punish, how shall we certainly know but that it pleaseth him ? By 
his bare precept we cannot, if he suffers it to be violated at the pleasure of 
men without rebuke ; we may then judge him to be a negligent governor, 
and one that hath no regard to his own command, and cares not whether his 
creature observes it or no. Hatred cannot be discovered without some 
expressions of aversion. "What signs can those be, unless God's denying his 
* Amyraut, des Religions, p. 309. 

20 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

communications to his creature, and a positive inflicting of evil ? If a gover- 
nor hates a disorder never so much, if he expresseth it not, whereby the 
offending person may be sensible of his hatred, it is as much as no hatred ; 
for. Idem est non esse, et non apparere. "What would all his prohibitions of 
sin amount to, if he did not punish the commission of it ? He that cannot 
but prohibit sin, cannot but punish sin. God cannot but prohibit sin, because 
he cannot but hate it, it being contrary to his holy nature. The commands 
of God are not bare acts of his will, but of his wisdom and righteousness. 
If they proceeded from bare will, without any regulation by his wisdom and 
righteousness, he might command things contrary to the law of nature, and 
the necessary relation of a creature to himself. So neither is his hatred of 
sin only a free act of his will, but necessarily results from the rectitude of 
his nature. If it were only an act of his will, as the creation of the world, 
he might as well love sin as hate it ; as he might as well have neglected the 
creation of the world as performed it, and let the several creatures remain in 
their nothing, as well as have brought them into being. But it flows from 
tbe righteousness of his nature (Prov. xv. 9, ' The way of the wicked is an 
abomination to the Lord'), and consequently so doth his justice, which is an 
expression of this hatred, otherwise God would be unjust to his own hohness. 

(2.) Hence it follows, that this justice must be satisfied before man could 
be restored. The justice of God was the bar in the way, and must be re- 
moved by punishment. Christ could not have brought one sou to glory, had 
he not first been ' made perfect by sufiering,' Heb. ii. 10. The wrath of 
God for the violations of the law, was the flaming sword that guarded para- 
dise from being entered into by guilty man. This was becoming God as the 
governor of the world, in which capacity he is considered in punishment. 
It became not God to do anything unjustly or inordinately. It was an 
intolerable thing that the creature should despoil God of his honour, and 
withdraw itself from that indispensable subjection it owed to its creator. It 
became God to restore that order by punishment, which had been broken 
by sin. 

Let us consider, 

[l.J Justice had at least an equal plea with mercy. If mercy pleaded for 
pardon, justice as strongly solicited the punishment of the sinner. The 
remission of the ofience would appear more charitable ; but the vindicating 
the public laws, and punishing the offence, would appear more righteous. 
It was not convenient the creature should be utterly ruined as soon as ever 
God had displayed his power in creating it, nor was it convenient the crea- 
ture should be emboldened in sin by a free act of pardon, after so high and 
base an act of disingenuity. What could mercy plead on the behalf of the 
creature, that justice could not as strongly plead on the behalf of God ? If 
the ruin of the creature be argued to move compassion, the dishonour of 
God on the other side would be argued to excite indignation. If the nature 
of God, as love, 1 John iv. 8, be pleaded by mercy, the nature of God, as 
righteous and a consuming fire, Heb. xii. 29, would be opposed to it by 
justice. His mercy would plead, It were not for his honour to let his 
enemy run away, just after the creation, with the spoil of the best of his 
works. His justice would reply. It was fit the judge of the world should do 
right, and be the protector of his righteous law. If his mercy inclines him 
to will our salvation, justice would not permit him to leave sin unpunished, . 
and his laws trampled in the dust. Had mercy been discovered without 
preserving the rights of justice, when the whole nature of man fell, God 
had been but a half governor of the world, and exercised but one part of 

Luke XXIV. 26. J the necessity of cheist's death. 21 

[2, J Justice seems to have a stronger plea. (1.) The highest right falls 
on the side of justice. That had been declared and backed by his truth, when 
mercy was not yet published upon the stage of the creation. The righteous 
and just nature of God had been signified to man, and his veracity brought 
in to second it, Gen. ii. 17. No notion of pardoning mercy had yet been 
imprinted upon the mind of man, or revealed to him ; so that God was not 
so much concerned in horwur to shew mercy, which stood single, as I may 
say, and lay hid in the nature of God, without the appearance of any per- 
fection to back and support it. Had man stood, the veracity of God had 
stood on the side of his goodness (for we may suppose a promise of life 
implied, if man continued in obedience, as well as a threatening expressed, 
if he fell into rebellion). But when men broke the precept, the whole force 
of God's truth fell on the side of justice. There being not a syllable of par- 
doning grace uttered in any promise before the sin of man, the truth of God 
bad no part at that time to take with mercy ; so that there were greater 
engagements at that time, from the manifestation of God's nature, for the 
making good his justice, than for the demonstration of his mercy. 

(2.) Mercy could principally plead the good of the creature, justice prin- 
cipally insisted on the honour of God. Mercy might solicit the liberty of 
God's will, but justice might strongly challenge the holiness and rectitude of 
God's nature to support it. The creature was fallen under the hatred of 
God and penalty of the law, and rendered itself an unfit object of love 
by its rebellion and filthiness. 

(3.) Besides, the wits and consciences of men cannot frame so many 
arguments for the necessity of mercy, in regard of God, as for the necessity 
of his justice. Mercy is wholly a free act, but justice is a debt due to a 
sinful creature. The necessity of mercy to a fallen creature, in regard of 
God, cannot possibly be asserted with any reason. For it would then be 
asserted on the behalf of devils more than men. I say, the necessity, for 
perhaps something may be said for the congruity of God's shewing mercy to 
man rather than to devils. Justice respects merit caused by the righteous- 
ness or unrighteousness of men,* according to w^hich God immutably carries 
himself in rewarding or punishing of them, and never doth reward or punish 
any but according to their merit ; but the mercy of God doth not at all 
respect merit, or any work done by man, but is busied wholly in giving 
freely, and offering graciously to man those things he hath not deserved. 

(4.) Again, justice had stronger arguments from the rectitude of God's 
nature. Justice might argue, If God did righteously judge sinners to ever- 
lasting death, then if he had not judged them to everlasting death, he had 
done unjustly, being unmindful of the rectitude of his own nature. And if 
he should not now, after sin, inflict eternal death, but wholly lay aside his 
threatening, he would do unjustly ; for those being contrary acts, one of 
them must needs be unjust. Who could call that a righteous government, 
wherein laws should be made with the greatest wisdom, and be broken with 
the greatest impunity ? 

(5.) Again, consider, though mercy be essential to God, yet mercy must 
not be unjustly exercised. The fallen creature, indeed, was an object of 
both : as miserable, he was an object of mercy ; as criminal, he was an object 
of justice. But being first criminal before he was miserable, he was first 
the object of justice by his crime, before he was an object of mercy by his 
misery. Had he been miserable without being culpable (which was impos- 
sible, in regard of the goodness of God), he bad then been an object of com- 

* Zarnov. de satisfact. Chriati, part i. cap. ii. 

22 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

passion only. But falling under justice first, it was not fit mercy should 
wholly despoil justice of its rights. 

(6.) Again. Man, as miserable by the fall, is not the object of mercy. 
For what mercy could pardon an obstinate rebel ? And how could man 
have been otherwise, without some supernatural operation upon him ? Mercy 
could not challenge any footing to exercise itself about man, till he had con- 
fessed and bewailed his crime, and been sensible, not only of his misery, but 
of his offence. It is not honourable for God to exercise mercy upon those 
that continue in their enmity ; this seems to be clearly against the rectitude 
of the divine nature ; this had been a favouring of the crime as well as the 
criminal. Had he been sensible of and sorrowful for his misery, without a 
true grief for his offence, this had been an act of love to himself, but had had 
in it nothing of a true affection to God. After man had contracted in his 
nature an enmity against God, how could he have acquired a true repentance 
flowing from an affection to God ? Repentance for a fault against a prince, 
and enmity against a prince, are inconsistent. How should man have attained 
this quality of himself, any more than the devils have done, of whose repent- 
ance we read not one syllable in the Scripture, who are left to those habits 
of malice and aversion from God, which they had superinduced upon them- 
selves ? And if devils, who were creatures of greater understanding, and 
more sensible of their misery, because they fell from a greater happiness than 
man, were morally impotent to this, can we think that man had a stronger 
bias in his will after the revolt from God, to return again to God ? Besides, 
repentance is made a gift of God, 2 Tim. ii. 25 ; and the Spirit that gives 
repentance, is a fruit of Christ's death; and the repentance itself is made a 
fruit of Christ's exaltation, due to him upon his death. Acts v. 32. To 
strengthen this, it may be considered that when God came to examine Adam, 
as a judge, about his crime, there is not a syllable that savours of any 
true repentance issues from him. Gen. iii. 8-10, &c., whatsoever he might 
exercise after the promulgation of the gospel-promise. 

[3.] Consider, if there had not been a tempering of these two perfections 
towards man, one of them had remained undiscovered to the world. Justice 
only could have appeared in the creature's suffering, mercy only could have 
appeared in the creature's restoration. Mercy could not have been disco- 
vered by the condemnation of the creature, nor justice by the mere salvation 
of the creature. Had there been no punishment, or a light one below the 
demerit of the creature, there had been no demonstration of the highest glory 
of his holiness in the hatred of sin, or of the highest glory of his justice in 
the punishment of sin. Had the punishment due to the creature been inflicted 
upon him, the creature had been utterly destroyed, and mercy had been for 
ever obscured ;;and had mercy solely acted about the creature, justice had 
been wronged. Justice therefore must be one way or other righted, that the 
eti-eams of his grace might flow out to man, since, after man's fall, justice 
had stopped all commerce of God with man, because sin had rendered him 
unfit for the communications of God. As the nature of compassion must be 
satisfied in acting about a miserable creature, and the love God bore to man 
as his creature manifested ; so the nature of justice must be satisfied for the 
injury done, and the hatred of God to man as a sinner discovered. And this 
must be satisfied either by the creature's bearing the punishment, or com- 
pensating the injury, for that properly is satisfaction. God's justice could 
not have come off with honour without it ; for since he was engaged by his 
word to have sin punished, would not God have been unjust had he laid by 
all consideration of his justice and holiness in this case ? Had justice been 
glorified upon the person of the sinner, mercy would have lost the manifesta- 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of cheist's death. 23 

tion of itself, and have had no objects to exercise itself about ; had mercy 
been glorified in bringing man to a happy state, without any punishment, 
after so base a breach of his law, where had been the demonstration of the 
unchangeable holiness of God, and the exactness of his justice ? God there- 
fore appointed a Mediator, in whom he might act as a righteous judge for the 
punishment of sin, according to his law, that his dreadful majesty might be 
more feared ; and a tender father according to the necessity of his creatures, 
that his love might be commended, as a wise governor tempering both to- 
gether. And therefore God, foreseeing the fall of man, elected some to eternal 
glory, but in Christ as the means, Eph. i. 4, not as the meritorious cause of 
election, but as the means and foundation of the execution of it, that the 
glory of his grace might issue out in the preservation of the rights of his 
justice, maintained by the blood of his Son, in whom we have redemption, 
ver. 6, 7, and without this way we cannot see how the glory of God had been 
preserved. God had made the world for his glory, and the communication 
of his goodness. After the world was polluted and disordered by sin, the 
justice of God, by annexing such a penalty to the law, stood as a bar in the 
way of any kindness to the creature, unless some way might be found out to 
preserve the honour of that justice. Shall God in a moment lose all the 
glory of his creation ? Did he make the creatures, whose fall he did foresee, 
only to punish and damn them ; and that the glory of his other perfections, 
save that of his justice and holiness, should be spoiled by it ? His glory 
therefore must be preserved ; that could not be if the glory of his justice or 
mercy were wholly lost. To preserve it, therefore, Christ is substituted in 
our room, and the Captain of salvation made perfect through sufferings, which 
was most becoming God, as he was Lord of all, and his glory the end of all, 
Heb. ii. 10. His love not permitting him to leave the world under the curse, 
nor his justice to leave sin without punishment, both those necessities are 
provided for by the wisdom of God ; a wonderful temperament wrought, 
whereby sin is punished in the surety, and impunity secured to the believing 

[4. J This satisfaction must be by death, because death was threatened. 
Since it was the judgment of God that sin was worthy of death, God had 
contradicted his own judgment and holy wisdom, if he had remitted it with- 
out death, or punished it with less than death. God estabHshed our propi- 
tiation in the blood of Christ, ' to declare his justice,' Rom. iii. 25. f If 
justice had required less than death, it had been unjust to have demanded so 
much as death, for then he had demanded more than was due. Sin could 
not be expiated by a less punishment than it had merited, but that was death. 
Besides, the love of God to his Son would not have permitted him to expose 
him to a cursed and cruel death, merely to shew his justice implacable, had 
it not really been in itself implacable without it, as the most transcendent 
means to discover the incomprehensible purity of his nature. Certainly, that 
God who would not do the least injustice to the meanest of his creatures, 
would not have delivered up his Son to so shameful a death, and took so 
many counsels about it, and made it the principal work of his wisdom in all 
ages of the world, to order all things for the execution of it, if justice could 
have been contented with less than death, and remission of sin could have 
been granted by the pure mercy and bounty of God, at least after the threat- 
ening. Could justice have been satisfied at a lower rate than death, the 
Father would have answered the request of his Son when he prayed so ear- 
nestly that this cup might pass from him ; nor would death have been exacted 
of him, if a drop of his blood had been a sufficient payment to the demands 

* Daill6 sur iii. Jean, p. 330. t ^'i h'iuliv, for a demonstration of his justice. 

24 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

of justice. The suffering death had been superfluous, and the imposing 
death upon him had been an unrighteousness in God ; and his giving himself 
up to death, without any necessity, had been an injustice to himself. Could 
a few drops of blood have satisfied justice, it might have been satisfied with- 
out any blood at all, as well as with a punishment beneath what the law 
demanded. The efTusion of one drop of blood cannot pass for a punishment 
of sin. when death for it was required by the law, so that it could be no less 
than death. 

Fnrp. 3. None could satisfy the justice of God but the Son of God in- 

[1.] Let us remove those things that might be supposed capable to do it. 
Nether could man do it for himself, nor any intellectual or rational creature 
do it for him, nor any observances of God's institutions do it, so that it must 
necessarily fall upon some one above the rank of creatures. Some divine 
person only was capable to undertake it and efiect it. There is a necessity 
of satisfaction to the law, both by paying obedience to every tittle of it, and 
by enduring the penalty for the transgression of it. God stands so much 
upon the honour of his law, that the heavens shall be folded up, and the 
earth shaken out of its place, before one point of the law shall be disregarded, 
Mat. V. 18. Some one therefore must repair the breach made upon it, and 
restore the honour of it. Let us see if anything else could. 

(1.) Man was unable to do it for himself. It must be done either by active 
or passive obedience, by doing or suff'ering ; but was man capable of either 
as a full compensation to God ? Man by sin fell in his person, and with all 
that he had, under the curse of the law. Gal. iii. 10; and what was under 
the curse, and by sin was forfeited, could not remove the curse. Man may 
be considered as a sinful creature or a gracious creature. A sinful creature 
cannot satisfy; for being a sinner in that satisfaction, he doth offend the 
hohness of God, and heap new provocations before the eyes of his justice 
instead of pacifying it. A gracious creature cannot, for that supposeth 
satisfaction first, whereby justice is moved to take away the bar that locks 
up the treasures of grace from being dispensed to man. A man might be 
gracious after a satisfaction, but not before ; besides, grace is finite, for 
whatsoever is in a finite creature is finite ; its efi"ects therefore cannot be of 
an infinite value. 

(1.) Man could not effect it by offering something to God, or by doing 
something equivalent to the offence. 

1. Man had nothing to give. What was there he could call his own, since 
he was a creature, especially since as an offender he had forfeited what was 
his by right of creation ? Had man the world to give ? How came he by it ? 
Was it created by him or for him ? If not by him, it was none of his own ; he 
was but a steward to manage all for the use of his Lord and true proprietor. 
Can a steward recompense his lord for the wrong done to his honour, by 
offering to his master those goods which are his own already, and which the 
steward was only entrusted with ? The world was none of man's to give ; 
he never had it as an absolute lord by right of an independent propriety, nor 
was it possible he should, since he was not either the creator or preserver of 
it; and neither man, nor any other creature in the world, could possibly be 
brought into a state independent on God, so that man held as a feudatory 
in capite of God. But suppose it had been his own, he had forfeited all 
by his rebellion ; for his sake, for his sin, the earth was cursed by the sove- 
reign Lord of it. Gen. iii. 17 ; and a thing cursed in all the parts of it could 
not be fit for an oblation to the divine Majesty. 

2. Nor could his repentance be a compensation. Bare grief for an offence 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's death. 25 

is not a compensation for an injury done to man, much less for an affront of 
so high a nature ofiered to God. But we find no such thing in man at the 
time wherein he fell from the top of his felicity to the gulf of misery. If he 
uho had a sense of the happy state he had lost, and the miserable condition 
he had contracted, was more for excuses than relentings, how can a penitent 
posture be found by nature in any of his descendants? Gen. iii. 9-13. If 
there were any blushes in him, they were occasioned more by the discovery 
of his crime than by the sense of the crime itself; and he was troubled more 
at his loss than at his offence, and so might relent that he was miserable, 
not that he was criminal ; and so it was a repentance as it respected himself, 
not as it respected the honour of his Lord ; and such a repentance is to be 
found in hell, but is unable to break those chains wherein they are held. 
How should man come by a repentance? Can he break himself into a true 
contrition ? What stone was ever heard to melt itself ? Is not captive man 
fond of his sin, in love with his chains ? And how can he by nature attain 
that which is so contrary to what he is by nature mightily delighted with ? 
The least spark of grace is above the power of corrupted nature. How should 
man, then, come by this repentance ? Must it not be a melting spark from 
heaven lighting upon his soul, that must produce so kindly a work in a for- 
saken creature ? Would it have consisted with the wisdom of divine justice 
to seize upon the foi'feiture, to withdraw from man supernatural grace, and 
presently to restore it without any regard to the vindication of the honour of 
that justice ? Besides, suppose man had been able to repent of himself, and 
had actually performed a repentance of the right stamp, what would this have 
signified, since no such thing was required as the condition the righteous- 
ness of God exacted in the law ? That demanded not repentance, because 
it gave not liberty to any crime. It challenged an exact and perfect obedience, 
complete in all circumstances, of man in his uprightness ; and, in case of 
failure, left man to the severity of the penalty he had incurred Not a drop 
of repentance was allow^ed as any part of legal obedience. That was intro- 
duced upon a change of the dispensation from legal to evangelical. ' The 
law is not of faith,' and as little of repentance, ' but the man that doth them 
shall hve in them,' Gal. iii. 12. Besides, if repentance and faith in the 
mercy of God could have razed out the sin of Adam, and broken in pieces 
the chains of eternal death, could we think that God should be at the expense 
of the blood of the promised seed ? What need had there been of a sacrifice 
to appease God, if he had been already appeased by the relentings of man ? 
What a vanity had that been, to go about the taking away that which the 
faith and repentance of Adam had already removed ! * The wisdom of God 
would not do anything useless and in vain. Faith and repentance could 
never change the nature of God's righteousness, but must first suppose some 
satisfaction made to justice, and then step in as conditions ; and the one as 
an instrument apprehending and applying mercy obtained by some other 
means, not the efficient or meritorious cause, no more than the looking upon 
the brazen serpent was the efficient or meritorious cause of the cure, but only 
the means. But how can we think man after his fall should have either faith 
in the mercy of God, or repentance, which flows from a sense of mercy, when 
no mercy had been revealed to him ? He found nothing of it in the law ; 
and though he might apprehend such a perfection in God by the considera- 
tion of his own nature, yet since he had never seen any miserable object to 
draw out such a perfection, it is a question whether he knew any such quality 
to be in himself or no, and therefore could not conclude any such perfection 
to be in God, since there was not the least revelation of it, and therefore could 
* Zarnov. de Sutisfact. part i. cap. iv. pp. 14, 15. 

26 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 2G. 

have no footing for any such exercise of faith and repentance till the discovery 
of mercy in the promised seed. 

3. Nor could any after obedience to the law be a compensation for the 
oflfence. For, 

(1.) Man had not power of himself after his fall to obey. He had by his 
revolt lost that original righteousness which enabled him to a conformity to 
the law : Gen, iii. 10, ' I was afraid, because I was naked.' His corporeal 
nakedness could be no more the cause of fear after, than it was before, his 
sin ; but he was naked, i. e. stripped of the image of God, and his primitive 
integrity. Man cannot now do any work commensurate to the precepts of 
the law. In everything he comes short of his duty ; and therefore, being de- 
fective in what he ought to do by the law of creation, cannot satisfy for the 
injury done to God in the state of corruption : ' How shall a man be just 
with God ? If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a 
thousand,' Job ix. 2, 3. God requires an obedience to the law, not accord- 
ing to our measure, but according to his own righteousness, which is perfect ; 
and this no sinful creature can arise to of himself. If any man were able to 
oflfer God a spotless obedience, free from any defect the law could find in it ; 
by whose strength would he do it ? Not by his own ; for since he was a 
sinner, he hath been without strength. To be sinners, and to be xvitliont 
strength, are one and the same, Rom. v. 6, 8. From whom, then, should 
lie have this strength ? From the Creator ? How can he then satisfy God 
by that which is God's already ? It is as if when a man had wronged a 
prince, he should satisfy him for the injury by a sum taken out of the prince's 
exchequer. Indeed, man is not willing to obey any command of God ; there 
is nothing in his nature but an enmity against God and his law, Rom. viii. 7, 
and therefore no complete will to give God any satisfaction, or pay him any 
obedience. The will is naturally enslaved to sin, and under the power of 
vicious habits, sins always, never obeys perfectly, but in the moment of a 
material obedience offends God, comes short of what the law requires. Till 
the will of man be changed, he cannot be willing with a complete will to 
obey God ; and the will cannot be changed before a satisfaction be made, be- 
cause it is not reasonable that the punishment of sin, which was a spiritual 
as well as eternal death, and consisted in leaving the soul under the power 
of those ill habits it had contracted, which are indeed the death of the soul, 
as diseases are the death of the body, should be taken ofi" till some satisfac- 
tion were made. Man can no more free himself from this spiritual death, 
than he can free himself from the death of the body ; and we have no reason 
to think God would do it before a satisfaction, for then the law he had en- 
acted would be wronged by himself. Well, then, man hath not power to 
obey God : Job xiv. 4, ' Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ? 
not one ;' i. e. saith Cocceius, Who can change an unclean thing into a 
clean ? Is there not one ? Yea, and but one ; Christ only can do it. 

(2.) Supposing man had power to obey the law, and that perfectly, yet 
this was due to God before the sin of man, and therefore cannot be a com- 
pensation for the sin of man. After obedience will not make amends for 
past crimes ; for obedience is a debt due of itself, and what is a debt of itself 
cannot be a compensation for another. What is a compensation, must be 
something that doth not fall under the notion or relation of a debt due before, 
but contracted by the injury done. Obedience was due from man if he had 
not sinned, and therefore is a debt as much due after sin as before it ; but 
a new debt cannot be satisfied by paying an old. As suppose you owe a man 
money upon a bond, and also abuse him in his reputation, or some other 
concern ; is there not a new debt contracted upon that trespass, a debt of 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's death. 27 

reparation cf him in what you have wronged him ? The paying him the 
money you owe him upon bond, is not an amends for the injury you did him 
otherwise. They both in law fall under a different consideration. Or when 
a man rebels against a prince of whom he holds some land, will the payment 
of his quit-rent" be satisfactory for the crime of his rebellion ? So obedience 
to the law in our whole course was a debt upon us by our creation ; and 
this hath relation to the preceptive part of the law, and to God as a sove- 
reign : but upon sin a new debt of punishment was contracted, and the 
penalty of the law was to be satisfied by suffering, as well as the precepts of 
the law satisfied by observing them. And this was a debt relating to the 
justice of God, as well as the other to the sovereignty of God. Now, how 
can it be imagined that man, by paying the debt he was obliged to before, 
should satisfy the debt he hath newly contracted ? The debts are different : 
the one is a debt of observance, the other a debt of suffering, and contracted 
in two different states ; the debt of obedience in the state of creation, the 
debt of suffering in the state of corruption ; so that the payment of what was 
due from us as creatures, cannot satisfy for what was due from us as crimi- 
nals. All satisfaction is to be made in some way to which a person was not 
obliged before the offence was committed ; as men wronged in their honour, 
are satisfied by some acts not due to them before they were injured. So 
that all men taken together, yea, the creatures of ten thousand worlds, 
cannot, by obedience to the preceptive part of the law, satisfy for one trans- 
gression of it ; because, whatsoever they can do, is a debt due from themselves 
before. When men fell from God, and entered into league with the devil, 
they laid themselves at the foot of God's righteous wrath, and sunk them- 
selves into the desert of eternal death, and so stood in another relation to 
God than as subjects ; and God might require a reparation for the past 
disobedience, and security for obedience for the future ; unless man could 
perform this, he must lie bound in chains of darkness. What compensation 
could man make for what was past, or what security could he give for time 
to come ? Some other, therefore, must interpose, whose suretyship God 
would accept; who could give a satisfaction to God, as pleasing to him as sin 
had been displeasing, and offer to God what was not due to him before ; 
who was able to perform what he undertook, and whose security for what 
was due for the future, might be esteemed valid ; and therefore it must be 
some divine person, that was not bound in his own nature to those terms of 
obedience, which were necessary to this satisfaction. 

(3.) Supposing man had power after his fall to obey, and that obedience 
were not due before, yet could not his obedience be compensatory for the 
injury by sin. Because being a finite creature, whatsoever obedience he 
could pay could not be infinite, and so not proportioned to an infinite 
majesty. Since the sin of man is infinite, in regard of the person offended, 
who is an infinite and eternal Being, and thereby debased below the meanest 
of his creatures, in the reflection that every sin casts upon him, as being not 
worthy to be beloved and obeyed ; and that which doth satisfy must be as 
great as the demerit of the crime (for it must be proportionable to the dis- 
grace and damage accruing to God by sin) ; this a finite creature cannot do : 
for though obedience is an honour paid to an infinite person, as well as sin 
a contempt of an infinite person, yet the offence is always aggravated by the 
person offended, as an injury done to a pri#ce is by the dignity of his per- 
son and the greatness of his authority ; but the satisfaction is measured 
from the capacity of the subject offending, which is finite, and not commen- 
surate to the greatness of a wronged God. Nor can our obedience and holi- 
ness be counted infinite, because they are the fruits of an infinite Spirit in 

28 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

us ;* for by the same reason all creatures should be accounted infinite, 
because they are the works of an infinite power. The Spirit infuseth the 
habits of obedience and holiness, and excites them ; but the creature, and 
not the Spirit, exerciseth them, the soul doth obey and believe, &c., so 
that though they are the Spirit's efficiently, yet they are the creature's sub- 
jectively. Besides, though the Spirit dwells in believers, yet he is not hypo- 
statically united to them, as the divine nature of the second person was to 
the human. The Holy Ghost and the soul do not make one person ; if so, 
the acts of the new creature would be subjectively infinite, as the mediatory 
acts of Christ were, because his person, which was the subject of them, was 
infinite. So that our obedience cannot be infinite ; and, indeed, the best 
obedience any mere creature is able to pay, cannot be so honourable to God 
as sin is debasing, because by our obedience we honour him according to his 
nature, as far as our capacity reacheth, and give him no more than his due, 
and acknowledge him as he is the most excellent Being, the most rightful 
sovereign ; but in sin we prefer every thing before him, do what we can to 
ungod him, fight against his sovereignty, snarl at his holiness, dare his 
justice, and render him so vile, as if he were not fit to be ranked above, or 
with any of his creatures in our hearts ; and what rate of obedience is able 
to render God a satisfaction for so great a contempt and audaciousness ? 
All the obedience a subject can pay to a prince, can never be esteemed in 
value equal to the contempt, which an endeavour to destroy his person, and 
pull down his statues, and trample his picture in the dirt, doth cast upon him. 
Sin is of a higher order in the rank of evils, than theworks of righteousness 
are in the rank of good.f 

2. Nor could man give a full satisfaction by suffering, so as to obtain a 
restoration to happiness. He is as unable to sufier out his restoration, as 
he is to work it out. His sufferings would be as finite, in regard of the 
subject, as his obedience ; but the glory he had stained, and the justice he 
had wronged, were the glory of an infinite God ; and the sufferings of a 
finite creature, though lengthened out to eternity, could not be a compensa- 
tion to an infinite glory disgraced by sin. Alas ! the wrath of an incensed 
God is too fierce and heavy for the strength of a feeble man to break through. 
But suppose it were possible for a man that had committed but one crime 
against God, and afterwards repented of it, and i-etained no more afi"ection 
to that sin or any other, by sufi"ering torments for some millions of years, 
to make a compensation for that one sin ; yet how is it possible for men, 
whose natures are depraved, and have nothing of a divine purity in them, 
to satisfy by sufi'ering, since they suffer, not only for sin, but in a sinful 
state, and are increasing their sins while they are paying their satisfactions. 
No sufiering of any that retain theii' rebellious nature can be a satisfaction 
to the majesty of God, so as to free such a creatux^e from sufiering, while 
that nature remains, and he loves that sin for whicb he is punished, though 
he hath not opportunity to commit it. Besides, since man by nature is 
* enmity against God,' Rom. viii. 7, God's judicial power would not render 
him amiable to the sinner, nor suffering inspire him with a love to his judge ; 
if he should therefore sufier multitudes of years, without any certain hope 
of recovery, could he be without a hatred of God ? So, then, all the time 
he would be sufiering he would be highly sinning ; and still sinning would 
increase the debt of suffering iistead of diminishing it. A creature, v/hile 
a creature, in every state is bound to love God ; but no fallen creature can 
do it without a change of nature. Besides, if a man be not able to satisfy 
by suffering for one sin, how is he able to satisfy for numberless ? Every 
* Polhill of the Decrees, p. 188. t Lessius. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of cheist's death. 29 

new sin increaseth our obnoxiousness to God, both in its own nature, and 
as it is a virtual approbation of all former sins, at least of the same kind ; 
now he that cannot pay a farthing, or a shilling, or make satisfaction for a 
small sum, is not able to make a recompence for millions. And though a 
man might begin his satisfaction by sufiering, where would he end ? Since 
he cannot give one infinite in value, he must give one infinite in time, and 
then he would be always paying, and never coming to a period of payment ; 
for when you have in your thoughts run along the line of eternity, you would 
have further to go than you have gone ; for in looking back you may find a 
beginning, but in looking forward you will never find an end ; the further 
you look, still more remains to come than is past. 

To conclude this. The church of old saw her utter inability any way to 
make a propitiation for sin but by God himself : Ps. Ixv. 3, ' Iniquities pre- 
vail against me ; as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away,' 
D"lQ3n. Our iniquities are too strong for us, we cannot make an atonement 
for them ; but thou shalt be the Messiah, thou shalt propitiate by the 
Messiah, who is typified by the legal propitiatory, and therefore the same 
name is given to Christ : Rom. iii. 25, ' a propitiation,' or the propitiatory 
for our sins. Since the first age of the world to this day, wherein so many 
ages are run out, there is not one man to be found that ever was his own 
ransomer, or paid a price for his own redemption. 

(2.) No creature is able to do it for us. AH creatures are nothing in their 
original ; there could be then nothing of dignity in a mere creature to answer 
the dignity of the person ofi'ended. The plaster would be too narrow for 
the wound. The whole creation of creatures was of a finite goodness, and 
nothing to the honour due to so great a majesty. If a creature could satisfy, 
it could not be by his own strength, but by a great deal of grace conferred 
upon him, so that he had not paid what was his own to God, but what was 
God's own already. No creature but must be sustained by the grace of God, 
that he may not fall into utter ruin while he is satisfying. Angels them- 
selves could not do it but by grace ; and the more any creature should do by 
the grace of God, the more he would be obliged by God, and the less com- 
pensate him. Again, it must be one creature, or a multitude of creatures. 
How one mere creature could satisfy for a numberless number of men, 
every one of them foully polluted, cannot well be conceived by common 
reason. One creature can only be supposed to be a sufficient ransom for one 
of the same kind. There could not be a dignity in any creature to answer 
the dignity and equal the value of all mankind. If a multitude of creatures 
were necessary, there must be as many creatures satisfying as were creatures 
sinning ; so God would lose one species of creature to restore another, or an 
equal number of creatures to them that were redeemed. But indeed no 
creature could satisfy if the wrong was infinite ; and by the rights of justice 
the satisfaction is to be proportioned to the greatness of the injury and the 
majesty of the person injured. Those being infinite, no creature was able to 
manage this affair and bring it to a happy period, because no creature but is 
finite, and cannot be otherwise than finite, infiniteness being the incommunicable 
property of the Deity ; therefore neither man nor any angel was able to effect it. 

1. Not man. This is clear. All men were sunk into the gulf of misery, 
and he that was unable to redeem himself, could not pretend to an ability 
to redeem another : Ps. xlvii. 7, ' None of them can by any means redeem 
his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.' All that a man hath is not 
of so much worth as the soul of man ; so tbat no man can pay a sufficient 
price for the redemption of his captive brother. All human nature could 
not have shewn a valuable sacrifice. Consider him as man, he is worse than 

30 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

nothing and vanity. How shall God have a satisfaction for an unexpres- 
sible evil, from that which is worse than nothing '? Can the drop of a bucket 
repair an infinite damage ? But consider him in a state of rupture with 
God, and you find him, by his unclcanness, much more unfit for so great a 
task. It had been too much a debasing the majesty of God, had one mere 
man been sacrificed for others as a sufficient price of redemption, as if he 
had been equal in dignity to the offended majesty of God. And what advan- 
tage could it have been to the rest of mankind, since the sacrifice would be 
as corrupt and unclean as those that needed it ? No such thing as an inno- 
cent mere man can be found, since Adam's revolt, in all those ages which 
have run out since ; all were sunk into the common gulf, all come short of 
the glory of God, Rom. iii. 23. All were destitute of the image of God, and 
become filthy; every one without exception, Ps. xiv. 3. And could the 
sacrifice of rebels redeem rebellious creatures ? Could anything morally 
impure content God, when a maimed beast was not thought fit for his altar ? 
A polluted sacrifice, overgrown with uncleanness and corrupt imaginations, 
would rather have provoked than pacified him. But suppose an innocent 
man could be found out, stored with all the holiness of men and angels ; yet 
how can we conceive that the holiness of that man should please God, as 
much as the sin of Adam displeased him ? Such a person in his obedience 
would only have given God his due ; whereas by sin, man robbed God of 
his holiness, more dear than many worlds, and unconceivable numbers of 
men and angels. 

2. Nor could angels be a sacrifice for us ; because they were not of the 
same nature with the oflfending person. And the apostle intimates that the 
redemption is to be made in the same nature that transgressed, when he ex- 
cludes the fallen angels from the happiness of redemption, because Christ 
took not upon him the angelical nature, Heb. ii. 17. Though the angels 
were innocent, yet they were creatures and finite ; nor were they the offend- 
ing nature. And though they transcend man, both in the dignity and holi- 
ness of their nature, yet they come infinitely short of the dignity of God, who 
was injured. They are not pure in his sight, with such a purity as is com- 
mensurate with the infinite holiness of their Creator: Job iv. 18, 'He chargeth 
his angels with folly.' They would fall and vanish from their glory if they 
were not supported by the grace of God. By angels is not meant prophets, 
messengers God sends to men ; for he speaks of persons distinct from them 
that dwell in houses of clay : but the prophets were of this latter number. 
And that he means the good angels is evident, by giving them the title of his 
angels, his servants, as peculiarly belonging to his service. He proves man 
not to be just and pure in God's sight, a majori, because he chargeth the 
angels with folly. There had been nothing in the argument to say, man is 
not more pure than his Maker, because the devils are not. Angels were 
creatures, and therefore had not a holiness adequate to the holiness of God. 
What proportion was there between a finite, mutable holiness, and that which 
is immutable ? Though angels were innocent, yet in their own nature they 
might cease to be so. They had not strength enough to bear and break 
through an infinite wrath ; they could not satisfy, so as to effect redemption, 
till their satisfaction had been completed, which could not have been even in 
an endless eternity. What is finite in nature, can never become infinite in 
nature ; one cannot pass into another. If one sunk a number of them into 
hell, how could one angel, or a number of them, answer for the multitude of 
sins charged upon the world ? So great also is the malignity of sin, and so 
great an injury to the majesty of God, that it cannot be compensated by all 
the services and sufferings of saints and angels. But suppose angels had 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's death. 31 

been capable to be sacrifices for us, and so our redeemers, it had not been 
agreeable to the wisdom of God to confer that honour upon a creature, to be 
the redeemer of souls, which would mount a step higher than the bare title 
of creator, and thereby glorify a creature above himself. 

To conclude this. The most excellent satisfaction and sacrifice becomes 
the dignity of an injured God, and such a satisfaction, that there cannot be 
imagined a greater by a creature ; but whatsoever satisfaction can be given 
by men or angels, is not so great as may be imagined and apprehended by a 
creature ; for such an one may be imagined as may proceed absolutely holy 
from the person offering, and be attended with an immutable innocence, without 
any possibility of a charge of folly, which is a condition above a created 
state. God was made lower than any creature by sin; and therefore such a 
satisfaction was suitable, as might render God infinitely higher than any 
creature, and demonstrate the highest and most glorious perfections of his 
nature. This was wrought by the death of the Son of God, and could not 
have been evidenced in that height by the death of any creature. 

3. Ceremonial sacrifices, under the law, could not be sufiicient for this 
affair. The Jews, indeed, did rest upon them ; thought that, if not by their 
own virtue, yet by the virtue of God's institution, they purged away their 
sin, Isa. i. 13, 14. But, 

[1.] This was against common reason. Common reason would conclude, 
that the sin of a soul could never be expiated by the blood of a beast, and 
that a nature so inferior could not be a compensation for the crime of a nature 
60 much superior to it. The prophet spake but the true reason of mankind 
when he asserted, that the Lord would not be pleased with thousands of 
rams, or ten thousands of rivers of oil, nor the first-born of the body be a 
satisfaction for the sin of the soul, Micah vi. 6, 7. The first-born and fruit 
of a man's own body was too low, much more the first-born of a beast. The 
soul was the principal in sin, and what fitness had a corporeal blood to make 
amends for the crime of a spmtual nature ? A rational sacrifice only was 
fit to be an atonement for the sin of a rational being. The brutish nature 
was not the human, there was no agreement between the nature of man and 
that of a bullock. The transgressing nature was to sufier, the soul that 
sins, that shall die, Ezek. xviii. A beast had no communion in nature with 
man, whereby it might respect the sinner, nor any worth in itself, whereby 
it might respect God, nor any willingness or intention for such an end. Can 
any think sin so hght, as to be expiated by such pitiful mean blood ? The 
remedy ought to be suited to the disease and the party afilicted.* The sin 
consisted in rebellion and hatred of God ; the remedy then must consist in 
perfect righteousness, exact obedience, and intense love to God ; all which 
beasts were uncapable of. A man must put ofi" his own reason, and have 
veiy debasing apprehensions of the perfections of God, if he thinks infinite 
hohness scorned, infinite justice provoked, infinite glory rifled, can put up all 
upon the oflering brutish blood, that knows not why and to what end it is 
ofi"ered. It was too base a thing to be thought to bear a proportion to an 
infinite off'ended nature. What should the flesh and blood of goats signify 
to a spiritual nature, with which it had no agreement ? Ps. 1. 13. It was 
not agreeable to the wisdom of God. A wise earthly lawgiver would not 
think the life of a beast to be a fit recompence for the capital crime of a 
malefactor. The wisdom of God knew that they were unproportioned to the 
end of an expiatory sacrifice. And was it not inconsistent with this perfec- 
tion, for God to be contented with so vile a thing, after such terrible thunder- 
ings fi-om mount Sinai, and giving the law with so much solemnity ? What 
* Turrctin. de Satisfact., pp. 240, 241. 

32 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

a ridiculous thing would all that ado appear to be, if a beast's blood were 
powerful enough to quench the force of those flames, and put to silence the 
thunders of the divine fury, if the transgression of any part of it might be 
washed away by so cheap an ofiering ? Besides, the same wisdom surely 
would not let man, the most excellent creature, be beholden to brutes for 
the merit of righteousness, nor could they be agreeable to the justice of God 
in the law, which required the death of the party offending. If all the 
beasts of Lebanon were sacrificed, and the cedars cut down for wood for the 
burnt-offerings, all could not be a sweet-smelling savour before God. There 
is an infinite disproportion between this kind of satisfaction and the divine 
majesty. With God only is plenteous redemption, Ps. cxxx. 7, 8 ; with God, 
not in the blood of beasts, but in the true sacrifice, and ransomer ; yet with 
God, and not then manifested to the world. 

[2.] The repetition of those sacrifices shewed their imperfection and 
insufficiency. It is from this head the apostle argues their weakness and 
impossibility to take away sin, Heb. x. 1-4. There was after them a remem- 
brance of sin ; the ofierer was not so bettered by them, but still he had need 
of new ones to keep him right with God. Had any thing been perfected by 
them, they had ceased, only the new application of an old sacrifice had been 
required ; but there was no ground for an after application of a past sacrifice 
upon new sins, because the efiicacy of the blood ceased as soon as it was 
shed and sprinkled, so that multitudes of them could not constitute an inex- 
haustible treasure of reconciliation and merit. The variety of them mani- 
fested that there was nothing firm in them. As many medicines shew their 
own inefficacy, so the many sacrifices and purifications did evidence that a 
firm and efficacious propitiation was to be sought elsewhere. If the great 
annual sacrifice, the most solemn one in that whole institution (of which 
you may read, Levit. xvi. 29, xxiii. 27), could not effect it, much less could 
sacrifices of a lower dignity. It is from the repetition of this great sacrifice 
Paul argues the insufliciency of it. This was the most solemn sacrifice, 
because it was offered by the high priest himself, and for all the people, and 
the blood sprinkled in the holy of holies. A less sacrifice could not have a 
larger virtue than the greatest, yet the repetition of this shewed its imper- 

[3.] God never intended them for the expiation of sin by any virtue of 
their own. The majesty of God, that sin fought against, was infinite ; the 
sacrifice then must be infinite ; but none of those sacrifices under the law 
were so. Why then did God constitute them ? Not with any intention to 
purge away the sin of the soul, but the ceremonial uncleanness of the flesh : 
Heb. ix. 13,14, ' The blood of bulls sanctifies to the purifying the flesh.' The 
apostle compares those and the sacrifice of Christ together, shewing that 
one purified only the flesh, the other the conscience. It was not a moral 
guilt they were intended to remove, but a ceremonial, as when one was 
defiled by touching a dead carcase or a leprous body, which was in estima- 
tion a defilement of the body, not of the soul. It was a guilt judged so by 
God, not by any law of nature, but a positive law, an arbitrary constitution, 
which punished it not with death, but with a suspension from communion 
till it were expiated by a sacrifice ; and therefore God might settle what com- 
pensation he pleased of a lower nature, for that which was not a moral 
guilt, for there was nothing in those ceremonial impurities which might waste 
the conscience, or be accounted a dead work, ver. 14, or infect the soul.* 
But as to moral crimes, they were rather the confessions than expiations of 
them. And, indeed, God often discovered their weakness, and that they 
* Turretin. de Satisfac, pp. 237, 238. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of chkist"s death. 33 

could not give him rest, or recompense the injury received by sin : Isa. 
Ixvi. 1, ' Where is the house that you build me, and where is the place of my 
rest ? For all those things have my hands made, and all those things have 
been', saith the Lord.' By the house or temple, is meant all the Jewish 
economy, and the lump of sacrifices ; all those things, though God appointed 
them, and though they had been used and performed, God had no rest in. 
They neither satisfied his justice, nor vindicated the honour of his law, nor 
could they ever take away sin, Heb. x. 11. And, therefore, the only wise 
God never instituted them for that end, unless we will say he was deceived 
in his expectations, and mistaken in the end of his appointments. God 
therefore rejected them, not only upon the hypocrisy of the oiferers (as 
sometimes he did), but upon the account of their own nature, being unable 
to attain the end of a propitiatory sacrifice, Heb. vii. 18. They were dis- 
annulled for the weakness and unprofitableness of them. Though they had 
been practised for so many ages, yet not one sin had been expiated by them 
in that long tract of time. 

[4.] God did therefore appoint them to prefigure a more excellent sacrifice, 
able to do it. The vileness and poorness of a beast appointed for sacrifice 
might admonish the Jews that such light things were insufficient for so great 
a work as the taking away of sin, the wrath of God, and eternal punishment, 
and redeeming the soul of man (more precious than all the beasts of the field 
or birds of the air) ; they must needs conceive sin was too foul to be washed 
away with such blood ; and this would naturally lead them to conceive that 
they prefigured a sacrifice more excellent and sufficient for those ends. They 
were but shadows, Heb. x. 1, and did typically respect a crucified, dying 
Christ as the substance ; and what virtue they had was not in and from them- 
selves, but from their typical relation to that which they shadowed. They 
signified the sacrifice of Christ, by whose blood, in the fulness of time, the 
sins that were past were to be expiated, Eom. iii. 25 ; and as shadows 
received what value they had from their substance. They did not as shadows 
purge away any sin, but represent that which should. The shadow of a 
man shews like a man, but hath not the virtue and power of a man, whose 
shadow it is, to act what he doth. They easily might collect from them that 
they were not able to expiate their sins themselves, that it must be done by 
death, and by the death of some other, not the off'ender, but of one too that 
was innocent, and whose sacrifice might be of perpetual virtue ; and this those 
shadows signified to any inquisitive mind.* And the Scripture evidenceth 
this, the will of God was the reparation of mankind ; and when those were 
insufiicient for it, Christ steps in as the great sacrifice wherein God had 
pleasure, to do this will of God, viz., man's restoration in a way congruous 
to the honour of God, Heb. x. 6-8. So that what pleasure God had in the 
institution of legal sacrifices, did not arise from anything in themselves, nor 
was terminated in them, but in this sacrifice, more excellent than the sacrifice 
of worlds of creatures. 

[2. J Since all these were insufficient, some other must be found out to 
effect it. And this was Christ only, the Son of God. To fancy a satisfac- 
tion below the demerit of the offence, and disproportioned to the injury 
committed, is to wrong the wisdom and justice of God, and to vilify God in 
such low thoughts of his nature. That only can be properly called a satis- 
faction, which is suited to the majesty of God, and is equivalent to the sin of 
man. Now, since none else were able to offer to God anything for the repa- 
ration of his glory, there must be something offered to God, which is greater 
* Mornfe, Cont. Inst. p. 168, &c. 

VOL. v. c 

34 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

than everything that was not God. There was therefore a necessity of some 
divine person to give that satisfaction which was necessary for the honour of 
God ; that, as a father saith, there might be as much humiliation in the ex- 
piation as there was presumption in the transgression. If God would have 
accepted a satisfaction less than infinite, he might as well have pardoned sin 
without a satisfaction at all. 

(1.) Christ was the fittest, and only capable of efiecting it. He was more 
excellent than all the creatures of the lowest and highest rank put together. 
There was none whose merit and dignity could equal the greatness and in- 
finiteness of the injury done to God by sin. None could compensate the 
blackness of the offence with such a greatness of satisfaction. And indeed 
we cannot imagine that God would expose his Son to so cruel a death, were 
it not necessary or highly convenient for his honour, or that the Son himself 
would have taken such a task upon his shoulders, to redeem man in a way 
of perfect justice. The death of Christ was necessary, our redemption could 
not else have been in the most perfect manner. None but a divine person 
could offer a price of redemption worthy of God. His person was infinite, 
and therefore was able to compensate an infinite injury. He was the prime 
male in the world, and therefore called the first-born of every creature. Col. 
i. 15, i. e. the basis and foundation of the whole creation.* He was innocent ; 
he was free from everything that might render him an unsavoury sacrifice. 
He was like us, and in that had what was necessary for a sacrifice, but sin 
excepted ; and in that he wanted what would have made him incapable of 
effecting our redemption. It was necessary that we should have such a 
surety and satisfier as was not only innocent, but immutably so, that could 
not by any means be bespotted by sin ; and that the apostle intimates, Heb. 
vii. 26, ' holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,' and from sin. Had 
he only been holy, without being immutably so, the election of God had not 
stood firm; for since God chose some to bring to glory, and that in Christ, 
it had been a tottering and uncertain resolution, had the perfecting the re- 
demption of his chosen ones depended upon the transactions of a mutable 
person, that could not eternally secure himself from ofiending. Had it been 
possible for the Kedeemer to sin, it had been possible for the absolute decree 
of God to become vain, and of no effect. He had also strength to do it; his 
own arm brought salvation, Isa. Ixiii. 5. He paid God that which he was 
not bound to pay; he paid an obedience as man, which was not due from 
him as God. He was made subject to the law. Gal. iv. 4 ; not, he was sub- 
ject to the law by his nature, but made so by his incarnation. He was the 
fittest, in regard of his being the second person in the Trinity. f It was not 
fit the Father should sufier, he is regarded as the Governor of the world ; 
who should then have been judge of the satisfaction, whether it had been suflli- 
cient or no ? Was it fit the Father should have appeared before the tribunal 
of the Son ? Nor was it so fit that the Spirit of God should undertake it ; 
because, as there was a necessity of satisfaction to content the justice of God, 
so there was a necessity of applying this satisfaction, and quickening the 
hearts of men to believe and accept it, that they might enjoy the fruits of 
this sacrifice. The order of the three persons had then been disturbed ; and 
that person whereby the Father and the Son execute all other things, had 
changed his operation. 

He was fit, in regard of both natures in union. | Since neither man nor 
angel could do this business, and there is no nature above theirs but the 

* Davenant in loc. 

t Amvrald. sur Heli. vi. p. 156, 158, much changed. 

X Feiii Orthod. Scholast. cap. xxii. sect. 3, p. 223. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of cheist's death. 35 

divine, it must be the divine nature and human together : human, because 
man had sinned ; divine, because the satisfaction should equal the oifence. 
Here they are both in conjunction ; the substance of the satisfaction is made 
in the human nature suffering, and the value of the satisfaction is from the 
divine. Had he not been mortal, he could not have undergone the punish- 
ment sin had merited ; and had he not been divine, he could not have given 
a reparation equivalent to the damage by sin ; he was man to perform it, 
and God to be sufficient for it. 

(2.) The honour of God was most preserved and elevated thereby. This 
way mercy did not invade the rights of justice, nor justice trespass upon the 
bowels of mercy; both contain themselves in their own spheres. Mercy was 
preserved from being injured by seeing man solely punished, and justice was 
preserved from being wronged by seeing man solely pardoned. Thus was 
the nature of God glorified, without one attribute clashing against the other. 
Justice could not so well have been declared without the death of Christ, he 
was therefore set forth sig hSh^iv, Rom. iii. 25. To declare his righteous- 
ness, as an index of justice, to point to every head and part of it in the 
nature of God. In this way God saved us as a judge, a lawgiver, and a king, 
Isa. xxxiii. 22 ; as a judge in the manifestation of his righteousness, as a 
lawgiver in the vindication of his holiness, as a king in the demonstration of 
his sovereignty, in such a way as that his justice is cleared, his law righted, 
and his sovereignty acknowledged. His hatred of sin was more clearly 
manifested, and his truth in his threatenings made good and established, and 
sinners more obliged to God, and engaged upon the account of ingenuity to 
a greater abhorrency of sin, and a fear and love of God, which, by the suf- 
fering of any creature, could not have had so strong a foundation in them. 
God set a high value upon his law ; it was his royal law ; and had it been 
wholly neglected, the royalty of God had not only been violated, but his 
holiness and righteousness had been disparaged, which shone forth in the 
law, and made up the whole frame of it ; and since death was required by 
the law, death must be suffered, that there might be an agreement between 
the threatening and the suffering, the punishment and the justice of God, 
which required it. We may reasonably think it had been a greater act of wis- 
dom to make no law, than to let it be violated always, without preserving 
the honour of it. 

The doctrine of the death of Christ is the substance of the gospel.* Though 
there be many doctrines in it besides that, there is no comfort from any of 
them without the consideration of the cross of Christ ; for, though God be 
merciful in his own nature, yet since sin hath made a separation between 
God and his creature, it is impossible to renew any communion with him, 
without a propitiation for the offence. We see, then, Christ is the only 
meritorious cause of our justification ; nothing that we can do can satisfy 
God, we must be wholly off from ourselves and our own righteousness, as to 
any dependence on it, and act faith in the death of the Son of God, if we 
would be secure here in our consciences, or happy hereafter. 

As to suffer death was the immediate end of the interposition of Christ ; 
and the veracity of God in settling the penalty of death did require it ; and 
the justice of God made the death of Christ necessary for our redemption; so, 

4. It was necessary in regard of the offices of Christ. 

(1.) For his priestly office. The reason that he was to be made like his 
brethren, subject to the law, and the penalties and curse of it, with an ex- 
ception of sin in his own person, was, that he might be a faithful and merci- 
ful high priest. Heb. ii. 17, 18, ' Wherefore in all things it behoved him to 
* Amvraut, Sermons sur I'Evangile, Sermon 3. 

86 chaenock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high 
priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the 
people ;' faithful to God for the expiation of the guilt of sin, merciful to men 
for the succouring them in their^ miseries by sin ; faithful to God in that 
trust committed to him, to satisfy God for the guilt of sin, that his anger 
might be averted, and the sinner received into favour, and therefore he was 
made like to them in the curse, though not in the sin ; which was necessary 
for his being a merciful high priest. This qualification of compassion could 
not result in such a high manner from anything so well as from an experi- 
mental knowledge of the miseries we had contracted ; and this must be by a 
sense and feeling of them. No man is so affected with the wretched state 
of men in a shipwreck by beholding it in a picture, as when he sees the ship 
dashed against the rocks, and hears the cries, and beholds the strugglings of 
the passengers for life ; nor is any man so deeply affected with them upon 
sight, as upon feeling the same miseries in his own person. That makes a 
man's compassions more readily excited upon seeing or hearing of others in 
the like state. Now, had not Christ run through the chief miseries of 
human life, and the punishment of death, he had not had that experimental 
compassion which was necessary to qualify him for this priesthood. It was 
by being made perfect through sufferings that he became the author of eternal 
salvation, Heb. v. 10. It was a thing becoming God as a just and righteous 
sovereign, in bringing many sons in glory, to make the Captain of their sal- 
vation perfect through sufl'erings, Heb. ii. 10 ; 'it became him, by whom 
and for whom are all things.' It became God, as the sovereign of all 
things, to have his justice vindicated, and, as the end of all things, to have 
the glory of his attributes exalted. Had not Christ suffered, he had not 
been a perfect Saviour, neither faithful to God nor merciful to man, because 
without blood justice had not been satisfied, and so sin, the great hindrance 
of salvation, had not been expiated. If he were a priest, he must have a 
sacrifice. A priest and a sacrifice are relatives. A priest is not properly a 
priest without a sacrifice, nor a sacrifice properly a sacrifice without a priest. 
Being settled a perpetual priest, Ps. ex. 4, he must have a perpetual sacrifice. 
Now, having nothing worthy of God's regard but himself, he sacrificed him- 
self. No other sacrifice could have been perpetual in its efiicacy, and conse- 
quently without a perpetual sacrifice he could not have been a perpetual 
priest. He as a priest purged our sins, but by himself as a sacrifice : Heb. 
i. 9, by his own blood as an offering, he entered into the holiest as a priest, 
Heb. ix. 12. He could not have entered into heaven to act as a priest there 
without blood, and no blood was fit to be brought in there but his own. 
There had been else no analogy between him and the legal priests, who were 
to enter into the most holy place with blood, and never without it. He 
could not have been an interceding priest unless he had been a sacrificing 
priest, because his sacrifice is the ground of his intercession. His inter- 
cession is not a bare supplication, but a supplication with unanswerable argu- 
ments, a presenting his atoning blood, which he carried with him into the 
holy place when he went to appear in the presence of God for us ; whence 
the apostle, speaking of his advocacy, joins it with his propitiation, 1 John 
ii. 1, 2. His propitiation on earth and his advocacy in heaven complete him 
a priest for ever. The one is the foundation of the other. Without it, 
Christ had been a bare petitioner in heaven, and would have had no ground 
for any plea against the demands of justice. 

(2.) For his kingly office. The first thing he was to do for our reconcilia- 
tion, was the oflering his soul for sin, Isa. liii. 10. Upon this article did all 
the promises of his mediatory exaltation depend ; so that nothing of the 

Luke XXIV. 26. j the necessity of Christ's death. 37 

dignity promised could be rightly claimed, or reasonably expected, by him, 
without the performance of this main and necessary condition, which himself 
had consented to in the first agreement. For consenting to this undertaking, 
upon the condition of the promise of his exaltation, he implied that he would 
not expect any exaltation, unless he perfoi-med the condition required on his 
part, of making his soul an offering for sin ; and therefore, without such an 
oblation, could not justly demand the making good the promise to him. 
There was an oiuiht to die, and then to enter into glory by the way of death, 
as a price to be paid for the restoration of our nature to that happiness from 
whence it fell ; his obedience to death was to precede, his exaltation to a 
throne and dominion was to follow ; he was not to sit down on the right hand 
of the Majesty on high till he had purged our sins by himself, Heb. i. 3 ; 
nor had he been Lord of the dead and living unless he had died, Rom. xiv. 9. 
The royalty, not only over those whom he had redeemed from sin, but over 
the good angels, was granted him as a recompence for his sufierings, Philip, 
ii. 8, 9, and the conquest of the e-sil angels was by his death ; for in his 
cross he triumphed over principalities and powers. Col. ii. 15. The change 
of laws in the church, which is a part of royalty, was to follow this sacrifice 
of himself, which is understood in Cant. iv. 6, 'Until the day break, and the 
shadows fly away, I will get me to the mountains of myrrh.' The re- 
moving the shadows of the law was to follow his being upon the mount 
Moriah, the place of his sufi'erings, there being an allusion in the word "HO, 
myrrh, or Moriah. Nor had the Spirit been sent into the world, unless his 
death had preceded : John vii. 39, ' The Holy Ghost was not yet given, 
because Jesus was not yet gloiified.' This rich treasure could not be dis- 
pensed till the acceptation of this sacrifice, till his glorification ; and he 
could not have a mediatory glory till he had offered his mediatory sacrifice. 
It is the Lamb slain that hath seven eyes and seven spirits, Eev. v. 6 ; power 
to prefer his people, and power to send the Spirit to them for their supply. 
Besides, the Spirit could not have come as a comforter without it, because 
the consolations he shoots into the soul are drawn out of this quiver. With- 
out his death, we had not had a propitiation for sin, the mysteries of divine 
love had lain undiscerned in darkness ; since we cannot be renewed without 
the Spirit (because the nature of man was depraved by his fall, whereupon 
justice denied the restoration of original righteousness), justice must be 
satisfied, and God reconciled, before mercy could restore it. Justice must 
be appeased, before it would consent to the return of that favour which had 
devolved into its hands by forfeiture ; so great a gift as the Spirit, the author 
of renewing grace, was not like to be bestowed upon us by God, while he 
remained an enemy. The gift of the Spu-it is therefore ascribed to the pur- 
chase of Christ's death. 

(3.) There was some necessity of it for his prophetical office. His death 
was the highest confirmation of his doctrine. This was not indeed the only 
cause, nor the principal cause, of his death ; if it were, his death would difier 
little in the end of it from the death of martyrs. Besides, if he had sufiered 
death chiefly for this, what need was there of his undergoing the curse, and 
groaning under the desertion of his Father ? There was no absolute neces- 
sity of his death for the confirmation of his doctrine, since the miracles he 
performed were a divine seal to assure us of its heavenly original ; therefore 
he directs the Jews to his works, as a means of believing him to be from 
heaven, John x. 38. Yet in his death he set forth a perpetual pattern of 
that obedience, meekness, love to God and man, and trust in his Father, 
above what any creature had ever been able to propose to us. He taught 
us in his life by the words of his mouth, and in his death instructed us by 

38 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

the exemplary exercise of bis graces, and the voice of his blood, 1 Peter ii. 21. 
He taught us the highest part of obedience to the utroost, by performing the 
exactest and sublimest part of obedience to his Father ; and, therefore, after 
he had discoursed to his disciples of his death and departure, he adds the 
reason of it, ' That the world may know that I love the Father ; and as the 
Father gave me commandment, even so I do,' John xiv, 31 ; that the world 
might know that he loved the glory of the Father, who was so merciful as 
to be willing to remit sin, yet so just, as not to remit it without a sacrifice. 

5. The death of Christ was necessary upon the account of the predictions 
and types of it in the Scripture. Had not Christ sufiered, all the predictions 
had been false, and the types to no purpose. In this the veracity of God 
was engaged, not only in making good the threatening of death discovered 
to the first man, in inflicting what was threatened, but in the way of redemp- 
tion by his Son. This was not only truth to his own resolve, as he had 
determined it, but truth to his word, as he had published it. God having 
decreed and declared the redemption of mankind, and the death of the 
Messiah as the medium, could not appoint then another way, because his 
counsel had not only pitched upon redemption as the end, but the death of 
Christ as the means ; and there could be no change in God. Had there 
been a change in the end, and had God altered his purpose for man's re- 
demption, he had obscured and lost the glory of all those attributes which 
sparkled in it. There could be none in the means ; if so, it must have been 
for the better or worse. The better it could not be ; for no way of so great 
a sufficiency could be found out as this, nor could any sacrifice of a higher 
value be thought of. Nor could it be worse ; for he could not have pitched 
upon any deficient way but he would have testified himself weary of, and 
changed in, his end for which he appointed those means. This necessity of 
his death, Christ, in his discourse with his staggering disciples, confirms by 
the exposition of all the Scriptures, which contained the things concerning 
himself, beginning at Moses, i. e. at the books of Moses, and all the prophets, 
Luke xxiv. 27 ; which he testifies again, ver. 43, naming the Psalms also as 
particularly containing things that concerned his person and death. Moses 
discovered it by types, as he was the minister of settling them, and by pro- 
phecies, as he was the amanuensis to write some of them. The prophets 
declared it in express words, they spake it all with one mouth ; and their 
chief prophecies centred in this, that Christ should suffer : Acts xxvi. 22, 23, 
' Saying none other things than what Moses and the prophets did say should 
come ; that Christ should suffer.' And the apostle Peter excludes none of 
the prophets from speaking of those things which were to be don^ in the 
latter days. Acts iii. 21 ; and that this was the design of the Spirit in them, 
to testify of the sufi'erings of Christ, 1 Peter i. 11. 

(1.) Predictions. We shall speak of a few. 

[l.J The first promise : Gen. iii. 15, ' It shall bruise thy head, and thou 
shalt bruise his heel ;' speaking to the serpent of the seed of the woman, 
which was to defeat all his devices. The Messiah here, as the seed of the 
woman, was promised to Adam to break the serpent's head, i. e. to take away 
sin and eternal death from man, which the devil had introduced, by the subtle 
contrivances of his head, into the world ; for he was to take away the strength, 
power, and wisdom of the devil, signified by the head. The way whereby he 
was to do it was by having his heel bruised, viz., the heel of his humanity, 
by sufiering. For as he was the seed of the woman, having human nature, 
he was to be bruised, he was to feel the power of the devil (now, the power 
of the devil was the power of death, Heb. ii. 14), yet so to feel the power of 
the devil as not utterly to sink under it ; for not his head, but his heel, was 

Luke XXIV. 2G.j the necessity of Christ's death. 39 

to be bruised, i. e. bis flesb, not bis wisdom and cbief design for tbe redemp- 
tion of man. He was only to be bruised, not destroyed, or to see corrup- 
tion ; so that bis deatb and resurrection are here predicted. And by suffer- 
ing bis beel to be bruised by tbe serpent, be was to break tbe serpent's bead, 
i.e. tbrougb deatb to destroy him that had tbe power of deatb, Heb. ii. 14, 
And we know the death of Christ was tbe conquest of tbe devil. Sufferings 
are necessary ;* for there can be no conquest of the devil but by a satisfaction 
performed to the righteousness of the law ; for bis wbole empire consisted in 
tbe curse of the law ; and tbe law, after sin, required deatb, called therefore 
a ' law of sin and death,' Kom. viii. 2. The devil was tbe jailor, having the 
power of deatb ; the law must be satisfied before the prisoner be freed from 
the jailor's power. The value of those suff'erings is declared,! because his 
bruise cannot wholly destroy tbe seed, nor binder him fi-om bruising tbe 
serpent's bead. He could not by sufiering bruise tbe serpent's bead, unless 
he had been innocent, and from his innocence derived a dignity and wortb to 
bis sufferings ; and this no fallen creature could do. Again, be must be 
ianocent ; for if be had been under the power of the devil, be could not bave 
bruised his head. And since be was to overcome tbe devil by having bis 
heel bruised, it signifies bis suffering for those sins which were tbe founda- 
tion of the empire and dominion of the devil, Adam might well understand 
this conquest of tbe devil to be tbe deatb of tbe seed, because after tbis pro- 
mise he was taught to sacrifice ; and the sacrifices, he was presently taught 
(as may be well conjectured by tbe skins of beasts, viz., of sacrificed beasts, 
wherewith God clothed him), as a comment upon tbis promise, shewed him 
in their death what be had deserved, and in what manner he was to expect 
his redemption, so lately promised him. And surely the wisdom and good- 
ness of God would not teach him the way of sacrificing, without acquainting 
him with tbe reason and end of sacrifices, which the Scripture mentions as a 
means to make man accepted with God, Gen. iv, 7 ; to purge away sin, 
1 Sam. iii. 14 ; and to make reconciliation for it, Ezek, xlv. 17. And Adam, 
having more natural knowledge after his fall than all his posterity have had 
since, might easily know by reason that tbe blood of beasts was too weak and 
vile to make an atonement for his late ofience, which had brought so much 
misery upon him, and thereby was manifested to be infinitely offensive to 
God, and therefore more ofi'ensive to him than the blood of beasts could be 
pleasing. This he could not but know, that those sacrifices ' could not make 
him that did the service perfect as pertaining to the conscience,' as the ex- 
pression is in Heb, ix. 9, And Adam, being the high priest, as head of all, 
could not but know that those sacrifices were ofi"ered for sin ; because this was 
the end of the appointment of a priest, and the chief part of his office, as well 
as the end of the sacrifice : Heb, v. 1, ' Every high priest is ordained for men 
in things pertaining to God, that he may offer sacrifices for sin.' Let us 
further consider. The end of this promise was to defeat tbe devil, and to 
comfort Adam after his revolt from God, and thereby his falling under the 
vindictive justice of God, and to cheer him up before he should hear his 
own sentence, which was pronounced, Gen. iii, 17-19, So that Adam could 
not reasonably understand this promise any other way for his comfort, than 
that this promised seed should take away sin and the death threatened for it ; 
otherwise it bad been but little comfort to Adam to see himself ruined beyond 
any hopes of recovery, and to hear only of the destruction of bis enemy. But 
in this promise Adam saw the sentence of death respited, because the seed 
of the woman was promised, which necessarily included the continuance of 
his life, else there could have been no seed of the woman. Tbis also signifies 
* Cocc. in Gen. iii. 15. + Cocc. in Gen. iii- 15- 

40 chaknock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

to us that the suflferings of Christ were intended for a satisfaction of the vio- 
lated law and provoked justice ; for if sin and death were to be taken away 
by Adam's imitation of this promised seed when he should appear, Adam 
could take no comfort in the promise, unless he had been sure to live to see 
this promised seed in the flesh. How could he imitate as an example the 
promised seed whom he was never to see in the world, but was to return to 
dust loDg before the appearance of it in the world ? And it was necessary 
Adam should behold this seed in the flesh, if the breaking of the fetters of 
sin and hell were to be brought about only by his imitation of this seed. 
Again, to bruise the serpent's head cannot reasonably be understood of a 
confirmation only of the promised mercy (which some make the end of the 
death of Christ). There was no need of bruising the heel barely for a con- 
firmation of this mercy ; for that was confirmed by the unalterable promise 
and will of God. And no question but Adam thought it sufficiently vaKd, 
since he received it from the mouth of God himself, and had so late an ex- 
perience how true God was to the word of threatening. There is no other 
thing left, then, as the end of this bruising the heel, but to render mercy 
triumphant without any wrong to justice, and to vindicate the honour of the 
law, and, in a way of righteousness, not only of sovereign dominion, to defeat 
the serpent and restore the fallen creature. 

[2.] Another prediction is Psalm xxii. All the circumstances of his pas- 
sion are here enumerated : sufferings, revilings, contempt by men, the 
desertion of God, his agonies, the parting his garments ; and, at last, the 
propagation of the gospel and the calling of the gentiles are here predicted. 
The Jews understood it of the body of the Jewish nation ; * but the design 
of the psalmist is to set forth a particular person, who is distinguished from 
the wicked crew that oppressed him, and from those that favoured him, 
whom he calls his brethren, and distinguisheth himself from the congregation 
wherein he would praise God, ver. 23 ; and upon the death of this person 
the world was to be gathered in to God : ver. 27, ' All the ends of the world 
shall remember, and turn unto the Lord ; ' agreeable to the prediction of our 
Saviour, that when he should be lifted up, he would draw all men after him. 
Here is the prediction of the very words he spake upon the cross, when he 
lay under the imputation of our sins, and cried out, under the sense of his 
Father's wrath, ver. 1, ' My God, my God,' &c. The miserable condition he 
was brought to, ver. 6, as a worm and no man, exposed to such a state of 
misery, and to be of no more account than the most contemptible animal, a 
worm. The word icormf comes of ^710, which signifies the grain which 
gave a scarlet dye, because the colour proceeded from a worm enclosed in 
that grain. Our Saviour was as a worm crushed to tincture others with his 
blood. The very gesture of the people when they reviled him, wagging their 
heads, ver. 7, and Mat. xxvii. 29 ; the reproaches they beJched out against 
him, ver. 8, Mat. xxvii. 43, 'He trusted in God, let him deliver him;' the 
sharpness of his death, ver. 14, ' I am poured out hke water, all my bones are 
out of joint ; ' a distortion and racking of all his bones, efl'usion of his blood, 
dissolution of his vital vigour (like wax melted) under the sense of God's 
wrath, an expression used, Ps. Ixviii. 2, to shew the greatness of God's wrath 
against sin and sinners ; his extreme thirst, ver. 15, * My tongue cleaveth to 
my jaws;' the manner of his death by crucifixion, ver. 16, by piercing his 
hands and his feet, shewing it to be a hngering and painful death, which 
manner of death is also prophesied, Zech. xii. 10, ' They shall look upon me 
whom they have pierced,' which the ancient Jews understood of the Messiah, 

* Dr Owen on Heb., vol. i. Exercit. pp. 217, 218. 
t ny?in. Vermillion colour is derived of vermis. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of cheist's death. 41 

and is a proof that the Messiah was to be pierced or digged into. And this 
place is cited as a prediction of the death of Christ, John xix. 37, Rev. i. 7 ; 
and as the manner of his death, so the excellency of his person is described 
there. The same person is a God to pour out the Spmt, and a man to be 
pierced ; he works wonders as God, and sutlers wonders as man. 

[3.] The whole 53d of Isaiah is a prediction of this. He was to be 
rejected of men, wounded for our transgressions, to have our sins laid upon 
him by God, to bear iniquity, to be led as a sheep to the slaughter, to 
make his soul an offering for sin. This is so plain that the Jews anciently 
understood it of the Messiah ;* but the latter Jews, to evade it, have fancied a 
double Messiah, one a sufferer, another a triumpher, the sufferer of the tribe 
of Ephraim, the triumpher of the tribe of Judah; but where doth the Scrip- 
ture mention a Messiah of the tribe of Ephraim ? It always fixeth his descent 
from the house of David, of the tribe of Judah. 

Many other prophecies there are of this : Zech. xiii. 7, ' I will smite the 
shepherd,' and Dan. ix. 24, the ' Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself;' 
he shall be counted the wickedest man, and put to death as the greatest 
malefactor, who hath no crime of his own to merit death, but his death shall 
be for the good of mankind. And the ends of it are expressed, ver. 24, to 
finish transgression, and make an end of sin, and to make reconciliation for 
iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision 
and prophecy; to finish transgression, or restrain it; to abolish sin in regard 
of the guilt of it, and restrain it from accusing us before God, and procuring 
the condemnation of us ; to make an end of sin, or seal up sin, covering it, 
that it shall no more appear against us, as the writings of the Jews were 
rolled up, and sealed on the back side, that the writing could no more be 
seen ; to make reconciliation for iniquity, to expiate iniquity (a word belong- 
ing to sacrifices), to take away the obligation of sin (and it is observable, 
that all the words used in Scripture to signify sin, are here put in, V^-'D, 
])]}, nxton, to shew the universal removal of them, as to any guilt, by the death 
of Christ), and to bring in everlasting righteousness. As righteousness was 
lost by the first Adam, so it was to be restored by the second, to make us 
for ever accepted before God. And to seal up the vision and prophecy, to 
accomplish all the visions and prophecies in the appearance of his person, 
and performance of his work. All prophecies pointed to him, and centered 
in him ; and the end of his coming and excision was to deliver us from sin, 
and introduce such a righteousness as might be valuable for us before God^ 
And then he was to be a prince, when he had been a sacrifice, and cut off 
for the sins of the people. As the time approached for the coming of this 
promised seed, God made clearer revelations of the death of the Messiah, 
and his chief design in it. And this is such a testimony of a dying Messiah, 
by the hands of violence, and for those great ends which the Christian reli- 
gion affirms, that the Jews, with all their evasions and obstinacy, know not 
how to get over it. 

(2.) The second thing is the types. There were several types of Christ 
in the Old Testament, both in the persons of men and the ceremonies of the 
law. Ko one type, no, nor all together, could fully signify this great sacrifice. 
The figure hath not what the truth hath.t The image of a king represents 
not all that the king hath or is. Moses was a type of the Messiah, who was 
to be raised up like to Moses, Deut. xviii. 15. Moses, put into an ark, was 
exposed to the mercy of the Egyptians on the land, and the crocodiles in 
the river, and after that advanced to be chief governor of Israel ; Jonah, 

* Pugio fidei. part iii. distinct, i. cap. x. § 4, 5, and distinct, iii. cap. xvi. 
I Theodoret. 

42 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

buried three days in the belly of the whale ; Noah, penned up in an ark, to 
become the father of a second generation ; Joseph, cruelly put into a pit, 
and sold by his brethren, and afterwards lifted up to a throne, to be the pre- 
server of his spiteful brethren, — these, it is likely, had all some relation, as 
types, to Christ. It would be endless to mention all ; let us consider in 

[1.] Sacrifices. These were practised by all nations, as well Gentiles as 
Jews, and from a notion that they did pacify their offended deities. Heathen 
authors give us a full account of their sentiments in this case ; and the 
Philistines, neighbours to the Jews, declare this as their sense in their tres- 
pass offering, they would return to God after they had felt his hand, 1 Sam. 
vi. 3-5. The common notion of all heathens was, that they were offered to 
God for a propitiation for sin, and either for preventing the judgments they 
feared, or removing the judgments they felt. 

(1.) These sacrifices could not arise from the Hght of nature. Being 
universally practised, they must arise from the light of nature, common to 
all men, or from some particular institution derived to all men by tradition. 
The light of nature could not be any ground for the framing such an imagi- 
nation in men's minds, that God should be appeased by the blood of 
irrational creatures. The disproportion of them both to the offence, the 
offender, and the offended person, hath been seen and spoken of by the 
wiser sort of the heathens themselves. Natural light would rather have 
dictated to them that their devout prayers, deep repentance, and hearty re- 
formation would have been more efiicacious to avert the anger of God than 
the cutting the throat of a bullock or lamb, and pouring out the blood at 
the foot of their altars. They could no more suppose that such offerings 
should appease an offended God, than the cutting off a dog's neck, or the 
crushing a fly before the statue of a prince would have appeased the anger 
of their injured sovereign. And none could think but the killing a worm, 
and offering it to the prince, had been as well or more sufficient to have 
mitigated his wrath, than the killing a thousand cattle had been to allay the 
Avrath of God, in regard of the proportionableness of a worm to the one, 
greater than that of all the beasts in the world to the other. The light of 
nature would not instruct the heathens barbarously to take away the lives of 
men, and offer them for the expiation of their sins. For that teacheth us to 
love one another, as being descended from one root, and being of the same 
stamp. Besides, had any law of nature obliged men at any time to bloody 
sacrifices in such a nature, it would have obliged them still. No law of 
nature is razed out by the gospel, but more cleared ; and whatsoever is due 
to God by the law of nature is more improved by the Christian religion. 
Natural light would be able to make more objections for the forbearance of 
such a practice, than arguments for the preserving it in the world. 

(2.) They must be therefore from institution. And since the practice 
hath been so universal, and the head of it can less be traced than the head 
of the river Nilus, it must be supposed to descend from the first man by 
tradition, and carried by his posterity to all the places which they first 
peopled, and so continued by their descendants. Bloody sacrifices seem to 
be instituted just after the fall. How should Adam be clothed with the 
skins of beasts ? Gen. iii. 21. If it be meant that God only taught him to 
clothe himself with the skins of beasts, it implies a giving him order to slay 
beasts, and most probably first in sacrifice, and ordering him to take the 
skins for clothing, which in the Levitical service were appropriated to the 
priests. For food it is probable they were not killed ; the food then ap- 
pointed was the herb of the field, even after the fall. Gen. iii. 18. And the 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of cheist's death. 43 

objection against this, that there were but two of a kind, male and female, 
created, and therefore if two beasts of the same kind had been slain, a species 
had been destroyed, is of no vaUdity. For the story of the creation men- 
tions not such a parsimonious creation, nay, it is more probable there 
were more than two of a sort created. However, sacrifices began early. 
Abel is the first we plainly read of, Gen. iv. 4. He brought of the firstlings 
of his flock, and Cain brought of the fruit of the ground, an ofiering to the 
Lord. They may not be out of the way who think that there was a crime 
in the matter of Cain's sacrifice, it not being a bloody one. No doubt but 
he had seen his father ofier to God the fruits of the earth, as well as the 
bodies of beasts, and might think that the ofiering those fruits of the ground 
(the tilling whereof was his proper employment) was suflicient, that there 
was no need of blood for the expiation of his sin. He seems to stand upon 
his own righteousness, and offer only what was an acknowledgment of God's 
dominion and lordship over the whole world, as if he had only been his 
creature, and not an ofiending creature. It was not inconsistent with a state 
of innocence for a man to make such acknowledgments to God, as the Lord 
of creation and the Benefactor of man. But after the fall there was not 
only the dominion of God, but his justice, to be acknowledged, which was 
best signified in a way that might represent to man the demerit of his ofience 
and the justice due to him, which could not be by the offering of fruits, but 
by the shedding of blood, without which there is no remission, 

(3.) If then they were from the special institution of God, they must be 
figures of something else intended. For since we find an universal senti- 
ment in the practisers of them among the Gentiles, that they were for ex- 
piation, and that common reason could not find ground enough to fortify 
such an opinion in them ; and that the Scripture, the ancientest book in 
the world, gives us an account of their ancient practice and divine institu- 
tion ; they could not be instituted by God, as the prime means of appeasing 
him, for that could not be congruous to the nature of God. There w^as 
no proportion between the justice of God and them, nor between them 
and the sin of man. But the most reasonable conclusion would be, that 
they were ordained to signify some other thing or sacrifice intended for the 
expiation of sin ; that they were typical of the death of some one able to 
bear the punishment and purge the transgression. Since they could not 
purge the conscience, they must be concluded to be types of something that 
should have a sufiiciency and an actual efiicacy to this end. And this the 
heathens might have guessed from reason and the universal practice, that 
they were shadows of something else, though they could not have imagined 
the true person they were shadows of. 

To sum up, therefore, the account the Scripture gives us of them, we must 
consider *^ that after Adam's revolt, and contracting death and the curses of 
the law by that apostasy, there was a necessity of maintaining the honour 
of the law, and God's own veracity in the commination, and satisfying his 
provoked justice, which must be done by that nature which had ofi'ended. 
Upon this account, and for this end, the second person, the Son of God, 
voluntarily exposed himself, and stood as a screen between the consuming 
fire and the combustible creature. Hereupon the sufferings of the Son of 
God were mutually agreed upon, the particular suff"erings appointed and de- 
termined, and the time when he should be incarnate, and expose himself to 
that which the criminal should have endured, was settled, and the redemp- 
tion, the design of those suff'erings, declared by promise ; and because the 
time would be long before his coming to suffer, and the faith of men might 
* Owen, Hob. vol. ii. Exercit. p. Gl. 

44 chaknock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

languish, God kept it up by lively representations of those sufferings, and 
the end of them, in the death of sacrificed beasts. Not that they should resrt 
upon them, but use those shadows as props to their faith in the promised 
seed, till the fulness of time should come. All those sacrifices were a rude 
draught, or initial elements or rudiments, to teach the world what was to be 
done with a full efiicacy by the person appointed to it. Whence the apostle 
calls them ' the rudiments of the world,' Col. ii. 20. And so they were a 
copy of what was resolved in heaven from eternity, to be fulfilled in time, 
for the expiation of sin. They all had relation to Christ. They were to be 
without blemish, and dedicated wholly to God, as things that were to perish 
for his glory ; and being burnt, and the smoke ascending to heaven, God 
might, as it were, partake of the oblation, as the Scripture testifies : Gen. 
viii. 21, ' And God smelled a sweet savour,' viz., from Noah's sacrifice. So 
Christ offered himself as a holocaust to the Father, as the antitype of those 
victims that were wholly to be consumed by fire. And this blood speaks 
better things than the blood of Abel's sacrifice, or the blood of all the sacri- 
fices shed from the very fii-st ; for this pacifies an angry God, purges a guilty 
conscience, and breaks the chains of hell and damnation. There is no ques- 
tion to be made, but the believers among the Jews did apprehend! the heel of 
the promised seed bruised in every sacrifice ; they could not else offer them 
in faith. As mathematicians measure the greatness of the stars, which are 
above their reach, by the shadows of the earth, which are within their com- 
pass, so did they, upon the view of those sacrifice-shadows, apprehend the 
virtue and efficacy of the grand obktion.* As those that did understand 
Christ in the manna did also eat Christ in the manna, 1 Cor. x. 3, 4, so 
those that did apprehend Christ in the legal sacrifices, were also sprinkled 
with the blood of Christ. Thus was Christ a lamb slain from the foundation 
of the world, not only by purpose and decree, but significatively and typically 
in all the ancient sacrifices. I might here instance in the two anniversary 
goats, Levit. xvi., one offered, the other devoted to the wilderness ; in the 
red heifer. Num. xix., burnt upon the day of expiations, both eminent types 
of the death of Christ ; as also in the passover or paschal lamb, the blood 
whereof sprinkled upon the posts was of no necessity in itself for the Israelites' 
preservation from the destroying angel, nor had any intrinsic virtue in it to 
procure their security. The angel, no doubt, had acuteness of sight enough 
to discern the houses and persons of the Israelites from those of the Egyp- 
tians.! We cannot justify the wisdom of God in this conduct, if we refer it 
not to Christ, as a representation of that great miracle of redemption to be 
wrought by him for the true Israelites, when he should come to free man 
from a bondage worse than Egyptian. This is the true Lamb of God, that 
hath the virtue and vigour of all that whereof the paschal lambs had but the 
image and shadow. Let me add the observation of one, J the command of 
God, that the bones of the paschal lamb should not be broken, signified that 
the redeemer of the world should die such a death wherein the breaking of 
bones was usual. Yet that that circumstance should not be used in his 
death, and therefore that that order of not breaking the bones of the paschal 
Iamb, is cited by John, as if it had been literally meant of him and not of the 
lamb : John xix. 36, ' That the Scripture should be fulfilled, a bone of him 
shall not be broken.' I might also instance in that eminent type of the 
blood of Christ, the blood of the sacrifice sprinkled upon the altar, book of 
the law, vessels of the sanctuary ; after which the elders of Israel ate and 

* Mares, contra Volkel. lib iii. cap. xxxiii. p. 389. 
t Daille sur 1 Cor. v. 7. Serm, xx. p. 381. 
j Pearson on the Creed, p. 408. 

Luke XXIY. 26.] the xecessity of Christ's death. 45 

drunk in the presence of God, no longer exposed unto his anger, Exod. xxiv. ; 
commented upon by the apostle, Heb. ix. 19, 20. 

[2.] Isaac's death was a type of the death of Christ. Of his death ; for 
he was, in the purpose of his Father, upon the command of God, cut ofi'. 
And Isaac, bearing the wood, did prefigure the manner of the death of 
Christ, viz., such a death wherein the bearing the wood was customary.* 
As in crucifying, the ofienders bore the cross to the place of execution, and 
Christ did his. And a type also of the resurrection of Christ ; for it was 
the third day from the command of ofi"ering him that Abraham received him 
to life as new bom, and raised from the dead. Gen. xxii. 4, and that in a 
figure of some nobler sacrifice and resui-rection, Heb. xi. 19. Moriah was 
the place appointed by God where Abraham was to oflfer his son. Gen. xxii. 
2, in one part whereof was the temple and the tower of David ; another part of 
the mount was without Jerusalem, and was called Calvary, upon which Isaac 
was to be sacrificed, as Jerome tells us from the Jemsh tradition. Now, 
upon Abraham's readiness to ofi'er his son Isaac, God binds himself by an 
oath, that in his seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. Gen. xxii. 
16-18. In his seed, as dying, and to be offered up, and rising again, as 
Isaac did in figure. God now binds himself by an oath to do that to Abra- 
ham which he had before promised to Adam ; the intent of which oath the 
apostle, Heb. vi. 13, 19, 20, refers to the settling of Christ as redeemer, and 
more positively affirms this seed to be Christ, Gal. iii. 10. This oath to 
Abraham was pursuant to that promise to Adam, which expressed the bruis- 
ing of the seed of the woman ; and now God by oath appropriates this seed 
to Abraham (as being singled out from the rest of the world), from whom 
the Messiah should descend, God obliged himself to bless the world by one 
of the seed of Abraham to be ofi"ered up really, as Isaac was in figure. And 
by his hindering him from sacrificing Isaac, and shewing him a ram, he inti- 
mates that there would be some interval of time before the blessed seed 
should be offered. And the words which Abraham speaks. Gen. xxii. 8, 
' God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt-ofi"ering,' seem to be a pro- 
phetic speech of the death of this great sacrifice, though Abraham might not 
at that time know the true meaning of that speech, no more than many of 
the prophets knew what they prophesied of, 1 Peter i. 11 ; and the mount 
Moriah is concluded by that prophecy, ver. 14, ' In the mount of the Lord 
it shall be seen,' to be the place of the appearance of this seed : in the mount 
the Lord Jehovah shall be seen, the particle o/ not being in the Hebrew 
text, which was the place afterwards of the sufierings of Christ, 

1. Let us here see the evil of sin. Nothing more fit to shew the 
baseness of sin, and the greatness of the misery by it, than the satisfaction 
due for it ; as the greatness of a distemper is seen by the force of the medi- 
cine, and the value of the commodity by the greatness of the price it cost, f 
The sufierings of Christ express the evil of sin, far above the severest judg- 
ments upon any creature, both in regard of the greatness of the person, and 
the bitterness of the sufiering. The dying groans of Christ shew the horrible 
nature of sin in the eye of God ; as he was greater than the world, so his 
sufierings declare sin to be the greatest evil in the world. How evil is that 
sin that must make God bleed to cure it ! To see the Son of God haled to 
death for sin, is the greatest piece of justice that ever God executed. The 
earth trembled under the weight of God's wrath when he punished Christ, 
and the heavens were dark as though they were shut to him, and he cries 
and groans, and no relief appears ; nothing but sin was the procuring meri- 
torious cause of this. The Son of God was slain by the sin of the lapsed 
* Pearson on the Creed, y. 416. f Cbarron. 

46 chaenock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

creature ; had there been any other way to expiate so great an evil, had it 
stood with the honour of God, who is inclined to pardon, to remit sin with- 
out a compensation by death, we cannot think he would have consented that 
his Son should undergo so great a suffering. Not all the powers in heaven 
and earth could bring us into favour again, without the death of some great 
sacrifice to preserve the honour of God's veracity and justice ; not the gra- 
cious interposition of Christ, without becoming mortal, and drinking in the 
vials of -RTath, could allay divine justice ; not his intercessions, without en- 
during the strokes due to us, could remove the misery of the fallen creature. 
All the holiness of Christ's life, his innocence and good works, did not re- 
deem us without death. It was by this he made an atonement for our sins, 
satisfied the revenging justice of his Father, and recovered us from a spiritual 
and inevitable death. How great were our crimes, that could not be wiped 
off by the works of a pure creature, or the holiness of Christ's life, but re- 
quired the effusion of the blood of the Son of God for the discharge of them ! 
Christ in his dying was dealt with by God as a sinner, as one standing in 
our stead, otherwise he could not have been subject to death. For he had 
no sin of his own, and ' death is the wages of sin,' Rom. vi. 23. It had 
not consisted with the goodness and righteousness of God as Creator, to afflict 
any creature without a cause, nor with his infinite love to his Son to bruise 
him for nothing. Some moral evil must therefore be the cause; for no phy- 
sical evil is inflicted without some moral evil preceding. Death, being a 
punishment, supposeth a fault. Christ, having no crime of his own, must then 
be a sufferer for ours : ' Our sins were laid upon him,' Isa. liii. 6, or trans- 
ferred upon him. We see then how hateful sin is to God, and therefore it 
should be abominable to us. We should view sin in the sufferings of the 
Redeemer, and then think it amiable if we can. Shall we then nourish sin 
in our hearts ? This is to make much of the nails that pierced his hands, 
and the thorns that pricked his head, and make his dying groans the matter 
of our pleasure. It is to pull down a Christ that hath suffered, to suffer 
again; a Chi-ist that is raised, and ascended, sitting at the right hand of God, 
again to the earth ; to lift him upon another cross, and overwhelm him in a 
second grave. Our hearts should break at the consideration of the necessity 
of his death. We should open the heart of our sins by repentance, as the 
heart of Christ was opened by the spear. This doth an Ought not Christ to 
die? teach us. 

2. Let us not set up our rest in anything in ourselves, not in anything 
below a dying Christ ; not in repentance or reformation. Repentance is a 
condition of pardon, not a satisfaction of justice ; it sometimes moves the 
divine goodness to turn away judgment, but it is no compensation to divine 
justice. There is not that good in repentance as there is wrong in the sin 
repented of, and satisfaction must have something of equality, both to the 
injury and the person injured ; the satisfaction that is enough for a private 
person wronged is not enough for a justly offended prince ; for the greatness 
of the wrong mounts by the dignity of the person. None can be greater than 
God, and therefore no offence can be so full of evil as offences against God ; 
and shall a few tears be sufficient in any one's thoughts to wipe them off ? 
The wrong done to God by sin is of a higher degree than to be compensated 
by all the good works of creatures, though of the highest elevation. Is the 
repentance of any soul so perfect as to be able to answer the punishment the 
justice of God requires in the law ? And what if the grace of God help us in 
our repentance ? It cannot be concluded from thence that our pardon is 
formally procured by repentance, but that we are disposed by it to receive 
and value a pardon. It is not congruous to the wisdom and righteousness 


of God to bestow pardons upon obstinate rebels. Repentance is nowhere 
said to expiate sin ; a ' broken heart is called a sacrifice,' Ps. li. 17, but not 
a propitiatory one. David's sin was expiated before he penned that psalm, 
2 Sam. xii. 13. Though a man could weep as many tears as there are drops 
of water contained in the ocean, send up as many volleys of prayers as there 
have been groans issuing from any creature since the foundation of the world ; 
though he could bleed as many drops from his heart as have been poured out 
from the veins of sacrificed beasts, both in Judea and all other parts of the 
world ; though he were able, and did actually bestow in charity all the metals 
in the mines of Peru : yet could not this absolve him from the least guilt, nor 
cleanse him from the least filth, nor procure the pardon of the least crime by 
any intrinsic value in the acts themselves ; the very acts, as well as the per- 
sons, might fall under the censure of consuming justice. The death of Christ 
only procures us life. The blood of Christ only doth quench that just fire 
sin had kindled in the breast of God against us. To aim at any other way 
for the appeasing of God, than the death of Christ, is to make the cross of 
Christ of no efiect. This we are to learn from an Ought not Christ to die? 

3. Therefore, let us be sensible of the necessity of an interest in the 
Redeemer's death. Let us not think to drink the waters of salvation out of 
our own cisterns, but out of Christ's wounds. Not to draw life out of our 
own dead duties, but Christ's dying groans. We have guilt, can we expiate 
it ourselves ? We are under justice. Can we appease it hj any thing we 
can do ? There is an enmity between God and us. Can we offer him any- 
thing worthy to gain his friendship ? Our natures are corrupted, can we 
heal them ? Our services are polluted, can we cleanse them ? There is as 
great a necessity for us to apply the death of Christ for all those, as there 
was for him to undergo it. The leper was not cleansed and cured by the 
shedding the blood of the sacrifice for him, but the sprinkling the blood of 
the sacrifice upon him, Lev. xiv. 7. As the death of Christ was foretold as 
the meritorious cause, so the sprinkling of his blood was foretold as the for- 
mal cause of our happiness, Isa. lii. 15. By his own blood he entered into 
heaven and glory, and by nothing but his blood can we have the boldness to 
expect it, or the confidence to attain it, Heb. x. 19. The whole doctrine of 
the gospel is Christ crucified, 1 Cor. i. 23, and the whole confidence of a 
Christian should be Christ crucified. God would not have mercy exercised 
with a neglect of justice by man, though to a miserable client: Lev. xix. 15, 
' Thou shalt not respect the person of the poor in judgment.' Shall God, 
who is infinitely just, neglect the rule himself ? No man is an object of 
mercy till he presents a satisfaction to justice. As there is a perfection in 
God, which we call mercy, which exacts faith and repentance of his creature 
before he will bestow a pardon, so there is another perfection of vindictive 
justice that requires a satisfaction. If the creature thinks its own misery a 
motive to the displaying the perfection of mercy, it must consider that the 
honour of God requires also the content of his justice. The fallen angels, 
therefore, have no mercy granted to them, because none ever satisfied the 
justice of God for them. Let us not, therefore, coin new ways of procuring 
pardon, and false modes of appeasing the justice of God. What can we find 
besides this, able to contend against everlasting burnings ? What refuge can 
there be besides this to shelter us from the fierceness of divine wrath ? Can 
our tears and prayers be more prevalent than the cries and tears of Christ, 
who could not, by all the strength of them, divert death from himself, with- 
out our eternal loss ? No way but faith in his blood. God in the gospel 
sends us to Christ, and Christ by the gospel brings us to God. 

4. Let us value this Redeemer, and redemption by his death. Since God 

48 charnock's works, [Luke XXIV. 26. 

was resolved to see bis Sou plunged into an estate of disgraceful emptiness, 
clothed with the form of a servant, and exposed to the sufferings of a pain- 
ful cross, rather than leave sin unpunished, we should never think of it with- 
out thankful returns, hoth to the judge and the sacrifice. What was he 
afflicted for, but to procure our peace ? bruised for, but to heal our wounds ? 
brought before an earthly judge to be condemned, but that we might be 
brought before a heavenly judge to be absolved ? fell under the pains of 
death, but to knock off from us the shackles of hell ? and became accursed 
in death, but that we might be blessed with eternal life ? Without this our 
misery had been irreparable, our distance from God perpetual. What com- 
merce could we have had with God, while we were separated from him by crimes 
on our part, and justice on his ? The wall must be broken down, death 
must be suffered, that justice might be silenced, and the goodness of God 
be again communicative to us. This was the wonder of divine love, to be 
pleased with the sufferings of his only Son, that he might be pleased with us 
upon the account of those sufferings. Our redemption in such a way, as by 
the death and blood of Christ, was not a bare grace. It had been so, had 
it been only redemption ; but being a redemption by the blood of God, it 
deserves from the apostle no less a title than riches of grace, Eph, i. 7. 
And it deserves and expects no less from us than such high acknowledg- 
ments. This we may learn from Ought not Christ to die? 


Ought not Christ to have suffered these thinqs, and to enter into his glory ? — 
Luke XXIV. 26. 

We have already spoken to the first part of this scripture, and from thence 
declared the necessity of Christ's death ; the next is his exaltation. His 
sufferings were necessary for the expiation of our sin, and his exaltation 
necessary for the application of the merits of his death. Some add the par- 
ticle so, and so to enter into his glory ; but that is not in the Greek, though 
it may be implied, for the entrance of Christ into his glory was to be by the 
way of suffering. 

Observe by the way, the great grace of God, that makes often the diffi- 
dence of his people an occasion of a further clearing up of the choicest truths 
to them. Never did those disciples hear so excellent an exposition of the 
Scriptures concerning the Messiah from the mouth of their Master, as when 
their distrust of him had prevailed so far. Glory he was to enter into. By 
this glory is not meant only his resurrection; that was not his glory, but the 
beginning of his exaltation, a causa sine qua non ; it freed him from mortality, 
and invested him with immortality, but was not the term, but a necessary 
means of his glory (as the fetching Joseph from prison was a necessary- 
antecedent to his elevation on a throne ; he could not be a governor while he 
was a prisoner). By his resurrection, he was prepared for it ; by his ascen- 
sion, he was possessed of it ; his resurrection was an entrance into his glory, 
but not the consummation of his felicity. His glory. It is called his as dis- 
tinguished from the glory belonging to any other ; thus he distinguisheth a 
glory peculiarly his own from the glory of his Father, and the glory of the 
holy angels, when he mentions his coming to judgment in all those glories : 
Luke ix. 20, ' When he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, 
and of the holy angels ;'* in the mediatory glory, in the glory of the Father, 
the glory of his Godhead, as he is equal with God ; in the glory of the 
whole creation, the angels being the top of it ; or in the glory of all the ad- 
ministrations of God, the glory of God as Creator, creation being attributed 
to the Father ; the glory of the holy angels, by whose disposition the law 
* Sterry of the Will, p. 244. 

VOL. V. D 

50 chaknock's works. [Luke XXIV. 2G. 

was given, in the glory of the legal administration ; in his own glory, the 
glory of the gospel administration, as judging men according to those several 
degrees of light they were under, the Hght of nature, that of the law, and the 
more glorious of the gospel, his glory, 

(1.) As having a peculiar right to it. 

[l.J In regard of his designation to it by his Father. He calls it a glory 
given by God, John xvii. 24. His glory, as promised him by the Father, 
and covenanted for by himself. He was to be the first-born, higher than the 
kings of the earth, Ps. Ixxxix. 29. His glory, as by gift he was to have 
'dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. They 
that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him ; and his enemies shall 
lick the dust. For he shall redeem the soul of the needy from deceit and 
violence. His name shall endure for ever : men shall be blessed in him ; 
and the whole earth was to be filled with his glory,' Ps. Ixxii. 8, 9, 14, 17, 19. 

[2. J In regard of his purchase of it, all this was his glory. It is generally 
said that Christ had a title to gloiy, by virtue of the union of the divine 
nature to the human. It is true, had Christ been only incarnate for no other 
end but to take our flesh, glory had of right belonged to him from the be- 
ginning, by virtue of that union ; but in regard of that economy of God for 
redemption by blood, and the covenant passed between them consisting of 
such articles, it was not his incarnation, but his passion invested him with 
a right to claim it ; he was to fulfil his charge before he was to have the 
fruition of his reward. His glory was promised to him, not as assuming our 
flesh, but as sufiering in our flesh, and making his soul an offering for sin, 
and being incarnate for this end. Glory belonged not to him till his death 
had been actually suffered, and declared valid in the sight of God. The 
satisfaction of his Father by him was to precede his Father's satisfaction of 
him, Isa. liii. 11. His obedience to death gave a ukerefore to his exalta- 
tion : Philip, ii. 9, ' Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him.' The right 
to it may be measured by the order of conferring it ; it was not conferred 
till he ' had purged our sins,' Heb. i. 3, and therefore the right to claim it 
was not till he had performed what was due to his Father. 

(2.) As being the first subject of glory, as being the spring of glory to all 
that were to be glorified. As Adam, the head of mankind, was the first 
subject of God's rich gifts to his reasonable creature, so was Christ the first 
subject of God's glorious grace, and gifts to and for his redeemed creature. 
Others have a glory from him as private persons, Christ hath this glory as a 
public person, as a second Adam, and so it is his glory peculiar to him, and 
incommunicable to any else, as being the only and singular head, the one 
and only public person in the charge of redemption. As his sufferings were 
peculiarly his, wherein neither men nor angels could be partners with him, 
so is the glory peculiarly his. As he trod the wine-press alone, so he alone 
hath right to the crown, and whoever else wears a laurel wears it as his 
member, not as a head. 

Let us consider the connection : ' Ought not Christ to suffer those things, 
and to enter into his glory ?' It is argued whether there was a meritorious 
connection between the sufferings of Christ, and his glory, /. e. whether this 
glory was merited by his suffering. 

1. Some say his suflerings were not meritorious of his own glory ; though 
his exaltation followed upon his passion, yet it was not merited by it. His 
cross was the way to his crown, but not the deserving cause of his crown ; 
he merited by his sufferings a glory for us, but not for himself; and the act 
of God whereby it was conferred, is expressed by a word, i-xa^iGaro, Philip, 
ii. 9, ' given him,' or freely given him, ' a name which is above every name,' 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of cheist's exaltation. 51 

which signifies an act of grace and not of debt. As he did not fulfil the law 
for himself, but for us, that he might redeem us from under the curse of the 
law, by being made a curse for us ; and therefore is said to be given to us, 
Isa. ix. 6, or for our sakes, not to himself or for his own sake ; so he ac- 
quired nothing for himself by his death but what he had possession of before, 
quoad divinituteni and quoad Immanitatem ; for all power both in heaven 
and earth was conferred upon him before his death, Mat. x'. 27. All glory,* 
say they, would have flowed down upon his humanity at the instant of his 
conception, as the glory of the husband is conferred upon the spouse at the 
first moment of marriage ; but God, by a special dispensation, detained it 
till he had accomplished his work in thfe lowest degree of his humiliation ; 
God suspended his concourse, as he did to the fire, which hindered it from 
exercising its proper quality of burning upon the three children ; but this 
work being performed, and the suspension taken off, his glory could not but 
naturally fill his humanity, as the quality of fire would return to its natural 
course upon removing the stops ; and therefore, to assert any merit for him- 
self, is a disparagement of, and an impeachment to, his glorious union ; and 
for those places w^hich are alleged for his merit of it, as Philip, ii. 8, 9, Heb. 
i. 9, and also the text, they shew the order of conferring it, rather than the 
merit of it, that his glory followed his passion, not that his passion merited 
his glory ;f his glory rather seemed to be a necessary consequent of God's 
acceptation of his death, and a testimony of heaven's approbation of it. As 
the occasion of his death was the fall of man, so the moving cause of his 
death was the redemption of man, not the exaltation of the name of Christ 
primarily and immediately. For our sakes he slid down from heaven into our 
nature ; for our sakes he bore that burden the law and wrath of God had 
cast upon him ; it was for us that he combated with death, and forced our 
enemies out of their fortresses. And so by this voluntary submission and 
humiliation, he came to his former dignity ; for if he came to an higher dig- 
nity than he had before, it had been evident that he was obedient for him- 
self, not for others. 

2. Others say, Christ did merit this glory for himself. The oil of 
gladness was poured upon his humanity, wherein he had fellows, because he 
had loved righteousness, Heb. i. 9. Therefore is a causal particle, not only 
of the final cause, but the moral, efiicient, or meritorious cause. He did by 
this merit an exaltation at the right hand of God, above all the choirs of 
angels. It was indeed due upon his suffering, yet called grace, | because the 
whole design of redemption, in the pitching upon Christ, and the sending 
him, was an act of free grace in God to us ; as it was grace to accept his 
interposition for us, so it was grace to promise him this glory, and set this 
joy before him for his encouragement in his sufferings ;§ and as it was free 
grace to unite the flesh to the person of the Son of God, so it was of gi-ace 
that there was a continuation of demonstrating the glory of the Deity in the 
same flesh. Yet, after his sufferings, the glory of Christ may be said to be 
a merited reward, because his glory was not improportionable to his suffer- 
ings ; he merited the dispossession of the devil, and merited therefore the 
transferring that power upon himself, to manage for the honour of God, 
which the devil had usurped over man in rebellion against God. A man 
may have a double title to an inheritance, by birth and by some signal ser- 
vices done, whereby what was due to him by birth may be due to him by 
merit ; as when a province flies into rebellion against the lawful prince, he 

* Donn, vol. i. p. 108. Alvarez de Incarnat. t Suarez. 

X As was note'l before in the word ix^^'uraTo, Philip ii. 0. 
^ Coccei. de Foedere, sect. cvi. 

52 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

sends his eldest son with an army to quell those tumults ; his arms prove 
successful, and the rebels are reduced to obedience. Doth he not merit a 
title to that inheritance by his sword, which was due to him by his birth ? 
Indeed, Christ did not merit his first mission, no more than the prince's 
son merited his being sent for the reduction of the rebels ; nor did he merit 
his first unction and habitual grace. This belonged to the perfection of the 
soul of Christ, and fitted him for his mediatory work in our nature ; he 
could not have wanted this without prejudice to the work of redemption, and 
to our salvation, which was the end of it, though this was necessarily conse- 
quent upon an admission of Christ's mediation, and a necessary article in 
the covenant of redemption, yet it was the act of God's free grace. Nor must 
we think that this glory was the motive to Christ to engage him first in this 
undertaking, but pure grace to us ; for what attractives could there be in our 
nature to make this divine person assume it ? Or what glory could be con- 
ferred upon the humanity, that could allure the Deity to embody itself in it ? 
Could the promise of an honour to be conferred upon an angel, if he would 
enclose himself in the body of a fly or other insect, move him to link his 
own nature with that for ever, since he enjoyed before a higher honour in 
his own nature than could be conferred upon him upon such a conjunction ? 
It was the grace of Christ that moved him when he was rich to become 
poor, not that he might be the richer by that poverty, but we : 2 Cor. 
viii. 9, ' For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he 
was rich, for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might 
be rich.' Yet Christ may be said to merit this mediatory glory for himself; 
the Holy Ghost was a meritorious fruit of the sufi'erings of Christ, and why 
not that glory then which was necessary to the sending the Holy Ghost, 
whose coming he had purchased ? The very sending the Holy Ghost was a 
great part of his glory ; and we must remember, that whatsoever was merited 
by Christ, was not merited by virtue of his humanity singly considered, but 
as having the Deity in conjunction with it ; and why might not so great a 
person merit at the hands of God ? 

3. Let this be as it will, yet the sufi'erings of Christ were a cause of his 
glory, or a way to his glory, by mediatory compact. For as he was by that 
bound to pay an obedience he was not obliged to before, so was the Father 
by that obliged to give him a glory proportionable to his work, and a glory 
distinct from the glory of the Deity. The waters were to come into his soul, 
Ps. Ixix. 2 ; he was to drink of the brook in the way, therefore should he lift 
up his head, Ps. ex. 7. This order did God require for the exalting of him, 
combat before triumph. This glory could not be conferred upon him before 
his sufiering. If he had enjoyed it from the beginning, by virtue of the hypo- 
statical union, his body had been impassible, incapable of sufi"ering, and so 
could not have been a sacrifice for our sins. His triumphant laurel grew upon 
the thorns of his cross, and received a verdure from his dying tears. The 
palms spread in his way at his entrance into Jerusalem, a little before his 
suffering, are by some regarded as an emblem of this, it being the nature of 
that plant to grow higher by the weights which are hung upon it, for so did 
our Saviour rise more glorious by his pressures. There was a worthiness in 
his death to entitle him to the fruition of glory : Kev. v. 12, ' Worthy is the 
Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, 
and honour, and glory, and blessing.' Worthy to receive power for silencing 
the oracles of the devil, power to conquer his enemies ; riches, to pour out 
upon his friends ; wisdom, to govern his empire ; strength, to execute his 
orders; worthy to be honoured, adored, blessed by all. And this glory he 
challenged as due by virtue of his sufi'erings, John xvii. 1. It was fit he 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 53 

should be lifted up above death after he had so obediently suffered, and be 
instated in the empire of the world after he had so magnificently redeemed 
it. The necessity of his sufferings is here described, and also the necessity 
of his glory. Ourjht not is to be referred to both, — ought he not to suffer, 
ought he not upon those sufferings to enter into glory ? How did he suffer ? 
As man. He entered into glory as man ; as man he suffered, as man he was 
glorified. His divine nature was impassible, and also unglorifiable by any 
addition of glory to it. His death was necessary for us, so was his glory. 
He died in a public capacity as a surety for mankind ; he was exalted in a 
pubHc capacity as the head of those he died for. As he offered himself to 
God for us upon the cross, so he entered into heaven to appear in the pre- 
sence of God for us upon his throne, Heb. ix. 24. 

The doctrine to be hence observed is this, 

Boct. The exaltation of Christ was as necessary as his passion. 

As it was necessary for him to reconcile us by his death, so it was necessary 
for him to reinstate us in happiness by his life, Kom. v. 10. Keconciliation is 
ascribed to his death, salvation to his life in glory. He could not have been a 
Saviour without being a sacrifice ; he could not have applied that salvation 
without being a king ; he was to descend from heaven clothed with our infirmi- 
ties, to suffer for our crimes. He was to ascend to heaven, invested with immor- 
tality, to present our persons before God, and prepare a glory for every believer. 

In the handling this doctrine I shall shew, 

I. The necessity of this glory. 

II. The nature of it. 

III. The ends of it. 

IV. The use. 

I. The necessity of this glory. 

First, Upon the account of God. 

1. In regard of his truth, the truth of his promise ; his promise to him, his 
promises of him. 

(1.) His promise to him, to Christ. God's truth was engaged for his glory, 
as the Mediator's truth was engaged for his suffering; and therefore that was 
as necessarily to be conferred upon him, as the other was to be endured by 
him. As the ignominy of the cross was an article on his part, so the honour 
of a crown was an article on God's part. Upon the making his soul an offer- 
ing for sin, did depend all the promises made to him of his headship over the 
church, dominion over the world, manifestation of his Deity, propagation of 
his kingdom, and subjection of his enemies. Without the performance of what 
he promised, he could not claim one ; and upon the performance of what he 
promised, he could claim all, and his claim could meet with no demur in the 
court of heaven, so long as God was true to his word. Christ was to sur- 
render himself as a surety for man to the wrath of God, and God was to 
surrender the government of the world into the hands of Christ. His visage 
was to be marred, and he was to sprinkle many nations by his blood, Isa. lii. 
14, 15; and then kings should shut their mouths at him. Kings in power, 
kings in wisdom, should be astonished at his growth, and submit to his 
sceptre. As he was to suffer for many nations, so he was to judge among 
many nations, Micah iv. 3. He was not to see corruption, his soul was not 
to be left in hell, Ps. xvi. 10, 11 ; ' Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, 
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption,' &c.. Acts ii. 
27, 28. Christ articled with God to go into the state of the dead, but not 
to be left there ; he was to pass into the grave, but not to be invaded by 
the rottenness of it; he was to be shewn the paths of life, i.e. to be restored 

54 chaknock's woeks. [Luke XXIV. 2G. 

to another life, to be possessed of a fulness of joy, that was to follow his 
resurrection, after the ignominy of liis death and the agonies of his spirit. 
As he was to have a fulness of spirit in the world, so he was to have a ful- 
ness of joy in his glory. As his grace was to be so great as not to be mea- 
sured, so his glory was to be so great as not to be bounded ; and as his death 
was to be of a short duration, not fully the term of three days, so his plea- 
sures were to be of an endless duration, pleasures for evermore. And all 
this glory was to flow from the presence of God, whom his human soul was 
for ever to behold and converse with, with infinite pleasure : ' In thy presence 
is fulness of joy.' His whole exaltation, which consisted principally in a 
manifestion of his Deity and Sonship, was passed by a decree of God, and 
published to him as Mediator : Ps. ii. 7, ' I will declare the decree, the Lord 
hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee ;' which 
is interpreted of his resurrection. Acts xiii. 33, which was the first powerful 
declaration God issued out to the world of his being his Son, Rom. i. 4. 
Upon which account Peter tells us he was foreordained, both to his suffer- 
ings and glory, before the foundation of the w^orld, 1 Peter i. 20, 21 ; he was 
to inherit the spoils of his enemies, and take for his own what was before 
Satan's prey as a reward ; and that for the pouring out his soul to death, 
Isa. liii. 12, he was to see his seed upon the making his soul an oft'ering for 
sin, Isa. liii. 10; then also his days were to be prolonged. What! to a 
miserable and infirm life ? No, but to such a one as should endure to eter- 
nity, wherein is included, not only his resurrection, but his glorious state. 
How could he see his seed, if he remained in the fetters of death ? or behold 
them with comfort, if he should enjoy an immortality in as infirm a body as 
he had in the time of his humihation ? The sight of his seed was to follow 
his investiture in glory, and was a part of it ; then it was that nations should 
run unto him, Isa. Iv. 6. All those promises were made to him as incar- 
nate, and making himself an oblation ; for, as God, he was not the subject 
of any promise. He was to bear our iniquities on the cross, and then to 
live triumphantly upon a throne. Christ pleads this, John xvii. 1, ' The 
hour is come ; Father, glorify thy Son ;' the hour of my passion, the hour 
of thy promise. I am willing to undergo the one, and just now ready to 
drink of the brook in the way ; be thou ready, Father, according to thy 
promise and oath, wherein thou stoodest obhged to perform the other part, . 
my glorification ; and particularly the manifestation of my deity, upon which 
all the other parts of my exaltation depend. Ver. 5, ' And now, Father, 
glorify me with thy own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the 
world was ;' which was not the glory of his humanity (which was not in 
being before the world was), but the glory of his divinity in the full unveil- 
ing of it, that it might shine brighter before the eyes of men. It had indeed 
before been obscured in the form of a servant in the time of his life, in the 
repute of a criminal at the time of his death ; but now he prays that he might 
be manifested to be what he really was, a person that had a glorious existence 
before the world was, and that had no need to come down and take the 
nature of man for any advantage to himself. Now, as God promised him a 
glory, and Christ pleads the promise, so God performed it ; and therefore 
his ascension is expressed by God's receiving him up into glory, as well as 
by his own act of entering into it : 1 Tim. iii. 16, ' received up into glory,' 
' AvsXriipSTj, recovered again unto glory ; for it was impossible God should be 
false to his eternal purpose, and his repeated promise. 

(2.) His promises or predictions of him. So that his exaltation was 
necessary to justify the prophecies of it, which were not the predictions of 
one or two of the most eminent of the prophets, but that which all of them, 

Luke XXIV. 2G.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 55 

one way or other, spake of ever since the world began, Acts iii. 21. Isaiah 
is the plainest of all, and many things to this purpose are inserted in his 
prophecy : Isa. iv. 2, ' In that "day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful 
and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely.' As 
he is the fruit of the earth, he shall be excellent in his humanity ; and as he 
is the branch of the Lord, he shall be acknowledged in his divinity ; or, as 
he is the branch of the Lord in his conception by the Holy Ghost, and the 
fruit of the earth in his birth of the virgin, he shall be glorious in the world. 
And this was to be for his service, and as the servant of God : Isa. Hi. 13, 
' My servant shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high ;' which rela- 
tion of service he had not in the divine nature, but his mediatory function ; 
and so glorious was his life to be, and so long the duration of it, after he 
should be taken from prison and from judgment, that it should be past the 
declaration of any creature : Isa. liii. 8, ' Who shall declare his generation ?' 
And it is very clear, in Ezek. xvii. 22, * I will also take of the highest branch 
of the high cedar, and will set it ; I will crop off from the top of his young 
twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon a high mountain and eminent,' 
&c. This is not meant of Zerubbabel, under whom the people had not such 
a signal rest, nor did his empire extend so far as to shadow the fowl of every 
wing, the people of every nation. Christ was a plant of his Father's setting, 
a young twig in his humbled, a tall cedar in his exalted, state ; planted in 
the highest mountains, eminent above all the rest ; /. e. even he was to be 
cut off, but not for himself, Dan. ix. 26 ; not to himself, say some ; "' his 
cutting off shall not be without a second springing up in a resurrection. And 
when he is the iSon of man, he was to be brought with the clouds of heaven, 
with the angels which attended him at his ascension, before the Ancient of days, 
and that near to him ; and so welcome he was to be upon his approach, as 
to be presented with the dominion of the whole world, Dan. vii. 13, 14, 
which is not to be understood of his coming at the day of judgment, but his 
coming after his oblation. He comes not, here to judge man, but to be 
judged by his Father; and upon being found to have performed the part of 
the Son of man, he hath a kingdom both extensive and everlasting bestowed 
upon him, which should not be destroyed by the subtleties or force of his 
enemies ; a present only worthy of the Son of God. Again, he received not 
his power at the day of jadgment, but upon his resurrection and ascension 
after his death ; but this expresseth the first investiture of this power in him. 
This glory was prophesied of a thousand years before the accomplishment :t 
Ps. Ixviii. 17, 18, ' Thou hast ascended on high.' The whole design of the 
psalm manifests it, as well as the citation of it by the apostle, Eph. iv. 8. 
Joseph was not taken from prison to live his former life of slavery, but a 
princely life upon a throne, and rule the whole kingdom next to the sovereign 
prince ; so Clorist was not to live the same life after his resurrection that he 
had done before in his sweats and combats, and to endure the contradictions 
of sinners against himself; but was to be advanced to a place suitable to his 
greatness, upon the right hand and throne of his Father. 

2. Upon the account of righteousness and goodness. 

(1.) In regard of his innocence, he was a real innocent, though a reputed 
criminal ; innocent in himself, guilty only as standing in our stead ; holy, 
harmless, undeliled, separate from sinners, Heb. vii. 20, as if there were not 
words enough to express his purity, he being most holy and undefiled. It 
doth not seem to consist with the justice of God for him so to give his life for 
us as never to reassume it. He was a person more excellent than the whole 
* Scnnert. fie Irliotis. linguar. orient., canon xxviii. p. 25. 
t Daille de I'Ascension, p. 431. 

56 chaenock's wobks. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

world of men and angels. He being a divine person, his life was incom- 
parably more excellent than the lives of all mankind. Surely God, that 
loved him so dearly, would not have given so glorious a life for the salvation 
of men,- to be swallowed up in the grave without a happy restoration of it. 
It doth not seem to consist with the wisdom, love, or justice of God to give 
so excellent a life for the saving ours, if it were not again to spring up to a glo- 
rious state out of the ashes of mortahty. Was not his death the fruit of his 
innocence ? Was it equal that he should be held in the bands of that, or 
walk in the world under the load and burden of a mortal body, any longer 
than the expiation of our sins required ? * If this had been, had not a fun- 
damental law of God, which orders immortality and happiness to perfect 
holiness, been violated, which is impossible ? 

(2.) In regard of the near alliance to himself. Did it consist with equity 
to let that person who was equal with himself in regard of the divine nature ; 
that person who was in the form of God, as well as in the form of a servant, 
Philip, ii, 6, 7 ; that nature which was so gloriously united to a nature infi- 
nitely above the angehcal, to corrupt in the grave and crumble to dirt and 
filth ? to be a banquet for worms that had been a fragrant sacrifice to God ? 
Or could it be counted equity to have raised him to no better a life than 
that miserable one he led before, his agonies in the garden, and his gaspings 
on the cross ? Had it not been an unrighteousness to himself, as well as 
to his Son ? Surely that a flesh which had the honour to be the temple of 
God, a branch of the Lord, the powerful conception of the Holy Ghost, that 
had the glory to be personally united to the Son of God, to live and subsist 
in him, should not be glorified after it was raised again, seems to be against 
all the laws and rules of goodness and righteousness. 

(3.) In regard of the M-ork he had performed. How could justice forbear 
to deliver the surety, after he had paid so much that it was impossible, upon 
an exact scrutiny, to find a farthing wanting "? How could it be agreeable 
to goodness to continue a person under the chains of death, or the lighter 
fetters of an infirm and earthly life, who was not liable to more punishment, 
nor capable of performing a greater service in this world than what he had 
already done ? It was the interest of satisfied justice to raise him from 
death ; and was it not as well the interest of remunerative righteousness to 
exalt him to be the head of that church he had so dearly purchased ? Could 
goodness continue him a little lower than the angels, who had performed a 
task that would have broke the back and cracked the heart of the whole 
angelical nature to accomplish ? If God rewards as a righteous judge, 
2 Tim. iv., a reward below an exaltation above all the angels had been dis- 
proportioned to so deep a humiliation, to so punctual, and in all respects a 
voluntary and unconstrained, obedience. Was it congruous to the goodness 
of God to let 60 signal an obedience, more excellent than the obedience of 
millions of worlds of angels, pass away without as signal a reward ? That 
so sharp a cross, endured by an innocent with so much afliiction and freeness, 
should not be succeeded by a crown as glorious as the cross was ignominious ? 
In equity he was to be placed far above principalities and powers, the re- 
volted rabble of devils, and their companions bad men, since be had so 
gloriously conquered and routed those armies of hell, Col. ii. 15, and above 
the corporations of the standing angels, since he had so graciously confirmed 
them, Eph. i. 10, by whom those blessed spmts commenced masters of a 
greater knowledge of the perfections of God than they had by the whole 
creation for four thousand years. There was all the reason that so incom- 
parable a victory should be attended with as glorious a triumph. 
* Daille sur Eesurrect. de Christ, p. 361. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 57 

(4.) In regard of the glory which redounded to God from this work. All 
that was done tended to the restoring of God's honoui* in the casting out 
the prince of the world from his usurpation, demolishing idolatry, and re- 
storing the worship of God upon pure and spiritual principles. God received 
more glory by his mediation than by all the works of his hands, the glory of 
his grace in his mission, the glory of his justice in his sufferings, and the 
glory of his wisdom in the whole dispensation, which was a new glory that 
never accrued to him before, nor could ever be brought into his exchequer 
by any other way than this. By this the bar to God's resting and rejoicing 
in his work was removed, the bands of sin were broken off, a carnal Adam 
changed into a spiritual, the defaced image of God restored, the world formed 
into a second and more noble creation, and the kingdom of God estabhshed 
in the world by the conquest and spoiling of the revolted spirits. If God 
were glorious by creating a world, he was more glorious in the redemption 
of the world. It was reasonable Christ should be advanced to the highest 
pitch of glory, suitable to that degree of emptiness to which he had abased 
himself for this end,* that he should triumphantly be settled in the most 
glorious and majestic place of the empire of God, and have not only the 
highest place of residence, but the greatest height of authority over men and 
angels, having made peace between God and the creation, and between one 
part of the creation and another ; that as he died once with a pure zeal for 
the glory of God, he might live in a new state to a further exaltation of him ; 
for so he doth : Rom. vi. 10, ' In that he lives, he lives unto God,' to gather 
his people, to glorify them, and be glorified by them. As there was a glory 
brought to God by Christ in his low estate, so there was a further glory to 
be brought to him in his exalted estate, according to the voice of the Father 
to him : John xii. 28, * I have both glorified my name, and will glorify it 
again.' As he had glorified it in the doctrine and miracles of Christ, so he 
would glorify it again by his passion and resurrection, sending the Spirit, 
propagating the gospel, and setting him upon the throne as the judge of the 
world. This glorifying God was the argument Christ pleaded for his assist- 
ance and exaltation in the prophet (Ps. Ixix. 7, ' Because for thy sake I have 
borne reproach, shame hath covered my face'), that the faith of the saints in 
the divine promises might not be enfeebled by any carelessness of God to- 
wards him, ver. 6. And near the time of his death he pleads it in his own 
person, that he might be in a state to carry on that glory he had begun to bring 
to God, to the highest degree : John i. 17, ' Glorify thy Son, that thy Son also 
may glorify thee.' Christ was to do more service for God in heaven than he 
did on earth, and glorify his Father after his Father had glorified him, i. e. 
by a particular application of his death to men, by the virtue of his inter- 
cession, though indeed the foundation of all that glory was laid upon the cross 
by his satisfaction. Had God been good to the Redeemer, if he had given 
him less than a crown for a cross, a reward for the work effected by his suf- 
fering ? And had he been righteous and good to himself, if he had put Christ 
into a state below that which should capacitate him to perfect the remains 
of that honour of his name, which were further to be extant in the world ? 
"What capacity could we imagine him to have if he had lain under the feet 
of death, or sat languishing on the footstool of the earth in a feeble immor- 
tality ? A throne was due for tbe glory he had gained, and a throne was fit 
for the glory he was yet to effect. 

3. Upon the account of love to Christ. His paternal affection to his Son 
required not only a deliverance of him from the jaws of death, but the putting 
such a crown upon his head, by which he might be known by all to be his 
* Faucheur, in Acts ii. 9, p. 109. 

58 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

Son, whom he embraced with an ardent affection.* God would not love his 
Son according to his own greatness, if he did not manifest it to the world 
with the most signal marks and ensigns of authorit3\ And surely after he 
had vanquished his Father's wrath, and triumphed over the enemies of his 
honour, he could expect no other than the strong effluxes of his Father's love 
in the highest expressions of it. What could hinder him from resting in his 
bosom, when all the wrath excited by the transgressions of the law was calmed, 
and the Redeemer came out victorious from that furnace of wrath wherein he 
had been enclosed. Wrath thus being quenched by bis sufferings, there was 
no room for the exercise of any other affection to him than that of love ; and 
no testimony could be given proportionably to such an affection, but the 
highest degree of honour conferred upon him. The Father loved him because 
he laid down his life, John x. 17; and the same affections would be more 
strongly manifested after he had laid it down, and prompt him to shew him 
greater works than those which had been wrought in the world, that the world 
might marvel, John v. 20. He would manifest him to be the partaker of 
all his counsels, that nothing of authority should be denied him, nothing of 
knowledge concealed from him. These were the signal demonstrations of 
the Father's love, expected by our Saviour. 

Secondly, It was necessary on the account of Christ himself. 

(1.) In regard of his nature. 

[1.] As it was of an heavenly original : He came down from heaven. Job 
iii. 13. He was that holy thing born of the virgin, but as overshadowed by 
the power of the highest, Luke i. 35. He was not born by the force of flesh 
and blood, according to the law of creation settled in old Adam ; he was an 
heavenly man, or the Lord from heaven, 1 Cor. xv. 47, and therefore was 
immortal in the true and original constitution of his nature. f And though he 
lived in a veiled condition to fulfil the charge which he undertook, and which 
could not otherwise be accomplished, yet, after the completing of it, he 
could not be retained in the bands of death, but must necessarily return by 
the law of his own nature to his true and original condition, and lead an 
heavenly and glorious hfe, suitable to the principle whereby he was formed. + 
All things are ordered by God in places suitable to their nature ; heavy 
things are placed lowest, hghter things highest ; and if for the good of the 
universe they remove out of their proper place contrary to their natures, as 
soon as ever the occasion which obliged them to such a motion is over, they 
return to the place of their former settlement proportionable to their nature. 
As air, whose place is above the earth, when it is enclosed in the bowels of 
the earth, and there increased by vapours, will find its way out by an earth- 
quake, to that place which God hath settled for it; stones descend, and water 
flows down to its proper place, as soon as the let is removed ; so, though 
Christ, for the good of mankind, stepped into the world, yet when he had effected 
that business, he must necessarily take his flight to heaven, his proper place. 
When that which obliged him to come upon the earth was ceased, and he 
had no more to do here, upon that occasion of the expiation of our sin, heaven, 
that was the principle of his original, was to be that of his rest and abode. 
As earth was assigned to the first man, who was earthly, for an habitation, 
so heaven was the proper element of repose for the second man, who was 
heavenly. It was most convenient that an earthly man should be lodged in 
the earth, and the Son of God have his seat where the throne of his Father 
was. § It was not fit that any creature should be above the person of the 

* Amyrald, Symbol. Apostol. p. 169. f Daille, Melan. part ii. p. 631. 

J Daille sur TAscens. de Christ, p. 434, somewhat changed. 
Faucheur, in Act. i. 9, p. loQ. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of cheist's exaltation. 69 

Son of God, what nature soever he had assumed, and therefore his exaltation 
above the angels was due also upon that account. 

[2.] As his body was changed by the resurrection. Since after his resur- 
rection his body was made immortal, and had. new qualities conferred upon 
it, whereby it had acquired an incorruptible life ;'^' as our bodies shall at the 
resurrection be incorruptible and spiritual, 1 Cor. xv. 42, 44 ; it was not fit 
it should make any long stay in a place of corniption and misery ; and that 
so excellent a person should have an habitation in a world of men and beasts. 
A corrupted place was not convenient for an immortal body ; nor an earth, 
cursed by God, suitable to an unstained nature, that had nothing further to 
do here by himself. But seeing it was the most perfect body, it was con- 
venient it should be taken up into the most perfect place, and ascend above 
all bodies.! Indeed, while he had a body of such a mould as ours, and fur- 
nished with the same earthly qualities and infirmities with ours, his abode 
in the world was somewhat suited to his body as well as to his work ; but 
when he had put off his grave-clothes, and was stripped of that old furniture, 
and enriched with new and heavenly qualities, heaven was the most proper 
place for his residence. Again, had the earth been a proper place for him, 
it was not fit the Divinity should stoop to reside in the proper place of the 
humanity, but the humanity be fetched up to the proper place of the Deity, 
where the Deity doth manifest itself in the glory of its nature. The lesser 
should wait upon the greater, and the younger serve the elder. 

[3.] As the greatest part of his exaltation consisted in the manifestation 
of his Deity. It was not fit so great a conqueror and Redeemer, who was 
God as well as man, should have his deity still under the veil of our flesh, 
after he had accomplished so great a work. Indeed, he hath our flesh united 
in heaven to his divine nature, but his divine nature is not veiled by it, as 
it was here. Now, had his deity been manifested here below in that vast 
brightness and splendour which was proper for it, the sons of men had been 
undone, and met with their ruin instead of their recovery ; for who can see God 
and live ? Exod. xxxiii. 20, ' No man can see my face and live.' Heaven was 
therefore the only place where this could be manifested in that illustrious 
manner which it ought to be, though earth was the place for the powerful 
effects of it. I say, then, it was not fit the glory of his deity should have 
been longer overshadowed by the veil of his humanity ; and it could not have 
broken out in its clearness without not only dazzling our eyes, but consuming 
our beings, in that state we are. The brightness of an angel is too great an 
object for weak man, without the shadow of some assumed body, much more 
the brightness of the Son of God; and what need was there of his being 
veiled for us still, when he had done all that was necessary to be eflected in 
that veil of infirmity he had wrapped himself in ? 

(2.) It was necessary upon the account of Christ, in regard of his offices. 
Had not Christ been glorified, the offices conferred upon him by his Father 
could not have been executed ; his prophetical, priestly, and royal functions 
could not have been exercised, to which he was chosen by God, and without 
which he could not have been a Saviour to us. He had been a sacrifice, 
without being a priest ; a king, without possessing a throne ; a prophet, 
without a chair to teach in ; at least none of these offices could have been 
managed in a way worthy of himself, unless he had been in a glorious condi- 
tion, and his humanity in a glorious place. 

[1.] It was necessary for his prophetical office. As he did but begin to 
exercise his priestly office in his death, and began to execute his royal func- 
* Fauchrur. in Act. i. 0, p. 109. 
t Savonarola, Triumph, cruc. lib. iii. cap. 19. 

CO chaenock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

tion in his miracles, so he did but begin to manage his prophetical office in 
his life : Heb. ii. 3, ' Salvation began to be spoken by the Lord.' His death 
was a consecration to a further exercise of his priestly office, his signs and 
wonders the first essays of his kingly, and his own teachings the first rudi- 
ments of prophecy. After his ascension he did, as the Sun of righteousness, 
spread the wings of his grace, and flew about the world in the illuminations 
of hearts, Mai. iv. 2. As it is with the sun, so was it with Christ, the nearer 
the earth in the winter of his humiliation, the less force he had for the pro- 
duction of fruits, but the higher he mounted in heaven the more vigorous. 
The beams of the sun shot from heaven make us distinguish those things 
which we mistook in the dark, and the rays of Christ, after his ascension, 
manifested the difference between truth and error. Then the living waters 
of the sanctuary grew high, Ezek. xlvii. 3-5, and what was before but a drop 
of knowledge in Christ's beginning to teach, became an unfathomable sea of 
knowledge in Christ's effusion of the Spirit at his ascension. 

[1.] Without this ascension, his doctrine had not had a perfect confirma- 
tion. As his divine Sonship was declared in part in his resurrection, Rom. 
i. 4, so his doctrine met with a confirmation in that manifestation of him to 
be the Son of God ; but as that was but the first step to a manifestation of 
his person, so it was but the first degree of the manifestation of his doctrine. 
The more complete justification of his doctrine was cleared by his elevation 
to heaven ; it then appeared that he did (as he said himself) declare the 
words of God ; that as his humiliation discovered him to be a man, his exal- 
tation and the fruits of it discovered him to be a divine prophet of a greater 
dignity and richer influence than all that went before him. He had been 
unjustly charged, in the delivery of his doctrine, with the crime of blasphemy, 
and very few were persuaded either of the divinity of his person or the hea- 
venliness of his doctrine. By his ascension God declared him to be a pro- 
phet sent by him, and that prophet whereof Moses spake, Acts xxi. 22; he 
acknowledged him to be really what he reported himself to be, one with the 
Father, having a perfect knowledge of the Father, one speaking the words of 
God, and acting according to the order of God. Had what he asserted of 
himself been false, he had been so far from being advanced to heaven, that 
he had been hurled down to the bottomless pit for his imposture. God 
would not by any act, much less by the conferring so great a glory, have 
contributed credit to a lie. But God hath decided the controversy between 
him and the Jews, his accusers, and cast them by, owning him in the quality 
of his Son, and the great prophet, whereby he had entitled himself among 
them. What greater testimony can there be than God's putting all power 
into his hands, giving him the keys of death and hell, the power of opening 
the seals, and slaying by the words of his mouth ? Thus God recommended 
his doctrine, and by lifting him up to heaven, set him there as a Sun to free 
the world from the blackness of error, wherewith the night had filled it. 

[2.] Without this the apostles could not have been furnished with gifts for 
the propagation of his doctrine. Those weak men could not have gone about 
so great a work without a mighty furniture and magazine of divine eloquence 
and vigorous courage ; to give this was not his immediate work as Mediator, 
and in the economy of the divine persons pertained to the Holy Ghost. It 
was necessary, therefore, that he should, as high priest, enter into the holy 
place, and appear before (ilod with the blood of his eternal sacrifice, that the 
treasures of the Spirit might be opened, and that that divine flame might 
issue out from thence to inspire them with abilities for so great an under- 
taking. This he had not had power to do, unless he had been glorified, 
John vii. 34, ' The Holy Ghost ^Yas not yet given, because Jesus was not yet 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 61 

glorified.' He could not before invest his officers with a transcendent power, 
because he was not mounted to a full execution of his own office. It was 
after this he erected the Christian church among the Gentiles as well as Jews, 
completed the rule of faith in the writings of the apostles, which was to en- 
dure to the end of the world. Without this glorification, he had not been the 
universal teacher of the mysteries of salvation, nor qualified the apostles for 
the propagation of his doctrice. But by this means he exercised his office, 
not only among the Jews, as the minister of the circumcision, but amoncr all 
nations of the Gentiles, as the chief doctor and prophet of the world, by the 
publication of the gospel and the gi-ace of the Spirit. 

[3.] Nor could the apostles without this have had any success. They had 
nothing of a worldly stamp and beauty that could persuade people to an 
entertainment of their doctrine. They had not the wealth and grandeurs of 
the world to ofier them, nor could allure them by earthly empires and con- 
quests, as Mahomet did his followers. To preach a crucified God would be 
justly thought an extravagance and the fruits of a frenzy ; but when they 
should hear not only of his resurrection, but the possession of a glory, from 
so many witnesses upon whom they could fasten nothing of distemper, an end 
would be put to their astonishment. "^^ His crucifixion could not appear so 
irrational to them, as the news of an exaltation, whereby the ignominy of the 
cross was changed into the glory of a crown, would appear amazing. Since 
the Spirit could not come unless Christ were glorified, it was impossible that 
without this glorification of the Redeemer, and consequently the effusion of 
the Spirit, that those delegates of Christ could pubhsh the gospel with such 
power, resist such violences, triumph over such oppositions ; and impossible 
for men to have believed or regarded what they said, since their doctrines 
were so contrary to the common maxims of the world, which had been so 
long strengthened by education and custom, the strongest chains next to cor- 
rupt nature. As the ascension of Christ gave the apostles (the spectators of 
it) courage to publish the greatness of our Saviour with boldness, as before 
they had denied him with cowardice in his humihation, so it made way for 
the entrance of his doctrine into the belief of the hearers, which otherwise 
they would have been ashamed to entertain, had it not been backed with so 
great an argument, and testified by such witnesses, and seconded by such 
miracles, against which they could have no exception. Without this, those 
main truths of the gospel upon which the Christian religion depended, and 
which are the life and soul of it, as the redemption of man, the justification 
of believers by the blood of his sacrifice, bad wanted a ground for the mani- 
festation of them, and all the comforts of the gospel been frustrate. Men 
could have had no apprehension of such things without an accomplishment 
of his glory. Hence it was that so often Christ assured his disciples while 
he was instructing them, in the time of bis life, of the great works they should 
perform, and the success they should meet with after his departure. His 
doctrine had been more obscure, and lost much of its clearness, had he stayed 

[4.] Heaven alone was a fit seat for him wherein to exercise this office. It 
was no more convenient for him to be placed on earth, who was to disperse 
his light into the understandings of men, and scatter ignorance in all parts of 
the world, than for the sun to have been placed on the earth for the spread- 
ing its beams into all climates of the world. An earthly seat was fit for an 
earthly prophet ; but was it fit for him who was constituted by God, not only 
a prophet to the Jews, but to all the nations and tribes of mankind ; whose 
doctrine was not to be confined to the narrow limits of Jerusalem or Judea, 
* Amyraut. in Tim. p. 224. 

62 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

but extend to all parts of the world ?* "What though the dusty earth bore 
bis body in the days of his humiliation, while he was laying the foundation 
of those truths which were to sound in every quarter ! Yet when he came 
to be installed the sole doctor and teacher of the whole world, it was not fit 
he should be placed in any sphere lower than that of heaven, whence he 
might make his voice known both to heaven and earth, to men and angels, 
and convey his instructions to those blessed spirits who were yet to learn 
more of the mysteries of divine wisdom, Eph. iii. 10, and also to the multi- 
tudes of the Gentiles, as well as to the small number of the lost sheep of the 
house of Israel. 

(2.) Necessary it was for his priestly office. Though he was a priest by 
authority in the days of his humiliation, yet he was not fully installed in the 
perpetual exercise of this office, till his ' sitting at the right hand of God,' 
Ps. ex. 1,4; and when he was declared harmless, and undefiled, and sepa- 
rate from sinners, though sacrificed for them, and thereupon made higher 
than the heavens, and by that declared to be the Son of God, then he was as 
his Son consecrated a ' priest for evermore,' Heb. vii. 26, 28. 

[l.j He had not done the whole work of a priest had he remained upon 
the earth. As the legal high priest had not been a complete high priest, and 
fulfilled every part of his office, had he not entered into the holy of holies, so 
neither had Christ performed the whole work of a priest had he remained 
upon earth and not entered into the heavenly sanctuary, to appear or be 
manifested in the presence of God for us, Heb. ix. 24. It was not enough 
for the legal high priest to cut the throat and pour out the blood of the sacrifice 
in the outward tabernacle, and offer it upon the altar on the day of the annual 
expiation, t but he was to pass within the veil, to present the blood of the victim 
to the Lord, and sprinkle it towards the propitiatory. Lev. xvi., and upon his 
return to publish the atonement and reconciliation to the people ; so that there 
had been no analogy between the type and antitype, if our Saviour after his 
oblation on earth had not in the quality of a priest passed into the heavens, 
as through the veil which separated the heavenly sanctuary from the outward 
court. It was necessary therefore that the true high priest should advance 
into the true sanctuary, into heaven itself (figured by that legal place), where 
Grod hath his residence among the true cherubim s and angels of glory ; that 
he should sprinkle this mercy-seat, and present before the throne that blood 
which he had shed upon the cross, till the time that, the number of his elect 
being completed, he is to return out of the sanctuary, i. e. descend from 
heaven to earth to pronounce the sentence of their general absolution, and 
gather them to himself in the glory of his kingdom. By his own blood he 
entered into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us, Heb. 
ix. 12, This entering into the holy place with the blood of the sacrifice was 
the main end of the sacrifice, and a necessary act of the high priest, and 
appropriate to him alone. The end why it was offered in the temple was, 
that it might be presented in the sanctuary ; so while Christ disposed himself 
to those sufterings which he was to undergo for the expiation of our sins, 
it was necessary he should be upon the earth ; but after he had offered 
himself a sacrifice upon the cross, it was no less necessary for him to ascend 
in person, and carry the treasures of his blood with him, to be laid up in that 
repository, to be sprinkled in the heavenly places, and remain for ever as a 
mark in the true sanctuary, as a treasure of perpetual merit. The legal 
priest was also to burn inceuse in the holy place. By incense in Scripture 
is frequently meant prayer. If Christ be not then an intercessor in heaven, 

* Daille sur rAscension de Christ, p. 435, somewhat changed, 
t Faucheur in Acts, vol. i. p. 111. 

Luke XXIV. 26. J the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 63 

there is no analogy between the type and the antitype. This intercession, 
a gi*eat part of his priestly othce, could no more have been managed but in 
heaven than the oblation, the first part of his office, could have been per- 
formed anywhere but on earth. Had he therefore remained upon the earth 
after the shedding of his blood, he had not fully executed his office, but had 
performed it by halves, and that which he had performed on earth had been 
without strength, without performing the other in heaven ; for then it was 
that he was made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec, Heb. 
vi. 20 and a minister of the sanctuary, Heb. viii. 1,2. He is hence called 
the high priest of our profession, Heb. iii. 1, as performing all the duties, 
and enjoying all the privileges really, which the legal high priest did perform 
and ecjoy figuratively. Without this glorious translation, he could not really 
in his own person have carried his blood into the sanctuary, nor appeared in 
the presence of God for us, nor have opened heaven for those that are his 

[2.] Heaven only was fit to be the residence of so great a priest. As he 
was a priest, it was fit he should have a sanctuary ; as he was the great 
priest, it was fit he should have the highest sanctuary ; as he was the ever- 
lasting priest, it was fit he should have an everlasting sanctuary ; as he was 
an undefiled priest, it was fit he should have an undefiled sanctuary ; as he 
was a priest constituted and consecrated in a special manner by God, and not 
by man, as Aaron and his posterity were, it was fit he should have a special 
sanctuary, which Aaron and his posterity had not ; as he was to appear in 
the presence of God for us, it was fit it should be in a place where God doth 
manifest himself in the glory of his deity. Now, no place but heaven can 
challenge all those quahties. It was very convenient and necessary that he 
who was the high priest according to the order of Melchisedec, a blessing as 
well as a sacrificing priest, distributing spiritual and heavenly blessings to 
his people, should not be seated in an orb inferior to that place whence those 
blessings were to receive their original, and flow down upon the world. And 
since he was a priest not designed for one particular nation, nor consecrated 
only for such a spot of land as Judea, but for the whole world, it was neces- 
f-ary that he should be in such a place where all may address themselves to 
him that stand in need of the exercise of his office, and from whence he may 
behold all with those compassions which are annexed to his priesthood. It 
was necessary also that he that made the reconciliation for men should reside 
with God (who had been offended, and now was reconciled) to preserve it 
firm and stedfast, since while the world doth last there are daily so many 
breaches made to forfeit it. 

[3. J It was necessary for his kingly office. It was fit that he that had done 
so great a work, and had merited so great a crown, that was exalted to be a 
prince and a saviour, and had received an heavenly authority and power to 
give repentance and forgiveness of sins. Acts viii. 31, should also be received 
into heaven till the time of the restitution of all things, Acts iii. 31, till all 
things be restored to their due order. 

[1.] It was necessary for his triumph. Indeed, for the beginning of the 
exercise of his prophetical charge, there was a necessity of his residence 
among men for the divulging some truths and counsels of his Father ; and 
while he was to conflict with his enemies with sweat and blood, it could not 
well be but in the field of battle wherein the enemies were ; but when he 
'Came off with victory, he could not conveniently triumph in the place of battle, 
or reign as a king suitably to his gi-andeur upon the dunghill of the earth.* 
It was fit he should sit in triumph at the right hand of his Father, to end 
* Amyraut. in Tim. p. 213. 

64 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

and complete the fruits of his victory : Ps. ex. 1, * Sit thou at my right hand, 
till I make thine enemies thy footstool.' As he had not been in a capacity 
to reign had he continued as a subject under the dominion of death, so he 
could not exercise the office of a king so commendably as upon the throne of 
his Father. Heaven only was a palace fit for the residence of the King of 

[2.] It was necessary for his government. As heaven is the fountain 
of providence, so it was fit that the king, into ' whose hands God com- 
mitted all judgment, the power and government of the world, should sit upon 
a throne in heaven ; and it was not congruous that he that was made the 
head of principalities and powers, the governor of the angelical spirits, should 
have a meaner dwelUng than the greatest of his subjects, and as low as the 
vilest of his vassals. The wisdom of God hath disposed all causes in an 
order superior to those eflfects which depend upon them ;* the heavens are 
above the earth, because the earth is influenced by them ; and the sun above 
the earth, because the earth is enlightened by it. It was no less necessary, 
according to the order of God's wisdom, that he who was made by God his 
viceroy both in heaven and earth, and had the management of all things 
conferred upon him, should be lodged in a place superior to those things he 
was to govern, from whence he might send forth his directions to all his 
subjects. And though he had by his death given his enemies a mortal 
wound, and stripped the devil of the right he had acquired by the sin of man, 
yet, in the order of divine wisdom, the possession he had of the world was 
not to be taken away, and men reduced to the sceptre of this great king, but 
in a way convenient to the nature of man. Those gifts, therefore, which were 
necessary for the reduction of him, could only be dispensed from heaven ; 
it was therefore necessary for Christ in person to ascend thither, to give out 
his commission, and enable his servants with gifts, whereby to * wound the 
head of his enemy,' Ps. Isviii. 18, 21. It was fit that an eternal King 
should have an everlasting palace ; that a King constituted in a special 
manner by God, should have a palace not made with hands ; that he 
who was put into the possession of all nations, Ps. ii. 8, and had a grant of 
all the kintrdoms of the world to be his own. Rev. xi. 15, that was not to rule 
in a corner of the earth, and sway the sceptre in places that could be in- 
cluded in a map, should have his throne fixed in any part of the world but 
the glorious heaven. An earth defiled by that sin he hated, and an earth 
yet too much filled with those enemies he had conquered, was not a place 
convenient for the perpetual residence of so great a monarch. It was most fit 
also that he who was ordained the Judge of the whole world, and confirmed 
in that office by his being raised from the dead, Acts xvii. 31, should be 
taken up into that sovereign court of heaven, and come in majesty from thence 
to execute that charge. All the ends of his government and triumph could 
not have been answered without this glory ; he could not have reigned in the 
midst of his enemies unless he had been placed above them, nor conducted 
his church to an happy immortality, unless he had had a possession of that 
heaven he was to conduct them to. 

3. As this glory was necessary on the account of God, and on the 
account of Christ, so it was necessary on our account also, 

(1.) That God's choice acceptance of his sacrifice for us might be mani- 
fested. The acceptance of it by God was in part manifested by his resur- 
rection ; but the infinite pleasure he took in it, and the fragrancy of that 
savour he smelt from it, had not been testified to the world had he given him 
only the recompence of an earthly life and glory. Indeed, his resurrection 
* Daille, vingt Serm. p. 435. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 65 

is an attestiition of the truth and fulness of his satisfaction, for he rose again 
for our justification, Rom. iv. 24. He cannot be considered as our pro- 
pitiation but in the state of his resurrection. No man is freed legally and 
justly from prison till he hath paid his debts ; so then the resurrection of 
Christ is an argument that his payment was commensurate to the debt ; but 
the glorious exaltation of Christ is an argument of the high acceptableness of 
it to God. Who can doubt of his satisfaction after his resurrection ? and 
who can doubt of the infinite content God took in his obedience after he had 
crowned him with so immense a glory, and established him a prince and a 
priest for ever at his right hand ? God hath not only declared himself 
satisfied, but satisfied with an incomparable pleasure. God made a diligent 
search into him, to see whether he was without spot, and perfect in his person 
and works : Dan. vii. 13, ' And they brought him near before him,' i. e. the 
Son of man before the Ancient of days. As persons and things are brought near 
to be tried and diligently inspected, so was Christ brought near to God in a 
judicial way, that God may pass a judgment upon him and his work ; and 
upon a strict view he was so ravished with his obedience, that he conferred 
upon him a dominion, glory, kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages 
should serve him, an everlasting dominion, a dominion that passes not away, 
&c., ver. 14. Such a multitude of expressions used in this donation do 
signify the mighty pleasure of God in him, as if (to speak after the manner 
of men) God had been grieved that there was not more to confer upon him. 
As by the resurrection of Christ God declared himself by the title of a God 
of peace, Heb. xiii. 20, so in the ascension of Christ he declared himself a 
God of ail grace to us, 1 Pet. v. 10, He declared himself reconciled to us by 
raising Christ from the dead, and he hath declared himself a)God of all grace 
in calling us to an eternal glory by Christ, because the glory Christ hath is a 
pledge of that glory believers shall have as a fruit of God's high acceptance 
of him. This is the cordial Christ gives his disciples, and assures them they 
had reason to rejoice in the midst of their worldly calamities at his going to 
his Father, if they well understood it, John xiv. 28. It is indeed a clear 
evidence that God hath an inconceivable pleasure in him ; he would not 
otherwise have suffered him to enter heaven, but would have thrust him back 
again upon the earth. In his death there is a satisfaction, and in his glory 
the highest testimony of it. Without a glorious entrance into heaven, his 
resurrection with his continuance upon earth had not been so clear a witness 
of God's high value of his sufierings ; but now by his glorified state it must 
be concluded that his death was not the common fate of mankind, but highly 
meritorious, since God hath rewarded him with so great an honour as the 
government of men and angels ; I say it must be concluded, not only that 
it was a death proportionable to what the justice of God required, but an 
infinite purchase of whatsoever happiness the creature wanted. 

(2.) That the Spirit might have a ground to comfort us. Since the end 
of the Spirit's coming is to comfort us, and the principal argument whereby 
he comforts us is the high value of his death with God, and the acceptance 
he meets with in heaven, there had been little or no ground for him to build 
his comfort upon without the ascension of Christ to glory. How doth the 
Spirit demonstrate the sufficiency of Christ's righteousness ? Not because 
he was raised, but because he goes to his Father, and is seen no more here : 
John xvi. 10, ' He shall convince the world of righteousness, because I go to 
the Father, and you see me no more.' His resurrection is the first corner 
stone of comfort, because it was a necessary antecedent to his glory. But 
had he been only raised to an earthly life, our joy had been but a twilight 

VOL. V. E 

6G chaenock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

mixed with darkness, and the arguings of the Spirit for our cheering been 
somewhat disputable, and wanted much of that efficacy which now they have. 
This going to the Father, which includes a glory, was the spring whence the 
Spirit was to draw those waters of consolations he was to pour into our souls. 
Had Christ remained upon the earth, the Spirit had not come ; but if he 
had, the breasts of consolation had been very lank, and little could have been 
drawn out by us. Some jealousies would have remained, we could not 
have fully answered the accusations of our sins, our own consciences would 
have had some racks, and we should have felt sometimes some griping doubts. 
If God had appeared reconciled by the raising him, yet he would not have 
appeared highly pleased with us without his glorious translation. We might 
have had some comfort in peace with him, but seen no appearance of favour- 
able and gracious smiles in his countenance. Our Saviour lays a stress upon 
that of seeing him no more here, viz., in that state wherein he was before, or 
in a state without a glory. This, in his account, was a sufficient argument 
of the value of his death with God. Could we behold him here in the flesh, 
we might discard all our hopes of standing before God in a glorious eternity 
as vain imaginations ; but when ye shall see me go to my Father, and main- 
tain my interest in his favour, you may conclude that God is not only paci- 
fied, but hath lofty thoughts of grace towards you. Without this his going 
to the Father, the cordials of the Spirit would have wanted their due temper, 
and had not found any relish in our guilty consciences. 

(3.) That there might be an irresistible ground of faith. If the Spirit had 
wanted a ground of comfort, our faith had wanted a ground of reliance. As 
faith respects the person of Christ, it had been subject to staggering; it 
could have had no assurance that ho had truly the dignity of the Son of 
God if he had remained in the condition of a man upon the earth.* As faith 
respects the death of Christ, though it might have concluded an expiation of 
the crimes, yet not a fulness of merit to procure a complete felicity, if he 
had had no other sphere but the rude earth to spend his immortal Hfe in. 
And less confidence still had belonged to faith as it respects the word and 
promise of Christ ,' for how could we imagine he could prepare mansions for 
us in heaven, if he had never stepped from the earth ? or restore us to para- 
dise, a place of bliss, that could not find the way back to that heaven from 
whence he said he descended to redeem us ? We could not have concluded 
that his death had been a ransom if his word had been false ; and his word 
had had no credit with us if he had not returned to that heaven to which he 
affirmed he always had a right. He could never bring us to that place to 
which he could not restore himself. Had he not risen, we should have 
thought him no higher than a mere man ; nay, an impostor, and his death a 
punishment of his own crime. Had he not risen, we should have regarded 
him as no other than a conquered captive of death among the rest of man- 
kind ; and had he, after his resurrection, resided in the corrupted earth with 
our flesh, could we have imagined it to be the flesh of God, any more than 
we could have conceived it so had it remained under the power of death ? 
His glory hath given assurance and courage to our faith, which had been 
very languishing, or rather nothing at all, had he stayed on earth ; nor could 
we have had any hopes ever to have attained the happy vision of God in 
heaven. Had the Kedeemer abode on this side that place of glory, we had 
been \Yithout a pledge of so great a felicity ; nor could our souls have been 
carried out with those noble aff'ections suitable to the extraction of them. 
Our love to Christ had been directed b}^ a knowledge of him after the flesh, 
1 Cor. v. 16, and therefore had mounted no higher than a carnal aff'ection. 
* Daille Melan. part i. p. 143, &c. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 67 

We should have had no ground for those refined and spiritual affections, and 
lifting our hearts to heaven, which are the ennoblement of our spiritual 
natures. Without this entrance into glory, there had bfeen no foundation for 
the superstructure and exercise of any grace in a lively and delightful manner ; 
and without it, and the acknowledgment of it, all falls to the ground. 

But now there is a ground for all, since, 

[1.] Satisfaction is declared to he full. The validity of the price is not to 
be scrupled, since we are assured of the weight of his glory. Shall we doubt 
of the sufficiency of that, after the assurance of so many jewels in his crown ? 
What is all his glory but a return of his blood, and an approbation of the 
value of it for the ends for which it was shed ? His appearance in heaven 
could not have been glorious, had not his oblation on earth been satisfactory. 
For our sins being in the nature of debts, Mat. vi. 12, and the justice of God 
in the law in the nature of a creditor, to which we are responsible. Gal. 
iii. 10, his death was the payment, his resurrection the acquittance, but his 
glory the fullest testimony that God can give that he is satisfied, and remains 
so. So that there is no room for any doubt of eternal redemption purchased, 
since his entrance into the holy place, with the blood of his sacrifice, Heb. 
ix. 12. His exaltation assures man that he hath appeased God. 

[2.] And therefore all enemies are removed out of the way. His triumph 
had not been just if his victory had not been full. The law would have 
resisted his elevation, and stopped his way to the throne, if it had anything 
to object against him. This glory manifests that all the enemies which stood 
with drawn weapons between him and his throne are removed out of the way, 
the obligation against us cancelled, the devil disarmed by the taking away 
sin, upon which his power was founded ; ' principalities and powers' spoiled 
of their prey. Col. ii. 14, 15 ; justice appeased, the law fulfilled, sin expi- 
ated, death vanquished ; all those arc sealed to us by his entrance into glory, 
and God's hanging ' the keys of death and hell' at his girdle, Kev. i. 18. 

[3.] Heaven is assured. As our bond against us is evidenced to be can- 
celled, so God hath entered into a bond by this act towards Christ, whereby 
he doth acknowledge that he, as it were, owes heaven to every believer upon 
the account of the surety, and hath manifested his reality by beginning the 
payment of it in the glory of his person. For in setting Christ ' at his right 
hand in heavenly places,' all believers were virtually set there, Eph. ii. 6. 
As his resurrection assures us of the fulness of the payment of our debt, so 
his glory assures us of the fulness of the merit of our happiness. Had he 
lain in the grave, our hopes would have remained wrapped up with him, 
and mouldered to dust with his body ; or, after his resurrection, had he 
remained on the earth, our hopes had aspired no higher than the place of his 
residence.* But when we do not only see him rising victoriously from the 
horrors and corruptions of the grave, but mounted into an incorruptible glory, 
we have reason to believe we shall, by his power, enjoy that glory we be- 
lievers breathe after. For as he did not rise to live for himself, and expose 
his members to a perpetual captivity under death, so he hath not received his 
glory to reign for himself, and leave his members grovelling in the mire of 
the earth ; but both the intention of God in conferring it, and the design of 
Christ in receiving it, was, that all united to him in grace might be joined 
with him in glory, to see and enjoy, according to their measures, the glory 
God hath given him* John xvii. 24. Now had Christ stayed in a miserable 
world, though he had not lain in a corrupting grave, we could not have con- 
cluded our debt to have been paid to divine justice, nor expected the benefits 
he had promised, nor upon any ground elevated our hopes, hearts, or affec- 
* Faucber in Act. vol. i. p. 62, 

68 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

tions tojbeaven; there had not been those comfortable encouragements to 
dutj', nor those dehghlful motives to any acts of rehgion. But now his ad- 
mission into glory spirits our faith, erects our hopes, expels our fears, stifles 
our jealousies and doubts, and fixes wings to a spiritual love, by giving us 
not only a demonstration of the fulness of his satisfaction, but the overflow- 
ing redundancy of his merits for our happiness, and a pledge of an eternal 
and glorious life. 

To sum up all, and in that the whole 'scheme of the Christian religion 
and doctrine in short, let us consider, since it was the common condition of 
the SODS of Adam to have rebelled against God, and, after that revolt, were 
no more able to stand in the presence of God's consuming justice than straw 
and stubble before the fury of a flame, there was a necessity for some other 
person to make way for our return by appeasing that justice which was ex- 
asperated against us. Though this person were found out, and kindly and 
courageously undertook, and as faithfully, and to a full content of justice, 
performed it in the most perfect manner, yet there could be no assurance of 
it without some signal testimony of the gratefulness of the person and the 
accomplishment of the undertaking. His continuance in the world would 
have nourished rather some jealousies of the imperfection of his person and 
passion, than assurances of their acceptation with God. His exaltation, 
therefore, was a necessary sign that he had fulfilled righteousness and dis- 
armed justice, conquered death and hell, and opened the gates of heaven. 
Since he suffered as our surety, his glory would manifestly be conferred on 
him because he so suffered, and therefore it would respect our interest ; and 
though by the efficacy of his death, had he only risen again, we had been 
freed from those torments that remain after death, yet had he not been 
glorified in heaven, we could not have been restored to the happiness of that 
paradise we had lost, no more than our bodies could have been delivered 
from the darkness of the grave, had he himself remained under the chains of 
death. We should have wandered about the earth without a supreme felicity, 
though without a smarting punishment. ]3ut by his glory we have a certain 
evidence that we are not only freed from the dominion of death, but made 
heirs of life, and have a pledge in our hands that we shall enjoy it. If we 
have a union with him by faith, and a communion with him in the power of 
his death, there is no doubt but we shall have a communion with him in the 
felicities of his heavenly glory ; and to such a confirmation of our faith and 
hope was an entrance into his glory necessary. This doctrine is the highest 
comfort in the Christian religion ; and without this, and a share in it, what 
comfort can we expect in the deplorable, and, I may say, stupefying dispen- 
sation we are now under ? 

Second thing. The nature of this glory. It was a great glory. As he 
was filled with the Spirit without measure above all the prophets, for the 
performing his mediatory function, so he was instated in a glory without 
stint above all the angels for the application of the fruits of his mediation ; 
as great a glory as a creature united to the person of the Son of God was 
capable of receiving. As he had the Spirit without measure, so he had a 
glory without end. God did super-exalt him, as the word signifies, Philip, 
ii. 9, uTTspi v)/w(re, as he was set at the right hand of Go^, which was granted 
to no mere creature, and had a name above every name. Christ consisted of 
two natures, divine and human ; let us see how these were glorified. 

1. His deity was glorified. 

(1.) This could not properly have any addition of intrinsecal glory. To 
enter into glory doth suppose a temporary exclusion or absence from glory, 

Luke XXIV. 2G.J the necessity of cheist's ex-vltation. 69 

as to be advanced supposeth some meaner state, as the term from whence 
that advancement is. Now, the Deity was never empty of any essential 
glory ; nor could that be advanced, because it, being infinite, was not capable 
of any higher degree, but was above all alteration. The substance and pro- 
perties of that nature, which always remain the same, are incapable of 
abasement and elevation. We may as well conclude a diminution of the 
essence of God, as a decrease of the essential glory of God. The divine 
nature cannot ascend, any more than it can descend, because of its filling all 
places by its immensity ; so neither can it be humbled or exalted ; but the 
person that consists of both natures may be said to descend and ascend, to 
be humbled and exalted, because that person which was glorious in heaven 
manifested himself on earth by the assumption of our nature, and ascended 
to manifest himself in heaven in our nature, which he had assumed on earth. 
The Deity then had no new glory by the entrance of Christ into heaven, as 
it had no essential disgrace by his humiliation on earth ; for that nature is 
immutable and infinite, free from any change. If the divine nature might 
be essentially less than it was, it might wholly cease to be what it was ; all 
diminution is a degree of destruction. 

(2.) There was a manifestation of the glory of this divine nature of Christ. 
The divine nature, while it was wrapped up in the rags of our infirm flesh, wanted 
that reputation which was due to it from man ; and in this respect Christ is 
said to ' empty himself,' as the word v/.'-vi/iCi, which we render ' made him- 
self of no reputation,' signifies, Philip, ii. 7. He that was sovereign became a 
subject, as the seed of the woman, to the law of nature, subject as an Israelite 
to the law of Moses, subject as a man and our surety to the penal infirmities 
belonging to the human nature, as weariness, hunger, thirst, death. And as 
the divine nature seemed to be humbled in being obscured under the veil of 
our flesh, so it is glorified in breaking out with most resplendent rays in the 
Son. As he was humbled in the form of a servant, so he was exalted in 
appearing in the form of God." ' In the same sense that we say Christ as 
God was humbled, in the same sense we may say Christ as God is glorified ; 
but it is certain that Christ, who was equal in 'regard of his deity with his 
Father, did humble himself to the form of a servant', PhiUp. ii. 7, 8.*-' As 
the divine nature may be said to be humbled by sufi'ering an eclipse, so it 
may be said to be glorified by emerging out of it, as the sun may in a sort 
be said to enter into a glory, or reassume its glory, when it scatters a dark 
cloud which muffled it, and strikes its warm and clear beams through the air. 
There is nothing here of a glory added to the sun, but a glory exerted by the 
sun, which before lay in obscurity, under a thick mist ; and when God is said 
to be glorified by men, we must not conceive any addition of intrinsic glory 
to God, but an acknowledgment of that glory he displays in his works of 
creation, providence, and redemption. So the exaltation of Christ was not 
the conferring a new glory upon the divine nature, but the outshinings of it 
in the sacred vessel of his humanity, and surmounting those mists where- 
with before it had been clouded. It was then a manifestation of him as the 
Son of God, and a discovery of that relation he had to the Father from 
eternity, which was not only clouded in the days of his flesh, but all the time 
of the Old Testament, and was not known, at least in such a measure and 
clearness, as in the discovery of the gospel. Therefore he prays, John xvii. 1, 
' Father, glorify thy Son ;' discover this prerogative of Sonship, that I am the 
only begotten of the Father, of the same essence with thee, and not a mere 
man, as the world accounts me. Therefore the resurrection of Christ, which 
was the first step to his glory, is called a new nativity of him as the Son of 
* Jackson, vol. iii. fol. 314. 

70 chabnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

God in regard of his manifestation : Acts iii. 33, ' In that he hath raised 
Christ from the dead, as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my 
Son, this day have I begotten thee ;' as his resurrection was a confirmation 
of his eternal generation, and consequently of his deity, and therefore Christ 
adds in his prayer, John xvii. 5, ' Glorify me with thy own self,' i. e. in a 
way of equality with thyself. As the Father did not in the |^time of his 
humiliation treat him as a son, but as a servant, as a sinner, as one he was 
angry with, he was exposed to the violences of men, as if he had been utterly 
neglected and abandoned by his Father ; he desires therefore that he might 
have that glory he had with God before the world was, that he might be 
treated and declared to be the Son of God, equal to the Father in power 
and majesty ; and that this might be manifested both in heaven and earth, 
in heaven to the angels, and in earth to Jews and Gentiles. And thus he 

* sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high,' as ' the brightness of 
the Father's glory, and the express image of his person, '••' all which is not 
an addition of glory, but a manifestation of glory ; for Christ, John xvii. 1, 
desires the Father to glorify himself as his Son, that he might glorify him 
as his Father. Now the glory Christ brought to God was not a new acces- 
sion of any glory to the nature of God, but a displaying the glorious perfec- 
tions of his nature to the sons of men. So the glory of Christ's deity is the 
springing of it out of that obscurity wherewith it was masked, and a breaking 
out from under the cloud of his humanity in a glorious lustre. And after 
he was clothed with ' a vesture dipped in blood,' his name',was manifested to 
be ' the Word of God,' Rev. xix. 13, i. e. he was manifested to be the Word 
of God, after and upon the account of his death, and his glory was sensible 
as the glory of the only begotten Son of God. 

(3.) There was a manifestation of the glory of his deity in and through 
his humanity. As it had been obscured in the humanity while he was 
humbled, so it breaks out in the humanity when that nature is glorified, as 
a candle in a dark lantern doth through the transparent horn or crystal, when 
the obscuring plate is drawn aside. This glory he prayed for : John xvii. 5, 

• Glorify me with the glory I had with thee before the world was.' The 
glory he had as God before the world was, was not impaired, and therefore 
is not that which he here desires ; his humanity was not glorified before the 
world was, that had no existence till it was formed in the womb of a virgin. 
We must therefore understand it of the glory of his deity, to be extended to 
his humanity, to capacitate it for those ofiices which were to be performed 
in it. He was to be the guardian of his church as Mediator, and the Judge of 
the world ; but his humanity could not know the names of all his people he 
was to guide, unless informed by his divinity. As man, he is to execute 
judgment, John v. 27, which he could not do unless he knew the inwards 
of men, and viewed their thoughts ; nor could his humanity do this, unless 
instructed by his divinity. This knowledge is not originally from the human 
nature, but by revelation from the divine ; the government of the world, of 
angels, and men, could not be managed by him as the Son of man, unless 
his humanity were enlivened, and thoroughly influenced by the divinity as 
he was the Son of God ; so that Christ here desires another manner of 
glory in regard of manifestation than was before, a derivation of that glory 
to his humanity. He doth not say. Glorify me vith that glonj which my 
humanity had nith thee he/ore the icorld was ; but which /, my divine person, 
had with thee : that that glory which I had with thee from eternity, accord- 
ing to my divine nature, may be derived upon the human nature, to fashion it 
for those great ends for which it is designed. I see no reason to understand 

* For so Camero refers the word sat down to the a-reiuyocfffnx, Heb. i. 3. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 71 

it of the glory of his humanity, which he had before the world was, by the 
predestinating decree of God ; for then there would be no peculiarity in Christ's 
prayer to himself, for every assured believer may pray the same, Lord, give 
me that glory which I had with thee before the world was, viz., in thy 
decree. But no such expression fell from the lips of Moses, David, Paul, 
or any of those most triumphant in the assurances of everlasting happiness. 
It must be some expression of glory peculiar to the Son of God, and there- 
fore a manifestation of the glory of the deity in his humanity in another 
manner than before, since that person that was the Son of God was now 
also the Son of man. Now this was no addition of glory to his deity, but a 
new mode of manifesting that glory which the human nature had before the 
world was, which never was exerted in such a manner before. It was a real 
addition of glory to his humanity, but a new way, or manner of manifesta- 
tion of his divinity. 

2. His humanity was really and intrinsecally glorified. There was a glory 
conferred upon his humanity by the grace of union with the second person 
in the blessed trinity ; this was at the first conception in the womb of the 
blessed virgin. A greater glory than this can no creature have, to be 
' called the Son of God,' Luke i. 35. There was also a glory bestowed upon 
it by the communication of unmatchable perfections to his soul, a fulness of 
the Spirit, a spotless sanctification, and an infallible knowledge of God, and 
of those truths he was to reveal. But now his humanity did ascend up 
where his person was before, and our nature was carried up to sit with him 
in the same court, where he had been glorious before in his deity. ' He 
ascended far above the highest heavens,' Eph. iv. 10, into that place where 
God represents himself in the greatest majesty to angels and glorified spirits. 
He descended to assume our nature, he ascended to glorify our nature. 
The humanity was taken into perpetual society and conjunction with the 
deity at the first assumption of it ; but by his exaltation the eternal subsist- 
ence of it in the deity was confirmed ; and by the translating it to heaven, 
assurance was given that it should never be laid aside, but be for ever pre- 
served in that marriage knot with the divinity. It was so enlarged and 
spirituaHsed, as to be a convenient habitation for the fulness of his deity to 
reside in, and exert its proper operations : Col. ii. 9, ' In him dwells all the 
fulness of the Godhead bodily ;' not dwelling as if imprisoned, but to break 
forth in all its glories and graces ; not formerly dwelling in it, but now dwells. 
There is a way of the presence of the deity with the humanity above all those 
manners of the presence of God with angels and men ; it dwells in it, and 
acts in it, as a soul in its own body it is clothed with, so that the humanity 
is the humanity of the Son of God, and heightened to be the sacred vessel 
of the fulness of the Godhead. That nature wherein the person of the 
Son of God was ' made lower than the angels, was crowned with glory and 
honour,' Heb. ii. 7. That nature wherein he was raised, was set ' at God's 
right hand in heavenly places,' Eph. i. 20, and in that nature, as well as in the 
divine, the person of the Son of God had a sovereign authority granted to 
him. Thus the humanity was glorified above all the reach of any human 
understanding. The glory of the saints is not to be fathomed by the con- 
ceptions of men, much less the glory of Christ, the exemplar of all the glory 
they are to have. 

The humanity of Christ, consisting of two principal parts, body and soul ; 
bo;h were glorified. 

(1.) His body. As his sufferings were in order to his glory, so the part 
wherein he suffered was to enjoy a glory. ' Enter into his glory,' i. e. a glory 
due to him for his sufferings, therefore due to every part wherein he suffered. 

72 charnock's woeks. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

This being an essential part of the human nature, is not laid aside ; the knot 
between this and his deity remains for ever indissoluble ; it remains still as 
to its substance, though enriched with new qualities, being stripped of the 
mutability and mortality to which it was subject on earth. As in his descent 
the deity was emptied of the manifestation of its glory, so in his exaltation, 
his body of its natural infirmities. The image of the first Adam, except the 
substance, was razed out, and was actually framed in the second Adam ; 
there was not a destruction of the body, but a transfiguration of it, and his 
body is no more changed in regard of the substance by its translation into 
heaven, than it was in his transfiguration on the mount ; nor changed in its 
lineaments, but in its qualities: Mat. xvii. 2, 'His face did jhine as the sun;' 
the substance remained, but changed into a glorious appearance; he had the 
same lineaments in Tabor as he had at the foot of the mount. Peter could 
not else have distinguished him from Moses and Elias. Had he not been 
stripped of his infirmities, he had still, even in heaven, been in some sort 
lower than the angels, which he was designed to be only for a time, Hcb. 
ii. 7, /Sfap/u ri, ' a little while,' a short space, in the time of his humihation. 

[1.] His body is therefore of a spiritual nature, in opposition to infirm fliesh. 
Flesh in Scripture is sometimes taken so : Ps. Ixxviii. 39, ' He remembered 
that they were but flesh,' i. e. infirm and perishing flesh. The natural bodies 
of the saints shall, at the resurrection, be changed into spiritual, 1 Cor. xv. 
44 ; much more is the body of Christ in glory, since it is the pattern accord- 
ing to which the body of the saints shall be copied and fashioned, Philip, 
iii. 21. His state in the world is called ' the day of his flesh,' Heb. v. 7 ; 
his state above is a spii'itual state, as being free from the infirmities and clogs 
of the flesh. Flesh he hath still, but more suited to that heaven which was 
his original ; an heavenly, no longer an earthly, image, 1 Cor. xv. 48, 49 ; 
like turf or wood, that loses its drossy and foggy qualities, when heightened 
into a pure flame, or minerals heightened into spirits. His body was spi- 
ritual after his resurrection, it could pass in a short moment from one place 
to another, Luke xxiv. 3L As his body rose, so it ascended, and remains a 
spiritual body, or as one calls it, organized light. 

[2.j It is therefore bright and glorious. If the righteous are to ' shine as 
the sun in the kingdom of their Father,' Mat. xiii. 43, the head of the right- 
eous shines with a splendour above that of the sun, for he hath a glory upon 
his body, not only fi-om the glory, of his soul (as the saints shall have), but 
from the glory of his divinity in conjunction with it. The glory of his divinity 
redounds upon his humanity, like a beam of the sun, that conveys a dazzling 
brightness to a piece of crystal. There was an interruption of this glory 
while he was in the world, though the human nature then was united with 
the divine. But this interruption was necessary for those acts which he was 
to perform in our stead, for the satisfaction of God and the discharge of his 
office. Had the glory of the divinity broke out upon his body, he had not 
been capable of suflering. What mortal could have stood before him, much 
less laid hands on him ? What mortal durst have accounted him a blas- 
phemer, an impostor, and have exercised any violence against him, had his 
divinity so fashioned his humanity ? But now it is, as it was in his transfi- 
guration. Mat. xvii. 2; the glory he had then ??( transitu wrought an alteration 
not only in his body, but in his garments, which could not be of the most 
splendid, as not suiting his present state of humiliation, yet they ' became 
shining, exceeding white as snow, so as no fuller upon earth can white them,' 
Mark ix. 3 ; much more must that firm and perpetual glory in heaven have 
the same influence upon his refined body, that hath cast off' those corruptible 
qualities which hung upon it on earth, and doth more excel in glory that body 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 73 

he had on earth, than the glory of the sun surpasseth that of a glow-worm. 
It is such a glory as would dazzle mortals to behold it ; for if his glory upon 
mount Tabor cast Peter into an ecstasy, what effect would his glory upon his 
throne work upon a moral nature ? Whence it follows that there must be a 
mighty change of the bodies of the glorified saints, to capacitate them for the 
beholding this glory of Christ, the intent views whereof are part of their hap- 
piness, John xvii. 24. 

[3. J His body is immortal. His body now lives, and 'shall Hve for ever- 
more: Rev. i. 18, ' I am he that lives, and was dead ; and behold, I am alive 
for evermore, Amen ; ' which is confirmed by him with a solemn Amen. A 
corruptible body is not fit to be admitted to sit down upon the throne of the 
Father in heaven. The promise that secured to him, in the state of his 
humiliation, a speedy resurrection from the grave, and an impossibility of 
seeing corruption, Ps. xvi. 10, is as valid as ever. That body that was not 
dissolved to dust by the power of the grave, cannot sink into nothing in the 
glories of heaven. The union of the Godhead to it preserved it here, and 
the perpetual confirmation of that union preserves it for ever above. His 
body lives an indissoluble life, death shall never more lay hands on it; he 
hath no more sufl'erings to endure, or satisfactions to make to the demands 
of the law. Men and devils cannot touch him in his person, though they do 
in his mystical body. He is above the reach of all temptations, all wrath 
from his Father, all violences from men, and therefore his glorious body is 
not in such a state as to be ground between the teeth of communicants, or 
eaten by rats and mice, or in any part of it dropped upon the gi'ound, and 
buried again in the dust or mire, as the bread in the supper may. If that 
were really the body of Christ, the body of Christ would be then so treated, 
as consisted not with the glory it is now possessed of. 

(2.) As his body, so his soul, the principal part of the humanity, was glo- 
rified. That suffered in agonies and sorrows : ' His soul was sorrowful, even 
to the death,' Mat. xxvi. 38. That also enters into glory; and indeed the 
body cannot be rightly glorified without the glory of the soul ; for the glory 
of the body is but the reflection of the glory of the soul in any creature. 

[1.] He hath an unspeakable joy in his soul. Ps. xvi. 11, ' Thou wilt 
shew me the path of life : in thy presence is fulness of joy ; at thy right 
hand are pleasures for evernaore.' It is Christ's triumphing in the considera- 
tion of his exaltation, and taking pleasure in the fruits of his sufferings; 
' thou wilt shew me the paths of life.' God hath now opened the way to 
paradise, which was stopped up by a flaming sword, and made the path plain 
by admitting into heaven the head of the believing world. This is a part of 
the joy of the soul of Christ; he hath now a fulness of joy, a satisfying de- 
light instead of an overwhelming sorrow; a 'fulness of joy,' not only some 
sparks and drops, as he had now and then in his debased condition ; and that 
in the presence of his Father. His soul is fed and nourished with a perpetual 
vision of God, in whose face he beholds no more frowns, no more designs of 
treating him as a servant, but such smiles that shall give a perpetual succes- 
sion of joy to him, and fill his soul with fresh and pure flames. Pleasures 
they are, pleasantness in comparison whereof the greatest joys in this life are 
anguish and horrors. His soul hath joys without mixture, pleasures without 
number, a fulness without want, a constancy without interruption, and a per- 
petuity without end. And having a fulness of joy, he hath a fulness of 
knowledge in his soul ; he increased in wisdom in his soul, as he did in 
stature, and that as really in the one as he did in the other, Luke ii. 40 ; 
his humanity had not the knowledge of all things in his humiliation, his soul 
had one thing revealed to it after another. But in his exaltation his soul is 

74 chaenock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

endowed with all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He knows now 
the time of judgment, since he is constituted the Judge of the world, whereof 
his resurrection was an assurance to men, and no less an assurance to him- 
self, Acts xvii. 31, since by his resurrection, the first step of his exaltation, 
God judged him a righteous person, and acknowledged him his Son with 
power, that had redeemed a world, whereby there was an evidence also that 
by him he would judge the world. Among other infirmities of his nature, 
his soul hath put off that of ignorance. Nothing that is a treasure of know- 
ledge is concealed from it ; he hath the knowledge of God's decrees concern- 
ing his people: Eev. i, 1, God gave the revelation of all to him; no other 
person opens the book, or is acquainted with the counsel of it. Rev. v. 5-7. 
This knowledge he hath in his humanity, as he is the lion of the tribe of 
Judah, and the root of David. This revelation is to him as Mediator, in his 
human nature, distinct from that knowledge he had as God. As his media- 
tory glory is distinct from that essential glory he had as God, so there is a 
revealed knowledge to him, distinct from that knowledge he had as God. 
There was a necessity that Christ, in his human nature, should understand 
the secrets of God, since he was in that nature to be the executor of the 
counsels of God ; and this is another part of the glory of his soul. 

(3.) His person was glorified. His divine nature being glorified in a mani- 
festation, and a new manner of manifestation, and his human nature being 
glorified by an accession of new qualities to it, his person then was glorified. 
As his person was the prime subject of humiliation in taking upon him the 
form a servant, so it was the prime subject of exaltation and glory. His 
person was the siihjectwn quod, and his human nature the suhjechmi quo. In 
regard of his person he is glorified, as in regard of his person he was humbled ; 
the same person ' that was rich became poor,' 2 Cor. viii. 9. He that was 
rich and he that was poor was one and the same person. Howsoever riches 
and poverty were distinct conditions, and divinity and humanity were distinct 
natures, yet they were the conditions and they were the natures of one and 
the same person, who is both rich and poor in regard of different states, as 
well as immortal and mortal, existing from eternity and born in time in re- 
gard of diflerent natures, eternal as God and born as man, above all suffering 
and violence as God, exposed to suffering and violence as man. The person 
that was crucified was the Lord of glory, 1 Cor. ii. 8 ; the person that was 
crucified and suffered entered into glory ; it was the person of Christ there- 
fore wherein this glorious exaltation did terminate. As the deity was not 
emptied, nor could be, but obscured in the assuming our flesh and investing 
himself in the form of a servant for the performance of those mediatory acts 
in his humiliation which were necessary for our redemption, so the deity could 
not be exalted but by displaying itself, and discharging that disguise of infir- 
mities wherewith it was clouded. Nor could the exaltation of his human nature, 
simply considered, be for the happiness and comfort of his people, for as man 
barely considered he could not be the king of angels and governor of the 
church ; he could not, as man barely considered, direct the angels in their 
needful messages, or relieve the church in her great distresses ; for the huma- 
nity was neither omniscient nor omnipotent, nor could be. It is impossible 
humanity can become a deity, and a creature inherit the incommunicable per- 
fections of the Creator; but as the deity is in conjunction with the humanity, 
and doth make use of the humanity, and act in and by it, he is capable of 
performing those things which were necessary, as Lord of the world and 
head of the church. The actions Christ doth perform, as sitting at the right 
hand of God, are the acts of him as man ; but the principle of those acts is 
his divine nature as he is God. The glorious exaltation of Christ is there- 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 75 

fore the exaltation of his person, for those ends which were necessary for 
the good of the believing world. 

(4.) This glory which Christ entered into was a mediatory glory. The 
glory Christ was advanced to was not the essential glory of God, for this he 
always possessed ; this was communicated to him in the communication of 
the essence, and inseparable from him. As being God, he had all the pre- 
rogatives of God ; but it was a mediatory glory conferred upon his person, 
as the first-born of every creature ; such a glory as the humanity, so dig- 
nified by the divine nature's assumption of it, was capable of. The humanity 
being a creature, was not capable of a divine and uncreated glory. The glory 
Christ hath as God is the same with the glory of the Father, but the glory 
Christ hath as mediator is pecuHar to him as a person consisting of a divine 
and a human nature ; therefore it is in the text called his glory, in a way of 
peculiarity belonging to him as a sufferer ; for the divine nature was not 
capable of an addition of glory, nor the human nature capable of the infinite 
perfections of the divine. In regard of his essential glory, he was the Son 
begotten ; in regard of his mediatory glory, he was the heir appointed, Heb. 
i. 2. He is appointed heir in order after his sufferings, as he was appointed 
mediator in order to his sufferings, Heb. iii. 2. He was mediator by a 
voluntary designation, so he was heir by a voluntary donation. His glory 
was given to him upon condition of suffering, and conferred upon him after 
his suffering ; but he was from eternity the Lord of glory, and Son of God 
by a natural generation. The one belonged to him by birth, the mediatory 
by office ; the one is natural to his person, the other is the reward of his 
sufferings : Philip, ii. 8, 9, ' Wherefore God hath exalted him,' viz., because 
of his obedience to death. In the essential glory, he is one with the Father ; 
in his mediatory glory, he is lower than the Father, as being his deputy and 
substitute. His essential glory is absolute, his mediatory glory is delegated, 
judgment is committed to him, John v. 22. The essential glory is alto- 
gether free, and hath no obligation upon it ; the mediatory glory hath a 
charge annexed to it (for he is ' ascended far above the heavens, that he may 
fill all things,' Ephes. iv. 10), an office of priesthood to intercede, and a 
royal office to gather and govern those that are given to him by his Father. 
His essential glory he would have enjoyed, if he had never undertaken to be 
our ransom ; yet without his sufferings for us, he had never had the glorious 
title of the Redeemer of the world. As God had been essentially glorious in 
himself, if he had never created a world ; but he had not then been so manifest 
under the title of Creator. This glory was, nevertheless, properly neither 
divine nor human ; not divine, because, considered as man [hej was a creature, 
and a divine glory is incommunicable to any creature ; considered as God, there 
could be no addition of glory to him.* This is said to be given him as that 
which he had not before ; not a human glory, for as man only he was below 
it, and was not a subject capable of it. A mere man was unable to govern and 
judge the world. To be head of the church, and judge of the universe, are 
titles that belong to God, and none else ; but it was a mediatory glory proper 
to the person of Christ, and both natures as joined by the grace of union for 
the work of mediation. Now though Christ, in regard of his divine nature, was 
'equal with his Father,' PhiHp. ii, 6, yet in the state of mediator and surety 
for man, his Father was ' greater than he,' John xiv. 28; and in this state he 
was capable of a gift and glory from the Father, as from one that was superior to 
him in that condition ; as it hath been recorded in history, that a king equal, 
nay, superior, to another prince, hath put himself under the ensigns of that 
prince inferior to him, and received his pay ; as he puts himself in such a 
* Piivet in Ps. ex. p. 300, col. 1 chauged. 

76 chaknock's works.' [Luke XXIV. 26. 

military state, he is inferior to that prince he serves as his general. And 
what military honour may be conferred upon him for his valour and service, 
is an honour distinct from that royal dignity he had before as a sovereign in 
his own territories. So is this name given to Christ ' above every name,' 
Philip, ii. 9, i. e. a glory surpassing that of all creatures, the potentates of the 
earth, or seraphims of heaven, which was a' distinct glory from that which he 
had, as one with the Father, before his incarnation and passion, and had 
possessed if he had never sufiered. But this glory mentioned by the apostle 
was given him upon his sufferings. It was not therefore a name in regard 
of his eternal generation, as some interpret it;* for the particle Wter^/ore, in 
the beginning of ver. 9, puts a par to any such interpretation, it referring 
this glory as a consequent upon his humiliation to the death of the cross. 
It was therefore a mediatory glory, whereby the authority of God was con- 
ferred upon him, not absolutely and formally, as though he were then made 
God, but as to the exercise of it as mediator in that human nature which he 
had so obediently subjected to the cross for the glory of the Father and the 
good of the creature. 

(5.) This mediatory glory consisted in a power over all creatures ; for it 
was such a ' name as was above every name, so that at the name of Jesus 
every knee shall bow, and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ 
is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,' Philip, ii. 10, 11. He had the same 
power committed to him which the Father hath ; his throne is the highest, 
being the same with that whereon the Father sat, Kev. iii. 21, a throne of 
government and dominion. His commission is extensive, a power as large 
as the confines of heaven and earth : Mat. xxviii. 18, ' All power is given 
me both in heaven and earth. A power over hell is also put into the patent : 
Rev. i. 18, ' And have the keys of hell and death.' His right to this was 
conditionally conferred upon him at the first striking of the agreement be- 
tween the Father and himself, Isa. liii. 10-12. He promised upon his obla- 
tion for sin, to * divide him a portion with the great,' and he should ' divide 
the spoil with the strong.' This was acknowledged due to him upon his re- 
surrection, which, being an owning of the validity of his performance, was an 
acknowledgment of the justice of his claim ; and to this that in Mat. xxviii. 
18, refers, ' All power is given to me.' But the solemn investiture was not 
given him till his ascension. God put the sceptre in his hands when he 
used that form of words, Ps. ex. 1, ' Sit thou at my right hand till I make 
thy enemies thy footstool ;' for in the apostle's sense, to sit at the right hand 
of God and to reign, are one and the same ; for what is ' sitting at the right 
hand of God till his enemies be made his footstool,' is ' reigning till all 
enemies be put under his feet,' 1 Cor. xv. 25. At his resurrection he was 
stripped of his servile garb, at his ascension he put on his royal robes, at his 
session on the right hand of God he was crowned, and began the exercise of 
his royal dignity. 

[l.J He hatii all power in heaven. Power in the treasures of heaven, 
power over the inhabitants of heaven. 

(1.) Power in the treasures of heaven, of sending the Comforter : John 
XV. 26, ' The Comforter whom I will send,' which was sent in his name, 
John xiv. 26. His power was first in heaven, then in earth ; his power on 
earth could not have been manifested without a power first in heaven ; by 
his power in heaven he gathered his people on earth. "When God had given 
us the greatest gift, his Son, for the honour of his mercy, he gives the greatest 
gift next to him, viz., that of the Spirit, for the honour of his Son's media- 
tion. As Christ, in the evangehc economy, acted for the honour of the 
* Ambrose. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 77 

Father, so doth the Spirit in the same economy for the honour of Christ : 
John xvi. 14, 'He shall glorify me.' He is therefore called the Spirit of 
Christ. He is also said to have 'the seven spirits of God,' Rev. iii. 1. 
Seven is a scriptural number of perfection ; he hath the full power of the 
gifts and graces of the Spirit to bestow upon the church, and fill his mystical 
body with. By this it was evident that as a mediator he had a mighty power 
•with God, since the first fruits of his exaltation was the effusion of a comforter 
for us, a second advocate on earth. This being the fruit of his mediation, 
and given to him as mediator, was a full confirmation not only of the virtue 
of his death, but the powerful continuance of it still in heaven, not only that 
it was accepted for us, but that the virtues and fruits of it should be per- 
petually distributed to us. This power of the Spirit was given to Christ im- 
mediately upon his ascension, as the purchase of his sufferings, and the 
reward of his conquests : Ps. Ixviii. 18, * Thou hast ascended on high, thou 
hast led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts for men.' By his solemn 
investiture, he was settled in a power over the treasures of God, and gave out 
that in abundance which before was communicated in some few drops ; the 
heavens are opened, and a golden shower comes down upon the world. In 
a sensible and apparent manner, he received this Spirit before for himself, for 
he had it without measure, he received it before, when he entered upon his 
office, to fit him for his mediation, he now receives this power as mediator 
upon his ascension, and as a steward for his people, to distribute this rich 
revenue of God for the greatening of his church ; upon his ascension he re- 
ceived it to give out to those he had left behind him in the world, Ps. Ixviii. 
18. ' Received gifts for men,' Eph. iv. 8 ; it was then the donative of the 
Father to Christ, that it might be Christ's donative to us. 

By the way, we may take notice of another argument for the necessity of 
the exaltation of Christ in heaven, since the Spirit being an heavenly gift, it 
was not fit he should be sent by a person that was not possessed of heaven ; 
and it being the purchase of the mediator, and to be sent in his name, it was 
convenient the mediator should be in heaven, and have a more glorious 
residence than in the earth, before the mission of so great a gift. 

(2.) Power over the inhabitants of heaven. In his incarnation, in the 
days of his flesh, he was lower than the angels ; in his ascension, he is made 
higher by the shoulders than the loftiest of them, and this in regard of his 
office as mediator, for as God he had an essential superiority above them be- 
fore ; the superiority over them as he was God he had by nature, the supe- 
riority over them after his humiliation he had upon the execution of his 
mediatory office. The angels that had their residence in heaven were to 
bow to him, yield obedience to him, as he was God-man, for so he was 
exalted as Jesus, as one that had ' suffered death,' Philip, ii. 9. They were 
to give him an adoration which pertained to God, and, according to this 
divine order, they pay him actual adorations before his throne as ' the Lamb 
of God,' Rev. v. 11-13, and they are put in subjection to him as their head, 
not only for a time but for ever, in this world and that which is to come, 
Eph. i. 21, to order, direct, and commission them for the ends of his media- 
tion, according to that compassionate sense he hath in his glory, of the in- 
firmities and distresses of his people. He is Lord of all of them to this 
purpose ; one hath not the privilege to stand before God, and another sub- 
ject to run upon his errands in the world, but all are subjected to the sceptre 
of Christ, to be used by him at his pleasure in his service. And in this re- 
spect he received all power, first in heaven, then in earth; 'things in heaven ' 
are first gathered, after that ' things on earth,' Eph. i. 10. The holy angels 
were all eubjected to him upon bis exaltation by one entire donation, the 

78 chaknock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

promise of making him their bead was fully accomplished ; whereas there is 
to be a revolution of time to the end of the world, before things in earth shall 
be gathered to him, before all bis elect shall submit to his sceptre, and his 
enemies be debased to his footstool. But upon his advancement, as there 
was an actual donation of them by bis Father, so there was an entire sub- 
mission of them in one body to him. The whole corporation of those blessed 
spirits waited upon him in his entrance into heaven to his coronation, accord- 
ing to the will of their God, and his God, who had given them a precept to 
'worship him,' Ps. Ixviii. 17, 18, and that in a military posture as their 
general, noted by the word chariots, which were used chiefly in war and war- 
like triumphs. 

[2.] Power in earth over all creatures : ' There is nothing left that is 
not put under him,' Heb. ii. 8. All things are given him by God, to be 
in subjection either voluntary or constrained. He is Lord of all the crea- 
tures as God-man, because all the creatures were made for man ; and Christ 
being the Lord of all mankind, is also the Lord of all the creatures that 
were made for the use and benefit of man.* He is therefore ' the first-born 
of every creature,' Col. i. 15 ; the right of primogeniture is conferred upon 
him, and so he became Lord of all ; as Adam, in regard of his dominion over 
all earthly creatures, might be said to be the first-born of them, though him- 
self is created after them. His power upon earth consisteth in this, that all 
the worship of God is to be done in his name ; our supplications for the 
supply of our wants, our acknowledgments for the receipt of his blessings, 
must be presented ' in his name,' John xvi. 26, Eph. v. 20. He is made 
a priest to ofi'er our sacrifices and incense of prayers ; he is the channel 
through which God conveys all the marks of his kindness to us ; he hath 
power" as a prince ' to give repentance ' as the means, and ' remission of sin' 
as the privilege of those that are given to him, Acts v. 31. He hath a name 
above every name in the earth ; no person was ever so famous, none ever 
was adored by so many worshippers, none worshipped with so much fer- 
vency, none ever had so many lives sacrificed for his glory, and acknowledg- 
ment of his mediation and person. His glory hath extended one time or 
other over the whole world. It is a power that hath given check to the 
power of kings, and silenced the reason of philosophers ; it bath put to flight 
the armies of hell, and been celebrated by the songs of angels ; no name was 
ever so glorious, no power ever so great. 

The third thing I should come to is, 

III. The end of his glory. As his sufferings were necessary for us, so 
was his glory ; as it was needful he should die to redeem us, so it was need- 
ful he should enter into glory to bless us. There are two great things accrue 
to us by Christ, acqumtion of redemption, and appUcaiion of redemption ; the 
one is wrought by his death, the other by his hfe ; the one by his elevation 
on the cross, the other by his advancement on his throne. It is there he 
hears us, and from thence he purifies us ; had not Christ entered into glory, 
we had wanted the application of the fruits of his death, and so his incarna- 
tion and passion had been fruitless. 

I shall name only two, one consequent upon the other. 

1. The sending the Spirit. Indeed, since there could be no grace and 
sanctification without the Spirit, we must suppose that the Spirit was given 
before the coming of Christ. In the old world, the Spirit did strive with 
men, and the Spirit of God was in and upon the prophets, and the holy men 
in the Old Testament ; but it was communicated in weaker measures, in 
* Sabund. Tit. 263, 550. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 79 

scanty drops, not in that abundance till the instalment of Christ ; it was 
then shed abundantly through Jesus Christ, Titus iii. 6, whence our Saviour 
is said, after his ascension, not to drop upon persons, but to ' fill all things, ' 
viz., by his Spirit, Eph. iv, 10. The Spirit was in the world before, as light 
was upon the face of the creation the three first days, but not so sparkling 
and darting out full beams till the fourth day of the creation of the world. 
The full effusion of the Holy Ghost was reserved for the time and honour of 
Christ. He was communicated to the Jews anciently for working miracles 
and uttering prophecies ; but the Jews tell us, that after the death of Zecha- 
riah and Malachi, the Spirit of God departed from Israel, and went up. So 
that afterwards miracles were very rare among them, and therefore, when the 
disciples at Ephesus, of the Jewish race. Acts ix. 2, said they had not heard 
whether there were any Holy Ghost or no, it is not to be understood that they 
had not heard that there was such a person, for that they believed, but theV 
knew not whether the Holy Ghost, which departed away after the death of 
Malachi, was restored again in the gift of prophecy and miracles. The 
golden shower of the Spirit for grace and gifts was not to be rained down 
upon the world in so full and sensible a manner till the coronation of Christ, 
as only at some public solemnities of princes the conduits use to run with wine. 
Hence Christ flatly tells his disciples, that it was expedient for him to go, 
that the Comforter might come, which was not to come till after his departure ; 
and particularly by his mission : John xvi. 7, ' Nevertheless, I tell you the 
truth, it is expedient for you that I go away ; for if I go not away, the Com- 
forter will not come unto you ; but if I depart, I will send him to you ;' and this 
he avers as a certain truth. Indeed, Christ received the Spirit for himself 
at the first inauguration and entrance into the exercise of his oSice at his 
baptism, but not fully to convey it to his people, but upon his coronation, 
and full investiture with all power. Then he received ' the promise of the 
Spirit,' Acts ii. 33, i. e. he obtained the full execution of the promise in the 
full effusion of the Holy Ghost, when he had entered into the sanctuary not 
made with hands. The purchase of it was a fruit of his death, but the mis- 
sion of it was consequent upon his exaltation ; by his death, in satisfying the 
justice of God, he removed that bar which had been upon those treasures, 
and broke the seal from the fountain, that the waters of divine grace miwht 
be poured out upon men ; by his death he merited it, by his glory he pos- 
sessed it, and then made the effusion of it, and that for the good of his 
people.* ' It is expedient for j^ou :' it was not only for his honour that he 
went to heaven, but for our advantage, that our faith might be perfected, our 
hope elevated, and every grace strengthened and refined. Now the Spirit was 
sent to this end, to carry on the work of Christ in the world, and to apply 
the redemption he had wrought. He was to ' bring things to remembrance, 
whatsoever Christ had said to them,' John xiv. 26 ; he was ' not to speak of 
himself,' John xvi, 13. He was not to be the author of a new doctrine in the 
church, but to impress upon men what Christ had taught, and what he had 
wrought by his passion. He is therefore called ' the Spirit of truth,' i.e. 
teaching and clearing up to the minds of men, that truth which Christ had 
taught and confirmed by his blood, and to raise the superstructure upon that 
foundation Christ had already laid. He was to declare only what he heard, 
John xvi. 13, 14 ; to act the part of a minister to Christ, as Christ had acted 
the part of a minister to his Father ; to glorify Christ, i. e. to manifest the 
fulness of his merit, and the benefits of his purchase ; for he was to receive 
of Christ's, i. e. the things of Christ, his truth and grace, and manifest them 
to their souls, and imprint upon them the comfort of both. This Spirit being 
* Pont, part v. Mcdit. xvii. p. 324. 

80 chaenock's wokks. [Luke XXIV. 2G. 

then a fruit of the glory of Christ, is an abiding Spirit for those ends for 
which he was first sent, John xiv. 16. The permanency of the Spirit is 
as durable as his glory. Christ must be degraded from his exaltation, be- 
fore the Spirit shall cease from performing the acts of a comforter and advo- 
cate on earth. 

2. Consequent upon this was the communication of gifts for the propaga- 
tion and preservation of the gospel. Christ was to raise a gospel church 
among the Gentiles, to apply the fruits of his death. This he could not do 
without receiving gifts to bestow upon men. These gifts were not to be 
received by him, till his finishing his work ; and this work could not be de- 
clared to be completely finished without his advancement to the right hand 
of his Father, Ps. Ixviii. 17. He received them with one hand, and distri- 
buted them with the other ; he handed them to the world, as they were con- 
veyed to him by his Father in his glory. ' He ascended up far above all 
heavens, that he might fill all things,' Eph. iv. 10 ; all the world with the 
knowledge of himself, all kinds of men wdth gifts ; ofiicers with abilities ; 
private Christians with graces. His glory is the foundation of all Christian- 
ity ; by those gifts of the Spirit to men, he rescues men from a spiritual 
death, and plants them as living trees in the garden of God. By those we 
find our hearts linked to him in love, panting after him with desires, and 
aspiring to the happiness of heaven, where he is. All the channels through 
which he pours the waters of life upon the world, were cut and framed by 
his hands. The Spirit is called the seven spirits in the hand of Christ, and 
joined with the seven stars, Eev. iii. 1, as being distributed by him in the 
seven states and periods of the church, to the end of the world. 

There might be more named, but they may come in in the Use, to which 
we may now proceed. 

IV. Use. 

I. Of information. 

1. How groundless is the doctrine of transubstantiation. ' And to enter 
into his glory,' after his suffering. Had there been such a thing as his daily 
descent to earth in the sacrifice of the mass, it had been a very proper 
season to have intimated such a notion to his disciples in this discourse ; he 
might have had a very fair occasion to say. Wonder not at the sufierings 
of your Redeemer ; he ought not only to sufi'er those things, but you shall 
see him every day a sufferer in the sacramental wafer. As often as a priest 
shall be the consecrator, you shall crush his body between your teeth, and see 
him suffer a thousand times, not by the hands of violent men, but between 
the teeth, and in the stomachs of impure creatures. No such thing is here 
spoken of; it is ' enter into his glory.' He was to be a sufferer but once, 
and then be received into glory ; his glory was to follow his sufferings. By 
this doctrine his daily sufferings would follow his glory, would be together 
with his glory. He would be a sufferer on earth, while he were glorified in 
heaven ; and while he sits at the right hand of his Father, his body would 
be corrupted in the foul stomachs of some men, as bad as devils, at one and 
the same time. Is this a glory his human body entered into, to be frequently 
degraded to a lodging in an impure stomach, among the dregs of the last 
nourishment which was taken in, to pass from thence to the draught, and be 
condemned to the dungeon of putrefying jakes ? Would not this be worse 
than bis sufierings on the cross, which were but temporary, and more loath- 
some and ignominious than all the reproaches he suffered on earth ? This 
is a dealing with the Mediator as the heathens did with God, in changing 
his glory into a corruptible image. This is inconsistent with that glory he 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 81 

is entered into after his sufferings ; there is a repugnancy between his sitting 
upon a throne, and being subject to the accidents of material things on 
earth. As Christ was silent in any such doctrine, so were the angels at his 
ascension (Acts i. 10, 11, ' This same Jesus, which is taken up from you 
into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him taken up 
into heaven'), when they had a fit occasion to mention it ; especially when they 
mention his coming so again for the comfort of the disciples that were spec- 
tators of it. They mention, not a coming every day in body and soul in the 
wafer, into their mouths, but only of a visible and glorious coming again in 
the same manner as he ascended. As he hath entered into glory, so the- 
heavens receive him, and contain him, till the time of the restitution of all 
things. His body is too glorious to pass into the mouths and stomachs of. 
man, and undergo those various changes with their nourishments. 

2. How greatly is our nature dignified ! He is entered into glory with our 
nature, and hath lifted up our flesh above the heavens, and hath in this glori- 
fied our very dust. In that nature wherein he suffered, in the same nature 
he hath ascended into the most glorious part of the creation of God, above 
the highest heavens. The humanity of Christ, and in that our nature, was 
not taken up for a time, but for ever. It was debased for a short space : 
Heb. ii. 7, ' Thou madest him a little lower than the angels ;' or, ' Thou hast 
made him lower than the angels for a short time.' But he is advanced for 
ever : * Thou hast crowned him with glory and honour.' The Redeemer is 
always to wear our nature; it is never to be out of fashion with him. How 
glorious is this for us, that the Son of God should take our nature, our dusty 
humanity, all our infirmities except sinful, to clear our natures from all penal 
infirmities, to transform our clay (if I may so- say) into virgin wax, and 
wear it as a pledge that the members of his body shall at length be brought 
to him ! Our nature now hath, by Christ's assumption of it, an affinity with 
the divine, which that of the glorious angels hath not in such a manner. 
Our nature, not theirs, was assumed, and remains united to the person of the 
Son of God. It is advanced to the right hand of God, sits upon the throne 
wuth God. The angelical nature is below the throne, stands about it, but is 
not advanced to sit upon it. Our nature hath not only now a dominion over 
the beasts, as at the first creation, but a principality above and over the angels, 
Eph. i. 21. By creation we were made a little lower than the angels ; by 
this union of the divine, and the exaltation of the human nature of the Son 
of God, our nature is mounted above theirs. It was then made as low as 
earth, it is now advanced as high as heaven ; yea, above the heavens. Our 
nature was before at the foot of the world, the world is now at the foot of our 

3. How pleasing to God is the redemption of man ! Christ's glorious 
advancement speaks a fragrancy in his satisfaction to God, as well as a ful- 
ness of merit for men. There was a good pleasure in his mission, there was 
a sweet savour in his passion ; for since he is crowned with glory upon a 
throne, that so lately suffered ignominiously upon a cross, what can the con- 
sequence be but that his obedience to death was highly agreeable to the mind 
of God, and afforded him a ravishing delight ! For without his receiving an 
infinite content by it, it is not possible to imagine he should bestow so glori- 
ous a recompence for it. We have his word for a testimony of his delight 
in the service he designed: Isa. xlii. 1, 'Behold my servant, in whom my 
soul delights.' We have his deed for an evidence of the pleasure he took in 
the service he performed, by putting the government into the hands of the 
Mediator, and giving him power over the angels, and setting him at his right 
hand as his Son. Ho hath testified what a ravishing sense he hath of the 

VOL. V, F 

82 chaenock's woeks. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

redemption he ■wrought, and of that death •whereby he completed it. He 
took more pleasure in him as the Redeemer than in all the angels in heaven. 
The apostle challengeth all to produce any one angel to whom God spake so 
magnificent a word, ' Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thy enemies thy 
footstool,' Heb. i. 13. 'To which of the angels said he so at any time?' 
He is proclaimed to the angels as an object of worship as he is brought into 
the world, Heb. i. 6, as he is the heir appointed as well as he is the heir 
begotten ; as * he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than 
they.' He hath now a glorious empire over the angels, as Mediator in his 
humanity, which he had before in his deity, as God blessed for ever. He 
.enters into his glory as Adam into the possession of a world, with a dominion 
over all the works of God. Had not every part of his work in the world ad- 
ministered a mighty pleasure to God, there had not been a hand reached out 
to have lifted him to glory ; but he went up 'with a shout,' Ps. xlvii. 5, — 
with the applause of God and acclamations of angels. No shouting had been 
in heaven, no chariot sent from thence to fetch him, no attribute of God had 
bid him welcome, had any been disgraced by him. There had been a gloomi- 
ness and disorder instead of a jubilee, nor could he ever have sat down upon 
the throne of the divine holiness, had not the holiness of God, the most esti- 
mable perfection of his nature, been highly glorified by him. 

4. How terrible should the consideration of the glory of Christ be to the 
unregenerate and unbelievers ! The greatness of God's pleasure in the re- 
demption performed by our Saviour, testified by this his exaltation, argues a 
wrath as terrible against those that lightly esteem him. What greater pro- 
vocation than to set our judgment against the judgment of God, and to think 
him not worth glory by our disesteem, who hath deservedly entered into a 
glory above all creatures. It is far worse to despise a Saviour in his robes 
than to crucify him in his rags. An afiront is more criminal to a prince upon 
his throne, than when he is disguised like a subject and masked in the clothes 
of his servant. Christ is entered into glory after his sufierings ; all that are 
his enemies must enter into misery after their prosperity. As there is the 
greatest contrariety in their affections, so there will be the gi-eatest distance 
in theii" conditions. Such cannot be with him where he is in glory, because 
they are contrary to him. What prince upon his throne and in his majesty 
would admit into his presence base and unworthy criminals, but to punish 
them, not to cherish them ? Impure persons are not fit to stand before a 
prince's throne. The sight of Christ in glory is the happiness of believers, 
not to be communicated to the wicked. Those that will not bow to him must 
bend to him ; if they will not bend to him in his glory, they must fall under 
his wrath, and be parts of his conquest in his anger, if they will not surrender 
to him upon his summons from his throne of grace. What a folly is it to 
kick against that person, before whom, one time or other, all knees must bow, 
either voluntarily or by constraint, and render him an active or a passive 
honour ! PhiHp. ii. 10, 11. Since he had a power joined with his glory, that 
power will as much be exercised against his enemies as for his friends. As 
the one are to sit upon his throne, so the other are to be made his footstool ; 
and whosoever will not be ruled by his golden sceptre, shall be crushed by 
his iron rod. 

Use 2 is of comfort. The great ground of almost all discomfort is a wrong 
and imperfect notion of the death, and especially of the exaltation, of Christ, 
and his sitting at the right hand of God. Sorrow filled the disciples' hearts, 
because they apprehended not the reason and ends of Christ's departure from 
them, John xvi. 5, 6. Had they considered whither he was to go, and for 
what, they would not have been dejected. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 83 

(1.) By his glory the justification of believers is secured. As all believers 
did make a satisfaction to God in the death of Christ, so they are all dis- 
charged by God in the resurrection and ascension of Christ. Christ having 
a full discharge by his entering into glory as a common person, all those whose 
sins he bore have a fundamental discharge in that security of his person from 
any more suffering. As he bore the sins of many as a common person in the 
oflering himself, and thereby satisfied for their guilt, so he receives an abso- 
lution as a common Head for all those whose guilt he bore in his sufterings. 
The glory he entered into secures him from any further lying under the 
burden of our sins, or enduring any more the penalties of the law for them; 
for as he suffered, so he was acquitted, and entered into glory as our surety 
and representative : Heb. ix. 27, ' As it is appointed unto all men once to 
die, and after that the judgment, so Christ was once offered for the sins of many ; 
and unto them that look for him, shall he appear without sin unto salvation.' 
As judgment is appointed for all men as well as death, and they receive their 
final and irreversible judgment after death, so Christ, by his exaltation, is 
judged perfect, fully answering the will and ends of God ; and shall not appear 
any more as a sacrifice in a weak and mangled body, but in a glorious body, 
as a manifestation of his justification, fitted for the comfort of those that look 
for him. Upon the score of this judgment passed upon him by God in our 
behalf, he is to appear at length for salvation. If he suflered for us, his 
sufiierings are imputed to us ; and if his exaltation be an approbation of his 
sufierings for us, then the validity of his sufferings for our justification is 
acknowledged by God's receiving him into glory; for as in his death all 
believers were virtually crucified, so in his justification (whereof his exalta- 
tion is an assurance) all believers have a fundamental justification. It was 
for the purging, not his own but our sins, that he ' sat down at the right hand 
of the throne of the Majesty on high,' Heb. i. 3 ; and therefore he sat down 
as justified for us. The reason of his advancement was the expiation performed 
by him. As long therefore as the glory of Christ holds, the reason of that 
glory holds, i.e. the stability of his expiation, and consequently the security 
of our justification upon faith. The glory Christ is dignified with adds no 
value to his sufferings, but declares the value of them; as the stamp on bullion 
declares it to be of such a current value, but adds no intrinsic value to what 
it had before. In Christ's death, the nature of his sacrifice is declared ; in his 
resurrection, the validity and perfection of his sacrifice is manifested; in his 
glorious ascension, the everlasting virtue of that sacrifice is testified. All 
three, eyed by faith in conjunction, secure our justification, and render a 
perpetual repose to the conscience. His throne being for ever and ever, the 
virtue of his sacrifice, upon the account of which he was placed in that thi-one, 
is incorruptible ; and therefore there is no room for dejection and jealousies 
of the sufiiciency of the ransom, after so illustrious a recompence received by 
him. Had he not indeed entered into glory, we had but a weak assurance 
of a discharge from the Judge. 

(2.) Hence there is a perpetual bar against the charge our sins and Satan 
may bring against us. As Christ sufiered for us, so he entered into glory for 
us. He sufiered in the notion of a redeemer, and he is ascended up into 
heaven under the notion of an advocate. He sits not there as a useless 
spectator, but as an industrious and powerful intercessor. The end of his 
being with the Father is to be an advocate : 1 John ii. 1, ' We have au 
advocate with the Father ;' and the office of an advocate is to plead the cause 
of a client against a false and unjust suit. He drew up the answer upon the 
cross to the bill sin had put in against us, and in his glory he pleads and 
makes good that answer. He merited on the cross, and improves that merit 

84 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

on his throne, and diffuseth his righteousness to shame the accusations of 
sin. It was through the blood of the covenant he rose ; it was through and 
with the blood of the covenant he entered into the holy place, to carry the 
merit of his death as a standing monument into heaven. He fixes the sight 
of it always in the eye of God, and the savour of it is in his nostrils, so that 
as the world, after the savour of Noah's sacrifice, should no more sink under 
the deluge, so a believer in Christ should no more groan under the curses of 
the law, though he may smart in this world under the correction of a Father. 
We have gi-eat enemies : the devil tempts us, and corruptions haunt us, and 
both accuse us. To whom do they present their accusations, but to that 
Majesty, at whose right hand the Redeemer hath his residence ? Whence 
must the vengeance they call for ensue, but from that Majesty, upon whose 
throne a sufl'ering Saviour sits in triumph to answer the charge, and stop the 
revenge ? Since he sufiered to tear the indictment, hath he entered into glory 
to have it pieced together again and renewed ? As he bowed down his 
head upon the cross to expiate our sins, so he hath lifted it up upon the throne 
to obviate any charge they can bring against us. This is a mighty comfort to a 
good and clear conscience in the midst of infii-mities, that Christ is ascended 
into heaven, and is on the right hand of God, angels, authorities, and powers, 
evil ones as well as good, being made subject to him ; evil ones by force, 
and good ones voluntarily ; and therefore secures those from any charge of 
evil angels that are baptized into his death, and have ' the stipulation of a 
good conscience towards God,' which is the apostle's reasoning, 1 Peter 
iii. 21, 22. 

(3.) The destruction of sin in a perfect sanctification is hereby assured, 
since his glory is a pledge of the glory of believers. It is an earnest also of 
all the preparations necessary to the enjoyment of that glory, but a perfect 
holiness is the only highway to happiness. A Redeemer in glory will at 
length ' present to himself a glorious church,' Eph. v. 27 ; glorious without 
spot, smooth without wrinkles, sound, without blemish, like to himself. The 
resurrection of Christ, the beginning of his exaltation, is the foundation 
of the sanctification of every believer. The power which raised him, and set 
him in heaven, was an earnest of the power that was to be exerted to raise 
and work in those that were to be his members, and fix them in the like 
condition, Eph. i. 19, 20. Christ being risen and exalted for their justifi- 
cation, was an assurance that the same power should be employed for doing 
all works necessary in a justified person. As in his death they were crucified 
with him, and by virtue of his resurrection raised from their spiritual death, 
so by virtue of his exaltation they shall at last cast ofi" their grave-clothes, 
and, like EHjah, be wholly separated from a dusty mantle. All that are 
chosen by God shall pass into a conformity to the image of his Son, Rom. 
viii. 29. What did Christ enter into glory for, and receive a power, but to 
destroy the strength of that in the heart, the guilt whereof he expiated by his 
blood, that as he appeased the anger of God and vindicated the honour of the 
law by removing the guilt, he might fully content the holiness of God by 
cleansing away the filth ? As he had a body prepared him to accomplish the 
one, so he hath a glory conferred upon him to perfect the other, that as there 
is no guilt shall be left to provoke the justice of God, so there shall be no 
defilement left to ofi'eud his hohness. The first-fruits of this glory therefore 
was the mission of the Holy Ghost, whose proper title is a ' Spirit of holiness,' 
in regard of his operation as well as his nature, and whose proper work is to 
quicken the soul to a newness of life, and mortify by his grace the enemies of 
oar nature. He is not entered into glory to b? unfaithful in his office, 
unmindful of his honour, negligent of improving the vu-tue of his blood in 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity op chrisi's exaltation. 85 

purging the souls that need it and desire it. No doubt but Father, sanclij'j 
them tlirough thy truth, sounds as loud from his lips upon his illustrious throne 
as it did upon earth, when he was approaching towards the confines of it, 
John xvii. 17. He did not utter those words upon the borders of his kingdom, 
to forget them when he was instated in it. What he prayed for in his 
humiliation, he hath power to act in his exaltation ; and therefore, since his 
desires for the sanctification of his people were so strong then, his pursuit 
of those desires, and his diligence to obtain them, will not languish now in 
his present state. His peremptory desire, John xvii. 24, that all his people 
might be with him, implies a desii-e for the perfection of that gi-ace which 
may fit them to be with him. 

(4.) An assurance from hence of an holy assistance in, and an honourable 
success of, all afilictions and temptations. He entered into glory, but after his 
suffering, and therefore went not into glory without a sense of his sufferings. 
He entered into glory in the same relation as he suffered : he was a sufferer 
for us, and therefore ascended into heaven for us. He hath therefore a sense 
of what sufferings he endured for us, as well as of what glory he enjoys for 
us. The sense he bears in him still is therefore for our sakes. It is that 
human nature wherein the expiation was made on earth that is now crowned 
with glory in heaven ; that human nature, with all the compassions inherent 
in it, with the same affections wherewith he endured the cross and despised 
the shame, with the same earnestness to relieve us as he had to die for us ; 
with the same desire to supply our wants as he had to redeem our persons. 
He forgets not in his glory what he was in his humihation, nor is unmindful 
of them in their misery whom he intends to bring to glory. He remembers 
his own sufferings, and for what he suffered, and how he hath left a suffering 
people behind him. He cannot mark out a mansion in heaven for any one 
remaining upon earth, but he remembers what condition he left them in, and 
what present misery attends them. To that end he went to heaven to prepare 
a place, and order the mansions for reception, John xiv. 2. His head is not 
more gloriously crowned than his heart is gloriously compassionate. His 
passion was temporary, but his compassions are as durable as his glory. 
While he left the infirmities of his body behind him, he took his pitying 
nature with him to wear upon his throne : he is ' touched with a feeling of 
our infirmities,' Heb. iv. 15. Indeed, he cannot but be touched with them, 
because before his glorious entrance he felt them. To think there is a glorified 
head in heaven, is a refreshment to every suffering member on earth ; and 
such a glorified head that can as soon forget his own glory as any part of his 
suffering body. And as to temptation from the devil, this glory gives an 
assurance of a complete victory over him at last. That devil that was 
repulsed by him in the wilderness, wounded by him on the cross, chained by 
him at his resurrection, and triumphed over at his ascension, cannot expect 
to prevail. He that could not overpower our Head, while he was covered 
with the infirmities of the flesh, cannot master him, since all power is delivered 
to him in heaven and earth ; and while the head is in glory, it will protect 
and conduct the members. He that wanted not wisdom and strength in the 
form of a servant to defeat him, doth not want it upon the throne of a con- 
queror to outwit and crush him. He can, and will, in due season, as well 
silence the storms of hell, as in the days of his infirm flesh he did the waves 
of the sea and the winds of the air. The members cannot be drowned while 
the head is above water. 

(5.) An assurance of the making good all the promises of the covenant 
accrues from hence. If he suffered death to confirm them, he will not enjoy 
his glory but to perform them. ' The sure mercies of David' were established 

86 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

at his resnrrection, and at his ascension put into his hands to be distributed 
by him ; by those (though his resurrection is only named as being the begin- 
ning of his exaltation) God assures us that he shall die no more, but live to 
dispense those blessings he hath purchased, and accomplish those covenant 
promises in his glory, which he sealed by his blood, which are sure mercies, 
declared sure by his seal, and by his possession. The end of his exaltation 
is not cross, but pursuant to the end of his passion. It is upon the account 
of his being a ' faithful witness,' that he is the ' prince of the kings of the 
earth,' Rev. i. 5. It is a strong argument that he will be exact in his glori- 
ous condition to honour the truth of God in the performance of his pro- 
mises, since he hath been so exact in the ignominious part of his work, to 
remove that which barred the way to the accomplishment of them, viz., 
satisfying that justice which protected the covenant of works, that mercy 
might act by a covenant of grace towards men. 

(6.) Hence there is an assurance of the resurrection of our bodies ; he 
began to enter into glory when he was raised, and his resurrection was in 
order to his further glorification. He was exalted to bring death, among the 
rest of his enemies, under his feet, and therefore his entrance into glory com- 
pletes the conquest of it, 1 Cor. xv. 25, 26. It is not so much an enemy 
to his person now, since he hath surmounted it, but an enemy to his mystical 
body, and therefore is to be conquered in it. As Adam in his fall was the 
spring of death to all that descend from him, so Christ in his advancement 
is the fountain of life to all that believe in him. Hence is he called ' a 
quickening Spirit,' 1 Cor. xv. 45, so that he hath the same efficacy to give 
life, as Adam had to transmit death to his posterity, ver. 20-22. As it was 
not only the soul of Christ, but the body, was exalted, so our bodies shall be 
raised, since they are sanctified by Christ as well as our souls. He redeemed 
not one part of us, but our persons, which consist both of body and soul. 
There is no ground to imagine that when the head is raised, the members 
should always remain crumbled to dust, and covered with grave-clothes. He 
rose as our head, otherwise we could not be said by the apostle to ' rise with 
him,' Col. ii. 12. The glorious resurrection of Christ, indeed, is not the 
meritorious cause of our resurrection (for all the merit pertains to his humilia- 
tion), but the seal and earnest and infallible argument of it. He did not 
only rise for himself, but for his members, and their justification, Rom. 
iv. 25, and therefore for their resurrection ; for there is no reason death, the 
punishment, should remain, if guilt, the meritorious cause of it, be removed. 
He rose for our justification declaratively, i.e. his resurrection was a declara- 
tion of our fundamental justification, because justice was thereby declared 
to be satisfied, which would else have shut us in the grave, and locked the 
chains of death for ever upon us. It is by this, the first step of his entrance 
into glory, we have an assurance that the graves shall open, bodies stand 
up, and death be swallowed up in victory. 

(7.) Hence ariseth an assurance of a perfect glorification of every believer. 
The heavens receive him till, and therefore in order to, ' the restitution of all 
things,' Acts iii. 21, the full restoration of all things into due order, and 
therefore a full freedom of the regenerate man from sin and misery. As the 
apostle argues in the case of the resurrection, ' if Christ be risen, we shall 
rise,' 1 Cor. xv. 13; so it may upon the same reason be concluded, that if 
Christ entered into glory, believers shall enter into glory ; for as from the 
fulness of his grace we receive grace for grace, so from the fulness of his 
glory we shall receive glory for glory ; and the reason is, because he entered 
into glory as the head, to take livery and seizin of it for every one that 
belongs to him. He entered as a forerunner, to prepare a place for those 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 87 

that were to follow him, and was crowned with glory as he is the Captain of 
salvation, Heb. ii. 9; so that this glory was not possessed by him merely for 
himself (for he was glorious in his deity before), but to communicate to our 
nature which he bore in his exaltation. As immortahty was given to Adam, 
not only for himself, but to derive to his posterity, had he persisted in a 
state of innocence ; so the second Adam is clothed with a glorious immor- 
tality, as the communicative principle to all believers. As God, in creating 
Adam the root of mankind, did virtually create us all, so in raising and 
glorifying Christ, the root of spiritual generation, he did virtually raise and 
glorify all that were his seed, though their actual appearances in the world, 
either as men or believers, were afterwards. As the resurrection of Christ 
was an acquittance of the principal debtors in their surety, so the advance- 
ment of Christ was the glorification of his seed in the root. When the head 
is crowned with a triumphant laurel, the whole body partakes of the honour 
of the head ; and a whole kingdom has a share in a new succession of honour 
to the prince. As those that believe in Christ shall sit with him upon his 
throne, Rev. iii. 21, so they shall be crowned with his glory ; not that they 
shall possess the same glory that Christ hath (for his personal glory as the 
Son of God, and his mediatory glory as the head of the church, are incom- 
municable, it hath an authority to govern joined with it, which the highest 
believer is uncapable of), but they shall partake of his glory according to their 
capacity, which he signifies by his desire and will : John xvii. 24, ' That 
they may be with him where he is, and behold his glory ; ' not only with him 
where he is, for so in a sense devils are, because, as God, he is everywhere, 
but in a fellowship and communion with him in glory. He is exalted as our 
head, whereby we have an assurance upon faith of being glorified with him. 
Had he stayed upon earth, we could have had no higher hopes than of an 
earthly felicity, but his advancement to heaven is a pledge that his members 
shall mount to the same place, and follow their Captain; in which sense his 
people are said to ' sit together with him,' Eph. ii. 6. And herein is the 
difiierence between the translation of Enoch into heaven, the rapture of Elias 
in a fieiy chariot, and the ascension of Christ : they were taken as single 
persons, he as a common person. Those translations might give men occa- 
sion to aspire to the same felicity, and some hopes to attain it upon an holy 
life, but no assurance to enjoy it upon faith, as the ascension of Christ afi'ords 
to his members. And further, the glory of Christ seems not to be complete 
till the glorification of his members ; his absolute will is not perfectly con- 
tented, till his desire of having his people with him be satisfied, John 
xvii. 24. The departed saints are happy, yet they have their desires as well as 
fruitions, they long for the full perfection of that part of the family which is 
upon earth. Christ himself is happy in his glory, yet the same desires he 
had upon earth to see his believing people with him in glory, very probably 
do mount up in his soul in heaven ; and though he fills all in all, and hath 
himself a fulness of the beatific vision, yet there is the fulness of the body 
mystical, which he still wants, and still desires. The church, which is his 
body, is called ' his fulness,' Eph. i. 23. It is then his glory is in a meridian 
height, when he ' comes to be glorified in all his saints' about him, 2 Thes. 
i. 10. The elevation then of the Head, is a pledge of the advancement of 
believers in their persons, and a transporting them from this vale of misery 
to the heavenly sanctuary. His death opened heaven, and his exaltation 
prepares a mansion in it ; his death purchased the right, and his glory 
assures the possession. 

Use 3. Of exhortation. 

Meditate upon the glory of Christ, Without a due and frequent reflection 

88 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

upon it, we can never have a spirit of thankfulness for our great redemption, 
because we cannot else have sound impressions of the magnificent grace of 
God in Christ. It is the least we can do, to give him a room in our 
thoughts, who hath been a forerunner in glory, to make room for us in an 
happy world.* As the ancient Israelites linked their devotion to the temple 
and ark at Jerusalem, the visible sign God had given them of his presence, 
ought we not also to fix our eyes and hearts on the holy place which contains 
our ark, the body of the Lord Jesus ? The meditation on this glory will 
keep us in acts of faith on him, obedience to him, ' lively hope' of enjoying 
blessedness by him, 1 Peter i. 21. If we did believe him dignified with 
power at the right hand of his Father, it would be the strongest motive to 
encourage and quicken our obedience, and fill us with hopes of being with 
him, since he is gone up in triumph as our head ; it would make us highly 
bless God for the glory of Christ, since it is the day of our triumph, and 
the assurance of our liberty. 

(1.) It will establish our faith. We shall esteem Christ fit to be relied 
upon, and never question that righteousness, which hath so great an advance- 
ment to bear witness to the sufiiciency of it. Since his obedience to death 
was to precede the possession of his glory, that being now conferred, evi- 
denceth his obedience to be unblemished. It gives us also a prospect of 
that glory which shall follow our sufierings for him, which is very necessary 
for the support and perfection of our faith. 

(2.) It will inspire us not only with a patience, but a courage, in sufiering 
for the gospel. By this the apostle encourageth Timothy to endure hard- 
ness : 2 Tim. ii. 8, ' Eemember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was 
raised from the dead,' The elevation of Christ is a full confirmation of the 
gospel, and all the doctrines contained therein. Who can faint under sufi"er- 
ings for that, that seriously reflects, and sees the ignominy of the cross 
turned into the honour of a crown ? If his humiliation was succeeded by 
an exaltation, the members may expect the same methods God used to the 
head. What shame can it be to confess, yea, and die, for one that is so 
highly advanced, especially when, in that advancement, we have a communion 
with him ? A conformit}^ to him in suffering, will issue in an honour in the 
same place. If he entered as a forerunner, then all that are to follow him 
must go the same way, to mount to a like honour. 

(3.) It will encourage us in prayer. From this topic Christ himself 
raised the disciples' hopes of speeding in their petitions : John xiv. 12, 13, 
* Because I go to the Father, whatsoever you ask in my name, that will I 
do ;' for so some join the words. He was glorified as a priest, not only 
because he was one, but that he might be in a better capacity to exercise the 
remaining part of his ofiice. The perpetuity of his priesthood is a great 
part of his glory ; and it is a part of this office to receive and present the 
prayers of his people, Kev. viii. 3. How cheerfully may we come to him, 
who is entered into the holy of holies for us, if we had sensible apprehen- 
sions of his present state ! A dull frame is neither fit for that God that hath 
glorified Christ, nor fit for that Christ that is glorified by him. 

(4.) It would form us to obedience. Since the humanity is in authority 
next to the deity, it would engage our obedience to him, to whom the angels 
are subject. The angels, in beholding his glory, eye him to receive his 
commands ; and we, in meditation on it, should be framed to the same 
posture. Christ, by his death, acquired over us a right of lordship, and 
hath laid upon us the strongest obligation to serve him. He made himself 

* Daille vingt serm. p. 443. 

Luke XXIV. 26.] the necessity of Christ's exaltation. 89 

a sacrifice, that we might perform a service to him : Rom. xiv. 9, ' He both 
died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and 
living.' By his reviving to a new state and condition of hfe, his right to our 
obedience is strengthened. There is no creature exempt from his authority, 
and therefore no creature can be exempt from obedience to him. Who 
would not be loyal to him who hath already received a power to protect 
them, and a glory to reward them ? 

(5.) It would ahenate our affections from the world, and pitch them upon 
heaven. The thoughts of his glory would put our low and sordid souls to 
the blush, and shame our base and unworthy affections, so unsuitable to the 
glory of our head. If we looked upon Christ in heaven, our ' conversation' 
would be more there, Philip, iii. 20, 21; our hearts would 'seek' more 
' the things which are above,' Col. iii. 1 ; we should loathe everything 
where we do not find him, and think on that heaven where only we can fully 
enjoy him. It would make us have heavenly pan tings after the glory of 
another world, and disjoint our affections from the mud and dirt of this. 
This would elevate our hearts from the cross to the throne, from the grave 
to his glory, from his winding-sheet to his robes. If we think on him 
mounted to heaven, why should we have affections grovelling upon the earth ? 
It is not fit our hearts should be where Christ would not vouchsafe to reside 
himself after his work was done. If he would have had our souls tied to 
the earth, he would have made earth his habitation ; but going up to the 
higher world, he taught us that we should follow him in heart, till he fetched 
our souls and bodies thither to be with him in person. 

(6.) It would quicken our desires to be with Christ. How did the apostle 
long to be a stranger to the body, that he might be in the arms of his trium- 
phant Lord ! Philip, i. 23. How did Jacob ardently desire to see Joseph, 
when he heard he was not only living, but in honour in Egypt ! And should 
not we, upon the meditation of this glory, be enflamed with a longing to 
behold it, since we have the prayer of Christ himself to encom-age our beUef 
that it shall be so ? What spouse would not desire to be with her husband 
in that glory she hears he is in ? AVhat loving member hath not an appe- 
tite to be joined to the head ? There is a natural appetite in the several 
parts of some animals, as serpents, &c., to join themselves together again. 
No nature so strongly desirous to join the several parts, as the same spirit 
of glory in Christ, and of grace in his members, is to join head and members 
together. The thoughts of his glory would blow up desires for this conjunc- 
tion, that we may be free from that sin which hinders his full communica- 
tions to us, and by pure crystal glasses receive the reflections of his glory 
upon us. 

(7.) It would encourage those at a distance from him to come to him, and 
believe in him. What need we fear, since he is entered into glory, and sat 
down upon a throne of grace ? If our sins are great, shall we despair, if 
we do believe in him, and endeavour to obey him ? This is not only to set 
light by his blood, but to think him unworthy of the glory he is possessed 
of, in imagining any guilt so great that it cannot be expiated, or any stain 
so deep that it cannot be purified by him. A nation should run to him 
because he is glorified, Isa. Iv. 5. The most condescending affections that 
ever he discovered, the most gracious invitations that ever he made, were at 
those times when he had a sense of this glory in a particular manner, to shew 
his intention in his possessing it. When he spake of all things delivered to 
him by his Father, an invitation of men to come unto him is the use he 
makes of it. Mat. xi. 27, 28. If this be the use he makes of his glory to 
invite us, it should be the use we should make of the thoughts of it to accept 

90 charnock's works. [Luke XXIV. 26. 

his proffer. "Well, then, let us be frequent in the believing reviews of it. 
"When Elisha fixed his eyes upon his master, Elijah, ascending into heaven, 
he had a double portion of his spirit. If we would exercise our understand- 
ings by faith on the ascension and glory of the Redeemer, and our hearts 
accompany him in his sitting down upon the throne of his Father, we might 
receive from him fuller showers, be revived with more fresh and vigorous 
communications of the Spirit ; for thus he bestows grace and gifts upon 


My little children, these things I write unto yon, that ye sin not. If any man 
sin, u-e have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 
—1 John II. 1. 

The apostle having, in the latter verses of the former chapter, spoken of the 
extensiveness of pardon, ver. 7, 9, subjoins, ver. 8, 10, that yet the relics 
of sin do remain in God's people. But though all sin that was pardoned, 
was pardoned upon the account of the blood of Christ, which had a property 
to cleanse from all sin, and that confession of sin was a means to attain this 
forgiveness purchased by our Saviour's blood, yet men might suck in the 
poisonous doctrine of licentiousness, believing that upon their confession they 
should presently have forgiveness, though they walked on in the ways of 
their own hearts. And, on the other side, many good men might be de- 
jected at the consideration of the relics of sin in them, which the apostle 
asserts, 1 John i. 8, 10, that no man was free from in this Hfe. In this verse, 
therefore, the apostle prevents those two mistakes, which men might infer 
from the former doctrine, that we may not presume by the news of grace, 
nor despond by a reflection on our sin. 

I. Presumption, on the one hand, in these words, * My little children, 
these things write I unto you, that you sin not.' Though I have told you 
that forgiveness of sin is to be had upon confession, yet the intent of my 
writing is not to encourage a voluntary commission. 

II. Dejection and despair, in these words, ' If any man sin, we have an 
advocate with the Father.' If you do commit sin, you must not be so much 
cast down, as if the door of mercy were clapped against you ; no, there is an 
agent above to keep it open for every one that repents and believes. Here, 
then, the apostle treats of the remedy God had provided for the sins of be- 
lievers, viz., the advocacy of Christ, who having laid the foundation of our 
redemption in the satisfaction made to God by his blood, resides in heaven 
as an advocate to plead it on our behalf. This, saith one,- is the sum and 
scope of the whole gospel ; he that believes this can never despair ; he that 
believes it not, is ignorant of Christ, though he hath the whole doctrine of 
the gospel in his memory. The word UasdxXrirog signifies an advocate, 
comforter, or exhorter ; it is only in this place used of Christ, but of the 
Spirit it is used, Jolin xiv. 16, John xvi. 7, and in both places rendered 

* Ferus in loc. 

02 charnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

Comforter. And '7ra^uy.7.r,Gic, a word of affinity to this from the same root, is 
rendered, 1 Thes. ii. 3, exhortation. Some'^-' tell us, that because the advo- 
cates among the Romans and Greeks were the most eloquent orators, there- 
fore the Jews commonly called the most eminent doctors among them 
paracletes. The word is used by the Jews,f who derived it from the Greeks, 
for one that intercedes with a prince, either to introduce or restore a person 
to his favour. The Syriac uses the same word NL:"''?p"lS, derived from the 
Greek word, though it seems to have some affinity with the word P"13, which 
signifies to redeem or deliver. The word is used to express an advocate by 
another author,;]: where he tells us, that it is necessary for him that would 
be consecrated to the Father of the world, to make use of his Son, the most 
perfect advocate, both for the remission of our sins, and the communication 
of happiness to us ; where the w'ord TagaxX'/jrog cannot be taken for a com- 
forter, but an advocate or solicitor, because the Son of God procures the 
not remembering of sins, as well as the supplying of us with all good. And 
the same author, in another place, ascribes the purging of sin to the Xoyoi 
^£oD, a term whereby Christ is signified in Scripture. § The same word which, 
when serving to express the Holy Ghost, is translated comforter, is here, 
when used of Christ, translated advocate. The Spirit is a persuasive advo- 
cate for God among men, as Christ is an eloquent advocate by the rhetoric 
of his wounds with God for men. Christ is both an advocate and a com- 
forter. He owns himself a comforter, as well as the Spirit : John xiv. 16, 
' I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter,' implying 
that he was a comforter as well as the Spirit. He is a comforter of man in 
the name of God, and advocate with God in the behalf of man. 

Let us consider the words distinctly ; we, we apostles, we believers. 

1. Not only ice apostles. The intercession of Christ is not so narrowed. 
He sits not in heaven only to plead the cause of twelve men ; he doth in- 
deed manage their concern ; and if they which are specially commissioned 
by him, and are to judge the world, need him in this relation, much more do 

2. But u-e believers. It is the same ice he speaks of in the first chapter ; 
u-e that have our sins pardoned, ice that have fellowship with God, we, as 
distinguished from all the world : ver. 2, ' Who is a propitiation for our sins, 
and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world ;' where the we 
(the apostle speaks of) that have an interest in this advocate, are difi'erenced 
from the world. His propitiation belongs in some sort to the world, his inter- 
cession to his church, to those that are children new begotten by the Spirit. 
Upon the cross as a man he prayed for his murderers ; but in his media- 
tory prayer, John xvii. 9, he prays ' not for the world,' but those given him 
out of it. 

3. We in particular. Every one who hath the like precious faith hath the 
like powerful advocate ; he means the children he writes to, and every one 
of them. It had not been any preservative against dejection, had not this 
advocate belonged to them, and every one of them. ' If any man sin,' let 
him be what he will, rich or poor, high or low, one as well as another be- 
longs to this advocate. Every believer is his client ; he makes intercession 
for them ' that come unto God by him,' Heb. vii. 25, and therefore for every 
one of those comers. 

We have, not had, as if it were only a thing past ; nor shall have, as if it 
were a thing to come, and expected, but have, iyjiix,i\i, in the present tense, 
which notes duration and a continued act. We have an advocate, i. e. we 

* Mede, Fragment. Sacra, p. 104. % Pliilo Judse, vita Mosis. 

T Camero. p. 179. § Critica, p. 158, Christus, >.'oyo;. 

1 John II. 1,] Christ's intercession. 93 

constantly have ; we have him as long as his life endures. And another 
apostle tell us, ' he ever lives to make intercession.' He is at' present an 
advocate, always an advocate ; and in particular, for every one that comes 
to God by him ; and for every one of them, he is an advocate as long as he 
lives, which is for ever; we have him not to seek, but we have him this 
instant in the court, with the Judge, before the tribunal where we are to be 

An advocate. It is a metaphor taken from the Komans and Greeks. The 
proper office of an advocate is to defend the innocency of an accused person 
against his adversary."''* In that notion doth the apostle take it here ; he 
mentions Christ as an advocate in the cause of sin, which is a charge of the 
law. An advocate stands in opposition to an accuser, and his work is in 
opposition to the charge of the accuser. Satan is the accuser, sin the charge. 
Christ stands by to answer the accusation, and wipe off the charge by way of 
plea, as the office of an advocate is to do. 

Advocate. It is not advocates. It seems John was ignorant of the inter- 
cession of saints and angels. This was a doctrine unknown in the primitive 
time. John knew but one, but the Eomanists have made a new discovery of 
many more. Multitudes of saints and angels in this office for them ; and 
they never canonise a saint but they give him his commission for an advocate, 
as if they mistrusted themselves since their apostasy, or feared the affection 
or the skill of him the primitive Christians trusted their cause to. It had 
been as easy a matter for the apostle to have wrote advocates as advocate ; it 
had been but the change of a letter or two, and the cause had been carried. 
This apostle, to whose care Christ bequeathed the blessed virgin when he was 
upon the cross, would not have waived her right had there been a just claim 
for her. We find them urging the distinction of mediators of redemption and 
mediators of intercession ; they acknowledge the sole honour of the first to 
belong to Christ, but link colleagues with him in the second. The Holy 
Ghost here nulls any title but his to either, since the same person who is 
called our Advocate in the text is called our Propitiation in the next verse. 
As there is but one Redeemer, so there is but one Intercessor ; and the right 
of his intercessory power flows from the sufficiency of his propitiatory pas- 
sion. The intercession of this one advocate, Jesus Christ, brought all the 
glorified saints to heaven ; and he can by the same office secure every be- 
liever to the end of the world, without needing the interposition of any that 
he hath introduced before them. He is not yet tired in his office, nor are the 
multitude of his clients too numerous for his memory to carry, so that he 
should need to turn any of them over to weaker heads. 

With the Father. As the first person in order, and the conservator of the 
rights of the Deity, not only with God, where God is, but with God as the 
object of his intercession, and with God as a Father. ' With the Father.' 

(1.) Not with an enemy. Little hopes then that he should succeed in his 
suit. An enemy may lay aside his anger, and he may retain it. The press- 
ing an enemy with importunities many times makes his fury seven times 
hotter. But it is with the Father, one reconciled to us by the price of the 
Redeemer's blood. No, nor with a judge, a term as affrighting as that of a 
father is refreshing. Thus Christ phrased it before his departure : John 
xiv. 16, ' I will pray the Father;' not I will pray the Judge. The apostle 
puts it in the same term Christ had done before him. 

(2.) It is not said with his Father. It is no mean advantage for the son 
of an offended prince to espouse the suit of a rebel. The affection of the 
father might encourage the solicitation of the son ; but this had not been a 
* TertuUian, Apolog. cap. ii. p. 23. 

94 chaknock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

sufficient cordial. The relation of a son might make him acceptable to his 
father for himself, but not for the criminal. Christ might have been dear to 
God in the place of a Son, but we might have still been hateful to him upon 
the account of our rebellions. 

(3.) Nor is it said, with your Father. Had God been only our Father, 
and an angry Father, and standing in no such relation to the advocate, we 
might have had reason to hang the wing. The title of a father is often 
without the bowels of a father. 

(4.) But with the Father, a father both to the advocate and client. To 
the advocate, by an unspeakable generation ; to the client, by an evangelical 
creation ; a Father in all respects, not only by general creation, but special 
adoption and spiritual regeneration ; one of paternal tenderness as well as 
title, and possessing the compassions as well as the relation of a father. 
The Father respects both. As Christ ascended to God as his Father and 
our Father, John xx. 17, so he intercedes with him as standing in such a 
capacity both to him and us. Christ treats not with him as a Judge only, 
but as a Father. As a Judge, God's justice was satisfied by the death of 
Christ ; but the end of his advocacy is upon the account of this satisfaction, 
to excite the paternal bowels of God towards his people. The object of the 
oblation w^as God as a judge or governor ; the object of intercession is God 
as a Father, an advocate with the Father. The first was a payment to 
justice, and the other is the solicitation of mercy. This title of Father 
assures us of the success of his intercession. 

Jesus Christ the righteous. Now he specifies this advocate, together with 
his necessary qualification. The words righteous and righteousness, both in 
the Hebrew and Greek [A'lxaiog, Aixaioavvrj ; P^"I^, "^P"!^), are sometimes 
taken for mercy and charitableness. The words following may favour the 
interpretation of righteous in this sense, for it was the compassion of Christ 
that moved him to be our propitiation, and his charitable temper is not 
diminished by the things that he sufi'ered ; but I would rather take huaiog in 
the proper sense, for just. Mercy without righteousness in the world is but 
a foolish pity, and may support a world of unrighteousness. The honesty 
and righteousness of an advocate upon earth is of more value and efficacy for 
his client with a just judge than all his compassion. In this sense of holy 
or righteous doth Peter use the word : Acts iii. 14, * You have denied the 
Holy One and the Just,' where just is opposite to an unrighteous murderer; 
and 1 Peter iii. 18, ' Christ also hath once sufi'ered for sin, the just for the 
unjust,' where the righteousness of the surety is opposed to the unrighteous- 
ness of the criminal for whom he suffered. This is the comfort, that he is 
as righteous for an advocate as the Father is for a judge, that he is as holy 
as we are unholy. Our sin rendered us hateful, but the righteousness of the 
advocate renders him such as it became him to be for us, whose advocate he 
is, Heb. vii. 26. 

He may be said to be righteous ; — 

(1.) In regard of his admission to this office. He was righteously settled 
in it. Every man cannot thrust himself into a court to be an advocate in 
another's cause ; it is not enough to be entertained by the client, but there 
must be a legal admission to that station in the court. Christ was legally 
admitted into this office ; he had God's order for it : Ps. ii. 8, * Ask of me.' 

(2.) In regard of the ground of his admission, which was his loving 
righteousness : Heb. i. 9, ' Thou hast loved righteousness,' &c., ' therefore 
God, even thy God;' thy God and thy Father, whom thou didst serve, and 
rely upon in the office of mediation, ' hath anointed thee,' or inaugurated 
thee in the chief office of trust ' above thy fellows.' Unction was a solemn 

1 JoHX II. 1.] cheist's intercession. 95 

investiture of the high priests among the Jews in that honour and function. 
This anointing of Christ to the perpetual office of high priest (whereof this 
of his intercession is a considerable part, and the top-stone) was upon the 
account of the vindicating the rights of God, the honour of his law by his 
death. He loved righteousness above his fellows, and therefore is advanced 
to the highest office above his fellows. He is such an one who hath made a 
complete satisfaction, and hath upon that account been entertained by God, 
and settled ' an high priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec' He 
was anointed as being most holy in finishing transgression, making recon- 
ciliation for iniquity, and bringing in everlasting righteousness,' Dan. ix. 24. 
His holiness, manifested in all these, preceded his unction to that unchange- 
able priesthood which is exercised in heaven solely in his intercession, 
Heb. vii. 24, 25, 28. 

(3.) In regard of his person. No exception against his person or his 
carriage, to weaken any motion he should make. The known unrighteousness 
of an earthly advocate is rather a ruin than support to the client's cause 
managed by him. Christ is righteous, therefore the Father cannot be 
jealous of his intruding upon his honour, or presenting any unbecoming suit 
to him ; and because righteous, therefore fit to be trusted by us with our 
concerns. He can neither wrong the Father nor his people ; righteous 
towards God, in preserving his honour, righteous towards us in managing 
our cause; And this righteousness was manifested in his being a propitia- 
tion for sin, whereby the righteousness of God was glorified, and the right- 
eousness of the creature restored. This being without sin rendered him fit 
to be a sacrifice, 1 John iii. 5, which also renders him fit to be an intei'cessor. 
A guilty person is not a proper advocate for a criminal, nor can he well sue 
for another who needs one to sue for himself. 

(4.) In respect of the cause he pleads, viz. the pardon of sin; which, upon 
the account of his being a propitiation for sin, he may rightly lay claim to. 
It is a just thing for him to plead, and a just thing for God to grant: 1 John 
i. 9, he is 'just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteous- 
ness.' Remission and sanctification, the great matters of Christ's plea, are 
righteous suits. He hath a sufficient price with him, whereby he may claim 
what he desires ; and a price so large, that is not only a sufficient compen- 
sation to God for what he doth desire for his people, but is equivalent to a 
world of sins. 

(5.) Upon the account of his righteousness in all these respects, he must 
needs prevail with God. This the apostle implies ; he represents him as an 
Advocate, and as righteous, for the comfort of believers that through a temp- 
tation fall into sin, which could be none at all if the efficacy of his interces- 
sion were not included in this of his righteousness. Because he is righteous 
in his admission, in the foundation of his office, in his person, and the matter 
of his plea, he is worthy to be heard by God in his pleas ; and since he 
wants nothing to qualify him for this office, he will not want entertainment 
with the Father in any suit he makes. And since his propitiation is sufficient 
for the sins of the whole world, we need not question the prevalency of his in- 
tercession for them that believe. If it hath a sufficiency for such multitudes, 
it must have an efficacy for those few that do comply with the terms of enjoy- 
ing the benefit of it. The righteousness of the person of our Advocate, ren- 
ders his intercession grateful to God and successful for us. 

The foundation of this discourse, or the reason of it, is, ver. 2, ' He is the 
propitiation for our sins ; not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole 
world.' He hath expiated our sins, and appeased the wrath of God which 
flamed against us. 

96 chaknock's woeks. [1 John II. 1. 

[1.] Not only for our sins who now live, but for the sins of all believers in 
the past and succeeding ages of the world, as well as the present. His pro- 
pitiation, in the virtue and efficacy of it, looks back upon all believers, in 
every age since the foundation of the world ; and looks forward to every 
believer to the last period of time. The apostle's following discourse in this 
chapter evinceth that he restrains the efficacy of this expiation to believers, 
that manifest their faith by their holiness, and walk in his commands. 

[2. J Or he is the propitiation, not only for the sins of us Jews, but for the 
Gentiles also. 

[3.] Or he is a propitiation for the whole world in point of the sufficiency 
of the sacrifice and infinite value of his blood. The malignity of them that 
refuse it doth not diminish the value of the price, nor the bounty and grace 
that offers to them the benefits of it upon believing. 

We may now thus paraphase the whole : 

These things I write to you, not that you should sin upon a presumption 
of pardon after the confession of your crimes, and from God's readiness to 
forgive imagine you have a grant of liberty to offend him with the greater 
security. No; but that you should, out of an ingenuous principle, fly from 
all occasions of off'ending a God of such boundless mercy. Yet if any of you 
that walk in communion with God do fall through the infirmities of the flesh, 
and the strength of a temptation, be not so dejected as to despair, no, though 
the sin may happen to be very heinous ; but let them consider that they have 
a gracious and righteous Advocate with the Father in heaven, even with that 
Father whom they have offended, to plead their cause, and sue out a pardon 
for them. And remember also that this Advocate is the very same person 
who, in the days of his flesh, did expiate sin and reconcile God by his bloody 
passion, and made so full an atonement as that it was sufficient not only for 
the sins of the present age, but of the whole world ; and hath been efficacious 
for the blotting out the sins of all former believers before his coming. And 
to this Advocate you must address yourselves by faith, for you must know 
him, i.e. believe in him, which is implied in verse the third. 

We see here a description of the office of Christ in heaven : 

1. The office itself, an office oi advocacy. 

2. The officer, Jesus Christ the righteous, described, 

(1.) In his person and inauguration, Jesus Christ. The Messiah, the 
Anointed, to this as well as any other part of his work. 

(2.) Qualification, righteous. Kighteous in his person, office, actions, cause. 

3. The court wherein he exerciseth this office, in heaven ivith the Father. 
His Father, our Father, a Father by affection as well as creation. 

4. The persons for whom, vw. Us believers, us sinners after believing, 
every one of us : if any man sin. 

5. The plea itself, propitiation. 

6. The efficacy of this plea, from the extensiveness of this propitiation, /or 
the whole ivorld. 

Several observations may be drawn hence : 

1. The doctrine of the gospel indulgeth no liberty to sin : ' These things 
write I unto you, that you sin not.' Not that sin should not reign in you, 
but that sin should not be committed by you. Some understand that not the 
act of sin, but the dominion of sin, is here chiefly intended by the apostle.* 
But the contrary is manifest; the term sin must be taken in the same sense 
in the whole sentence. But when he saith, ' if any man sin,' he means it 
of an act of sin, or a fall into sin ; and therefore the former words, ' I write 
unto you, that you sin not,' must be understood in the same sense. For if 
* Mestrezat, 1 Jean ii. 1, 2, p. 237. 

1 John II. l.J Christ's intercession. 97 

any man be under the empire of sin, and gives the reins to lusts of his own 
heart, he is not the subject of Christ's intercession. Christ is an advocate 
for none but those that are in communion with him, and walk in the light, 
as appears by the connection of this with the former chapter. If any such 
person fall into a sin, Christ is an advocate for him : *if any man sin,' i.e. 
any man of these I have before described, 1 John i. 7. No sin must be in- 
dulged ; it is the breath of the devil, the filth of the man. One sin brought 
death upon mankind, violated the divine law, deformed the face of the crea- 
tion, wrecked the soul, inflamed the wrath of God ; evei-y sin is of this nature, 
and therefore must not be practised by us. Not to hate sin, not to resolve 
against it, not to exercise ourselves in an endeavour to avoid every act of it, 
is inconsistent with a believer. It is not to receive, but to abuse and pro- 
fane, the gospel. 

2. Believers, while in the world, are liable to acts of sin. If any man; he 
supposeth that grace may be so weak, temptation so strong, that a believer 
may fall into a gi-ievous sin. While men are in the flesh, there are indwell- 
ing sins and invading temptations ; there is a body of death within them, 
and snares about them. The apostle excludes not himself; for putting 
himself, by the term ive, into the number of those that want the remedy, he 
supposeth himself liable to the disease : ' We have an advocate with the 

3. Though behevers do, through the strength of the flesh, subtlety of the 
tempter, power of a temptation, and weakness of grace, fall into sin, yet they 
should not despair of succour and pardon : * If any man sin, we have an ad- 
vocate.' Such a total despondency would utterly ruin them ; despair would 
bind their sins upon them. Be not only cast down under the consideration 
of the curses and threatenings of the law, but be erected by the promises of 
the gospel, and the standing ofiice of Christ in heaven. 

4. Faith in Christ must be exercised as often as we sin : ' If any man sin, 
we have an advocate.' What is it to us there is an advocate, unless we put 
our cause into his hand ? Though we have a faithful attorney in our worldly 
affairs, yet upon any emergency we must entertain him, let him know our 
cause, if we expect relief. Though Christ, being omniscient, knows and 
compassionates our case, yet he will be solicited ; as, though God knows our 
wants, he will be supplicated to for the supplies of our necessities. Though 
he understands our case, he would have us understand it too, that we may 
value his ofiice. Faith ought therefore to be exercised, because by reason of 
our daily sins we stand in need of a daily intercession. If any man sin; it 
implies that every man ought to make refiections on his conscience, lament 
his condition, turn his eye to his great Advocate, acquaint him with his state, 
and entertain him afresh in his cause. Though he lives for ever to make 
intercession, it is only for ' those that come to God by him' as their agent 
and solicitor, for those that come to the judge, but first come to him as their 

5. Christ is not an advocate for all men, but only for them that believe, 
and strive, and watch against sin ; for those that are invaded by it, not for 
those that are affected to it ; for those that slip and stumble into sin, not for 
those that lie wallowing in the mire. He doth not say simply, ' If any man 
sin,' as holding up in that expression every man in the world; but ' And if 
any man sin,' by that copulative particle linking the present sentence with 
the former chapter, signifying that he intends not this comfort for all, but 
for those that are in fellowship with God, and strive against temptation. 
Intercession, being the application of the propitiation, impHes the accepting 

98 charnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

the propitiation first. Christ in his mediatory prayer excludes all unhelievers : 
John xvii. 9, ' I pray for them ; I pray not for the world.' For them ! For 
whom ? For those that ' have beheved that thou didst send me,' ver. 8. 
He ' lives for ever to make intercession for those that come to God by him ; ' 
so that the coming to God by him is previous to the intercession he makes 
for them. 

6. The proper intendment of this office of Christ is for sins after a state of 
faith. He was a priest in his propitiation to bring God and man together ; 
he is a priest in his intercession, to keep God and man together. His pro- 
pitiation is the foundation of his intercession, but his intercession is an act 
distinct from the other. That was done by his death ; this is managed in his 
life. His death was for our reconciliation, but his life is for the perpetuat- 
ing that reconciliation : Rom. v. 10, ' If any man sin, we have an advocate.' 
If any man sin that hath entered into a state of communion with God, let 
him know that this office was erected in heaven to keep him right in the 
favour of the Judge of all the world. We should quickly mar all, and be as 
miserable the next minute after regeneration and justification as before, if 
provision were not in this way made for us. In the first acts, faith eyes the 
propitiation of Christ, and pitches upon his death. Christ, as dying, is the 
great support of a soul new come out of the gulf of misery and terrors of 
conscience. In after acts, it eyes the life of Christ, as well as the death, 
taking in both his propitiation and intercession together. 

7. No man can possibly be justified by his own works. We have an ad- 
vocate, Jesus Christ the righteous. He directs them not to any pleas from 
their former walking in the light. If our justification be not continued by 
virtue of our own works after conversion (for though they are works proceed- 
ing from renewed principles, and are the fruits of the operation of the Holy 
Ghost, spring from a root of faith and love, and are directed in the aim of 
them to the glory of God, yet one flaw spoils the efficacy of all in the matter 
of justification) ; I say, if our justification be not continued by works after 
conversion, which have so rich a tincture on them, much less is it procured by 
works before conversion, wherein there is not a mite of grace. Our justifi- 
cation, in the first sentence of it, and also in the securing and perpetuating 
our standing before God, depends not in the least upon ourselves, but upon 
the mediation of Christ for us. If justification and pardon owe their con- 
tinuance to Christ, they much more owe their first grant solely to the media- 
tion of Christ. 

8. Therefore observe further, that nothing of our own righteousness, or 
graces, or privileges, are to be set up by us as joint advocates with Christ 
before the tribunal of God in case of sin. The apostle saith not. If any man 
sin, let him plead his former obedience, let him plead his habitual grace, let 
him iDlead his adoption, and by that challenge the renewing of God's paternal 
afiection. Let him plead his present repentance. He strikes ofi" our hands 
from all these by that one word, ' We have an advocate, Jesus Christ the 
righteous.' We must enter no plea but what Christ doth enter, and that is 
only his propitiation. The apostle hints not any matter of the plea of this 
advocate but this one. Those that set up their own satisfactions, peniten- 
tial acts, their humiliation, remorse, or their other glittering graces, mightily 
intrench upon the honour of Christ, and his standing office in heaven. They 
may be of some use in the accusations of our own consciences, but not before 
God's tribunal. It is certain our own righteousness sticks as close to us as 
our enmity to God. Nay, a secret confidence in it is the great citadel and 
chiefest fort and strength wherein our enmity against God and his righteous- 
ness lies. There is no man but is more willing to part with his sin than to 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. 99 

part with his righteousness ; and there is nothing we find more starting up 
in us in the actings of grace than the motions of spiritual pride. We would 
be eking out the merits of Christ, and be our own advocates. We would 
not let him manage the cause upon his own account, and by this we spiri- 
tually injure Christ in the work of mediation, as much as the papists do in 
setting up glorified saints and angels with him ; may I not say, worse, since 
an unspotted angel and a perfected saint is a more meet mate for him than 
a spotted righteousness and grace ? 

9. Christ is a person in the Godhead distinct from the Father : advocate 
with the Father. The Father and the advocate are here distinct. A judge 
and an advocate are difierent persons, have different offices, are exercised in 
different acts. The Father is considered as the governor, and the advocate 
as a pleader. 

10. How divine is the gospel I ' Sin not.' ' If any man sin.' It gives 
us comfort against the demerit of sin, without encouraging the acts of sin. 
It teaches us an exact conformity to God in holiness, and provides for our 
full security in Christ, a powerful advocate. No religion is so pure for the 
honour of God, nor any so cordial for the refreshment of the creature. 

The doctrine I shall handle is this : Christ is an advocate with the Father 
in heaven, continually managing the concerns of believers, and effectually 
prevailing for their full remission and salvation upon the account of the pro- 
pitiation made by his death. We shall see, 

I, That Christ is an advocate, in some general propositions. 
II. What kind of advocate he is. 

III. How he doth manage this advocacy and intercession. 

IV. That he doth perpetually manage it. 
V. That he doth effectually manage it. 

VI. That he doth manage it for every believer. 
VII. The use. 

I. In general, Christ is as much an advocate as he is a sacrifice, as God 
is as much a governor as he was a creator. As we say of providence, it is 
a continued creation, so of intercession, it is a continued oblation. As pro- 
vidence is a maintaining the creation, so this intercession is a maintaining 
the expiation, and therefore is by some called a presentatlve oblation. The 
heathens had some notice of the necessity of some mediator or intercessor, 
either by tradition from Adam, from whom the notion of a mediator might 
as well be transmitted as the notion of expiation of guilt by bloody sacrifices. 
But while they retained the carcase, they lost the spirit of it ; and while they 
preserved the sentiment of the necessity of an advocate, they framed many 
wrong and unserviceable ones. They dubbed their heroes, and men that had 
been benefactors to them in the world, with this title after their death, and 
elevated them to be intermediate powers between God and them. Some of 
those demons are fancied to carry up their prayers to God, and back their 
prayers with new supplications ; * others brought gifts from God. Some 
handed their petitions and pleaded for them ; others brought the answers of 
their prayers and relieved them, which the apostle alludes to : 1 Cor. viii. 5, 6, 
' For though there be that are called gods, as there be gods many, and lords 
many ; but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, 
and we in him ; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we 
by him.' As they had many gods, so they had many mediators between 
themselves and those particular gods ; but, saith he, ' To us there is but one 
God,' the principal cause, ' and one Lord Jesus Christ,' the procuring cause 
* Apuleius de Deo Socratis, p. 426. 

100 charnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

of all things, by wbose suit we are what we are, and enjoy what we have. 
This intercession of Christ was ancient ; it is as ancient as his first under- 
taking our suretyship, by virtue of which the vengeance the sinner had 
merited was deferred. He ' upholds all things by the word of bis power,' 
Heb. i. 3, or his powerful or prevailing word, when they were ready to sink ; 
not only as God by the word of providence, but as mediator by his word of 
intercession, that the guilty sinner might not be dealt with by the rigours of 
justice, but in the tenderness of mercy. As he was fore-ordained a sacrifice, 
so he was fore- ordained an advocate ; as he was a lamb slain, so he was an 
advocate entertained, from the foundation of the world. His sacrifice, though 
not performed, could not have a credit with God, as it had, but his pleas 
upon the credit of that sacrifice must be admitted also. Thus were believers 
of old saved by him, and redeemed in his pity, as he was ' the angel of the 
presence' of God, Isa. Ixiii. 9, i.e. in the phrase of the New Testament, 
' appearing in the presence of God for them,' Heb. ix. 24, noting the manner 
of his intercession. He did, as an undertaker for them, interpose for their 
salvation; he 'bare them, and carried them all the days of old,' alluding, I 
guess, to Aaron the high priest bearing the names of the twelve tribes in the 
breast-plate of judgment upon his heart when he went into the holy place to 
intercede for the people, Exod. xxviii. 29. He was an advocate for them to 
whom the credit of his propitiation did extend ; but that did extend to those 
that believed before his coming in the flesh ; to them therefore his intercession 
extended also. It was then indeed an intercession upon credit ; it is now an 
intercession by demand, since the actual ofi'ering himself a victim. 

1. This office of advocacy belongs to him as a priest, and it is a part of 
his priestly office. The high priest was not only to slay and offer the sacri- 
fice in the outer part of the tabernacle, on the anniversary day of expiation, 
but to enter with the fresh blood into the sanctuary, and sprinkle it seven 
times, to shew the perfection of that expiating blood which was figured by it, 
Lev. xvi. 14. In the blood was the expiatoiy virtue : Lev. xvii. 11, * It is 
the blood that makes an atonement for the soul;' yet the high priest did not 
perform his office complete, till he had sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice 
with his finger on the mercy seat ; he was also to bring a censer full of burn- 
ing coals from off the altar, and incense in his hands, and put it upon the 
fire before the Lord, within the veil, that the cloud in the incense might cover 
the mercy seat, Lev. xvi. 12, 13. As the high priest going into the holy of 
holies after the sacrifice, was a type of Christ's ascension after his passion 
on the cross ; so the blood he was to sprinkle was a type of that blood, and 
the incense he was to kindle, a figure of the prayers of Christ after his enter- 
ing into heaven.'^' Incense in Scripture frequently signifies prayer, and prayer 
is compared to incense. As the high priest's oflice was to enter into the 
sanctuary with this blood and incense to intercede for the people, and obtain 
a blessing for them, so it pertained to the office of Christ, as a priest, not 
only to enter with his own blood, but with the incense of his prayers, as a 
cloud about the mercy-seat, to preserve by his life the salvation he had me- 
rited by his death. Christ entered into heaven as a priest, and in that capa- 
city ' sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,' 
Heb. viii. 1, and was settled ' an high priest for ever,' by a solemn oath, 
Ps. ex. 4. There is therefore some priestly act, which he hath a capacity 
and an obligation, by virtue of his office, to perform for ever, all the time he 
stays in heaven, till his second appearing (as the high priest, all the time he 
was in the holy of holies, was performing a sacerdotal act), which is not the 
act of sacrificing, that was done by him on earth (as the sacrifice was slain 
* Amyraut sur Heb. ix. p. 74. 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. 101 

without the veil). Nothing but intercession can answer to that type, which is 
called an appearing for us, as a proxy or attorney, in the presence of God, 
Heb. ix. 24, otherwise there is no priestly act for him to do ; and so his 
being a priest would be an empty title, a name without an office. God's 
oath would be insignificant, if there were not some priestly act to be per- 
formed by him, as well as a priestly office vested in him. Being a priest, 
therefore, he must have something to ofier, even in heaven ; which cannot 
be a new sacrifice, for that was but once to be done. It must be therefore 
the presenting his old, his body wounded, which is nothing else but this 
which we call intercession ; a presenting to God this sacrifice of himself, 
and pleading the virtue of it in every time of need. The apostle tells us 
our salvation depends upon his intercession, and his intercession upon his 
priesthood, Heb. vii. 24, 25. Our salvation depends not simply upon his living 
for ever, for that he had done if he had never come upon the earth to redeem 
us, but upon his Uving for ever in an unchangeable priesthood ; the end of 
which unchangeable and everlasting priesthood is intercession. As our sal- 
vation depends not upon God's living for.ever, for God had Uved for ever had 
we been damned ; but upon God's living for ever as a reconciled God, and 
entered into covenant. As he was a priest upon the cross to make an expia- 
tion for us, so he is our priest in the court of heaven, to plead this atonement, 
both before the tribunal of justice and the throne of mercy, against the curses 
of the law, the accusations of Satan, the indictments of sin, and to keep off 
the punishment which our guilt had merited. 

2. This, therefore, was the end of his ascension, and sitting down at 
the right hand of God. In his incarnation, he came from the Father to 
acquaint us with his gracious purposes, and how far he had agreed with God 
on our behalf; and at his ascension he went from us to the Father, to sue 
out the benefits he had so dearly purchased. He drew up an answer upon 
the cross to the bill, that sin by virtue of the law had drawn against us, and 
ascended to heaven as an advocate to plead that answer upon his throne, and 
rejoin to all the replies against it. "When his offering was accepted, he went 
to heaven to the supreme Judge, to improve this acceptation of his sacrifice, 
by a negotiation which holds and continues to this day. Heb. ix. 24, ' Christ 
is entered into heaven ;' for what end ? * To appear in the presence of God 
for us ;' but may he not appear for us at first, and afterwards cease from it ? 
No : now to appear for us. He entered into heaven long since, but he ap- 
pears for us this instant. Now, as if the apostle should have said, while I am 
writing, and you are reading, in this, in that instant, NDv, is he appearing 
for us as a public person. Though there be a change in his condition, 
from a state of humiliation to a state of exaltation, yet there is no change 
in his office : Heb. viii. 1,2,' He is set down as a priest on the right 
hand of God,' ' a minister of the sanctuary,' or of holy things, Xurouoyh: 
ruiv aylMv, as a performer of a divine office for men. As Moses, forty 
days after his conducting the Israelites out of Egypt (the type of our 
redemption), ascended the mount, while his redeemed people were in a con- 
flict with Amalek, to pray for them as a type of Christ, so Christ himself, 
forty days after his resurrection, which was an evidence of our deliverance 
from spiritual slavery, ascended up into heaven, to lift up his head there as 
oar advocate, for assistance to be granted to us against our spiritual enemies. 
As this intercession is the true design of his eternal life as a priest ; and 
since the apostle lays it down as a manifest truth, witnessed by all the pro- 
phets. Acts iii. 21, that there is to be a restitution of all things, and that the 
heavens receive Christ till that restitution ; it will follow that he sits there 
.n order to that restitution ; not as an idle spectator, but a promoter of it by 

102 chabnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

the efficacy of his mediation ; and no other order did he receive from his 
Father after his resurrection, being declared the begotten Son by his resur- 
rection, but to ask, for that follows just upon the declaration of his 
being his Son, Ps. ii. 7, 8, which is interpreted in the New Testament of 
bis resurrection. Asking was all required of him for the enjoying his reward, 
of which the advantage of his people in enjoying the fruits of his death, is 
none of the meanest part in his own account, since it was ' the joy set before 
him.' His mediation kept the world from ruin after man's fall, and his inter- 
cession promotes the world's restoration after his own passion. 

3. This advocacy is founded upon his oblation. He is our advocate, be- 
cause he was our propitiation ; the efficacy of his plea depends upon the 
value and purity of his sacrifice. He is an intercessor in the virtue of his 
blood. The apostle, therefore, speaking of his intercession, Heb. vii. 24, 
considers it with a respect to his sacrifice : ver. 27, he could not have inter- 
ceded as a priest, if he had not offered. As the high priest could not enter 
into the holy of holies, till, by the slaying of the sacrifice, he had blood to 
carry with him, so the true High Priest was not to be admitted to solicit at 
the throne of grace, till he had satisfied the tribunal of justice ; so that a 
propitiation and his advocacy are not one and the same thing (as the Soci- 
nians affirm), but distinct : the one is the payment, the other the plea ; one 
was made on earth, the other is managed in heaven ; the one was by his 
death, the other by his life ; the one was done but once, the other per- 
formed perpetually; the first is the foundation of the second. Because 
he paid the debt as our surety, he was fit to plead the payment as our attor- 
ney ; what he finished on earth, he continually presents in heaven. By 
shedding his blood, he makes expiation ; by presenting his blood, he makes 
intercession ; in the one he prepares the remedy, and in the other he applies 
it. They are not the same acts, but the first act is the foundation of the 
second, and the second hath a connection with the first. 

4. The nature of this advocacy differs from that intercession or advocacy 
which is ascribed to the Spirit. The Spirit is said to ' make intercession for 
us,' Rom. viii. 26; and he is in a way of excellency called the Comforter, 
which we heard is the same word in the Greek with this word which is here 
translated advocate. Christ is an advocate with God /or us, and the Spirit 
is an advocate with God in us, John xiv. 17. Christ is our advocate, plead- 
ing for us in his own name ; the Spirit is an advocate, assisting us to plead 
for ourselves in Christ's name. Christ pleads for us in the presence of God, 
the Spirit directs us to such arguments as may be used for pleas for ourselves. 
The Spirit doth not groan himself, but excites in us strong groans, by 
affecting us with our condition, and putting an edge upon our petitions, and 
strengthening us in the inward man, Eph. iii. 16. The Spirit is an advocate 
to indite our petitions, and Christ is an advocate to present them. Some 
distinguish them that Christ is an advocate by way of office, and the Spirit 
by way of assistance ; but certainly the Spirit is an advocate by way of office 
to counsel us, as Christ is an advocate by way of office to plead for us ; and 
the Spirit is as much sent to do the one in our hearts, as Christ was called 
back to heaven to do the other for our persons. The Spirit is an intercessor 
on earth, and Christ is an intercessor in heaven. Again, as there are two 
courts we are summoned to appear in, the court of the supreme Judge and 
the court of the Judge's deputy, our own consciences, Christ clears us by his 
plea at God's bar, and sets us right with the offended Father. The Spirit, 
as Christ's deputy, being sent in his name, clears us at the bar of our own 
consciences. Christ answers the charge of the law in the court of God's 
justice, and the Spirit answers the accusations of sin in the court of God' 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. 103 

deputy. The one pleads for our discharge above, the other pleads for our 
peace below ; and the voice of God's Spirit is as mighty in us, as the voice 
of Christ's blood is mighty for us. 

II. Thing. What kind of advocate Christ is. 

1. An authoritative advocate. He intercedes not without a commission 
and without a command. God owns himself as the cause of his drawing near 
and approach to him : Jer. xxx. 21, ' I will cause him to draw near, and he 
shall approach unto me,' both in his first mediation and his following inter- 
cessions. He manages not an intercession merely in a way of charity, but 
in a way of authority, as a person entrusted by God, and dignified to this 
end ; not only as our friend, but as a divine officer ; as an attorney may 
manage the suit of his kinsman, but not only as being related to his client, 
but as being admitted by the court into such an office. Christ is not only 
admitted as one of kin to us, but commissioned as mediator for us. This 
was promised, that he should be ' a priest upon his throne,' Zech. vi. 13. 
The commission takes date from the day of his resurrection; when he was 
declared to be the begotten Son of God, he had an order to ask, Ps. ii. 8. 
This charge was given him at his solemn inauguration, and was to precede 
all the magnificent fruits of it. God settles Christ a priest and intercessor, 
while he commands him to ask the heathen for his inheritance ; which con- 
nection the apostle confirms : Hek v. 5, ' Christ glorified not himself to be 
made an high priest, but he that said unto him. Thou art my Son.' But the 
priesthood doth not appear to be settled upon Christ by any other expression 
than this, ' Ask of me.'* The psalm speaks of his investiture in his kingly 
office; the apostle refers this to his priesthood, his commission, for both 
took date at the same time ; both bestowed, both confirmed, by the same 
authority. The office of asking is grounded upon the same authority, as the 
honour of king. Ruling belonged to his royal office, asking to his priestly. 
After his resurrection, the Father gives him a power and command of asking, 
and obligeth himself to a grant of what he should ask. The same power that 
admits him to be an advocate, assures him he should be a prevailing one ; 
the obligation to give is as strong as his order to ask. As his death was the 
end of his incarnation, so his intercession was the end of his ascension; his 
dignity in heaven was given him for the exercise of this particular office, Heb. 
vii. 25. As he had his life from God, so he had it for this end, to make in- 
tercession. He had a command to be a sufferer, and a body prepared him for 
that purpose ; so he had likewise a command to be an advocate, and a life 
given him, and a throne prepared for him at the right hand of God to that 
end. The like commission is mentioned Ps. Ixxxix. 26, ' He shall cry unto 
me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation;' and this 
after his exaltation, ver. 24, 25. Yet for the full completing of it, ver. 27, 
the matter of his plea is there mentioned, ' Thou art the rock of my salva- 
tion,' the foundation, the first cause, of all thy salvation I have wrought in 
the world, being the first mover of it, and promising the acceptance of me 
in the performance of what was necessary for it. As he hath authority to 
cry to God, so he hath an assurance of the prevalency of his cry, in regard 
of the stability of the covenant, the covenant of mediation, which shall stand 
fast with him, or be faithful to him : ' and my mercy I will keep for him for 
evermore,' ver. 27. The treasures of my mercy are reserved only to be 
opened and dispensed by him ; and the enjoying of his spiritual seed for ever, 
and the establishing of his own throne thereby, is the promised fruit of this 
cry, ver. 28. Christ indeed was a surety by authority, but by a greater right 
* Rivet, in Ps. ii. 8. 

104 charnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

an advocate. That he was accepted in the capacity of a surety, was pure 
mercy ; it was at God's liberty whether he would accept a surety for us, or 
accept Christ for our surety ; but after he had accepted him, upon the doing 
of his part in the work of redemption, he hath a right to the appHcation of 
redemption, and consequently to the office of advocate, to see right done us, 
to see our debts discharged, and to put justice in mind of the full payment 
he hath made. He hath a right to it, a commission for it, a command to 
discharge it ; he is as much bound to intercede as he was to sacrifice, for it 
is as much belonging to his priestly office as the other. 

2. He is a wise and skilful advocate. Every advocate must understand 
the law of the state and the cause of his client, that he may manage it to the 
best advantage. This advocate hath an infinite knowledge as God, and a full 
and sufficient knowledge as man. His deity communicates the knowledge 
of our cause to his humanity, and excites the compassion of his nature. He 
knows the sincerity of his clients' hearts, their inward groans and breathings 
which cannot be expressed. He knows our cause better than we do ourselves, 
he needs not the representing our own cause from ourselves : ' He needs 
not that any should testify of man, he knows what is in man,' John ii. 25. 
He understands the best and the worst of our cause ; he hath a clear view 
of all the flaws in it better than they are visible to ourselves. If he had no 
more skill and knowledge of us than what our outward expressions might 
furnish him with, he might mistake the business of a stammering spirit, and 
on the other side be imposed upon by the voluble expressions and flourish- 
ing gifts of others ; he might be cheated by the hypocrisy of some, and mis- 
take the concerns of his own people, who often mistake themselves, and are 
not able to express their own wants ; but it cannot be so with him ; ' he 
knows all things,' he knows those that love him and those that hate him, 
John xxi. 17. He understands our cause, he understands the law according 
to which he is to plead, the articles of agreement between the Father and 
himself, and he understands the fulness and redundancy of his own merit. 
He uses arguments proper to the cause he pleads, and drawn from the nature 
of the person he applies himself to. When he meets with the church in 
weakness and distress by potent adversaries, and would have the Jews 
delivered and the temple rebuilt, he solicits God as the Lord of hosts, Zech. 
i. 12. When he finds his people in danger of sin and temptation, he peti- 
tions God under the title of holy, John xvii. 11. When he would have pro- 
mises performed to them, he appeals to the rir/hteomness of the Father, John 
xvii. 25 ; it being part of his righteousness to fulfil that word which he hath 
passed, and make good the grant which so great a redeemer merited. He 
pleads the respects he had to the divine will in the exercise of every part of 
his office, both of priest and prophet : Ps. xl. 9, 10, a prophetic psalm of 
Christ, ' I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart, I have declared 
thy faithfulness, and thy salvation ; I have not concealed thy loving-kindness 
and thy truth from the great congregation.' The adding thy to every one of 
them is emphatical : it was thy righteousness I had commission to declare, 
thy faithfulness I had order to proclaim, thy mercy I had a charge to publish ; 
thou wert as much interested in all that I did as I myself was. I shall be 
counted false and a liar, thou wilt be cosnted unjust and cruel, if all be not 
fulfilled as I have spoken. Since it was thy rule I observed, and thy glory 
I aimed at in declaring it, disgrace not thyself and me in refusing the peti- 
tion of such a supplicant, who believes in my word which I gave out by thy 
authority. Surely as Christ observed the will of God upon earth, so he is 
wise to intercede for nothing but according to those rules he observed in his 
humiliation, which was whatsoever might honour and manifest the righteous- 

1 John II. l.j Christ's intercession. 105 

ness, faithfulness, salvation, truth, and loving-kindness of the Father. This 
is a part of his wisdom, to plead for nothing but what he hath the nature of 
God to subscribe to his petitions, and back him in them. It is not for the 
honour of an advocate to undertake a cause he cannot bring to pass, nor will 
any wise man engage in a suit which he hath not some strong probability to 
effect. Our Lord, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and know- 
ledge, stands more upon his honour than to undertake a cause he cannot 

3. He is a righteous and faithful advocate. He is as righteous in his 
advocacy as he was in his suffering. His being without sin rendered him fit 
to bear our sins on the cross : 1 John iii. 5, ' He was manifested to take 
away our sins, and in him is no sin ;' and it renders him fit to plead for the 
pardon of our sins upon his throne. As he was manifested to destroy the 
works of the devil, so he is exalted to perfect the conquest by his interces- 
sion. If he had sin, he could not be in heaven, much less a pleader there. 
God tried him, and found him faithful in all his house, in all his own con- 
cerns, and the concerns of his people, which are his spiritual temple. The 
altar of incense, which was overlaid with pure gold all about the sides of it, 
Exod. xxxvii. 26, and set before the ark of the testimony, Exod. xl. 5, sig- ' 
nified the purity of his soul, and his freedom from any kind of corruption in 
those pleas he makes in the holy of holies above, where ' he ever lives to 
make intercession for those that come to God,' Heb. vii. 25. But in what 
state ? Ver. 26, an high priest, ' holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sin- 
ners.' He lives in heaven a pure person, fitted by his purity to such an office. 
The words refer not to Christ's life in the world,*' but to his life in heaven ; 

' separate from sinners' in regard of communion in their sins, but not in 
regard of compassion to their miseries. He hath nothing of his own concerns 
to divert him from our business ; as he had no sin of his own to suffer for 
in the world, so he hath no sin of his own to solicit the pardon of in heaven. 
He having an incomparably righteous nature, will be exactly righteous in 
his office. After Christ's resurrection, when he had finished his work on 
earth, and was to begin it in heaven, God saluted him with a great deal of 
kindness : Ps. ii. 7, ' This day have I begotten thee.'f God regarded him 
as his only begotten Son, of the same holy and righteous nature with him- 
self; justified him as his righteous servant, and thereupon gives him a power 
of asking ; so that the prevalency of his intercession depends upon the 
righteousness of his person, and the righteousness of his cause ; he pleadeth 
his own righteousness, which carries with it a necessity of having sin par- 
doned ; which the righteousness of God is as ready to remit, as the righteous- 
ness of Christ was to purchase the remission of it. Whatsoever Christ 
intercedes for is righteous ; if it were unrighteous, it were not fit to be 
moved to God ; this would be to endeavour to persuade him to an unworthy 
act, contrary to his nature. If any proposal of his were unrighteous, Christ 
would be false to God, and his own principles, in making and defending such 
a motion. This would be to destroy all the ends of his coming, and design 
of his death, which was to declare the righteousness of God, advance it in 
the world, and in the souls of men. If Christ should undertake an unright- 
eous cause, what ground of confidence and security could any righteous man 
have in him ? 

4. He is a compassionate advocate. His compassion to us is joined with 
his faithfulness to God in his priestly office, Heb. ii. 17 ; so that, if he be 
not tender to believers in misery, he is not faithful to God in the exercise of 

* As Crellius well notes. 

f Upon which the Chaldee hath this note, Purus es acsi hac die creiviasem te. 

106 charnock's woeks. [1 John II. 1. 

his office. His intercession springs from the same tenderness towards us as 
his oblation, and both are but the displaying of his excessive charity. His 
compassion to us was a lesson he learned, together with obedience to God, 
by his sufferings, Heb. v. 8. He learned how necessary obedience was to 
God, and how grievous the misery of man was ; and being instructed in one 
as well as the other, his pity to us had as deep an impression as his sense 
of obedience to the divine will. And since one part of his obedience was to 
make way for the opening the treasures of his mercy, he cannot be obedient 
to his Father without being merciful to us. He was exposed to such a con- 
dition as wrested from him strong cries for himself, that he might send up 
strong cries for us in our misery. He was a man of sorrows, that he 
might be a man of compassions. He indeed had pity of old ; for with such 
an affection he redeemed the Israelites, Isa. Ixiii. 9. His compassions are 
not lessened by an assumption of our humanity, but an experimental com- 
passion gained in his human nature, which the divine was not capable of, 
because of the perfection of impassibility. By a reflection upon his own 
condition in the world, he is able to move our cause with such a tender feel- 
mg of it, as if he had the smart of it present in his own heart and bowels. 
The greatest pity must reside in him, since the greatest misery was endured 
by him in our nature ; what he had a real feehng of on earth, he must have 
a memorative feeling of in heaven. He cannot forget above what he experi- 
mented below, since one part of his priestly office, in suffering, was to fit 
him for a more faithful and merciful exercise of the other part in his inter- 
cession ; not an affliction was laid upon him but was intended to compose 
his heart to a sympathising frame with his people : Heb. iv. 15, ' We have 
not an high priestwhich cannot be touched' ; (two negatives affirm it strongly). 
Not a taste of bitterness in any temptation he endured, but was more deeply 
to engrave in his heart a tenderness to us ; nor can those compassions in 
him be equalled by any creature ; no angel nor man can be touched with 
such a sense as he is, because no angel nor man ever smarted under such 
extremity as he did. Our pity to ourselves cannot enter into comparison 
with his pity to us. With what a sense of his disciples' condition did he 
pray for them upon earth J John xvii. The glory of heaven hath made no 
change in his judgment and affections ; he hath the same will in heaven that 
he had on earth ; the same human will, and th-erefore the same human com- 
passions in league with his divine. He was God-man on earth, man to 
suffer for us, and God to render that suffering valuable ; he is God-man in 
heaven, man to pity us, and God to render that compassion efficacious for 
us. This fits him for a zealous prosecution of our cause in heaven. His 
intercession receives a sharper edge from the things which he suffered ; the 
taste that he had of the infirmities of men, and the wrath they are obnoxious 
unto, warms his heart, and strengthens his pleas, and makes him a more 
zealous solicitor at the throne of divine grace ; as an earthly advocate that 
had drank deep of the same cup, and had had the same suit for himself as 
he hath for his client, better understands the cause, and is able to manage 
it with a deeper sense, than if he had never felt the like misery. Our advo- 
cate was framed in the same mould with us in regard of his nature, and was 
cast into the same furnace of wrath which we had merited ; and thus know- 
ing the miseries of man, not by a bare report, but experience of the heavi- 
ness of the burden, is more careful to solicit the liberty and absolution of 
every comer to God by him from the sentence that hangs over them ; and 
the greater their miseries are, the more are his compassions exercised. The 
more deplorable the misery is, the greater object of pity the person is that 
feels it ; and to exercise compassion, when the object stands most in need 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. 107 

of it, is very agreeable to a compassionate nature, such as Christ's is ; and 
therefore, if he had so much pity to procure the redemption of the IsraeUtes 
from a temporal and bodily captivity, much more will he be careful to free 
believers from the spiritual captivity they groan under, since in that condi- 
tion they are more suitable objects of compassion than any man can be under 
a mere bodily and temporal affliction. And therefore, whenever the know- 
ledge of our condition comes to his humanity by the assistance of his divinity, 
we cannot have a more powerful solicitor than the experimental sense he 
hath in his own breast and bowels. To conclude, he is a compassionate 
intercessor, because he was a great sufierer, as compassionate to us as he is 
valuable with God ; his merit for us is not greater than his pity to us. 

5. He is ready and diligent. He is never out of the way when the cause 
should be heard ; he always sits at the right hand of the Father, who is the 
judge of the world, and is never out of his presence. When Stephen, Acts 
vii. 55, ' saw the heavens opened, he saw Christ standing at the right hand 
of God,' in the posture of an advocate and protector, as sitting is the pos- 
ture of a prince and a judge. He times his intercession for the church 
according to the providential state of the world, Zech. i. 11, 12. He had 
sent out his messengers to view the state of the earth, who, upon their 
return, brought him word that it was in peace and rest ; upon which news 
he petitions for the restoiing of Jerusalem. He would not let slip the op- 
portunity of such an argument, that the church, the seat of the divine glory 
on earth, should be in misery, when the world, wherein God did less concern 
himself, flourished in peace and prosperity. Shall the enemies of the church 
be in a better condition than the people thou hast entrusted with thy law ? 
His messengers brought him an exact account of things, and he is diligent to 
take hold of the first occasion to soHcit the security or restoration of his 
people. Now that the princes of the earth have nothing of war to hinder 
them, put it. into their hearts to deliver thy people and rebuild thy temple. 
It is one property of Christ to be ' of quick understanding in the fear of the 
Lord,' Isa. xi. 3 ; to be sensible of anything that may promote the honour 
and worship of God, or may obstruct and lessen it. His sense is as quick 
as his understanding, and readily interposeth for whatsoever may conduce to 
the manifestation of the attributes of God, which is the foundation of his fear 
in the world. He is ready to put in a plea for us to the Father, and is more 
studious of our welfare, and to bring us off, than we are ourselves. In the 
midst of his dolours he gave us an evidence of it. Though his disciples were 
so careless and senseless of his present condition that they fell asleep, when 
they had most need to watch both for him and themselves ; yet, after his 
reproof for their negligence, he frames an excuse for them from the con- 
sideration of their weakness, before they could apologise for themselves : 
Mat. xxvi. 41, ' The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.' He lays it 
upon the infirmities of their flesh, though it was also the security of their 
spirits, as appears by his reproof. Is he not as ready to plead the same for 
us in his glory ? He is always ready at the throne of grace to give out grace 
and mercy in a time of need, Heb. iv. 16. We have no reason to fear his 
absence from that throne of grace we solicit in our necessities. He is passed 
into the heaven, seated there in a perpetual exercise of this ofiice, to enter- 
tain all comers at all times ; and can no more be sleepy than he can be cruel, 
no more cease to be diligent than he can be bereaved of his compassions. 

6. He is an earnest and pressing advocate. When an advocate hath 
much business for himself, it will cool him in the affairs of his client : Christ 
hath once offered up himself, and being thereupon advanced, has no need to 
ofi"er up himself again. He is secure from any further suffering in his per- 

108 charnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

son. He bath nothing to do for himself; but all his ardency is employed 
for bis people, which is the reason rendered why he * lives to make interces- 
sion for the comers to God by him,' Heb. vii. 25, compared with ver. 27, 
' He needeth not daily, as those high priests, to ofier up sacrifice, first for 
bis own sin, and then for the people's ; for this he did once, when be ofi"ered 
up himself.' He needs not any sohcitousness for himself, as before the time 
of bis death ; be bath nothing now to blemish bis happiness, and divert his 
afi'ections from the concerns of bis people. He hath no strong cries now to 
put up for himself. All his affections run in another channel. His whole 
soul is put to pawn in the business, as the word signifies in Jer. xxx. 21, 
' He hath engaged bis heart to approach unto me, saith the Lord.' He hath 
undertaken it with the greatest cordialness of spirit. His expostulation 
speaks his earnestness of old : Zech. i. 12, ' Lord of hosts, how long wilt 
thou not have mercy on Jerusalem ? ' Like an expression we use when we 
would rouse a drowsy person in a time of danger, and snatch him out of the 
fire ; as if Christ thought the mercy of God too sleepy, and earnestly jogs it 
to awaken it, and spurs it on to manifest itself. ' How long wilt thou ; ' 
thou who hast an afiection to the captives, an affection to me, then- solicitor ; 
thou who bast mercy to pity them, and power to rescue them ; thou who 
knoM-est that the set time of their captivity is at an end, and bast faithfulness 
to be as good as thy word ? The seventeenth of John is a map of bis car- 
riage in heaven, how he presses his Father for bis people. When he prayed 
for himself, it is ' Father, if it be thy will, let this cup pass from me.' It is 
then ' Not as I ivill, but as thou wilt;' but for bis disciples' glory and salva- 
tion it is, I will, ver. 24, as though he were more a judge than an advocate, 
and bad more a right to a sovereign dominion than that of a plea. What 
did the censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar,* wbich the high 
priest was to carry within the veil, into the holy of holies. Lev. xvi. 12, 13, 
represent, but the ardency of the affections in the soul of Christ, when he 
presents the incense of our prayers to his Father in heaven ? The names of 
the tribes of Israel were to be not only upon the high priest's shoulders, 
Exod. xxviii. 12, but also upon bis breastplate, ver. 29 ; near bis heart 
when his face is towards them, and as near bis heart when, in desertion, his 
back is turned upon them. They are next his heart all the time be is in the 
holy of holies. Great affections cannot be without earnestness in their 
cause. He desired not more earnestly to be baptized with bis bloody bap- 
tism on earth than to complete all the fruits of it in heaven. He was not 
more vehement to shed his blood than be is to plead it. No man is more 
solicitous to increase the honour and grandeur of bis family, than Christ is 
to secure the happiness of bis people. Our prayers for ourselves, when 
tinctured with the greatest affection, cannot be so fervent as his pleas for 
our souls are at the right band of bis Father ; for to what purpose did be 
carry up those human affections to heaven, but to express and act them in 
their liveliness and vigour for us and to us ? 

7. He is a joyful and cheerful advocate. He hath not a sour kind of ear- 
nestness, as is common among men ; but an earnestness with a jo}', as being 
the delight of his heart. When be prayed in the garden for himself, he was 
in an agony ; but in bis mediatory prayer, a model of bis intercession in 
heaven, he was in a cheerful frame, John xvii, ; for it was his prayer after 
the most comfortable sermon be ever preached to bis disciples, wherein be 
had heaped up all the considerations that might be capable to elevate their 
hearts ; and he makes this use of it in the end, John xvi. 33, that they should 
' be of good cheer' at his victory, because be bath ' overcome the world.' 
* Arayraut sur Heb. ix. p. 83. 

1 John II. l.j Christ's intercession. 109 

And in this frame he puts up this mediatory prayer immediately, to signify 
to them both the matter and manner of his intercessions in heaven for therii, 
and that he doth rejoice in putting up these requests above, as well as he did 
■when he presented them at times before, as is intimated : ver, 13, ' These 
things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in them- 
selves ;' that they might have such a joy in the considerations of it, and in 
the receiving thy favour, as I have in the petitioning for them. Certainly 
he doth as well rejoice in the habitable parts of the earth, since he hath laid 
so great an obligation upon it, as he did formerly in the prospect of what he 
was to do for it. His death was sweet to him after his resurrection ; the 
very remembrance of it was a pleasure, in which sense some understand that : 
Jer. xxxi. 25, 26, * I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished 
every sorrowful soul. Upon this I awaked, and beheld ; and my sleep was 
sweet unto me.' It is certain some passages in that chapter are applied to 
Christ's time, as ver. 15, the weeping at Kamah was a prediction of the 
slaying of infants by Herod, Mat. ii. 17, 18 ; and ver. 22, the ' creating a new 
thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man,' is generally understood 
of the conception and incarnation of Christ. And the expression in ver. 25 
seems to be too magnificent to be understood of any other prophet than that 
in whom the weary find rest ; and the consideration of the success of his 
incarnation and passion make his sleep, i. e. his death, pleasant to him at 
his awaking or resurrection. His pleading, therefore, for the fruit of his 
death cannot be bitter or distasteful to him ; he delights as much in the exer- 
cise of this office as he did in the first undertaking of it and consecration to it. 
Since he accounted his priesthood an honour when God called him to it, he 
will not think it disgraceful when his people own it, and desire the exercise 
of it in their behalf. 

8. He is an acceptable advocate. He hath an active joy in his interces- 
sion, a passive joy in his acceptation. He is the favourite of the court 
wherein he pleads, acceptable to the judge in his person, acceptable to him 
in his office, acceptable to him in the suits he manages. His intercession is 
nothing else but the presenting to God the sacrifice which restored to him 
the pleasure of his creation, gave him a rest, and continues it. The savour 
of that sacrifice in heaven which was offered on earth is grateful to the judge 
of the world. It is as sweet to God as the Levitical incense, the type of it, 
can be to man, mentioned Exod. xxx. 34-36, and reserved for the service 
of the temple, a composition of the sweetest and most aromatic simples. 
How much sweeter is the advocacy of Christ to God than the most fragrant 
scents can be to us ! In the presence of God he meets with a fulness of joy : 
Ps. xvi. 11, ' Thou wilt shew me the paths of life, and shew me in thy pre- 
sence a fulness of joy, and pleasures at thy right hand for evermore.' So 
Cocceius reads it. It is to be understood of his mediatory pleasure he hath 
in his being in the presence of God, or appearing in the presence of God for 
us, Heb, ix. 24. You know that psalm is to be understood of Christ, which 
is evidenced by ver. 10, applied to him Acts ii. 31, Acts xiii. 35. ' Thou 
wilt shew me the path of life ; ' thou wilt bring me into glory, as the head of 
the believing world, of those saints and excellent ones in whom my delight 
hath been ; in this presence I shall have fulness of joy, in the reflections upon 
my obedience, and the plentiful efi"usions of thy grace upon the account of it. 
Pleasures flow with a full and perpetual torrent from the right hand of God 
by the mediation of Christ. It is as if he should have said, I shall have a 
fulness of joy after my bitter passion, in the contemplation of thy pleased 
countenance to the sons of men; and thy right hand shall communicate 
spiritual blessings upon the account of this passion, which "shall be the delight 

110 charnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

of my soul. All this thou wilt shew me after my resurrection, to testify how 
acceptable my mediation hath been to thee. Since God constituted him a 
priest by an irreversible oath, an oath he would never repent of, Heb. vii. 21, 
and thereby confirmed him in an ' unchangeable priesthood,' ver. 24, as he 
hath an unchangeable office, so he hath an endless acceptation. He that 
never will repent of fixing him in it, will never repent of his exercising of 
it. As God is infinitely pleased with this office, so he is infinitely pleased 
with the execution of the charge ; and the presenting his death for any soul 
is inexpressibly grateful to the reconciled judge. His deity adds a value and 
efficacy to his intercessions in heaven, as it did to his passion on earth. 

9. He is the sole advocate. Those of Kome distinguish between mediators 
of redemption and mediators of intercession ; the first they appropriate to 
Christ, in the other they make angels and saints his companions, and thereby 
snatch the glory from Christ to confer it upon a creature. But since our 
High Priest alone hath the honour to sit at the right hand of God, he alone 
hath the honour of this office of advocacy. ' To which of the angels,' or 
saints, ' did he at any time say. Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen 
for thine inheritance ?' The office and power of asking belongs to him who 
is the begotten Son. Since Christ trod the wine-press alone, he solicits our 
cause alone, intercession being founded upon propitiation ; he, therefore, that 
is the sole propitiator, is the sole intercessor. He only hath the right to 
plead for us, who had the right to purchase us. As God never gave any 
commission to redeem us to any othei*, so he never gave a commission to any 
other to appear for us in that court. The entering into the holy of holies 
with the perfuming incense, was annexed to the honour of the chief priest- 
hood, which had any of the inferior priests, or any soul alive, usurped, they 
had incurred the pains of death. It is a disparagement to Christ to interest 
any creature in it, as though he wanted some other favourite to give him a 
full credit with the Father, and some monitors to excite his affections to us; 
or as though the suits he had to manage were so numerous, that he wanted 
a multitude of clerks to draw up for him the petitions he had to present. It 
is our Saviour's prerogative to be ' the first and the last,' Rev. i. 11 ; as he 
was the first that stepped up to keep the world from perishing by the hand 
of justice, so he will be the last in securing it ; as he was the first in pur- 
chasing, so he will be the last in completing, that the whole work of redemp- 
tion may be ascribed to him alone. As he is the sole author of it by his 
passion, so he will be the sole finisher of it by his intercession. 

III. Thing. How Christ doth mannge this advocacy and intercession. 

In general. Christ as God, essentially considered, doth not intercede in 
heaven. He that intercedes by way of petition, wants the blessing of that 
person he intercedes with, and in that respect is inferior to him. He no 
more intercedes in heaven as God, than he prayed on earth as God. His 
intercession as well as his passion belongs indeed to his person ; and as his 
Deity is in personal union with his humanity, so his prayers and interces- 
sions may be called the intercessions of God, as well as his blood was called 
the blood of God. As the human nature suffered, and the divine nature 
made it valuable, so the human nature intercedes by way of motion, and the 
divine nature makes it prevalent. The person of the Son of God suffered, 
but only in the human nature, the divine not being passible ; so may we not 
say the person of the Son of God intercedes, but the human nature only 
supplicates ? He is our advocate, as he was our propitiation. 

1. Christ is not an advocate in heaven in such a supplicating manner as 
he prayed in the world. This servile way of praying, as they call it, because 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. Ill 

it was performed by Christ in the form of a servant, is not agreeable to his 
present glorious estate. It is as unsuitable to his state in heaven, as his 
prayers with strong cries were suitable to his condition on earth. Such 
' prayers and supplications, with strong cries and tears,' belong only to ' the 
days of his flesh,' Heb. v. 7, i. e. the state of humiUation, wherein he was 
encompassed with the infirmities of the flesh ; but such a posture becomes 
him not in heaven, where he is stripped of all those natural infirmities and 
marks of indigence. Though such a kind of petitioning is not inconsistent 
with his humanity as joined to his divinity, and making one person (if it 
were, he could not then have supplicated in the world, as he did in the gar- 
den ; for his humanity was joined to his divinity in that humbled, as well as 
in his exalted state. He was God in the days of his flesh when he lived 
amongst mortals, as well as now in the days of his glory) ; yet his praying 
with so deep a humiliation as he did in this lower region of the earth, is in- 
consistent with his glorified state in heaven ; for if the glory of heaven wipes 
tears from the eyes of his members, it doth certainly from the eyes of the Head. 
Nor is it a supplication in the gesture of kneeling, for he is an advocate at 
the right hand of God, where he is always expressed as sitting, and but once 
(as I remember) as standing, and that was in the case of Stephen, Acts 
vii. 55. This some of the fathers and others call a servile manner of pray- 
ing, and say that it was not convenient for the Father to require it of Christ 
in his elevated state, nor for the Son to perform it. 

2. Yet it may be a kind of petition, an expressing his desires in a suppli- 
catory manner. Though he be a king upon his throne, yet being settled in 
that royal authority by his Father, as his delegate, he is in regard of that 
inferior to the Father, and likewise in the economy of mediator. And also 
as his human nature is a creature, he may be a petitioner without any de- 
basement to himself, to that power, by whose authority he is settled in his 
dignity, constituted in his mediatory office, and was both made and continues 
a creature. Though God ' hath put all things under him,' yet he did not 
put himself under him, but remains in his full authority, 1 Cor. xv. 27. His 
divine nature in union with his human, is no argument against it, for then 
he should not have petitioned on earth. He was then the same person in 
his disguise that he is now in glory. There are promises made to him which 
are not yet accomplished ; enemies to be made his footstool, which are not 
yet brought into that lowest degree of subjection. Divine promises are to 
be turned into petitions ; the heathen are promised to be his inheritance, but 
asking was ordered to precede the performance. Ps. ii. 8, 7N't^ signifies to 
desire and wish, as weir as to ask. There are some things still of want, 
though not in Christ personal, yet in Christ mystical, till the church be 
fully completed. He is an high priest in heaven, and it is the office of a high 
priest to pray for those for whom he hath offered the sacrifice. Why should 
asking, by way of desire or petition, be more uncomely when there is yet 
something of indigence, than praising after supplies, which Christ doth in 
heaven ; if we understand those words of Christ, Ps. Ixix. 30, ' I will praise 
the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving,' after 
he should be set on high ? And Ps. xxii. 25, ' My praise shall be of thee in 
the great congregation, and I will pay my vows before them that fear him.' 
Both which psalms, upon perusal, you will find prophetic of Christ. And 
himself expresseth, that what he was to do in heaven for the accomplishment 
of the promise of the Spirit which he had made to them, was to be by way 
of prayer : John xiv. 10, ' I will pray the Father, and he shall give you an- 
other Comforter.' He speaks of an asking or praying (for the word signi- 
fies both the one and the other), not in this life, but after his ascension, for 

112 charnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

the first and necessary fruit of his death, viz., the Comforter. He e^vi- 
denceth hereby, that his glory should not cloud his mercy, and the cares of 
their concerns ; his love should be stronger than death or glory, and he 
would not rest till he had obtained of infinite goodness what was necessary 
for them. This he would do by way of asking, which inclines to a petitionary 
way when a boon is desired. 

3. It is such a petition as is in the nature of a claim or demand. It is not 
a petition for that which is at the liberty of the petitioned person to grant or 
refuse, but for that which the petitioner hath a right to by way of purchase, 
and the pereon petitioned to cannot in justice deny. An advocate is an officer 
in a court of judicature, demanding audience and sentence in a judicial way. 
So that this intercession of Christ is not a bare precarious intercession;* 
for as when he was in the world he taught as one having authority, and not 
as the scribes. Mat. vii. 29, so in heaven he intercedes as one having autho- 
rity by virtue of his mediatory power, and not as an ordinary supplicant. 
He hath a right to demand. On earth, indeed, he had only promises of 
assistance to put in suit ; but in heaven he pleads the conditions performed 
on his part, upon which the promises made to Christ become due to him. 
It is now, ' Father, I have glorified thee upon the earth ; now glorify me 
with thy own self,' John xvii. 4, 5. He pleads for his people as they are the 
gift of his Father, and as they have received his words, ver. 8. He pleads 
his own commission as one sent, ver. 23. He minds the Father of the 
covenant between them both, as God gave him a command what he should 
do in the world, which was no other but an icjunction to perform those con- 
ditions which had been agreed upon, and that will of God expressed in the 
covenant of redemption, which is called the will of God, Heb. x. 7. Christ, 
having done this will, mediates for the performance of the conditions God was 
bound to by this covenant, and claims the performance of them jure pacti, 
as a debt due to his meritorious obedience on the cross ; so that it is not a 
desire only in a way of charity, but a claim in a way of justice, by virtue of 
meriting, and a demand cf the performance of the promise. There were 
promises made by God to Christ as our head and representative ' before the 
world began,' Tit. i. 1, 2, and 2 Tim. i. 9, when he was fore-ordained to 
sufiering, 1 Pet. i. 20. Eternal life was ' promised before the world began.' 
To whom could this promise of so long a date be made ? Not to any crea- 
ture, since it was before any creature had a being. Therefore to Christ ; 
not for himself, who was the eternal Son of God. This promise and this 
grace, given us in Christ, he sues out by his intercessij^n as a feoffee in trust 
for us ; and it being added, 'which God, that cannot lie, promised,' gives us 
an intimation of the manner of Christ's pleading, in calling the truth of God 
to witness the validity of the promise which he pleads. It seems to be in an 
expostulatory manner, as we find it before his incarnation : Zech. i. 12, 

' How long. Lord ? ' which was upon the account of his future incarnation ; 
for which reason he that is called the angel, ver. 12, who was the angel of 
the covenant, is called 'the man,' ver. ]0. So the expostulation of Elias 
with God is called particularly intercession, Rom. xi. 2 ; and Rev. iii. 5 
intimates it by way of claim, * He that overcomes, I will confess (l^o/zoXtyjjffo- 
fiai) his name before my Father ; ' I will confess him plainly and clearly, and 
claim him as one that belongs to me. His advocacy for us is a confession 
of our interest in him, our owning of him, by virtue of which confession or 
claim we are set right in the court of God, as those for whom he hath shed 
his blood. 

4. This intercessory demand or asking is accompanied with a presenting 

* Mares, contra Volkel, lib. iii. cap. xxxviii. p. S78. 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. 113 

the memorials of his death. It is a commemoration of the sacrifice which 
he offered on earth for our expiation ; and the whole power of intercession, 
with the prevalency of it, is wholly upon this foundation. It is a presenting 
the efficacy of his death, the vii'tue of his blood, the pleasure of God in the 
sacrifice oflered by him. It is by the displaying the whole merit of his pas- 
sion that he doth solicit for us. Intercession is not properly a sacerdotal 
act, without respect to the sacrifice. It was with the blood of the sacrifice 
that the high priest was to enter into the holy of holies, and sprinkle it there. 
The same blood that had been shed without on the day of expiation was to 
be carried within the veil. What was done typically, Christ doth really : 
first give himself a sacrifice, and then present himself as the sacrifice for us. 
The apostle shews us the manner of it, Heb. xii. 24. The blood of Christ 
is a speaking blood, as well as the blood of Abel ; it speaks in the same 
manner as Abel's blood did, though not for the same end.'''' As the blood of 
Abel, presenting itself before the eyes of God, was as powerful to draw down 
the vengeance of God as if it had uttered a cry as loud as to reach to heaven ; 
so the blood of Christ, being presented before the throne of God, powerfully 
excites the favour of God by the loudness of its cry. He speaks by his blood, 
and his blood speaks by its merit. The petitions of his hps had done us no 
good without the voice of his blood. He stands as a Iamb slain when he 
presents the prayers of the saints. Rev. v. 6, 8, with his bleeding wounds 
open, as so many mouths full of pleas for us ; and every one of them is the 
memorial and mark of the things which he suffered, and for what end he 
suffered them, as the wounds of a soldier received in the defence, and for the 
honour of his country, displayed to persons sensible of them, are the loudest 
and best pleas for the grant of his request. If the party-coloured rainbow, 
being looked upon by G-od, minds him of his covenant not to destroy the 
world again by a deluge. Gen. ix. 14-16, much more are the wounds which 
Christ bears, both in his hands, feet, and side, remembrancers to him of the 
covenant of grace made with repenting and believing sinners. The look of 
God upon those wounds, whereby so great an oblation is remembered, doth 
as efficaciously move him to look kindly upon us, as the look upon the rain- 
bow disposeth him to the continuance of the world. If our Saviour had not 
a mouth to speak, he had blood to plead ; and his blood cries louder in 
heaven for us than his voice did in any of the prayers he uttered upon earth ; 
for by this his performance of the articles on his part is manifested, and the 
performance of the promises on God's part solicited. When he sees what 
the Redeemer hath done, he reflects upon what himself is to do. The blood 
of Christ speaks the tenor of the covenant of redemption made with Christ 
on the behalf of sinners. 

5. It is a presenting our persons to God, together with his blood, in an 
affectionate manner ; as the high priest, when he went into the holy of 
holies, was to bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of 
judgment upon his heart, Exod. xxviii. 29, to which the church alludes in 
her desire that she might be ' set as a seal upon the heart' of her beloved. 
Cant. viii. 6 ; and perhaps an allusion may be also in Rev. iii. 5, confessing 
the names of the victorious sufferers before his Father, bearing their names 
visibly before him. The persons of believers are his jewels, locked up in the 
cabinet of his own breast, and shewed to his Father in the exercise of his 
priestly office. 

IV. The fourth thing. That Christ doth perpetually manage this office. 
* Daill6 stir le Descent d'Es^jrit, serm. 1. 461. 

VOL. V. H 

114 ohaenock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

The first evidence is in the text, ' We have an advocate ; ' we have at this 
present ; we have an advocate actually remembering us in his thoughts, and 
presenting us to his Father ; we in this age, we in all ages, till the dissolu- 
tion of the world, without any faintness in the degrees of his intercession, 
without any interruption in time. He never ceases the exercise of this 
office, so far as it is agreeable to that high and elevated state wherein he is. 
As there are continual sins of believers in all ages of the world, so there are 
constant pleas of the advocate. This epistle was written many years after 
the ascension of Christ ; some think in the time of John's banishment in the 
isle of Patmos, some think after; yet at that time he owns himself to have a 
share in the benefit of this intercession. The term u-e is inclusive of him- 
self. Christ is an intercessor for us in the whole course of our pilgrimage. 
All the time that we have any need of him, his voice is the same still, ' I 
will that they behold my glory which thou hast given me,' till they are 
wafted from hence to a full vision of it. This is the true end of his 
heavenly life, and his living for ever there : Heb. vii. 25, * Seeing he ever 
lives to make intercession for them.' He lives solely to this purpose, to 
discharge this part of his priesthood for us. His advocacy is, like his life, 
without end. As he died once to merit our redemption, so he lives always 
to make application of redemption. He would not answer the end of his 
life if he did not exercise the office of his priesthood. It would not be a 
love like that of a God, if he did not bear his people continually upon his 
heart. He was the author of our faith by enduring the cross, and the 
finisher of our faith by sitting down at the right hand of God, Heb. xii. 2. 
He will be exercised in it as long as there is any faith to be finished and 
completed in the world. His oblation was a transient act ; but his appearance 
in heaven for us is a permanent act, and continues for ever. His mediatory 
gloiy is not consummate, though his personal be. He hath yet a mystical 
self to be perfected, a fulness to be enriched with. He cannot be intent upon 
this without minding the concerns of, and putting up pleas for, his people ; 
for they are one with him, ' the fulness of him that fills all in all,' Eph. i. 23. 
There can be no cessation of his work till his enemies be conquered, and his 
whole mystical body wrapped up in glory. If he had finished this part of 
his function, we should have had him here again before this time, with all his 
train of angels, to put an end to the present state of things, as the high 
priest stayed no longer in the holy of holies than was necessary for the atoning 
their sins, expecting the felicity of an acceptation, that he might bring the 
welcome news of it to the people that waited without. As soon as he hath 
reduced all the elect to an happy state, he will come again, for * the heavens 
receive him' only till ' the restitution of all things' is completed. Acts iii. 21 ; 
and then ' he shall come with a shout,' 1 Thes. iv. 16, all the angels in hea- 
ven triumphing and applauding the accomplishment of redemption. 

It is necessary it should be so. 

1. Because it is founded upon his death. As bis oblation is of eternal 
efficacy, so his advocacy hath an everlasting virtue. It is an ' eternal re- 
demption,' Heb. ix. 12, and therefore an eternal intercession. This the 
apostle signifies in the text by arguing from his propitiation to his advocacy ; he 
is at present an advocate with an uninterrupted plea, because he is at present 
a propitiation in the efficacy of his passion. There was an end of his actual 
suffering when he expired, but no end of the virtue of his sacrifice ; and there- 
fore no end of his intercession, which depended not upon his death simply 
considered, but upon the value of it. It is in the virtue of this he pleads ; 
since the virtue of his blood is perpetual, the plea grounded upon that virtue, 
and which is nothing but the voice of his blood, is of the same duration. 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. 115 

There can be no end of the intercession of his person till there be an exhaust- 
ing of the merits of his death ; the one must fail in its strength before the 
other cease in its plea ; his blood must be a speechless blood before he can 
be a silent advocate. As the continual sacrifice typified the continual virtue 
of the Redeemer's death, so the perpetual burning incense signified the per- 
petuity of his intercession ; and no less was signified by the sprinkling the 
blood of the sacrifice upon the mercy-seat, which was not wiped oif, but stuck 
there, as a visible mark, and remained as a continual solicitor for the con- 
tinuance of grace and favour to the people. 

2. The exercise of this office must be as durable as the office itself. His 
priesthood is for ever, therefore the act belonging to his priesthood is for ever;- 
He was more particularly constituted an high priest ' after the order of Mel-^ 
chisedec' when he entered into heaven 'as a forerunner for us,' Heb. vi. 20^ 
where he abides an high priest continually, Heb. vii. 3 ; made so ' not after 
the law of a carnal command,' or a command to be abrogated, but * after 
the power of endless life,' ver. 15, 16; and 'confirmed by the oath' of God 
a priest for ever,' ver. 21 ; and therefore exereiseth his function of a priest 
for ever. Not of sacrificing himself, because he lives for ever, and cannot 
die again, but of interceding, since no other act belonging to the priesthood 
can be exercised in that glorious and endless state he hath jii heaven but 
this of intercession, which must be without intermission, tscause it is the 
only act of that office which he can perform. It is not said'he is a man for 
ever, but a priest for ever, which is a name of an office, and irnplies an exer- 
cise of the office. He is not called a priest for ever in regard of his life, but 
in regard of his function for which he lives. His mouth cannot be stopped 
by God, because he was constituted by the irreversible oath of God. God 
cannot deny himself, and destroy his own solemn act. He is a priest for ever, 
without repentance on God's part ; he must therefore perpetually mind his 
office, the neglect of it else would cause repentance in God for exalting him 
to so high a dignity, and be a reflection upon divine wisdom, to settle- one in 
this excellent place that were too weak for it, or too careless in it, that should 
bear only the title, and neglect the work ; it would be a cause of repentance 
in God at the expending so much grace to no purpose. This advocate, as he 
bears the name of priest, so he appeared clothed with a priestly robe : Rev. 
i. IB, ' He had a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps with a 
golden girdle,' which was the habit of the high priest under the law. As he 
is an everlasting priest, so he manages an everlasting intercession. He was 
too faithful in discharging his part on earth, to be negligent of performing his 
office in heaven; he did not embrace so great an honour to be idle in it, and 
neglect the work and duty that his place called for. 

3. This was both the reason and end of his advancement. The intercession 
he made for transgressors was one reason why God would ' divide him a por- 
tion with the great,' Isa. liii. 12 ; ' because he made intercession for the trans- 
gressors.' This is alleged as one reason, among others there mentioned, of 
his glorious exaltation, which intercession is most evident to us in his last 
prayer, John xvii., wherein he prays for all that should believe on him. And 
also upon the cross, when he prays for his murderers : * Father, forgive them, 
for they know not what they do,' Luke xxiii. 34. An act so pleasing to God 
as to be the motive to give him the division of the spoil of the strong, cannot 
but be perpetual. Will Christ, who always did what was pleasing to God on 
earth, discontinue that which is so delightful to the bowels of his mercy ? 
He cannot look upon his own glory, the robe he wears, the throne he sits on, 
the enemies prostrate at his feet, but he must reflect upon the reason of bis 
present state, and be excited to a redoubling his solicitations for his people. 

116 ' chaenock's wokks. [1 John II, X. 

He would be no longer glorious than he were an advocate. The superstruc- 
tm-e cannot stand when the foundation moulders. Since he was anointed 
with the oil of gladness above his fellows, because he loved righteousness and 
hated iniquity, he cannot be unmindful of promoting the destruction of the 
one and the perfection of the other. A perpetual action will be the result of 
these perpetual qualities ; and being anointed a priest for these qualities, he 
will act as a priest for the glory of them, which can be no other way but by 
intercession. It was the end of his advancement: Heb. x. 12, 'But this 
man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right 
hand of God.' The antithesis is made between him and the legal priests ; 
they stood at the altar every day offering the same sacrifices, but this (not 
man as it is in our translation, but rather to be supplied with priest) this 
priest, having finished his work on earth, sat down for ever, viz. as a priest, 
on the right hand of God, and never leaves the place. Other priests stood, 
as not having finished their sacrificing work, but were to repeat it again ; this 
priest sits, as having finished his sacrificing function, and having attained the 
glory due to his person. His sitting down is not mentioned only as a point 
of honour, but of office ; he sat down as one that had offered a complete 
sacrifice in the nature of a priest, and sat down for ever to exercise his priest- 
liood at the right hand of God. This verse, compared with the other, would 
not else have a full sense ; and the words following second it, ver. 13, he sat 
down * expecting till his enemies be made his footstool,' expecting the full 
fruits of that sacrifice in the complete subjection of his enemies, and conse- 
quently the full felicity of himself and his friends ; and all this time of expec- 
tation he is suing out the promise of God to him, asking that inheritance 
which was assured him in the covenant between them, Ps. ii. 8. This is the 
reason of his sitting down for ever to exercise his priesthood for ever in the 
presence of the King and Judge of all the earth. He is always in the pre- 
sence of his Father in the dignity of his person and fulness of his merit, 
continually spreading every part of his meritorious sacrifice in the view of 
God. The high priest entered into the holy of holies but once a year, but 
this high priest sits for ever in the court in a perpetual exercise of his func- 
tion, both as a priest and a sacrifice. And since his own sacrifice for sins 
offered on earth was sufficient, he hath nothing to do perpetually in heaven 
but to sprinkle the blood of that sacrifice upon the mercy-seat. He is never 
out of the presence of God ; and the infiniteness of his compassions may 
hinder us from imagining a silence in him when any accusations are brought 
in against us. The accusations might succeed well were he out of the way ; 
but being always present, he is always active in his solicitations. No clamour 
can come against us but he hears it, as being on the right hand of his Father, 
and appears as our attorney there in the presence of God to answer it, as the 
high priest appeared in the holy of holies for all the people. 

V. Thing is, the efficacy of this intercession. The eflScacy of it is implied 
in the text, both in the person of our advocate, Jesus Christ ; in his quality, 
righteous ; in regard of the work he had wrought on earth, propitiation ; in 
the object of his intercession, and the place, xtith the Father. He is an 
advocate to the Father ; not only to him at a distance, but with him. The 
constant presence of a favourite with a king, of a princely son with a royal 
father, is a means to make his intercessions of force with him. He is an 
advocate, and he is constantly with the Father in that capacity. A letter 
from a fi'iend is not so successful as a personal appearance for gaining a suit. 
If his death were meritorious, his prayer must be so too, as being put up in 
virtue of his meritorious blood ; and though we are reconciled by his death, 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. 117 

jet we are saved by his life, with a much more, Rom. v. 10 ; not formally in 
regard of merit, for that was the effect of his death, but in regard of appli- 
cation of that merit, the end for which he lives, to render it efficacious to up, 
as it had been in his passion valuable for us. If he separated himself to 
death to procure it, he will employ the authority and dignity of his life to 
finish and apply it. As none offered so noble a sacrifice, so none lives a 
more powerful life. As when he was on earth never man spake as he spake, 
so, now he is in heaven, never did any man or angel plead as he pleads. If 
' whatsoever we ask in his name' we shall receive, John xvi. 23, surely what- 
soever he asks in his own name will not be refused. 

1. This was typified.* The strength of his mediation was signified by 
the horns, ordered by a special precept to be made upon the four corners of 
the altar of burnt-offerings, Exod. xxvii. 2, and also upon the altar of 
incense, Exod. xxx. 2. As the brazen altar signified the strength of his 
death, so the golden altar signified the excellency of his intercession, horns 
in Scripture being an emblem of strength, power, aud dignity. And perhaps 
his feet of brass wherewith he is described, Kev. i. 15, when he appears to 
John in a priestly garb, signifies his irresistible standing before God in the 
exercise of that office. Much more may be said of him, as it was of Jacob, 
Gen. xxxii. 28, ' As a prince he hath power with God,' by his death and 
intercession, as well as power with men by his Spirit, and prevails in all 
when he pleases. 

2. It was prophesied of Christ, Ps. xxi. 2, ' Thou hast given him his 
heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of bis hps.' This psalm 
seems to be a comment upon part of the second psalm, or rather a dialogue 
between Christ and the Father, Christ speaking ver. 1, and the Father 
promising him a full victory, ver. 8, which is a prophetical triumph of the 
church after the victory gained by the passion of Christ. And of the Messiah, 
the Chaldee and some of the Jews understand it. The expressions in the 
psalm are many of them too illustrious to be meant of David, as ver. 4, 
' length of days for ever and ever,' which cannot be understood of David in 
his royalty as a mortal man. God had given Christ the right of asking, and 
grants him whatsoever he asks ; he bestow^s upon him whatsoever he desires, 
and refuseth nothing that he sues for. The good of his people is the desire 
of his heart, and the request of his lips, and nothing is refused that his heart 
wishes, and his lips move for. This, of the efiicacy of his intercession, is the 
salvation he rejoices in. The pleasing and favourable countenance of God 
is that which makes him exceeding glad. He would have Httle content in 
the rest of his glory without this power of prevalency with his Father. Since 
his intercession for his church is for his own mystical glory, it must be suc- 
cessful, or his own glory would be in part defective, since it is licked with 
that of his church, which is yet behind. As Christ glorified the Father, so 
the Father is reciprocally to glorify the Son, John xvii, 4, 5, which is by 
giving him a power of asking, and engaging himself to a facility of granting. 
A promise of granting was annexed to the command of asking : Ps. ii. 8, ' I 
will give.' He should not be so ready to request as the Father would be 
liberal to bestow. He was promised a mighty encouragement till he had set 
judgment in the earth, and wrought a perfect deliverance for his people, 
Isa. xlii. 4. It is to this contrite person that he would look perpetually 
favourably, Isa. Ixvi. 1, 2. It is that person by whom the ceremonial law 
was to be torn in pieces to whom God promised to look. 

3. God never denied him any request which he put up upon the earth for 
the divine glory and his people's good, and Christ himself acknowledges its 

* Liglitfoot, Temple, cap. xxxiv- p. 198, 199. 

118 chabnock's works. [1 John II. 1, 

John xi. 42, ' I know that thou hearest me always.' He did but groan in 
his spirit without moving his lips, ver. 88 ; and how soon did his groans rise 
into hallelujahs : ver. 41, ' Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.' Aa 
soon as ever he sighed, he had ah occasion of praise. He was heard in all 
his petitions in the world, Heb. v. 7, ilsaxouahlg, heard to purpose ; while he 
was in the days of his flesh encompassed and pressed with the infirmities of 
our nature, much more will he be heard in the days of his glory. He was 
not indeed heard for himself at the time of his suffering, so as to have what 
he begged formally granted ; for in that prophetic psalm, Ps. xxii. 3, he 
complains that he had cried all the day, and God heard him not. His prayer 
that the cup might pass from him was in specie denied him. That prayer 
proceeded from a natural fear and horror of an accursed death as he was man, 
and is therefore said to be in the days of his flesh, when he had our natural 
infirmities about him, which was not also an absolute desire, but conditional. 
* If it were possible,' i. e. if it were not prejudicial to the glory of God and the 
salvation of his people ; yet in this also he was heard ; for though he was 
not delivered from death, he was supported in it. The death was to he 
suffered, and yet to be conquered ; and afterwards his bloody passion was 
changed into a spiritual and glorious life by a resurrection. He was heard a.'jrh 
suXaQiiag ; a deliverance from his fears and horrors was granted, that he might 
with courage proceed on in his suffering. Christ sometimes prayed as 
mediator, and for things in order to his mediatory work, as when he prayed 
for the raising of Lazarus, that by so great a miracle his doctrine might be 
propagated, and the faith of his disciples strengthened : John xi. 40, 42, 
It was for the glory of God, and that they might beheve that God had sent 
him. In this Christ was never in the least denied, and to this that speech 
of his success, ' Thou hearest me always,' refers. He utters this confidence 
and assurance in the hearing of the people, ' that they may believe that thou 
hast sent me.' Thou hearest me always, when what I desire tends to the 
propagation of the gospel doctrine, and the faith and advantage of that people 
to whom and for whom thou hast sent me. But in those prayers he puts 
up from human affections, and the innocent inclinations of nature, as that in the 
garden which he put up from a human sense, yet with a condition; and that 
upon the cross, which he puts upas a man subject to the laws of charity ; though 
he was not formally answered, yet he was not absolutely denied, because he 
did not absolutely beg, but with a condition expressed or implied. It was not 
possible that cup should pass away from him according to the determination 
of things and the predictions of the prophets, without a manifest alteration 
of purpose in God, breach of his word, and the utter ruin and devastation of 
mankind- And for that prayer upon the cross, Luke xxiii. 34, ' Father, 
forgive them ; they know not what they do,' a condition is implied, viz. if 
they did repent and believe. It cannot be supposed that he prayed for their 
pardon without their repentance, whether they repented and believed or no ; 
and indeed the motive that he urgeth implies a condition, ' they know not 
what they do,' implying that when they came to be sensible, and to know 
with an inward penitent practical knowledge what they had done, that they 
had crucified the Lord of life, God would pardon them, which without 
doubt he would, according to the tenor of his own promise. But to consider 
rightly that petition of his in the garden, the refusing his request upon the 
account of the impossibility of the passing away of the cup, doth strongly 
conclude the efficacy of his intercession in heaven. The reason why he was 
not answered was because such a grant had been inconsistent with the 
redemption of his people ; and upon the same reason he will be answered 
in every suit in heaven, because he doth everything pursuant to the redemp- 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. 119 

tion and full felicity of believers. He -intercedes not there,''as lie prayed 
sometimes on earth, as a man, but as a mediator. If anything were denied 
him on earth because the refusal conduced to the advantage of his elect, it 
necessarily follows that he will have all things granted him in heaven which 
are for the glory of God, the happiness of his people, and the fulness of 
their redemption. The same reason God hath now to allow his pleas, which 
before he had to refuse them. The necessity of his death for redemption 
was the cause of the refusal. The accomplishment of redemption, which is 
that he now intercedes for, cannot be denied him upon the same account, but 
he will always carry the cause he sues for. As to that petition upon the 
cross, he was answered in it. Many of those whose hands were red with his 
blood, had their hearts afterwards filled with repentance, and their heads 
crowned with pardon ; and if his prayer upon the cross was so efficacious 
for some of his bloody persecutors, shall it have less force in heaven for his 
aflfectionate friends, since it is for those that believe, and not for the world, 
that he there intercedes ? John xvii. 9. If he were heard always, as himself 
asserts, before he had oflered that sacrifice, much more in heaven, since he 
had completed it, and is now suing out his own* right after he had paid God 
his. If his prayers were so prevalent here before he had accomplished his 
task of sulFering, his intercession is much more prevalent above, since his 
sufi'erings are at an end, which are the ground of his intercession. 

Now this intercession must needs be efficacious, if you consider, 

(1.) His person. 

[l.j The greatness of it. A person in the form of God, infinitely more 
excellent than all the tribes of angels ; a person so great, that all the 
creatures in heaven and earth, and millions of worlds cannot equal him, 
they being less to him than a grain of sand to the glorious sun. It cannot 
be said of all creatures that ever were made, or of all that ever God can 
make, that in them all dwells the fulness of the Godhead bodily ; as it 
is said of Christ, Col. ii. 9, he is not as the highest angel, that must 
cover his face, and stand before the throne, but the man, God's fellow, sit- 
ting npon the throne with him, Zech. xiii. 17 ; applied to Christ, Mat. 
xxvi. 31. He is equal with God, and therefore cannot be refused by God. 
As his divine nature gave value to his satisfaction, so it gives efficacy to his 
intercession. His agonies in the garden, and his gaspings upon the cross, 
were rendered by the greatness of his person mighty to reconcile us, and by 
the same, his pleas in heaven are rendered successful to save us. His 
humanity being in conjunction with his divinity, is the instrument, that 
receives all its virtue from the Deity. Though he doth not intercede with 
God, as himself is God, because in that respect he is equal with God, but 
as mediator in his human nature, yet his intercession as man receives a 
power and dignity from him as God, which causes the prevalency of it. 
What there was of humility and supplication in his prayers upon earth, pro- 
ceeded from his human nature ; what there was of authority and efficacy in 
his mediatory icterpositions, proceeded from his divine nature. He was 
bound to die as he was man, taking upon him our sins ; he had a right to 
have bis death accepted, as he was God assuming and sustaining our nature. 
It is a privilege due to the greatness of his person to have his suit granted, 
as it is his duty, as the high priest of his church, to present it in the holy of 
holies. The infinite worth of his prayers results from his divine nature, as 
well as the infinite worth of his passion ; and being the intercessions of a 
divine person, they are as powerful as his suff"erings were meritorious. In 
regard of this greatness of his person, God seems to stand in an admiring 
posture at the approach of Christ to him : Jer. xxx. 21, • Who is this that 

120 charnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

bath engaged his heart to approach unto me?' and presently the decree 
passes out for the confirming the fruits of his mediation in the fullest 
manner: ver. 22, and ' 3'e shall be my people, and I will be your God,' taking 
them as his own propriety, and giving himself to them as their portion. 
Nothing can be denied to so gi'eat a person. We know the suits of princes 
meet with gi-eater success than those of peasants. In the same capacity 
that Christ performed his oblation, he manages his intercession ; it was 
' through the eternal Spirit,' the strength of his deity, he offered up himself 
to God ; and so through the eternal Spirit, the strength of his deity, he 
presents his suppHcations to God. 

[2.] His near relation to the Father. As there was to be a respect to him 
in regard of the greatness of his person, so there was an affection due to 
him in regard of the nearness of his relation. It is against the rules of jus- 
tice to deny him his requests, because of his obedience, and against the rules 
of goodness to deny him. his respects,* because of his alliance. As he was 
from eternity begotten by the Father, and his particular delight, his person 
cannot but be very acceptable to God. It is upon this relation his conse- 
cration to his eternal priesthood is founded, which he exerciseth in this 
administration : Heb, vii. 28, ' The word of the oath makes the Son,' i.e. 
priest, 'who is consecrated for evermore.' Upon the account of this relation 
he had the power of asking, and the privilege of obtaining : Ps. ii. 7, 8, 
' Thou art my Son, ask of me. ' It is this relation enters thee into this 
honour and glory ; this prerogative had not been granted but as thou art 
my Son ; and when he went into heaven, to appear in the presence of God 
for us, he was entertained as a Son-priest, not only as a priest in relation to 
us, but as a Son in relation to his Father : Heb. iv. 14, ' We have a great 
high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God ; ' and the 
text implies that he manages his advocacy in heaven with God as a Father, 
rather than with God as a Judge : ' advocate with the Father.' He appeals 
to God in heaven under the title of a Father, as God considered him in all 
his expressions to him in the world as his Son : ' This is my Son, in whom 
I am well pleased ; this is my Son, hear him ;' carrying himself in all ways 
of paternal tenderness to him while he was upon earth, which cannot but 
be as strong now he is in heaven. He always considered him in the capacity 
of his Son, as well as our surety. As Christ was placed in this office as a 
Son, so he doth manage it as a Son ; in the same capacity he was placed in 
this function, he doth exercise this office. Now what can render his inter- 
cession more efficacious than his relation? If Moses, a man, could screen 
a people from divine anger, and cool the wrath of a provoked God, by inter- 
posing between God and the ofienders, so that God should say to him, * Let 
me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against this people, and I may con- 
sume them at once,' Exod. xxxii. 10 ; and when Moses would not silence his 
cry, God at length would silence his wrath, ver. 14 ; — if Moses, who was 
dignified only with a glorious title of his friend, with whom he spake face to 
face, had so great a power, how forcible must be the interposition of that 
person, who hath the more illustrious title of that of his Son ? What suit 
can be cast out of the court that is presented by a beloved Son, of whom he 
hath signally pronounced that in him he is well pleased, and well pleased 
with whatsoever he doeth ? Denials would be an argument of displeasure, 
not of a well-pleasedness ; it would then be a Son with whom I am dis- 
pleased, if any plea he makes be rejected as invalid. To whom should he 
grant anything if he refused his Son, and his Son upon the same throne 
with himself, and put a slur upon him in the face of the whole host of 
* Qu. ' requests ' ? — Ed. 

1 John II. 1.] chkist's intercession. 121 

heaven ? If an earthly father knows how to give good gifts to his children 
that ask him, a heavenly Father doth much more, and most of all to an 
only-begotten and only beloved Son, for whose sake he loves all his other chil- 
dren. It is a consideration that discovers the sincerity and tenderness of 
divine mercy. Had not God intended to hear him in all his requests for 
us, he would never have appointed one so nearly allied to him to plead our 
cause ; one that he could not deny without some dishonour to so near a 
relation, and a reflection upon his own afiection, as he might have done to 
some inferior person. God would not love his Son according to his own 
greatness, if he did not express it in the most signal marks of his favour. 

[3. J The special love God bears to his person for what he hath done in 
the earth, and doth yet in heaven. Could there have been any increase of 
the Fatherly affections to him, his person had been more endeared to God 
after he had performed so exact an obedience. After he had triumphed over 
the enemies of his Father's honour, he might challenge as a reward the 
most sprightly sparklings of his Father's afiection. What could hinder the 
grant of his suit, when the flames of that wrath in his Father's breast, which 
was an hindrance to any request, were quenched? Since justice was 
silenced, no other voice could be heard but that of tenderness and love, 
which was the spring of that power he gave him after his conflict ; power in 
heaven as well as in earth. Mat. xxviii. 18, which may comprehend a power 
with God as well as power over angels ; a power with God, not over God. 
Though the relation of a son be endearing, yet, when the quality of obedi- 
ence is added to the dearness of that relation, it enlarges and inflames 
paternal affection, and renders the Father more inclinable to grant any re- 
quest that is made to him by such a person ; as a king will listen more to 
the petitions of a son who had done him signal service, and brought by his 
achievements a renown and honour to his name and government, than to a 
son barely in the relation of a child, without testifying the same affection 
and obedience in such eminent enterprises. If the Father had so special a 
care of Christ in the management of his office in the world, as to uphold him 
in his arms, as Sanctius saith the word "lOnx signifies, Isa. xlii. 1, and sup- 
port him in the deptb of his misery ; much more delight hath he in him now 
in heaven, since he hath brought that honour to him, that no created men 
or angels were ever capable to offer him. He will not be insensible of so 
great an obedience, or stain that glory he hath given him for it, by denying 
anything he presents to him. How can God express a greater affection to 
him, than by committing the government of the world into his hands ? And 
as the apostle argues in our case, Kom. viii. 32, from his delivery of his 
Son up for us to an assurance of the free gift of all things else, so it may in 
this, since he hath put the sceptre for a time into his hands, and from a 
boundless affection invested him in the government of the world, how shall 
be refuse him anything in the confines of it, since he hath during this state 
of things committed all judgment and power or rule to him ? John v. 22. 
If his intercession upon earth for transgressors was a motive to God to 
clothe him with so great a glory, as hath been before mentioned from Isaiah 
liii. 12, his intercession in heaven (every way as delightful to him) would 
excite him to confer a greater glory on him, were it possible for him to be 
elevated to a throne of a higher pitch. The one hath as mighty an influence 
upon his affections as the other, and there is the same reason of both. 
There is an intimate union and an affectionate communion between the 
Father and the Son in heaven in regard of this advocacy : ' Believe me that 
I am in the Father, and the Father in me,' John xiv. 11, which he speaks 
upon a discourse of his ascension, ver. 2, 3, and to encourage them to ask 

122 chabnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

in his name after his going to the Father, ver. 13. Believers have not only 
an advocate with the Father for them, but the person that was offended is 
now united to them in their advocate by an indissoluble league and com- 
munion, and unalterable affection. And as whatsoever we ask in his name 
should be, 'that the Father might be glorified in the Son,' ver. 13, so 
whatsoever Christ sues for is for the same end, which must needs in the very 
act of it fix him more strongly in that affection, which was due to him upon 
the account of his eternal alliance and his unspotted obedience. 

2. It must needs be efficacious in regard of the pleas themselves, the 
matter of them, 

(1.) The matter of his plea is holy. It is, as was said, that the Father 
might be glorified in the Son in regard of his hoHness and righteousness, and 
it is included in the text, by the epithet righteous, ' Jesus Christ the right- 
eous'; righteous in his person, righteous in his ofiice as an advocate, both in 
the pleas he makes, and the manner of managing them. He is ' holy, and 
harmless, and undefiled,' as an high priest, Heb. vii. 26. All his petitions 
are as himself, unspotted, his suit is as holy as his nature ; if there be no 
guile in his mouth, there can be no iniquity in his plea. Our prayers are of 
themselves rejected because of their impurity, Christ's intercession is ac- 
cepted because of its perfection. If a sinful Jacob prevailed with God, much 
more must a perfectly holy Jesus, presenting nothing to God but what is 
becoming the purity and mercifulness of his own nature to grant. If his 
blood were ' without blemish,' 1 Peter i. 19, his intercession must be with- 
out spot, because the one is the sole foundation of the other. 

(2.) It is nothing but what he hath merited. He doth not desire as a 
bare supplicant, but pleads in a way of right and justice. What he sues 
for is due to him from God's truth, because of his promise, and from God's 
righteousDess, because of his merit. So that his suit is put up ralione me- 
riti, ratione juris, he intercedes for no more than he hath purchased, and may 
demand as a due debt. It is necessary God should render what he owes 
unto that person that hath merited of him ; he would be unrighteous if he 
did not, or put a note of insufficiency upon the sufferings of his Son. What 
be pleads for in heaven, is nothing but what he sued for on earth, John xvii. 
4, 5, upon the account of his glorifying his Father, i. e. rendering to him what 
was due by agreement between them ; no doubt but the same argument is 
used by him in heaven ; the matter of his plea is what he hath merited, viz., 
pardon of sin, sanctification, continuance of justification, all which he sued 
for in that chapter. The Father hath acknowledged it already a just demand, 
for by his raising him from the dead, he hath given his approbation of all 
the acts of his life, not only to his death, whereby he merited, but to his 
prayers, whereby he supplicated for those things which he now solicits for in 
heaven, upon the account of the glory he did by his incarnation and passion 
bring to God. No plea can prevail against him, since he hath conquered 
his enemies, wiped out the guilt of sin by his sacrifice, condemned sin in the 
flesh, led captivity captive ; and all this not by a mere strength, but by a 
legal right ; having satisfied the rigours of the law, prevailed at the tribunal 
of justice (which was the sharpest tug and hardest conquest), all which God 
hath subscribed to, by setting him ' at his right hand, far above principali- 
ties and powers,' Eph, iv. 8. Yet, in as legal a way as he merited it, he 
might sue out the fruits of his merit. Shall he not much more prevail at 
the throne of grace by his intercession, since the mouth of justice, which 
gave life and strength to all suits against us, is perfectly stopped by the merit 
of his death ? It hath nothing to except against the issues of mercy upon 
the perpetual pleading of that merit ; what he doth sue for is rather short of, 

1 John II. 1.] chkist's intercession. 123 

than outweighs his merit. An infinite merit deserves infinite blessings, but 
all the blessings he solicits for are finite in themselves, though proceeding 
from infinite grace, and purchased by a payment of infinite value. God can- 
not be unjust to detain the goods and the price paid for them ; Christ must 
have his death and sufferings given back again and uneffected, which is im- 
possible, or else have the fruits of his death given to him and to those for 
whom he suffered. 

(3.) Whatsoever he pleads for is agreeable to the will of his Father. The 
will of Christ whereby he intercedes, is the same with the will of the 
Father with whom he intercedes ; and when the will of an eternal mercy 
and the will of an infinite merit meet together, what will not be the fruit of 
such a glorious conjunction ? As on earth he did nothing but what he saw 
the Father do, John v, 19, 20, so he intercedes for nothing but what he 
knows the Father wills. What he did on earth was not without, but with, 
his Father's will ; what he doth in heaven hath the same rule. As they were 
joint in the counsel of reconciliation and peace, which was ' between them 
both,' Zech. vi. 13, so they are joint in the counsel of advocacy and inter- 
cession, which is between them both, the one as the director, the other as the 
solicitor. Their wills are in the highest manner conformable to one another, 
and the will of the Father as much known by the soul of Christ in heaven 
as it was on earth. He asks nothing but he first reads in the copy of his 
Father's instructions, and considers what his will was. He reads over the 
annals of his Father's decrees and records ; he does nothing but what he 
sees the Father do ; he takes the copy of all from his Father, and whatso- 
ever Christ doth, the same doth the Father also. They have but one will in 
the whole current of redemption, so that he can plead nothing in regard of 
the persons for whom he appears, and the good things he desires for them, 
but it is according to the will of God. When he came into the world, he 
came ' not to do his own will,' i. e. only his own will, * but the will of him 
that sent him ;' and when he returned, he went up, not to do his own will, 
but the will of him that accepted him. The persons were given him by God 
for the ends which he intercedes for ; the words Christ gave them were first 
given him by God ; and this will of God, and his people receiving his words, 
he urgeth all along as an argument for the grant of his prayer, John xvii. 
8, 9. His intercession is in some sort a part of his obedience as well as his 
passion ; by his obedient suffering he learned a further act of obedience, 
Heb. V. 8, which could not be practised here but in heaven. The apostle 
seems to refer this obedience to that part of his office as high priest in heaven 
after the order of Melchisedec, which he discourseth of in that chapter. His 
whole advocacy is but pursuant to that command given him by his Father, 
of losing none of those that God had given him, but ' raising them up at the 
last day,' John vi. 39. What he doth in heaven is in a way of obedience to 
this obligation, and conducing to this end. There is not an answer of prayer 
which is the fruit of his advocacy, but the design of it is ' that the Father may 
be glorified in the Son,' John xiv. 13. As he glorified his Father on earth by 
his suffering, so he glorifies the same attributes by his intercession in heaven ; 
it is for the glory of divine grace that the one purposed and the other acted, 
Eph. i. 5, 6. If he gives blessings for the glory of his Father, he then in his suit 
nrgeth the glory of his Father as an argument to obtain them. God must then 
be an enemy to his own glory, if he be deaf to his Son's suit ; and since 
the Advocate's plea is suita]^le to the Father's will, he cannot reject tbo 
will of his Son without offering violence to his own will. They are both one 
in will and one in affection. His human will cannot desire anything in 
opposition to the divine. Though he desired the passing away of the cup 

124 charnock's woeks. [1 John II. 1. 

here, which was not agreeable to the divine will, yet it was without any sin, 
because with submission to the divine will ; but since he is stripped of our 
infirmities, and hath no furnace of wrath any more to suffer in, there cannot 
in his intercession be so much as a conditional dissent from the divine will. 
What Christ acts now is upon that foundation which he laid here according 
to God's instructions. Christ had not come had not God sent him ; the 
world had not been reconciled had not God employed him upon that errand. 
The whole plot was laid by him ; it was his own purpose. Should God 
deny anything which was founded upon this his will, he would be mutable 
and deny himself ; deny his own act and deed in denying the fruits of that 
work which was designed and cut out by himself. The intercession of Christ 
concurring with the eternal design of God, with his will, with the good 
pleasure of it, and being for the glory of his grace, he must be beloved in 
and for that very act of mediation, and consequently prevalent in it. To 
conclude : it was God's will to make any of you children, and he took a 
pleasure in purposing and effecting it, Eph. i. 5 ; and will he stop his ears 
when the wants of those children are presented to him for supplies by their 
mighty Advocate, who acts nothing but what is agreeable to the eternal 
pleasure of his Father's will ? 

(3.) In regard of the foundation of his intercession, his death. His inter- 
cession must be as powerful as his satisfaction. As he was a mighty surety 
for the discharge of men's debts, so he is a mighty intercessor for the salva- 
tion of men's souls, because his intercession is in the virtue of his satisfac- 
tion : he is an advocate, but by his propitiation ; both are linked together in 
the text. His intercession being founded upon his death, his death may as 
soon want its virtue as his intercession its efficacy. If his blood is incor- 
ruptible, which must be concluded from the antithesis, 1 Peter i. 18, ' We 
are not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of 
Christ.' If his blood be incorruptible, as being precious in the ej-es of God, 
his intercessions are undeniable, as having an equal value in God's account. 
If his blood hath the same virtue now, which it had when it was first pre- 
sented to God, his pleas must have the same virtue with his blood ; as the 
one was owned, the other cannot be refused. There is a necessary connec- 
tion between the perfection of the one and prevalency of the other. If his 
sacrifice be perfect, his plea upon it must be prevalent ; if his plea be not 
prevalent, it must conclude the imperfection of his sacrifice. A fiat must 
be set upon all his petitions, since he hath finished his passive obedience. 
What greater rhetoric can there be in the tongues of men and angels than 
in the tongue of Christ ? Yet all his eloquence cannot be so powerful as 
that of his gaping wounds. His blood hath the same efficacy in heaven that 
it had on earth; it speaks the same things, and must meet with the same 
success. His merit must be deficient before his intercession can be success- 
less ; and his blood will not want a voice while his death retains a satisfactory 
suflficiency. Having by his bloody obedience silenced justice, that it cannot 
put in any exception, he hath nothing to do but to solicit mercy, prone 
enough to bestow all good upon those that love him and believe in him. 

(4.) In regard of the persons he intercedes for. They are those that are 
the special gift of God to him, as dear to the Father as to Christ : John 
xvii. 9, ' They are thine;' thine as well as mine; thine before they were 
mine ; thine in purpose, mine by donation. There is a likeness in the love 
the Father bears to his people to that love which he bears to Christ. It is 
the argument Christ himself uses for the grant of what he desired in that 
intercessory model : John xvii. 23, ' That the world may know that thou 
hast loved them as thou hast loved me ;' not that the Father might have a 

1 John II. 1.] cheist's intercession. 125 

rise for bis affection, but an occasion for tbe manifestation of bis affection in 
the view of tbe world. Andtbougb Cbrist dotb pray tbe Father, yet he inti- 
mates how easily bis prayer for them would be granted ; because, saith he, 
'the Father himself loves you' : John xvi. 2G, 27, 'At that day you shall 
ask in my name : and I say not unto you, that I will pray tbe Father for 
you ; for tbe Father himself loves you, because you have loved me.' Do 
not think tbe Father is so full of revenge that he must be earnestly pressed 
to be merciful to you. I do not say I will pray tbe Father for you, he of 
himself is inclinable to embrace you with the tenderest affection; be hath, 
for your love to me, a particular kindness for you. It is as if a favourite 
should say, I will entreat the king for you, but I need not ; for he bears you 
such an affection because you are my friend, and belong to me, that be will, 
from bis own inclination, be ready to do you all good. Cbrist doth not here 
deny bis intercession for them, which before he bad promised them, but 
would have them in their dependence consider not only bis suing for them, 
but fix their mind upon tbe Father's love to them, and assure themselves 
there is nothing but they may expect from bis immense bounty and infinite 
affection. The Father himself loves you in tbe greatness of bis majesty ; 
be bath as deep a stamp of affection to you as I myself have, and as you 
know I have manifested to you. The persons be intercedes for are those 
whom tbe Father loves, those whom tbe Father bath given him, those whom 
God bath justified, those for whom himself is a propitiation, those for whom 
he * died and rose again ;' for, Rom. viii. 33, 34, since they were tbe persons 
for whom be was intended as a sacrifice, and for whose good his glorious 
resurrection and exaltation were designed, there is no doubt but his inter- 
cession shall be accepted for them. When the love of the Father to tbe 
advocate, and his love to bis clients, meet together, what a glorious success 
must be expected from such an intercession ! 

(5.) It is evidenced by tbe fruit of it. 

[l.j Before bis sacrifice. Tbe text intimates it ; as he was ' a propitiation 
for the whole world,' i. e. for all ages of tbe world, so he is an advocate in all 
ages of tbe world. How could tbe execution of God's vengeance upon tbe 
world for sin, at tbe first commission of it, have been prevented, but by the 
interposition of the Son of God ? He interposed then by virtue of a pro- 
mise to offer himself a sacrifice, he interposeth now by virtue of bis actual 
performance. If it were so prevalent as to support the world for so manv 
ages, in tbe midst of that abundance of mire and dirt which should overflow 
it, and to save those that should believe in a promised Messiah, it is much 
more powerful to save those that believe in a sacrificed and conquering Mes- 
siah. For as he was a lamb slain from tbe foundation of the world, so by 
tbe same reason he was an advocate pleading from the foundation of the 
world. The credit of his plea is tbe same with that of bis passion ; as be 
was a sufferer by promise from the foundation of the world, so be was an 
intercessor by virtue of that promise.* There is the same reason of bis 
intercession upon tbe credit of bis future suffering, as there was for the par- 
don of sin upon tbe credit of his future passion. Those that were saved 
before, were saved upon the account of bis life as well as we ; as they were 
reconciled by his death as well as we. For God made not several ways of 
salvation, one for them and another for us. Acts xv. 8, 9, 11. They were 
' saved by faith ;' by tbe same grace, by the same grace of Christ. And his 
future death being a sufficient ground from the foundation of the world for the 
pardon and salvation of those that believed in him, because it was not pos- 
sible, in regard of the greatness of his person, and faithfulness to his trust, 
* Ursin. 

126 oharnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

that he could fail in the performance of the condition required of him, 
and God knew he could not ; and besides his own stedfast resolution, and 
his ability to accomplish his undertaking, God having given him promises of 
his omnipotent assistance ; upon those accounts, Christ might with confidence 
be, even before his coming, a powerful advocate for those that laid hold upon 
the promise by faith. Though he was not actually installed in all his offices, 
yet he exercised them, if I may so speak, as a candidate ; as a king he ruled 
his church ; as an angel he guided his Israel ; as a prophet he sent the pro- 
phets of the Old Testament, and revealed his will to them. So though he 
was not a perfect priest till he was a propitiation for sin by the oblation of 
himself as a grateful victim to God, because propitiation could not be n\ade 
without blood, yet upon the account of the promise of his suffering he did 
exercise that part of his priesthood, whereupon the sins of many were par- 
doned. God was then a pardoning God, and a God blotting out iniquity ; 
and whenever Christ interposed himself for his people, he was answered with 
* comfortable words,' Zech. i. 13. A.nd though it be said, that Christ upon 
his ascension went • to appear in the presence of God for us,' Heb. ix. 24, 
this excludes not his former intercession in heaven. He tells the disciples 
that he went to heaven to prepare a place for them, yet the place is said to 
be ' prepared before the foundation of the world,' Mat. xxv. 34. He inter- 
ceded before as a promisor, he intercedes now as a performer ; and if his 
intercession then was graciously answered with comfortable words, his inter- 
cession now hath a ground to meet with a no less acceptable entertainment. 
[2.] After his sacrifice, in the first fruit of it, the mission of the Holy 
Ghost. God gave a full proof and public testimony of the vigour of his 
interposition, in that abundance of the Spirit which he poured forth upon the 
apostles at the day of pentecost ; and his sending the same Spirit to dwell in 
the hearts of believers, and the gracious operations of this Spirit in the hearts 
of men, are infallible evidences that his intercession is still of the same force 
and efficacy. He had acquainted his disciples before that he ' would pray 
the Father, and he should give them another Comforter,' John xiv. 16. We 
find not any prayer of Christ for the Spirit upon record while he remained 
upon the earth. He prayed for this Spirit after he went to heaven ; for he 
seems to speak of it as that which was to be acted by him after his going 
from them ; and, saith he, the Father will ' send the Comforter in my name,' 
ver. 26, i. e. as a fruit, and a manifestation of the great interest I have in 
him. This was so great a pledge of the prevalency of this advocacy, that a 
greater could not be given. As soon as ever he was at God's right hand, 
and had put up his petition for it, before he could be well warm in his throne, 
he received ' the promise of the Holy Ghost,' Acts ii. 23, i. e. that Holy 
Ghost which had been promised, the richest gift, next to that of his Son, 
that could be presented to man. As the apostles had but little hopes after 
his death of his being a redeemer, till they saw the truth of his resurrection, 
so they might have as little expectations of his mighty power in heaven after 
his ascension, till he gave them this token of it in the mission of his Spirit. 
The Spirit, indeed, was in some measure sent before, when he was an advo- 
cate designed (the live coal, which seems to be an emblem of the Spirit, was 
taken from the altar, a type of Christ, Isa. vi. 6), but much more richly 
poured out when he was an advocate installed. The Old Testament had 
some drops, and the New Testament full effusions and showers. Though all 
the blessings of the new covenant are the fruits of Christ's death and inter- 
cession, yet the first fruit of it was the Holy Ghost, as the person who by 
office was to convey to us, and work in us, the blessings of the covenant 
sealed and settled by the blood of the Redeemer ; and therefore the promise 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. 127 

of the Spirit is the first promise of the new covenant : Ezek. xxxvi. 25- 27, 
' I will sprinkle clean water upon you, anew spirit will I put within you, and 
I will put my Spirit within you.' This was the first thing Christ solicited for 
when he came to heaven, as the fio^st hlessing of the new covenant. And though 
he gave his disciples in his prayer, John xvii. an essay whereby they might well 
imagine what should be the substance of his petitions in his state of glory, 
yet he tells them not positively of any particular thing, but of this of 
the Comforter, ' I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Com- 
forter.' This was the first boon he begged after his ascension; this was 
granted him, and with this the riches of heaven and the blessings of eternity 
to pour down upon us, which the apostle notes, Titus iii. 6, when he speaks 
of the shedding of the Holy Ghost abundantly and richly by the Father, but 
through Jesus Christ our Saviour, as the choicest witness of the irreversible 
validity of our Saviour's intercession with the Father ; so that we may as 
well conclude in this case as the apostle doth in a like case of the love of 
God, Kom. viii. 32, ' He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up 
for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things ? ' So, 
since the intercession of Christ hath been so efficacious for a gift of so great 
a value as the Holy Ghost, wherein the gift of whatsoever was great in 
heaven was virtually contained, should it not be a warrant of assurance to us 
that nothing will be denied to the solicitation of one that, in his very first 
request, hath been so inexpressibly successful? 

VI. Thing is the particularity of this intercession. Christ is an advocate 
for believers only, and for every one in particular. 

1. For believers only. It is their peculiar privilege. It is not every 
name he takes into his lips, Ps. xvi. 4. The names of those that hasten 
after another God, that own another God and another mediator, he would 
not ofier their drink-ofierings, or back them by any solicitation of his own 
for acceptance. He would deny them, and not assert them for his clients, 
nor be an high priest for them, to ofi'er any of their sacrifices ; for those that 
believe not in him as mediator, disown that God by whom he was sent for 
the redemption of the world ; and therefore he disowns, in his mediatory 
prayer, the whole unbelieving impenitent world : John xvii. 9, * I pray not 
for the world, but for them which thou hast given me.' It is not agreeable 
to his wisdom to intercede for those that reject him. He is an advocate, but 
only for those that entertain him. He manages no man's cause that is not 
desirous to put it into his hands. Advocates manage the business only of 
those that enter themselves their clients. As he prayed not for the w^orld on 
earth, so much less doth he in heaven. No person hath an interest in his 
intercession, but he that, by faith, hath an interest in his satisfaction. 
Though his death was the remedy of our evils in a way of satisfaction to 
divine justice, yet the application of this remedy by the act of his priesthood 
in heaven is only to those that repent and believe ; in the text, ' We have 
an advocate with the Father,' v:e that walk in communion with God. Though 
he be a propitiation for the world, if any should take it extensively, yet he is 
not an advocate for the whole world, but for those that separate themselves 
from the world by believing on him. 

2. For every believer particularly. The text intimates, ' We have an 
advocate,' every one of us, ' if any man sin.' Sin is a particular act of 
a person, and this advocacy is for every particular sin that the accuser can 
charge the criminal with. Advocates answer every particular charge against 
every particular person that is in the roll of their clients. 

There is, indeed, an intercession for the church in general in the time of 

128 charnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

its suflferings. So he interceded for mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of 
Judah in the time of the Baylonish captivity, Zech, i. 12. What the high 
priest did in a shadow, that doth our high priest in the substance ; when he 
went into the holy place, he bore the names of ' all the tribes of Israel upon 
his breast,' Exod. xxviii. 29 ; and when our Saviour was preparing to sacri- 
fice himself, and afterwards to ascend into the heavenly sanctuai-y, he prayed 
not only for those that were then with him, the whole chm-ch at that time, 
but the whole lump, even to the end of the world, were then presented to 
God by him : John xvii. 20, ' Neither pray I for these alone, but for them 
also which shall believe on me through their word,' comprehending them all 
in one mass in that intercessory prayer. And though he did not particularly 
name every one of them, yet since his divine understanding was furnished 
with omniscience, he knew them all distinctly in their successive appearances 
and varieties of conditions in the world. But his pleas in heaven are par- 
ticular, according to the particular persons he solicits for, and the particular 
necessities wherewith they are encumbered. It was for Peter's person in 
particular he prayed when he was on earth, and for preservation of that par- 
ticular grace of faith to recover from under the temptation that was ready to 
invade him : Luke xxii. 31, 32, ' But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith 
fail not ;' ' thee,' his person, and ' thy faith,' his case. He is an high priest 
over the house of God, Heb. x. 21, and therefore over every member of the 
house and family ; upon which the apostle founds his exhortation to every 
one to draw near with a true heart, and in full assurance of faith. Men pray 
in particular for themselves and others, and Christ hears in particular : 
1 John V. 14, * And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we 
ask anything according to his will, he hears us.' The Son of God, of whom 
he was speaking, hears us in particular what we request in particular; and 
as he hears us he pleads for us ; he offers ' the prayers of all saints,' Rev. 
viii. 3, and therefore of every saint upon every occasion with a particular 
plea and incense of his own. There is not one but he keeps in his remem- 
brance, nor one request but he presents to his Father, though not by an oral 
expression of every man's name and cause, yet by some distinct way of re- 
presentation of them and their wants to God, not so easily conceivable by 
us in this state of obscurity and darkness. As the devil is an accuser in 
particular, and cannot well be supposed to accuse all in the gross, so Christ 
stands particularly to excuse them, and frustrate the indictment. They were 
given to him in particular, and he pleads for them as given to him, and as 
they were the propriety of his Father, John xvii. 6, 9, 10, 11. God knows 
all his own in particular, and Christ hath a care of them in particular. 
Christ hath a charge of every one's person ; he is to raise every one of them 
at the last day ; he is to give an account of every one's case. Again, he in- 
tercedes for those that ' come to God by him,' Heb. vii. 25 ; but those that 
believe come not in the gross to God by Christ, but by a particular act of 
faith in every one ; and for every such comer, Christ lives for ever to make 
intercession for them. As he saves every comer to God by him in particular, 
so he doth particularly use the means of salvation for them, i. e. his inter- 
cession. He hath his life for ever, and his standing office of advocacy for 
ever, to make a distinct suit for every one upon his application to God by 
him in the methods of that court where he exerciseth this function. And as 
every believer owns Christ in particular, so Christ will confess them by name 
plainly and clearly : Rev. iii. 5, ' I will confess his name before my Father;' 
every individual person will be named by him at last in his final sentence, 
nd every individual person is named by him in his intercessory office ; the 
name is confessed, the grace owned, and the merit of the Redeemer pleaded 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. 129 

by him as an advocate before his Father. He is entered into the holy of 
holies, with all the names of those that belong to him upon his breast. 

VII. Thing. What doth Christ intercede for ? In general, his intercession 
for believers is as large as the intent of his death for them. Whatsoever 
privilege he purchased for them upon the cross, he sues for upon his throne. 
His intercession is the plea, upon the account of his satisfaction, which was 
the payment. 

He intercedes for the church in all its states and conditions. As soon as 
ever the news of the state of the world, and the condition of his church in 
it, is brought to him by the angels, his messengers, Zech. i. 11, 12, and the 
seventy years of captivity in Babylon were expired, he presently expostulates 
with God for the withdrawing his hand, and restoring their freedom. There 
is not any weapon formed against the church blunted, any design hatched 
against his people abortive, any seasonable rescue, any discovery and defeat 
of clandestine and hellish works of darkness, but they are fruits of the 
diligence and industry of our Advocate, and the benefits of his intercession. 
Let the profane world look upon them as products of chance ; let natural 
religion regard them as works of common providence ; let us look upon them 
in their true spring and their proper channel. Since God grants all things 
upon the account, and acts all things by the hands, of a mediator, all things 
flow to us through the intercession of Christ. Since all things were purchased 
for us by the sacrifice of Christ, he is an advocate to sue out what he merited 
for us as a surety ; and since the mission of the Spirit was the first fruit of 
this office after his taking possession of heaven, it must needs follow that all 
the works which the Spirit began and doth accomplish in the soul, are fruits 
of it also. Therefore Christ said, John xvi. 14, ' He shall receive of mine, 
and shew it unto you.' He shall take of mine, what is mine by purchase, 
what is mine by plea, what is mine by possession, and shew it unto you. 
The casting out the accusations of Satan from the court of justice, the casting 
them out of our own consciences, the pardon of our transgressions, the 
healing of our natures, our support against temptations, perseverance in that 
grace any have, and perfection of that grace any want, and at last the per- 
petual residence of our souls with him, are procured by him as an advocate, 
as well as purchased by him as our surety. 

1. Justification. 

(1.) He is an advocate in opposition to an accuser. 

In the matter of justification, the Scripture represents God as a judge 
and Christ as an advocate, pleading his blood and death ; and when we 
come for justification, we come ' to God as the judge of all,' listening to the 
voice of that blood of Jesus, ' the mediator of the new covenant :' Heb. xii. 
23, 24, ' Ye are come to God, the judge of all, and to Jesus, the mediator of 
the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things 
than the blood of Abel.' We come to God as a judge, and also ' to the blood 
of sprinkling,' whereby he was appeased, of which ' the spirits of just men 
made perfect' are a full testimony. To this blood we come, as it is a blood 
of sprinkling, in regard of its imputation to us ; and as it is a speaking blood 
in regard of its solicitation for us. Our triumphant justification by God, 
the apostle places upon this as the top-stone in the foundation. He first 
lays it upon the death of Christ ; next, with a rather on the resurrection of 
Christ ; and lastly, with an also upon his intercession : Rom, viii. 33, 34, 
' It is God that justifies, who is he that condemns ? It is Christ that died, 
yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who 
also makes intercession for us.' Justification by God, as opposed to condem- 

130 charnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

nation, is ascribed to Christ and to his intercession as completing it, and 
putting the last hand to it. In the title of an advocate, there is respect to 
judicial proceedings. -'• In the method of this proceeding, God is considered 
as a judge, man as the arraigned criminal ; Satan is the accuser : Rev. xii. 
10, ' The accuser of the brethren,' who brings in the indictments of sin, 
pleads the righteousness of the law, solicits for judgment upon his accusation, 
and the execution of the curse due to the crime. Our own consciences may 
be considered as the witness, and the law as the rule, both of the accusation 
brought in, and of the judgment demanded. Christ is considered as an 
advocate in opposition to Satan the accuser, pleading the efficacy of his 
merit against the greatness of our crimes, and his satisfaction to justice by 
the blood of his cross against the demands of the law, whereby the sentence 
of condemnation due to us as considered in ourselves is averted, and a 
sentence of absolution upon the merit and plea of our advocate is pro- 
nounced, and Satan cast out, and this upon an universal rule of righteous- 
ness, which suffers not that which is either a criminal or pecuniary debt to be 
twice paid. And in the text, wherein it is said, ' we have an advocate with 
the Father,' in case of sin, the Father is implied to be the sovereign judge, 
sin to be the crime, and Satan, though not mentioned, to be the accuser ; 
and this advocacy is there expressed to be, not for preventing sin, to which 
Satan excites us, but the pardoning sins committed, for which Satan accuses 
us, procuring an acquitting sentence for us from the Judge of all the earth, 
and indemnity from the punishment merited by our crimes, but stopped by 
his plea. As Christ appeared as an advocate against Satan when he would 
be Peter's winnower, — Luke xxii. 31, 32, 'I have prayed for thee,' — so be 
appears as an advocate against Satan when he steps up as our accuser. 
Now, the intercession of Christ being opposite to the accusations of the devil, 
as one would reduce us under the actual execution of the legal sentence, so 
the other hath a contrary effect, pleading for our justification by the appli- 
cation of his righteousness to us, and the acceptation of it for us, that we 
may stand clear before the tribunal of God. 

(2.) Besides, Christ's blood speaks contrary, or puts up contrary demands 
to what Abel's blood laid claim to. The blood of Abel pierced heaven with 
its cries, and solicited a condemning vengeance on the head of Cain ; the 
blood of Christ, on the contrary, must then cry for justifying grace on the 
person of every believer, otherwise it would not speak better things than Abel's 
blood did, but the same things : that called for punishment, this for pardon ; 
that desired the death of the murderer, and this sues out the life of the rebel. 

(3.) And further consider, since this blood is a speaking blood, it shews 
that the intercession of Christ is managed in the virtue of his blood. The 
same thing therefore which was the end of the effusion of his blood, is the 
end of the solicitation or elocution of his blood. His blood was shed for the 
expiation of sin, and 'bringing in an everlasting righteousness,' that sinners 
might not be condemned, Dan. ix. 24 ; his intercession is for the application 
of this propitiation, that believers might be justified. Christ pleads the pro- 
pitiation made by his blood, and accepted, according to the rule of appHcation, 
by the faith of the repenting sinner. 

(4.) Again, if Christ prayed for this on earth when he prayed for his glory, 
he solicits for it also in heaven when he prays for his glory : John xvii. 1, 
'Father, glorify thy Son.' He prays for his resurrection, ascension, sitting 
at the right hand of God ; not only as it was his own personal concern, but 
as it was terminative for his believing people, as verse 2 intimates; and, 
ver. 10, he expresses himself to be glorified in them. Now, as he died for 
* Mares, contra Volkel, lib. v. cap. iv- pp. 8, 9. 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. 131 

the pardon of our sins, so he rose again for our justification ; as he therefore 
desired his resurrection, so he desired it for the same end for which it was 
intended and promised, viz. our justification, and therefore virtually begged 
our justification in the petition for his glory. Now, since he hath gained the 
request as to his own person, and as to a fundamental justification in his 
resurrection, and exaltation in heaven, yet it not being perfectly accomplished 
in all the ends of it, he moves still by his intercession for the actual justifi- 
cation of every one that comes, furnished with the gospel condition, to God 
by him. 

Upon the whole we must consider, that though our propitiation made on 
the cross by the blood of Christ be the meritorious cause of our justification, 
yet the intercession upon the throne made by the same blood of Christ, as a 
speaking blood, is the immediate moving cause, or the causa applicans, of our 
justification, as lUyricus phraseth it. The propitiation Christ made on the 
cross, made Grod capable of justifying us in an honourable way; but the in- 
tercession of Christ, as pleading that propitiation for us, procures our actual 
justification. The death of Christ accepted mnde justification possible, and 
the death of Christ, pleaded by him, makes justification actual. Righteous- 
ness to justify was brought in by him on the cross, and righteousness justify- 
ing is applied by him on his throne. Our justification was merited of God 
by his death, the merit of it acknowledged by God at his resurrection ; and 
is conferred on us, when we believe, by his intercession. When a soul 
believes, Christ recommends him to God as a performer of the condition of 
the new covenant, and thereupon pleads his death for him, and demands his 
actual admission into that favour which was purchased. And thus by him as 
our living Advocate, exercising his priesthood in heaven, we ' receive the atone- 
ment,' Rom. V. 10, 11. 

2. Daily pardon. This is principally intended in the text : * If any man 
sin' — if any one of those that walk in the light, in communion with God and 
Christ, which cannot be without justification — ' If any man sin, we have an 
advocate,' i.e. in case of sin after justification. We contract daily debts by 
committing daily sins, and there is not a day but we merit the total removal 
of justifying grace, that God should revive the memory of his former justice, 
and cancel the grants of his lately conferred mercy. And how could we avoid 
it, if Christ did not renew the memory of his propitiation before his Father, 
which first procured our admission, and is only able to maintain our stand- 
ing ? Every sin brings in its own nature an obligation to punishment, that 
is guilt. Sin and guilt are inseparable ; that which hath no guilt is no trans- 
gression. This intercession of Christ answers the obligation which every sin 
brings upon us, as well as it did answer all the obligations at our first coming 
into the presence of God. It is upon every sin he doth exercise this office, 
and by his interposition procures our pardon thousands of times, and pre- 
serves us from coming short of the full fruits of reconcihation at first obtamed 
by him, and accepted by us. He that had been stung a second time by the 
fiery serpent, must have had a fresh influence of the brazen one for his cure, 
as well as the first time he was wounded. As sin daily accuseth us by virtue 
of the law, so Christ daily pleads for us by virtue of his cross ; sin charges 
us before the tribunal of justice, and Christ by his intercession procures our 
discharge from the chancery of mercy. 

3. Sanctification. As he is a priest set on the right hand of the throne 
of the Majesty on high, he preserves the stability of the better covenant, 
the new covenant, and perpetuates the fruits of it: justification, in blotting 
out the memory of our sins ; and sanctification, in M'riting the law in our 
hearts, Heb. viii. 1, 6, 10, 12. He is the author of our first sanctification 

132 chaenock's works. [1 John II, 1. 

by his intercession, as the first fruits of it was the sending that Spirit 
by whose powerful operations the soul is reformed according to the divine 
image ; and he is the author of our repeated sanctification by the exercise of 
his advocacy. He is an advocate in case of sin, in regard of the guilt, that 
it should not remain upon our persons ; in regard of the power, that the 
contagion of it should not seize upon our vitals ; in regard of the filth, that 
it might not remain to unfit us for a fellowship with the Father and himself. 
His intercession in heaven is a continuation of that intercession on earth, 
whereby he testified his desire that we might be ' kept from the evil ' while 
we resided in an infectious world : John xvii. 15, ' Keep them from the evil,' 
and ' sanctified through his truth,' while we are upon an earth full of lying 
vanities, ver. 17. The end of his intercession is not for sharpness of wit, a 
pompous wealth, a luxurious prosperity, or a lazy peace ; such things may 
be hurtful; but for faith, holiness, growth, wherein we can never be culpable. 
His intercession is not employed for low things, but for such as may fit us for 
an honour in another world. Mortification of sin, and holiness of conversa- 
tion, are therefore called ' things above, where Christ sits at the right hand 
of God,' Col. iii. 1 compared with ver. 5, &c. : things which come from above 
by virtue of that session of Christ at the right hand of God, and the office 
he doth there exercise, which the apostle explains to be a mortification of 
our members which are upon the earth ; and since the great reason of his 
exaltation is his hating iniquity and loving righteousness, the end of his 
exaltation and of his intercession in that state, is to manifest the same disposi- 
tion in the perfect expulsion of sin, and the full implantation of righteousness 
in us. The same dispositions which animated him to a dying on the cross 
here, do animate him to his intercession above, which is nothing else but a 
presenting his death, and a presenting not only his death, but all the motives 
which moved him to it, and the ends he aimed at in it. He is ' manifested 
to take away sin,' 1 John iii. 5 ; manifested in his humiliation on earth, 
manifested in his exaltation in heaven, to take away sin, sin in the filth as 
well as sin in the guilt. What he designed in the one, he designs in the 
other ; the same end he aimed at in dying, he aims at in interceding. Since 
he is an advocate in the virtue of his blood, he is an advocate for the ends 
of his blood. He will not let sin continue in his members, which he came 
to wash ofi" by his blood. As long as his love to righteousness and his aver- 
sion from sin continues in him, so long will he be acting in heaven, till he 
hath in the highest manner manifested to the full his affections to the one 
and disaffection to the other, by utterly dispossessing out of the hearts of his 
people what he hates, both root and branch, and perfecting what he loves, in 
all the dimensions of it. He doth not only sue out our pardon, but sue out 
a grant of those graces which are necessary preparatories and concomitants 
of pardon. The end of his intercession is no doubt the same with that of 
his exaltation, which is not only for forgiveness of sin, but repentance. Acts 
V. 31, which includes the whole of sanctification. All the holiness believers 
have here is a fruit of this advocacy ; the communication of that power which 
subdues corruption flows from it. Christ, by his intercession, receives all 
from his Father, that, as a king, he may convey all necessary supplies to us. 
But we must consider, that though Christ doth intercede for the sanctifica- 
tion of his people, yet it will not follow that any of them are at present per- 
fect, and totally free from the relics of corruption. This is not intended by 
him in this life, any more than when he prayed for Peter, he desired not 
that he should be kept wholly from falling, but that his faith should be kept 
from totally failing. Sin is likewise suffered to continue in the best here, 
that men should not think that the acceptation of their persons doth arise 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. 133 

from their own works and holiness, but from the sweet savour of the Media- 
tor's sacrifice continually presented in heaven. Yet perfection in grace will 
be the final issue of this advocacy. If grace should never be perfectfd, 
Christ would never be fully answered in his intercession, and so this office 
of his in heaven would want a manifestation of its true power and value. 

4. Strength against temptation. We have an enemy industrious to 
entrap us, and we have an Advocate as industrious to protect us, who will 
either solicit for a reasonable strength to resist his invasion, or strength to 
improve it to our spiritual advantage, if he sulfers the temptation to meet 
with some success in its attempt. Satan desires to sift us : Luke xxii. 81, 
e^riTrjSaro, he hath desired, or asked and begged with earnestness, for so st,, being 
added to a/'rsoi, signifies ; and our Advocate is ready to stop the full proceed- 
ings of so fierce a solicitor. The seed of the woman, the mystical seed, shall 
overcome their enemies 'by the blood of the Lamb,' Rev. xii. 11 ; by his 
blood shed upon the cross, by his blood presented in heaven, which cries for 
vengeance against the great seducer of mankind, and prevails to the casting 
him down. If strength against temptations were not procured by it, Christ's 
office of advocacy would lose a great part of its end. It was in kindness to 
us he was so advanced, not an advocate for himself personal, but for him- 
self mystical, i. e. for believers ; in the text, ' we have an advocate.' It were 
little kindness to us, if we should lie grovelling in the dust, upon every in- 
road om- enemy makes against us, and sink under every shot that comes 
from the mount of his battery. It is this intercession that renders us either 
immoveable against his assaults, or after a foil victorious in the issue of the 
combat. Christ doth not solicit for such a strength whereby a temptation 
may be wholly successless, but whereby it may not be wholly victorious. He 
prayed for Peter against Satan, that his faith might not fail, but he did not 
pray positively that the temptation might wholly fail. He implies by that 
expression, Lnke xxii. 82, * When tbon art converted, strengthen thy bre- 
thren,' that he should fall so iowWj as that not a grain of grace should be 
visible in him ; but he should appear like one in an unregenerate state, so 
that his return should be as a new conversion. So that though he prayed 
cot for a prevention of his fall, yet he prayed for a recovery of him after his 
fall, by imph'ing that he should be converted. His intercession is not always 
for keeping off a temptation from us, for he many times suffers fierce ones 
to invade us for gracious ends, both for his own glory and our good ; but he 
sohcits that a temptation may not utterly siuk us, and mortify our grace. 
So that, according to that model in the case of Peter, Christ sues not so 
much against a temptation, as for your faith ; for if that keep up, a tempta- 
tion will fall like a bullet against a brazen wall. He is content we should 
be in an evil world, but not satisfied unless we be preserved from the evil, 
or rescued from it after it hath assaulted us ; and therefore a believer's cou- 
rage hath a support in the greatest temptation. Christ opposes his petition 
against the demands of Satan ; the first-born of every creature sets himself 
against the head of the wicked world ; the seed of the woman against the seed 
of the serpent, and the serpent himself; as he defends us against his accusa- 
tions before God, so he succours us in his temptations of our own persons. 

5. Perseverance in grace. This follows upon the other. His prayer 
for the not failing of Peter's faith, is an earnest that the same petition is 
continually put up by him for all that believe in him. For since the Scrip- 
ture is written for our comfort, this part of it would be little for our comfort, 
if he were not as well concerned in the standing of every behevcr as of 
Peter ; why should he wish him, when he was converted, to strengthen his 
brethren, if he had not intended it for a standing example of comfort to his 

134 charnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

church ? The objection, that Christ did not intend to pray for the perse- 
"verance of any but Peter, would have split all the arguments Peter could have 
used from this carriage of Christ to him for the strengthening of others. How 
could he strengthen his brethren in faith, if they had not been his brethren 
in Christ's praj^er, for their perseverance, as well as he in his faith ? It is 
principally for the continuance of our standing, that his intercession is in- 
tended, if we may judge of what he doth in heaven by that prayer on earth, 
which was the model of his intercession in heaven, in which this petition 
for his Father's keeping us ' through his own name,' and keeping us ' from 
the evil,' and furthering our progress in sanctification, takes up much of the 
time, John svii. 11, &c. Certainly he hath the same language in heaven as 
he had then on earth ; he would else leave out a main head in his petitions 
above, which this prayer below was intended to present us with a pattern of, 
and so there would be no agreement between his carriage in heaven and the 
pledge he gave us on earth. It would have been but a fawning and dissem- 
bling afiection, to desire this in his disciples' hearing, and never solicit the 
same cause when he went out of their ken. No ; our Saviour hath given evi- 
dence of a choicer and more durable affection than to give occasion to any 
to think, that he should be regardless of that in his glory, which he was so 
mindful of at the time of his approaching misery, "What he was earnest for 
then, he is as desirous not to be defeated of now ; and for him to desire that 
his people should be kept from evil, and yet that they should sink under the 
greatest evil of a total apostasy, would argue the small credit his suit hath 
with the Father, and would shew that his advocacy is as impotent to secure 
us as our inability to preserve ourselves. Since Christ doth therefore con- 
cern himself for the perseverance of his own, his intercession is as powerful 
in that as in any other thing. If it meet with a failure in any one part, we 
are not sure of its successfulness in any at all. If his merit be of an infinite 
value, his advocacy is of a sovereign efficacy. There is no question to be 
made, but those for whom he formerly merited, and those for whom he at 
present solicits, shall endure to the end : the gates of hell are as unable to 
prevail against the latter as they were to weaken the power of the former. 
Did he by his propitiation procure our admission into God's favour, in spite 
of the enemies of our salvation? and shall he not, by his intercession, main- 
tain our standing in that favour, in spite of the euviers of our first admis- 
sion ? This is a choice fruit of the intercession of Christ. Upon this score 
he lays Peter's preservation from a total and final apostasy : ' I have prayed 
for thee, that thy faith fail not,' Luke xxii. 32. He doth not say, Peter, 
there is such a principle in thee that is able to stand ; thy own free will and 
the strength of thy grace shall bring thee ofi", and preserve thee from that 
precipice. No ; ' I have prayed ' : there lies our security. The least grain 
of true grace, though as small as a mustard seed, stands better settled by 
the support of Christ's intercession against the most boisterous winds of 
Satan than the strongest grace can of itself, by the power of free will, 
against the least pufl" of hell. The instability of our minds would shake it, 
and the relics of our corruption extinguish it, without this. 

6. Acceptation of our services. As this advocate preserves our graces, 
so he presents our services, and by his intercession maintains life in the one 
and procures credit for the other. He is as powerful a solicitor for the ac- 
ceptance of our duties as he was a grateful sacrifice for the expiation of our 
sins, and a mighty redeemer for the liberty of our persons. Our prayers 
are both imperfect and blemished, but his merit applied by his intercession 
both purifies and perfects them. Our Advocate, by his skill, puts them into 
form and language according to the methods of the court of heaven, as an 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's inteecession. 135 

attorney doth the petition and cause of his client, and by his interest pro- 
cures a speedy hearing. Our works are no more the cause of the recording 
our petitions than they are of the justification of our persons. Though our 
prayers are not entertained without some holiness in them, yet they are not 
entertained without a greater holiness than ours to present them. When 
Christ tells his disciples that he had ordained them to bring forth fruit, 
he adds a clause to prevent their imaginations of meriting the answer of 
their prayers by the present of their fruits, that whatsoever they asked they 
must expect only to obtain in his name, John xv. 16. As they are ours, 
though attended with never so much fruit, they may be rejected ; as he 
makes them his by his intercession, they cannot be non-suited. He is the 
altar upon which our sacrifices ascend with a grateful fume before the God 
of the whole world : Isa. Ivi. 7, ' They shall be accepted upon my altar.* 
He is the altar, that hath much incense to add or bestow upon the prayers 
of the saints. Rev. viii. 3, i. e. a mighty quantity of merit and power of 
intercession, to give a sweet savour to our spiritual sacrifices, that they 
may be acceptable to God, not by themselves, but by Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 
ii. 5, alluding to the oflice of the high priest under the law, who, after he 
had ofi"ered the sacrifice without the veil, took both his hands full of those 
aromatic drugs, of which the incense was composed without the veil, and 
put them in a censer of gold full of fire, and covered the propitiatory or 
mercy-seat with the fume of it. Nothing that we can ofler is agreeable 
to God, without it comes through the hands, and with the recommenda- 
tion of, our powerful advocate so beloved by him. The fire be fetches 
from the golden altar makes them to fume up, and render a pleasing scent 
before the mercy-seat. He is our Aaron in this part of his priesthood in 
heaven, bearing the iniquity of our holy things, Exod, xxviii. 38, when he 
jiresents himself in the sanctuary on high for the interest of his people. 
This he imphes in the prophetic psalm, Ps. xvi. 4, when he declares he 
' will not ofier the ofierings of those that hasten after another God, nor 
take their names into his mouth ;' he intimates thereby that he doth pre- 
sent the ofierings of those that believe in him as the only mediator, and 
pronounces their names with a recommendation of them before God, as 
such as are parts of his mystical body, such as have owned him and per- 
formed the condition of faith, such persons 'in whom is all his delight.' 
It is from this consideration of Christ's being passed into heaven as a high 
priest that the apostle exhorts the Hebrews not only to ' hold fast their pro- 
fession,' but to ' come boldly to the throne of grace,' with an assurance of 
acceptance and obtaining grace in their necessity, Heb. iv. 14, 16. And in- 
deed, having such a lieger in heaven, we may boldly venture to that throne 
which his propitiation on earth, and his appearance in heaven, render a 
throne of grace. 

7. Salvation. This is the main end of his intercession, Heb. vii. 25 ; 
he saves us ' to the uttermost,' or to all kind of perfection, noting the kind 
of salvation as well as the perpetuity of time, and this by interceding. Thus 
the apostle's argument runs ; he is able to save, because the end of his life 
is to intercede, and the end of his intercession is to save. The immediate 
end of his death was satisfaction respecting God ; the immediate end of his 
intercession is salvation respecting us. He lives there to sue out for us the 
possession of that which he died here to purchase. We are therefore said 
to be ' saved by his life,' as we are said to be reconciled by his death, Piom. 
V. 10 ; not simply by his life, for no man is said to preserve another merely 
as he is a living man, but as his life is active for another in managing some 
means of preservation for him. Christ eaves us by his life, i. e. by that life 

136 charnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

which he lives, which is a life of intercession. As he did not reconcile us 
simply by his death, but by his death as a sacritice, so he doth not save us 
simply by his life, but by his life as an accepted advocate. The expiation 
of our sins was made by him on the cross, and the happiness of our souls is 
perfected by him on his throne. He took our nature that he might die for 
us, and possesses a throne above that he might live to save us. This part 
he managed in that model of his intercession on earth, John xvii. ; after he 
had prayed for what was necessary for them duriug the length of their pil- 
grimage, viz., sanctifying grace and preservation from evil, he puts forward 
in the upshot for the happy entertainment of them in heaven : verse 24, 
' Father, I will that they be with me where I am.' When he comes to this 
period, he demands it in a way of more authority than what he had sued for 
before, to shew that his desire would be utterly unsatisfied without the grant 
of this. All that which he had sued for before was with respect to this top- 
stone of salvation and glory. After this demand he concludes his prayer, as 
having no more after the completing of their happiness to beg for them. As, 
after he had finished the task of his humiliation, and had ascended to hea- 
ven, he had no more need to pray for himself, so when he hath brought all 
his people to the possession of that happiness with him, he leaves off any 
further pleading for them, because they are in the fullest ocean of felicity. 
Christ would be an unsuccessful advocate, and consequently an impotent 
propitiator, if any believer, after all his wading through the mire of this 
world, should fall short of a comfortable reception and mansion above. 

Use 1. Of information. 

(1.) Here is an argument for the deity of Christ. If he be a prevailing 
advocate for such multitudes of believers, preserving them in the favour of 
God by his intercession, it evidenceth his person to be infinitely valued by 
God, which would not be if his person were not worthy of an infinite love ; 
and he could not be worthy of an infinite love were not his passion of an in- 
finite value ; and his passion could not mount to so high a value were not his 
person infinitely valuable, for the worth of his death depends upon the 
eminency of his person. 

Besides, as an advocate, he presents eveiy man's cause before the Father, 
and puts in for every one a memorial of his death, to preserve them in a jus- 
tified state, and maintain that grace which would else be destroyed by a 
deluge of corruption. He must needs be God, that knows every person in 
that multitude of those that sincerely believe in him, that hears all their 
petitions, and understands all their more numerous griefs and burdens, 
inward and outward sins, those inward agonies of spirit, those mental as 
well as oral prayers, and all those in those distant places where every one of 
those persons reside, and knows whether their supplications be in sincerity 
or hypocrisy. He that knows all those is endued with omniscience, and 
must needs be God. He could not be a sufficient advocate if he did not 
understand every man's cause, to present it before the Judge of the world ; 
and without omniscience he could understand little or nothing. He could 
only understand what is outwardly declared, not what really the cause is. 
He must depend upon the declaration of his client, as advocates do, and so 
be often deluded by false representations, as they are. He could not, with- 
out omniscience, take care of all his clients ; to have so many clients whose 
cases to present every day would be his burden and perplexity, and render 
heaven a place of trouble to him, not of glory. Were he a mere man, it 
could not be conceived how it were possible for him : but how easy is all 
this to one possessed of a deity ! 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's inteecession. 137 

(2.) Hence is a ground to conclude the efficacy of his death. His inter- 
cession is an argument for the perfection of his sacrifice. The virtue of his 
passion is the ground of his plea ; and therefore, if he had not perfectly 
satisfied God, he must have ofiered himself again (Heb. x. 14, ' By one 
ofl'ering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified'), and repeated 
the sacrifice before he could have begun his advocacy. Had his death been 
destitute of merit, there had been no room for his appearance as a justifier of 
our cause at the throne of grace. He could not have been a prevaiHng 
pleader if he had not first been an appeasing propitiator. His standing up 
as a solicitor for us had been of little efficacy, if the atonement he made on 
the cross had not been first judged sufficient. The high priest must be 
punctual to the prescriptions of the law in the sacrifice without, before he 
could enter with the blood of it into the holy of hoHes. If our faith be 
shaken at any time with the doubt of the validity of his death, let us settle it 
by a reflecting upon his advocacy. This verifies the virtue of his passion 
more than all miracles that can be wrought in his name. 

(3.) See the infinite love of God in Christ; of God, that he should 
appoint an advocate for us. If we were left to ourselves and our own pleas, 
our least sins would ruin us. There are daily sins would sink us to hell, 
were it not for this daily intercession. And this love is further enhanced in 
appointing, not an angel, or one of the highest cherubims most dear to him, 
but his own Son, the best and noblest person he had in all the world, to this 
office of advocacy for a company of worms ; one that is equal with himself 
in glory, and is equal with himself in the distinct knowledge of all our cases, 
better acquainted with them than we ourselves ; and one equal to us in our 
nature, experimentally acquainted with all our burdens and grievances. How 
gi-eat also is the love of Christ, who, when he was properly our judge, takes 
upon him to be our advocate ; when he hath a mouth to condemn us, and a 
wrath to cpnsume us, he binds the arms of his wrath, and employs his tongue 
to solicit our cause and procure our mercy ! He is not only an advocate for 
himself and the glory promised him, but for an unworthy sinner, for those 
penitents he hath yet left behind him in the world. He remembers them as 
well as himself. As Satan never appears before God but he hath some to 
accuse, so Christ never appears before God but he hath some to defend. 

(4.) How little ground is there to dream of such a thing as perfection in 
this life ! K we stand in need of a perpetual intercession of Christ in this 
hfe, we have not then a perfection in this life. Intercession supposeth im- 
perfection. Those that pretend to a state here totally free from sin, conclude 
themselves mounted above the need of any to interpose for them. It is in 
the case of sin that this advocacy is appointed ; not in the case of sin un- 
justly, but justly charged ; for it is not if amj man be accused of sin, but ('/ 
any man sin really. The interposition of an advocate always implies a charge 
against the client, but in the text it implies a charge that hath a true, and 
not a mistaken, foundation. Sin is as durable as this world, because Christ's 
intercession endures to the end of the world. ' He ever lives to make inter- 
cession,' i. e. till the end of this state of things. If believers did not sin 
after they were united to Christ and justified, an advocacy for them would be 
of no necessity. The settling Christ in this office implies that God had no 
intention to render men perfect in this life. If we were arrived to such a 
state, we had no more need of Christ's further mediating for us than the 
blessed angels have. After the restitution of all things, and the consumma- 
tion of the elect, Christ no longer acts the part of a mediator, but God shall 
be all in all. Nor can it be said that some may be perfect in this life, though 
all are not ; and for those that are short of such a state, indeed, the advocacy 

138 chaknock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

of Christ is necessary. There is little probabiUty for this from the text. 
The apostle puts himself in the number, * If any man sin, ice have an advo- 
cate' ; not yon, as excluding himself from having any need of it. The con- 
sideration of what apostle it was that speaks thus would damp any presump- 
tions of perfection. Was it not he that had the honour to lie in liis master's 
bosom, and to be blessed with the greatest share in the Kedeemer's affec- 
tions ? that disciple whom he appointed to be the host and guardian of his 
own mother, the dearest thing to him as man he left behind him in the 
world ; and the apostle to whom he was resolved, and did afterwards make 
known, the various revolutions in the church to the end of the world in the 
book of the Kevelations ? If any could be supposed to be settled in a sinless 
and perfect state in this life, he might ; but he disowns any such eminency, 
and looks upon himself in that state as to have need of entertaining this 
common advocate in his cause. 

(5.) Hence it follows that the church is as durable as the world. We 
hai-e, is the time present, but it takes in the future ages, ' He ever lives to 
make intercession for those that come to God by him.' There will always 
then, as long as the world doth endure, be some comers to God. If his inter- 
cession run parallel with the duration of the world, there will always be some 
in the world, whose necessities are to be represented by him to his Father. 

(6.) If Christ be an advocate, the contempt or abuse of his intercession is 
very unworthy. It is an abuse of it when men presume upon it to sin wil- 
fully against knowledge, and then to run to him to interpose for their pardon. 
This is a profanation of the holiness of this advocate, as though he were 
settled in this office to beg a licence for our crimes, to sue for impunity to im- 
penitence ; when, indeed, they are sins of infirmity, not sins of contempt, without 
remorse, that he interposeth for : ' If any man sin.' And his interposition is 
to comfort us under our burdens, not to encourage us in our iniquities. 

Unbelief is also a denial of the sufficiency or necessity of his intercession, 
since it is a slighting of that propitiation which is the ground of it. 

A total neglect of prayer is also a contempt of it. If there should be no 
service, he would have no matter to perfume by his obedience. We should 
frustrate that part of his priesthood which consists in intercession, and render 
him an empty-handed priest, to be full of merit to no purpose. An unrea- 
sonable dejectedness in good men is no honouring of it ; to walk discon- 
solately, as though there were none in the upper region to take care of us 
and mind our cause. Hath Christ lost his power, his eloquence, his interest 
in his Father ? Is the value of his sufferings abated, the market fallen ? 
Hath God utterly discarded the righteousness of his Son ? Hath God 
repented of sending his Son to suffer ? Are our Saviour's pleas distasteful 
to him ? Is Christ, that was carried triumphantly to heaven, now of no 
account there ? or hath the Kedeemer thrown off all thoughts of us, all care 
for us ? One would think some of those things are happened, since Chris- 
tians walk so feebly, with heads hanging down, as if no person concerned 
himself above in their afi'airs. At least a stranger would admire to hear them 
talk of an advocate, and walk as dejectedly as if there were none at all. It 
is a dishonour also to it when men, after sin, betake themselves to vows or 
alms for their solicitors, and not to the sacrifice and advocacy of Christ. 

(7.) If Christ be our advocate, it is a dishonourable thing to yoke 
saints as mediators of intercession with him. The Eomanists tell us that 
Christ is the mediator of redemption, but the saints are also mediators 
of intercession ; though, to give them their due, they say that the prayers 
of saints and angels prevail not by the sole virtue of their own merit, 
but receive their spiritual validity from the merit of Christ. What need, 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. 139 

then, of invocating saints, since their intercessions for us will do us no ^ood 
without the intercession of Christ, and his pleading his merit for us ? None 
had authority to offer the incense upon the altar of gold but he that offered the 
sacrifice upou the altar of brass. When the high priest went to burn incense 
in the holy place, he was attended with none of the people, nor any of the 
priests ; not a man nor angel appears with Christ in heaven as an intercessor 
to present the services of any. As they shed none of their blood for us, so 
have they no blood to sprinkle in heaven. Those that have no merit to pur- 
chase for themselves, have no merit to apply to others. He only that hath 
satisfied for us, hath the authority to intercede for us. Christ only that is 
our Redeemer can be our advocate. The glorified saints have been brought 
into heaven by his grace, not to receive our services, but rejoice in his 
salvation. They are co-heirs with him in his inheritance, not co-officers 
with him in his function. To yoke him with saints is to apprehend him very 
unmindful of his office or lazy in his solicitations, that he needs a spur from 
those that are about him. It is to strip him of his priestly garments, and 
put them upon his inferiors ; and it is as great a sacrilege to rob him of the 
honour of his advocacy as to deny him the glory of his death. 

The text strikes oft' men's hands from such an invasion ; it intimates that 
the right of intercession belongs only to him who hath made the propitiation; 
but that was made by Christ alone, without any saints to tread the wine- 
press with him ; and therefore the advocacy is managed by Christ alone, 
without any saints to assist with him at the throne of grace. Since they 
shed no blood to pacify the wrath of God for our sins, they have no right to 
present our prayers for acceptance at his throne. The apostle, Heb. xiii. 7, 
when he speaks to them to follow their faith, had a fair occasion, had he had 
a knowledge of the truth of it, to mention it ; he adviseth them to imitate 
the saints, not to invocate them. He proposeth their example to them on 
earth, when he might as well have added also their intercessions in heaven. 
He had had as good a ground to wish them to present their prayers to them 
which were glorified, if those spirits had been in a capacity to do them such 
a kindness. He would not have been guilty of such an omission, as not to 
have minded them of their duty, and increased their comfort, had such a 
thing been known to him. And whence the assertors of this doctrine had 
the revelation we may easily conclude, since those that were enlightened 
from heaven never mentioned a syllable of anything so dishonourable to the 

(8.) If Christ be our advocate, how miserable are those that have no 
interest in him ! He is an advocate for all that walk in communion with 
God, that walk in the light ; those that walk otherwise are under the con- 
demnation of the law, not under the propitiation and intercession of Christ ; 
they have the injured attributes of God, and slighted blood of Christ, to plead 
against them, not for them. If Christ did not pray for the world here, he 
will not plead for the world in heaven, John xvii. 9. He is introduced in 
those prophetic psalms, praying that those that wish him evil may be ' con- 
founded, and put to shame,' Ps. xl. 14 ; and that the indignation of God 
might be poured out upon them, and his ' wrathful anger take hold of them,' 
Pp. Ixix. 21, 24 ; and indeed, at his first settlement in this office, the power 
of asking was conferred upon him, as well for the ruin of his enemies, as for 
the security of his beheving friends : Ps. ii. 8, 9, ' Ask of me, and I shall 
give thee the heathen for thine inheritance ;' and what follows ? ' Thou 
slialt break them with a rod of iron.' Breaking his enemies is a fruit of his 
asking. Impenitent men are so far from having an interest in his inter- 
cfcSbiotJS for mercy, that they have a terrible share in his pleas for wrath. 

140 chaenock's woeks. [1 John II. 1. 

And himself doth solemnly publish in his speech to his Father, Ps. xvi. 4, 
that he will ' not take their names into his lips that hasten after another 
god ' by idolatrous services. If it be a misery to want the prayers of a 
Noah, Daniel, Job, or a Jeremiah, Jer. xi. 14, what a horrible misery it is 
to want the prayers of the Saviour of the world, and to have the pleas of 
Christ directed against them ? As the blood of Christ speaks better things 
than the blood of Abel, for those on whom it is sprinkled, so it speaks bitterer 
things for all such as by unbelief and impenitence trample upon it. It is a 
mighty misery to want so powerful a patronage. 

Use 2 is of comfort. His design in uttering his prayer on earth, the model 
of his intercession, was for the joy of his people : John xvii. 13, ' These 
things speak I in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in them- 
selves ;' that they might have a joy in his absence, in the assurance of his 
faithful managing their cause above, by remembering how earnest he was for 
them below, that this joy might be fulfilled in them, i. e. that they might 
have a full and permanent joy; as much joy proportionably in having me 
their advocate, as I have in undertaking and managing the office for them. 
We should draw forth the comfort of this function he exerciseth. As a pro- 
pitiation, he turned the court of justice into a court of mercy ; and as an 
advocate he keeps it firm in that change he made by his passion. To this 
we may ascribe the firmness of the divine reconciliation, and the fruit of it, 
the non-imputation of our daily sins. It is the top of our comfort that he 
is in heaven a pleader, as it was the foundation of our comfort that he was 
once on earth a sufferer. There is not the meanest beggar that is a believer, 
but he hath a greater favourite to manage his cause with God than any man 
can have with an earthly prince. It is a thousand times more comfort that 
he is an advocate in heaven than if he were a king visibly upon earth. He 
is above, to prevent all evils, which can there only receive their commission, 
to procure all blessings, which there only find their spring. What reason of 
discouragement, when we have one in heaven to be our advocate, one so 
acceptable to the Father, one that hath given such proofs of his affections to 
us, one that is both faithful and earnest in our cause, and one that it is no 
disparagement for the Father to listen to ? What could comfort itself, saith 
one,* wish more for her children, had she been our mother, than to have so 
great a person our perpetual advocate at the right hand of God ? His death 
is not such a ground of assurance as this, because that is past; but when 
we consider how the merit of his death lives continually in his intercession, 
all the weights of doubts and despondency lose Iheir heaviness ; faith finds 
in it an unquestionable support. 

(1.) There is comfort in the perpetuity of this intercession. He is as much 
a perpetual advocate as he is a perpetual propitiation. Till there be a failure 
in the merits of the one, there can be no interruption in the pleas of the 
other. The blood that was sprinkled on the mercy-seat in the holy of holies 
was not to be wiped off, but to remain there as a visible mark of the atone- 
ment. As the high priest went not into the holy of holies to look about him, 
and feast his eyes with the rarities of the place, but to perform an office for 
the people that stayed without all the time he remained before the mercy- 
seat, so is Christ entered to ' appear in the presence of God for us,' Heb. ix. 
24, to appear all the time of his residence there. He is not silent, but is 
always pleading in the strength of his sacrifice for the benefits purchased by 
it. He hath (that I may so say) little else to do where he is but to intercede. 
When he was in the world, and had a glory due to him to petition for, be 
doth it not without intermixing more suits for his people than for himself, 
* Dr Jacksou. 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession. 141 

John xvii. His love is not cooled by his being in heaven. There is little 
of his own glory behind to solicit for. His zeal and earnestness runs in one 
chiinnel for his people, and is more united. He was dead, but his love did 
not die with him ; he now lives, and his aftections live with him, and he 
lives for evermore : Rev. i. 18, ' I am he that lives, and was dead ; and, be- 
hold, I live for evermore.' His life had been little comfort without the end 
of his life. He lives in that nature wherein he died ; he lives for ever, as 
well as he died once in the office of a redeemer. He interceded for all be- 
lievers when he was alive, John xvii. 19. If it be a great comfort to have a 
stock of prayers going for us among our friends, it is a greater to have Christ 
praying for us, and to consider he prayed 1600 years ago, and hath never 
left pleading one moment since he sat down on his throne. Christ's power 
cannot be weakened, his eloquence cannot grow dull and flat ; his interest is 
not decayed ; the righteousness of God endures for ever ; he repents not of 
bis contrivances for man's salvation ; he is to this day pleased with the inter- 
posure of his Son on our behalf ; the laws of heaven are unchangeable ; our 
Advocate is in high esteem there, and his thoughts of us the same as ever 
they were. 

(2.) There is comfort in the prevalency of it. The perpetuity assures us 
of the prevalency of it. If the appearance of the rainbow in the cloud be a 
memorial to God to withhold his hand from ever drowning the world, as he 
promised Noah, Gen. ix. 16, the suS'ering person of his Son being perpetually 
before him every moment of an endless eternity, will not sufier him to be 
forgetful of the covenant of grace sealed by the blood of so great a person. 
He that remembered Abraham in the case of Lot, some time after Abraham 
had done praying. Gen. xix. 29, cannot be unmindful of those for whom he 
hath a perpetual solicitor before his eyes. Can any man lose his cause that 
hath so powerful an advocate as a deserving Son with a gracious Father, who 
hath aflection to us to edge his plea, and interest enough in the Father to 
prevail for our good ? His prayers above are not less, but rather more pre- 
valent (if any difference may be supposed) than they were here below. As 
there were no sinful infirmities in his nature, so there were none in his 
prayers on earth ; but there were natural infirmities, as hunger, thirst, sleep, 
which might give some interruption to the constancy of actual prayer ; but 
there can be none in his intercession, since all his natural infirmities were 
dropped at his resurrection. He is the watchman and advocate of Israel, 
that ' never slumbers nor sleeps.' He pleads not as Moses for the Israelites, 
or as an Israelite for himself, but as the angel and head of the covenant. 
As by his sacrifice, so by his plea, he frees them from a state of condemna- 
tion : Rom. viii. 34, ' Who is he that condemns ? it is Christ that died, yea 
rather, that makes intercession for us.' No blessing he pleads for but we 
shall obtain. The Father can refuse him nothing ; we cannot want help till 
the Father has discarded all affection to his Son, and declares himself mis- 
taken in the judgment he discovered of the greatness of his merit at his re- 
surrection and ascension. Certainly, if we shall have whatsoever we ask in 
his name for ourselves, John xvi. 23, he will obtain whatsoever he asks in 
his own name for us. 

(3.) Hence ariseth comfort to us in our prayers. We cannot doubt of 
success as long as Christ hath faithfulness. The office of the priests under 
the law was to receive every man's sacrifice that was capable of presenting 
one, and refuse none. Christ, as an advocate, hath it incumbent upon him 
to receive our spiritual sacrifices, and he doth receive them, and present 
them with more mercy, because he transcends them in faithfulness and 

142 charxock's works, [1 John II. 1. 

We are many times dejected at the remembrance of our prayers, but the 
concern that Christ hath in them is a ground to raise us. We have an ad- 
vocate that knows how to separate the impertinences and folHes which fall 
from the months of his clients ; he knows how to rectify and purify our bills 
of requests, and present them otherwise than we do. How happy a thing is 
it to have one to offer up our prayers in his golden censer, and perfume our 
weak performances by applying his merit to them ! Satan distracts our 
prayers, but cannot blemish Christ's intercession. When we cannot pre- 
sent our own case by reason of diseases and indispositions, we have one to 
present our cause for us that can never be distempered, who is more quick 
to present our groans than we are to utter them. Besides, all prayer put up 
in his name shall be successful, John xvi. 23. The arguments we use from 
Christ's merits are the same fundamentally upon which the plea of Christ 
in heaven is grounded ; and if God should deny us, it were to deny his Son, 
and cast off that delight he expressed himself to have in the merit of his death ; 
but God loves that mediation of his Son, and that this work of his should he 
honoured and acknowledged. And though we had no promise to have our 
own prayers heard, yet there is no douljt but he will hear the prayers of 
Christ for us, for them he hears always, John xi. 42. 

(4.) Hence ariseth comfort against all the attempts and accusations of 
Satan, and the rebellion of our own corruption. He foresees all the ambush- 
ments of Satan, searcheth into his intention, understands his stratagems, 
and is as ready to speak to the Father for us, as he was to turn his back and 
look Peter into a recovery at the crowing of the cock. The devil accuseth 
us when we fall, but he hath not so much on his side as we have. All his 
strength lies in our sinful acts, but the strength of our advocate lies in his 
own infinite merit. Satan haih no merit of his own to enter as plea for 
vengeance. When he pleads against us with our sins, Christ pleads for us 
by his sufferings, and if our adversary never cease to accuse us, our advocate 
never ceaseth to defend us. How comfortable is it to have one day and night 
before the throne to control the charge of our enemy, and the despondencies 
of our souls, that Satan can no sooner open his mouth, but he hath one to 
stop and rebuke him, who hath more favour in the court than that malicious 
spirit, and employs all his life and glory for our spiritual advantage, who will 
not upon such occasions want a good word for us. And as to our corruptions, 
he is in heaven to make up all breaches. His blood hath the same design 
in his plea that it had in the sacrifice, which was to purify us, Titus ii. 4. 
The difficulty of any cause doth not discourage him, but honours both his 
skill in bringing us off, and the merit of his blood, which is the cause of our 
restoration. Upon every occasion he steps in to plead with the holiness of 
God, and pacify the justice of God for our greater as well as lighter crimes. 
While therefore we feelingly groan under our spiritual burdens, let us not be 
so dejected by them, as cheered by the advocacy of our Saviour. 

Use 3, of exhortation. 

(1.) Endeavour for an interest in this advocacy. It is natural for men to 
look after some intercessor with God for them. When the Israelites were 
sensible of their sin in speaking against God, they desired Moses to be their 
mediator : Num. xxi. 7, ' Pray unto the Lord for us.' Behold here a 
greater than Moses to be the patron of our cause. 

To this purpose, 

[1.] We must have a sincere faith. This is absolutely necessary for an 
interest in Christ's priesthood, Heb. vii. 24. It is only for * those that come 
to God by him.' He hath not a moral ability to save or intercede for any 
but such. That is clearly implied. If ' able to save those that come unto 

1 John II. 1.] Christ's intercession, 113 

God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them,' then able 
to save none else : it is restrained only to such. It is a foolish imagination 
to think Chi'ist pi'ays for unbelievers, because he prayed on the cross forlhose 
that murdered him. There is a great difference between his prayer then and 
his intercession in heaven.* That upon the cross was as he was a holy man, 
and would both shew his own charity to his enemies, and set us a pattern of 
it to ours ; but in hismediatory prayer put up by him as God-man, John xvii., 
a copy of what he doth to this day in heaven, he doth not pray for the world, 
but for those that believe on him, ver. 19, 20, and therefore it is plain that he 
doth not pray for them that will not believe on him. Faith only gives an 
interest in the prayers Christ made on earth, or suits he urgeth in heaven. 

[2.] We must have a sincere resolution of obedience. Such are the 
subjects of Christ's intercession. The apostle had prefaced it so in the 
chapter before the text, and applies the cordial to such only as wallowed not 
in a course of gro?s sins. Those that ' walk in darkness' he excludes from 
any fellowship with him in any of his offices, 1 John i. 6. It is a fellowship 
with the Son as well as with the Father that he understands it of, ver. 3. 
The comfort of this intercession belongs not to those that wilfully defile them- 
selves, but to those that abhor sin, and yet may fall through the violence 
of a surprising temptation. And after he had laid down this comfortable 
doctrine in the text, he closes it with a limitation to strike off the hands of 
any bold and undue claim to it : ver. 3, ' Hereby do we know that we 
know him, if we keep his commandments.' Hereby we know that we know 
him to be both our propitiation and our advocate, if we bear a sincere respect 
to all the discoveries of his will. Christ did not offer himself as a sacrifice, 
nor stand up as an advocate to countenance our f^ins, and free us from the 
debt of obedience, but to excite and encourage us the more, and that in a 
comfortable way, assuring us of pardon for our defects through him. Trust 
in him and obedience to him are the sole fee he requires of us for his care 
and pains. 

(2.) Have a daily recourse to this advocate and advocacy. It is necessary 
because of our daily infirmities, and our imperfect services. We know not 
how to plead our own cause, nor do we understand the aggravations of those 
accusations that may be brought in against us. It is necessary that we 
should fly to one who always is present in the court to appear for us. Every 
man is ready to engage any person that hath the ear and interest of the 
judge on his side. Every man is to lift up his eye to this advocate : ' If any 
man sin, we have an advocate.' The having is little without employing. 
The more we exercise faith in his intercession, the more communion we have 
with the advocate, and the more sanctification will increase in us : John xvii. 
17, ' Sanctify them through thy truth.' His prayer there for sanctification 
is a standing notice to us whence sanctification is to be fetched, viz. from 
heaven by virtue of this intercession. In our shortest ejaculations, as well 
as our extended petit-ons, let us implore him under this title. No man under 
the law was to offer the meanest offering, though a pigeon, by his own hard, 
but the hand of the priest appointed to it by divine order. In all distresses, 
infirmities, and darkness in this world, we should get up to that mountain of 
myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. Cant. iv. 6 (which is, as some under- 
stand it, a speech of the church), to the passion of Christ, which was bitter 
like myrrh, to the intercession of Christ, which is sweet like incense. Our 
whole life, till everlasting glory be ready to receive us, should be a life of 
faith in his death and intercession. 

(3.) Let our affections be in heaven with our advocate. Though the 
* Oamero de Ecclesia, p. 229. 

1 14 charnock's works. [1 John II. 1. 

people of Israel were barred from entering into the holy of holies with the 
high priest when he went to sprinkle the blood on the mercy-seat, yet they 
attended him with their hearts, continued their wishes for his success, and 
expected his return with the notice of his acceptation. Since Christ is 
entered into the holy place, and acts our business in the midst of his glory, 
we should raise our hearts to him where he is, and link our spirits with 
him, and rejoice in the assured success of his negotiation. Though a man 
be not personally present with his advocate in the court, yet his heart 
and soul is with him. The heart is where the chief business is. Let us 
not keep our hearts from him, who employs himself in so great a concern 
for us. 

(4.) Glorify and love this advocate. If Christ presents our persons and 
prayers in heaven, it is reason we should live to his glory upon earth. If he 
carries our names on his breast near his heart as a signal of his affection 
to us, we should carry his name upon our hearts in a way of ingenuous 
return. We should empty ourselves of all unworthy affections, be inflamed 
with an ardent love to him, and behave ourselves towards him as the most 
amiable object. This is but due to him, as he is our advocate. 


Let not your heart be troubled : ye believe in God, believe also in me. — 
John XIV. 1. 

Our Saviour in the foregoing chapter, having discoursed of his death by 
the treachery of Judas, and upon his interruption by Peter's vaunt of his 
affection to him, having predicted his cowardice, could not but possess the 
hearts of his disciples with a wonderful trouble. What could be the first 
reflection upon this alarm, but a fear of the consequences of so sad a sepa- 
ration, and a distrust of themselves ? Their Master would be removed from 
them by the treason of one of their own college, John xiii. 21, and to a place 
whither they could not at present follow him, ver. 36. They must lose that 
ravishing converse they had so long a time enjoyed with him ; they saw 
themselves ready to be exposed to the fury of his and their ill-willers in 
Judea ; they should want the support they had in his presence ; they could 
not imagine how they should bear up against temptations, since the fall and 
apostasy of Peter, one of the most clear-sighted and resolute of their asso- 
ciates, was in such plain words foretold in their hearing : ver. 38, ' The 
cock shall not crow till thou hast denied me thrice.' Christ, knowing the 
agitation of their spirits, proposeth remedies both to calm their present fears, 
and aim them against future troubles ; and in this chapter mixes several cordials 
together, suited to their present and future condition. The grand remedy 
is prescribed to them in the text, which is both a preface and a thesis, which 
he strengthens in his following discourse, * Let not your heart be troubled : 
ye believe in God, believe also in me.' I know what troubles those dis- 
courses have raised in your spirits ; give not way to them, there is a remedy 
as great as the distemper, and far greater than the cause of your fears ; faith 
will quell all. You think you have cause to be troubled, but if you rightly 
understood the whole affair, you would find cause of confidence and rejoic- 
ing ; you have a remedy in your trust in God, a trust which your fathers 
have successfully practised, and yourselves have been religiously bred in ; 
you believe in the power, goodness, and faithfulness of God ; keep that hold 
still, but take with you also an additional support. Believe also in me, as 
the person designed in all the promises, from the first to Adam to the last 
in the prophets, as that person in whom you shall see the evidences of the 
power, mercy, and goodness of that God you and your fathers have hitherto 
relied upon. 

VOL. V. K 

146 chaenock's woeks. [John XIV. 1. 

Let not your heart he troubled. The word^ raiaGdiedu signifies properly a 
commotion of water, which rages, swells, and flings up mud and slime from 
the bottom ; or the disturbance of an army when it is out of rank and order ; 
and thence translated to signify perturbations and fear in the heart of man, 
when the rest and quietness of the mind is interrupted. 

Be not troubled. Entertain no rage or fear in your spirits, do not think 
I have deceived you, let not your hearts swell with any disdain of me, because 
your carnal expectations are frustrated. We find in many places that they 
expected their Master's erection of a worldly empire, wherein they hoped to 
be his favourites, and settled in some great employments, as ministers of 
state ; and now, at the upshot, finding him to predict nothing but his own 
death, his leaving of them behind him to endure sufi'erings and persecution, 
and all their grand expectations in a moment defeated, they might have an 
occasion to find storms in their spirits, raking up all the mire and dirt to 
fling in his face, as if he had been some impostor ; well, saith he, ' Let not 
your heart be troubled, believe in me' as fij-mly as you have believed in 
God, and in the issue you will find I have not deceived you, but acted ac- 
cording to the directions of that God in whom you believe ; your faith in me 
shall no more make you ashamed, than your faith in God hath done. 


1. The best of Grod's people are apt to be overwhelmed with an ungrounded 
sorrow. A sorrow for sin never wants ground, but a sorrow for other things 
often doth. Ignorance and heedlessness is frequently the cause of commo- 
tions in the minds of good men. These had heard in the whole course of 
Christ's ministry enough to waylay their fears, and prepare them for this 
hour ; they had heard him more than once speaking of his death, yet a fond 
conceit of obtaining an earthly grandeur by him made them little to regard 
it. They had seen the power of God shielding him from the power of his 
enemies, and illustrious in the miracles he had wrought before their eyes, 
and might have fortified themselves with considerations against any dejection, 
till they had seen the issue. But their inadvertency, regardlessness, and 
ignorance, not only gave way to, but fomented, their inward storms. 

2. How apt is man to be troubled oftentimes at that which conduceth to 
his happiness ! They are troubled at Christ's death and departure, which 
in themselves were the only means appointed by God for their felicity ; that 
which was to render them happy did in their own account render them 
miserable. Had they known the design of it, it had rather been matter of 
joy to see their sins expiated, and an incensed God reconciled to them upon 
the surest and most irreversible terms, and to be assured that mansions 
should be prepared for them in heaven ; but short-sighted men perceive not 
the secrets of divine wisdom in its paths in the world, which are double to 
what they apprehend. Job xi. 6. 

3. How tender is Christ to remedy the troubles of his people ! In his 
dying posture he seeketh not their assistance of him, but neglects himself to 
cheer up them ; he gives them some drops of those comforts here, whereof 
they were to have floods hereafter. He shews them now what he was to do 
in heaven, to order afiairs in such a manner as to expel their troubles. 
What he was so ready to do when his calamitous condition might have ex- 
cused him from so friendly an office, he will be more ready to do since he 
hath nothing to obstruct him. What was his office on earth, is still his office 
in heaven ; * Let not your hearts be troubled,' is his language from the place 
of his glory ; and while he retains his compassions, he will issue out his 

4. How gracious is our Redeemer, to take occasion, from unbelieving 

John XIV. 1 J the object of faith. 147 

distrusts, to pour out bis choicest cordials ! Nothing so admirable was ever 
published to the world as the doctrine that had dropped from his lips to his 
followers. He had acquainted them that redemption was the design of his 
coming ; he had again and again assured them of his Father's and his own 
love to them ; yet you see their corruption shoots up its head above their 
grace ; their unbelieving fears seem to give the lie to all he had formerly 
acquainted them with ; yet he doth not manifest any marks of indignation, 
and strike them down at his foot, as he did shortly after those that came to 
apprehend him, but comforts them without checking them ; and, which is 
more astonishing, takes occasion from hence to utter something more mag- 
nificent and cordial than he had ever done before : he takes occasion, from 
the workings of hell in them, to give them a clearer appearance of heaven, 
and opens that place of glory for them, which was quickly after opened for 
himself. His discourses after this, in this and the following chapters, bear 
a general eminency, and are more full of refreshments, than any before ; he 
now rains down manna upon them, and gives them that incomparable pro- 
mise of the Spirit to be their comforter ; after this evidence of their dis- 
trustful fear, he seems to open all the repositories in heaven to make a 
cordial for them. What could be done more to quell fear, and encourage 
faith, unless he had wafted them immediately to glory, and exchanged their 
faith for that eternally triumphant affection of love which shall reign in 
heaven ? 

5. Christ doth not remove the cross from his people, but comforts them 
under it. He doth not retract anything he had said before, which gave life 
to their fear and sorrow, as many tender persons do when they see others 
startled and grieved at their resolves ; but he bears up their spirits, while he 
holds the cross upon their shoulders, and is as forward in comforting them 
as the matter he had treated of was apt to disquiet them. That which he 
useth to repel their fears is, ' Ye believe in God ; believe also in me.' The 
word mffrsvsTi in our translation is, in the first place, in the indicative mood ; 
in the latter, in the imperative. But the text is read various ways. Some 
read it, 

1. You believe in God, you do also believe in me ;* both in the indicative 
mood ; as much as to say, Since you do believe in us both, this your faith 
in God, and in me, will be a sufiicient bulwark against all your fears. Others 
read it, 

2. Believe in God, believe also in me ; both in the imperative, command- 
ing this act upon those two objects. Others read it, 

3. Believe in God, and you do then also believe in me ; the first in the 
imperative, the second in the indicative ; i. e. If you believe in God rightly, 
you cannot but believe in me ; for there is no true faith and trust in God 
but in and through the Mediator. 

The matter is not great which way we read it ; either thus, ' Believe in 
God, believe also in me,' as ordering both ; or, * You do believe in God, 
believe also in me,' as allowing the first by way of concession, and ordering 
the latter ; both do suit the occasion of his discourse. 

You believe in God. You believe in God as the creator, preserver, and 
governor of all things. f This is natural to all, to acknowledge God, to own 
him one way or other as an object of trust in extremity, which is evidenced 
by the common approach to him, and calling upon him in cases of exigence ; 
but this is not all that is meant here. But, further, you believe the pro- 
mises of God in Moses, the Psalms, and prophets ; you believe all that is 
spoken of the Messiah, by whom he hath promised to justify and save his 
* Erasm. in loc. t Grot. 

148 chaknock's works. [John XI"V. 1. 

people. Thus you have the same faith your fathers had before you, and you 
do not only believe the authority of God speaking, by an act of yonr under- 
standing, but you do embrace those promises by a consent of will, and rely 
upon him for the performance of them, that he will bring forth the Messiah 
for those great ends and purposes for which he is promised. 

Believe also in vie. I do not go about to turn you from your confidence 
in God, but to establish it ; you must, besides this, repose yourselves in me. 
You believe God to be true and merciful, and you believe the promises he 
hath made of the Messiah ; you must believe in me also ; you must believe 
that I am the person designed in all those promises to be that Messiah ; 
you must believe that I am he, as he expresseth it, John xiii. 19, that very 
seed of the woman that was to bruise the serpent's head, and rest yourselves 
in me as that Messiah ; and that fear which hath reigned in the hearts of 
men, from the first moment of Adam's fall, will expire in the spirits of all 
those that have a true and sincere faith in me ; for in me they will behold 
their restoration. If you believe God making those promises, you must also 
believe me to be the matter of them. I am the person which was the centre 
of them, that person by whom your enemies are to be destroyed, your judge 
to be pacified, your pardon to be purchased. Before, a general faith in the 
promise of God, that there should be a Messiah, was sufficient for you ; this 
you have, and this your fathers had ; and you believe in God, promising 
this Messiah, and rest upon him for the accomplishment of this promise ; 
but now, since this promise is accomplished, and the Messiah is come, your 
faith must be more particular ; you must believe me to be an all-sufficient 
Saviour, and must believe in me for the remission of sin, and the eternal 
mansions which I am going to prepare for you. You must firmly believe 
that I am the person sent by God in that capacity and office, whatsoever 
storms you shall see raised against me, and whatsoever black clouds you 
shall see me wrapped in. 

Believing here notes not only an assent, but a recumbency, ' believe in 
me.' You do not only believe God, but believe in him, i. e. rely upon him 
for what he hath promised. You must not only believe me to be the 
Messiah, but rely upon me for those things God hath promised to be done 
by the Messiah. Believe in me, i. e. believe in me as mediator, and rely upon 
me for all the fruits of my mediation. 

Believe in me. As you believe God is constant in his promises, so believe 
also that I will not forsake you, though I be absent from you. So that 
Christ brings them here to himself as mediator, as well as to God the foun- 
tain of salvation, and proposeth himself here as an object of faith, in con- 
junction with the supreme Deity. Nothing would make the poor disciples 
so dejected as to see him hanging on a cross whom they expected upon a 
throne ; and nothing but a consideration of him to be the Messiah, and a 
great faith in him, could support them under so unexpected a disaster. 


1. By way of caution, that this Scripture is no argument against the deity 
of Christ, because our Saviour doth here distinguish God from himself. 

By God here is meant the Father ; and by calling the Father God, the 
Son is no more excluded from the deity than when Christ is called God, as 
he is Rom. ix. 5, ' Christ, who is over all, God blessed for ever,' the Father 
is excluded. Christ doth here assert his own deity in the substance of the 
command, in making himself an object of faith in conjunction with God, and 
as necessary for the support of the soul as God himself. He orders faith in 
himself in the same manner as he orders it in God : John v. 17, ' My Father 
works, and I work ;' as my Father works, so I work, because of the unity 

John XIV. 1.] the object of faith. 149 

of essence ; so as you believe in God the Father, believe in me also the 

2. It is necessary to believe Christ to be the Messiah. This is the first 
thing to be believed in the Christian religion, that Jesus is the Christ, the 
Saviour of the world. The apostles directed their discourses generally to 
prove this, Acts ii. 36, ix. 22, xviii. 5 ; and the great medium to prove it by 
was his resurrection after his death ; and for not believing this, the Jews 
are pronounced by Paul judgers of themselves, as 'unworthy of eternal life,' 
Acts xiii. 46. Cornelias, before he heard Peter, believed that there would 
be a Messiah ; but after the hearing of Peter's declaration of Christ's death 
and resurrection, he was to exercise a particular faith in him ; and if he had 
not, his former faith had stood him in no stead, because he would have 
despised the revelation of God. How can he be said to believe God in his 
promise, that believes him not in his performance ? I am afraid there is 
too much unbelief of this amongst us ; we are brought up in the profession 
of Christ, and our faith in him is of no better a stamp than an education 
faith ; we understand not upon good grounds that this Christ is the Messiah 
promised from the foundation of the world. 

3. Only faith in God, through the Mediator, can bear up the heart in 
troubles. This is the ballast that can keep the soul steady in a stormy sea. 
' Fear not, but believe,' said Christ, as the proper remedy, Luke viii. 50. 
Faith makes not ashamed, it doth elevate the heart above all that would 
depress it. It breeds a great and courageous spirit, and makes men willing 
to want the satisfactions of the flesh for the delights of heaven. To come 
believingly is to come boldly in a time of need, Heb. iv. 16. Faith is digni- 
fied with a title of confidence, and with that of a full assurance, Heb. x. 22. 
This was that whereby God dispelled the cloud of fear from Abraham : Gen. 
XV. 1, 'Fear not, Abraham,' the wrath due to sin upon the revolt of man, I 
am sufficient to bring forth the promised seed ; I will be thy shield against 
the terrors of wrath, and I will be the reward of thy faith and obedience in 
a glorious salvation. It was not a carnal fear, or a fear of some temporal 
evil, for this speech was after his victory over the kings that had conquered 
and plundered Sodom, after he had been blessed by so great a type of Christ 
as Melchisedec was ; the fear of Abraham was occasioned by his want of a 
child, and a seed wherein the nations of the earth were to be blessed, as 
appears by his answer, ver. 2, that promised seed, that was to change the 
curse of sin into a blessing ; this seed is promised him, ver. 4, 5, and then 
Abraham believed, i. e. all his fears vanished, and he relied upon God for the 
performance of this. 

4. All our comforts are fetched from above. Christ sends them not here 
to the waters of the earth, to quench the heat of their troubles ; he directs 
not their eyes downwards, but upwards, to God and himself. It is a scanty 
relief that is fetched from a man's self, and from the uncertainty of the 
world in shaking troubles ; one God in the one Mediator out-balanceth all 
those things whence men commonly gather their supports. It is as much 
as if he had said, You have fancied great things to yourselves, you thought 
to have had great employments under that earthly royalty you imagined I 
should be possessed with ; and no doubt but I should have had a regard to 
such friends as you are, that have followed me in my perplexed condition, 
had such a kingdom been designed me ; but I would not have your souls so 
mean and low : take a higher flight, nourish 3-ourselves with hopes of a purer 
glory, and more durable mansions which I am going to prepare for you ; a 
temporal grandeur will only stupefy your fears, not stab them to the heart, 
but the consideration of what I propose to you will perfectly despatch them. 

160 charnock's works. [John XIV. 1. 

In the text you see, 

1. An act: ' believe in God.' 

2. The object : ' In God,' ' in me.' 

3. The fruit and efiect of it : ' Let not your heart be troubled.' 

I shall speak of the object, and the doctrine resulting thence will be, 
Doct. God and Christ are in conjunction, the true and proper object of 
faith. Read it which way you will, this is the result of it ; he doth not dis- 
courage their faith in God, but encourageth that, together with faith in him- 
self. Every act hath something about which it is exercised ; faith is an act 
of the soul, it must therefore have an object upon which it is terminated. 
God is the object of faith according to his present dispensation, which is the 
manifestation of himself as a reconciled God through a mediator. As he is 
a God of grace and peace, he is an object of faith, and trust, and joy ; but 
grace and peace are not manifested, not given forth, not multiplied simply 
by the knowledge of God, but also of Jesus our Lord : 2 Peter i. 2, 
' Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and 
Jesus our Lord.' Not by the knowledge of God alone, nor by the knowledge 
of Christ alone, but of God in the mediator Christ, in whom only he is known 
to be our God in the covenant of grace, the spring of all our comfort, the 
knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord, i. e. the knowledge of God in Jesus 
our Lord, "Ev bta, bvoTv, as Rom. i. 5, ' grace and apostleship,' i. e. grace of 

God is not the object of faith now as creator ; he was so in the state of 
man's rectitude, and could not be considered by the creature in any other 
notion ; but in our lapsed state God is not only considered as creator, but as 
the offended Majesty, and consequently as judge, and we cannot behold 
him but encompassed with scorching flames about his throne. He that exer- 
ciseth faith in God merely as creator, understands not the present condition 
of human nature, the malignity of his own provocations, nor the glorious 
perfections of righteousness, veracity, justice, which are essential to the 
Deity. Though the fall of man did not null the relation of God as creator, 
which stands irreversible, yet it added another relation to him, that of a 
judge, and cracked in pieces all grounds and props of a trust in him for the 
expressions of kindness, and set up only the expectation of a mighty revenge, 
according to his threateniug. You find no other sentiments in Adam after 
his rebellion, not the least mite of a trust in God, though he had newly 
come out of the hands of God, and the relation of a creator was fresh and 
flourishing ; and why any of his posterity should have other sentiments than 
he had, in this single relation, I cannot conceive any ground from the reve- 
lation of God ; he beats the hands of the creature off' from expecting any sal- 
vation from him upon that account. Isa. xxvii. 11, * It is a people of no 
understanding : therefore he that made them will have no mercy on them, 
and he that formed them will shew them no favour.' It is spoken upon the 
wasting of Jerusalem, and laying it desolate ; yet, he adds for their comfort, 
that in that day he would gather them, and they should worship the Lord in 
the holy mount at Jerusalem. As he was their creator, or under the notion 
of a creator, they must expect nothing from him, since they were a people 
of no understanding, as all men in Adam are, who being in honour, and 
understanding not, i. e. not walking according to the knowledge they had, 
became like the beasts that perish ; but what they were to expect from him 
was, as he was God Redeemer, expressed by the worship of him in the holy 
mount at Jerusalem, alluding to the ceremonial worship, a type of Christ, 
the way whereby men were to come to God, and blessings to be conveyed 
from God to them. He would not be the object of their expecting faith, nor 

John XIV. 1.] the object of faith. 151 

of their religious worship as Creator, but as God Redeemer. And though 
Peter speaks of ' committing of souls to God, as unto a faithful Creator,' 
1 Peter iv. 19, it is not to be understood of God in the first creation, but 
the second ; and the attribute faithful annexed to Creator, evinceth it ; for 
though faithfulness be a perfection of the Deity, yet it is not apparent in the 
act of creation. In relation to that act, it is the powerful, wise, good creator; 
but faithfulness respects the promise and covenant of grace. As righteousness 
is a fit attribute for a judge, — and so God is called, when he is spoken of 
under that title, 2 Tim. iv. 8, — so powerful is a fit attribute of the Creator, as 
considered in the first material creation of the world. How had God engaged 
himself in creation to preserve the soul of man, but in a way of obedience ! 
Sufiering was not to be expected in a state of innocence, and it is the com- 
mitting of our soul to God in a suifering state that the apostle speaks of. 
His engagements to this purpose are, in his promises, made pursuant to the 
covenant of grace, but he is called Creator here, in regard of the new creation, 
as he is called 'the Creator of Israel, and their King,' Isa. xliii. 15, as he is 
their Holy One, sanctifying them through his grace. He is no more the Creator 
of Israel in a way of appropriation, if you consider him so in the first crea- 
tion, than he is of the fallen angels and the beasts of the earth ; but as he 
formed them into a church, he was peculiarly their Creator. But this creation 
respected the Messiah, and so doth this in Peter respect Christ, in whom all 
the promises, wherein God's faithfulness lies at pawn, are yea and amen. 
He is the Creator of behevers, as they are sons of the promise ; and there- 
fore Calvin inclines to interpret the word translated creator here as possessor; 
and the word doth sometimes, in heathen authors, though rarely, signify 
preserver or restorer.^-' Yet is not the title of God as Creator excluded from 
an object of trust, for since Christ hath restored in part the soul to the 
image of God, which it had by creation, it may expect from God as Creator 
a faithfulness to his own image, and his service, but not singly as Creator, 
but in conjunction with the Redeemer. 

I shall lay down some propositions for the clearing of this. 

I. God is the object of faith. 

God is the principal object of faith and trust. The whole revelation 
in Scripture tends to the knowledge of God. Why did God create, but that 
he might be known to be omnipotent and good ? Why did God send Christ, 
but that he might be known to be merciful and gracious ? Whatsoever is 
revealed in the word, and concerning Christ in particular, hath a direct 
tendency to God, and the knowledge of him, and this practical duty which 
follows thereupon : John xvii. 3, ' This is life eternal, to know thee, the only 
true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.' 

1. God in his attributes. He is an object of faith as made known to us, 
but he is made known to us in some perfections of his nature, as encourage- 
ments to approach to him, and ground our hopes in him ; and he is an ob- 
ject of faith in every one of his distinct attributes, in his power, wisdom, 
goodness, and righteousness, according to our several occasions and circum- 
stances; for he is the object of faith as he is a God in covenant, our God ; 
and he is our God in every attribute which makes up that glorious nature ; 
and those perfections of his nature were made known in Christ, that he might 
be known not only speculatively, but fiducially. The name of God was in 
him, Exod. xxiii. 21, in that Angel of the covenant. Whatsoever was know- 
able of God was unveiled in Christ, as the exact and perfect medium wherein 
we may have a prospect of God ; there was more of wisdom, and more of 
power discovered in uniting the Godhead to the manhood ; more of good- 
* Stephaiiu3 in verbo Kri'/^u, 

152 charnock's works. [John XIV. 1. 

ness, grace, righteousness, holiness, which are all attractives to seek God, 
and lay hold upon him, than made known any other way ; and all were dis- 
covered to promote that great doctrine of faith preached by Christ and the 

2. Particularly the veracity of God is the first ohject, or ground of faith. 
He is not the first object of faith in any attribute, but his veracity. As God 
creates the world as powerful, and punisheth the wicked as he is just, and 
pardons sin as he is merciful, and provides for all as he is good, so he is 
believed on as true in the first motion of the soul to him. The first act of 
faith considers God as true in his promise, and powerful to accomplish it : 
' This is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ 
whom thou hast sent,' John xvii. 3. ' AXriQiMlig, signifies verax, as well as 
verus ; not only true in thy nature, but true in thy word ; ' the only true 
God ' in Jesus Christ, in whom there was the performance of the first and 
greatest promise made in paradise; by the same figure spoken of before, sV bid 
buoTv. As in loving God, we have his goodness for the immediate object ; in 
hoping in him, we centre in his power ; so in our first assent to him we fix 
our eye upon his truth.* For when any declaration is proposed as from God, 
the first act is an inquiry whether it be from God, or no ; when the result 
of that inquiry is this, that God speaks and declares this, the assent to it is 
moved by the consideration of the truth of God ; for to a belief of any thing 
that is offered, there is necessary first an evidence that the declarer is not 
deceived, and that he will not willingly deceive others. In the believing that 
God cannot be deceived, faith respects the certainty of his knowledge ; in 
believing that he will not deceive, and so making his word the object of our 
reliance, faith respects the certainty of his faithfulness and veracity. The 
promise is the object of trust ; the reason why I trust the promiser, is his fide- 
lity and constancy to his word. That is not faith which respects not either 
a command, promise, or threatening, in all which the faithfulness and vera- 
city of the person urging the precept, or uttering the threatening, or making 
the promise, comes first into consideration. But justifying faith respects 
chiefly the promise ; hence believers are called ' the children of the pro- 
mise,' Rom. ix. 8, Gal. iv. 28, because by faith they entertain the promise ; 
and as it is an asftent, it hath for its object the unening truth of God ; and 
as it is a consent and reliance, it still principally eyes the same for the accom- 
plishment of what he hath engaged to do for us in his word ; and the first 
language of faith in receiving the testimony of Christ, is a testifying, or ' set- 
ting to the seal that God is true,' John iii. 33 ; that he hath been as good 
as his word, and makes good what he promised to our first parents, and 
repeated several times since in other language. 

3. But faith doth ultimately centre in the Deity. God himself, in hisglo- 
rious nature, is the ultimate object whereinto our faith is resolved. The 
promise, simply considered, is not the object of trust, but God in the pro- 
mise ; and from the consideration of that we ascend to the Deity, and cast 
our anchor there. ' Hope in the word' is the first act, but succeeded by 
hoping in the Lord : Ps. cxxx. 5, 7, * In his word do I hope ;' that is not 
all ; ' but let Israel hope in the Lord.' That is the ultimate object of faith, 
wherein the essence of our happiness consists, and that is God. God him- 
self is the true and full portion of the soul. If it be asked, why we believe 
God ?f the answer is, because he is true. If it be asked, why God is true ? 
the answer is, because he is God, and cannot be God unless he were true. 
No further answer can be given. In this the soul doth acquiesce as a full 

* Suarez, vol. viii. p. 65. t Ibid. p. 64. 

John XIV. 1.] the object of faith. 153 

resolution ; so that, though faith in the first act respects the truth of God, 
yet it is ultimately resolved into the Deity itself. 

4. It particularly centres in the Deity as the author of redemption (Ps. 
cxxx. 7, 8, ' Let Israel hope in the Lord, for with him is plenteous redemp- 
tion ; and he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities'), and takes away aU 
the oppressive and provoking guilt of the soul by that redemption, which, 
like a vast ocean, knows no bounds. As God was the first in forming the 
design of creation, so he was the first in laying the platform of redemption, 
and appointing Christ to be a sacrifice for the expiation of our sins, and ran- 
som of our souls. As our thanksgivings are to be directed to him, as he is 
the ' God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,' Eph. i. 3, so is our faith. 
This was the title he assumed ; and he is ' the Father of glory,' in being 
' the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,' ver. 17. He was the orderer of aU 
those glorious acts Christ did, and tliat purchase he made. He is the God 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, not in regard of his divine nature, wherein there 
is not a superiority of power, though a priority of order, Christ in regard of 
his divine nature not being inferior to, but equal with, God ; but in regard of 
his mediatory office, as he was the ambassador of God, and his righteous 
servant acting by his commission and authority, according to his particular 
instructions, and in regard of the covenant between them. He is said to be 
the God of Christ, as he is said to be the Cxod of Abraham, not in regard of 
his creating him, but in a more special manner, as being in covenant with 
him. Now faith looks through the ambassador to the prince that employs 
him, and through the servant to the Lord that sends him, and to the person 
that first proposed the terms of the covenant, and revealed his everlasting 
purpose of saving sinners by Christ. Faith looks beyond the time of Christ's 
conversing in the flesh, and sealing the covenant by his blood. It looks to 
the everlasting platform of it in the bosom of the Deity ; beyond the beam 
of it in the incarnation and death of Christ ; beyond the first promise of it 
in paradise, Hab. i. 13, ' Art thou not from everlasting, Lord my God, 
my Holy One ?' The prophet looks back to the everlasting springs of it in 
the heart of the Deity, and pierceth to the first point of the resolve, and 
thence concludes we shall not die. It was not barely the eternity of God he 
considers there ; for that simply considered might be an argument for the 
restoration and sanctification of devils, as well as Israel ; but God from 
everlasting, as his God and his Holy One, as resolving upon a covenant of 
grace, and to be a sanctifier of his people ; and from thence his faith draws 
a conclusion of an impossibility of dying, and a certain assurance of enjoying 
Ufe. And the apostle's faith looked to Christ as the medium, ' by whom are 
all things,' but to the Father, ' of whom,' by whose authority, ' all things 
are,' 1 Cor. viii. 6. Faith doth not stick only in Christ, but mounts up to 
the Deity, as the fountain and spring of all. ' He that believes on me, be- 
lieves not on me,' saith Christ, * but on him that sent me,' John xii. 44. 
Not on me chiefly, not on me solely ; it must pierce through the veil to the 
original wisdom that contrived, and the original authority that enacted, and 
the grace which inspired every action of the Mediator. God is the ultimate 
object of faith in all our considerations of Christ ; to this purpose he was 
raised, ' that our faith and hope might be in God,' 1 Peter i. 21, that it 
might not stick immoveably in Christ, Rom. iv. 24, but be as a ladder to get 
up, and clasp about the Highest and the Ancient of days. In Christ we see 
first the smiles of God, in him we see the tender voice of his bowels, in him 
we feel the lively and affectionate motions of his heart. When we have 
fixed on Christ, faith rests not there, but ascends ultimately to God, as the 
great promoter of this design, by whose authority all was transacted, and 

154 charnock's works. [John XIV. 1. 

before whom all is to be finished, as to him who set out this propitiation for 
sin, and keeps in his own hand the royalty of pardoning iniquity. 

n. Christ is the object of faith. God alone was the object of trust in the 
state of innocence, and under the covenant of works. The covenant, 
' Do this, and live,' being established between God and man without a mediator, 
none could be the object of trust for the performance of the promise upon 
condition of obedience, but God in the simplicity of his own being, without 
any other relation. But under the covenant of grace, which is settled in a 
mediator, ' Believe this, and live,' Christ the mediator is an object of faith, 
though God be still the ultimate object ; because we believe in him, that he 
will give us life and salvation for the merit of this mediator, in whom we be- 
lieve first. 

1. Therefore Christ is the immediate object of faith, as he by whom all 
the counsels of redemption were executed, as he who assumed our nature, to 
sufi'er in it for the satisfaction of divine justice, and was raised again to 
transact our affairs, and manifest the value and infinite fulness of that satis- 
faction. We cannot look upon God under any other notion than that of an 
incensed governor and judge, if we well apprehend the condition of lapsed 
man. Unless we behold him in and through a mediator, the terrors of his 
majesty would confound us ; we dare not look him in the face because of our 
vileness as sinners. We must first, therefore, fasten our ejes upon the 
mediator, and then upon God. The mercy of God in pardoning sin is that 
which faith exerciseth itself about ; the satisfactory death of Christ, upon the 
account of sin to be pardoned, must be the first and immediate object of 
faith. Christ must first be known, because the riches of divine grace are 
knowable and manifested only in him ; God speaks not a word of mercy out 
of this propitiatory. Faith being an applying the reconciliation and mercy 
obtained, it must consider and believe the satisfaction of divine justice, 
whereby it was obtained. Before any man can think to stand before the 
face of God's justice, and be admitted into the secret delights of his mercy, 
and riches of his grace, he must consider this mediator as appeasing God, 
and consider the voice of God proclaiming himself appeased in his Son, 
Mat. iii. 17. We are first to believe and rest upon the strength and value 
of this sacrifice, and with this in the hands of our faith, go to God with a 
further act of faith, for an application to us of what was purchased for us. 
It is by him we believe in God, 1 Peter i. 21 ; we must first, therefore, be- 
lieve in him. The faith, therefore, that justifies, is called ' the faith of Christ,' 
Gal. ii. 16 ; and in other places it is called a * coming to God by Christ,' 
Heb. vii. 24. It is, therefore, first a coming to Christ to bring us to God. 
We cannot ' come to the Father but by him,' as he speaks in the same 
chapter where the text is, ver. 6, pursuant to the doctrine he had laid down in 
the first verse ; and must first, therefore, come to him as ' the way, the truth, 
and the life.' It is in him, and * by the faith of him, that we have access 
with confidence,' Eph. iii. 12. There must first be a coming to him to be 
inspired with confidence ; he that will come to the holy of holies must pass 
through the veil. Thus Christ is brought in in the prophet proclaiming 
himself the object of faith : Isa. xlv. 22, ' Look to me, and be you saved, all 
the ends of the earth.' It is that person is introduced speaking, to whom 
every knee should bow; that person in whom we have righteousness and 
strength; that person in whom all the seed of Israel should be justified, ver. 
23-25. It is in him we can find all things necessary for our deliverance from 
the ruin sin hath brought upon us, whatsoever is necessary to restore us to 
the happiness we have lost. In him is righteousness, to remove our vari- 
ance with God; and sanctification, to clear us from what may be offensive to 

John XIV. 1.] the object of faith. 155 

the eyes of his holiness; and therefore the apostle, 1 Tim. i. 1, calls Christ 
' our hope,' i. e. the object of our hope, as God is called ' the fear of Isaac,' 
Gen. xxxi. 53. The Israelites' worship was directed towards the tabernacle 
and temple where the ark was placed, their thoughts were to be fixed on 
that ; so all the motions of our souls must be directed to Christ, and in 
and by him to God. And therefore faith, in regard of this immediateness 
of it, is appropriated to Christ as the proper and proxim object, and called 
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in regard of his mediating and reconciling 
us ; whereas repentance respects God immediately, who hath been oflfended 
by us, and therefore called ' repentance towards God,' Acts xx. 21. 

2. Christ was always, in the times of the patriarchs, the object of faith ; 
and the immediate object, though not so distiuct as now. 

He was the immediate object of their faith. As he is the object of 
faith now, as actually destroying the works of the devil, so he was the object 
of faith then, as potentially bruising the head of the serpent. The object was 
always the same, though diversified ; they believed in the Messiah to be 
incarnate. Those that lived in the days of his flesh, believed in his present 
incarnation and passion ; those that lived after, believed in him as dying and 
rising. The faith was the same for substance, the same for object, only 
difierenced in point of time — future, present, past. 

(1.) It is clear of David : Ps. ex. 1, ' The Lord said unto my Lord.' He 
calls him his Lord, that was his Son, Luke xxii. 44. Observe, when he 
speaks of God, or the Father, or the Deity, singly considered, it is the hord ; 
but when of Christ, it is my Lord, a more particular application and appro- 
priation of the one than of the other. 

(2.) It is as clear of Moses : Heb. xi. 26, ' Esteeming the reproaches of 
Christ gi'eater riches than the treasures of Egypt.' What esteem could he 
have of the reproach of Christ, if he never knew or believed anything of 
him ? Upon what account should he refuse so great an earthly honour, to 
be treated as the son of Pharaoh's daughter, but upon some higher account 
than the hopes of enjoying an earthly Canaan, not a better land in itself 
than Egypt, which was counted the fruitfuUest spot in the world ? It was 
certainly the promise of the seed wherein all nations should be blessed, and 
which he might be twitted with by the Egyptians. 

(3.) It is plain of Abraham. The gospel was preached to him in that pro- 
mise, ' In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed,' Gal. iii. 8. 
Abraham in some sort understood it as God preached it ; it cannot be 
thought God should preach the gospel to him, and he understand nothing of 
gospel in it ; and as it was preached to him to raise his faith, so it was enter- 
tained by him with a suitable act of faith ; he eyed the Mediator in it, who 
was to bless all nations, and remove the curse which Adam had brought upon 
his posterity. He is called the father of us all in regard of his believing : 
Piom. iv. 16, ' The father of us all,' of all the believers among the Romans, 
who were not all of Jewish extraction ; so the apostle understands that pro- 
mise made unto him, thou shalt be the father of many nations, i. e. of many 
believers among nations ; he should be a copy and pattern of their faith, which 
could not well be, if he had not the same object of faith that they were after- 
wards to have, and had not for substance the same prospect of Christ. He 
did see the day of Christ in that promise, and was glad, John viii. 56. 
That which was the matter of his joy must be the object of his faith ; if he 
rejoiced in the day of his appearing, he believed in the person who was to 
appear in that day. Joy is so far from being without a belief, that it is a 
branch that springs from that root. 

(4.) Enoch pleased God by faith, and walked with him. Two cannot walk 

156 charnock's works. [John XIV. 1. 

together unless they be agreed. But there was no agreement between God 
and lapsed man but in the reconciling mediator; for God out of the pro- 
mised seed was as terrible then as God out of Christ is now. 

(5.) By faith Abel offered a sacrifice, Heb. xi. 4. It must be a belief in 
the person signified by that sacrifice. God was not the object of his faith 
barely as Creator; the first threatening of death, which he couU not well be 
unacquainted with, put a bar to that ; but it must be a faith in God as a 
promiser, and so had the matter of the promise, 'the seed,' for its object. It 
was such a faith whereby he believed God to be a rewarder, ver. 6, which 
he could have no prospect of but in the redeeming declaration. It was such 
a faith upon which God pronounced him righteous, which could not be as he 
stood upon his natural corrupted bottom. He looked for a righteousness in 
and by that which was represented by his sacrifice, and he obtained a wit- 
ness from heaven that he was righteous. It is very likely his sacrifice was 
accompanied with petitions for the hastening the appearance of that seed, 
and thanksgivings to God for making that gracious promise, and performing 
those acts of grace after the fall, which necessary attendants were neglected 
by Cain. It cannot be supposed that Abel could be ignorant of the promise, 
unless we can suppose Adam so forgetful of it, as never to mention that 
which could be his only support in his removal from paradise. He that 
knew the delights of his original state, cannot be imagined to slight a 
cordial so necessary to keep up his spirits in his exiled condition. The re- 
flection upon his former state must needs fill his mind with a sense of the 
curse he at the present lay under ; and this would by consequence mind him 
of the remedy God had provided for it ; and with what pleasing eye could he 
look upon his children whom he had brought into that misery, without 
putting, as I may speak, like a tender nurse, some of the cordial into their 
mouths ? 

(6.) That Adam exercised a faith immediately upon this object, the pro- 
mised seed, is not difficult to represent to you from Gen. iii. 20, ' And 
Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.' 
*n "PD, of all living, in the singular number, or the mother of him that was 
to enliven all that were to be enlivened ; of that latter Adam, who was to be 
made a quickening Spirit ; of that person who was to communicate life to 
the world ; or if we understand it of all living in the plural number, he 
includes himself then.'* But she could not be the mother of him according 
to an animal life, but as one to be spiritually quickened and restored by the 
peed of the woman. He gave this name to his wife just after the sentence 
of death and returning to dust pronounced upon him, ver. 19 ; and had he 
been possessed only with an horror of that sentence, he would rather have 
called her the mother of all dying than 'of all living ; and the name Eve 
signifying life, shews that he did not so much in this name respect her as a 
mother, but that life which was to be brought forth into the world by her 
seed, that restoration promised ; and giving her this name just after the 
sentence of returning to dust, he doth evidence his faith in that seed whereby 
man that was sentenced to death should live again. The Holy Ghost placing 
this imposition of a new name upon her (who was before called isha, woman) 
just after the sentence of death, is not without an intimation that Adam 
looked bej^ond the sentence of death, to the promise made before of bruising 
that enemy whose subtlety had brought upon him that judgment, and laid 
hold on that promise to support him against the sentence of returning to 
dust. Such a relation to the promise it must have ; we can hardly think 

* Heideg. Vit. Patriar, vol. i. Coccei Disput. Selec. disp. ix. sec. 12. Pareus in 
Gen. iii. 20. 

John XIV. 1.] the object of faith. 157 

that Adam in the slate of his fall, and under so gracious a word of deliver- 
ance, should be guilty of so great a pride, as, in a vaunt and contempt of the 
divine sentence, to call her the mother of all living, who had brought death 
upon the world. How could he call her the mother of all living, when he 
had just before heard that he was to return to dust, if he had not respected 
a better and a higher life than that short one he was to pass in the world, 
and respected also the cause of it ? Had he respected only an animal life, 
he might as well have called himself the father of all living, since we find 
the name of Abraham and Sarah changed upon the giving the promise. 
But without question he had respect in this to the Messiah, who was to be 
the seed of the woman, in appropriating this title to her.* And she might 
be called the mother of all living in regard of her faith, as Sarah is called 
the mother of all believing women ; 1 Peter iii. 6, because the promise men- 
tioning only ' the seed of the woman' and not of the man, might give her 
occasion first to exercise a faith in it before Adam did. Besides, that 
particle and, And Adam called his wife Eve, &c., linking it with what went 
before, ver. 19, wherein death was pronounced, shews that he considered 
the promise of restoration as his support in that state ; so that the Messiah 
in the promise, or the seed of the woman to bruise the serpent's head, was 
the immediate object of his faith. 

(7.) Eve also expresseth her faith in this seed : Gen. iv. 1, when Eve 
bare Cain she said, ' I have gotten a man from the Lord.' It is true the 
word nx is sometimes the note of other cases as well as the accusative ; as 
Exod. i. 1, ' with Jacob,' where it is the same particle, riN, and Gen, v. 22, 
'Enoch walked with God,' riN ; and some interpret it ' from the Lord,' i. e. 
by God's gift and favour ; others, ' with the Lord ;' others, ' a man, the 
Lord.' It doth not seem to be any straining of the text to render it ' a man, 
the Lord,' as respecting the promised seed in her son, the first seed God 
was pleased to give her, giving him the name Cain,f as if he were the person 
that were to repossess them again of paradise, and restore them to their 
happy estate. As a little before Adam had manifested his faith in the name 
Eve, which he gave to his wife, and the reason of it, so in the birth of Cain 
there might be as fit an occasion for manifesting the faith of Eve ; and it is 
very probable there might be something more in it than barely an acknow- 
ledgment of a mere child from God, and some regard to the promise, since 
we find no special remark upon any name presently after, but what did refer 
to that promise, as that upon Noah, of whom Lamech said. Gen. v. 29 
' This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, 
because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed,' for the return of the 
sons of men (adds Jonathan) ; which doth evidently point to that promised 
seed whereby he expected the curse to be taken off" the ground ; and though 
they both erred in their conception of the persons, yet it was a sion they 
bore a sense of the promise in their minds, and that Eve bore Christ in the 
womb of her faith, though Cain, whom she bore in the womb of her body, 
was not that special seed. This particle riX, between two nouns, gram- 
marians say, doth specify the person or thing spoken of; as Ezek. xxxiv, 
23, ' I will set one shepherd over them, even David my servant.' And it 
is to be considered that an ancient paraphrast, Jonathan ben Uzziel, who 
best understood the idiom of the Hebrew language, explains it so ; 'a man, 
the Lord.' And the objection against this interpretation, that Eve erred in 
her imagination of the birth of the promised seed to be like the birth of 
other men, signifies not much ; so did Lamech in the birth of Noah, yet 
his speech cannot be denied to have some respect to the promise ; and why 
* Ainsworth in loc, t So Fagius, Luther, Cocceius, Schindler, Foster. 

158 charnock's works. [John XIV. 1. 

may not both their errors be very well ascribed to the vehemency of their 
longing (which argued the greatness of their faith) and the obscurity of the 
revelation ? That there should be such a seed, was manifest to them from 
the truth of God ; but the manner how this seed should be brought forth 
into the world, whether of a virgin, was hid from them, and not revealed 
till many ages after. I do not see any inconvenience in thus interpreting 
this place ; as if Eve should have said, I have gained that very man, the 
Lord ; that divine person promised to be the conqueror of the serpent, that 
hath been the cause of bringing this misery upon us. 

(8.) All those that believed under the law had their faith pitched upon 
the Messiah. We may easily perceive by the whole eleventh chapter to the 
Hebrews that the substance of faith was always the same, and therefore the 
object of faith was in the gross, confusedly or distinctly, the same. Upon 
this account, all believers from the beginning of the world may be called 
Christians.* Whatsoever the ceremonies of the church might be, their faith 
had the same foundation, was of the same tenure. Upon the promised seed 
it was pitched, and the bruising of the serpent, and removing of the curse by 
it, was longed for. The whole mystery of prophecy was designed for the 
encouragement and support of this faith. Eating and drinking are meta- 
phors to signify faith in its applicatory act. This the ancients are said to 
do ; they ate Christ in the manna, and drank Christ in the rock, 1 Cor. x. 
3, 4. They came to G-od as a rewarder. That was as necessaiy to be con- 
sidered by them as the existence of a God is to be believed by them, Heb. 
xi. 6, not as a rewarder in a way of nature ; they could not but know- 
Adam's fall to be a discouragement to such expectations ; but in a way of 
grace, according to the promise made to Adam after the fall. This Messiah 
the church perpetually held under all the corruptions of ages and the abuses 
of the watchmen, and would not let him go. Cant. iii. 4. They had the 
same fruits of faith under the law, and therefore the same substantial object 
of faith as we have under the gospel. All that were justified and saved had 
the sentence of justification pronounced upon them on no other account than 
we have, which Paul labours to evidence in several places, especially Rom. iv., 
throughout the whole chapter, in the examples of Abraham and David. Their 
justification was by faith, which faith was ' imputed to them for righteous- 
ness ;' and what that faith was, the apostle plainly deciphers : ver. 23, 24, 
' It was written for us, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him 
that raised up Jesus our Lord fi'om the dead.' If his faith were of another 
kind and had another object, God alone, and not God in Christ, it could not 
have been so positively said it was written for our sakes. It is a faith in 
God through Christ that is imputed to us under the gospel for justification. 
It was a faith in G-od through the Messiah that was imputed to them. It 
was imputed to them, it shall be imputed to us ; the same faith pitched upon 
the same object. It would not be any strong arguing in the apostle that 
Abraham and we should be alike justified by faith, if our faith and his were 
not the same, and embraced not the same object. All that were sanctified 
were perfected by Christ, Heb. x. 14. If any man came to the Father, they 
came by him, because ' no man comes to the Father but by' that true and 
living way, John xiv. 6. They anciently embraced the promises, Heb. xi. 13. 
What ! With the neglect of the first root promise, to which all the other 
promises were but appendixes or comments upon it ? Could they embrace 
the comments, and act faith upon nothing of the text ? It was an heavenly 
inheritance they expected, ' for they confessed themselves strangers and 
pilgrims on the earth ;' and ver. 10, ' they looked for a city, whose builder 
* As Eusebius saith, Histor. lib. i. cap iv. 

John XIV. 1.] the object of faith. 159 

and maker is Grod :' a city having foundations, i. e. an immutable state, 
which they could not do if they had not exercised their faith about that first 
promise, which took off the execution of the first threatening, and promised 
the ruin of that enemy which had ruined their health they had in the first 
creation ; and could all this be without a faith in that Messiah who was to 
be the worker of those glorious things, who was indeed the author and 
finisher of faith ; the author of it, or the foundation of it, in the ancient 
Israelites, in the types and figures ; and the finisher and completer of it in 
bis appearance in the flesh and bloody passion, wherein he laid the top-stone ? 
This may be further cleared if we consider, 

1. Sacrifices in themselves could be no content and satisfaction to them, 
nor the proper object of their faith. They could not but be sensible of too 
great a burden to be taken off" from them and supported by the weakness of 
a lamb ; they could not but be sensible of too deep a stain to be washed oft" 
from them by the blood of a little kid, or a greater quantity of it in a heifer. 
Could they possibly imagine that brutish blood could open the gates of 
heaven, and eat through those bars that justice had fixed upon them, or the 
smoke of the carcase of a slain beast could sweeten the stench of their sins '? 
It is an injury to the faith of those worthies so highly celebrated, Heb. xi., 
to think that it fell so flat, and was drowned in the blood and bowels of the 
beasts, and mounted no higher than the smoke of their entrails, that they 
expected no higher expiation, and no higher contentment, as the issue of 
these things. Though some of those worthies ' wandered about in sheep- 
skins and goat-skins,' Heb. xi. 37, yet their faith was not wrapped up in the 
skins of lambs or hides of heifers, since they had so often heard by the pro- 
phets that those things were not pleasing to God in themselves, that he did 
not ' eat the flesh of bulls and drink the blood of goats,' Ps. 1. 13. Though 
they knew God true to perform his promise, and merciful to pity their mise- 
ries, yet they knew him to be of a pure and spiritual nature, above any 
delight in a ceremonious pomp, and too just to be appeased by an herd of 
consecrated animals. The groans and repeated desires of the ancient saints 
for the ' consolation of Israel,' that ' the salvation of Israel would come out 
of Sion,' their hungry waitings for God's salvation, manifested that those 
things were thought too weak by them to ease thetn of their burdens, to 
procure the good things they felt the need of. If their faith had been con- 
fined to those sacrifices, if it had here taken its rest, and laid its head at ease 
upon a pillow of beasts' skins, what ground was there for those groans, those 
ardent desires for another kind of salvation, even when they were in the most 
prosperous and flourishing condition, tasting every day of the milk and honey 
of Canaan, and settled in a ceremonious worship of God's institution ? Surely 
their faith ascended above the blood and smoke of the sacrifices to the throne 
of the Messiah. Sacrifices were the gospel in a rough draught, not with the 
perfect lineaments. 

2. They could not but apprehend some mystery in these ceremonies, and 
use them as assistances of their faith, and as means to conduct it to the 
right object. They could not but apprehend them to be rather the repre- 
sentations of the true object of faith than to be the proper object themselves. 
It can hardly be imagined that all the Israelites stuck in the shell of sacri- 
fices and ceremonies, that their eyes were terminated to the outward pomp 
and bloody offerings, without any respect to some mystery in them ; they 
could not but conjecture that those types were significant of some great work 
to be done.- It could never enter into the understanding of rational men 
that all that corporeal worship was enjoined for itself, and that those multi- 

* Amyr. Moral, torn. iv. pp. 128, 129. 

160 charnock's works. [John XIV. 1. 

tudes of ceremonies were without a signification of something to them. When 
there were such perpetual orders about the tabernacle, the meanest utensils 
of it, the ark, and propitiatory, the cherubims to overshadow it, the shew- 
bread, the sacrifices, the scapegoat, it was known to them that all those had 
a respect to the expiation of sin, and therefore must represent some other 
greater thing, which might be sufficient for the expiation, since they could 
not but judge those things too feeble to attain so great an end of themselves ; 
or else they must have very unworthy and unbecoming notions of God, and 
very slight imaginations of the deep taint original sin had left upon their 
natures, with which we cannot imagine that the minds of believers could be 
possessed. They knew that God was infinitely wise, that in everything that 
he did and ordered there was something to be understood by them : could 
they think that the passage through the Red Sea was intended only to deliver 
them, and had no further aim, since God could have delivered them many 
other ways, struck the enemy dead upon their march, or enabled the Israel- 
ites to overcome them in a plain fight? The wiser at least might well think 
that the manna, rock, the serpent lifted up in the wilderness for the healing 
of the people, and many other actions of God among them, had something 
mysterious in them, though they could not discern every lineament of that 
mystery. Did they not all tend to the encouragement of their faith, pursuant 
to the first promise, and was the design of them altogether unknown to those 
for whose sake they were appointed ? If they were all baptized in the Red 
Sea, can we think that all were ignorant of something of the spiritual mean- 
ing of it ? 1 Cor. X. 1—4. Did they eat Christ in the manna, and drink 
Christ in the rock ? Did they eat the spiritual meat and drink the spiritual 
drink (for that is the apostle's assertion), and did all of them eat and drink 
it unspiritually, without any understanding of the general spiritual significa- 
tion of it ? ' Our fathers,' saith the apostle, speaking to the Gentile Corin- 
thians. The Israelites were not the Corinthians' fathers according to the 
flesh, but their fathers in faith. The faith then the Israelites had in the 
type must respect the antitype, Christ, upon whom only the faith of the 
Corinthians was pitched. That could not be the same faith that had two 
different objects, as distant from one another as heaven from earth. Can a 
faith in the Messiah, and a faith terminated only in corporeal m.anna, and 
the liquid waters of a rock, be accounted a faith equally great and of the 
same kind ? The nature of faith, as well as any other act of the soul or 
body, is quite changed by the object about which it is conversant. The 
mystery of those things could not be altogether unknown to so many thou- 
sands. Would God not hide from Abraham the thing which he would do 
about Sodom, since Abraham should become a mighty nation, and that God 
knew that he would command his children and his household after him to 
keep the way of the Lord? Gen. xviii. 17-19. And would God totally hide 
the mj^stery veiled under those things from Moses, whom he had appointed 
the conductor of this people under him, one who had an excellency above all 
prophets, to be known by God face to face ? Deut. xxxiv. 10 ; i. e. saith 
Maimonides, to have an apprehension of things bestowed upon him above 
what any of the prophets which followed him in Israel had, and one that the 
Spirit of God in the history associates with God himself as the object of the 
Israelites' faith after the deliverance at the Red Sea, as a type of Christ.* 
Exod. xiv. 81, ' They feared the Lord, and believed in the Lord, and in his 
servant Moses ;' for so the words run in the Hebrew, believed in the Lord, 
and in Moses, as implying a mystery. Can we think the mystery was wholly 
obscured from him ? Was not his mind enlightened to some apprehensions of 
* More Nevocb. part ii. cap. xxv. 

John XIV. 1.] the object of faith. 161 

what was couched under all those things ? Surely it was, and he would not 
conceal it to himself and veil it from all his people. The gospel was preached 
to the Israelites while they were in the wilderness : Heb. iv. 2, ' Unto us 
was the gospel preached, as well as unto them ; but the word preached did 
not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.' They 
had the word preached to them, and that word was the gospel ; Christ 
therefore, that is the substance and maxTow of the gospel, was preached to 
them ; preached to them in the types, manna, and the rock, and the serpent 
lifted up ; preached to them in the promise of Canaan. And who were those 
it was preached to ? The Israelites in the wilderness ; it was to them to 
whom God sware that they should not enter in his rest, to them who had 
grieved him forty years, and whose carcases fell in the wilderness. And 
why did they not enter into his rest ? Because they believed not, Heb. 
iii. 17-19. And what was that which they did not believe ? That we may 
not think it was only the promise of entering into the land of Canaan that 
they thus discredited, he tells us that it was the gospel that they did not 
believe. The gospel they rejected, by their murmuring against manna and 
Canaan. Those therefore that did believe among them behoved the gospel, 
pitched upon Chi'ist, who is the marrow of the gospel. They saw Christ in 
the manna, and Christ in the pleasant land promised them ; Christ in the 
blood of the sacrifices : the whole was the Christian religion in its rough 
draught. If the gospel were thus preached to them, Christ was the object 
of faith. Would God preach the gospel to them wholly in vain, so that 
no act of an evangelical faith should be exercised by any of them ? Would 
he be at such pains to send forth a vain sound so many ages, one after an- 
other, to people to whom he would give no understanding, not to a man 
of them, in some measure of what he meant by it ? It cannot be sup- 
posed that the gospel should be preached to them in all those figures, 
without a gospel faith exercised by some of them upon that which was 
represented by those shadows ; they had else been in vain and to no pur- 
pose to them. 

3. The object of their hope and trust under all that dispensation was the 
Messiah, and their faith was expressed by waiting and trusting. Jacob upon 
his death- bed breathes out his soul in longing for God's salvation, or God's 
Jesus,^Gen. xlix. 18, 'I have waited for thy salvation, Lord,' — and that 
in a very remarkable manner. Our interpreters refer it to a prediction of 
Samson, who was of the tribe of Dan, who was afterwards a deliverer of the 
Israelites, and say that Jacob's prophetic foresight of the dangers of that tribe 
made him break out into such a pathetic expression. But did not the other 
tribes conflict with dangers as well as Dan ? Why should Jacob have such 
an eruption of soul in his speaking of this tribe more than of any other, which 
were more considerable, and were to undergo as great sufierings as this ? 
Besides, Jacob speaks not of Dan as afihcted, but as victorious, ver. 16, 17 ; 
he should judge his people, and as a serpent overthrow the rider. Jacob had 
certainly an higher consideration. And therefore some of the ancient rab- 
bins * thus paraphrase the words : When Jacob foresaw Gideon and Samson 
to be the deliverers of his posterity, he saith, I do not so much expect the 
salvation by Gideon, nor the deliverance by Samson, which are temporal and 
created salvations ; but I expect that redemption which thou hast promised 
in thy word to come to Israel, that salvation which shall be for ever. The 
occasion of this sudden ejaculation of Jacob will easily clear the thing. He 
had been speaking of Dan, ver. 16, 17, and likens him to a sei-pent by the 
* Jonathan Ben Uzziel and Targura Hierosolymit. in loc 

162 charnock's works. [John XIV. 1. 

way, an adder in the path, that bites the horse heels so that his rider should 
fall backwards. Probably the speaking of Dan as a serpent, and his subtlety, 
minded him of the trick the serpent played our first parents, who is described, 
Gen. iii. 1, by the quality of the subtlest of all the beasts of the field ; and 
then breaks forth into an high expression of faith in that salvation which God 
had promised against that serpent. If this were not the occasion of it, why 
did he not utter the same expression upon a very fit occasion, when he had 
spoken before of the tribe of Judah, and of Shiloh's coming of that tribe ? 
ver. 10. But upon this occasion only, and no other in his whole prophecy, 
doth he breathe out his soul in such an expression. He kept this promise 
of the seed of the woman, and salvation by him, as a dejwsitum in his heart, 
fed upon it all his days, and makes a solemn confession of his faith in him 
in his dying posture. The psalmist ardently expected it, as those that watch 
for the morning, tired with a gloomy and tedious night : Ps. cxxx. 6, ' My 
soul waits for the Lord, more than they that wait for the morning ; I say, 
more than they that watch for the morning.' The repetition speaks the 
vehemency of his faith. It was after he had spoken of forgiveness of sin 
being with God, ver. 4, he expresseth his waiting : ver. 5, ' I waited for the 
Lord ; my soul waits for the Lord.' Because it is a soul mercy I desire, in 
his word do I hope ; in that first promise of the Messiah, and all the pro- 
mises of pardon and propitiation built upon that foundation. ' I wait more 
than they that watch for the morning :' when the sacrifices are to be con- 
tinued in the temple, my soul waits for that Messiah who is to bring forth a 
plenteous redemption, that Lord who is to redeem Israel from all his iniqui- 
ties.* I wait for him in these sacrifices more than those do for the morn- 
ing, wherein they are appointed to offer their sacrifices. The object of their 
waiting was the same with that of Simeon, Luke ii. 25, the consolation of 
Israel ; and that consolation was the Lord Christ, ver. 26. It was the pro- 
mise made to the fathers that they hoped in ; that hope of the promise for 
which Paul was accused and set before a tribunal, which was his hope in 
Christ, Acts xxvi. 6, 7. Waiting and hope are the words whereby faith is 
expressed in the Old Testament. Faith respects things present or past, hope 
respects things future and to be exhibited ; they believed the promise of the 
Messiah, and hoped for the accomplishment of it. Since Christ was the 
object of their hope, he was also the object of their faith. Since faith is the 
root of hope, nothing can be waited for but what is believed to be certainly 
and infallibly to come to pass. Their salvation, propitiation of their sins, 
redemption of their souls, they expected from Christ; and therefore their faith 
must be pitched upon him before he came. 

2. The second part of the proposition was, that though Christ was the im- 
mediate object of the faith of the ancients, yet he was not so distinct an 
object as now. 

(1.) They could not have a distinct knowledge, because the revelation was 
dark, both in the obscurity of the prophecies wherein it was signified, and 
the'^hadiness of the ceremonies wherein it was represented ; and from this 
obscurity they had many extravagant imaginations of an earthly Messiah, — 
not in the contemptible form of a servant, but in the royal posture of a 
prince, with a magificent attendance, to break the Eoman yoke. Because 
as the spiritual glory of the Messiah was signified, so it was obscured also, 
by those earthly terms ; and indeed they could not well have understood 
those spiritual mysteries without the expressions of them in terms suited to 
their sense. 

(2.) The mercy of God and the' incarnation of the Messiah they had aknow- 
* Chaldee Paraphr. in loc. 

John XIV. 1.] the object of faith. 163 

ledge of, but not so clear of his death. The mercy of God was the distinct 
object of their faith. That was fully revealed to secure them against the 
fears of justice, and revealed to be brought about in and through the Messiah. 
Their faith in that was distinct, as appears Ps. cxxx. 3, 4 ; and the publican's 
address was supported by the simple consideration of the mercy of God, Luke 
xviii. 3 ; but the particular methods of the discovery of this mercy, in and 
by the Messiah, they were ignorant of. Yet a Messiah incarnate they were 
clear in, and as such he was represented as a distinct object of their faith ; 
and thus they considered his person and glory, and their hearts longed for 
him.* They knew by the first promise that he would be an extraordinary 
person, and by the titles God had given him of his righteous servant, that he 
should be an holy person, that he should be in high favour with God, because 
he was styled the Branch, and the Branch of righteousness, Zech. vi. 12 and 
iii. 8, Jer. xxxiii. 15. That he was to be a king upon a glorious throne, and 
a priest of a more excellent order than Aaron, even according to the order of 
Melchisedec, they could not be ignorant of; and a prophet whose words they 
were not to refuse upon the peril of their souls. Such oracles of him were 
plainly delivered ; but what was the religion he should settle by virtue of his 
prophetic office, or the conquests he should make, or the government he 
should establish as a king, or the sacrifice he should ofier as a priest, they 
did not clearly understand. Christ in all those offices was wrapped up in 
types ; they had only the rough draught of a picture, the light and colours 
were not yet added ; the virtue of all lay hid in a dispensation of shadows. 
Though they trusted in God for a mediator, yet they understood not the 
manner of the administration of this office, only they expected a clearness of 
knowledge, a firm peace, and a salvation by him. They had a faith in the 
gross, embraced the promise, saluted the things promised afar off, and rested 
upon the wisdom of God to clear up all in time, and bring all about that his 
grace had assured them of. We are not certain that anything besides his 
incarnation and some kind of suffering was revealed to Adam : his incarna- 
tion, in his being called the seed of the woman ; and his suffering, in the 
bruising of his heel by the serpent. Gen. iii. 15. But whether he understood 
that he was to redeem them by death from the expression of his bruised heel, 
or did collect it from the sacrifices instituted as a representation of this way 
of redemption, and a support to his faith in it, we have no assurance. But 
that he did understand a salvation and redemption of him and his posterity 
to be wrought by that seed, is evident by the promise. God doth not usually 
make a promise to people, but he gives them some understanding of that pro- 
mise which may conduce to their refreshment; the promise would be other- 
wise useless. Had not Adam had some understanding of the intent of the 
promise, his despair could not have been remedied, he could not with any 
heart have performed worship to God, which consists in prayer and thanks- 
giving ; nor have taught his posterity to worship, if he had not understood 
something of the intent of the promise, which he did, as appears by Abel's 
sacrifice. And we cannot think that he omitted the worship of God till the 
time of Seth, when the Scripture speaks of it again, which was about a hun- 
dred years ; and that he had no children between is easily gathered from 
Gen. iv. 25, wherein Eve calls him a seed instead of Abel. But yet the re- 
presentations he and his posterity had were at the best but Hke a bright cloud 
which kept off the heat of divine wrath, and shed some rays upon them, not 
a clear sunshine. The glory of Christ was in the bud, and not so visible ; as 
the glory of a flower is hid in the bud till it comes openly to display itself, 
and then it refresheth every sense. They could not have such a distinct view, 
* Ainyraut, Moral, torn. iv. pp. 120, 121. 

164 chaknock's woeks. [John XIY. 1. 

and therefore their faith could not so distinctly exercise itself about every 
part of this Messiah as ours may. They saw the Messiah as we do a man 
at a distance, or in a disguise ; we see him to be a man, but know not what 
man, we discern not his distinct features and lineaments ; they saw him as 
the Israelites saw Moses his face through the veil, not in all its splendour 
and glory. This indistinct faith being caused by an imperfect revelation, did 
not prejudice their interest in the saving grace of the Messiah ; for God is so 
righteous as not to require a faith but what is proportioned to the revelation 
■he vouchsafes. They were members of Christ with their faith in the gross 
tinder Moses, as well as we with our more particular faith under Paul and 
ithe apostles. 

(3.) Our faith must be more distinct. While the revelation was in the gross, 
a faith in the gross was sufficient. But for us who have a -clearer revelation, 
^ more distinct faith is required, proportioned to the measure and circum- 
stances of the discovery. When they saw the throats of the sacrifices cut 
by the priest, they might know that they were typical ; but how exactly in 
■every part they answered to the antitype, neither did they know then, 
nor we now ; but since we are not under types, but clear manifestations, 
since the fulness of time is come and the veil is rent in twain, since Christ 
hath passed through the veil of the shadow of death to his throne of glory, 
a confused faith will not serve our turn. God, in regard of his veracity, 
mercy, and goodness, was the distinct object of their faith, Christ, a more 
obscure one ; now one is as distinct as the other. Therefore Christ says, 
' Believe also in me,' in the same manner, and as distinctly as you did believe 
in the mercy and truth of God. The former revelation was not intended to 
draw out a faith from them as explicit as ours ought to be, but was intended 
to confirm us who should live in and after the fulness of time, that by the 
consideration of the ancient predictions, and comparing them with the after 
transactions, we should have our faith strengthened by them. This k clearly 
expressed by Peter: 1 Peter i. 12, 'Unto whom it was revealed, that not 
unto themselves, but unto us, they did minister the things which are now 
reported unto you.' By all these obscure revelations anciently, we have cer- 
tain evidence of the truth of those things declared to us in the gospel. 

3. Christ is the immediate object of faith in his person. ' Believe also 
in me,' that I am the great person appointed by God for the redemption of 
•the world. Christ in this speech directs them to himself, not to a promise ; 
it is not, Believe in this or that promise, but in me. As faith in God centres 
in the Deity, so faith in Christ centres in his person. Promises may be a 
ground, yet they are not the object of a justifying faith, nor are they in any 
sort objects of faith in themselves ; but in regard of the good things pro- 
mised in them, as they contain in them the grace of God, and the blessings 
of the mediation of Christ, they direct us to Christ, as the proclamation and 
promise of a prince directs and encourageth the rebels to come into his pre- 
sence, and supplicate his pardon. Faith is called a coming to Christ, Mat. 
xi. 28, which rather notes his person than his doctrine. It is not a faith 
simply in his Godhead that is required by him, for so he is the object of 
faith in the same manner as the Deity is ; nor simply in his manhood, for 
so he is no more the object of faith than another man may be, but Chi'ist 
in his person, God-man. Christ must be believed in as God gives him ; 
Crod gives his person first, and then his benefits ; the benefits bestowed upon 
us are consequential to the gift of his person to us : Rom, viii. 32, he first 
delivered him for us, and then with him gives us all things. The blessings- 
expected are not the object of our faith, but Christ, by whom those benefits 
were purchased, and by whom they are conveyed to us. God gave him as 

John XIV. l.J the object of faith. 165 

his only-begotten Son, a person, not a doctrine ; though he did not give hitn 
without giving him orders what doctrine to publish. As God gave him, so 
we are to believe in him ; believe in him, and believe on the Son, John iii. 
16, 36. We can never apply ourselves to him as the Son of God without 
a consideration of his person ; we are sanctified by faith that is in him, 
Acts xxvi. 18, not faith in his word severed from his person ; and, indeed, 
there can be no true faith in Christ, if he be not considered in the excel- 
lency of his person. The apostle therefore, in the beginning of the Hebrews, 
an epistle written to draw off the Jews from their ceremonies to the I\Iessiah, 
proposeth him, Heb. i., in his dignity and grandeur. As the Deity in its 
excellency is the ultimate object, so Christ in his eminency is the immediate 
object of faith. Faith respects Christ dying and meriting by his death, which 
it cannot do unless it considers him in the excellency of his person above 
that of a simple man, even the Son of God sanctified for us. His merit, 
had it been finite, would have been insufiicient for the weight of our souls 
aud the burden of our sins, without the greatness of his person. He is not 
only man : then he might have fallen as the first Adam did, and left us in the 
sapae or a worse condition ; he is not only God : then he could have per- 
formed no obedience to the law, as being not concerned in it as a subject, 
but as a lawgiver ; nor could he have offered any satisfaction to God, as being 
uncapable of suffering in the Deity ; but God and man, fit to repair the 
honour of God and the fallen state of the creature. Since Christ as crucified 
is the object of faith, what significancy would his sufferings have without 
the consideration of the other, which puts so high a value upon his passion, 
aud communicates so rich an efficacy to it ? We are to believe in Christ 
for the remission of sin, which is obtained not so much by the sacrifice, as 
by the quality of the sacrifice. The Jews searched for their expiation in the 
bowels of beasts, uncapable to make an atonement for them. The nature of 
the sacrifice must be first considered, and that we cannot have a prospect 
of in the value and merit of it, till we fix the eye of our faith upon the great- 
ness of his person, who was thus made a sacrifice for us. Indeed, to 
consider Christ barely in his person attracts our love more than our recum- 
bency ; to consider him barely in his passion without the excellency of his 
person, would excite neither faith nor love, but grief and horror ; to con- 
sider him as suffering for us, would attract our love in a way of gratitude ; 
but to consider him as suffering for us ; without considering the ability of his 
person to relieve us by that suffering, would be too weak to elevate our faith 
to him. Reliance always respects ability as well as goodness and affection ; 
faith therefore respects the person of Christ immediately, but not absolutely 
in himself, but as he stands in relation to the Father, as his Son and his 

4. Therefore, Christ as sent by God is the object of faith, as sent to such 
an end as redemption. Faith rests upon Christ as a gift, upon God as 
the donor. There is little comfort in all that Christ did and suffered, 
unless we respect him as one sent by his Father ; it is this fastens our faith 
on him, and possesses our souls with a confidence in him ; this is the mag- 
nifying emphasis he himself sets upon his disciples' faith, in his solemn 
pleas in heaven, if we may judge of them by the pattern of them he gave us 
on earih : John xvii. 8, ' They have believed that thou didst send me.' 
Christ as sent is the object of faith, since the love of God in sending Christ is 
urged as the encouragement to faith, John iii. 16. Though faith pitcheth 
upon Christ's propitiating blood, yet it is under this consideration, that he 
was set forth by God for such an end : Rom. iii. 25, * Whom God hath set 
forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood.' This is necessary 

166 charnock's works. [John XIV. 1. 

to the formal condition of faith in its closing and justifying act, -without 
which it would be a lifeless and comfortless thing, for faith justifies us 
before God as a judge ; but can any thing be confidently and comfortably 
pleaded by a criminal, who doubts the judge's approbation of it ? The allow- 
ance of God as a judge upon the propitiation of Christ heartens faith in its 
act ; it would wholly droop, nay, not go a step, if it did not see God's authority 
in Christ's action and passion ; it considers Christ not only as a Redeemer, 
but a Redeemer by commission, and carries God's commission to Christ in 
its hand in every address to the throne of grace for justifying mercy. If a 
pardon be proclaimed to those that shall come to such an inferior magis- 
trate, no man would come but upon the strength of the declaration of the 
supreme authority which made that proclamation, and can only make it valid 
for a rebel's safety. This is so necessary a part of the object of faith, that 
no true grounded and well-built faith can be without it. When our eyes have 
respect to the Holy One of Israel, we must look to our maker, Isa. xvii. 7. 
I question whether if an Israelite bitten by a fiery serpent had looked upon 
the brazen one, lifted up on the pole, only to contemplate the figure, and the 
ingenuity of the artificer, without considering the end for which Moses had 
set it up in relation to his cure, and the divine appointment of it, he would 
have found from it any remedy for his distemper ; natural influence it had 
none, and moral influence supposeth a suitable apprehension in the spectator. 
I am sure an ancient so paraphraseth Numb. xxi. 8, 9, ' When he looks upon 
it, he shall live : he shall live, if his heart be directed to the name of the 
word of the Lord ;'* and so ver, 9, ' When he looked upon the brazen 
serpent, and his heart was intent upon the name of the word of the Lord, 
he did live.' His look was to be not only to the elevated serpent, but to the 
divine authority that ordered it. 

5. Christ in all his ofiices. ' Believe also in me,' without any limitation 
or restriction to this or that particular ofiice. If faith pitch upon the person 
of Christ, and the person of Christ as authorised by God, it embraceth 
Christ with all his offices, because his person is invested with them ; and the 
same authority which settled him in one, conferred upon him the rest. True 
faith rests upon his person as commissioned, and receives him in the extent 
of his commission ; and therefore in every office distinctly, to be given up to 
his rule, sit under his instructions, and eat and drink of his sacrifice. His 
person is not separated from his offices, nor his offices from one another ; 
nor is there a distinct commission for each of them. As faith takes God 
with all his perfections, so it takes Christ with all his dignities ; as when we 
believe in God, we believe in him with all his attributes, so when we believe 
in Christ, we believe in him with all his excellencies ; as you believe in God, 
believe also in me. You do not take God to be your God, only in his power, 
or mercy, goodness, or faithfulness, or wisdom, but in all ; so you must not 
take me to be Messiah, anointed for you to a priesthood only, but to a kingly 
and prophetical office. Christ is proposed whole, and therefore must be 
taken whole ; God doth not ofier him in pieces, but entire ; he is not a priest 
without being a king, nor a prophet without being a king and a priest. As 
faith is exercised for justification, Christ is considered as a priest ; as it is 
exercised for an understanding of God, he is considered as a prophet ; as it 
is exercised for sanctification, to put down the dominion of sin, and relics of 
corruption, he is considered as a king, advanced to put all enemies under 
his feet. Our necessities require such acts of faith upon his distinct offices ; 
we are full of guilt and filth, and we must have Christ as our priest to secure 
us by his sacrifice from the merit of our guilt, and wash us by his blood 
* Jonathan Targum in loc. 

John XIY. 1.] the object of faith. 167 

from the defilements of our filth ; we are beset and inlaid with darkness, and 
we must have Christ by his wisdom to shew us the way, and conduct us in 
saving paths ; we are possessed with a stubbornness and impotency, and 
we must believe in Christ as a king to quell our enmity, and strengthen our 
weakness by his power. The ingenuity of faith speaks this language : Since 
Christ is a priest to sacrifice for me, it is but reasonable he should be my 
prophet to teach me, and my king to govern me ; that as I live by his blood, 
I should walk by his rule ; receive every ray of light, suck in every spiritual 
direction, as well as feed upon the juice of his sacrifice. 

6. Yet, Christ as crucified is the more immediate object of faith. He 
had spoke of his death in the foregoing chapter, which was the occasion of 
their sorrow ; and now he speaks of their believing in him : ' You believe in God' 
as a living God, ' believe also in me' as a dying Saviour. We are to receive 
Christ as God doth ofi'er him to us, as a redeemer from eternal death, and 
the purchaser of eternal life : and this he doth in the quality of a sacrifice 
satisfying for our sin, and meriting our life : Rom. iii. 25, he is set out as a 
propitiation ; as one in whom God is well pleased. It is faith therefore in 
his blood that justifies, ver. 24 ; not faith in his precept, nor faith in his 
miracles, nor abstractedly faith in his person, but faith in him as bathed in 
his own blood, and rolling in his own gore. The other parts are but con- 
ductors of faith to this bath, wherein it washes the soul ; to this throne, 
whereon faith sits triumphantly, and never sparkles with such a life, as in 
this. Faith in the latitude of it, extends to all parts of Scripture ; and as it 
is a general faith, is exercised about precepts, promises, and threatenings ; 
but in its acts about those objects, it is not a justifying faith, but only as it 
respects Christ, and Christ too in the very act of expiating sin by his satis- 
factory death on the cross ; as the soul of a man doth exercise itself in vege- 
tation and sense, yet a man is not said to be a rational creature by those 
acts, or by those powers of the soul, but by the soul, as it is rational. 

(1.) This was proposed as the formal object in the first promise, Gen. 
iii. 15, as having his heel bruised by the devil, as well as bruising the 
devil's head. This promise was the great charter of our redemption, and the 
foundation of the faith of Adam's posterity for several ages. It was indeed 
spoke to the serpent, but for the sake of man ; a threatening to the tempter, 
and a promise to the tempted, and an argument of terror to the first, and 
support to the latter. Christ is here proposed for men's comfort under the 
notion of a conqueror, but yet under the notion of a sufferer ; his passion in 
his heel was to precede his breaking his enemies' head ; so his sufferings are 
first to be eyed by faith before his victory. The devil could not be over- 
come, and stripped of his power, but by a satisfaction to the broken law, 
which could not be only by observing the precept, without suff'ering the 
penalty. The devil's authority was built upon the curse of the law, which 
must be endured before the devil could be turned out of his palace. It was 
upon the cross that principalities and powers were stripped of their dominion, 
and exposed in triumph. Col. ii. 15. And in this promise, though the seed 
of the woman be proposed to their faith as one to be bruised, yet not as one 
to be conquered, but as prevalent and triumphant, bruising the enemy in the 
head and vital part, while himself is only bruised in the heel, a part remote 
from the heart, and more remote from the head. The ancients therefore, in 
sucking the sweet juice of this gracious word, could not but consider Christ 
as combating, as well as conquering ; the Messiah suff'ering something from 
the serpent, as well as defeating and surviving him. 

(2.) Christ under this notion was proposed in all the Jewish sacrifices. 
As the promise was a publication of Christ to faith in a suffering condition, 

168 charnock's works. [John XIV. 1. 

PC the sacrifices were a publication of Christ to sense in the kind of his 
sufferings in a dying posture. It was more than once expressed to the 
Israelites that sacrifices were appointed for the atonement of sin; they 
must be exceeding blind, if they could persuade themselves that any such 
expiation of sin could be wrought by any value in the blood of a beast, that 
that could bear a proportion to the injured honour of God, and the broken 
tables of the law ; they could not but conceive something mysterious in them ; 
and the more inquisitive, it is like, perceived some analogy between the type, 
and the thing signified by it. They might read something of a suffering 
Messiah in them for the atonement of their sins ; but they could never be 
instructed by the dying groans and heart-blood of beasts to fancy such a 
triumphant Messiah as they did, without being exposed to a calamitous con- 
dition. It is certain, Christ as a sacrifice was proposed in all those sin- 
offerings ; they were all but legal shadows of the good things to come by the 
great sacrifice, Heb. x. 1. Our faith ought not less to pitch upon Christ as 
a crucified sacrifice offered to God, than theirs was to look to him under 
that consideration in every beast, in every lamb slain, and offered upon the 
altar. He was not shadowed in those sacrifices in the glories of his person, 
the miracle of his resurrection, the triumphs of his ascension, and his 
honours at the right hand of God, but in the agonies of his bitter passion, 
represented by the stragglings and dying gasps of the slain victim ; these 
sacrifices had no analogy but with his death. 

(3.) This was proposed by the apostles in their teaching. It was Paul's 
practice among the Corinthians : 1 Cor. ii. 2, he ' determined to know nothing 
among them,' i. e. to make known nothing as the object of the faith he invited 
them to, ' save Jesus Christ and him crucified.' His design was to manifest 
Christ in the glory of his person, in the excellency of his natures, in the end 
of his coming,*but more especially as crucified, being under that considera- 
tion the fountain of their salvation, and most proper for the exercise of their 
faith. And when he heard of the Galatians' departure from the truth, he 
wonders at it, since Christ had been evidently set forth crucified among them, 
Gal. iii. 1. It was an astonishment to him that they should imagine to find a 
remedy for their guilt, a sanctuary for their souls, a screen against the justice 
of God, anywhere else but in the cross of Christ. Christ as crucified was in 
all their preaching proposed as the object of faith, security from punishment, 
and way to happiness. Believing in Christ is called eating of the altar, Heb. 
xiii. 10, i. e. of the sacrifice which had been offered on the altar, the 
apostle speaking in legal terms. In some sacrifices part was burnt upon the 
altar, and part reserved for a feast for the offerer and his friends. They ate 
it in the relation of a sacrifice ; and Christ can be fed on by faith only under 
the consideration of a sacrifice, as a dying sacrifice, before he be considered 
as a living Saviour. 

(4.) Under this consideration will the faith of the Jews pitch upon him, 
when God shall be pleased to convert them. Christ as pierced is to be 
looked upon : Zech. xii. 10, 11. ' They shall look upon him whom they have 
pierced.' They that did actually pierce him shall so look upon him with an 
eye of faith, planted in them by the Spirit of grace ; and he that was pierced 
for their sins shall be seen and owned by them. It is a look of belief, not a 
bodily look. They shall look upon him so as to rest in him : they shall look 
upon him as pierced, as their predecessors did look upon the serpent lifted 
up in the wilderness, with a reliance on the promise of God, that they should 
have the restoration of their health, and the expulsion of their venom by it. 
He will be acknowledged in the great intent of his death, which was to take 
away sin. 

John XIV. l.J the object of faith. 1C9 

(5.) That is the object of our faith, which is God's object in justifying a 
sinner. But God in his justifying act particularly looks upon this blood : 
Rom. V. 9, ' Being now justified by his blood.' He speaks of God's act of 
justifying as he doth in the expression of God's act in saving us. In the 
act of justification, God looks upon the sinner as bedewed and sprinkled with 
this blood. He crosses not one of our debts without first dipping his pen in 
this blood. Christ therefore as dying, and paying the price of his precious 
blood for our redemption, is the immediate object of faith. Christ as risen 
is an object of faith successively to this. The payment of a debt is really 
the ground of the justification and security of him for whom that debt is paid. 
The acquittance is only the declaration of the payment, if the debtor should 
be questioned afterwards. It was this sacrifice God took the sole pleasure 
in : Heb. x. 8, ' Ofierings for sin thou wouldst not, neither hadst pleasure 
therein ;' not in any offered by the law, which the apostle adds in a paren- 
thesis, intimating thereby that this great offering was the delight of the soul ; 
and in this offering of the body of Christ his whole will for our sanctification 
centred, as it follows ver. 9, 10. Our faith must therefore bear some parallel 
with the pleasure and will of God, and wrap itself up in the same object. 
The blood of Christ is that whereby we are justified, for we are pronounced 
justified by God upon the account of a righteousness answering the law ; but 
Christ as a king and Christ as a prophet did not answer either the precept 
or penalty of the law, but Christ as a priest. This therefore whereby God 
justifieth is considered by faith in its going out for justification. This only 
can expel fears, and be a ground of the greatest consolation. This was that 
God's heart was chiefly set upon. This was that he called him out to 
perform. He had never been a king nor a prophet had he not acted the part 
of a priest, nor had God justified any but upon that account of his sacrifice. 
It was in this office God confirmed him for ever with so much delight as to 
engage himself by oath to the perpetuating of it. He was not so solemnly 
by oath invested in the other two. 

(6.) Nothing else of Christ can be the immediate and primary object 
of our faith, but his death. Nothing else but the priestly oflice of Christ 
and his propitiation, and atonement he hath made for sin (and thereby 
delivered us from the wrath to come), can be the formal object of faith in its 
first application. There are many things in Christ that faith afterwards 
considers, and that are worthy of our deepest inquiries and meditations ; but 
this only is considered in the first application. "What did the poor stung 
Israehtes consider in their looking upon the brazen serpent ? Did they con- 
sider it only as the figure of a serpent, or let their minds run out upon the 
excellency of the figure, the skill of the artificer, and the curiosity of the 
workmanship ? These indeed to a sound man would have been a delightful 
employment ; but as soon as ever he had been bitten, he would have laid 
aside all such thoughts, and cast his eye upon it, according to the intent of 
its elevation on the pole for the cure of his disease. "What did the poor 
malefactor consider in his distress when he ran to the horns of the altar ? 
He considered it only as a place of refuge, and not as a place of worship. A 
man in the first act of faith considers himself guilty before God, and in danger 
of eternal fire, under the dreadful displeasure of God by reason of his trans- 
gression of the law ; he considers himself a breaker of that law, and conse- 
quently under the threatening and curse of it, and wishes for security from 
that fire : his conscience, by virtue of a violated law, flasheth in his face. 
That therefore which prompts a man in this condition to go to Christ, is the 
belief and hope of a sure deliverance by him. His great intendment is justifi- 
cation, freedom, and deliverance, and therefore he eyes Christ as a deliverer, 

170 chaenock's works. [John XIV. 1. 

and in that posture and method wherein he was a deliverer, i. e. as hanging 
upon the cross. Indeed, afterwards, when the soul comes to consider its own 
ignorance and pollution, and longs for sanctification, then its faith goes out 
to Christ as a prophet to instruct him, and as a king to defeat his enemies in 
him. But to a soul sensible of the guilt of sin, and racked by the horrors 
of conscience, what is most convenient to be proposed ? Would you set 
forth Christ in his glories as a king that must be obeyed ? This strikes the 
soul dead. What would his answer be ? The more able to damn me for 
my disobedience. A king, say you, to be obeyed ? What is this to me that 
have disobeyed him, that find no power in myself to obey him ; and, if I 
could, I cannot, upon a diligent scrutiny, find any merit in that obedience ? 
But if there were, how can I wipe off my former scores, and pacify God for 
my manifold past errors, and please his offended holiness ? Would you 
propose Christ as a prophet to teach him his duty ? What is this to the 
curse ? How shall I be rid of my guilt ? How shall I escape punishment ? 
But propose Christ as a priest and sacrifice : set him forth in his priestly attire, 
with the streams of blood issuing from him for the expiation of guilt. This 
will make a soul that hath all the flames of hell about his ears listen. Here 
is an offer of Christ in a suitable capacity to the present state and wants of 
a sinner. What is the language of a poor soul at first ? How can I endure 
wrath ? How can I satisfy justice ? The proposal of Christ as having 
undertaken this work for him, and becoming sin in his stead, is the only 
proportionable remedy. It is then, and not till then, that the soul clasps 
about him. Here I find the satisfaction of my soul, where God found the 
satisfaction of his justice. This contents me under the charge of a violated 
law, the dread of an incensed God, the tortures of an em-aged conscience. 
Here I find a surety satisfying my debts, bearing my punishment, and inter- 
posing his shoulders between me and the wrath merited by me ; here I find 
that which pacifies God and pacifies me. This gives rest to the soul. The 
day of atonement among the Israelites, which typified this great saving expia- 
tion by the death of the Messiah, is called, not God's Sabbath, but your 
Sabbath, Lev. xxiii. 32. Here, and here alone, is the rest that faith finds 
in its first search. Christ as a king and Christ as a prophet did not merit, 
and therefore Christ as a king and Christ as a prophet are not considered 
in the first act of seeking after justification ; but Christ as meriting, and 
therefore Christ as a priest and a sacrifice. As a king he rules, as a prophet 
he instructs, as a priest he merits. Christ did not profit us but as dying, 
and all the benefits we have by him were radically in his death. Hereby 
he satisfied the cm-se of the law, which was the only bar to our restoration 
to happiness. This was the main thing he was to do by articles drawn 
between the Father and himself, so that upon this account this death, or 
Christ as dying, is the main object of faith. 

(7.) Nothing can continue, and keep life in faith afterwards, but Christ 
considered as dying. Since there are slips and new pollutions, faith, in all its 
acts for continuance of justification and repeated pardons, goes afresh to the 
embraces of the cross, and pleads the merits of Christ's wounds and agonies ; 
it looks upon the Lamb of God as taking away the sins of the world, and begs 
the favour of God for the merits of Christ. 

As Christ dying is the object of the first act of faith, so he is the encourage- 
ment to a continuance of faith ; for he hath in so high a manner evidenced 
himself merciful and faithful in this, that there is no doubt of his merciful- 
ness and faithfulness in everything that concerns us after. He hath declared 
himself worthy of our most fixed reliance on him, and that he will not stick 
at lesser things, since he hath undertaken and finished so great a task as that 

John XIV. 1.] the object of faith. 171 

of suffering. From bis priesthood faith takes spirit and heart to go to him 
as king and prophet, which it could never do if it did not first receive en- 
couragements from hence, and first pitched upon it ; for, as I said before, as 
all the after benefits of Christ are radically in his death, so all the after acts 
of faith upon Christ in any other condition are radically in his first act of faith 
upon Christ as a sacrifice, which first act gives life to all the exercises of faith 
upon Christ in another capacity afterwards. 

To conclude. The death of Christ, as it is satisfactory to God, is the 
object of faith ; as it is of infinite efiicacy and perpetual force, it is the object 
of a triumphant faith and hope. The righteousness of Christ in his death is 
to be considered in all this. If we take him as a sacrifice, we must take him 
as a spotless sacrifice ; if as a priest, as an undefiled one, separate from 
sinners, as well as for sinners. We cannot beheve in Christ without taking 
in his righteousness, as we cannot behold the sun without beholding its light. 
7. Christ, as risen and exalted, is the object of faith. He is the imme- 
diate object of faith as dying, the triumphant object of faith as rising. His 
sacrifice was in his death, but the value and virtue of that sacrifice was 
manifest by his resurrection. Had Christ left his body in the grave, and 
had sins committed before been pardoned upon the atonement he made 
by his death, yet the sacrifice ceasing and corrupting, it had not been of 
everlasting efficacy. If God, as raising Christ from the dead, is the object 
of faith, — Rom. iv. 24, 25, ' If we believe on him that raised up Jesus our 
Lord from the dead, who was delivered for our ofi'ences, and raised again for 
our justification,' — then Christ, as raised by God, is the object of faith also. 
He was raised from the grave for our justification, as well as delivered to the 
cross for our offences. As in his death in our stead he bore the curse of the 
law, so in his resurrection as a common person we received our acquittal 
from the hands of the judge. Though his resurrection was not meritorious 
of our justification, yet it was a declaration of the efficacy of his death, and 
consequently of our discharge. Faith must eye that whereby we are justified. 
Now, though we are justified by Christ's death as the meritorious cause, yet 
we are justified by his resurrection as the perficient cause. Had his death 
been supposed to be fully meritorious without a resurrection, it had freed us 
from death by cancelling the bond ; but his resurrection instates us in life by 
God's gracious acceptation, and makes the redemption complete, which else 
had been but a partial one ; nay, none at all. To the one we owe our free- 
dom from death ; to the other, our investiture with eternal hfe and glory. 
To the one we owe our righteousness ; to the other, our sonship. It is by 
his resurrection from the dead we are begotten to a lively hope, 1 Peter i. 3 ; 
it is upon him, therefore, as raised, that our faith must be settled. Had he 
not risen, we had been still in our sins ; not a mite of our debts had ever 
appeared to have been paid, 1 Cor. xv. 17. His death had been insufficient 
for our happiness without his resurrection. His resurrection was an evidence 
that he could save others, since he was delivered himself, and that his Father 
would save the members, since he had raised the head. Had he not been 
raised, faith in his death had had no ground. It had been an unac- 
countable thing to believe in him that lay under the power of death, and had 
not sufficient strength to shake off the bands of it. This is the key that un- 
locks to us the whole design, end, and sufficiency of his death, and renders 
faith in him as crucified more easy. Everything in Christ, everything pro- 
mised by him, is very credible. Nothing can be matter of any difficulty to 
faith, since this of his resurrection is perfected. Faith is, therefore, called 
* the faith of the operation of God,' Col. ii. 12, noting the object of faith, and 
not the efficient cause of it ; not because God works it in us (though that Le 

172 charnock's woeks. [John XIV. 1. 

true, yet it is not the sense of the place), but a faith of that energy and 
mighty power of God put forth in the raising Christ from the dead. It was 
by this act, whereby he fulfilled his past promises, that he gives us security 
for the performance of future ones. * For as concerning that he raised him 
up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he saith in this wise, 
I will give you the sure mercies of David,' Acts xiii. 34. What were those 
sure mercies of David given in this ? The fulfilling of the promise made 
to the fathers, ver. 32, 33 ; the promise of an everlasting covenant, Isa. 
Iv. 3, whence this is cited. That grand promise God made to Adam, and in 
bim to all his posterity, was fulfilled in this act of Christ's resurrection. The 
bruising the serpent's head, the blessing all nations in the seed of Abraham, 
the bringing in an everlasting righteousness, were declared thereby to be 
fulfilled. Hereby was the efficacy of his death cleared to all the world, in 
his being eased of the burden of our sins, which bowed down bis head upon 
the cross. Hereby it was manifest that his blood was the blood of the ever- 
lasting covenant, Heb. xiii. 20 ; a blood established and settling the covenant 
of grace for ever, and making it truly everlasting. As our redemption was 
not in its meridian glory till his resurrection, so neither is our faith in its 
full strength and vigour, but as eyeing this together with his death. 

Use 1. If God and Christ in conjunction be the proper object of faith, here 
is an argument for the deity of Christ. If he be a mere creature, how can 
he assert himself an object of faith in conjunction with the eternal God ? It 
would be the highest invasion of the right and authority, and aff'ront to the 
perfection and sufficiency of God, to make himself equal with God as the 
object of our faith, if he were not equal with God in the dignity of his nature. 
He doth everywhere propose himself in this consideration to us : John vi. 29, 
' This is the work of Grod, that you believe on him whom he hath sent.' It 
is not a belief of Christ, but a belief in Christ, or on Christ. To believe a 
person is one thing, and to believe on him is another. We beUeve Paul and 
Peter, but are never said to believe in Paul or in Peter. The devils cannot 
but believe what Christ saith to be true, but they do not believe in him. To 
be believed in or relied upon for salvation and pardon is proper only to the 
deity, and a flower of his crown. If Christ were a mere man, though in the 
highest throne of excellency and holiness as a creature, as indeed he is, yet 
he could not be an object of our trust and faith without an offence to God, a 
violation of his precept, and contracting his curse. He doth expressly 
threaten to lay his curse upon every one that makes flesh his arm or confides 
in man, because that is a departure from the Lord, Jer. xvii. 5 ; and pro- 
miseth a blessing to them that trust in the Lord and make bim their hope, 
ver. 17. If he be liable to the curse that puts his trust in man solely for 
worldly advantage, much more he that puts his trust in a mere man for an 
eternal salvation. He pronounceth a curse on them that put their trust in 
man, but a blessing on them that put their trust in his Son the Messiah : 
Ps. ii. 12, ' Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.' If Christ were 
a mere man, we are cursed by God for trusting in him ; if blessed for putting 
a confidence in him, then he is more than a man, the true God. He that 
was obedient to his Father would never have ordered such an act wherein we 
should be accursed by the Father. God would never have backed this pro- 
position of faith in Christ, asserted by Christ himself, and preached by the 
apostles, with the seal of so many miracles, and justified that which he had 
cursed before. He would never have cast the crown from his own head, or 
made another partner with bim, had he not a dignity in his own nature equal 
with God. If God our Saviour and Jesus Christ be the joint objects of hope, 
1 Tim. i. 1 ; if those that believe in him shall not be ashamed, Eom. ix. 33, 

John XIV. l.j the object of faith. 173 

it is a blasphemy to say he is a mere man, a mere creature, and not God, 
since a sovereign prerogative of God is ascribed to him. We should other- 
wise meet with a curse rather than a blessing by relying on him. 

2, The difference between the law and the gospel. The law orders a trust 
in God, but utters not a syllable of a restoring mediator upon the entrance 
of sin, and therefore exacts not from us such a kind of faith as this, which is 
necessary for our happiness since we are all fallen. The law cannot order 
such an act but it must also present the object of that act ; it speaks nothing 
of the latter, and therefore enjoins nothing of the former. It represented 
God as a sovereign and judge, not as a merciful pardoner ; as a revenger 
upon transgression, not as a redeemer and restorer. The law is therefore 
insufficient to save us ; our happiness is wrapped up solely in the gospel ; 
we have no safety but in the arms of a mediator. Faith is wholly a gospel 
grace and a new covenant duty. 

3. Comfort- ' Believe also in me.' What doth this signify but that our 
faith in Christ will be as effectual for our good as our faith in God ? He 
was too faithful to his Father to invade his rights, and too merciful to us to 
put us upon a fruitless act ; his joining himself with God as the object of 
faith, shews that our faith in him will be as prevalent as our faith in God, 
and our happiness be as mount Sion, not to be shaken ; for ' he that believes 
in him shall not be ashamed,' Rom. ix. 33. He had never commanded us 
to believe in him as we do in God, if he had not had an office to relieve us ; 
it intimates, that both God and the mediator are in conjunction for our sal- 
vation and felicity. Do we believe God to be merciful, powerful, gracious ? 
The mediator also hath as tender a compassion to pity us, and as sovereign 
a grace to heal us ; he hath as ardent a love to bless us, and as infinite a 
power to rescue us ; he hath as overflowing a peace to quiet us, and as ever- 
flowing a goodness to relieve and perfect us. If they are jointly to be 
respected by our faith, they are joint also in the answering the expectations 
of our faith: John x. 30, 'I and my Father are one ;' one in saving, one in pre- 
serving, one in perfecting ; for it is spoken in relation to the perpetual pre- 
servation of his people to salvation, ' none shall pluck them out of my hand, 
none shall pluck them out of my Father's hand.' We grasp them both by 
faith, and they grasp one another's hand for our safety ; we lay hold both 
on the Father and the Son by an act of faith, and both Father and Son lay 
hold on us by an act of particular affection ; as we own them, so they will 
prove in the end joint Saviours to our faith. As they are one in power, so 
they are one in the cares of the flocL Christ would never else have 
ordered us to pitch our faith as strongly and fully upon him as upon the 
Again, ' beheve also in me.' He requires a true faith, as true in him as in 

God, but not an equal measure of faith in all. If we have not a faith of 
such a stature and growth as that of Paul or the other apostles, yet if it have 
the same mien and lineaments, it will not be ineffectual. The serpent was 
to be looked upon, but not by all with an equal clearness of sight ; some 
eyes were dimmer, some clearer ; a look was sufficient, though but a weak 
one. A blear-eyed Leah might have been cured by a look, as well as a sharp- 
sighted RacheL Believe in me, close with me, though your hands may not be 
equally strong to hold fast as others are. No one's spirit is always in an equal 
degree of health, and an even complexion ; the wheels do not always move 
with an equal swiftness ; reflections on a state of sin, and the blackness of 
transgressions, sometimes make us shrink and tremble ; the wonderful great- 
ness of God's mercy, like the light of the sun, sometimes dazzles and 
bliude our eye. Yet if we believe in him with all these palsies, it will go 

174 charnock's works. [John XIV. 1. 

well with us. It is ' believe in me,' not ordering all faith to be of the same 

4. Let us examine our faith by the object. Many will speak carelessly, 
and many will boast confidently, of their faith and trust in God, and scarce 
ever think or speak of Christ, separating that which God hath joined. What 
warrant have we to trust in God, singly considered, without a mediator ? 
As it is eternal life to know him, not in the simplicity of his own being, but 
as he makes himself visible in a mediator, John xvii. 3, so it is to believe in 
him in the same manner. As our knowledge of God, with an ignorance of 
Christ, so our faith in God, with an unbelief in Christ, will never entitle to 
an eternity of happiness. No act of faith is right that doth not virtually 
and implicitly take in Christ together with God. Our Saviour speaks it 
here in relation to the troubles of his disciples' hearts for their outward con- 
dition, and the misery they expected by his departure from them. You 
have been educated in a reliance on God, and the expectations of a Messiah : 
believe me to be the person, and believe in me as the great undertaker and 
accomplisher of your happiness. We have a prospect of troubles, soon we 
may feel the smart of them ; we believe in God as the sovereign of the 
world, let us see whether we eye at the same time Christ as the king set 
upon the holy hill of Sion for the protection as well as the government of 
the church. We have a great deal of ignorance. We believe in God as the 
Father of lights ; do we also believe in Christ as a prophet to instruct us, 
and a Sun of righteousness to enlighten and heal us with his wings ? We 
believe in God as infinitely merciful ; do we also believe in Christ, as a priest 
settled for ever to make an atonement by his sacrifice, and perpetuate the 
application of it by his intercession ? We have no warrant to exert one 
act of faith on the one without the other. By faith in God singly, without 
a mediator, we neither obey God nor secure ourselves. Since the object of 
faith is Christ as dying, true faith must eye the motive which persuaded Christ 
to die, and have the same motive in itself, viz., the hatred of sin and the love 
of righteousness ; the hatred both of guilt and filth, and a desire to vindi- 
cate the righteousness of God. The hatred of sin is therefore necessary in 
our compliance with Christ, and therefore believers are called his fellows, 
Heb. i. 9 ; not only fellows in his glory, but in his disposition ; in the in- 
tegrity of it, not in the degrees of it. Faith fastens upon Christ as the gift, 
upon God as the donor ; it considers the greatness of the gift, and with 
ravishments ascends to a confidence in the giver. It reads God's heart in 
Christ, sees the glory of God in the face of Christ, and mounts up to clasp 
about him who hath issued out the knowledge of himself in such a full spring 
of mercy and grace. It looks upon Christ as a propitiator, and upon God 
as a father. Faith hath recourse to the atoning blood of Christ, and by that 
blood to God. The goodness of faith consists chiefly in the object it is 
placed upon ; as all acts receive their goodness from the object, as well as 
from the principal end and circumstances. 

5. Exhortation. Let us observe his order. We do believe in God, that 
is taken for granted. There is indeed a natural confidence that all men have 
explicitly or implicitly in God : ' He is the confidence of all the ends of the 
earth,' Ps. Ixv. 5, This is not sufficient; a faith in Christ as mediator, a 
belief of it, a reliance on him in that capacity, together with a walking ac- 
cording to the rules of his prophetic office, is the whole of the Christian 
religion. This is every man's duty, as much his duty to believe in Christ 
as to believe in God. It is enjoined with the same authority, ' believe also 
in me ;' it is a command as well as an invitation. Not believe, if you will, 
but you must believe in me as well as in God, if ever you have a security 

John XIV. 1.] the object of faith. 175 

against trouble, here or hereafter. To believe is not only our privilege, but 
our duty ; not to believe, is not only our misery, but our sin ; it is not a 
matter of indiiferency. Christ had a command from God to die for us, and 
we have a command from himself to believe in him, God will have every 
one confess to the glory of the Father that ' Jesus is the Lord,' Philip, ii. 11, 
God in him hath discovered the wonders of his mercy, justice, and wisdom, 
and without believing in him, we disown God in the glory of those discovered 
perfections : ' He that honours not the Son, honours not the Father that 
bath sent him,' John v. 22, 23, He that believes not in the Son, believes 
not in the Father, whatever vain imaginations he wraps himself in ; he that 
beheves not in Christ satisfying, believes not in the Father satisfied. As 
God goes out to us in him, our return must be by him to God. God was 
the judge, Christ the mediator ; we must first go to the mediator to be con- 
ducted to the judge for our sentence of absolution. We have ofiended the 
sovereign lawgiver; we must first believe in him who is the repairer of the 
honour of the law. Our standing is not secure by absolute mercy ; mercy 
through Christ only saves us ; it breathes in no other air. We must fii'st 
lay hold of the strength of God before we can be at peace with him, Isa. 
xxvii. 5. Take hold of Christ, who is the power as well as the wisdom of 
God, 1 Cor. i. 24. 

1. All our salvation comes in by believing in Christ. We can have no 
satisfaction but in this way ; we cannot answer the terms of the law but by 
our surety, nor the demands of the gospel but by our faith in him. Do not 
our own hearts often disquiet us ? Doth not the perfect law amaze us ? 
Doth the devil never accuse us ? Do our own consciences never charge us ? 
Where can we find a peace for ourselves, a discharge against the law, and an 
answer to Satan, but by faith in him who hath vindicated the law, conquered 
our enemy, and hath blood enough to besprinkle our consciences with an 
eternal peace ? Paul had tried all other ways that were of vogue in the 
Jewish church, but met with nothing that could have a just pretence to be 
a competitor with Christ. With what joy did Andrew meet Peter with the 
news, ' We have found the Messiah ' ? John i. 41. Nothing can contribute 
such a measure of peace and joy to the soul as faith in Christ. There is not, 
indeed, an ear to be gleaned anywhere else ; all is laid up in that garner. 
God cannot now save us in a way of absolute mercy, since he hath settled the 
method of our salvation by faith in his Son ; it would be against his truth, 
his wisdom, and also against the honour of his obedient Son. If he would 
save one by absolute mercy, why not more, why not all ? What need, then, 
of his Son's sufferings to make the purchase ? 

2. We cannot believe any promise without believing in Christ. As the 
promises are confirmed and conveyed to us, so must our faith be exercised 
about them ; there is not a promise that is yea and amen, i. e. firm and irre- 
versible, but in Christ, 2 Cor. i. 20. It is in Christ ; it is in Christ that 
our faith must be exercised in every promise, upon the promise in Christ, 
upon Christ in the promise ; we else believe and depend upon them without 
their confirmation. No man will depend upon a deed and conveyance with- 
out the seal ; look first to the seal, and then, and not till then, will the pro- 
mise pour out comfort to the soul. 

3. He only is fit to be the immediate object of our faith. As he is the 
mighty God, and the Prince of peace, as well as a Son given, Isa, ix. G; as 
he made a suitable compensation for the ofienders in regard of the human 
nature, which had committed the trespass, and as he made a sufficient com- 
pensation in regard of the divine nature, which had been injured by sin. 
Infinite justice was satisfied by an infinite person. He only is fit to be the 

176 charnock's works. [John XIV. 1. 

immediate object of our faith whose shoulders bore the weightiest burdens, 
whose head bowed under the sharpest curses, whose soul drunk down the 
bitterest potions in our stead. He had all the fitness to answer the demands 
of God, and all the fulness to answer the indigencies of man ; he hath an 
office, and himself funiished both with ability and compassion for the execu- 
tion of it ; he hath a wisdom not to be ignorant of what he is to do, and an 
integi'ity not to be false in it. Let us, therefore, according to his own order, 
believe in him in conjunction with God. 

1. Solely, hi me, without joining any created thing in me. We must 
strike off our hands from all other purchases but that of the pearl. It is not 
Believe in me and your own righteousness, though it appear in the utmost 
glory ; not Believe in me and your own hearts, though they smile upon you 
never so kindly. You believe in God. It doth not follow, believe in me 
and your own righteousness ; believe in me and in saints ; in Abraham, Jacob, 
David, or Elijah ; but believe in me alone, without the conjunction of any 
thing less than a Deity. No other Lamb but this was slain from the foun- 
dation of the world. This is the only seed of the woman that was wrapped 
up in the promise. None else was the centre of the prophecies, the subject 
of the promises, the truth of the types ; none in conjunction with him, none 
in subordination to him in the work of mediation and satisfaction. He only 
is the first-bom among many brethren. As the eye seeks for no other light 
than that of the sun, and joins no candles with it to dishonour the sufficiency 
of its beams, so no created thing must be joined with Cluist as an object of 
faith. This is a dishonour to the strength of this Rock, which is our only 
foundation, this is to undervalue the greatness of the gift, and the wisdom 
of the giver. It is a folly to seek for security anywhere else. Who would 
join the weakness of a bulrush with the strength of a rock for his protec- 
tion ? Who would fetch water from a muddy pond to make a pure foun- 
tain in his garden more pleasant ? All other things are broken reeds under 
the most splendid appearances. Address yourselves only to him, to find a 
medicine for your miseries, and counsel in your troubles. Believe in him 
as the power of God under the weight of your guilt. Believe in him as the 
wisdom of God under the darkness of your ignorance. He alone is sufficient 
for our redemption by the allow^ance of God, and therefore the sole object of 
faith in conjunction with God. Let us live a life of faith only in him, as Paul 
did, Gal. ii. 20. This is the vital juice and nourishment of faith ; it lan- 
guisheth when it applies to any thing else. We cannot trust him too much, 
nor ourselves too little. God trusted him alone, therefore should we ; he 
puts no trust in his saints. Job xv. 15 ; not in the highest glory of their 
saintship. Nothing else comes up to the exactness of the law, nor beai's 
proportion with the holiness of God's nature. 

2. Believe in me wholly. Not in a part or a piece of me, not in any one 
particular action of Christ. Nothing of Christ can be well spared by us ; he 
is full and rich, and not any of his fulness or riches but are of use to us. 
He is necessary in every capacity ; the merchant would have his whole pearl, 
not a part ; nothing of Christ is vain and fruitless. God hath given us no- 
thing in the creation but what we may use for his glory ; he hath stored 
Christ as a redeemer with nothing but what we may use for our comfort. 
We must take whole Christ in his sufferings as well as Christ in his glory ; 
Christ with his sceptre as well as Christ with his salvation. True faith 
will lay hold on every word, on every promise, on every particle of Christ, 
as the vine will upon every stick in the support which is set for it. 

3. Constantly believe in me. Not for a time and a spurt, by fits and 
starts ; as you always believe in God, so always believe in me ; as you do 

John XIV. 1.] the object of faith. 177 

not cast God off from being your confidence, so do not in the least waive me 
from being your hope. Upon all occasions when storms arise in the world, 
believe in me as your protector, as your conductor ; when racks appear to 
be set up in your consciences, believe in me as your peace-maker ; when 
corruptions creep up and defile you, believe in me as a refiner. The woman 
of Canaan would not leave her faith in him, though he spoke a word sour 
enough to make her turn her back in sorrow upon him. Let not an act of 
faith be exercised in God, but let there be a mixture of an equal quantity of 
faith in the Mediator. The word spoken to us doth not profit us unless 
mixed with faith ; nor do any of our returns to God please him unless 
mixed with faith in the Redeemer. Whenever we exert a particular act of 
faith in God, let us exert a particular act of faith in Christ too ; not look 
upon the one without the other, nor embrace the one without the other. 
We are as constantly to honour the Son as to honour the Father. 

Let us therefore frequently meditate on this object of faith, view every 
wound of a dying Saviour ; it will increase our faith in him, add a new 
life to our faith in God. Our faith is feeble, and our souls languish under 
spiritual burdens, because we do not look to him as lifted up upon the cross. 
Our addresses to God are faint, fearful, and disturbed, because our eye is 
not fixed upon the Mediator, who hath changed God from the frightful garb 
of a judge to the pleasing aspect of a father. By such acts upon this 
object, our faith will receive a new spirit, a fi'esh boldness, a pleasant live- 

Let us consider him in his person, in his promises, in his offices, in his 
mediation, in his sacrifice, and in the righteousness of all, and we shall 
find what is here spoken by way of command, to be exemplified in a power- 
ful operation in our hearts, which will make us echo back again. Our hearts 
are not troubled, Lord, since we beUeve in God, and believe also in thee. 


And ye have forgotten the exhortation, which speaketh unto you as unto children, 
My son, despise not thori the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art 
rebuked of him. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every 
son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with 
sons: for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not ? But if ye be with- 
out chastisement, ivhereof all are imrtakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 
Furthermore, ice have had fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, and we gave 
them reverence : shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of 
spirits, and live ? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own 
pleasure, but he for our pirofit, that ice anight be i^cirtakers of his holiness. 
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous : never- 
theless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which 
are exercised thereby. — Heb. XII. 5-11. 

The apostle, after having drawn a catalogue of those illustrious souls that 
had manifested a choice faith upon several occasions, descends in this chapter 
to press the believing Hebrews to an exercise of patience and faith under 
those pressures they should meet with in their Christian course, where he 
proposeth first to them the example of Christ, ver. 2, 3 ; next, the exhorta- 
tion of the Holy Ghost, drawn from Prov. iii. 11, 12, ' My son, despise not 
the chastening of the Lord ; neither be weary of his coiTection : for whom 
the Lord loveth he corrects, even as a father the son in whom he delighteth ; ' 
which, being an instruction concerning the nature and use of afflictions God 
sends upon us, the apostle applies to the particular case of the Hebrews, 
but discourseth in general of the author, subjects, and ends of the afflictions 
God exerciseth his children with, * Have you forgotten the exhortation which 
speaks to you as to children ? ' Have you lost the remembrance of what God 
saith in that exhortation by his wisdom, Prov. iii., where he commends his 
goodness, and shews the obligation you have to listen to him, by vouchsafing 
you the name of children, the greatest glory and the highest comfort of a 
creature ? Have you, saith he, forgot this ? Have you not the intent of it 
in your minds and memories, in your hearts and considerations ? The apostle 
discourses here of the necessity and advantages of afflictions. In ver. 5, he 
orders us not to despise the chastening of the Lord, nor to despond under it : 
■ Faint not when thou art rebuked of him.' This he backs with many 

HeB. XII. 5-11.] OF AFFLICTIONS. 179 

motives in the following verses. Mri oXiydJesi, do not make a light account of 

1. One motive is in the word chastening [tociBsicc), which signifies the 
instruction whereby a child is brought to the knowledge of things profitable 
for him, which being it is not efiected in that age, subject to extravagancy, 
without stripes as well as words, the word is therefore used for the dis- 
cipline which attends such instruction. 

2. Another motive is from the author of afilictions, the Lord : despise not 
the chastening of the Lord. 


1. It must be our great care not to make slight of afflictions, nor to be too 
much dejected under them. The smart will keep us from despising an 
affliction in itself ; but we make light of it when we are careless of improving 
it for the ends for which God inflicts it. We may be sensible of the pain, 
when we are not sensible of the profit which may accrue to us by it. God 
forbids here two extremities ; the one an excess, the other a want of courage. 
Both dishonour God, the one in his sovereignty, the other in his goodness 
and love ; and both are injurious to the sufi'erer, as he rebels against the one, 
and loseth the sweetness of the other. We should receive the afflictions God 
sends with a humility without despondency, with a reverence without dis- 
trust, and keep ourselves from either fearing too much, or not fearing Grod 
enough. Mix reverence with confidence, adore the hand which we feel, and 
rest in the goodness which he promiseth. This is the way to reap the fruit 
of afflictions. 

2. All afflictions, let them be from what immediate causes soever, are from 
the hand of God. Whether they come from man, as loss of goods or other 
calamities ; whether they be sicknesses, griefs, &c. ; they are all dispensed 
by the order of God for one and the same design, viz., our instruction. 
Human reason doth not believe this. Some think they come by chance, or 
look only to second causes, and regard them not as wholesome instructions 
from God, and the orders of his providence. 

1. This should stop any impatient motions. It is fit we should be of the 
psalmist's temper, ' hold our peace, because God hath done it,' Ps. xxxix. 9. 
Shall the clay formed say to him that formed it. Why didst thou thus ? We 
should rather say as Eli, 1 Sam. iii. 18, ' It is the Lord ; let him do what 
seemeth him good.' Especially since an infinite wisdom is joined with the 
sovereign authority of God, and when we are not able to understand the 
reason of his conduct, we ought to acquiesce in his will and in his wisdom, 
and stop the motion of any passion, by a humiliation under his hand. 

2. It teacheth us to whom to have recourse. That hand that strikes can 
only cease striking. When David had stilled impatience, he awakens his 
prayer : Ps. xxxix. 10, ' Puemove thy strokes from me : I am consumed with 
the blows of thine hand.' If Shimei casts a stone at David, it is the Lord 
that bade him ; if the humours of our bodies rise against us, it is God that 
arms them, and it is he must be sought to for redress. He only can disband 
what force be raises. It is our comfort there is a sovereign power to whom 
we can make our moan in our addresses, and that our sovereign that struck 
us is ready to heal us. 

3. How sweet is God towards his children groaning under any affliction ! 
' My son, despise not,' &c. He calls them his sons, his children, sweeten- 
ing in the name whatsoever is rigorous in the suS'ering. He gives them a 
title whereby he manifests that he doth share in their grief, hath a resent- 
ment of their trouble. What father is there on earth, unless he hath lost all 
natural affection, who doth not sympathise in the suffering of his children? 

180 chaenock's works. [Heb. XII. 5-11. 

All the bowels of earth, met together in one combined tenderness, are not to 
be compared to the yearning bowels of heaven. AfBictions are not always 
Bent by God in anger with his creatures, but sent by God as a Father. 

(1.) Hence it is easy to conceive that neither the intentions of God, nor 
the issue of a suffering, can be any other than happy to those that are the 
children of God, since he gives the name of child, and son, to every one that 
he doth instruct as a Father by correction. 

(2.) It will teach us to have a sense of the sufferings of others. The 
argument to press Ibis exhortation is taken from the impulsive cause, the 
love of God ; and the word translated chasten, signifies such a chastisement 
as a father gives his son, or a master his scholar. 


(1.) The afflictions of believers are effects of divine love. ' For whom the 
Lord loves he chasteneth, and scourge th every son whom he receiveth' : Rev. 
iii. 19, 'As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.' They are not acts of 
divine revenge, whereby God would satisfy his justice ; but of divine affec- 
tion, whereby he communicates his goodness, and draws the image of his 
Son with more beauty and glory. They are the acts of God, but not of a 
sleepy and careless God, but a wise and indulgent Father, who takes all the 
care, both of instruction and correction, to train you up to his will and like- 
ness. God indeed afflicts other men who are not in the number of his be- 
loved children. There are scarce any among the sons of men that pass their 
Hfe in a continual prosperity, exempt from all kind of affliction ; and all these 
evils are from God as the governor of the world. Yet though there be no 
difference between the sufferings of one and the other, and though the suf- 
ferings of believers are often more sharp than those of carnal men in out- 
ward appearance, yet there is a vast difference in the motives of them. Love 
makes him strike the behever, and fury makes him strike the unregenerate 
man. The design of the correction of the one is their profit, not their 
ruin ; the strokes upon the other are often the first fruits of eternal punish- 

(1.) Then the world is much mistaken in judging the afflictions of be- 
lievers to be testimonies of God's anger and hatred. God acts towards the 
world as a lawgiver and judge, but towards those that he hath renewed and 
adopted in the quality of a father. And who would judge of the hatred of 
a tender father by the corrections he inflicts upon a child that is so dear to 
him ? BeHevers suffer by God not simply as he is a judge, but as he is 
Paternus Judex. There is a combination of judge and father. God doth 
not intend revenge on them ; for though they are afflicted for sin, yet the 
principal aim is to prove them, reform them, that they may be worthy of a 
blessed inheritance. ' Lazarus whom thou lovest is sick,' was the speech of 
his sister to Christ. They were fearing, thinking that Christ's love was de- 
parted with Lazarus his health. 

(2.) No man hath then any reason to fancy himself the object of God's 
love for an outward prosperity : Eccles. ix. 1, ' No man knows either love 
or hatred by all that is before him.' God doth not always love those whom 
his providence preserves in health and ease. Such a conceit proceeds from 
an ignorance of another life, and too great a valuation of the things of this 
world. Temporal goods, credit in the world, outward conveniences, and an 
uninterrupted health, are effects of God's patience and common goodness, 
but not of his affection and choicest love. They are the marks of his affec- 
tion, when, by his grace, they are made means to conduct us to a better in- 
heritance ; but how often are they pernicious to us by reason of our corrup- 
tion and ill usage of them ! How often doth the health of the body destroy 

HeB. XII. 5-11.] OF AFFLICTIONS. 181 

that of the soul, and the prosperity of the flesh ruin that of the spirit ! 
How often do riches and honours link our hearts to the earth, and expel any 
thoughts of an heavenly paradise ! How often doth a portion in this world 
make many slack their endeavours for a portion in heaven ! How often do 
they hinder our sanctification, which is the only means to an happy vision 
of God ! 

(3.) How should this move us in our afflictions to a carriage pleasing to 
God ! This is the motive the apostle uses to press his exhortation in the 
former verse, neither to despise the chastening of God, nor despond of his 
care. Why should we despise that which is dispensed by love ? Who 
would not be willing to satisfy a friend in his desire, which they are assured 
love is the motive of, though their prudence is not so exact as that we can 
absolutely trust it ? Should we not with greater care consider the chastise- 
ments which the love of God, both good and wise, doth ordain by providence ? 
Is not the love, the motive of sufiering, a sufficient ground to prevent dis- 
trust and discouragement ? Why should any distrust him by whom he 
knows he is afflicted ? That correction which frights us is a work of his 
love, not of his hatred. Should we not, therefore, wait with faith for an 
happy issue of that chastisement which we suffer ? If we be once thus 
affected, we shall receive afflictions with a temper answerable to God, and 
improve them for those holy ends for which God sends them. We should 
also bear them patiently, since they are not for the reparation of the holi- 
ness of the law and the satisfaction of his justice, but to prove the soul and 
fit it for heaven. It is not the love of the criminal, but the love of the laws, 
which causes a judge to condemn and punish him. No wise man ever said 
that a prince did punish malefactors because he loved them, or that God 
makes the wicked suffer eternal punishment in hell because he loves them. 
It necessarily follows that, therefore, the chastisements God doth inflict are 
not properly punishments of the same nature with those God doth ordain 
for unbelievers. We have reason, therefore, to bear them with patience. 
It is inexcusable to murmur at an act of love. Use, then, a religious reason 
in the consideration of this. When the father scourge th, the child cries, and 
then he thinks his father hates him. It is but the error of his childhood, 
and when he comes to reason he will regard it as a false opinion. When a 
physician hath lanced you, and given you a bitter potion, you never had any 
suspicion that he hated you ; you have received all his charitable offices, and 
thought him more worthy of a reward than a rebuke. Why should not our 
carriage be so to God ? 

2. Observation. 

No righteous man in the'world is, or ever was, free from sin. He scourgeth 
every son whom he receiveth. Sin is the cause of afflictions. Were we 
free from sin, we should be free from scourges. Afflictions cease not till 
sin be quite destroyed, which will not be in this world. Justice finds 
enough in every believer in the world to punish, and mercy finds enough to 

(1.) It is against this, then, that we should turn our aim. What Satan 
would make us vent in impatience against God, let us manifest in a hatred 
of that which is the true cause of all the evils which in general or particular 
we sufier. Let us strike that as much as God strikes us ; and it is but 
grateful reason, since it is the best way whereby we can shew our love to 
God, who, in his strokes upon us, shews his love to us. Let us take no rest 
till we have put that to death which God only hates. It is the death of siu, 
and not the death of the soul, God designs in afflictions. 

(2.) It is, upon this account, an argument for patience. While our dis- 

182 chaknock's works, [Heb. XII. 5-11. 

ease remains, why should we think ill of the physician for using means for 
a cure ? If he did not use the means, though sharp, we then should have 
most reason to accuse him of a want of pity. What father would not be 
counted very tender, that should lance his child himself when he saw there 
was need for it ? Sin puts God upon a necessity of scourging ; his good- 
ness and wisdom will not suffer him to do anything but what is necessary 
and expedient. Now, ver. 7, the apostle exhorts them to a patient bearing 
the hand of God, because he deals with them as a father with his sons in a 
way of reward afterwards. As parents caress those children, they see quiet 
after punishment. If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as sons. 
God 'rrs^oacpisi.rai, offers himself to you as a father to his sons. Or rather, the 
apostle doth render the comfort in the former verse more efficacious to 
the Hebrews, and makes application of what is contained in that truth which 
be hath cited out of the Proverbs, in the former verse : that yet, if they 
endure chastisement, God treats them as children ; and, being men are apt 
to think that a troublesome affliction is inconsistent with the love of God, 
the apostle contradicts such a thought by the question, ' What son is there 
whom the father chasteneth not ?' And he goes further, verse 8, and draws 
another conclusion : that we should be so far from thinking that to be 
afflicted is a sign of our not being the children of God, that on the contrary 
he affirms that not to be chastised is a sign that a man is not of God's 
family : verse 8, ' If you be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, 
then are ye bastards, and not sons.' For if the Lord scourgeth every son 
whom he receives, it is clear that he whom he leaves without chastisement 
is not a true and legitimate son, but a stranger, a bastard, i. e. one that is 
not of the family, but takes only the name and quality, without any right 
to it. 

Observation 1. God, in chastening believers, treats them as children. If, 
here, is as much as u-hen : ' if you endure chastening,' i. e. when you endure 
chastening ; as Lev. xix. 5, (/"you offer a sacrifice of peace-offering, i. e. when you 
offer a sacrifice. So John xiv. 3, ' If I go and prepare a place for you,' i. e. when 
I go and prepare a place for you. Since God hath commanded men expressly 
in his word to chastise their children, and hath engraved such a disposition 
in the hearts of mankind, and authorised such a carriage by his law, we must 
not think it strange that God, who is wisdom, goodness, and love, should 
exercise in his family such a just, and holy, and wholesome discipline. And 
as none can say that a tender father, when he chastiseth his child, deals with 
him as with an enemy, so none can affirm the same of God ; and though 
affliction be an evil in itself, and sharp to the child that suffers it, yet if you 
compare it with the good it procures, it is not an evil, but an experienced 
good. Compare the lives of those children that have not been without the 
correction of their parents or strangers to the lives of those that have been 
left to themselves without it, and the advantage of the one and miseries of 
the other will easily appear : Prov. xiii. 1, ' A wise son hears the instruc- 
tion of his father.' Hear is not in the Hebrew. A wise son is the instruction 
or chastisement of his father. The Jews have a proverb, If you see a wise 
child, be sure that the father hath chastised him."''' God deals in this manner 
with his children, and there is need of it, for though the regenerate are freed 
from the slavery of sin, yet while they are clothed with flesh, the flesh will 
lust against the Spirit ; and God not only chastises us for our infirmities, 
but to prevent them ; and since the love which he bears us, and the salvation 
which he procures by his chastisements, doth infinitely surpass the affections 
of the best and tenderest fathers, and the best fruit we can draw from their 
* Drusius. 

HeB. XII. 5-11.] OF AFFLICTIONS. 183 

discipline, we may well confess that no father in the world can be said to 
deal as a father with his children so as God doth with the believer. He 
oifers himself to do a father's office : he is the world's sovereign, but a 
believer's father. As he is the governor of the word, he treats men right- 
eously in his judgments ; as he is the Father of believers, he treats them 
graciously in his afflictions. 

Here is a great comfort, if God deal with you as with children in his 
striking of you. His wisdom and his goodness is infinite ; he doth nothing 
but what is just and reasonable, and is guided by a fatherly affection in all 
that he doth : his blows are healthful. If David would account it a kindness 
if the righteous would smite him, and count his rebukes as an excellent oil, 
Ps. xli. 5, how much more ought we to have the same sentiments of the 
chastisement of God. Goodjmen may mistake in their rebukes, God cannot. 
He is too wise to be deceived, and too good not to make even his strokes 
become an excellent balsam. He doth not assault us as enemies, nor only 
as criminals, but as children ; not to punish us in his fury, but to refine us, 
to make us fit for him to take pleasure in, to make us more like him in the 
the frame and temper of our souls. This is the end of a tender father's 
chastising his children, and this is the end of God. We should receive his 
corrections therefore, not so much as a punishment as a favour, since be 
strikes not as an enemy to destroy, but as a father to correct ; not only as a 
God of righteousness, but as a God of tenderness. 

Observation 2. No child of God but is one time or other under his cor- 
recting hand. The apostle makes a challenge to all to shew one in that 
relation privileged from it : ' What son is there whom the Father chasteneth 
not ?' None of those mentioned among the believing Hebrews in the fore- 
going chapter were without this smart : Noah had an affliction in a child, 
Gen. xii. 10, Abraham and Jacob were afflicted with famine, Isaac by an 
Esau, Moses fain to fly for his hfe, Job sufiered the loss of his goods, Heze- 
kiah a dangerous sickness. To be under afflictions, then, is to travel in the 
road of all that have gone before. And the apostle goes further, ver. 8, and 
affirms that not to be chastised is a certain sign of no right to a membership 
of his family : ' But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, 
then are you bastards, and not sons.' This is an argument from the antithesis, 
they are bastards, and not sons, who are not corrected. Bastards, not, saith 
Grotius, those whom the father of the family hath begot, but those that an 
adulterous mother would obtrude upon him as part of his family, which he 
rejects from any paternal care of instruction and discipline, as having no 
part in his inheritance, no right to his goods, not born of his seed, which is 
the word. By this the apostle signifies, 

(1.) That all the true children of God are under his discipline. If they 
are not, they are no parts of his family. He that is left without it, is not in 
the number of those he owns for his children. Hereby he strengthens what 
he had spoken before, that God deals with those he afflicts as children ; 
whence it follows, that there is no child of his but he doth at one time or 
another afflict. This is one of the clauses of the covenant God hath made 
with us in Jesus, which he doth peculiarly insert, when he owns himself our 
God and Father : Ps. Ixxxix. 32, he would visit them with a rod, but not take 
away his loving-kindness. In the New Testament, God promiseth spiritual 
blessings. In the Old, when he promised most temporal blessings, his people 
were not exempt from his discipline. In the New Testament, it is more 
express, that through afflictions we must enter into the kingdom of heaven. 
His only Son must suff'er, and so enter into glory. 

(2.) That those that are not under his discipline are not his children. 

184 chaenock's works. [Heb. XII. 5-11. 

Afflictions therefore are so far from being discouragements, that where there 
is an evidence of grace in the heart, they are rather marks of adoption. We 
might well doubt of a relation to him if he took no care of us ; that we were 
not his sheep if he used not his crook to pull us unto him. Let us then 
receive his chastisements without regret, since he manifests his care of us 
in them, and regards us with the eyes and heart of a father. If we were 
wholly strangers, he would abandon us, and leave us as persons he knew 
not. His paternal rod is for his children, his rod of iron for his enemies. 
But now in the ninth verse, and the following verses, the apostle exhorts them 
to a reverence of God under his chastising hand. The argument is a mitiori 
ad majus : ver. 9, ' Furthermore, we have had fathers of the flesh which cor- 
rected us, and we gave them reverence : shall we not much rather be in 
subjection to the Father of spirits, and live ?' And he urgeth the exhort- 
ation, (1.) from the right of God : he is the Father of spirits ; (2.) from 
his intention, which is our spiritual profit, ver. 10 ; (3.) from the issue : 
it is as much our advantage in the event as it was in his intention, ver. 11. 
The fathers of our flesh have corrected us, and we gave them reverence ; how 
much rather ought we to be subject to the Father of spirits, who chasteneth 
us that we may live ? The two persons which the apostle compares together, 
viz. God and man, have this in common : one and the other is a father, one 
and the other chasteneth, one and the other is carried out to it by love, one 
and the other designs advantage ; but as there is this resemblance, so there 
is a great difference : man is but the father of the body, the more ignoble 
part of our natures, that which we have common with beasts ; God is the 
Father of our spirits, the more noble part, and that which makes us properly 
men. More submission is therefore due to him, who confers more upon us, 
than to them who confer less. The love which fathers bear to their children 
is a passion, and many times is not regulated by reason ; but the love of God 
is a true love, not mingled with any imperfection either of excess or defect, 
and therefore doth nothing but with the justest reason. Again, earthly 
fathers aim at the good of their children, but their ignorance is so great 
that often they mistake it ; but the knowledge of God is as perfect as his 
love, who always chastiseth his people for their true good, and therefore a 
greater submission is due to him. 

(1.) How glorious is the condition of a true believer ! He is the child of 
God : 1 John iii. 1, ' What manner of love is this, that we should be called 
the sons of God ! ' It is an argument of great love to give his people so 
honourable and dear a title, to call himself their Father, as well as their God, 
It is not so strange that he should call all the pure spirits in heaven his 
children, as that he should call those that have defiled his image by that 
title ; that he should own himself a Father to them that are by nature 
children of wrath, slaves to Satan, sold under sin, that have nothing in them 
to please him by nature, but are fit objects of his wrath and curse. Won- 
derful love, that God should not think it a dishonour to him to be called our 
Father ! And hence it is reason we should carry ourselves to him in all his 
dispensations as children to a father, that we should comfort ourselves in this 
relation in all the sufterings we encounter. If he be our Father, what should 
we fear ? Nothing passes in the world without his order ; no evil arrives to 
us without his will. Every affliction is the rod of his hand. The very 
thought that God is our Father should sweeten any grief. 

(2.) God is the creator of souls. By spirits are meant the souls of men ; 
some understand it also of spiritual giits, the graces God infuseth into the 
souls of his people. Both are good motives to that submission unto, and 
reverence of God, the apostle urgeth. Most interpreters run the first way. 

Heb. XII. 5-11.] OF AFFLICTIONS. 185 

The antithesis requires that we should understand by this expression that 
God is the creator of souls, because it is opposed to the fathers of the flesh. 
God is called the God of the spirits of all flesh, Num. xvi. 22. As by the 
flesh the apostle means the body, the material and visible part of our natures ; 
so by the spirit he means the soul, the spiritual and invisible part of our 
being. As for the body, man engendered it ; as for the soul, God only 
formed it ; as in Eccles. xii. 7, ' Then shall the dust return to the earth, and 
the spirit shall return to God that gave it ; ' where by the dust is meant the 
body, and by the spirit the soul. The body was formed of the dust of the 
ground, Gen. ii. 7 ; but the soul was breathed in by God. It is the spirit 
that gives life and sense to the parts of the body, which otherwise are without 
sense and motion; and God is said to form the spirit of man, Zech. xii. 1, 
and challenge th to himself the particular forming of the soul : Isa. Ivii. 16, 
' The soul which I have made.' God, indeed, forms the body too by the 
hand of nature, by the intervention of second causes which he employs ; but 
the soul he forms without any other cause but his own will. The first 
manner of acting by nature in the production of the body is not sufficient to 
demonstrate God the Father of it, no more than he can be called the Father 
of beasts and plants, which are produced by his powerful providence, as well 
as the bodies of men ; but the second manner of acting in the production of 
an immortal and spiritual substance is sufficient to demonstrate God the 
Father of spirits, as they also are called the children of God, because God 
immediately created them, and clothed them with an immortal nature. The 
apostle, therefore, hath good reason to call men which have begot us the 
fathers of the flesh ; because, though the wisdom and power of God in his 
providence acts in our conception and generation, yet it is also the work of 
man, who acts as a second cause ; but the production of the soul is purely 
by the will and power of God, without the action of any creature. Hence it 
follows that the soul is immortal ; for since it doth not depend in its original 
upon matter, it doth not in its subsistence, neither after death hath separated 
the body from it. It follows also that the reasonable soul is more excellent 
than the bodies which we receive from earthly fathers ; and therefore we owe 
more submission and reverence to God and his chastisements than to those who 
have been only the fathers of our bodies, which the interrogation intimates, 
' Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live ?' 
(3.) ' And live ; ' or that we may live. This is an argument from the reward 
of a patient suffering. The apostle seems tacitly to refer to the promise of 
life to children that honour their parents. As a temporal life was promised 
to them, so a. spiritual and eternal life is promised to those that are patiently 
obedient under the hand of God. As in Israel those that slighted the 
rebukes of their parents were stoned without pity, so will God handle those 
that kick against his discipline, and make no profit of his rod. Corrections 
cause life, not meritoriously, but instrumentally. If we, therefore, own God 
as a Father, we ought to carry ourselves to him as our Father. If we desire 
an happy and eternal life, we must subject ourselves to his hand, acknow- 
ledge the righteousness of his discipline, and, by how much the paternity of 
God is more excellent, our submission ought to be the more reverential. In 
ver. 10, the apostle urgeth the exhortation further, from the manner of God's 
proceedings with us, different from that of earthly fathers, and from his aim 
in it : ' For they for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure ; but 
he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.' This he doth 
by comparing of the heavenly Father and the earthly father with one another, 
and acquaints us that it is the aim of God, in those afflictions which seem 
most bitter, to reduce us to that holiness which we have lost in Adam. 

186 chaknock's woeks. [Heb. XII. 5-11. 

1. They verily for a few days chastened us. Either death deprives them 
of their authority, or the growth of their children exempts them fi-om suffer- 
ing under it. Parents only take care to correct their children during the 
weakness of their childhood, when, by ignorance and inexperience, they are 
incapable to conduct themselves. They have, therefore, need of their 
parents to form their spirits, and make those impressions upon them whereby 
they may govern themselves the rest of their lives. But when they axe 
arrived at years of discretion, they are left to govern themselves according to 
their own reasons, without using the rod to supply the defect of their under- 
standing ; so that the corrections of earthly parents are but for few years, a 
little time. 


1. Hereby appears the advantage of God's discipline above that of earthly 
parents. God continues his care to us all our lives upon the earth, as long 
as we have need ; exercises a greater providence over us than earthly parents 
over their childi-en. 

2. Hereby the apostle comforts us. It is but a little time that God 
subjects us to chastisements ; only that part of our life which we are to pass 
on earth, which is but a small time to that eternity wherein we shall be 
exempt from suffering ; bears infinitely less proportion to eternity than the 
least instant doth to all the time from the creation to the end of the world ; 
so that the time of a behever's chastisement is shorter than that of children 
under their parents. And herein is the kindness and love of God apparent, 
who deals more favourably with his children in regai-d of the time of their 
correction than the best father in the world can do. 

2. The motive of, and rule that parents too often follow, in their chastising 
their children, ' after their own pleasure.' They have often a greater regard to 
their own passions than their children's advantage, correct oftener in humour 
than with reason. Having no other law but their own will, their judgment 
is apt to be deceived, whereby it happens that their corrections often injure 
their childi-en instead of advantaging them, whatsoever their intention may 
be, and that either by mistake of the nature of things for which they chastise 
them, or the indiscreet measure and manner of their chastening. 

(].) Mistaking the nature of the things for which they chastise their 
children. Fathers endeavour to form their children to that which they judge 
best and most profitable for them in this hfe ; but their judgments are often 
mistaken, as a covetous pai'ent, that acknowledges no other happiness than 
wealth, will instill such instructions into his child to think nothing unjust 
that is profitable and enriching ; an ambitious man will endeavour to im- 
print the sentiments of worldly honour upon his children ; a superstitious 
parent will correct his child for not conforming himself to that mode of wor- 
ship he is himself addicted to. Thus parents often use their power to ex- 
tinguish good principles in theu* childi'en, and discourage beginnings of virtue 
in them. 

(2.) Mistaking the measure. How often are good parents transported 
with choler in the corrections they inflict ? Others, through a fond indul- 
gence, altogether neglect it, and give the reins to the follies of their children. 
But the chastisements God inflicts are otherwise ; he hath a perfect know- 
ledge of all things, is subject to no passion, never afflicts but when there is 
need, never chastiseth his own but for their good. God, being infinitely wise, 
cannot err in his judgment of what is convenient for us ; he is not biassed 
by weak aftections. David acknowledged this wisdom of God : Ps. cxix. 71, 
' It is good for me that I have been afliicted, that I might learn thy statutes.' 
He is wise, and foresees an evil we are apt to run into, and prevents it by 

HeB. XII. 5-11.] OF AFFLICTIONS. 187 

aflfliction ; sends Paul a tliorn in the flesh, not so much to correct a present 
default as to prevent it, 2 Cor. xii. 7, that he might not be lifted up above 
measure. Sometimes he afilicts to make their graces apparent. God afflicted 
Job in his goods, in his person, that the truth of his faith and patience 
might be seen in the midst of his sufierings, to the praise of God. He sends 
not temptations unless there be need, and that the trial of faith may be found 
to praise and honour, 1 Peter i. 6, 7. Other parents use their arbitrariness 
often, and not their wisdom. God's afflictions are sovereign acts, but not 
separated from wise and gracious intentions. But the apostle explains the 
particular profit which God aims at, ' That we might be partakers of his 
holiness ; ' to refine their dross, and purify them for himself, and render them 
fit for the place wherein dwells nothing that is unclean. Earthly parents 
correct their children that they may learn useful arts and manners in the 
■world : an external profit chiefly they aim at ; sometimes they correct that 
their vices may be imitated ; God, that his hoHness may be communicated 
here, and blessedness hereafter. This seems to be an exposition of what he 
meant by live in the former verse. This preserves us, and renders us par- 
takers not only of holiness, but of his holiness ; the holiness which he ap- 
proves, which he commands, and hath some resemblance and conformity to 
his own. In the same sense we are said to be partakers of the divine nature, 
2 Peter i. 4, whereby we have a portraiture of the nature and holiness of 
God drawn in our souls by the Spirit. It is not that we may possess the 
holiness of God, but partake of the holiness of God. The lineaments of his 
image, formed in us by the gospel and by afflictions, are as the beams and 
sparks of his holiness. The original is in God, the picture of it in the 
believer ; as light is in the sun, but some splendour of it in the glass upon 
which it shines. This God works by afflictions, whereby he makes us exer- 
cise ourselves more in repentance ; weans us from the flesh, that would 
alienate us from God ; cleave faster to Christ by faith, who is the spring of 
holiness ; more earnestly thirst to draw of the fountain, and pursue those 
things that are heavenly. Parents correct their children to bring them to an 
imitation of their manners ; God corrects his to bring them to an imitation 
of his holiness. They chastise to make their children like them ; and God, 
to make his children conform to him. 

(1.) Then afflictions are not always punishments ; they are not inflicted for 
satisfaction for sin. God aims at our profit. A judge regards not the profit 
of a criminal when he condemns him to punishment, but only the honour of 
the law ; and to repair the ofience done to the law by the violation of it, and 
satisfy that justice which hath been violated. But God aims at the advantage 
of the believing sufferers, and makes them smart to make them gracious and 
glorious, to impart to them the highest excellency a creature is capable of. 

(2.) A great argument there is from hence to love God even for afflictions. 
' In all things give thanks,' saith the apostle. In these there is great reason 
to give thanks, in regard of their fruit. An earthly father transmits his in- 
heritance to his son, but not his internal endowments ; but God communi- 
cates his holiness to his children by these means. 

(3.) How patiently should we bear them ! The majesty of God above earthly 
parents, and his gracious aim and wise conduct of them, doth oblige us to this 
duty. He never strikes but with reason, never strikes his children but for 
their good. Happy blows should be received without murmuring. It is a 
welcome weapon that hath more of balsam than smart, a blessed sword that 
breaks the imposthume. That which is not only profitable, but necessary, 
calls not only for our patience, but our willing embracing when God doth 
wisely inflict it ; besides, they are short, they are of no longer duration than 

188 chaenock's works. [Heb. XII. 5-11. 

this life. There might be reason to complain much if it were an eternal smart, 
but it is only for a little time. 

(4.) We should endeavour to answer the intention of God. To form our- 
selves to that holiness he aims at, to embrace every motion of the Spirit in 
our afflictions. To that purpose the rod hath a voice, the Spirit hath a voice ; 
both must be listened to. 

And because it is a hard matter to be without complaints, the apostle still 
urgeth it further, and prevents the ground of complaint, which is the sharp- 
ness of a rod, and sets the smart and fruit in opposition one to another : 
ver. 11, ' Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous; 
nevertheless, afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them 
that are exercised thereby.' It is confessed they are grievous, but it is in 
appearance only. They seem so ; but as a beautiful face under a frightful 
mask, as a bitter potion, that gripes, but purgeth. This is an argument taken 
from the fruit of correction, and amplified by concession of the objection ; I 
confess suffering is grievous, but wholesome. The end and issue of it is to be 
considered. A rational creature in all things should mind the end as well as 
the means. The end makes a vast difference between things. Because the 
trouble and grief which is in every chastisement makes our flesh to apprehend 
it is an evil, the apostle distinguisheth between what is troublesome and 
what is desirable, between tbe pain and the fruit ; and draws an argument of 
patience from the effect. 

[1 . j All afflictions are grievous to the flesh. God doth not expect we should 
be Stoics, to be without sense or grief. Christ himself hath set us a pattern 
of it ; he shed tears for the death of his friend Lazarus, and shed drops of 
blood at the approaching of his sufferings : ' his soul was sorrowful, even to 
the death ;' he was ' tempted in all things like to us, yet without sin.' It is 
no sin to grieve under, to complain of suffering, without murmuring. If we 
have not a sense of the grief, we can never be capable of the profit of afflic- 
tion. Without some grief, affliction would leave us worse than it finds us. 
As we ought to hear God when he speaks, so we ought to fear God when he 
strikes. At first the trouble of a chastisement doth wholly possess our spirits, 
it makes us mistake the end of it, we cannot sometimes in our pressures 
imagine that a root so bitter should bear a joyful fruit ; as the griping physic 
afflicts the patient so much sometimes, that he scarce thinks of the good which 
will issue from it. David often is full of complaints while he is under an 
affliction, and seems often to have no sense of anything but the present 
trouble, but afterwards he hath no sentiments but of the gracious fruit : 
' In faithfulness thou hast afflicted me.' ' It is good for me that I have been 
afflicted.' ' Thy rod doth comfort me.' After experience manifests a truth 
which the present grief will not often give us leave to consider. 

[2.] Though afflictions be grievous, the fruit is gracious to a believer. 
Experience corrects the false judgment we have while we are under a stroke. 
Indeed, afflictions of themselves are rather a means to cool our affections to 
holiness, to extinguish in our minds the sparks of godliness, and make us 
despond and distrust the grace of God ; but God in his sovereign wisdom 
doth so dispose and manage them, that he makes them end in a happy fruit. 
By the grace of God they break off' those inclinations we have to the world, 
quicken our prayers, awaken us out of our lethargies, put us upon a review 
of ourselves. The strings of an instrument yield a different sound when they 
are stretched, from what they did when they were slack. It is a fruit of right- 
eousness, holiness, and sanctification, which he had spoken of in the former 
verse ; also righteousness, which is a peaceable fruit ; as when it is said, the 
* incorruptible crown of glory,' 1 Peter v. 4. It is as much as to say, the 

HeB. XII. 5-11.] OF AFFLICTIONS. 189 

glory which is a crown incorruptible, so a righteousnes which is the spring 
of peace and serenity of conscience : Isa. xxxiii. 17, ' And the work of right- 
eousness shall be peace ; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assur- 
ance for ever.' It yields the fruit of righteousness, as being a means that 
brings us nearer to God, in communion with whom that peace doth consist. 
It brings us to seek in God and Christ the true remedy of all our evils ; and 
by this means, the trouble of our souls is calmed, and an assurance of the 
grace of God promoted. The joy of the Holy Ghost is often strongest in us 
when afflictions are sharpest upon us : 1 Thes. i. 6, ' Having received the 
word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.' And though it be not 
always so with a believer, yet after the affliction hath wrought kindly, and 
done its work, God comes in with comfort and joy ; as cheering cordials 
follow bitter physic. They bring forth the fruits of righteousness, not as the 
efficient cause, but the means. 

1. Let us then make a right judgment of afflictions. Let us not think 
God intends to destroy when he begins to strike. "We are often in the same 
error the apostles were in when they saw Christ walking upon the waves in 
the dead of the night, and terrors of a tempest, coming to succour them, they 
imagined he was a spirit coming to mischief them, Mark vi. 47-49. The 
flesh makes us think God often to be our enemy when he is our friend. But 
as Christ cried out to them, * Fear not, it is I,' so the apostle doth to believers 
here. Fear not; though the smart be grievous, the fruit is peaceable; if the 
flesh suffer, it is for the good of the spirit. The issue will declare, that * all 
things work together for the good of them that love God,' Kom. viii. 27. 

2. Let patience and faith have their perfect work. Affliction makes the 
beginning sad, patience will make the success glorious. Had the Israelites 
believed God's promise of deliverance, they had not murmured at the Red 
Sea. God brought them to the Red Sea to deliver them from the Egyptians, 
and made all their fears end in joy and triumph. The more we trust God, 
the more he is concerned in our welfare ; the more we trust ourselves, the 
more he doth to cross us. The committing our way to the Lord renders our 
minds calm and composed : Prov. xvi. 3, ' Commit thy way to the Lord, and 
thy thoughts shall be established.' God hath always ' an eye upon them that 
fear him,' Ps. xxxiii. 18, 19 ; not to keep distress and affliction from them, 
but to quicken them in it, and give them as it were a new life from the dead, 
new fruit from the rod. God brings us into straits, that we may have more 
Hvely experiments of his tenderness and wisdom. We should submit our 
way to the guidance of God's wisdom, with an obedience to his will and a 
reliance on his goodness ; and then the success will be gracious in this life, 
and glorious in that which is to come, — a peaceable fruit of righteousness in 
earth and heaven. Wait upon God, being he is a God of judgment : Isa. 
XXX. 18, * For the Lord is a God of judgment ; blessed are all those that wait 
for him.' He goes judicially to work, and can best time the execution of his 
will. God hath as much wisdom to bring an affliction to a good issue, as he 
hath love at first to inflict it. 


Remember from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first ivorks ; or 
else 1 will come unto thee quickly, and remove thy candlestick out of his place, 
except thou repent. — Rev. II. 5. 

These words are part of the epistle of Christ, as king and governor, to the 
church of Ephesus, and they contain a severe threatening after a charge and 
indictment brought in against that church. The bill is preferred against 
them by Christ, who is described, ver. 1, to be him ' that holds the seven 
stars in his right hand, and walks in the midst of the seven golden candle- 
sticks.' He holds the stars in his hand to shew his tenderness, in his right 
hand to shew his power, and he walks among the candlesticks to shew his 
care over them and his love to them. Before he brings the charge, he takes 
notice of what was praiseworthy in that church, and gives them the commen- 
dation of their patience under persecution and zeal for his glory, vers. 2, 3. 
But, alas ! the case was changed, their zeal was cold, and their love was 
flatted : ver. 4, ' she had left her first love.' Ephesus was a mart-town of 
Asia, famous for Diana's temple. Acts xix. 28, which brought resort and 
consequently wealth to her from all parts of Asia and Greece. 

I have formerly noted that the condition of the church in the several states 
of it is described in these epistles. Crocius discourseth of them to this pur- 
pose,* whence our Dr Moor might take his rise for that ingenious and 
rational piece he hath writ upon these epistles in this sense. The design of 
this book is to predict what should happen to the church in all ages till the 
conclusion of time ; and what is spoken here to these seven churches seems 
to be greater than can well suit these places in Asia while they remained 
Christian. The conversion of the Jews seems to be intimated to be brought 
to pass in the Philadelphian state, to which we probably are approaching, 
after a smart trouble : Rev. iii. 5, ' I will make those that are of the syna- 
gogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie ; behold, I 
will make them to come and worship before thy feet ;' those that are of the 
Jewish synagogue, which he calls the synagogue of Satan, being blinded by 
the Grod of this world to keep up that worship which God hath rejected, 
which are indeed Jews in the flesh and by circumcision, but are not so in 
* Epist. Dedicat. ante Syntag. 

Rev. n. 5.] the removal of the gospel. 191 

spirit ; or it may be meant of some people that pretend to be of the Jewish 
race, or practising the Jewish rites, that shall in that state of the church give 
up their names to Christianity. And for Laodicea, it is argued that the 
epistle cannot be meant of local Laodicea, because that is reported to be 
swallowed up by an earthquake in the time of Nero, before the writing of 
this epistle. And it is that state of the church which shall be before the 
day of judgment, and therefore fitly put in that term of Laodicea, which sig- 
nifies in the Greek, the people's judgment, or the judgment of the people. 
The church of Ephesus is understood by him to be the first and apostolical 
condition of the church, or perhaps not that prim o- primitive, but the state 
of the church immediately succeeding it. It is true the primitive church 
was fired with zeal and ballasted with patience ; she had a courage to assert 
the truth, and a meekness to bear her troubles, and detected those false 
apostles that would join works with the righteousness of Christ in justifica- 
tion. But after the death of the apostles, yea, and in the life of Paul, there 
were some that made disturbance, would have blended the gospel doctrine 
and worship with legal ceremonies. And when the head of that great founder 
of the Gentile church was laid, coldness in Christianity and corruption in 
doctrine crept in. 

Doct. 1 How unwilling is the nature of man to be guided by the word 
of Christ ! Men will be mixing their own wills and wisdom with the wisdom 
and will of God. Error could not else have crept in so soon while the 
memory of the apostles lasted. The church of Ephesus was the first state 
of the church next to the primitive, and this gave strong provocations to God 
to take away the gospel from her. 

2. Christ takes an account both of the good and evil works of a church. 
One makes him not overlook the other ; he will not cocker any for their 
good, or spare them in their evil. He sweetens his reproof here with a com- 
mendation, like oil that makes way for a sharp nail. He reckons their 
labour, patience, sense of his dishonour, their discovery of seducing spirits, 
the circumstances of their zeal for his name, and constancy and unwearied- 
ness in it. He sees our good grain and beholds our chaflf; he take notices 
of our decreases and of our decays. 

3. Grace doth not privilege sin. Though he takes notice of their worth, 
yet he charges them with their crime. Christ takes more notice of the sins 
of his people than of the sins of others. Others' sins are enmities : he ex- 
pects no other from them ; their sins are unkind, and more afiect him. 
Their professions, mercies, covenants, assistances, privileges, require a suit- 
able walk. Judas his betraying Christ did not so much trouble him as 
Peter's denial of him. We do not read that he thought of Judas after he 
had betrayed him, but he would look back upon Peter whilst he was ex- 
posed to the danger of his life, and approaching to a contest with death and 
wrath. Christ will be terrible in the assembly of his saints : he will not 
endure the dustiness of his golden candlestick. 

We may see here, 

1. The disease : ver. 4, ' Thou hast left thy first love.' 

2. The issue of it, if it were not cured : the removal of the candlestick. 

3. The cure, which consists 

(1.) In consideration, ' Remember.' 

[1.] Of their present condition, fallen. 

[2.] Of the term of their apostasy : whence thou art fallen. Reflect upon 
your present condition and your former state, and compare them one with 

(2.) In contrition, ' repent.' 

192 charnock's works. [Key. II. 5. 

(3.) In reformation; and ' do thy first work,' write after thy former copy. 
This method of cure was to be observed, otherwise Christ would take away 
the golden candlestick. 

' Do thy first work ;' reduce thyself to the form of primitive Christianity ; 
away with all mixtures in worship, chillness in discipline, looseness in prac- 

Doct. Reformations are reductions of things to their original pattern and 
first institution. "When Christ would reform the abuses in marriage, he doth 
not bring them to the practice of their fathers and the practice of their pos- 
terity, but measures both that of their own and that of their ancestors by 
the first rule, ' In the beginning it was not so,' Mat. xix. 18. We are 
usually swayed by customs in morals, and precedents in politicals, when cus- 
tom and prescription alter not the nature of unrighteousness and unreason- 
ableness. True reformations are reductions of things to reason and reduction 
of things to Scripture. 

' I will remove thy candlestick out of his place.' I shall not trouble you 
with the difierent interpretations of it. There was a candlestick within the 
tabernacle, Heb. ix. 2, which had seven branches, wherein lamps were con- 
tinually presented lighted. The candlestick represented as a type the gospel 
church, and the lamps the gospel in it, and the oil to supply the lamps the 
gifts of the Spirit for the preservation and propagation of the gospel. An 
allusion is made in this place to the candlestick in the ancient tabernacle. 
Some think the candlestick with the seven golden branches represented the 
seven planets, but with what reason I understand not, since the branches of 
the candlestick were all equal, but the planets are of a difierent light and 
magnitude. The chief intention of the ancient tabernacle was to represent 
and signify future things. The seven particular churches allude here to the 
seven branches of that candlestick, seven particular churches or seven states 
of the church, all parts of the universal. The chief concern of the candle- 
stick was the light in it, without which, as the tabernacle had been a place 
of darkness, so is the world without the gospel. 

By removing the candlestick is therefore to be understood the removing 
of the gospel, and so an unchurching of them. Candlestick may be here 
put for the light in it, by a metonomy of the subject for the adjunct. 

We might observe, 

1. A nation, people, or church, that have been eminent for the owning 
the ways and truths of God, may have great decays in their afiiections, and 
greatly apostatize. 

2. Apostasy in a church is followed with a removal of the gospel. 

3. The removal of the gospel is the saddest judgment that can happen to 
a nation. 

We may put the two last together, and so I shall insist on this doctrine. 

Doct. God doth often remove the gospel upon provocations, as the severest 
judgment he can inflict upon an unworthy people. Apostasies have been 
very frequent. Everj^thing under the sun is subject to alteration and cor- 
ruption. Faith is not a hereditary thing like a standing patrimony. Chil- 
dren do not always tread in the steps of their ancestors ; what they receive 
only by education, they will easily part with upon some carnal interest, some 
smiling or frowning temptation. Some have observed that the purity of the 
gospel hath scarce lasted in a city or province to the third generation. The 
gospel in the honour of it may remain longer, but usually some error, some 
mixtures, have deformed it. Good corn is scarcely sown but the devil is as 
ready to sow his tares. 

I shall premise, 

Rev, II. 5.] the removal of the gospel. 103 

1. The gospel shall not be removed out of the world, while the world en- 
dures. Sion, the universal church, hath a promise of stability ; the gospel 
therefore, whereby she is constituted a church, shall be perpetually in her. 
The shutting the gate of the sanctuary after the Lord's entering into it, 
Ezek. xliv. 2, is expounded by some, of the everlasting dwelling of the Lord 
in the gospel church, and never departing from it, as he had done from the 
temple of Jerusalem. The promise of Christ assures it : Mat. xxviii. 20, * I 
will be with you always, even unto the end of the world.' Not with the 
persons of the apostles, who were to expire, but with the doctrine of the 
apostles, which was to endure ; though the apostles die in their bodies, yet 
they live in their doctrine. 

2. The gospel hath been, and still maybe, removed from particular places. 
No particular church but may be unchurched, because no particular church 
hath a promise of stability. There is no entail of God's favour to any par- 
ticular church in the world. The gospel is a candle, and the church is a 
candlestick ; both candle and candlestick are moveable things, not an entailed 
inheritance. Many nations have had their day of grace set, and are now 
benighted. Jerusalem had a season wherein to know the things that con- 
cerned her peace, Luke xix, 42. She finds nothing now but sorrow and 
exile. There is a time when the Spirit strives, and there is a time when the 
Spirit turns his back, and ceaseth any longer wrestling. Sometimes God 
doth both unchurch and unnation a people, sometimes he removes the gospel, 
and continues a nation in being ; but this is rare, to continue providential 
mercies when his most excellent truth is departed. But in such cases he 
gives them up to strong delusions, who would not render themselves at his 
summons ; he continues the substance, while he removes the efficacy by 
withdrawing his Spirit ; and then the gospel is like a carcase without a soul : 
Isa. vi. 9, 10, * They shall hear and not understand.' 

I shall observe this method in handling this doctrine. I shall shew, 

I. The gospel has been removed, a nation hath been unchurched. 

II. It is the greatest judgment. 

III. The Use. 

I, That a nation has been unchurched, and the gospel has been removed. 

1. The Jews are an eminent instance. They had the gospel in a tjTpe, 
while they enjoyed the ceremonies ; they had the gospel unveiled, while they 
had the presence of Christ among them. God gave them anciently some 
evidences of the possibility of it. The law was near being quite removed 
from them, when upon their idolatry, the two tables were broken by Moses, 
which a little before had been received from God. When the ark was put 
into the temple, at Solomon's dedication of it, though it was lodged there 
without any intention in the people to remove it, yet the staves whereby it 
was carried were continued in it, 1 Kings viii. 8, 9, so that it was ready for a 
removal at any time ; to shew, say some, that if the ark were abused and 
the testimonies slighted, it should be taken from them. 

(1.) Consider, they were a people that had the greatest titles. They 
were called by his name, Jer. ii. 2, 3, They were his pecuhar treasure, 
they were called God's son, his first-born, his spouse, his portion, inherit- 
ance, his delight ; yet he hath flung this treasure out of his coffers, disin- 
herited his first-born, cast his children out of his house to be fugitives about 
the world ; his spouse is divorced from him, and his inheritance laid waste. 
No child was more endeared to a father, no wife more to a husband, than 
those people to God ; yet how is that Jerusalem, which was his delight, 
now a den of thieves ? 

194 chaenock's works. [Rev. II. 5. 

(2.) Consider the privileges they enjoyed. They were a people cherished 
in his bosom, walled about with miracles, protected by him in person ; he 
marched before them as their general, and conducted their motions, Exod. 
xiii. 21. He was their lawgiver, and penned their statutes, whereby they 
were to be governed, with his own hand ; he spake to them from heaven 
(which he did to no other nation) ; he was their caterer, and provided manna 
lor them in their necessity, and fed them by miracle. He was their bishop 
to settle them a church, and their prince and magistrate to form them into 
a state ; not only their religion, but their civil government was the birth of 
the wisdom of heaven. He put his oracles as a treasure into their hands, 
Rom. iii. 2. The covenant, ark, pot of manna, were committed to them ; 
he planted them a noble vine, culled them out from all the nations of the 
earth, whereby they were made the delights of heaven, and the admiration of 
the rest of the world. He made them his garden, they cost him more than 
ail the nations beside, and he seems to have no care of any part of the earth 
besides them, Ps. cxlvii. 19, 20. The world had his alms, and they the in- 
heritance ; the rest of the world were his Ishmaels, and they his Isaacs ; and 
which is observable, his first thoughts seem to be, to have the gospel confined 
only to them in that covenant which he makes with Christ, which is repre- 
sented in the manner of a treaty between the Father and the Son. He seems to 
pitch no further than Israel, ' in whom he would be glorified,' Isa. xlix. 3, till 
Christ complains of the narrow limits, and gains a larger portion for himself. 
The terms are then enlarged : ver. 6, * It is a light thing that thou shouldest 
be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore tho preserved of 
Israel ; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles.' The promises of 
the Messiah made to Abraham and Jacob were oft«n with an addition of 
clearness renewed to them by the prophets. He chose them of all nations, 
of whom his Son the Saviour of the world should be born, with whom he w^as 
first to treat. His personal ministry was designed for them, to the lost sheep 
of the house of Israel only he was sent, that nation he in person solicited, 
over them he wept, and for them he prayed. Mat. xv. 24. Those that were 
to carry the gospel into other parts of the world, were selected out of that 
nation ; and though they used him so ill, yet he was indulgent to them, sent 
his Spirit upon the apostles first at Jerusalem ; seemed to have little care of 
the Gentiles. How long after was it that Peter scrupled to treat with them '? 
But since they have proved false to God, and forgot the Rock of their 
strength, he exposed them to the fury of a Roman army, tore up the founda- 
tions of their government, demolished their temple, caused the land he had 
infeft them in to spue them out, scattered them over the face of the world 
as a spectacle of his vengeance, and a standing monument what the case 
will be of any nation that walks unworthily of the gospel. 

(3.) Consider the multitude of strange providences they had. He delivered 
them, to the amazement of all round about them ; they were a happy people, 
in being a people saved by the Lord, Deut. xxxiii. 29. They saw more of 
his wonderful providences than all the world ever since hath done : he put 
himself out of the ordinary course of providence in their favour ; he spread 
their tables in the wilderness, and filled their cup ; no good thing they 
could have a mind to, but they had for asking ; the sun must stand still in 
heaven to light them to the gaining a victory, if Joshua desire it ; they had 
upon all occasions immediate direction from the ark. What favour did they 
find from Cyrus after they had been captivated ? A hundred thousand were 
set at liberty by Ptolemy, after they had been enslaved by his father. 
When they proved false to God, and played the harlot upon every high hill, 
aud under every green tree, how was their temple and city destroyed, and 

Rev. II. 5.] the removal of the gospel. 195 

after some revolution of time repaired ; and that by their enemies, as some 
observe, contrary to all the rales of policy, since the re-edifying their temple, 
and the repairing the walls of their city, might be encouragements to them 
to rebel, they being a people that had so often forced their necks out of the 
conqueror's yoke. And often when the temple wanted repairs, God stirred 
np the hearts of their enemies to send supplies out of the Roman provinces 
to beautify it, that as God had at first enriched them by the jewels of the 
Egyptians, he would maintain their wealth by the assistance of the other 
Gentiles. And when Pompey entered into their temple, where there was a 
treasure in the vessels, and instruments of gold, amounting to about nine 
millions of money (a strong temptation to a generous person), yet God so 
ordered it, that he could see nothing there but a cloud. They never were 
conquered (which you know was often), but God raised them up some 
patrons. Yet notwithstanding all these providences whereby God so mira- 
culously owned them, and all the dangers from whence he so powerfully 
delivered them, they are now pulled up by the root, persecuted by man, 
abandoned by God, ' the generation of his wrath,' Jer. vii. 29. Of a tender 
Father he has become their enraged enemy, and flings vengeance down upon 
those heads which before he crowned with mercy. No spiritual dew falls 
upon these mountains of Gilboa. Those that were as plessant to God as 
the * grapes in a wilderness' to a thirsty traveller, Hosea ix. 10, are of as 
little regard as a bramble. Their names are a detestation in nature, and a 
hissing to the Gentiles. God sometimes embraced the Jews without taking 
the Gentiles, and now hath received the Gentiles with rejecting the Jews. 

2. The seven churches of Asia, to whom these epistles are written, are 
another instance. How do their places know them no more as once they 
were ! Not only their religion, but their civil politeness is exchanged for 
barbarism. They have lost their ancient beauty for a Turkish deformity. 
Mahomet's horse hath succeeded in the place of the gospel dove. The 
blasphemies of the Alcoran sound where the name of Christ hath been called 
upon. The triumphant banners of an impostor advanced where the standard 
of the gospel had been erected. Christ had a great company of votaries in 
those places when the ancient Britons were under the empire of Satan, but 
now he seems to have sowed those places with salt, and made them barren. 
No courageous Athanasius, or silver-tongued Chrysostom, or lofty Nazianzen 
to be found in those places. He hath translated the gospel into other parts, 
and multiplied children in those places which before were barren. We might 
instance also in the church of Rome, a church whose faith was spoken of 
throughout the whole world ; and how is the truth and purity of religion 
discarded, true ^faith dwindled into implicit, the righteousness of Christ 
changed for impotent and feeble merit ; pilgrimages, oblations, self-chastise- 
ments advanced instead of the virtues of the cross ; whole countries made 
drunk with the wine of her fornication ; the glory of the gospel gone, a mere 
echo only remaining, the end of a voice, and no reality ! They are given up 
to strong delusions to believe a lie. 

II. Thing. That the removal of the gospel and unchurching a nation is 
the greatest judgment. Can there be a greater judgment than to have the 
word of God removed, to want a prophet to instruct and warn, when the law 
shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancient ? This God 
threatens as the greatest, Ezek. viii. 26. And the church complains of it as 
the sorest : Ps. Ixxiv. 9, ' We see not our signs, and there is no more any 
prophet among us.' It was the greatest token of God's anger, when his glory 
went up from the cherubims, Ezek. ix. 2. A loco placatioius. How much 
more terrible is the shaking off the dust of the feet of God against a people, 

196 chahnock's works. [Rev. II. 5. 

than the shaking off the dust of the feet of an apostle ! What greater 
evidence can there be of a father's indignation against a disobedient son, than 
not only to disinherit him but disdain to speak to him, or send to him any 
notice of his mind and will ? The misery of the old world was summed up 
in this, ' My Spirit shall not always strive with man,' Gen. vi. 3 ; and then 
are the flood-gates of heaven opened. The shutting up the book of mercy 
is the opening the book of justice, the unstopping the vials of wrath ; this, 
this is the very dregs of vengeance. 

1. The gospel is the choicest mercy, and therefore the removal of it the 
sharpest misery. The gospel is so much the best of blessings, as God is the 
best of beings. This is the sun that enlightens the mind, this is the rain 
that waters the heart. Without this, we should sink into an heathen, brutish, 
or devilish superstition. By this, the quickening Spirit renews the scul, and 
begins a gracious and spiritual life in order to a glorious and eternal one. It is 
by this our souls are refined and our lusts consumed. Without it we are with- 
out help, and without hope ; without it we have no prospect of a world to come, 
nor any sight of the paths that lead to happiness. This is the foundation 
of the peace and joy of our spirits here, this is the basis of our hopes of 
happiness hereafter. This is a pearl of great price ; this is the glory and 
honour of a church, people, or person. This only instructs us to save our 
souls. Your trades may gain and preserve an estate, your bread may nourish 
your bodies, this only can fatten and prop your souls ; had we the law only, 
which yet is the law of God, we should still find it weak through the flesh, 
it cannot now save us, though the observance of it might have made our 
father Adam happy. It is the gospel only that is strong to save through 
the Spirit. The law could bless an innocent man, but the gospel only 
restores a guilty man. When the candlestick, the gospel, therefore, is re- 
moved, the light is removed which is able to direct us, the pearl is removed 
which is able to enrich us. In the want of this is introduced a spiritual 
darkness, which ends in an eternal darkness. As the gospel is compared to 
heaven, and so called the kingdom of heaven, and a people in the enjoyment 
of it are said to be * lifted up to heaven,' Mat. x, 23, so in the want of it 
they are said to be cast down into hell, so that what resemblance there is 
between heaven and the means of grace, that there is between the want of 
them and hell, both are a separation from God by divorce between God and 
a people. 

2. It is made worse than those judgments that are accounted the severest. 
Plagues, wars, famine, are lighter marks of divine anger than this. God, 
upon several provocations of the Jews, sent enemies to waste their habita- 
tions and ravage their country, plagues to diminish their inhabitants, yet 
they were still his people ; but when he takes the word and ordinances from 
them, they are Lo-ammi, not my people, Hosea i. 9. God may take notice 
of a people under the smartest afiiictions, but when he takes away his word, 
he knows a people no longer. A father may scourge a child and yet love 
him, but when he takes away his treasure, his food, from his child, he can 
no longer be said to love him, he breaks the bands of all relation and natural 
affection. This judgment is compared to, and yet made worse than, a famine 
of bread. What more terrible than famine, that hath forced parents against 
the ties of natural affection to devour their children, and children to feed 
upon the lean flesh of their parents ! What more terrible than famine, that 
hath rendered carrion, dung, rats, serpents, the refuse of nature, a delicious 
food in that extreme necessity ! What more dreadful than this, that brutifies 
the nature of man, and necessitates them to horrid and abominable actions ! 
Yet this is made a light thing in comparison of the other: Amos viii. 11, 

Rev. II. 5.] the bemoval of the gospel. 197 

' Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will send a famine in the 
land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the word 
of the Lord.' In what bitter gall doth God here dip his pen ! I will not 
send so light a judgment, I have a worse scourge for them. When God 
sent the Jews into captivity, he sent prophets to attend them while they were 
under the Chaldean power. The remains of them in the land had Jeremiah 
and Baruch. The captives in Babylon had Daniel, Ezekiel, Esdras ; 
after the captivity they had Zechariah, Haggai, Malachi ; but in this judg- 
ment threatened against Israel, none at all ; they were to be without a prince, 
or a priest, Hosea iii. 4 (for the word signifies both), without a sacrfice, 
without Ephod and Teraphim. As the soul surpasses the body in excellency, 
so a soul famine exceeds a bodily famine. The want of spiritual is more 
dreadful than the want of corporeal food ; this makes us"] weak, and that 
makes us wicked ; this pines away the strength of the body, that drives out 
the health of the soul ; this may be a means to make us seek the Lord, but 
that leaves us groping in the dark. We may live in our souls by the influ- 
ence of the word, when we have not bread to convey strength to our bodies, 
but how must the soul languish when it is deprived of spiritual food to 
nourish her ! Isa. xxx. 20. How doleful would it be to have the ground 
parched by the sun, the sky emptied of clouds, or the bottles of heaven 
stopped close without venting a drop of refreshing rain. But how much 
more deplorable is this judgment than the withholding the clouds from drop- 
ping upon our earth, or the sun from shining upon our fruits. 

3. When the gospel departs, all other blessings depart with it. When the 
great charter is taken away, all the privileges depending upon it are snatched 
away together with it. When God departs, judgments succeed. When the 
glory of God was gone up from the first cherub to the threshold of the house, 
Ezek. ix. 3, the angels are commanded to execute the destructive sentence 
against the city, ver. 4, 5. 

(1.) The honour and ornament of a nation departs. When a man departs 
from his house, the hangings are taken down, the furniture removed, and 
the walls left bare. Length of days are the blessings of wisdom's right 
hand, riches and honour the treasures of her left hand, Prov. iii. 16. She 
departs not from any, to leave her hands, and the blessings of her hands, 
behind her. 

(2.) The strength of a nation departs. The ordinances of God are the 
towers of Sion. The temple was not only a place of worship, but a bulwark 
too. The ark was often carried with the Israelites into their camp, because 
there their strength lay ; and when David was chased away by his son 
Absalom, he takes the ark of the tabernacle as his greatest strength against 
the defection of his son and subjects. When the gospel goes, God continues 
no longer the protector of a people. When a man hath packed up his wares, 
and removed them, he cares not much what becomes of the house he hath 
left, which, while he is in it, he will defend to the utmost. When the ark 
was taken by the Philistines, what a rout is there among the Israehtes, 
thirty thousand of them slain ; Eli, the High Priest, breaks his neck ; his 
sons fail in the battle ; and the strength and glory were departed from Israel, 
1 Sam. iv. The flourishing condition of the seven churches withered when 
the candlestick was removed. When the things of Jerusalem's peace were 
hid from their eyes, the destruction of their city followed, so that one stone 
was not left upon another, because they knew not the time of their visitation, 
Luke xix. 42, 44. Then the Roman eagles clapped their wings in judgment 
upon them ; then did the armies of the enemies bring desolation upon the 
points of their swords ; then was the temple filled with the blood of the 

198 charnock's works. [Rev. EC. 5. 

worshippers, which had been formerly consecrated in a way of mercy by the 
blood of sacrifices ; then were carcases heaped one upon another, and the 
survivors led in chains to a miperable captivity, or a disgraceful death. 
What a wasted wilderness is that land now, deprived of that ancient fruitful- 
ness whereby it afi"orded maintenance to such multitudes, which in David's 
time were about one hundred and thirty thousand fighting men, yet thought 
by some not much bigger than Yorkshire ! "When the gospel of peace 
removes, eternal peace goes with it, temporal peace flies after it ; and what- 
soever is safe, profitable, prosperous, takes wings and attends it. 

4. God hath no other intention in the removing the gospel, and unchurch- 
ing a nation, but the utter ruin and destruction of that nation. Other judg- 
ments may be medicinal ; this is killing. Other judgments may lance and 
let out the corrupt matter ; this opens a passage for life, soul, and happiness. 
Other judgments are but scourges ; this is a deadly woand. In other judg- 
ments, God may continue a Father ; in this, he is no other than an enemy 
and a destroyer. Other judgments are upon our backs ; but this is in our 
bowels. Other judgments may be for conversion ; this takes away the means 
of conversion. The torments of hell are not inflicted for the conversion of 
the damned, nor the setting of the gospel sun for the conversion of a nation. 
Other judgments may be nubecula cito transitura, as the Father's speech was 
of the storm in Julian's time ; but this is a covering the heavens with black- 
ness, a pulling the gun out of the firmament. A deluge of other judgments 
may lift the ark higher, but this overthrows it. Other judgments may have 
their period ; this is hardly reversed. Not one of the seven churches re- 
stored to their former beauty to this day. This is an absolute shutting 
the gates of heaven against a people, and entailing upon them death and 

5. This judgment is accompanied with spiritual judgments, which are 
the sorest. The pounding of the jewel is far worse, and of greater loss, 
than the breaking the casket. The judgment of being given up to our 
hearts' lusts, to sensuality, pride, hardness of heart, delusions to believe a 
He, are the sorest judgments ; they are Uke poison in the soul, that will 
never leave till it hath eaten out the vitals. There shall then be no divorce 
between men and their idols : Hosea iv. 11, ' Your daughters shall commit 
whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery,' i. e. spiritual adultery 
and idolatry. "VMien the check of idolatry is gone, the fury of that lust 
will rage. 

in. Use. Doth God often remove the gospel upon provocations, as the 
severest judgment he can inflict upon an unworthy people ? Then, 

1. Be afraid of this judgment. How do we know but that God hath 
limited the preaching of the gospel, and the standing of the candlestick in 
this and that place, only for a time ; and when that is expired, it may be 
carried to another place ? We see it hath been so with others. If he hath 
not spared the natural branches, nor the church next the primitive, nay, those 
churches where the gospel was planted by the apostles, what reason have we 
to think he should spare us, who have long ago discarded primitive discipline, 
and are in a fair way to throw away primitive doctrine after it ? Is England 
better than Jerusalem and Ephesus ? Are the privileges we enjoy a bar to 
the removal of it ? Are our privileges greater than those churches which 
were planted by the apostles had ? Yet the hand of God hath shaken them 
ofi'. Did not the Jews oppose their descent from Abraham, to whom the 
promises were made, and the glory of their temple, as an invincible shield 
against all the threatenings of destruction by the prophets, as though God 
had been shut up in their temple, and so enamoured on the beauty of that 

Rev. II. 5.] the removal of the gospel. 199 

structure, that he could not have the heart to leave them ? But are they not 
rejected, and the Gentiles received in their room ? Is not that which was 
once the glory of their nation, and the wonder of the world, many an age 
since fallen to the ground and mouldered to dust ? What though the gos- 
pel be not yet gone ? That sin may lie at the door which is meritorious of 
its departure. God's patience doth still last, but will it always last ? The 
gospel may shine bright one day, and be eclipsed the next hour. The Jews 
might say with confidence, ' Our temple yet stands,' till they heard the re- 
port of the Roman eagles marching towards them. The sun shone very 
bright that day Sodom was burned. The preaching the gospel in a plentiful 
manner is a sign of judgment when there is unfruitfulness under it. Was 
not the gospel preached to Jerusalem by the best preachers of it that ever 
were, the Son of God, and the apostles after him, not many years before the 
destruction of that city ? God is quick in his judgments when the gospel is 
contemned. The black, red, and pale horse — plague, war, and famine — fol- 
lowed just upon the white horse, to cut off such as would not be conquered 
by him that sat on him, Rev. vi. 2, &c. The sun shines brightest many 
times when it is nearest setting. I must confess I am of the opinion that 
the gospel will never be perfectly and totally taken away from these western 
parts of the world. It hath borne up its head for many ages within the 
scent of Rome, in those of Piedmont, notwithstanding all endeavours to ex- 
tinguish it. The slaying of the witnesses, or the two prophets, which per- 
haps is not far off, is not a corporal, but a political death. Their dead 
bodies would not then be suffered to lie in the streets three years and a half 
(which we must understand by the three days and a half, Rev. xi. 9) ; and 
the resurrection of them, the returning of the spirit of Ufe into them, is not 
to be meant of the resurrection of their bodies, but the resurrection of their 
ofiices ; which pohtical slaying is to be not long before the fall of the tenth 
part of the city, i. e. Rome, that city being the tenth part in greatness now 
of what it was anciently. And before the fall of Babylon the everlasting 
gospel shall be published with more efficacy than in many years before, ver. 
13 ; and therefore I think the gospel will never totally depart, though it may 
for a while be much obscured. And I cannot but mind you of an observa- 
tion a Jewish writer hath of the lamps in the temple,* that though some of 
them went out in the night, yet the western lamp was always found burning. 
The lamps were representations of the gospel, and this might signify the 
perpetuity of the gospel in the western parts of the world, when we see it is 
extinguished, or at least burns very dim, in most of the eastern parts. Yet 
a great eclipse, I fear ; the interposition of a black moon between us and the 
sun, an antichristian smoke out of the bottomless pit to darken the sun and 
the air. In the description of the Sardian church. Rev. iii. 1-3, which is 
the state of the church where we are, Christ speaks of decays coming on 
them with some sharp scourge, but doth not threaten the removal of the 
candlestick. And may we not have just reason to fear it ? to fear, I say, a 
judgment like this of removing the gospel, the removal of it in part ? Bethel, 
when Jacob laid his head there, was a place where angels went up and down 
in vision ; afterwards it was changed into Bethaven, where calves and devils 
were worshipped, when Jeroboam swayed the sceptre. 

(1.) Is not our profaneness a just ground of our fear ? Is there not more 
wickedness found amongst us, where the glorious gospel hath shined, than 
among them that live under the fogs of the Turkish Alcoran ? Have not 
our fruits been grapes of Sodom and clusters of Gomorrah ? Have not many, 

* Kimchi, in 1 Sam. iii., edit, by Lightfoot, Temple, chap. xiv. se>, v. p. 83. 

2Q0 charnock's works. [Rev. II. 5. 

that have been lifted up to heaven by the presence of the gospel, walked as 
if they had the seal of hell in their foreheads ? A fulness of iniquity makes 
the harvest ripe, and fit for the sickle, Joel iii. 13. Why may we not fear 
the clouding of the gospel, as well as we have heard of Moses his breaking 
of the tables of the law, when he found a people given to luxury, sensuality, 
and idolatry ? When Eli the priest is remiss, and Phinehas his son is pro- 
fane ; when there is little care of the true worship of God, and no censures 
for profaneness of life, is not the fruit of this an Ichahod, ' the departure of 
the glory from Israel' ? 1 Sam. iv. 21. What can be expected, when the 
punishment of profaneness is neglected, and the practice of piety hath been 
discouraged ? When the Jewish vineyard brought forth wild grapes, God 
commanded the clouds to rain no more upon it, Isa. v. 6. 

(2.) Is not the slighting of the means of grace a just ground of this fear ? 
When reformations have not answered calls, nor improvement answered 
mercies conferred ; when we have fought against God with his own gifts, 
and contemned that rich mercy we cannot want without ruin. Doth not 
every man's observation witness, that this contempt of the gospel hath been 
a national sin in those frequent and repeated endeavours to suppress the 
purity of it, and tire out the professors thereof: and as a great man saith, 
they had rather part with the gospel, than part with a rag. And is it not 
to be observed, that in many of those places where the gospel was powerfully 
preached in our memories, the very sense of it seems to be worn out ? What 
can be expected, when children throw a precious commodity in the dirt, but 
that the parents should take it away and lay it in another place, and lash 
them too for their vanity ? God will not obtrude the gospel long against 
men's wills. When the Gadarenes desired Christ to depart from their coasts, 
Christ granted their wish and turned his back. When there is no delight in 
the word. Sabbath, gospel, then comes a famine of the word, Amos viii. 5. 
After Christ had pronounced a woe upon Bethsaida, Mat. xi. 21, though he 
came afterwards to the town and had the opportunity of curing a blind man, 
he would not do it in the town, and commanded him, after he was restored, 
not to go into the town, nor tell it to any inhabitants of it, Mark viii. 22, 26. 
He would spill no water upon that ground he had cursed. We shall know 
God, ' if we follow on to know the Lord.' If we then neglect the knowledge 
of God, which is the end of the gospel, to what purpose should means of 
knowledge continue among us ? God will not suffer the waters of life to 
run there, where he sees they will altogether run waste. The gospel hath 
too much worth, and the honour of God is too much interested in it, to 
leave it exposed to the injuries of men, without revenging it. 

(3.) And what shall I say of the barrenness of the church's womb ? How 
few real converts are there brought forth of the church's womb, and nursed 
upon the church's knees ? God seems to have written barrenness upon her 
womb, and dryness upon her breasts. Doth not ignorance sway, where 
before the gospel triumphed ? When the ground yields but a faint increase, 
and answers not the cost and labour of the husbandman, he lays it fallow. 
The abatement of the powerful workings o_f the Spirit, is a presage of a 
removal or dimming the light in the candlestick. When God withdraws 
gifts from his ministers, and the Spirit from the hearers, it is a sign he will 
take away that lamp, into which he will pour no more oil. 

May we not add to this, the apostasy of the age ? Where is the old 
primitive spirit, I had almost said puritan spirit, that sincere love to all the 
truths of the gospel, that valuation of all its ordinances ? What generous 
designs are taken up to glorify and propngate it ? Here is pride and world- 
liness, lik i laraoh's lean kine, devour the fat ones of spiritual duties. How 

Rev. II. 5.] the removax, of the gospel. 201 

seldom have we a sense of God, an estimation of Christ, when we speak 
of him ! 

(4.) And may not the errors in the nation step in as the occasion of our 
fears ? Not httle petty errors, but errors about the foundation, when the 
doctrine of justification is not only denied, but scoffed at ; a doctrine which, as 
it was owned or opposed, was deservedly accounted in the first times of the 
Reformation, articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesicB. 

(5.) What should I speak of the divisions amongst us ? These preceded 
the ruin of the Jews, and made way for the fall of the seven churches in 
Asia. By these did Rome grow to that height, as to put a veil upon the 
gospel, and in most places to extinguish it. The concord of the ancient 
Christians was the cause of the flourishing progress and increase of the 
gospel ; when they began to scuffle, their feuds rose to such a height, as 
threw down the candle which gave them light, and ruined that which the 
union of the former Christians had strongly built. When children fall out 
and fight about the candle, the parents come and take it away, and leave 
them to divide* their difierences in the dark.f We may justly fear, God will 
take away that light which we quarrel by, instead of walking and working by. 

(6.) May we not consider also the death of the ablest ministers as a sad 
prognostic ? Sometimes, indeed, the removal of signal instruments portends 
a nearness of some great appearance of God. When the people were upon 
the skirts of Caanan, first Aaron and then Moses are snatched away ; but 
there were others to succeed in their room : a zealous Phinehas was left behind 
Aaron, and a courageous Joshua succeeded Moses. Many good men may 
do things off'ensive to God, and the work of their generation, for which cause 
God will not let them live to see the blessings he is bringing upon a people. 
But, alas, it is often a sign of an approaching judgment. When the Lord 
gives out his word, * great is the company of them that publish it,' Ps. 
Ixviii. 11 ; when the Lord will remove his word, small is the company of 
them that pubUsh it, till at last not one labourer may be left, because God 
will not have a harvest to gather in, but leave the place as a wild field to 
ravenous beasts and the fowls of the air. Methuselah is taken away just 
before the deluge ; and Ambrose his head was scarce cold in his grave before 
the Goths invaded and wasted Italy. It was observed by the Jews, that 
while they were in God's favour, before the sun of one righteous man set, 
the sun of another righteous man did arise. Before Moses' sun set, Joshua's 
sun arose ; before Eli's sun set, Samuel's sun arose ; and this, they say, is 
the meaning of that place, 1 Sam. iii. 9, that before the lamp of God went 
out, the spirit of prophecy came upon Samuel. Is it thus with us ? Doth 
a new spring equal the old stock that are gone ? How few do possess a 
prophet's spirit among them that wear a prophet's garment ! 

We may well therefore fear an eclipse of the gospel, and many eyes may 
not see the emerging of it out of that eclipse. It is worth our consideration, 
that when the spies that were sent to Canaan returned, and gave a good 
report of the land, the common multitude would not beheve them, they 
would return back to Egypt ; and though they had been lashed for their 
murmuring, yet after this provocation, and the slighting the good land, and 
the perfection of the deliverance in the possession of Canaan, God swore 
the destruction of that generation. Numb. xiv. 21-23 (though because of the 
word passed he did not deprive their posterity of the enjoyment of the pro- 
mised land) ; and God never left, till be bad swept away that generation, 
before the people came to Canaan. 

Use 2. If the removal of the gospel be so great a judgment, we have 
» Qu. ' decide ' ?— Ed. t Fuller. 

202 charnock's works. [Rev. II. 5. 

reason to bless God for its continuance so long among us. What a grace is 
it, that God hath drawn us out of the depths of error and folly, wherein 
other nations have been plunged so long a time ! How mercifully hath God 
indulged us that which thousands of heathens have wanted, and do to this 
day ! Many in the world never enjoyed it, and many that have had it have 
now lost it. We have been like Gideon's fleece, wet, while most of the 
world have been dry. He hath nourished us with heavenly manna, making 
it to fall every day at our gates, without putting us to much labour to gather 
it. That ever God should vouchsafe a light to direct us, who are descended 
from a race of first pagan, and then popish idolaters, plunged in supersti- 
tion ! How criminal will our ingratitude be, if we have not lively resent- 
ments of his immense goodness ! God hath yet rained upon us, and not 
upon many of our neighbours, who are under the thickness of popish fogs. 
We are fet in the way where his blessings be, and where his heavenly 
manna often falls. How deplorable would our case have been, if we had 
been starved for want of food ! Had the sun been extinguished, and the 
stars put out, and our residence had been in a gloomy and dolesome world, 
ignorance might have bemisted our minds, and an implicit faith, we know 
not in what, have hoodwinked us to damnation ; our Bibles might have 
been as sealed books, and a crime as bad as atheism so much as to peep 
into the word of God. Traditions might have been mingled with the 
oracles of God, whereby the wisdom of God would have been blemished ; 
the merits of Christ might have been mated with the merits of men, 
whereby the grace of God would have been dimmed, and worship given 
to idols and images, whereby the glory of God would have been rifled. 
What a ravishing mercy is it, that our brains have not been knocked 
out by St Peter's successor ! that God hath hitherto continued our 
preservation, when the seal of the fisher had ratified our destruction ! 
Antichristianism leaves men in thick darkness. It is the gospel dispels 
our ignorance, and disperseth the beams of saving knowledge. It is this 
which rescues you from despair, by shewing you the doctrine of justification, 
which heathens could never attain to, and antichristianism would fain ex- 
punge out of the world. It is the gospel acquaints you with the fulness of 
the satisfaction of Christ ; whereas antichristianism would fright you with 
a pretended fire of purgatory, to empty your purses, and defeat your heirs. 
The gospel teaches you to worship God only ; whereas antichristianism 
would divert your prayers to saints, perhaps to St Garnet and St Fawkes, 
saints of a new stamp, and saints of so bad a hue, that a sober man would 
never admit to be his servants. It is the gospel that fills you with peace, 
that settles you upon the basis of an infinite satisfaction of the Redeemer, 
that elevates you in a sincere belief, not only above the fears of a pretended 
purgatory, but of a real hell. It is the gospel that puts you upon a real 
sanctification, a mortification of lust by the power of Christ's death, and the 
grace of his Spirit, not by bodily torturings, whereby the soul may be ren- 
dered unfit for its proper function in worship. It is the gospel that directs 
us in an inward holiness of heart, and frees us from being painted tombs and 
gilded sepulchres. How much ought we to bless God for the continuance 
of this gospel among us ! 

3. It should teach us to improve the gospel while we enjoy it. The time 
of the gospel revelation is the time of working. Good entertainment and 
good improvement invites the gospel to stay ; ill usage drives it out of doors. 
God hath allowed us his gospel, and set his candlestick among us, but not 
left it to our discretion to do with it what we please ; he hath given it to us, 
as he did the angel to the Israelites, to comfort and conduct them, Exod. 


xxiii, 20, 21 ; but with a caution not to despise and provoke him, because 
his name was in him.* Let us improve the gospel dispensation to the 
getting a gospel nature. It is not enough to be within the visible ark ; so 
■was a cursed Ham. Let us not receive the grace of God in vain, but adorn 
the gospel by a gospel spirit and a gospel practice, and walk as children of 
light. Let us not trample it under our feet, but put our souls under the 
efficacy of it, and get from it the foretastes of a heavenly and everlasting 
life. Let us not loiter while the sun shines, lest we be benighted, bewil- 
dered, and misled into quagmires and puddles by some ignis fatuus. ^ We 
cannot command the sun to stand still and attend our pleasure ; it will go 
its course according to the word of its governor, and listen not to the follies 
of men, nor stay for their loiterings. Let not an antichristian principle 
reign in your hearts ; implicit faith is against the improvement of the gospel ; 
there is as much of it in practice in England as there is of principle in Rome. 
How many believe as their church, or churchmen believe, without being able 
to render a reason why they do so ? The gospel was given for every man 
to study and embrace, to embrace knowingly, not blindly. If we do not 
increase in knowledge and grace by it, we anticipate the judgment of God ; 
we remove that from us voluntarily which God accounts the removal of 
judicially to be the most deplorable misery. If we do not improve and hold 
fast what we have received and heard, the coming of Christ in a way of 
revenge will be sudden, like a thief in the night, and we shall not know what 
hour he will come upon us till we feel the stroke ; I mean not by death, but 
some sore scourge, for so he speaks to the church of Sardis, the state wherein 
the church is at this day. Rev. iii. 3. 

4. Let us prevent by repentance and prayer the removal or eclipse of the 
gospel. The loss of your estates, the massacring of your children, the 
chains of captivity, are a thousand times more desirable than this deplorable 
calamity. Estates may be recovered, new children raised, fetters may be 
knocked off, new houses may be reared upon the ashes of the consumed 
ones, the possession of a country regained, but it is seldom the gospel 
returns when carried away upon the wings of the wind. God indeed is 
interested in the preservation of religion and a church, but not in this or 
that particular church, not among this or that particular people ; rather than 
want one, he will raise up stones to be children to Abraham. As he will not 
have his blessings abused, so he will not have his gospel extinguished in all 
parts of the world, or all parts of this western world. But doth this secure 
us from any great eclipse ? What if God will not remove his gospel ? may 
he not suffer many to be infected with popery ? May not many of your 
friends, children, be tainted with this leprosy, that may prove incurable in 
them ? What if there be a likelihood that it will not endure long ? If it 
shall enter upon the stage must we not therefore endeavour to prevent it ? 
Prophecy is the rule of our foresight, precept is the rule of our duty. What 
if God will not remove the gospel, may he not bring a sharp persecution ? 
Is not the enemy at our door ; the rod shaken over our heads ? Have we 
not gathered the twigs of it ourselves, and formed a scourge for our own 
backs ? Did we not first let in the serpent's head, and what should we 
expect but that he will get in his whole body ? What can we expect but 
that God should begin his judgments at his own house, and scrape the sides 
of his sanctuary that have been defiled with so much filthiness ? Let us 
therefore meet God in an humble reforming posture, and lay hold on his 
strength ; consider where we left him, and do our first work, whence we are 
fallen, and fallen by our own fault and peevishness, fallen from a zeal for 
* Claud de Nopces, p. 172. 

204 charnock's works. [Kev. II. 5. 

God, a national endeavour for the propagation of the gospel. Let us desire 
him, as the disciples that were going to Emmaus did Christ, Luke xxiv. 29, 
' Lord, abide with us, for the evening begins to come, and the day is far 
spent.' Our Saviour did so, and gave them his blessing before he vanished 
again out of their sight. God may deal so with us, and leave some notable 
blessing with us, till he comes again to pitch his sanctuary in the midst of 
us for evermore, as the promise is, Ezek. xxxvii. 28. 

Let us therefore seek to him, chiefly to him, only to him ; he only can 
remove the candlestick, he only can put his hand as a bar upon the light ; 
men may be instrumental, but it is Christ only removes the candlestick, and 
he only can maintain it against the puffs of men and devils. He hath the 
enemies in a chain, and the full command of their breath. Place no con- 
fidence in men, some may have some power to give relief, and will not ; 
others may have will to help, and cannot. If we maintain our feud with 
God, he will bid the gospel go, and it shall go ; if we make our peace with 
him, he will bid the gospel stay, and it shall stay. As he hath angels to 
bring, so he hath angels to carry away the everlasting gospel. Remember 
the threatening in the text is not absolute, there is an else and an except to 
mitigate it. ' Remember from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do 
thy first works ; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and remove thy 
candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.' 


Thy voics are upon me, God: I will render jjraises unto thee. For thou 
hast delivered my soul from death: uilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, 
that 1 may walk before God in the light of the living ? — Ps. LVI. 12, 13. 

This psalm was penned by David when he was in a notable affliction, when 
the Philistines took him in Gath. David had fled from the fury of Saul to 
Abimelech, otherwise Achish, king of Gath, a city of the Philistines, 1 Sam. 
xxi. 10, 12, 13, where he changed his behaviour. Whether this was penned 
at the same time that the 84th Psalm was, or before, is uncertain. Perhaps 
before ; for it is said, ' When they took him in Gath.' Though David fled 
thither for the preservation of his Ufe, yet being known to be that famous 
person who had been celebrated in the songs of the Israelites, as slaying his 
ten thousands in the slaughter of Goliath, 1 Sam. xxi. 11, he might perhaps 
be apprehended as a suspected person, coming thither upon design ; or else 
from desire to revenge themselves upon him for the slaughter of Goliath, who 
was their countryman and citizen ; for he was of Gath, 1 Sam. xvii. 23. 
And some appearance there is that it was this, by Achish his speech to his 
servants : 1 Sam. xxi. 14, ' Lo, you see the man is mad ; wherefore have 
you brought him to me ?' Howsoever it was, he was in some trouble ; yet 
still keeps his faith and hope as an anchor fixed on God : ver. 3, ' What 
time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.' And his assurance of deliverance 
upon his prayer : ver. 9, ' When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies 
turn back : this I know ; for God is for me. In God will I praise his word ; 
in the Lord I will praise his word. In God have I put my trust : I will not 
be afraid what man can do unto me.' And stirs up himself to thankfulness 
upon the remembrance of former mercies : ver. 12, ' Thy vows,' &c. ; and 
to confidence for future : ver. 13, ' For thou hast delivered,' &c. 
You have here, 

1. The commemoration of former mercies : 'Thou hast delivered.' 

2. The confidence of future : * Wilt not thou ?' 

8. The end of all : ' To walk before God in the light of the living.' 
Vows. ' Thy vows are upon me, God.' Passively, vows made to God, 
not by God ; or the obligations of those vows and prayers which I have 
made, and upon which I have received answers. Sacrifices of thanksgiving 
were called vows, as having been vowed to God upon the want, and to be 
paid upon the receipt, of mercy: Lev. i. 1, ' If the sacrifice that is ofiered be 

206 charnock's works. [Ps. LVI. 12, 13. 

a vow.' Thy vows are upon me ; the fruit of my vows, so that I stand in- 
debted to God for the return of praise. 

' Thou hast delivered.' He understands some great danger, wherein he 
had sunk, had not God stood by him. And from a greater mercy, the de- 
Hverance of his soul from death, argues for a less, the keeping his feet from 

' That I may walk before God in the light of the living.' By light of the 
living is meant life, which is called being enlightened with the ' light of the 
living,' Job xxxiii. 30. Sometimes eternal life in heaven : John viii. 12, 
' He that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of 

* To walk before God.' To walk obediently in the sight of God, with a 
respect to his presence ; a walking unto all well-pleasing. This is the last 
argument in the psalm, whereon he builds his strongest plea, as if he knew not 
what to urge if this should fail him ; as if he should have said. Lord, I have 
had experience of thy wisdom in contriving, thy power in efiecting, thy 
mercy in bestowing deliverance upon me, thy goodness in answering my 
vows and prayers. * Thou hast deHvered from death,' a danger as gi'eatand 
unavoidable as death itself. Lord, art thou not the same that thou wert ? 
Art thou not still as wise to design, and as gracious to confer further mercy ? 
Wilt thou not as certainly also deliver my feet from falling ? The one 
contains his experience, the other the inference or conclusion he draws 
from it. 

Doct. 1. Mercies received, are in a special manner to be remembered. 

2. Mercies received are encouragements to ask, and strong grounds to 
hope for the mercies we want. 

For the first, mercies received are in a special manner to be remembered. 
This has been the method of God's people. David entitles Psalm xxxviii., ' A 
psalm to bring to remembrance his afflictions,' much more then his comforts: 
Ps. Ixxvii. 10, 11, ' I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most 
High ; I will remember the works of the Lord.' Paul remembered a mani- 
festation of God to him fourteen years before, 2 Cor. xii. 1. If God treasures 
up our tears, much more should we treasure up his mercies; as lovers keep 
the love tokens of those they afi"ect. God hath a file for our prayers, we 
should have the like for his answers. He hath a book of remembrance to 
record our afilictions, and believing discourses of him, Mai. iii. 16 ; why 
should not we, then, have a register for his gracious communications to us ? 
Remembrance is the chief work of a Christian ; remembrance of sin to cause 
a self-abhorrency : Ezek. xx. 43, ' There shall you remember your ways, 
and loathe yourselves.' The remembrance of God for a deep humility : 
Ps. Ixxvii. 3, ' I remembered God, and was troubled.' Remembrance of 
his name for keeping his law, Ps. cxix. 55. Remembrance of his judgments 
of old for comfort in afflictions, Ps. cxix. 52. And remembrance of mercy 
for the establishment of faith : Isa. Ivii. 11, 'Of whom hast thou been 
afraid, and hast not remembered me T It is observed by some that Shushan, 
the royal seat of the Persian, was pictured upon the east gate of the temple, 
to mind them of the wonder of Purim, Esther ix. 26 ; the deliverance they 
had in that place from Haman, by God's ordering Mordecai's advancement. 
Jacob changed the name of Luz into Bethel, that the new name might be a 
memorial of God's comfortable apparition to him, both to himself and his 
posterity. Gen. xxviii. 19. 

They are to be remembered, because, 

1. They are the mercies of God. They are dispensed out of the treasury 
of his goodness, wrought by the art of his wisdom, effected by the arm of his 

Ps. LVI. 12, 13.] MERCY RECEIVED. 207 

power. Christ evidenced this by praying to his Father for the mercies he 
wanted, by blessing him as the fountain of any mercy received. The great 
dominion Christ hath is from God ; it is first, ' Ask of me,' Ps. ii. 8 ; yea, 
though wrought by means. The woman doth touch the hem of Christ's gar- 
ment, but the healing virtue springs from Christ. Men may spread their 
nets, toil and labour nights, and days, and years, and catch nothing, unless 
Christ sends the fish into the net, Luke y. 5, Q : ' Our works are in the hands 
of God,' Eccles. ix. 5. Though our works, yet in God's hand, he pours 
forth his blessing, he gives success. The first link of the chain of mercy is 
in God's hand. If we do not then remember them, and him in them, we 
deny his providence and goodness, and pay that to the servant which is due 
to the Lord : ' We should remember his love more than wine,' Cant. i. 4 ; 
his love in mercies more than the choicest delights of earth. No gift so 
small, but is a messenger from the great God, and hath the badge of his 
name upon it. 

2. Mercies purchased by Christ. Mercies dear bought by the best blood 
that ever was in the world. The print of Christ's nails are upon every one 
of his blessings, the least as well as the greatest. ' Ye are not your own, yo 
are bought with a price,' 1 Cor. vi. 19. You and your bodies, and the pre- 
servation of your bodies, you and what you have, you and your mercies, and 
your comforts, are all purchased by another, and freely conferred upon you ; 
worthy, therefore, of remembrance. 

3. Mercies beneficial to us. We should certainly remember those things 
whereof we carry the sensible marks upon us. 

2. How we should remember them. 

(1.) Admiringly and thankfully. We should observe Grod's mercies, not 
only as works, but as wonders : Ps. Ixxvii. 11, * I will remember the works 
of the Lord ; surely I will remember his wonders of old,' to admire them 
and the author. Old antedated mercies, as well as fresh, should fill us with 
new astonishments ; not a speculative but an elevating remembrance, to cry 
out with raised spirits, how gi-eat God is : ver. 13, * Who is so great a God 
as our God !' Paul never looked back upon God's mercies in his conversion, 
without a new admiration : 1 Tim. i. 12, ' I thank Jesus Christ, our Lord, 
who hath enabled me.' This was not enough ; it was a peg too low for so 
great a mercy, till he rises up into an high doxology, ver. 17, ' Now unto 
the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory 
for ever and ever.' What an heaven sparkles here in Paul's language, so 
like that of glory ! Shall we not have thankful frames in the remembrance 
of them, when we should stand ready with praise to meet every mercy in its 
first motion : Ps. Ixv. 1, ' Praise waits for thee in Sion.' Mercy in its first 
step should not find us a minute without a thankful frame. As God waits 
for an opportunity to be gracious, we should wait with praise in our mouths 
to be thankful to him ; a volley of praise should stand ready to meet a shower 
of mercy. They did not think amiss, that asserted a main part of religion 
to consist in admiration ; this had been the work in innocency. Many other 
duties have been introduced by a fallen state ; this is an entrance into a 
state of innocency, by reassuming the duty of that state, an entrance into 
the state of heaven by beginning the work of it ; this is the eternal religion. 
Not a bullock nor a goat was to be killed for a man's own table in the wil- 
derness, but they were to bring it * to the door of the tabernacle, and ofier 
an ofiering to the Lord ;' if not, they were accounted murderers, Lev. xvii. 3, 4. 
God must be acknowledged in all. 

(2.) Afi'ectionately. What a deep print of love did the kindness of Christ 
stamp upon many whose diseases he cured upon the earth ! We then rightly 

208 charnock's woeks. [Ps. LVI. 12, 13. 

remember them, when they raise choice affections to God in us. It was 
God's promise : Hosea xiii. 4, ' Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land 
of Egypt ; thou shalt know no other god but me.' Love no god, acknow- 
ledge no god but me, because I have brought you out of the land of Egypt, 
and maintained you by a constant succession of merciful streams of benefits. 
We begin to love God by the knowledge faith gives us of him ; but the expe- 
rience of his mercy renders him more amiable, and the consideration of it 
should render our love more lively. Our very common mercies should not 
be thought of without affection, much less our spiritual. The deliverance of 
our bodies from death deserves a I'eturn of love, much more the redemption 
of our souls. Remember them warmly, so as to kindle a flame of love. That 
is not properly remembered, that works not a suitable impression in the 
review of it ; he rather forgets his sin, that remembers it without a dis- 
affection to it ; and he his mercies, that thinks of them without being raised 
in affection to God by them. 

3. Obediently and fruitfully. David, upon the remembrance of it, would 
walk before God in the land of the living. They are given to encourage us 
in his service, and should be therefore remembered to that end. Rain 
descends upon the earth, not that it might be more barren, but more fer- 
tile. We are but stewards ; the mercies we enjoy are not our own, and 
therefore to be improved for our Master's service. Great mercies should 
engage to great obedience. God begins the Decalogue with a memorial of 
that mercy in bringing the Israelites out of Egypt : Exod. xx. 2, ' I am the 
Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt.' How affec- 
tionately doth the psalmist own his relation to God as his servant, v.hen he 
considered how God had loosed his bonds : Ps. cxvi, 16, ' Lord, truly I 
am thy servant ; thou hast loosed my bonds !' the remembrance of thy mercy 
shall make me know no relation but that of a servant to thee. When we 
remember what wages we have from God, we must withal remember that 
we owe more service, and more liveliness in service, to him. Duty is but 
the ingenuous consequent of mercy. It is irrational to encourage ourselves 
in our way to hell by a remembrance of heaven, to foster a hberty in sin by 
a consideration of God's bounty. When we remember all that we have 
or are is the gift of God's liberality, we should think ourselves obliged to 
honour him with all that we have, for he is to have honour from all his gifts. 
It is a sign we aimed at God's glory in the begging mercy, when we also 
aim at God's glory in the enjoying of it. It is a sign love breathed the 
remembrance of mercy into our hearts, when at the same time it breathes a 
resolution into us to improve it. It is not our tongues, but our lives must 
praise him. Mercies are not given to one member, but the whole man. 
Thanks without obedience is but flattery ; it is but Hail, master, while we 
crown him with thorns, 

(4.) Humbly. Remembrance of free mercies should not be attended with 
a forgetfulness of our own sinfulness, nor increase our pride, but our humi- 
Uation. When Peter saw so gi-eat a stock of fish driven into the net, he had 
the lowest thoughts of himself : Luke -^ 8, ' He fell down at Jesus's knees, 
saying, I am a sinful man, Lord.' What a gracious frame is that, when 
the remembrance of mercy brings us upon our knees to a humble confession 
of sin ! Kindness makes wicked men more proud, and good men more 
broken. We are usually as lead melted in the fire of affliction, and har- 
dened in the fresh air of prosperity, and grow inactive ; but let it be 

(5.) In the circumstances. As circumstances adorn our actions, so they 
beautify God's mercies, the manner, the time, &c. Every line in mercy 

Ps. LVl. 12, 13.] MERCY RECEIVED. 209 

owns God as the author, as well as the whole mass. Mercy beaten to pieces, 
as spice, will yield a sweeter scent than in the lump. Poemember what 
misery preceded the mercy ; as it made the mercy the sweeter, so it will 
make the remembrance of it more savouiry : Hosea ii. 15, ' I will give her her 
vineyard from thence ;' that is, from the wilderness ; * then shall she sing 
as in the day of her youth.' ' Thy heart shall meditate terror,' Isa. xxxiii. 18. 
Thou shalt consider what thy troubles were, and what the frame of thy heart 
was, and what thy vows and resolutions were in thy distress. It is good to 
call to mind what desires, what fervency in prayer, there was before the 
mercy came, and upon the remembrance of the mercy to act the same fervour 
over again. 

6. Argumentatively and fiducially. But this leads to the next obser- 

Doct. 2. That mercies received are encouragements to ask, and ground to 
hope, for the mercies we want. In spiritual blessings it certainly holds ; 
they are earnests of other blessings of the same kind ; and, as it were, obli- 
gations wherein God binds himself to bestow greater blessings hereafter. 
They are but further confirmations of his promise for encouragement of our 
faith. As ' whatsoever is written in Scripture is for our comfort and our 
hope,' Rom. xv. 4, so as much as Grod hath performed of Scripture to us is 
for the same end. 

In temporal mercies. God intends them to his people as means to settle 
their faith faster on him, and make them trust him in future exigencies. When 
God commands Jacob to remove to another place, he puts him in mind how 
he was with him when he fled from the face of his brother Esau, Gen. xxxv. 1. 
It is an argument Moses used to God when he was in a great anger against 
the Israehtes : Num. xiv. 19, 'Thou hast forgiven this people from Egypt • 
until now ;' i. e. thou hast preserved them, notwithstanding their murmurings. 
Upon this argument, though Moses had used others before, God presently 
answers, ' I have pardoned according to thy word.' How ready was God to 
yield to motions of mercy, when his former kindness to them was pleaded ! 
Paul doth thus act faith on God : 2 Cor. i. 10, ' Who hath delivered us 
from so great a death, and doth deliver.' What is the consequence ? 'In 
whom we trust that he will yet deliver.' And the psalmist makes this a 
medium to tie his two petitions together : Ps. iv. 1, * Hear me when I call : 
thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress ; have mercy upon me, and 
hear my prayer ;' and expresseth his confidence, from his experience of former 
deliverances, that he should have a quick answer at any time : ver. 3, ' The 
Lord will hear me when I call upon him.' For, 

1. There is as great an ability in God, when we are in need of new mercies, 
as there M'as when he gave former ones ; nay, as much as there was from 
eternity. He is not a God whose arm is shortened, that is not what he was, 
or shall ever cease to be what he is : Isa. lix. 2, ' Is my hand shortened at 
all that I cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver ?' He is always, / 
inii that I am. There is no diminution of light in the sun no more than 
there was at the first moment of its creation, and the last man upon the 
earth shall enjoy as much of it as we do now. No more doth the Father of 
lights lose by imparting it to others. Thus we light many candles at a 
torch, yet it burns never the dimmer. Standing waters may be drawn dry, 
but a fountain cannot. God is a spring, this day and to-morrow, Jehovah 
unchangeable. The God of Isaac is not like Isaac, that had one blessing and 
no more ; he hath as much now as he had the fu-st moment that mercy 
streamed from him to his creature, and the same for as many as shall believe 

VOL. v. o 

210 charnock's wobks. [Ps. LVI. 12, 13. 

in Christ to the end of the world ; nay, the more we receive from God in a 
way of faith, the more God hath for us. A believer's harvest for present 
mercies is his seed-time for more. The more mercies he reaps, the more 
hopes of future mercy he hath. God's mercies, when full blown, seed again 
and come up thicker. Can the creature want more than the everlasting 
fountain can supply ? Can the creature's indigency be greater than God's 
sufficiency ? What an irrational way of arguing was that : Ps. Ixxviii. 20, 'He 
smote the rock, that the waters gushed out ; can he give bread also ? can 
he provide for his people ?' as if he that filled their cup could not spread their 
table, as if he that had a hidden cellar for their drink had not a secret and 
as full a cupboard for their meat. Do we want mercies for soul and body ? 
Look to the rock whence fonner mercies were hewn : the same fulness can 
supply again. 

2. There is as much tenderness in God as there was before. His power 
is more unquestionable with us than his goodness. We think his compassions 
come short of his ability. We question more his will than his strength : Mat. 
viii. 2, ' If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.' If thou wilt, thou canst 
give me mercy as well as before. You may be sure Christ will speak still 
the same language, 1 uill. I will give thee spirituals and temporals, so far 
as are good for thee. His bowels can no more be straitened than his arm 
is shortened ; his compassions fail not. Lam. iii. 22. All his attributes are 
alike essential to him. As he cannot but be God, so he cannot but be 
powerful, he cannot but be true. His truth lies in pawn for the constancy 
of his good will to them that trust in him. Let your condition be what it 
will, there is some promise to suit it. There is a condition for faith to beg, 
and his truth is engaged to make good one promise as well as another. He 
is a Father, a tender Father, surpassing in tenderness all natural affections. 
No kind father doth ever tell his child, I will do no more for you. The 
heavenly Father will not, who delights more in giving than we do in receiv- 
ing. God's love is not as ours, a sudden passion, but a resolve of eternity. 

3. There is the same ground to beg and beheve for mercies we want, as 
there was for the mercies we have received. We are under the same covenant, 
the influence of the same mediator. Should not our faith be more abundant, 
since we have more evidences of the graciousness of God, the prevalency of 
the Mediator, and stability of the covenant ? Was it not upon this account 
you did plead with God for what you had before ? Were not your argu- 
ments drawn from Grod's name, his covenant, his Son ? They are arguments 
that can never want a force while God is God ; they are as unanswerable as 
ever. Will God disown his name, deny his promise, overlook his Son ? 
Doth the covenant rea-ch only to those mercies wo have received 7 Did 
Christ purchase no more ? Then indeed our expectations may dolefully flag ; 
we may take our leaves of ever hoping for mercy from him. But his pro- 
mise is for this life, all the parts of it, and for that which is to come. 
It hath been tried millions of times, and always found sound : Ps. xii. 6, 

' The word of the Lord is as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven 
times ;' seven times, multitudes of times, seven being a number of perfec- 
tion. It hath been tried in many furnaces of affliction. It is an everlasting 
covenant : God's name is his self, and endures for ever. The blood of 
Christ is of infinite value. The Mediator is the same yesterday, to-day, and 
forever ; the same in his affection to his people ; the same in his prevalency 
with God. The plea therefore upon this account is as firm for all mercies 
and for all times. Christ's blood was slain to pay for the mercies you have 
received. The mercies we expect to eternity are conveyed to us this way, 
so are the mercies we expect in time. The believers of old had what they 

Ps. LVL 12, 13.] MERCY RECEIVED. 211 

had upon these accounts. These arguments have always been used, and 
have been of force to prevail ; the same arguments shall always be used, and 
have the same efficacy. The covenant, the blood of the covenant, reacheth 
far beyond what we have, though it be never so great, in this world. 

4. One mercy in spirituals is to no purpose without further mercies. God 
would not lay a foundation, and not build upon it. He is not light and 
uncertain in his actions. He knew before he gave the first spiritual mercy 
what charge you would be to him. He sat down and counted all, and he 
cannot be disappointed, since nothing can happen but what he did foresee. 
To what purpose should one forgive a debtor a part of the debt, and lay him 
in prison for the remainder ? To what purpose should God begin to heal a 
leprous soul, and take away a part of the disease, if he did not intend to 
master all, and expel the fomes of it ? To what purpose hath God given 
Christ to any, if he did not intend freely to give all things necessary with 
him ? Rom. viii. 32. All temporals are but dross and dung in comparison 
of him. Has God been at so much charge for you at the expense of his 
Son's blood, and did he not stick there ? What, then, can limit the mercy of 
God ? Upon these accounts, then, former mercies, especially spiritual, are 
good arguments to plead with God, and good grounds of hope and trust in 
him for future ones. 

Use 1. Take heed of forgetting mercies received. Keep a catalogue of 
mercies to quicken your love, wind up your thankfulness, and encourage 
your faith. We can remember ourselves when we pray for mercy, and forget 
God when we receive it, and the mercy itself not long after. We cannot 
profit by mercies unless we thankfully remember them : direct rays convey 
not so much warmth without reflecting back upon the sun. God remem- 
bers the kindness of our youth to him, Jer. ii. 2. Why should not we 
remember the tenderness of his grace to us ? Great comforts must be 
especially remembered ; they come but seldom. Paul had but one special 
rapture in fourteen years. Let every new mercy call the old to mind. The 
mercy of the lamb put them in mind of his mercy to Moses, and the Israel- 
ites, Rev. XV. 3. 'Bless the Lord from the fountain of Israel,' Ps.lxviii. 26, 
r. e. from the very first mercy. Remember also the impressions God makes 
upon your souls under the influence of your mercies. Keep them alive and 
fresh ; it is a way to procure more fi-om God when he beholds such valu- 
ations of them. 

Let us observe, therefore, God's motions to us in mercy, and see how he 
walks with us, and our motions to God in duty, to see how we walk with 
him, especially in the mercies which are fruits of prayer. Hannah called her 
son which she had received as an answer of prayer, Samuel, that in the 
hearing the name she might remember God's kindness. 

(1.) Without a remembrance of them, we shall be very apt to distrust God, 
and abate in our love. The death of our experiences is the resurrection of 
our distrust. When we write mercies in the sand, the next wind makes the 
letters invisible, and our fears terrible. When the Israelites forgot that 
power that had provided for them, their corruption took heart to express 
itself in murmuring : Ps. Ixxviii. 19, ' Can he spread a table in the wilder- 
ness ?' If you remember the time when you were cast down in sorrow, and 
found God raising you up and embracing you in the arms of a tender love, 
such a remembrance would not easily admit jealousies of him into the room 
with it, unless you have ceased to be his followers and given him cause to 
withdraw his care. God breaks not with us till we break with him. When 
David had drawn a catalogue of God's former mercies towards him, he con- 
cludes it with a ' Surely goodness and mercy should follow me all the days 

212 charnock's works. [Ps. LVI. 12, 13. 

of my life,' and takes up resolutions to stick to God in holy affections, ' and 
I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever,' Ps. xxiii. 6. 

(2.) Without a remembrance of them we cannot so well improve them. 
If we do not remember what talents of mercy we have, how can we employ 
them ? What account can we give to the supreme Lord of whom we received 
them ? An account there must be, for God cannot be conceived in reason 
to be careless whether his blessings were improved, and regardless whether 
the fruit of his mercy lost or not. We are accountable for the mercies re- 
ceived by our ancestors that we have the knowledge of, much more for our 
own. God brings an indictment against Eli for sinning against the first 
mercy to Aaron : 1 Sam. ii. 27, ' Did I plainly appear to the house of thy 
father when they were in Egypt, in Pharaoh's house ?' The debt due from 
our fathers must be paid by the heirs ; as we enjoy the profit of them, it is 
fit we should pay our great Creditor, much more for those immediately be- 
stowed upon us, superadded to what is derived by succession. How can we 
do either without remembrance ? If we forget them, we must needs forget 
the hand that gave them, and the gratitude we owe for them, and hereby not 
only become false to our Creator ourselves, but make his mercies prove false 
to the end for which he sent them. The end of every mercy is to glorify 
God : Ps. 1. 15, ' I will deHver thee, and thou shalt glorify me;' what glori- 
fying God with forgetfulness of what he wrought for us ? 

(3.) Without a remembrance of them, we shall not so easily resist tempta- 
tions. An ingenuous spirit under a sense of mercy could not easily lend an 
ear to an enticing temptation, and be drawn to do wickedness and sin against 
the author of his mercy. ' Shall I thus requite the Lord, who hath m.ade 
and established me ?' Moses intimates the forgetting this to be the ground 
of their unworthy usage of God, Deut. xxxii. 6. Have I thus learned Christ ? 
Did mercy drop any such instruction into me to sin ? If I had not been a 
subject of his mercy, I had not now lived to be tempted ; and shall I Hve by 
that mercy to embrace a temptation ? ' Since thou hast given us such a de- 
liverance as this, shall we again break thy commandments?' saith good Ezra, 
chap. ix. 13. The goodness of God is to lead us to repentance; how would 
the remembrance of it strengthen us against a temptation ! 

Use 2. Make use of former mercies to encourage your trust for the future. 
Was it God's end in giving us mercies to encourage our jealousies of his 
faithfulness or our hopes of his goodness ? It is fit we should trust God 
upon his bare word, much more upon a trial of him. If we can say, God 
hath delivered, and therefore he will deliver, why may we not with as good 
reason say, We have trusted God, and will trust him still ? We have not 
only heard how faithful and good he is, but we have also seen, known it, 
found him to be so. If, after the knowledge of his name, we trust him not, 
we have a frame contrary to that which should be in all believers : Ps. ix. 10, 
' They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.' If we trust him not 
after mercies received, he may well reproach us for our jealousy. What ! 
Did I ever fail you? did you seek my face in vain ? have you found me false 
to you ? nay, have I not been good to you above your expectations ? What 
iniquity then is there in me, that you should have any suspicious thoughts of 
my goodness ? With what haste doth David catch at Goliath's sword when 
Abimelech told him there was none but that in the tabernacle : 1 Sam. 
xxi. 9, ' There is 'none like that, give it me,' as having experienced God's 
former kindness by it. Moses would shew the rod of God, the rod whereby 
he had wrought wonders, when he prayed for the discomfiture of Amalek, 
Exod. xvii. 9, as if no mercy could be denied him, when the rod in his hand 
pleaded the power and kindness of God so many times manifested by it. 

Ps. LYI. 12, 13.] MERCY RECEIVED. 213 

And Jehoshaphat's prayer is all made up of pleas from ancient mercy and 
promises. If we do not improve mercies this way, 

1. God loseth his glory hy us. It is an unreasonable thing, if we will not 
believe him for his word, yet not to believe him for the work's sake : John 
xiv. 11, ' Believe me for the very work's sake.' God must be of very low 
esteem with us if he cannot be trusted for his word and deed too. Has God 
given us many a mercy, and shall we have such dishonourable thoughts as 
not to trust him ? What excuse is there for distrust against the constant 
stream of his care ? 

2. We lose the sweetness of mercy. Every mercy looks two ways : it 
satisfieth our present want, and is a pledge of a future store. Every flower 
of the field, every passage of providence in the whole course of our lives, 
may yield honey and sweetness. David could never consider how God had 
been his help, but he had a new frame of joy in God : Ps. Ixiii. 7, ' Because 
thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.' 

Whenever we find our souls dejected, let us remember God's dealing with 
us, and, with the psalmist, check them : Ps. xlii. 11, ' Why art thou cast 
down, my soul ?' What, my soul, that hast had so many rich mercies 
out of the storehouse of God's free grace and favour, 'why art thou disquieted 
within me ? Hope thou in God, for I will yet praise him who is the health 
of my countenance and my God.' 



For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do 
mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. — Rom. VIII. 13. 

The apostle having before spoken of justification by Christ, and shewed the 
necessity of sanctification, whereby we indeed resemble the holiness of God, 
which he shews to be wrought by the Spirit of God, which is the band of com- 
munion between saints and Christ, who raises them both from sin here and 
the grave hereafter ; and that we are not debtors to the flesh, that we should 
follow the suggestions of that, but to the Spirit, to observe his inspirations ; 
he then in the text backs his exhortations with a threatening and a pro- 
mise : a threatening to excite our industry, and a promise to prevent our 
dejection. You must not imagine you shall be justified without being sancti- 
fied ; for if you live after the flesh, you shall fall under that eternal death 
which is due to sin ; but if you follow the motions of the Spirit, and en- 
deavour to quench the first sparks of sin, the death of your bodies shall be 
an entrance into the happy life of your soul. 

Flesh. Some, by flesh, understand the state under the law ; others, more 
properly, corrupted nature. Ye shall die, without hopes of a better life. 
But if you mortify the deeds of the body : the deeds of the body of sin, 
which is elsewhere called the body of death ; the first motions to sin and 
passionate compliances with sin, which are the springs of corrupt actions. 
Corrupt nature is called a body here, morally, not physically ; it consisting 
of divers vices, as a body of divers members. ' Ye shall live ;' ye shall live 
more spiritually and comfortably here, and eternally hereafter. 

In the words we may observe, 

1. A threatening : ' If ye Hve after the flesh, you shall die.' 

2. A promise : ' If you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the 
body, ye shall live.' In the promise there is, 1, the condition ; 2, the re- 

In the condition, 

1. The act : mortify. 

2. The object: the deeds of the body. 1. The cause: the body. 2. 
The effects : the deeds. 

3. The agents : ye and the Spirit. The principal, the Spirit ; the less 
principal, ye ; both conjoined in the work : ye cannot do it without the 

Rom. VIII. 13.] of mortification. 215 

Spirit, and the Spirit will not do it without your concurrence with him, and 
your industry in following his motions, 
From the act we may observe, 

1. Sin is active in the soul of an unregenerate man. His heart is sin's 
territory ; it is there as in its throne before the Spirit comes. Mortification 
supposes life before in the part mortified. We call not a stone dead, because 
it never had life. Justification supposeth guilt, sanctification filth, morti- 
fication life, preceding those acts. 

2. Nothing but the death of sin must content a renewed soul. _ The 
sentence is irreversible : die it must. No indulgence to be shewn to it, no 
hghter punishment than death ; not the loss of a member, but the loss of 
its life. The axe must be laid to the root, and the knife must be held to the 
throat. The devils are restrained by the power of God from many sins, 
which cannot therefore be said to be mortified. As nothing but the death of 
Christ would satisfy the justice of God, so nothing but the death of sin must 
satisfy the justice of the soul. 

3. ' Do mortify.' The time present. Whence observe, as sin must have no 
pardon, so it must have no reprieve. No such mercy must be extended to 
it, as to give it a moment's breathing. Dangerous enemies must be handled 
with a quick severity. If we do not presently kill sin, it may suddenly suck 
out the blood of our soul. 

4. • Do mortify.' It notes a continued act. It must be a quick and an 
uninterrupted severity. The knife must still stick in the throat of sin, till it 
fall down perfectly dead. Sin must be kept down though it will rage the 
more, as a beast with the pangs of death is more desperate. 

From the object observe, 

1. Mortification must be universal ; not one deed, but deeds, little and 
great, must fall under the edge, the brats must be dashed against the wall. 
Though the main battle be routed, yet the wings of an army may get the 
victory. There are evil dispositions, depraved habits, corrupt affections ; 
we should not spare a nest of vipers when we find them, being all equally 

2. All actual sins are but the sproutings of original. The body signifies 
corrupt nature, deeds are the products of it ; all the sparks issue from the 
furnace within ; the body gives nourishment to the members, and the mem- 
bers bring supplies to the body. There are outward and inward deeds, acts 
of the mind, which though not acts of the natural body, yet are acts of the 
body of sin. Gal. v. 19, 20, hatred, envyings, acts which the soul may per- 
form separate from the body. 

3. The greatest object of our revenge is within us. Oar enemies are 
those of our own house, inbred, domestic adversaries ; our anger is then a 
sanctified anger when set against our own sins. Our enemy has got pos- 
session of our souls, which makes the work more difficult. An enemy may 
belter be kept out, than cast out when he has got possession. Sin is 
within us, and is always present with us, Rom. vii. 21 ; it lies in ambush for 
us in the best duties, and starts out upon every occasion when we would do 
good ; it would cut oS" all correspondencies with heaven ; it is in our reason, 
in our afi"ections ; it encamps in us, round about us, and easily besets us, 
Heb. xii. 1. 

From the agents, ye, the Spirit, observe, 

1. Man must be an agent in this work. We have brought this rebel into 
our souls, and God would have us make as it were some recompence by 
endeavouring to cast it out ; as in the law, the father was to fling the first 
stone against a blasphemous son. We must not be neuters in this work, 

216 charnock's works. [Rom. VIII. 13. 

nor lookers-on. It will not be done without, though it cannot be done 
simply by us : it will not be done without our concurrence, though it cannot 
be done without a supernatural operation. 

2. Ye, all of ye. It is a universal duty for the subject, as well as the 

(1.) Ye carnal men, there is no precept given to you to sin, and therefore it 
is not your duty to sin. The life of sin is your misery, and the mortification 
of sin is your happiness, as well as your duty. 

(2.) Ye renewed and justified persons, regeneration doth not privilege sin, 
or exempt from the mortifying work. Election, and consequently the fruits 
of it, is to holiness, not from it, Ephes. ii. 4. Vocation and sanctifieation, 
whereof mortification is the first step, are perspective glasses to see to the 
top of election. Though je have mortified, yet still do it. 

3. Through the Spirit. (1.) Mortification is not the work of nature ; it is 
a spiritual work. Every man ought to be an agent in it, yet not by his own 
strength. We must engage in the duel, but it is the strength of the Spirit 
only can render us victorious. The duty is ours, but the success is from 
God. Every believer is principium adivum, but the Spirit is principunn 
effectivuvi. We can sin of ourselves, but not overcome sin by ourselves ; we 
know how to be slaves, but are unable of ourselves to be conquerors. As 
God made us first free, so he only can restore us to that freedom we have 
lost, and doth it by his Spirit, which is a Spirit of liberty. 

(2.) The difiiculty of this work is hereby declared. The difficulty is mani- 
fested by the necessity of the Spirit's efficacy. Not all the powers on earth, 
nor the strength of ordinances, can do it ; omnipotency must have the main 
share in the work. The implantation of grace in the heart is called creation, 
the perfection of grace is called a victory, both belonging to an almighty 

From the promise, observe, 

1 . Heaven is a place for conquerors only : Rev. iii. 21 , 'To him that 
overcomes, will I grant to sit with me on my throne.' He that will be sin's 
friend, cannot be God's favourite. The way to eternal life is through con- 
flicts, inward with sin, outward with the world. There must be a combat 
before a victory, and a victory before a triumph. 

2. The more perfect our mortification, the clearer our assurance of glory. 
The more sin dies, the more the soul lives. The sounder our lives are, the 
more sensible we are that we do live. The more the enemy flies, the more 
certainty of an approaching victory. 

3. Mortification is a sure sign of saving gi-ace. It is a sign of the Spirit's 
indwelling and powerful acting, a sign of an approach to heaven. 

Boct. The doctrine to be hence insisted on is this : Mortification of sin is 
an universal duty, and the work of the Spirit in the soul of a believer, without 
which there can be no well-grounded expectations of eternal life and happi- 

I do not intend a full discourse of mortification, but in pursuance of a 
former exhortation of resemblance to the holiness of God, to which this work 
is necessary. We cannot resemble God till that which is the hindrance to 
this resemblance be taken away ; and as our deformity is pared off, we come 
nearer to our original pattern. And, therefore, I shall only shew, in short, 
what this mortification is, and how we may judge of ourselves, whether we 
are mortified or no, and that without it there can be no hope of heaven. 

I. What mortification is. 

1. It is a breaking the league we naturally hold with sin. Since we 
were upon ill terms with God, we have kept a constant correspondence with 

Rom. VIII. 13.] of mortification. 217 

bis enemy; and the union between sin and tbe soul is as strait as that 
between the flesh and the bones, or the flesh and the blood, blood being in 
every part of the flesh, and sin in every part of the soul. In regard of this 
union, sin is called flesh, because of its incorporation with flesh. The union 
between sin and the soul is naturally as great as the union between Christ 
and a believer, and expressed by the similitudes of marriage, Rom. vii. ; 
body and members, root and branches, as well as the other. It is political 
too, as between king and subjects. Sin is therefore said to have dominion, 
to make laws, whence we read of the law of the members. In regard of this, 
mortification is expressed by the term of having ' no fellowship with the 
unfruitful works of darkness,' Ephes. v. 11 ; a breaking of the conjugal knot. 
The acquaintance and familiar correspondence with sin are broken ofi", the 
communion between sin and the soul is at an end, the common interest 
wherein they were linked together is divided ; Res tuas tihi haheto, the form 
of the ancient divorce is all the welcome sin hath : Isa. xxx. 22, ' Thou shalt 
say unto it, Get thee hence ; ' or with Ephraim, ' What have I to do any 
more with idols ? ' Hosea xiv. 8. It looks now upon its former favourite as 
an enemy. Sin's yoke, that was light, is now burdensome ; nothing so much 
desired as the shaking it ofi'; and that is the object of our antipathy, which 
before had been the object of the choicest favour. In this regard it is called 
a denying of lust, Titus ii. 12 ; a stopping the ears against the importunities 
of it, and refusing all commerce and cohabitation with it. 

2. A declaration of open hostility. As leagues between princes are not 
broken but a war ensues, the ways of sin are rejected, the dominion of sin 
opposed, the throne of sin assaulted. The soul is in arms to chase out this 
usurper, and free itself from its tyranny ; and sin up in arms to reduce its 
subject to its ancient obedience. And here behold that irreconcileable and 
tedious war, without a possibility of renewing the ancient friendship, and 
which ends not but with a total conquest of sin. This hostility begins in a 
bridling corrupt affections, laying a yoke upon anything that would take part 
with the enemy. It cuts off all the supplies of sin, stops all the avenues to 
it ; which the apostle expresseth by ' making provision for the flesh,' Rom. 
xiii. 14, &c. ; a turning the stream which fed sin another way. As anger is 
a degree of murder, and he that hates his brother is a manslayer, so he that 
hates sin, and proclaims a war against it, hath killed it affedic, though not 
actu ; he hath attained one degree of mortification when his anger against it 
is irreconcilable, like the anger of those that quarrel about a crown, which 
cannot be ended but by the death of one of the pretenders. 

3. A strong and powerful resistance, by using all the spiritual weapons 
against sin which the Christian armoury will afford, the list of which maga- 
zine we have, Ephes. vi. 13, 14, &c.; at the hearing of the word, setting his 
sin in the front, that the arrows of God may pierce it to the heart, and the 
two-edged sword may cut the sinews of it asunder; improving baptism, 
which is a burial with Christ, to which end the apostle mentions it, Rom. 
vi. 2, 3 ; sending up strong cries for the assistance of heaven, as Paul did 
when he had that thorn in the flesh, 2 Cor. xii. 7 ; redoubling his messages 
to heaven for a quick supply. 

The apostle expresseth this reluctancy against sin by two emphatical words : 
1 Cor. ix. 27, ' I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection ;' i/crwT/a^w, 
bovXayuyioi, ' I keep under.' The word signifies to take hold of or to grip an 
adversary, as wrestlers do when they would give their antagonist a fall, and 
lay him flat with the earth ; or to beat and pound, as wrestlers anciently did 
with their plummets of lead ; whence ivruima, a word derived from this in 
the text, signifies putrified wounds. And the other word, dovXccyuyiTv, sig- 

218 chaknock's works. [Rom. VIII. 13. 

nifies to lead captive ; to subject the body to serve God, not lusts ; to lead it 
as a slave, not to endure it as a master ; a bringing the affections into order, 
that they may not contradict and disobey the motions of the Spirit and 
sanctified reason. 

4. A killing of sin, expressed in the text by mortif3'ing or putting to death ; 
and. Col. iii. 5, by vsxeuffuTi, mortify ; but the word signifies to reduce to a 
carcase ; that though, like a carcase, it may retain the shape, lineaments, and 
members that it had living, yet it hath not the life, strength, and motion it 
had before. And it is called a crucifying, Gal. v. 24, which comprehends 
all the acts which preceded the crucifying of Christ, which was done with the 
greatest spite, as much as could be. The same measures, the same propor- 
tions, the same eagerness of spirit are observed ; a total deafness to the cries 
and complaints of sin, as that of the Jews to the groans of the Lord of life ; 
a crucifying it, notwithstanding all it would give in exchange. It is called 
in Scripture by the name of revenge, which ends not without the destruc- 
tion of the hated person, and sometimes not with it. Every day there is to 
be a driving a new nail into the body of death, a breaking some limb or other 
of it, till it doth expire. 

II. The second thing is, how we may judge of our mortification. 

1. Negatively. 

(1.) All cessation from some particular sin is not a mortification. A non- 
commission of a particular sin is not an evidence of the mortification of the 
root of it. Indeed, a man cannot commit all kinds of sin at a time, nor in 
many years ; the commands of sin are contrary, and many masters command- 
ing contrary things cannot be served at one and the same time. Pride com- 
mands to lavish, and covetousness to hoard. All sins have their times of 
reigning in a wicked man, as all graces have their particular seasons of acting 
according to the opportunities God gives. Hazael abhorred the thoughts of 
that cruelty the prophet foretold that he should act : ' What, am I a dog ? ' 
2 Kings viii. 12, 13. Yet that sin lay hid by him as Joash by Jehoiada, 
hoping for the time to play its part and act Hazael as a slave to it. The 
cessation of a member from motion at present, is no argument either of the 
death of the body or the mortification of that member. 

[l.J A cessation from one sin may be but an exchange. It may be a divorce 
from a sin odious to the world, and an embracing another that hath more 
specious pretences ; as a man may forsake one harlot, and fall in league with 
auother. Some sins do not so much affright the conscience, and those may 
be entertained when a frowning conscience scares a man from some more 
abominable. Lusts are divers, Titus iii. 3 ; a man may cast off" the service 
of one master, and list himself in the service of another ; he changes his lord 
without changing his servility. A man cannot be said to be clean because 
he has risen out of one sink to drench himself in another. 

[2.] This cessation may be from some outward gross acts only, not from 
a want of will to sin, did not some log lie in the way. There may be specu- 
lative pride, ambition, covetousness, uncleanness, when they are not externally 
acted ; which is more dangerous, as infectious diseases are when they are 
hindered by cold from a kindly eruption, and strike inward to the heart, and 
so prove mortal. The pollutions of the world may be escaped when the 
pollutions of the heart remain. A man may be a fine, garnished, and swept 
house, and yet an habitation for seven devils worse than reigned there before. 
The apostle's command for cleaning reaches to the filthiness of the spirit as 
well as that of the flesh, 2 Cor. vii. 1. We say of the soul, Anhna est ubi 
amat, non ubi animat ; so we ra&j of sin. The bias of the soul may run 
strongly to that sin in affection and pleasure, from the outward acts of which 

Rom. VIII. 13.] of mortification. 219 

it abstains. It is most dangerous for the house when the fire burns inward. 
A man may be sooner cured of an outward scald than an inward heat, which, 
when it comes to a hectic fever, is incurable. 

[3.] It may be a cessation from a sin merely because of the alteration of the 
constitution. Every age hath particular sins which it inclines men to ; some 
sins are more proper to young men, which the apostle calls therefore ' youth- 
ful lusts,' 2 Tim. ii. 22. Lust reigns in young men, but its empire decays in 
an old withered body ; some plants which grow in hot countries will die in 
colder climates. Ambition decays in age when strength is wasted, but sprouts 
up in a young man, wbo hath hopes to live many years and make a flourish 
in the world. A present sickness may make an epicure nauseate the dain- 
ties which he would before rake even in the sea to procure. There is a ces- 
sation from acts of sin, not out of a sense of sin, but a change of the temper 
of his body. 

[4.j A cessation from acts of sin may be forced by some forethoughts of 
death, some pang of conscience, apprehension of hell, present sense of some 
Scripture threatening, or some sharp and smarting afiliction, some signal 
judgment of God inflicted upon one or other of the companions in sin, which 
are all of themselves but a kind of force, they being the scourges wherewith 
God sometimes lasheth a man from the present act of sin. As a present pain 
in one part of the body may take away a man's stomach to his food, but when 
the pain is removed, his appetite returns to him ; so while a man is upon the 
rack, and God accusing him, he takes no pleasure, tastes no sweetness, in sin ; 
but after these horrors are ofi", he feeds as heartily as before, nay, sometimes 
hath a greater stomach, as men after a fit of sickness eat more plentifully, to 
recover the strength which before they lost by the distemper. 

[5.] A cessation from acts of sin may be for want of an occasion, for want 
of time, place, and materials. A man's will is not against sin, but he wants 
an opportufiity. This is not from mortifying grace within, but from a pro- 
vidential operation of God, in withholding the materials necessary for the 
commission of sin. Who will say the sins of drunkenness, gluttony, and 
oppression, committed by men on earth, are mortified in them when they are 
in-hell ? They want materials, not a nature nor an atfection, to commit the 
same, were they again upon earth. Grace lies idle many times for want of 
objects to exercise itself about ; so doth lust in the heart, like a snake starved 
with cold, till heated by a temptation. A man's condition in the world is 
not a sign of this mortification ; there may be grasping and ambitious 
thoughts in a cottage. Prodigality may be in a poor man's wishes, though 
not in his power ; yea, and sometimes there is more prodigality in a poor 
man's unnecessary expense of a penny, than in another's throwing away a 

(2.) Restraints from sin are not mortification of it. Men may be curbed 
when they are not changed ; and there is no man in the world but God doth 
restrain him from more sins, which he hath a nature to commit, than what 
he doth actually commit. He often hedgeth up the way with thorns, when 
he doth not alter the heart by grace, and doth by his providence hinder the 
execution of the sinful motions, when he doth not root out the wickedness that 
lies secretly in the nature. It was an act of God's providence to restrain 
Abimelech : Gen. xx. 6, * I withheld thee from sinning against me.' These 
restraints are mercies God would have us bless him for, but not evidences of 
mortifying grace. 

[1.] Mortification is always from an inward principle in the heart, restraints 
from an outward. A restraint is merely a pull back, as a man is hindered 
from doing a mischief by a stronger power. But mortification is from a 

220 chaenock's works. [Rom. VIII. 13. 

strength given, a new mettle put into the soul, both a courage and strength 
to resist it ; there is a ' strength in the inward man,' Eph. iii. 16. In a 
renewed man, there is something beside bare considerations to withhold him, 
something of antipathy which heightens and improves those considerations, 
whereby the soul is glad of them, because the edge and dint of them is against 
sin ; whereas a man barely restrained would fain stop the entrance of such 
thoughts, or when they are entered, would turn them out of doors again. 
They are things merely put into him, that have no welcome, neither do they 
change the will, but put a little stop, to alter the method of proceedings. 
Mortifying grace finds something in the nature, as there is in the nature of a 
fountain, to work out the mud when dirt is cast in to infect it. 

[2.] True mortification proceeds from an anger with, and a hatred of, sin, 
whereas restraints are from a fear of the consequents of sin ; as a man may 
love the wine, which is as yet too hot for his lips. But mortification proceeds 
from an anger, a desire of revenge. Hence sin is called an abomination to a 
good man as well as to God ; which signifies an intense and well-heated anger. 
It is not only a passionateness, which upon some disappointment in sin, or a 
tasting the bitterness of it, may be vented against it, which is short-lived, and 
quickly allayed, as the sea after a storm ; but it is a rooted revenge, which is 
the sweetest passion, and accomplished by many projects and contrivances. 
A man tastes a sweetness in giving blow after blow to sin, as before he took 
a pleasure in, and had friendship with it. 

[3.] Mortification is a voluntary, rational work of the soul ; restraints are 
not so. The devil hath nothing of his nature altered, but hath as strong an 
inclination to sin as ever, though the act he intends is often hindered by God. 
As in the case of Job, his malice was as great before to do him a mischief; 
but God puts a bar upon him, and refuses him a licence. Job i. 10. Now if 
that grace which hinders be no more than what a devil hath, it no more 
argues a man mortified than the devil's forbearance of sin argues him morti- 
fied, and recovering his angelical state. 

2. We may judge of our mortification positively. 

(1.) When upon a temptation that did usually excite the beloved lust, it 
doth not stir, it is a sign of a mortified state ; as it is a sign of the clear- 
ness of a fountain, when after the stirring of the water the mud doth not 
appear. Peter's sin seems to be self-confidence, but it was a sign of a greater 
mortification of it, that when Christ pressed him to declare his love in that 
demand, John xxi. 15, 'Lovest thou me more than these?' he would not 
vaunt his love to Christ to be greater than the rest of his brethren's. His 
answer goes no further than, ' Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee,' 
without adding ' more than these.' As it is with a man that is sick, set the 
most savoury meat before him, which before he had a value for, if he cannot 
taste it, and his appetite be not provoked by the sight, it is an argument of 
the strength of his distemper, and where it is lasting, of his approaching 
death ; so when a man hath a temptation to sin, decked and garnished 
with all the allurements the devil can dress it with, and he hath no sto- 
mach to close with it, it is a sign of a mortified frame. It is a sign of 
the power of sin, when upon the fair offer it makes, and the alluring baits 
it lays, the affections to it are presently stirred ; it is an evidence of a 
co-naturality and a mighty agreement between that sin and the heart, when 
upon every spark it takes fire ; it is a sign a man was filled with all un- 
righteousness, and had not only a few loose corns about him ; so on the 
contrary, when upon the least motion of temptation, that was wont to 
have the gates open for it, the affections rise against it, and upon the 
least alarm all run to the walls to defend them and forbid the entrance ; 

ErOM. Vin. 13.] OF MORTIFICATION. 221 

it is an evidence of the weakness of that lust that kept before a corres- 
pondence "with such temptations, and the greater evidence it is when the 
temptation is high and yet vigorously resisted ; as when a spring-tide is 
high and blown in with the wind, it is an argument of the strength and 
firmness of the bank to keep it out from entering upon the ground ; whereas 
when a man is carried away by everj^ temptation, as marsh ground is 
drowned at every tide, it is a sign that there is no mortifying grace at all, 
but a great friendliness between sin and the heart. None will question the 
deadness of that tree at the root which doth not bud upon the return of 
the spring sun ; nor need we question the weakness of that corruption which 
doth not stir upon the presenting a suitable temptation. 

(2.) When we meet with few interruptions in duties of worship. The mul- 
titude of such diversions, and an easiness to comply with them, is a sign of 
an unmortified frame ; as it is the sign of much weakness in a person, and 
the strength of his distemper, when he is not able to hold fast anything, or 
when the least blow or jog makes him let go his hold. In duty we are to lay 
fast hold on God, Heb. vi. 18, and join ourselves to the Lord, Isa. Ivi. 3 ; 
it is a weak union when every puff of wind is able to separate us. When the 
starting of sin in us doth easily turn us from our course, it argues either our 
credulity to believe its enticements, or our afi"ection to love its allurements ; 
and also the force and strength of sin ; as the frequent starting of an enemy 
from woods and fastnesses to obstruct our passage, is a sign of some strength 
remaining, and of more than some few scattered troops, rather some well- 
bodied army. The more there is of a man's self, flesh, unspiritualness in 
any service, the more there is of an unmortified temper. The sprouting up 
of such fruits argues much juice and sap at the root, especially when the 
eruptions of sins are more numerous and vigorous than the resistances of 
them. But when the heart can run its race in a service with some freedom, 
and the interruptions from the flesh are few and languishing, it is a sign it 
hath met with a weakening wound ; they are rather gasps of corruption than 
any strong attempts. 

(3.) When we bring forth the fruits of the contrary graces, it is a sign sin 
is mortified. It is to this end that sin is killed by the Spirit, that fruit may 
be brought forth to God ; the more sweet and full fruit a ti-ee bears, the 
more evidence there is of the weakness of those suckers which are about the 
root to hinder its generous productions. Believers are called vines, and 
olives planted in a fair soil, and God the husbandman, who waters and 
dresseth, prunes, and cuts off" the luxuriant branches that he may have fruit, 
and ' fruit meet for him,' John xv. 1, 2. The more fruit is brought forth, the 
greater sign that the soul is purged, and whatsoever is an enemy to that 
fruit is cut off" and weakened. The more nature doth rise to the exercise of 
acts proper to it, the more the strength of the disease that oppresses it is 
wasted. Every exercise of grace is both a discovery of the weakness of sin, 
and a fresh blow given to it for the wounding of it. 

III. The reasons why there can be no expectation of eternal life without 
mortification, are, 

1. An unmortified frame is unsuitable to a state of glory. There must be 
a meetness for a state of glory before there be an entrance into it, Col. i. 12. 
Vessels of glory must be first seasoned with grace. Conformity to Chi'ist is 
to fit us for heaven. He descended to the grave, and there laid his infirmi- 
ties, before he ascended into heaven ; so our sins must die before our souls 
can mount. It is very unsuitable for sin's drudges to have a saint's por- 
tion. A fleshly state is unfit for a spiritual life. All men are under the 
power of the devil or under the power of Christ. The world lies iv t(Ij 

222 chaknock's works. [Rom. VIII. 13. 

TofjjecC, under the power of the devil, 1 John v. 19.* He that hath the wicked 
spirit ruhng in him, and not cast out, with all his accomplices, by the Spirit 
of God, cannot hope to have a friend's privilege, but an enemy's punish- 
ment. A fleshly palate cannot relish an heavenly life : Mat. xvi. 23, ' Thou 
savourest not the things that be of God.' Where there is no savour of God 
in this world, but only of what is contrary to God, there cannot be a savour 
of him in another world. Every vessel must be emptied of its foul water 
before it can receive that which is clean. No man pours rich wine into old 

2. God cannot in any wise dehght in an unmortified soul. To delight in 
such would be to have no delight in himself and his own nature ; the less 
the degrees of our mortification, the less God doth delight in us. He hath 
no pleasure in wickedness ; the more maims, diseases, rottenness any have, 
the less pleasure there is. Sin is a mire ; the more miry we are, the less 
can God embrace us, Ps. v. 4. It is a plague ; the more it spreads, the less 
will he be conversant with us. The more of a swinish, viperous, serpentine 
nature, the less of God's affections. Sin represents us more monstrous in 
God's eyes than the filthiest things in the world can do in man's. To keep 
sin alive is to defend it against the will of God, and to challenge the combat 
with our Maker. 

3. Unmortified sin is against the whole design of the gospel and death of 
Christ, as though the death of Christ were intended to indulge us in sin, and 
not to redeem us from it. That sin should die, was the end of Christ's 
death ; rather than sin should not die, Christ would die himself. It is an 
high disesteem of Christ to preserve the life of sin in spite of the death of 
the Redeemer, and if we defend what he died to conquer, how can we expect 
to enjoy what he died to purchase ? It is a contempt of his death not to look 
after that mortifying grace, which was the purchase of so deep a passion. 
The grace of the gospel of God doth more especially teach this lesson, Tit. 
ii. 4, ' to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts.' Grace in God was the motive 
to him not to account the blood of Christ too dear for us, and therefore should 
teach us not to account the blood of our sins too dear for him. The tenor 
of the gospel is, that a man without mortification has no interest in Christ, 
and therefore no right to glory, Ps. v. 4. It is an inseparable character of 
them that are Christ's, that ' they have crucified the flesh with the affections 
and lusts,' i.e. they are Christ's that are under the power of his death, not 
they that only hold the opinion of his death, or they are Christ's that are 
truly planted into the likeness of his death, Rom. vi, 5. 

IV. The use ; of exhortation. 
' Let us labour to mortify sin. If we will not be the death of sin, sin will 
be the death of our souls. Though the allurements of sin may be pleasant, 
the propositions seemingly fair, yet the end of all is death, Rom. v. 21. 
Death was threatened by God and executed upon Adam ; death must be exe- 
cuted upon our sins, in order to the restoration of the eternal life of our souls. 
Love to everlasting life should provoke us, fear of everlasting death should 
excite us to this, the two most solemn and fundamental passions that put us 
upon action. ' Why will you die?' was God's expostulation, Ezek. xxxiii. 11 ; 
Why should thou, my soul, for a short vanishing pleasure, venture an eter- 
nal death ? should be our expostulation with ourselves. This would be 
a curing our disease, bringing our soul into that order in part which was 
broken by the fall; by this the power of that tyrant that first headed and main- 
tained the faction against God would be removed, and the soul recover that 
liberty and life it lost by disobeying of God. This would conduce to our 
* Camero. 

Rom. VIII. 13.] of mortification. 223 

peace. We have then a sprouting assurance when we are most victorious 
over our lusts : after every victory, God gives us a taste of the hidden manna, 
Rev. ii. 17. Unmortified lusts do only raise storms and tempests in the 
soul ; less pains are required to the mortification of them than to the satis- 
faction of them. Sin is a hard taskmaster ; there must be a pleasure in de- 
stroying so cruel an inmate. Gratitude engages us ; God's holiness and 
justice bruised Christ for us, and shall not we kill sin for him ? An infinite 
love parted with a dear Son, and shall not our shallow finite love part with 
destroying lusts ? We cannot love our sins so much as God loved his Son : 
he loved him infinitely. If God parted with him for us, shall not we part 
with our sins for him ? He would have us kill it because it hurts us ; the 
very command discovers affection as well as sovereignty, and minds us of it 
as our privilege as well as our duty. And to engage us to it, he hath sent as 
great a person to help us as to redeem us, viz. his Spirit ; he sent one to 
merit it, and the other to assist us in it and work it in us, who is to bring 
back the creature to God by conquering that in it which hath so long detained 
it captive. And therefore to this purpose, 

1. Implore the help of the Spirit. Whenever we set seriously upon this 
work at any time, let us apply ourselves to the Spirit of God, as one in office 
to this end, as being a Spirit of holiness not only in his nature but in his 
operations, Eph. i. 13, Rom. i. 4. The Father and the Son are not so often 
called holy as the Spirit, who is called the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost, 
not that he is more holy than the other persons, but in regard of his office 
to work holiness in the hearts of men. As Jehoshaphat upon the assault 
from the enemy cried unto God for deliverance, so upon any arming of our 
corruptions we should cry to the Spirit for assistance ; he doth as much de- 
light to be our auxiliary on earth, as Christ doth to be our advocate in hea- 
ven. The neglects of application to him are the cause of our miscarriages ; 
we are half persuaded to a sin before we beg strength against it. 

2. Listen to the convictions of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Spirit 
is to convince, by shaking the soul out of its carnal lethargy. As the Spirit 
gives a strong alarm at the first conversion, whereby the soul sees the 
strength of its enemy, and the greatness of its danger, its own impotency and 
inability to contest with it, so upon carrying on the degrees of mortification, 
there are various alarms to put us upon a holy watchfulness against the pro- 
jects of sin. Listen to these convictions which come in by the word, which 
is the ministration of the Spirit, and in respect to the spiritual energy of it 
is called spirit, John vi. 53. 

3. Plead the death of Christ. The end of his death was to triumph 
over sin. As to take away the guilt of sin, he was the righteousness of God; 
so to take away the dominion of sin, he is the power of God : his expiation 
of sin, and his condemnation of it, were twisted together in his sacrifice, 
Rom. viii. 3. ' For sin,' or a sacrifice for sin, ' condemned sin in the flesh' : 
and the consideration of his death, and the end of it, would inflame us to 
desire not to be under the power of a condemned malefactor. A considera- 
tion of his death, and that sin had its hands imbrued in his blood, would 
awaken our love to him, and an indignation against his enemy. 

4. Let us often think of divine precepts. The frequent meditation on the 
law of God would excite our endeavours after a principle more conformable 
to the purity of that law. God's commands establish not men's humours, 
neither do they gratify men's lusts, but are suited to the holy nature of God, 
a conformity to which ought to be our aim in mortification. 

5. Let us be jealous of our own hearts. Venture not to breathe in cor- 
rupt air, for fear of infection. There is a principle in the heart naturally dis- 

224 chaknock's wobks. [Ron. VIII. 13. 

posed to take fire upon the spark of a temptation. A strict \vatch in a city 
hinders foreign correspondence and intestine treachery. 

G. Let us often think deeply of the corruption of our natures, how loath- 
some it is to God, and this will make it loathsome to us. The more it is 
abominated, the more it is mortified ; the supplies of it are cut oft', its at- 
tempts discovered. When Paul considered his misery by the body of death, 
it strengthened his resolution of serving God with the law of his mind, Kom. 
vii. 24, 25, which must needs be accompanied with a strong resistance of 
the law of his members. 

7. Let us bless God for whatsoever mortifying grace we have received, 
though never so little. When we pay him in praise what we receive of him, 
it is the way to have more from him. David grew hot against Nabal after 
he had received his churlish answer, 1 Sam. xxv., and resolved the murder 
of the whole family, which he had no authority to do ; but God prevents 
him by Abigail's intercession ; he blesses God for the success of it, in hin- 
dering his intentions. And as God prevented his sin, so, after his thanks- 
giving, he took away the occasion of his evil resolution, by calling Nabal, 
ten days after, into another world, ver. 38; and gives him- further occasion 
of praise, ver. 39. A httle strength, owned as the gift of God, shall be backed 
with more. Praising God for what we receive, as well as praying for what 
we want, is a means to promote the mortification of our sins in order to 
eternal hfe. 


A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he 
send Jorth judgment unto victory. — Mat. XII. 20. 

We need not take our rise higher than verse 17, where the quotation out of 
Isa. xlii. begins, where you find God like a herald proclaiming his Son to 
the world under the name of his servant : Mat xii. 18, ' Behold my servant, 
whom I have chosen ; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased : I will 
put my Spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.* It 
contains, (1.) His election of him : God chose, called him to his mediatory 
ofiice ; (2.) The agreeableness of the person to God : he did wholly acquiesce 
in him, and deposit in his hand the concerns of his glory ; (3.) The ability 
and assistance God gave him, * I will put my Spirit upon him ;' (4.) The 
work he should do, ' he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.' Verse 19, his 
coming is set down ; not with pomp or noise, ' he shall not strive, nor cry, 
neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.' The meekness and 
tenderness of his carriage, 'he shall not cry.' Palam noluit fieri hominum 
vitia, as Grotius ; he shall not be contentious with the people, of which a 
sign is, an immoderate raising of the voice, and clamour against them. 
Take notice hereof, 

1. The Object. 

(1.) A bruised reed. Jerome takes it for a musical instrument made of a 
reed, which shepherds used to have, which, when bruised, sounds ill, and is 
flung away by the musician, as disdaining to spend his breath upon such a 
vile instrument that emits no pleasant sound. But Christ will not cast off 
poor souls that cannot make so good music in God's ears as others, and 
answer not the breathings of the Spirit with that life and vigour, but he will 
take pains with them to mend them. Bruised reeds, such as are convinced 
of their own weakness, vanity, and emptiness. 

2. The smoking flax of the wick of a candle, wherein there is not only no 
profit, but some trouble and noisomeness. Though the soul is noisome by 
reason of the stench of its corruptions, yet he will not blow out that expiring 
fire, but blow it up and cherish it ; he will not rigidly oppress and throw off 
those that are weak in grace, and faith, and hope, but he will heal them. 

226 chaenock's woeks. [Mat. XII. 20. 

nourish them, inflame them. Maldonate interprets it, that though he walk 
in the way where bruised reeds lie, he will step over them, and not break 
them more ; he will not tread upon a little smoking flax that lies languishing 
upon the ground, and so put it out with his foot, though it hurts the eyes 
with its smoke, and offends the nostrils with its stench. Smoking souls that 
have some weak desires and fumings towards heaven, some small evapora- 
tions of their spirits towards God, he shall not quench them. The Chaldee 
paraphrase, Those meek or gracious ones which are like a bruised reed, shall 
not be broken by him. 

2. The act. He shall not break ; not quench, litotis or weiosis ; he 
shall mightily cherish, support the reed, inflame the flax. 

3. The continuance of it, ' till he send forth judgment unto victory.' In 
Isaiah it is, ' till he bring forth judgment unto truth ;' vere judicabit, so 
Menochius, so the Septuagint hath it ; but Matthew alters it, and instead of 
truth puts victory. 

Judgment is taken several ways. For, 

1. Wisdom : Isa. xxx. 18, ' The Lord will wait that he may be gracious, 
for the Lord is a God of judgment ; ' i.e. of wisdom to give in the most con- 
venient season. 

2. Righteousness : Isa. lix. 9, ' Judgment is far from us, neither doth 
justice overtake us ; ' i. e. there is no holiness in us. 

3. Overthrow of a Christian's enemy : John xii. 31, * Now is the judgment 
of this world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out,' now shall the 
devil be conquered ; Isa. xlii. 3, ' He shall bring forth judgment unto truth ;' 
i.e. he shall govern in righteousness. Now Christ's government being chiefly 
in the souls of men, he shall assist and encourage that which is the better; 
as governors ought to be encouragers of the good, and discouragers of the 
bad. Matthew explains this, and shews the consequence of this government ; 
if it be in truth, it will make the better part victorious. Some by judgment 
understand the gospel, the new evangelical law: ver. 4, ' The isles shall wait 
for his law ; ' so Christ will not rest till he makes the gospel glorious, and 
advances it in the world above the lusts and idolatries of men, which then 
overflowed the world. Some by judgment understand grace, which is the 
draught and copy of the gospel drawn in the soul ; and both those senses the 
words will bear. The words in Isaiah seem to bear the first sense, * the isles 
shall wait for his law ;' the other seems most consonant to Matthew, ' and 
in his name shall the Gentiles trust' ; i.e. he will make their faith victorious. 
The eff"ect of this judgment, or evangelical law, should be the victoriousness 
of grace and faith. Implanting grace in the heart is the main design of the 
gospel ; and grace is nothing else but a moulding the soul into the form of 
that law and doctrine of Christ. As Christ will make the gospel glorious 
above all the carnal reasonings of men, so he will make grace, which is the end 
of the gospel, victorious above all the corruptions of men. In this latter sense 
we shall now handle it ; Christ shall make those beginnings of grace 
and infused habits to obtain a perfect conquest. By his governing of it, 
he shall make the conquest over corruption perfect ; or if jcg/V/c be taken 
as the physicians use it, for the Tt^icig of a disease, he shall make the 
xs/ff/g end in victory, and nature the conqueror over the disease. 

Doct. True though weak grace shall be preserved, and in the end prove 

Seeds of grace, though mixed with a mass of corruption, cannot be over- 
come by it, as gold cannot be altered in its nature by the dross, or trans- 
formed into the nature of the rubbish in which it lies. Grace is surely 
weakest at the first infusion, when it is newly landed in the heart from 

Mat. XII. 20. J weak grace \^cT0RI0us. 227 

heaven ; when the devil and wickedness of man's nature have taken the 
alarm, and drawn together all the armies of hell to hinder its progress ; 
yet though it be thus, in so weak a condition, indisposed to make a stout 
resistance, having got but little footing in the heart, and a man's own incli- 
nations not well reconciled to it, nor his evil apprehensions and notions fully- 
exterminated, and the predominant corruptions that held the empire before, 
having received but their first wound, and being much unmortified, and 
grace also as yet but in a strange soil, not naturalised at all, yet is grace 
then so strong, that all the legions of hell cannot totally worst it. Though 
it be like a grain of mustard-seed newly sown, yet it springs up into a mighty 
tree ; for as the weakness of God is stronger than men, so is the weakness 
of grace stronger than sin in the event and issue. The meanest grace is 
above the highest intellectual parts, as the smile of a sunbeam is more power- 
ful to chase away the grim and sour darkness of the night, than the spark- 
ling of a diamond. According to the degrees of its growth, its efiects are 
wonderful ; as a small spark, by a breath of wind growing into a flame, may 
fire and consume a spacious and stately building. The weakest grace by 
degrees shall have strength, Zech. xii. 8, which is meant of the Jews* 
strength at their conversion ; ' He that is feeble shall be as David,' who was 
a mighty man of valour, and when a stripling laid Goliath in the dust, but 
in the strength of Christ ; for the ' house of David shall be as God, as the 
angel of the Lord before him,' i. e. Christ that descended from David. In 
the text, you see God assures us that Christ shall perform this ; therefore 
let us see what engagements are on God's part, and what also on Christ's 
part, to efiect this business, which will be sufficient demonstration of this 

In general. Grace hath great allies ; the greatest power that ever yet 
acted upon the stage of the world had a hand in the birth of it. Should we 
see all the states of the world engaged in bringing a person to a kingdom, 
and maintaining him there in his right, we could not rationally think that 
there were any likelihood they should be baffled in it. 

The Trinity sat in consultation about grace ; for if there were such a 
solemn convention held about the first creating of man. Gen. i. 26, much 
more about the new and better creating of him, and raising him somewhat 
above the state of a man. The Father decrees it, Christ purchaseth it, the 
Spirit infuseth it ; the Father appoints the garrison, what grace shall be in 
every soul, Christ raiseth this force, and the Spirit conducts it. The Trinity 
have an hand in maintaining it ; the Father purgeth out corruption, the Son 
washes, and the Holy Ghost sanctifies ; all this is but the carrying on the 
new creature : Titus iii. 4-6, ' But after the kindness and love of God our 
Saviour appeared, not by works of righteousness, &c., but according to his mercy 
he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, 
which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour ' ; ' God our 
Saviour,' i. e. God the Father. The Father is the author of salvation from sin, 
Christ the purchaser, the Spirit the conveyer. There is a special relation 
between the Trinity and grace ; the Father is said to beget us, John i. 13. 
and we are said to be the seed of Christ, Isa. liii. 10, and born of the 
Spirit, John iii. 6. That, therefore, which hath so strong a relation cannot 

1. The Father, who is the first root of grace in his good will and plea- 
sure. Though Christ merited the fruits of election, yet he did not merit 
election itself, for Christ himself is a fruit of that first election. 

(1.) In respect of his attributes. Grace will engage God's assistance. 
Every grace is part of the divine nature, because it is an imitation of one or 

228 chaknock's woeks. [Mat. XII. 20. 

other of the divine attributes, and exemplifies the divine perfections in its 
operations : 1 Peter ii. 9, ' But you are a chosen generation, a royal priest- 
hood, a holy nation, a peculiar people ; that you may shew forth the praises 
of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.' Shew 
forth the praise of God, a^srag, the virtues of God. Grace in all the parts 
of it doth glorify one or other attribute of God ; humility his power, con- 
tentedness his sufficiency, watchfulness his omniscience, prayer his so- 
vereignty, repentance and sorrow for sin his justice, faith his love and truth, 
a fiduciaiy reliance on his word, his wisdom, &c. 

[1.] The love of God is engaged in it. The riches of his grace was the 
motive to work grace in the heart. Goodness made him bring light into the 
world, and it is the same motive makes him bring grace into the soul. It 
is called God's workmanship, his poem, Eph. ii. 10, To/jj/o-a, about which he 
spent more skill than about all other things. As usually men are more lofty 
in a poem than in prose, and enrich it with the sublimest fancies, and dili- 
gently obsei-ve their numbers and measures ; so is God exact in the produc- 
tion of the new creature, which is rather his ^o/^/za than 'i^yov, as if it were 
not so much the work of his hands as the work of his heart ; for, as ver. 18, 
his soul was pleased in Christ, so in all things which make to the glory of 
Christ. His soul, it notes an high joy which we find not expressed of the 
creation ; and therefore his heart is chiefly set upon grace, as that which he 
chiefly designed Christ to purchase, and Christ to implant. 

Well, then, did God's love give his Son to die for thee, to purchase that 
grace ? And will not the same love engage his power to preserve and perfect 
that grace ? Shall his common love to his creature cause him to provide for 
sparrows, and will he neglect his children ? Shall he provide for his chil- 
dren, and not stand by to second that which gives them the denomination of 
children ? Shall their hairs be numbered, and not one fall to the ground 
without the will of God ? Hairs, I say, which are inconsiderable, of which 
there is no miss, no endangering of life by their fall ; and shall grace be 
thrown to the ground by corruption, which brings down with it the life and 
happiness of a Christian, and the glory of God ? No ; the weakest grace 
hath a certain interest in the love of God, because the weakest is the birth 
of that love ; as the child that is crying in the cradle is as much related to 
the father as the son stoutly working in the shop. 

[2.] The power of God. It is not in a bare moral, but physical way, that 
grace is brought into the soul. If power must be employed in raising the 
body, less surely will not serve the turn to raise the soul, which is a far more 
noble and excellent work. Can it be possibly thought that when Satan, the 
strong man, had possession of the soul, well provided for defence, had a great 
interest in the affections and love of a man, making no laws, enjoining no 
commands but what were suitable for and pleasant to flesh and blood, that 
ever gi-ace of itself could have dispossessed him. and wrested this empire out 
of his hands ? Surely it must be the power of God that did it, else so strong 
an enemy, so mighty a prince, could never have been overcome, so well 
beloved "a governor could never have been overthrown, God is the strength 
of the soul ; all the contrivances and stratagems against the flesh are from 
him : 2 Cor. iii. 5, ' Our sufficiency is of God : we are not sufficient of our- 
selves,' "koyioaa&cu, ' to think,' i. e. to come to some certain resolution, as men 
do when the}' sum up their particular accounts, or state our own affairs ; and 
when this is done, we cannot will it, or put it in execution without him ; 
therefore, Philip, ii. 13, ' He works in us both to will and to do, and that of 
his good pleasure,' hBoxlag, love and power is put together. It would be 
derogatory to God if that should be totally overcome, which his immediate 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak geace victoeious. 229 

power is the cause of, put on by his special love ; for it would either argue 
a want of love, or a want of sufficiency to maintain it. But it is not thus ; 
for the same power which brought us to God, keeps us from being drawn 
from him : 1 Peter i. 5, ' If kept by the power of God through faith,' then 
that faith is also kept by the power of God ; that faith whereby we overcome 
the invasions of Satan, and repel his fiery darts ; that faith whereby the cor- 
ruptions of the heart are resisted and expelled by its purifying act ; for faith 
puiifies the heart instrumentally, Acts xv. 9. 

[3.J The holiness of God. Men are said to be like God, not in power, in- 
finiteness, omniscience, &c., but in holiness, which is the attribute most 
cried up in heaven, Isa. vi. 3, an attribute which God doth most magnify, 
as swearing by it, Ps. Ixxxix. 35, which he doth not particularly and ex- 
pressly by any other attribute ; an attribute which he is so tender of. For 
what is the cause of that justice which employs his power in punishing 
ofienders, but his holiness and hatred of sin ? Grace hath its print from 
God, and is conformity to the holiness of God, as appearing in his law. It 
is the image of God ; there is an harmony and proportion of all graces in the 
sou! to those perfections of holiness which are in God, as there is of the mem- 
bers of the body of a child to its father ; in respect of this likeness men are 
said to be the children of God. It may better be said of grace than it 
was said of the soul by the heathen, Scintilla divina essenticB, or, as the Jews 
say, souls were the shavings or chips of the throne of glory. Graces are the 
drops of God's perfections, they are so exact an image of him. In respect 
of this likeness to God's holiness, gracious souls that have escaped the cor- 
ruptions of the world through lust, do partake of the divine nature, 2 Peter 
i. 4. It is called a bearing ' the image of the heavenly,' 1 Cor. xv. 48. Not 
that God bestows anything of the divine essence upon the soul, but an image 
and representation of himself, just as a golden seal conveys to the wax the 
image engraven on it, but not the least particle of its matter, the wax remain- 
ing wax, though under another form and figure. This likeness is a likeness 
to God in his highest perfection, viz., his holiness, which runs through all, 
and may be applied to all the attributes, as holy power, &c., and herein grace 
excels the perfections of the whole creation put together, for all the creatures 
are not so like to God as grace makes the soul. And how can we imagine 
anything, wherein we can be more like to God, than in that which is the 
highest excellency and perfection of God ? Now seeing grace hath -so near 
a relation to God, and God doth so delight to see this in his people, that all 
his end is to make them like him, in a completing of holiness in them in 
heaven, and that this is that which Christ must do at the last, present them 
holy and blameless without any spot, will he neglect that which is so dear 
and like to him, and sufier his own image to be wholly crushed under feet 
by corruption, his basest enemy ? 

[4.] The wisdom of God. The weakest grace is the birth of his eternal 
counsel : Eph. i. 4, ' chosen us that we might be holy.' If thou hast any 
grace, though never so mean, thou wert from eternity given by God to 
Christ ; and Christ purchased this grace for thee, else the Spirit would never 
have infused it into thee, for the Spirit receives of Christ, and shews it unto 
you ; there was a decree passed in heaven for all that grace thou hast. There- 
fore, that which made God at first resolve upon it, and made him send such 
a force and brigade into thy soul, will cause him to perfect it to a complete 
victory : Philip, i. 6, ' Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath 
begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.' The 
apostle was confident that because God had begun it, he would perfect it. 
What ground should he have for this confidence, if weak grace could be 

230 chaknock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

totally overcome ? God being unchangeable in his counsels and decrees, if 
any saint whom he hath purposed to save should be totally drawn from him, 
it would argue God changeable, that his will was altered, or weak, that his 
power was extinguished or unwise, that his counsel was rashly undertaken. 
But surely his love, being founded upon his counsel, admits of no change. 
Besides, God doth infuse grace into those souls which are naturally and 
morally most incapable of it. The most rugged pieces he smoothes, the 
darkest souls he enlightens, the greatest enemies he makes friends, and 
would he begin this work to have it presently spoiled ? God, before he 
meddled with any soul, foresaw what contests and conjflicts of sin and the 
devil there would be against him. He counted all the cost and charges, and 
all the pains he was to take. And it doth not consist with the wisdom of 
God to lay aside this undertaking, nor with the patience of God not to endure 
the brunt, when he foresaw every stratagem of the devil against such a soul 
when he first set up the standard in it. The gospel is called the manifold 
wisdom of God, Eph. iii. 10 ; and surely all the efiects of it, and this of 
grace in the heart, which is the chief effect and design of it, is an act of 
God's wisdom ; and should this, which is the birth of his manifold wisdom, 
be suppressed ? 

[6. J The glory of God. God's end in everything is his glory, and that 
which grace aims at is the glory of God. As God minds himself and wills 
himself, the chief good, so doth grace mind and will God as the choicest and 
supreme happiness. Those graces which maintain the hottest fight against 
corruption, and are the strongest and most active legion, have a peculiar 
objective relation to God, as love to him, faith in him, desire for him. 
Those graces which are exercised about man, and the duties of the second 
table, have not so great an interest in this quarrel. Now, is it for the honour 
of God to let that which is his best friend in the world be totally suppressed ? 
Would not his honour sufier in it ? The two sisters thought it a good argu- 
ment to prevail with Christ to come and help Lazarus when they sent him 
word, ' He whom thou lovest is sick ;' and Christ himself took an argument 
from his friendship to raise him, 'Our friend Lazarus sleeps.' And is it not 
as good an argument with God to come in for rehef of languishing grace, 
when you send him word how hard it is beset ? 

(2.) Christ is engaged in this work. The promise in the text manifests 
that Christ was ordered by his Father to it, his Father having promised it 
upon his proclaiming him his chosen servant. 

Christ is engaged as, 

[1.] A purchaser. He died to * redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify 
unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works,' inward works as 
well as outward, Titus ii. 14. He gave himself that we might be without 
filth, and at last without spot, wrinkle, or blemish : Eph. v. 25-27, ' Christ 
loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse 
it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself 
a glorious church,' not an imperfect church, ' not having spot or wrinkle, or 
any such thing,' anything like them, ' but that it should be holy and without 
blemish.' To sanctify and cleanse by degrees, to perfect it by wiping out 
all the spots and smoothing the wrinkles, and making it highly beautiful, fit 
to be presented to himself as his eternal spouse. If these spots and blem- 
ishes should keep their standing, it would argue that it was not Christ's 
purpose in the giving himself to remove them, or that his gift was not equiva- 
lent to so great an end, and sufficient to attain it, or else that he had since 
repented of his intent ; but none of those will hold. This scripture assures 
us he gave himself for this purpose. The Father hath exalted him at his 


right hand for it, and his compassions work powerfully in his bowels, even 
in heaven. He was of the same mind after his ascension, when Paul wrote 
this epistle. Therefore he is said ' by one offering to perfect for ever them 
that are sanctified,' Heb. x. 14 ; that is, that one offering was of such 
infinite value, that it perfectly purchased the taking away of sin, both in the 
guilt, filth, and power, and was a sufficient price for all the grace believers 
should need for their perfect sanctification to the end of the world. There 
was the satisfaction of his blood for the removal of our guilt, and a treasure 
of merit for the supply of our grace. Though glory was due to him even 
from the moment of his incarnation, as he was the Son of God, yet he would 
not enter into it and sit down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, till 
be had purchased grace and all the measures of it for his people, and that 
by himself, by the laying down his life as the price for it : Heb. i. 3, ' When 
he had by himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty 
on high.' Sat down when ? Not till he had purged, i. e. made atonement 
for our sins, and paid for whatsoever holiness or purging grace his people 
should want. His blood was so valuable that the treasures of God were dealt 
out to believers before his coming upon the credit of his bond ; much more 
will they be so after his coming upon God's actual receipt of the price, and 
our Saviour's sitting down at the right of God to see the grace he purchased 
given out. Upon this account Christ hath a care of the weakest saint as 
well as of the most glorious angel, because he died to purchase the weakest 
believer, not the highest angel, who stood in no need of it. If Christ bought 
us, we belong to the purchaser, which is the apostle's inference : 1 Cor. vi. 
19, 20, ' Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price ;' not our own 
governors, not our own keepers. The possession the Holy Ghost hath 
of us, making us his temples, is by virtue of this price. If Christ died that 
his people might have grace, and that it might be powerful, shall lust trample 
upon that which Christ hath so dearly bought ? Was it a light thing for 
which he endured all the torments upon the cross, and will he now make no 
matter of it ? If he purchased us, and grace for us, when we were enemies, 
will he not preserve it in us since we are his friends ? Shall he be at the 
expense of his richest blood to buy it, and spare his power to secure it ? Is 
the right of his purchase of so low a value with him as to sufibr it to be 
usurped by his greatest enemy ? 

[2.] An actual proprietor and possessor by way of 

(1.) Donation from his Father. Every believer is God's gift to Christ as 
mediator for this end, to give eternal Ufe to them, and every one of them : 
John xvii. 2, ' That I should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given 
me,' which eternal life is the knowledge of God, which includes all grace. And 
they were given to him that they might be perfect, one, as the Father and the 
Son are : John xvii. 11, ' Keep through thy own name those whom thou hast 
given me, that they may be one, as we are.' He gave them with an intent 
that they should be one in as high a manner as the creature is capable of. 
This was the end both of God's giving and Christ's keeping, for the particle 
ha may refer to keep or to given. If they be not at last one, the end of 
God's giving must be frustrate, and the petition of Christ not heard. Christ 
will not undervalue his Father's gift. We prize even small tokens from a 
friend we love. Because our Redeemer valued this gift, he accepted of it, 
and took it into his own possession ; and because he loves his Father, he will 
answer the ends of this donation. Christ calls those his sheep by virtue of 
this donation, John x. 16. Our being his sheep by virtue of this gift, will 
be as much a reason to preserve us in faith as it was at first to confer it on 

232 chabnock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

us. The same is as valid for preserving as for first conferring, and that is 
the Father's gift. 

(2.) He is proprietor and possessor by the conquest of every gradoiis per- 
son, and whatsoever was contrary to grace. As our Redeemer was to pur- 
chase us by his death at the hand of God's justice, so he was to rescue us 
by his power from the fury of our hellish oppressor. As he was to appease 
the justice of God, so he was to deface the works of the devil : 1 John iiL 5, 
' He was manifested to take away our sins ;' ver. 8, ' For this purpose was 
the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.' 
As God's justice is so perfectly pacified as never to renew the curses of the 
law against a believer, so is the devil so thoroughly subdued as never to 
repair the ruins of his works. Did Christ rise as a conqueror out of the 
grave, to let sin and Satan run away with the fruits of his victory "? Shall 
he overcome the powers of hell, and triumph over them, to let the devil rob 
him of the honour of his achievements by regaining his loss '? Shall that 
man of his right hand, whom God hath made strong for himsdf, tiiat we 
might not go back from him, Ps. Ixxs. 17, be made weak again by man's 
own corruptions and the devil's repossession "? Should grace truckle nnder 
the devil's works, and the standard which was set up in the soul when h 
was first snatched from the power of darkness be pulled down, what would 
become of the glory of our Redeemer's death, and the honour of his victo^? 
What a disparagement would it be, to have that which he paid so great a 
price for, which was the special gift of his Father, the acquest of the traTail 
and sweat of his soul, wrested out of his hand by an enemy he hath subdued, 
condemned upon the cross, and triumphed over at his ascension ! No, this 
will never be. Christ and the Father are one in operation, and whom God 
delivers from the power of darkness he translates into the kingdom of his 
dear Son, not to return under the government of a hated devil, and makes 
them ' meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,' CoL 
i. 12, not to be partakers of the inheritance of the devils in daikness. 
Neither the Father nor the Son will lose the fruit of their pains. 

(3.) By mutual consent and agreement. He hath possession of them by 
God's gift, and their own choice : John x. 27, 28, ' My sheep hear my voice, 
and I know them, and they foUow me : and I give unto them eternal life, 
and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my 
hand.' Believers are his sheep in his hand ; he knows them with a know- 
ledge of affection, and therefore will be careful of their feeding, growth, and 
safety. On the other side, they hear his voice, answer his call, and behere 
in him, and own him for their Lord and proprietor. They foUow him, he 
caUs them ; they hear his voice, he knows them ; they follow him, he gives 
unto them eternal life, a life never to perish, either by their own wills or the 
wolves' violence. Against both those, Christ in this promise, as their owner, 
secures them. Against their corruptions ; they shall not perish, viz., by a 
corruptive principle in themselves ; here he removes from them all inward 
causes of destruction. Against outward violence ; neither shall any man, no, 
nor devil, pluek them out of my hands, olriz. By this promise he hol& us 
safe in his own possession against the encroachments of our lasts, and the 
rapine of the devil. They chose him for their guardian, and east all their 
care upon him, and follow his eondnct, and he takes care of them to give 
them eternal life, and to mind the weakest as well as the strongest of his 
sheep. He hath them in his hand. They apprehend him, and are af^se- 
bended by him, that they may attain the same end of the race with him, the 
resurrection of the dead, viz., a state of perfection: PhiL'p. iii. 11, 12, 'K 
by any means I may attain onto the resurrection of the dead. Not as thoogh 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak grace victorious. 233 

I had already attained, or were already perfect ; but I follow after, if that I 
may (xara/.a^i) lay hold of that for which [for which end] I am apprehended 
of Christ Jesus.' Apprehended, or laid hold on by Christ, a metaphor from 
those that run a race, that take hold of another to draw him after to win a 
prize as well as themselves. Christ lays hold on believers, and they follow 
him. Will Christ be easily persnadedto let go the hold of his own right? 
will he throw them out of his hand ? That would be changeableness and 
unfaithfulness after his promise. Shall any pluck them out of his hand ? 
That would be weakness. Faith cleaves to Christ, and Christ to faith. 
Faith hands Christ into the heart, and gives him possession; Christ takes the 
heart as his own propriety, — Eph. iii. 12, ' That Christ may dwell in your 
hearts by faith,' — and engageth himself by promise that both he and his 
Father shall abide there, John xiv. 23. Will any gracious heart cast Christ 
out of his lodging ? He that knows the sweetness of their company can 
never desire to have their room. Doth Christ dwell in the heart to let sin 
pull his house down about his ears ? Will he suffer the devil to bring in 
hell-fire to bum up his dwelling ? It is his own house, the church and every 
member of it, Heb. iii. 6. Will he not hinder the decays of it, and repair 
the beams and walls ; yea, the very tiles and pins ? Shall he not brush 
down the cobwebs, and sweep out the dust ? The heart is his field ; will he 
not gather in his wheat, and burn up the tares at last ? 

[3.1 Christ is a steward and ofiicer, appointed by God to this purpose, to 
take care of every believer and his grace. How is he the surety of the cove- 
nant, and of a better testament ? Heb. vii. 22. How can it be a better testa- 
ment, if it may be broken, and prove as weak as the first ? He is bound 
for the performance of the articles of it, whereof those are the two standing 
parts of this agreement : Jer. xxxii. 40, ' I will not turn away from them, to 
do them good : but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not 
depart from me.' That God will not turn away from us to do us good, and 
that we shall never depart from him ; and our perpetual cleaving to him doth 
depend upon his putting his fear into our hearts, and is the end of it. This 
never departing is the end why God puts his fear into our hearts. And 
Christ being a surety of this testament, is to look to both parts of it, that 
both what concerns God's part, and what concerns ours, may be made good. 

Here it is to be considered, that, 

(1.) Christ had a charge from the Father to this purpose. 

[1.] He had charge concerning what he was to do for them. He had a 
charge to redeem them, and a charge to govern them ; he hath a charge to 
relieve them, and a charge to perfect them. 

1. He had a charge to redeem them. The copy of it you may see : Isa. 
xlix. 9, ' That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth ; to them that are 
in darkness. Shew yourselves.' He was to call them out of their prisons, 
knock off their fetters, bring them out of darkness into a marvellous light. 

2. To be their governor was as much in his commission as to be their 
Redeemer, for, ver. 10, • They shall not hunger nor thirst ; neither shall the 
heat nor sun smite them ; for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, 
even by the springs of waters shall he guide them.' So also in Isa. iv. 6, 
where by heat, Sec, is meant all troubles and inconveniences in a Christian 
life. They should not be wasted by fiery temptations, nor left in a forlorn 
condition. And the reason is, because that Christ, that Holy One, to whom 
God speaks, ver. 7, that Redeemer that called them out of a state of dark- 
ness and captivity, was to lead them in his hand, and have his eye upon 
them, and guide them by the springs of water, that they might have a fulness 
of the Spirit, and all refreshings and supplies of grace necessaiy for their 

234 charnock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

present condition. By water, alluding to the river out of the rock, which 
followed the Israelites in the wilderness ; and by the heat and sun, to the 
fiery serjDents, and the plague at that time. Christ here had the conduct of 
those redeemed captives committed to him, and was not to rest satisfied with 
conferring the first grace in the conversion of them, but to provide all things 
for their future security as well as their present freedom. And Isa. xlii. 3, 
when God proclaimed him his servant, this was in his commission, to have 
a special care of the bruised as well as the standing reed ; of the smoking as 
well as the flaming flax ; of the infant grace as well as the adult ; and, 
indeed, the charge is chiefly for them. 

3. He hath a charge to receive them : John vi. 37, ' All that the Father 
gives me shall come to me : and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast 
out.' Ver. 38, ' For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but 
the will of him that sent me.' He was in no wise to cast them out. It is a 
vieiosis ; he was afi'ectionately to entertain and shelter them. And that he 
might make it as firm as possible could be, he tells us it was not only his 
will, but his ofiice, and that he was under a necessary as well as voluntary 
obedience to his Father in this case. It was a part of God's will and charge 
to him, upon the sending him into the world, to receive very kindly any that 
come to him, though the most feeble and crippled believers that came upon 
crutches. As he was to receive kindly those that came, so it implies that he 
should receive them as often as they came, and that in any exercises of faith 
they should find fresh welcomes. Though their faith were very feeble, it 
should not be denied entertainment, but be highly caressed. So that Christ 
was ordered here to entertain every comer, as well as to die for them, and 
charged upon his obedience not to discountenance any that come, come when 
they will, and as often as they will. 

4. He hath a charge also to perfect them, not to lose one of those God 
hath given him : John vi. 39, ' Touro ds sgt! to ^kXrifxa rou 'xs/j.-^avrog fie 
crar^hc ;' ' That of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but 
should raise it up again at the last day.' This is my Father's absolute and 
immutable will ; and he hath sent me to perform this will, that of every 
person he hath given me, /m^ a'TroXidu 1^ aurou, lose nothing of it, not the 
meanest, weakest person. Not one mite or grain of grace should be lost, 
but I should raise it up all at the last day. It was not the bare raising up 
that was the charge God gave unto Christ, but the raising up to eternal life, 
ver. 40, with that perfection of holiness and grace which God expects as the 
end of all his dispensations ; otherwise it cannot be a raising up to eternal 
life in such a completeness as God intended in his charge. This charge not 
to lose any, but to raise them up fit to be presented unto God, without 
blemish, doth include all means and methods in subserviency to this end. 
And in this charge they are all implied to be looked after by Christ. Christ 
w^ould be no friend to his Father should he slight his Father's orders. If he 
should fail of being a perfect Saviour, where would be his love and obedience 
to God ? It is as impossible for an elect person to perish as it is for Christ, 
who is one with the Father, to act contrary to his Father's will. For since 
they are given to him, and that on purpose to receive eternal life by him, they 
must be preserved ; and all that which prepares them to be vessels of glory, 
must be secured from a total and final miscarriage, or else Christ breaks his 
trust, disobeys his Father, and frustrates his expectations of a rest and satis- 
faction in him. (2.) A charge which Christ must give an account of. 
Officers are to give an account of the management of the trust reposed in 
them ; so is Christ of every believer's soul. Our Saviour is in several places 
called God's servant. Servants are to give an account to those that employ 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak grace victorious. 235 

them ; and it is part of the faithfulness of a servant so to do ; and Christ's 
faithfubiess is to be glorified. He is ' a merciful and faithful high priest,' 
Heb. ii. 17 ; faithful to God, as weU as merciful to us ; and faithful to God 
in being merciful to us. And by giving account of his mercy to us, he gives 
an account of his faithfulness to God. God expects all to be returned to 
him in that perfection and conformity to Christ which he designed when he 
first made the deed of gift of them to Christ, He will see whether a man be 
lost by comparing the number of his sanctified ones with the names written 
in the book of life. Some model of this account we have : Heb. ii. 13, 
' Here am I, and the children which thou hast given me.' When he shall 
deliver up his charge, and all be numbered, he will tell his Father of the faith 
of his people, as he did John xvii. 6, 8, ' Thou gavest them me ; and they 
have kept thy word. They have received the words which thou gavest me, 
and they have believed that thou didst send me.' This is the confession he 
will make of men before God and his angels, when he delivers up the king- 
dom to his Father. Will Christ be found tardy in his accounts ? What 
could he answer if any one given to him should be missing ? How could he 
say he hath kept them in his Father's name, and lost none, if any should 
miscarry, as he did, John xvii. 12, which is a copy of what will be said at 
the last ? 

[2.] As he hath a charge, so there is a power conferred on him to perform 
that charge. 

(1.) A power of authority. He hath a power over death and hell to this 
end: Rev. i. 17, 18, ' Fear not; I am he that lives, and was dead: and, 
behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and 
death.' The giving the key is a mark of authority, and is a ceremony used 
in investitures into ofiice. Christ hath the keys of death and hell delivered 
to him by God, and he hath them to prevent the fears and unbelief of his 
people ; for such a use he makes of them here : ' Fear not.' By hell and 
death are meant all kinds of evils which were the bitter consequents of sin. 
Sin opened the mouth of death and the gates of hell ; they are the only 
things which can possibly prevail against a believer to hurt him. Will not 
Christ keep those fast locked up, never to send them out upon a believer for 
his destruction ? And if Christ hath the keys of hell and death, he hath 
also power to keep his people from that state which will necessarily run them 
into hell and death. All the power Christ hath given him over all flesh is in 
subserviency to the performing this charge : John xvii. 2, * As thou hast 
given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as 
thou hast given him,' e^ovalav ; not only a power over those given to him to 
give them eternal life, but a power over all flesh, all the corruptions of men 
and devils, in order to this end of giving eternal life to every believer, ' to as 
many as God hath given him ; ' so that there is not one believer, no, not the 
weakest, but all the power God hath put into the hands of all flesh is with a 
design that it should be used for his security ; as if God should say. Son, 
look to it ; if any one that I have given to thee miss of eternal life, since I 
have given thee power over all flesh for their sakes ; if any sinful or natural 
flesh deprive them of this life, it is for want of thy exercising the power I 
have granted thee to this purpose. Will Christ be unfaithful not to exercise 
his power to the right end ? No. Much less will he abuse his power over 
all flesh to an end quite contrary to that for which it was given him. And 
Christ doth so exercise his power ; for those righteous judgments and just 
reproofs of men in the world, they are for the sakes of the meek of the earth : 
Isa. xi. 4, ' With righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with 
equity for the meek of the earth.' 

236 charnock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

(2.) Power of ability. Christ had the Spirit upon him, to bring forth 
judgment to the Gentiles, and judgment unto truth or unto victory, Isa. xlii. 
4. This rich deposition, his jewels, laid up in the hand of Christ, are more 
highly valued by God than to be entrusted with a weak and feeble keeper. 

Abihty in respect of, 

[1.] Strength to lay the foundation of our security. God made him strong 
for himself for attaining the ends he proposed : Ps. Ixxx. 17, ' Let thy hand 
be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the Son of man, whom thou madest 
strong for thyself. So will not we go back from thee.' The death and 
mediation of Christ is the strongest preservation against apostasy. God 
made Christ strong for his own glory, to purchase a people that should keep 
their standing with him, and not fall as Adam did. The effect of the hand 
of God being upon Christ, and the strength he had to go through in his work, 
was to keep his people's wills and hearts close to God. This is the issue 
and inference the psalmist makes of it. What might in Adam's or angels' 
hands miscarry, never shall in his. 

[2. J Assistance in this business to hold his people secure. Though God 
gave them to Christ as his charge, yet not wholly to leave them in Christ's 
hands, and take no care of them himself. Though they were safe enough in 
Christ's hands, yet the Father, to shew his care of them, and tenderness 
towards them, would have the keeping of them too, and would have fast hold 
as well as his Son, to assist his Son in it : John x. 29, 30, ' My Father, 
which gave them me, is greater than all (greater than Christ in his office of 
mediation), and no man is able to pluck them out of my hand. I and my 
Father are one.' God would have his hand upon them to assist Christ in 
it, to give him the highest security for their happiness. ' I and my Father 
are one :' one in resolution, affection, power, ability, and consent in this 
business ; one in holding of my sheep ; we both have our hands upon them. 
It is strange that any should perish that are grasped both by the Father and 
the Son. What power is able to do it, since the Father is greater than all, 
all men and devils, corruptions and temptations, and falls in with his greatest 
assistance to enable Christ in this business ? 

(3.) Of knowledge and wisdom. He is the wisdom of the Father ; in him 
are hid all .treasures of wisdom and knowledge, for the advantage of those 
persons designed in his commission. The all-wise God would never have 
put so great a concern as his own gloiy in his people's security into unskilful 
hands, and have disparaged his own wisdom in the choice of an unfit steward. 
He hath the book of God's decrees delivered to him, therefore called the 
Lamb's book of life, and there he finds every name written. Rev. xxi. 27, 
and he hath their names written in heaven before him : Heb. xii. 23, ' To 
the general assembly and church of the first-born which are written in heaven.' 
There is a commerce between Christ and his Spirit, so that by the Spirit he 
knows the state of every believer ; their ofiices depend upon one another. 
Christ is the treasurer of grace, the Spirit the conveyer of it. He receives 
of Christ's and shews it unto us. Christ knows what goes out, and he knows 
to whom the Spirit hands it ; knows the mind of the Spirit. He searches 
and listens to know the Spirit's mind, what it would have, what is fit to give 
to the soul. The Spirit intercedes in us ; Christ intercedes for us. Christ 
knows the voice and mind of his own Spirit, and the Spirit knows the will 
of our Redeemer ; for he ' makes intercessions for us according to the will 
of God,' Rom. viii. 27. So he cannot but know our state, because he hath 
a faithful Intelligencer, the same that is our faithful Comforter, and watcheth 
over us to take care of us. The catalogue of the gifts he had is reckoned 
up : Isa. xi. 2, ' And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak grace victorious. ' 237 

of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of 
knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.' All his wisdom, and knowledge, 
and counsel, and understanding, are managed by the fear of the Lord, which 
is put last, as that which is the end of all the rest, viz., faithfulness to God. 
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom in us, and the top of wis- 
dom in Christ. His wisdom and knowledge is to fit him for his faithfulness ; 
as ver. 3, ' and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the 
Lord,' in all the methods of obedience to his charge ; and God gave him the 
tongue of the learned, that he should know how to speak a word in season 
to them that are weary, Isa. 1. 4, i. e. that are weary under sin, and appre- 
hensions of wrath, and power of corruptions. The wisdom God gives him is 
principally for this end. 

(4.) The sufficiency of treasure for it. Christ hath a ministerial fulness to 
this end : ' it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell,' Col. 
i. 16. The issues of this fulness are our reconciliation to God, and the pre- 
senting us holy, unblameable, and unreprovable in God's sight, i. e. in such 
a state that his infinitely pure eye should find no fault in us, ver. 20-22. 
These are the effects of this fulness, and therefore are the end. Though the 
condition be put in, ver. 23, ' if you continue in the faith grounded and 
settled,' it doth not signify that our continuance in faith depends upon our 
own wills. It is frequent in Scripture to put into promises those conditions 
which in other places are promised to be wrought in us ; so that all those 
promises of Hfe upon our continuing and holding out to the end, do not 
weaken this, that our preservation is the efieet of this fulness, because 
those conditions are promised in other places, and are parts of the covenant 
of grace, for the performance of which this fulness was given to our Saviour. 
Our completeness and perfection doth depend upon that fulness of the God- 
head which dwells in him bodily : Col. ii. 9, 10, ' For in him dwells all the 
fulness of the Godhead bodily.' It is a ministerial fulness, whereby he is 
made sanctification to us as well as righteousness, 1 Cor. i. 30. He is made 
to us sanctification, and as much sanctification, and as perfect sanctification, 
as righteousness, or wisdom, or redemption ; so that if any of those be per- 
fect, as our righteousness and redemption, our sanctification also shall be 
perfect, though it be never so weak at present. The oil first poured upon 
Christ's head, as well as that upon Aaron the type, runs down to the skirts 
of his garments, and anoints all the other members. God poured out this 
grace first upon Christ, and through him upon all believers. There is as 
much a dependence of the grace in our hearts, not only in its birth, but in its 
continuance, upon this fulness of grace in Christ, as there is of light in the 
moon or air upon that in the sun ; and there is a constant efflux of it from 
him to expel the darkness of sin, as there is of light from the sun to conquer 
the darkness in the air. And indeed, were it not maintained by a constant 
influence of Christ's fulness, we should quickly have no more grace left than 
Adam just after his fall, and should prove as very bankrupts as the worst of 
sinners. The sun is not able to dry up a drop of sea-water that lies in the 
midst of the sand, which the sea every minute rolls upon and preserves ; 
neither can the flesh the least grace, while the fulness of Christ flows out 
upon it to supply it. 

(5.) The perpetuity of this office. The continuance of Christ for ever in an 
unchangeable priesthood, makes him able to save to the utmost in spite of all 
men and devils : Heb. vii. 24, 25, ' But this, because he continueth for ever, 
hath an unchangeable priesthood : wherefore he is able,' &c. If he continues 
for ever in his office, he will then be for ever able to perform the business 
pertaining to the office, which is to save to the utmost, ug to -ravTiXig, per- 

238 chaenook's works. " [Mat. XII. 20. 

fectly, both in respect of the terminus a quo, from which he saves, and the 
terminus ad quern, to which salvation tends ; from all kind of sins and corrup- 
tions, though never so powerful ; but it continues for ever, none can deprive 
him of his office, because none can deprive him of his life. God neither can 
nor will, because he hath consecrated him by an oath to be a priest or officer 
upon this account for ever. And this office being conferred upon him on pur- 
pose for the salvation of believers, the ends and effects of this office are of as 
long a continuance as the office itself ; for if Christ did not perform the end 
of his office, it would be but an empty title. And this life which is for ever, 
Christ doth intend to use for the standing and perfection of the weakest grace ; 
so that as long as that endures, the grace and happiness of a Christian stands 
immoveable : John xiv. 19, ' Because I live, ye shall live also.' You shall 
live a spiritual life here, and an eternal life hereafter ; all my life shall be 
employed for you, to communicate a gracious life to you, and preserve it in 
you, till it come to be swallowed up in a life of glory with me for ever. If 
the spring of Christ's life fail, then, and not till then, may the stream of ours. 
Grace cannot be destroyed while Christ's life is continued, which will be for 
ever : Eev. i. 18, ' I live for evermore.' A creature under the full beams of 
the sun cannot be cold till the light and heat of the sun be extinguished. 

(6.) Honour. By this God encourageth Christ in this business ; Christ hath 
his honour to this end. Places of trust among men are places of honour. 
Will Christ be careless of his own happiness and glory ? He ' was exalted 
to give repentance, and forgiveness of sin,' Acts v. 41. The grace of repent- 
ance is only mentioned ; but, by consequence, all the rest which accompany 
remission of sins are intended. What was the reason he had so great a glory 
conferred upon him ? Because ' he loved righteousness, and hated iniquity,' 
Heb. i. 9, Ps. xlv. 7. Because he maniftested this love and hatred by vin- 
dicating the righteousness of God, and setting up an everlasting righteous- 
ness, and taking away iniquity. Now, this disposition of loving righteousness 
and hating iniquity, must needs be as powerful in him in heaven as it was 
before ; nay, he must needs love this disposition the better, which was the 
cause of so great an exaltation. And if this disposition was the reason of 
his advancement, should this disposition languish in him, his very advance- 
ment would decay with it. If it were the reason why he was exalted, it must 
then follow that he was exalted that he might still love righteousness and 
hate iniquity, and bia roZro may imply so much ; for this end, for the exer- 
cise of this, he was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows. Since 
therefore this affection continues in him, is it possible he should endure to 
see that iniquity which he hates prevail over that righteousness which he 
loves, after he hath planted one in the heart, and subdued the other? 
The apostle prays, 2 Thes. i. 11, 12, ' That God would fulfil the work of 
faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glori- 
fied in you.' The name of Christ is glorified in a believer when the work of 
faith is fulfilled with power. It makes his crown shine the brighter. What 
hopes then have the devil and corruption of ever regaining their former stand- 
ing in a believing soul ? None, tiU the glory of Christ becomes vile in his 
own eyes. 

3. As there is a charge and office given by God to Christ, and an ability 
to perform, so there is a compliance of Christ with it ; which appears, 

(1.) In his faithfulness in the discharge of it to this end. He promiseth 
this ; he promised it to his Father in their agreement, else he had never been 
sent ; he promises it to us. In John vi. 39 there is God's charge to him, 
that he should lose nothing of what he had given to him, but raise it up. In 
verse 40 there is one absolute promise, ' I will raise them up at the last day,' 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak grace victorious. 239 

t. e. every believer ; where he engageth himself to be faithful in the perform- 
ance of God's will. He hath given a full evidence of it already, in finishing 
the work God gave him to do upon the earth : John xvii. 4, ' I have glorified 
thee on earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do;' for he 
appeals to God for his faithfulness in this particular. And he will be no less 
faithful in finishing the work which is to be yet done by him in heaven in 
the behalf of his people and their graces, for such a work he hath to do : 
Heb. xii. 2, a finisher of faith, in his sitting at God's right hand. His 
faithful care extends to all his subjects, even the weakest as well as the highest 
believer, as God's providence doth to every creature, the lowest worm as well 
as the highest angel. They are all one in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, 
bond or free. Gal. iii. 8. They are all one to him, for he is faithful in the 
exercise of his office to every one. 

(2.) In hisafiection (and that a strong one) to this office, besides his faith- 
fulness ; such as, 

[1.] His stirring compassions to weak grace. These were great in him 
before the assumption of our nature : Exod. xxxiii. 2, 3, ' I will send an 
angel before thee, for I will not go up in the midst of thee, for thou art a 
stiff-necked people, lest I consume thee in the way.' They will give me 
so many provocations that I shall be as a consuming fire, as God must 
needs be in a way of justice when he treats with a sinful people himself. 
But I will send an angel. What angel was this ? It is called his pre- 
sence, ver. 14. Isaiah puts them both together, chap. Ixiii. 9, and calls 
him the angel of God's presence or face. Jesus Christ, the messenger of 
his favour, he shall go up, for he hath compassion; therefore it is said, 
Isa. Ixiii. 9, 'In bis pity he redeemed them.' The antithesis doth easily 
manifest this sense. He shall go up with thee, and he shall not consume 
thee, though thou art a stiff-necked people, because he is a mediator, and 
hath undertaken to satisfy my consuming justice ; and being designed by 
assuming of your nature to be kin to you, hath great compassions towards 
that nature ; his delights are among the sons of men. For God here is 
considered as a judge, and the angel of his presence as a mediator. The 
government of them by Christ is here appointed for their security, which 
they could not have under the immediate government of God. His com- 
passions are in some sense greater now than they were then, since he hath 
been made like unto us, and compassed with our infirmities, and hath 
learned obedience (the necessity of obedience to the mediatory law) by the 
things which he suffered. Infirmity is the object of compassion, and the 
more pressing the infirmity is, the more stirring is the pity. As God pities 
the more when he ' remembers they are but dust, and knows their frame, Ps. 
ciii. 13, 14, so doth Christ know thy frame, thy beheving frame, how weak 
it is; thy sinful frame, how strong it is; he knows thy enemies and he knows 
thy indigence, and how unprovided thou art of thyself to make a stout resist- 
ance, and this awakens his compassion. As the sickly, faint child, hardly 
able to go, and not the strong one, is the object of the Father's pity, the 
weaker thy faith, which lies mixed with a world of strong corruptions' the 
more will Christ be affected with thy case, and pity that grace of his own 
which suffers under them ; for to this end his heart was stored with bowels 
to be exercised upon such occasions. He cannot have a greater object of 
pity than his own grace at the lowest ebb, nor a fitter opportunity to shew 
what a priest he is, how merciful to man in his misery, how faithful to God 
in his interest, which was the end of his being 'clothed with our infirmities,' 
Heb. ii. 17. That very sin which he hates, which is a burden, a grief, a 
trouble to him, shall rather excite than damp his compassion. It shall draw 

240 charnock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

out his bowels to thy person and thy grace, and his anger only against thy 
sin. If he hath any compassions in heaven, they are for those that are his 
own, and for that grace which he loves when it is shot at by powerful cor- 

[2.] A choice love to the weakest believers and their grace. The having 
a seed is the greatest article that he insisted on in his first agreement with 
God in this mediatory work. He was satisfied with the promises of it, for 
all the satisfaction he was to give to God by his blood: Isa. liii. 10, 11, 
' He shall see his seed, and the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied ;' 
and in his last prayer, John xvii., he prays more for his people and their 
graces than for himself, to shew that his seed lay then nearest his heart, and 
that his soul travailed most with them. And shall that which he had an 
entire affection for in the first agreement between his Father and himself be 
slighted now after all his agonies, pains, sweat, and blood to gain it ? When 
he was in the flesh, he admired not the buildings of the temple, had no fond- 
ness for the pomp of the world or the splendour of a prince's court. No ; 
the faith of the centurion was the matter of his wonder, that of a Canaanitish 
woman, and the penitent love of a converted harlot the object of his aflection, 
the revelation of God to babes and sucklings the subject of his thanksgiving. 
He had more desire to recover a little languishing grace to its former vigour 
than to preserve his life. When he was near his sentence of condemnation, 
he would in that extremity look back upon Peter to inspire him with a new 
strength after his fall, and by rallying his scattered graces make him victo- 
rious, who had been so miserably baffled by his corrupt fears. Would it be 
correspondent to the sincere love of Christ to let that which is his special 
favourite lie grovelling in the dust, wounded to death by sin, his hateful 
enemy ? 

[3.] His delight in believers and their graces. The very first grace acted 
by a new convert causes a jubilee in heaven. Christ', as it were, makes a 
feast in heaven when the lost sheep is found, and calls upon all the angels 
to congratulate with him for the recovery of it. Surely he will never have 
this joy turned into sorrow, these graces rifled and routed by the devil, and 
so give him occasion to laugh or scofi" both at himself and the angels for 
their too forward joy. He was glad even of sad occasions contrary to his 
nature, when they might further the increase of a little faith. When Lazarus 
was dead, he was glad he was not there in the time of his sickness to hinder 
the death of a friend he loved, because by his raising him again his disciples 
might be confirmed in faith, and gain a greater power against their frequent 
doubts and unbelief : John xi. 15, ' I am glad for your sakes that I was not 
there, to the intent that you may believe.' If Paul calls the Philippians his 
joy and crown, because he instrumentally converted them, believers then are 
Christ's joy and crown, because he efi'ectually died for them. Will Christ 
have his joy torn from his heart, his jewels rifled from his crown, and his 
'crown plucked from his head ? What was that joy of his which he desires 
of his Father to be ' fulfilled in his disciples,' John xvii. 13, but the sancti- 
fication of his people which he prays for ? The very discourse of the fruit- 
fulness of his saints' graces cheers his heart : John xv. 11, ' These things I 
have spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you,' i.e. that I might re- 
joice in you. He delights in the beauty, i.e. the graces of his queen : Ps. 
xlv. 11, ' So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty.' And will he not in- 
crease his own pleasure by increasing the spiritual beauty and graces of a 
believer ? He doth boast of believers which are his heritage, Ps. xvi. 6, 
' The hues are fallen to me in pleasant places, yea, I have a goodly heri- 
tage.' And can we think he will not improve it ? It must be more pleasure 

Mat. Xn. 20.] weak gkace victopjous. 241 

to enjoy it flourishing than to possess it wasted. And Christ doth not repent 
of any undertaking of his for the happiness and security of his people : Hos. 
xiii. 14, ' I will ransom them from the power of the grave ; I will redeem 
them from death : death, I will be thy plagues ; grave, I will be thy 
destruction : repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.' It is the speech of 
Christ triumphing over death. That it is meant of Christ, the word VIS, to 
redeem with a price, and ^i^i, to redeem jure affinitatis, do evince. It 
includes the conquest of all other enemies, as the apostle descants upon it, 
1 Cor. XV. 55-57. Sin and the curses of the law, of this he would not 
repent ; ' Repentance shall be hid from my eyes ;' I will cast away any 
motion to it, that it shall never come more in my sight. If he rejoices in 
this redemption, he will also in the effects of it upon the hearts of his people. 
These affections are unchangeable as his office. If that be perpetual, Heb. 
vii. 24, the qualifications necessary to that office must be as perpetual as his 
office itself. ' Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever,' Heb. 
xiii. 8. The same in credit with his Father, faithfulness to his charge, 
affection to his people, ability for his office, fulness of his person, virtue of 
his blood, compassions to his weeping, gasping new creature, and his hatred 
of that which doth oppress it. And when there is such a combination in 
the heart of Christ, and the end of all is the good of these poor bruised reeds 
his beHeving creatures, can we think it possible that those affections should 
be idle ? And if they be excited, as undoubtedly they will, they will attain 
their ends, being all armed with a mighty power for the effecting of them. 

Well then, let us act faith upon these engagements of Christ, and say with 
him in the psalm, Ps. xlviii. 14, ' This God is our God for ever and ever, 
he will be our guide even unto death,' and beyond death too. It is his 
office to guide by his counsel here, those that he will bring to glory hereafter. 
Lord Jesus, direct us by thy counsel here, as parts of thy charge, and bring 
us to glory as vessels of thy mercy, to be filled with everlasting riches of 
grace ; cherish our bruised reeds, and inflame our smoking flax. 

[4.] The author of grace. He keeps this treasure in his own hands. 
He is so choice of it, that he never entrusted an angel to bestow it. Angels 
were employed to strengthen him both after his temptation and in his agony ; 
they are ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation, but they have not the 
custody of that which brings them into a state of heii'ship. He employs 
none but his Spirit to be his attorney and deputy in the world to this purpose, 
which Spirit is sent in his name, John xiv. 26. What it bestows, it receives 
from Christ, and doth it by his order: John xvi. 14, 'He shall glorify me,' in 
doing my work, for * he shall receive of mine, and shew it unto you. All 
things that the Father hath are mine, therefore said I, that he shall take of 
mine, and shew it unto you.' To his glory, and by communication from 
him, all the saving light in our understanding, that vital principle in our 
will, those supernatural impressions upon our afiections, are all handed to 
us from Christ by the Spirit, and wrought in us by our Redeemer's order. 
It is all his work by his proxy. The Father is the fountain of grace, Christ 
the treasurer, the Spirit the dispenser. It was his prerogative to be the 
author of faith, when he endured the cross and despised the shame : Heb. 
xii. 2, ' Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who, for the 
joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down 
at the right hand of the throne of God,' that he might thereby be the author 
of faith. And he will not lose the other part of his royalty to be the finisher 
of it, for that is his title too, and he performs this by sitting at the right 
hand of the throne of God. There be sits upon a throne of grace, to distri- 

VOL. V. ' Q 

242 chaknock's woKKS." [Mat. XII. 20. 

bute grace upon every emergency, to finish that faith which is the weakest, 
and because it is the weakest, needs most assistance for its rehef and per- 
fection, and wants his greatest care for the support of it : Heb. iv. 15, 16, 
* Let us therefore' {i.e. because we have not an high priest which cannot be 
touched with the feeling of our infirmities) ' come boldly to the throne of 
grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace ;' iJg h-/.aioov (3oy;diiav, an 
emphatical word, xaifog, signifies season, without the addition of the adverb 
i^v in the composition. He gives out mercy from thence for the remission 
of sin, and dispenseth gi-ace for a seasonable help. It is then most season- 
able, when habitual grace is weakest in itself, and its enemy strongest. If 
he would be the author of faith by his death, because of the joy set before 
him, he will be no less the finisher of it by his life, because of the joy pos- 
sessed by him. This being his work since his return to glory, his care to 
look after both the supporting and completing bruised and imperfect faith is 
greater, because hereby he shews more of his art (as masters reserve the 
completing of a work to themselves for the honour of their own skill), and mani- 
fests more of his faithfulness to God, which is more evident in the perfection 
of a thing, than the first draught of it. And perhaps this may be meant by 
that expression, ' he learned obedience by the things which he suffered ; and 
being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them 
that obey him,' Heb. v. 8, 9. He learned by his suiferings the necessity and the 
acceptableness of obedience to God in this mediatory work, and therefore will 
not be wanting to that part of faithfulness and obedience, which is still due, 
in being the author of eternal salvation, by his being made perfect in heaven, 
as he was the author of faith by his being humbled upon the earth. And 
indeed that grace which he gives is eternal life, for so he calls it, John 
xvii. 2, 3. What he calls eternal life, which he had power to give, he calls, 
ver. 3, * the knowledge of God, and Jesus Christ whom God had sent.' The 
knowledge of God in Christ, a gracious, aiFectionate knowledge of faith, 
spiritually to know him as sent by God for such great ends, is faith and 
eternal life. Though it be but a bud in this world, subject to storms and 
winds, mixed with much ignorance and doubts, yet it is life, and eternal too. 
For there is no essential difi'erence between grace and glory, but only in 
degree ; therefore Christ saith so frequently in John, ' I give unto them 
eternal life ; ' I give, not I will give, but I give at present ; and he that be- 
lieves hath eternal life, not shall have ; for grace is a preserving principle, 
which shall overpower the corruptive principle of sin. If this knowledge of 
God in Christ, implanted in the soul, should perish, it cannot then deserve 
the title Christ gives it. And indeed it is not agreeable to the wisdom of 
God, and the honour of his Son, to cast about so much, and contrive the 
sending of Christ, to bestow only a perishing gift, and to let the honour and 
fruit of his Son's death, his gift of grace, depend upon the mutable will of 

Well then, to be the author and finisher of faith, are his two titles com- 
bined together ; and therefore where he is the author, he is engaged to be 
the finisher of the weakest grace. The smallest star receives its light, and the 
preservation of it, from the sun, as well as of the greatest magnitude. 

[5.] The exemplar and pattern of grace. God set up Christ as the great 
standard or standing copy, according to which all believers should be framed 
and wrought just like him : Eom. viii. 29, * Whom he did foreknow, he also 
did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be 
the first-born among many brethren.' To the image of his Son; not to the 
image of the most glorious man that ever was in the world. Not to Enoch, 
that signal walker with God ; nor Noah, the only loyal preacher of right- 


Mat. XII. 20.] weak gkace victorious. 243 

eousness in his time ; nor Abraham, God's friend and the believers' father ; 
but his own Son, who was free from all taint of sin. As his perfect purity- 
made him fit to be a sacrifice to take away sin, 1 John iii. 5 ; to be an 
advocate to plead against sin, 1 John ii. 1, 'Jesus Christ the righteous;' so 
also to be the idea accoixiing to which all believers should be framed. Now 
the weakest habitual grace is an inchoative conformity to Christ as well as 
the strongest, and as well as that which is perfected in heaven, and hath in 
its own nature all the parts of that grace which is in Christ ; as an infant 
in his body hath the lineaments of his father, as well as the grown son : 
1 John xvi., 'And of his fulness have all we received grace for grace.' Grace 
in us suited to that grace which is in Christ, as some well express it; as the 
paper receives the image of every letter set in the press. The highest 
believer in the world was not wrought according to a more exact mode 
than the lowest. The meanest branch of God's affectionate foreknowledge 
is conformed to Christ, and the highest cannot have a more excellent pattern. 
The Spirit, in drawing grace in the soul, fixeth his eye upon Christ in every 
line he draws, and forms the lineaments of habitual grace in some proportion 
to that original. Here we are said to be ffu/x/iosf o/, of the same spiritual 
form and shape, with the image of his Son. It is therefore called ' a forming 
of Christ,' Gal. iv. 19; 'a changing into the same image,' 2 Cor, iii. 18, 
lMirai/jO^(pov(MiSa, metamorphosed from our natural into a spiritual shape, 
from glory to glory; from grace, glory begun, to glory, grace perfected. 
There is not only tlae shape of Christ, as a limner draws the picture of a 
man, but not the intellectual or moral endowments ; but in this draught of 
grace in some measure there is. Believers are therefore said to have ' the 
Spirit of Christ,' Rom. viii. 9; the same dispositions of holiness, &c., which 
were in Christ; the same mind which was in Christ, Philip, ii. 5; and to be 
'partakers of Christ,' Heb. iii. 14, not of a part of Christ; partakers of 
his purchase, of his grace, of his nature ; and that by faith, by holding the 
beginning of our confidence, our first ground of faith, and our first act of 
faith, stedfast to the end ; and are called his brethren, not by the human 
nature (for so all men are), but by a nature like his. Now the end of this 
conformity being that Christ might have brethren, and many brethren, can 
we imagine he would have one brother among the sons of men, if this con- 
formity to Christ were to be preserved by our own power? Certainly that 
tempter who would have deprived us of a Saviour, by making him to cast 
himself down from the pinnacle of the temple, would quickly deprive us of 
his image, by hurling it down from the pinnacle of our hearts, and dashing 
all the dirt of hell upon it ; and so the end of God in this absolute will of 
conforming us to Christ, being thereby to make him the first-born among 
many brethren, would be frustrate. For if any one true believer, thus con- 
formed to Christ, might totally and finally fall, then a second and a third 
might, and all till you come to the last man of them. And if we were left 
to our own care, we should as certainly lose this image as Adam did in 
innoceney. Can we preserve our spiritual life without this constant in- 
fluence of God's grace, when we cannot our natural, without an uninter- 
rupted stream of his providence ; and when Adam did not will to preserve 
himself without the influx of God's grace preserving him in the integrity of 
his nature ? 

Well then, will Christ suffer one to perish who hath the same nature, 
spirit, and mind which he himself hath ? Will he endure that his own 
picture, limned by the art of his Spirit, with the colours of his own blood, 
in so near a resemblance to him, that he hath not his image again in any 
thing in the world besides it; and this drawn for his own glory, that he might 

244 charnock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

be a head among many brethren ; will he suffer so excellent a piece as this 
to be torn in pieces, in contempt of him, either by flesh or devils ? 

[6, J As the head and husband of believers, by virtue of union with them. 
Union in all bodies is the ground of stability. There is no straiter union 
in the world than that of Christ to believers ; it is therefore compared to all 
kinds of members, natural and political, to shew the firmness of a believer's 
state upon all accounts. He is the head, believers the members ; he is the 
root, they the branches ; he the husband, they the wife. The bands of this 
union are, on Christ's part, the Spirit ; on our parts, faith and love. The 
greatness of the person he sends to bind it close on his part, shews the high 
dehght he hath in it ; and shall he not as much delight in continuing this 
union by preserving that faith and love which knits us to him ? Christ's 
delight shall not be quenched, nor the Spirit's operation prove fruitless. 

This will further appear by shewing what kind of union this is. 

(1.) It is a marriage union, and as a natural union of head and members. 
Both are discoursed on together by the apostle : Eph. v. 28-30, ' He that 
loves his wife, loves himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh ; but 
nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church. For we are 
members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.' Where, exhorting 
husbands to love their wives, he sets Christ as a copy to enforce it upon 
them. And ver. 32, he seems to intimate, that his whole discourse, wherein 
bo began to speak of the love of Christ to the church, from ver. 25, did 
refer to this : ' No man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth it,' Ixr^sf s/, 
provides for it, and i^aXTrj/, clothes it, and beautifies it, and defends it against 
the injuries of the weather. So doth Christ nourish the graces of his people, 
and protects them against the temptations of Satan. What prince would 
without resistance see a traitor wrest his beloved queen from his arms, and 
cut her throat ? 

The apostle from this passes to mix both those unions together, and illus- 
trates one by the other : ver. 30, ' We are members of his body, of his flesh,' 
&c., alluding to Eve's heing taken out of Adam's side. And not only the 
church in general, but every believing member, ' We are members of his 
body ;' we believers, and every one of us. It being thus, it is impossible 
Christ can do any other than nourish and cherish his own body, and every 
member of it, his own spouse. For in doing so, he loves himself, ver. 28, 
as a head, a husband, his mystical self, and his own honour, which is concerned 
in his spouse : ' No man ever yet hated his own flesh.' Whatsoever is 
implanted in our nature as a perfection of it, is eminently in God ; now since 
he hath twisted with our nature a care of our own bodies, this care must be 
much more in the nature of Christ, because he hath a higher affection to his 
mystical body than we can have to our natural, for he is set here as the 
exemplar, and originals are always more excellent than the copied draughts. 
Would not every man improve both the beauty and strength of his own body, 
take care to preserve it from wounds, and to heal them when they are received, 
and not sufter the flesh to be mangled, unless it be for the security of the 
whole ? This would be a hatred of hie own flesh, which never any man 
in his right wits was guilty of. Shall Christ then let spots always defile his 
body, and wounds putrefy it for want of curing ? Shall he let sin wiihin, 
and the devil without, gnaw, slash, and cut his members, and stand by 
unconcerned ? Will he suffer the least member of his body to be torn from 
him by his enemies ? Shall our affectionate Redeemer, that hath taken 
upon him to be our head, and to cause this union, and delights in it, be the 
first that shall do such an unnatural act, and be worse natured to his body 
than the wickedest man in the world is to his ? Men do not use to cut off 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak grace victorious. 245 

a finger for every wart or wen, or for every wound that hath putrefaction in 
it. Christ doth not cut off believers for their infii-mities, he would then cut 
off his owm members. Men rather use diseased parts with more tenderness, 
because they stand in more need of it. Christ therefore will much more 
cherish the affected part, and chase the disease away. Certainly believers, 
being members of his body, he must naturally care for their state, especially 
for that grace which is the band of union, and the vital spirit in all its mem- 
bers. Will he ever suffer that to decay for want of food ? Christ hath not 
only the name, but the affection, of a head ; and it is his office by union 
(and not only so, but his nature), as well as his Father's charge, to be care- 
ful of the preservation of his members. Shall he feel what is done against 
his people by persecutors ? And will he not be much more sensible of what 
the tlesh, that grand tyrant and persecutor of his people's graces, doth against 
his body, as well as what the lesser and more extrinsecal enemies execute ? 

Obj. But if it be said, that there is no doubt of Christ's faithfulness to 
us while we continue faithful to him ; but we may cast off Christ from being 
our husband, and we being not natural, but mystical members, may cut off 
ourselves ; — 

Ans. Against this the covenant secures : Jer. xxxii. 40, * I will make an 
everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do 
them good ; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart 
from me.' The fear he hath put into our hearts, keeps us from ever depart- 
ing from him. Besides, there is a stronger stay, ' God will not turn from 
us, to do us good,' even the highest good, all the good he can. God stores 
us with habitual grace, and stands by it. It is God's keeping close to us, 
secures us from turning our backs upon him. Again, Christ's love to keep, 
is armed with gracious omnipotency to effect it, which no husband in the 
world hath over his wife, nor any man over any members of his body. 

(2.) It is so strong a union intensively, that Christ and a regenerate man 
become one spirit : 1 Cor. vi. 17, ' But he that is joined to the Lord is one 
spirit,' xoy.y.uiijisiiog, glued ; one spii'it, as if they had but one soul in two 
bodies. What the Spirit doth in Christ, it doth also in a believer, accord- 
ing to the capacity of his soul. The same Spirit, which was the immediate 
conveyer of grace to the human nature of Christ, is so to us. Christ had 
an essential holiness in respect of his Godhead, but a derivative holiness as 
man. And this derivative holiness proceeded from the Spirit in him with- 
out measure, which we have in our measures. And by virtue of this union, 
by the same Spirit whereby you become one spirit with Christ, not only that 
grace which is in you and the greatest apostle are the same, but that grace 
which is in you and our great Mediator the man Christ Jesus, are of the 
same nature and original. As the light of the sun and the light of a star 
are the same, but they differ in degrees, not essentially ; and as we say of 
souls, anivKB sunt j)ares dignitate, though the actions are not the same, 
because of the indispositions of the organs, and the predominancy of some 
particular humour. It is the same Spirit in Christ and a believer, as it is 
the same soul in dignity, which is in an infant and a man of tlie most 
refined parts. It is more here, for it is the same Spirit, in respect of his 
person, which makes Christ very near of kin to us. This Spirit must either 
desert Christ or us, before this union can be dissolved : not Christ, for he 
had it in the world not by measure, and he is yet anointed with the oil of 
gladness above his fellows ; not us, because the promises of Christ cannot 
be broken ; this being the top- stone of the comfort of believers, in sending 
this Comforter, that he was to abide for ever. 

(3.) This union of the soul to Christ is strengthened by the union of Christ 

246 chaknock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

to the Father : John xvii. 23, ' I in them, and thou in me, that they may 
be made perfect in one ;' itg ev, into one. First, the Father in Christ, and 
then Christ in behevers ; so that whatsoever fuhiess, strength, grace, the 
Father gives to Christ by virtue of his union with him, and which is com- 
municable to his members, the same hath the soul by virtue of its union with 
Christ. And both these unions, that of the Father with Christ, and that 
of Christ with us, are for the perfection of all those that should be with 
him to the end of the world, even the weakest as well as the strongest; for 
it refers to ver. 20. But we must understand this, not of that essential 
union between the Father and the Son, as they are one essence, but of the 
union of the Father to Christ as mediator, in respect of the Father's influ- 
ence upon him, and assistance of him. Christ being the medium of our 
union with God, both the Father's union with him, and his with us, are for 
our perfection. Because, whatsoever grace Christ hath, by virtue of his 
union with the Father, is to be communicated to us according to our capacity, 
or employed for us according to our necessity. And from this union it is 
that God loves believers as he loves Christ ; ver. 23, ' That the world may 
know that thou hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.' Christ himself 
made no question but the Father loved believers as he loved him their head, 
mnore umilitudinis, not ccqualltatis ; but Christ would have the world know it, 
and themselves know it too, and thei'efore would have them sanctified, and 
at last perfected. From this passage, I think, this will plainly follow, that 
as Christ cannot miscarry because of his union with the Father, whereby he 
hath a continual influence from him, so neither can a believer by virtue of 
his union with Christ, which invests him in the same love which the Father 
bears to Christ. 

Methinks the apostle refers to this passage : Col. iii. 3, ' Our life is hid 
with Christ in God.' Our life is hid with Christ by virtue of our union with 
him, as Christ is in God by union with the Father ; Christ in God, and 
our life in Christ. The flesh then a-nd the devils may as well pull God out 
of heaven, and overthrow the security of Christ, and pull him from the right 
hand of the Father, as rob a true believer of his spiritual life, or pull grace, 
which is Christ formed in the heart, out of the soul of a new creature. 

(4.) From this union with Christ doth result a communion with him, 
which secures grace in a behever's heart, A communion with him in his 
death, and from thence a perfection. So the apostle argues : Rom. vi. 5, 6, 
' If we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be 
also in the likeness of his resurrection : knowing this, that our old man is 
crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed,' &c. If we are 
planted with him in the likeness of his death for the destruction of the body 
of sin, we shall grow up with him in the likeness of his resurrection for the 
perpetual life of grace ; for by our dying with him we are freed from sin, i. e. 
from serving sin, and yielding up ourselves to it. And this communion in 
his death will introduce a communion with him in his life : ver. 8, ' There- 
fore, as Christ, being raised again, dies no more,' so a Christian being 
regenerate, and raised from a death in sin, which spiritually answers to a 
resurrection of the body, cannot spiritually die again, ver. 9-11 ; for Christ 
formed in the heart dies no more there, than Christ exalted in heaven doth. 
And after an exhortation, that they should not obey sin in the lusts thereof, 
whereby he shews what this communion with Christ in his resurrection is, 
not a total freedom from sin, but a not obeying sin in its lusts and motions ; 
not reverencing the commands of it, as if it were our lord ; not yielding our- 
selves to its service, but to the service of God, ver. 12, 13; which is a good 
comment upon those places which some have made an erroneous use of, and 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak gkace victokious. 247 

from which they do at this day cry up an absolute perfection in this life, 
1 John iii. 9 : 1 John v. 18, ' "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit 
sin : for his seed remains in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of 
God.' He cannot morally, because of the seed of God and strong habit of 
grace, fed by union to and communion with Christ. I say, after this ex- 
hortation, this is the final inference the apostle makes : ver. 14, ' Sin shall 
not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace,' 
i. e. by virtue of your being in the covenant of grace, united to the mediator 
of that covenant, who as surety hath satisfied the law for you, and brought 
it about that you are no more under the law, but under grace ; and having 
a communion with him in his death and resurrection, you are in the same 
stable state inchoatively as Christ himself is, and you will be at last perfectly 
so in heaven. For that is the strength of the apostle's reasoning, as you 
will find perusing that chapter at your leisure, viz., to shew that it was im- 
possible that any one that was in the covenant of grace should abuse that 
grace to a licentiousness in sin, and a devoted affection to it, because 
if he had been once planted into that likeness of Christ's death, he is freed 
from sin, and will be planted in the likeness of Christ's resurrection ; and 
therefore it will be impossible for him to be under the reign of sin. And to 
encourage them to keep up their standing against sin, he assures them that 
sin shall have no dominion over them; as nothing makes a man fight more 
courageously in a battle than to be sure of victory. Union cannot be without 
communion ; for while the members are united to a living, sound head, there 
will be an influx of animal spirits whereby they shall partake of life and 
motion. The spirit from our mystical head will be working in us, providing 
for us, and standing by us for our mystical preservation. 

Well, then, sum up this together, that this union is a marriage union, 
and that thereby we become the body of Christ, yea, and are acted by the 
same Spirit ; add the union of the Father with Christ, as well as that of 
Christ with us, and the communion both of his death and resurrection re- 
sulting from this union ; and if those be not strong enough to hold and 
secure a true believer, though he have but little strength, he may then, and 
not till then, totally and finally fall away. 

[7.] An advocate of grace in respect of his intercession. Christ's office 
being that of an advocate, doth ascertain this truth. An advocate is so to 
plead his client's right, that he may gain the victory over his adversary in 
the suit. Christ being an advocate that always entertains a good cause, will 
certainly so manage it that grace shall at length prove victorious. 

(1.) The concerns of grace are the principal subject of his intercession. 

[1.] Our standing in grace. Our first access by faith is the immediate 
fruit of his reconciling us. But our actual salvation, and all the methods of 
it, are the fruits of his life : Eom. v. 2, ' By whom also we have access by 
faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of 

The apostle in that verse mentions three things : 

1. Our access by faith. 

2. Our standing in this grace, whereunto we have access. 

3. Our joy in the hopes of all the fruits of it. All which are ascribed not 
only to his death, but to his life, and the two last principally to that, ver. 
10. 11. By his death, he takes away the partition wall between God and us, 
built on our parts by sin, and on God's part by the hand of justice. By his 
life, he preserves this access free and open, and secures the wall from ever 
being built up again to hinder our access, which would be if sin should pre- 
vail ; for if sin builds it on our part, justice could not but rebuild it on 

248 chaknock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

God's part, were it not for the life of Christ, which doth as much maintain 
our standing, as his death did work our reconcihation, otherwise the apostle 
could not have put a much more to it. For by this life of Christ we can 
joy in God as our friend, who was formerly our enemy, because by Christ 
thus living we receive the atonement, i. e. it is continually applied to us : 
ver. 11, 'by whom we have now received the atonement, iXaQo/xiv, aorist, 
just now,' the fruits of the atonement ; and by this constant application of 
the atonement, our standing is secured with joy ; for in receiving^the atone- 
ment made by his death fi-om him now living, we receive all the other fruits 
of his purchase. Hence he is said to prepare heaven for us, i. e. by keeping 
up the favour of God towards us, that when we come we may have the kind- 
est reception, just as he doth make us meet below for the inheritance of the 
saints in light by his Spirit. 

[2.] Our progress in sanctification. The keeping his seed from the evil, 
and preserving of them, is the main matter of all that prayer, John xvii. 15, 
' Keep them from the evil,' olto rou '!rovr}^ov ; from the devil, the head of sin, 
from all sorts of evils, evils within and evils without; which implies not only 
a desire negatively, that they might not be hurt by evil, but also that they 
might overcome it, and be improved by it. And that no believer should be 
discouraged, and think himself out of Christ's thoughts, he presents to his 
Father the whole generation of them to ' the end of the world,' ver. 20. He 
holds up here all his seed, as it were, in his hand, as those to whom he would 
have those petitions then put up, answered in time, to every one of them, 
weak and strong, to the very last man that should give up his name to him ; 
eveiy one that should believe through the apostles' word, their word minis- 
terially, because committed to them to be delivered down by them from age 
to age, so that the same gospel being now preached in the world, and pro- 
ducing the fruit of faith in any soul, entitles him to the benefits of this 
prayer. In his recovery of Peter by his prayer on earth, he sets a pattern 
of what he would do for all his people in heaven : Luke xxii. 82, ' But I 
have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not : and when thou art converted, 
strengthen thy brethren,' which is evidenced by those words, * when thou art 
converted,' &c. Tell them that the rallying of thy routed faith was by the 
prevalency of my prayer, and that they may expect the like from me in their 
temptations ; that their faith shall not fail, but rather get a surer standing, 
as indeed Peter's did, who, though he so shamefully denied his Master under 
the power of the temptation, yet was the most forward afterwards to confess 
him in the teeth of his adversaries. As Paul's conversion was a pattern to 
after-ages of the power of his grace for the turning the most giant-like sinners, 
so was this a pattern of the force of his intercession for the preservation and 
further sanctification of oppressed believers. These words, ' strengthen thy 
brethren,' would be of little force if it were not a leading case, and that 
Christ intended to make it a rule of court for the comfort of his people that 
are like Peter, having the revelation of Christ from God, and not from flesh 
and blood. 

[3.] The keeping the covenant firm in both the parts of it, as the founda- 
tion of both these. Therefore in the solemn appearance of God in prophetic 
visions, relating to the gospel dispensation, both before the manifestation of 
Christ and since, the throne of God is encircled with a rainbow. But the 
place I would consider is Jer. xxx. 21, 22, 'And their governor shall proceed 
from the midst of them ; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall 
approach unto me : for who is this that engageth his heart to approach unto 
me ? saith the Lord. And you shall be my people, and I will be your God.' 
God causeth Christ to draw near, and gives him a power of mediating : ' I 

Mat. XII. 20.1 weak geace victorious. 


will cause him to draw near;' Christ accepts it; ' he shall approach unto me.' 
Who ? * Their goTernor,' that ' shall proceed from the midst of them.' _ God 
then breaks out into a delightful astonishment at this approach of Christ to 
him as a surety and advocate, so that he gives out all blessings upon his 
asking, ' Who is this that hath engaged his heart ?' 13*? ns my, hath pawned 
his heart, hath become a surety in his heart ; so the word is used and 
translated, Gen. xliv. 32, lyJH nx mj?, thy servant hath 'become a surety 
for the lad;' and likewise Prov. vi. 1, 'If thou be surety for thy friend.' 
This is that which makes the covenant firm, and preserves the knot between 
God and us. Ver. 22, ' You shall be my people, and I will be your God ;' 
I understand it of the mediation of Christ in general, but with a particular 
application to his intercession, as being a great part of that mediation, and 
the principal, if not the only, continued act of it. Now as long as those 
engagements of his heart, those affections, remain, he hath liberty as a surety 
to approach to God, which he will always have ; and as long as God delights 
in it, as here he doth even to admiration, so long shall believers be God's 
people, and he their God. Certainly such an answer doth Christ receive 
upon every act of his intercession, even a covenant answer ; God saith, that 
poor, weak, believing soul whom thou dost plead for shall be mine, one of 
my people, and I will be his God, and I will do what thou wilt for him. 

(2.) His intercession seems to be appointed by his Father for this end, 
the support and happiness of those that believe in him ; which appears iiot 
only in that fore-mentioned place of Jeremiah, wherein God would cause him 
to approach to him for the keeping the covenant stable between God and his 
people ; but in Ps. ii. 8, ' Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for 
thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession;' 
which is Christ's patent for this office of advocate, and granted him after his 
resurrection, intimated in those words, ' Thou art my Son, this day have I 
begotten thee.' As Christ did not die for himself, or rise again for himself, 
but as a public person, so he hath this power of asking, and promise of 
receiving upon asking, as a public person, as a king and governor, as he is 
styled in Jer. xxx. 22, and as he is set Eng upon his holy hill of Sion, i. e. 
king in his church. If he had then this gi'ant of asking, as a pubHc person, 
and as king in his church, it must then be employed for those who are his 
church, his voluntary subjects, those for whom he died and rose again. K 
his asking were designed as a means to come to the possession of his inherit- 
ance, the possession of the Gentiles, by the same reason it is also designed 
as a means for the improvement of his inheritance ; for those that are 
chiefly his heritage in the world, his garden in the wilderness, so pleasant to 
him, Ps. xvi. 6, that if he can make it more pleasant for asking he will riot 
stick at it, and God will do it for him. For the large promise made him 
implies both the preservation and improvement of his inheritance, to niake it 
comfortable to him. This power of asking was chiefly designed for believers, 
as appears by the use the psalmist makes of it, of exhortation to the powers 
of the world, ver. 10, 11, 'to serve him ;' but of exultation in the latter end 
of ver. 12 to believers, ' Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.' 
If it were not designed by God for them, and for every one of them (all they), 
and to be employed for them chiefly, they would be no more blessed than 
others. And this blessedness doth consist in justification and sanctification, 
for ' blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven,' Ps. xxxii. 1 ; and Christ 
blesseth us ' by turning us away from iniquity,' Acts iii. 26. 

(3.) Christ doth ask this blessing of grace in particular, for every believer 
n particular, which still adds a strength to this truth. Christ's living for 
ever to make intercession for U8 is the reason rendered why he is able to 

250 charnock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

' save to the utmost,' Heb. vii. 25. It is eJg to c^a^^^^s5, ad omnimodam per- 
fectionem, so Camero ; perfection of parts here, perfection of degrees here- 
after. If he lives for ever to make intercession for the perfect salvation of 
his people, he doth consequently intercede for all those things which may 
promote the perfection of their salvation, and consequently for their graces, 
which are necessary to it. Therefore the habit of grace shall be actually and 
perpetually preserved, otherwise Chiust's intercession would be in vain. And 
this he doth in particular for every believer. They were given to him in 
particular, they come to God by him in particular, and he saves them in par- 
ticular ; therefore he intercedes for them in particular, even for all those that 
come unto God by him. As they come, he intercedes for them ; as a great 
master of requests, he receives the petitions of every comer, and presents 
their particular cases to his Father with a good and powerful word of his 
own ; so he prayed for Peter in particular, Luke xxii. 32, ' I have prayed 
for thee (and for thy grace too), that thy faith fail not.' It is probable Christ 
prayed for all, it seems to be implied ; Satan had an aching tooth at every 
one of them ; 'EgTir^jo-aro, he hath earnestly desired you to sift you as wheat. 
He prayed particularly for their faith, that it might not be conquered, be- 
cause this being the fundamental grace, if this stands all the rest keep up 
their heads. His intercession is for everything which may preserve, and 
against everything which may destroy. Not only for the preservation itself, 
but for the particular means of it : John xvii. 17, ' Sanctify them through 
thy truth : thy word is truth.' Do it by thy word, where he intercedes for 
the keeping up a gospel in the world in subserviency to this end, viz., their 
sanctification. Do it by thy truth, that incorruptible seed, that eternal 
gospel, eternal in the dm-ation of the effects of it. So that thy standing, and 
all the means of it, the habit and the very acting of thy faith, the impres- 
sions made upon thy soul by any particular truth, are the fruits of Christ's 
intercession. I cannot imagine that a person that Christ doth in so parti- 
cular a manner intercede for in all his concerns, can fall totally and finally. 
(4.) He intercedes more fervently (if there be any degrees at all in his 
affection in heaven above what he had here) in heaven than he did upon the 
earth. If he, upon the earth, did pray so earnestly to his Father to keep 
them, and that a little before his death, when the soitows of death and the 
grave, the contest he was to have with his Father's wrath, began to stare him 
in the face ; when he had a foresight of all those bruises his soul was shortly 
to suffer, which, if anything, might reasonably divert his thoughts, and damp 
his affections from praying for others ; when he hath conquered all this, and 
hath no more death to suffer, no infu-mity of the flesh to clog him, not the 
least eclipse of his Father's countenance so dreadfully to groan under, he will 
rather be more fervent than cold in his suit. Shall he pray against the 
indulged sins of his enemies under the anguish of death, and not against the 
lamented and troublesome corruptions of his friends in the triumphs of glory ? 
Shall he pray for his murderers under the horror of his Father's wrath, and 
not plead for the support of his people's graces in the arms of his Father's 
love ? Hath he not more encouragements to plead strongly for them since 
he sits upon a throne of grace, than when he suffered upon a cross by justice ? 
He stood at his death as a guilty person charged with the guilt of others ; 
but in heaven he pleads as a righteous advocate, freed from all that guilt 
which was then charged upon him. Hath he not more engagements ? Shall 
not the esteem of his purchase, the value of his Father's gift, honour of his 
conquest, consent of his people, credit of his office, obedience to his Father's 
charge, elevated atiection, delight in his people's graces, care of his image, 
relation of a husband, straitness of union : shall not all these inflame his 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak grace victorious. 251 

spirit with a zeal in his plea beyond the power of a control, were there a 
possibility of any ? 

(5.) His intercession now must be every jot as prevalent, if not more, than 
his prayer upon earth. If he prevailed at the tribunal of God's justice by 
his satisfaction, which was the sharpest conflict he could ever enter into, 
shall he not much more prevail at the throne of God's grace by his interces- 
sion ? If his death were powerful to procure a perfect righteousness for our 
justification, his intercession will keep pace with it to apply that aud perfect 
grace for our sanctilication. Will not Christ be successful in one as well as 
the other, and as good at finishing the work in heaven as he was at finishing 
his work on earth, especially when his finishing his work on earth is the 
foundation of the continuance of that work of his intercession ; being first a 
propitiation and then an advocate ? It will certainly produce as perfect eflects 
for the perfection of the weakest believer, as his death upon the cross did for 
his reconciliation, which is to ' present us holy, unblameable, and unre- 
provable in God's sight,' Col. i. 22. 

How strongly grounded his intercession in heaven is, and what arguments 
he doth use, see John xvii. 11, 12 : ' And now I am no more in the world, 
but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through 
thy own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we 
are. 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, but the son of 
perdition.' I am no more in the world, corporally, but those are in the 
world. I shall leave those behind me in a world of temptation and misery. 
' I come to thee.' I shall shortly ascend to thee. Now, ' Holy Father, 
keep through thy name,' &c. Here we have, 

(1.) God's relation to himself, and to his people. Father, not My holy 
Father. The relation reaches not only to the intercessor, but the persons 
pleaded for. Christ in heaven pleads with God as a Father, our Father. 

(2.) God's holiness. Holy Father; not merciful, powerful Father, or 
righteous Father, as afterwards. Grace is an image of God's holiness, and 
therefore is the most proper attribute of God to be used as an argument for 
the preservation of it. 

(3.) The gift of God. Keep those whom thou hast given me, which he 
urgeth twice. Thou gavest them me to redeem and sanctify ; not wholly to 
part with them, but to be presented to thee again in a better state. I had 
never had them but by thy donation. Thou didst not give them to me that 
they might perish, but that they might be kept. Keep, therefore, thy own 
gift, that they may be returned to thee in a better state. Thou gavest them 
me, and they are still thine. Neglect not thy own, because thou art im- 
mutable in thy counsel and afiection. 

(4.) The end why God gave them to Christ. That they may be one, as 
we are. "Ita, the causal particle, may refer either to did^xag or r^riSov. If the 
end, Father, why thou didst give them to me, was that they might be one, as 
we are, keep them, therefore, till they attain this end in perfection, that thy 
aim may not be frustrated. 

(5.) God's past preservation of them. I have kept them through thy 
name. Though I have been in the world with them, and have kept them, it 
was through thy strength ; and in my present petition I desire no greater a 
strength than what already thou hast exerted for their preservation. 

(6.) His own obedience to God. Those whom thou gavest me, I have 
kept. He lays a stress upon God's donation and his own faithfulness. I 
have been obedient to thee in the keeping of them, because they were thy 
gift. Wilt thou command me to keep that which thou thyself wilt neglect 

252 charnock's wokks. [Mat. XII. 20. 

and slight ? Wilt thou bo careless of that charge thou gavest me such strict 
orders to preserve ? Shall my faithfulness to thee in that charge outstrip 
th}' mercifulness to them and care of their standing ? 

(7.) The success of his care. None of them is lost. This charge thou 
gavest me, not to lose any. I have hitherto performed it. Not one son of 
election, but only that of perdition, which was given to me as my attendant, 
not my charge. The but, or s/ /mti, doth not weaken this assertion of Christ. 
As Camero and others observe, s/ /xri is not by way of exception, but opposition. 
He was not of the number of those given to Christ, but of another rank of 
society, as Gal. ii. 16, * A man is not justified, s! iin, but by the faith of 
Jesus Christ,' where faith is set in opposition to works in justification; not 
at all by works, but only by faith. So Mat. xxiv. 36, ' Of that day and hour 
knows no man, no, not the angels in heaven, but, s/ /z.!i, my Father only.' 
The Father is set in opposition to men and angels, not excepted as either 
man or angel. So Judas here is set in opposition to those that were given 
to Christ, not excepted as a lost part of that number. I have been the 
larger in it that it may serve for a little use of what hath been spoken. It 
will be a good pattern of prayer. Arguments may be fetched from those 
topics so far as will suit us to plead with God in our case, and there is scarce 
any of these considerations which have been delivered but may be turned 
into an argument in prayer. 

Now sum up all this. Doth Christ plead for our standing in grace and 
progress in sanctification, and live for this end ? Did he set Peter up as a 
pattern of what he would do in this case ? Is the covenant keptfi.rm by his 
mediation, and covenant-answers procured by his intercession ? Is it 
appointed by Grod for this very end, viz., the blessedness of his people ? 
Doth he present every man's case in particular, and intercede for his grace 
in particular, and what truth shall make impressions on him ? Is there 
some reason to think he is more fervent in it now than he was upon the 
earth ? To be sure, no less. Are the arguments he uses very strong ? Then 
the standing even of the weakest grace is sure. Before that can fall, God 
must change his end in giving his Son a power to ask ; Christ must leave 
pleading, or his arguments must lose their strength. But as Ambrose said 
to Monica concerning Austin, who remained in his natural condition not- 
withstanding his good education and his mother's prayers, It is impossible 
that a son of so many prayers should perish, so may I say of gi-ace, It is 
impossible a child of so many, so fervent, so powerful intercessions, in all 
circumstances, can ever, either totally or finally, perish. 

3. The Spirit is engaged in this business. The reason why God puts 
his Spirit into the heart is to preserve us from departing from him, Jer. 
xxxii. 40. As Christ was true and faithful to God in the end of his coming, 
so will the Spirit be faithful to God in the end of his being put into the 
heart. It is the same Spirit which, being upon Christ, enabled him to the 
performance of his charge, Isa. xi. 1, 2, and made him of quick understand- 
ing in the fear of the Lord, to establish him in faithfulness and obedience to 
God in his mediatory work. The same Spirit is in us, to establish us in the 
fear of God, to keep that principle of God's fear put into our hearts alive. 
And as the Spirit performed his oflSce fully upon the human nature of Christ, 
so it will not be deficient in us according to our measure. Consider the Spirit 
every way, and this work of preserving grace will appear to be his business. 
What Christ doth by his proxy may well be interpreted to be his own act. 

(1.) His mission. If Christ were not to break the bruised reed, surely 
no messenger sent by him is to do it. * The Spirit is sent by the Father in 
bis Son's name,' John xiv. 26. He is sent ' by Christ from the Father,' 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak grace victorious. 253 

John XV. 26; with Lis Father's consent and commission. There is a con- 
junct authority, sent by commission from both, sent to supply Christ's place 
upon earth. Christ's business in part was to keep his people, and he wanted 
one to do it after his departure ; therefore prays his ' Father to keep them 
in his name,' John xvii. 11. In answer to this prayer, the Spirit is sent; 
therefore sent by the Father and Son in subserviency to this end of pre- 
serving his people, and comes himself with an intention to answer this end, 
and perform the covenant. If both concur in sending him, his mission must 
be in order to the fulfiling what was agreed upon by the three persons, and 
more particularly by the Father and Son in the mediatory covenant, for they 
would never send one that should go contrary to the covenant they were 
engaged in. 

(2.) His titles. He is called 

[l.j A Comforter : John xiv. 16, ' I will pray the Father, and he will give 
you another Comforter.' The Comforter, y.ar s^oy^Tjv. Such another Com- 
forter as I have been unto you, and in some respects better ; a more spiritual 
Comforter. It was expedient that Christ should go away, that this Com- 
foxier might come : John xvi. 27, ' Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is 
expedient for yon that I go away ; for if I go not away, the Comforter will 
not come unto you.' I tell you the truth ; I must deal plainly with you ; 
I have a great desire the Comforter should come, and if I go not away, he 
will not come ; intimating thereby that it was a greater blessing to have the 
Comforter with them than Christ in person. What comfort could they have 
in this declaration, and what expediency in it, if the Spirit did not mind the 
same end in keeping and preserving us as Christ did ? It had been no ways 
expedient. Better a thousand times Christ had never gone, and the Com- 
forter never come, if it were not for the same end which Christ minded in 
the world. The ends of Christ were to give ' the oil of joy for mourning, 
the gaiment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called 
trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified,' 
Isa. Ixi. 3. As this was the work of Christ, so this is the work of the Spirit 
as a comforter, to make the heart grow up in fruit to the glory of God. 

[2.] An abiding Comforter : John xiv. 86, ' That he may abide with you 
for ever.' He must abide with us in the capacity wherein he is sent, i. e. 
as a comforter. His comfort would signify little if it did not meet with the 
main trouble which pesters us, i. e. the fear of miscarrying and not con- 
tinuing to the end. Oh, I am afraid that this little spark may be quenched 
by the floods cast out of the dragon's mouth, that this little faith may be 
wounded to death by some strong temptations. I doubt it will quickly gasp 
its last. I have but a little oil in the cruse ; it will soon be wasted, and I 
shall die. These kind of thoughts every believer hath more or less. The 
chosen vessel and the greatest instrument for God that ever was, found such 
fears clambering up in him : 1 Cor. ix. 27, * I keep under my body, lestthat 
by any means I myself should be a castaway.' The Spirit therefore must 
be a comforter to mate this grand •trouble, and melt this gloomy cloud which 
doth so often darken the strong as well as the weak believer ; and truly 
every one's experience can testify that when such thoughts do creep up, 
some hopes also start up with them from the Spirit, like a covenant rainbow 
with a shower ; and one thing which, as a comforter, he is to convince the 
world of (and the best part of the world too, even those that are convinced of 
unbelief, sinfulnesss, and the necessity and sufficiency of the righteousness 
of Christ) is, that the prince of the world is judged and condemned, his works 
dissolved, and that he shall never more have power over believers to ruin 
them, John xvi. 11. He is to abide with us to that end and purpose 

254 chaenock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

for which he came into our hearts, and that was to bring us to God ; there- 
fore his abiding with us is to keep us with God. If our first conversion were 
the work of the Spirit, and our standing in it our own, we should be more 
beholding to ourselves than to the Spirit, because a good condition stable is 
a greater blessing than a good condition mutable. If the Spirit stand only 
as a careless spectator, to see how we would steer our course, without putting 
his hand to the helm, what good would his abiding with us do ? If a man 
have a great business to do, the presence of a multitude of men will do hira 
no good unless he hath assistance from them. By the Spirit's abiding with 
us is meant, not the remaining of his person without his operations. As 
when God's promises to be present with us, he doth not mean his essential 
presence, for that cannot but be present, whether he promiseth it or no, but 
his gracious presence. The Spirit abides with believers not only in moving 
them, for so he abides with wicked men, but efficaciously moving, not only 
in their first conversion, but in their growth and progress. 
The use is, 

1. Matter of information ; 

2. Of comfort ; 

3. Of duty. 

1. Information. 

(1.) The doctrine of the possibility of a total and final apostasy of a 
regenerate man after grace infused is not according to truth. You see upon 
what pillars the doctrine we have asserted stands. Whence it follows that 
the contrary doctrine of the apostasy of a regenerate man is against the 
whole tenor of the covenant of grace, against the attributes of God engaged 
in it and about it, against the design of Christ, the mediator of it, against 
the charge committed to him, against the ends of the Spirit's mission and 
abiding with us. 

The question then may be thus stated, whether that vital principle or 
habit of grace put into the heart by the powerful operation of the Holy Ghost 
at the conversion of the soul be not perpetually preserved and cherished by 
the same Spirit, so that it never dies ; and that therefore a regenerate man, 
endued with this vital principle, neither can nor will, by reason of this im- 
planted inworking of the^ Spirit, fall from faith and serve sin, so as to give 
himself up wholly to the commands of it. The question is not, whether we 
shall persevere if grace doth continue, as the contrary-minded assert, and 
accordingly gloss upon the scriptures alleged for it. Such a question would 
be ridiculous. It is as much as to ask whether a man shall live to-morrow 
if his life remain in him, or whether the sun shall shine to-morrow if its light 
continues ; and is as much as to say, a man shall persevere if he doth per- 
severe. But whether the habit of grace, the fear of God, faith, the new 
creature, new man, or howsoever you will term it, be not so settled in the 
soul as that it shall never be totally removed. Some afiirm that it may. 
Satan was of this persuasion (though he has since discovered himself more 
orthodox), when he tells God to his face. Job i. 8-11, ' Put forth thy band 
now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face ;' that 
smart aifiictions would divest Job of that uprightness God so signally 
applauded in him, as a none-such in all the earth. The chief ground is, 
that they lay all, both conversion and preservation, upon the will of man, 
not grace. 

I shall therefore lay down, 

[1.] Some propositions for explaining it. 

It is acknowledged that, 

(1.) The operations of grace may be interrupted. As long as there are 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak grace victoeious. 255 

two laws, one of sin in the members, another of grace in the mind ; as long 
as there are two principles in a grand contest, flesh and spirit ; as long as 
onr knowledge is imperfect, and our love but of a weak grow^th, the operation 
of both cannot be perfecter than the nature of their principle. The vigour of 
our gracious actions is often enfeebled by the power of the flesh, that we do 
many times the evil we hate, and omit that good we love. And we cannot 
deny but that our acts flow oftener from a corrupt than a renew^ed principle ; 
yea, and those actions which flow from grace are so tinctured with the vapours 
of the other principle, that they seem to partake more of the impressions of 
the law of sin than of the law of the mind ; so that our perseverance is 
not to be measured by the constant temper of our actions, but from the per- 
manency of the habit. The acts of grace may be suspended by the prevalency 
of some sinful distemper, as the operations of natural life are in an epileptic 
or apoplectic paroxysm. Hence it is that we find David so often praying for 
quickening grace, according to the promise, upon a sense of the flagging of 
his grace. 

(2.) The comfort of our grace may be ecHpsed. We may lose the sense 
of it without losing the substance. An actual communion may be lost, upon 
a sinful fall, till actual repentance, when the union is not unloosed. A be- 
numbed member is knit to the body, though it hath not its wonted vigour 
and active heat. Mutual comfort may be suspended between man and wife, 
though the conjugal knot be not dissolved. BeUevers may be separated 
from Christ's smiles, but not from their relation to Christ and being in him. 
Comfortable interest may be interrupted, when radical interest receives no 
damage. A leper under the law was hindered of actual enjoyment of his 
house, but not deprived of his legal title to it. 

(3.) Relative grace cannot be lost. Every regenerate man being the son 
of God by a double title, that of regeneration and adoption, can never cease 
to be his son. The relation of a son to a father is indissoluble. It can 
never be that he that is once a son can become no son ; the relation is firm, 
though the afi"ection may be on both sides extinguished. The relation we 
have to God as his children, is knit with that other of heirs. The apostle 
made no doubt of the truth of that consequence : Eom. viii. 17, ' If children, 
then heirs, and heirs of God.' And he was afterwards of the same mind : 
Gal. iv. 7, ' And if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.' If it be ob- 
jected, True, unless a believer disinherit himself by an nndutiful and con- 
temptuous carriage. But he cannot, unless he should cease to be a creature ; 
for the same apostle doth as positively afiirm in a triumphant manner, that 
no other creature, under which believers themselves are comprehended, can 
separate from the love of God : Rom. viii. 38, 39, ' I am persuaded that 
neither death, nor life, nor angels, &c., nor any other creature, shall be able 
to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.' 
And the other apostle comes in as a witness, that a son of God, so born, can 
never be guilty of such a contemptuous carriage habitually as may end in a 
disinheriting of him, because the seed of God, whereby he was born, remains 
in him as the band of his relation : 1 John iii. 9, * His seed remains in him, 
and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.' His being born of God is 
the rock against the flood of sin, because he is born of God, and makes it 
eternally true that such an one is the son of God. Who ever did, or ever 
will, hear of a son of God by those two titles in hell ? It seems not con- 
gruous to divine wisdom to make any his heirs that he saw he should disin- 
herit. No wise man would do so, if he were conscious of all future events, 
and did sincerely adopt a person. And shall the all-wise God be represented 
weaker than man ? 

256 charnock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

(4.) The habit of inherent grace cannot be lost. A believer hath eternal 
life in actual possession in the seed, and in reversion in the harvest, John vi. 
54. It is plain : 1 Peter i. 23, ' Being born again, not of corruptible seed 
but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever.' 
It is called an incorruptible seed in opposition to corruptible, both in its own 
nature and the effects produced by it. But this seed of the word being in- 
corruptible, raises effects according to its nature. The antithesis is express : 
we are not born of corruptible seed, which is of a perishing nature, but of an 
incorruptible seed. The seed of our regeneration is incorruptible ; the word, 
the instrument, is unchangeable ; the Spirit, the eflicient cause which man- 
ages the word, and thereby infuseth the seed, abides for ever. All these 
causes agreeing in one attribute of incorruptible, must needs produce an 
effect suitable to the nature of them. It is indemonstrable that so many 
incorruptible causes should centre in a corruptible effect, and be combined 
together to produce an ephemeron, a thing that may have no longer life, 
according to this opinion, than the day it is born in. Further, the connection 
of those words with those ver. 17, &c., import as much. He exhorts them 
to pass the time of theii' sojourning here in fear, not servile, but filial : ver. 
17, ' Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible 
things.' Be encouraged to all holy and humble obedience, since you are 
fully assured of your perfect redemption, &c. As the blood of Christ doth 
not purchase a corruptible redemption, so neither doth the grace of Chi'ist 
work a corruptible regeneration. As the blood of Christ was incorruptible 
blood, by virtue of the hypostatical union, and in regard of the efficacy of it 
to our redemption, so is grace an incorruptible seed, by reason of the be- 
liever's union with the Son of God, its production by the Spii'it of God, and 
in regard of that incorruptible word whereby it is both begotten and main- 
tained in us. The habit of grace attends the soul to heaven, and for ever. 
The vital principle was not extinct in David by his gross fall, since we find 
him not praying for salvation, but the joy of it ; not praying for the giving 
the Spirit, but not taking it away from him, which he had by his sin deserved 
to be deprived of: Ps. li. 11, 12, ' Take not thy Holy Spirit from me : re- 
store unto me the joy of thy salvation.' And also for greater degrees of 
sanctification, and cleansing his heart from its filthiness and falseness. 
Grace may indeed, like the sun, be under an eclipse, but its internal light 
and heat cannot expire. 

(5.) Though grace be oppressed, yet it will recover itself. It is indeed 
sometimes overtopped by temptation (as a fountain which, being overflowed 
by the torrent of a neighbouring river, is covered while the flood lasts, that 
a man knows not where to find it ; but, after those great waters are slid 
away, the fountain bubbles up as clearly as before), yet it works all that 
while under that oppresssion, though not perceived. It will rise again by 
virtue of a believer's union with Christ. As a bough bent down by force, 
yet by virtue of its union to the body of the tree, will return to its former 
posture when the force is removed. The sap in the root of a tree, which the 
coldness of the season hath stripped of its leaves, will, upon the return of the 
sun, disperse itself, and, as it were, meet it in the utmost branches, and re- 
new its old acquaintance with it. Shall the divine nature in the soul be out- 
stripped by mere nature in the plants ? Grace can never be so blown out, 
but there will be some smoke, some spark, whereby it may be re-kindled. The 
smoking snuff of Peter's grace was lighted again by a sudden look of his 
Master. Yea, it may, by a secret influence of the Spirit, gather strength to 
act more vigorously after its emerging from under the present oppression, 
like the sun, more warm in its beams after it hath been obscured by fogs. 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak grace victorious. 257 

Peter's love was more vigorous after his recovery. Christ implied it, when 
he acquainted him with his danger, that he who had not strength to keep his 
faith from falling, should, after his rising, have strength both for himself 
and his brethren : Luke xxii. 32, ' When thou art converted, strengthen thy 

[2.J Let us see what inconveniences and reflections upon God do follow 
from their doctrine. Their denial of this truth is grounded upon their 
denial of election, and on the supposed resistibility of grace, by the will of 

(1.) It evacuates all the promises of God, and concludes them to be empty, 
vain things, as if they were made by God in mockery, and to sport himself 
in deceiving his creature. 

[1.] It frustrates the glory he designs by the promises. Doth God pro- 
mise his presence with the church to the end of the world ? and doth it con- 
sist with infinite wisdom to make an absolute promise concerning an 
uncertainty ? It is possible, according to this doctrine, that God might not 
have so much as one sincere worshipper, one faithful servant, in the whole 
earth ; not one immediately capable of his gracious presence. What would 
become of the glory he intended to himself by all the promises of redemption 
and sanctification, and those praises and admirations he expects from men, 
when, according to this doctrine, it is possible there might not be one to give 
him the glory due to his name, if it were left to their natural wills, whether 
they would receive the grace offered them, or continue in it if they do re- 
ceive it ? For if one saint may fall away, notwithstanding the covenant of 
grace, the truth of God, and the strength of Christ, why may not another, 
and a third, till there be not the appearance of one sincere Christian? What 
certainty then had there been of a church in the world for God to be present 
with ? What certainty of any admirer of his grace to eternity ? Nay, what 
certainty that any would have received it, had it been left wholly to their 
natural wills ? The Scripture intimates otherwise by representing man to 
us as dead in sin and enmity against God, one that cannot receive the things 
of God, &c. May a man be said sincerely to worship God one hour that 
doth cast dirt upon him the next, as the peasants in Germany deal with 
their St Urban, the patron of their vines ? Is that a worship intended by 
his promises, that might not endure the space of one minute, but be suc- 
ceeded by the grossest despites and rebellions ? Is that fear put into the 
heart, that they might never depart from him, of no greater prevalency than 
to come to so sudden a period, and produce no better effects ? Is so slight, 
so short-lived a worship, fit for the gi'eat God by so many declarations in 
Scripture to promise himself from his creature ? No better it would be if 
it were left only to the creature's corrupt will, and the management of that 
natural enmity which is in the heart. Is the holiest soul in the world, with- 
out assisting and preventing grace, so sure of the immoveableness of his own 
will, among so many blustering storms and temptations, or flesh-pleasing 
snares and allurements ? 

[2.] It frustrates the promises made to Christ. Is it consistent with the 
faithfulness of God to be careless of all the agonies, groans, and blood of his 
Son ? Our Saviour might have bled and died, and not seen one grain of seed, 
but lost all the travail of his soul, if this doctrine be true. Will God, accord- 
ing to these men's fancies, make no greater account of his oath ? Ps. Ixxxix. 
33-36, ' My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out 
of my lips,' — that the seed of his servant David, the Messiah, as the Jews 
understand it, should endure for ever, and his loving-kindness he would not 

VOL. v. B 

258 • chabnock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

utterly take from them, nor suffer his faithfulness to fail. This, though sworn 
but once by his holiness, is enough for an eternal obligation upon God, and 
a perpetual ground of faith to us. ' The pleasure of the Lord' was promised, 
to 'prosper in his hand,' Isa. hii. 10; it was to 'break through'* all oppo- 
sition, and overcome all invaders. Is it a way to glorify his faithfulness to 
Christ, to take the pleasure, the object of his pleasure, the fruit of his death, 
out of the hands of Christ, and put it into the hands of free will ? The pro- 
mise is, that his pleasure should prosper in his hand, — not in our hands, not 
in the hands of natural will. 

[3.] It frustrates the comfort of the promises to us. Doth not this doc- 
trine give the lie to that blessed apostle, who was wiser in the mysteries of 
the gospel than the whole world besides ? Doth it not accuse him of arro- 
gance, when by a divine inspiration he confidently persuades himself and all 
other believers that neither ' angels, nor principalities,' &c., ' should separate 
tbem from the love of God' ? Rom. viii, 38, 39. Doth God in the Scripture 
pronounce those actually blessed that put their trust in Christ, the Messiah? 
Ps. ii. 12, ' Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.' How can it 
deserve the name of blessedness, and in all of them too, if the faith of any 
one that sincerely believes in him could be totally and finally lost ? Could 
they be blessed even while they have faith, since the comfort and happiness 
of any particular act of faith would be overwhelmed by the tormenting fears 
of the possibility and probability of their losing the habits of it ? It is not 
only probable, but certain, to be lost, if its preservation depended upon n) 
other hand but the shght hold of our own will. Adam in innocency fell under 
a covenant of works; and we should as soon lose our habitual grace under a 
covenant of grace, did not our stability depend upon a supernatural and divine 
power promised in it. This doctrine therefore wipes off all the oil of gladness 
from believers' hearts ; and, contrary to Christ's commission, clothes them 
with tbe spirit of heaviness instead of the garments of praise. 

(2.) It darkens the love of God. Are the products of infinite love so light 
as these men would make them ? Is not his love as immutable as himself? 
Can there be decays in an eternal and unchangeable aflection ? Can any 
emergencies be unknown from eternity to his omniscience ? How then can 
the fountain of kindness be frozen in his breast ? Shall not that everlasting 
love, which was the only motive to draw the believer at the first conversion 
to him, be as strong an argument to him to preserve the believer with him ? 
Jer. xxxi. 3, ' I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving- 
kindness have I drawn thee.' It was love in the choice ; but by the expres- 
sion loving-kindness, it seems to be increased in the execution. "What is it 
then that should make it run as fast backward till it dissolve into disaffec- 
tion ? Was there a love of benevolence towards them in appointing them 
to be heirs of salvation, when they lay like swine in the confused mass and 
mire of the corrupt world ? And is there not a love of complacency in them, 
since he hath pardoned them according to the riches of his grace, renewed 
them by the power of his word, and sealed them by the Holy Spirit of pro- 
mise ? Is it likely this everlasting love should sink into hatred, and the 
glorious fruits of it be dashed in pieces at one blow by a sudden change ? 
To what purpose did he lay the first stone of thy redemption, and bring the 
blood of his Son and thy soul to kiss each other ? Was it not that he might 
be your God in covenant with you ? It was so in the type, the deliverance 
from Egypt : Lev. xxvi. 45, ' Whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt, 
that I might be their God.' Much more in the antitype, the deliverance from 
Satan. Could the kindness of God be so illustrious if it did not make the 
* n?^'' d n?V perrumpere. 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak grace victorious. 259 

permanency of his gifts a great part of the benefit of them ? Can these men 
then fancy infinite tenderness so unconcerned as to let the apple of his eye 
be plucked out, as to be a careless spectator of the pillage of his jewels by 
the powers of hell, to have the delight of his soul (if I may so speak) tossed 
like a tennis-ball between himself and the devil ? Which must be the con- 
sequence of this doctrine, if a renewed man be at one time in the hands of 
God, and presently after in the hands of the devil. Is this easy parting with 
them like the affection of a mother to her sucking infant ? How much less 
suitable is it to the kindness of God, which infinitely surmounts the other ! 

(3.) It dipgraceth his wisdom and power. Doth this doctrine support the 
honour of God's wisdom, in contriving ways so admirable for the restoration 
of his creature, that may be lost in a moment ? Is it congruous to infinite 
wisdom, set on work in man's recovery, to make a covenant that should be 
more uncertain than the former ? Which should be if it depended only upon 
the voluble and inconstant temper of the creature's corrupt will for the making 
it good. The former was less likely to be violated by a nature filled with in- 
tegrity, than this by a nature stuffed with iniquity. Is it consistent with the 
honour of this attribute, to have his wonderful designs, wherein he intended 
to make known his manifold wisdom, pufied away by a breath of sin and 
Satan ? Was God subject to error or ignorance in not foreseeing what events 
might happen before he obliged himself by promise ; or to dissimulation if 
he did not foresee, and notwithstanding all these contrivances and prepara- 
tions, not absolutely intend, the salvation of any one man, but leave it to 
themselves whether they would be saved or no ? It disgraceth his power. 
Where can any safety be expected if not in our Kedeemer's hand ? Shall 
his power be beaten out of breath by the wrestling of the devil ? None, say 
these men, shall pluck them out of God's hand while they remain there, but 
they may depart themselves; as though that 'promise, John x. 28, did not 
provide against their inward corruption as well as external violence. But 
the promise is exclusive of all ways of destruction : ' They shall not perish/ 
ov /j.r, dTfjy.uvrai, two negatives to strengthen it, according to the custom of 
the Greeks. And it is not, as it is translated, 7io man, but ov-/^ a;cra^£/ rig, 
not any one. If they depart, they perish ; but because they shall not perish, 
against which the promise secures them, therefore they shall not depart. If 
they may be overcome against the will of God, and against his promise, it 
may be inferred that the devil is superior to God, and that God hath not 
power, or wants will, to make good his promise of perseverance to them. As 
there never was, so there never will be, any violation of his faithfulness, or 
breach made upon his power. Had God let them lie in their sins, no objec- 
tion could be made ; but since by such an admirable power he had snatched 
them from the clutches of the prince of darkness, doth it consist with his 
wisdom or goodness to throw them away, or to let them fall out of his hands 
into the power of their old oppressor ? 

(4.) It sets God at great uncertainties as to the object of his love. If a 
renewed man be discarded from God's favour, and lose the habit of grace 
because he commits a sin which deserves death, he would upon every sin be 
cashiered, because every sin deserves death by the rigour of the law, Rom. 
vi. 23 ; and the whole life of a Christian would be nothing else but an inter- 
change of friend and enemy, son and no son. Niiy, there could not be a 
moment fixed, wherein it could be said of any godly man in this life, that 
he were in God's favour, and had the habit of grace, because there is not a 
moment but man is guilty of some sin or other, of infirmity at least. If it 
be said, it is meant only of those sins that waste the conscience ; these, we 
say, cannct live in the constant practice of a regenerate man. But suppose 

2G0 charnock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

he be overtaken, is he then cast out of favour, i. e. out of God's everlasting 
love ? I would demand, if he be, what brings him in again ? Good works 
afterwards ? Alas ! there is not one of them but is mixed with that which 
deserves eternal death. Can they bring us into favour, which need some- 
thing themselves to make them accepted ? Can a menstruous rag look so 
amiable in the eyes of God, as to introduce us into a forfeited favour ? Is 
it our Saviour's merit ? That is as sufficient to keep our knot with God 
indissoluble, as it is upon every breach to renew it ; for the merit of Christ 
is greater than the demerit of sin. If every act of unbeHef did destroy faith, 
might it not be destroyed and revived an hundred times a-day ? For what 
is the course of the best Christian, but a mixture of faith and unbelief ? It 
is true the bent of the heart stands right in faith ; but there are frequent 
starts of unbelief. Now, according to this doctrine, there would be so many 
blottings out, and so many writings again of their names in the book of life 
every day. A man may be, in their sense, in God's favour, and out of it, 
many times in a day ; one moment in a state of salvation, the next in a state 
of damnation ; and so run in a circle from salvation to damnation all the 
year long. Is this uncertainty like the stability of mountains and hills, a 
greater than which God promises ? Isa. liv. 10, ' The mountains shall 
depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from 
thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord, 
that hath mercy on thee.' God provided such a covenant of peace that might 
not be removed, that he might not be at such constant removes in his kind- 
ness as these men would make him. Is it not unworthy to make such a 
representation of the all-wise and immutable God, as if he were daily caress- 
ing his creatures, and daily repenting of those gifts of effectual calling, which 
the Scripture asserts to be without repentance ? Rom. xi. 29. Repentance of 
any design is an effect of weakness of judgment as well as mutability of will. 
(5.) It doth the rather set God at uncertainties, because it doth subject 
the grace of God to the will of man. It hangs the glory of God's grace, 
in all the motions of it, and the efficacy of the promise, upon the slip- 
periness of man's will and affections. It makes the omnipotent grace of God 
follow, not precede, the motions of men's wall ; to be the lacquey, not the 
leader, either in converting or preserving ; which is at the best to make the 
glory of his grace as volatile as a feather, at the best sometimes up, some- 
times down ; the soul this moment embraced by God with the dearest affec- 
tions, the next cast out as a vessel wherein is no pleasure, and the succeeding 
moment admitted to fresh communications ; this hour the temple of the Holy 
Ghost, the next an habitation for dragons and satyrs, the will of man giving 
one time the key to the Spirit, the next time to the devil ; one time as clean 
as a saint, another time as foul as a fallen angel. So that a Christian's Ufe 
would be spent in nothing but ejectments and repossessions between God 
and the devil, and the grace of God beholding for its residence in the 
heart only to the humour of the will. Is it reasonable thus to subject the 
fruits of the great undertaking of Christ to the lottery of fancy, and to take 
the crown from the head of grace, to set upon the scalp of our corrupt will ? 
(6.) It frustrates the design and fruits of election. The seduction of be- 
lievers by false prophets, with their train of great signs and wonders, which 
our Saviour concludes impossible, — Mat. xxiv. 24, ' There shall arise false 
Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders ; inso- 
much as, if it were possible, they should deceive the very elect,' — is according 
to this doctrine very easy and natural. One start of the fancy completes it. 
The impossibility of their embracing, or at least persisting in damnable errors, 
is founded upon the eternal choice of them by God, and his decree for their 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak grace victorious. 261 

preservation. It was the entry of tbeir names into the Lamb's book of life, 
that preserved his followers from the contagion in the universal apostasy of 
the Romish church : Rev. xiii. 8, ' All that dwell upon the earth shall wor- 
ship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb.' If 
believers could totally and finally fall away from Christ, why is it impossible 
for them to be deceived by damning errors, accompanied with such wonders, 
that might stupefy the reason of the wisest natural men, and the elect too, 
did not their election make it impossible ? ' The very elect.' But it is laid 
upon a higher score than their own wisdom, and depends upon that golden 
chain of electing love, which neither the wit of man, nor malice of devils, 
the terrors of afflictions, nor pleasures of temptations, are able to break, 
Rom. viii. 38, 39. 

(7.) It frustrates the fruits of Christ's mediation and offices. "Was it not 
the design of his coming, according to the ancient promise, that all nations 
should be blessed in him, in the seed of Abraham, which seed he was ? Ac- 
cording to this doctrine it is uncertain at the best, whether any one person 
should be blessed by him or no. If the gates of hell could prevail against 
one real member of Christ, they might against a second and a third, till he 
should not have one member to enjoy a blessing by him. Grace infused is 
as the ' holy fire upon the altar, which descended from heaven,' Lev. vi. 
12, 13. And as it was the priest's office, so it is the office of Christ the an- 
titype, to feed it morning and evening by his Spirit, with fresh fuel for its 
continual support. According to this doctrine, the offices of Christ signify 
nothing but with the consent of the will of man. The death of Christ might 
be wholly an unprofitable sacrifice. The intercession of Christ in heaven 
would signify nothing, since they can persevere without him, and notwith- 
standing his intercession can fall away. This is to unpriest Christ, and de- 
stroy the end of his living for ever. His prophetical office fares no better, 
because they make the efficacy of it depend upon their will ; and the teach- 
ing of Christ, like the sibyls' writing upon leaves, may be blown away by the 
next wind. It robs Christ of the key of government, by making every man 
his own governor in this aS'air, and denying Christ the sovereign throne in 
the wills of men. His government would be exercised only in punishing, 
since none left wholly to themselves but would prove obstinate rebels. He 
might be a priest without a people to sacrifice for, an advocate without a 
client, a prophet without a disciple, and a king without a subject, and so be 
insignificant in the fruits of all his offices. 

(8.) It disparageth the work of the Spirit. As if the Spirit of God did 
tincture the soul with so weak a colour as might be easily washed ofi" by the 
next shower ; as if he did only strew, not sow the seed of grace, easily to be 
blown away by the next puff of wind or devoured by fowls. Are the divine 
image and workmanship of heaven, the products of infinite power, wisdom, 
and love, of so slight a make as the embracers of this doctrine would fancy ? 
Is the Spirit too weak to hold, or is he unwilling ? Would Christ ever send 
so uncertain a comforter as he would be unless he did abide with us ? Would 
Christ, after laying so strong and rich a foundation for the redemption of his 
people, send a deputy that should build so weakly and work so slightly upon 
it? The Spirit was to glorify Christ, John xvi. 13. How? Certainly, 
as ' Christ glorified the Father,' Jobn xvii. 4. But Christ glorified the 
Father by finishing the work which was given him. Therefore the Spirit 
will glorify Christ in the same manner by finishing the work he is sent to 
do ; as the Father is not imperfect in his choice, nor Christ in his purchase ; 
80 neither will the Spirit be imperfect in his conduct. The very end why 
God puts the Spirit into the heart, is to preserve the believer from going 

262 charnock's woeks. [Mat. XII. 20. 

back from God. What is called ' putting the fear of the Lord into us, that 
we niiglit not depart from him,' Jer. xxii. 40, is called pulling a new heart 
and a new spirit: Ezek. xxxvi. 2G, 'And I will put my Spirit within you, 
and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments and 
do them ;' and a putting his own Spirit within them to preserve and assist 
that new hahitnal grace, for it is to cause them to walk in his statutes. It 
is not only a clennsing them from their filthiness, and then leaving them to 
be their own guides, but it is a putting a contrary principle into them ; and 
the end of putting this spirit into them, is that they ' should live till they be 
placed in their own land, in the heavenly Canaan,' Ezek. xxxvii. 14, and be 
settled there in the work of admiration, and blessing God for his faithfulness 
in performing this covenant; 'then shall ye know,' by a full experience, 
'that I the Lord have spoken, and performed it.' I know some under- 
stand it of their deliverance from the Babylonish captivity ; but the words 
methinks seem to be of a higher import, and the deliverance from Babylon 
was typical of redemption by Christ, Jer. xxiii. 6-8, speaking of the days of 
tbe gospel, ' The Lord lives that brought up the seed of Israel out of the 
north country.' I leave you to judge; however take it as an allusion. The 
Spirit will be no more false to God in not answering the end of his being put 
into the heart, to cause us to walk in his statutes, than Christ was or can 
be false to God in not answering the end of his designation to the mediatory 
office. This doctrine doth quite subvert the end of the Spirit's coming, and 
being put into the heart of a renewed man, and makes all its work a slight 
and superficial business. 

For a close, then, of this. This doctrine stands firm, I bope. Though it 
be possible and probable, and I may say certain, that the habit of grace in 
a renewed man, considered abstractedly in itself without God's powerful 
assistance, would fall, and be overwhelmed by the batteries of Satan and 
secret treacheries of the flesh, yet it is impossible it should wholly fall, being 
supported by God's truth in his covenant, his power in the performance, 
held up by the intercession of Christ, and maintained by the inhabitation of 
the Spirit. Our wills are mutable, but God's promise unchangeable ; our 
strength is feeble, God's power insuperable ; our prayers impotent, Christ's 
intercessions prevalent. Our sins do meritoriously expel it, but the grace 
of God through the merit of Christ doth eflSciently preserve it. If therefore 
believers fall totally and finally, it must be by themselves, or by the industry 
of some external agent. 

(1.) Not by themselves and their own wills. Not as considered in them- 
selves, but as their wills are the proper subject and seat of this habitual 
grace. They are made ' willing in the day of his power,' Ps. ex. 3 ; and 
they are continued willing by the influence of the same power, for the day 
of his power endures for ever. They will not depart out of Christ's hand, 
because it is the chief part of this grace to determine their wills, and to 
bring down every high imagination which might pervert their wills, to a sub- 
jection to Christ, and fix them upon God as the chief good, and last end. 
Hence being his sheep, and knowing him for their shepherd, they are said 
to hear his voice, and follow him ; so that this perseverance is not a forced 
and constrained work. They cannot totally fall by their own wills, they are 
renewed and strengthened; nor by their own corruption, that is subdued 
and mortified by the Spirit of God, which is continually in arms against it ; 
and if, when it was in its full strength, it could not hinder the power of God's 
grace in conversion, surely when it is thus impaired, and only some relics of 
it (though, alas ! too, too much) abiding, it can less resist thie power of the 
same grace in our preservation. 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak gkace victorious. 263 

Again, not by their own wills, for it is here that grace sets its throne, and 
establisheth the heart. Neither doth that life which is hid with Christ in 
God depend upon the levity of our wills ; it being an abiding life, it hath an 
influence upon our wills to preserve them in a due bent, wherein they are set 
by the Spirit. 

(2.) Not by any external agent. 

[1.] Not by God. The counsel of his election stands firm, and they are 
heirs by an immutable covenant. Though God b}' reason of his omnipotent 
sovereignty might justifiably take grace away, and we deserve it, yet morally, 
in regard of the immutability of his righteousness and truth, he will not. 
Chist will not do it ; he died to purchase it, and lives for ever to preserve it. 
The Spirit will not do it ; the end of his coming and indwelling is to main- 
tain it. 

[2.] Not by the devil ; for ' he that is in us is greater' and stronger ' than 
he that is in the world,' 1 John iv. 4, in all the allurements and afi'right- 
ments of the world. Not by his temptations ; they shall either be inter- 
cepted or resisted by an assisting grace stronger than their author's malice : 
1 Cor. X. 13, ' God is faithful, who will not sufi"er you to be tempted above 
what you are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, 
that you may be able to bear it.' 

[3.] Not by the world. If the God of the world cannot do it, the world 
itself shall not be able, Christ hath 'conquered the world' for us by his 
death, John xvi. 23, and hath given us ' power to conquer it by our faith,' 
1 John V. 4. 

Use 2. Matter of comfort. 

This doctrine of the preservation of grace is the crown of glory, and 
sweetness of all other privileges. We should in the midst of regeneration, 
justification, adoption, droop and be Magor-missabibs, tormented with fears 
of losing them. It is the assurance of this that makes believers come to 
Sion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads. Premise this I must; 
this comfort belongs only to those that have true grace ; see therefore whether 
you can find any serving-work upon your hearts towards God, before you 
entitle yourselves to the comfort of this doctrine. 

(1.) Our state by redemption and regeneration is better than Adam's by 
creation, in respect of permanency, though not by present integrity. God 
keeps us safer in a state of imperfection, than Adam was in all his innocence. 
Adam had a better nature, and a stronger inherent power conferred upon 
him by creation ; he was created after God's image, but he defaced and lost 
it, and afterwards begat in his own likeness, not in the likeness of God, 
whereof he was stripped. He had a natural power, but no supernatural 
assistance. We have no natural power, but we have a supernatural help. 
Our supernatural assistance confers upon us a better state than his natural 
power did, or could do upon him. We are kept by the power of God to 
salvation, and he was to be kept by his own ; he was to stand by the strength 
of nature, we by the strength of grace: Rom. v. 2, 'Grace wherein you 
stand, through faith ;' 2 Cor. i. 24, ' By faith you stand.' Grace is as im- 
mutable as nature changeable. He was under the government of his own 
free will ; it is our happiness to be under the conduct of the Son of God by 
his Spirit: Rom. viii. 14, ' As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they 
are the sons of God;' and that by virtue of a charge, a privilege never allowed 
to Adam nor angels, who, being their own keepers, were soon their own de- 
stroyers. He had a natural power to stand, but without a will ; we have a 
gracious power to will, and the act of perseverance conferred upon us. He 
had a power to stand, precepts to stand, promises to encourage him to stand, 

264 charnock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

but not one promise to secure him from falling ; we have both a supernatural 
help, and an immutable promise that the fear of God should be put into 
our hearts to this end, to preserve us from falling, Jer. xxxii. 42. By Christ 
we have not only words of grace to encourage us, but the power of grace to 
establish us ; not only precepts to persevere, but promises that we shall, 
otherwise the promise could be no surer than that annexed to the covenant 
of works. If the condition of it might be as easily lost as the condition of 
Adam's covenant, then would it lose its end, which was to ensure the pro- 
mise or covenant to all the seed : Rom. iv. 16, ' Therefore it is of faith, that 
it might be by grace ; that the promise might be sure to all the seed.' Adam 
was under a mutable covenant, and we under an everlasting one. Adam had 
no reserve of nature to supply nature upon any defect ; we have out of Christ's 
fulness, grace for grace, John i. 16 ; grace for the supply of grace upon any 
emergency. The manner whereby we stand is different from the manner of 
his standing ; he stood in dependence on his original righteousness, which 
being once lost, all the original virtues depending on that were lost with it. 
Our state is secured in higher hands. Christ is made wisdom, &c. : 1 Cor. 
i. 30, ' But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us 
wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption ;' all which are dis- 
pensed to us in the streams, but reserved in him as the fountain. He is made 
all those to us, not we to ourselves. Adam's life was hid in himself; ours 
with Christ in God, Col. iii. 3. Our life is as secure in Christ's, as Christ's 
is secure in God. Christ's hand, and his Father's bosom, is not to be rifled 
by any power on earth. Heaven is no place to be pillaged by the serpent. 
Which state, then, is best ? Our nature is restored by the second Adam, 
fundamentally better ; not at present so bright as his, but more permanent. 
The mutability of the first Adam procured our misery ; the strength of the 
second preserves our security. So that a gracious man is better established 
in his little grace, by the power of God, than Adam in his flourishing in- 
tegrity by the strength of his own will. 

(2.) The state of a regenerate man is as secure as the state of the invisible 
church, and more firm than that of any particular visible church in the 
world. You stand upon as good terms as the whole assembly of the first- 
born, and upon a surer foundation than any particular church : Ps. cxxv. 1, 
' They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Sion, which cannot be 
removed, but abides for ever.' They shall he impregnable ; as stable as that 
mountain of the Lord's house which was to be established on tbe top of the 
mountain, Isa. ii. 2, alluding to that temple built upon mount Moriah, of a 
steep ascent, firmer than all the worldly powers and strongest monarchies, 
compared to mountains in Scriptures. Particular churches may fall. How 
is the glory of many of them vanished ! Particular believers shall not, be- 
cause their standing is in Christ, by virtue of that covenant whereof Christ 
is mediator, and of that promise made to the whole body, wherein the 
interest of every member is included : Mat. xvi. 18, ' The gates of hell shall 
not prevail against it.' Neither the power nor policy of hell ; gates being tbe 
seats of judgment and magazines of arms. The visible church is only so by 
profession and privileges ; an invisible member is so by nature and union. 
Appearance will expire when nature shall abide. The mystical body of 
Christ, and every member of it, can no more die than the natural body of 
Christ can now, or any member of that. No member of Christ's fleshly body 
did or shall see corruption. The knot between the soul and the body is 
natural by the band of vital spirits ; the knot between a true member and 
Christ is supernatural. The second person in the Trinity, being united to 
the body of Christ, kept it from corruption. The third person in the 

Mat. XII. 20.] weak grace victorious. 265 

Trinity keeps the union between Christ and a mystical member from dissolv- 
ing, which no particular church in the world, as a church, can lay claim to. 
Though Christ may discard a particular church, yet not a particular elect 
person, because of that agreement between his Father and himself concerning 
those given to him. But we read not of any whole nation or church in the 
world given to Christ as such, and in such a manner as a particular person 
is. There is a diiference between God's electing a people to have the gospel 
preached, and his electing a person to have the gospel wrought in him. The 
standing of any particular church is not for itself, but for the elect in it. 
When God chooseth a nation to be under the preaching of the gospel, it is 
for the sakes of his elect ones sprinkled among them ; and that church stands 
as long as there are elect persons among them to be brought in. When the 
number is gathered into God's fold, the gospel is removed thence, because 
of the rejection of it by the rest. These two elections, of persons and matters,* 
the one to grace, and the other to the enjoyment of the ministry of the gospel, 
are mixed together by the apostle in his discourse, Rom. xi. Some places 
must be understood of the one, and some of the other. When the election 
is said to be void, it is meant of the election of a nation, as the Jews are 
called God's chosen people ; when it is said to stand, it is meant of the 
election of a person : as when we say, man is mortal, and man is immortal, 
it is in different senses, both true : mortal, according to his body ; immortal, 
in respect of his soul. 

(3.) Comfort against the weakness of grace. This is the proper comfort 
of this doctrine. It is, and ought to be, a matter of trouble that our grace 
is so weak ; it should not be a matter of murmuring and despondency. We 
have reason to mourn that our graces are not strong ; we have reason to 
rejoice that we have any at all. Little grace is enrolled in heaven. Not a 
weak member of the invisible church, but hath his name written there, Heb. 
X. 23. How glimmering was the disciples' faith, yet our Saviour bids them, 
in all that weakness, ' Rejoice that their names were written in heaven,' 
Luke X. 20. Could their names have been blotted out again, the joy he 
exhorts them to could not have dwelt with such a ground of fear. As the 
least sin beloved brings us into alliance with the devil, so the least grace 
cherished entitles us to the family of God ; for it is but a rough draught with 
blots, of what God had fairly drawn in the glorified saints. The weakest 
grace gives a deadly wound to sin, and a sure, though not so highly comfort- 
able a title to so abundant an entrance into heaven as a stronger. Do not 
therefore seek your torment, where you should find your comfort. 

[1.] The foundation of weak grace, and the hopes of it, is strong. Every 
new creature hath not an equal strength, but every one hath an equal 
interest in the covenant, and as sure a ground of hope, as the highest. The 
design of God was to make the new covenant secure from the violations of 
the creature : Jer. xxxi. 31, 32, ' I will make a new covenant with the house 
of Israel ; not according to the covenant I made with their fathers, which my 
covenant they brake, though I was an husband to them.' He would make a 
covenant stronger than to be broken by them. That covenant was perpetual, 
in regard of God, for he continued a husband to them, and did nothing to 
dissolve the knot. This is not to be broken by a person in covenant. If 
it could be broken, it would be the same with the other covenant, though 
not in terms, yet in the issue. Now true grace depends upon this covenant : 
ver. 23, ' I will put my law into their inward parts, and write it in their 
hearts.' Besides, this covenant and the blessings of it are settled upon 

* Qu. ' nations ' ? — Ed. 

266 charnock's works. [Mat. XII. 20. 

believers, and eveiy one of them, as an inheritance : Isa. liv. 9, 10, ' I have 
sworn that I will not be wroth with thee : for the mountains shall depart, 
and the hills bo removed ; but my kindness shall never depart from thee, 
neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath 
mercy on thee ;' and that by oath. It could not have been made over in 
surer terms. Mountains, the stablest parts of the creation, that cannot be 
blown away by storms, shall depart at the end of the world, this covenant 
shall not. It proceeds not only from love, but kindness, which is love 
spread with a choicer aflfection. It is a covenant of peace, wherein their 
reconciliation with God, and the blessings following from it, are settled upon 
them, and that as an heritage : ver. 17, * This is the heritage of the servants 
of the Lord ;' and lest they should fall, or lose their righteousness, the latter 
clause secures them, ' and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. 
Whether you understand it of the righteousness of justification or sanctifica- 
tion, it amounts to the same thing. This is the sure mercies of David. 
So that thou hangest upon a covenant settled fast by the promise and oath 
of God, and cemented in every part by the Mediator's blood. God never 
yet broke his word. It depends upon promise ; eternal life was promised 
before the foundation of the world : Titus i. 2, ' In hope of eternal life, 
which (Jod, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.' To whom ? 
To Christ, and in him to all the elect, of what size or stature soever, babes 
as well as strong men. God had time to consider all that unconceivable 
eternity before Christ came, and yet he never repented of this promise of 
eternal life, because he cannot lie, which the apostle lays an emphasis upon. 
When Christ came, all his actions and speeches upon record were pursuant 
to the confirmation of this promise. The Lamb, in whose bosom you are 
carried, was slain from the foundation of the world in the decree of God, and 
voluntary designation of himself. Was there not a long time to consider ? 
and did he not repent of it all that time ? and will he now, since he has paid 
all the price for your grace, and the continuance of it ? Can a little time, 
sixteen hundred years since Christ was in the flesh, make any alteration in 
God's counsel and Christ's design, which eternity could not ? Besides, the 
root is strong though the branch be weak ; buds draw sap from the root, as 
well as the forwarder fruit. The least splinter of wood in a tree is a part 
of the tree. The least atom, though never so small, is a part of the world. 
Every one in Christ is a part of Christ, and hath a share in the promise 
made to him. Is there any distinction or difference made in the covenant 
between weak and strong ? The babe in Christ is as well within the verge 
of it, as the most compact Christian. Never then sadden your souls if you 
find true grace in yourselves, when you are within the arms of an everlast- 
ing cove