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Full text of "Observations concerning the Scripture oeconomy of the Trinity and covenant of redemption"

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Cornell University Library 
BT110 .E26 

Observations concerning the Scripture oe 


3 1924 029 373 580 

Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 





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743 and 745 Broadway 





Copyright, 1880, 
By Egbert C. Smyth. 


"university pees3: 
John "Wilson and Son, Cambridge. 



In 1851, the Rev. Dr. Bushnell called attention to 
a supposed manuscript of Jonathan Edwards. 
" I very much desired," he remarked, " in my ex- 
position of the Trinity, to present some illustrations 
from a manuscript dissertation of President Ed- 
wards on that subject. Only a few months ago I 
first heard of the existence of such a manuscript. 
It was described to me as ' an a priori argument for 
the Trinity/ the ' contents of which would excite 
a good deal of surprise 1 if communicated to the 
public. The privilege of access to the manuscript 
is declined to me, as I understand, on the ground 
of 'the nature of the contents/ As this manu- 
script has just now come into the possession of 
Dr. Dwight, of Portland, it is to be hoped that, 
unless some restrictions on the use of it have 
descended as a trust from the author, he will dis- 
burden himself as soon as may be of the very 
important responsibility, so faithfully exercised, for 
a whole century now past, by persons not more 

4 Introduction. 

competent, certainly, than Jonathan Edwards, to 
guard the orthodoxy of this very distinguished 
name." 1 

In the International Review for July, 1880, Dr. 
Oliver Wendell Holmes alludes apparently to the 
same manuscript in the following terms : " The 
writer is informed on unquestionable authority that 
there is, or was, in existence, a manuscript of Ed- 
wards, in which his views appear to have under- 
gone a great change in the direction of Arianism, 
or of Sabellianism, which is an old-fashioned Uni- 
tarianism, or, at any rate, show a defection from 
his former standard of Orthodoxy, and which its 
custodians, thinking it best to be as wise as ser- 
pents in order that they might continue harmless 
as doves, have considered it their duty to withhold 
from the public. If any of our friends at Andover 
can inform us what are the facts about this manu- 
script, such information would be gratefully received 
by many inquirers, who would be rejoiced to know 
that so able and so good a man lived to be emanci- 
pated from the worse than heathen conceptions 
which had so long enchained his powerful but 
crippled understanding." 

The accomplished editor of the Hartford Courant 
was stirred by these intimations to publish an article 
on " The Injustice to Jonathan Edwards," which has 
1 Christ in Theology, p. vi. 

Introduction. 5 

been widely noticed, and has excited much inquiry. 
After referring to alleged editorial alterations of 
the text in the published works of Edwards, the 
writer continues: "But this matter is a light one 
compared to the existing suppression referred to by 
Dr. Holmes. If Jonathan Edwards changed his 
views in regard to these awful aspects of the future 
of mankind, . . . justice to him no less than to the 
cause of truth requires a publication of that 
change. Dr. Holmes makes inquiry for the re- 
ported suppressed manuscript of ' our friends at 
Andover/ It is time that this inquiry were made 
more pointedly. 

" It has long been matter of private information 
that Professor Edwards A. Park, of Andover, had in 
his possession an unpublished manuscript of Ed- 
wards of considerable extent, perhaps two-thirds 
as long as his treatise on the Will. As few have 
ever seen this manuscript, its contents are only 
known by vague reports. Its importance may be 
exaggerated, although it is impossible to exaggerate 
the interest, one would say, of an unpublished work 
of Edwards. It is said that it contains a departure 
from his published views on the Trinity, and a 
modification of the view of original sin. One ac- 
count of it says that the manuscript leans toward 
Sabellianism, and that it even approaches Pelagian- 
ism. In the recollection of some, the title of it is 

6 Introduction. 

'Divine Charity/ or 'Love of God.' 1 ... But it 
matters little what this manuscript contains. . . . 
Everything that Edwards wrote has a value either 
as literature or as doctrine. ... If the importance 
of the suppressed manuscript is exaggerated in 
regard to its reported relaxing of uncompromising 
doctrines, the only way to show this is to publish 
it. If it is what it is reported to be, its publication 
is demanded by common morality." 2 

The reports embodied in these statements have 
met with a general denial of their correctness from 
the Rev. Tryon Edwards, D.D., and also from the 
editor of The Bihliotheca Sacra. The latter testifies : 
"The popular rumors regarding his [President Ed- 
wards's] changes of theological opinion are many of 
them utterly false, many of them singularly ex- 
aggerated, and all unreliable. So far as his manu- 
scripts have been examined by the present writer, 
the views of Edwards on the Trinity are no more 
inclined to Unitarianism than were the views of 
Augustine and his followers, of Thomas Aquinas 
and the Doctors of the Roman Church through 

1 President Edwards's work on " Charity," or " Christian 
Love," was published, with an Introduction by the Rev. Dr. 
Tryon Edwards, in 185 1, and* has passed through numerous 
editions. It has also been republished in England. 

2 Hartford Courant, June 23. I quote from a reprint in 
the Boston Daily Advertiser, June 25. 

Introduction. 7 

the Middle Ages. The present writer, having heard 
the popular rumors, has been surprised at the fact 
that he has found so little which could have sug- 
gested, and so much refuting, the statement that 
Edwards ever wavered . in adopting any of the 
essential doctrines of Calvinism." 1 Dr. Edwards, 
in a note to The Congregationalist? adopts these 
statements respecting President Edwards's adhe- 
rence to Calvinism and Trinitarianism from "a pretty 
thorough examination of all the manuscripts" depos- 
ited with him as trustee and now in the hands of 
Professor Park. In a previous communication to 
the Boston Evening Transcript, Dr. Edwards also 
says : " Personally I know of no suppression of any 
opinions of Edwards, much less of any omission 
or change of expression that would modify, in 
the least, his well-known theological or doctrinal 
views. d 

To these emphatic disclaimers I am able to add 
a more specific refutation by publishing the manu- 
script to which Dr. Bushnell referred, and which 
appears to have occasioned, through erroneous and 
exaggerated reports, the present misunderstanding 
respecting its author's opinions. 

It is not, as Dr. Bushnell supposed, an autograph, 

1 The Bibliotheca Sacra, July, 1880, p. 592. 

2 The Congregationalism July 21, 1880. 
8 Evening Transcript, July 8, 1880. 

8 Introduction. 

but a copy. It is, however, a very early and trust- 
worthy one, having also a special value in the 
disappearance of the original, perhaps at the time 
this copy was made nearly a century ago. 

I received it, about fifteen years since, from the 
late Rev. William T. Dwight, D.D., to whom it was 
bequeathed by his brother, Rev. Dr. Sereno E. 
Dwight, author of a well-known biography of 
President Edwards, and the latest editor of his 
collected works. The manuscript is in a chirogra- 
phy unlike that of any of the copyists known to 
have been employed in connection with Dr. Dwight's 
edition; and the paper, also, is different. It appears 
•to have belonged to a manuscript book prepared 
for publication. The first page is numbered 573, 
and begins with a paragraph printed on page 466 
of the Miscellaneous Observations, published at 
Edinburgh in 1793. 1 Then comes this direction, 

1 Dr. Erskine, in a Preface to this work, states that " Dr. 
Edwards, of Newhaven, has not grudged the labour of tran- 
scribing this volume of miscellanies, which, if it prove accept- 
able, will be followed by more, as the Doctor's health and 
leisure permit." In an unpublished letter from Dr. Edwards, 
addressed to the Rev. Dr. John Erskine, Edinburgh, and 
dated New Haven, Feb. 8, 1787, there is an allusion to 
"packets of May 25 and March 8, 1785," and the following 
statement: "In consequence of the communication by Mr. 
Hart of part of your letters to him, expressing your confi- 
dence that there would be little difficulty in getting published 
my father's practical tracts, on April 7, 1786, I sent to Mr. 

Introduction. 9 

written, as Dr. W. T. Dwight supposed, and com- 
parison confirms, by Dr. Edwards, son of the first 
President: "What follows to p, 588 not to be 
printed, but preserved." On page 588, at the close 
of the treatise now printed, the manuscript reads : 
" To these Observations on the Sonship of Christ I 
shall add some Reasons against Dr. Watts' s notion 
of the Pre-existence of Christ's Human Soul. 1. 
God's manner with all creatures is to appoint them 
a trial," &c, proceeding thus as in the Edinburgh 
edition, p. 409, except that the printing commences 
with the word " Reasons." This change, however, 
conforms to the manuscript as it now stands, for a 
line of erasure is drawn through the words, " To these 
Observations on the Sonship of Christ I shall add 
some," as though the manuscript had thus been 
revised for the printer at the time when Dr. Edwards 
appears to have written the direction I have quoted. 
It is not unlikely that when it was decided not to 

Hyslup to be forwarded to you the MS. sermons which I 
transcribed about the beginning of the late war." One 
volume of sermons thus transcribed was published in Hart- 
ford, 1 781; another in Edinburgh, 1788; a third in 1789. 
The Miscellaneous Observations appeared in 1793; Mis- 
cellaneous Remarks, in 1796. The allusions above given 
show that Dr. Edwards himself transcribed many of his 
father's manuscripts. As the work advanced he probably 
had assistance. Copying for the printer was indispensable, 
on account of the illegibility of many of the manuscripts, 
especially the later ones. 

i o Introduction. 

print (with the exception of a few sentences) 
pages S73-588 of the manuscript book, they were 
taken out, and kept in this country, and thus have 
been preserved. On the margin are cancelled the 
number 1062, over against the title of the paper 
now printed, and the number 1174 against that of 
the observations on Dr. Watts's theory. So far as 
I have observed, the peculiarities of spelling * ap- 
pear in undoubted autographs. From correspond- 
ence in my possession I learn of another copy, 
endorsed by a granddaughter of President Edwards 
as a treatise by him. This manuscript the corres- 
pondence recognizes as belonging to Dr. W. T. 
Dwight, and as about to be sent to him, but I have 
not found it among his papers. When, to these 
external facts, is added the internal evidence, the 
proof of the genuineness of this treatise will not, I 
presume, be questioned. 2 

The numbering referred to above, and other in- 
dications, show that this treatise belongs to the class 
of papers published under the title " Miscellaneous 
Observations." Dr. Hopkins, President Edwards's 
earliest biographer, remarks of these miscellanies, 
that they were written, " not with any design that 
they should ever be published in that form, but for 
the satisfaction and improvement of his [their auth- 

1 These are retained in the print. 
a See Appendix, Note A. 

Introduction. 1 1 

or's] own mind, and that he might retain the thoughts 
which appeared to him worth preserving." Why, 
after being carefully copied, apparently for publica- 
tion, the treatise now printed was held back by the 
son, is, so far as I am aware, purely a matter of 
conjecture. Its "lack of orthodoxy" 1 has recently 
been suggested as the reason. But the treatise 
excludes such a supposition, for it is not unortho- 
dox. Nor is it at all probable that Dr. Edwards 
would have objected, on other grounds, to the theory 
of a "Social Trinity " which underlies its argument. 
His direction that the manuscript be preserved in- 
dicates that he attached some value to it, 2 and he 
seems, as already noticed, to have thought of 
publishing it. If, in these circumstances, any 
conjecture is admissible, it would appear to be one 
suggested by Dr. Erskine's statement) that Dr. 
Edwards was solicited " to collect and print such 
part of those manuscripts [viz., the " Observations "] 
as might be generally useful." It is quite possible 
that being invited to make a selection from his 
father's papers or " practical tracts," for such an end, 
he doubted, upon reflection, whether the present 
paper was properly included, and so withheld it, 

1 The Independent, July 15, 1880. 

2 In a letter to Rev. Mr. Ryland, Jr., he says that the Mis- 
cellanies are "the most complete and important" of his 
father's manuscripts. 

1 2 Introduction. 

directing at the same time that it be preserved. It 
should be borne in mind that there is no reason 
whatever to suppose that President Edwards left it 
for publication, or that the son could have thought 
he was " suppressing " any opinions of his father 
which he was called upon to divulge. At the same 
time, it should be added, the manuscript has been 
transmitted without restriction as to its being made 
public. There is no evidence that Dr. Edwards 
intended to withhold it permanently. Dr. Sereno 
E. Dwight appears to have reviewed it for publica- 
tion, together with many others of the miscellanies 
which he prepared for the press but did not print. 
His brother regarded himself as at liberty to publish 
it, and so bequeathed it. 

In deciding to make it public, I am influenced by 
still other considerations than the desire to correct 
any existing misconceptions. Its authorship, con- 
tents, and character are stronger reasons for its 
appearance, though in other circumstances this 
might well be delayed in the hope of a still more 
complete edition of President Edwards's writings 
than has as yet been secured. These reasons, also, 
are quite independent, or at least in large measure 
so, of the value which may be put upon special 
lines of reasoning it adopts. 

Though a private paper, and not written for 
publication, it is not, as sometimes represented, a 

Introduction. 1 3 

crude and hasty production, nor an early one. 
President Edwards left above 1400 miscellaneous 
observations. The number of the present one is 
1062, which indicates a somewhat late origin. 1 It 
will be at once recognized as an elaborately reasoned 

Careful students of Edwards's published writings 
may have wondered that they contain so little 
directly on the subject of the Trinity, or on ques- 
tions pertaining to Christology. The Observations 
now printed indicate that these great themes were 
not neglected by him, and that he brought to bear 
upon them his maturest powers. New evidence is 
thus afforded of the range of his thinking. 2 

As before noticed, the discussion pursued keeps 
strictly within the bounds of orthodoxy. 

If this conformity to the generally accepted stand- 
ards of belief were simply a matter of inheritance, it 
would be of little account. But President Edwards 
was no mere traditionalist. His Observations are 
characterized by great independence, and even 
boldness of reasoning and freedom of dissent. If 
they still recognize certain limits of belief, this fact 

1 The first fifty-two numbers were designated by letters of 
the alphabet, single and double. Probably these are included 
in the total estimate. In either case, 1062 really represents 
the number 1 114, reckoning from the beginning. 

2 See, also, the extracts from unpublished manuscripts in 
the Appendix. 

1 4 Introduction. 

affords a valuable testimony to the legitimacy and 
authority of such restrictions. 

The Church doctrine of the Trinity affirms 
that there are, in the Godhead, three distinct 
hypostases or subsistences, — the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Spirit, — each possessing one and 
the same divine nature, though in a different 

. Within the limits of this article of faith, quite dif- 
ferent modes of statement have obtained, now in- 
clining more to Tritheistic forms, now to a less 
definite assertion of hypostatic properties. 1 Some, 
especially in later times, have contented themselves 
with simply affirming eternal distinctions, the ground 
of the Trinitarian revelation, and have deemed it 
unwise to venture upon more explicit statements. 
So long as, on the one side, the Unity of Essence has 
been held, and, on the other, the reality of immanent 
or ontological distinctions, the Church doctrine has 
not been infringed upon. 

In considering the following Observations, it 
should be remembered that they are not, as Dr. 
Bushnell and others appear to have supposed, a 
treatise on the subject of the Trinity. A disserta- 
tion having such scope would necessarily consider 
a question nowhere touched upon in them, — that 
of the relation of the three Persons of the Trinity 
1 Cf. Dorner, Ckristliche Giaubenslehre, I. 367. 

Introduction. 1 5 

to the divine Unity. Other topics, also wholly 
unnoticed, would inevitably be considered. 

It is also obvious that the discussion, though 
suggestive at many points of wider relations, turns 
chiefly to a single aspect of the subject. President 
Edwards, in common with the Puritan theologians 
of his day, and earlier divines, gave prominence to 
the conception that the work of Redemption is an 
execution of a divine covenant. In the remarks 
under consideration, he writes out privately thoughts 
and reasonings which he had elaborated respecting 
the parties to this covenant ; its relation to an 
agreement entered into between the Persons of the 
Trinity with reference to manifesting the divine 
glory ; and as to the conformity of this divine econ- 
omy to the natural order of subsistence. The range 
and scope of the discussion are remarkable, and also 
its logical power, whatever may be thought of the 
sufficiency of its premises ; but it would obviously 
be going too far to regard it as designed to main- 
tain, or even to state, the doctrine of the Trinity. 

This fragmentary character of the paper being 
recognized, it may still be thought that some of its 
author's statements are tritheistic, particularly his 
maintenance that the covenant of Redemption was 
contracted solely between two Persons of the Trin- 
ity. It will be noticed, however, that this statement 
is at once accompanied by others, which show an 

1 6 Introduction. 

adherence to the accepted doctrine of the Unity of 
God in counsel and work, as well as in being. That 
Edwards held to the unity of the divine nature ap- 
pears, moreover, distinctly in the paper which, in 
the manuscript book to which I have referred, im- 
mediately succeeds the one now printed, and is indi- 
cated by its number as written not long subsequently. 
It speaks of "the union of several divine persons in 
one essence," and interprets Deut. vi. 4 as designed 
to "guard the people against imagining that there 
was a plurality of Essences or Beings among whom 
they were to divide their affections and respect." 

Modern thought on this subject, so far as it un- 
dertakes the difficult task of progressive dogmatic 
construction, is influenced by its apprehension of 
Absolute Personality. God is the personal Abso- 
lute, — not only one Essence, but also one Person. 
And, from this point of view, the Trinitarian distinc- 
tions, in themselves regarded, are not three persons, 
in the modern sense of this word, though each is in 
the highest and fullest sense personal, as possessing 
the one divine nature, and in and through the other 
hypostases. This, however, is no new doctrine, but 
rather the legitimate development of what has been 
held from the beginning, an adjustment of its state- 
ment to the clearer conceptions which have been 
gained of Personality. 

In other respects, the orthodoxy of the paper now 

Introduction. 1 7 

published is at once apparent. The Sonship of the 
second Person in the Trinity implies no dependence 
on the will of the Father, and no inferiority of nature. 
It is eternal. In adhering to this doctrine, Presi- 
dent Edwards, it is believed, is in accord with the 
results of the latest and most scholarly interpreta- 
tion of the Scriptures, and with some of the most 
important phases of recent religious thought and 
life. His conception, moreover, of the relation of 
the Incarnate Word to the Church in its state of 
final perfection and blessedness, his discrimination 
between the eternal Mediation of the Son, and 
His Humiliation for the sake of man's Redemption, 
and his recognition of the Incarnation as at once 
conditioned by human sin, and founded in a divine 
Economy instituted for the purpose of self-revelation 
and self-communication, are anticipations of some 
of the most valuable contributions of modern Chris- 
tology, and indications of his peculiar genius. It is 
also something worth noting, that a mind so reve- 
rent and profound, and so controlled by what he 
accepted as the teaching of Scripture, did not regard 
the subject of the Trinity, in its ontological rela- 
tions, as a mere blank to human thought. 

With these statements and comments, perhaps 
already too protracted, this little treatise of Presi- 
dent Edwards is given to the public. If our liberal 
friends who have recently manifested so hopeful an 

1 8 Introduction. 

interest in the opinions of "so good a man" shall 
be led by it to a fresh perusal of his "Observations" 
already published, and shall also be stimulated to 
the study of the papers, which, in the pages of 
The Bibliotheca Sacra, are soon to be put within 
their reach, they and we may together have occa- 
sion to rejoice that " he being dead yet speaketh." 

E. C. S. 
Andover Theological Seminary, 
August, 1880. 





We should be careful that we do not go 
upon uncertain grounds, and fix uncertain 
determinations in things of so high a nature. 
The following things seem to be what we 
have pretty plain reason to determine with 
respect to those things. 

i. That there is a subordination of the 
Persons of the Trinity, in their actings with 
respect to the creature; that one acts from 
another, and under another, and with a de- 
pendance on another, in their actings, and 
particularly in what they act in the affairs of 
man's redemption. So that the Father in 

2 2 Observations. 

that affair acts as Head of the Trinity, and 
the Son under Him, and the Holy Spirit 
under them both. 

2. It is very manifest, that the Persons of 
the Trinity are not inferiour one to another 
in glory and excellency of nature. The Son, 
for instance, is not inferiour to the Father in 
glory; for He is the brightness of His glory, 
the very image of the Father, the express 
and perfect image of His person. And 
therefore the Father's infinite happiness is in 
Him, and the way that the Father enjoys the 
glory of the deity is in enjoying Him. And 
though there be a priority of subsistence, and 
a kind of dependance of the Son, in His sub- 
sistence, on the Father ; because with respect 
to His subsistence, He is wholly from the 
Father and is begotten by Him ; yet this is 
mpr t e properly called priority than superiority, 
as we ordinarily use such terms. There is 
dependance without inferiority of deity; be- 
cause in the Son the deity, the whole deity 
and glory of the Father, is as it were re- 
peated or duplicated. Every thing in the 

Observations. 23 

Father is repeated, or expressed again, and 
that fully : so that there is properly no infe- 

3. From hence it seems manifest, that the 
other Persons' acting under the Father does 
not arise from any natural subjection, as we 
should understand such an expression accord- 
ing to the common idiom of speech ; for thus 
a natural subjection would be understood to 
imply either an obligation to compliance and 
conformity to another as a superiour and one 
more excellent, and so most worthy to be a 
rule for another to conform to ; or an obliga- 
tion to conformity to another's will, arising 
from a dependence on another's will for being 
or well-being. But neither of these can be 
the case with respect to the Persons of the 
Trinity, for one is not superiour to another 
in excellency : neither is one in any respect 
dependant on another's will for being or well- 
being. For though one proceeds from an- 
other, and so may be said to be in some re- 
spects dependant on another, yet it is no 
dependance of one on the, will of another. 

24 . Observations. 

For it is no voluntary, but a necessary pro- 
ceeding; and therefore infers no proper sub- 
jection of one to the will of another!*' 

4. Though a subordination of the Persons 
of the Trinity in their actings, be not from 
any proper natural subjection one to another, 
and so must be conceived of as in some 
respect established by mutual free agreement, 
whereby the Persons of the Trinity, of their 
own will, have as it were formed t hems elve s 
into .a^ ociety, for carrying on the gr e at 
design of glorify in g the, deity a nd communi- 
cating its fulness, in which is established a 
certain oeconomy and order of acting; yet 
this agreement establishing this Oeconomy 
is not to be looked upon as meerly arbitrary, 
founded on nothing but the meer pleasure 
of the members of this society; nor meerly 
a determination and constitution of wisdom 
come into from a view to certain ends which 
it is very convenient for the obtaining. But 
there is a natural decency or fitness in that 
order and oeconomy that is established. It 

1 See Appendix, Note B. 

Observations. 25 

is fit that the order of the acting of the Per- 
sons of the Trinity should be agreeable to 
the order of their subsisting. That as the 
Father is first in the order of subsisting, so 
He should be first in the order of acting. 
That as the other two Persons are from the 
Father in their subsistence, and as to their sub- 
sistence naturally originated from Him and are 
dependant on Him; so that in all that they act 
they should originate from Him, act from Him 
and in a dependance on Him. That as the 
Father with respect to the subsistences is the 
Fountain of the deity, wholly and entirely so ; 
so He should be the fountain in all the acts 
of the deity. This is fit and decent in itself. 
Though it is not proper to say, decency obliges 
the Persons of the Trinity to come into this 
order and oeconomy; yet it may be said that 
decency requires it, and that therefore the 
Persons of the Trinity all consent to this 
order, and establish it by agreement, as they 
all naturally delight in what is in itself fit, 
suitable and beautiful. Therefore, 

5. This order or oeconomy of the Persons 

2 6 Observations. 

of the Trinity with respect to their actions 
ad extr^ is to be conceived of as prior to the 
covenatrL-oi. redemption : as we must con- 
ceive of God's determination to glorify and 
communicate Himself as prior to the method 
that His wisdom pitches upon as tending 
best to effect this. For God's determining 
to glorify and communicate Himself must be 
conceived of as flowing from God's nature ; 
or we must look upon God from the infinite 
fullness and goodness of His nature, as natu- 
rally disposed to cause the beams of His 
glory to shine forth, and His goodness to 
flow forth, yet we must look on the particu- 
lar method that shall be chosen by divine 
wisdom to do this as not so directly and im- 
mediately owing to the natural disposition of 
the divine nature, as the determination of 
wisdom intervening, choosing the means of 
glorifying that disposition of nature. We 
must conceive of God's natural inclination 
as being exercised before wisdom is set to 
work to find out a particular excellent method 
to gratify that natural inclination. Therefore 
this particular invention of wisdom, of God's 

Observations. 2 7 

glorifying and communicating Himself by 
the redemption of a certain number of fallen 
inhabitants of this globe of earth, is a thing 
diverse from God's natural inclination to glo- 
rify and communicate Himself in general, 
and superadded to it or subservient to it. 
And therefore, that particular constitution or 
cove nant among the Persons of the T rinity 
about this particular aff air, must be looked 
upon as in t he order of nat ure after that dis- 
positio n ot the Godhead to glorify and com- 
municate itself and so^ af ter the will of th e 
Persons of J he T rinity ta-act T in $q dnjno^in 
t hat order that is inits elf fit and decent, a nd 
w)iat the order of their sj stbsis^^^eqwFes. 
We must distinguish between the covenant 
of redemption, that is an establishment of 
wisdom wonderfully contriving a particular 
method for the most conveniently obtaining 
a great end, and that establishment that is 
founded in fitness and decency and the nat- 
ural order of the eternal and necessary sub- 
\§istance of the Persons of the Trinity. And 
t@T must be conceived of as prior to the 

2 8 Observations. 

It is evident by the Scripture, that there 
is an eternal covenant between ( some >of the 
Persons of the Trinity, about that particular 
affair of men's redemption ; and therefore 
that some things that appertain to the par- 
ticular office of some of the Persons and 
their particular order and manner of acting 
in this affair, do result from a particular new 
agreement; and not meerly from the. order 
already fixed in a preceding establishment 
founded in the nature of things, together 
with the new determination of redeeming 
mankind. There is something else new be- 
sides a new particular determination of a 
work to be done for God's glorying and com- 
municating Himself. There is a particular 
covenant entered into about that very affair, 
settling something new concerning the part 
that some at least of the Persons are to act 
in that affair. 

6. That the Oeconomy of the Persons of 
the Trinity, establishing that order of their 
acting that is agreeable to the order of their 
subsisting, is entirely diverse from the cove- 

Observations. 2 9 

nant of redemption and prior to it, not only 
appears from the nature of things; but ap- 
pears evidently from the Scripture, being 
plainly deduced from the following things 
evidently collected thence. 

(1.) It is the determination of God the 
Father, whether there shall be any such thing 
admitted as redemption of sinners. It is His 
law, majesty and authority, as supreme Ruler, 
Legislatour and Judge, that is contemned. 

He is every where represented as the Per- 
son who, (in the place that He stands in 
among the Persons of the Trinity), is espe- 
cially injured by sin, and who is therefore the 
Person whose wrath is enkindled, and whose 
justice and vengeance are to be executed, and 
must be satisfied. And therefore, it is at His 
will and determination whether He will on 
any terms forgive sinners ; and so whether 
there shall be any redemption of them allowed 
any more than of fallen angels. But we must 
conceive of the determination that a redemp- 
tion shall be allowed for fallen men, as pre- 
ceding the covenant or agreement of the 
Persons of the Trinity relating to the partic- 

30 Observations. 

ular manner and means of it; and conse- 
quently, that the Father, who determines 
whether a redemption shall be allowed or 
no, acts as the Head of the society of the Trin- 
ity, and in the capacity of supreme Lord and 
one that sustains the dignity and maintains 
the rights of the Godhead antecedently to the 
covenant of redemption ; and consequently, 
that that Oeconomy by which He stands in 
this capacity is prior to that covenant. 

(2.) Nothing is more plain from Scripture 
than that the Father chooses the Person that 
shall be the Redeemer, and appoints Him ; 
and that the Son has His authority in His 
office wholly from Him : which makes it evi- 
dent, that that Oeconomy by which the Father 
is Head of the Trinity, is prior to the cove- 
nant of redemption. For He acts as such in 
the very making of that covenant, in choos- 
ing the Person of the Redeemer to be cove- 
nanted with about that work. The Father is 
the Head of the Trinity, and is invested with 
a right to act as such, before the Son is in- 
vested with the office of a Mediator. Becau se 
the Father, m the, exer cise of His Headship. 

Observations. 3 1 

invests the ^onjdthJiaL£ifl&ce» B y^which it 
is evident, that that establishment, by which 
t he Fa ther is invested with His character as 
Head of th e Trinity, pre cedes that which in- 
vests the SoGjadth.- His character of Media- 
tor; a nd therefo re precedes the covena nt of 
redemption; which is the e stablishment that 
invests the Son with that character. If the 
Son were invested with the office of a media- 
tor by the same establishment and agreement 
of the Persons of the Trinity by which the 
Father is invested with power to act as Head 
of the Trinity, then the Father could not be 
said to elect and appoint the Son to His 
office of Mediator, and invest Him with au- 
thority for it, any more than the Son elects 
and invests the Father with His character of 
Head of the Trinity ; or any more than the 
Holy Ghost elects both the Son and the 
Father to their several oeconomical offices; 
and the Son would receive His powers to be a 
mediator no more from the Father, than from 
the Holy Ghost. Because in this scheme it 
is supposed, that, prior to the covenant of re- 
demption, all the Persons act as upon a level, 

32 Observations. 

and each Person, by one common agreement 
in that covenant of redemption, is invested 
with His proper office; the Father with that 
of Head, the Son with that of Mediator, the 
Spirit with that of common emissary and con- 
summatour of the designs of the other two. 
So that by this supposition no one has His 
office by the particular appointment of any 
one singly, or more than another; but all 
alike by common consent ; there being no 
antecedent establishment giving one any 
power or Headship over another, to author- 
ize or appoint another. 

(3.) That the forementioned Oeconomy of 
the Persons of the Trinity is diverse from all 
that is established in the covenant of redemp- 
tion and prior to it, is further confirmed by 
this, that this Oeconomy remains after the 
work of redemption is finished, and every 
thing appertaining to it brought to its ulti- 
mate consummation, a nd the Redeem er shall 
present all that were to_be„ redeemed Jcl the 
Father in perfect glory, having His work 
compleafly finished^ jJ£on them, and so shall 
resignup that dominion JhaJJd&j^ceked of 

Observations. 3 3 

the Father subservient to this work, agree^. 
"aBIyTo what had. Seen stipulated in the cove- 
nant of redemption. Then the oeconomical 
order of the Persons of the Trinity shall yet 
remain, whereby the Father acts as Head of 
the society and supreme Lord of all, and the 
Son and the Spirit [shall be] 1 subject unto 
Him. Yea, this oeconomical order shall not 
only remain, but shall then and on that occa- 
sion become more visible and conspicuous, 
and the establishment of things by the cove- 
nant of redemption shall then, as it were, give 
place to this Oeconomyas prior; for thus the 
apostle represents the matter, 1 Cor. xv. 24- 
28. " Then cometh the end when He shall 
have delivered up the kingdom to God, even 
the Father ; when He shall have put down 
all rule, and all authority, and power. For 
He must reign till He has put all enemies 
under His feet. The last enemy that shall 
be destroyed is death. -For He hath put all 
things under His feet. But when He saith 
' all things are put under Him, it is manifest 

1 Words thus enclosed appear to be in the handwriting of 
Dr. Jonathan Edwards, son of the first President 


34 Observations. 

that He is excepted which did put all things 
under Him. And when all things shall be 
subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also 
Himself be subject unto Him that put all 
things under Him, that God may be all in all." 

Now if that establishment that settles the 
Oeconomy of the Persons of the Trinity, was 
no other than the covenant of redemption 
itself, or that agreement that the Persons of 
the Trinity entered into establishing their 
order of acting in that affair, and assigning 
each one His part and office in that work ; it 
would at least be unreasonable to suppose, 
that this oeconomy or order of the Persons 
of the Trinity should be least conspicuous 
and manifest while this work lasts, and most 
so after the Redeemer has finished it and 
resigned His office ; and that the resignation 
of His office should be to that end, that things 
might return to that oeconomical order, and 
be governed more conspicuously and mani- 
festly agreeably to it. 

(4.) Another argument that shews the cov- 
enant of redemption to be entirely a distinct 
establishment from that which is the founda- 

Observations. 3 5 

tion of the Oeconomy of the Persons of the 
Trinity, is this, that the place and station that 
the Son attains to by this establishment is 
entirely distinct from that which He stands in 
by the Oeconomy of the Trinity ; insomuch 
that by the covenant of redemption the Son 
of God is for a season advanced into the ©eco- 
nomical seat of another Person, viz., of the 
Father; in being by this covenant established 
as the Lord and Judge of the world, in the 
Father's stead and as His vicegerent, and as 
ruling in the Father's throne, the throne that 
belongs to Him in His oeconomical station. 
For by the Oeconomy of the Trinity it is the 
Father's province to act as the lawgiver and 
judge and disposer of the world. 

(5.) Another argument of the same thing is 
this, that the Scriptures do represent that the 
promises made to the Son in that covenant 
are made by the Father only, and that the 
honour and reward, that He has by that 
covenant, are granted only by the Father. 
Whereas, if the 'Oeconomy empowring the 
Father thus to act as the Son's Head, in mak- 
ing promises to Him and making over re- 

36 Observations. 

wards to Him, were not prior to the covenant 
in which these promises are made and these 
things made over, the Father could have no 
power to make such promises, and grant such 
things to the Son : nor would it be done by 
the Father any more than by the Holy Spirit ; 
for it would be done equally by all the Per- 
sons of the Trinity acting conjunctly. 

Concerning the Covenant of Redemption. 1 
In order rightly to understand it and duly to 
distinguish it from the establishment of the 
Oeconomy of the Persons of the Trinity, the 
following things may be noted : 

1. It is the Father that begins that great 
transaction of the eternal covenant of re- 
demption, is the first mover in it, and acts in 
every respect as Head in that affair. He de- 
termines to allow a redemption, and for whom 
it shall be. He pitches upon a Person for a 
Redeemer. He proposes the matter unto Him, 
offers Him authority for the office, proposes 
precisely what He should do, as the terms of 
man's redemption, and all the work that He 
1 See Appendix, Note C. 

Observations. 37 

should perform in this affair, and the reward 
He should receive, and the success He should 
have. And herein the Father acts in the 
capacity in which He is already established ; 
viz., that of Head of the Trinity and all their 
concerns, and the fountain of all things that 
appertain to the deity, and its glorification 
and communication. 

2. Though the Father, meerly by virtue of 
His oeconomical prerogative as Head of the 
Trinity, is the first mover and beginner in 
the affair of our redemption, and determines 
that a redemption shall be admitted, and for 
whom, and proposes the matter first to His 
Son, and offers Him authority for the office; 
yet it is not meerly by virtue of His oeco- 
nomical prerogative, that He orders, deter- 
mines and prescribes all that He does order 
and prescribe relating to it. But He does 
many things that He does in the work of 
redemption in the exercise of a new right, 
that He acquires by a new establishment, a 
free covenant entered into between Him and 
His Son, in entering into which covenant 

38 Observations. 

the Son, (though He acts on the proposal of 
the Father), yet acts as one wholly in His 
own right, as much as the Father, being not 
under subjection or prescription in His con- 
senting to what is proposed to Him, but act- 
ing as of Himself. Otherwise there would 
have been no need of the Father and Son's 
entering into covenant one with another, in 
order to the Son's coming into subjection 
and obligation to the Father, with respect 
to any thing appertaining to this affair. The 
whole tenour of the Gospel holds this forth, 
that the Son acts altogether freely and as 
[of] His own right, in undertaking the great . 
and difficult and self-abasing work of our 
redemption, and that He becomes obliged to 
the Father with respect to it by voluntary 
covenant engagements, and not by any es- 
tablishment prior thereto. So that He merits 
infinitely of the Father in entering into and 
fulfilling these engagements. The Father 
meerly by His oeconomical prerogative can 
direct and prescribe to the other Persons 
of the Trinity in all things not below 
their oeconomical characters. But all those 

Observations. 39 

things that imply something below the infinite 
majesty and glory of divine Persons, and 
which they cannot do, without, as it were, 
laying aside the divine glory, and stooping 
infinitely below the height of that glory; 
these things are below their oeconomical 
divine character; and therefore the Father 
cannot prescribe to the other Persons any 
thing of this nature, without a new establish- 
ment by free covenant impowring Him so to 
do. But what is agreed for with the Son 
concerning His coming into the world in 
such a state of humiliation, and what He 
should do and suffer in that state, is His de- 
scending to a state infinitely below His divine 
dignity, and therefore the Father has no right 
to prescribe to Him with regard to those 
things, unless as invested with a right by free 
covenant engagements of His Son. 

3. From what has been said it appears, 
that besides that oeconomical subordination 
of the Persons of the Trinity that arises from 
the manner and order of their subsisting, 
there is a new kind of subordination and 

40 Observations. 

mutual obligation between two of the Per- 
sons, arising from this new establishment, 
the covenant of redemption, the Son under- 
taking and engaging to put Himself into a 
new kind of subjection to the Father, far 
below that of His oeconomical station, even 
the subjection of a proper servant to the 
Father, and one under His law, in the man- 
ner that creatures that are infinitely below 
God and absolutely dependant for their being 
on the meer will of God, are subject to 
His preceptive will and absolute legislative 
authority; engaging to become a creature, 
and so to put Himself in the proper circum- 
stances of a servant: from which engage- 
ments of the Son the Father acquires a new 
right of Headship and authority over the 
Son, to command Him and prescribe to Him 
and rule over Him, as His proper Lawgiver 
and Judge ; and the Father, also, comes under 
new obligation to the Son, to give Him such 
success, rewards, &c. 

4. It must be observed, that this subordi- 
nation that two of the Persons of the Trinity 

Observations. 41 

come into, by the covenant of redemption, 
is not contrary to their oeconomical order ; 
but in several respects agreeable to it, though 
it be new in kind. Thus, if either the Father 
or the Son be brought into the subjection of 
a servant to the other, it is much more agree- 
able to the Oeconomy of the Trinity, that it 
should be the latter, who by that Oeconomy 
is already under the Father as His Head. 
That the Father should be servant to the 
Son would be contrary to the oeconomy and 
natural order of the Persons of the Trinity. 

5. It appears from what has been said, that 
no other subjection or obedience of the Son 
, to the Father arises properly from the cove- 
nant of redemption, but only that which im- 
plies humiliation, or a state and relation to 
the Father wherein He descends below the 
infinite glory of a divine Person: all that 
origination in acting from the Father, and 
dependance on and compliance with His will, 
that implies no descent below His divine 
glory, being no more than what properly 
flows from the oeconomical order of the Per- 

4 2 Observations. 

sons of the Trinity. No other subjection or 
obedience is new in kind, but only that which 
implies humiliation; and if there were any 
such thing as a way of redemption without 
the humiliation of any divine Person, the 
Persons would act in man's redemption in 
their proper subordination, without any cove- 
nant of redemption or any new establishment, 
as they do in the affair of rewarding the elect 
angels. It is true that if there were no humi- 
liation of any divine Person required, in order 
to man's redemption, the determination that 
there should be a redemption would be a 
determination not implied in the establish- 
ment of the Oeconomy of the Trinity, as 
indeed the determination of no particular 
work is implied in, that establishment. The 
establishment of the Oeconomy is a deter- 
mination that in whatever work is done, the 
Persons shall act in such a subordination: 
but the determining what works shall be done 
is not implied in that establishment. God's 
determining to make a certain number of the 
angels happy to all eternity was not implied ; 
but yet that being determined of the Father, 

Observations. 4 3 

the Son and the Spirit act in subordination 
to the Father in that affair of course, without 
any particular covenant or new establishment 
to settle the order of their acting in that 
particular affair. Meerly the work to be 
performed being superadded to the agreed 
general Oeconomy, the order of their acting 
in that particular affair does [not] require 
any new agreement. 

6. The obedience which the Son of God 
performs to the Father even in the affair of 
man's redemption, or as Redeemer or Medi- 
ator, before His humiliation, and also that 
obedience He performs as God-man after 
His humiliation, when as God-man He is 
exalted to the Glory He had before, 1 is no 
more than flows from His oeconomical office 
or character, although it be occasioned by 
the determination or decree of the work of 
redemption, which is something new, yea, is 
occasioned by the covenant of redemption. 
Yet that decree and covenant being sup- 
posed, such an obedience as He performs in 
1 See Appendix, Note D. 

44 Observations. 

His divine glory follows of course from His 
oeconomical character and station. Nor is it 
any other kind of obedience than what that 
character requires. There is no humiliation 
in it, and no part of it implies that new sort 
of subjection, that is engaged in the cove- 
nant of redemption. 

7. Hence it comes to pass, that that obedi- 
ence, that Christ performs to the Father even 
as Mediator, and in the work of our redemp- 
tion, before His humiliation, 'and now, in His 
exalted state in Heaven, is no part of that 
obedience that merits for sinners. For it is 
only that obedience which the Son volunta- 
rily and freely subjected Himself to from 
love to sinners, and engaged to perform for 
them in the covenant of redemption, and 
that otherwise would not have belonged to 
Him, that merits for sinners. And that is 
only that obedience that implies an humilia- 
tion below His proper divine glory. There- 
fore it is only that obedience that He performs 
as made under the law, and in the form of a 
servant, that merits for us. The obedience 

Observations. 45 

He performs in the affair of our redemption 
in His state of exaltation does not merit for 
sinners, and is no more imputed to them 
than the obedience of the Holy Spirit. 

8. As there is a kind of subjection, that 
the Son came into by the covenant of re- 
demption, that does not belong to Him in 
His oeconomical character; which subjection 
He promises to the Father in that covenant : 
so also there is a kind of rule and authority 
which He receives by the covenant of re- 
demption, which the Father promises Him, 
that does not belong to Him in His oeco- 
nomical character; viz. that of Head of au- 
thority and rule to the universe, as Lord and 
Judge of all. This does not belong to the 
Son but the Father by the Oeconomy of 
the Trinity. It is the Father that is ©eco- 
nomically the King of Heaven and earth, 
Lawgiver and Judge of all. Therefore when 
the Son is made so, He is by the Father 
advanced into His throne, by having the 
Father's authority committed unto Him, to 
rule in His name and as His vicegerent.' 

46 Observations. 

This the Father promised Him in the cove- 
nant of redemption as a reward for the fore- 
mentioned subjection and obedience that He 
engaged in that covenant. And to put Him 
under greater advantages to obtain the suc- 
cess of His labours and sufferings in the work 
of redemption, this vicarious dominion of the 
Son is to continue to the end of the world ; 
when the work of redemption will be finished, 
and the ends of the covenant of redemption 
obtained ; when things will return to be ad- 
ministered by the Trinity only, according to 
their oeconomical order. 

9. Not only does the Son, by virtue of the 
covenant of redemption, receive a new dignity 
of station which does not belong to Him 
meerly by the Oeconomy of the Trinity, in 
the dominion he receives of the Father over 
the universe ; but also in His having the dis- 
pensation and disposal of the Holy Spirit 
committed to Him. For when God exalted 
Jesus Christ, God-man, and set Him at His 
own right hand in heavenly places, and sol- 
emnly invested Him with the rule over the 

Observations. 47 

angels and over the whole universe ; at the 
same time did He also give Him the great 
and main thing that He purchased, even the 
Holy Spirit, that He might have the disposal 
and dispensation of that, to thp same purposes 
for which He had the government of the 
universe committed to Him, viz., to promote 
the grand designs of His redemption. (This 
is very evident by the Scripture). And this 
was a much greater thing, than God's giving 
Him the angels and the whole creation. For 
whereby the Father did, as it were, commit to 
Him His own divine infinite treasure, to dis- 
pense of it as He pleased to the -redeemed, 
He made Him Lord of His House, and Lord 
of His treasures. This new authority that 
the Son receives with regard to the Spirit of 
God, at His enthronization at the Father's 
right hand, will be resigned at the end of the 
world, in like manner as He will then resign 
the new dominion that He then is invested 
with over the universe. 

10. But it is to be observed, that there is a 
two-fold subjecting of the Holy Spirit to the 

48 Observations. 

Son, as our Redeemer, in some respect new 
and diverse from what is meerly by the 
Oeconomy of the Trinity. 

First. The Spirit is put under the Son, or 
given to Him and committed to His disposal 
and dispensation, as the Father's vicegerent 
and as ruling on His Father's throne ; as the 
angels and the whole universe were given to 
Him to dispose of as the Father's vicegerent 
So that the Holy Spirit, 'till the work of re- 
demption shall be finished, will continue to 
act under the Son, in some respects, with that 
subjection that is oeconomically due to the 
Father. For the Son will have the disposal 
of the Spirit in the name of the Father, or as 
ruling with His authority. This authority 
that the Son has over the Spirit, will be re- 
signed at the end of the world, when He shall 
resign His vicarious dominion and authority, 
that God may be all in all, and that things 
thenceforward may be dispensed only accord- 
ing to the order of the Oeconomy of the 

Secondly. There is another subjecting of 
the Spirit to the Son, that is in some respect 

Observations. 49 

diverse from what is meerly by the Oeconomy 
of the Trinity, and that is, a giving Him to 
Him not as the Father's vicegerent, but only 
as God-man and Husband, and vital Head of 
the Church. All that is new in this subjection 
is this, that, whereas by the Oeconomy of the 
Trinity the Spirit acts under the Son as God 
or a divine Person, He now acts in like man- 
ner under the same Person in two natures 
united, or as God-man, and in His two na- 
tures the Husband and vital Head of the 
Church, This subjection of the Spirit to 
Christ will continue to eternity, and never 
will be resigned up. For Christ, God-man, 
will continue to all eternity to be the vital 
Head and Husband of the Church, and the 
vital good, that this vital Head will eternally 
communicate to His church, will be the Holy 
Spirit. The Spirit was the inheritance that 
Christ, as God-man, purchased for Himself 
and His church, or for Christ mystical ; and 
it was the inheritance that He, as God-man, 
received of the Father, at His ascension, for 
Himself and them. But the inheritance He 
purchased and received, is an eternal inher- 


50 Observations. 

itance. It is, in this regard, with the author- 
ity with which Christ was invested at His 
ascension, with respect to the Spirit, as it is 
with the authority which He then received 
over the world. He then was invested with 
a two-fold dominion over the world, one, vica- 
rious, or as the Father's vicegerent, which 
shall be resigned at the end of the world: 
the other, as Christ, God-man and Head and 
Husband of the Church, and in this latter 
respect He will never resign His dominion, 
but will reign forever and ever, as is said of 
the saints in the new-Jerusalem, after the end 
of the world, Rev. xxii. 5. 1 

11. Though the subjection of the Holy 
Spirit to the Son has, in these respects that 
have been mentioned, something in it that is 
new and diverse from that subjection that flows 
meerly from the oeconomical order of the 
Persons; yet it is only circumstancially new; 
it is not new in that sense, as to be properly 
a new kind of subjection, as the Son's subjec- 
tion to the Father as made under the law is. 
1 See Appendix, Note E. 

Observations. 5 1 

There is no humiliation or abasement in this 
new subjection of the Spirit to the Son. The 
Spirit's subjection to the Son as God-man, 
(though the human nature in its union with 
the divine be a sharer with the divine in this 
honour and authority), implies no abasement 
of the Spirit; i. e., is no lower sort of subjec- 
tion, than that which the Holy Spirit is in to 
the Son by the Oeconomy of the Trinity. 
When once the eternal Son of God was be- 
come man, and this Person was not only 
God, but God-man, this Person considered as 
God-man was a no less honourable Person 
than [He] 1 was before: and especially was it 
visibly and conspicuously so, when this com- 
plex Person was exalted by the Father to His 
throne, for God the Father glorified Him as 
God-man, with the glory that He had before 
the world was. And therefore, divine respect 
was as properly due to Him as before ; and 
the respect, that was before due to the second 
Person by the Oeconomy of the Trinity, is 
now given to Him by all, without any abase- 
ment of those that give it. It is given by 

1 For " it," as written by the copyist. 

5 2 Observations, 

angels and men without any debasing or de- 
grading of their worship. And the same sub- 
jection is yielded by the Holy Spirit that it 
before yielded according to the Oeconomy of 
the Persons, without stooping at all below the 
station the Spirit stood in with respect to the 
Son before. And when once it has pleased 
the Father to set the Son on His throne, as 
His vicegerent, the subjection of the Spirit to 
the Son, as to the Father, follows of course, 
without any stooping below the dignity of 
His oeconomical character. The Holy Spirit 
is not thus subject to the Son by any abase- 
ment He submits to, by any special covenant; 
but by the gift of the Father, exercising His 
prerogative as Head of the Trinity, as He is 
by His oeconomical character. 

12. From what has been now observed, we 
may learn the reason why the obedience of 
the Holy Spirit to the Son, though it be in 
some respect new, and for our sakes, yet is 
not meritorious for us ; viz., that it implies no 
humiliation, is properly no new kind of sub- 
jection or obedience besides what, under such 

Observations. 53 

circumstances, flows from the oeconomical 
order of the Persons of the Trinity. As I 
observed before, it is only that obedience of 
the Son of God that merits for sinners, that is 
properly new in kind, and implies humilia- 
tion. Hence the Scripture mentions no re- 
ward that the Holy Spirit receives of His 
obedience for us or Himself. 

13. The things that have been observed, 
naturally lead us to suppose, that the cove- 
nant of redemption is only between two of 
the Persons of the Trinity ; viz., the Father 
and the Son. For, as has been observed, 
there is need of a new establishment, or par- 
ticular covenant, only on account of the new 
kind of subjection of the Son, and the humi- 
liation He is the subject of in His office of 
Mediator, wherein He stoops below His 
proper oeconomical . character. Otherwise, 
there would be no more need of a new estab- 
lishment, by a special covenant in this affair, 
than concerning God's dealing with the elect 
angels, or any other work of God whatsoever. 
But it is the Son only that is made the sub- 

54 Observations. 

ject of this humiliation: which humiliation 
was in His new subjection and obedience to 
the Father. Therefore the covenant of re- 
demption is only between the Father and the 
Son. Neither is there any intimation in Scrip- 
ture of any such thing as any covenant, either 
of the Father, or the Son, with the Holy 
Ghost. He is never represented as a party 
in this covenant, but the Father and the Son 
only. The covenant of redemption, which is 
the new covenant, the covenant with the sec- 
ond Adam, that which takes effect in the 
second place, (though entered into first in 
order of time), after the covenant with the 
first Adam was broken, was made only be- 
tween God the Lawgiver, and man's Surety 
and Representative ; as the first covenant, 
that was made with the first Adam, was. 
The covenant of redemption was the cove- 
nant in which God the Father made over an 
eternal reward to Christ mystical, and there- 
fore was made only with Christ the Head of 
that body. No proper reward was promised 
or made over in that covenant to the Holy 
Ghost, although the end of it was the honour 
and glory of all the Persons of the Trinity. 

Observations. 55 

14. It is true, that the Holy Spirit is in- 
finitely concerned in the affair of our re- 
demption, as well as the Father and the Son, 
and equally with them; and therefore we 
may well suppose, that the affair was, as it 
were, concerted among all the Persons, and 
determined by the perfect consent of all. 
And that there was a consultation among 
the three Persons about it, as much doubtless 
as about the creating of man, (for the work 
of redemption is a work wherein the distinct 
concern of each Person is infinitely greater, 
than in the work of creation), and so, that 
there was a joint agreement of all ; but not 
properly a covenant between them all. There 
is no necessity of supposing, that each one 
acts, in this consent and agreement, as a 


party covenanting ; or that the agreement of 
each one is of the nature of a covenant, 
stipulation and engagement. 

15. It is not only true, that the Holy 
Ghost is concerned in the work of redemption 
equally with the other Persons ; but that He 
is also concerned in the covenant of redemp* 

5 6 Observations. 

tion, as well as they. And His concern in 
this covenant is as great as theirs, and equally 
honourable with theirs, and yet His concern 
in the covenant is not that of a party cove- 
nanting. 1 

Corol. From the things that have been 
observed, it appears to be unreasonable to 
suppose, as some do, that the Sonship of the 
second Person in the Trinity consists only 
in the relation He bears to the Father in His 
mediatorial character ; and that His genera- 
tion or proceeding from the Father as a Son, 
consists only in His being appointed, con- 
stituted and authorized of the Father to the 
office of a mediator; and that there is no 
other priority of the Father to the Son but 
that which is voluntarily established in the 
covenant of redemption. For it appears by 
what has been said, that the priority of the 
Father to the. Son is, in the order of nature, 
before the covenant of redemption. And it 
appears evidently to be so, even by the 
scheme of those now mentioned, who sup- 
1 See Appendix, Note F. 

Observations. 57 

pose the contrary. For they suppose that it 
is the Father who by His power constitutes 
the Son in His office of Mediator, and so 
that the Mediator is His Son, L e. y is made 
a mediator by Him, deriving His being in 
that office wholly from Him. But if so, that 
supposes the Father, in the Oeconomy of the 
Trinity, to be before the Son or above Him 
(and so to vest with authority and thus to 
constitute and authorize the other Person in 
the Trinity) before that other Person is thus 
authorized, which is by the covenant of re- 
demption, and consequently that this su- 
periority of the Father is antecedent to that 
covenant. And the whole tenour of the 
gospel exhibits the same thing. For that 
represents the wondrous love and grace of 
God as appearing in appointing and con- 
stituting His own only begotten and beloved 
Son, to be our Mediator; which would be 
absurd, if He were not God's Son, till after 
He was appointed to be our Mediator. 1 

1 See Appendix, Note G. 



Note A, page 10. 

After the statements of the Introduction re- 
specting the genuineness of the manuscript were 
prepared, a paper was found which is not only 
decisive of this question, but confirmatory also of 
the supposition that the copy was made with ref- 
erence to the first publication of the Miscellanies. 
This document is in the handwriting of Dr. Jona- 
than Edwards, and contains, besides numerical 
references to President Edwards's Miscellaneous 
Observations, an arrangement of them by topics 
substantially the same with that followed in the 
two Edinburgh editions. The numbers 1062 and 
1 1 74 are included in this scheme in their proper 
order. The paper gives also a key to other numbers 
on the manuscript before unintelligible, and explains 
how the arrangement was changed in consequence 
of the decision to omit 1062. 

The document is interesting, also, as showing 
how Dr. Edwards edited his father's Miscellanies. 

62 Appendix. 

It appears, for instance, that Part L of the Mis- 
cellaneous Observations y Edinburgh, 1793, containing 
" Observations on the Facts and Evidences of 
Christianity," in 112 sections, is made up from as 
many separate Observations, whose notation ranges 
from a a, and 6, to 1342. The order of the divisions 
is from the editor. The seventh section, for in- 
stance, corresponds to number 142 ; the sixth to 
155. The seventieth is identical with number 1206 ; 
the preceding with 1192. The eighty-second re- 
produces number 6, &c. Part II., " Concerning the 
Mysteries of Scripture," is not fully made out, but 
thirteen of its sections are taken from numbers 
running as low as 190, and as high as 1234. Part 
III. is entitled: "Observations concerning the 
Divinity of Christ and the Doctrine of the Trinity." 
The latter portion of the heading seems to have 
been inserted when it was expected to print 1062 
as well as 1174. The document also has checks 
apparently designating the numbers published, or 
so intended. Such a mark seems to have been 
set against 1062, though this is not absolutely 
certain. The order of arrangement in the second 
volume of Miscellanies is an improvement on 
that of this scheme, — an indication of its early 

Appendix. 63 

Note B, page 24. 
This explicit rejection of a dependence of the 
Son on the will of the Father is specially notice- 
able, Since it absolutely excludes that sort of sub- 
ordinationism which was a germ of Arianism. The 
subordination which Edwards admits is common to 
him and to historical Trinitarianism. Professor 
Fisher has recently remarked : x "Let me say that 
the Nicene definitions, in giving a certain prece- 
dence to the Father, while affirming the true divin- 
ity of the Son, accord with the teaching of the New 
Testament, and while they do not pretend to clear 
up the inscrutable mystery, are better adapted to 
remove practical difficulties than many later and 
less authoritative expositions of the subject." So 
Dr. Worcester, in one of the ablest essays produced 
by the Unitarian Controversy in this country : 2 
" In the Holy Trinity, . . . though there is an 
essential equality, yet there is order, and there is 
subordination. The Father is first, the Son is 
second, the Holy Spirit is third, in order ; and in 
relation especially to the great work of redemption, 
as the Scriptures most plainly represent, the Son is 
subordinate to the Father, and the Holy Spirit both 
to the Father and the Son." Cf. Calvin, Institutes 

1 Faith and Rationalism, pp. 55-56. 

2 A Third Letter to the Rev. William E> Ckanning^ 
Boston, 1815, p. 24. 

64 Appendix, 

I. xiii. 20. Dr. Dorner, more carefully than most 
writers on this subject, has eliminated from his 
exposition of the doctrine elements of subordina- 
tionism which might be construed as either adverse 
to the deity of Christ, or friendly to tritheistic con- 
ceptions. See his " History of the Development of 
the Doctrine of the Person of Christ" and his 
" Glaubenslehre," of which a translation is pre- 

Note C, page 36. 

President Edwards left a number of "Observa- 
tions " on the Covenant of Redemption and the 
Covenant of Grace, which were copied in connec- 
tion with Dr. S. E. Dwight's edition, but were not 
published. 1 I make a few quotations which may 
be helpful to a right understanding of the Essay, 
though they relate only indirectly to its special 

In the first of these papers, — one of the earliest 
in the series, — their author remarks : — 

"Many difficulties used to arise in my mind 
about our being saved upon the account of Faith, 
as being the condition upon 1 which God has prom- 
ised salvation ; as being that particular grace and 
virtue for which men are saved. According to 
which there is no difference between the condition 

1 The extracts in the following Notes are also from similar 

Appendix, 65 

of the first covenant and the second, but this : be- 
fore the fall, man was to be save^d upon the account 
of all the virtues ; and since, upon the account only 
of one virtue and grace, even this of faith ; for 
where is the difference ? . . . 

" But it seems to me that all this confusion arises 
from the wrong distinction men make between the 
covenant of grace and the covenant of redemption. 
It seems to me to be true, that as this first cove- 
nant was rhade with the first Adam, so the second 
covenant was made with the second Adam. As 
the first covenant was made with the seed of the 
first Adam no otherwise than as it was with them 
in him, so the second covenant is not made with 
the seed of the second Adam any otherwise than as 
it was made with them in Him. ... As the con- 
dition of the first covenant was Adam's standing, 
so the condition of the second covenant is Christ's 
standing. Christ has performed the condition of 
the new covenant. . . . We can do nothing but 
only receive Christ and what He has done already. 
Salvation is not offered to us upon any condition, 
but freely and for nothing. We are to do nothing 
for it ; we are only to take it. This taking zxA ^ 
receiv ing is fait h. It is not said, If you will do so, 
you may have salvation ; you may have the water 
of life ; but,. Come and take it ; whosoever will, let 
him come. It is very improper to say that a cove- 


66 Appendix. 

nant is made with men, any otherwise than in 
Christ ; for there is a vast difference between a 
free offer and a covenant. The covenant was made 
with Christ, and in Him with His mystical body ; 
and the condition of the covenant is Christ's per- 
fect obedience and sufferings. And that, that is 
made to men, is a free offer.- Tha t, which is com- 
monly called th e covenant of gra ce, is only Christ's 
open and free offer of 7y^wEereby He holds it out 
m HisTTand to sinners, and offers it without any 
condition. Faith jannot be, called the condition of 
receiving, for-itis. thcj gceivinfr itself : Christ holds 
out, and believers receive. There was no covenant 
made or agreement, upon something that must be 
done before they might receive. It is true, those 
that do not believe are not saved, and all that do 
believe are saved ; that is, all that do receive Christ 
and salvation, they receive it, and all that will not 
receive salvation never do receive it, and never 
have it. But faith, or the reception of it, is not the 
condition of receiving it. It is not proper when 
a man holds out his gift to a beggar, that he may 
take it without any manner of preliminary condi- 
tions, to say that he makes a covenant with the 
beggar. No more proper is it to say, that Christ's 
holding forth life in His hand to us, that we may 
receive it, is making a covenant with us. But, I 
must confess, after all, that if men will call this free 

Appendix. 67 

offer and exhibition a covenant, they may ; and if 
they will call the receiving of life the condition of 
the receiving of life, they are at liberty so to do ; 
but I believe it is much the more hard for them to 
think right, for speaking so wrong. 

" This making faith a condition of life fills the 
mind with innumerable difficulties about faith and 
works, and how to distinguish them. It tends to 
make us apt to depend on our own righteousness. 
It tends to lead men into Neonomianism, and gives 
the principal force to their arguments ; whereas, if 
we would leave off distinguishing the covenant of 
grace and the covenant of redemption, we should 
have all those matters plain and unperplexed." 

Much later, in another essay, he treats of the two 
covenants of Grace and Redemption^ as follows, — 
not so much changing his ground, as finding room 
for the former by precise definition: — 

" It seems to me, there arises considerable con- 
fusion from not rightly distinguishing between the 
covenant that God made with Christ and with His 
church or believers, in Him, and the covenant be- 
tween Christ and His church, or between Christ 
and men. There is doubtless a difference between 
the covenant that God makes with Christ and His 
people, considered as one, and the covenant of 
Christ and His people between themselves. The 
covenant that a father makes with his son and his 

68 Appendix. 

son's wife, considered as one, must be looked upon 
as different from the marriage covenant, or the cove- 
nant which the son and the wife make between 
themselves. The father is concerned in this cove- 
nant only as a parent in a child's marriage, direct- 
ing, consenting, and ratifying. These covenants 
are often confounded, and the promises of each are 
called the promises of the covenant of grace, with- 
out due distinction. Which has perhaps been the 
occasion of many difficulties, and considerable con- 
fusion in discourses and controversies about the 
covenant of grace. . . . 

"These covenants differ in their conditions. 
The condition of the covenant that God has made 
with Jesus Christ, as a public person, is all that 
Christ has done and suffered to procure redemption. 
The condition of Christ's covenant with His peo- 
ple, or of the marriage covenant between Him and 
men, is that they should close with Him and adhere 
to Him. They also differ in their promises. The 
sum of what is promised by the Father, in the 
former of these covenants, is Christ's reward for 
what He has done in the work of redemption, and 
success therein. And the sum of what is promised 
in Christ's marriage covenant with His people, 
is the enjoyment of Himself, and communion 
with Him in the benefits He Himself has ob- 
tained of the Father by what He has done and 

Appendix. 69 

suffered ; as in marriage the persons covenanting 
give themselves and all that they have to each 

Again, in a subsequent paper : — 

" There are two covenants that are made, that are 
by ho means to be confounded one with another : 

1. The covenant of God the Father with the Son, 
and with all the elect in Him, whereby things are 
said to be given in Christ before the world began, 
and to be promised before the world began. . . . 

2. There is another covenant, that is the marriage 
covenant between Christ and the soul ; the cove- 
nant of union, or whereby the soul becomes united 
to Christ. This covenant before marriage is only 
an offer or invitation : ' Behold, I stand at the door 
and knock/ etc. In marriage, or in the soul's con- 
version, it becomes a proper covenant. This is 
what is called the covenant of grace, in distinction 
from the covenant of redemption? 

Later still he elaborates and confirms the same 
distinctions, and adds : — 

"The due consideration of these things may per- 
haps reconcile the difference between those divines 
that think the covenant of redemption and the 
covenant of grace the same, and those that think 
them different. The covenant that God the Father 
makes with believers is indeed the very same with 
the covenant of redemption made with Christ be- 

70 Appendix. 

fore the foundation of the world, or at least is 
entirely included in it. And this covenant has a 
Mediator, or is ordained in the hand of a Mediator. 
But the covenant, by which Christ Himself and 
believers are united one with another, is properly a 
different covenant from that ; and is not made by a 
Mediator. There is a Mediator between sinners 
and the, Father, to bring about a covenant union 
between them ; but there is no Mediator between 
Christ and sinners, to bring about a marriage union 
between Christ and their souls. 

"These things may also tend to reconcile the 
difference between those divines that think the 
covenant of grace is not conditional as to us, or 
that the promises of it are without any proper con- 
ditions to be performed by us ; and those that think 
that faith is the proper condition of the covenant of 
grace. The covenant of grace, if hereby we un- 
derstand the covenant between God the Father 
and believers in Christ, ... is indeed without any 
proper conditions to be ^performed by us. Faith is 
not properly the condition of this covenant, but 
the righteousness of Christ. . . . But the covenant 
of grace, if thereby we understand the covenant 
between Christ Himself and His church as His 
members, is conditional as to us. The proper con- 
dition of it, which is a yielding to Christ's invita- 
tions, and accepting His offers, and closing with 

Appendix. 71 

Him as a Redeemer and spiritual husband, is to be 
performed by us." l 

Note D, page 43. 

Complaint is sometimes made of the severe lan- 
guage which Edwards applies to human nature. 

But it should be remembered that when he thus 
reproaches and condemns, it is of that nature 
as sinful, corrupt, and guilty that he is speaking. 
His own investigations have led to more biblical 
conceptions of personal responsibility than he him- 
self inherited, and so it is easy now to criticise 
some of his statements by his own aid, — a proof of 
his greatness ; yet it is but simple justice to keep 
in mind always that the underlying principle of his 
strong and intense language is that abhorrence of 
sin, and sense of its ill desert and infinite peril, 
which must be entertained by a holy mind. A 
complete representation of his opinions respecting 
human nature must take into account his estimate 
of that nature as unfallen, as united to God in the 
Incarnation, as redeemed and purified. When this 
line of examination is pursued, it will be found 
that Edwards's conceptions of the dignity of our 
humanity are pre-eminently noble and inspiring. 

It would be foreign to the immediate purpose of 

1 Cf. the discussion of this subject by Rev. Dr. Samuel 
Hopkins, Works, i. p. 48^ sqq. 

72 Appendix, 

this note to follow out these suggestions. But inci- 
dentally a strong light will be shed on his conceptions 
of human nature in its true or divine idea, and 
apart from the perversion and deformity of sin, by 
the following extracts, whose main design is to 
present more fully some of the thoughts of the 
Essay respecting the Person of Christ. 

In the Essay, the Incarnation appears as the 
fruit of the Covenant of Redemption, and of a 
" great design " to glorify the deity and communi- 
cate its fulness. In the following extract, it is 
traced to the love of the Second Person in the 
Trinity for man. 

" Such was the love of the Son of God to the 
human nature, that He desired a most near and 
close union with it, — something like the union in 
the Persons of the Trinity ; nearer than there can 
be between any two distinct creatures. This moved 
Him to make the human become one with Him, 
and Himself to be one of mankind that should 
represent all the rest ; for Christ calls us brethren, 
and is one of us. How should we be encouraged 
when we have such a Mediator ! It is one of us 
that is to plead for us ; one that God from love to 
us has received into His own person from among 
us. And it is so congruous that it should be so, 
and is also so agreeable to the Scripture, that it 
much confirms in me the truth of the Christian 

Appendix, 73 

And again : " Christ took the nature of a crea- 
ture, not only because the creature's great love to 
Him desired familiar communion with Him, — more 
familiar than His infinite distance would allow, — 
but also because His great love to us caused Him 
to desire familiar communion" with us. So He 
came down to us, and united Himself to our na- 

The personal union of the human nature to the 
divine in Christ, Edwards represents as brought 
about by the same Spirit who is given to believers. 

" As the union of believers with Christ is by the 
indwelling of the Spirit of Christ in them, so it 
may be worthy to be considered, whether or no the 
union of the divine with the human nature of Christ 
is not by the Spirit of the Logos dwelling in Him 
after a peculiar manner and without measure. 
Perhaps there is no other way of God's dwelling in 
a creature but by His Spirit. The Spirit of Christ 
dwelling in man causes an union so that in many 
respects they are looked upon as one. Perhaps the 
Spirit of the Logos may dwell in a creature after 
such a manner that the creature may become one 
person, and may be looked upon as such, and 2S> 
cepted as such. There is a likeness between the 
union of the Logos with the man Christ Jesus and 
the union of Christ with the church, though there 
be in the former great peculiarities. . . . 

74 Appendix. 

" The man Christ is united to the Logos these 
two ways : — 

" I. By the respect which God hath to this human 
nature. God hath respect to this man, and loveth 
Him as His own Son. This man hath communion 
with the Logos in the love which the Father hath 
to Him as His only begotten Son. Now the love 
of God is the Holy Ghost, and 

" 2. By what is inherent in this man, whereby 
He becomes one person with the Logos ; which is 
only by the communion of understanding, and com- 
munion of will, inclination, spirit, or temper. It is 
not any communion of understanding and will that 
makes the same person ; but the communion of 
understanding is such that there is the same con- 

Of the knowledge and powers of the man Christ 
Jesus he remarks, in other papers : — 

" The man Christ Jesus, being the same Person 
with the eternal Son of God, has a reminiscence or 
consciousness of what appertained to the eternal 
Logos, and so of His happiness with the Father. 
Therefore we often find Christ speaking as being 
very well acquainted with the Father before He 
came into the world, and speaking of transactions 
betwixt Him and the Father before He came ; as if 
there were an agreement about the work of Re- 
demption, and what He should teach, what He 

Appendix. 75 

should do, and who should be His. Thus Christ 
frequently tells us that what He doth He does not 
do of Himself, but as He was ordered of the Father, 
and that He did not teach of Himself, but that He 
had received of His Father what He should teach, 
before He came down from heaven, &c. So He 
speaks of His coming down from heaven, as if He 
remembered how He was once there, and how He 
came down. Now, when He remembered these 
things, He could not remember them as they were 
in the infinite mind ; for the idea of the Creator 
cannot be communicated to the creature, as it is in 
God. But the remembrance as it was in His 
mind was the same after a different manner. The 
things which He remembered were from all eternity 
in the Logos after the manner of God, and the man 
Christ Jesus was conscious to Himself of them as if 
they had been after the manner of a creature. 
Those transactions which Christ speaks of in the 
Covenant of Redemption were no other than the 
eternal and immutable gracious design, both of 
the Father and Son, of what was to be done by the 
Son, and what was to be the fruit of it. It was 
impossible that the man Christ Jesus should re- 
member this as it was in the Deity ; for then an 
idea of the eternal mind could be communicated to 
a finite mind, even as it is- in the infinite mind. 
But He remembered it as if it had been really such 

76 Appendix. 

a transaction, before the world was, between Him 
and the Father. Not that He was deceived, for He 
knew how it was ; but, as the consciousness of it 
was communicated to Him, it must of necessity 
seem thus. . . . That in the general it was thus is 
no bold conjecture, but so it must of necessity be. 
Though the particular manner of this conscious- 
ness, and how far the ideas of a creature can be 
after the manner of the divine [mind], and how a 
creature may be said to remember what is in God, 
is uncertain." 

And again : " It is probable that the faculties of 
the man Christ Jesus, now in His glorified state, 
are so enlarged that He can, with a full view and 
clear apprehension of mind, at the same time think 
on all the saints in the world, and be in the exer- 
cise of an actual and even of a passionate love 
(such as we experience) to all of them in particular. 
It is certain that human souls can have two ideas 
and more at the same moment in the mind ; other- 
wise how could the mind compare ideas and judge 
between them. It will not suffice that they are 
very speedily, one after another, in the mind for 
comparing ; for let the second idea be in the mind 
never so quick after the first, yet the mind cannot 
at that moment compare the second idea with the 
first, if the first be entirely gone out of the mind ; 
for how can the mind compare an idea that is in 

Appendix. 7 7 

the mind with another at the same time that is not 
in the mind. And I do not see why a mind can- 
not be of such powers as to be exercised about 
millions of millions of ideas with as great intense- 
ness and clearness of apprehension as we admit 
two only. No doubt but the man Christ Jesus 
loves believers ; not only the church in general, 
without particularly viewing one person, but that 
He loves believers in particular. No doubt but 
that the man Christ Jesus loves the church in 
general, because it is made up of those particular 
persons that He loves. He loves the church be- 
cause of the lovelinesses that He sees in the church ; 
but He sees lovelinesses nowhere else but in par- 
ticular persons. Nor can we suppose that the man 
Jesus only loves the persons that are most eminent, 
with a particular love, but that every true saint 
may have the comfort of this consideration. And, 
seeing that He loves them, no doubt but that He, 
with a proper desire, desires communion with 
them ; and even the man Christ, being the same 
person with the divine, has communion with them, 
by the communion of this person, as much as if 
His human soul were present, and suggested and 
answered by suggestions those sweet meditations. 
And there is the same delight in the man Christ as 
if He were bodily present with them, talking and 
conversing with them. And this seems to be one 

78 Appendix. 

glorious end of the union of the human to the 
divine nature, to bring God near to us ; that even 
our God, the infinite being, might be made as one 
of us ; that His visible Majesty might not make 
us afraid ; that Jehovah, who is infinitely distant 
from us, might become familiar to us. This capa- 
city of the man Jesus is so large, by reason of the 
personal union with the divine nature, that by this 
means He knew the thoughts of men while on 
earth, and knew things acted at a distance. No 
doubt but if the man Christ Jesus were, with His 
glorified power, now on earth, and should meet 
here and there with holy men, He would be per- 
fectly acquainted with them at first sight. What 
kind of powers are they, besides His own immu- 
table attributes, that God cannot create a finite 
being with ? And what kind of powers may we 
justly conclude His are, who is the first-born of 
every creature, and is personally united to the 
Deity ? This seems to have been the universally 
received belief of the primitive church, which no- 
body ever thought of denying." 

Christ as God and man in one Person is qualified 
to unite man to God. 

" Christ as God-man is a fit person for a Mediator 
between God and man, not only as He is a Middle 
Person between the Father and the Holy Ghost* 
but also as He is a Middle Person between God and 

Appendix, 79 

men themselves ; He is really allied to both. He 
is the Son of God and the Son of man, He is both 
God and man, He is God's son and our brother ; 
and as He has the nature of both, so He has the 
circumstances of both, — the glory, majesty and 
happiness of the one, and the infirmity, meanness, 
disgrace, guilt and misery of the other. As it was 
requisite in order to His being Mediator between 
God and man, that He should be the subject of our 
calamity, that He might know, on the one hand, 
how to pity us who suffer, or are exposed to those 
calamities ; so, on the other hand, it was requisite 
that He should be possessed of the glory and 
majesty of God, that He might know how to value 
that glory and majesty, and to be careful and ten- 
der of them, and effectually engaged to see to it 
that they are well secured and gloriously magni- 
fied. ... 

" Christ brings God and man to each other, and 
actually unites them together. This He does by 
various steps and degrees, which terminate in the 
highest step, in that consummation of actual union 
which He will accomplish at the end of the world. 

"First, He came into the world, and brought 
God or Divinity down with Him to us ; and then 
He ascended to God, and carried up humanity, or 
man, with Him to God ; and from heaven He sent 
down the Holy Spirit, whereby He gives God to 

80 Appendix. 

man ; and hereby He draws them to give up them- 
selves to God. He brings God to dwell with their 
souls on earth, at their conversion ; and He brings 
their souls to dwell with God in heaven, at their 

" The time will come when He will come down 
again from heaven in person, and will bring God 
with Him to man, a second time ; and He will 
then ascend, a second time, to carry up man with 
Him to God. At the first descent, He brought 
divinity down to us, under a veil ; at His second 
coming, He will bring divinity down with Him, 
without a veil, appearing in its glory. At His first 
ascension, after His own resurrection, He carried 
up our nature with Him to God. At His second 
ascension, after the general resurrection, He will 
carry up our persons with Him. At death, He 
brings the souls of the saints to God in heaven ; 
whereby a part of the church is gloriously united 
to God. At the end of the world, He will bring in 
both body and soul to heaven, and will bring all 
the church together to their highest and consum- 
mate union with God ; and this will be the last 
step He will take, in the office of a Mediator, to 
unite God and man. Having presented all His 
church together, in body and soul, to the Father, 
without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, per- 
fectly delivered, perfectly restored, and perfectly 

Appendix. 8 1 

glorious ; saying, ' Here am I, and the children 
which Thou* hast given me ; ' and having finished 
the work which the Father gave Him to do, then 
cometh the end, when He will deliver up the king- 
dom to the Father." 

In the next Note passages will be cited showing 
how Edwards carries the idea of Christ's mediation 
beyond the period here considered. The following 
extract treats of its extension as respects the beings 
whom it influences : — 

" Christ, God-man, is not only Mediator between 
God and sinful men, but He acts as a Middle Per- 
son between all other persons, and all intelligent 
beings, that all things may be gathered together in 
one in Him, agreeably to Eph. i. 10. He is the 
Middle Person between the other two divine per- 
sons, and acts as such in the affair of our redemp- 
tion. . . . Though He is not properly a Mediator 
between God and angels, yet He acts in many 
respects as a Middle Person between them ; so 
that all that eternal life, glory and blessedness that 
they are possessed of is by His mediety. And He 
is a kind of Mediator between one man and another 
to make peace between them. . . . He reconciles 
one man to another by His blood by taking away 
all just cause one can have to hate another for 
what is indeed hateful in them, and for which they 
deserve to be hated of both God and man, by suffer- 

82 Appendix. 

ing for it fully as much as it deserves ; so that what 
the hatred of both God and man desires is here 
fully accomplished in a punishment fully propor- 
tional to the hatefulness of the crime. Were it 
not that the sins of men are already fully' punished 
in the sufferings of Christ, all, both angels and 
men, might justly hate all sinners for their sins. 
For, appearing as they are in themselves, they are 
indeed infinitely hateful, and could appear no other- 
wise to any than as they are in themselves, had not 
another been substituted for them ; and therefore 
they must necessarily appear hateful to all that saw 
things as they are- It is impossible for any to hate 
a crime as a crime or fault, without desiring that it 
should be punished, for he that hates sin is thereby 
an enemy to it, and therefore necessarily is inim- 
ical, or inclined to act against it, that it may suffer, 
or to see it suffer. And if we impute men's sins to 
them, i. e. if we look on the hatefulness of their 
sins as their hatefulness, we necessarily hate them, 
and are inclined that the sufferings that we de- 
sire for their sins should be their sufferings. But 
now Christ has suffered for the sins of the world, 
we ought to hate no man, because Christ has suf- 
fered and satisfied for his sins, and therefore we 
should endeavor to bring him to Christ. A right 
consideration of Christ's sufferings for the sins of 
others is enough to satisfy all just indignation 

Appendix, 83 

against them for their sins. So that Christ, by 
His sufferings, has in a sense made propitiation for 
men's sins, not only with God but with their fellow- 
creatures ; and so, by His obedience, He recom- 
mends them not only to the favor of God, but of 
one another ; for Christ's righteousness is exceed- 
ing amiable to all men and angels that see it 
aright, and Christ Himself is amiable to them on 
that account ; and it renders all, that they look 
upon to be in Him, amiable in their eyes, to con- 
sider them as members of so amiable a head, as we 
naturally love the children of those that we have a 
vejy dear love to. Christ, by His death, has also 
laid a foundation for peace and love among enemies, 
in that therein He has done two things : — 

" 1. In setting the most marvellous, affecting 
example of love to enemies ; an example in an 
instance wherein we are most nearly concerned, 
for we ourselves are those enemie # s that He has 
manifested such love to ; and, 

" 2. He has done the greatest thing to engage us 
to love Him, and so to follow His example ; for the 
examples of such as we have a strong love to have 
a most powerful influence upon us. . . . 

"Christ was Mediator between the Jews and 
Gentiles to reconcile them together, breaking down 
the middle wall of partition. He also unites men 
and angels. He unites angels to men by the fol- • 

84 Appendix. 

lowing things : by taking away their guilt by His 
blood ; by suffering for that which otherwise would 
necessarily have rendered them hateful to the 
angels ; by taking away sin itself by sanctification ; 
by rendering those that are so much inferior in 
their natures honorable in their eyes, and worthy 
that they themselves should be ministering spirits 
to them, going forth to minister to their salvation ; 
by His taking their nature upon Him, dying for 
them and uniting them to be members of Him- 
self; by setting them such a wonderful example, in 
manifesting God's and His own eternal transcend- 
ent love to them, by the great things He did and 
suffered for them ; by being an intermediate per- 
son, as a bond and head of union, being a common 
head to each, in which both are united ; and by 
confirming their hearts by His Spirit against all 
pride, which was the thing that caused such an 
alienation between the angels that fell and men, so 
that they could not endure to be ministering spirits 
to Him, which was the occasion of their fall." (Cf. 
Works, Dwight's Ed., Vol. VIII., pp. 521-522.) 

Note E, page 50. 

The subject of the eternal reign of Christ is 
considered by Edwards in several of the Observa- 
tions. His treatment of it is intimately connected 

Appendix, 85 

with the general principles of his Christology, and 
is an important development and application of them. 
"Christ, God-man, shall reign after He has 
delivered up the kingdom to the Father; but not as 
He doth now. Now He reigns by a delegated au- 
thority ; as a king's son may reign in some part of 
his dominions, as his viceroy ; or over the whole, 
by having the whole government and management 
committed to him, and left with him for a time. 
But then Christ will reign, as a king's son may 
reign, in copartnership with his father. Now He 
reigns by virtue of a delegation or commission ; then 
He will reign by. virtue of His union with the 
Father. Now things are managed in Christ's name; 
they are left to His ordering and government ; and 
the Father reigns by the Son. Then the Father 
will take the government upon Himself; and things 
will be managed in the Fathers name, and the Son 
shall reign in, and with the Father. As it cannot 
be said that the Father does not reign now, when 
the kingdom is in the hands of His Son, so neither 
can it be said that the Son will not reign then, when 
the kingdom shall be delivered up into the hands of 
the Father. The government of the world, now, 
takes its rise from the Son, as the head and spring 
of it ; and the Father reigns now by virtue of the 
relation of the Son, and His government, to Him, 
as His Son, infinitely near and dear to Him, the 

86 Appendix. 

same with Him in nature and will; as being in the 
Son, and the Son from Him commissioned and in- 
structed by Him, acting and influencing by the 
same Spirit ; and so the Father now governs all by 
the Son. Then the government of the universe 
will be from the Father, and will take its rise from 
Him, and then the Son will reign by virtue of the 
Father s relation to Him, and His to the Father, as 
being His Father, the same in nature and will ; the 
Son being His perfect image, and being in the 
Father, being His Fellow, admitted to fellowship 
and communion with Him in government ; and the 
Spirit of the Father, by which He actuates and 
influences, being also His Spirit . . . Christ will 
forever continue to reign over all things for two 
reasons : — 

" i. Because it is His natural right, as He is a 
divine person, the Son of God ; He has a right to 
reign forever, as He is the Father's proper heir. 

" 2. He will also reign forever, in reward for what 
He did as God-man, in the work of redemption." 

And again :• " Christ will to all eternity continue 
the medium of communication between God and 
the saints." 

And in a subsequent paper: "That kingdom, 
that Christ shall deliver up to the Father, at the end 
of the world, is not properly His mediatorial king- 
dom, but His representative kingdom. Christ, 

Appendix. 87 

God-man, rules now, as representing the Father's 
person in His government ; and therefore that work 
is committed to Christ, that, according to the econ- 
omy of the Trinity, is properly the work of the 
Father; as particularly the work of lawgiver and 
judge. . . . But this state of things will not last 
always. God the Father has committed His work 
to the Son for a season for special and glorious 
reasons, but things are not thus fixed to be thus 
ultimately and eternally ; for that would amount 
even to an overthrowing of the economy of the 
Persons of the Trinity. But doubtless this repre- 
sentative kingdom, when the several ends of it shall 
be answered, shall be delivered up ; and things 
shall return to their own primeval, original order ; 
and every Person of the Trinity, in the ultimate and 
eternal state of things, shall continue each one in 
the exercise of His own economical place and work. 
" This representative, or delegated, kingdom of 
Christ is not just the same with His mediatorial 
kingdom. Indeed the kingdom that He has as the 
Father's vicegerent, is given and improved to sub^ 
serve the purposes of His mediation between God 
and the elect ; but yet it is not the same with His 
mediatorial kingdom. It is rather something that 
is superadded to that, which is most essential in His 
mediatorial office and work, to subserve the pur- 
poses of it ; and therefore His mediation, or media- 

88 Appendix. 

torial work, will continue, after that which is thus 
superadded ceases. Christ's mediatorial kingdom 
never will be delivered up to the Father. It would 
imply a great absurdity to suppose, that Christ 
should deliver up, or commit, the work of a Mediator 
to the Father; as if the Father Himself should 
thenceforward take upon Him the work of mediat- 
ing between Himself and man. Christ's mediation 
between the Father and the elect will continue after 
the end of the world, and He will reign as a Middle 
Person between the Father and them to all eternity ; 
though He will not continue to do the same things 
as Mediator, then, as He does now, as He now does 
not do the same things as Mediator that He has 
done heretofore, arid particularly the work which He 
did when He was here on earth, called the Impetra- 
tion of Redemption^ which work He finished and 
rested from when He rose from the dead. But still 
unto men He is as much the Mediator now, as He 
was then, and doing the work of a Mediator now, as 
well as then. So, though He will not continue to 
do the same parts of His mediatorial work after the 
end of the world as he does now, such as delivering 
the saints from the remains of sin, and interceding 
for them as sinful creatures, and conquering their 
enemies (to subserve which parts of His mediato- 
rial work, His kingdom of vicegerency is committed 
to Him); yet He will continue a Middle Person 

Appendix. 89 

between the Father and the saints to all eternity ; 
and as the head of union with the Father, and of 
derivation from Him, and of all manner of commu- 
nication and intercourse with the Father. 

" When the end comes, that relation that Christ 
-stands in to His church, as the Father's viceroy 
over her, shall cease, and shall be swallowed up in 
the relation of a vital and conjugal: Head, or Head 
of influence and enjoyment ; which is more natural 
and essential to the main ends and purposes of His 
union with them. And henceforward His dominion 
or kingship over them will be no other than what 
naturally flows from, or is included in, such an head^ 
ship. And now God will be all. The church now 
shall be brought nearer to God the Father, who by 
His economical office sustains the dignity and 
appears as the fountain, of the deity ; and her en- 
joyment of him shall be more direct. Christ, God- 
man, shall now no longer be instead of the Father 
to them ; but, as I may express it, their head of 
their enjoyment of God; as it were the eye to 
receive the rays of divine glory and love for the 
whole body ; and the ear to hear the sweet expres- 
sions of His love ; and the mouth to taste the 
sweetness, and feed on the delights of the enjoy- 
ment of God : the root of the whole tree, planted 
in God, to receive sap and nourishment for every 

90 Appendix. 

Note F,.page 56. 
" This covenant transaction," says Dr. Hopkins, 
Edwards's pupil and friend, "is more particularly 
and often mentioned as taking place between the 
Father and the Son, though not excluding the Holy 
Spirit! 1 Others have preferred to say that the 
Father, in this affair, represents the entire Deity. 
It has been a fixed canon of belief that there is a 
unity of the Godhead in works as well as in nature. 
" Every divine work, and every part of every divine 
work," says John Owen, " is the work of God ; that 
is, of the whole Trinity, unseparably and undivid- 
edly." Opera ad extra sunt communia, indivisa. 
Yet each Person of the Trinity participates in 
these operations in a different way. Edwards's 
representation is not inconsistent with this law. 
Cf. Owen : Discourse concerning the Holy Spirit, 
Works, ed. Goold, I., pp. 66-67, 94 J Hodge, Sysl. 
TheoL I., p. 445 ; Dorner, Glaubenslehre, I., p. 370. 
On the relation of the Holy Spirit to the Covenant 
of Redemption, see Strong, Disc, of the Two Cove- 
nants, pp. 114, 308, sqq; Boston, Works, p. 150; 
Baxter, Works, V., p. 39 ; Willard, A compleat Body 
of Divinity, p. 277, ed. 1726; Hopkins, Works, L, 
p. 487 ; Dr. A. A. Hodge, Outlines, p. 274. 

Appendix. 91 

Note G, page $7* 

The interpretation of the Sonship of our Lord 
which Edwards here controverts, was advanced by 
Dr. Thomas Ridgley, in a work entitled " A Body 
of Divinity/' first published in 173 1. Dr. Samuel 
Hopkins, in his "System of Doctrines," 1792, (Vol. 
I., p. 434), says : " This opinion seems to be rather 
gaining ground and spreading of late." He op- 
poses it with his usual ability. It has been favored 
by some later Trinitarians, but has not met with 
general acceptance. See Ridgley, Body of Divin- 
ity, 1st ed, I., p. 125 sqq. ; Emmons, Works, II., 
pp. 135-136, 141-142; Stuart, Commentaries on 
Romans and Hebrews, Letters to Dr. Channing, 
to Dr. Miller, and Articles in the Biblical Reposi- 
tory (1835), anc * tne Bibliotkeca Sacra (1850). See, 
per contra, Hopkins, Works, I., p. 299 sqq., and, of 
the more recent literature, the Commentaries of 
Ellicott, Lightfoot, Westcott ; Plumptre, Canon 
Cook, Prof. Watkins, Drs. Schaff and Riddle, 
Shedd, Haupt, Godet, Meyer ; also, Works on 
Christian Doctrine, by Hodge, Raymond, Van 
Oosterzee, Dorner. Weiss [Biblische Theologie, 
P- Soo, 3d ed.) may fairly be classed here, though, 
in general, he betrays an extreme sensitiveness to 
metaphysical interpretations. See, also, Cremer, 
Biblico-theo logical Lexicon of JV. T t Greek ; and 

92 Appendix* 

an admirable article by Dr. H. Schmidt, " Uber 
die Grenzen der Aufgabe eines Lebens Jesus/' Tk. 
Stud, und Krit. t 1878. Dr. Hodge very justly 
distinguishes between "the speculations of the 
Nicene fathers and the decisions of the Nicene 
Council." (Theol., I., p. 471.) 

In Dr. Dwight's edition of President Edwards's 
works (Vol. VIII., p. 530), a few sentences are 
given from one of the " Observations," which is 
now presented entire. Its theme is the 

"Excellency of Christ." 

"When we behold a beautiful body, a lovely 
proportion and beautiful harmony of features, de- 
lightful airs of countenance and voice, and sweet 
motions and gestures, we are charmed with it, 
not under the notion of a corporeal but a mental 
beauty. For if there could be a statue that 
should have exactly the same, that could be made 
to have the same sounds and the same motions 
precisely, we should not be so delighted with it, 
we should not fall entirely in love with the image, 
if we knew certainly that it had no perception or 
understanding. The reason is, we are apt to look 
upon this agreeableness, those airs, to be emana- 
tions of perfections of the mind, and immediate 

Appendix. 93 

effects of internal purity and sweetness. Especially 
it is so, when we love the person for the airs of 
voice, countenance, and gesture, which have much 
greater power upon us than barely colours and 
proportion of dimensions. And it is certainly be- 
cause there is an analogy between such a counte- 
nance and such airs and those excellencies of the 
mind, — a sort of I know not what in them that 
is agreeable, and does consent with suGh mental 
perfections ; so that we cannot think of such habi- 
tudes of mind without having an idea of them at 
the same time. Nor can ife be only from custom, 
for the same dispositions and actings of mind natu- 
rally beget ■ such kind of airs of countenance and 
gesture ; otherwise they never would have come 
into custom. I speak not here of the ceremonies 
of conversation and behavior, but of those simple 
and natural motions and airs. So it appears, be- 
cause the same habitudes and actings of mind do 
beget [airs and movements] in general the same 
amongst all nations, in all ages. 

" And there is really likewise an analogy or con- 
sent between the beauty of the skies, trees, fields, 
flowers, etc., and spiritual excellencies, though the 
agreement be more hid, and require a more dis- 
cerning, feeling mind to perceive it, than the other. 
Those have their airs, too, as well as the body and 
countenance of man, which have a strange kind of 

94 Appendix. 

agreement with such mental beauties. This makes 
it natural in such frames of mind to think of them 
arid fancy ourselves in the midst of them. Thus 
there seem to be love and complacency in flowers 
and bespangled meadows ; this makes lovers so 
much delight in them. So there is a rejoicing in 
the green trees and fields, and majesty in thunder 
beyond all other noises whatever. 

" Now we have shown that the Son of God cre- 
ated the world for this very end, to communicate 
Himself in an image of His own excellency. He 
communicates Himselfgproperly, only to spirits, and 
they only are capable of being proper images of 
His excellency, for they only are properly beings, 
as we have shown. Yet He' communicates a sort of 
a shadow, or glimpse, of His excellencies to bodies, 
which, as we have shown, are but the shadows of 
beings, and not real beings. He, who, by His im- 
mediate influence, gives being every moment, and, 
by His Spirit, actuates the world, because He in- 
clines to communicate Himself and His excellen- 
cies, doth doubtless communicate His excellency to 
bodies, as far as there is any consent or analogy. 
And the beauty of face and sweet airs in men are 
not always the effect of the corresponding excellen- 
cies of mind ; yet the beauties of nature are really 
emanations or shadows of the excellencies of the 
Son of God. 

Appendix. 95 

"So that, when we are delighted with flowery 
meadows, and gentle breezes of wind, we may con- 
sider that we see only the emanations of the sweet 
benevolence of Jesus Christ. When we behold the 
fragrant rose and lily, we see His love and purity. 
So the green trees, and fields, and singing of birds 
are the emanations of His infinite joy and benignity. 
The easiness and naturalness of trees and vines are 
shadows of His beauty and loveliness. The crystal 
rivers and murmuring streams are the footsteps of 
His favor, grace, and beauty. When we behold the 
light and brightness of the -sun, the golden edges of 
an evening cloud, or the beauteous bow, we behold 
the adumbrations of His glory and goodness ; and, 
in the blue sky, of His mildness and gentleness. 
There are also many things wherein we may behold 
His awful majesty, in the sun in his strength, in 
comets, in thunder, in the hovering thunder-clouds, 
in ragged rocks, and the brows of mountains. 
That beauteous light with which the world is filled 
in a clear day, is a lively shadow of His spotless 
holiness, and happiness and delight in communi- 
cating Himself; and doubtless this is a reason that 
Christ is, compared so often to those things, and 
called by their names, as the sun of Righteousness, 
the morning star, the rose of Sharon, and lily of the 
valley, the apple tree amongst the trees of the wood, 
a bundle of myrrh, a roe, or a young hart. By this 

96 Appendix* 

we may discover the beauty of many of those meta- 
phors and similes, which to an unphilosophical 
person do seem so uncouth. 

" In like .manner, when we behold the beauty of 
man's body, in its perfection, we still see like 
emanations of Christ's divine perfections : although 
they do not always flow from the mental excellen- 
cies of the person that has them. But we see far 
the most proper image of the beauty of Christ when 
we see beauty in the human soul. 

" Corol. I. From hence it is evident that man is 
in a fallen state ; and that he has naturally scarcely 
anything of those sweet graces, which are an image 
of those which are in Christ. For no doubt seeing 
that other creatures have an image of them accord- 
ing to their capacity: so all the rational and in- 
telligent part of the world once had according to 

" Corol. II. There will be a future state wherein 
man will have them according to his capacity. How 
great a happiness will it be in Heaven for the saints 
to enjoy the society of each other, since one may 
see so much of the loveliness of Christ in those 
things which are only shadows of being. With 
what joy are philosophers filled in beholding the 
aspectable world. How sweet will it be ta behold 
the proper image and communications of Christ's 
excellency in intelligent beings, having so much of 

Appendix. 97 

the beauty of Christ upon them as Christians shall 
have in heaven. What beautiful and fragrant 
flowers will those be, reflecting all the sweetnesses of 
the Son of God ! How will Christ delight to walk 
in this garden among those beds of spices, to feed 
in the gardens, and to gather lilies ! " 

University Press: John Wilson and Son, Cambridge. 




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